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 500 pairs of headphones, 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 headphones for office use that we've tested are the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless. These Bluetooth-enabled over-ears are comfortable enough to wear for hours at a time and are very well-built, with a touch-sensitive control scheme that makes it easy to make adjustments on the fly. They supply over 37 hours of continuous playback time on a single charge, so they should have no trouble lasting you the whole day.
They have a remarkably effective ANC system that filters out everything from the rumble of passing trucks outside to the chatter of nearby coworkers. They do a decent job of preventing audio from leaking out their ear cups, so you shouldn't have to worry too much about disrupting people nearby. They support multi-device pairing, so you can listen to content on your work computer while also streaming music from your phone.
Unfortunately, their integrated microphone makes your voice sound thin, muffled, and lacking in overall detail. It may also struggle with isolating speech from loud background noise. Mediocre microphone aside, they're versatile enough to also be among the best wireless Bluetooth headphones we've tested.
If you're frequently taking calls at work and need a high-quality microphone, consider the Bose 700 Headphones. They have a less effective ANC system than the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless, but they do have an integrated microphone that makes your voice sound clear, relatively full-bodied, and mostly free of background noise courtesy of a powerful noise gate processor. While their roughly 21-hour battery life is much less than that of the Sony, it should be more than enough to get you through a couple of days at work. Their design is very comfortable, but they aren't especially portable, with bulky ear cups and a rigid headband.
Get the Sony if you want better ANC and longer battery life, but consider the Bose if you plan on using the headphones' mic more often.
The best headphones for work under $200 that we’ve tested are the Razer Opus. These wireless over-ears are very comfortable and well-built, with generously padded ear cups and high-grade plastic construction. They have a continuous battery life of over 32 hours, which should be more than enough to get you through a couple of days at work without needing to recharge them.
They have a fantastic ANC system, which filters out ambient noise across the frequency range. With the feature enabled, you should hear very little in the way of sounds like passing traffic, conversations from nearby coworkers, or the hum of a nearby AC unit. They also do a good job of preventing audio from leaking out of their ear cups, so people nearby shouldn't hear much of what you're listening to. While they have a very well-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, it can be fine-tuned to your liking via a graphic EQ in their feature-packed companion app.
Unfortunately, they don't support multi-device pairing, which may be an annoyance if you like to stream music from your phone while remaining connected to your work computer. Their integrated mic delivers passable recording quality, but it struggles to separate speech from loud background noise. Otherwise, their rich feature-set and well-balanced sound profile make them some of the best headphones we've tested.
The best earbuds for work with noise cancelling are the Jabra Elite 65e Wireless. 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 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 are the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. These Bluetooth over-ears 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.
10/30/2020: Added Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless to main picks, made Bose 700 Headphones Wireless 'Alternative With A Better Microphone'. Moved Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless to Notable Mentions.
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, ranked by their suitability for office use. 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.