Best Headphones for Transcription

Best Headphones for Transcription

Transcription is an important service where transcribers take audio from a video or other recording and put it into text. Thousands of people perform the task each and every day, writing down all types of audio clips. However, in order to do the job correctly, you need clear audio.

Almost all transcribers use headphones to do their job, but not all headphones are created equally. In order to help you choose the right pair, we’re going to go over some of the best headphones for transcription on the market today.

Quick Summary

  • The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x is a great model for those who want professional audio quality alongside durability and comfort.
  • If you want outstanding noise-canceling features and other premium inclusions, the flexible Bose QuietComfort 35 II is worth considering.
  • If you’re someone that prefers earbuds, the Sony Earbuds with Microphone could be right for you. They are light without sacrificing comfort or audio quality.

Who Should Get This?

These headphones are perfect for anyone who is currently transcribing or wants to become involved in the industry. Having the right pair of headphones can make all the difference, and they greatly improve the quality of your work.

In addition to transcription, these models can be great for other purposes as well. They help you listen to music, make video calls, play video games, and perform a wide range of other tasks. Of course, if you already have high-quality headphones, you may not need to buy a new pair.

Best Headphones for Transcription: What to Consider in 2020

Audio Quality

When looking at headphones, you need to pay attention to their audio quality. The clearer the sound, the easier it will be to make out every word without having to re-listen to certain sections numerous times. The headphones should also effectively block out external noise to some extent and allow you to focus on the task at hand.

Fit and Comfortability

As transcribers wear their headphones all day, they need a pair that’s comfortable. The devices should fit well and sit in a way that won’t bother your ears. In addition, be sure to consider your headphone’s weight. If it’s too heavy, it can weigh on your head and cause discomfort over time.


There are two different headphone styles you can buy. You can either get the classic over-the-ear headphones, or you can get lighter, smaller earbuds. Some prefer the fit, comfort and feel of a headset, while others prefer something more compact. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but it’s always a good idea to figure out what you want ahead of time.

Best Transcription Headphones in 2020: Our Picks

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are durable headphones made with pro-grade materials. That makes them both sturdy and well-built. On top of that, they come with 40 mm drivers to deliver stunning audio in all situations. They sound incredible and you won’t miss a word while working with these headphones.

The sound isolation in the headphones, thanks to the contours of their design, makes them usable in loud environments. Beyond that, the special design and soft materials ensure they stay comfortable for hours at a time.


  • High levels of durability
  • Outstanding audio quality
  • Comfortable and functional design


  • Cord can be too short for some

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Though they do come in at a higher price tag, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II are some of the best transcribing headphones around. One of the best things about this pair is that they come with three levels of noise-cancelling technology for nearly any situation. That gives them a lot of versatility and enables you to freely adapt to your environment.

The headphones also come with quality audio, a sleek design, and the ability to be used wirelessly. They have Alexa built-in and offer personalized settings so you can make sure the headphones are perfect for your needs. There is even a Bose connect app that can be used to unlock even more fun features.


  • Superb noise cancelling
  • Sleek, comfortable design
  • Built-in Alexa functionality


  • The possibility for connection issues if paired with multiple devices

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. Sony Earbuds with Microphone

If you want a lighter transcribing option, the Sony Earbuds are the way to go. In addition to being light and comfortable, these earbuds offer quality dynamic audio to ensure you hear and understand everything that comes through the speakers. The flexible cord is also a good length, not being too long or too short.

These earbuds come with three different sized ear tips to make sure you get the best possible fit. There is also an integrated microphone that lets you take calls, make voice commands, and more. They come in a range of vibrant colors as well.


  • Incredibly light and portable
  • Numerous ear tips ensure you have a good fit
  • 9mm drivers for dynamic sound


  • They are not as durable as some would like

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Useful Tips and Resources

In order to get the most out of your transcription headphones, you need to know how to use them. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the sound controls and different options that your pair might come with.

Also note that, while the above headphones work well, they aren’t the most durable options around. You need to be careful when taking care of them. Avoid spilling anything on them and do your best to avoid bumps or accidental drops. They should be kept and transported in a case as well. Take your time to always make sure they are secure.

While great headphones can improve your transcription work, they are not the only way to get better. These tips will help take your transcribing to the next level.

Final Words

Every transcriber needs good headphones. All of the above options help with the task and take your work from good to great. Not only will they let you hear the audio clearly and without interruption, they will make your transcriptions accurate as well. Whatever model you pick, you’ll be happy with your purchase.

Are you aware of any other high-quality headphones that would be great for transcription? If so, we would love to hear about them in the comments below!

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