Podcasting 101: Equipment – Headphones

Issue 187 * Blog 17-2021 * Read Time: 5 Mins * Podcasting 101

Post Note: Like all the post in this series, we have “Podcast Tip:” scattered through out the post. By paying close attention to the sections will help you to avoid the mistakes we made. The complete tip will be in bold along with being italicized. Some of these are common sense, others are simple, but overlooked, and others make you say, Oh yes that makes sense.

In the post Podcasting 101: Equipment – Microphones I mentioned that Nina’s Neewer 100 Headphones that came with the Neewer 8-in-1 Microphone Accessory Kit snapped in the center of the headband after only a couple of episodes. I figured since Nina’s snapped, mine would soon follow, so the research once again began, this time for headphones.

Podcast Tip: The reference blog we used as a guide, How To Start A Podcast: The 2019 Best Guide For Beginners was telling the truth when they stated you don’t need expensive headphones or for that matter any headphones for recording.  

However we decided since we were new to podcasting and headphones can be used for multiple things we would replace the Neewer 100 Headphones. We wanted to stay away from the cheap ones, under $20.00 but not want to go hog wild either. Not over $150.00.

We compiled all the data from our research then narrowed our choices down to the Tascam TH-02 Studio Headphones, $19.99 each and the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Headphones, $99.00 a pair.

Tascam TH-02 Studio Headphones

The Tascam TH-02 Studio Headphones price surprised us. The reviews for these headphones were not bad and the build quality looked good in the picture. These headphones also had some of the same features as the more expensive sets.

The Tascam TH-02 Studio Headphones are designed to deliver studio-quality audio for a wide variety of studio and music listening applications.

These closed-back headphones feature powerful, 50mm drivers that are set at 32 ohm impedance. This design aims to deliver a balanced, accurate response whether you’re cutting tracks in the studio, or listening to music on your mobile device.

Engineered for comfort as well as sound quality, the TH-02 headphones feature padded headband and ear pads. Built with easy transport and storage in mind as well, the TH-02 headphones feature a collapsible, fold-able design. Snap-on 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter included

Below are the Key Features.

  • Closed-Back Design
  • Designed for Balanced Response
  • 50mm Drivers
  • 32 Ohm Impedance
  • Collapsible Folding Mechanism
  • Padded Headband and Ear Pads
  • Comes with 1/4″ Adapter

Since we knew our goal was to have a four person podcast setup and these were at a good price we ordered 2 sets.

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Headphones

Now to the $100 dollar a pair Audio-Technica ATH-M40x.

Merging acclaimed features of the M-Series headphones with a fold-able, travel-friendly design, and one-ear monitoring capability, the black Audio-Technica ATH-M40x monitor headphones offer pro-grade build quality and audio performance for studio-based production, location recording, DJing, and daily listening. Outfitted with 40mm dynamic drivers and an over-ear, closed-back design, the ATH-M40x headphones deliver a flat, accurate response and wide bandwidth (15 Hz to 24 kHz) while isolating you from outside sounds.

Thanks to the 90° swiveling ear-cups, pro-quality materials, and generous cushioning on the headband and ear-pads, the headphones are both durable and comfortable to wear. Two detachable, single-sided cables—one coiled and one straight—are included for optimal operation in the studio or on the go. Each cable sports a gold-plated 3.5mm mini plug for use with mobile devices and computer soundcards, and a 1/4″ screw-on adapter is included for easy hookup to audio interfaces, mixers, and stereo receivers. A carrying pouch is supplied with the ATH-M40x for convenient storage and transport of the headphones.

Below are the Key Features.

  • For Studio Tracking/Mixing
  • 40mm Neodymium Dynamic Drivers
  • 15 Hz to 24 kHz Frequency Response
  • Tuned for Flat, Accurate Response
  • Over-Ear, Sound-Isolating Design
  • 90° Swiveling Ear-cups, Fold-able Design
  • Two Detachable Single-Sided Cables
  • Pro-Grade Build Boosts Comfort/Strength
  • 3.5mm TRS Plug and 1/4″ Screw-On Adapter

We also order 2 pair of the these. Once they arrived we would compare the two to each other and to the one reaming pair of Neewer 100 Headphones.

After the new headphones arrived Nina and I were floored at the difference in sound quality. The Tascam TH-02 Studio Headphones, blew the Neewer 100’s out of the water. Heck it was like comparing a tin can with strings attaching them, to a cell phone. The build quality is good and the headphones look sharp and are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

Podcast Tip: The use of headphones may not be necessary but if you have never sat in front of mic get some. Make sure they are not to cheap or you will be replacing them often.  Hearing yourself talk takes some getting used to, but it also lets you know if you are too close or too far from the mic along with your voice volume. We recommend the Tascam TH-02 Studio Headphones for new podcasters who are on a budget or for podcasters who need extra headphones for guest.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Headphones are superior to both the Neewer 100’s and Tascam TH-02 Studio Headphones. Like with Tascam TH-02 Studio Headphones the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x are constructed well, look good and can be worn for hours and never become uncomfortable. I know, I have worn these suckers for four hours straight and they never became uncomfortable. That plus the sound quality you get from these headphones is what makes them superior.

Podcast Tip: I do most of the post production for our podcast. So I compared the Tascam TH-02 Studio Headphones to the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x. I quickly realized that If you are the one doing post-production, you need higher quality headphones that are comfortable and made for editing soundtracks. I know they are not cheap but I highly recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x for post production. I use mine during the podcast as well so I can adjust volumes of the other host and guest. Spend the money you want regret it.

Since the higher price headphones blew the cheaper ones out of the water we asked ourselves. Would spending more money on other equipment improve sound quality, work flow and post production? 

We will get in to that in Podcasting 101: Equipment – The Dream Podcast Setup coming soon!

 Other blogs in the Podcasting 101 Series:

Thank you for reading and best of luck to you and your podcast.

Joseph E Clay 

Founder/CEO  of

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