Office headphones are typically versatile headsets that can be used at work or in an office-like environment. You want something that will be comfortable enough to last an entire workday without causing fatigue, with a battery that won't need to be charged halfway through the day. An excellent active noise cancelling (ANC) feature can also help keep you concentrated on your work by blocking out background noise and chatty coworkers. Additionally, headphones with minimal leakage mean that you can crank up your music without bothering your nearby colleagues.
We've tested over 480 pairs of headphones so far, and below are our recommendations for the best headset for office use to buy. Also, check out our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones and the best noise cancelling earbuds. If you want to further improve your office workstation, check out our recommendations for the best ergonomic mice and the best ergonomic keyboards.
The best headset for office work that we've tested so far is the Bose 700 Headphones. These over-ear headphones have a very comfortable fit and over 20-hour continuous battery life, ideal for long days at the office. Their integrated microphone has an impressive performance, so you can also use them for phone calls and video conferences.
They have a decently neutral sound profile that packs a bit of extra thump and punch in the bass range, making them suitable for a wide variety of music genres. While they leak a bit of noise in the mid-range, overall, their leakage falls below the noise floor of an average office, so you shouldn't disturb your coworkers while listening to your favorite songs. They also do an outstanding job blocking out background noise thanks to their ANC feature.
Unfortunately, they don't have the most consistent performance, so they may sound a bit differently depending on their fit, seal, and positioning on your head. They also don't have any sound customization features, so you can't adjust their sound to your liking. That said, they have a decent overall performance that should satisfy most listeners.
If you're looking for a pair of headphones with a better ANC performance, consider the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. While their microphone doesn't perform as well as the Bose 700 Headphones Wireless, these over-ears have a better noise isolation performance, especially with voices typically found in a noisy office setting. They also do a better job blocking out bass-heavy sounds like bus engines, making them ideal for your commute. They're also very comfortable, and their 27-hour continuous battery life is superb. Like the Bose, they have a slightly bass-heavy sound profile out-of-the-box, but you can easily adjust the sound to your liking using the graphic EQ and presets on their dedicated companion app.
If you want headphones with a good microphone performance, go with the Bose, but if you want a really impressive noise isolation performance and sound customization options, go with the Sony instead.
The best headphones for work under $200 that we’ve tested so far are the Razer Opus. These over-ear headphones offer an understated design that looks and feels well-built, not to mention intuitive and easy-to-use physical controls. They also have an outstanding continuous battery life of nearly 33 hours, so they'll easily manage several long days at the office on a single charge.
Their ANC is outstanding, especially at their price point, and is capable of blocking out everything from the low rumble of a bus engine to the high-pitched whine of an AC unit, not to mention the chatter of noisy coworkers. They also don’t leak much noise, so even if you listen to your music fairly loudly, you won’t have to worry about disturbing anyone nearby. They also offer a very balanced sound profile that can be customized via presets or a graphic EQ in the very good Razer Opus app.
On the downside, these headphones don’t offer multi-device pairing, which might present a bit of a hassle if you frequently switch between listening to your computer and phone. Also, their integrated microphone is only mediocre at separating your voice from background noise, so you might be drowned out in a loud workplace. Still, they're very good headphones for the office that offer excellent value thanks to their excellent ANC, well-balanced sound profile, and comfortable, well-built design.
The best earbuds for work with noise cancelling are the Jabra Elite 65e. These Bluetooth in-ears have a neckband design that allows you to easily take them in and out without having to put them in a pocket or case. They're surprisingly comfortable for in-ears, as they don't enter the ear canal too deeply. They have an 8.5-hour battery life, which should get you through a full day of work. They look and feel very well-built and durable, have a surprisingly decent microphone, and support multi-device pairing, so you can easily switch between your phone and your work PC.
Their ANC is great, and they do an excellent job of blocking out background speech and the high-pitched sounds of an AC unit or fan. While they don't block out as much engine noise as other options, they'll still give you some peace during your daily commutes. They also don't leak very much audio, so you can listen to your music fairly loud without worrying about bothering the person in the cubicle next to you.
While their default sound profile isn't the most accurate and balanced, it's still fairly versatile though some tracks may sound a bit bright and piercing. On the upside, they're compatible with Jabra's good companion app, so you can completely customize the way they sound with a graphic EQ. If you want something with a more natural and accurate sound profile out-of-the-box, check out the Bose QuietControl 30/QC30 Wireless, though they're quite a bit more expensive and have a much poorer microphone.
If you prefer the versatility and extreme portability of truly wireless in-ears, go with the Amazon Echo Buds. They aren't quite as comfortable as the Jabra Elite 65e Wireless, and their battery doesn't last as long off a single charge, but their ANC works better overall, and their charging case means you can easily top them up while on-the-go. Their default sound profile is quite well-balanced and should be suitable for most genres, and it can be easily customized via a graphic EQ in their companion app. Unfortunately, their 5.3-hour battery life means you'll have to pop them in their case during the middle of your work day to charge them up, but they fully charge in around 45 minutes, and the case will give you five additional charges. They're decently comfortable and feel fairly durable.
Overall, if you want something slightly more comfortable with a longer battery, get the Jabra, but if you want a more versatile pair of truly wireless in-ears and don't mind taking a short break to charge them up in the middle of the day, go for the Amazon headphones.
The best headphones for work in the budget category that we've tested so far are the Anker Soundcore Life Q20. These Bluetooth over-ear headphones offer great value and are surprisingly feature-packed, considering their low price point. They have a good amount of padding, making them quite comfortable. They have a good amount of physical buttons that are fairly easy to use. They last over 32 hours off a single charge, which is fantastic, and they can be used wired if your battery dies or your work PC doesn't have Bluetooth.
They have a surprisingly good ANC feature considering their price and will help keep you concentrated in the office, as well as giving you a bit of peace during your daily commutes. Their sound profile is fairly bass-heavy, though they have a bit of extra treble, making them quite excited-sounding and suitable for most popular genres like EDM, pop, or hip-hop. Unfortunately, they don't have a dedicated companion app, so you can't change the way they sound.
Due to their lower price, they don't look and feel quite as durable or premium as our top picks. This is to be expected, but they still feel sturdy enough to be able to withstand a few accidental drops or bumps. Overall, they offer a great price-to-performance ratio and are among the best headphones we've tested.
If you're looking for the best headphones for work but prefer budget in-ears, go for the AUKEY Latitude. They don't have ANC like the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless, and their battery doesn't last nearly as long. However, their in-ear fit makes them much easier to toss into a pocket, and as long as you achieve a good fit, they isolate more background chatter passively than the Anker do with ANC. They have a fairly well-balanced sound profile that isn't nearly as bass-heavy as the Anker, and their in-line remote offers easier-to-use controls. Unfortunately, they likely won't be as comfortable to wear all day due to their in-ear fit, though they breathe much better than over-ears, so your ears won't overheat after wearing them all day.
If you find the fit of over-ear headphones more comfortable and want something you can use for days without needing to remember to charge, get the Anker, but if you like the portability and breathability of in-ears, get the AUKEY.
09/01/2020: Minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy.
07/03/2020: Added Razer Opus Wireless to new 'Best Office Headphones Under $200' category.
05/05/2020: Moved Bose QuietControl 30 to Notable Mentions. Added Amazon Echo Buds as 'Truly Wireless Alternative' and replaced Anker SoundCore Life 2 with Anker Soundcore Life Q20.
10/28/2019: Changed the budget in-ear alternative from the 'More Customizable' Jaybird Freedom F5 to the 'Passively Isolating' AUKEY Latitude.
Our recommendations above are a few options if you're looking for the best headset for office use for most people. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones 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 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.