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The best headphones for Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet

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White/silver Bose NCH 700s in handSource: Bose

Best
Headphones for Zoom, Skype, google" 52269 rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google Meet
Android Central
2020

Working from home is the reality for a lot of people now, and whether it's going to be full-time or part-time, having the best headphones for Zoom, Skype, google" 52269 rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google Meet, and other video calls may be even more important. These come in a variety of different types — and for different devices — which is why the Bose NCH 700 lead the way at the head of the pack through their great balance of sound quality, active noise cancelation (ANC), and microphone performance.

Best Overall: Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Demonstration of touch gestures on Bose NCH 700s

Demonstration of touch gestures on Bose NCH 700sSource: Bose

While not technically headphones made for office productivity and communication, nothing gets in the way of the Bose NCH 700. Their sound quality is already excellent, with a balanced soundstage that delivers a nice mix of highs, mids and lows that will make listening to music during work hours more than enjoyable. That sound signature pays off for talking to people through video, too.

If your home is about as loud as an office would be, the solid ANC performance could step in nicely to block out that noise. While they don't quite hit Sony's level, they will do a good job holding off most persistent noises, like people talking nearby. You may have a harder time doing the same with higher-pitched sounds, like screaming kids, but with 11 steps of ANC included here, you do have some versatility to work with.

The NCH 700 are also really comfortable to wear thanks to a softer headband and ear cups that don't feel too constricting. That helps if you're listening to music and doing video calls often. The trade-off is that these headphones are bigger in size than Bose's previous QC35 II, so they may stand out a little more. If you're heading out anywhere, they don't fold, so will also take up more space in your bag.

At up to 20 hours per charge, battery life is above-average, although not quite top tier. A quick 15-minute fast charge through USB-C will deliver up to two hours of playback, ensuring you can listen to some tunes in a pinch.

Pros:

  • Superb ANC performance
  • Great call quality
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Very comfortable
  • Great battery life
  • Fast charging

Cons:

  • Non-foldable, bulky design
  • Competitors beat battery life

Best Overall



Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Feeling comfortable

Bose covers a lot of good ground with the NCH 700, including excellent ANC performance, sound quality, and comfort.

Best Noise Canceling Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4Source: Sony

Sony has been the one to beat on ANC performance for some time, and the WH-1000XM4 are the measuring stick for the whole industry. The unique QN1 processor and dual noise sensor work well together to block out ambient sound. That's great for a daily commute on public transit or while traveling somewhere, but it also comes in real handy when you need to shut the world out to get something done at work.

It's also great that you can pair with two devices simulatenously — listen to music on one device and take calls on another. Phone and video calls get a boost through Sony's Precise Voice Pickup and Speak to Chat features that optimize sound and volume during conversations.

There's not much to bicker about when it comes to how they sound. Sony didn't change much with these headphones from the previous WH-1000XM3, so the same bass-heavy sound comes through. If it's too much, Sony's Connect app has an equalizer you can use to tweak things your way. It also has a "clear bass" slider to affect the overall thump of the bass itself.

You get up to 32 hours of battery per charge, and fast charging is always an option when they're dead. Just consider that you can't listen to the WH-1000XM4 when they're charging, be it wired or wireless.

Pros:

  • Class-leading ANC performance
  • Long battery life
  • Customizable sound
  • Fast charging capable
  • Great call quality
  • Pair with two devices at once

Cons:

  • No simultaneous charging & listening
  • Look the same as previous model

Best Noise Canceling Headphones



Sony WH-1000XM4

Best in class

The WH-1000XM4 take ANC up a notch and maintain the same great sound, battery life, and comfort from their predecessors.

Best Value: Logitech H540 USB Computer Headset

Logitech H540 Usb Computer Headset Render

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Logitech H540 Usb Computer Headset RenderSource: Logitech

When money is an object, or you just want value for what you get, Logitech's H540 Headset make every dollar count. While you could just as easily use a pair of these on a PC or Mac, their plug-and-play design fits right in with Chromebooks. If you, or someone you know, is taking a school course online, there's a good chance these will perform well throughout every lesson. Teachers performing distance lessons might find the same results wearing them.

Given they've been out now for years, the H540 aren't about bells and whistles, but rather just do the fundamentals right. You do need to plug them in, as they have no wireless function, either via Bluetooth or a dedicated signal. That does mean you won't deal with latency, and ensures voices are clear all the way through. You get controls on the ear cups themselves instead of the cord, though a trusty light on it will tell you if you're muted or not.

Even if you're listening to music with them, you should find they sound pretty good for an aging pair. They should also fit comfortably, but every head is different.

Pros:

  • User-friendly plug-and-play
  • Great sound quality for the price
  • Stable wired connection
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • No wireless connectivity
  • Older design

Best Value



Logitech H540 USB Computer Headset

Budget-friendly communication

Logitech keeps a good thing going with the H540, an affordable way to keep talking on any Chromebook.

Best Value Mono Wireless Headset: Mpow M5 Pro

Mpow M5 Pro Officejpg

Mpow M5 Pro OfficejpgSource: Mpow

Mono headsets are probably a little old school, but if you prefer to keep one ear peeled for whatever might be happening around you, the Mpow M5 Pro are made for just that. In fact, Mpow had truck drivers in mind when making these, but they're by no means a one-trick pony. You can use them for your work or home office, too.

There's plenty to like for the price you pay. ANC support cuts off a good amount of background noise, despite your other ear being fully exposed. You naturally won't get all the features more expensive models have, but the controls and layout here do make the M5 Pro a solid value proposition. They sound good, the boom mic is reliable, and they're comfortable to wear for longer periods.

They also use Bluetooth to connect to two devices at once, so your phone isn't left out of the loop. Switching between them is easy — listen to music on one, and then move over to a call on another with a simple button. Battery life is decent at up to 18 hours per charge, and the magnetic charging base, which has its own battery, can stand by to recharge it on demand.

Pros:

  • Very good sound
  • Good ANC performance
  • Works with two devices simultaneously
  • Good battery life
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Mono-only not for everybody
  • Micro-USB charging

Best Value Mono Wireless Headset



Mpow M5 Pro

Mono a mano

Mpow gives the M5 Pro the right mix for a mono wireless headset, and you don't have to spend a fortune for it.

Best True Wireless Earbuds: Jabra Elite 75t

Jabra Elite 75t

Jabra Elite 75tSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

The Jabra Elite 75t are the best wireless earbuds for a few reasons, but what puts them on this list specifically is how well they can help you communicate. While other true wireless earbuds could certainly compete with — and possibly beat — the Elite 75t in some areas, it's the whole package that wins out here.

Their call quality is already top-class, with a consistent clarity that you would want when talking to someone. Physical controls are one of those nuances that also help because they take the guesswork out of using them. For instance, the "transparency" mode is available at the tap of a button, bringing in sound from the outside world through one of the three included microphones. That makes it easier to talk to someone without removing the earbuds, especially at home.

One unfortunate performance issue is that you can only use the right earbud if you want to listen in mono mode, and there's no way around that. The Elite 75t also don't have ANC support, which is a shame when other models have it, but it's uncommon to see on wireless earbuds to begin with. At least there's excellent passive noise isolation to help out. They already sound great, and Jabra's excellent Sound+ app has some useful tools to adjust it how you like.

You will get about seven hours per charge, so battery life will hold up well for you. The included case nets another two and a half charges for a total of 28 hours. You'll need to charge it via USB-C since there's no wireless charging, but at least it charges quickly. The case is also small, so it's easy to take with you.

If, for whatever reason, you want a little extra protection, and are willing to pay a little more for it, the Elite Active 75t are always an option since they offer the same performance with some extra water and dust resistance.

Pros:

  • Customizable sound
  • Long battery life
  • USB-C for charging
  • Water and dust resistance
  • Excellent comfort

Cons

  • Lacks wireless charging case
  • No active noise cancelation

Best True Wireless Earbuds



Jabra Elite 75t

Hearing them talk

The Jabra Elite 75t make up for a no-show on ANC with reliable comfort, battery life, and great sound and call quality.

Best Wireless Headset: Jabra Evolve2 65

Jabra Evolve2 65 Lifestyle

Jabra Evolve2 65 LifestyleSource: Jabra

Jabra tried to skirt two lines with the Evolve2 65 by addressing a need to communicate for work with that of audio performance for listening to music. Headsets are often a mixed bag on the latter point, but not so much here, where the two outcomes are part of the same sonic story.

You're not limited to listening through one ear only, so listen in stereo. Take away the boom mic, and they kind of resemble Jabra's on-ear consumer headphones. You can use these in either a wireless or wired configuration, and have some usability elements that make sense. For instance, raising the boom mic mutes it, whereas lowering it not only unmutes it, but can also automatically answer an incoming call. If you like Microsoft Teams, there are dedicated controls for it on here, though you can also use the Evolve2 65 with any other application.

They pair with two devices simultaneously, which is great if you want easy access on your computer and phone. The included dongle, which you can get in USB-C or USB-A, makes computer pairing really easy and reduces latency. It's just unfortunate they they only support the standard SBC Bluetooth codec. They do still sound great in spite of that, not to mention that mic clarity, which is outstanding.

Jabra estimates battery life to go up to 37 hours per charge, but your mileage will vary based on how much talking and music playback you do. The charging dock is a bit finicky in you place the headset on top, and may take a few tries to get it just right.

Pros:

  • Great mic clarity
  • Great sound quality
  • Comfortable fit
  • Microsoft Teams controls
  • Pairs with two devices simultaneously
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • Limited Bluetooth codecs
  • Charging dock is finicky
  • Pricey

Best Wireless Headset



Jabra Evolve2 65

Speak clearly on cue

Jabra tackles both work and leisure all at once with the Evolve2 65 headset through its excellent sound and mic clarity.

Best Wired Headset: Poly Blackwire 8225

Poly Blackwire 8225

Poly Blackwire 8225Source: Poly

When you don't need a wireless connection while doing your business on a computer, Poly's (formerly Plantronics) Blackwire 8225 should fit the bill. It comes in either USB-A or USB-C variants, so you will need to be sure of what ports your machine has before you go forth. Either way, these won't disappoint.

There are three ANC settings to help block out background noise, which is one of the primary features available here. Poly's Acoustic Fence technology is desiged to keep voices clear despite any noise going on in the background. The boom mic is responsive, and helps deliver the crisp incoming audio for clearer calls. While not necessarily built for music playback, you can listen to tunes through your PC or Mac with the wired connection. There's no Bluetooth, so no way to wirelessly pair with your phone at the same time.

As for Microsoft Teams, one of the Blackwire 8225 variants is specifically geared for that program through onboard controls. The other two don't have them, so you're not stuck with those controls. Not to worry, though, because these work perfectly fine with all the other popular virtual conferencing desktop programs. Poly's software also has some extra controls and customizations should you want to take things a little further.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound clarity
  • ANC support
  • Good comfort
  • USB-A and USB-C variants
  • Microsoft Teams integration in one variant
  • Windows and Mac compatible

Cons:

  • No wireless connectivity
  • Thinner padding

Best Wired Headset



Poly Blackwire 8225

Hearing voices clearly

The Poly Blackwire 8225 are made for staying in the loop with excellent voice clarity and noise cancelation.

Best Neckbuds: Poly Voyager 6200 UC

Poly Voyager 6200 Work

Poly Voyager 6200 WorkSource: Poly

Neckbuds aren't as ubiquitous out in the wild, but they can prove to be supremely comfortable when parked in front of a desk for hours at a time. Poly's Voyager 6200 UC are a great example of that for the simple fact they cover the important bases you would want in any headphones you're using to talk to people.

These used to sell for $300, but have since come down to $200, and that price chop is more in line with where these headphones are at. They come in either black or tan models, which may be important if you're going to wear them often in front of others on video and want them to blend in well. The red cabling is standard for both, adding some flair to the design. They are a bit fragile, so best not use them outside of work and leisurely confines.

They do a solid job of maintaining clarity for voices, while also sounding good for music playback. ANC does its best to tamp down background noise through the four-mic array. They're at their best in quieter environments, but hold up really well when noises pop up around you. They work seamlessly with a computer through the included USB wireless dongle, and you can also pair with two phones at the same time. If your office situation is a busy one, there's enough connectivity to go around here.

Battery life is quite good at up to 16 hours for music, yet only nine hours for talk time. If you're doing both, you will end up somewhere in between those numbers. The downside is you will need to charge them via Micro-USB, which you can do through the included desktop charging cradle these come with.

Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • ANC can be effective
  • Nice design choices
  • Pair with multiple phones
  • Decent battery life
  • Comfortable fit

Cons:

  • On the fragile side
  • Micro-USB charging

Best Neckbuds



Poly Voyager 6200 UC

Fit for any neck

The Poly Voyager 6200 UC are neckbuds made for office environments, but you can easily enjoy some tunes with them, too.

Best for Apple Users: AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro

AirPods ProSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

The AirPods Pro are already among the best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds available, doing a solid job blocking out most of the low-end background noises that are common. They do struggle with higher-pitched tones. but that's typical of ANC headphones and earbuds.

They're a natural fit with Macs, iPhones and iPads, given the super easy pairing process, but also the way you can manage them as you use them. Unlike the regular AirPods, the Pro version have a better fit, better microphone array, and better performance. That can translate well to any situation where you have to be involved in meetings and interviews. The proprietary ear tips are a big factor because they can mold themselves to the shape of your ear for a proper fit.

They also sound pretty good for music, with noticeably better bass and mids than the regular AirPods 2 can deliver, and that bump in performance pays off during calls as well. It's just unfortunate Apple hasn't bothered to include an EQ to tweak the sound further, but you could try third-party ones.

The big problem is battery life. Only going up to 4.5 hours with ANC on — or five hours with ANC off — means you will have to feel secure they've got enough power before going into any video call. At least the charging case has another 20 hours of listening time. Either way, keep that Lightning cable or wireless charger nearby.

Pros:

  • Superb comfort
  • Great sound
  • Clear voices
  • Excellent ANC performance
  • Wireless charging case

Cons:

  • Lack of convenience features on non-Apple devices
  • Bud battery life could be better
  • Expensive

Best for Apple Users



AirPods Pro

By Apple, for Apple users

Apple outfitted the AirPods Pro with superb ANC, sound quality, and comfort, but sacrificed battery life to get there.

Bottom line

Wireless Bluetooth headphones have been getting better and better at handling more than just music, which is why some of them are on this list. It's the same reason wireless earbuds have made the cut, too. You don't necessarily have to get a dedicated office headset to get great results, but there are plenty of good ones if voice clarity and multi-device functionality are important to your workflow.

It's for that reason that the Bose NCH 700 are at the top of this list. Not only are they among the best noise-canceling headphones you can find, they're comfortable to wear with good battery life, and sound great on both ends of a conversation. You get the kind of voice clarity you'd want in any pair of headphones where talking to people is common practice, plus benefitting from how good music will sound when you're getting down to business.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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