Why do my headphones sound muffled? How to fix?
Here's an article to answer your question "Why do my headphones sound muffled?" and some tips on how you can fix it.
Think of the biggest podcasters in the world right now, like the Joe Rogan podcast, and you might observe something he does in almost all of his podcasts, and that’s wearing headphones.
Podcasters use headphones to monitor the audio exactly as it’s being recorded, to eliminate distractions from background noise by immersing themselves in their recording, and also to avoid noise bleed.
This article will tackle the importance of headphones in podcasting, the best headphones for podcasting, and what to look for in headphones for podcasting.
Let’s get right into it.
If you have hours and hours of sentences and words to say to your audience, you would want them to hear what your thoughts are clearly, correct? One way to do this effectively is to use a good pair of headphones.
Headphones will not only provide excellent sound quality, but they also make the editing process much faster and enable you to identify changes you have to implement quickly.
Adding to this, here are some reasons headphones are crucial when recording a podcast.
These days, most people listen to podcasts using budget audiophile headphones or earphones while doing chores, exercising, or commuting, so wearing headphones will allow you to hear how you sound from the listener’s point of view.
It’s no surprise that sound quality varies heavily in speakers and headphones. To truly determine the audio quality you are producing through headphones or earbuds, the best way to do this is to put yourself in your listener’s shoes through listening.
And good quality headphones will allow you to monitor your audio and sound effects and how you actually sound in headphones.
It’s no surprise that higher sound quality attracts listeners more than low production quality podcasts, which is why most podcasters wear headphones.
Wearing headphones allows you to accurately pinpoint the necessary adjustments you have to make while producing the podcast. Wearing headphones will allow you to make adjustments such as lowering your voice at specific intervals or slowing down your speech delivery, ultimately resulting in a better quality podcast.
One thing that separates amateur podcasters from experienced ones is the ability to avoid audio bleeding.
Bleeding occurs in instances such as when you are talking to your guest using your computer speakers. When speaking to your guest loudly, chances are your voice might be picked up by the microphone, which ultimately makes the speaker bleed.
Not only is this sound unpleasant for listeners, but it’s a clear indication of a low production quality podcast.
People who run a decent or professional podcast wear headphones to fix this problem. Listening to your guest’s thoughts using headphones will completely eradicate the bleeding problem. Getting everyone (including your guests) to wear headphones will allow you to have separate audio tracks, which can benefit the editing process.
Microphone placement is one of the most critical factors that can directly affect the sound quality of your podcast. Placing your mic too close and you will sound too loud to your listeners; place them too far, and your listeners might not hear a thing.
Placing your microphone at the right spot is already a hard enough task. However, this can be even more complicated if you have multiple guests at a time, wherein you have to put the mic at a spot where it can record all of your guests’ audio clearly.
However, wearing headphones can eliminate this problem. Headphones often have an already integrated microphone that makes things convenient for you and your guests and ensures you that they will record high-quality audio.
Echos are huge factors that are detrimental to your podcast. These unfortunate sounds can result from recording audio or video interviews through software such as Skype.
Meetings are very prone to echos if you are not wearing headphones since the computer microphone picks up audio from the speakers, which can be very annoying to your guests.
So be sure to include great quality headphones in your podcast kit.
Speaking of Skype, headphones allow users to conduct interviews or record podcasts through online software such as Skype, Zoom, or Viber.
Using one single microphone limits your ability to record podcasts in just your working area, but that’s not possible, especially when interviewing guests from far away. But with headphones, you can easily record podcasts from anywhere around the world.
But be sure to wear headphones to eliminate the issue of speaker bleeding.
Headphones are one of the best tools to achieve a successful podcast because it allows you to produce better sound quality. Aside from the benefits listed above in this article, headphones also allow you to keep your noise levels stable and enable you to hear any ambient noise that could damage the overall integrity of your podcast.
So if you want to provide your listeners with good sound quality, then be sure to purchase a good pair of podcasting headphones. Just be sure not to use it for a very long time. Though headphones cannot damage your brain, it is still unhealthy to use them for a long time.
Not every podcast you record will always be perfect, and you most likely will have to edit some parts of your recording before putting it out online.
Investing in a good pair of headphones, as mentioned before, will allow you to pinpoint some necessary adjustments you have to make and also will enable you to remove some unwanted noise in your recordings.
A good pair of headphones will protect your audio from bleeding, echos, cracking, and popping. In addition, separate headphones for you and your guests will also result in individual audio tracks that will make the editor’s life easier.
And lastly, since most good-quality headphones have active noise canceling and noise isolation, you don’t need to worry much about soundproofing a recording studio or recording in a perfectly quiet environment that most podcasters just starting in the industry don’t have access to.
Purchasing a good pair of podcasting headphones is expensive. Some can cost $200 on the low end to even thousands of dollars at times.
To help you filter out the thousands of podcasting headphones flooding the market, here are some crucial factors to consider when purchasing podcasting headphones.
The price range is perhaps the most significant factor you must consider when purchasing a podcasting headphone. Before shopping for podcasting headphones, set a price range in wherein you are comfortable buying a headphone in.
It’s generally advised to keep away from the lowest price-range headphones as they can be of bad quality materials and last relatively short. But there are also affordable but also performs well studio headphones like the OneOdio Monitor 80.
Investing between the mid-range and high-price range headphones will guarantee you good quality audio and save you tons of money in the long run.
If you’ve ever listened or sit through a podcast before, you know that they last for more than an hour, so always be sure to consider comfortability as you will most likely have to wear headphones for prolonged periods.
Determine the headphone’s weight, if they have pads or not, and choose ones that have the option of adjustments to make them completely fit your ears.
Durability is a feature that entirely depends on several factors, such as how you take care of them, how frequently you use them, and even their price range.
While low-quality headphones are even lucky to see three years of use, most high-quality headphones can last from 5-10 years or more if properly taken care of.
If you love traveling from one place to another, portability is one crucial factor that you have to consider. Are they compact, bulky, foldable, or flexible?
You have to keep these questions in mind when going out to shop for podcasting headphones.
Not all headphones are made precisely the same, and manufacturers make different types of headphones to achieve various objectives.
Here are the different types of headphones and their advantages and disadvantages:
Although wireless earphones are very convenient and do not restrict your movement, they produce a relatively worse sounding audio when compared to wired headphones. Wireless headphones compared to wired headphones have a more significant latency issue as sound waves travel faster through wires.
You also have to consider the battery life when using wireless headphones. Since you will wear headphones for hours on end, wireless headphones will quickly run out of battery life through the recording process.
But gladly, most high-end wireless headphones can be wired, with an already included audio jack in the package.
An open-back headphone allows air and noise to pass through the cups, producing a more natural audio and ambient sound which is excellent for gaming. However, they compromise on sound isolation and are more vulnerable to bleeding and leakage.
On the other hand, most podcasters prefer closed-back headphones versus open-back headphones because they limit the leakage and bleeding of audio, and their closed-back design prevents noise from leaking out, which produces a less natural sound that is great for podcasts.
In-ear headphones are very portable. However, they can be uncomfortable headphones to wear, especially for long periods, and because of their relatively smaller driver size, they tend to produce a worse audio quality compared to the other two headphone types.
On-ear headphones are light, portable, and produce an open sound which means that you can still hear the real life noises around you, like traffic and the honking of cars.
Lastly, over-ear headphones are the most preferred headphones for gamers and podcasters. They produce the best audio quality among the three and are very comfortable to wear for an extended period. However, they are not as portable and light as in-ear and on-ear headphones.
Most headphones created have built-in headphones, which provide less hassle for you.
However, built-in microphones do have a reputation of not sounding as good as an excellent stand-alone microphone.
So be sure to purchase headphones with excellent microphone audio quality.
These DJ-style over-ear studio headphones are among the best headphones on the market. The beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO is a closed-back earphone that produces perfect studio recordings because of its high-resolution sound, making them an excellent choice for professional mixing in studios.
They are durable and robust, but they are also pretty comfortable via their ear pads. And for the low price of $157, it’s no surprise why it’s highly rated on Amazon with over 20,000 reviews.
Sennheiser is a force to be reckoned with for high-quality headphones. Their Sennheiser HD 280 Pro features high ambient noise attenuation, soft earpads for a comfortable fit, foldable, and rotating earcups for easy and convenient transportation.
This closed-back headphone has a wide frequency range of 8Hz – 25KHz, an impedance of 64 ohms, and only weighs 285 g.
Last but not least is the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X, a wired, foldable headphone critically acclaimed by audio engineers and audio reviewers around the world.
It has 45-millimeter large-aperture drivers, features an accurate bass response, a circumaural design that is great for passive sound isolation, and 90-degree swiveling earcups for durability and comfort.
And for just $169.00, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X is one of the best in the market, with over 25,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating on Amazon.
Yes, studies suggest that almost 45% of users who listen to podcasts wear headphones, which makes it even more crucial for podcasters to have headphones in their podcast kit.
Podcasters wear headphones because they want to maintain the audio quality they strive for.
They want to produce good audio quality because it allows listeners to understand what they are saying clearly, but good sounds also attract new listeners compared to low production podcasts that have bleeding and popping.
Yes, you can easily record podcasts using wireless headphones. However, you sacrifice audio quality as the sound quality recorded by wireless headphones is comparably worse than wired ones.
Also, you always have to keep in mind the battery level when recording.
Headphones are indeed a fantastic tool for producing high-quality podcasts. They are very efficient and time-saving tools, but they are also excellent at isolating noise and removing unnecessary sounds from disrupting your recording.
Whether you are an experienced podcaster, or just someone looking to dip their toes in the podcasting industry, we hope this informative article has shed light on why podcasters wear headphones and how to choose one for yourself.