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The 7 Best Office Headphones - March 2019
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Best Office Headphones
330 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
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Office headphones are typically versatile headsets that can be used at work or in an office-like environment. This means that 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. 

We've tested 280 headphones so far and below are our recommendations for the best office headsets to buy in March 2019. See also our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones, the best noise cancelling earbuds, and the best wireless over-ear headphones.

  1. Best Office Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM3

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.7
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best office headphones we've tested so far are the Sony WH-1000XM3. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are slightly more comfortable to wear for long listening sessions and they also have a slightly better default sound. However, the Sony WH-1000XM3 have longer battery life, lower leakage (so you won't distract the people around you at higher volumes), and a more customizable sound that you can EQ thanks to their better companion app.

    The WH-1000XM3 also have a more versatile ANC feature that you can optimize for any environment, unlike the Bowers and Wilkins PX or the QC35 II. Unfortunately, for their price, the Sonys do not look as premium as the PX or the BeoPlay H9. They also tend to be a tad bass-heavy, but since you can EQ them it's not a big deal.

    If you want the best noise-canceling headset for the office and also do not want your music to leak out and distract the people around you, then get the XM3. However, strictly for comfort, the QC35 II may be a better choice.

    See our review

  2. Earbud Alternative: Bose QuietControl 30

    Type : Earbuds
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you work in a quiet or noise-sensitive office environment, then the Bose QuietControl 30 will be a better choice for you than the Sony WH-1000XM3. They won't be as comfortable for everyone as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and their battery life doesn't last as long. However, they have a good isolation performance in a compact wireless earbud design.

    Their ANC feature blocks a lot of noise, and it's much better than the similarly designed Jabra Elite 65e. They're more comfortable than typical around the neck in-ears, so you can wear them for a full work day and not feel any soreness or fatigue. They also sound decently well-balanced and pack a lot of bass. Since they barely leak, you can listen to your music at higher volumes than the QC35 II or the Sony WH-1000XM3 without distracting those around you.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Office Headphones: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.5
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If the Sony WH-1000XM3 are outside of your price range, take a look at the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re not as well-built as the WH-1000XM3, but they’re significantly cheaper and have a more exciting, bass-heavy sound. The BackBeat Pro 2 are well-built, sturdy headphones that are comfortable and have an easy-to-use control scheme. They’re a good choice for office use but are well-suited for critical listening too.

    What really sets the BackBeat Pro apart is their outstanding battery. They deliver 30 hours of continuous playback with the ANC feature enabled, and feature an auto-off timer to further prolong their battery life. Plus, once the battery dies, you can still use them while charging or passively with the provided audio cable. The BackBeat Pro have very good sound, too, and are particularly well-suited for those who like to listen to the deep bass grooves of EDM, dubstep, or hip-hop while they’re working.

    Though the Plantronics BackBeat Pro have decent noise isolation, enough to do an average job at blocking office chatter, their ANC isn’t quite as good as competing models. If you care a lot about noise isolation, take a look at the Anker SoundCore Space NC; they don’t sound as good as the BackBeat Pro, but they do a much better job at blocking out the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

    See our review

  4. More Portable Alternative: Samsung Gear IconX

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you’re looking for the most unobtrusive earbuds to wear around the office, get the Samsung Gear IconX. They’re super portable and are well-built with a comfortable, stable fit. They isolate quite well for in-ears and sound decent too. They have 4GB of onboard storage, which is a nice touch if you don’t like having your phone or audio player on you at work.

    Though the Samsung Gear app is pretty cool, it’s not available on iOS and features more health-tracking features than audio customization. Android users who like to hit the gym after work are likely to appreciate their more fitness-focused design, though.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Office Headphones: Samsung U Flex

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.9
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 and the Samsung Gear IconX are too expensive, the best headphones for work in the budget category are the Samsung U Flex. They're not noise-canceling headphones like the BackBeat Pro 2, so they won't do as well in a noisy office environment. They also won't last as long on a single charge or be as comfortable for all listeners.

    But on the upside, they have a flexible design that's decently compact and better-built than that of the Samsung Level U Pro. They also have an above average sound that you can heavily customize if you have a Samsung phone or tablet.

    Overall, the U Flex have decent sound quality and barely leak, so you can listen to your music at high volumes without distracting your colleagues. Their in-ear fit is also a bit more comfortable than typical in-ear design so you can wear them for longer, which make them a decent option for the office.

    See our review

  6. More Versatile Alternative: JBL Endurance Sprint

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want a budget headset that won't leak much and also isolates well enough to block the ambient chatter, then get the JBL Endurance Sprint. They're not the most comfortable headphones to wear for long listening sessions, and they do not come with as many tip options to help you find a more comfortable fit. They also have quite a bit of latency, so they won't be the best choice if your work involves watching a lot of videos. On the upside, they have a well-balanced sound and their in-ear fit blocks quite a bit of ambient noise passively when you get an airtight seal. They also do not leak much, so you can play your music at higher volumes to make even more noise and still not disturb your colleagues.

    They do not have the customizable sound and aren't quite as comfortable as the Jaybird Freedom, which are a decent alternative to the Sprint. However, they are more affordable, block a bit more noise passively, and have a longer battery life that is not limited by the proprietary charging cradle/clip like the Jaybirds.

    If you prefer a wired design to avoid latency issues when watching videos, then you have the choice between the KZ AS-10 (good in-ear isolation), the Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear (more comfortable earbud design), and the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear (better sound and more tip options). However, they are a bit more expensive.

    See our review

  7. Wired Over-Ear Alternative: Corsair HS60

    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : No
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you often have conference calls and want a budget headset with a great mic, then consider the Corsair HS60. They have a wired design, which won't be as convenient as the wireless option on this list since you will have to disconnect them from your PC if you take a break and want to walk around the office. They're also not the most comfortable headphones to wear for very long listening sessions. However, on the upside, they have an excellent boom mic that will reproduce your voice accurately and filter a lot of background noise. They also come with a USB adapter that gives them a bit more features on PC and should be a bit easier to use than a Y splitter cable.

    You can also get the Hyper Cloud Stinger for this case. They have a similar performance, but a slightly better sound and overall mic performance than the Corsair. They're also a little cheaper, but their mic is not removable, which won't be for everyone. Also, they do not come with a USB adapter for PC for added features.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Bose QuietComfort 35 II:  Outstanding isolation, great sound, and excellent comfort. A bit leaky at high volumes and no customization options.  See our review
  • Bowers & Wilkins PX: A well-made and luxurious looking headphone with good noise isolation and low leakage suitable for an office environment. Tight, uncomfortable fit on some listeners.  See our review
  • Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless: Customizable sound, comfortable and stable fit. Leaky at higher volumes.  See our review
  • Beats Studio 3 Wireless: A less leaky alternative to the QC35. Stylish and comfortable design, but somewhat mediocre adaptive isolation.  See our review
  • Bose QuietComfort 25: Comfortable design and great isolation. A wired alternative to the QC35  but also quite leaky.  See our review
  • SteelSeries Arctis 7: A versatile gaming headset with a lot of connection options, a good sound, and a great mic for making calls. They do not block the most noise and can be a bit tight on some heads.  See our review
  • Jabra Elite 65e: A cheaper alternative to the Bose QC30 with a comfortable earbud fit. They have a better mic for making calls, but do not isolate as well in loud environments and do not sound as balanced as the Bose. See our review
  • Beats Beats X: A good alternative to the Samsung Gear IconX if you're an iOS user. They have a good sound and a good isolation performance with low leakage for the office.  See our review
  • Samsung Level Over Wireless: Good versatile audio reproduction and low leakage. Bulky design and mediocre noise cancellation.  See our review
  • Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC: Low leakage and above-average noise canceling. See our review
  • Samsung Level U Pro: Good alternative to the Samsung Level U Flex, but not as well-built. See our review

All Reviews

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.

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