Pick the best headphones with microphone and start making voice calls without sounding muffled.
|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 BPHS2 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
In a world of video calls, Zoom meetings, and working from home, headphones with a mic are an essential part of our lives.
To live in the modern world you need at least one pair of headphones with a good microphone.
But 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 a mic that we’ve tested (and recorded microphone tests).
These will make your own voice sound clear and understandable for hassle-free calls.
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.
Best Headphones With Microphone
1. Sony WH-1000XM4
High-quality pair of ANC headphones with great mic and excellent noise cancellation
A brand new version of popular headphones with active noise cancellation technology now comes with 5 microphones responsible for better ANC and call 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
Superb 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 4 additional microphones inside their WH-1000XM4 compared to one in WH-1000XM3.
Besides the much better call quality, you’re also getting new features and one of the best noise-cancelling headphones in the market. It can eliminate most things around you, even human speech.
Their build quality and battery life are 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 a mic 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 balanced 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 a 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 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, lightweight design and soft foam earpads make it extremely comfortable and easy to use for multiple hours per day.
3. BlueParrot B550-XT
Best specifically designed mono headset with mic that’s excellent for calls but terrible for music
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.
- Excellent microphone quality
- Long Bluetooth range
- Sweat & dust resistance
- Good comfort
- Poor audio quality
- Mono headset
The B550-XT ticks all the boxes for excellent 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. 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 good battery life of 24 hours per single charge.
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4. Audio-Technica BPHS2
Best headphones with a mic for conference calls, for professionals
The new BPHS2 model deliver an all-around experience primarily created for on-air broadcasting, streaming, or interviews.
- High-quality professional microphone
- Slim frame & lightweight construction
- Dtachable mic and main cable
- XLRM connector means buying a dedicated gear
You get good sound quality for a headset that was primarily built for vocal actions. The 45mm headphone driver (from the ATH-M60x model) translates to an improved sound with a wide frequency range.
The BPHS2 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 hyper-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 external 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 wireless headphones
Jabra Evolve2 65 UC are among the best headphones with a mic for professionals.
- 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 fit pretty comfortably. You can probably wear them for a couple of hours before needing to take a break.
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.
6. Aukey EP-N7
Best true wireless earbuds with mic and active noise cancellation on a budget.
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 a solid choice for your needs. Their lows 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 this affordable price range, you can’t find anything better.
Great results continue with microphone quality. Your voice during Zoom calls 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 use, Aukey EP-N7 can satisfy you with shallow ear tips and a comfortable fit. Even when using their touch controls. You barely notice them in your ears, despite being a bit bulky.
The battery life of 5 hours per charge is average, while the charging case holds another 20 hours.
Are you looking for cheap ANC options? See the best budget noise cancelling headphones.
7. Mpow 071
Best headphones with a mic for video conferencing on a budget
An on-ear USB headset for a lower price with a boom microphone made for home office work.
- Comfortable for on-ear headphones
- Good quality for the price
- Microphone only on the left side
This wired 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 mic and a 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 ambient 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 a USB or a 3.5mm headphone jack.
You can find more budget options among the best cheap headphones.
Want another affordable pair of headphones? Best cheap earbuds
Want to look further? All of the best Bluetooth headphones under $100 also come with a microphone.
Apple AirPods Max – New noise cancellation headphones from Apple with breathtaking design and excellent sound quality. AirPods Max also have 9 excellent microphones, suitable for video calls or conference calls. However, they work best with Apple devices and the price tag is a bit high. (Apple AirPods Max review)
How To Choose the Best Headphones with Microphone
Where Do You Usually Make Phone Calls?
- Quiet places: no need for a special microphone
- Loud places: noise reduction tech for mic is essential
Quiet offices don’t require mics with special ANC technologies. Even more basic headphones can perform quite well in a quiet environment.
However, if you primarily make calls on the road, on the streets, or in a loud office, investing in good headphones with noise cancelling mic is essential.
Do I Benefit from Quality ANC Technology for Mic?
- ANC for mics: helps reducing background noises, only focuses on your voice, but can cause distortion
- No ANC: clearer overall sound but with lots of background distractions
Active noise cancellation 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 very thin.
Also, some headphones cut off all the frequencies except the ones that are essential for understanding human speech.
They do that to minimize the signal’s bandwidth. You probably know how bad aviation microphones sound in movies.
On the other hand, mics without noise-cancelling tech can pick up your voice with better fullness but also a ton of ambient noise.
Are the Headphones Comfortable?
- More comfortable headphones will make long voice calls and listening sessions more bearable.
If you plan to stay in front of the screen for multiple hours, 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 too hot and sweaty.
On-ears are out of the question unless they’re the more basic ones with super lightweight construction.
Is the Sound Quality Important?
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.
As mentioned above, even premium models with great sound quality can have bad mic quality.
Therefore, you have to be very careful when picking headphones that perfectly balance audio and call quality.
Thankfully, you can skim through our guide to find the best offers that can do both.
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What Makes a Quality Microphone?
A quality microphone must pick 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.
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.
Active noise cancelling (cVc)
If headphones have ANC microphones, it means 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.
Omnidirectional 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.
The further is the mic to 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.
How Does a Headphone Microphone Work?
There’re regular and noise filtering microphones. Regular ones only face towards your mouth and try to catch as much of your voice and as few surrounding sounds as possible.
Noise filtering ones consist of at least dual microphones: one is catching your voice, while the other listens to surround sound. That way, the mic can better filter out background noise and only focus on your voice.
Of course, there are also noise cancelling ones that use multiple mics and a computer algorithm only 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.
Types of Microphones in Headphones
- Built-in microphones are most common in wireless Bluetooth headphones.
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 of the bunch, they also struggle the most with keeping clean call quality.
To combat the issue, built-in mic must use noise reduction technologies, such as cVc.
- Inline mics are only found in wired headphones
They usually come with a remote control that has an inline mic for making phone calls.
Because they’re positioned more 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 inline mics lack noise reduction technology. Consequently, the person on the other end of the line can hear a lot of ambient noise.
- You can find boom mics on professional teleconferencing headphones or most gaming headsets.
It can be detachable, retractable, or you can flip it up. 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.
Since they sit so close to your mouth, they can pick up wind blowing from your mouth or nose.
MEMS vs. ECM
Built-in mics have to be small. Two designs are tiny enough to fit in such constrained space: MEMS and ECM.
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
There are various types of pickup patterns for microphones. Most common ones are uni-directional and omnidirectional. The difference between the two is in their design.
- Picks up sounds from one direction
- Can better isolate your voice
- Can pick up wind noise
- Picks up sounds from all sides
- Works better against wind noise
- Picks up a lot of ambient noise
Usually, a uni-directional microphone is better for making phone calls with your headphones since it can better isolate you.
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 since it will only start distorting.
- If you have a boom mic, make sure you have all the settings right. Gaming headsets 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
- To enable noise suppression for microphones within Windows 10, right-click on the speaker icon and select Open Sound settings.
- Under the Input section, click on Device properties. In the new window, click on Additional device properties.
- See what options show up under the Enhancements tab. Try each of them to see if they help with call quality.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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.
And 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 technology. Some of the most expensive headphones lack a microphone. But in general, wireless headphones have a built-in mic, no matter the price.
If looking for wired headphones, 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 only difference between headphones and headsets is that the latter have a microphone. It can be built inside or a boom mic.
Therefore, all gaming and Bluetooth headphones are basically headsets.
What is the Price of Headphones With a Mic?
You can get great headphones with a mic in all price ranges. The cost isn’t an indicator of quality when it comes to microphone performance.