The 3 Best Headphones For Meditation

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by Annie Davidson

It’s hard enough to meditate in dead silence, never mind when there’s background noise. And for those who use binaural beats, a special kind of music that is designed to help meditators fall into deep relaxation, the right headphones are also vital to ensure that this type of sound isn’t interrupted. The best headphones for meditation are wireless, with noise-canceling features and wide-range frequency for the best sound quality. To deepen your meditation practice, investing in a good pair is absolutely worth the upfront cost.

Noise Cancellation

There are two types of noise cancellation: passive and active. Passive noise cancellation refers to the physical ways headphones keep noise out — for example, over-ear headphones (compared to earbuds) with closed backs keep the sound isolated and foam exteriors also block sound. Then there are the generally more expensive active noise-canceling (ANC) headphones, which produce sounds that cancel out frequencies. (Note: they are most effective on lower frequencies between 50 hertz (Hz) and 1 kilohertz (kHz). For the most complete coverage, choose a pair with both active and passive noise cancellation.

Sound Quality

If you prefer guided meditation and/or binaural beats, sound quality is a crucial meditation headphone consideration. Based on frequency and measured in Hz, the standard for sound quality is between 20Hz to 20 kHz, and the wider the range and higher the frequency, the better; this means that the headphones can reproduce a higher spectrum of sound.

Helpful Features

And of course, comfort is key during meditation. Comfortable headphones for meditation incorporate soft materials and cushioning. Similarly, wireless and Bluetooth options remove the burden of wires and allow the freedom to take meditation practices anywhere. Some additional features to look for include perks like the ability to connect with Amazon Alexa or be controlled via a convenient app. And don’t forget to pay attention to the number of hours of playtime you can expect from a pair of headphones before they require a charge.

Here are the three best headphones for meditation — all are conveniently available on Amazon.

1. The Overall Best Headphones for Meditation

With over 47,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, these Bose wireless headphones are the best overall pick for a number of reasons. These headphones are unique in that they feature both passive and active noise cancellation (the latter can be programmed using the action button on the headphones) with three different levels (from full awareness to full noise cancellation). Bose doesn’t release information about frequency, but third-party testers have found it to be around 48kHz and these have a volume-optimized EQ feature that lets you control the bass, midrange, and treble for even more control over sound. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are also built-in, allowing hands-free access to music and more. It even connects to the Bose Connect app, so you can control it with your phone, and features a built-in microphone for phone calls. The battery lasts for up to 20 hours before requiring a charge. In terms of comfort, the headphones are wrapped in a soft material called Alcantara which is used in yachts and other luxury vehicles, and they have plush, synthetic leather cushioning. They come with a USB charging cable, audio cable, and a carrying case, and they’re foldable for easier storage.

Helpful review: “They are great all-purpose headphones with the best noise cancelation. I love to meditate and listen to binaural beats with these. Instant relaxation!”

2. The Runner-Up

If you’re looking to spend a little less but still expect a quality pair of meditation headphones, look no further. The main difference between these headphones and the first pick is that they feature only passive noise cancellation (and these don’t come with an app or Amazon Alexa). Their sound frequency range is lower than the first pick (15 to 28,000 Hz), but is still an incredibly high range and with a 4.7-star rating and more than 25,000 reviews, this Audio-Technica set boasts plenty of redeeming features—including 40 hours of battery life, which is 20 hours more battery life than the best overall pick, making them an excellent choice for someone who takes their meditation practice on the go, and a unique foldable design. These Bluetooth headphones also feature soft earpads and headband material for long-lasting durability and comfort. They have a mic and button controls built into the ear cup for calls, music playback, and volume adjustment. They come with a USB charging cable and a carrying pouch.

Helpful Review: “Definitely worth the investment. I spent a month researching which brand and model I wanted to spend the money on and I’m very satisfied that I landed on these. I have a big head and these are really comfortable on me without feeling like they’re squeezing the life out of me. [...] The cord was completely detachable which I didn’t realize how much I would love. The sound quality is outstanding. I listen to a lot of binaural/asmr videos and these provide such a more immersive experience. The sound is clear and the bass is impressive without being overwhelming.”

3. The Best Budget Headphones for Meditation

Available in seven vibrant colors (as well as neutral black or white), these budget headphones have all of the basic features you need to enhance your meditation practice. These have active noise cancellation and are ultra-lightweight, with frequency that ranges from 20Hz to 20kHz (a great standard for a budget pick, but not as high as more expensive options). The soft ear cushions are made with faux leather memory foam. There’s no app with this affordable pick and it doesn’t fold for convenience, but these Bluetooth wireless headphones feature hands-free calling, button controls, and you can expect 30 hours of playtime before needing a charge. They come with a micro USB charging cable, 3.5 millimeter Aux cable, and a leather travel bag.

Helpful Review: “I am very impressed and extremely satisfied with these! I purchased them for listening to meditation at bedtime. My house is full of people and I have trouble falling asleep if I hear any activity in the next room. The noise is canceled pretty well...I went from using Beats to using these and have no complaints!”