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The Best Headset Microphone


Your Ultimate Guide to Headset Microphones

There are different types of microphones but if you’re looking for a hands-free mic that delivers great audio quality, then a headset microphone is your best bet!

Microphone headsets are one of the preferred audio recording devices in the industry for vocalists and instrumentalists during live performances since they allow them complete freedom to move and make use of their hands while producing clear sound and crisp audio. A headset microphone is also the mic of choice for many gamers hence, the creation of a gaming headset.

With that said, we have rounded up the best headset microphones that will give you high-quality sound depending on the requirement and usage. Do bear in mind though that the top headset microphone may differ per person based on preference, application, and requirements.

Which is the Top Headset Microphone?

Editor's Choice

Shure SM7B
Best Overall
Shure MV7
Best Headset Microphone for Instrumentalists
Blue Yeti Pro
Best Entry Level Headset Microphone
Shure WH20XLR

A trusted brand by many, the Shure WH20XLR is hailed as the best and go-to headset microphone for its superb sound, functionality, and price point.

Audio-Technica PRO 8HEx

With professional-level sound technology and impressive noise rejection, the Audio-Technica PRO 8HEx is the live performance headset microphone for instrumentalists.


One of the best headsets in terms of design and comfort, the JK MIC-J 071S can be worn and used by many across applications.

Sound Quality: Design: Features:
Sound Quality: Design: Features:
Sound Quality: Design: Features:

Let’s go over each one

The Best Headset Microphone

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

With almost 100 years of experience in the industry, Shure is a trusted brand by professionals for all things sound and audio devices. Often topping our list in our other guides such as the best studio microphone, Shure has done it again — this time, for headset mics.

The Shure WH20XLR is a favorite and the go-to best headworn microphone for performers and instructors who are active on stage. With a unidirectional and cardioid polar pattern, this great-sounding headset microphone can isolate one’s own voice while reducing ambient noise from other sound sources.

It has a strategic design that also considers the vocal proximity effect as the mic is near the user’s mouth but far enough for optimal mic sensitivity. It is also a great mic for eliminating overload distortion because of its high input clipping level giving you crisp audio and studio quality sound each time whether for recording audio or live performance.

The lightweight frame and adjustable headset make for a secure and comfortable fit for the user, which one can wear for a long time. It also has a clothing clip, a 3.5mm jack, and foam windscreen so it can be easily attached near the user’s mouth without picking up much plosives. However, the Shure WH20XLR may not be the finest headset microphone for people with glasses as the headset mic band can be a hindrance for comfort.

Compared to other microphone headsets in the list, the aesthetic design of the Shure WH20XLR microphone headset falls short in terms of being discreet and sleek. However, one can argue that this is still the top headset mic in terms of functional and durable design. The headset’s microphone cable is extra-strong despite being small in diameter so it can resist breakage — an issue that other flimsy microphone headsets often have.

Overall, the audio quality, functionality in design, and price point of the Shure WH20XLR make it the top headset microphone for many with varying requirements and applications.

Pros and Cons of the Shure WH20XLR

✔️ Great voice pickup
✔️ Impressive background noise reduction
✔️ Fairly affordable
✖️ Relatively low volume output
✖️ Not an ideal headset for users wearing glasses

The Best Headset Microphone

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

Unlike other headsets that are commonly wireless, the Audio-Technica PRO 8HEx has a 7-foot cable and a mini XLR connector as it is intended to be used as a wired microphone headset. It also has a 3.5mm jack making it a dual-mono microphone headset.

Due to the sound technology used by Audio-Technica PRO 8HEx, this makes it the finest headset microphone of instrumentalists namely guitarists, drummers, and keyboard players who provide backup vocals because of its professional-level vocal pickup and superb background noise rejection.

The Audio-Technica PRO 8HEx has a hypercardioid polar pattern, which other wireless headset mics do not normally have, and a Hi-ENERGY neodymium element for quality sound in vocal reproduction.

Although the lack of a wireless setup can limit movement for the user, it does have a pivot-mounted mic arm that is flexible should you want it to be descended from the left or right side. However, it’s still best to consider using this headset microphone for recording audio in a studio instead of a live performance considering the limitations in movement. Albeit, the Audio-Technica PRO 8 HEx microphone headset makes up for it in comfort because of its cushioned support pads and low-visibility headband.

Pros and Cons of the Audio-Technica PRO 8HEx

✔️ Impressive noise cancellation from varying sound sources
✔️ Does not clip at high volumes
✔️ Comfortable
✖️ Wired microphone headset limits movement

The Best Headset Microphone

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

For many onstage performers, the top headset mics are those that you can wear for long and can be barely seen. One of the best headsets that tick both boxes is the JK MIC-J 071S. This lightweight and barely visible wireless headset mic that is also sweat and dust-proof is the preferred mic for musical and theater artists. As the headset sits on one’s head, one need not worry about feeling uncomfortable.

Although it has a stealthy design, the audio quality of the JK MIC-J 071S was not compromised. With a clear audio quality that is worth more considering its affordable price point, this is a good mic for quiet environments with low to moderate volumes. To maintain better sound clarity throughout, it is best to avoid using this headset mic in loud environments with high volumes as feedback may become an issue.

The JK MIC-J 0712 also has a user-friendly wireless transmitter and a locking screw plug that is compatible with many wireless microphone systems. This makes it a good headset microphone for first-time users of wireless headsets.

Despite a possible self-noise pickup, the design, price point, compatibility with various wireless systems, and good audio make it a great entry-level headset mic.

Pros and Cons of the JK MIC-J 071S

✔️ Has a locking screw plug that is compatible with various digital wireless systems
✔️ Miniature, discreet, and sleek design
✔️ Sweat and dust-proof
✔️ Produces a clear and crisp sound
✖️ Tends to pick up high self-noise levels

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

The AT System 10 ATW-1101/H92-TH is a headset microphone that is wireless and extremely lightweight, making it comfortable to wear. It can even lead a user to forget that they are wearing a headset in the first place!

However, it does not have the longest battery life as it can only run for up to 2-3 hours, so that could have been a compromise in exchange for its design and weight.

This mic comes with a complete set of gear, which is a major plus when buying headset mics as you can tinker around the settings and check the audio interface to nail down the preferred audio that sounds great.

It has a 20 Hz-20 kHz frequency response range and can also be calibrated accordingly to reject unwanted noise and feedback.

Pros and Cons of the Audio-Technica System 10 ATW-1101/H92-TH

✔️ Light and comfortable
✔️ Has a wide frequency response range
✔️ Comes with a receiver and transmitter
✖️ Short battery life of 2-3 hours

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

As headset mics are often worn onstage by active users, most people would prefer a mic that is barely visible but highly flexible. Enter the Countryman E6!

A barely visible headset that is flexible because it can be adjusted for optimal mobility while maintaining a sturdy structure for durability.

Since it is a wireless mic, it also has a wireless range with an omnidirectional polar pattern for great vocal isolation and quality sound. It also has a mic arm that is flexible and can be adjusted accordingly so it can reject feedback, noise, and plosives.

Pros and Cons of the Countryman E6

✔️ Barely visible when worn onstage
✔️ Highly flexible in terms of adjustment, mobility, and durability
✔️ Produces a clear and natural sound
✔️ Impressive noise cancellation
✖️ Pricey

What is a Headset Microphone?

Commonly confused with a microphone with slightly big headphones that are sometimes used by gamers or agents, a headset microphone is a discreetly designed hands-free, and hassle-free recording device that is often used by live performers onstage – may they be musicians playing instruments, singers, or instructors.

Since headset mics are hands-free recording devices, users of these mics have complete freedom for big movements and physically requiring interactions. With a lot of movement being done, wireless headsets are often preferred but some models are also wired. The former model will require a good battery life for longer use. Regardless, both models can produce great audio quality.

Are Headset Microphones Good for Singing?

While headset mics are a great choice of mic for live singing performances because of the mobility and freedom they give to the user, these recording equipment sound just as great as they are functional.

May it be a wired headset or wireless headphones with mics, headsets can provide high-quality surround sound that is stable and can highlight vocals, provided that you choose the best one for the right application, requirement, and location.

For optimal performance and results, it is recommended to use headset mics with volume control so adjustments can be done on the fly, a mic boom to help improve vocal clarity while minimizing unwanted noise, and one that is mic jack compatible for versatility. If you plan on using the headset for long, then choose one with memory foam cushions and memory foam pads for added comfort.

Are Headset Microphones Comfortable to Wear?

As they are designed to be worn by active users, comfort is a factor that is usually considered by manufacturers of headset mics. Generally, headset mics are comfortable to wear, but since each design differs from one another, preference can play a part in the level of comfort. 

There are microphone headsets that have memory foam ear cushions and memory foam padding making them comfortable to wear for long.

One must also consider the application intended since the duration and movements that will be done can play a part in comfort levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Realistically speaking, there is no definite answer to the question of what headset has the best mic since preference plays a major role in this. Not to mention the performance of a headset mic will vary depending on the application and purpose.

It is expected for gaming headsets to outperform performance headset mics when the application is for elevating a gaming experience due to unique features. For example, most headsets for gaming will have a USB dongle that will allow them to be compatible with mobile devices, consoles, and the PC whereas a regular performance headset will not.

To also improve the overall gaming experience, there are gaming headsets that feature Dolby Audio for surround sound gaming audio and a detachable boom mic that other headsets simply do not have.

On the other hand, performance headsets have features that can outperform the mic of headsets for gaming. There are those with volume controls, a more extensive frequency range, and windscreen shields to block out plosives to name a few. Mic features such as these also make them better for recording audio.

Ultimately, the top headset mics will be dependent on your preference and application so take time to research which one is suited for you and your needs.

If you are conducting calls via phone or laptop and want to graduate from using the built-in mic, then it may be time to invest in an external microphone for enhanced audio performance. A popular choice for many is headsets.

When it comes to vocal applications such as calls and discussions, headset cardioid mics are best for the job as they are front-focused and can isolate unwanted noise from the sides and back.

Other headset features that will come in handy for calls are volume control for real-time adjustment of loudness, dual micro USB cable for versatility, and windscreen for reducing plosives. Although it’s not really needed, headsets with memory foam ear cushions are also a plus for comfort, especially if you plan on conducting lengthy calls.

Mobility, flexibility, and hands-free – these are three of the many benefits of a headset microphone. With that said, headset mics are designed to give as much mobility to the user as possible because they often use wireless technology. 

Although, there are wired headset mics and these usually come with cables. If you are planning to use a wired headset or a wired gaming headset, then a 1.2m cable is enough to still give you ample mobility.

In today’s standards and needs, having a noise-canceling microphone is an expected feature by many. With that said, a headset microphone, may it be a wireless headset or wired headset, will most probably feature active noise-cancellation to help reduce the pickup of ambient noise.

Headset mics designed for vocal and audio performances will definitely sound great and produce excellent audio quality. However, as with any microphone, each device has a specific purpose and application. With that said, one must always choose the best microphone depending on the requirements needed to get the best results possible.

Final Note

Headset mics are a great professional microphone for active users who wish to keep their hands free when onstage or in the studio. Although these microphones are not necessarily a plug-and-play setup, these wireless or wired mics are still fairly easy to use and provide a hassle-free audio recording experience.

The Best Headset Microphone

Editor’s Choice

Shure WH20XLR

The Shure WH20XLR is a dynamic headset microphone that is great at voice pickup while isolating ambient or unwanted noise from varying sound sources.

With a high input clipping level that can eliminate overload distortion plus a supplied foam windscreen and clothing clip, the Shure WH20XLR is a great headset for artists, instrumentalists, and instructors who will be doing a lot of movements.

This high-quality mic is fairly affordable given that it is a Shure mic, has a smooth and natural frequency response, and has a unidirectional pickup pattern that is on the same audio quality level as that of a handheld vocal microphone.

To assure a comfortable fit, the Shure WH20XLR has a lightweight frame and elastic headband that can be adjusted for added security but is strong enough to withstand breakage thanks to its small-diameter attached microphone XLR cable.

Naomi Feller

Originally from the East Coast, Naomi started singing as young as 3 years old. In her early teens Naomi made some embarrassing YouTube videos before settling on a love for Podcast editing. When she's not pouring over endless amounts of audio, she lends her expertise to us here at Shout4Music with her crystal clear and finely tuned microphone reviews.

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