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The Best Headsets For Working From Home in 2022

UPDATED
September 29, 2022

 

best headsets

The best headsets for working from home combine great noise cancellation, comfort, high outgoing and incoming audio quality and long battery life. Here are the best 7 that do their job well, so you can too!

 

After extensive testing, our favorite headset for working from home is the Poly Voyager Focus. It’s comfortable enough for all-day use and offers great active noise cancellation and clever features for calls and music. But, we’ve identified six great alternatives too.

 

The 7 Best Headsets

 

  1. Poly Voyager Focus – Best overall headset
  2. Sony WF-1000XM4 – Best noise cancellation
  3. Bose Headsets 700 – Best cutting-edge headset for music
  4. Poly Voyager 5200 – Best single-ear headset
  5. Bose QuietComfort 45 – Most comfortable and portable
  6. JLab Go Work – Best value headset for work calls
  7. Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT2 – Best battery life

 

Working from home can be a battleground of distractions. An excellent headset can take you a long way in helping you concentrate and be more productive.

 

Ideally, a headset should help block out background noise, sound fantastic, grant wireless freedom for users to move around, and be comfortable enough for a full workday. Few headsets tick all these boxes.

 

headset, earbuds, keyboard and mouse on a table

Let’s dive into our top 7.

 

Note

Prices shown in this article were based on the time of writing. To view current prices, click on the various product links.

 

The Best Headsets For Working From Home

 

We’ve done our homework, tested countless models first-hand, and spoken to a wide range of experts and remote workers to shortlist these top 7:

 

1. Poly Voyager Focus

Best overall headset

 

poly voyager focus

 

“Light, comfortable and designed for calls, the Poly Voyager Focus is a gamechanger for remote workers.”

 

Update

Poly has recently released the second gen Voyager Focus 2 – with improved 2-mode noise cancellation, longer battery life and a wider range thanks to Bluetooth 5.1.

 

Poly (formerly Plantronics) is known for their excellent headsets – including the ones first worn to the moon. The Voyager Focus wow-ed us with powerful features that can easily upgrade any remote worker’s flow. What first sets it apart is how lightweight it is – only 155g! All our reviewers reported it as very comfortable, even for full work-days.

 

But the Voyager is especially great for calls and it’s compatible and officially certified with all leading collaboration platforms. Their tuned triple-mics ensures great voice quality, even in noisy backgrounds.

 

I also found its 100-foot range let me wander around the house and I didn’t have to worry about charging it during the day, thanks to a generous 12 hour battery life. Its active noise cancellation blocks out daily distractions well, and certainly helped me get into the zone.

 

That said, it doesn’t completely block out voices talking (Bose or Sony are far superior here – see below). As for music quality, it fares very well for a work-oriented product with a full and balanced sound that most people should enjoy.

 

In all, the Voyager is a work beast and the one we continue to reach for for a day full of calls.

 

Who it’s best suited for

 

Most folk – if your workday involves a lot of calls, and if your work environment isn’t extremely noisy.

 

Poly Voyager Focus specifications

 

Specifications Descriptions
Battery life Talk time: Up to 12 hours (10 ANC on)
listening time: Up to 15 hours (12 ANC on)
Warranty 2 years global warranty
Connectivity Bluetooth
Fit type Over Ear
Item weight (ounces) 5.5
Price $169.99 (see on Amazon)

 

Reasons to buy Poly Voyager Focus

 

  1. Lightweight, fully adjustable and very comfy
  2. Great battery life lasts 12 hours
  3. Pairs seamlessly across devices – handy if you take calls in different places
  4. Large media buttons and auto-pausing when headset is removed
  5. Compatible with Microsoft Teams, Zoom and more
  6. Decent noise cancellation
  7. Pretty great sound quality, though could do with a bit more bass

 

Reasons to avoid Poly Voyager Focus

 

  1. Sits on the ears – may not be ideal for glasses-wearers
  2. Not the best noise cancelling – doesn’t block loud sounds
  3. Some parts of the headset are plastic, which can be less durable over time

 

 

 

2. Sony WF-1000XM4

Best noise cancellation

 

sony WF 1000xm4 earbuds

 

“Outstanding noise cancellation, nifty features, and a comfy in-ear fit for a distraction-free workday.”

 

Few brands can do noise cancelling as well as Sony can, and their legendary XM4 is proof yet again. The XM4 actually comes in both headset (the WH-1000XM4) and earbud (the WF-1000XM4) versions. We decided to feature the earbuds here since the in-ear buds took noise cancelling to a whole new level. Their new Sony Integrated Processor V1 combines with noise sensing microphones to completely shut out the outside world – turning pets, voices, vacuums and noisy construction sounds to a mere hum.

 

I’ve used these everyday for four months and have become a total convert. The buds fit the earform so comfortably and help me rise to new heights of concentration: I use them for music, deep work, meditation and everything in between. Battery life is excellent at 8 hours, plus another 16 from the charging case – ideal for the workweek.

 

The sound quality on these is fantastically immersive, thanks to specially designed 6mm drivers which gives it a dynamic sound despite their size. Whilst not quite audiophile-grade, they sound very full across a range of genres and EQ can be tweaked via the Sony app.

 

And for calls? Whilst it obviously lacks a boom-style mic, calls are still clear and crisp. It combines beamforming microphones with a bone-conduction sensor to pick up your voice separately from ambient sound. The result is that you sound crystal-clear, whilst the noise cancelling makes sure you hear the other end clearly.

 

Who it’s best suited for

 

Those who enjoy quiet, those working in noisy or shared environments, anyone who doesn’t like headphones wrapped around their head.

 

Sony WF-1000XM4 specifications

 

Specifications Descriptions
Battery life 8 hours (16 hours in the case)
Warranty 1 year US and Canada only
Connectivity Bluetooth
Fit type In Ear
Item weight (ounces) 1.45
Price $228 (see on Amazon)

 

Reasons to buy Sony WF-1000XM4

 

  1. Superb noise cancelling features and sound quality
  2. Comfortable for long hours and easy to use
  3. Great battery life and a 5 minute quick charge gives you up to 60 minutes
  4. Voice assist (Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant) is built in
  5. Adaptive Sound Control can sense where you are (e.g. the gym, your favorite cafe) and adjusts ambient sound settings to suit the situation
  6. Speak-to-Chat feature automatically pauses music and allows in sound when you start to speak
  7. Comes in eco-friendly packaging

 

Reasons to avoid Sony WF-1000XM4

 

  1. Obviously, no external boom microphone
  2. White earbuds can get discolored over time.
  3. Warranty could be better

 

 

 

3. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Best cutting-edge headset for music

 

Bose Noise 700

 

“Modern, intuitive and beautifully designed – the Bose 700 feels like a luxury to use.”

 

The Bose brand name always sets high expectations, and the Bose 700 didn’t disappoint. This is another all-rounder and ultra-modern headset that offers great noise cancelling and a pretty sexy design.

 

The allure of this one is in the details. The user experience mirrors how it looks: sleek and modern. The right ear cup has capacitive touch sensors that let you swipe and pause effortlessly. Everything seems to feel premium or take things one step further. For example – the Bose 700 doesn’t just block noise – it offers a whopping choice of 11 different ANC levels, letting you choose exactly how much ambient noise to let in as you work.

 

We found it fantastic for taking calls too. You get six mics combining to cancel sound around you so you can hear your caller, whilst four mics help you sound clearer to them. And of course, audio sounds fantastic: high-fidelity with an adjustable EQ via the app.

 

The design features futuristic ear cups and a durable stainless steel headband slider that’s covered in a luxuriously soft material. Our tests found it very comfortable, and we spoke to friends who’ve used them daily for 6+ months, and report very little wear. In all – this is a sleek and modern machine for the remote worker.

 

Who it’s best suited for

 

Anyone who likes their gear cutting-edge and sleek, anyone who needs great sound quality for music.

 

Bose Headphone 700 specifications

 

Specifications Descriptions
Battery life Up to 20 hours
Warranty 1 year limited warranty in the US
Connectivity Bluetooth
Fit type Over Ear
Item weight (ounces) 8.8
Price $294.83 (see on Amazon)

 

Reasons to buy Bose Headphone 700

 

  1. Minimal and lightweight design
  2. Control sound via the app
  3. Great user experience
  4. Outstanding audio quality for music
  5. USB-C
  6. Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands
  7. Quick charging gets you 2 hours of use from a 15-minute charge

 

Reasons to avoid Bose Headphone 700

 

  1. The headset case picks up oil and fingerprints easily
  2. Quite pricey

 

 

 

4. Poly Voyager 5200

Best Single-Ear headset

 

poly voyager 5200

 

“A comfortable single-ear headset with excellent range – we just wish the battery stretched a little longer.”

 

If your workday involves lots of calls and you prefer to keep one ear free, consider a single-ear headset. The Poly Voyager 5200 is one of the best monos on the market. This has also been my partner’s go-to headset: I’ve had to hear him rave about it for the past two years.

 

Sure enough – calling features are in this one’s DNA. It uses a four-mic array and adaptive DSP to ensure high-quality audio input. It’s especially impressive in noisy environments, and easily muffles sounds like traffic, washing machines and wind (yup, it has SIX layers of protection against wind!)

 

Another plus point is the range and portability of this thing, letting you pace around the house on a call. It offers easy-to-access volume buttons, a voice command button on the boom, and can announce the names of callers or dictate texts. Downloading the app on your smartphone lets you do a few more things, including making it beep shrilly if you’ve misplaced it around the house.

 

Our only real complaint is the battery life, which only lasts 7 hours on one charge. You can work around this by getting the portable charging case, so you can charge it between calls and not disrupt your workflow.

 

Who it’s best suited for

 

If you’re constantly on calls and like keeping an ear free – it’s perfect for fitting-on and forgetting about. Also works well whether you’re indoors or outdoors.

 

Poly Voyager 5200 specifications

 

Specifications Descriptions
Battery life 7 hours
Warranty 2 years global warranty
Connectivity Bluetooth
Fit type In Ear
Item weight (ounces) 1
Price $79.99 (see on Amazon)

 

Reasons to buy Poly Voyager 5200

 

  1. Lightweight and portable with great range
  2. Great call quality
  3. Mono headset that can be worn with either ear
  4. Pairs via NFC or Bluetooth and to multiple devices
  5. Can be charged via a convenient box

 

Reasons to avoid Poly Voyager 5200

 

  1. Not great for listening to music
  2. Ear hook takes some finesse to fit perfectly over glasses
  3. Battery could be better

 

 

 

5. Bose QuietComfort 45

Most comfortable and portable

 

bose quitecomfort 45

 

“Cushy and supremely comfortable, the QuietComfort 45 offers excellent noise cancellation and folds up compactly.”

 

We absolutely loved the QuietComfort 45 and found it, true to the name, exceptionally comfy-cosy. If comfort and portability are your top priorities, and you prefer over-ear cushions, this could be ideal. Not only is it lightweight, but it distributes the weight evenly around your head. The soft and spongy ear cups block out the outside world without constricting your skull or getting too warm. Comfort isn’t the only thing going for it though – far from it!

 

The sound quality is exceptional, offering impressive depth and fullness thanks to features like active equalization. The noise cancelling was also impressive – helping you slip into the zone in noisy places. It’s also surprisingly portable, as the cups can fold upwards to fit into the smaller carrying case.

 

Downsides? There’s no auto-pause when you take them off (yet). It also lacks a dedicated boom mic, but, hey, the noise rejection is great and you can take calls in slightly noisy environments just fine.

 

Who it’s best suited for

 

This is especially useful for digital nomads and travellers frequenting public spaces like planes and coffee shops – but suits anyone who wants portability, noise-cancellation and comfort.

 

Bose QuietComfort 45 specifications

 

Specifications Descriptions
Battery life 24 hours battery life
Warranty 1 year limited warranty in the US
Connectivity Bluetooth
Fit type Over Ear
Item weight (ounces) 15.5
Price $299 (see on Amazon)

 

Reasons to buy Bose QuietComfort 45

 

  1. Spongy headphone cushions
  2. Charging them 15 minutes from dead, you’ll get 3 hours of use
  3. Excellent noise cancellation
  4. Bluetooth 5.1 – up to nine metres
  5. Connect to 2 devices at any one time

 

Reasons to avoid Bose QuietComfort 45

 

  1. Not cheap
  2. Feature customization requires Bose Music app

 

 

 

6. JLab Go Work

Best value headset for work calls

 

jlab go work

 

“A no-frills but budget-friendly headset that will level up your calls and presentations.”

 

True to its name, the JLab Go Work is perfect for working from home – especially if you’re on a budget. These guys retail for under $50, which is pretty badass for the features that come-with.

 

This is a small and lightweight headset – ideal if you don’t like bulky things on your head. For the price, we were truly impressed with the call quality. It uses a dual mic on a boom to capture your voice and cut out distracting noise. You can control quite a lot directly from the earpiece too, including answering calls or connecting to Siri. You can even mute directly from the earpiece. This lights up the mic in red – great for avoiding awkward muted moments.

 

Unsurprisingly, the plastic build of the Go Work isn’t as premium as the higher-end headsets on this list. There’s also a lag when it switches automatically between your devices (for example, if you get a call on your phone as you’re listening to music) but it’s bearable.

 

In all – the Jlab Go Work isn’t ultra fancy, but it’s definitely a huge upgrade from a set of wired earphones or a built-in mic, and it’s still well-made. If your day-to-day grind consists of remote meetings or calls, this is a great budget solution.

 

Who it’s best suited for

 

Those on a budget looking to improve their voice calls and need a simple set for phone calls that’s a massive improvement from a built-in mic

 

JLab Go Work specifications

 

Specifications Descriptions
Battery life 45+ hours
Warranty 2 years
Connectivity Bluetooth
Fit type On Ear
Item weight (ounces) 9.6
Price $49 (see on Amazon)

 

Reasons to buy JLab Go Work

 

  1. Quick mute
  2. 30 feet range
  3. Microphone can be used on either side of your head
  4. Choice of wired or wireless connection
  5. Fantastic battery life

 

Reasons to avoid JLab Go Work

 

  1. Lower build quality
  2. Music quality not as great
  3. Wasn’t too comfortable after about 2-3 hours

 

 

 

7. Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT2

Best battery life

 

audio technica ath-m50xbt2

 

“A chunkier headset that lacks noise cancellation, but makes up for it in outstanding battery life.”

 

If you’re out of the house and away from a power source for an extended period of time, you’ll want a headset that has enough battery juice to keep you going. That’s where the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT2 shines, with a jaw dropping 50 hour battery life. That’s several times more than most headsets on the market currently! The caveat is it can take a good few hours to charge it up to full again.

 

However, there’s more to love than just good battery life. The audio quality was excellent – with a neutral, high-fidelity sound that sounded great across a range of music genres and can be tweaked via the companion app. These headphones aren’t the lightest around, but they do fold up to fit in the carrying pouch they come with. And, unlike their predecessor, they support multi-device pairing – letting you connect to your phone and work computer at the same time.

 

The downside? It lacks ANC. If you work from a noisy household or outside – don’t expect great overall noise isolation performance. I also found them the least comfortable and noticed they got a little warm after a while, although that can also be personal preference and will depend on your climate.

 

Who it’s best suited for

 

Anyone who needs very long battery life / hates needing to charge up regularly. If you spend very long hours away from a power source, these are a great pick.

 

Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT2 specifications

 

Specifications Descriptions
Battery life Up to 60 hours
Warranty 1 year limited warranty in the US
Connectivity Bluetooth
Fit type Over Ear
Item weight (ounces) 10.1
Price $199 (see on Amazon)

 

Reasons to buy Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT2

 

  1. Fantastic battery life – the best on the list with 50 hours continuously
  2. Multipoint bluetooth functionality
  3. Improved vocal pickup from its last generation
  4. Well-built and moderately comfortable

 

Reasons to avoid Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT2

 

  1. Poor noise isolation performance
  2. No active noise cancelling
  3. Not very portable
  4. Bulky and not as comfortable as others on this list

 

 

 

What to Look For in Headsets for Working From Home

 

Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind when finding the right headset for you.

 

1. Headset comfort

 

Since a headset for working from home is usually worn for most of the day, comfort is important. We’ve all got different heads, so what’s comfortable for one person may be hell for the next. Consider which style feels more comfortable for you:

 

  1. Over-ear
    These fully encompass your ears by going around them. Whilst bigger, many people find these more comfortable.
  2. On-ear
    Sometimes called supra-aural headphones these rest just over the ear, and are less bulky, although can press on the ear after a while.
  3. In-ear
    Some people just don’t like headphones wrapping around their head. If that’s you – a good set of earbuds, like Sony’s WF-1000XM4, can be a great option. Whilst these can also come with their own types of fit, in-ear buds tend to offer the best noise-cancellation.

 

Other comfort factors include headband material, cushioning and adjustability – so you can get that fit that’s just right.

 

adjustable headset

Adjustable headbands will help you get that perfect fit.

 

If you wear prescription glasses or blue light blocking glasses for your workday, look out for cushiony ear cups that will accommodate the glasses arms without pressing them into your head.

 

different brand of headsets

Different headsets approach headband comfort in different ways.

 

2. Freedom

 

We’ve chosen to focus on wireless headset models today because of the mobility they offer. If you like to pace around your home office during conversations, or find yourself travelling often, a wireless headset gives you more flexibility to do things like make coffee or walk the dog during calls.

 

Some headsets connect via Bluetooth, or a USB dongle – both of which are generally reliable connections, and allow you to move between rooms. Just remember you’ll need to keep them charged, or you run the risk of dropping off in the middle of your call.

 

Another factor of freedom is portability – as some headsets are naturally much smaller, or can be folded down. Other headsets may come with convenient travelling cases.

 

Bose QuietComfort inside its casing

The Bose QuietComfort folds down pretty small for a set of headphones.

 

3. Noise Cancellation

 

For me, and anyone else who works in a shared space – effective noise cancellation is a must-have. Generally, headsets can block out sound in one of two ways:

 

  1. Passive noise cancellation: Creating a physical barrier that can muffle outside noise.
  2. Active noise cancelling: Uses a microphone to effectively cancel out sounds.

 

Effective noise cancellation allows you to drown out distracting sounds from housemates, pets, traffic and construction work. This is great not only for helping you focus, but also in helping reduce noise for the person on the other end of the call.

 

Even better – some headsets will also let you tweak how much ambient sound you want to allow in (otherwise known as hear-through). This is a handy feature for situations where you still want to stay aware of your surroundings.

 

noise cancellation configuration for the Bose 700 and Sony WF-1000XM4 from the iOS apps

Configuring noise cancellation for the Bose 700 and Sony WF-1000XM4 from the iOS apps.

 

4. Sound quality

 

It sounds obvious – but you’ll obviously want to get a headset that produces great sound quality. As well as taking calls, many of us use our headsets for music. Most of the headsets we’ve featured today are produced by very reputable names in the audio-engineering industry, and the resulting headsets are well-tuned for an excellent listening experience.

 

5. Device compatibility

 

If you plan to use your headset on a few devices, make sure it supports multi-device pairing. This will let you seamlessly leap between your phone, laptop, and more.

 

Most newer models now offer this, but it’s worth checking how many devices your headset can be paired with, and what types of device.

 

6. Value for money

 

These days, there are enough decent headsets out there to meet a range of budgets. Whilst going for the cheapest option of hardware is usually a recipe for disaster, it makes sense to check you’re getting value for your hard-earned money.

 

Aside from researching the build quality of a headset, it can be very useful to check the warranty to get an idea of its expected lifespan. There’s no point getting excited about a $50 headset if it has a mere 30-days warranty coverage – that’s a giant red flag!

 

What Are the Best Headset Mics for Calls?

 

If you spend most of your work day on calls and giving presentations, then you’ll definitely want to look for a headset that excels in this area. In particular, you’ll want to pay attention to the microphone.

 

You don’t necessarily need a boom-style mic that sticks out and towards your mouth, although this can be helpful in louder rooms, or if you want some privacy. It’s also useful when a headset can be muted quickly and easily from the headset itself.

 

headsets with microphone

Some headsets are designed to excel at voice calls.

 

What IS very important is that your mic has some sort of voice-isolation feature, so that it can pick out your voice out of background sounds and the person you’re calling can hear your voice clearly.

 

Lastly, be sure to pick a work-from-home headset that is fully compatible with the apps you use most at work – for example, not all headsets work well with softphones from Cisco, Avaya and Skype. Many of us rely on video call software Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams, and you might want to see if your headset has been officially certified with these apps. That said – an official certificate is not usually necessary for them to work.

 

However – if you’re in need of premium-sounding voice quality (for example, for podcasting or content creation) you might want to look into getting your own dedicated mic. They’re not all that expensive nowadays – check out our round-up of the best USB microphones in the market.

 

What Is Considered Good Battery Life For Headsets?

 

The last thing you want is your workflow interrupted by the dreaded ‘low battery’ beep.

 

At minimum, you’ll want your headset to last you a full work day without needing to be put on charge. Some headsets on this list just scrape by, but others offer that several-fold with battery lives that last days in a row.

 

Many great headsets will give you the option of a wired connection – such as connecting via a 3.5mm cable. This means you can keep listening to music while plugged in, even if you’ve forgotten to charge it. However, you’ll often lose your microphone functionality when it’s plugged in.

 

It’s also why we love headsets that offer fast-charging. Several on this list offer fast charging by USB-C, which will let you get hours of use after just a few minutes of charging from dead.

 

Wrap Up – How to Choose The Best Headset For You

 

In all, if you’re working from home, then you have a lot to gain from getting an excellent headset!

 

Whether you’re after a productive work day, or relaxing after hours to some good tunes – the ones on this list have you covered for both work and play.

 

our top 3 headset choice

Our top 3 picks.

 

If you’re looking for something comfortable for calls and work, Poly’s Voyager is a fantastic option. If you’re in a noisy environment, you can’t beat the Sony XM4’s noise cancelling prowess, but the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are also a strong option if you want something a little richer in sound.

 

7 BEST HEADSETS COMPARISON
Specifications Poly Voyager Focus Sony WF-1000XM4 Bose Noise Cancelling
Headphones 700
Poly Voyager 5200 Bose QuietComfort 45 JLab Go Work Audio Technica
ATH-M50xBT2
Battery life up to 15 hours (12 ANC on) 8 hours (16 hours in case) 20 hours 7 hours 24 hours 45+ hours 60 hours
Warranty 2 years global warranty 1 year US and Canada only 1 year limited warranty in the US 2 years global warranty 1 year limited warranty in the US 2 years 1 year limited warranty in the US
Connectivity Bluetooth Bluetooth Bluetooth Bluetooth Bluetooth Bluetooth Bluetooth
Fit type Over Ear In Ear Over Ear In Ear Over Ear On Ear Over Ear
Item weight (ounces) 5.5 1.45 8.8 1 15.5 9.6 10.1
Starting price $169.99 $228 $294.83 $79.99 $299 $49 $199
Full specifications

 

 

Looking to set up your home office?

 

Our team’s been working from home since 2014! Check out our tried-and-tested recommendations on the very best gear for your workstation.