- Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
- Retest after major updates
- Easily comparable results
- No ads; unbiased reviews
Office headphones are typically versatile headsets that can be used at work or in an office-like environment. This means headphones good for office use should have minimal leakage to not disturb the people around you. They should be comfortable to use for long periods of time and block the ambient noise of a moderately busy office.
So far, we've tested 184 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best office headsets.
Best Office Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Of the 184 headsets we've tested so far, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II are the best office headphones. They cancel enough noise to be suitable for most office environments and even loud noisy workplaces as long as you're playing some music. They're also one of the most comfortable over-ear headsets that we've tested so you can wear them for hours while working and not feel any strain or fatigue around your ears.
Unfortunately, they're a bit leaky at higher volumes, so they won't be ideal if you work in a very quiet office. In this case, the Beats Studio3 Wireless or the Sennheiser PXC 550 are good recommendations. They leak a lot less but do not isolate as well. The Sony WH-1000XM2 are also a good alternative with slightly stronger noise cancellation but they're not as comfortable or as easy-to-use as the QuietComfort 35 II.
Earbuds Alternative: Bose QuietControl 30
The Bose QuietControl 30 are a great alternative to the Quiet Comfort 35 II, especially if you work in a quiet office. They are earbuds so they barely leak and they're more comfortable than typical in-ears. They're also very breathable and you can wear them for longer than the QuietComfort 35 II and the Sony WH-1000XM2.
However, they are Bluetooth-only headphones with no other connection options which means they will not be the ideal choice if you need to watch a lot of video content at work. Also, you can't use them passively or while they are charging, which would have been convenient to save power while at your desk.
On the upside, they isolate well enough to prevent most of the office chatter from seeping into your audio and they have a decently well-balanced sound. They're more expensive than some of the other wireless in-ears we often recommend like the BeatsX or the Samsung Level U Pro but they are by far the most comfortable and well-rounded earbuds/in-ear we've tested.
Best Mid-Range Office Headphones: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
For a mid-range recommendation, the best headphones for office we've tested are the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They're a cheaper alternative to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, with an exciting sound quality to get you pumped or focused while you're working. They have a good battery life and a great range if you want to use them wirelessly, but they also come with an audio cable to use passively or while they are charging at your desk.
They're not as breathable or as portable as some of the in-ears and earbuds we recommend for the office like the QuietControl 30 or the Beats X so if your work requires a lot of moving around and physical activity, then they may not be ideal, but for everything else, they're a great and relatively affordable option.
Alternative: SteelSeries Arctis 7
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is primarily a gaming headset but also makes a good option for the office. These over-ear headphones have a great build quality, multiple connection options, as well as low latency and a good microphone for conference calls, group chats and watching videos.
They're comfortable and decently affordable for the number of features they provide. They also feel durable enough to last you a while. Unfortunately, they are a bit bulky and although they have breathable padding, they will still make your ears a bit warm after hours of listening. Overall, if you don't mind having a dedicated headphone for the office that won't be as practical to use outdoors, then the Arctis 7 are an excellent choice.
Best Budget Office Headphones: Samsung U Flex
For a budget option, we recommend the Samsung U Flex. They are a solid, budget alternative to the Bose QuietComfort 30 and the BeatsX and they are decently comfortable. They won't be the ideal headphones to block the chatter of a noisy office but they have a good battery life and decent latency performance for a Bluetooth headset. They also barely leak, which makes them suitable to use in quieter workspaces.
The Samsung Level U Pro sound slightly better and have a bit more codec options and features, especially since they're not restricted to Samsung-only devices. However, they're not as well built and not as portable since the headband doesn't fold like the U Flex.
Cheaper Alternative: Mpow Jaws
If you're looking for something even cheaper, get the Mpow Jaws. They have a similar around-the-neck design to the Samsung Level U Pro and Samsung U Flex but they are a bit more comfortable as the in-ear buds do not put as much pressure within your ear canal.
Unfortunately, they do not sound as good or have as many features as the Samsung around-the-neck headphones, but they are well-suited for office use, as they barely leak, even at high volumes.
- Beats Studio3 Wireless. A less leaky alternative to the QC35. Stylish and comfortable design but somewhat mediocre adaptive isolation. See our review
- Sony WH-1000XM2. Outstanding isolation and above-average sound. Slightly pricey and bulky design. See our review
- Sennheiser PXC 550. Customizable sound, comfortable and stable fit. Leaky at higher volumes. See our review
- Bose QuietComfort 25. Comfortable design and great isolation. A wired alternative to the QC35 but also quite leaky. See our review
- Bose SoundLink Around-ear II. Same great comfortable design as the QuietComfort 35 II but with no noise canceling. Good all around headphone for most use cases but a bit leaky at high volumes. See our review
- Samsung Gear IconX. A truly wireless design with low leakage at an affordable price. Relatively high latency and a few connection issues. See our review
- Samsung Level Over Wireless. Good versatile audio reproduction and low leakage. But bulky design and mediocre noise cancellation. See our review
- Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear. Good isolation, minimal leakage. See our review
- Jaybird X3. A good alternative for a mid-range option, especially for Android user. See our review
- JBL Everest Elite 700. Good noise isolation and customizable sound. A bit tight on the head and bulky design. See our review
- Sennheiser HD 4.50. Low leakage and above-average noise canceling. See our review
- Beats BeatsX. Great alternative to the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 if you prefer in-ears. See our review
- Samsung Level U Pro. Good alternative to the Samsung Level U Pro but not as well-built. See our review
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best office headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for office headphones. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference and where you use the headphones will matter more in your selection.