Anyone working in an open office knows that noise can be a real issue. There’s the incessant hum of the air conditioning, the clatter of plates and utensils in the kitchen, the loud footsteps on wooden floors, and there’s always that one coworker with a laugh that could shatter glass! But despite these annoyances, open offices are still the best way to work together and collaborate on projects.
However, sometimes you need to get your head down and concentrate. To shut out all that noise and find your flow and to actually get some work done rather than eavesdrop on your neighbor’s dramatic weekend stories. Luckily for you, most companies are now more than happy to let you throw on your favorite pair of headphones and listen to some music, a podcast, or even a little focus-enhancing white noise.
The only problem is there are literally thousands of headphones on the market today, and choosing the perfect pair can be a bit of a minefield. After all, there’s little point in spending money on new headphones if Sandra’s rasping impression of Taylor Swift is drowning out the real thing. Don’t worry though, we’ve rounded up the best work headphones currently around, so you can find your own little oasis in the chaos of an open office.
Sony WH-1000XM3 – Best Earbuds for Work
Sony is already well known for its high-quality audio gear, and the WH-1000XM3 only reinforces that reputation. With an all-new Bluetooth chip for the best in noise-cancellation (perfect for even the loudest offices), these comfortable and beautifully designed headphones provide stunning musicality and superb detail – whatever you’re listening to.
The excellent battery life (around 6 hours) and the handy carry case, which includes a battery to deliver up to 24 hours of charge, also means that you can truly rock these top-quality in-ear headphones for the entire day – including your commute. However, these premium Bluetooth headphones for work come at a premium price (around $230), so if you’re on a budget, you might want to look elsewhere.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 – Best Wireless Headphones for Work
For some people, earbuds never quite fit right – but that doesn’t mean you have to go without. The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are among the most stylish wireless headphones for work, sitting comfortably over your ears and providing superior insulation from office noise. However, Bose’s premium features don’t stop there, and alongside 11 levels of noise cancellation and an augmented reality option that processes your surroundings to deliver immersive listening in any environment, you’ll find an adaptive microphone system for taking calls.
Up to 20 hours of battery and intuitive touch controls on the cups themselves round-off the 700’s practical features, and it’s Bluetooth connectivity is second-to-none. However, if your thought Sony’s WH-1000XM3 were expensive, then you might want to look away now—the 700s come in at a hefty $400 a pair.
Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless – Best Headphones for Working in Noisy Environments
Sennheiser headphones are world-renowned for their exceptional audio quality and high levels of musicality. Featuring a closed-back design and a comfortable fit over long periods, the HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless are among the best headphones for working in noisy offices. The robust build and large cups are also supported by Sennheiser’s NoiseGard technology – an active noise cancellation feature that ensures you only hear pumping bass and vivid highs.
Up to 25 hours of playback can be enjoyed with the included battery, and while they might not be the most stylish headphones on our list, they make up for that with their reliable and robust design that will last you years. Reasonably priced at around $130, you can also afford to have a pair for work and a pair at home.
Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H4 – Most Stylish Bluetooth Headphones for Work
While Danish company Bang & Olufsen have been manufacturing high-end audio products since 1926, there’s nothing old fashioned about the BeoPlay H4 headphones. Featuring B&Os iconic and alluring design, alongside a comfortable fit and 19 hours of playback, they’re made for long hours in the most stylish of offices.
Another useful feature of the H4’s is their versatile connectivity options. Including both Bluetooth 4.2 and a 1.2-meter audio cable (for when you’ve run out of charge), they’re made to keep you connected at all times. Additionally, the 3-button control system allows you to play/pause and skip audio, adjust your volume, and take calls without ever removing your headphones. At around $300 a pair, they’re a little on the expensive side – but when was pure Scandanavian style ever cheap?
Klipsch TM5 Wired – Best Work Headphones with a Cable
If you’re tired of having to regularly charge your work headphones, then it’s worth considering a more traditional route. The Klipsch TM5 Wired offer exactly that, combing lightweight in-ear design with the legendary Klipsch sound that’s both dynamic and detailed. Compatible with any jack equipped device, these wired headphones will never require charging and will never drop your connection.
The included static-free microphone ensures you can take calls while at your desk or on the move, and the patented oval ear tips provide excellent noise isolation. However, with no active noise-cancellation features, these headphones may be less effective in particularly noisy environments. However, coming in at less than $100, they also offer great bang for your buck.