Working from home has become normal for many people. More companies are extending their temporary work from home orders and offering their employees the ability to work remotely full time. Even though the world is a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have not mastered their perfect home office.
One of the biggest work from home struggles is canceling out the background noise. Finding the perfect pair of headphones that are noise-canceling, comfortable enough to wear during long meetings and have long battery life is overwhelming. There are so many options on the market, it can be difficult to figure out which pair is the right pair. Below are five headphones available that can stand up against loud kids or noisy roommates.
1) Apple Airpod Pros- $250
The Apple Airpod Pros are the best in-ear, noise-canceling headphones for Apple enthusiasts. The Pros have noise-canceling and transparency audio options, perfect for tuning in and out background noise. They also come with three sizes of silicone ear tips so users can find the size that fits their ear the best. The battery life of the Pros is 4 to 5 hours, depending on how they are being used, but the charging case provides over 24 hours of listening time when fully charged. The case adds one hour of listening time to the headphones with just five minutes of charging. These headphones have automatic switching between Apple devices, so it is easy to switch from phone use to computer use as needed. There is a microphone in each earbud and a beamforming mic designed to pick up the user's voice. They have noise-reduction capabilities and a vent system that relieves built-up pressure during long-term wear, making them great for long meetings or phone calls. These are the perfect headphones for Apple fans and those who want a noise-canceling option without an over-the-ear design.
2) Sony WH-1000XM4- $348
The Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless over-the-ear headphones are one of the best headphones on the market. With some of the best sound quality available, these are an upgrade from previous Sony headphones, with added multipoint paring, DSEE Extreme upscaling, conversational awareness and an auto play/pause function. When in noise-canceling mode, all the user has to do is start talking and the headphones will automatically pause the audio and switch to ambient mode. With a simple touch of the ear cup, or after a pre-set amount of time, the headphones will resume playing. Sony improved the noise reduction and microphones of these headphones over previous models to create better call quality, making them a great option for taking work calls and meetings. These are perfect for those who aren’t tied to Apple products and are looking for the best headphones on the market, no matter the price.
Bose held the crown for many years as the only choice for Bluetooth, noise-canceling headphones. Now there are many great options on the market, but Bose still carries some of the best noise-canceling headphones around. The Bose 700 headphones are lightweight, weighing 254 g, making them very comfortable for 8+ hours of wear. The microphones were designed to pick up the user’s voice better and filter out noise so the caller can hear accurately and the recipient hears less background noise. The headphones even have an adjustable sidetone feature that allows the user to adjust how much of their own voice they can hear during a call, ensuring that they are not talking too loud. The Bose 700 headphones support Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. They also have a 20-hour battery life, which means they will last all through the workday without having to be charged. This headset is a great option for those who live in households where it is difficult to avoid loud background noise.
4) Soundcore by Anker Life Q30- $80
The last three headphones were on the high end of the price spectrum. If the goal is to spend less than $100, the Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 are a great option. The bass, clarity and overall noise-canceling abilities of these headphones are not as high quality as some of the pricier options, but for the price, these are some of the best available. The battery life of the Q30 is high, lasting 40 hours without needing to charge, even beating some of the pricier options. The microphones pick up voices well in quiet environments, but they do not reduce background noise so these are best for those who are working in already quiet environments. These were designed with comfort in mind, so they are a great option for those who want to wear their headphones for their full workday.
5) Mpow X3- $60
The Mpow X3D headphones are perfect for those looking for a pair of wireless, noise-canceling in-ear headphones without breaking the bank. The traditional over-the-ear headphones can be cumbersome or annoying for some wearers and wireless in-ear earbuds can be pricy. The Mpow X3 offers active noise canceling with three sizes of silicone tips to create a strong seal. The Mpow X3 can last seven hours without needing a charge and the charging case provides 20 hours of charging time. This pair takes longer to charge than the similar Airpod Pros, but at this price, they are one of the best options. These earbuds have Bluetooth 5.0, which means they will provide a stable connection with high call quality. Finding a pair of in-ear headphones that are noise-canceling and inexpensive is difficult, but the Mpow X3 are one of the best cheap options on the market.
From noisy kids to shared workspaces to curious pets, there are a variety of factors that make working from home difficult, and a year into the pandemic, many have yet to find the perfect, peaceful working environment. Noise-canceling headphones are a key element that can bring some peace to the home office. Whether the goal is buying an Apple product, the best on the market or a relatively cheap option, there are many great headphone options on the market.