Whether you are a podcast, audiobook, or video editor, the quality of your audio plays a huge role in the polishing phase of any project. Accurate sound reproduction is important, from mixing, and transitions to EQ. The right pair of headphones will give you an accurate and high-fidelity representation of your recording and the effects you add in the post-process. They'll allow you to detect and correct the smallest of imperfections to make certain you or your client are completely happy with the final product.
Here is your ultimate guide for the best headphones to fine-tune your audio edits to perfection! We've curated a list of editing headphones and In-ear monitors that have a neutral and natural tonality.
Best Headphones for Podcast and Video Editing
Starting off with full-size wired headphones we've got a few options that will appeal to editing video, audio, and everything in between.
Sennheiser HD 560S Headphones
The Sennheiser HD 560S headphones are our entry-level choice for podcast and video creators. The HD 560S is a dynamic, open-back headphone with a wide, articulate soundstage. When it comes to editing, you won't be disappointed with the superb details these headphones deliver. The HD 560S is specifically tuned for accuracy, making it perfect for picking up on those minute details. And it's got a 3.5m detachable cable so you can swap out and upgrade the headphone cable. The 6.3mm plug lets you connect to headphone amplifiers, audio interfaces, and most hi-fi sources so you can get the most out of the HD 560S.
Expect a natural and accurate reference sound from the HD 560S. With linear acoustics tailored to extended listening sessions and smooth, gratifying bass response, the HD 560S was crafted for the analytical audio enthusiast. The open-back design lends to a natural sound and the open earcups facilitate the natural expansion of sound waves. Comfort is king and the HD 560S features soft velour earpads with vented ear cups that keep your ears cool and give you a “barely there” feel.
- Natural and accurate reference sound
- All-new transducer with high-strength magnet effortlessly reproduces deep, defined bass and brilliant treble
- New polymer-blend transducer membrane offers highly-linear excursion for superb control
- Angled transducers recreate the optimal listening position every time, without the need for acoustic room treatment
- Open earcups facilitate the natural expansion of sound waves
- Superb detail retrieval with fast, clear bass response
- 3m cable with 6.3mm plug
- 6.3 to 3.5mm adapter
Sennheiser HD 660S2 Headphones
The Sennheiser HD 660S2 headphones are our mid-tier choice for podcast and video editing. The HD 660S2 has a higher frequency response and impedance than the HD 560S by Sennheiser, delivering punchier dynamics and impressively lower distortion. These open-back headphones have a spacious soundstage that doesn't skimp on the details. The 660S2 has a lower weight and improved detail retrieval than the HD 560S. You can expect crisp vocals with breathtaking resolution. The sound signature is neutral, almost analytical sounding — Which is ideal for picking up on those minute details, be it breath inhalations or unwanted background noise.
The HD 660S2 is for the creator who needs a pair of headphones they can wear for long editing sessions. They are incredibly lightweight and have an ergonomic headband that makes them comfortable for extended periods of time. With warm tuning, excellent mid-frequency response, a smooth treble, and excellent build quality, the standard setter for extended listening is none other than the HD 660S2. In fact, these are a go-to choice for the Senior Video Producer here at Moon Audio when editing our channel's YouTube videos.
- Deep bass with a fuller sound, both warm and detailed
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Optimized airflow around the transducer, decreasing the air leakage between the front and back of the transducer
- 300 Ohms impedance makes for better electrical damping
Best IEMs and Earbuds for Podcast and Video Editing
We know that life gets hectic and not everyone can spend hours chained to a desk editing video and audio. For those times when you’re editing on the go, we’ve selected some of the best portable options. In-ear monitors and earbuds are discrete and effortlessly portable, and don’t let their small size fool you — Expect high-quality, accurate, and natural sound from a tiny device.
Sennheiser IE600 IEM
The Sennheiser IE600 In-ear monitors excel at reproducing the detail and emotion of a recording. They have an exceptionally neutral sound with clear vocals for a sound reproduction that is pure and natural. The bass response is fast and accurate, the midrange is clear and nicely tuned, and the treble is detailed and sparkly. To achieve the natural sound reminiscent of the neutrality in high-end studio monitors, Sennheiser carefully tuned the acoustic back volume inside the IE600. This voicing lends a presence and intimacy that allows you to discover fine details.
Sennheiser’s TrueResponse Transducer is responsible for the extra-wide frequency range and ultra-low distortion of the IE600. They’ve got a small, form-fitting housing that secures tightly in the ear for long-lasting comfort, plus adjustable ear hooks and multiple ear tips so you can ensure the right fit. The IE600 comes with two detachable cables: Unbalanced and balanced, with the opportunity to always upgrade.
- Resilient AMLOY-ZR01 amorphous metal housing, 3D-printed in Germany
- Direct, neutral tuning with fast, accurate bass
- Select 7mm TrueResponse transducers optimized to achieve the lowest possible distortion
- Exceptionally neutral sound thanks to dual resonator chambers D2CA
- Gold-plated Fidelity (+) MMCX connectors for reliable connections
- Choice of para-aramid reinforced cables (3.5mm, 4.4mm)
- Adjustable ear hooks and choice of ear tip adapters
- Frequency response: 4Hz- 46.5kHz
- 0.06% THD (1kHz, 94dB)
- Impedance: 18 ohms
Empire Ears ESR MKII Custom IEM
The Empire Ears ESR MKII is the ultimate choice for audio and video editing. The ESR MKII is Empire Ear’s studio reference IEM, and is highly regarded by recording and mixing engineers for professional studio use across the globe.
Hailed as a detail king, the ESR MKII presents a larger-than-life soundstage with impeccable resolution that gives you a pristine image of every element of your audio — Every detail is highlighted and positioned with extreme accuracy across the frequency spectrum. Five drivers work harmoniously to deliver a sound that’s clear and lifelike.
The ESR MKII custom IEM is molded to your ear canal, providing you with the utmost comfort. One of the neat things about some in-ear monitors is that they can be customized. IEMs will typically come in a universal fit option, designed to fit most ear canals. But some brands, like Empire Ears, offer a custom IEM option that's molded to fit your ear canal. For the serious creator who finds themselves spending hours editing, the custom option is our recommendation to you. If you can't decide what type is right for you check out our blog here that goes into further detail on IEM types.
- Five Drivers - 3 balanced armatures, 2 electrostatic
- 4-way synX Crossover Network
- Exceptionally linear sound signature
- Delivers surgical precision with its Brushed Silver faceplate
Sony WF-1000XM5 Wireless Earbuds
Now that we've showcased the best headphones and IEMs for the production side of podcasts and videos, we want to share with you one last recommendation. As a creator, we know how important it is to deliver your listeners a recording that you're not only proud of but above all else, sounds great. Your listeners may access your content on various platforms, using their phones, earbuds, or laptops and tablets to tune in. Their audio quality can range significantly, so it's almost impossible to control how they’ll receive the content.
The Sony WF-1000XM5 Wireless Earbuds are Sony's latest iteration of their popular earbuds, and they're an on-the-go listener’s best friend. We recommend these to you as a creator so you can get inside the listener's ears if you will. By using the XM5's you'll get a more accurate representation of the sound from a listener's perspective. Plus, they double as a pretty great pair of earbuds to use whenever you'd like. For $299.99 you almost can't beat it. They've got active noise cancellation, ambient noise features, and a full day's worth of battery life. As closed-back wireless headphones, you’ll be able to edit and listen anywhere.
- Astonishing sound quality with high-resolution audio
- Small, light, and beautifully designed
- Smooth switching and a clear Bluetooth signal with a powerful new Integrated Processor V2
- Adjusts to the world around you with adaptive sound control, using AI to offer the ideal listening experience
- Talk and only hear ambient sound using Speak-to-Chat which pauses the music when you start talking
- Water-resistant for everyday use so splashes and sweat won't stop you
- Designed with the environment in mind with construction from recycled plastic materials and 100% paper packaging
- Battery life up to 8 hours (24 hours with case). Quick charging - 3 minutes for up to one hour of listening
Dragon Cable Recommendations
These headphones and IEMs are all fantastic, but one way you can take your polishing process even further is to upgrade the cables associated with the headphones. But what does that even do? An upgraded headphone cable will allow you to enhance different qualities of the sound, which can specialize your edit even further.
At Moon Audio we're passionate about great sound — That's why Drew Baird, P.E., Owner and Founder hand selects and curates our selection of headphones and IEMs. And that's why we handcraft our Dragon audio cables. We specialize in creating audio cables that only further enhance your headphone's performance. Whether you want more detail and clarity or a warmer bass and midrange, we've got a cable that's going to deliver.
Our Silver Dragon headphone cable is our best-selling cable. The Silver Dragon will enhance the details and clarity while creating an intimate yet broad soundstage, which is why it's our first recommendation for creators to be able to edit audio and video with high precision.
We recommend pairing the Sennheiser HD 560S with our Bronze Dragon Portable Headphone Cable. The Sennheiser HD 660S2 is best paired with our Silver Dragon Headphone Cable. And we've got handcrafted cables for IEMs too. The Silver Dragon IEM V2 Cable will pair with the Empire Ears ESR MKII and we've got a new cable coming out soon for the Sennheiser IE600, so stay tuned for that on our website. All of these cable pairings help bring out the clarity and inflection of the spoken voice. Give them a Try!
Why Dragon Cables? You’ve heard the saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, right? Well, the same applies to your brand-new audiophile-grade headphone or other audio components. The weakest link, in this case, is your stock cable or the cheap interconnects the manufacturer threw in the box just to get you up and running. Why is the cable always an afterthought, when it’s just as important as the rest of your system? At Moon Audio, we use the best raw materials in our cables to unveil your music. We believe the materials matter and your audio cables should have the same care and craftsmanship that manufacturers put into their audio components and headphones. Audio cables are ultimately the connection to your music. The fact remains that cabling is often considered the last priority to that of the main product and a means to cut down the overall production costs. It’s as simple as that.