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.
We've tested 262 headphones so far and below are our recommendations for the best office headsets to buy in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones and the best noise cancelling earbuds.
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 a 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, for strictly comfort, the QC35 II may be a better choice.
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.
If you want a cheaper alternative to the Sony WH-1000XM3, the best office headset in the mid-range category is the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. These headphones do not cancel noise as well as the Bose, so they won't be as suitable for very noisy office environments. They're also not as comfortable but should be good enough for most listeners.
On the upside, they have an exciting sound, with a powerful but well-balanced bass to get you pumped and focused while you're working. They have a good battery life, a great range if you want to use them wirelessly, and they also come with an audio cable to use passively with most of your devices or while they are charging at your desk.
Overall, they're a great and relatively affordable option and one of the best headphones for work.
If you want something a bit more portable and breathable than the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, then get the Samsung Gear IconX. They're a truly wireless in-ear so they won't last as long on a single charge and won't have the wireless range or connection options of the Plantronics. On the upside, they're very compact and come with a great charging case that will easily fit into your pockets. They sound decently balanced and barely leak, even at high volumes, which makes them a great choice for noise-sensitive office environments. They also block a lot of ambient chatter passively with their in-ear fit for more noisy workplaces.
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 a 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.
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 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.
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 use 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 and they do not come with a USB adapter for PC for added features.
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.