Best Headphones & Earphones for Audiobooks

by: Gabby Bloch
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Best Headphones & Earphones for Audiobooks

This is a new one for me. But lately, a lot of folks have been calling in to ask about which headphones work best for audiobooks. Fair question. You don’t want David Sedaris’ iconic voice to end up sounding like a dying whale on some vulgar bass-heavy headphone. So, what kind of over-ear and in-ear headphones are best suited for the spoken word?

Best Earbuds for Audiobooks

Under $50

Final Audio E1000

$29 

This is the perfect entry point for anyone looking for high quality sound for audiobook use. The E1000 presents a neutral profile with a slight emphasis in the lower treble. So, narrators should sound clear and well projected with an unsaturated tone. A mainstay of Final Audio’s budget offerings, check out our full E1000 review here.

You can buy the Final Audio E1000 at Audio 46.

Best Earbuds for Audiobooks: Final Audio E1000

Strauss & Wagner EM8C Earbuds with USB-C for Android 

$49

This is a great choice for Android users who like to add a little gravitas to the voice of their narrators. With a touch of added bass, male and female speakers alike will have a commanding tone. Great for dramatic works like Hamlet and Anna Karenina, if that’s your jam. 

You can buy the Strauss & Wagner EM8C Earbuds at Audio 46.

Best Earphones for Audiobooks: Strauss & Wagner EM8C

Under $100 

Strauss & Wagner TW401 True Wireless

$50

The TW401 is probably the cleanest and most detailed sound you can get from a true wireless model at this price point. If you’re like me, and you tend to prance around your kitchen making cookies while ambient listening to This American Life, these earbuds will help ease the boredom.

You can buy the Strauss & Wagner TW401 at Audio 46.

Best Wireless Earbuds for Audiobooks: Strauss & Wagner TW401

Sony WF-C500 True Wireless

$99

The WF-C500 is a great alternative for those who want the ultimate in true wireless sound, but can’t afford it. This Sony model is the little sister to the company’s famous flagship, the WF-1000XM4. With 10 hours of battery life and top-notch sound quality, the only thing it’s missing is the Active Noise Cancellation feature. But to be honest, I think that technology is overrated.

You can buy the Sony WF-C500 at Audio 46.

Best Wireless Earbuds for Audiobooks: Sony WF-C500

Under $200

Final Audio ZE3000

$149

If you’re looking for premium wireless sound quality for your podcasts and audiobooks, but you also enjoy listening to music, the ZE3000 will cover your bases. These earbuds not only do justice to the art of narration, they’re also my personal choice for any audiophile or music enthusiast on a budget. Not too bassy, detailed midrange and crystal clear in the treble. They also look sophisticated and expensive.

You can buy the Final Audio ZE3000 at Audio 46.

Best Earbuds for Audiobooks: Final Audio ZE3000

Under $300

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3

$212

Here’s where it gets pretty pretty pretty good. If you travel a lot, whether it be on a plane, a train or on horseback, you might need to drown out the hum or loud trotting while listening to your favorite book. The Momentum True Wireless 3 has arguably the most effective active noise-canceling (ANC) on the market, and has been applauded by audiophiles for being the highest quality Bluetooth sound in this price range.

You can buy the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 at Audio 46.

Audio 46's choice for best wireless earbuds for audiobooks

Best Over-Ear Headphones for Audiobooks

Under $50

Sennheiser HD 300

$49

Sennheiser is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to headphones. German-made with a 2 year warranty, you can beat the crap out of these cans and live without regret. In all seriousness, the HD 300 approximates a reference headphone, which means it delivers uncolored sound with ultimate accuracy. A very sensible buy for under 50 bucks.

You can buy the Sennheiser HD 300 at Audio 46.

Best Wired Headphones for Audiobooks: Sennheiser HD 300

Under $100

Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro

$79

Speaking of Germans, here’s another big Deutsch brand that mixing engineers and musicians alike swear by. And it’s my all-time favorite. It's also perfect those who prefer a smaller on-ear headphone. The DT 240 delivers ultimate neutrality and detailed precision, making it one of the most suitable and fairly priced headphones on the market for audiobooks and podcasts.

Best On-Ear Headphone for Audiobooks: Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro

You can buy the Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro at Audio 46.

Under $150

In this price range, you can start to find some great wireless options for your audiobook listening needs.

Strauss & Wagner ANCBT501

$120

If you listen to Strauss, then you’ll certainly know Wagner. This unassuming little company has received major accolades from the audiophile community for providing top-class sound at modest prices. And that's why I've included a number of their models on this list. The ANCBT501 offers a refined aesthetic design and crowd-pleasing sound signature. Rich and full-bodied, the ANCBT501 is a satiating listen, perfect for 50 Shades of Grey and other types of soft porn literature.

You can buy the Strauss & Wagner ANCBT501 at Audio 46.

Best Wireless Headphones for Audiobooks: Strauss&Wagner ANCBT501

Under $200

Sennheiser HD 450BT

$199

I’m putting another Sennheiser model on this list because, well…It’s Sennheiser. And it comes with a 2 year international warranty. You can’t lose. This wireless model has been selling well for a few years now. It offers pretty decent ANC and, again, delivers a relatively unbiased representation of any recording you throw at it. It’s also well built. I gave a pair to my father-in-law about 4 years ago and he sits on them constantly. No breakage. 

You can find the Sennheiser HD 450BT at Audio 46.

Best wireless headphones for audiobooks: Sennheiser HD 450BT

Under $300

Grado GW100x 

$275

If you plan to listen to your audiobooks inside the quiet of your house or while walking through peaceful meadows, the Grado GW100x is perhaps the best option on this list. Designed and built in Brooklyn NY by serious hipsters, this open-back headphone brand is known for its beautiful delivery of jazz and classical music. This is because it’s well-balanced, airy, incredibly transparent and natural. No offensive bass or muddy midrange here. You can rest assured that every breath and crackle of your narrator’s voice will be revealed with unparalleled detail.

You can find the Grado GW100X at Audio 46.

Best Wireless Headphones for Audiobooks: Grado GW100x

Over $500

Bowers & Wilkins Px8 

$700

Oscar Wilde once wrote, “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.” So, ask yourself, do you really need an $700 headphone to listen Prince Harry’s book, Spare? Yes, you definitely do. With a smooth, cohesive and elegant sound profile, these classy cans even come in a James Bond Limited Edition. And they’re perfectly balanced for any kind of narration or podcast conversation. If you’re a fan of music in addition to being a bookworm, I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed by the Bowers & Wilkins Px8. It’s an altogether scrumptious sound.

You can buy the Bowers & Wilkins PX8 at Audio 46.

 

Best Wireless Headphones for Audiobooks: Bowers & Wilkins Px8  

 

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