The 7 Best Headphones For The Office
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Headphones have become a large part of working from the office, whether you’re listening to music to tune out distractions or taking phone calls. The best headphones for the office provide some degree of noise cancellation and play sound without disturbing your officemates. They’re available in wireless and corded styles, and most are versatile enough to keep using when you’re off the clock.
When shopping for office headphones, look for a set you’ll find comfortable for long-term wear, whether it be an in-ear, over-ear, or on-ear model. If the headphones are wireless, you’ll get several hours of use on one charge — though most usually won’t last through a full eight-hour workday — and you’ll be able to power up with a quick-charging case. Corded headphones won’t require charging, but they offer less freedom of movement since they connect to your phone or computer with wires.
Since offices can be noisy, you may also want to consider the level of noise cancellation that headphones offer. Most pairs provide some passive noise cancellation by virtue of being in, on, or over your ears, but if you find background noise distracting or you work in a particularly loud office, consider headphones with active noise cancelling (ANC) features to actually neutralize outside noise. To accommodate calls and video meetings, all of the headphones on this list have a microphone, though reviewers report better clarity with some models than others.
Below are the best headphones for the office, offered in a wide range of styles so you can find the perfect model for you and your workspace.
1. A Reliable Pair Of Apple Earbuds
Apple AirPods Pro are a best-seller and backed by a 4.7-star overall rating after more than 5,000 reviews. They’re Bluetooth wireless with a built-in microphone and offer impressive active noise cancellation that inspired one reviewer to write they had “NEVER heard anything so silent.” However, they can also be used in “transparency” mode if you’d prefer more passive noise canceling. The in-ear headphones come with three tip sizes to fit a variety of ears comfortably. As for battery life, the headphones offer 4.5 hours of use on a charge and carry 24 hours of listening time with the included MagSafe charging case. If you’re in need of a quick charge, especially to make it through the rest of the workday, just place the AirPods back in the case for five minutes to charge them with another full hour of battery life. They’re also sweat- and water-resistant.
One reviewer wrote: “I love the AirPod pros they have great sound quality and amazing transparency mode. The noise canceling mode works great when trying to block out sounds, all around it’s a great product.”
2. Writer’s Choice: These On-Ear Headphones With 80 Hours Of Battery Life
These Marshall on-ear headphones are by far my favorite pair, and as a product writer, I’ve tried a lot. Most impressively, these wireless Bluetooth headphones have 80-plus hours of battery life — enough for two 40-hour workweeks without charging. For a quick power boost, plug them in with the included USB-C cable for 15 minutes to get an additional 15 hours of battery life. The headphones are also compatible with wireless charging.
In my experience, the sound quality is amazing (though there is no noise cancellation) and the Bluetooth connection has a far range that’s yet to fail me. Plus, the cushion over the ears is squishy enough to keep them comfortable for several hours, and adjustable arms help you get the perfect fit. If you want to share your tunes, the headphones have a 3.5-millimeter socket so another person can plug in and listen to what’s playing. They also have a microphone for taking calls — it’s not the highest-quality, but is serviceable in a pinch — though they’re not water-resistant.
One reviewer wrote: “I've had these a little over a week now, and have used them at least 3 hours every single day since they arrived. They are comfortable [...] The sound is terrific, imho [...] they arrived at 80% charge (according to the bluetooth connection on my phone) and I haven't had to charge them yet.”
3. An Affordable Pair Of Corded Apple Headphones
Tired of charging your electronic accessories? Perhaps consider trying (or returning to) some corded Apple EarPods. They’re in-ear, so they offer some passive noise cancellation, and they’re available with either a Lightning or a 3.5-millimeter plug. I continually return to these headphones thanks to the excellent microphone, which is great for making calls or speaking in video meetings, as well as the easy play/pause and volume control buttons conveniently located on the cord. They’re also sweat- and water-resistant. As they’re budget-friendly and reliable, I love having a pair (or two) of these around.
One reviewer wrote: “I know there are sooo many ear phones to choose from. These are my favorite [...] I use these all the time for calls, music and just put them in when I need a little quiet. I really like the quality and I have a pair that has lasted me for 7+ years!!”
4. A Fan-Favorite, Budget-Friendly Pair Of Earbuds
If you’re in search of high-quality, budget-friendly wireless earbuds, this pair has over 175,000 five-star Amazon reviews and counting. These Bluetooth headphones offer six hours of use on one charge and a total of 30 hours of run time with the included charging case. As they’re in-ear headphones, they will offer some passive noise cancellation, and they even have a microphone for taking calls. They also have an IPX8 waterproof rating to withstand being submerged in up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) of water, so they’ll easily resist rain and sweat. They’re available in five colors.
One reviewer wrote: “The earbuds worked seamlessly and well out of the box. I use them while hiking the hills with my dogs and when working at my desk - I can still hear outside noises when needed for safety, but can listen to music without disturbing others. The earbuds are comfortable even during exercise, and they fit securely.”
5. This Pair Of Active Noise-Canceling Headphones
Looking to invest in the best-of-the-best active-noise-canceling headphones? These Bose Bluetooth wireless over-ear headphones may be for you. They have a whopping 11 levels of active noise cancellation, so you can dial in exactly how much office background noise you’d like to allow. The battery lasts for 20 hours, so you can use them for half the workweek before needing to recharge. The headphones have a microphone for taking calls, which reviewers report works well and one even called “crisp and clear.” They have built-in Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, as well as an instant Spotify play feature for use with iOS devices. The headphones are also rated IPX4, so they’re resistant to splashes of water. Choose from two colors.
One reviewer wrote: “I use these primarily in an office setting and it blocks out all unwanted noise, whereas before there would be some nearby conversations that got through. For when somebody does come by my desk for a conversation (and they start talking before I'm able to take off my headphones), flipping on conversation mode by holding the button on the left earcup is extremely convenient and works as advertised.”
6. These Earbuds With Secure Ear Hooks
If you enjoy the sound quality and passive noise canceling of in-ear headphones but are worried about them falling out of your ears, these wireless Powerbeats Pro feature adjustable over-ear hooks for a more secure fit. Four ear tip sizes are included, and the headphones are available in six colors. The battery lasts for up to nine hours on a single charge, with 24 hours total when considering the charging case — and just five minutes in the case will give 1.5 hours of playtime. They have a microphone for calls and are water- and sweat-resistant, making them great for the gym as well.
One reviewer wrote: “I use them 5-6 hours a day at the office and I have never had them run out of battery. The case charges very fast [...] It’s also easy to switch them back and forth from my phone to my laptop, which makes working really easy. They don’t block out all noise, some louder things do some through, but it still creates some quiet. They also never fall out.”
7. A Corded Headset With A Noise-Reducing Microphone
This pair of wired headphones with a rotating boom microphone is a great option if your job requires lots of phone calls and video meetings. The microphone is adjustable and noise-reducing so you’ll sound clear while speaking, even if you’re working from a noisy office, and the mic can be hidden when not in use. The padded, on-ear style will offer some passive noise canceling as well. There’s no mention of water resistance and these headphones must be connected to a computer or laptop using the included USB cord. If you prefer a 3.5-millimeter cable connection, a similar headset is also available.
One reviewer wrote: “These heads phones are excellent for making your remote customer service job sound as professional as being in [an] office setting! [They] are awesome at blocking out background noise and have so much clarity when listening to customers!!!”