The 7 Best Headphones For Working From Home
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Whether you work from a home office or living room, the best headphones for working from home are comfortable for prolonged wear, offer a solid mic for calls or virtual meetings, and have noise cancelation to tune out distractions. They come in both wireless and wired formats. If you prefer wireless headphones, which mean there's no cord to get in the way, they should ideally last for at least a day before needing a recharge.
Whatever your budget, you'll want to start your search by choosing between three different types of headphones. In-ear models tend to be lightweight and compact, and you'll want to look for ones with assorted earbud tips for a comfortable fit that provides better passive noise cancellation. On-ear headphones hover over your ears, which means they might be more comfortable if you find in-ear models invasive or dislike the bulk of over-ear models. That said, if you live in a noisy home, you might benefit from the more encapsulated fit that comes with over-ear styles, as this tends to offer strong passive noise cancelation by sealing the ears. When this is blended with active noise cancelation (ANC), over-ear headphones can neutralize and block out most ambient noise — or even give you the option to control how much background noise you hear.
For those who make a lot of calls, most top headphones for working from home have solid microphones that enhance voice quality. But some models take it a step further, allowing you to customize how much of your own voice you hear. If you spend most of your day on calls, you might prefer a wireless headset with an advanced mic system and an extended range (beyond the standard 33-ish feet) that allows you to wander more freely. But wireless headphones need to last throughout your work day to be a good pick, so look for models with a long battery life, a quick-charging feature, or the option to be used as wired headphones when necessary.
No matter what you're looking for in work-from-home headphones, Amazon reviewers agree that these seven picks can make your home office a more peaceful and productive environment.
1. The Best Budget Earbuds
With more than 9,300 Amazon reviews and an overall rating of 4.1 stars, these wireless earbuds from TaoTronics free you from the tangle of headphone wires without putting much of a dent in your budget. These compact in-ear buds offer a Bluetooth range of up to 66 feet, so you can move away from your device if you have to, and they also come with active noise cancellation to drown out household noise. While the ANC isn’t adjustable in any way (you can't even turn it off), many pleased Amazon reviewers suggest that this feature, along with a solid mic, works well for calls. That's probably thanks to what TaoTronics calls "Smart AI Noise Reduction Technology", which the brand claims can reduce ambient noise by 96% while also providing voice isolation for better voice clarity.
Other bonuses for the work day include the eight-hour battery life (and up to 30 hours with the charging case), as well as the ability to quick-charge for 10 minutes to get an additional two hours of battery life. Finding the right fit shouldn't be too challenging with the selection of three tip sizes and two ear hook options. Operating these earbuds should also be a breeze, too, thanks to intuitive touch controls (just tap where the logo is placed). To answer phone calls, you can conveniently tap either bud — or even enlist the help of your preferred smart assistant.
Positive Amazon review: “I work from home and with my business that means I might be on the phone at home, or a café, or sitting on the beach in Australia or Mexico or elsewhere. So, for me, being able to have good call quality is vital. I made a bunch of calls with these and did some recordings of the mic quality in quiet rooms as well as with simulated café sounds played over my sound bar to make sure people were able to hear me clearly[. T]he SoundLiberty 79s didn’t fail me.”
2. The Overall Best Over-Ear Headphones
High-quality noise-canceling headphones don't have to cost a fortune, and the Jabra Elite 45h headphones can prove it — just ask the hundreds of Amazon reviewers who gave them five-star reviews on the site. With a lightweight build and memory foam cups, these comfortable on-ear headphones are a great option without the heavy or stifling feel, but long battery life is where these really shine. They offer a whopping 50 hours of battery life, as well as the 10 hours of additional playback with a 10-minute charge.
These Bluetooth headphones are also capable of pairing with up to eight different devices (two simultaneously) and operating at a distance of up to 33 feet. If you like to use a voice assistant, these headphones work with Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa. As for phone calls, the Jabra Elite 45h uses two microphones, which several Amazon reviewers report works well for conference calls. The only catch is that there’s no noise cancelation or voice isolation for calls, so these could be best for someone who doesn't have frequent meetings or works primarily in quieter environments. When you're not on calls, however, you have control over three levels of ANC — and the option to turn it off altogether.
Positive Amazon review: “Perfect headphones for anyone working in an open office environment and or commuting on public transit. The microphones are great for taking calls (I love being able to hear my own voice). The noise cancelling works well enough for the office and a noisy bus or train as well.”
3. The Best Over-Ear Headphones For Noise
If you share a home office or live in a full house, you may want to invest in a high-quality pair of over-ear noise-canceling headphones from Bose, a brand that's known for its noise-canceling tech. These headphones, available in white, silver, and black, have over 15,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.5-star overall rating, and it's easy to see why when you dive into the details. These headphones feature 11 levels of noise cancellation so you can fine tune how much background noise you'd like to hear, and they also come with a powerful six-microphone system that neutralizes background noise so your voice sounds super clear on calls. Unlike listening ANC, which solely addresses the distracting noises around you so that you can hear the call better, mic-based noise cancellation also improves sound quality on the other end, isolating your voice and removing any background noise that might typically be heard by the person on the other end of the call. This extra noise cancellation is one of the reason these headphones are worth the big bucks.
In addition to a stellar microphone and noise-canceling power, these over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones can pair with two devices at once and operate within a 30-foot range. They also come with an impressive 20-hour battery life, and can be used with a wired connection, thanks to the supplied audio cable. This model features touch and tap buttons on the right ear cup, but is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free use.
Positive Amazon Review: “I'm in a noisy office space and I'm on conference calls most of the day, so I was looking for a headset that works well as a communication headset, and also has great noise cancellation. Admittedly, the last time I used a noise cancellation headset was more than 10 years ago - but this Bose 700 is amazing. Crystal clear audio and fantastic noise cancellation. I would recommend.”
4. The Best Wired In-Ear Buds
Sometimes plug-and-play technology is the way to go based on simplicity alone, but these wired in-ear headphones from 1MORE deliver above-average quality throughout every aspect of their design. They're constructed with an extra-durable Kevlar and metal cord, and they come with nine sets of fitting options (six sets of silicone ear tips and three sets of foam tips). They also come with a lot of extra accessories, including a carrying case, shirt clip, and an adapter for airplane use.
Under the hood, you'll find an advanced audio system that uses three drivers (the hardware that controls the audio quality) in each earphone that should deliver rich, high-fidelity playback — so you can catch all the tone and instrument nuances. Even if you're not an audiophile, you're sure to appreciate the sound these headphones produce. And though these in-ear headphones don’t use any noise-canceling technology, a handful of Amazon reviewers suggest that this pair offers decent passive noise cancelation, which makes sense because they have an oblong shape that provides a more natural fit inside the ear canal. The manufacturer also claims that the in-line microphone is designed to reduce static and produce call clarity, and multiple Amazon reviewers have reported that their voice came through clearly on calls. If something happens to the cord or the microphone, this product comes with a 12-month warranty.
Positive Amazon review: “I've been recommending them to everyone I work with, and the consensus is the same. I work from home and wear them for at least 4 hours a day, often times all day. Audio quality is excellent and well-balanced.”
5. An Inexpensive Pair Of Wired Earbuds
If you want a cheaper pair of earbuds that are good enough for everyday meetings, this affordable pair from LUDOS should suit you perfectly. With a 4.3-star rating overall from over 23,100 Amazon reviewers, it’s safe to say they’re tried and true. The speakers deliver clear, high-quality audio, while memory foam padding gives you a comfortable fit and passive noise cancellation to block out distractions. The cord is cleverly designed, with a mic that hangs directly next to your mouth and a convenient three-button control pad that’s easily accessible when you want to adjust the mic and speaker volume. They come in a bunch of fun colors.
Positive Amazon review: “WFH during the COVID-19 outbreak forced me to be on Zoom meetings constantly. Several of my over-ear headphones become uncomfortable after a couple of meetings. I was looking for a pair of earbuds that still have 3.5MM, and I am so glad that I got this one [...] The memory foam is so comfortable [...] The unit is well built, the sound quality is top notch, and the buttons to control volumes are easy to work with. I tried it on my Windows laptop and an old MacBook: it worked flawlessly!”
6. The Best Wireless Earbuds For Sound
If you're looking for a well-rounded pair of true wireless earbuds that sound really great, consider these well-regarded Sennheiser earbuds (available in black and white). The Bluetooth earbuds have over 1,600 reviews on Amazon and a 4.3-star overall rating. They're engineered to offer exceptional sound quality, which could be great if you tend to spend most of your time listening to music while working. The earbuds are also great for working without distraction, thanks to active noise cancellation (which you can turn on or off), though the Transparent Hearing feature allows you to let in ambient noise without taking the earbuds out if you'd like. A two-microphone system also makes them great for conference calls; one controls ANC, and the other picks up speech, resulting in stellar voice isolation and clearer phone call quality. A sidetone setting helps you hear your own voice over calls.
When it comes to fit, there are four sets of ear tips to experiment with. Onboard controls are customizable on each earbud via Sennheiser's mobile app, and you can also use these earbuds with Siri and Google Assistant if you want. You can expect up to 7 hours of battery life from these headphones between charges, but a total of up to 28 hours with the charging case. Sennheiser doesn’t state the estimated wireless range but confirms that these headphones are Bluetooth 5.1 compliant, which means these buds could connect faster to devices than Bluetooth 5.0 models and that you should be able to expect at least a standard Bluetooth range of 33 feet.
Positive Amazon review: “These are comfortable and come with an assortment of earbuds to fit different size ears. The medium that came attached fit me well. The sound is fantastic. I usually leave it flat, but the app has an equalizer to offer some adjustments. I like being able to pause, while simultaneously going into transparent mode, so I can have a conversation.”
7. A Noise-Canceling Headset With An Extended Wireless Range
This noise-canceling Bluetooth headset could be the perfect accessory if you're on the phone all day. This headset uses an advanced three-mic system and on-demand active noise cancelling to deliver excellent voice clarity. It also comes with an OpenMic button that lets in ambient noise so you can be aware of your surroundings when you want to be. In talk mode, you can expect up to 12 hours of battery with noise canceling off, or 10 with it on. In listening mode, you can expect closer to 15 hours with ANC off.
If you like to roam freely while you work and talk, these headphones have an enormous 98-foot wireless range. Some users even report being able to walk into their yards without any connectivity issues. An included USB dongle makes pairing easy from the start.
These over-ear headphones also come with a convenient carrying case, charging stand, and charging cable, but they're available with a keyboard, mouse, or a headset switch if you're interested in a complete set of companion accessories.
Positive Amazon review: “I work remotely from home and travel much across the country. This goes with me everywhere. I use it for Skype calls and I can wander 100 feet away from the base station without getting any issues.”