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woman using headphones for meditation

Are you looking to get into Quantum Jumping Meditations and Mindfulness Practice? Or maybe you’ve been using speakers and looking for ways to get a more immersive experience.

Whether it’s to block out ambient sounds or go deeper in long meditation sessions, the right headphones can help with meditating for extended periods.

There are hundreds of factors you can use to evaluate headphones.

But for this article, I wanted to focus on the key factors that I think are most important for meditations and mindfulness practice sessions. They are:

  • Weight
  • Comfort
  • Battery Life
  • Playback Time
  • Wireless or Not
  • ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) or Not

If you would like to know why I think these factors are the most important for meditating, jump down to this part here.

I didn’t specifically focus on Audio Quality, EQ, Build Quality, and others.

This is because all modern headphones have pretty high quality sound to my non-audiophile ears. I still mention them now and again but they are all simple to use, sound great, and stood the test of time for me.

One last thing –

I’ve owned all of these headphones and they’re all still going strong after 2 years, some 5 years. This is an investment that will pay out dividends through your meditation sessions in the years to come.

Don’t make the same mistake I did, using subpar headphones for years! Invest in yourself so you will have the top notch meditation experience – your future self will thank you!

Without further ado, let’s find the right headphones for you!

This is from my blog about Meditations and Personal Development in general. Here are the 9 Personal Development Skills that changed my life.

My Favorite Headphones for Meditation – TL;DR

“The Best Choice” – Sony WH-1000XM4 – My daily driver. Snug but still very comfortable, the Sony WH-1000XM4 has one of the best noise cancellation I’ve ever tried. It has 30 hours of total playtime, and 5 of those hours after 10 minutes of fast charging. Enjoy all the bells and whistles without breaking the bank! Read More.

best choice for headphones for meditation is the sony wh-1000xm4

“The Best Value” – 1MORE SonoFlow – Sleek and simple design, comfortable for long listening sessions, and surprising ANC quality. Amazing battery life of 70 hours, 5 hours of which you can get after 5 minutes of fast charging. ALMOST as good as the higher budget options… but at a fraction of the cost! Read More.

best budget friendly option for headphones for meditation is the 1more sonoflow

“The Best of the Best” – Bose QuietComfort Ultra – Simply the best. If it’s in your budget, my number one choice. The ANC isn’t like anything else on the market and it’s the easiest way to hack into a flow state. The moment you turn it on you’ll instantly be aware of your internal reality and you’ll get the most out of your meditation. Read More.

best of the best for headphones for meditation is the bose quietcomfort ultra

Best Headphones For Meditation

Best Choice
best choice headphone for meditation

1. Sony WH-1000XM4

My daily driver.

It’s luxurious, it’s stylish, and most importantly it’s great for meditation!

Easily my #1 recommendation for anyone looking for their first pair.

Pros

  • INCREDIBLE ANC
  • responsive on-ear controls
  • complementary app
  • sturdy & luxurious build quality

Cons

  • may be too bulky
  • may be too heavy
  • may be out of budget

This is what I call the all-rounder.

Important Specifications
  • wireless: yes
  • anc: yes
  • weight: 9 oz, 255 grams
  • comfort: very plush cushions around the ears, feels great
  • full charge playback time: 30 hrs
  • charging time: 5 hours in 10 minutes
The Comfort & The Miscellaneous

The first thing you’re going to notice is the luxurious and sturdy build quality.

  • The headphone feels very solid and the moment those plush cushions surround your ears and hit the sides of your head… oh my…
  • It has simple and intuitive controls on the headphone itself which comes in handy for making any quick adjustments mid meditation. It also comes with an accompanying app.
Wireless and Noise Cancellation

Of course, it’s fully wireless but what I can’t get over is the Active Noise Cancellation.

  • It. Is. In. Sane.
  • If you want to be vacuumed into another dimension with your meditation music or guided meditation sessions, this is it.
  • It really is an industry leader among the over ear headphones.
The Weight

The only downside users may experience is the size and weight of the headphones.

  • It is on the bigger and heavier side.
  • I personally prefer that on most days because it really grounds me during meditations but some may find it distracting.
The Battery Life

It offers 30 hours of playtime and you can get 5 of those hours with just a 10 minute charge.

  • I forget to charge my devices all the time so getting hours of play after a few minutes is a game changer for me.
  • It’s not the most impressive numbers on this list but anything more I found is a bit overkill anyways
So who’s this for?

Anyone who wants to get a solid headset the first time without going through thousands of dollars of trial and error should just go for this one.

It’s a comfortable pair with amazing noise cancelling and sound quality.

It also has extra features you can take advantage of if you decide you want to get more out of the headset further down the line.

But I also think the Sony WH-1000XM4 is probably the most versatile in its use outside of meditation.

  • Do you enjoy music or podcasts while commuting to work?
  • Are you a student who needs peace and quiet?
  • Or maybe you’re a professional that needs to attend Zoom meetings all day long

And just as a side note, the Sony WH-1000XM4 has cool side features that will come in handy outside of meditations like:

  • speak to chat – automatically pauses music when you speak
  • wearing detection – pauses playback when headphones are removed and resumes when you put them back on
Mike’s Recommendation

This is easily one of my top recommendations for meditation headphones or noise cancelling headphones in general.

Regardless of your use case outside meditation, this is personally my daily driver and you won’t be disappointed.

If you want to invest in a pair that has all the bells and whistles but don’t want to break the bank with a pair of Bose headphones, this is my favorite pick.


Best Value
best budget option for meditation headphones

2. 1MORE SonoFlow

Simple, straightforward, massive playback hours, and affordable.

No bells or whistles, but no complaints.

This one just gets the job done.

Pros

  • Amazing ANC given price point
  • Comfortable over ear headphones
  • Sleek and simple design
  • Best Battery life on this list

Cons

  • subpar app
  • feels too ‘plasticky’ for some
important specifications
  • wireless: yes
  • anc: yes
  • weight: 8.8 oz, 250grams
  • comfort: nothing mindblowing but still very comfortable design
  • full charge playback time: 70 hrs!
  • charging time: 5 hours in 5 minutes

Ok, this one, I’m really impressed with.

I would always recommend either the Sony or the Bose on this list. But DAMN.

It’s simple, easy to use and comfortable.

There’s not much more to say but let’s dig into it.

The Comfort & The Miscellaneous

It’s alright. Don’t expect clouds resting on your ears or anything but it’s comfortable and you’ll experience little fatigue when wearing it for extended periods of time.

  • It also has very intuitive controls on the headphone itself and the sleek/minimal design makes it great for meditating or wearing it outside the home.

The one thing that may bother some people is the ‘cheap’ or ‘plasticky’ feeling of the headphones.

  • This is something we have to expect with anything in the budget range but I’m pretty aggressive with mine and am surprised how well the headphones held up.
  • But if you really dislike that feeling, you should probably stay away from this one and the Anker Soundcore Life Q30, the next headphone on this list.
Wireless and Noise Cancellation

It’s fully wireless and the Active Noise Cancellation for the price point is pretty astounding.

  • Again, I want to temper your expectations, but as the cheapest headphone on this list, it really delivers.
  • It really is an industry leader in the budget wireless headphone space.
The Weight

The weight comes in at a moderate 8.8oz, slightly lighter than the Sony WH-1000XM4 and is also great for meditations.

The Battery Life

But perhaps the best part of the SonoFlow is it’s battery life.

  • It offers 70 (SEVENTY) hrs of play and you can get 5 of those hours on a 5 minute charge.
  • There aren’t a lot of headphones that can compete with this number.
  • Anything more than the Sony’s 30 hours is a little excessive for me but if battery life is the most important thing for you, this might be the one for you.
So who’s this for?

I would say this is your go-to if you’re on a budget.

  • I’d say everything’s about 80-90% of what you could be getting from the Sony or the Bose but it’s a great trade-off if you’re on a budget.

It’s also a great pair for anyone who’s reckless with their electronics or often on the go.

  • Because of the lower price tag, I never feel bad about just throwing it in my bag or wearing it out in questionable weather.
Mike’s Recommendation

This is easily one of my top recommendations for meditation headphones or noise cancelling headphones in general.

The 1MORE’s SonoFlow has probably taken the most beating out of all my headphones and stands the test of time.

So if you’re on a budget or want a solid pair of meditation headphones you don’t need to coddle, this is probably the best choice for you.


Budget Runner Up
runner up for the best budget meditation headphones

3. Anker Soundcore Life Q30

My first meditation headphones ever.

Very similar to 1MORE SonoFlow in terms of specs.

Would mainly choose between the two based on looks and design.

Pros

  • Amazing ANC given price point
  • Comfortable fit
  • Minimalist design

Cons

  • feels too ‘plasticky’ for some
important specifications
  • wireless: yes
  • anc: yes
  • weight: 9.6 oz, 272 grams
  • comfort: nothing mindblowing but still very comfortable design
  • full charge playback time: 40 hours
  • charging time: 4 hours in 5 minutes

Ah, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30.

This one holds a special place in my heart and was my go to recommendation for the budget pair until I discovered the 1MORE SonoFlow.

Honestly, not a lot of differences between the two between the two. They are both very similarly priced and I would say it mainly comes down to style and design.

I do personally favor the ANC on the SonoFlow slightly more and of course the SonoFlow has a bigger battery bank but you really can’t go wrong with the Q30 either.

The Comfort & The Miscellaneous

Again, nothing too crazy but you can keep this one on your head for hours before having to take them off which makes it ideal for meditations.

  • It also has very intuitive controls on the headphone itself and the sleek/minimal design makes it great for meditating or wearing it outside the home.

I would say the limiting factor on longer usage time is the heat around the ears more than any discomfort the ear cups.

It also suffers from the ‘cheap’ or ‘plasticky’ syndrome but it’s still going strong after many years of listening.

  • But if you really dislike that feeling, this is another one you should stay away from.
Wireless and Noise Cancellation

It’s fully wireless and the Active Noise Cancellation for the price point is pretty good.

  • Like the 1MORE SonoFlow, nothing spectacular, but I do prefer the SonoFlow slightly more than the Anker’s Soundcore Life Q30.
The Weight

The weight comes in at a moderate 9.6oz, slightly heavier than the Sony WH-1000XM4 and is also great for meditations.

The Battery Life

The battery life isn’t as great as the SonoFlow’s but it is still 10 more hours of playtime than the Sony WH-1000XM4.

  • It offers 40 hrs of play and you can get 4 of those hours on a 5 minute charge.
So who’s this for?

I would say this is pretty competitive if you’re on a budget.

  • Just in terms of the numbers, the 1MORE SonoFlow does outperform it in terms of its weight, batter life, and fast charging, but i think it mainly comes down to style and design.
  • If you prefer the look of one over the other, you really can’t go wrong with either pair.

Similarly to the SonoFlow, it’s also a great pair for anyone who’s reckless with their electronics or often on the go.

  • Because of the lower price tag, I never feel bad about just throwing it in my bag or wearing it out in questionable weather.
Mike’s Recommendation

This is easily one of my top recommendations for meditation headphones or noise cancelling headphones in general.

I do think the SonoFlow is quite competitive but the list wouldn’t feel complete without the Anker Soundcore Life Q30.

It’s a staple and I’ve experienced some of my best meditations using this headphone so definitely give it a shot if you’re on a budget.


Best Of The Best
the best of the best for meditation headphones

4. Bose QuietComfort Ultra

If you can afford it, invest in yourself.

The ANC is the most unique experience and easiest way to hack into a flow state.

Whether you’re meditating from home, working in a cafe, or reading on an airplane.

Pros

  • Top Tier ANC
  • Comfortable fit
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • may be out of budget
important specifications
  • wireless: yes
  • anc: yes
  • weight: 8.96 oz, 254 grams
  • comfort: clouds.
  • full charge playback time: 18-24hours
  • charging time: 2.5 hours in 15 minutes

Ah, here we are. The beast that is Bose QuietComfort Ultra.

If you want the best and you don’t settle for anything but the best, just stop reading and get this.

Are you still here?

Alright, let’s get into it.

The Comfort & The Miscellaneous

To me? Clouds. Soft but gently pressed against the side of your head which really makes it ideal for an immersive experience.

It really is something that you have to experience for yourself to know what I mean but I also know different people have different reactions to the padding.

  • Some people say the padding is too stiff and prefer the padding of cheaper alternatives
  • But I personally think the Sony and Bose headphones strike a great balance that’s great as meditation headphones.

The design is sleek and the build quality is superb. You’ll never forget how expensive this thing was because from the moment you pick it up, while you’re listening, and put it down, the whole experience is rich brimming with quality.

Do I sound biased yet?

Wireless and Noise Cancellation

It’s fully wireless and the Active Noise Cancellation of course superb, very competitive if not better than Sony’s WH-1000XM4.

  • How can I put this… You’re physically where you were a second ago literally speaking. But the moment you turn ANC on, you’re instantly aware of a different world.
  • A peaceful environment. A quiet room. No external noise. If the best noise isolation is what you’re after, look no further.
The Weight

The weight comes in at a moderate 8.96oz, practically the same as the Sony WH-1000XM4. and is also great for meditations.

The Battery Life

The battery life actually doesn’t seem great on paper as it only offers 18 hours with ‘Immersive Listening’ and 24 hours without.

  • But for those 18 hours that it’s playing, wow, you’re in for a treat.
  • Fast charge isn’t particularly impressive either, but again, the trade-off is something I’m more than happy to make. Trust me, this is easily the simplest hack to enhance your meditation experience.
So who’s this for?

I would say if you’re used to and won’t settle for anything but the best, this one’s for you.

  • Bose has a rich history so of course its sound quality is going to be great but where they really nail it in my opinion is the ANC. It’s just nothing like anything else on the market.

Whether you’re a beginner meditator, a student, or a working professional, if you want that eerie feeling of your private internal dimension where you can enter the flow state, go for it.

I’d also particularly recommend it for anyone who’s traveling a lot in subways, airports, or working from cafes.

Mike’s Recommendation

If you can afford it, invest in yourself. Enough said!


Hidden Gem
the hidden gen of meditation headphones

5. JLab JBuds Air Pro

I know, it’s not an over ear headphones…

but the light, unobtrusive form factors is a game changer for anyone looking for the most minimal solution possible for the least distracting meditation experience possible.

Pros

  • Decent ANC
  • Very comfortable fit
  • Minimal design and size

Cons

  • not meant for physical activity
important specifications
  • wireless: yes
  • anc: yes
  • weight: 4.41 oz, 125 grams
  • comfort: is there something even in my ear?
  • full charge playback time: 18-24hours
  • charging time: 2.5 hours in 15 minutes

Ok, I didn’t feel this list would be complete for meditation headphones unless I included some in ear headphones.

I may add more to the list but you’re in for a treat.

The Comfort & The Miscellaneous

Where do I start.

It’s small, it’s not intrusive, the storage case is the charging case, there’s no clip ons hanging over your ear to making it sore, your ears don’t heat up…

It’s kind of… perfect. And definitely ideal for those long meditation sessions.

When I work from home, I can literally go throughout the whole day forgetting that these are even in my ear!

It comes with different sizes for the cushion fins and the speakers themselves don’t go so deep into your ear canal that the inside of your ear is sore either.

Wireless and Noise Cancellation

It’s fully wireless and obviously the ANC isn’t going to be as great as anything that cups over your entire ear but it’s good enough!

If you’re meditating in a quiet enough place, I would say there’s no need to look into noise cancelling headphones at all.

The Weight

The weight blows all the others out of the water with a whopping 4.41 oz which sounds like a lot compared to how they really feel in comparison.

Do I literally mean I feel like there’s NOTHING in my ear? Of course not, but I do genuinely forget I have them on sometimes at the end of a meditation or a work day.

The Battery Life

The cool part of these headphones is that you can use them separately if you want to.

  • Each piece will give you 9 hours of playtime and an extra 27 hours from the charging case
  • But if you’re using them intermittently throughout the day, you won’t ever have to think about charging because where you store them is how you charge them. I’ve gone days if not weeks without having to charge the case at all!
  • Your storage/charging case takes 1.5 hours to full charge but factoring in all the other benefits i listed above it’s really a non factor.
So who’s this for?

If you’re especially sensitive to the weight and restricting form factors of headphones, I would say this one’s for you.

While you are sacrificing a bit on the noise isolation side, the benefits you gain from such light in ear headphones outweigh the noise isolation benefits (especially if the weight and form factor of the meditation headphones are going to be distracting).

But one caveat, as sport as these look, i would not recommend them for active use.

Because there are no clips for your ears and the speakers don’t dig too dip into your ears, they can be susceptible to falling out during a sweaty workout or on a run.

Mike’s Recommendation

If you’re concerned the other meditation headphones’ weight and form factor would distract you during your meditations, I would definitely go with the JLab JBuds Air Pro.

The ANC will still help you tune things out without the hot head and sore ears!


Conclusion: Choosing Your Meditation Headphone

There are many contenders for this meditation headphones list. But I hope I helped you decide which device might be the best for you.

I don’t think there’s a definitely ‘best’ anything. Instead, it’s important to factor in other things like your secondary use cases and what you value more (like comfort, ANC, battery life, etc).

But I believe the factors I looked at are the most relevant when it comes to choosing the right meditation headphones. And if you’re interested in learning more about why, feel free to read the next section.

If you’re on a personal development journey, I recently wrote an article about the 9 personal development skills that made me a better person so feel free to check that out as well.

Thanks for spending your time with me and let’s get those mindfulness practice meditations rolling!

What to Look For In Meditation Headphones and Why

You don’t need an Imax theatre on your head to have a good meditation session but I do believe some key factors make certain headphones better for meditation than others.

I think the only factors that matter are the ones that are going to reduce the friction you feel that will allow you to slip into a deeper form of meditation.

Any edge we can create for ourselves that will allow us to do that is the most relevant. Here’s my list of what I look for and why.

  • does it have wireless capability – Having a wire brushing against your body during meditation will definitely take you out of the zone.
  • does it have ANC capability – Listening to calming music or guided meditations while there’s a lot of external noise can reduce your ability to fall into deeper meditation
  • how comfortable is it – We already have those random itches to ignore; we don’t need to add another one to the list of distractions
  • how much does it weigh – Some people benefit from heavier headphones while some people need the lighter alternatives. Either way, it’s important to be aware.
  • how many hours of playback on a full charge – Reduces the chances of those days when you sit down ready to meditate only to have a drained device
  • does it have fast charging – If you do find yourself with a drained device, how long would it take for you to get enough charging to start your meditation
  • how much does it cost – Everyone’s budget is different but it can help you make certain trade-offs when you know which factors are most important to you

Some things I don’t think are as important:

  • sound quality & EQ – I’m a very average person when it comes to listening to something. I don’t need my bass to this or my highs and mids to do that. If tweaking the sound profile helps you get into deeper meditation that’s great but I often found that it’s not as big of a factor for many people, myself included.
  • build quality – Like sound quality, most modern headphones are very well optimized and built for the average person. Aside from really not like the feel of certain materials, I don’t touch my headphones once they’re on my head so I also consider these a non factor. But even the cheapest pair on this list, I’ve had for years without a problem!

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FAQ

headphones for meditation vs earphones for meditation

1. Headphones for meditation Or Earphones For Meditation?

Totally personal preference but I would say the one you would find least distracting is the answer.

That doesn’t always mean the lighter earphones since the closed over ear headphones can offer better ANC.

I always recommend headphones over earphones unless someone really doesn’t like using headphones.

active noise cancelling headphones for meditation

2. (anc) Active Noise Cancelling Headphones for Meditation Headphones?

ANC is probably one of the biggest difference makers for anything that requires solitude. But especially for beginners getting into meditation, ANC can be a great hack to go deep until you don’t need it as much.

wired headphones for meditation vs wireless headphones for meditation

3. Wired Headphones vs Wireless Meditation Headphones?

For me, anything I can do to give myself a better chance of losing my senses and ties to the physical reality gives me a better chance of having a deeper and better meditation. Having a wire brush up against you can prevent or take you out of the immersive experience which is why I always prefer wireless for meditation headphones.

woman meditating with headphones

4. Is It Okay to Meditate with Headphones?

Absolutely! You won’t need them forever, but even if you don’t like or need to listen to music, guided meditations are always a treat with a good pair of meditation headphones.

woman meditating with her meditation headphones

5. Is it Okay to Listen to Music While Meditating?

Yes, although you probably want to avoid things with lyrics or melodies that will wake up your brain.

The key to successful meditation is to take your brain wave patterns down from beta (when we’re awake) into alpha (relaxed) and even delta (sleep like state).

It’s really hard to do that when you’re listening to music that your brain is consciously or unconsciously engaging with.

woman practicing meditation

6. What is meditation practice and how do you practice meditation?

People consider it different things and meditation was a mystical thing I couldn’t define or practice. I’ll write an article on it eventually but to me, meditation is one thing:

Your Focus (or Your Awareness)

You can focus on different things like your breath, parts of your body, the infinite space of nothingness and it’s all following one principle:

Where your focus goes (or where you rest your awareness), your energy goes.

And it’s where you choose to spend your energy that can have profound impacts on your brain, body, and mind that’s so fundamental to any personal development endeavor.

A great place to start is with Dr. Joe Dispenza and his many interviews on Youtube.

If you’re into personal development, here’s a list of 9 personal development skills that I feel made me a better person. I hope it help you on your journey as well!