You’ve probably come across ASMR videos at some point, and we wouldn’t blame you if you were wondering where they were, and how they work.
ASMR, which stands for an autonomous sensory meridian response, is best described as a tingling sensation.
It starts on the scalp and progressively moves down your head to the back of the neck and your upper spine.
It’s something that can be triggered by certain stimuli, both auditory and visual, and the result is the same as guided meditation – you’re relaxed, you’re prepared to sleep, and you feel like you don’t have a care in the world.
To add to this, ASMR videos are oftentimes used for insomnia and stress as well, with triggers like whispering, crisp sounds, and repetitive movements being the most popular ones.
Does it work?
According to many, yes, and pretty well.
There are millions of videos out there that make use of these triggers and stimuli to help you relax and get in a comfortable, peaceful state of mind, and all it takes is for you to find a good one that works well for you.
Not everyone responds to the same triggers, but when you find the ones that work for you, you’ll love the entire experience.
Do You Need headphones For ASMR?
Even though some might argue that ASMR is perfectly fine with speakers, the goal of it is for it to be a distraction-free experience.
That’s not easily achievable with speakers, so we would definitely recommend a pair of headphones.
You’ll be able to isolate yourself from the environment and enjoy yourself as your body relaxes.
And if you want to make the most of it, don’t just get any headphones. Get a closed-back pair which helps with isolation, or even better, get a pair with active noise canceling, so nothing on the outside can disturb you.
Either of those options will get you a great experience.
You can also take a look at both larger, over-ear headphones, as well as in-ear monitors.
In-ear monitors have great isolation, and they’re also pretty compact, so you can’t damage them if you were to, for example, fall asleep with them.
Best Headphones For ASMR Buying Guide
At the end of the day, as long as you’re comfortable and can separate yourself from the environment, you can enjoy the sounds of ASMR and relax in a nice atmosphere. Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the best headphones for ASMR out there.
SleepPhones AcousticSheep Wireless
We can see how the AcousticSheep by SleepPhones can easily be mistaken for a headband instead of a pair of headphones.
However, their shape makes them one of the most comfortable options on our list, especially if you’ve got a habit of falling asleep with your headphones on.
These wireless headphones have mini speakers at two opposite sections, so when you put them on, they feel like a headband but sound like a pair of headphones.
Now, make no mistake, the actual sound quality you’ll get from them isn’t all that impressive – and you can blame that on the fit.
On the other hand, they’re extremely comfortable and you can very well go ahead and fall asleep with them on, without feeling anything. They’re just right for ASMR.
Aside from the sound and fit, the AcousticSheep Wireless has another major thing going for them – wireless performance.
Not only do you have no cables dangling around, but you also have a range of up to 30 feet (depending on the conditions), which means you can leave your phone or laptop further away so it doesn’t disturb you.
The battery life is great, too, you can expect up to 10 hours. Charging is done with the included USB cable.
Overall, if you need your headphones for ASMR only, the AcousticSheep by SleepPhones is a great choice.
Comfortable, creative design, a decent sound, and excellent wireless performance are pretty much all you’d need. Oh, and the price is pretty reasonable, too.
- Headband design results in a very comfortable experience
- Wireless performance is excellent
- They come in three sizes so they’ll fit right
- Sound quality isn’t all that good
- There is plenty of sound leaks and little to no isolation
beyerdynamic DT770 PRO
Quite possibly beyerdynamic’s most popular headphones, the DT770 PRO can be a great choice for ASMR for plenty of reasons.
But even aside from ASMR, they have excellent sound, are very comfortable to wear for even extended periods, and their price is rather reasonable for a pair of high-quality headphones.
To begin with, you can choose between a 32 Ohm, 80 Ohm, and 250 Ohm variant of the headphones, and they all have slightly different sound signatures.
However, whichever ones you go for, you’re covered in terms of ASMR.
These are a pair of closed-back headphones, and they sound great. There is a slight emphasis on the highs and the treble, but that’s not that much of a problem.
You have an overall spacious sound that’s highly detailed and rather transparent. The fact that they’re closed does allow for quite a lot of ambient sound isolation, which is perfect for ASMR.
The comfort is phenomenal. The headband is plush and thick, and the velour earpads are very soft and plush, too.
While you can’t really sleep with them, as far as extended sessions go, you won’t feel them on your head after a few minutes.
However, they’re not exactly the lightest headphones out there, which is something to keep in mind.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, especially for the more powerful versions, you’ll want to get a headphone amplifier to make the most of them.Not something you’ll need for ASMR, but still.
A great pair of headphones overall.
- Extremely good sound, detailed, rich and spacious
- Great levels of comfort thanks to the plush earcups and headband
- Good passive noise isolation
- Could be a bit expensive
- Higher power versions could be difficult to drive
Bose QuietComfort 20
If you’re looking for active noise canceling, the first brand you should be looking into is definitely Bose. Their active noise canceling technology is great, and what’s even more impressive is that they’ve managed to cram it inside a pair of in-ear headphones like the QuietComfort 20.
The QC20 is a compact pair of in-ear headphones that come with connectivity for either Apple devices, or Android devices.
The difference is in the mic and cable buttons because Apple uses a slightly different standard and in this case, one size does not fit all. Aside from this, you get a neat carrying case and a cable for charging.
We love that Bose placed the battery itself and some of the ANC tech right next to the 3.5mm plug, because it stays in your pocket instead of somewhere on the cable, where it would cause problems.
Let’s discuss sound quality for a moment. The QC20 is excellent in this regard, with clear mids and highs, and punchy bass that sounds great with just about any music.
To add to this, you’re looking at active noise canceling technology that has minimal impact on the sound quality, which is not something many other brands can boast.
The ANC is phenomenal, and you also get an Aware mode that lets you press a button and hear everything that’s going on around you.
As far as comfort goes, these are excellent. The StayHear+ tips give you a secure fit that’s also very comfortable, and you get wings, too, so they stay in place even better.
We have no complaints here, but honestly, we wouldn’t recommend sleeping with the QC20.
- Excellent active noise-canceling technology
- Comfortable fit, even for longer listening sessions
- Great sound quality
- In-ear might not be for everyone
Anyone who’s ever looked into the world of audio monitoring and recording knows of Shure.
They’re a popular brand with plenty of great products under their belt, and the SE215-K is one of their best selling wired in-ear monitors.
And for a couple of reasons, they’re some of the best headphones for ASMR.
To begin with, their fit is phenomenal. They’re meant to have the cable go over your ear, which makes them secure and comfortable in just about any scenario.
Shure also includes a few sizes of both rubber and foam ear tips, so you can choose which are more comfortable.
We do have to say that the foam ones fit slightly better and give you better passive isolation, which makes them perfect for ASMR.
Furthermore, the sound quality is excellent. Shure advertises these as monitors, which means they have a flat sound profile and you’ll be able to hear the ASMR sounds just like the person who recorded them intended you to.
The bass is punchy and accurate, without being overpowering, and the mids and highs are clear and crisp.
Last but not least, you get a lot of things in the box. Not only does Shure include two different types of tips, in multiple sizes, but they also include a zippered carrying case that does come in handy if you’re taking these with you.
There’s also the fact that the cable is removable, with an MMCX connector, so if anything happens to your cable, you can swap it out.
Overall, if you’d like a well-fitting pair of headphones that are perfect for ASMR, and get you great sound quality outside of that, by all means, give the SE215-K a chance.
- Excellent sound quality
- Great fit
- Carrying case and multiple tips included
- Slightly larger and heavier than the competition
- Expensive for wired headphones
Sony WH-1000XM3 – Best Headphones For ASMR
And so, we arrive at our last recommendation for the best headphones for ASMR – Sony’s WH-1000XM3, the king of active noise-canceling headphones.
This is a title given to the Sony’s by just about anyone who’s taken a look at them, as they pair what is quite possibly the best ANC technology with phenomenal sound quality and great comfort.
To begin with, the sound is truly great. Sony is known to emphasize bass a bit, but these sound rather balanced and nice.
They’re great, overall, and plenty of focus has been put on the mids and highs, which does come in handy for ASMR sounds.
Yes, they sound phenomenal, both for enjoying ASMR and relaxing and for listening to music.
Next up, the noise canceling. While Bose used to be the go-to option, Sony has taken the crown and currently has better ANC technology.
There’s little to no distortion in the actual sound quality, and you’re completely isolated from your surroundings, allowing you to immerse in the relaxing sounds of ASMR.
However, if you want to hear what’s going on near you, all you need to do is cover up the right ear cup, and the music turns down and ANC turns off, so you can have a conversation when necessary.
Sony has also added a fair bit of convenience to the WH-1000XM3, with touch controls on the outside, USB-C charging, ability to be used wired, and a nifty carrying case in the box. Overall, these are a great choice for both ASMR and daily usage.
- Stunning sound quality with clear and crisp reproduction
- Best-in-class active noise-canceling technology
- Very comfortable fit with plush earcups and comfy headband
- Might be very expensive for some
- Touch controls are problematic in cold weather
At the end of the day, ASMR requires you to enjoy good sound quality without your environment disturbing you. And out of all the options on the list, Sony’s WH-1000XM3 does those things without skipping a beat.
The sound is great, they’re extremely comfortable when you’re wearing for longer periods, and you’re getting a virtually soundproof experience.
If you can work with the price, which is higher than most of the competition, Sony’s WH-1000XM3 is more than worth it and will take your ASMR experience to the next level.