Last Updated on September 19, 2020 by Ryan Harrell
ASMR or Autonomous sensory meridian response is a fantastic experience. But to fully enjoy it, you need headphones that amplify and accentuate the right sounds. Which is why we put together this guide to the best headphones for ASMR for every budget and need. We’ll look at the best open back, closed back, wireless, and sleeping-friendly headphones – perfect to get the best ASMR possible.
If you’re reading this, you likely already know what ASMR is.
But if you don’t, ASMR describes the tingly sensation you feel in your spine. This can be triggered by any number of things – including touch – but one of the easiest ways to experience it is through sound.
There’s an entire genre of video and audio content online for ASMR. This usually features people talking or making sounds that can trigger the ASMR response.
And with most things sound-related, you need the right headphones to fully appreciate the experience.
Good ASMR headphones have excellent sound quality. But headphones that offer some creature comforts – such as being able to sleep while wearing them (since ASMR is a relaxation tool) – are highly recommended as well.
In this guide, we’ve considered the entire gamut of options and selected the 7 best headphones ASMR. This includes both open-back and closed-back headphones, along with headphones for sleeping, wireless headphones, and earplugs.
Let’s dive in!
The Best Headphones for ASMR in 2020
You can get practically any good headphones (here’s a great entry-level list) and use them for ASMR, but some will deliver better performance than others.
Below, we’ve compiled our top choices for every need – sleeping, sound quality, wireless choices, and more.
These headphones from Sennheiser are just incredible. Sennheiser is a hugely popular manufacturer of headphones and audio equipment. The company has a track record of producing some of the best headphones on the market, catering to both the high-end and mid-range market. This is a mid-range option that delivers a performance worthy of more expensive models.
Design-wise, it doesn’t drastically change from the normal under-stated but classy design Sennheiser is known for. However, it does come with something special. In terms of appearance, it is similar to older models. It comes nearly identical but for the logo that lies on the body of the product. To produce reach, comforting sounds, this model uses the Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement technology.
This design ensures that sound is directed primarily to the ear. It feels very comfortable to wear. I love the curve of the shells. This curve is coupled with soft pads that enclose the ear. As long as you choose the correct earband for the ear, you can rest assured of comfort throughout the period that you wear these headphones.
It features a 3 meter cable that is long enough to reach your devices. To my pleasure, this cable can be detached. With the open-back design, you can be sure that you will enjoy listening to music in a stationary position.
What I don’t like:
It seems like Sennheiser doesn’t make bad headphones. This is a really solid option. The only flaw I found here isn’t a matter of performance, rather one of design. I did not particularly like the silver inserts. If you have to get this, get it in the cream and brown variant.
Also keep in mind that these are open back, so sound will leak out. If you don’t want people around you to hear or value your privacy, these aren’t the right headphones for you.
Best Closed-Back Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT 770 M
- 80 Ohm monitoring
- 3 meter cable
- Soft skin ear pads
While the Sennheiser HD 599 takes the cake as the best open-back design headphones, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 M is the best closed back option that we have chosen.
This unit is one of the most durable options that we have reviewed. It is so well built that you can take it with you almost everywhere you go. Whether in the studio or subway or on tour, you can trust this hardy pair of headphones to take a beating and still deliver excellent performance. To ensure that these headphones last for as long as possible, plenty of metal is used in the band and ear cup forks. The ear cups themselves come fitted with a layer of durable plastic. As for the cable, it is covered in rubber and plastic.
Aside from the durability, I love these headphones because of the comfort. For someone who loves listening to music as they work, these bad boys come in pretty handy. The closed-back design is cool and will be comfortable even for folks that wear glasses. I wore these headphones for several hours on end without feeling particularly uncomfortable.
Like most cabled headphone on the market, this product comes with a 3.5mm jack. Therefore, it is compatible with a large number of devices. In cases where you can’t use the 3.5 mm jack, there is a ¼” adapter threading available.
Sound quality is the most important thing in a pair of headphones. While many have complained about shoddy sound quality, I have discovered that you have to pair these headphones with the proper type of device to get the best sound from it.
What I don’t like
The 80 ohms resistance is cool. However, this means that you will not get the best sound quality from your phone. If you opt to use the headphones with your phone, you will need to get an amp. Furthermore, the long cable might very well get in the way when you are using it with a smartphone.
Best In-Ear Earphones for ASMR: Shure SE215-CL
- 107dB SPL/mW sensitivity
- 17Ω impedance
- Dynamic MicroDriver speaker
- 37dB noise cancellation
Up next are these in-ear headphones from Shure. These excellent mid-range earphones deliver wonderful performance at a bargain and are our best in-ear headphones for ASMR. Shure is popular for the high quality nature of its products, especially headphones.
These headphones come with several design features in order to fit more hardware that improves your sound experience. Unlike typical earbuds, these earphones offer better noise isolation than most other options on the market.
The earphones are made from high quality materials that are sure to last for a long time despite heavy use. You can choose from three different colors.
It comes with modules that are made like the large cavity just outside the ear canal. Therefore, they rest in the outer ear comfortably. It features an acoustic seal that serves to prevent noise from getting in.
It comes with detachable cables, which make it easier to repair in cases of damage. Even if you choose to use the cable, the over-the-ear design will keep them out of your way. The earphones feel rather hefty, but this is offset by the shape and design. Hence, they do not slip out of the ear as you wear them.
While the design might not be especially appealing, the performance is what really matters. The excellent audio performance that these earphones pump out rivals even the performance from more expensive options on the market.
Whether for monitoring or for listening, you can rest assured that this product will give you the rich sound experience that you crave.
What I don’t like
I particularly disliked that there are no in-line controls. It also takes some time to master how to wear the earphones.
Best Wireless Headphones: Sony WHXB700/B
- 30 hours of battery life
- Wireless audio capabilities
- On-ear design
- Built-in mic
Coming in at the mid-range level, these pair of headphones from Sony seeks to rival budget offerings from other brands on the market. From my testing, they do a really great job, and the WHXB700 is one of the best Bluetooth options on the market right now.
I love the fit and overall design of these headphones. It comes with an on-ear fit which is great. If you have sensitive ears, you might want a pair of headphones with slightly bigger cups. Nevertheless, I observed that it feels great without being too tight. The sound isolation is not exactly out-of-the-world, but it delivers some noise reduction. The cushions feel really comfortable, and the top of your head does not feel pain since it also comes with padding.
Performance-wise, it comes with impressive features. For instance, you can use it for up to 30 hours before charging it. With just 10 minutes of charging, you will get up to 90 minutes of use. The design of the unit comes with controls that let you skip, pause, play, answer calls, and even activate your device’s virtual assistant. There is so much you can do with this option.
You can receive calls on this pair of headphones as well. If your unit runs out of juice, you can always connect a cable and continue using it.
Sound performance is great. The lows are quite impressive, although the mids are mostly overwhelmed by the low frequency.
What I don’t like
While it touts itself as a noise cancellation headphone, I found the noise isolation to be somewhat disappointing. Furthermore, it isn’t the most durable on the market.
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II)
- Alexa voice control
- Bluetooth pairing features
- 1.35 pounds of weight
These headphones are great whether you are working, sleeping, meditating, or just relaxing. This unit is from one of the most popular brands on the market right now. From my testing, it is the best noise cancelling headphone you can buy right now.
It lies at the top of the line of the products from Bose and offers you wireless use and incredible noise cancellation. While many sub-par products suffer from poor Bluetooth quality, you will not have such an issue with these headphones.
The headphones offer impressive sound and are one of the few options that offer nearly seamless integration with virtual assistants like Google’s Virtual Assistant.
Build quality is great. This model retains the slim profile of older models and feels so comfortable on the ear. They are also built to last. You can put them in a bag or your luggage, have them twisted and bent without any lasting harm.
Battery life is great, as well. Although it doesn’t boast of 30 hours of runtime like some options on this roundup, the 20 hours are enough for me.
The USP of these headphones is the noise cancellation property. Sound quality is above average, although I have used some better sounding rivals on the market.
What I don’t like
For the price and brand, I expected it to sound better than it did.
Best for Sleeping: Homder Sleep Headphone
- Bluetooth 5.0 version
- 20.3 -26.5” size
- 200 mAh battery
Sometimes, you want to wear your headphones to sleep while listening to ASMR.
If that describes you, then look no further than these headphones. They come with Bluetooth capability. This, coupled with the eye mask feature, makes it so great to sleep in.
The material of the mask is partly made from soft cotton and another layer of polyester. To hold it tight as you sleep, there is a reliable Velcro strap at the back. Thus, as you toss and turn on your bed, you will not have the problem of having your headphone/mask slipping off. You might feel that sleeping with this product will be like sleeping with your headphones on. While that is true to some extent, it goes beyond such a comparison. Sleeping with your headphones on will often leave you feeling pains on your ear and around the head. Not so with this unit. The padding extends all around the headphones and will have you feeling refreshed when you wake up in the morning.
Design-wise, it isn’t as stylish as some others on the market. However, when you compare it with other headphones at this price, it is downright appealing.
Performance is where these lovely headphones shine. It comes with some noise cancellation properties, so you can sleep even more soundly. The battery of these headphones is rechargeable. It has a relatively fast charge tie of 2.5 hours, with each full charge giving you up to 8 hours of runtime; sufficient to last a whole night’s sleep.
With this pair of headphones, you will not have cables tangled in your hair as you sleep. The built-in speakers and microphone come with Bluetooth connectivity.
What I don’t like
Well, I observed that it feels a bit bulky. Furthermore, while the 8 hour runtime sounds great, it turns out to be a let-down because you will have to charge the headphones every single day. There are also a ton of similar brands – they’re all essentially the same Chinese make with different branding. Pick whatever catches your fancy; we found there to be no substantial difference in performance.
Best Earplugs for ASMR: MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs
- Noise isolating
- 5mm speaker
- Zipper carry case
- 3 months warranty
When you hear “in-buds” earplugs, comfort is likely the last attribute that comes to mind. Couple that with ’in-bud earplugs for sleep”, and you might grow apoplectic with doubt. No wonder then that most folks rather opt for over-ear earplugs when they want to sleep. Nevertheless, there are some folks that find in-ear head plugs quite comfortable and even prefer them over over-ear head plugs.
The Maxrock Sleep Earplugs are designed as noise isolating plugs that will help anyone looking to sleep soundly, free from external sounds. These plugs feature a silicones design which makes them really comfortable in the ears. Due to their softness, some have wondered if they will be good enough to isolate noise. Well, I have tested it, and I can say that it does an excellent job.
These earplugs are very small. In fact, you might be worried that they will fall into the ear as you sleep. However, this is merely optical. There are no reports of these slipping into anyone’s ears. Due to their really small size, it isn’t surprising that they are so lightweight. These plugs fit into the ear canal and prevent any noise from entering.
Side sleepers find it hard to choose earplugs, but many have opted to use this product; with astonishing testimonies. As they are soft and small, you will not wake up with your ears feeling bruised in the morning.
These earplugs also come with Bluetooth connectivity. Therefore, you can wear them and listen to soothing music as you sleep. Sound quality is decent but not exceptional. They are not as loud as you might like. Therefore, if you are thinking of using these on your daily commute to work, you might want to look for other options on the market.
Overall, they are great for sleeping but not for anything else.
What I don’t like
The sound quality is middling at best.
Over to You
When you're looking to buy the best headphones for ASMR, finding the right pick isn't always easy. AMSR demands a good mix between sound quality, comfort, and noise isolation to be truly enjoyable.
Hopefully, this article would have helped you find the right headphones for your needs.
For more recommendations and advice, don't hesitate to reach out to me here.