7 Best Headphones For Transcription (In 2022)

woman transcribing

 

Transcription is not fun when you have trouble hearing what the audio says.

 

If you’re serious about earning a living doing transcription, you need tools that will make your work run smoothly. A great pair of transcription headphones is a must.

Not all headphones are created equal. That’s why I prepared a list of great headphone and earphone models that produce a clear, crisp sound that every transcriber covets.

If you know what you’re looking for, check out my list. If you’re not sure how to pick the best headphones for the job, scroll down to see what features to look out for when choosing your next transcription headphones.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in!

 

7 Best Headphones for Transcription

 

A Quick Specs Comparison:

 

Headphone model Price ($) Type Connection Extra features Battery Life (h)
Apple AirPods 160 In-ear Wireless Charging case 5
Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphone 300 Over-ear Wired & Wireless Noise Cancelling, Quick Attention Mode 30
Phiaton BT 120 NC Black Qualcomm 80 In-ear Wireless Noise Cancelling, Water-resistant 8.5
Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Headphone 300 Over-ear Wired & Wireless Noise Cancelling 20
Mpow M12 Bluetooth Earbuds 30 In-ear Wireless Charging case 5
Razer Opus Headphone 200 Over-ear Wired & Wireless Noise Cancelling, Quick Attention Mode 25
1MORE Quad Driver Headphone 111 In-ear Wired Noise Cancelling N/A

 

1. Apple AirPods

 

Top pick for iOS users
Apple AirPods with Charging Case (Wired)
$119.00

These little AirPods need no introduction. They might be a bit pricey, but the quality and design are worth the extra expenditure.

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09/20/2022 12:10 am GMT

 

Ever since they came out, Apple AirPods have completely dominated the market.

And that’s for a good reason: AirPods are elegant and simple, and they create an unparalleled, crystal clear sound while feeling incredibly comfortable even if you wear them for hours on end.

These in-ear wireless earbuds can last about 5 hours on a single charge. They come with a small charging case that you can always have with you – which can store up to 24 hours’ worth of battery life!

 

2. Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphone

 

Best for long-term use
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless
$348.00

These headphones are super comfortable, and the noise canceling feature will allow you to transcribe in even the busiest neighborhood café.

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09/20/2022 12:09 am GMT

 

If you’re looking for a seriously advanced piece of technology, these Sony wireless headphones are a great investment. They’re on the pricey side, but worth every penny.

These over-ear headphones come with AI-driven features. They can enhance the sound of your audio, control the sound based on your surroundings, and automatically pause playback when you remove them from your head or start to speak.

If someone approaches you while you work, you can simply place your hand over the right ear cup to hear them perfectly.

They can be connected to two devices at the same time. The battery lasts up to 30 hours on a single charge, which is pretty impressive!

 

3. Phiaton BT 120 NC Black Qualcomm

 

Cheap and effective
Phiaton BT 120 NC Black Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds
$79.99

This is a perfect pick for digital nomads who want to transcribe on the go.

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09/20/2022 08:09 am GMT

 

Want to use the same pair of earbuds for your transcription work and at the gym? Think Phiaton.

These Bluetooth earphones are not entirely wireless, having a connecting strap that sits behind your neck. This strap adds extra stability, and it’s really handy if you need to take one of your earbuds out frequently.

This in-ear model is inexpensive, yet provides you with a nice, crisp sound and great noise isolation. The battery charges extra quickly, and it lasts up to 8.5 hours on one charge. If you get sweaty easily, don’t worry – these headphones are water-resistant too!

 

4. Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Headphone

 

Better Listening Experience
Bose Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Alexa Voice Control
$199.99

Easy Bluetooth pairing with any iPhone, iPad, or Android device. With multi-level noise-canceling technology for the best audio experience.

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09/19/2022 04:19 pm GMT

 

The Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II headphones are among the most expensive models on my list, but they’re totally worth the price!

These over-ear headphones have comfortable ear pads that create a tight seal and cancel ambient noise. The battery can give you about 20 hours of playback on a single charge.

This over-ear model can be used both wireless and wired, so you don’t ever need to worry about battery life.

 

5. Mpow M12 Bluetooth Earbuds

 

Transcription on a budget
Wireless Earbuds, M12 Bluetooth Earbuds

This is a perfect pick if you are on a tight budget and you are just entering the world of wireless earbuds.

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Mpow M12 is a perfect pick for transcribers on a tight budget. These in-ear headphones bring immense value for the money.

They’re completely wireless earbuds that come with a charging case. A single charge can last about 5 hours, and the charging case can store up to 20 hours of energy.

They come with all the features of more expensive models without sacrificing sound quality. They have a somewhat overpowering bass, but it’s easy to get used to. The M12 is also water-resistant, so no spillage will be fatal!

 

6. Razer Opus Headphone

 

For transcribers-gamers
Razer Opus - Active Noise Cancellation Headset - Black - Wireless ANC
$249.99

Okay, this option is a little bit pricey but it's a great big if you're looking for something you will use for years to come (not only for transcription but also for gaming or other sorts of entertainment).

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09/20/2022 12:10 am GMT

 

This elegant over-ear model was made by Razer, and it’s one of the customers’ favorites. These headphones bring a lot of bang for your buck since they’re reasonably priced and very well-made overall.

Razer Opus was optimized by experts in cinematic audio immersion, so speech reproduction is flawless – perfect for transcribers!

They create a great seal to nullify ambient noise, and you can tune back into the real world with a click of a button. When you remove these headphones, they automatically pause playback, so you won’t miss a word. However, they’re a bit on the quieter side.

You can use them both wired and wireless, and their battery life is impressive at 25 hours per charge.

 

7. 1MORE Quad Driver Headphone

 

Wired but stylish
1MORE Quad Driver in-Ear Earphones
$129.99

If you don't mind the wires, this is a perfect choice for high-quality playback.

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09/19/2022 04:24 pm GMT

 

You may be wondering what makes a pair of regular, wired earbuds so special. Well, even though you only have 4 feet (1.25 meters) of mobility due to cord length, 1MORE Quad Driver earphones are one of the consistently best-ranked earbuds out there.

They’re a bit bass-heavy, but the quad-driver design makes the sound crisp and powerful. They come with onboard audio control (pause, rewind, and fast forward) and a microphone. They’re comfortable and rock an ergonomic design.

But the biggest advantage of these earphones is their super-high build quality. They’re made out of top-notch materials like tungsten and Kevlar – they will serve you well for years.

 

How to Choose the Perfect Headphones for Transcription

 

Making the right pick can be hard – after all, headphones all look pretty similar, but the differences in pricing are immense.

So what exactly should you look out for when buying transcription headphones?

 

In-ear, over-ear, or on-ear headphones

 

First things first, you need to pick the basic shape of your work headphones.

We distinguish three basic types: in-ear (earphones), on-ear, and over-ear headphones.

 

In-ear

 

Earphones or earbuds are small enough to comfortably sit inside the opening of your ear canal.

They’re very common, and you can get high-quality sound even if you get a cheap pair.

That’s primarily due to their small design – if they’re the right fit, they’ll create a good seal between the earbud and your ear, not letting ambient sound breakthrough. That way, the earphones enhance their sound, making them seem much more powerful than they actually are.

They’re very portable, but often get tangled if you store them in your bag or pocket (unless you get a wireless model).

Remember to take them out from time to time when working long hours – keeping earbuds in for too long can cause a rapid spreading of bacteria inside your ears.

 

Over-ear

 

Chances are that over-ear models are the first thing you think of when somebody says the word “headphones”.

They’re the classic, bulky type that sits over your ears, held up by a comfy headband.

In fact, most professional musicians and podcasters use over-ear “sound monitors” – they’re simply the best for the job.

Because these earphones are big and heavy, manufacturers can pack higher-quality drivers (the parts that create sound). The great sound quality capabilities are also why there are thousands of models out there, in all price ranges.

Over-ear headphones have oversized earcups that enclose your ears completely. Pressing the skin around your ear, the ear cup creates a nice seal that helps cancel ambient noise.

These ear cups don’t press on your ears, making these headphones comfortable to wear.

However, they may warm up quickly. In most cases, that’s not a big issue, but it can get uncomfortable if you need to work long hours without taking your headphones off.

 

On-ear

 

On-ear headphones are not as common as other types. They may look similar to over-ear models, but the difference is that the cups of on-ear headphones sit directly on your ears instead of encircling them.

This type of headphones is a good way to avoid getting your ears warmed up without sacrificing the sound quality.

They can carry big, high-quality drivers that create a great sound, but they aren’t able to create a seal that isolates sound as tight as over-ear or in-ear headphones.

However, some people dislike on-ear headphones pressing their ears to their head, which admittedly can cause soreness after a while. I wouldn’t recommend on-ear headphones to people who need to wear headphones for long streaks of time.

 

Wired or wireless?

 

Wired earphones used to be the default just a few years back. But now that we have stronger and more durable batteries at our disposal, wireless headphones are dominating the market.

Wired headphones are typically budget-friendly. They limit your mobility and get tangled when you put them in your pocket, but you can use them virtually infinitely – they aren’t limited by battery life.

A pair of wired headphones can be a lifesaver when you’re in a pinch and the battery on your wireless model is empty.

Wireless headphones are limited by battery life, which can be anywhere between 1 hour to 50 hours in high-end models. You can move freely, well, as long as you’re within the Bluetooth range (typically around 30 meters from the sound-streaming device).

A big plus of wireless headphones is that they typically have onboard controls like the pause, fast forward, and rewind button, which can make a transcriber’s job so much easier.

 

Do you need a microphone in transcription headphones?

 

If you only do transcription jobs, you may not need this feature. But if you also need to do dictation occasionally, a good microphone on your headphones is a must.

Today, most headphones feature a mic, but they’re not all made equal. A noise cancellation feature is a must for everyone who works in a loud environment – it cuts down ambient sound, making your voice sound crystal clear!

Do you have a favorite pair of headphones that create that perfectly balanced, crisp sound? How about a brand that you always go back to? Personally, I usually go with Sony or JBL!

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time blogger, educator, digital marketer, freelancer, editor and content manager. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to achieve freedom from 9-5 through online creativity. My site is a one-stop-shop for writers, bloggers, publishers, content enthusiasts and freelancers who want to be independent, earn more money and create beautiful things. Feel free to check my archive containing over 500 articles and reach out if you need anything. Ah yes, and stay awesome!