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Headphones: Becoming Voice Over

Everyone seems to have their own preferences for headphones for VO work. A few things everyone seems to agree on:

  • Don’t use blue tooth headphones, ear buds, noise cancelling headphones, gaming headphones, or the headphones that came with your phone. There are lots of reasons for this and you can google it if you want to know more.

  • Use Closed Back Headphones that completely cover and enclose the ear so no sound escapes to get picked up by your mic.

  • Headphones should be comfortable since you’ll wear them for hours at a time.

I was using a 10-year-old pair of Bose QC35 Noise Cancelling headphones. (I do not use the noise cancelling, they have a switch so I keep that feature off.) I like those headphones a lot, but I received a pair of beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 ohm headphones for Christmas, so I switched. The difference between the two pairs is actually remarkably subtle, which surprised me. I thought there would be a more dramatic difference. But, the Beyerdynamics do pick up just a bit more of the tiniest of sounds, which doesn't make any difference at all while recording, but is can be a big deal while editing and mastering.

I'd actually recommend both my Bose and my beyerdynamics, it depends on what you may already have and what your budget allows. One person I know uses headphones for recording, but does their editing using speakers in their studio.

What headphones are best? There are plenty of articles available online to guide you, but here are a few brands that have a good reputation for VO: beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, Audio Technica, and AKG. They range in price from about $30-$1000+. You can also check out Frank Verderosa's blog on his website for headphones suggestions.

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