Transcriber Community

Best headphones for transcription work under £50

By Take Note Team on May, 9 2019
Take Note Team

Thor has his hammer, Bert has Ernie, and Beyoncé…well, Beyoncé doesn’t have anything, because she’s Beyoncé, but most superheroes have that one thing that’s by their side at all times, that one thing they simply can’t live without.


For transcribers, that magic talisman is their headphones, for what is a transcriber without a big old pair of chunky headphones? But do not fear superheroes of the TCU (Take Note Cinematic Universe), for today we help you find that pair of headphones that will sit on your head as comfortably as the halo you deserve, all for under 50 quid!


What to look for in your headphones of power!

Very soon you and your headphones are going to know each other better than Batman knows Robin, so there are a few key things you need to keep in mind.


Firstly, comfort; you’re going to be wearing these headphones for long periods of time so it’s no use grabbing the cheapest pair if it’s going to leave you with a headache at the end of the day. For most people, this means buying over-ear headphones as earbuds can get very annoying very quickly – not to mention they’re also more likely to damage your hearing. But if you often do live notetaking work, in-ear pairs are nearly always more compact and therefore easier to carry. When it comes to over-ear phones, look out for ones with cushioning, particularly on the top of your head, which will bear the majority of the weight. And if you wear glasses you don’t want anything that grips around your ears too tightly or you’re going to really start to notice them pressing against the arms of your specs!


The next thing to look out for is sound quality. Unsurprisingly, this is what pushes the prices up, but these days it is possible to get great sound on the cheap. Headphones with noise- cancelling are particularly useful for those tricky audio files, but avoid anything with bass enhancements as these often decrease voice clarity


Finally, wired or wireless headphones?

This really is a matter of personal preference, as they both have their advantages and disadvantages, but there are a few things to look out for. If you’re going with wired, check out the cable length, particularly if the computer you’re working at has its headphone jack behind the screen; I wouldn’t recommend anything shorter than 2 metres. If you’re leaning towards wireless, make sure your computer is Bluetooth compatible, and you’ll also want to check out battery life, particularly amongst cheaper options, as anything running wirelessly is incredibly hungry when it comes to energy usage. We haven’t included any recommendations for wireless earbuds here as there seem to currently be none on the market for this price range that are compatible with computers – if you know of any that are please give us a heads up!


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Some recommendations for £50 and under

The most popular brand amongst the Take Note community is Sennheiser, followed by Sony, so here are the most popular choices, as well as some other options currently on the market.


Sennheiser CX 300-II - £20.99

- in-ear wired

- storage pouch included

- decent sound quality for the price

- durable

- blocks out sound well


Sennheiser HD 206 - £34.99

- over-ear wired

- cushioning on ears and on top band

- 3 metre cable

- lightweight

- not bass-heavy


Sony WH-CH500 - £35.91

- over-ear wireless

- up to 20 hours’ battery life

- Bluetooth (check compatibility)

- lightweight

- don’t cover the whole ear


Sony MDR-ZX310 - £14.99

- over-ear wired

- lightweight

- foldable

- padded ears

- an array of funky colours!


Mpow H7 - £20.99

- over-ear wireless

- cushioned ears

- Bluetooth

- up to 18 hours’ battery life

- 15% off at Amazon until May 31 st 2019


Plantronics Blackwire C320 - £32.99

- over-ear wired

- USB input

- lightweight

- automatically adjusts EQ for voice

- includes microphone


Skullcandy Ink’d 2.0 - £5.91

- in-ear wired

- good sound quality for the value

- cheap as chips!

- not bass-heavy

- lightweight

 

Written by Transcriber Lydia


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