Man sitting in front of computer, working from home and wearing headphones

The Best Headsets for Working From Home in 2021

By Austin Meadows SoundNo Comments

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Whether you’re new to working from home or a seasoned pajama professional, having the right gear makes a huge difference. It starts with a good ergonomic work setup, which definitely includes “optional” accessories like a quality headset.

Using a good headset will improve your voice quality on Zoom meetings and phone calls by cutting out background noise from kids, pets, and traffic. It can also aid focus with the help of background music, and make that music sound better than what you’ll get from the cheap pair of earbuds that came with your phone. 

Key factors to consider when choosing a headset for working from home are the connection type (wired or wireless), whether there’s any noise cancelling technology and how well it works, outgoing and incoming audio quality, and durability.

Because you could easily be using this headset for 8+ hours a day, it’s also important to choose something that’s comfortable to wear for long periods. That’s an often-overlooked factor, but a vital one.

Based on the factors described above, plus of course the costs involved, these are our current picks for the best headsets for working from home.

Sale
Best Headset for Working from Home: Plantronics Voyager Focus UC
  • Weight: 5.5 ounces
  • Connection: Bluetooth 4.0
  • Active Noise Cancelation?: Yes
  • Microphone: Noise-canceling, rigid stalk
  • Battery life: Up to 12 hours

Sale
Runner-Up, Best Headset for Working from Home: Sony WH-1000XM4
  • Weight: 9 ounces
  • Connection: Bluetooth 5.1, 3.5mm
  • Active Noise Cancelation?: Yes
  • Microphone: Noise-suppressing, inbuilt
  • Battery life: up to 30 hours

Sale
Best Wired Headset for Working from Home: Logitech G PRO X
  • Weight: 9 ounces
  • Connection: 3.5mm
  • Active Noise Cancelation?: No
  • Microphone: Noise-suppressing, flexible stalk
  • Battery life: n/a

Sale
Most Comfortable: Bose QuietComfort 45
  • Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Connection: Bluetooth 5.1, 3.5mm
  • Active Noise Cancelation?: Yes
  • Microphone: Noise-suppressing, inbuilt
  • Battery life: up to 24 hours

Sale
Best on a Budget: Jabra Evolve 40
  • Weight: 6 ounces
  • Connection: USB, 3.5mm
  • Active Noise Cancelation?: No
  • Microphone: Standard, rigid stalk
  • Battery life: n/a

Sale
Best Single-Ear Headset: BlueParrott M300-XT
  • Weight: 0.7 ounces
  • Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
  • Active Noise Cancelation?: No
  • Microphone: Noise-suppressing, rigid stalk
  • Battery life: up to 14 hours

Best Headset for Working from Home: Plantronics Voyager Focus UC

Poly - Voyager Focus UC with Charge Stand (Plantronics) - Bluetooth Dual-Ear (Stereo) Headset with Boom Mic - USB-A Compatible with PC and Mac - Active Noise Canceling - Works with Teams, Zoom & More

When it comes to working from home, the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC headset has a lot going for it. Lightweight and comfortable even when worn for hours, it has excellent voice quality and provides up to 12 hours of active talk time per charge.

Designed for use with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other remote-working tools, it’s aimed at professionals who spend a lot of time on calls, but because it’s a headphone-style headset with audio in both ears, it can easily do double duty for listening to music or casual gaming after work. 

If you have kiddos running around or other noisy distractions, active noise cancelling (ANC) technology helps you focus, while noise-cancelling microphones reduce the amount of background sound that makes it through to your co-workers.

The springy headband has just the right amount of grip, keeping the padded earcups firmly in place without pinching or discomfort. That’s why you can wear them all day without wanting to rip them off your head, and a big part of what makes them the best headset for working from home.

Basic controls are built into the earcups: there’s a voice assistant button on one side, and music/volume buttons on the other. Noise cancelation can also be turned on and off here, cutting out low-end sounds while still keeping voices audible.

Other useful features including automatic pausing music playback when you remove the headset (and restarting again when you put it back on), a 100-foot Bluetooth range that lets you wander around while on a call, and an “HD Voice” mode that improves outbound audio quality.

The only real downside of this set is its durability. Several components are plastic, which can become brittle over time. You’re not paying a fortune for the Focus UC, but given the otherwise high-end nature of this headset, we’d perhaps have hoped for a better build quality. 

Pros
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Strong battery life
  • Excellent voice quality
  • Compatible with Microsoft Teams, Zoom and more
  • Active noise cancelling (ANC)
Cons
  • Durability could be better
Buy on Amazon

Runner-Up, Best Headset for Working from Home: Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for Phone-Call and Alexa Voice Control, Black

Sony makes fantastic headphones, and the WH-1000XM4 is no exception. This is a higher-end headset with exceptional sound quality, impressive noise cancelling, and seamless wireless operation. It’s the best general-purpose headset for working from home overall. 

The XM4 does an excellent job of keeping out unwanted noise, utilizing a processor specifically designed for noise cancellation. The headset uses small microphones built into the headphones themselves, rather than an extended boom-style microphone, but you still get crisp, clear phone calls (on both ends) and excellent audio quality.

Speaking of sound quality, it’s truly excellent. High-quality 40mm drivers combined with some of the best digital sound enhancing tech combine to provide a rich, immersive experience while listening to music. We thought the audio on an earlier model of these headphones was impressive enough, but the XM4’s are even better.

Voice assist (Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant) is built in, and a unique speak-to-chat feature automatically lowers headset volume when you start talking, assuming you’re not on a call. The idea is to allow you to have conversations with someone in the room without removing your headphones. Necessary? No. Cool? Yes!

Dual-device pairing allows you to switch seamlessly between your computer and phone or other Bluetooth-enabled devices. The headphones are smart enough to automatically switch from (for example) your laptop to your phone when a call comes in, an especially useful feature.

The headset also comes with a 3.5mm cable for wired connections, although this is only for listening: the microphone doesn’t work unless you’re in Bluetooth mode.

The XM4 offers impressive battery life, lasting up to 30 hours of wireless use between charges. That’s enough to get you through most of the work week, even if you’re using the headset all day.

The headset also detects whether you’re wearing it or not, powering itself off automatically to save battery while not in use. When you do run low on juice, USB C fast-charging gives around five hours of playback time with as little as ten minutes on the charger.

The only real downside of XM4 is the aforementioned microphone issue when using the wired connection. If you only plan to use it wirelessly, of course, it won’t bother you in the slightest. It’s also somewhat pricey — but you get what you pay for here.

If you spend many hours a day on calls, the lightweight nature and lower cost of the Focus UC (above) makes it a better option. If you’re after something appropriate for a wider range of uses, however, and have a higher budget to go with it, the XM4 is the way to go.

Pros
  • Excellent active noise cancelling
  • Impressive sound quality
  • Very comfortable
  • Up to 30 hour battery life
  • Pauses playback when headphones are removed
  • Can be used wireless or (partially) wired
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Microphone doesn’t work when using the wired connection
Buy on Amazon

Best Wired Headset for Working from Home: Logitech G PRO X

Logitech G PRO X Gaming Headset (2nd Generation) with Blue Voice, DTS Headphone 7.1 and 50 mm PRO-G Drivers, for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S,PS5,PS4, Nintendo Switch - Black

While the Logitech G PRO X is marketed as a gaming headset, many of the factors that gamers look for also apply to remote workers: comfort, audio quality, and a good microphone. It’s also reasonably price, making it an ideal choice for those looking to save a bit of cash. 

Note, however, this is a wired-only headset: it has to be connected via the included 3.5mm cables, either directly into your device or via the bundled USB soundcard. There is a separate wireless model, but it’s around twice the price, so we’d opt for the XM4 instead if Bluetooth is a must. 

The G PRO X has impressive audio quality for the price, bolstered by DTS 7.1 surround sound and high-quality sound software that lets you customize your audio settings to an impressive degree.

The removable microphone includes a noise reducer, compressor, and limiter for cleaner, professional-sounding voice communications. This means these headphones are well suited to just about any computer activity, switching seamlessly from work meetings to after-hours gaming sessions. 

As good as the G PRO X is, there are a couple of downsides worth mentioning. In order to fully utilize the advanced features, you must use both the free G Hub software and that bundled sound card. This requires a bit of clutter software and hardware wise, and is particularly relevant for laptop users with limited USB slots.

Separately, some users have reported hardware issues with the removable microphone, but that’s less of a concern given there’s a backup inline microphone as well.

Pros
  • Comfortable and durable
  • Excellent, detachable mic
  • Impressive sound quality
  • Highly customizable
  • DTS 7.1 surround sound
Cons
  • Some reported issues with microphone hardware
  • Wired-only
  • Needs both G Hub software (free) and USB external sound card (included) to access all features
Buy on Amazon

Most Comfortable: Bose QuietComfort 45

Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones - Triple Black

If comfort is your priority, the Bose QuietComfort 45 headset is a great choice. In many ways, it’s similar to our top pick: it’s priced similarly, offers wired and wireless connectivity, and has excellent sound quality and noise cancellation. A ~24 hour max battery life is slightly weaker than XM4, but still impressive. 

What sets the Bose model apart is comfort. Signature large cushions rest comfortably around the ears rather than on top of them, which reduces ear rubbing and discomfort. The Bose QC 45’s are designed to have “minimal clamping force,” which essentially means they don’t feel as tight or constricting on your ears as some competing models. 

It’s not just about comfort, however. The QC 45’s offer exceptional sound quality with high-fidelity audio and remarkable depth and fullness, while active equalization ensures music sounds amazing at any volume level.

Bose has arguably the best noise-cancelling technology of any headphone maker, ensuring a focused, productive work environment for office hours, and blissful distraction-free relaxation when you’re done for the day.

To customize features, you must use the Bose Music app. Apart from this, the only real downside is the price point: like the Sony option, this headset ain’t cheap.

Pros
  • Very comfortable design
  • Large cushions sit around the ears, not on them
  • Connects via USB or Bluetooth
  • Advanced noise cancellation
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Relatively lightweight for their size
Cons
  • Feature customization requires Bose Music app
  • Pricey
Buy on Amazon

Best on a Budget: Jabra Evolve 40

Jabra Evolve 40 Professional Wired Headset, Stereo, MS-Optimized – Telephone Headset for Greater Productivity, Superior Sound for Calls and Music, 3.5mm Jack/USB Connection, All-Day Comfort Design

If you can talk your employer into buying you a headset, then absolutely splurge for the above Sony or Bose models. When you’re paying out of pocket, however, you may want to opt for a more budget-friendly model. In that case, go for the Jabra Evolve 40.

The Evolve 40 strikes a good balance between quality and price. While it’s not as comfortable as our top picks, the lightweight frame is still easy to wear for hours. Likewise, while it doesn’t have the same sound quality as the XM4 or QC45, it’s still leaps and bounds ahead of basic headsets, at a reasonable price point.

This wired headset connects via either USB or 3.5mm jack, so it can be used with most devices. It’s optimized for use with Microsoft Teams and other popular software like Cisco and Skype for Business. It looks and feels like an office headset, right down to the “busy” light to let others know you’re on a call.

One downside worth mentioning, however, is the lack of active noise cancelling (ANC) technology for either the microphone or the drivers. This means that audio may include some background noise for both you and anyone you’re talking to, so the Evolve 40 works best in relatively quiet environments. 

If you really don’t want to spend a lot on a basic headset for working from home, the Logitech H390 is probably the best truly cheap option. Comfort and durability suffer at this price point, but it’s good enough to get the job done, and even has some basic microphone noise cancellation.

Pros
  • Optimized for use with MS Teams
  • Connects via USB or 3.5mm jack
  • Lightweight for extra comfort
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • No active noise cancellation, so some background noise may come through on the microphone
Buy on Amazon

Best Single-Ear Headset: BlueParrott M300-XT

BlueParrott M300-XT Noise Cancelling Hands-Free Mono Bluetooth Headset for Mobile Phones with up to 14 Hours of Talk Time for On-The-Go Mobile Professionals & Drivers

All of our picks so far have been dual-ear, headphone-style headsets. We find that for most home workers, having audio in both ears is useful for cutting out background noise and having a better experience when listening to music. 

With that said, some people prefer single-ear headsets that allow you to remain more aware of your surroundings while connected. If this sounds like you, the BlueParrot M300-XT headset is the way to go.

The M300-XT is compact, lightweight, and versatile. You can use it at the home office, in the actual office, or on the road. A battery life of up to 14 hours will keep you powered through roughly two workdays before needing to dig out the charger.

Bluetooth 5.1 support ensures stable, long-range connection to a wide range of devices. The M300-XT is also surprisingly durable, with IP54-rated resistance to water and dust. 

This model has excellent background noise suppression and a quality microphone, both of which dramatically improve the quality of outgoing audio. Of course, the single-ear design means that you’ll notice more background noise in your own environment, and it wouldn’t be our pick for listening to music for the same reason.

Pros
  • Mic has excellent background noise suppression
  • Up to 14 hour battery life
  • Quality incoming and outgoing audio
  • IP54-rated
  • Up to 300ft range
Cons
  • Single-ear design isn’t ideal for listening to music
Buy on Amazon

Main image via Shutterstock, product images via Amazon

About the Author
Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows

Austin is a digital nomad with a passion for exploring alternative lifestyles and testing the latest technological innovations. Rarely under the same roof for long, when he's not sampling wine and cheese in Bulgaria or downloading the latest travel app, you can find him running, gaming, or cooking up something delicious.

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