The very best headphones for work in 2023, examined and reviewed

We could earn income from the merchandise obtainable on this web page and take part in affiliate packages. Be taught extra ›

Printed Apr 12, 2023 5:00 PM

Utilizing headphones at work is among the few constants whether or not you’re employed on-site or distant, indoors or exterior, or in any hybrid scenario. Writing for the Harvard Enterprise Evaluate, psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic discovered analysis—carried out by himself and others—to counsel music might help you be extra productive whereas working based mostly in your character, location, and most well-liked style. Sure, music, ambient noise, or podcasts generally is a distraction, however should you discover one thing that works for you, there could possibly be tangible advantages. And, on prime of the soundtrack, headphones for work assist you to take calls in environments that aren’t all the time conducive to communication. The very best headphones for work will assist you to full all of your assignments on time whereas making the method extra enjoyable.

How we selected the very best headphones for work

Our suggestions for the very best headphones for work are based mostly on each hands-on testing and analysis. The headphones you select—for work or in any other case—mirror a number of private preferences, like whether or not you favor over-ear fashions or earbuds, whether or not noise cancellation is necessary to you, or your funds. These elements are particularly necessary when selecting headphones for work since you’ll be sporting them for prolonged intervals, they usually should be a productiveness software quite than a distraction. If you happen to’re consistently conscious that you just’re sporting headphones, it should break up your focus. By recommending the headphones many people use at work daily, you’ll get cross-section of the very best choices for this use.

The very best headphones for work: Critiques & Suggestions

An amazing variety of headphones could possibly be used whilst you work, however these are the pairs the commerce group at Well-liked Science makes use of every day. Our suggestions mirror numerous headphone types, manufacturers, function units, and costs.

Finest total: Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphones


  • Headphone kind: Over-ear
  • Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Wi-fi: Sure
  • Lively noise cancellation: Sure
  • Battery life: As much as 22 hours
  • Microphones: Sure


  • Excessive sound high quality
  • Two modes of energetic noise cancellation
  • Very comfy
  • Lengthy battery life


  • Costly
  • Giant, should you choose subtler audio tools

Utilizing the Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphones for work may look like overkill, however they’ll actually make the expertise extra satisfying. Bose is understood for the standard of its audio gear, and these headphones fulfill that promise with high-fidelity sound and adjustable EQ that allows you to fine-tune your sound.

Nevertheless it’s the extent of energetic noise cancellation that makes these headphones splendid for work. Whether or not you’re on a aircraft or in a espresso store, these headphones allow you to select between a Quiet mode that successfully filters out ambient noise just like the wind or conversations round you and an Conscious mode that balances inside and exterior sounds for security. And the 4 exterior microphones focus in your voice, filtering out background distractions and making these headphones splendid for conferences.

These wi-fi headphones simply sync with the related app by way of Bluetooth. The QC45s are additionally light-weight at 8.5 ounces and extremely comfy, with ear cups comprised of plush artificial leather-based that also really feel good on the ears after hours of utilization. In addition they include a powerful as much as 22 hours of battery life and recharge with the included USB-C cable in about 2.5 hours. So that they’re nice for work, however you’ll additionally need to proceed to make use of them once you’re off the clock. And, should you choose one thing pocketable, Bose additionally makes the QuietComfort Earbuds II—our prime choose for energetic noise cancellation (ANC) earbuds.

Finest noise-cancelling: Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2


  • Headphone kind: Over-ear
  • Weight: 10.83 ounces
  • Wi-fi: Sure
  • Lively noise cancellation: Sure
  • Battery life: 30
  • Microphones: Sure


  • World-class energetic noise cancellation
  • Glorious battery life
  • A number of devoted microphones for ANC and telephony


Bowers & Wilkins designed the Px7 S2s with vacationers on long-haul flights in thoughts, however lots of those self same design decisions profit workplace and outside employees. These wi-fi headphones provide as much as 30 hours of music playback per cost—sufficient to get you thru a number of days of labor with no need to be topped up. In our expertise, you will get by means of a complete workweek with out plugging them in should you solely hear for just a few hours every day.

The large promoting level for the Px7 S2s is their wonderful energetic noise cancellation. The headphones did an exceptional job blocking exterior sounds, whether or not we listened to music or used this setting by itself to muffle loud sounds. Typical workplace noises—the sound of typing on a keyboard, foot tapping, the occasional cough—had been both drastically diminished or totally gone. The Px7 S2s have 4 microphones devoted to filtering sounds for energetic noise cancellation and two devoted to telephony. No one on my work or private calls complained concerning the sound or readability of my voice when speaking with them.

You’re going to pay for headphones with tech specs like these, however their total efficiency justifies the fee. Their tech specs are the primary causes we suggest them for employees, but it surely doesn’t harm that music and podcasts sound wonderful in our assessments. There’s all the time some audio high quality loss when listening to music wirelessly (assuming you’re listening to high-resolution or lossless [CD Quality] tracks). Nonetheless, the distinction isn’t instantly obvious when listening casually, due to Bluetooth 5.2 with assist for the aptX Adaptive/HD codecs (a transmission protocol that performs properly with Android and hi-res digital audio gamers), plus AAC optimized for iOS gadgets. As a bonus, these headphones are a fantastic companion when touring since their ANC microphones had been designed to cut back the sound of a aircraft’s engine drastically. Need one thing much more lux? The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 ratchets up the construct and sonic polish (but in addition the value).

See also  The most effective Wi-Fi routers of 2023

Finest earbuds for calls: Poly Voyager Free 60+ UC

Poly Voyager Free 60+


  • Headphone kind: Earbuds
  • Weight: .2 ounces (3 ounces in case)
  • Wi-fi: Sure
  • Lively noise cancellation: Sure
  • Battery life: 16.5 hours (with case)
  • Microphones: Sure


  • Noise cancellation
  • Appropriate with most working methods
  • Straightforward controls with built-in touchscreen show on charging case
  • Contains BT700A USB adapter to connect with computer systems and appropriate smartphones
  • Fast Cost (3 hours for full cost of case)


  • Match will be unfastened
  • A tad tinny on the excessive finish

If the AirPods Professional 2 and equally types earbuds don’t keep in your ear, the Poly Voyager Free 60+ UC wi-fi earbuds in all probability aren’t for you. That being stated, they’re a fantastic various to headphones for workplace and private use should you like the form and match of stemmed earbuds. The modern design options three sizes of conical ideas that snap onto the earbuds as an alternative of simply slipping over the 10mm speaker. This makes a way more safe connection, and also you gained’t pull them off as you pull them out of your pocket (assuming you don’t preserve them within the included charging case). Simply don’t transfer round an excessive amount of, as there aren’t any fins or different “ear locks” as you discover in exercise-oriented earbuds. The Voyager Free 60+ UC Bluetooth 5.3 earbuds are all about connectivity and productiveness.

The earbuds are geared up with AAC, aptX, and SBC codecs to maintain them appropriate with all iOS and Android gadgets (and multipoint helps should you use each). Plus, they’ve energetic noise cancellation that will help you focus in your calls and music. There are three modes—adaptive, normal, and off. Poly additionally makes use of “sidetone” know-how (aka Transparency mode) that will help you not be that jerk within the workplace screaming along with his headphones on as he tries to ask a coworker three toes away a query. I don’t personally have that downside, however I can hear myself higher even with the amount cranked up.

If, for some cause, you will have a laptop computer (or desktop) that may’t preserve a steady Bluetooth sign, the included BT700A Bluetooth USB-A adapter (with LC3 know-how for environment friendly bandwidth) helps safe a dependable connection so you possibly can observe each phrase on how your groups are performing. And, with a voice-optimized three-microphone array per earbud with WindSmart know-how, they’ll hear your instructions simply as clearly.

One of many standout options of the Voyager Free 60+ UC is the charging case. Like most charging instances, it offers further battery life—16 hours, on prime of the eight when the earbuds are totally charged. (That’s listening to music with ANC on; the numbers dip to 11 hours within the case, 5.5 within the ’buds for discuss time, however that will be some ridiculously lengthy calls.) This case stands out as a result of the touchscreen show enables you to examine the battery degree, reply calls, swap between ANC modes, and management your music. You can even alter and examine these ranges by way of a smartphone app. And, as well as, the case will be plugged into an airplane’s headphone jack so you possibly can broadcast the inflight leisure wirelessly to your earbuds.

Controls on the earbuds additionally make it simple to regulate with out having to fidget with the case. Swipe up or down on the facet of the earbud stick with decrease or elevate quantity. And use a bodily button on the stem to pause or play music, provoke Siri/Google voice assistant, or reply a telephone name (which might additionally occurs mechanically once you insert en earbud whereas the telephone is ringing). Whereas the value is excessive, so is the options set. If you happen to’re a enterprise traveler that should make wherever your workplace, these earbuds could possibly be the right funding.

Finest for consolation: Final Ears FITS

Ultimate Ear FITS


  • Headphone kind: Earbuds
  • Weight: 0.4 ounces
  • Wi-fi: Sure
  • Lively noise cancellation: No
  • Battery life: 8 hours on the earbuds, 20 hours with the case
  • Microphones: Sure


  • Snug even in small ears
  • Good sound high quality
  • Microphone works nicely, even with ambient noise
  • Compact case


  • No energetic noise cancellation
  • Battery life isn’t nice

Final Ears Suits, additionally known as UE Suits, are distinctive within the earbud sphere due to their Lightform Know-how. Once you use the earbuds for the primary time, you’ll be walked by means of a easy course of that entails lightforming LEDs warming up the photopolymer gel ideas in your ear canals. The earbuds glow and get heat, which is an odd sensation. It takes about 60 seconds, after which you might be set to make use of your new earbuds.

See also  How one can join headphones to your smartwatch

The lightform course of molds the tricks to your ear form, leading to a extra comfy, steady match. They’ll be simpler to put on even for the longest conferences or for a day of music whilst you crank out work. And due to the comfortable match, they will additionally simply transition to the fitness center or a jog, staying in place throughout essentially the most intense train.

The sound from the UE Suits can be fairly good, particularly for talking. Bass is a bit missing by default, however you possibly can customise that within the app. The draw back of the UE Suits, particularly for workplace settings, is the shortage of energetic noise cancellation. However, as a result of the gel ideas are customized match to your ears, they provide higher passive noise cancellation than most of that class. And the built-in mic ensures that your voice might be heard loud and clear.

Finest wired: beyerdynamic DT 900 Professional X

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro X


  • Headphone kind: Over-ear
  • Weight: 12.17 ounces
  • Wi-fi: No
  • Lively noise cancellation: No
  • Battery life: N/A
  • Microphones: No


  • Light clamping power
  • Replaceable cable
  • No battery life worries
  • First rate passive noise cancellation


  • No energetic noise cancellation
  • Heavy
  • Open-back design isn’t open office-friendly

Beyerdynamics’ DT 900 Professional X studio headphones are the very best wired mannequin we’ve tried for work. The over-ear headphones had been designed and tuned for audio mixing, so they provide wealthy element when listening to music. Whether or not you’re employed in a content material creation subject or not, you shouldn’t have any complaints about how the DT 900 Professional X headphones sound. One of many causes for his or her pure sound is the headphones’ open-back design, which permits sound to disperse by means of every earcup. When listening to music on closed-back headphones, sound will reverberate off the again of its earcups towards your ear, probably muddying the frequency response with bass bloom and a narrowed soundstage. Conversely, open-back headphones provide extra expansive imaging, however the sound leakage can annoy the folks round you, so the DT 900 Professional X headphones might not be the appropriate selection for open workplace environments.

When it comes to total construct high quality, we’ve been very happy with how these headphones have held up after greater than a yr of normal use. The velour ear pads present no signal of wear and tear, and the scarf hasn’t misplaced any stress. If you happen to’re planning on protecting a pair of over-ear headphones on on your total workday, you’ll respect the hassle beyerdynamic took to nail the DT 900 Professional X’s clamping power. The earcups grip the facet of your head with sufficient power that there’s no likelihood they’ll by chance fall off, however with out holding on so tightly that you just consistently really feel the stress. The DT 900 Professional X’s felt coating additionally feels softer than the leather-based used on most different headphones.

Talking of consolation, there’s no escaping that these are the heaviest headphones we suggest for work. They by no means felt notably heavy to us, however they’ll be an enormous adjustment should you come from a pair of earbuds. You’ll additionally should get used to utilizing wired headphones once more. Nonetheless, the replaceable cable beyerdynamic included with the DT 900 Professional X may be very lengthy and terminates into a typical 3.5mm audio jack. If you happen to’re an audio engineer, you’ll be completely happy to listen to that the headphones additionally embody a 3.5mm to 1/4-inch jack to plug into an audio interface. And the customized STELLAR.45 driver, which delivers a frequency response of 5 – 40,000 Hz, is low sufficient impedance to play properly with all types of moveable {and professional} gear with out requiring amplification.

The dearth of any microphones and energetic noise cancellation is unlucky for productiveness however good for sonic purity. Since they’ve a cable, they will use digital audio converters and headphone amps to entry playback codecs and finesse that wi-fi can’t all the time obtain. Nonetheless, they’re balanced out by the truth that they should be immediately related to a pc, which may have a mic, their first rate passive noise cancellation, and the truth that they’re not designed for use in public. If you happen to’d prefer to get battery nervousness off your thoughts whilst you’re working and totally benefit from the audio you’re listening to or creating, we are able to’t consider a greater possibility than the beyerdynamics DT 900 Professional X.

Issues to contemplate when selecting the very best headphones for work

Headphone kind

The primary issue to contemplate when selecting any pair of headphones is selecting whether or not you’d like earbuds, on-ear headphones, or over-ear headphones. Earbuds present essentially the most comfort due to their dimension, particularly should you select a real wi-fi pair, which haven’t any cables in any respect. On-ear headphones are nonetheless comparatively mild, however you gained’t really feel one thing caught in your ear. Over-ear headphones are bigger and bulkier however provide the very best energetic noise-cancellation and audio efficiency. Wi-fi over-ear headphones additionally provide higher battery life than earbuds.

Wired or wi-fi

In case your work primarily takes place at a desk all day, there’s a powerful case to be made that wired headphones are a greater match. You gained’t have to fret concerning the headphones working out of battery in the midst of your work day, and headphone firms present comparatively lengthy cables so that you just gained’t really feel tethered to your pc. Alternatively, wi-fi Bluetooth headphones make extra sense if you wish to use one pair of headphones for work and recreation as a result of they’re simpler to make use of once you’re out and about. Plus, most up-to-date smartphones telephones and tablets don’t have headphone jacks, whereas computer systems typically do.

See also  It is best to strive connecting a keyboard and mouse to your Xbox

Lively noise cancellation

Most wi-fi headphones launched previously couple of years assist energetic noise cancellation, a vital function should you get work performed in a public area. Whether or not you’re in an workplace, on an airplane, or spend just a few hours per week at your native cafe, you’ll want a method to tune folks out. Lively noise cancellation gained’t block out all noise—except you’re listening to audio at a average quantity—however it could dampen sound sufficient to make working simpler even when music or a podcast aren’t on. It’s necessary to notice that enabling energetic noise cancellation will run down your headphones’ battery quicker.

Battery life

Talking of battery life, be sure the headphones you select for work will final a complete day. If you happen to plan on listening to music for eight to 10 hours, with only a few breaks in between, that’ll inform your determination greater than another issue. The entire headphones we’re recommending ought to final a complete conventional eight-hour workday, however your listening quantity and energetic noise cancellation preferences will influence it drastically.


In case your job requires you to be in conferences frequently, selecting a pair of headphones with a microphone is necessary so you possibly can put on them whilst you’re on calls. Sporting headphones throughout conferences has been normalized, and it makes listening to your colleagues so much simpler. Microphones are required for energetic noise cancellation, so in case your headphones assist ANC, they’ll have mics inbuilt.


Q: Is sporting headphones at work unprofessional?

This is determined by your job and work tradition. It’s necessary to sign to your coworkers that you just’re engaged with what you’re doing, however headphones will be useful should you take pleasure in listening to music or ambient noise whereas engaged on tasks. Headphones may make it simpler to listen to coworkers throughout digital conferences.

Q: Are headphones or earbuds higher for work?

This comes down to private choice. Earbuds are smaller and fewer cumbersome, however you could be distracted by the sensation that one thing is continually inside your ear. Conversely, over or on-ear headphones are greater and heavier and should actually weigh your head down whilst you work.

Q: Do noise-canceling headphones block all sound?

No. Noise-cancelling headphones are designed to investigate and cancel out frequencies from a selected vary. You’ll nonetheless be capable to hear some exterior sounds when energetic noise cancellation is enabled once you’re not listening to music. A well-implements ANC circuit, nonetheless, means you could not hear the rest should you’re listening to audio at a average degree with active-noise cancellation enabled.

Q: What number of hours a day is it protected to make use of headphones?

The period of time you spend listening to music may have much less influence in your listening to than the amount degree you set. A research carried out by the CDC discovered that exposing your ears to sound above 80dB (decibels) for 2 or extra hours can harm your listening to.

Remaining ideas on the very best headphones for work

Getting pair of headphones for work might help you be extra productive and happier whilst you’re getting issues performed. If you happen to can dedicate a particular pair for this use, placing them on and taking them off might help create a psychological cue for when your work day begins and finish. Headphones could make it simpler to speak throughout work conferences, tune out undesirable distractions, and create nice background noise whereas finishing duties. Your music could even assist encourage you with a brand new thought or provide help to out of a rut. On the very least the very best headphones for work could assist your day go by somewhat extra shortly, which by itself justifies choosing up a pair.

Why belief us

Well-liked Science began writing about know-how greater than 150 years in the past. There was no such factor as “gadget writing” once we revealed our first subject in 1872, but when there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for on a regular basis readers means we might have been throughout it. Right here within the current, PopSci is totally dedicated to serving to readers navigate the more and more intimidating array of gadgets available on the market proper now.

Our writers and editors have mixed a long time of expertise overlaying and reviewing shopper electronics. We every have our personal obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video video games to cameras and past—however once we’re reviewing gadgets exterior of our instant wheelhouses, we do our greatest to hunt out reliable voices and opinions to assist information folks to the easiest suggestions. We all know we don’t know every part, however we’re excited to stay by means of the evaluation paralysis that web buying can spur so readers don’t should.