10 Best Microphones Over The Ear (updated 2020)

Over-the-ear microphones, more commonly called “head-worn microphones”, give you the most freedom, the freedom of body language and expressing yourself. They are also physically the closest to the speaker’s mouth, so cancel out lots of noise while perfectly capturing the voice. You can round around the stage, gesticulate your hands off but you still get your speech delivered to the people.

Besides the actual head with the capsule such a mic requires a receiver and a transmitter. In reality, the mic simply gets plugged into the transmitter. As it is attached to your body, it’s called “bodypack”. The tricky part is that there are quite a few types of plugs and, surprise, they are not compatible. In this review, we are going to look at mics with the most common plugs.

best pick
AKG C520L

AKG C520L

runner up
Audio-Technica Microset Omni

Audio-Technica Microset Omni

budget pick
Shure MX153T/O-TQG Omnidirectional Earset

Shure MX153T/O-TQG Omnidirectional Earset

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  • lightweight and adjustable headband construction
  • condenser capsule on flexible shock mount
  • moisture shield
  • terminated with locking 4-pin connector 
  • includes element covers, windscreen and cable clip
  • neck support
  • subminiature omnidirectional cartridge
  • ultra-lightweight, comfortable, flexible design
  • CommShield Technology

AKG C520L

AKG C520LAKG C520L is a headphone with a condenser microphone for vocal transmission. This model combines the technical solutions of the latter with the advantages of a new ergonomic design. The microphone has a wide frequency range of 60 Hz – 20 kHz and cardioid directivity characteristics. It is an excellent choice for soloists, singing keyboardists, drummers, guitarists, and dancers. It’s the right choice for any performer who needs freedom of movement. Flexible suspension significantly reduces the level of mechanical noise. The set comes with wind protection. It prevents sweat from entering the converter, guaranteeing a high degree of moisture protection for the microphone. Effective moisture protection ensures reliable operation of the microphone and long service life.

The AKG C520 works with the phantom power supply B 29 L, the transmitters of the AKG WMS series, or the MPA V L external phantom power adapter. The main feature of the device is a detachable flexible microphone capsule holder. It can be mounted to the right or left of the headband. There is an external shock mount for suppressing mechanical noise.

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Audio-Technica Microset Omni

This head-worn model from another strong brand, Audio Technica, is another top-rated mic that is also rightfully on this list. Users like its crisp, extended response perfected with a slightly elevated brilliance. Position-wise, that’s good for lavalier mics and the head-worn ones. if you wear it on your head it will sit comfortably and lightly on your ear due to ergonomic design.

Another good thing is that neck support comes included. That way you connect the Microset Omni too both ears and get attached even tighter. Just like the E6 above, this one is also lightweight (only 2.6g) but can’t keep up when it comes to durability. Two vulnerable points of connection between the boom and the wire. It works alright if you don’t adjust it every time, though.

The package is good, including element covers, windscreen, cable clip, and 55″ cable.

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Shure MX153T/O-TQG Omnidirectional Earset

Shure MX153 hangs onto only one ear, just like the first mic on the list. That one-ear fixture is good for the price while the actual mic combines superior sound quality, durability, and beautiful and comfortable design. Enhanced plosive protection clears away the sibilance for you. This mic also scores the solid, flat frequency response award and it’s not affected by proximity, being omnidirectional. In fact, most of headworn mics are omnidirectional, proximity is not the issue with them.  MX153 delivers a steady performance in any environment, both for speech and vocals, so it has earned the recommendation.

You are going to like the MX153 for its design, as well. It is laid out with a thought, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Despite the non-detachable wire, the rubber piece protects it from ripping at the base. CommShield Technology protects against RF interference. Even kevlar is used here, the cable is reinforced with that (not nearly enough to make you bulletproof, though).

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Airwave Technologies HSD-SLIMLINE

Slimline SE is a budget model compared to models above, it’s priced under$100. You get great quality for each buck of yours. Another huge difference is that it uses a dynamic capsule. Sensitive condenser mics may sometimes sound harsh in the upper register, this mic will not give you that problem. Although the sound may not be as good as MX153 it is definitely well-balanced. Overall, the sound quality is close to the MX153.

If you don’t buy premium hardware for any reason, you should really give Slimline SE a try, you won’t be sorry. When this thing arrives to you, you won’t be bedazzled by fancy design or anything, but all the quality and a replaceable wire certainly deserves a spot on this list. Adjustments of the boom and over-the-ear piece are easy, too. But if you have an awkward movement you might get a thing slipping. With the package come microphone/earpiece, cord, & foam windscreen.

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Apex 575 Condenser Microphone

This mic’s unique feature is that in addition to a detachable wire it comes with four most common interchangeable plugs.

It does drive the price above $100, but it is very convenient. People who own various kinds of bodypacks would especially appreciate thos package. Apex 575 looks almost exactly like the Airwave, but this one has a condenser capsule which makes it completely different. The first result of the condenser layout is that it’s more sensitive than the dynamic Airwave. Moreover, Apex 575 has brighter tones + higher sensitivity make it sound more heartfelt. Besides the empathy, you get good clarity and crispy response here. The over-the-ear part is quite springy, the attachable neck headband does its job which makes the whole setup stay on your head effortlessly.

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Sennheiser HSP 2-EW-3

Sennheiser HSP 2-EW-3

The Sennheiser HSP 2-EW-3 is an omnidirectional capacitor microphone for vocal and speech applications where hands-free operation is required. It provides accurate, natural sound and can handle high sound pressure levels up to 150 dB. Users can speak and sing into the microphone without any distortion.

The Sennheiser HSP 2-EW-3 is designed with a microphone capsule on the boom and behind-the-ear mounts on both sides of the head. They are unobtrusive and easy to wear, allowing individual change for any head size. Besides, the boom capsule is detachable and allows the microphone to be worn on the right or left side. The boom is adjustable in length and angle. The microphone capsule is optimized for moisture resistance. The Umbrella signature diaphragm protects the capsule from moisture.

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Av-jefes Avl-630-sh4

Avl630 is another mic under $100 that manages to deliver quite a professional sound. You probably didn’t recognize the brand as it’s less famous. Anyways, you receive the performance that’s worth twice the price. Firstly, it features a stable frequency response. Secondly, the brightness added to the upper range keeps the sound pretty well balanced. Thirdly, it is just comfortable. The reinforced looking cable should give Avl630 durability. In fact, the manufacturer promises sweat and dust-proof build. Another piece of convenience is compatibility with Shure Body-Pack Transmitter models.

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AKG C111LP

AKG C111LP

The AKG C111LP is a lightweight behind-the-ear condenser microphone. It is designed for use in presentations, theatre performances, and other applications of this type. It features high resistance, an omnidirectional diagram, and a comfortable design with an ear mount. Its small size and flesh color help to keep the listener/viewer focused on you.

The AKG C111LP has a flat frequency response and a very low weight of 7 grams. This ensures comfortable use, even for long enough periods of time. It comes with a transport pouch, wind protection, and cable clamp. This model is perfect for all AKG pocket transmitters. It provides automatic synchronization with them.

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Audio-Technica PRO92CW-TH

The Audio-Technica PRO92CW-TH is a body-inspired PRO series vocal condenser microphone designed for wireless A-T UniPak systems. It has an omnidirectional diagram. It will be useful when a speaker needs to capture sound over a large area. For example, it is ideal for teachers and other applications that need clear and distinguishable sound. The microphone has a single behind-the-ear hook fixture. The natural smooth AFC is optimized for vocal articulation. The microphone delivers professional-quality vocals. The flexible microphone boom is easy to adjust for a comfortable fit.

The robust design of the Audio-Technica PRO92CW-TH is ideal for everyday use. The 1.4-meter long cable ends with a four-pin HRS connector for A-T UniPak wireless systems.

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RODE HS2

RODE HS2

The RODE HS2 is a professional head mic designed for recording and sounding speech, paired with any device. For example, wireless transmitters from radio systems or portable recorders or mixer consoles. The device is available in two versions, reduced and increased. This allows each user to select the optimal headband size for the largest convenience.

A permanently polarized capacitor capsule type handles the removal of the audio signal. It provides a saturated and natural timbre with a wide frequency range from 60 Hz to 18 kHz. Circular directivity characteristic promotes the same sensitivity to signals from all sides of the microphone element. It also eliminates the “proximity effect”, allowing the unit to be placed at any distance from the sound source without the fear of excessive bass. The largest sound pressure can reach 122 dB. The microphone has a low level of noise itself, minimizing artifacts from touching the body. It also features a robust and convenient design with anti-corrosion and stainless steel coatings and flexible hypoallergenic silicone ear pads.