Not many people believe in ASMR experiences, or maybe they can’t feel them. That’s understandable. However, even those riding the bandwagon can have a hard time understanding what makes the best ASMR headphones and are thus often left unsatisfied by their experiences.
In this article, I’ll show you just how easy it is to compare ASMR headphones. In all sincerity, a handful of features make all the difference in the experience.
Best ASMR Headphones for Tight & Unlimited Budgets
Table of Contents
- Best ASMR Headphones for Tight & Unlimited Budgets
- Comfort vs Portability – Does It Matter?
- Understanding Passive and Active Noise Cancellation
- Earphones vs Headphones – What to Get?
- Bonus Features – What Matters and What Doesn’t Matter
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones are Bluetooth headphones with three layers of noise-cancellation technology. These headphones feature ubiquitously balanced audio performance, and they’re also already configured for augmented reality.
I also like the 20-hour battery life as I find it more than sufficient for ASMR experiences such as working out, sleeping, studying. It’s more than you’ll need in one or two days. Of course, the built-in multi-directional motion sensor used for contextual audio projection additionally boosts the quality of QuietComfort 35 II.
In terms of comfort, there’s nothing negative that I can say. The padding is good enough to prevent outside noise from blending in, and it’s also easy on the ears. The headband does an excellent job of reducing the head pressure and can be adjusted to sit comfortably on your head while you’re sleeping.
Of course, this will only help if you can sleep on your back or belly all night long. The QuietComfort 35 II headphones aren’t the lightest wireless model around. They weigh half a pound, but they also have excellent noise cancellation.
The Bose QuietComfort 20 are noise-canceling earphones designed to be easy to use. The 16-hours autonomy is nothing to scoff at, and the deep in-ear design prevents them from falling off even when you’re sleeping.
The noise cancellation technology is genuinely high-end, rivaling that of any premium Bose headphones. The ability to block outside noises well is what makes the QuietComfort 20 earphones suitable for those that can enjoy ASMR recordings.
You may also appreciate the balanced soundstage that will allow you to experience all frequencies in all their glory. Another cool thing about this set is the slim battery. It prevents the cable from being weighed down.
Last but not least, the silicone rubber tips improve the grip and stability even further. At the same time, they add another layer of noise cancellation to prevent even the loudest background noise from ruining your relaxation time.
These headphones are affordable and come in three sizes, which is impressive. The SleepPhones feature an ultrathin design with flat speakers that make them much more comfortable than regular over-the-ear headphones.
The unique design also allows them to remain fixed for longer, even if worn to bed. That’ because there’s less surface relief to get snagged and dragged during restless sleep. The headphones have a range of 30ft. Bluetooth connection, which is more than enough for most bedrooms and office spaces, is also there.
What I like most is the earphone headband, which gives a comforting feeling, just what you need to relieve some stress after a long day at work. You can choose between two materials - breeze and soft fleece.
When it comes to sound quality, the 15 to 28,000Hz frequency response range should be more than enough. That’s because the noise cancellation and superior comfort and fit are the two defining features that matter here.
You should never underestimate the power of digital noise cancellation technology. The Sony WH1000XM4 uses top of the line ANC technology. They can create a genuinely soundproof listening experience with no outside noise bleeding into the mix.
The touch controls and Alexa compatibility make the headphones very convenient and versatile, while the 30 hours of playtime makes them great for travelers. However, these aren’t the best choice if you want to sleep with your headphones on.
Although very durable and comfortable at the same time, they have a rigid frame. It is also likely that the headphones will come off your ears when you turn your head on the pillow.
The ergonomic design does provide great overall comfort, especially with the superior plush padding. Is the Sony WH1000XM4 the most cost-efficient pair of ASMR headphones? Probably not. But if you want to get more out of your headphones, then these will surely meet most of your demands.
If you like to keep things simple, I’d recommend the Grado SR80E headphones. These are part of the Grado Prestige Series and come with open back design.
They’re interesting this way because they provide a more natural and larger soundstage. For numerous music genres, this is ideal as it captures more details. Unfortunately, most dedicated ASMR headphones lack this, and I find it a refreshing feature at this price range.
While the noise cancellation is a bit lacking, keep in mind that these are designed for an optimum listening and relaxing experience at home and not on the plane or while in traffic.
Besides, the headphones are quite flexible and comfortable, which is essential to get the full sensory experience.
The Monolith M1060 are over-ear planar magnetic headphones. They have 106mm massive drivers that can deliver a powerful high-output performance. Some attribute this to a holographic listening experience.
It may not be your standard soundstage, but you'll quickly get used to it. The noise cancellation is satisfying as long as you don’t use these headphones in super-noisy environments or on an airplane.
The large earpads are very comfortable and block a lot of the background noise on their own. The rugged build is something to appreciate as not all medium to high-end headphone manufacturers seem to take build quality seriously.
The 50ohm medium impedance will allow you to use the Monolith M1060 headphones with pretty much any audio source and gadget without compromising volume and overall quality.
The CB3 Audio Hush headphones have a simple design, but that’s also part of what makes them great to use. Control-wise they’re super-easy to operate.
If you’re looking for a profoundly immersive soundstage or a very loud experience, the 40mm drivers may not satisfy you entirely. However, if you’re aiming for complete silence, the CB3 Audio Hush headphones have you covered.
The active noise cancellation makes these headphones suitable for air travel, workouts, and even auditions in noisy environments like parks or public transportation.
I will say that the battery life is not too impressive. However, the headphones come with a micro USB cable as well as an in-flight adapter. That leaves little chance that you’ll be unable to relax to your favorite sounds.
8. Cowin E7 Pro
I like the Cowin E7 Pro even though they’re a bit bulky. Part of their bulky design is due to the extensive padding used around the ears. The extra padding makes them highly comfortable and provides excellent noise cancellation. However, they may not be as appealing to everyone.
The proprietary 45mm drivers have a surprisingly good bass response. At the same time, the headphones are capable of delivering a crisp soundstage and maximum silence when you require it.
The softness of the ear cushions is impressive, given how affordable the E7 Pro headphones are. Although Cowin settled for 4.0 Bluetooth technology instead of newer protocols, the connectivity is still excellent, and you’re unlikely to get any interference or lag.
I would also like to point out that even though the headphones look very big, they’re lightweight. The size does affect their durability to some degree, but the level of comfort achieved seems well worth it if you ask me.
Equipped with active noise-canceling technology and MEMS noise-canceling technology, these TaoTronics earphones can provide the ultimate in-your-head experience.
I like how versatile they are and the fact that they also have monitoring mode. You can turn off active noise cancellation at the press of a button if you find yourself in a situation where you need to be more aware of your surroundings.
Think of it as the button that turns off the silence. The call quality is impressive, too, not that it should factor into your decision a lot. But, it’s a nice perk at this price range.
There’s also a noise-canceling slider, which makes things even better. That is if you want to be in complete control over the cone of silence, of course.
The Sennheiser PXC 550 wireless headphones have the Sennheiser’s premium NoiseGard technology. The adaptive noise cancellation technology accounts for multiple factors, including variable background noise and changes in pressure, as it always happens during air travel.
Furthermore, if you’re already a Sennheiser loyalist, then you’ll appreciate the compatibility with the CapTune app. The software will let you fine-tune your listening experiences based on what you want to hear, how you want to listen to it, and how you want to feel it.
The controls are intuitive and very convenient. You can also use voice commands, which will be received loud and clear even in noisy environments. This remarkable feature is the courtesy of the triple microphone array and superior voice cancellation technology.
30-hours of battery backup is also impressive. You can rest assured that your headphones will keep working at maximum performance even during long international flights. As for the comfort, the padding is as premium as it gets with Sennheiser. Not too thick, but it covers the ears perfectly to provide additional noise blockage while also easing the ear pressure.
Comfort vs Portability – Does It Matter?
Yes, it matters. But only as a matter of personal preference. Some would argue that a high score in the portability section is the crucial ingredient of success in ASMR headphones. I beg to differ.
To me, ASMR headphones are all about comfort and not so much about being lightweight and highly portable. A big cable won’t bother me as long as all other requirements are met. These requirements include thick noise-canceling ear pads, comfortable headband, low head and ear pressure, and so on.
Yes, you may need to take your ASMR headphones with you on a plane or something like that. But even the heaviest of headphones aren’t that heavy and awkward to carry when you think about it. And what’s a cable to you when you have a carry pouch or case?
That said, is it more convenient to use wireless headphones? Of course. But not mandatory.
Understanding Passive and Active Noise Cancellation
To make things simple, here’s how passive noise cancellation works. These headphones take full advantage of the materials they’re made of and their design to block out annoying background noise, similar to how ear muffs work.
However, active models add another layer of noise cancellation. Along with the materials doing their job, these types of headphones can also emit specific sound waves of their own. These waves usually mirror common background sound waves, and the two eventually end up cancelling one another.
I recommend active noise cancellation technology for a complete ASMR experience in a loud environment and when traveling. For home and office use, passive noise cancellation may be more than enough. That is, provided there’s sufficient padding around the ears or that you’re using a deep in-ear model.
Earphones vs Headphones – What to Get?
There are many ways to look at this. First of all, it’s hard for earphones to match the level of immersion and noise cancellation of well-designed headphones. You may think that having the tip of earphones stuck deep in your ear will provide a more in-your-head type soundstage.
That may be true, but the noise cancellation part won’t be the same. Another thing to consider is how comfortable headphones can be. Although finding a perfect fit in a pair of in-ear earphones can be great at first, your ears might start to hurt after a few hours.
The same can’t be said for some wired and wireless ASMR headphones with superior padding all around. There are also specific designs that can provide pressure and tension release. Earphones can’t do that due to how little surface area they cover.
If I had to give you a personal recommendation, it would be headphones. But don’t discount earphones either. If you don’t need to block too much outside noise, nothing will match the grip of in-ear earphones. You should also get earphones if you want to sleep with your favorite audiobook or music in your ears.
Bonus Features – What Matters and What Doesn’t Matter
If you’re on a tight budget, you may not care about Alexa enabled devices, wireless connectivity, touch controls, LED indicators, and stuff like that. It’s all nice to have, but it won’t impact the ASMR experience.
I will tell you one thing that can make a huge difference. Look for the slider that can control the level of noise cancellation or even turn it off. Adjustability can be a great thing.
Another thing you might want to look for is extra tips if you’re buying in-ear earphones. That would make it easier to ensure that you have a tight fit in both ears. As you may know, not everyone has symmetric ear canals, and this could mess with the noise cancellation.
Start Making the Most of Your ASMR Sessions
Now you pretty much know all you need to make an informed decision and get the best ASMR headphones for your unique needs. As you can see, if the ASMR experience is your main priority, then there are very few factors and features to compare between headphones.
Whether you are chasing your first ASMR experience or you just haven’t been wowed by your past ones, now’s a good a time as any to upgrade your audio gear. Get either the earphones or headphones that you deserve.