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7 Best Headphones With Microphone for Clear Calls, Lessons, and Work (2024)

Last updated: 2 weeks ago
13 min read

We’ve tested the microphones of 193 headphones for clarity in calm and noisy environments.

We’ll cover:

  • The best headphones with a quality microphone
  • Our experience of using the mics
  • Microphone tests in a peaceful and noisy environment (so you know how they work in different situations)

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

More info Price Type Microphone type Noise cancellation
Sony WH-1000XM5 Best overall
Sony WH-1000XM5 small image
Under $380
Over-ear, wireless
Apple AirPods Max Best Apple
Apple AirPods Max
Under $430
Over-ear, wireless
Sony WH-1000XM4 Best under $250
Sony WH1000XM3 wireless headphones
Under $250
Over-ear, wireless
Edifier WH950NB Best under $200
Edifier WH950NB
Under $200
Over-ear, wireless
BlueParrot B550-XT Best mono headset
BlueParrot B550 XT
Under $200
Over-ear, wireless headset
Boom mic
Jabra Evolve2 65 UC Best on-ears
Jabra Evolve2 65 UC
Under $220
On-ear, wireless
Boom mic
1MORE SonoFlow Best under $100
1MORE SonoFlow
Under $80
Over-ear, wireless

Headphones on our list are evaluated based on 9 key factors (Sonic9Score).  But the main criterion we looked at to pick the recommendations is microphone quality (more info below).

In a world of video calls, Zoom meetings, and working from home, you need headphones with a quality mic.

Especially if you’re using headphones for work.

However, not all wireless headphones have a quality mic. In fact, their call quality varies significantly, even with high-end headphones.

Here, you’ll find the best headphones with microphones that we’ve tested (and recorded microphone tests).

The top headsets on our list will make your own voice sound clear and understandable for hassle-free calls. And we also took into account their general performance for daily, portable and work use. See how we tested and picked them.

Before you make a buying decision, you have to know that the price of headphones isn’t correlated to mic quality. As a matter of fact, some premium models have a rather disappointing call quality.

Explore our testing and ranking methodology.

CONTENTS (show more)

    Best Headphones With Microphone

    1. Sony WH-1000XM5

    1st-place Best Headphones for Calls
    Sony WH-1000XM5 in the park

    Sony WH-1000XM5 are by far the best Bluetooth headphones with a mic we’ve tested. They’re great for making phone calls in all kinds of environments – Sony WH-1000XM5 review.

    in stock
    in stock
    24 new from $398.00
    60 used from $196.23
    as of April 11, 2024 6:29 pm
    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 30mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 4-40.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 40h (with ANC) | Wireless range: 65 feet (19.8 meters)(Connection priority) | Noise cancelling: Yes, adaptive | Charging: 3.5h – Quick charge – USB-C (PD) | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: None | Features: App, Adaptive ANC, 360 Audio, Speak-to-chat
    • Fun sound that can become natural after EQ
    • Modern, comfortable & stable design
    • Class-leading active noise cancellation performance
    • Excellent battery life of more than 40 hours (with ANC)
    • The best call quality in consumer BT headphones
    • Not the most detailed sound
    • Too much plastic for the price

    Sony WH-1000XM5 are over-ear Bluetooth headphones that perform better than even enterprise-focused headsets. A perfect fit for video chats and office work.

    Headphones initially sound muddy and dark but produce much clearer audio once you apply a custom EQ. The bass remains sloppy, but the rest of the frequency response sounds airy and natural.

    What doesn’t sound sloppy is the voice quality. Sony WH-1000XM5 have a surprisingly excellent call performance, beating all other wireless headsets we’ve tested so far. Your voice is nicely full and without distortion, even in the presence of louder background noise.

    Sony WH-1000XM5 microphone test:

    Peaceful background mic test: 0:00-0:34 – Noisy background mic test: O:34-0:58

    On top of that, you get to enjoy fantastic active noise cancelling and ambient sound modes. And, there are many features in the Headphones Connect app to try. See details in our review.

    Furthermore, with a battery life of 40.5 hours per charge, you don’t have to worry about them shutting off during longer phone calls.

    If you’re looking for top-notch headphones that you can use for clear phone calls at home or in a noisy place, Sony WH-1000XM5 are the best pick.

    Best Apple Headphones with Microphone

    2. Apple AirPods Max

    trophy Best Apple Headphones with Mic
    Apple AirPods Max floating

    If you’re looking for Apple headphones with a quality microphone, the AirPods Max are the best choice (we’ve tested all AirPods) – Apple AirPods Max review.

    in stock
    4 new from $519.00
    9 used from $417.41
    as of April 11, 2024 5:47 pm
    in stock
    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 24h (ANC & Transparency mode ON) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – Lightning | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: None | Features: ANC, Transparency mode, Adaptive EQ, Spatial Audio
    • Excellent, smooth sound
    • Excellent ANC and realistic Transparency mode performance
    • Tons of features (for Apple users)
    • Premium build with replacable earpads
    • Exceptional Bluetooth range
    • Good battery life (23h with ANC)
    • Degraded user experience on Android devices
    • Uneven clamping force
    • Included Smart case is useless

    AirPods Max are a high-quality pair of ANC headphones with a great mic, excellent noise cancellation, and superb sound. See the best noise cancelling headphones here.

    These popular headphones now come with 5 microphones responsible for ANC and call quality when taking a phone call.

    For wireless headphones, they have a high sound quality. It’s slightly U-shaped and smooth, producing good rumble and sparkly treble that’s enjoyable whatever genre you throw at it.

    AirPods Max use 1+8 additional microphones to pick up your voice as best as possible. And for the most part, call quality is excellent when speaking in a quiet room.

    Listen to the Apple AirPods Max microphone test:

    Peaceful background mic test: 0:00-0:25 – Noisy background mic test: O:25-0:51

    When moving to a noisier place, the quality drops noticeably. But it’s better than any other AirPods. And it’s still usable for casual voice calls just not professional use.

    The build quality is exquisite and comfort superb, and you get one of the best noise cancellation and Transparency mode performances on the market.

    The built-in H1 chip ensures excellent integration with the Apple devices ecosystem, offering Spatial Audio support and even connecting two devices simultaneously.

    Apple AirPods Max are the best choice for clear calls if you want to stay in the Apple ecosystem.

    Best Headphones with Mic under $250

    3. Sony WH-1000XM4

    trophy Best under $250
    Sony WH-1000XM4 folded in case

    The previous generation of Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones is a good alternative if you don’t want to pay top dollar for the XM5 models – Sony WH-1000XM4 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 4-40.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 38h (28h with ANC) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 3h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: No | Features: ANC, Ambient mode, multipoint, auto play/pause, 360 Reality Audio, 3.5mm port
    • 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

    The older XM4 model is as much a premium pair of headphones as the newest one. But it costs less.

    The audio quality is superb, especially after you equalize it with many EQ options in the app. These are suitable for all types of audio and music genres.

    While the microphone quality is noticeably worse than in the newer XM5, it’s still among the best. It takes some time for the noise-cancelling electronics to kick in, but in the end, you can hold a phone call even in a loud place. Check the mic test below.

    Listen to the Sony WH-1000XM4 microphone test:

    Peaceful background mic test: 0:00-0:21 – Noisy background mic test: O:21-0:44

    And the over-ear headphones are super comfortable, too. Big earcups with plush pads make it possible to wear them for hours. The 28-hour battery life (38h with ANC off) is plenty of time, even for the longest transcontinental flights.

    Not to mention all the innovative features. Read more about them in our full review.

    We recommend Sony WH-1000XM4 for a solid headset that makes it possible to hold calls in a loud place.

    Best Headphones with Mic under $200

    4. Edifier WH950NB

    2nd-place Best under $200
    Edifier WH950NB headphones with a laptop

    Edifier WH950NB are the best over-ear headphones with a microphone under $200 we’ve tested – Edifier WH950NB review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 34h (with ANC) | Wireless range: 45 feet (13.7 meters) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 1.5h – quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: None | Features: Multipoint, ANC, app, custom EQ, Google Pair
    • Clear sound quality with natural bass response
    • Comfortable design with memory foam earpads
    • Great active noise cancellation that rivals the best
    • Fairly durable build quality with hard-shell carrying case
    • Overwhelming number of features
    • Limiting custom EQ settings
    • Ineffective Game Mode

    You can expect great noise-cancelling performance and audio quality.

    Headphones output a clean sound quality with a balanced bass response and a touch of boosted rumble. You can improve the audio slightly with the custom EQ. Hear the A/B test in our review.

    However, the star of these headphones is their features. Four noise-reducing microphones do a fantastic job. The phone calls are clear and easy to understand, beating even headphones with separate boom mics.

    Edifier WH950NB microphone test:

    Peaceful background mic test: 0:00-0:39 – Noisy background mic test: O:39-1:03

    Furthermore, active noise cancellation is highly effective. It cancels the external sound to a minimum. Hear the test in our review.

    They also support LDAC Bluetooth codec for high-res audio playback, multipoint connectivity, Bluetooth 5.3, and even Theatre Mode to hear movie dialog more clearly.

    Add to that a durable build and plush memory foam earpads, and Edifier WH950NB are a fantastic deal for under $200.

    Related guides:

    Best Mono Headset with a Mic

    5. BlueParrot B550-XT

    trophy Best Mono Headset for Calls
    BlueParrot B550 XT

    In our opinion, BlueParrot B550-XT is the best mono headset with a mic that leaves one ear open. It’s excellent, but for calls only.

    in stock
    5 new from $199.99
    5 used from $90.47
    as of April 11, 2024 5:36 pm
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    out of stock
    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 36mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 150-6800Hz
    Type: Over-ear (mono) | Battery life: 24h | Wireless range: 300ft (100m) | Noise cancelling: Only mic | Charging: 3.5h – USB-B | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: IP54 | Features: NFC, app
    • Excellent microphone quality
    • Long Bluetooth range
    • Sweat & dust resistance
    • Good comfort
    • Poor audio quality
    • Mono headset

    Disclaimer: We have to add the mic test.

    With a noise cancelling system that’s up to 96% efficient at blocking outside noise, they’re among the best in class. However, a mono speaker doesn’t offer a full frequency range for music.

    The B550-XT are perfect headphones designed to tick all the boxes for excellent call quality, abandoning audio performance altogether.

    The single issue is that 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. Taking calls with these headsets are excellent, providing clarity in all kinds of situations.

    Their 96% noise cancellation 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 foam replacement earpad in the box.

    The headset comes with an IP54 sweatproof rating, a mobile app, and a battery life of 24 hours per single charge.

    For pure headphones for work, the BlueParrot B550-XT are a top recommendation.

    Best On-Ear Headphones with Microphone

    6. Jabra Evolve2 65 UC

    trophy Best On-Ear Headphones for Calls
    Jabra Evolve2 65 UC on a woman

    Jabra Evolve2 65 UC are stylish on-ear wireless headphones with a boom microphone.

    in stock
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    11 new from $184.79
    13 used from $97.92
    as of April 11, 2024 5:48 pm
    out of stock

    Jabra Evolve2 65 UC are among the best headphones with a mic for professionals.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 & USB-C
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: On-ear | Battery life: 37h (35h talk time) | Wireless range: 100ft (30m) | Noise cancelling: No (mic only) | Charging: 1.5h + Quick charge – USB-C & Charging dock | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: No | Features: UC-certified, busylight, Jabra SafeTone
    • Excellent microphone clarity
    • Microsoft Teams compatible
    • Good on-ear comfort
    • Fun, V-shaped sound
    • Superb battery life
    • Long Bluetooth range
    • Only SBC Bluetooth codec

    Solid audio 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 have a secure fit and stay on pretty comfortably. You can probably wear them for a couple of hours before needing to take a break.

    Headsets are UC-certified, meaning their impressive features work with many communications platforms like Microsoft Teams. There’s a mute button for when you want to speak to someone else.

    Besides having increased battery life over their predecessor (37 hours of playtime), they can fast-charge to an additional 8 hours in just 15 minutes.

    Best Headphones with Mic under $100

    7. 1MORE SonoFlow

    dollar Best under $100
    1MORE SonoFlow headphones

    SonoFlow headphones have the clearest mic we’ve tested under $100. They’re perfect for video chats and a great all-around choice – 1MORE SonoFlow review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 60h (with ANC) | Wireless range: 50 feet (15.2 m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 80min + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: None | Features: App, ANC, ambient sound mode, multipoint
    • Great sound quality (especially after EQ)
    • Comfortable fit with soft pleather earpads
    • Exceptional battery life (up to 50h with ANC)
    • Robust Bluetooth connection with an LDAC audio codec
    • Hard-shell carrying case for improved protection
    • Decent active noise cancelling performance
    • Bright and thinny transparency mode
    • Bloated, muddy sound when in wired mode

    This is a wireless headset at a reasonable price with excellent mic quality for home office work.

    Listen to the 1MORE SonoFlow microphone test:

    Background mic test: 0:00-0:23 – Noisy background mic test: O:23-0:48

    The sound profile is surprisingly clean for the price, with overall smooth tuning. Expect a punchy yet balanced bass and some added sparkle in the high-end. Fortunately, there’s zero sibilance. For the best results, turn the ANC off.

    The biggest surprise is the microphone quality. It outperforms most wireless headphones, even those costing 4 times as much.

    While SonoFlow aren’t as clean as those with a dedicated boom mic, they’re doing an admirable job. You can confidently use them for conference calls.

    The build quality is solid and in line with the price tag. Earpads are decently big and plushy, so you don’t have to worry about comfort. The foldable ear cup design and included travel case also bring extra points to portability.

    For affordable headphones with a quality microphone, 1MORE SonoFlow are our top recommendation.

    Looking for cheap ANC? See the best budget noise cancelling headphones.

    Honorable Mentions

    8. Audio-Technica BPHS2

    Audio-Technica BPHS1 headset

    The BPHS2 headset is made for talking. The extended boom cardioid microphone is among the clearest on the market, suitable for professionals who need a squeaky-clean voice quality. You can place the mic on the right or left side.

    With a closed-back design, it isolates against ambient noise, so it’s perfect for working in a noisy place.

    9. Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2

    Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 headphones

    Crusher ANC 2 are primarily a great pick for bassheads thanks to their Sensory Bass feature that literally rattles your head.

    Headphones are packed with features, both great and strange ones, but most importantly, they offer good call quality.

    Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 review

    Want to look further? The best Bluetooth headphones under $100 and the best Bluetooth headphones under $50 also come with a microphone.

    How We Tested and Picked?

    For each pair we tested, we recorded a voice call in a quiet and noisy environment. This gives you a good idea of how you might sound on a call.

    In general, we test them on 9 key points: Sound quality, noise isolation, ANC, battery life, comfort, features, etc. We combine objective measuring data and personal hands-on experience. This helps us compare and pick the best-performing earbuds that we can confidently recommend.

    See our testing and scoring methodology.

    How did we choose the models?

    As mentioned above, we primarily focused on 1 decision point: microphone quality.

    The recommended headphones have better quality microphones at their price point. Then we ranked them at different prices (cheaper bottom) and types of headphones.

    How to Choose The Best for You?

    Ask yourself this:

    Where do you usually make phone calls?

    • Quiet places: no need for a special microphone
    • Loud places: you need a noise-reduction microphone

    Quiet offices don’t require mics with ANC. Even basic headphones perform quite well in a quiet environment.

    However, if you primarily make calls on the road, on the streets, or in a loud office environment, investing in good headphones with noise-cancelling mic is essential.

    How do I benefit from ANC microphone?

    A noise-cancelling microphone has pros & cons:

    • ANC microphone: Helps reduce background noise and focuses on your voice, but can cause distortion
    • Regular microphone (no ANC): Clear sound in a quiet place but lots of background noise in a loud place
    EarFun Air Pro 2 box ANC mic
    You can see the labels “noise-canceling mic” or “cVc 8.0” written on some boxes.

    A noise-cancelling microphone is good to have, but sometimes it can do more harm than good.

    For example

    • The active noise cancellation tech tends to overdo the reduction process, making your voice sound muffled or thin.
    • Some headphones cut off all the frequencies except those essential for understanding human speech.

    It minimizes the signal’s bandwidth but also impact call quality. You probably know how bad aviation microphones sound in movies (it’s the same effect).

    On the other hand, mics without noise-cancelling technology pick up voice with better fullness but also a ton of ambient noise.

    The best of both worlds are microphones with adaptable ANC. It turns it on only when needed. Thankfully, many premium wireless headphones have this feature.

    Are the headphones comfortable?

    • Comfortable headphones make long voice calls and listening sessions manageable.

    If you need to stay in front of the screen for longer listening sessions, you have to pick comfortable headphones.

    Over-ear headphones with cushy earpads are the best option. Preferably, pick velour ear pads since they breathe better, preventing your ears from becoming hot and sweaty.

    On-ears are less comfortable, unless they’re the basic ones with super lightweight construction.

    How important is sound quality?

    Do you want headphones just for making calls, or do you also want to enjoy your favorite music?

    Many professional headphones with a mic focus primarily on microphone quality and put the audio performance at second place.

    Sports headsets
    In many cases, dedicated headsets prioritize call quality for calls over audio quality for music.

    As mentioned above, even expensive headphones with great sound quality can have bad a microphone.

    You have to be careful when picking headphones that balance audio and call quality. Thankfully, the recommended models in the list do exactly that.

    What Makes a Quality Microphone?

    A quality microphone picks up your voice with clarity and fullness.

    It must also withstand challenging situations without deteriorating call quality.

    For the latter, it has to feature noise-filtering technologies.

    Noise Filtering

    Noise reduction

    Basic noise filtering technology involves having at least 2 microphones, one facing your mouth while the other is facing outwards.

    The first mic picks up your voice while the other picks up ambient noise. The two signals filter themselves out so that only your voice remains.

    Noise reducing boom mic
    The outside-facing microphone on the left, and the main microphone on the right.

    Active noise cancelling (cVc)

    If headphones have ANC microphones, they cancel out noise using a dedicated chip (cVc or “Clear Voice Capture“).

    The latter is a technology that takes the signal from all microphones and cancels out everything but your voice by using a special algorithm.

    Wind noise reduction

    While you can reduce some noise caused by wind on a chip level, it’s better to avoid it in the first place. You do that by picking the mic with a specific pick-up pattern.

    Omni-directional microphones are overall the best when it comes to reducing noise from the wind. The latter involves the noise of the actual outdoor wind or when you blow air through your mouth.

    Microphone Position

    The further away the mic is from your mouth, the harder it is to ensure good voice quality. The latter is especially a problem with built-in mics that sit somewhere next to your ear.

    However, call quality can also worsen if the mic is too close to your mouth.

    Xbox Wireless Headset
    Boom mics are often the best for call quality as they reach closer to your mouth.

    How Does a Headphone Microphone Work?

    Regular and noise-filtering microphones

    Regular microphones face towards your mouth and try to catch as much of your voice and as little surrounding sound as possible.

    Noise filtering ones consist of at least dual microphones: one is catching your voice, while the other listens to surround sound. This way, the mic filters out background noise and focuses on your voice.

    Active noise-cancelling microphones

    These use multiple mics and a computer algorithm to isolate your voice while reducing surrounding sounds.

    Microphones pick up background noises, create an opposite signal, and play it into your ears. When the real ambient noise and the inverted one meet, they cancel each other out. This results in better call quality in loud environments.

    Types of Microphones in Headphones


    • Built-in microphones are most common in wireless Bluetooth headphones.
    Aukey EP-N12 microphone
    A built-in microphone is hidden beneath the plus-shaped hole.

    They are positioned around the device, with at least one facing toward your mouth.

    Since built-in mics are the furthest away from your mouth, they struggle with keeping clean call quality.

    To combat the issue, many built-in microphones use noise reduction technologies, such as cVc.


    • Inline mics are only found in wired headphones
    Strauss & Wagner EM205 controle module
    Many in-line remotes also come with a mic.

    They usually come with in-line controls that has an integrated mic for making phone calls.

    Because they’re positioned closely to your mouth, they can pick up your voice with greater clarity. Since they’re wired, they also don’t have to compress the audio.

    However, most integrated microphones lack noise reduction technology to reduce ambient noise. Consequently, the person on the other end of the line hears a lot of background interference.

    Boom mic

    • You can find boom mics on professional teleconferencing headphones and most gaming headsets.
    HyperX Cloud II Wireless gaming headset
    Most gaming headsets have boom mics since you don’t want to be muffled when giving orders to your teammates.

    It can be detachable, retractable, or flip-able. Since it extends the furthest to reach your mouth, it’s also the best option if you want clean voice quality.

    Boom mics are usually equipped with noise reduction tech, either by design or by using dedicated software.

    CON: Since they sit so close to your mouth, they can pick up wind blowing from your mouth or nose.

    MEMS vs. ECM microphone technology

    Built-in mics have to be small. MEMS and ECM are the two designs tiny enough to fit in constrained spaces.


    The “Micro-Electro-Mechanical System” is the newest and the smallest mic technology to date. Their size is also the main reason why the majority of wireless headphones use MEMS mics.

    • It draws less energy to operate
    • More resistant to heat and electrical interferences, which cause static noise


    An electret condenser microphone is slightly older tech but still useful in various applications.

    • It’s cheaper to manufacture and easier to replace if it stops working
    • More resistant to water by design
    • It’s bigger and more power-hungry than MEMS

    Uni-directional vs. Omnidirectional

    These are pickup patterns for microphones. Most common ones are uni-directional and omnidirectional. The difference between the two is in their design.

    Uni-directional mic

    • Picks up sounds from one direction
    • Can better isolate your voice
    • Can pick up wind noise

    Omni-directional mic

    • Picks up sounds from all sides
    • Works better against wind noise
    • Picks up a lot of ambient noise
    Antlion Audio ModMic USB pattern switch
    Antlion Audio boom microphone can toggle between unidirectional to omnidirectional pattern with a switch.

    Usually, a uni-directional microphone is better for making phone calls with your headphones since it betters isolate your voice.

    Omni-directional mics are more sensitive and thus pick up more ambient noise. That can make a huge difference when making a call in crowded public places.

    On the other hand, the omnidirectional microphone is a better option when you want to capture all the sound around you. When making videos, voice and video calls, streams, interviews, etc.

    You can read more about the difference between omni and directional mics.

    How to Get the Best Voice Quality with a Headphone Mic?

    • Pick up the right headphones with a mic using all the info from the above. It’s best to get good call quality right from the start.
    • You can further improve the quality by avoiding noisy and windy places.
    • Don’t speak directly into a built-in or inline mic in order to reduce wind noise and prevent distortion.
    • If you have a boom mic, make sure you have all the settings right. Gaming headphones usually come with software, and you can also enable noise reduction inside Windows (if headphones support it).

    How to enable noise suppression for microphone in Win10

    1. To enable noise suppression for microphones within Windows 10, right-click on the speaker icon and select Open Sound settings.
    Sound settings
    1. Under the Input section, click on Device properties. In the new window, click on Additional device properties.
    Click device properties
    1. See what options show up under the Enhancements tab. Try each of them to see if they help with call quality.
    Mic noise suppression

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    Are headphones with a mic better?

    Headphones with a mic are much more practical but not necessarily better. If you want the best sound and voice quality, buying headphones and a microphone separately is usually the best idea.

    Do wireless headphones have a microphone?

    Yes, most Bluetooth headphones have a built-in mic. Also, gaming-oriented headsets, and headphones for teleconferencing, often have boom mics that extend further to reach your mouth.

    Do noise cancelling headphones have a microphone?

    Yes, all active noise cancelling headphones have microphones since they need them to cancel out outside noise (to record ambient sound and cancel it with an opposite signal). These microphones are different from those used for phone calls.

    Do cheap headphones have a microphone?

    Some cheap headphones have a microphone, but not all. It doesn’t depend on price but on technology. Some of the most expensive headphones lack a microphone. But in general, headphones with Bluetooth connection have a built-in mic, no matter the price.

    If looking for wired headsets, check if they have a casing or inline controls on the cable. If not, they probably don’t have a mic.

    What’s the difference between headphones and a headset?

    The difference between headphones and headsets is that the latter has a microphone. The mic makes it possible to use a headset for phone and video calls or record voice messages.

    What is the price of headphones with a mic?

    You can get great headphones with a mic at all price ranges. The cost isn’t an indicator of quality when it comes to microphone performance. Though, more expensive tend to have a better microphone, this isn’t always the case.


    All in all, from all 193 headphone tests we’ve done, Sony WH-1000XM5 have the cleanest microphone for regular and noisy environment.

    • #1 Best Headphones with a Mic
    1. Man do I feel surprised not to find tons more info on that specific topic. Fortunately, I happened to find this deep, rich and thoughtful article which pins down precisely my problem – which I think may of us do have: bluetooth headphones’ built-in microphones are mostly terrible quality.
      I have had to make a lot of calls recently in the course of my job and I realized my freshly bought pair of Bower & Wilkins PX headphones did not exactly do fanstastic, especially given the price. Boy, I felt quite dissapointed.

      Anyway, I am glad I read this and will make use of this great guide ! Hope the Plantronics Voyager Focus B825 will hold its promises !




      1. We’re glad you like our article. Thanks! 😀


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