Top 5 Best Headphones For Podcasting Under $200 Of 2021


A solid pair (or several pairs) of headphones can really benefit a podcast. Podcasting is a great way to get your message out into the and, fortunately, there’s not a huge barrier of entry. That being said, having some professional gear will help to get the professional sound and, therefore, a better product for your listeners.

With a $200 USD price cap, there are plenty of great options for podcasting headphones. In this article, we’ll go through the best options to help you pick out the best headphones for your podcast.

The top 5 best podcasting headphones under $200 are:

Any of the above options would be a fantastic choice. Let’s get into why that is.

Since we’re having a discussion within the context of a price cap, I figure I should leave a link to a related My New Microphone article: Are Expensive Headphones (Or Cheap Headphones) Worth It?

Related article: Top 20 Best Microphones For Podcasting (All Budgets).


What Makes A Pair Of Headphones Great For Podcasting?

Though the term “best” is subjective, we should still list out the criteria used for determining what makes a great pair of podcasting headphones.

  • Comfort: this is perhaps the simplest yet most important criterion of any headphone especially for the longer format podcasts. Though highly subjective, specifications such as weight; contact pressure; earpad shape/material; stiffness, and the overall dimension play a role in comfort.
  • Impedance/device compatibility: compatibility with different audio devices is important. Choose a pair of podcasting headphones that will be easily incorporated into your set up whether that’s a mobile device or a professional studio (and into any future plans for your set up). Impedance and sensitivity ratings come into play when determining compatibility.
  • Frequency response: a great pair of headphones should be able to reproduce the full audible spectrum from 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz with clarity.
  • Bleed/spill: choose a pair of headphones that will minimize sound leakage (bleed/spill) so that the sound of the headphones is not getting picked back up by the microphone(s). Closed-back headphones are a great option for this reason.

With that, let’s get into our top 5 best headphones for podcasting under $200!


Related article: Top Best Headphones For Podcasting Under $100

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Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Let’s begin our discussion of the best podcasting headphones under $200 USD with the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x (link to check the price on Amazon).

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top Best Circumaural (Over-Ear) Headphones Under $200
Top Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $200

The ATH-M50x is the most critically acclaimed model in Audio-Technica’s M-Series headphone line. In fact, they are the best-selling headphones from the Japanese manufacturer, period!

As an aside, that the ATH-M40x is also from the M-Series line and is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 5 Best Headphones For Podcasting Under $100.

The M50x design features proprietary 45mm moving-coil drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils. Its circumaural earcups have professional-grade earpads and contour around the ears for superb comfort and passive noise isolation, keeping podcasters focused on the podcast and microphone bleed to a minimum.

The result of this relatively simple design is an exceptional sound across the entire audible frequency range (and beyond). The ATH-M50x has a frequency response of 15 Hz – 28,000 Hz with a deep, accurate bass response and accurate mids and highs.

For more info on frequency response, check out my article What Is Headphone Frequency Response & What Is A Good Range?

These headphones are actually built for professional studio applications. Speech and vocals are well represented with these headphones, making them a great choice for podcasting.

The earcups swivel 90º and the headband is adjustable, allowing each user to fit the headphones to their head. The earcups fold inward for easy storage and portability.

With a relatively low nominal impedance of 38 ohms, the ATH-M50x will easily work with professional and consumer-grade recording equipment. There’s no need for a dedicated headphone amp, though there’s nothing stopping you from using one if you so choose.

To learn more about headphones and headphone amps, check out my article What Is A Headphone Amplifier & Are Headphone Amps Worth It?

This headphone comes with 3 detachable cables, each with 3.5mm connectors at each end: a 1.2m – 3.0m coiled cable, 3.0m straight cable and 1.2m straight cable. Use the included 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter when necessary to plug into 6.35mm (1/4″) jacks.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 45 mm with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Impedance: 38 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 28,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 99 dB
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 285 g (10 oz), without cable and connector
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

To learn more about headphone specifications, be sure to read my article Full List: Headphone/Earphone Specifications w/ Examples.

Audio-Technica is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.

The Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X (link to check the price on Amazon) is another great option from Audio-Technica for under $200.


Sennheiser HD 300 Pro

Second on this list is the Sennheiser HD 300 Pro (link to check the price on Amazon) from the world-renowned audio equipment manufacturer Sennheiser.

Sennheiser HD 300 Pro

The Sennheiser HD 300 Pro is also featured in My New Microphone’s Top Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $200.

The HD 300 Pro is designed for professional applications and delivers a neutral and transparent sound. Whether we’re mixing a record or producing a podcast, these headphones are an excellent choice. The linear frequency response of the HD 300 Pro is indicative of a great headphone capable of reproducing sound with remarkable neutrality.

The closed-back circumaural design not only fits comfortably on people’s heads but it also allows for superior ambient noise attenuation (up to a maximum of 32 dB). This is great news for keeping headphone bleed to a minimum which, in turn, reduces microphone bleed and phasing issue when 2 or more microphones are used simultaneously in a podcast.

Related article: Microphone Polarity & Phase: How They Affect Mic Signals.

The rated impedance of these Sennheiser headphones is 64 ohms. In general, this impedance is the borderline between high-end professional headphones that require dedicated amplifiers and “regular” headphones that will work with typical mobile and consumer-grade audio devices.

With the HD 300 Pro, we can opt to use a headphone amp for improved audio quality control but the headphones also sound incredible plugging directly into our podcasting equipment.

The HD 300 Pro comes with a detachable 1.5m cable (with 3.5mm jacks) and a 1/4″ (6.35mm) adapter for easy connecting to the vast majority of headphone outputs.

To learn more about 3.5mm and 6.35mm headphone plugs/jacks, check out my article The Differences Between 2.5mm, 3.5mm & 6.35mm Headphone Jacks.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance: 64 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 6 Hz – 25,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 108 dBSPL (1kHz/1Vrms)
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 297 g (without cable)
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

Sennheiser is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World and Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World.


AKG K553 MkII

The AKG K553 MkII (link to check the price on Amazon) takes its spot at number 3 on this list.

AKG K553 MkII

The AKG K553 MkII is intended to bring an open-back sound to a closed-back headphone. It offers the same noise-isolating qualities of a closed-back headphone with the spacious, dimensional sound of open-back designs.

Open-back designs are often preferred for their more natural soundstage and stereo width. They often sound less “boxy” than their closed-back counterparts. Get the best of both worlds with the K553 MkII.

To learn more about closed-back headphones and passive noise cancellation, check out my articles The Complete Guide To Open-Back & Closed-Back Headphones and Passive Vs. Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones, respectively.

Each of the large earcups hosts a 50mm low-impedance dynamic driver. These drivers reproduce strong bass, clear mids and non-fatiguing highs, making this headphone a great choice for podcasting and music applications alike.

To learn more about dynamic drivers and driver size, check out my articles The Complete Illustrated Guide To Moving-Coil Dynamic Headphones and What Is A Good Driver Size For Headphones? respectively.

The rated impedance of 32 ohm makes the K553 MkII compatible with laptops and other consumer-grade podcast recording equipment. Of course, the headphones will work also well with professional set ups.

The headphone comes with a detachable 6m cables and the typical 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter.

Large earcups mean large ear pads. The K553 features soft pads to make long sessions comfortable.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 50mm Dynamic
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 12 Hz – 28,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 114 dB SPL/V @ 1 kHz
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 10.75 oz. (305g)
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

AKG is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.


Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

Fourth up is the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (link to check the price on Amazon).

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top Best Closed-Back Headphones Under $200
Top Best Circumaural (Over-Ear) Headphones Under $200
Top Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $200

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is a superb studio-grade headphone that will excel in your podcasting set up.

They reproduce the entire frequency range (the frequency response is 5 Hz – 35,000 Hz) with incredible precision. The bass sounds incredible as well, though that may not be of great concern for podcasts.

These closed-back headphones have exceptional passive noise isolation to reduce bleed. The headband and circumaural earcups are extremely comfortable and the steel spring headband offers durability and a secure fit. For longer recording sessions, these headphones are a fantastic choice.

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro comes in 4 different impedance variants:

  • 16 Ω nominal (Mobile Devices)
  • 32 Ω nominal (Mobile Devices)
  • 80 Ω nominal (Universal Studio)
  • 250 Ω nominal (Professional Devices)

I would recommend the 32-ohm version for most podcasters. It’s a great option for those that are focused more on the product rather than on optimizing the recording setup. Though the higher-impedance versions may sound better when used in conjunction with the appropriate equipment, this professional studio equipment tends to cost a lot of money and may not be worth it for your podcast. The 32-ohm version will sound great in all set ups.

To learn more about headphone impedance, check out my article The Complete Guide To Understanding Headphone Impedance.

The 32-ohm version comes with a fixed 1.6m straight cable and a 6.35mm stereo jack adapter.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance:
    • 16 Ω (Mobile Devices)
    • 32 Ω (Mobile Devices)
    • 80 Ω (Universal Studio)
    • 250 Ω (Professional Devices)
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 35,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 96 dB nominal SPL
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 270 g without cable
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

Beyerdynamic is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.


Shure SRH840

Last but certainly not least is the Shure SRH840 (link to check the price on Amazon).

Shure SRH840

The Shure SRH840 is also featured in My New Microphone’s Top Best Closed-Back Headphones Under $200.

The Shure SRH840 comes in well below the $200 limit but is still one of the best in the price range for podcasting.

The SRH840 offers a tailored frequency response for a superb bass response, clear mids and extended highs.

The 40 mm dynamic drivers (with neodymium magnets) are built into closed-back earcups for awesome sound and great sound isolation.

As an aside, the SRH440 is also from the SRH-Series line and is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 5 Best Headphones For Podcasting Under $100.

For the price, these headphones fit nicely and are comfortable. A premium, padded headband and an extra pair of earpads give the headphones superior comfort.

The main drawback is the relatively cheap plastic design. The headphones sound excellent but the build quality leaves something to be desired in terms of durability. That being said, if taken care of properly, these headphones should last you a long time!

The Shure SRH840 comes with a detachable locking cable that securely locks into the ear cup and enables easy replacement. A 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter is also included.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 40 mm Dynamic with Neodymium magnets
  • Impedance: 44 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 25,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 365g (12.88 oz)
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired

Shure is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World and Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.

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