Over-Ear

The Best Headphones with Microphone

Last updated: 2 months ago, Apr. 6. 2020
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    Get the best headphones with a quality microphone for clear phone calls.

    Comparison of The Best Headphones with Mic

      BadgeRatingPrice
    (approx.)
    TypeMicrophone 

    Plantronics Voyager
    Focus B825
    best dedicated4.2$170on-ear
    wireless
    headset
    boom micMore info
    Bose 700
    ANC headphones
    best
    noise-cancelling
    4.4$400over-ear
    wireless
    noise cancelling
    built-inMore info
    Apple AirPods Probest true wireless4.6$250in-ear
    true wireless
    built-inMore info
    Sony WF-1000XM3best ANC
    earbuds
    4.1$250
    in-ear
    true wireless
    built-inMore info
    Audio-Technica
    BPHS1
    best professional4.5$200
    over-ear
    wired (XLR)
    headset
    boom micMore info
    Sennheiser
    HD 4.50 BTNC
    best under $1004.0$100
    over-ear
    wireless
    built-inMore info
    AKG Y500best foldable4.3$100
    on-ear
    wireless
    built-in
    (and in-line)
    More info
    SteelSeries
    Arctis 7 Wireless
    best gaming4.3$120
    over-ear
    wireless
    boom micMore info
    Mpow 071best cheap
    USB headset
    4.2$20on-ear
    wired USB
    boom micMore info
    Naztech NX80best cheap
    earbuds
    3.4$20in-ear
    wired
    in-lineMore info

    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 microphones with noise cancellation are much better. More on this below.

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      Related guides:

      Best Bluetooth headphones

      Most comfortable headphones

      The best headphones under $100

      The Best Headphones with Microphone

      Plantronics Voyager Focus B825 | best dedicated

      Plantronics B825m Voyager Focus

      Plantronics Voyager Focus B825 is an on-ear wireless headset built for enterprise platforms. Best choice for office work.

      Should You Buy These?

      The comfortable and easy-to-use Bluetooth headset is ideal for active professionals that often use a computer or mobile communications in noisy environments.

      The Good

      First of all, the Bluetooth 4.1 technology gives stable connection up to 98 feet (30 m) while the battery life provides up to 12 hours of talking (and roughly 15 hours of listening).

      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. It’s a really nice feature.

      Now, 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.

      The Bad

      When the Plantronics Voyager is seated on the charging cradle, it leans to one side. This is a bit unpractical since the headset can swing around or even fall out of its crib.

      The Sound

      Even though the Plantronics headset is focused on delivering conference calls it has stellar sound quality. The sound is nice and warm with subtle bass enhancement, well-rounded treble and clear high-end. It also doesn’t distort on high volumes which is undoubtedly a plus.

      Plantronics has a long and well-deserved reputation for delivering high-end products, and the Voyager Focus B825 set surely fits amongst them. It’s the perfect headset for professionals who make calls all the time.


       

      Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 | best noise cancelling

      Bose 700 Noise Cancelling Headphones

      Signature Bose headphones include a brilliant microphone for making phones calls and voice control.

      Find other top noise cancelling headphones.

      Should You Buy These?

      If you are an audiophile looking for a set of headphones that have a built-in mic, you may find your answer in the Bose 700 model.

      The Good

      These headphones have an built-in mic for making calls and accessing your voice assistant technology. The clever four-mic system isolates your voice so that people can hear you clearly on the phone. It works better than with other high-end ANC headphones. You can also easily boss around Google Assistant and Alexa.

      ANC technology LINKZ is clever, and there are 11 levels and settings you can use. Choose which is best for your situation.

      A quality battery gives 20 hours overall listening time, but you can also use fast charge for 3.5 hours of playtime in just 15 minutes.

      The Bad

      As is often the case with premium headphones, these are expensive, around $400. One other downside is the fact they are quite heavy. The weight is evenly distributed, so it isn’t too much of an issue.

      The Sound

      Clarity is abundant in these headphones. The Bluetooth is reliable, and the sound is high-fidelity. Though there is no bass boost, it is great for listening to all genres of music, with particularly strong mids and crisp highs.

      You may pay extra for the exceptional noise cancelling and Bose audio fidelity. However, for demanding users looking for headphones with a quality microphone, the Bose 700 model is the best.


      Apple AirPods Pro | best true wireless

      Apple AirPods Pro

      A great set of true wireless earbuds, perfect for iPhone users (good for Android too).

      Should You Buy These?

      If you use an Apple device already, the AirPods Pro can pair with ease. They also feature plenty of innovations in terms of new audio technology.

      The Good

      If you use an iPhone or Apple Watch, the AirPods Pro are made for you. They’re mainly designed for iPhone users (but work with Android too).

      The built-in microphone is of great quality and is used to control Siri. It keeps the background noise at bay.

      The TWS earbuds are built around the H1 chip, which has 10 audio cores. It offers noise cancelling technology and reliable, latency-free streaming from your device.

      The audio sharing is also a great feature. It enables you to stream from your earbuds to another set of AirPods Pro. You can share music or other audio with your friends.

      Moreover, the earbuds give up to 24 hours of battery with the charging case. And, you can use them for sports thanks to water resistance and a comfortable fit.

      The Bad

      If you aren’t an Apple user, you don’t get full functionality that is possible.

      The Sound

      AirPods Pro buds provide clever audio features. The inbuilt microphone can detect background noise and provide noise cancelling. You can also enjoy customized EQ, set automatically based on your surroundings and the music itself.

      The powerful, high-excursion driver provides a good level of bass. Apple has upped its game when it comes to earbuds.

      Though especially good for iPhone users and those using Apple devices, the Airpods Pro offers reliable and powerful true wireless capability for everyone.


      Sony WF-1000XM3 | best ANC earbuds

      Sony WF-1000XM3

      Excellent noise cancelling from Sony’s industry-leading earbuds.

      Should You Buy These?

      If you are looking for long battery life and excellent noise cancelling, the Sony WF-1000XM3 (review) are the top choice.

      The Good

      These earbuds have the QN1e processor for noise cancelling. This is Sony’s best chip that cleverly adapts the ANC to drown out external noise.

      Alexa compatibility is included, and you can activate it with one touch of the earbuds. The adaptive sound control can switch the earbuds to ambient sound when you need to hear what’s going on around you.

      Furthermore, the microphone is quite sensitive but comes through clearly and is suitable for long phone calls.

      The 24-hour battery life does rely on you using the charging case. Otherwise, you get around 5 hours of music from earphones alone. The quick charge function is a bonus, it can give 90 minutes of battery life from a 10-minute charge.

      The Bad

      The true wireless earbuds pack quite a lot of technology, so they’re quite bulky, which may impair the fit.

      The Sound

      24-bit audio processing and powerful drivers give a clear and accurate level of sound reproduction that you can equalize to your liking with an app.

      The active noise cancelling further adds to the peace & quiet. For true wireless earbuds, the sound of this model is among the best on the market.

      For high-quality streaming and 24-bit audio processing, combined with effective noise cancelling, the Sony WF-1000XM3 are a top contender.

      Read the Sony WF-1000XM3 review.


      Audio-Technica BPHS1 | best professional

      Audio-Technica BPHS1 headset

      The BPHS1 deliver an all-around experience primarily created for on-air broadcasting, streaming or interviews.

      Should You Buy These?

      The Audio-Technica BPHS1 are quality over-ear stereo headphones that offer natural and focused vocal which makes them ideal for any kind of professional broadcasting or live-streaming.

      The Good

      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.

      The Bad

      Since they only come with an XLR cable, you can’t really plug them straight into a computer, and that means you’ll have to buy an extra audio interface, which means additional expenses.

      The Sound

      The sound is surprisingly good for a headset that was primarily built for vocal actions. The lows are punchy but clear while the highs are bright. The 40mm headphone driver translates balanced sound with a wide frequency range.

      If you’re into any kind of broadcasting or live-streaming, the Audio-Technica BPHS1 with precise boom mic and quality sound, are one of the best on the market. A top pick for pros.


      Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC | best under $100

      Sennheiser HD 4.50

       

      Best headphones with microphone under $100 with quality sound and Bluetooth.

      Should You Buy These?

      The Sennheiser HD 4.50 headphones still have a lot of great features despite costing less than some of the competing models. If you want quality on a budget, the HD 4.50 are great.

      The Good

      NoiseGuard active noise cancelling is effective at blocking out unwanted sounds. The design of these headphones is simple and minimalist.

      The ear cup mounted controls help you skip tracks, alter the volume, and take calls on your headphones easily. The microphone is decent quality and has a 100 Hz to 10,000 Hz frequency response.

      A foldable design allows you to store and transport these headphones easily. 19 hours of listening time can last all the waking day.

      The Bad

      Though there are leatherette pads around the ear cups, these headphones could benefit from being more comfortable.

      Audio fidelity is high, but not elite. This is expected for the price.

      The Sound

      Reliable Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX technologies mean high-quality audio streaming. The sound isn’t as Hi-Fi as some other brands, but the frequency response is wide and powerful drivers give an enjoyable bass boost. These headphones are great for dance music and heavier genres.

      If you are looking for a great offering that doesn’t cost the earth, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 provides a good affordable choice, with active noise cancelling and a quality microphone.


      AKG Y500 | best foldable on-ears

      AKG Y500 Bluetooth on-ear headphones

      AKG Y500 are the best foldable headphones with a microphone that you can easily pack in a backpack for a trip.

      Should You Buy These?

      If you want portable on-ear headphones with fantastic sound quality, durability, comfort, and modern features (for a reasonable price), these are for you.

      The Good

      A brand new model (released in 2018) has a lot of features. Together with Bluetooth 4.2 technology you also get Ambient Aware mode which is basically a “half-mute” button for when you need better awareness.

      You also get a quick charging battery (5min charge for 1 hour of music) that gives up to 33 hours per single charge.

      The on-ear headphones are foldable, have an aluminum casing, memory foam earpads, and built-in remote control and microphone.

      Plus they come with a 3.5mm cable with controls and mic as well (useful when you want to go wired).

      What’s unique about them is the automatic play/pause function. It pauses music when you put them off the head and plays when you put the cans back on. And, they also support multipoint connectivity. What’s more to ask?

      The Bad

      Pricier than the competition since these are premium wireless on-ear headphones.

      The Sound

      It’s typical AKG sound signature, balanced and rich in detail with a nice amount of bass. They’re perfect for all types of music, including jazz, classical and rock.

      Support for AAC codec helps with higher audio quality over a wireless connection but it would be better if they had aptX as well.

      One of the best (if not the best) Bluetooth foldable headphones available right now. With lots of latest technology and great sound (plus built-in and in-line mics), you are getting a quality pair of headphones you can confidently take anywhere.


      SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless | best gaming

      SteelSeries Arctis 7

      SteelSeries Arctis 7 wireless headphones will bring you the ultimate gaming experience.

      Should You Buy These?

      The Arctis 7 are on-ear wireless headphones perfect for gaming enthusiasts that are looking for a reliable headset. It fuses stellar sound quality with attractive looks and precise boom microphone.

      Check the best gaming headsets here.

      The Good

      The 2,4GHz connection delivers spot-on wireless audio with low latency and zero interference. The Discord-certified ClearCast mic presents precise voice clarity and good background noise cancellation.

      And, the rechargeable Lithium-ion battery delivers more than a day of gaming experience which is surely appreciated by passionate gamers.

      The Bad

      The gaming headset is advertised as mostly PC orientated and it does sound better than using them with PS4 (due to lack of virtual surround sound).

      Also, the mic is sometimes too precise and can capture your breathing which can be annoying to other gamers. So, make sure you don’t have it too close to your mouth.

      The Sound

      The S1 speaker drivers produce “super-natural” sound quality with present bass, warm mids, and bright highs.

      It’s also equipped with DTS Headphone:X which is a smooth virtual surround sound. But it’s only supported on PC.

      SteelSeries Arctis 7 wireless model is a top choice in its category. Functional design, excellent battery life, stellar sound, and precise mic makes it a no-brainer for a gamer.


      Mpow 071 USB headset | best cheap

      Mpow 071 USB headset

      Mpow 071 is a budget on-ear USB headset with boom microphone made for office work.

      Should You Buy These?

      The 071’s are super comfortable on-ear USB headphones with great mic and low price range.

      This makes them ideal for any kind of voice operating activities such as chats, calls, presentations and more.

      The Good

      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.

      When it comes to comfort, the headband and foamy earpads provide enough of it for daily usage.

      The connection is possible with USB or 3.5mm wired plug.

      The Bad

      The mic can only be positioned on the left side of the headset. But it’s a budget product, so it’s acceptable.

      The Sound

      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.

      If you’re looking for a cheap headset that you’ll use for Skype, conferences or presentations, then Mpow 071’s should definitely be your first choice.


      Naztech NX80 | best cheap earbuds

      Naztech NX80

      The Naztech NX80 in-ear monitors (earbuds) are affordable wired buds with a better-than-average mic.

      Should You Buy These?

      The NX80’s earbuds combine attractive looks with solid performance for a low price.

      This makes them ideal for active users that are looking for a stylish headset with a smooth sound and solid microphone.

      The Good

      Now, you have to keep in mind these earphones are as basic as they come.

      And while the in-line microphone can’t compare to boom mics, it’s better than most competitors in the same category.

      The passive noise isolation blocks annoying ambient sound and the in-line noise cancelling mic blocks background noises. There’s a difference between the two.

      In the end, this makes your voice sound clear and crisp.

      An easy-to-use multifunction button allows you to control calls and music.

      The Bad

      The flat cable is designed to prevent tangling but it’s somewhat sensitive so, you should be cautious. Treat it nicely.

      The Sound

      The 8mm neodymium drivers produce dynamic, quality stereo sound.

      The thumping bass gives subtle warmth while the mids and highs aren’t too aggressive. It’s a pleasant and healthy sound considering the cheap price.

      If you’re looking for comfortable, good-looking, low-priced, earbuds with solid in-line mic, then Naztech NX80 are the way to go.


      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) which 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.

      • Uni-directional
      • Omnidirectional

      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, 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 sound 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).
      Headphone microphone types in-line boom built-in

      3 types of headphone mics: in-line, boom, and built-in.

      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.

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