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Imagine being able to get the exact headphones you want without a hassle.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could easily pick the best headphones for transcription work without combing through the internet the entire day?
Here’s the good news. This guide will help you make the right decision and fast.
We’ll tell you what to look for when buying headphones, which brand is the most popular, and each’s strength.
We promise by the time you get to the end, you’ll be smiling to the store.
Let’s get into it.
Type of Headsets Available
To understand headphones, you must know the types in the market. Here are the various types:
While earphones are small and easy to carry around, they may not be the best option for transcribers. They are mainly used on mobile phones.
2. Noise Cancelling Headphones
Any transcriptionist would love these headphones.
They cancel outside noise using a method termed anti-phase, giving you a clear sound.
Usually, they are bigger than most headphones. This type’s beauty is that you can add a mic for when you need to talk to the other party.
3. Over-The-Ear Headphones
If you don’t like plugging things into your ear, these headphones might be your go-to.
Also, if sealed tightly, they reduce noise disturbance from outside during transcription.
Because they have big ear cups, they can get uncomfortable when it’s hot.
4. On-Ear Headphones
Smaller than over-the-ear headphones, on-ear types rest on your ears.
These headphones are primarily suitable for those transcribing in a quiet place. The reason is that they can leak sound, making it hard to hear what you’re transcribing.
5. Wireless Headphones
Without wires, these headphones give you more flexibility. You can easily move around without the fear of damaging them or making a mess with entangled wires.
Unfortunately, they are very fragile.
Best Headphones for Transcription
If you’re a transcriber looking to churn out quality transcriptions, good headphones are a must-have.
After all, apart from superb hearing, a good pair of headphones is your greatest asset.
But making a perfect choice can be draining, especially when you have to scour the internet armed with little knowledge.
We have done the groundwork for you, and we’ll give you the scoop on each of these headphones.
Check out these headphones:
1. Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphones
These headphones are famous for their balanced sound quality.
They are also quite comfortable. Comfort is a crucial feature for a transcriber because you’re on the headset most of the day.
Still, you can fold the headphones for easier portability.
Although the earpads are detachable, they have a short shelf life.
The downside is they don’t isolate noise as well as some headphones in the market.
Their most outstanding feature is their 9.8-foot cord, which is also durable. It allows you to move freely.
2. Audio-Technica ATH-M40X
Audio-Technica has served been around for years.
Its ATH-M40X model has flat tuning, which regulates the bass and makes sound clear.
This headset comes with large ear cups which snugly fit your ears and block outside noise. Even better, the ear cups can rotate 90 degrees.
What’s more, is that they come with a detachable cable. This feature allows you to switch to a longer cable should you wish to.
However, you cannot maneuver around your device using the cable because it lacks built-in controls.
Generally, this headset’s noise isolation ability is its most outstanding feature.
3. Spectra USB Transcription Headset with Volume Control
If you’re a professional transcriptionist, this set could be worth your time.
Apart from being affordable, they have comfortable earbuds.
The beauty of this headset is that it’s lightweight.
The only problem is they don’t have the best noise reduction ability, so you can only work in a quiet place.
They are also not as durable as one would hope.
Their most exceptional feature is the built-in sound card that gives you clarity.
4. Bose QuietComfort 35
If budget is not one of your primary concerns, then the Bose QuietComfort 35 might be perfect for you.
These headphones are wireless, making them easier to move around.
Their balanced audio helps you hear the sound clearly.
What’s more? Their batteries go up to 20 hours.
Plus, their Bose Connect app, which is part of the package, gives you access to features like Bluetooth.
The headband has little cushioning on the downside, meaning you might get uncomfortable if you wear them for too long.
Their most superior feature is their noise isolation ability. The quality of sound is almost at the same level as that of gadgets in recording studios.
5. Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones
These wireless earbuds from Bose are easy to carry.
They fit snugly into your ears due to their rubber tips.
Whether you have high-volume or low-volume audio, these headphones produce quality sound.
Their drawback is their 6-hour battery life which is shorter than that of others in the market.
Also, they can be pricey.
Their most superior quality is portability due to their small size.
6. Sennheiser HD 206
These lightweight headphones are fabulous for any transcriber who works for long hours.
They come with high-quality earpads. The top band is also well-cushioned.
This headset also has a 3-meter cable, which allows you to move around with ease.
The downside of this set is that its cable can easily get entangled.
The lightweight is this headset’s most fantastic plus.
7. Sennheiser HD 280 PRO
If you’re looking for a headset not only for transcription but also gaming, this could be it.
Their soft earpads make it comfortable for you to work for long hours.
These headphones’ sound quality is superb. They also have a solid noise cancellation ability, meaning you can work in any environment.
Besides, they are foldable, therefore, easy to carry around.
They come with a single-sided cable, which is hard to damage and neat to store.
The major downside is their short shelf life if not properly taken care of.
What sets them apart from the rest is the accurate and precise way they produce sound.
8. Spectra FBA_SP-USB
At $29, this set is affordable.
Also, transcribers will find this set comfortable due to its lightweight.
The headset comes with a set of volume controls for easier maneuvering.
On top of that, the sound clarity is excellent.
However, their lifespan is short because they are plastic.
This headset’s most significant aspect is its lightweight, making it comfortable to use over long periods.
9. Behringer HPS3000
This Behringer set gives you a choice of either on-ear or over-the-ear.
Better still, you can buy both for different occasions. If you work in a busy environment, you can choose an over-the-ear design that covers your ears.
They provide balanced audio due to their wide frequency range.
On top of that, they are studio quality, offering an accurate bass.
Still, they come with a one-sided cord which is hard to get tangled up.
The con is that its cable is not durable.
Their most outstanding feature is their enhanced bass that beats most transcription headphones.
10. ECS WordSlinger Deluxe USB Transcription Headset
These headphones have a built-in sound card and can be used on any Windows and Mac device.
For your comfort, you get a padded headband and earpads.
Its low cost means it has a low shelf life, so it’s better to prepare a backup plan.
The most significant advantage of this headset is its ability to enhance distorted audio and improve sound clarity.
11. ECS WordSmith In-Ear USB Transcription Headset
If you’re looking for a headset with built-in volume control, this could be it.
This set comes with a 10-feet cord, long enough to help you move out of your workstation comfortably.
Their noise-canceling ability is decent if you compare them to headphones that cover your ears. But, if you fit the earbuds properly, you might achieve higher noise cancellation.
Plus, you can have them on for long without getting tired because they don’t have a headband.
To enhance sound quality, you can plug the headset into a sound card.
The con is that with its noise-canceling ability at only a decent level, you can’t use them in a busy environment.
Its superior quality is its built-in volume controls.
12. ECS Spectra SP
If you’re looking for lightweight USB headphones, try this set.
It comes with a 10-foot cable, improving your flexibility as you work.
Plus, the cord has a digital volume control.
Although it comes with a headband, it’s extra thin, meaning it’s comfortable around your head.
The good news is that its sound quality is still excellent for transcription despite it being USB 2.0.
The extra thin cable is fragile on the downside, and its noise cancellation mechanism is not the best.
This headset’s most superior feature is its built-in hardware that improves sound quality.
13. Logitech USB Headset H570e Stereo
This headset comes with a microphone, making it also suitable for online classes or podcasts.
It is light in weight, easing the pressure off your head.
On the downside, these headphones aren’t the best for the outdoors.
Its most significant advantage is its ability to block noise.
14. LyxPro HAS-10
If you want the perfect headphones for the busiest environment, HAS-10 by LyxPro could be worth a try.
These headphones are comfortable on your ears because the ear cups and headband are padded with soft leather.
This set has 45mm drivers to improve sound clarity, balancing even the loudest audios.
Plus, the ear cups are easy to rotate, allowing you to continue with an outside conversation.
However, these headphones’ telescopic system is not the best quality.
Plus, if you lose the earpads, there’s no replacement.
Their most attractive feature is their long shelf life as it’s made of aluminum and hard plastic.
15. Olympus E-62 (146031) Transcription Stereo Headset
As a lightweight headset, this Olympus E-62 is excellent for a transcriptionist who works for long hours.
It comes with a long cable, allowing you to move comfortably around your workstation.
You can also move the earpieces around as you require.
Its disadvantage is that it is more expensive than other headphones in the same category.
Its most exceptional quality is its adjustable earpieces.
16. Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
If you’re looking for headphones to use without worrying about power, try these.
They come with a charging cable should you run out of power.
A double microphone system blocks outside noise, making audios more explicit.
Besides, they are Alexa-enabled. If you want to connect to Alexa for music, updates like news, or control other smart devices in your home, you don’t need your phone.
Also, this headset has a carry case for safekeeping.
What’s more? They are Bluetooth-enabled.
However, Bluetooth isn’t always stable when using headphones.
Their most outstanding feature is their 20-hour battery life.
17. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Headphones
If you’re a professional transcriptionist, these Audio-Technica headphones could be the perfect fit.
Their sound quality is excellent, and they have padded ear cups for comfort.
Plus, they come with a Bluetooth adapter.
Besides, this headset’s cable is detachable, meaning you can replace it in case of damage.
On the downside, at $149, they might not be affordable for everyone.
Their one remarkable feature is their superb sound quality.
18. Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
These headphones are studio quality.
For its features, this headset is quite affordable.
It has 40mm drivers, providing good sound quality.
Further, it produces a balanced sound, making it easier to hear your audio.
On the downside, the headphones are fragile.
Also, if you’re a pro transcriber, this might not be the most suitable set.
What makes these headphones stand out is their wide frequency range and the option to tune low-end sound.
19. Sony WH-CH500
These over-the-ear headphones are wireless and have 20-hour battery life.
Without cables, you can avoid messy wires running across your workstation.
Also, they are lightweight, meaning you can transcribe for hours without getting tired.
Plus, they only cover part of your ear, preventing the discomfort that can come with heat and sweat.
Their most outstanding feature is their Bluetooth compatibility with other devices.
20. Sony MDR-ZX310
This model from Sony is lightweight for comfort.
It is won over the ear.
As a bonus, there are many colors from which to choose.
The downside is that its wire can make it cumbersome to keep your workstation neat.
A superior quality you might like is their foldability, making them easy to pack and carry around.
21. Mpow H7
These over-the-ear headphones have padded ear cups for your comfort.
Also, they have Bluetooth compatibility, enabling you to connect to other devices.
Plus, they come with a 3.5mm cable that you can use when your battery drains.
Although there are other headsets with a more superior battery, their 18-hour service works just fine.
Their built-in microphone that helps you pick calls hands-free is also a great addition.
One disadvantage is that the volume controls can be awkward to adjust.
Their biggest plus is their noise suppression ability.
22. Plantronics Blackwire C320
These over-the-ear headphones come with a USB input and a microphone you can use to answer phone calls.
Also, a light headband makes them comfortable on your head.
Besides, you can wirelessly connect to other devices.
On the downside, this headset is fragile, shortening its lifespan.
Their dynamic EQ quality sets them apart. Why? It automatically finetunes your audio.
23. Skullcandy Ink’d 2.0
If you want an in-ear wired headset with good sound quality, you can give this one a shot.
They are lightweight, meaning no pressure on your ears as you work.
Another good quality is that they are not heavy on the bass, making their sound clear.
The drawback is that if you don’t prefer inserting anything into your ear, this might not be a suitable choice.
Their most remarkable quality is their sound clarity.
24. Shure SRH240A
Although this is not a very popular brand, Shure is worth a try.
These headphones have excellent noise cancellation ability.
They also produce clear sound due to their noise isolation feature.
Plus, this lightweight set is comfortable to use all day long.
With a padded headband and earcups, these headphones are also an excellent choice for transcribers.
On the downside, its material is not the most durable.
This headset’s most superior feature is its wide frequency range, which enhances sound clarity.
25. Grado SR80e
This over-the-head headset option from Grado produces excellent sound quality.
As an upgrade, the SR80e has a new driver and polymer. As a result, it has lower sound distortion.
Also, they produce lively sound and tight bass.
The downside is their design makes them fragile. So, if you move around a lot, you can easily damage them.
Their ability to make sound lively and warm gives them an edge over the rest.
26. LyxPro HAS-15 Studio Headphones
These headphones might be a perfect transcription choice with an adjustable headband and excellent sound isolation to boot.
They come with a travel pouch, making it safe to carry and store them.
On top of that, they have leather earbuds for your comfort. Besides, you can comfortably move the ear cups around.
A detachable 13-foot cable allows you to move around your workstation with ease. You can also replace the cable if you wish.
On the negative side, their extra-long cord quickly gets entangled.
Overall, these headphones’ sound isolation ability is their selling point.
27. COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
With a 90-degree rotation, these headphones are comfortable around your ears. They also have earpads for comfort.
Further, this headgear has a built-in microphone with which you can make phone calls.
Its audio controls also allow you to play, pause or tune the volume as you please.
On top of that, they’re Bluetooth enabled.
Their con is that their loose wires can create a mess while you’re working.
As their name suggests, their noise-canceling feature is their best quality.
Popular Brands for Headphones
Although there are many brands in the market, these are the quickest to find in a store or online:
- Bose headphones: Popular for blocking out noise
- Sony headphones: Big on sound quality
- Sennheiser headsets: Also known for excellent sound quality
How to Pick the Good Headphones for Transcription Work
1. Price – Go with your budget. But, remember, cheaper headphones might come with fewer features.
2. Your Working Environment – Noise cancellation headphones are the best if you work in a busy environment, for instance, near a construction site.
3. Look at Ergonomics First – Comfort is closely tied to the design of the headphones. Check whether they have rotating ear cups or have a light headband to determine the best option.
4. Types of Headphones – Do you prefer in-ear, on-ear, or over-the-ear type of headphones? The type is mostly a personal preference.
5. Consumer Headphones Vs. Monitoring – If you’re a professional, go for monitoring headphones. They ensure the accuracy of audio. However, monitoring headphones enhance sound like in movies.
6. USB vs Headphone Jack/ Connectivity– When going for USB-connected headphones, the results are more superior. Why? They process the audio on a built-in chip to make it better than your computer’s.
On the other hand, sound from headphone jacks is only as good as your computer’s ability.
7. Cable or No Cable? – If you want to move around your workstation, a long cable might the best option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which headphone is best for online classes?
They must have a built-in microphone and be able to cancel outside noise. Some of them include: Logitech USB Headset H390 and Mpow Single-Sided USB Headset with Microphone
What are the best headphones for calls?
If you want to make calls, get a headset with a built-in microphone that you can operate hands-free. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds might be a good pick.
Which headphones block out the most noise?
Apart from protecting your ears, they make sound clear. Some top picks include Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.
Are there any headphone styles built specifically for transcriptionists?
Yes. If you’re wondering what headphones are best for transcription online, under-the-chin ones are the best. These include ECS WordHear-O USB Transcription Headset and WordSleuth Under-Chin in-Ear.
Which headphones favor comfort?
For comfort, go for over-ear headphones such as Sennheiser models.
Who makes the best headphones for transcription?
Brands from Bose and Audio-Technica are the best.
What is the best headphone to use for medical transcription/headphones for medical transcription?
Because medical transcription can include jargon that is hard to make out, you need the best transcription headset with a clear sound. The ESB OHUSB Wordslinger and the Olympus E-62 headphones are some of the best.
Which Transcription Headphones Are Best for You?
If you’re looking for the best transcription headphones 2021, there are several factors to consider.
The best headsets have noise-canceling and noise isolation ability.
Plus, it is important to consider comfort. A padded headband and ear cups can help you transcribe without getting tired.
Other factors are a matter of personal preference. For instance, whether to go for over-ear or on-ear.
Which headset will you settle for and why? Leave a comment below.