8 Recommended Headphones for Programmers

Welcome to a list of recommended headphones and earphones for programming – By a programmer, for programmers. Looking to add some spice to your boring daily programming grind? Play some music, block out the noisy environment, and rock on. Well, here are some of my recommendations. Read on!



Headphones Earphones Stuff to Consider
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Here is a list of the recommended headphones. Please note – I have sorted these by category, but not in any recommendation order otherwise.




Online Price: From $300.00
Highlights: Feature loaded Bluetooth headphones.
Specs: Up to 20 hours of wireless playback time (40 hours on cable), active noise cancellation, built-in mic, and even Google Assistant.
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Truthfully, this Bose is not the best sounding pair of headphones (that I personally know of), but it is still better than an average Joe. What is so great about this Bose is actually all the features – Bluetooth, noise cancellation, built-in microphone, long battery life, and even Google Assistant.

Be it for taking phone calls for work, listening to music, watching movies, or even playing games – This Bose is just a very versatile pair of headphones. While it may be a little bit on the pricey side, but the features do really make it worth paying for.



Online Price: From $150.00
Highlights: Reasonably priced professional headphones, good audio quality.
Specs: 45mm drivers, 38Ω impedance, 99db sensitivity, 15 – 28000HZ response range.
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This is a pair of headphones that I personally own and have used for years. While it is not comparable to the best in the world, this pair of professional headphones do spit out some good audio quality. It also comes with plenty of padding and is comfortable to wear for long hours – Given the price point, this is a good deal to consider.




Online Price: From $30.00
Highlights: Decent budget noise-canceling headphones.
Specs: 30mm drivers, 45Ω (OFF) 220Ω (ON) impedance, 115db sensitivity, 10 – 22000HZ response range, up to 80 hours of active noise cancellation.
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When it comes to active noise-canceling headphones, some people start to freak out and think that they easily cost a bomb… or an arm. Well, here is one that will not break your piggy bank. It comes with some mighty decent audio quality as well.



Online Price: From $30.00
Highlights: Decent budget studio headphones.
Specs: 40 mm drivers, 32Ω impedance, 110db sensitivity, 20 – 20000HZ response range.
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Can we get a pair of decent headphones for like $30? You bet, and the Behringer is one of them. As you can expect from studio-style headphones, this one is pretty well padded, and comfortable to wear for long hours. The sound quality is not too shabby either, and overall good bang-for-buck pair of headphones.





Online Price: From $100.00
Highlights: Triple drivers, THX certified.
Specs: Triple drivers, 32Ω impedance, 99db sensitivity, 20 – 40HZ response range.
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If two heads are better than one, then how do three heads sound like? The 1MORE is an interesting in-ear that has 3 drivers. Sure thing, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea… But hey, it’s THX-certified – Meaning, you will literally get cinema-quality sound out of these.


6. RHA T20I

Online Price: From $200.00
Highlights: Customizable sound profiles.
Specs: DualCoil Dynamic Drivers, 16Ω impedance, 90db sensitivity, 16 – 40000HZ response range.
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Everyone has their own preference for music – Rock, Pop, Orchestra, Heavy metal, Jazz, Electronic, and so much more. What if we can customize our own earphones to our liking? Introducing the RHA T20 series – If you don’t like the sound profile, just get different tuning filters and snap them on.




Online Price: From $20.00
Highlights: Decent budget Bluetooth earphones.
Specs: 13mm drivers, 32Ω impedance, 116db sensitivity, 20 – 20000HZ response range, up to 12 hours of playback.
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Oh no! Earphone jacks are gone from smartphones and tablets, forcing people to go wireless. But fear not, there are very affordable decent Bluetooth earphones out there, and Bluedio is one of them. While it does not have the best audio quality in the world, this will not make your ears bleed (the sound quality is actually quite pleasing). Also for a price of $20, this is easily one of the best deals for a Bluetooth earphone.



Online Price: From $15.00
Highlights: Dirt cheap, decent in-ear.
Specs: 9 mm drivers, 16Ω impedance, 97db sensitivity, 20 – 20000HZ response range.
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Not willing to spend too much money on earphones? Just want something that will not cause ear damage? Check out this basic Panasonic – Affordable, comfortable fit, and comes in many different colors. It even has an alternate version that comes with a microphone.




For you guys who are interested to know more, here is a section on some of the stuff to look out for while choosing a pair of headphones.



Drivers are actually the ones that produce sound in a pair of headphones. In the spec sheets, you will normally see something like “10mm drivers” – Technically, bigger drivers will produce louder sounds.

But don’t be fooled by the size though, because different driver technologies will produce different qualities of sounds. The size really doesn’t mean much when it comes to audio quality… Maybe except letting you know that “it’s huge”, or “makes you look like Mickey Mouse”.



The frequency response is the range of sound frequencies that the pair of headphones are capable of handling – Kind of a not-so-useful specification. The average human hearing range is between 20 Hz to 20000 Hz, any pair of headphones with this kind of a response range is good enough.

But please do take note that some people are capable of hearing as low as 12 Hz and as high as 28000 Hz – Wikipedia. If you are one of these “hearing power superheroes”, it might be a good idea to get headphones that have a wider response range. Anywhere beyond this range is plain useless, since we can’t hear it anyway.



Measured in Ohms (Ω), impedance is basically the amount of electrical resistance. In the audio terms:

  • The higher the impedance, the more power it needs to produce a reasonably loud sound.
  • High impedance is not all bad though – Especially since high impedance headphones are generally better at handling electrical signals, more capable of producing vivid sounds.
  • High impedance earphones are usually more expensive because of this trait.
  • Low impedance is not all bad either. There are other specifications to consider, and driver technology does matter too.
  • So yep, it is a trade-off between loudness and sound quality when it comes to impedance.
  • For your information, the average low impedance headphones are around 25 ohms – turntablelab.com. Headphones with around 25-32 ohms of impedance are comfortably loud enough, even without the use of an amplifier.



Measured in decibels (dB), sensitivity is how effective a headphone can convert an electrical signal into audio.

  • It is also an indication of how loud the headphones can be.
  • The higher the decibels, the more sensitive it is, the louder it will be.
  • So yep, we generally want headphones with higher sensitivity.
  • Around 85dB is considered below average, and 110dB is good.



There are 2 kinds of noise cancellation:

  • Passive Noise Cancellation: No power is required. Works by blocking out the noise.
  • Active Noise Cancellation: Power is required, where a canceller will produce a second sound to cancel out the noise.

Headphones can have both active and passive noise cancellation at the same time. Although for your own safety, it is good to muffle out some environmental noise, and not totally shut yourself off.



By now, you are a headphones ninja and should know how impedance and sensitivity work. Yep – Amplifiers are a good addition when you have a pair of “out-of-the-box” soft volume headphones. But otherwise, buying an additional amplifier just does not do a lot of good.



Want to learn more about the specs of headphones and audio devices? Visit this guide on The Master Switch.



Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this guide. I hope that it has helped you to better understand, and help you to choose a good headphone. If you want to share anything with this guide, please feel free to comment below. Good luck and happy shopping!

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