We’re halfway through 2021, and in the midst of a global pandemic, people are using Zoom meetings, Skype calls, and any other forms of communication with coworkers and friends. Since the need for headphones has skyrocketed in the past year, I put together this list of best headsets for online meetings.
This list features both wired and Bluetooth headsets along with headphones with just one piece earphone and over ear headsets. If your ear is attached to a phone for the majority of the day and you’re reading this, then this may be a sure sign it’s time that you’re probably in need of a headset. If you’re more of an office person and still need to hear your surroundings then a one-piece headset might be better for you. If you tend to spend more time at a desktop or at home office and need to block out noise than I would go with a pair of over-ear headphones or headset for noise cancelling features.
Top 13 Best Headsets for Online Meetings
1. Apple AirPods Pro
Most of you know what Apple brings to the market by now, and these headphones are no different, equipped with the new active noise canceling feature that apple is now adding to their headphone products, you can now for the first time effectively use AirPods for conference calls without having to hear every little detail in your background. The battery on the AirPods Pro will last up to 24 hours with the charging case and up to 4.5 hours on just one complete charge.
- Customizable fit
- Active Noise Cancellation
- “Hey Siri” always on
Sample Customer Review… I love my AirPod Pros. The sound quality is better than any headphones I’ve ever had. The ease of use is so nice as well because all I have to do is take them out of the case and put them in my ears and play my music. I don’t know if it’s something with the technology, but my ears don’t get nearly as tired listening to music through the AirPods as usual. I can go hours with no strain on my ears. The noise cancellation is amazing. I use them for WFH and my neighbors are pretty loud mowing their lawns or kids screaming but all I have to do is put in my AirPods and turn on the active noise cancellation. When the noise cancellation is off, I can hear my surroundings way better than regular headphones. I am able to hold a conversation while softly listening to music with my AirPods. I’ve never had an issue with the battery. Finally, they’re great for running. I never have to adjust them while I run, and the sound quality remains spectacular.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
2. Sony WH1000XM3
The Sony WH-1000XM3 is perfect for remote workers who spend most of their day attending video meetings or making phone calls. The long battery life is built for those long days on a home desktop; it can reach up to 30 hours of playtime and only take 15 minutes for a full 5-hour charge. These definitely aren’t the cheapest headphones on the market, but if you want something tech-savvy and stylish these might be for you.
- 30 hour battery life
- Noise cancelling
Sample Customer Review… Trying these out, there was no illusion that they would be equivalent to earplugs. But really, these are not as far off from that as I would have thought. One of the big surprises is how enjoyable these are to use in the car. On the turnpike, all the cacophony in the background clears up and it is much preferable to listen to audiobooks and music enveloped in this comforting silence. Even more than that, I find myself wearing them even when nothing is playing, with the noise-canceling clearing my mind and relaxing me. If that still is not quite enough, then the brilliant battery life is what carries the day and justifies the price. The charging is quick and these can be used all day, for days, before needing a charge. They also look really, really cool in silver and are a bit of a fashion statement. It is fascinating how much these have integrated themselves into my daily life and how often I have them around my neck. I never had any idea I would ever spend this much on headphones, nor have I regretted the decision to purchase them once.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
3. Blueparrott B350XT
Working from home can have its pros and cons, and one of the cons can be having noisy children, but the BlueParrott B350XT might be one of the only headsets on the market where its reviews emphasize how great the noise-canceling really is on this pair of headphones, and the price isn’t too bad either.
Sample Customer Review… I love BlueParrott! I’ve been using them for years. The B350-XT is my latest headset. Just like my others, this one serves me well. It cancels out the background noise—while you’re talking—but it can be heard if you stop talking altogether. An automated voice lets you know when it’s on and connected, and again when it is disconnected and powered off. There’s an app you can download that will even allow the headset to alert you when you receive texts and read them to you. The BlueParrotts are wonderful hands-free devices. They allow you the freedom to talk while multitasking but most importantly, you can drive and still pay attention to your surroundings. Both my husband and dad are truck drivers, and they each have them. I highly recommend this headset to anyone who drives and owns a cell phone period.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
4. Bose Noise Cancelling 700
The Bose Noise Cancelling 700 headset is wireless and over-ear. This is the first headset from Bose outside of their QuietComfort/QuietControl series. This headset is perfect for long hours with comfortable, cushioned ear pads and a battery life of up to 20 hours.
- Noise cancelling
- Bluetooth, Stereo 3.5mm
- Touch-sensitive control pad on the ear panels
Sample Customer Review… The distinguishing attribute of the Bose 700 is the crystal clear call quality, not only for you but also for the person on the other side of the call. I have tried other noise-cancelling headphones, but the one thing those were not good at was call quality – noise from traffic, crowds, and the blowing wind (the worst offender) interfered and made using those headphones for calls unbearable. with Bose 700, I have made calls from crowded Times Square, windy Central Park, and noisy Sixth Avenue – the people on the other side did not have any problems hearing me, and I felt like I was in a shut-door office. The other excellent feature is the notifications (I use Google Assistant) that allows one, at a click of the button, to listen to notifications, texts, messages, and email headers. One can also use the assistant to reply to messages and texts.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
5. Plantronics Voyager 5200
Plantronics is one of the well-known headphone brands on the market, The Voyager 5200 headset has a standard earpiece with a solid mic, with noise-cancelling technology. This headset was specifically made for conference calls so these would be perfect if you spend a lot of time making Skype calls or Zoom meetings.
- Mute alert
- Noise cancelling
- Smart sensors for pausing audio and taking calls (like AirPods)
Sample customer review… Rarely have I been so pleased with any product! It fits comfortably on either ear and is light as a feather, but I could easily walk or jog on a windy day without the slightest concern about it falling out. The buttons are positioned for easily finding and operating with one hand. The audio quality is excellent: 4 mics within a short, windscreen boom, do a great job of canceling background noise. The Android phone app was beautifully designed and loaded with useful features. I have been consistently getting 6 hours 30 minutes of talk time. I love it!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
6. Plantronics Voyager 4220
The Patronic Voyager 4220 headset features a very similar mic to its cousin the Voyager 5200 listed above, this headset is known for its clear audio quality and easy connectivity. You can also connect it to your phone and listen to music or make phone calls.
- Noise cancelling
Sample Customer Review… I work remotely and spend most of the day on the phone on conference calls. I have owned various Plantronics headsets for at least 10 years now, and this one is by far the best. Not only does it pair quickly and easily with my desktop or laptop computers for online web meetings, but it also pairs with my cell phone. I’ve been told that I sound great on receiving end, and it seems to filter out the ambient sounds in and around my home office (gardeners, dogs barking, etc.). This is the perfect headset for anyone who spends extended amounts of time on calls or works remotely.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
7. Plantronics C725
The Plantronics C725 is a USB wired headset designed for all types of computers and is also compatible with a limited number of phones via USB. Plantronics has a mobile app called the Plantronics hub that lets you change your audio settings to your liking and also you can also check your battery life so you can know when to start charging before it dies.
- Noise cancelling switch
Sample Customer Review… This is probably the best quality portable headset that I have used. These are perfect if you conduct a lot of phone and web meetings. This unit takes a beating, and the quality and workmanship are excellent. The unit is adjustable, and the earpads are excellent. The voice quality is exceptional in comparison to others. Even though this headset is a little more expensive, it is worth the investment. The headset is very compatible with many different Windows-based communication products, Lync, SKYPE, and general phone software. Comes with a universal USB interface and automatically recognizes the device when connected to your laptop or PC.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
8. Jabra Evolve2 65 UC
Jabra introduced its latest version of the evolve in late March 2020, with the Jabra Evolve 2 65 UC will connect to your desktop via Bluetooth and has a battery life of up to 37 hours, (the longest battery life on this), And only takes 15 minutes for an 8-hour charge. The ear padding is made of premium materials made for all-day comfort. There are 4 different versions of this headset to choose from but this is the only one that is super lightweight and has this long battery life.
- DECT wireless
- 3 built-in microphones
Sample Customer Review… These have absolutely improved my work-at-home life. Audio quality is great listening to calls and from what coworkers have told me my voice is coming across very clear. Love that you can raise and lower the boom mic to mute/unmute – super helpful if the dog starts barking or I need a quick unmute to speak quickly in a meeting. The Bluetooth range is also amazing. I can easily walk around my entire house on calls and can hear and speak clearly with the dongle plugged into my laptop in the office. Have even been in the backyard and never dropped a call or lost audio. Well worth the cost.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
9. Logitech H820e
The Logitech H820e is perfect for those who spend long hours of the day in conference meetings, The H820 is lightweight, slim, and wireless and maybe the most impressive feature on this entire list is that has a 300-foot Bluetooth range, great for not having to worry about tangling wires when making quick bathroom and or snack breaks from your desktop and not interrupting your call. For a fair price, it also comes with a noise-canceling feature along with a noise-canceling mic.
- in-call LED indicator
- On boom mute button
Sample Customer Review… Quality of sound, range and functionality is why I rate this with five stars. I’ve worked from home for several years and I’ve primarily used a landline for my phone calls. However, many collaboration platforms/services don’t always provide dial-in numbers, which means that I must use VOIP. I needed a headset that was compatible with many of the major services, such as Skype, GoToMeeting, WebEx, etc., wireless with decent range so that I can walk around my house without losing connectivity, decent sound, and muting. Muting is very important. I started my search with Bluetooth headsets, to realize that many just can’t handle extended ranges away from the computer, basic limitations with Bluetooth. This headset connects to the computer via USB and uses DECT wireless technology, the same as most home cordless phones. I can walk through any part of my two-story home without any connection issues. So far so good with the battery life. I leave the headset on the base all night long and over the weekend and I haven’t experienced any degradation to the battery life. The battery lasts me all day and I am on the phone an average of 4-5 hours per day. Muting… who wants to censor themselves when you are on a conference call while others are talking? No one, so mute. This headset has a red visual indicator that lets you see when you are muted so mistakes don’t happen (i.e. laughing out loud, flushing, etc.).Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
10. Jabra Biz 2400
Introducing the Jabra 2400, in 2015 the Jabra 2400 was released on the market and has been known for its simplicity and world-class audio quality. The Jabra 2400 is optimized to use with all leading phone systems and has a quick connect feature for easy desktop connectivity. This headset comes with a 360 flexible boom microphone arm which can be great for taking a quick snack break and not having to worry about taking the entire headset off and the mic is also breathe resistant and has a noise cancelling features to help eliminate those background noises.
- 360-degree flexible boom arm
- Active noise cancelling
- Breathe resistant microphone
- HiFi sound delivery.
Sample Customer Review… First and foremost, this is a USB headset that plugs into my Windows 7 64-bit laptop, and it works flawlessly with Lync, Webex, etc. The mic is unidirectional, meaning that it only ‘listens’ on the side closest to your mouth, and it appears to pick up sounds on the back-side of the mic as well and use those to cancel out background noise. For the first time, ever, my wife and I can both be on calls simultaneously, talk in normal voices, and not bleed over into each other’s calls. It’s fantastic. Secondly, the audio quality from the speakers is excellent and is so clear that I end up talking in a quieter voice if that makes any sense. You see, I have a habit that if what I’m *hearing* isn’t clear, I end up talking louder instinctively to be sure I’m not also being heard unclearly. My wife says that now I stay quiet on calls, and it’s happening without me even thinking about it. Third, and this part was a surprise to me when you have this unit plugged into your computer via USB such that it has power, it is then also available as a Bluetooth headset! I strongly recommend downloading and installing the latest Jabra software for this headset, as it makes pairing and control of the Bluetooth functionality very simple. So, now, I have a single headset that I can grab for any call. It cancels out background noise flawlessly. The audio I hear is so clear that I end up talking in a more normal level of loudness. And it works with both my computer and cellphone automatically. No product is perfect, but after many years and many wasted dollars, I finally have a headset that does just what I need. We also got one for my wife, and she loves hers as well. Highly, highly recommended.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
11. Willful M98
This is one of my personal favorites on the list because of its simplicity and affordability. The Willful M98 Bluetooth wireless headset offers up to 17 hours of continuous talking time and 200 hours standby time with only a full 2-hour complete charge. It’s compatible with all Bluetooth devices and has a flexible boom arm for easy access. If you want a headset with great audio while also trying not to dip into your wallet that much, this is the perfect headset to go with.
- Active Noise Cancellation
- Flexible boom arm
- Compatible to play music
Sample Customer Review… This is an excellent headset with awesome sound clarity. It is extremely comfortable and very easy to set up. The noise cancellation of this product is absolutely unbelievable. Easy Bluetooth pairing with a phone, the sound quality is very clear, has an excellent noise cancellation feature and battery life is really recommendable. Charging is fast and battery life stays long. The best wireless headphones I have ever had. They are super comfortable and easy to use. They also have a well-balanced sound and a good battery life. I need good headphones since I am in business meetings on Skype or WebEx and these headphones are awesome for that purpose. The headset is also very lightweight, has excellent battery life, and is comfortable for long-time wearing. Highly satisfied with the product!!Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
12. Andrea Communications NC-181 VM
The Andrea Communications NC-181 VM is an on-ear headset with an adjustable boom. This headset is reversible so the headphone can go on your right or left ear. Far less expensive than other headsets, the NC-181 VM still has a number of features to improve your experience like a microphone windsock that can eliminate popping noises.
- Noise cancelling
- In-line volume control
- Microphone windsock
- Works with Dragon Dictate
Sample Customer Review… I play a lot of online games and we Skype or TeamSpeak and my old pair hurt my head and I disliked the mic so I decided to take the plunge. These arrived yesterday, simple to hook up, worked right out of the box with NO problem. The headset is extremely comfortable, the mic easy to maneuver and the sound was crystal clear with no interference on either end. I Skyped and played a game for over 2 hours and was pleased with how well these worked. The volume and mute on the device worked perfectly and were a great little bonus. The people on the other end said I sounded great. I definitely recommend these.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
13. Jabra Evolve 80
Jabra delivers quality once again, The Evolve 80 is specifically made to withstand those loud environments when making conference calls and hosting zoom meetings. The Evolve 80 is ideal for remote workers that tend to work in loud environments; one of the best features about this headset is the earpads will automatically eliminate outside human voices by negating high-frequency sounds.
- Built-in microphone
- Unrivaled noise cancellation
Sample Customer Review… This is a very nice headset. It was given to me as a gift. It has active noise canceling with a flip of a switch that makes talking pleasurable in a noisy office environment. There is a button on one side that will cancel all and allow you to hear the sounds around you. That way you can talk to someone that comes by without removing the headset. No one has complained about the clarity of my voice when on calls. The other side can hear loud individuals that stand out in normal circumstances, but a loud office droning is eliminated with this headset. It is awesome with your computer and does work wonderfully with Skype or Google Hangouts. One thing to note, if you use this on your cell phone only, it will not recharge the internal battery and the noise canceling will cease to work. It is charged and used with the USB connection to your computer or if simply charging to a USB charging station I suppose. I’ve not seen any downsides. The construction is top-notch, but I do pamper it and keep it in its zippered container. I’ve also bought a stand for it to sit at my desk. This works great in my home office as well as in the office.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Purchasing a Headset for Online Meetings
If you work several hours with little to no breaks every day, you’re going to want a comfortable headset. Look for headsets that have padding on the ears or headband or other comfort features. Additionally, some headsets are heavier than others. A lightweight headset is more comfortable for long hours.
There are three different styles of headsets: over-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, and earbuds. Most headsets on on-ear headphones with smaller pads for the tops of your ears. Over-ear headphones have large pads that cover the whole ear and earbuds fit inside the ear. It’s important to choose the style that is most comfortable for you.
It’s important that the headset you choose is compatible with the other devices and software you already have. Look for Bluetooth compatibility with your computer and/or phone. Check to see if the headset has a UC (Unified Communications) certification or an MS Certification. A UC-certified headset works with the majority of Skype for Business alternatives. MS certified headsets are for Microsoft Skype. Whether the headset is UC certified or MS certified is not the end-all-be-all when choosing a headset. Headsets that are certified as one or the other are pre-configured for use. However, a modern headset will work with any modern video and/or audio software.
If your headset is wired, also check to see if your computer or phone has a USB port or microphone-in port that is compatible. A USB-C may require an adapter cable.
Sound Quality/Noise Canceling
When working at home, noise-canceling and sound quality are essential for productivity. Noise-canceling headsets can block out sounds like voices, pets, and even loud outside noises like cars or lawnmowers. It’s important that both you can hear clearly and that your voice can be heard clearly. Some of the headsets listed have mute features so that your microphone doesn’t pick up the background noise.
If you opt for a wireless headset, be sure it either has a long enough battery life to last as long as you need it to in one session or an option to charge it while using it.
Depending on how much use you need out of a headset should tell you how much to spend. If you need an everyday headset for several hours of online meetings, you need to choose a headset that is comfortable and fits your needs as detailed above.
2021 just came around the corner and now that jobs, internships, etc. are transitioning more online you may be in need of a new headset we provided you a detailed list of the best headsets for online meetings.
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Written by: Ronald Hare, Sarah Moon