The Best Headphones for Listening to Podcasts and Audiobooks 2021

When you listen to a podcast or audiobook, the quality of your headphones can make a world of difference. Headphones that are too small may cause pain in your ears and headaches after prolonged use. A headset with poor sound quality will not allow you to enjoy music as much as it should be enjoyed.

In this article, I’ll cover some popular headphone types and what they’re best suited for. And which are the things needs to be taken care of before buying the best headphone for audiobooks and podcast. So Let’s get started!

How Audiobooks and Podcasts Are So Relevant?

There has been a shift in media consumption on the internet. We started with seven-second vine videos to now hours long podcasts. The trends are changing. And it is fascinating how people prefer listening to valuable information rather than the same songs over and over again during their commute.

But why are they so popular?

One of the main reasons is that people do not have to allocate time for audiobooks or podcasts, unlike reading – they do not require your full attention. You can just pop your headphones in and enjoy a chapter while cooking, cleaning, or traveling.

It is like making the most of your time.

Secondly, there is a subconscious level of learning involved. You do not have to actively listen to something. The word just finds a space in your mind subconsciously even if you are not actively listening.

All these factors have led to a rapid increase in the popularity of audio entertainment. It is almost like the radio era is back with a bang!

Best Headphones for Audiobooks 2021

If you have a long commute, or just enjoy listening to audiobooks and podcasts on your way to work, then having the right headphones can make all the difference. So below are the top options available that are worth buying.

 

1. Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Canceling Headphones

When one thinks about listening to podcasts, there are some features that you cannot compromise on. Imagine tuning in to your favorite podcast on the bus and you hear people chatting over and the door shutting. This is why active noise cancellation is the way to go – when you set out to buy a new pair of headphones for your audiobooks and podcasts.

This is where Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Canceling Headphones come in with a bang. They are the best noise cancellation headphones in the market according to Cnet.com.

Comfortable

On top of this, the fit of these headphones is far more than comfortable. As audiobooks are long (7-8 hours). You need something that will not make your ears uncomfortable.

Because that feeling of discomfort will take away from your audiobook experience. Therefore, Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Canceling Headphones are the perfect fit for your detour into the world of audiobooks.

Battery life

Yes, this one is a no-brainer. As mentioned before, audiobooks are LONG so you need to have something that will last long. And Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Canceling Headphones are one of the best headphones for audiobook narrations. And you can also juggle podcasts with your audiobook as they are the same thing.

Double Pairing

You might think you don’t need this feature, but you will definitely love it. As people listen to audiobooks and podcasts while multitasking.

Now, you might need to use two devices at once. Your laptop for your work and then your phone. You can pair both of your devices with these headphones. And enjoy your podcast while working AND taking calls, all at once.

Portable

One of the most amazing things about the Sony WH-1000XM4 is its portability. You fold these bad boys up and fit them into your bag, or you can hang them on your neck (you will look cool).

They also come up with a case so they will not break away in your luggage if you are fond of traveling.

Sound

Last but not the least, sound. The sound of the Sony WH-1000XM4 is phenomenal. The noise-canceling works like a charm. They are also leakproof. On top of that, the headphones have sensors that automatically turn off the sound when you take them off. All of these qualities make them a perfect fit for audiobooks and podcasts.

Cons

  • There is nothing terribly wrong with Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Canceling Headphones – one of the main cons is the price and the redundant design.
  • As far as the price is concerned, you can take it as an investment that will last you a couple of years rather than buying new headphones every other month.
  • And the design does look similar to the previous model but if we take it individually, the slim design looks sleek and minimal – both of these qualities are in fashion!

2. Mpow H19 IPO Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Mpow H19 IPO Active Noise Cancelling Headphones is an absolute star when it comes to buying headphones, especially for audiobooks. The design, price, and sound of these headphones make a stellar package that does not compare with any other model on the market.

Those who come under the same price bracket are not as good, and the ones that match the sound quality or sound similar are way expensive than Mpow H19 IPO Active Noise Cancelling Headphones.

Here is an in-depth review of some most important features of these headphones.

Design and Comfort Level

The Mpow H19 headphones feature a thick and comfortable headband that you can adjust as you like. The price may trick you into believing that they are made up of plastic but that is not true. The headband is made out of stainless that will last you a couple of years.

The ear cups are made from premium plastic that fits well so that the headphones form a leakproof fit around your ears. You can control the sound etc with the button on the headband rather than peeking through your phone, after a few minutes.

Battery

The battery may not sound like a big deal but, when it is about audiobooks – you don’t want to stop in the middle of the plot. But with The Mpow H19 headphones it is not a problem. Without the ANC feature, they will last you for about 20 hours and without ANC more than a day!

Or you can just plug in the good old auxiliary wire (yes, they still exist).

But do not forget to charge them properly so the battery does not get affected by the irregular charging patterns.

Sound

The Mpow H19 headphones sound way better than an average pair of earbuds. They come with 40mm neodymium drivers which cater to a powerful sound. You will love the deep voices of the narrators while listening to your favorite audiobooks.

Audiobooks aside, any music genre will sound like a banger on these bad boys. And if you want to take calls in between, the mic will work in your favor too!

Cons

  • The main con of Mpow’s H19 headphones is that they do look whacky when you compare them to any Sony headphones or the Apple Air Pods max – it mainly has to do with the price as you can get them for almost a fraction of a price.

Other than that – everything works perfectly for the price that they come in!

3. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 – Bluetooth in-Ear Buds with Active Noise Cancellation

If you are looking for headphones with a powerful sound but on-ear headphones are a little too much for you – then Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 will be your best bet for your audiobooks endeavor.

The premium design of the buds and the case is something that you cannot ignore while getting a new pair of headphones for yourself or a loved one.

Let us look at some features that you should not ignore for your new audiobooks/podcast audio device.

Sound

The sound of Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 sounds great but most of it depends upon the fit that you can achieve with your ears. If you manage to get a good seal around your ears, they will sound like any other headphones that you can get from the market.

However, the sound design is cut out to emphasize the bass. They sound better when you listen to the new Taylor Swift album but not necessarily for your new read.

Design

The design of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 features a cloth case. Unlike other buds on the market – they give off a very premium feel because there is no plastic on the outside. The buds are perfect as a wireless device – you just must find your perfect fit and you will be good to go!

Comfort

The comfort level depends on how you make them fit in your ears and if you manage to do it, then you will not even notice that you have any headphones on. But if you are not comfortable with wireless buds then Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 will not be your cup of tea.

Cons

There are several cons of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 that you need to take into consideration.

  • First, the ANC and transparency mode drains the battery which makes them unfit for long audiobooks.
  • Second, they are on the pricier side, and you can get something with a quarter of a price tag that will have a similar sound (Samsung or Apple wired headphones).
  • And lastly, there is no wireless charging, it may not sound like a big deal but when you are paying so much, it’s good to enjoy these perks on the side.

4. 1More In-Ear Triple Driver Headphones

1More In-Ear Triple Driver Headphones are classy, wired headphones that we have always loved. Unlike the Bluetooth buds, you do not have to worry about any protocols, just plug them in and you are good to go!

Here are a few features that you might want to look at.

Sound

The sound of the 1More In-Ear Triple Driver Headphones is good but there are some flaws to it. The highs may sound harsh on your ears however while listening to audiobooks – it does not matter as the pitch of the narration is always low.

And when you consider the price tag – the sound to price ratio is phenomenal.

Design

The buds of these headphones are made from metal which gives off a very minimalist look. But the wire of the headphones is made out of plastic that feels cheap. The control pad is engraved on the wire with the sound / play-pause control.

Price

The price tag of 1More In-Ear Triple Driver Headphones will not break your bank for sure. You can get your hands on them for a little over 60 dollars ($62 to be precise). When we compare it to the other headphones that we have reviewed, these are the best deal that you can get if you are short on some cash.

Comfort

The design is simple with wired headphones that you can just plug into your phone. However, long exposure to these earbuds can make your ears warm and create an uncomfortable feeling. However, any overhead headphones will be a better fit.

But, in terms of portability, you can practically fir these into your pockets! So they are easy to travel with.

Cons

  • The sound quality is NOT phenomenal. Certain high notes will sound harsh on your ears but generally speaking – they get the job done.
  • However, the major drawback of 1More In-Ear Triple Driver Headphones is that they are wired and most of the flagship devices do not come with a headphone jack. So, there is a fat chance that you will end up in such a situation that your headphone will be of no use. And on top of that, there is no sound cancellation – so you will be disturbed on a busy bus!

5. GRADO SR325E

A classy design with an open back – GRADO SR325E- does look something out of a 2000 TV show. But do they fit into the ever-evolving sound industry? Let us find out!

Sound

The sound of GRADO SR325E is solid – you will be able to enjoy low-beat audio. But, as far as audiobooks are concerned, the open-back design with no active noise cancellation does not make them a perfect fit. When you want to enjoy your favorite book on your daily commute – you want to block out all the unnecessary noise, but even with an overhead design, you will be able to hear people talking right beside you.

Design

The GRADO SR325E comes with a very classic design, made with stainless steel and plastic – they are a very sturdy pair that you can carry around in your bag.

But as far as the other headphones are concerned, you can find some better-looking pairs under the same price tag.

Comfort Level

The flexible ear cup design makes Grado SR325E a very comfortable fit. You can bend the headband and adjust your head size for a perfect fit that will be comfortable for you. And if you feel like the fit is tight – you can loosen them up.

Cons

  • As far as audiobooks are concerned, GRADO SR325E does not fill all the boxes. The sound and fit are great, but the absence of noise cancellation makes it a shoddy option. You can get another pair with noise cancellation and a better design with a similar price tag.
  • Lastly, the wires! As days go by, more and more companies are taking out the headphone jack and wired headphones are slowly going obsolete.

The Final Verdict

Now that we have reviewed a different variety of options available on the market, it’s time to make a judgment. As mentioned, the choice of headphones is very subjective.

Therefore, I have two finalists.

Mpow H19 IPO Active Noise Cancelling Headphones and Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Canceling Headphones both feature active noise cancellation which is an ideal feature to look for if we consider audiobooks and podcasts.

You can choose either of these according to your budget, the former is less costly than the latter but there is a stark difference in the build quality which makes Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Canceling Headphones your best bet!