You can spend a lot on headphones these days. As producers and engineers, we generally live in studios, therefore, our suggestions are reflective of industry standard and stand up well to daily use. They’re also easy to get replacement parts for. We’ve also made headset recommendations for your remote interviewees (Skype, Ringr, Zencaster, etc…), in order to get the best sound from them. See the bottom of our list for these.
No matter which headphones you use, the main thing is comfort and isolation. You don’t want sound leaking out. You can use ear buds, but you wouldn’t want to be supplying those for your interviewees and in our opinion, they’re fatiguing over long periods of time.
SONY MDR7506 PROFESSIONAL HEADPHONES
The Sony MDR7506 headphones are a little on the expensive side, but have a very musical quality to them. You can use them in all types of situations – your podcast and listening to your favourite music. They’re light and adjustable plus they come with both the ¼” and 1/8” plugs.
AKG240 MK2 PROFESSIONAL HEADPHONES
Ok, these are a little more expensive, but they’ll last you forever. We should also mention, they’re physically a little on the large side and will give a clean warm sound. They’re adjustable and come with both the ¼” and 1/8” plugs.
PRESONUS HD9 PROFESSIONAL HEADPHONES
Presonus is a well known name in studio gear. These mid-priced headphones are a little on the heavy side, but are still comfortable and quite good.
AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-M20x PROFESSIONAL HEADPHONES
The ATH M20’s are a little more budget conscious. They sound absolutely fine, but you may find them a bit fatiguing over a long record session.
If you need to record an interview with a guest over the internet (Skype, Ringr, Zencaster, etc.) we highly suggest that you suggest your interviewee use headphones. The best recording scenario has your interviewee wearing headphones with a mic. The mics on laptops pick up not only your interviewee, but a lot of background sound. As part of your interviewee prep, ask if they own headphones, and better yet, a headphone/mic setup. If not, point your interviewee to the following links in advance of your record date.
LOGITECH H390 USB HEADSET (budget)
SENNHEISER PC8 USB HEADSET