8 Best Headphones for the Office in 2020


Whether you want to enjoy additional clarity in conference calls or listen to some music without disturbing your coworkers, it is important to choose the correct type of headphones for the office. All headphones are not suitable for office use. Here are some things to consider when purchasing headphones for office use:

1. Noise isolation – Beeping fax machines, running printers, and the constant hum of air conditioners in small office spaces can make it a very noisy environment. Plus, there can be a lot of coworkers around you who need to constantly speak or communicate with clients. Thus, headphones that allow you to block external noise or at least reduce their level is better suited for use in the office.

Headphones featuring Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) would be the best choice for office workers who have a high budget and don’t need to maintain situational awareness. For other people, Passive Noise Cancellation (PNC) headphones would be the better choice.

2. Sound leakages – Closed-back headphones are the better choice for office use as they not only provide noise isolation but also prevent sound leakages. It is necessary to keep the office environment as quiet as possible to prevent distractions and increase productivity. So, if you wear open-back headphones in the office that leak a lot of sounds, it can annoy your colleagues, and might also get you in trouble.

3. Wired vs wireless headphones – It is always a better choice to buy wireless headphones for office use as you want the extra mobility and lose the hassle of handling pesky wires. Still, if you dislike the idea of frequently charging your wireless headphones, and don’t want to experience call drops or stuttering due to poor connection, wired headphones would be the better choice for you. 

Typically, wired headphones provide a little better sound quality than wireless headphones, especially with an external DAC/amp combo. However, due to their limited cable length (1.2m-1.8m), you cannot keep them on if you have to move a little away from the audio source. 

4. Microphone and controls – Office headphones are primarily used as communication tools. So, the best headphones for office use must have a good quality boom mic or at least a high-quality mic. Technically, these are known as headsets. Not all headphones that come with a built-in microphone are good for office use. The best variants have microphones that have noise-cancellation properties and allow you to experience crystal clear sound transmission. 

The headphones must also have dedicated controls for adjusting the volume level, answering/muting/hanging calls, and changing tracks.

5. Audio connection port – Most wired headphones can only be connected to the music source using the 3.5mm audio jack or through the USB port. You must inspect whether the connection port of your audio sources such as a laptop or PC is compatible with your device. Otherwise, you may have to purchase a USB adapter or an external AMP/DAC.

There is no single office headphone that can be recommended to everybody. Given below is a list of recommended headphones for office use. You have to decide which headphone you want to buy based on your budget and specific requirements.

#1 – Plantronics’ Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth USB B825 Headset

TypeWireless Bluetooth Headphone
Wireless Range98 feet (30 meters)
Active Noise Cancellation SupportYes
Battery LifeUp to 12hrs, (with 10 ANC on) 
Device Weight155 grams

The Plantronics Voyager Focus UC is the best value-for-money office headphone you can buy in 2020. It is great for calls and also provides a good music listening experience. For the price, it provides good Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) support which is necessary if you work in a noisy work environment. In fact, the device has 3 mics instead of 1 to ensure the sound picked up during calls is as clear as possible. Plus, it’s also comfortable to wear for long durations as the ear cushions are made with memory foam. 

The earcups include all the control settings which include volume adjustment buttons, the power switch, answer call button, and music playback buttons. It also has a mute button that is pretty easy to access. The headphone also has a voice alert function that informs you of the Caller ID, connection, and mute status. You can wander away from your desk while on a call up to a distance of 98 ft (30m).

The overall audio quality of these headphones is good. The highs are great, the mids are well defined and pronounced, and the bass is adequately rich. However, one thing to note is that a drop in music quality occurs whenever you communicate with the mic as the headphone switches profile to ensure better call quality. So, these are not great for gaming sessions where you also intend to chat with your friends. 

Some people might be disappointed with the plastic frame of the device as it doesn’t inspire longevity. However, if you don’t use them roughly, they can last you for a long time. 

Pros

  • Comfortable to use
  • Good roam range

Cons

  • Build quality not as great as premium headphones
  • Average battery life

Who is it for?

The Plantronics Voyager Focus UC would be a good choice for people who cannot afford premium office headphones but still want something that is feature-rich and suitable for use in an office environment. Just be sure to store it carefully or be gentle with it when using it to ensure it can last you for a long time.

#2 – Bose 700 Wireless Headphones

TypeWireless Bluetooth Headphone
Wireless RangeUp to 33 feet (10 meters)
Active Noise Cancellation SupportYes
Battery LifeUp to 20 hrs
Device Weight250 grams

The Bose 700 wireless headphones are premium office headphones with the best overall features. The build quality and comfort of these headphones are comparable to the popular Bose QuietComfort 35 II although they have a different aesthetic. The ear cups are padded well with a plush material to increase comfort while the headband is reinforced with stainless steel to improve durability.

These headphones have a deep, punchy and powerful bass and offer a mid-range that is well-balanced. The treble is also not bad. Overall, the sound quality is better suited for hip-hop or bass-heavy EDM.

Bose is known for its ANC and the Bose 700 provides the best ANC performance in this price range. In fact, you can select from 11 different levels of noise cancellation settings. The adaptive 4 microphone system provides a great experience while you are on calls or just using your voice to access voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant. 

The battery life of the device is great. You can use it for up to 20 hours with ANC on and it only takes about 2.5 hours to reach full charge. It also has a quick charge functionality that allows you to use it for 3.5 hours with only 15 mins of charge.

These headphones tend to give off a little heat when the ANC is used for a long period. The device is not foldable and may feel a little heavier to some people. So, portability can be an issue for some people. Depending on the type of music you listen to, the bass may seem a little tighter compared to other bose headphones.

Pros

  • Great noise cancellation
  • Stylish, comfortable design
  • Good Bluetooth microphone

Cons

  • The sound is less balanced than other Bose over-ears
  • The motion-sensitive auto-off times can be annoying
  • Does not include NFC like other Bose headphones

Who is it for?

The Bose 700 wireless headphones are perfect for people who want to purchase premium office headphones that are feature-rich, provides a blend of good sound and call quality, ANC support, design, comfort, and durability.

#3 – Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

TypeWireless Bluetooth Headphone
Wireless RangeUp to 30 feet (10 meters)
Frequency Response4 Hz-40,000 Hz
Battery LifeUp to 38 hrs, 30 hrs (ANC)
Impedance47 ohms

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless is a premium office headphone with the best Active Noise Cancellation support. It can provide you a virtually soundproof experience. However, when you have to converse with someone, you can instantly turn down the volume level by covering the right ear cup. The Bose 700 has a better microphone but the Sony WH-1000XM3 provides better ANC, battery life, and smart features.

The sound quality of these headphones is not neutral and the bass is overemphasized. Thus, the sound might feel a bit boomy for people who don’t like to listen to bass-heavy music. The treble is also a little lacking and makes the overall sound feel a little dark.  

The touch controls on the device allow you to adjust the volume level, take or make calls, and activate the voice assistant on your phone. The battery life of this device is phenomenal. It takes 3 hours to reach full charge but can last you for up to 38 hours without ANC and up to 30 hours with ANC. 10 mins of charge will allow you to use the device for up to 5 hours.

The ergonomic headband and ear cups make it comfortable to wear. And, the swivel and folding structure allows easy storage and portability. You can use the Sony Headphones Connect app to customize your listening experience by adjusting the EQ, adaptive noise canceling, and Bluetooth codecs.

The call quality offered by these headphones is not as good as Bose headphones. Sometimes, the people you are speaking to can hear echoes or static noises. The auto-off timer on this device only activates when it gets out of the range of the Bluetooth audio source. So, if you forget to turn them off while they are in the Bluetooth range, the battery will be drained.

Pros

  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Good support and feature
  • Premium design and comfort

Cons

  • It is a little bulky
  • Suffers from latency issues

Who is it for?

The Sony WH-1000XM3 is suitable for people who work in a really noisy work environment and need the best ANC support that is available. These are also great for people who like to use headphones while in public transport. 

#4 – Plantronics Savi 8200 Series Wireless Dect Headset System

TypeWireless Headphone (Bluetooth + DECT)
Wireless RangeLine of sight: 590 ft/180 m;Typical office environment: 180 ft/55 m
Active Noise Cancellation SupportYes
Battery LifeUp to 13 hrs
Impedance32 ohms

The Plantronics Savi 8220 is a premium office headphone with the best roaming range, up to 590 feet to be exact when it is in a direct line of sight from the audio source. In a typical office environment, you can stay connected up to 180 feet which is still a lot better than what typical wireless headphones can do. 

The audio quality and the ANC of the device is great. The battery life on this device is also good. You can use it for up to 13 hours on a single charge. Compared to the Savi 700 series, it is more comfortable to wear.

The headphone is DECT security certified. In fact, it has 8 different security measures including authentication, verification, subscription, and encryption to make sure your call remains secure. This device allows you to connect with and manage multiple lines, 3 to be exact. You can toggle between the 3 connected devices instantly using the top mount buttons.

The default settings on the device may not be the most suitable for calls. It might cause a loud echo when you are speaking to someone on a call. Reducing the mic volume can fix this problem but have to tinker with the settings to find the best settings for you.

Pros

  • Roam range up to 590 ft
  • DECT security certified
  • Can connect with up to 3 devices at once

Cons

  • A little expensive compared to the feature set
  • The settings can be complicated to customize

Who is it for?

The Plantronics Savi 8220 is perfect for people who need to walk around a lot on the office floor and switch calls between different devices frequently. It is also good for people who want extra security.

#5 – Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless

TypeWireless Bluetooth Headphone
Wireless RangeUp to 33 feet (10 meters)
Active Noise Cancellation SupportYes
Battery LifeUp to 20 hrs
Device Weight240 grams

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless is a premium office headphone with the best sound quality. The soundstage of the device is not bad for a closed-back design headphone and the stereo image is good and fairly consistent. It automatically optimizes the sound based on the type of music you play.

The Bose QC35 II is comfortable to wear for long listening or call sessions. The sound quality is great and neutral. The bass response feels good but it doesn’t drown the vocals or other instruments.

The ANC doesn’t perform as well as it used to after the recent firmware update. However, it is still good for use in a moderately noisy office environment. The ANC can be adjusted to 3 levels. It is equipped with a noise-rejecting dual-microphone system that offers clear sound and better voice pick-up while on call. The device features intuitive controls that allow you to access virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa, adjust the volume levels, answer/decline calls, etc. 

One problem you may face while using them in the office is the issue of sound leakage. Although they offer good ANC, noise isolation is not great. So, if you listen to music at high volume levels, it can leak out from the device and disturb your coworkers.

Pros

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Noise isolation is good
  • Very good sound quality

Cons

  • Has a higher latency compared to similar products
  • Leaks sound at higher volumes

Who is it for?

The  Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless is ideal for people who want a premium office headphone with good ANC and great sound quality. These are also very comfortable to wear which is an added benefit.

#6 – Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2

TypeWireless Bluetooth Headphone
Wireless Range330 feet (100 meters)
Active Noise Cancellation SupportYes
Battery LifeUp to 24 hrs, 6 months standby 
Device Weight289 grams

The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 is the best midrange wireless office headphone. These headphones deliver powerful bass but well-balanced mids and treble range. It would definitely appeal to Bassheads. The build quality is not as great as premium headphones but they are more durable than most headphones in this price range. 

The design can be a hit-or-miss but they are comfortable to wear due to the faux leather padding on the earcups. The battery life of this device is great and allows you to stream music with ANC for up to 24 hours. It takes about 3 hours to charge the battery to full. The wireless range is also great, allowing you to stay connected up to 100 meters.

These headphones are also easier to use compared to the more premium headphones because they don’t have any complicated controls. It has a gyro sensor. So, the music automatically stops when you take them off. Plus, you can also receive calls just by picking them up and putting them on your head.

The only area where these headphones lack a bit is the ANC. The ANC is not terrible by any means. In fact, it does a good job in a moderately noisy office environment. However, if things get too loud or when you are commuting in public transport, you may need to crank up the volume level to the full to block external noises.

Pros

  • Great battery life and wireless range
  • Well balanced sound
  • Good build quality

Cons

  • ANC is average
  • Design is bulky

Who is it for?

The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 is a good choice for people who want a little of everything but cannot afford premium headphones. These headphones offer great battery life and wireless range, good sound quality, but average ANC. 

#7 – Jabra Elite 85h Wireless

TypeWireless Bluetooth Headphone
Wireless RangeUp to 33 feet (10 meters)
Active Noise Cancellation SupportYes
Battery LifeUp to 41 hrs, (36 hrs with ANC)
Device Weight296 grams

The Jabra Elite 85h Wireless is a premium office headphone with the best battery life. You can use them for up to 36 hours with ANC on and for up to 41 hours with ANC off. It takes only 2.5 hours to reach full charge and charging for 15 minutes will allow you to use the device for up to 5 hours.

The durability and comfort of the device are great as it is built with high-quality materials. The device is protected with a nano-coating that offers resistance against water. The sound quality has a punchy and deep bass with almost a flawless mid-range. The treble is also good but may subdue detail and brightness on vocals. Overall, the sound quality can be compared to the Bose 700 and is suitable for listening to a wide variety of music.

The ANC is not as great as other premium headphones but they are good enough to use in an office environment. In fact, with the ANC mode on, it will cancel most of the outside noise. There 8 built-in mics inside the device and 6 of these work together to cancel outside noise to enhance the audio call quality. However, sometimes, they make a loud static noise and reboot.

The controls are easy to use which allows instant access to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri. The on-ear detection feature allows you to pause audio or autoplay it. It also makes it convenient to answer or mute calls. It can also be connected to 2 devices simultaneously.

Pros

  • Good audio reproduction
  • Excellent battery life
  • Very comfortable to wear

Cons

  • ANC is not that great
  • Inconsistency in sound delivery in the treble range

Who is it for?

The Jabra Elite 85h Wireless would be perfect for people who want to purchase office headphones with the best battery life. These are premium headphones that are not only durable and feature-rich but also provide exceptional battery life. However, you have to compromise with the ANC a little bit.

#8 – Mpow M5 Pro Bluetooth Headset

TypeWireless Bluetooth Headphone
Wireless RangeUp to 33 feet (10 meters)
Active Noise Cancellation SupportYes
Battery LifeUp to 18 hrs
Device Weight48 grams

The Mpow M5 Pro is the best budget wireless office headphones. It doesn’t feature ANC support but still effectively reduces a lot of external noises as it has noise-reducing technology. The noise-reduction mic is the best in the range which delivers crystal clear call quality. Due to being so lightweight and equipped with memory foam, these headphones are very comfortable to wear even for long durations.

The device can be connected to 2 different devices at the same time which is a neat feature.  You can toggle between the 2 connected devices anytime you want. The battery life of the device is good. With just 2 hours of charge, it can last you up to 18 hours. The magnetic charging base that it comes with holds about 12-15 recharges. 

It contains a mute/unmute button which allows you to restrict the accidental leak of private data. The overall sound quality of the device is not bad for the price. However, the volume level can be inconsistent at times. The headband is flexible enough to withstand sudden shocks but you should still use them carefully to prevent accidental damage. 

Pros

  • Can connect with 2 devices simultaneously
  • Very comfortable fit
  • Lightweight
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • No ANC
  • Fragile

Who is it for?

The Mpow M5 Pro is good for people who want to purchase office headphones on a tight budget or just want to use something temporarily before buying a high-end product. These headphones are surprisingly good for use in an office environment. However, the music listening experience will not be that great. This won’t be an issue if you already have a dedicated headphone for listening to music.

Conclusion

A noisy office environment can lower your concentration while you work and decrease your productivity in the long run. Even if you don’t have to call any clients or customers, putting on headphones that support Active Noise Cancellation can be blissful and help you to focus better on the task at hand. 

Now that you know what to look for when buying headphones for office use and have gone through the recommended list of office headphones, we hope you can understand which product would be the best fit for you. No matter which headphone you choose from the list, you will have a great experience as all the products are intended for office use. However, to get the best experience, you have to choose a product that would fulfill some other needs as well.

If you cannot decide which product to buy, we recommend the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC headphones as it is the best value for money. If the price of the product is not an issue for you, you should look into the Bose 700 wireless headphone as it has the best overall features. 

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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