Best Headphones for Transcription 2022

The best headphones for transcription are necessary to have if you are a transcriber.

While some are engineered in a similar way to music and recording studio headphones, most headphones for transcription have special features that make it effortless for you to transcribe.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X HeadphonesWiredAudio-TechnicaView
Sony MDR7506 Professional HeadphoneWiredSonyView
Sennheiser HD-201 Lightweight HeadphonesWiredSennheiserView
Logitech USB Headset H570e StereoWiredLogitechView
ECS WordSmith Transcription HeadsetWiredECSView


Types of Transcription Headphones

There are three main kinds of headphone styles. They include

  • Over-ear
  • On-ear
  • In-earbuds

In-ear headphones and earbuds are directly inserted in the ear canal. This headphone has a tight, seal that is between the ear and headphones. This feature prevents entry of any kind of external noise into the ear.

  • Earbuds

Earbuds have small pieces or rather buds that fit into the outer ear. The tips of earbuds are made from silicone or foam material.

Earbuds do not prevent external noise as compared to in-ear headphones. However, some people still prefer them due to comfort.

Some kinds of earbuds and in-ear headphones produce sound lacking in bass. Still, not to worry as it does not interfere with your transcription work.

This is because most frequencies are found mid-range.

Most transcriptionists who have been in the job for long prefer either earbuds or in-ear headphones. Especially the under-chin types, wishbone, or stethoscopes are mostly the preference of the veterans.

  • On-ear headphones

These kinds of headphones are placed on the outer ear at the top. They are made with a band that could be put on the head or at the back of the same.

The disadvantage of on-ear headphones is that they do not isolate noise and leak noise. This means that they may not be ideal when working in noisy areas or crowded places.

The advantage is the comfort they offer when compared to other headphones. They are especially convenient when in use in a quiet room.

Not to forget that they have large drivers enhancing sound quality.

  • Over-ear headphones
What are the Best Headphones for Transcription

These are the earphones made of large earcups. When placed over the head they encircle the whole ear. Commonly they are used by professionals for audio work.

Some over-ear headphones are made in such a way that they isolate noise and prevent noise leakage. In such headphones, they are made to have a tight seal between the headphone and the ear.

Most people find wearing over-ear headphones more comfortable. Since these headphones have large drives, their sound quality is something to die for.

Disadvantages of over-ear headphones include sweating when working in a warm place. For people wearing glasses, they may feel uncomfortable using over-ear headphones as well as their glasses.

Best Transcription Headphones Reviews

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

This among the best headphones for transcription. It brings with its robust construction and cutting-edge engineering.

It is tuned perfectly for improved low-frequency performance.

Enjoy nothing short of excellent sound isolation courtesy of the headphone’s circumoral design contours on the ears.


  • Durable design
  • Low-frequency performance
  • Cutting-edge engineering
  • Robust construction


  • Reasonably priced
  • Superior sound quality
  • Long-lasting
  • Classy design


  • Not ideal for savvy transcribers

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Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

Everyone who is into sound quality will admit that Sony is one of the best producers of high-quality sound products and systems. This one is no different.

In addition to being lightweight and unobstructive, it also boasts high-quality. The headphones have been engineered to be easy to use and comfortable to wear even for long periods.

You can use it in both the studio and the broadcast.


  • Wired connectivity technology
  • Foldable design
  • 10 Hertz frequency response
  • Closed ear design


  • Extra padding
  • Excellent vocal clarity
  • Durable construction
  • Coiled cable


  • Average noise isolation

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Sennheiser HD-201 Lightweight Over-Ear Headphones

Sennheiser HD-201 Lightweight Over Ear Headphones

Enjoy lightweight construction that these headphones come with. They boast excellent attenuation of ambient noise.

The headphones produce crisp and rich bass response coupled with faithful dynamic audio reproduction.

Its sealed earcup design offers to bleed into adjacent microphones when you are recording at home.


  • Hypoallergenic
  • Lightweight construction
  • Crisp bass response
  • Increased signal levels


  • Highly affordable
  • Excellent construction
  • Impressive cable length
  • Better noise cancellation


  • Some users complain of excess pressure on their ears

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Noise- Isolating vs. Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Transcription

Most headphones are made having physical features to isolate sounds. Such features include tight sealing earpieces or back earpads.

However, these features are only good at the reduction of high-frequency sounds. For lower frequencies such as sounds from a car or bass from the next room, you may require a better technology.

If you are bothered by low-frequency sounds then you may want to go for the noise-canceling headphones.

  • Noise-canceling headphones

The kind of technology used in these earphones is known as active noise cancellation (ANC) technology. This technology works electronically. It consists of a tiny mic that functions by picking noise from the outside and inverts to soundwave.

This functioning cuts off any external noise leaving you to concentrate on your audio. The ANC technology is not perfect but it is sure effective in noise isolation of lower frequency.

It is common to find that noise cancellation uses batteries. But for headphones such as Bose QC 25 can be used without batteries.

This is because it can work without or with ANC. You will find that quality noise-canceling headphones cost more than those without.

Studio Vs. Consumer Headphones for Audio Transcription Work

There are two categories of headphones. These are Studio headphones (also known as monitor headphones) and Consumer headphones (also known as audiophile headphones).

  • Consumer headphones

Consumer headphones are made to make audio sound better and more entertaining. This could be the audio in movies, music, games, and many others.

This is achieved by creating features in the headphones that enhance sound properties. This could be enhancing a sound factor such as bass.

However, this type of headphones is not best for use in transcription. Why? Too much bass may cause dictation voice sound muddy.

  • Studio headphones

Professionals use these. Mostly they are used for mixing and tracking. The technology used causes a neutral frequency. This causes you to hear all frequencies present clearly.

In saying, studio headphones are the best to use in audio transcription work. They are preferred because the sound produced is of quality and accuracy.

Anyway, as people have different tastes some will find consumer headphones better to studio headphones.

Transcription Headphones Buying Guide

Here are the most important factors to consider when shopping for the best headphones for transcription:

  • Sound Controls

Having an in-line volume control is highly appreciated by most transcriptionists. That is the reason you will find most headphones have this feature.

If you transcribe a tape, you would find a headphone that switches from mono sound to stereo more useful. Other types of headphones can boost their volume as an inbuilt feature.

  • Weight

Placing large amounts of weight on your head is not advisable. Such a weight may cause strain on your neck leading to undesirable complications.

Having this in mind you will find that most headphones are made lightweight.

  • Cord Length

A long cord or a short cord both have their pros and cons. A long cord may keep running over but is helpful. This is in case you want to lean or stand. Your headphones will not be pulled off your head.

  • Budget

It is always important to first decide the amount of money you want to spend. You should also consider the features you are interested to have in your headphones.

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