If you're out and about listening to headphones and someone calls, it's much more convenient to speak into your headphones than take them off and use your phone. Since almost every pair of headphones now have a microphone and controls built-in, it's easier than ever to take a phone call wherever you are. While earpiece-style Bluetooth headsets are still quite common with people who use the phone a lot, we haven't tested many, so in this article, we'll look at regular Bluetooth headphones with good microphones as well.
Keep in mind that there are some limitations to Bluetooth. This technology uses Bluetooth profiles, which are specifications for how data communicates between devices. To use your wireless headphones with full audio and mic compatibility, the headphones switch from Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), which is a basic one-way profile, to Headset Profile (HSP) or Hands-Free Profile (HFP). However, HSP and HFP have lower sound and mic quality when compared to A2DP. Unfortunately, there's no real way around this if you want to use Bluetooth headphones.
We’ve tested over 370 Bluetooth headsets; below, you’ll find our top picks for the best Bluetooth headsets for phone calls. Also, check our recommendations for the best earbuds with a mic, and the best wireless gaming headsets we've tested.
The best Bluetooth headset we've tested is the Bose 700 Headphones Wireless. These over-ears have an integrated mic on their ear cup, ensuring that your voice sounds clear and natural. If you're talking in a noisy environment, the mic can also separate your voice from moderate background sounds. Thanks to their ANC system, they do an exceptional job blocking out sound like ambient chatter, which is handy if you work in a noisy office. If you need to take calls throughout the day, their battery lasts over 20 hours continuously, and their auto-off timer can help conserve battery life should you forget to turn them off.
You can pair them with your PC and your smartphone at the same time, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ if you want to adjust their slightly warm sound profile to suit your tastes. While some users have reported a drop in audio and mic quality when taking conference calls via their computers, this is normal. One of the limitations of Bluetooth is that you have to switch to a Bluetooth profile like HSP or HPF if you want full compatibility.
If you're on a tighter budget, the best wireless earbuds for phone calls at this price point that we've tested are the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless. If you're on a tight budget, these truly wireless buds' integrated mic has an alright overall performance, despite sitting far from your mouth than an in-line mic. As a result, your voice sounds clear and easy to understand, although the mic still has some trouble separating your voice from moderate ambient noise.
The buds have a fairly neutral mid-range, so voices sound clear and accurate during phone calls. They also have a good noise isolation performance and can passively block office chatter. On the downside, their 5.3-hour continuous battery life may not last through a long workday without a recharge. Luckily, their carrying case delivers four extra charges if you need it.
The best earbuds for phone calls with a wireless design that we've tested are the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless. Unlike the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless, these neckband headphones have an in-line mic that places the mic closer to your mouth. It results in a decent overall performance, ensuring that whoever you're talking to hears you clearly. It has some trouble separating your voice from moderate background sound, so if you're calling from a busy office, your voice may be drowned out.
That said, the headphones support multi-device pairing, which is great if you want to stay connected to your PC and smartphone at the same time. They also have an active noise cancelling (ANC) system that can help block out noise like office chatter. These headphones last 8.6 hours continuously and have a standby mode to help conserve battery life when you're not using them.
Using stereo headphones while driving can be dangerous. If you need to take calls while driving, you may want to consider a mono headset as it only covers one ear, so you hear what's going on around you. Enter the BlueParrott B450-XT Bluetooth Headset, the best headset for this use we've tested. It has a boom mic that sits close to your mouth, ensuring your voice sounds clear and natural. It also supports multi-device pairing, meaning you can stay connected to your personal and work phones simultaneously. It also lasts over 24 hours continuously, but if you aren't on a call, it goes into standby mode to conserve battery life. Its plasticky design can put pressure on the top of your ear, which can be uncomfortable over time.
If build quality is a priority to you, or if you prefer an in-ear fit, consider the Plantronics Voyager 5200 Bluetooth Headset instead. This headset has a sturdy plastic frame and comes with three different tip sizes to help you get the best fit. It also has a flexible ear hook design that doesn't put too much pressure on your ear.
May 24, 2022: Article overhaul to better match picks with user expectations. Renamed BlueParrott B450-XT Bluetooth Headset pick to 'Best Bluetooth Headset For Driving'. Removed the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018, Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless, Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless, Hyper Cloud Mix Wireless, and Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless from Notable Mentions. Added the Plantronics Voyager 5200 Bluetooth Headset and Jabra Evolve2 85 to Notable Mentions.
Mar 25, 2022: There have been minor changes to the text for clarity and accuracy. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Jan 17, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
Dec 16, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock. There were no changes to recommendations.
Nov 16, 2021: Replaced the EarFun Air Pro True Wireless with the Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless as the 'Truly Wireless Alternative' to the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless because they may be difficult to find available.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Bluetooth headphones for calls and the best Bluetooth earbuds for phone calls for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper headset wins over pricier a one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (nothing that's too hard to find or out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our Bluetooth headphones, ranked by how they perform for phone calls. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.