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 246 headphones so far and below are our recommendations for the best office headsets to buy in 2018.
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 Bose QC35 II, 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 for work and most other use cases.
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 budget office headphones 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 more versatile option for non-Android or Samsung users than the Samsung U Flex, we recommend the Jaybird Freedom. They do not have the continuous battery life of the U Flex since you have to use their clunky and cumbersome charging clip. They are also a bit less sturdy in terms of build quality but overall they have a decently durable design that's good for the office and the gym. They do not leak much so you won't distract your colleagues when listening to music at high volumes and they have a decently comfortable in-ear fit that's stable enough for most use cases. They're a good choice if your job involves a lot of moving around.
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.