When it comes to working remotely, it is important to have the right equipment in order to be productive. One of the most essential items to have on hand is a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Not only will this help you keep out distractions, but it will also help you communicate more clearly when you’re on work calls.
There are a plethora of options out there, but we’ve rounded up the top five noise-cancelling headphones for remote workers.
This list consists of headphones that appeared on multiple lists for reputable technology reviewers, including TechRadar, Wirecutter and PC Mag. These headphones were consistently ranked for their noise-canceling abilities and other performance qualities.
They are not ranked in any particular order because the preference for earbuds vs. headphones is a factor our list cannot account for.
Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700
This pair of headphones appeared on three different lists as one of the best noise-cancelling headphones. Wirecutter calls them “the best wireless noise-cancelling headphones set that Bose has ever released.”
This is an expensive option, but the features are worth it. These headphones have the ability to adjust the level of active noise cancellation on a scale from zero to 10, which means you can set the level at anywhere from complete room silencing to simply muffling loud noises.
The headphones also have a comfortable, lightweight design and up to 20 hours of battery life.
Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2
For a pair of noise-cancelling headphones that won’t break the bank, try the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2. These Bluetooth headphones sound excellent and feature active noise cancellation to dampen outside sounds.
The noise cancellation might not be as good as Bose’s, but these headphones come at a fraction of the cost. The batteries also last 24 hours, which makes it a great option for those who may also have to travel from time to time. According to TechRadar, “You’re getting a travel headphone with incredible battery life, supreme comfort, the ability to pair two device as one and, most importantly, good sound quality for the cost.”
Apple Airpods Pro
Building on the popularity of its Airpods, Apple’s Airpod Pros take it a step further with effective noise cancellation and excellent call quality. Not only do these earbuds have the strong audio performance and secure in-ear fit Airpod users are familiar with, but USA Today describes the new noise-cancelling feature of these earbuds as “among the best in the field.”
While you cannot control the level of noise cancellation, the Airpod Pros do take out keyboard clicks, nearby music and office chatter. The earbuds also include a transparency mode that allows outside noise in, which is excellent if you want to interact with the world around you.
Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones
These headphones will cut out most of the noise around you, and they sound great when playing music, podcasts or anything else you want to listen to. Forbes says these headphones are “easily among the best noise-cancelling headphones out there.”
Like the Bose headphones, these allow you to adjust how much sound is blocked out, but more impressively, they have 30 hours of battery life. Additionally, these headphones are described as being comfortable and stylish.
If you are someone who needs to take phone calls regularly, though, note that the microphone on these headphones is not the highest quality. However, the noise-cancelling feature more than makes up for this, and the microphone will still suffice for an occasional phone call.
Jabra Elite 85H
If you’re looking for similar quality to Bose and Sony headphones but want to pay a bit less, check out the Jabra Elite 85H. These headphones offer impressive noise-cancelling performance along with excellent call quality. The battery life is also top notch at 36 hours with the noise canceling activated and 41 hours without.
Overall, CNET calls the Jabra Elite 85H “excellent noise-canceling headphones that are very comfortable to wear.”
Finding the right pair of headphones may be exactly what you need to make remote working work for you. Though you may have to spend a pretty penny up front, your improved productivity due to blocking out distracting noises will likely make the expense worthwhile.