What is the secret to finding a reliable pair of podcasting headphones? This is a question that many beginners who are planning to get into the realm of podcasting ask.
Since the options out there are aplenty, choosing the best headphones for podcasting could be an extremely overwhelming experience. This is especially true for those who have no prior podcasting experience.
In this case, having a list of considerations at hand can certainly make your job far easier.
Is a particular pair of headphones comfortable enough to wear for at least an hour or two? This is one of the most basic questions that you should ask yourself before choosing a pair.
Of course, your podcasts may not be as long as an hour or two. However, to be on the safe side, it is crucial to invest something that does not cause discomfort if kept on for long. After all, you will have to keep them on during the editing phase (which could be long and strenuous at times)
In order to ease the buying process for you, we have curated a list of the most important things that you should consider before buying a pair, below:
#1- Do they have good accuracy (flat frequency response)?
Perhaps the most important factor is the quality and accuracy of the sound reproduced by your headphones. In order to adjust the sounds, it is crucial for you to hear exactly what you have recorded.
Hence, you may need a pair of studio monitoring headphones rather than a consumer headphone. This is because most of the consumer headphones cater to the entertainment listeners due to which they often tweak certain frequencies.
As an editor and recorder, you would prefer to hear an accurate reproduction of the audio track. This is something that is referred to as a flat frequency response which is achieved by a pair of studio monitoring headphones.
#2- Are they comfortable to wear?
As a podcaster, you may have to keep your headphones on for hours while finalizing a single session. Although, your podcasts may not be hours long, the recording, editing, and post-production phase certainly take hours combined.
Hence, it is crucial to get a pair of podcasting headphones that are comfortable on your ears, head, and do not limit your range of neck motion.
#3- Is there a sound leak?
When the sound from inside your headphones leaks outside, so that other people near you can hear it, your overall quality of production will get affected.
On the smallest scale, sound leaking out of your headphones turns out to be an annoyance for the people around. However, bigger issues arise when the sound leaking out of your headphones goes into another user track during recording.
This would result in a feedback loop. Hence, in case you are producing a double-ender, a sound leak would be a major concern for you. Misalignment in your headphones sound leak going into another user’s track can result in a nasty sounding echo (which can be quite difficult to handle).
#4- Style and length of cord
While an uncoiled lengthy cord may not be a factor as big, it can cause you a little inconvenience in case your studio space is jam-packed with people and equipment in such a scenario, anyone could trip over it and cause havoc.
A coil-cord, in this case, is definitely convenient as it takes less, and is flexible enough to be used over longer distances (if the need be).
#5- Wired or wireless? Which one is for you?
While most of the headphones for podcasting come with a cord since they are designed to work on a studio level, there may be instances where you will need a wireless headphone.
In case you record outdoors, you may want to go with a pair wireless podcasting headphones or perhaps no headphones at all! It would simply depend on how you prefer it to be.
Inside a studio space, however, a wired pair of podcasting headphones is recommended. T primarily because the best studio headphones come with a wire cord.
#6- Are your podcasting headphones portable?
Well, portability is a consideration that may not be as big for you. In case you travel a lot, you will want to ensure the maximum level of portability. A pair of portable headphones along minimal equipment such as an interface, a laptop, a mic, is your ideal
Normally, the best headphones for podcasting have a large diaphragm which adds up to the bulk of the headphones. Hence, studio headphones for podcasting are not usually portable by any means.
However, there are a number of models out there that fold up into small and compact sizes. A folding pair will be ideal for you in case you travel a lot. This will allow you to carry them around with you in a backpack.
#7- The price
For most of the people, their budget happens to be a limiting factor. It also happens to be the major factor that decides the number of pros that you will get. Apart from that, it can also determine the number of cons that you will have to compromise on.
After all, expensive versions of studio podcasting headphones are designed for perfection in terms of sound, comfort, and style.
The lower end models, on the other hand, are suitable for beginners who want to experience the world of recording. Without a doubt, a pair of entry-level studio headphones will do your job. However, they will not be the best in terms of style, accuracy, and comfort.
So, before settling for a pair, consider all the possible options that you have within your budget. Once listed down, compare the models to figure out which one will deliver you the best value for its price.
#8- How visible are your podcasting headphones?
In case you are recording a video live along with the podcast, a big bulky pair of headphones around your head can be rather distracting for the viewers.
Hence, if you record a live video often, you may need a smaller pair. Although, it simply depends on your preference and may not be a factor as big.
Although, this is one prime reason why many people like to stick with the plain old earbuds during as they are almost invisible in the video. However, with that, you may have to compromise a little on the live quality of sound.
Although, you can certainly use a pair of studio monitoring headphones later on in the editing phase.
When it comes to podcasting headphones, there is almost an infinite number of options out there.
Since these options are aplenty, they are likely to overwhelm you in case you are just taking the first step into the realm of podcasting.
All in all, the major factors that you need to consider include the accuracy (flat frequency response), comfort, sound leak, portability, and the price.
The other additional factors may include the visibility in a video, the style of cord, and whether the headphones come with wire. These considerations, however, are something that you as a user can compromise on.
However, the aforementioned factors are highly crucial and should not be compromised on, in case you want your level of production to be high.