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 over 350 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 noise cancelling headphones for office that we’ve tested so far are the Bose 700 Headphones. They have great noise isolation, decent sound, and a surprisingly impressive integrated Bluetooth microphone all wrapped up in a sleek package. They look like premium headphones with a futuristic yet sophisticated design that’s very comfortable, too.
They have the best Bluetooth microphone we’ve seen to date, with a very clear recording quality and remarkable noise handling. The headphones do a very good job at isolating noise, especially in the mid and treble ranges, which are responsible for most office sounds like ambient chatter or the hum of an A/C unit. They have an auto-off timer, too, so if you forget to turn them off before leaving for the day, they won’t be dead in the morning.
Although their noise cancelling is great, they leak a bit of sound. This shouldn’t be an issue in most offices, since their leakage isn’t too loud, but could be problematic in a particularly noise sensitive workplace. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are even more comfortable and better sounding, but they leak even more and don’t have the same great mic performance. Overall, the Bose 700 are very competent headphones that provide very good value for office use.
If you prefer being able to customize the way your headphones sound to better suit your tastes, then get the Sony WH-1000X3. They don’t have a great microphone like the Bose 700 Headphones, but they’re more customizable thanks to the Sony | Headphones Connect app. They’re well-built and have a great battery life, but they lack a proper auto-off timer and their touch-sensitive control scheme can also be a bit difficult to use, especially in colder weather. The Jabra Elite 85h are easier to use, but don’t isolate noise as well.
If you need wireless ANC headphones with a very good microphone for taking calls, then it’s hard to beat the Bose 700. That said, if you care more about having a customizable listening experience, then you’ll want to get the XM3 – their companion app provides access to a graphic EQ, room and sound positioning effects, adaptive noise cancelling, and even different Bluetooth codec options.
If the more premium options are outside of your price range, take a look at the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re not as well-built as the Bose 700 Headphones, but they’re significantly less expensive and have a physical control scheme that’s easier to use. They have decent noise isolation, an outstanding 30-hour battery life, and an exciting bass-heavy sound that’s great for enjoying your favorite tracks all day long. Their ANC isn’t quite as good as competing models,, though, so if you care a lot about noise isolation, you’ll want to take a look at the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC; they don’t sound as good as the BackBeat Pro out of the box, but they’re more customizable, block out more noise and leak less.
Get the Bose headphones if want more stylish, better-built headphones and your budget allows it, but if you prefer the ease-of-use of physical controls and don’t mind their bulkier design, then you’ll want to go for the Plantronics, especially since they provide such great value for their price.
If you work in a noise-sensitive office environment but still want comfortable headphones, then get the Bose QuietControl 30. They’re noise cancelling earbuds that are more comfortable than traditional in-ears but leak a lot less sound than over-ear headphones. They have a neckband design that ensures the earbuds are always at arm’s reach and have a good control scheme that’s easy-to-use.
These headphones are more comfortable than typical neckband-style in-ears, so you should be able to wear them for a full work day without feeling much soreness or fatigue. They sound decently well-balanced and pack a lot of bass. Their ANC feature blocks a lot of noise and since they barely leak, you can listen to your music at higher volumes without distracting those around you.
Unfortunately, there have been reports of the neckband not holding up over time as the rubber neckband cover tends to unstick and peel off. The Sony WI-1000X feel better-built, but they’re less comfortable and leak more sound. Although not everyone will find the QC 30 as comfortable as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, they provide good isolation performance in a compact wireless earbud design that makes them a suitable choice for many office uses.
If you like neckband-style earbuds but don’t want something too expensive, then consider the Jabra Elite 65e. They don’t isolate noise as well or sound as good as the Bose QuietControl 30, but they’re significantly cheaper and have a much better wireless microphone for taking calls. Their controls even include a mic mute button, which can be handy during conference calls. Although they sound less balanced than the QC 30, they are compatible with the Jabra Sound+ app which provides access to a graphic EQ.
If you don’t want to have to fiddle with an EQ to make your earbuds sound good, you’ll want to get the Bose since they sound better right out-of-the-box; however, if you care more about mic quality and want earbuds that are cheaper but feel more durable, then get the Jabra.
If you want to be able to enjoy some nice background music at the office without breaking the bank, the best headphones for work in the budget category are the Anker SoundCore Life 2. These are comfortable over-ear headphones that are reasonably well-built and come with a great hard carrying case. They perform fairly well for their price and provide good value overall.
They are decent-sounding headphones. They have a fairly well-balanced sound and provide a satisfying listening experience with most genres of music. They have an excellent 28-hour battery life but don’t have any power-saving features, so make sure to turn them off when they’re not in use or else their battery will keep draining.
Unfortunately, they have mediocre noise isolation. They isolate well in the treble range, but not much else. The Mpow H10 have better noise isolation across the board but they also leak much more sound. Since the Anker leak less, you can listen to your music a bit louder to mask out more noise without bothering your colleagues.
If you like to have greater control over the way your headphones sound and prefer the portability of in-ears, then get the Jaybird Freedom. They don’t have ANC like the Anker SoundCore Life 2, but their in-ear fit actually isolates even more noise. They’re compatible with the Jaybird MySound app which gives you access to a great parametric EQ, and they can pair with two devices simultaneously. They charge quickly, but their battery performance is still rather mediocre with only 4 hours of battery life. The JBL Endurance Sprint have a 9-hour battery life, but they aren’t customizable, and they have a less comfortable fit.
If you find over-ear headphones more comfortable and like having headphones with a longer battery life so you don’t have to charge them as frequently, you’ll want to go for the Anker SoundCore Life 2. However, if you want something more portable and like being able to customize the way your headphones sound, get the Jaybird Freedom.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best office headphones for most people are to buy. 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 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.