Our Top List: 6 Best Headphones for Transcribing

Do you need the best headphones for transcribing? If you do a lot of transcription work, you know how important it is to have a good pair of headphones. But are headphones for transcribing developed specifically for transcriptionists? 

When it comes to headphones, there isn’t always a set standard. If you’re curious to learn what you’ll need to optimize your transcribing precision and agility. And what headphones other transcriptionists are using to get the best results. Look no further; we’ve got you covered.

HeadphonesBrand Our Expert RatingCheck Price on Amazon
Our Top Pick:
Sony MDR7506
Check Price
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Check Price
Audio Technica ATH M20X Check Price
Spectra USB Check Price
ECS Wordmaster Check Price
Pollini 40H Check Price

What Types of Headphones Are Available?

Before we jump into the best headphones for transcribing, let’s first explore the types of headsets that are available. You can decide which type of headphones will work best for you and your needs.


Earphones are one of the most popular types of headphones and for a good reason. They’re small, lightweight, and easy to transport, making them ideal for transcriptionists who are always on the go. In addition, earphones typically have a higher sound quality than other headphones.

However, there are a few downsides to earphones. First, they can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods. Second, they’re not as effective at blocking out ambient noise as other headphones.

🎧Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise-canceling headphones are designed to block out ambient noise so you can concentrate on your work. They’re ideal for transcriptionists who work in noisy environments or who have trouble focusing when there’s background noise.

There are a few downsides to noise-canceling headphones. First, they can be expensive. Second, they’re not as portable as other types of headphones.

🎧On-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphones are headphones that sit on top of your ears. They’re typically smaller and lighter than over-ear headphones making them more portable. In addition, on-ear headphones typically have a higher sound quality than earbuds and are more effective at blocking out ambient noise.

🎧Over-the-Ear Headphones

Over-the-ear headphones are another popular type of headphones. They’re larger than earphones and wrap around your ears. This makes them more comfortable to wear for long periods. In addition, over-the-ear headphones tend to have a better sound quality than earphones.

🎧Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphones are headphones that use Bluetooth to connect to your device. They’re ideal for transcriptionists who want the freedom to move around while they work.

There are a few downsides to wireless headphones. First, they can be more expensive than wired headphones. Second, they’re not as effective at blocking out ambient noise.

Now that you know about the different types of headphones available let’s look at the best headphones for transcribing.

The Best Headphones for Transcribing: Our Top Picks 

Our # 1 Choice 

Our Top Pick: Sony MDR7506

Product Name: Sony MDR7506

Product Description: The Sony MDR750 headphones are our top pick for the best headphones for transcribing. They're a pair of over-the-ear headphones that are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. In addition, they have a wide frequency response and reproduce sound accurately. Furthermore, the Sony MDR750 headphones have a closed-back design that blocks ambient noise. This makes them ideal for transcriptionists who work in noisy environments or who have trouble focusing when there's background noise. Its main advantage to the previous model, the Sony MDR V600 headphones, is that they're much more comfortable to wear. This headphone seems to be used for a broad range of activities. Despite their popularity as musician or studio headphones, their balanced degree of comfort and sound quality make them a good option for transcribers.

Offer price: $$$

Availability: InStock

  • Sound Quality
  • Comfort and Design
  • Durability


Overall, the Sony MDR750 headphones are the best headphones for transcribing. They’re comfortable to wear, have a wide frequency response, and block out ambient noise.


âś“Coiled cable

âś“Foldable design

âś“Extra padding

âś“Durable construction

âś“Vocal clarity


âś—Average noise isolation

âś—Slightly heavy

Our Runner-Ups

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones are our second pick for the best headphones for transcribing. They have excellent sound quality, with crisp audio and voice pickup. Bose is best known for its noise-canceling headphones. And the QuietComfort 35 II headphones are no exception. They include three levels of world-class noise reduction, allowing you to concentrate on your work in every setting.

The headphones have built-in Alexa, so you can use your voice to get information, music, etc. You may search with your voice while working and obtain results right away, which improves job productivity.

The headphones are comfortable, with a soft headband and ear cushions that equally disperse pressure. As a result, they’re comfortable to wear for long periods of time. It has controls on the ear cups, making it easy to skip music or change the volume. It is an advantage over the first pick, which did not have these convenient features.

  • World-class noise reduction
  • Alexa-enabled
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods
  • Controls on ear cups
  • Slightly bulky design
  • More expensive than our top pick

Audio Technica ATH M20X

Audio-new Technica’s M series has headphones for (nearly) every function and budget range. This model is arranged in 5 stages. Starting with the M20x and ending with the M50x, which triple the cost. But, the M20x is the most basic and cheapest model in the series. Despite this, it still has a lot to offer transcriptionists.

The manufacturer cleverly doesn’t mention if the headphones are for the studio, DJ, or transcription over the full range. Instead of classifying them as expert monitor headphones irrespective of their intended purpose.

The M20x has a closed-back over-the-ear design, which should help to block out distractions. The ear cups also swivel 90 degrees for one-ear monitoring, which can come in handy when transcribing. Plus, the frequency range is a very acceptable 20 Hz – 20 kHz.

The sound level is 99 dB. The headphones feature a resistance of 38 ohms in the reverse way of the amplifiers. Both the ear cups and the vertical direction of the headphone can be flexibly bent inwards for travel purposes.

  • Inexpensive
  • Closed-back design for noise isolation
  • Swiveling ear cups for one-ear monitoring
  • No noise-canceling features
  • Not as comfortable as some of the other options on this list

Spectra USB

The Spectra USB Headset is our budget pick for the best headphones for transcribing. They’re a good option if you’re looking for something inexpensive that still offers decent sound quality.

The headphones have a noise-canceling microphone, so you can focus on your work without distractions. They also have an adjustable headband and soft ear cups, so you can wear them for long periods of time without discomfort. It is a wired headset, with a 10-foot cord that can be folded up and can hold securely.

The headband has an ergonomic style that fits comfortably underneath the chin. Also, there’s a volume control function in the wire that is within range of the hands.

One downside of the Spectra USB Headset is that they’re not wireless. However, they come with a USB cable, so you can connect them to your computer or transcribing machine. But overall, they’re a good option if you’re looking for an inexpensive headset with decent sound quality.

  • Noise-canceling microphone
  • Adjustable headband
  • Soft ear cups
  • Volume control function built into the wire
  • Not wireless
  • The band is too tight for some users

ECS Wordmaster

The ECS Wordmaster is one of our list of the best headphones for transcribing. They offer great sound quality, comfort, and features at a reasonable price. It is best for medical transcriptionists. The headphones have a closed-back design to help isolate noise, and they come with two detachable cables so you can choose the best length for your needs.

This around-the-ear headset is designed to be worn over the head and is intended for transcribing. It has a frequency range compared to the best headphones on the market. Most medical transcriptionists end up using these for work.

The manufacturer boasts that the headband is adjustable to fit all head sizes, and the ear cups are made of memory foam for comfort. The headphones also come with a free carrying case. It’s also a great set of headphones for hearing aid users. It works perfectly well with all hearing aid models.

  • Affordable
  • Closed-back design for noise isolation
  • Two detachable cables included
  • Comfortable for long periods of use
  • Free carrying case included
  • Not as durable as some of the other options on this list

Pollini 40H

Introducing Pollini 40H, the best sounding and most user-friendly headphones on the market today. If you are looking for headphones that will give you the best transcription experience, look no further! With Immersive Crystal Sound, you’ll be blown away by how crisp and clear your music sounds.

Plus, the Smart Voice Command makes it easy to control your tunes with just a few words. Whether you’re transcribing or just relaxing and listening to music, these are the headphones you might want.

The comfortable design and stable connection make these headphones perfect for any activity. It’s perfect for anyone who wants user-friendly convenience with long battery life. Not just ideal for transcriptionists but also for those who want to take their music experience to the next level. Plus, it comes in various colors, including black, red, dark blue, white rose, white black, silver, and rose. So, you can pick the best color that suits your style.

  • Superior sound quality
  • User-friendly design
  • Stable connection
  • Long battery life
  • Comes in various colors
  • Some people find the ear cups a little too small

Best Headphone for Transcribing: Buyers’ Guide ( Features & Considerations)

Best headphones for transcribing

Thanks to headphones, transcriptionists may completely engage themselves in the music or audio they are transcribing. In essence, if you’re a transcriptionist, you’ll need headphones with the following features:

đź“ŚLook for Ergonomics First

Since transcriptionists often work for long periods, it’s essential to have comfortable headphones. Look for headphones that are lightweight and have soft, padded ear cups.

In addition, if you wear glasses, you’ll want to make sure the headphones you choose don’t put too much pressure on your temples. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a headache. Also, choose headphones that can be adjusted to fit your head snugly.

đź“ŚPrecision and Neutrality 

First and foremost, you need headphones that are accurate and neutral. It means that the headphones should reproduce the sound as originally recorded without adding any coloration or flavor of its own.

Transcriptionists need to hear every little detail in the audio they’re transcribing. So, it’s important to have headphones that are precise and accurate.

đź“ŚPrice Ratio/Quality 

Professional headphones are sometimes fairly costly. However, numerous decent-quality headphones meant for this purpose may be bought for around $50. All you have to do is check through our top picks. However, if you’re looking for high-quality headphones, you’ll need to be willing to spend a bit of money.

Nevertheless, here are some great quality headphones available at a reasonable price. So, don’t assume that the most expensive pair of headphones is the best.

đź“ŚAmbient Noise Reduction 

As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to have headphones to block out ambient noise. It is especially true if you work in a noisy environment. There are a few different ways that headphones can reduce ambient noise. Some headphones use active noise cancellation, while others use passive noise isolation.

Active noise cancellation uses microphones to listen to the ambient noise around you. Then, it creates a sound wave that cancels out the ambient noise. Passive noise isolation is when the headphones physically block out the ambient noise. It can be done in a few different ways, such as using ear cups that seal around your ears or having padded ear cups that reduce the amount of sound that leaks in.

đź“ŚMinimum Distortion 

You’ll also want to make sure the headphones you choose have minimal distortion. Transcriptionists need to be able to hear the audio clearly and accurately. If the headphones you’re using introduce distortion, it will be more difficult to understand what you’re transcribing.

đź“ŚMaximum Isolation 

Another essential feature to look for in headphones is maximum isolation. It means that the headphones should be able to block out ambient noise so you can focus on the audio you’re transcribing.

If you work in a noisy environment, it’s even more important to have good isolation headphones. That way, you won’t have to struggle to hear the audio you’re transcribing over the background noise.

đź“ŚFrequency Response 

Ensure that the headphones you choose have a wide frequency response. It means that the headphones should be able to reproduce the full range of frequencies in the audio you’re transcribing.

If the headphones don’t have a wide enough frequency response, you might miss some of the details in the audio.


Impedance measures the resistance that a pair of headphones acquires to the current from your device. Headphones with a low impedance are easier to drive and don’t require as much power from your device.

However, if you’re using headphones with a low impedance, you might not be able to get as much volume out of them. So, if you’re transcribing in a noisy environment, you might want to choose headphones with a higher impedance. That’s because they can provide a louder sound, which can help you hear the audio over the background noise.

đź“ŚOpen or Closed-Back 

It is a design consideration. Headphones can either be open-back or closed-back. Open-back headphones have vents in the back of the ear cups. It allows air to circulate, which can help keep your ears cool.

However, open-back headphones don’t provide as much isolation from ambient noise as closed-back headphones. So, if you work in a noisy environment, you might want to choose closed-back headphones.

đź“ŚCable or No Cable?

Do you want headphones with a cable or wireless headphones? Headphones with a cable are usually less expensive and have better audio quality. However, they can be a bit of a hassle since you have to deal with the cable while you’re transcribing. Wireless headphones are more expensive and sometimes have worse audio quality. But, they’re much more convenient since you don’t have to deal with a cable.

It’s up to you to decide whether the convenience of wireless headphones or the better audio quality of wired headphones is more important to you.

đź“ŚConsider Your Working Environment

If you work in a quiet office, you might not need headphones that provide as much isolation as someone who works in a noisy factory. If you work in a noisy environment, you’ll want to make sure the headphones you choose can block out enough of the ambient noise so you can hear the audio you’re transcribing. Think about your working environment and how much isolation you need from your headphones.

đź“ŚMonitoring Vs. Consumer’s Headphones

You might be wondering whether you should get monitoring headphones or consumer’s headphones. Monitoring headphones are designed for professional use and usually have better audio quality. They were also more expensive. Consumer headphones are designed for everyday listening and are less expensive.

You might want to get consumers’ headphones since they’re less expensive if you’re just starting. You can always upgrade to monitoring headphones later if you decide you need them.

đź“ŚHeadphone Accessories

You might want to get a few accessories for your headphones.

âś´Headphone Stand: A headphone stand can help you keep your headphones organized and help with the longevity of your headphones.

âś´Headphone Splitter: A headphone splitter allows you to connect two pairs of headphones to one device. It can be useful if you’re transcribing with a partner and want to use the same audio source.

âś´Headphone Case: A headphone case can help you keep your headphones safe when you’re not using them.

These are just a few things you might want to consider when choosing headphones for transcribing. There are many different options out there, so take your time and find the best headphones for you. Our top list of headphones for transcribing can help you get started on your search.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why should I invest in transcription headphones?

Transcription headphones are a great investment for anyone who needs to transcribe audio recordings on a regular basis. They offer superior sound quality and privacy, making them an ideal choice for professionals who need to ensure accuracy and confidentiality.

The sound quality of transcription headphones is far superior to traditional consumer headphones, which is crucial because you need to hear the audio recordings you’re transcribing clearly. The privacy of transcription headphones is also essential, as it ensures that no one else can hear what you’re listening to. It is crucial when you’re transcribing sensitive or confidential information.

Do any headphones exist that are particularly designed for transcribing?

There aren’t any headphones specifically designed for transcribing, but there are some that would be better suited for the task. Look for headphones with a flat frequency response, which will give you a more accurate representation of the audio. In-ear monitors can also be beneficial as they provide isolation from external noise.

However, ultimately, any type of headphone can be used for transcribing, so finding one that is comfortable to wear and sounds good to you is just a matter of finding one that is comfortable to wear.

Do you require any particular knowledge to use headphones for transcribing?

Answer: Not really – most headphones will do the job just fine. In terms of specific knowledge, you might want to invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones if you plan to do a lot of transcription work, as they’ll help block out any unwanted background noise.

Another thing to keep in mind is that different headphones can provide different sound quality, so it might be worth researching which brands offer the best sound for transcription purposes.

Can you transcribe without using headphones?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the ability to transcribe without headphones will vary depending on the person’s listening skills and experience. However, it is usually recommended that people use headphones when transcribing to achieve the best results.

Headphones can help to improve transcription accuracy by blocking out external noise and distractions and allowing the person to focus better on the audio they are trying to transcribe. Additionally, headphones can also help improve transcription speed by providing a more consistent sound quality (since not all rooms have good acoustics) and allowing people to listen at a louder volume without disturbing others.

Do all headphones work with transcription software?

The vast majority of transcription software is designed to work with standard 3.5mm headphones, so any pair you have lying around should work just fine. That said, the quality of your transcriptions may suffer if you’re using lower-quality headphones, as the microphone in most transcription software is not particularly robust. If you want to get the best results possible, investing in a good pair of headphones specifically for transcription purposes is worth investing in.

Is there a best time of day to use headphones for transcribing?

Well, everyone has different listening habits and preferences. Some people find that they can make transcription better in the morning, while others find transcribing at night works better. Ultimately, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you and your schedule.

Are wireless headphones great for audio transcription?

There are certainly advantages to using wireless headphones for audio transcription purposes – namely, the lack of wires can make it much easier to move around while you work. However, there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind.

Wireless headphones typically have a shorter battery life than wired models, so you may need to recharge them more often. Additionally, the audio quality of wireless headphones can sometimes be inferior to that of wired models, so you’ll want to make sure you test them out before making a purchase.

Overall, though, wireless headphones can be a great option for audio transcription – just be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your decision.

Final Thoughts 

A transcription job is a very important task best suited for people who have excellent listening skills, plenty of patience, and a good pair of headphones. Any pair of headphones will work for transcription – it just might not be the best option if you’re looking to get the best results possible.

Our ultimate list of the best headphones for transcribing features a variety of different models that are sure to meet the needs of any transcriber, so be sure to check it out before making your final purchase.

Do you have any experience transcribing with headphones? Let us know in the comments below!

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