Working from home often means working around other people who are not working and one great way to help you concentrate and cut out noise is to invest in a good headset.
We’ve been researching the best headset for remote work and after a massive set of tests, this is what we found.
How We Chose Our Best Headphones For Remote Work
We had some specific criteria when looking for headsets for remote working:
- Wireless or wired didn’t matter but they had to be portable and if they were wireless, have sufficient battery life to get you through the day
- They don’t have to be noise-isolating (though that’s fine if you want it) but they do need a closed-back for the best sound
- The sound quality must be acceptable when on a call or when you’re listening to music at your desk
- They need to be comfortable enough for wearing for hours at a time in an age of remote training, long conferences, etc.
In the end we tested more than 50 headsets to narrow down our list to a more manageable number for you to peruse.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
These Bose headphones are a serious upgrade on the Quiet Comfort II’s that they replace. However, as you might expect from this brand, they come at a serious price too.
There’s no doubt though that they provide value for money. They’re very comfortable on the ears and they’re clearly built to last. And sound quality, for a headset, is exceptional.
1. These Bose headphones are really built to last and the design is gorgeous
2. Zero distortion on calls or when playing back music
3. Wireless and excellent battery life
1. They’re quite expensive though it may well be an investment worth making
2. Some users find them a little heavy for long-term use
3. You can buy replacement cushions for them but the parts list is confusing
Jabra Evolve 2 65
Jabra is a brand that we’ll come back to many times on this list because they really do make exceptional headsets and at the moment, their best product is the Evolve 2 65.
It has an incredible battery life for a wireless headset (enough to get you through most of a week between charges) and the level of vocal clarity is amazing.
1. They may not be noise-cancelling but the seal around the ear cups keeps noise at bay very well
2. The battery life of 37 hours is absolutely fantastic
3. You can hear voices very clearly when speaking on this headset
1. The microphone is aligned to the left which some users don’t like
2. Some users say that this headset is not very comfy when wearing glasses
3. Mac users beware, firmware updates can lag PC updates by months
Jabra Elite 85
The Elite 85 is an excellent headset which is compatible with your smartphone as well as your PC and it’s both water and rain resistant, if you like to take calls from the garden at times.
They do offer active noise-cancelling and are very reasonably priced. However, we’ve been disappointed by their performance when connected to two or more devices at the same time.
1. Very comfortable and easy to use all day long
2. The sound quality is excellent and very clear
3. Battery life is solid and can run for days between charges
1. Active noise cancellation is disabled when making calls
2. No desktop app for accessing listening modes have to use a phone to make changes
3. Doesn’t handle being connected to multiple devices very well
Jabra Evolve 75
The Evolve 75 can be customized to your preferred VOIP meeting software (which helps to explain some of the steep price tag) and UC and MS Teams users are going to be very happy.
This headset has the best microphone of any that we tested and if you want to be understood every time you speak, it’s a no-brainer. However, it has a shorter battery life than other Jabra headsets.
1. The best microphone quality of any headset that we tested
2. Very good music and call quality
3. The controls are very easy to use and intuitive
1. “Only” 17 hours of battery life between charges
2. Doesn’t do a great job of muting external noise
3. Sometimes drops out when switching from voice to music playback
Plantronics Voyager Focus UC
If you’ve ever worked in a contact center then you will have heard of Plantronics, they’re one of the biggest names in headsets and the Voyage Focus is a premium product from them.
You can tell that they know the industry because they are super comfortable to wear and we could easily wear them all day, every day if need be. They also handle working with multiple devices exceptionally well.
1. They are among the most comfortable and light headsets we tested
2. Very good when working with more than one device at a time
3. The smart mic technology adjusts volume for multiple callers individually, ensuring you are heard
1. The plastic isn’t the best and they may break easier than other models
2. You sometimes get a muffled vocal sound from the mic
3. Bluetooth occasionally disconnects
Logitech Zone Wireless
We really like that these wireless headphones can also be charged wirelessly using a Qi pad (which is not supplied with the headphones, mind you).
They’re very good for talking to others and, probably, for gaming but their music playback wasn’t the best and if you’re a true audiophile, you might want to choose a different headset.
1. Solid battery life which won’t let you down across the course of a day
2. Visible “mute” light which lets you know when you can (and can’t) be heard by other parties
3. Very easy to store and use
1. They’re a bit on the flimsy side and you’ll want to handle them carefully
2. The voice prompts can be a bit deafening
3. No instruction manual, though you can find one online
Logitech Zone Wired
If you like wires and in-line controls then the Logitech Zone Wired might be your preferred option, certainly there’s no need to worry about battery life with these.
The controls are absolutely brilliant and make using this headset super easy. It’s a very comfortable headset to wear too.
1. The best inline controls of any headset in our tests
2. The sound quality is sold and serviceable
3. The headset is very comfortable and the ear cushions are great
1. The “advanced noise cancelling” on the mic leaves a little bit to be desired
2. Not the best build quality, a bit flimsy
3. Doesn’t include smartphone drivers when used via USB