Get the best headphones for meetings, conferences, and clear phone calls.
|Rating||Price||Type||Microphone||Noise cancellation||More info|
Sony WH-1000XM4 Best noise-cancelling
Plantronics Voyager Focus B825 Best dedicated
On-ear, wireless headset
BlueParrot B550-XT Best mono headset
Over-ear, wireless headset
Audio-Technica BPHS1 Best professional
Over-ear, wired (XLR) headset
Jabra Evolve2 65 UC Best on-ears
Aukey EP-N7 Best earbuds under $100
In-ear, true wireless
Mpow 071 Best cheap USB headset
On-ear, wired & USB
Have you ever experienced a bad call with someone who had a horrible microphone and you could barely understand them?
If that’s your friend you just let them know but if you’re talking to a stranger you can’t exactly say, “Hey, your microphone sucks.”
It’s maddening. And many people start shouting into their devices and keep repeating themselves. It’s not good.
Hearing the other person clearly and without distortion is crucial for normal communication. Especially, if you make a lot of calls and have to talk to people professionally or where clear voice quality is expected.
Thankfully, we’ve made a list of the best headphones with a mic that’s better than the competition.
Keep in mind, some of these aren’t dedicated talking headsets but just regular headphones with a decent built-in microphone. You have to adjust expectations for each category.
Boom mic with noise cancellation are much better. More on this below.
Let’s find out what are the best headphones with microphone.
The Best Headphones with Microphone
1. Sony WH-1000XM4
High-quality pair of headphones with great mic and noise cancellation
A brand new version of popular headphones with noise cancellation technology now comes with 5 microphones responsible for better ANC and voice quality when taking a phone call.
- Outstanding noise-canceling performance
- Audiophile-grade sound quality
- Premium-feeling build
- Useful Headphones Connect app
- Great battery life
- Support for LDAC
- Amazing comfort and fit
- The speak-to-chat feature is a gimmick
- Voice Priority mode doesn’t work correctly
- No IPX rating
Sound quality is on par with similar audiophile headphones in this price range. They have a slightly bassy sound profile, but the overall frequency response is still fairly balanced and full.
Bluetooth headphones always struggle when it comes to picking up a person’s voice. Since the ear cups are so far away from your mouth, you need more than one mic to do a decent job. Sony put 5 of them inside their WH-1000XM4 compared to one in WH-1000XM3.
Besides the much better call quality, you’re also getting one of the best noise-cancelling headphones in the market. It can eliminate most things around you, even human speech.
Their battery life is also incredible. Their battery pack can last up to 30 hours with ANC enabled.
Find other best noise cancelling headphones.
2. Plantronics Voyager Focus B825
Best headphones with microphone for work
Plantronics Voyager Focus UC B825 are on-ear Bluetooth headphones built for enterprise platforms. Best choice for office work.
- Excellent for office work
- Good active noise cancellation
- Well-rounded, enjoyable sound
- Impractical docking position
Plantronics headset has stellar sound quality. The sound is warm with subtle bass enhancement and well-rounded treble. It also doesn’t distort on high volume levels, which is undoubtedly a plus.
The comfortable and easy-to-use Voyager Focus UC B825 Bluetooth headset is ideal for active professionals that often use computer or mobile communications in noisy environments.
The ANC (active noise cancelation) helps block out distracting sounds which is great for a noisy office.
You also get the built-in smart sensors that automatically mute/unmute music (and answer/hang-up calls) by simply taking off the headset.
When it comes to the microphone, the mic-arm can be shifted to either left or right ear. And, soft foam earpads make it extremely comfortable and easy to use for multiple hours per day.
3. BlueParrot B550-XT
Best dedicated mono headset with mic that’s excellent for calls but terrible for music
With ANC mic that’s up to 96% efficient at blocking background noise, they’re among the best in class. However, a mono speaker doesn’t offer a full frequency range for music.
- Excellent microphone quality
- Long wireless range
- Sweat & dust resistance
- Good comfort
- Poor audio quality
- Mono headset
The B550-XT focus primarily on call quality, abandoning audio performance altogether. Their 36mm drivers can only produce frequencies between 150 to 6800Hz, which isn’t enough for an enjoyable music experience.
However, that’s more than enough for human speech. Voice calls with these headsets are excellent, providing clarity in all kinds of situations.
Their 96% noise reduction for calls means you can use them in noisier environments, like offices and warehouses.
Since they’re over-ear mono headsets, their weight can be a bit unevenly distributed. Thankfully, comfort isn’t a problem. You even get a replacement foam earpad in the box.
Headset come with an IP54 sweatproof rating and a 24-hour battery life.
4. Audio-Technica BPHS1
Best headphones with mic for conference calls, used by professionals
The BPHS1 deliver an all-around experience primarily created for on-air broadcasting, streaming, or interviews.
- Professional quality microphone
- Durable build with detachable cable
- Balanced sound with good vocal clarity
- XLR cable demands purchasing extra equipment
The sound is surprisingly good for a headset that was primarily built for vocal actions. The 40mm headphone driver translates a balanced sound with a wide frequency range.
The BPHS1 are quality over-ear stereo headphones that offer natural and focused vocals which makes them ideal for any kind of professional broadcasting or live-streaming.
The closed-back stereo headset has a dynamic cardioid boom microphone which creates a full frequency response and clear natural vocals.
Plus, they’re firmly built and should last multiple years. Since these are closed-back headphones, they seal out background noise pretty nicely.
Additionally, the boom mic can be positioned either left or right, and that’s surely a nice feature as well.
5. Jabra Evolve2 65 UC
Stylish looking on-ear Bluetooth headphones
Jabra Evolve2 65 UC are the best headphones with a microphone for professional workflow.
- Excellent microphone clarity
- Microsoft Teams compatible
- Good on-ear comfort
- Fun, V-shaped sound
- Superb battery life
- Long wireless range
- Only SBC Bluetooth codec
The sound is somewhat V-shaped but with a good balance between lows and highs. Headphones can give a meaty bass punch while sounding sparkly at the same time.
The Evolve2 65 UC are specially made with microphone performance in mind. The quality of video calls is superb, offering reliable voice clarity even inside a very noisy office.
Despite having an on-ear design, they fit pretty comfortably. You can probably wear them for a couple of hours before needing to take a break.
Besides having excellent 37-hour battery life, they can fast-charge to an additional 8 hours in just 15 minutes.
6. Aukey EP-N7
Best true wireless earbuds with mic and noise cancellation under $100
You can expect surprisingly great noise cancelling performance and mic quality.
- Excellent comfort
- Good fit and stability
- Impressive active noise cancellation performance
- Great call quality for the price
- Decent overall battery life
- Warm sound
- … but with too much bass
- You have to force SBC to eliminate video lag (Android)
If you like heavy bass, EP-N7 are an excellent choice for your needs. Their low-end can sometimes overpower the midrange, but in general, they offer a warm and fun listening experience.
Their main feature is excellent active noise cancellation. In the price range, you can’t find anything better.
Great results continue with microphone quality. Your voice remains clean and understandable, regardless of the ambient sound. The only caveat is that you sound a bit quiet.
If you wear earbuds for more extended periods, Aukey EP-N7 can satisfy you with a comfortable fit. You barely notice them in your ears, despite being a bit bulky.
Are you looking for cheap ANC options? See the best budget noise cancelling headphones.
7. Mpow 071
Best headphones for video conferencing on a budget
A budget on-ear USB headset with a boom microphone made for office work.
- Comfortable for on-ear headphones
- Good quality for the price
- Microphone only on the left side
This headset was mainly built for voice, so it has a lot of low-end and limited high-end. This makes the vocals sound warm while it may be too much for music.
The 071’s are super comfortable on-ear USB headphones with a great mic and low price range. This makes them ideal for any kind of voice operating activities such as video chats, calls, presentations and more.
The built-in unidirectional microphone picks up your voice loud & clear and also reduces background noise.
The noise reduction sound card in the control box lowers noise output from devices, therefore, providing distortion-free audio in both ways.
The connection is possible with USB or 3.5mm headphone jack.
You can find more budget options among the best cheap headphones.
Want other affordable options? Best cheap earbuds
Apple AirPods Max – New noise cancellation headphones from Apple with breathtaking design and good sound quality. AirPods Max also have great microphones, suitable for video calls or conference calls. However, the price tag is a bit high. (Check AirPods Max price)
Want to look further? All of the best Bluetooth headphones under $100 also come with a microphone.
FAQ – Questions About Headphones with Mics
What is a Noise-Cancelling Microphone (and does it matter?)
Many manufacturers claim their microphones are noise cancelling but that’s not always the case.
All of them mix passive noise isolation with active noise cancelling. The two are entirely different.
Nonetheless, both play a role in how good of a call quality you get.
cVc (Clear Voice Capture) is noise canceling technology.
Most headphones (with Bluetooth connection) that claim noise cancellation use cVc technology made by Qualcomm (the same company that makes aptX). It’s a set of algorithms that cancel out background noise like wind and traffic.
It helps with better voice quality so you can have clearer and more understandable conversations (in normal situations).
However, cVc has limited effectiveness but does make a difference in many cases. Just don’t expect it to deliver a perfectly clear voice in noisy places. Because it won’t.
It’s a nice technology to have in your Bluetooth headphones but isn’t critically important.
Uni-directional is better than omnidirectional (for calls).
There are two types of microphones.
The difference between the two is in their design.
The uni-directional mic picks up voices and sounds from one direction while the omnidirectional picks them from all sides.
This can make a huge difference when making a call in crowded public places. Usually, a uni-directional microphone is better for making phone calls with your headphones.
Omni-directional mics are more sensitive and thus pick up more ambient noise from the environment which makes it harder to talk.
On the other hand, the omnidirectional microphone is a better option when you want to capture all the sound around you. When making videos, video calls, streams, interviews, etc.
You can read more about the difference between omni and directional mics here.
Built-In vs. In-Line vs. Boom Microphone. Which is the best?
There are many uses for a mic, but when it comes to voice quality, boom microphones are the best.
The ability to pick up your voice right before your mouth gives them an unfair advantage in audio quality. Your voice will come out clear and easy to understand.
But boom mics are big and clumsy and not useful for portable headphones, plus they get in the way.
This is why most headphones either use a built-in or in-line versions.
Unfortunately, these aren’t the best for making phones calls but are a lot more convenient.
- Built-in microphones are most common in wireless Bluetooth headphones.
- In-line microphones are more common in wired headphones (since the module is on the cable).
The reason why they don’t always capture clear voices is that they are further away from your mouth. This creates problems. Many times the mic will pick up other sounds before your own.
While you can help by putting the in-line mic closer to your mouth you can’t do that with a built-in one. But that’s the price of wireless headphones.
If you prefer microphone quality over convenience get a headset with a boom mic.
How Can Headphones Be Used as a Microphone?
If headphones have a microphone, it’s pretty straightforward to use it.
For Bluetooth headphones, you just have to connect them to your device, and in most cases, the mic will be activated automatically. If not, you can usually change the settings in your device to use the correct mi.
For wired headphones, it’s often the same. The microphone will automatically become active, like after plugging them into a smartphone.
When that doesn’t happen, you have to see if your device recognized the headphones as having a microphone (so you can select it in settings).
These are general tips, and specific situations depend on the device and software you use.
What is the Difference Between a Headset and Headphones?
The headphones can lack a microphone and still be called headphones (just for music).
While a headset needs to come with music drivers and a microphone, otherwise it’s not a headset (music and calls).
That’s pretty much the difference. Of course, many headsets are often called headphones.
How to Get the Best Voice Quality with a Headphone Mic?
- Independent from the type of microphone you have but when you notice the caller is asking you to repeat yourself, try to find a quieter place if possible. Isolating yourself from the source of noise is always helpful.
- If you’re running with your headphones, the noise from breathing and moving can be very distracting. So, stop or slow down for the time talking.
- Another thing that might help with in-line (the ones on the cable) and boom microphones is to pull it closer to your mouth. This will pronounce your voice over ambient noise.
Apart from that, there’s not much else you can do.