With the best headset microphone, you can get great audio quality for recording, gaming, taking Zoom calls, and more.
One of the biggest challenges in capturing audio is keeping the ability to move freely while still getting great sound.
This is a problem for podcasters, but it’s also an issue faced by YouTubers and those presenting on virtual conference platforms and webinars since you usually want to be able to move around while on camera.
Thankfully, when you record with the best headset microphone, you don’t have to worry as much about positioning and mic placement.
This advantage can help you achieve more consistent quality in your recordings and become more confident in your public speaking, but finding the best headset mic can be tough since there are hundreds of choices on the market.
Make the wrong choice, and you’ll end up with low-quality audio that makes it hard for your audience and transcription software programs to make out what you’re saying.
To help you find the best headset microphone for recording audio, I put 50 of the most popular models to the test.
Out of these 50, I chose 12 of the top performers, and I evaluated each for microphone quality, background noise cancellation, sound quality, battery life (for wireless headphones with mics), and comfort. I’ve included the best options in headset mics for all purposes, from recording podcasts to gaming headsets and more.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Tips for selecting the best headset microphone
- Features of the devices I reviewed
- Pros and cons of using this type of microphone
- All about accessories and must-haves to improve your recordings
I’m also including tips for how to select the best model based on how you plan to record. From beginner to expert and studio to streaming, there’s a headset with a mic that’s right for you.
This guide has been fully updated for 2023 to ensure you’re receiving the most current information and can find a great solution that fits your needs.
A Quick Look at the Microphone Headsets & Headphones for Recording
While I’ll go in-depth about each of the 12 best headset microphones worth checking out later in this guide, I’ve provided a quick glance at a couple of favorites here below for those in a hurry:
- Integrated volume control
- Ball-joint hinge for flexibility
- Comfortable memory foam padding
Best For: Video tutorial producers and podcasters
When considering comfort, remember that the pressure a headset places on your ears is relative to the headband’s flexibility. This means that having more flexibility to make adjustments to a headband will go a long way in helping you adjust for comfort in the ear pads. Simply put, these are the best headphones with a mic available today, in my opinion.
- Comfortable over-the-ear mic
- StN ratio of 58dB
- USB connectivity for most devices
- Allows up to 80’ of range
Best For: Vloggers, Podcasters
When using this device to capture audio, be mindful of air pressure sources like fans and vents. These can cause unwanted noise in your final audio.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Headset Microphone for Your Needs
I really like the ease-of-use that comes along with using a headset to capture audio, but I’ve learned that these devices aren’t needed in every situation. For the most part, a sound-capture headset is ideal when you need to be free to move while recording or talking.
If you aren’t sure whether you need a microphone headset or you’re unsure about how to select the right one, I’ve put together some steps to guide you. Check out my tips below:
Step 1: Do You Need to Hear Yourself?
When considering your audio needs, I recommend you first think about whether or not you need to hear yourself while capturing audio. Monitoring your own voice has a lot of advantages, including the ability to notice problems and fix them before they end up as part of a final audio.
Headset for audio capture is really good for monitoring your voice while recording, and many include features like onboard volume controls to make adjustments to your own voice monitoring level without affecting the overall level.
If you don’t need to hear yourself, you might consider using a wireless lavalier microphone instead. This would give you the same ability to move around while recording without having to worry about hearing yourself in a headset.
Step 2: Think About Your Comfort
Another huge consideration when choosing a headset microphone for recording audio is your comfort. Yes, you want a great sounding headset mic, but your comfort matters too.
An uncomfortable device can cause you to get sidetracked while performing, take frequent breaks and reduce productivity.
Of course, comfort is subjective, but take a look at the padding on the earphone parts as well as the headstrap or headband. These are the two areas that will make contact with your head the most.
You don’t have to have luxury features like memory foam padding to get great sound quality, but additional comfort features do make life easier. You also want to have the ability to replace padding if it wears out and adjust headbands and headstraps to fit your head.
You may also want to consider the pros and cons of using a wired headset vs a wireless headset when considering comfort and ease of use.
Wired headsets are generally more affordable and more reliable, while wireless headsets offer complete freedom of movement.
Finally, be sure to take frequent breaks from using your headset or headphones throughout the day to reduce fatigue and ensure you’re not overworking yourself. This will help increase productivity in the long run. Taking regular breaks also allows
Step 3: Consider Connectivity
Another recommendation for finding the best microphone headset for recording audio is to look at the unit’s connectivity. Many models utilize USB technology, but others connect via 3.5mm jack, 1/4’ jack or XLR cables.
The type of connection you have can affect latency, and this is especially important if you’re listening to yourself while capturing a performance and trying to achieve high quality sound. There are adaptors that can convert some connections into others, but these can also introduce latency.
The connection factor becomes an even bigger issue when capturing voice-over work due to the time-sensitive nature of these types of performances. If you’re curious, you can learn more about some of the best voice-over microphones in this article.
The Best Headset Microphones for Recording Audio
An audio-capture headset gives you the ability to free up your whole body while not having to pay as much attention to positioning relative to a mic. This can go a long way in offering creative freedom to express yourself while podcasting, creating tutorial videos, or demonstrating something in front of a YouTube audience.
I also like the fact that many models can be used to keep vocal capture consistent. Once I place the headset’s arm, my audio capture will remain the same regardless of the direction I’m facing or the angle of my head.
Below are some of my top choices for the best headset microphones, including over-ear headphones with mics and earbud-style equipment:
I really love Sennheiser products, so I was excited to get my hands on the GSP300. The sound quality for both the earphones and the microphone is top-notch, and the price is very affordable.
One thing I noticed when recording with this gaming headset is that it produces a flat response. This works well in most podcasting situations, but it also gives a lot of leeway if you need to add post-processing later.
I found the headphones with mic to be comfortable, even after using it for long periods of time. That because gaming headsets like this one are designed with comfort in mind. And even though this is a quality gaming headset, it’s still great for other purposes, like recording audio or taking conference calls.
The padded earphones are a closed-back design, so ambient noise was reduced. The active noise cancellation allowed me to focus my performance.
While wearing this model, I found that I was able to almost completely close out quiet sounds around me. When using the Epos Sennheiser GSP 300, I only encountered a slight problem with cable contact noise. This was solved by keeping the cable over my shoulder.
All in all, these are the best headphones with a mic in my opinion and are an especially great choice for those working in noisy environments.
- Closed-back design reduces outside noise
- Can utilize a 3.5mm jack
- Ball-joint hinge is easy to adjust for fit
- Flexible, durable headband
- Can customize with after-market ear pads
- Produces a natural sound without colorizing
- Great outside noise cancelling for focusing on your performance
- High-quality sound overall
- XL memory foam padding is very comfortable
- More affordable than similar headsets
- Headphone mid-range could use a boost
- Cable can create contact noise
Best For: Podcast producers and YouTube content creators
Killer Feature: Flip-to-mute option and onboard volume controls keep you focused on performing
In this video, Hardware Canucks gives an offbeat review of the Epos Sennheiser GSP 300, complete with a breakdown of the functions and some opinions on usage. You also get to see and hear this model in action, including examples using different gain options.
2. FIFINE K031B
The FIFINE K031B delivers wireless performance at a reasonable price point. I was able to get the mic up and running quickly with minimal hassles.
Right off the bat, I like that this package comes with the ability to use the included over-the-ear mic or a mini XLR mic of your choosing. This adds a lot of value through versatility.
When recording with the comfortable over-the-ear option, I barely noticed it was there after a while. Sound quality was full and rich, but I did notice a lot of plosives without a windscreen attached.
It’s a really good headset microphone for podcasters and bloggers, among others.
- Comfortable over-the-ear mic included
- StN ratio of 58dB
- USB connectivity for most devices
- Allows up to 80’ of range
- Can use included device or connect your own
- UHF is more stable than other options
- Light-up LCD transmitter screen
- Easy to transport receiver dongle
- Capsule can suffer from problems with plosives and breath noise
- Over-the-ear option isn’t very flexible
Best For: Vloggers, podcasters and vocal capture in open areas
Killer Feature: Able to utilize additional devices with the transmitter pack for more options
In this video, Jdubb showcases some of the features included with the FIFINE K031B as well as demonstrates its audio capabilities. This video provides a basic rundown of how the device works, but it also discusses general setup instructions to help you kick start your project.
3. CAD Audio U2
When I first got my hands on the CAD Audio U2, I was impressed by its quality and looks. The color scheme gives this model a polished look while maintaining a professional appearance.
Regarding performance, the headset portion left a little bit to be desired during playback, but the mic sounds great. I was able to get rich, natural tones during my vocal testing. You can get especially clear sounds if you also have some acoustic foam panels in your recording space to reduce echo.
I also really like the adjustable boom arm as well. It gave me a lot of flexibility to try out different angles and positioning techniques to dial in the sound I wanted.
- Adjustable boom arm
- USB connectivity
- Unidirectional capsule cancels noise
- Compatible with most digital audio software
- Lightweight at 11.2 lbs
- Stylish black and silver finish
- Adjustable headband and boom
- Integrated 10’ USB cable
- Must be used with a cord
- May have gain issues with Mac
Best For: Podcast production, general diction and video voice-overs
Killer Feature: Adjustable boom arm allows for different micing techniques
If you want to see and hear the CAD Audio U2 in action, check out this video from Podcastage. This video covers a number of the CAD’s features and functions, and you also get to hear the quality for yourself.
4. Yamaha CM500
Yamaha is one of the most trusted brands in audio gear, so it makes sense for the CM500 to be a great buy. This model features a full frequency response in the headphones, and this is perfect for playback and monitoring.
I also love that the frequency response is tuned to roll off sounds below 100Hz. This takes out a lot of mud and lets crisp vocals shine through.
One thing was clear when I tested this device, and that’s that Yamaha really paid attention to the details people want in a headset mic. Some examples of this attention to detail include the integrated 9’ cord as well as the ability to adapt the headset’s output to different types of input jacks.
- Headphone frequency response range is 20Hz-20kHz
- 9’ cord for freedom of movement
- 96dB/mW sensitivity
- Impedance sits at 120 ohms
- Includes 1/4” adaptor
- Tuned to reduce rumble and mud
- Distortion level is below 0.2%
- Native jack is 1/8”
- Adaptor could cause signal noise
- Headstrap movement may be limited
Best For: Podcasting and voice-over work
Killer Feature: Full frequency response to capture deep bass and crisp highs
5. Mpow 071
Mpow makes some of the best budget-friendly gear, and the Mpow 071 represents the brand well. This model is comfortable to wear for moderate periods of time, and I like the memory foam padding included in the earphones.
In terms of sound quality, I found this device performed as well as most other budget-minded headsets. My voice sounded natural and full. I didn’t hear any distortion, and background noise was kept to a minimum.
I would recommend this pick for use in general as a YouTube microphone for content creators. It isn’t meant to be compared to a high-end device, but it does perform well in terms of clarity and sound capture.
- Inline function controls
- Noise reduction sound card built-in
- Memory foam padding for comfort
- Compatible with Windows and Mac OS
- Connect via USB or 3.5mm jack
- Works well with diction software
- Affordable on almost any budget
- Two-year warranty
- Midrange playback lacks a bit in clarity
- Only available with wired connection
Best For: Video tutorial audio, podcasting and general YouTube voice-over work
Killer Feature: Onboard controls allow access of functions from a connected remote
Check out this video to see Bruce from The Boomer Consumer demonstrate some of the features of the Mpow 071. Bruce discusses setup options and also does some audio testing so you can hear the audio quality for yourself.
Jabra makes a number of notable headset products for phones, but the Jabra Evolve 40 forgoes the smart device and gives you a lot of bang for your buck. I tested the Evolve 40 in a number of audio environments and found that it really excelled when monitoring my own voice.
I like that this device includes an inline control for things like volume as this keeps me from having to mess with controls on my capture device. I also found it very convenient to have the option to use either USB or 3.5mm as my output since this provided more opportunities to record using different devices.
While the Evolve 40 doesn’t feature active noise cancellation, it does have passive noise cancellation which greatly helps reduce background noise.
- Noise cancelling built in to the mic
- Adjustable for precise positioning
- Earphones rotate 90 degrees
- Affordable option for most budgets
- USB and 3.5mm jack compatibility
- Ear pads are designed to reduce high-frequency background noise
- Sleek design looks good in any setting
- May put too much pressure on some ears
- Cushioning could be softer
Best For: Podcast recording and YouTube content creation
Killer Feature: Inline controls provide freedom to utilize functions how you want
Headset Advisor’s David provides an in-depth look at the Jabra Evolve 40 in this video. He not only demonstrates many of this model’s key features and gives an audio demo, but he also talks about his experience using the Evolve 40 for listening to various types of audio.
When I first took the Audio-Technica BPHS1 headphones out of their packaging, I wasn’t really floored by the look. It’s kind of basic.
Once I tried the headphones, however, my perception changed. This model offers great audio reproduction for podcasters, and it captures full sound with ease.
The dynamic mic does a great job handling vocal clarity without the added ambiance that can come with a condenser capsule. While the ear pads weren’t all that comfortable after extended use, I was able to overlook this since you can switch out the pads for something better.
- Flexible boom arm
- Output cable includes 3.5mm jack
- Adjustable metal headband
- Closed-back headphones limit background noise
- Durable construction
- Mic can spin for easy positioning
- Ear pads are easy to clean
- XLR connection is available
- A bit pricey for some budgets
- Stock ear pads can become uncomfortable with time
Best For: Podcasters and YouTube video content creators
Killer Feature: Available XLR connection for interfacing with lots of hardware
Want to see and hear the Audio-Technica BPHS1 for yourself? Take a look at this video from EposVox to learn more about how this device stacks up against similar headsets.
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Although the Epos Sennheiser GSP 300 is a great addition to any headset microphone collection, the Epos Sennheiser GSP 600 is a big step up in terms of quality. The GSP 600 gaming headset provides a rich audio experience using proprietary drivers, making it sound as good as many mid-range headsets on the market.
While testing the microphone, I was very impressed at how easily I was able to get a clean, natural tone that sounded like it was being recorded in my studio. There’s no coloration in the sound capture, and this is great when using this device for podcast audio that will be edited in post.
While this is a gaming headset, it’s also great for other purposes, like podcasting, voice over work, Zoom calls, and more.
- Flip-to-mute for easy sound control
- TRRS and 3.5mm jacks
- Intuitive onboard volume control
- Compatible with all major consoles
- Flexible headband is very durable
- Sleek design looks great on camera
- Clean, crisp fidelity
- 2-year warranty
- A bit more expensive than other options
- May require adaptor for some inputs
Best For: YouTube content creators and podcast producers
Killer Feature: Intuitive volume control makes adjustments easy and fast
You can check out this video from Blunty to learn more about the Sennheiser 600 GSP as well as other models in the 600 series lineup. This video also details product specs and provides audio examples so you can hear the microphone quality.
Mono Headset Microphones
Stereo sound can provide a lush soundscape, but many vocal performances only require mono. This means that you only record into a single channel instead of right and left.
Mono headset microphones are often a good choice when you don’t want to wear a bulky headset. They’re also beneficial for anyone who needs to hear themselves as well as environment noise.
Below is a great mono headset microphone I had the pleasure of reviewing:
I don’t usually work with mono headset microphones in the studio, but I was very pleased when reviewing the Epos Sennheiser PC 7 USB. The model itself is fairly basic, but the sound is clear and clean for general use.
One of the problems I run into with microphone headsets is that the straps and headbands can be tight and uncomfortable after a while. This device placed very little pressure on my head, allowing me to almost forget I was wearing it.
I also found the plug-and-play USB technology to be a breeze to work with. I was able to get the headset up and working within a few minutes of getting it out of the box.
- USB sound card
- Fast set up
- Robust frequency response from 42Hz-17kHz
- Light headband pressure for extended use
- Very affordable
- Simple design looks professional
- Easily folds for transport or storage
- Highs and mids are cut to reduce harshness
- May need adaptor for some applications
- Boom arm does not rotate 180 degrees
Best For: Podcasts, online tutorial creation and diction software
Killer Feature: Sound quality is great at such an affordable price
Wireless Headset Microphones
Nothing beats the convenience of wireless when it comes to audio gear. Using a wireless headset microphone, you not only have the freedom to move while speaking or singing, but you can also stop worrying as much about mic placement relative to your location in a recording space.
These devices are ideal for voice-over work, but they also benefit on-camera talent for YouTube videos. It should be noted that some wireless capture solutions do require a base station and transmitter pack to send and receive signals.
Below are some awesome models I reviewed.
10. Bietrun UHF
I like working with wireless audio capture headsets when I’m recording outdoors because of the freedom they provide for different setups. The Bietrun UHF provided a very good experience in my testing, allowing for plenty of space to move around.
The setup was a bit challenging, but this had more to do with being able to differentiate the light patterns indicating pairing. Once paired, however, recording went smoothly.
I found this model to be comfortable, but it offers a no-frills experience. Likewise, holding the mic in my hand was fine, but this kind of defeats the purpose of using a headset microphone in the first place.
Regarding sound, the quality was good, but I might suggest using a windscreen or isolation shield if recording outdoors. I used minimal post-processing to clean up the signal and was happy with the result.
- 160’ foot range
- Can be used as handheld or headset
- Low risk of frequency interference
- Onboard volume controls
- Can use multiple inputs at once
- Includes 3.5mm jack and 1/4” adaptor
- Lightweight and comfortable for extended use
- Include 400 mah rechargeable battery and great battery life
- Only 15 channels available
- Setup may be a bit tedious
Best For: Podcast production, off-camera talent and outdoor vocal capture
Killer Feature: Large range from transmitter to base USB gives plenty of room to move
11. XIAOKOA N80
When reviewing the XIAOKOA N80, I expected to the headset to provide basic functions, but I was pleasantly surprised by its performance. Yes, the device is rather simple, but it delivers crisp audio that is clean and clear with detail.
One of the nicer things about this device and receiver is that the batteries can be charged for repeated use. This can save money on the need to constantly buy new batteries, and it can reduce downtime when you have spares charged and ready to install. It also has excellent battery life.
I was also happy to see that this model utilizes the 2.4 GHz range wireless band. Modern 5 GHz is great for speed, but it limits connectivity range. With 2.4 GHz, I’m able to use the XIAOKOA N80 in more places without the risk of losing signal.
- 8-hour battery life
- Removable ear hook for handheld use
- Includes 3.5mm cable
- 88dB sensitivity
- Connects to cameras, audio gear and amps
- Headset and transmitter are rechargeable
- 2.4Ghz for extended range
- Affordable compared to other wireless systems
- Doesn’t support aux output for mobile devices
- Audio is a bit hot in the mids
Best For: Diction software and podcast production
Killer Feature: 2.4 GHz signal offers more range than standard 5 GHz
Darren O’Neil reviews the XIAOKOA N80 in this video where he demonstrates the sound quality and features. Also in this video, Darren discusses charging and power options to help you make the right purchasing decision for your needs.
12. FIFINE K037B
The FIFINE K037B functions much like other wireless systems, but it includes the ability to change from an over-the-ear headset microphone to a lapel microphone with ease. I really like this for my audio toolbox as it provides additional options for recording out in the field.
The device was simple enough to get going, and I found the audio quality to be on par with average mics in this price range. I felt the over-the-ear headset option ran a bit hot without some gain control, but overall, the audio was clear with no distortion.
In terms of comfort, I had no problems with this model or the lapel option. I could maybe see it becoming uncomfortable after a while, but my unit may have just been a bit tighter than usual.
- 20 selectable UHF frequencies
- Range carries up to 65’
- Can be used as lapel clip-on
- Receiver includes extendable antenna
- Compatible with smart devices
- Includes 1/4” and 1/8” adaptors
- LCD display for detailed information
- Affordable price point for most budgets
- Over-the-ear input gain can run on the hot side
- Cable connections are a bit unsecured
Best For: Public speaking, on-camera talent and online lessons
Killer Feature: Interchangeable input options provide enhanced versatility
Learn more about the FIFINE K037B in this YouTube video from Tobias Holenstein. In the video, Tobias walks you through everything from the packaging of the device to its setup and use. You also get to see the FIFINE K037B in use and hear audio examples to judge for yourself how it will work for your needs.
Must-Have Accessories for Headset Microphones
Using a microphone headset gives you more freedom to move around while still having your mic positioned properly, but there are additional must-have items that can take your recording experience to the next level.
Below, I’ve outlined some of my favorite accessories for use in studio and while recording remotely:
Protecting your investment is important when it comes to audio gear. Most modern pro audio equipment is not only fragile, but it’s also expensive.
Headphone stands may sound like a luxury item, but if you’re serious about extending the lifespan of your headphone, you need to keep your headphones safe. A headphone stand does this by providing a secure spot to store your headphones when not in use.
In addition, many headphone stands feature the ability to recharge wireless headphone. This means that you’ll never have to worry about waiting around to keep a project rolling again.
You also can’t go wrong by having too many headphone adaptors around. Adaptors give you the ability to connect different sound capture devices to different input jacks, meaning more flexibility in your audio capture capabilities.
I always try to keep some spare headphone adaptors around the studio, but I also make sure I have some when I’m working remotely. Common adaptors include USB-to-3.5mm, 3.5mm-to-1/4’ and different size of stereo-to-mono.
It’s also a good idea to have pairs of adaptors in case you need to reverse a signal flow. For example, going from mono to stereo and then from stereo to mono.
A word of caution about adaptors: some can introduce lag and signal noise. Try to use gold-plated connectors when possible to get a clean signal.
USB Stereo Sound Adaptor
Although I mentioned adaptors in general above, I want to take a moment to point out the importance of having a USB stereo sound adaptor. These types of adaptors can be critical when you need an input and output jack in the same USB dongle.
A USB stereo sound adaptor doesn’t function like a traditional splitter. Instead of merging sounds, it separates the input and output signal through the adaptor, allowing you to listen and record at the same time.
I find that having a USB stereo sound adaptor is critical when I’m capturing directly into digital audio workstation software and my device doesn’t have separate input and output jacks. The best part is that most of these adaptors are universally accepted, hence the use of USB technology.
- How to record audio on your computer or phone
- The best wireless microphones
- How to stream your gaming sessions
- Gaming headset vs. headphones and mic, which is better?
- How to record the perfect live streaming video
- How to connect multiple microphones to a computer
- How to record a voice over demo
- How do wireless microphones work?
A Final Word on Finding the Best Headset Microphone
Meet the needs of your project, not the expectations of others.
No matter what choice you make, the key to finding the best headset microphone for recording audio comes down to meeting the needs of your project. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a quality device, and many devices can pull double duty if you simply want to enjoy listening to some music, giving you an even better overall value for your dollar.
One last thing, though.
I would caution you to pay close attention to frequency response specs if you use a headset mic for recording studio-quality audio. A model that doesn’t feature a full frequency response may lose some clarity and natural tones compared to a pair of studio headphones that does have a full frequency response.
You can learn more about in my guide to the best studio headphones where I share my reviews of some great options.
Have any questions about choosing the best headset microphone? Comment below and I’ll help you out!