The Best Headphones with Mic – For Video Calls or Gaming
Get the best headphones with a quality microphone for clear phone calls.
- Comparison of The Best Headphones with Mic
- The Best Headphones with Microphone
- 1. Plantronics Voyager Focus B825 – best dedicated
- 2. Sony WH-1000XM4 – best noise-canceling
- 3. Apple AirPods Pro – best true wireless
- 4. Samsung Galaxy Buds+ – true wireless alternative
- 5. TaoTronics SoundLiberty 88 – best classic earphones
- 6. Audio-Technica BPHS1 – best professional
- 7. AKG Y500 – best foldable on-ears
- 8. SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless – best gaming
- 9. Mpow 071 USB headset – best cheap
- 10. Turtle Beach Battle Buds – best cheap earbuds
- FAQ – Questions About Headphones with Mics
Comparison of The Best Headphones with Mic
Badge Rating Price
best dedicated 4.2 $170 on-ear
boom mic More info Sony WH-1000XM4 best
4.4 $350 over-ear
built-in More info Apple AirPods Pro best true wireless 4.6 $250 in-ear
built-in More info Samsung Galaxy Buds+ true wireless alternative 4.4 $130 in-ear
built-in More info TaoTronics SoundLiberty 88 best classic earphones 4.8 $50 in-ear
built-in More info Audio-Technica
best professional 4.5 $200 over-ear
boom mic More info AKG Y500 best foldable 4.3 $100 on-ear
More info SteelSeries
Arctis 7 Wireless
best gaming 4.3 $120 over-ear
boom mic More info Mpow 071 best cheap
4.2 $20 on-ear
boom mic More info Turtle Beach Battle Buds best cheap
4.2 $30 in-ear
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.
The Best Headphones with Microphone
1. Plantronics Voyager Focus B825 – best dedicated
Best headphones with a microphones
Plantronics Voyager Focus B825 are on-ear Bluetooth headphones 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.
First of all, the Bluetooth 4.1 technology gives a 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.
When the Plantronics Voyager is seated on the charging cradle, it leans to one side. This is a bit impractical since the headset can swing around or even fall out of its crib.
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.
2. Sony WH-1000XM4 – best noise-canceling
High-quality pair headphones with excellent noise-cancellation
A brand new version of popular headphones with noise-cancelling technology now comes with 5 microphones responsible for better ANC and voice quality when taking a phone call.
Find other top noise cancelling headphones.
Should You Buy These?
Bluetooth headphones always struggle when it comes to picking up a person’s voice. Since the 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.
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. They can last up to 30 hours (28h in our test) with 50% volume, and ANC enabled. If you turn off the active noise cancellation, you can expect around 38 hours of playtime.
They’re quite pricy.
Sound quality is on par with similar audiophile headphones in this price range. They’re slightly boosted in the bass, but the overall sound is still very balanced and full.
Despite their steep price, they’re an excellent choice for frequent commuters and those who want to enjoy their music in high-quality.
3. Apple AirPods Pro – best true wireless
Best you can get for Apple, with noise cancellation and great built-in mic
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.
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 mic 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.
If you aren’t an Apple user, you don’t get full functionality that is possible.
AirPods Pro buds provide clever audio features. The inbuilt mic 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.
4. Samsung Galaxy Buds+ – true wireless alternative
New Galaxy Buds+ with improved battery life and audio quality
Galaxy Buds+ might look the same as the previous model, but they come with dual drivers in each bud and an improved microphone system.
Should You Buy These?
These earbuds are very stylish looking, with a small form factor and an ergonomic design. You can wear these for quite some time without any irritation.
Their improved microphone system with 2 external in 1 internal mic picks up your voice noticeably cleaner than previous Galaxy Buds, although those were already pretty good in that department.
You’re getting an impressive 11-hour battery life on a single charge, with another 11 waiting inside the charging case.
Limited options for controls.
No customizable EQ.
Dual drivers are responsible for a more balanced sound, with better-defined bass and midrange. They’re still not suitable for bass lovers, but they can perform very well in any music genre. You have a couple of EQ presets to choose from, like Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear, and Treble.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ present a great value for around $130. They’re only $20 more than the previous model, and with all those improvements, they are a much better buy.
5. TaoTronics SoundLiberty 88 – best classic earphones
Great pair of Bluetooth earbuds with excellent noise suppression for phone calls
These AirPods lookalikes do a fantastic job picking your voice nice and clear. They’re even IPX8 water-resistant if you want to use them for intense sports activities.
Why Buy These?
SoundLiberty 88 are a cheap alternative to Apple’s popular model. They have a very clean sound output, with good comfort.
Microphones are working marvelously on these, providing a great phone call experience. They can also effectively suppress the ambient noise to almost nonaudible levels: truly fantastic performers.
The battery life can last up to 5 hours on a single charge, with an additional 20 hours stored inside the charging case. Quick charge is also onboard, with 2 hours of extra playtime in just 10 minutes.
Fit in relatively poor since there are no silicone tips, rubber rings, or ear fins to hold them in place.
Bass is quite shy on these wireless earbuds, which makes sense considering their design (classic earphones). However, in return for the lack of low-end, the midrange is exceptionally clean with lots of details. Since the treble is rolled-off, you’re still left with enjoyable, inoffensive sound.
TaoTronics SoundLiberty 88 are great if you look for something to make long phone calls and casually listen to some music.
6. Audio-Technica BPHS1 – best professional
Fantastic pair of headphones for professionals
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 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.
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 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.
7. AKG Y500 – best foldable on-ears
Stylish looking on-ear Bluetooth 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.
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?
Pricier than the competition since these are premium Bluetooth on-ear headphones.
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 Bluetooth 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.
8. SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless – best gaming
An excellent choice for gamers
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.
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 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 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.
9. Mpow 071 USB headset – best cheap
Best pick if you are on a budget
Mpow 071 is a budget on-ear USB headset with a 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 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 mic can only be positioned on the left side of the headset. But it’s a budget product, so it’s acceptable.
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.
10. Turtle Beach Battle Buds – best cheap earbuds
Best in-ear wired headphone with detachable mic
Primarily gaming earbuds, they also work as an excellent tool for taking hands-free phone calls. In-ear headphones with a detachable microphone, you don’t see that every day.
Why Buy These?
Many headphones with a good microphone come in an on or over-ear form. Battle Buds are a rare example that you can make an earbud with an excellent detachable microphone.
The latter can be bent so that you can bring it closer to your mouth. It’s also detachable for the times you might not need it. In that case, you can still use the built-in mic.
Earbuds are very comfortable to wear, with ear fins for extra stability. You will have no problem wearing these for more extended periods.
The mic is quite sensitive, picking up the background noise.
These are tuned to brings out details in the treble. That results in a slightly sharp high-end, which can be troublesome for music, but work well for voices when you chat with your friends.
Turtle Beach Battle Buds are a good alternative for those who don’t like full-sized headphones. They’re also very cheap, which makes them even more appealing.
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.
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).
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.