When it comes to meditation, there’s a big question in regards to the use of headphones. Should they be used or not? It can certainly be hard to figure out.
Can you meditate with headphones on? The answer is yes! Every individual is unique in their meditation needs. It can be very helpful for beginners who can’t sit still or aren’t sure where to start. Beginners find that headphones can help to calm their mind and relax their body.
Meditation is a practice that has been around for thousands of years. It’s one of the oldest and most effective ways to improve your life, but it can be difficult to find time in our busy lives to sit down with no distractions and focus on ourselves. If you have ever tried meditation before, then you know how challenging this task can be.
For a full perspective, let’s look at the pros and cons of using headphones for meditating as well as detailed information on some of the best headphones to use in your meditation sessions.
Meditating with Headphones Pros
The list below points out the benefits of using headphones while meditating:
- Helps increase focus while meditating.
- Headphones can reduce the noise level of distracting events in the background.
- The use of binaural beats and isochronic tones makes meditation easier.
- It can help with the effectiveness of the meditation.
- It is easier to hear the meditation instruction through headphones.
- It is especially helpful for beginners.
- It can serve as a notion to the brain to prepare to meditate as meditation is associated with the headphones.
Related article – Best Headphones For Binaural Beats
Meditating with Headphones Cons
The following are some disadvantages to using headphones while meditating:
- Uncomfortable headphones can serve as a distraction.
- You don’t get to practice acknowledging and ignoring distractions in the background.
- Sometimes focusing on background noise can be helpful in the meditation.
- You direct yourself and may have more control when you do not wear headphones.
- It isn’t as good in the long term.
- It isn’t the purest form of meditation.
Related article – Should I Use Headphones For Headspace?
Best Noise Cancellation Headphones for Meditating
If choosing to use headphones, find some that have good noise cancellation and work with binaural beats, such as some of the headphones from Sony, Bose, Apple, Shure, Beyer, Sennheiser, and Audio-Technica.
#1: Sony WH-1000XM4, WF-1000XM4, and WH-1000XM3
Sony’s WF-1000xM4 has a battery that can last 8 hours without a charging pad or 16 hours with a charging case before the battery runs out. These headphones produce a rich, beautiful sound and have fantastic noise-canceling abilities.
Similar to those headphones are the Sony WH-1000xm3 headphones, and those are some of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market. They are only tentatively behind Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II and its updated version: the WH-1000xM4. The value of the sound is remarkable, and they have an amazing battery life, lasting 30 hours before needed to be recharged.
As for Sony’s WH-1000xM4 headphones, there is a lot to love. They are at the top with noise cancellation as previously mentioned, they can pair with multiple devices at once, the battery lasts as long as 30 to 38 hours, they have conversational awareness and extreme upscaling, and they are top-notch in sound quality. As some extra bonuses, they are easily personalized, they are not heavy at all, and they are very comfortable to wear.
#2: Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones and Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds
The Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are especially impressive in their noise cancellation abilities. They can be set to three different levels of noise-canceling and are said to be the best noise-canceling headphones out there. Not to mention, they have a battery life that lasts as long as 20 hours, which is absolutely incredible!
They have great sound value and keep it very even and balanced. In fact, the treble, bass, and midrange can be adjusted to fit the individual’s preferences. They are also designed in a way that allows for the ears to have a bit of breathing and still have noise cancellation and 3 dimension sound.
If you want earbuds instead of headphones, the Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds are definitely worth considering because they have almost all of the perks the headphones do. Their battery life lasts 6 hours without or 12 to 18 hours with a charging case. They have a full, clear sound as well and are quite comfortable!
#3: Apple Air Pods Pro (Earbuds) and Apple Air Pods Max (Headphones)
Apple’s Air Pods Max create a very full and thorough sound, and they also have a spatial audio feature. They are definitely among the best noise cancellation headphones for sale. They are a bit heavier, but are still super comfortable and can last up to 20 hours before they need to be charged.
Similarly, the Apple Air Pods Pro are incredible if you prefer earbuds over headphones. They have features such as the spatial audio feature, they are amazing in regards to noise cancellation, and they are super comfortable and lightweight.
#4: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 have a good battery life of 20 hours before needing to be charged again. They have a high-quality design, are remarkably good at noise cancellation, and are upbeat, energetic, and proportional in their sound.
#5: Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless and Carbon Edition
The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless is, well, wireless, and it is impressive in its sound capabilities. For starters, it has amazing sound quality. The sound is full and thorough, and it is particularly great for the lower bass sounds. Also, it has four different noise cancellation settings: automatic, off, high, and low. It can potentially last up to 30 to 33 hours long on one charge too, and that is pretty handy.
The Carbon Edition has an ambient mode and some other additional useful features.
Best Binaural Beats and Isochronic Tones Headphones for Meditating
#1: Shure SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Over-Ear Headphones, SE215-CL Sound Isolating Earphones, SRH 440, and SRH 840
Shure’s SE215-CL Sound Isolating Earphones are a fantastic option for binaural beats earphones! They have a frequency of 21Hz-17kHz. The impedance level is at 7 ohms, which essentially means that they require less power to perform at the same level and volume.
They can be wireless, or with wires (the wire option is a bit cheaper), and block out most of the background noise. The biggest perk, especially in regards to binaural beats, is that when they repeat the sound, they have no coloring and are absolutely spot on in their replication.
The Shure SRH 1540 Premium Closed-Back Over-Ear Headphones loop over the ear in a way that helps them stay more secure, yet still be super comfortable. They have a decently wide range in frequency as it spans from 5 Hz to 25 kHz, and the way it replicates the frequencies makes it a great choice for binaural beats.
Related article – Do Headphones Help You Focus?
The Shure SRH 840 offers some other strengths that might be appealing. For starters, they have a slightly heavier bass. This allows for the sounds to be pretty neutral, and the bass is able to emphasize the binaural beats without being too strong or overpowering. The midrange is what has the most focus and emphasis, and that happens to be where the vast majority of binaural beats occur.
Plus, the binaural beats have a more natural, pure, and genuine sound to them with the Shure SRH 840 earphones, which may be in part due to the single chord they have. They compact super well too, which can definitely come in handy.
Shure’s SRH 440 has some other features that may be useful. For starters, it folds and compacts to be pretty small, which makes it relatively simple and easy to transport. They also have a fantastic frequency response.
#2: Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro, DT 1350, Custom One Pro Plus, and T5P
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is a pretty handy set of headphones that offer many options. They have a frequency range of 5Hz to 35kHz, and they can be set at an impedance level of 32, 80, or 250. Their wider frequency range, lighter weight on the bass, sound precision, neutrality of the sound, sound subcategories, and their ability to take out any coloring in the sound makes them particularly useful with binaural beats. Not to mention, they are really comfortable headphones, even if they do weigh a bit more.
The Beyer DT 1350 is essentially a new and improved version of the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro with a couple of extra bonuses. For starters, they are more compatible, making them easier to transport. Also, they are fairly light in weight and isolate exterior noise incredibly well.
Beyer’s Custom One Pro Plus highlights some sound aspects that make it a great option for binaural beats. For starters, they are incredibly precise in sound through an impressive range of frequencies, and they are particularly proficient with lower-frequency bass sounds.
Similarly, Beyerdynamic’s T5P headphones are about as advanced and high-tech as it gets. The sound vibrations can be made to reduce, and the sounds blend very well.
#3: Sennheiser HD-25, HD 202 II, 205 II, and HD 280 Pro MK2.
Sennheiser’s HD-25 is pretty hardy and tough, so they will last quite a while, and that is always a plus. The biggest features that are useful in regards to binaural beats is how well they reproduce sound within a wide range of frequencies, and the sound condition and quality are amazing. While they do have a chord, the chord is pretty long, and so there is a fair amount of room for moving around as needed.
The Sennheiser HD 202 II produces a sound that is pretty evenly spread, although some feel that it is a tad stronger on the bass. Regardless, they do a good job with binaural beats and are certainly worth considering. These headphones have padding to make them softer, and they are designed in such a way that they don’t exactly cover the whole ear, but they rest on top of the ear pretty comfortably. The longer length of the cord allows for greater mobility.
A later version, the Sennheiser 205 II, is likewise a fantastic, cost-effective choice to go with and has amazing sound value!
The first thing with the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro MK2 is that the appearance isn’t everything. It is definitely one of the largest of the headphones listed, but it does a really good job at distributing the weight in a way that maintains comfort for the person wearing them. They highlight the details happening in the midrange, and their frequency width (8 Hz to 25 kHz) allows for a wide variety of sound. They also create a fantastic ambiance, and they enhance the calming effect of the binaural beats. All of those things are very useful in regards to binaural beats, so they are an amazing option to choose.
#4: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, ATH-M70x, ATH-W1000X, and Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x offers some unique perks for binaural beats. When sounds are replicated, there are oftentimes at least some elements of coloring in the background, even if just slight. With the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, they play it back in a way that there isn’t any coloring. As an additional perk, they are incredibly soft and lightweight.
Audio-Technica’s ATH-M70x has a larger frequency range than any of the other headphones and earbuds mentioned. The wide span of 5–40 kHz means that the sound of the binaural beats, even if it is in the higher range or lower bass range, will be more accurate, full, and rich. There isn’t any interference with the sound either, which is helpful.
A later edition, Audio-Technica’s ATH-W1000X, are also incredibly comfortable, even for those with a larger head, and they produce great sound.
Audio-Technica Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are absolutely incredible! They produce a sound that is of great quality, and it is also very precise and transparent instead of being enhanced and colored. They are specifically made to be able to do that with a large range of frequencies, and combining that with their precision makes them fantastic for binaural beats. In fact, they have been voted the best for binaural beats in the year 2021. They are also very comfortable to wear, even for extended lengths of time.
#5: Sony MDR V7506 and MDRXB600IP
Sony’s MDR V7506 is unique wherein it emphasizes the higher frequencies instead of the bass or midrange. That does help things to feel more upbeat, which can be a bonus. They are also super soft and snug since they are very padded and lightweight to enhance comfort. However, they do have a cord, which can make things a bit more difficult. On the plus side, the cord is pretty long, and that makes a huge difference.
On the other hand, the Sony MDRXB600IP is another wonderful alternative. This is a super cost-effective choice, and it is particularly strong with the midrange.