Headphones in the modern age are often built for different things.
There’s no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to headphones. Some are built to listen to music on the train, others to exercise. Some might be built for durability, whereas others are designed to give a disco-like experience with pounding base wherever you are. What you intend to do whilst wearing your headphones does, on some level, dictate which you should buy.
You’ll often see poker players wearing headphones. Maybe it’s on television or in person at a casino. Players today often wish to block distractions and focus on their cards and game, and they do this with headphones. That might suit a noise cancelling product, a powerful pair of bass headphones, but that wouldn’t tell the whole poker story. For instance, what if you’re playing at home online? Would you want different headphones if you were playing poker in a casino? You might even have friends around for a game, and you all prefer different music; there’s a headphone for that as well.
With that in mind, we’ve selected a full house of headphones for you to choose from, each with its drawbacks and benefits.
The Sony WH1000XM3 are a great example of a poker player’s preferred headphone. Sony is a market leader in active noise cancellation (ANC), and many players seek this feature when playing in a casino. This is evident in a big tournament, when there are often lots of tables in a big open room, with chatter and distraction. That’s not the only strength of these headphones; they also deliver 4 hours of playback for just five minutes of charge and go for 35 hours on a full charge. That’s enough for a mammoth poker session, maybe even a tournament.
Aftershokz, recently rebranded as Shokz, is the market leader in bone conducting headphones. They don’t sit inside the ear but outside, playing music through the temporal bone. They’ve proven popular with runners and cyclists who must listen for traffic or other hazards. They’re also good for poker players who wish to have music on but also focus on what’s happening around them. Think of a poker night with your rock-loving friends, where you can listen to rap without compromise. They would also work well in a casino for players who want the hustle and bustle and some motivating tunes.
Soundcore Life Q30
The Soundcore Life Q30 headphones won’t break your poker playing budget; they’re a fraction of the cost of similar-level headphones without compromising on features. The battery life is up to 36 hours, and they’re comfortable to wear, with memory foam around the ears. The ANC works well also, meaning you can block out unwanted distractions with little fuss. You might even be able to find the Q20 cheaper, the predecessor to the Q30, which are also a great set of headphones for a poker player.
Some poker players might want music, but not the distraction of wearing a clunky set of headphones. For those players, mini earbuds might be best. You might also be working on a super tight budget, and the Nenrent S570 headphones will ensure you’re satisfied on two counts. You can find them for under $20, and you get 6 hours of music time and decent music quality. These are functional headphones; they’re not noise cancelling but will block the ear. They’re for the hobbyist poker player who wants to keep their dollars for chips but still get some music into their poker experience.