Best transcription headphones – 2023
What are the best transcription headphones for audio work? And should I get headphones that fit over my head, or earphones to pop in my ears? Also which are the best audio transcription headphone bundles?
Whether you like the comfort provided with over-the-ear headphones, or if you prefer the intimate closeness of the in-ear version, headphones are very much a personal choice. When choosing a pair of headphones for general use, or a high-quality set of the best headphones to listen to an audio recording, you need to consider things like comfort, length of lead, wireless, over-the-ear, in-ear, the long hours you will be wearing them, etc.
Best headset for transcriptionists?
Take your time, choose wisely, and get it right the first time when choosing the best transcription headphones.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa Voice Control – Black
- These come with inbuilt noise cancellation features so you can focus on the audio and not on your noisy surroundings
- They also come with voice access to your music.
- You can also use the touch controls to quickly access your contacts and music
- There is also a dual-microphone system that allows for clear sound and voice pick-up
- Just select your volume and the balanced audio performance kicks in
- Or try Bluetooth pairing which allows you to set up personalized settings.
- Then you can then, and access all future updates directly through the Bose app
- Bose AR-enabled — an innovative, audio-only version of augmented reality
Editor’s choice: $$$
Top product recommendation
Bose has an excellent reputation for producing top-quality products. So if you are a sound purist looking for a headset that can provide clear quality sound this is the product for you. With touch controls or access via voice control, you can take full control of devices such as your smart home, through Alexa. And now with wireless capability, these headphones allow you the freedom to move around without getting caught up in cables.
There are cheaper headsets on the market – but you get what you pay for.
USB Headset with Microphone Noise Cancelling & in-line Call Controls, Ultra Comfort 3.5mm Wired Headset for Cell Phone, Computer Headset with Mute for PC Laptop Skype Webinar Home Office
- Providing a rich high-definition sound this headset will easily pick up bass tones
- The noise-isolating mic ensures you can chat freely without worrying about background noise
- Comfortable design – super lightweight so easy to wear for long periods of time
- Adjustable headband allows you to custom fit the set to your head
- Plug in play – no difficult set-up required
- Mute on/off so you control what can be heard through the microphone speaker
- 270-degree adjustable microphone to allow for clear dictation
Editors Choice: $$
Best value product recommendation
This is a great headset for overall general use. This headset is also very comfy to wear in daily office settings. Also, this headset can be used for business or personal purposes. Zoom calls, gaming, VOIP calls, can all be handled and heard clearly. With the ability to connect via the jack or the USB these headphones can be used over a selection of devices and an adaptor is also supplied.
Twist the adjustable microphone to ensure it captures your voice clearly so that you don’t sound muffled.
Best value product
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for Phone-Call and Alexa Voice Control, Black
- Dual Noise Sensor technology has been used in the making of these headphones
- Sony Music has developed these wireless premium headphones as a competitor to Bose
- With up to 30-hour battery life you are sure it is not going to run out on you
- And a quick 10-minute charge will allow you 5 hours of playtime
- Touch Sensor controls to pause play skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls
- Over-the-ear headphones with soft touch allow you to easily control the various functions
- The volume reduces automatically during conversations
- Call quality is enhanced with clear voice pickup
- When headphones are removed playback is automatically paused
Plantronics – Blackwire C5220 – Wired, Dual-Ear (Stereo) Headset with Boom Mic – USB-A, 3.5 mm to connect to your PC, Mac, Tablet and/or Cell Phone
- Connect to your device using the dual USB-A control
- Suitable for use on a wide range of platforms, including Microsoft Teams
- Superb audio quality for a great listening experience
- Noise-canceling microphone blocks out the background noise so your voice can be heard clearly
- Music and telephone calls remain clear due to automatic switching
- SoundGuard DIGITAL adds a layer of protection against sudden loud sounds
- The pillow-soft memory foam ear pads ensure a close fit which helps block out background noises
- And the adjustable lightweight cushioned metal headband allows you to wear the headset for long periods of time without it becoming uncomfortable
USB Headset with Mic for PC, Over-Ear Computer Laptop Headphones with Noise Cancelling Microphone in-line Control for Home Office Online Class Skype Zoom
- Noise-canceling microphone to block out all background noises
- Just twist the 270-degree directional microphone into place for clear audio
- Adjustable headband allows long-term use and custom fit
- Soft memory foam earpads bring an added level of comfort
- USB-A connection with adaptor included
- Long cord length – up to 5 feet allows movement away from the desk
- Microphone mute function to ensure privacy during calls
- Great for Skype presentations, Zoom calls, webinars, Dragon speaking, Rosetta Stone
Let’s recap – Best transcription headphones
Which are the best transcription headphones? Which are the best headsets for online meetings? Are noise-canceling headphones good for transcription, also which headset & mic should I use? Here’s a quick recap on some of the best headphones currently on the market.
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa Voice Control – Black
The new ergonomic design of the foot switch provides much more comfort; hands-free control of all playback functions with minimal physical strain. Lightweight under-chin stereo headphones with excellent sound quality and soft ear pads for increased comfort.
- USB Headset with Microphone Noise Cancelling & in-line Call Controls, Ultra Comfort 3.5mm Wired Headphones for Cell Phone, Computer Headset with Mute for PC Laptop Skype Webinar Home Office
Rich high-definition sound. Adjustable headband. Noise isolating microphone. 270-degree adjustable microphone. Excellent for voice clarity. Soft and breathable earpads.
- Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for Phone-Call and Alexa Voice Control, Black
Industry-leading noise canceling with Dual Noise Sensor technology. Up to 30-hour battery life with quick charging (10 min charge for 5 hours of playback). Touch Sensor controls to pause play skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls. Speak-to-chat technology automatically reduces the volume during conversations. Superior call quality with precise voice pickup. Wearing detection pauses playback when headphones are removed.
- Plantronics – Blackwire C5220 – Wired, Dual-Ear (Stereo) Headset with Boom Mic – USB-A, 3.5 mm to connect to your PC, Mac, Tablet and/or Cell Phone
For a professional needing to connect to a PC/Mac using USB-A and/or mobile phone. Compatible with Microsoft Teams and other leading collaboration platforms. Superb Audio Quality. Noise-canceling microphone ensures your voice is heard. Ultra-soft leatherette ear cushions wrapped around pillow-soft memory foam provide all-day comfort. Adjustable lightweight cushioned metal headband.
- USB Headset with Mic for PC, Over-Ear Computer Laptop Headphones with Noise Cancelling Microphone in-line Control for Home Office Online Class Skype Zoom
Outstanding noise-canceling microphone. 270-degree directional microphone. Adjustable headband. Soft memory foam earpads for added comfort. USB 3.5mm connection. Long cord length – up to 5 feet. Microphone mute function. Great for Skype presentations, webinars, Dragon speaking, Rosetta Stone.
So, which headphones are best for transcription work, or which are best for general office work? Can I listen, then mute, and talk, and which headsets offer the best noise-canceling features? Do I need different headsets for different work, such as medical transcription work? There are so many different versions of headsets on the market nowadays how do I choose? Most offer noise-canceling or the option of a microphone with a mute feature, while others offer cable or wireless options. Some come in bundles including headphones, microphones, and a foot pedal. So how do you choose headphones for transcription work?
Take your time, choose wisely, and get it right first time when choosing the best transcription headphones.
Things to consider when choosing a good pair of earphones
If you are not sure what type of headphones you need then why not have a look at the following points and use them as general guidance to help you with your selection?
- Comfort – first and foremost on your list should be comfort. You may be wearing these for long periods at a time and you want to make sure they are comfortable and not going to irritate you.
- In-ear buds – do they fit neatly, or do they sometimes have a tendency to pop out. There is nothing worse than having to continually stop transcribing so you can push the earbuds back into place. And as they need to fit tightly into your ear they can cause discomfort if used for long periods of time.
- Cushion covers – do they have replaceable cushion covers, or are they fitted with washable covers? Basic hygiene here guys – if you are using your earphones regularly you will want a way to clean them. Especially important if you have to share a set of earphones.
- What material are the over-the-ear cushions made from – plastic, foam, or leatherette? Some materials can make your ears sweat – yes, it is a thing. So you need to decide what material you would like your cushions to be made from.
- Do you wear glasses – if so you need to consider a neat fit. But not so neat that the legs of your glasses dig into your skin and cause irritation.
- Do they have a USB fitting – which port?
- Do they come with a standard audio jack – if so is there a good enough connection?
- What is the length of the lead from the port to the headset so as to allow you some movement from the desk?
- Wired earphones or wireless headphones – what is the minimum distance before the signal drops?
- Wireless headphones – what is the minimum battery life before you need to replace them?
- Do wireless headphones use rechargeable batteries?
- Do headsets come with or without a microphone – do you need to communicate through the headset?
- Do they have a replaceable microphone cover?
- Noise-canceling features – will they work in a noisy environment?
- Do they come with easy-to-use volume control buttons?
- Do they offer a mute button function?
- Which are best for online meetings – consider things such as clarity of speech and ease of listening.
Do you need headphones for transcription?
The simple answer is ‘no’ – BUT only if the following conditions are met.
- So, do you have perfect hearing?
- Can you always clearly hear the content of the audio recordings?
- Or do you have a quiet environment to listen to the audio files?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above then you should invest in a set of headphones.
- Do you regularly need to filter out background noises?
- Or do you need a feature that allows you to speak?
- Can you be heard clearly when you speak?
- Also, are you required to wear the headset for long periods of time?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above then you should also invest in a set of headphones.
There are many variations with many varying prices, and as they are a very personal piece of equipment you should assess the following:
- How much time do you expect you will be wearing them?
- What type of work will you be undertaking?
- What are the headsets made from?
- What is the overall weight of the headset?
- Is the earphone fabric washable?
- Is the equipment flexible?
- Also, do you need a microphone function?
Take time and assess your needs before choosing your headphones.
Understand the mid-range
When speaking normally the human voice has a frequency range of between 250Hz and 4000 Hz, so this is what is known as the midrange sound. Therefore when choosing your headset remember you will be concentrating on the human voice when it is speaking. You, therefore, need a set of earphones that can deal with frequencies in the midrange as these will allow you to clearly hear what is being said on the recordings. So don’t go buying a set of earphones that are only suitable for listening to music through.
Whether you are listening to audio files for work, or are choosing a headset for more personal preferences such as listening to music or gaming there will be something on the market to suit you.
If you focus on comfort, the quality of materials used to make the headset, durability,
Of course, there will be other areas of setting up your office that you need to consider. So why not have a look at articles detailing other equipment recommendations?