Out and about looking for the best headset for business calls to make your work life easier? Here's a definitive buying guide for headphones that make work communication simpler than ever.

Business Calls have always been necessary for the perfect functioning of any company. However, with the recent pandemic and the work from home situation we’re facing, business calls tend to get a little problematic if you don’t have a good pair of headphones to back up your voice.

The headphones we’ll be looking at today are some of the best in class headsets that provide an excellent calling experience with some of the best noise cancellation and microphone quality on the market. These headsets will come in handy so that you can hear everything clearly and give your take on a situation without any troubles. So, let’s get right to it and make your work a little easier, shall we?

Top Picks

Best Overall:
Microsoft Surface Headphones 2
Best for Noise Cancellation:
Sony WH-1000XM4
Upgrade Pick:
Jabra Elite 45H
Best for Comfort:
Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2
Best Microphone:
Shure AONIC 50
Best for Everyday Use:
Apple AirPods Max

Comparison

Products
PositivesIntuitive controls

Amazing Noise Cancellation

Great build
Best Noise Cancellation

Excellent Comfort

Great Battery Life
Affordable

Easy to use with superb sound quality
Lightweight
Excellent portability

Decent battery Life

Extended Range
Decent build

Excellent comfort levels

Robust build quality
Premium build

Apple-certified for Macs

Large drivers
NegativesAverage Battery Life

Can get a little hot with extended use
It is a little pricey

Small headband can be a little uncomfortable
Is a little bass-heavy

Can get a little hot to use

No ANC
Can feel a bit bulky

Unbalanced sound profile
Is a little expensive

Can be bulky for some people
Is very expensive

Doesn’t support aptX or LDAC codecs
BottomlineOverall it is the perfect business calling solutionGet these if you need the best noise cancellation and a clear, balanced soundAffordable and great sounding. What more do you need?Excellent portable solution with some of the best connectivityPremium headset with all the bells and whistles. Get it if you have the cash to spareWorks like a charm for everyone in the Apple Ecosystem. So, get it if you already have a Mac and an iPhone

1. Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 – Overall Best Headset for Business Calls

Pricing: $250

Overview

Microsoft is a business company, and it shows with the Surface Headphones 2. They’re some of the best headsets on the market for music to business calls. They’re also well built and probably have the best controls we’ve ever seen on a headset. So, you can be sure we’re recommending this to everyone as they provide an experience unmatched by any other. However, with everything good, there comes a little bad. They suffer in two things primarily – battery life and extended usage. So, if you’re someone who is going to need to use their headset for the whole day and won’t have time to rest, then don’t get these, but if that doesn’t sound like you, well, then get the Surface Headphones 2, and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

Hardware Specifications of Microsoft Surface Headphones 2
Driver Size40 mm Free Edge driver
Weight295g
Dimensions8.03” (204 mm) Width: 7.68” (195 mm) Depth: 1.89” (48 mm)
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0
Battery Life15 hours
Noise CancellationYes, Adjustable ANC
Ambient Sound PassthroughYes

Features

  • Fast charging and charges in under 2 hours
  • Adjustable rings and touch controls for media play and pause
  • Adjustable ANC and passthrough audio
  • USB-C charging for better compatibility
  • Excellent microphone quality with two mics on sides to help with noise cancellation and ambient sound passthrough

Product Outlook

User Experience

The Surface Headphones feel like a fantastic pair of headphones, and our experience with the sound quality and comfort was impressive. However, we did notice that the rubber top on the headband feels a little off and pulls on the hair, same as the review from SoundGuys put it. On the other hand, the sound quality is brilliant, and the noise cancellation is powerful and can be controlled for the perfect balance. It also comes with a Surface App for your phone that helps control the sound profile and the touch controls.

Comparison

We feel that the Surface Headphones 2 strike the perfect balance for everything, but headphones do other stuff better. For example, the Sony XM4 has better noise cancellation, and the audio profile and the Shure Aonic 50s feel more comfortable. So, if those are your preferences, then don’t get this headset, but if you are okay with a bit of sacrifice and need the complete package, then the Surface Headphones 2 is your best bet.

Pros & Cons

Pros
+ Impressive audio quality
+ Has a hard case in the box for portability
+ Comes with rings on either side with impressive touch controls for adjusting volume or noise cancellation
Cons
- Average battery life
- The earcups gets hot with extended periods of use

2.Sony WH-1000XM4 – Best for Noise Cancellation

Pricing: $275

Overview

Sony makes a lot of great stuff, from Consoles to Cameras and good headphones are another thing they excel at. The XM3 from Sony was a decent pair of headphones until Sony released the XM4s. These headphones take it to another level as they sound rich with great audio profiles and have fantastic noise cancellation with excellent comfort levels. However, the headband is a little small for people with larger head sizes and can be further improved with the next generation.

Hardware Specifications of Sony WH-1000XM4
Driver Size40mm
Weight254 grams
Dimensions7.27 x 3.03 x 9.94 inches
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0
Battery Life30 hours
Noise CancellationYes, Adjustable
Ambient Sound PassthroughYes

Features

  • Excellent sound and top-notch noise cancelling
  • Multiple devices can be paired at the same time
  • Impressive speak-to-chat mode
  • Great range with Bluetooth 5.0
  • Wider earcups for better comfort and audio quality

Product Outlook

User Experience

The XM4s sound full and rich, with a clear audio profile balanced with all-around highs, mids and lows. It also has an excellent microphone array that makes all calls better, and in our testing, the sound was fantastic on both ends. The USB-C port is also great for fast charging and easy connectivity, and the most impressive feature we noticed was the noise cancellation. In fact, noise cancellation is the best in class compared to all the headphones on the list.

Comparison

If you need a decent pair of headphones that deliver some of the best noise cancellation with great ambient sound passthrough, then the Sony XM4 is the best choice. However, if you need something more comfortable, you should get the Shure Aonic 50, whereas if you need a more rounded off package, then the Surface Headphones 2 is the best choice. Other than that, the Sony XM4 is a great headset that should make up for a fantastic experience all around for your business calls.

Pros & Cons

Pros
+ Decent battery life with ANC on
+ Strong and Robust build quality
+ Has an open sound profile with a large sound stage
Cons
- It can get a little hot with extended periods of use
- The small headband may cause comfort issues with large head sizes

3. Jabra Elite 45H – Best Headset for Business Calls Upgrade Pick

Pricing: $100

Overview

GN Audio owned Jabra back in 2000, and it has come a long way to become a market leader in audio. Jabra has introduced more advanced headsets than any other manufacturer on the list, and they manufacture wireless and corded headphones for consumers and business customers.  For many years, Jabra was at the top of its game, but a change in the market forced them to fall behind on features and innovation. However, the Jabra is countering the situation and getting back into the game with products such as the Elite 45H, a top-class headphone with incredible battery life and audio solid performance with advanced 40mm speakers. The 40mm drivers offer a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20KHz on the music mode and 100Hz to 8000Hz on the speak mode.

Hardware Specifications of Jabra Elite 45H
Driver Size40mm
Weight160g
Dimensions182.5 x 49 x 220 mm
ConnectivityWireless Bluetooth
Battery Life50 hours
Noise CancellationYes
Ambient Sound PassthroughNo

Features

  • Jabra Elite 45H is a Supra-Aural or on-ear headphones.
  • Battery life is up to 50 hours, and in 15 minutes of charging, you get 10 hours of battery life.
  • Memory foam ear cushions for maximum comfort.
  • Extremely lightweight and built-in a compact and foldable design.
  • Access Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant with just one touch to read messages, get directions, or access information on the go.
  • It comes with 40mm speakers providing exceptional sound quality and music clarity.
  • Also, it comes with two built-in microphones for calls and cancels a bit of ambient noise.

Product Outlook

User Experience

These Elite headphones have a good build quality and impressive on-call experience. Elite 45H supports fast charging and with a battery life of up to 50 hours on a single charge. In 15 minutes of charging, you get 10 hours of battery life suitable for a day’s usage. It is incredibly lightweight, and its foldable design makes it easy to carry around your neck. The headphones come with memory foam on-ear cushions, 40mm drivers and not bass-heavy, two microphones for calls, Bluetooth 5.0, and 3.5mm cabled connection support and serve up exceptional money value.

Comparison

Jabra Elite 45H introduced the brand as competition to other brands by being the best budget headphones that function like ones that cost significantly more. Jabra Elite 45H is better than Plantronics BackBeat Pro2 because of its 26 hours, longer battery life, noise-cancelling microphone, and 129g lighter weight. But Plantronics BackBeat Pro2 is loved for its increased sound isolation, maximum bass, and over-the-ear form earcups. Generally, Elite 45H has a decent sound quality but was disappointed by its imprecise sound and poor passive noise isolation comparing to Plantronics BackBeat Pro2.

Pros & Cons                            

Pros
+ Battery life up to 50 hours.
+ Value for money.
+ Excellent voice capabilities with environmental noise cancellation.  
Cons
- Poor passive noise isolation.
- Imprecise sound.

4. Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 – Best Headset for Business Calls with Comfort

Pricing: $70

Overview

Plantronics is the best-known company producing wireless headphones for consumers and business customers. The Plantronics BackBeat pro2 is the next generation of award-winning and world-renowned Plantronics headsets known best for comfort. It is slimmer and less bulky than previous versions like Plantronics BackBeat Pro+ and much more similar in size and feel. They are mostly made of plastic and leather padding on earcups, and the bottom portion of the headband is made of breathable mesh. The BackBeat Pro 2 has an excellent even sound stage, terrific active noise cancelling, and sound quality.

Hardware Specifications of Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2
Driver Size40 mm
Weight289 g
Dimensions22.9 x 22.9 x 7.62 cm
ConnectivityWireless Bluetooth
Battery Life24 hours
Noise CancellationYes
Ambient Sound PassthroughYes

Features

  • It comes with lady air cups, 40mm drivers, and a class 1 Bluetooth radio.
  • It comes with an open mic option which allows you to hear things with your headset on. 
  • The headphones have sensors that stop the music once you took off your headset.
  • Battery life is up to 24 hours, six days standby, and about six months of deep sleep.
  • It has active noise cancelling switch to minimize ambient noise.
  • Boomless dual microphone with DSP.

Product Outlook

User Experience

BackBeat Pro 2 feels like a pretty bulky and solid type of headphones. However, they’re easy to use, best for comfort, and comes with impressive sound quality. The headset is designed to quickly and easily receive calls and work comfortably as your primary headset with a feature that lets you hear your voice as you talk. In addition, with the included cable, you can use it as a wired headphone. All in all, with 24 hours of battery life and a superb active noise cancelling feature, the BackBeat Pro 2 feels like a significantly better headphone for the price compared to the original BackBeat Pro.

Comparison

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 is one of the most comfortable headphones at an affordable price. It is better than Shure Aonic 50 as it has a 4-hour longer battery life, 45g lighter, which makes it comfortable to carry, and can be folded, which makes it easily transportable. But Shure Aonic 50 is loved for its bigger driver unit of 50mm with more bass and clear high notes. In addition, BackBeat Pro2 has two microphones, which results in better sound quality and enables the device to filter out background noise compared to Shure Aonic 50.

Pros & Cons

Pros
+ Has a mute function.
+ Can be folded.
+ 90m greater wireless connectivity range.
Cons
- Bulky
- Unbalanced sound profile for audiophiles

5. Shure AONIC 50 – Best Microphone Business Call Headsets

Pricing: $300

Overview

The Aonic 50s from Shure is one of the most stylish and premium headsets on the market. This headset features noise-cancelling technology that completely cancels ambient noise while providing clear audio for all your favourite audio sources. Plus, with its integrated mic, you’ll have access to clear phone calls even in noisy environments. In addition, the headphones come bundled with the most significant headphone carry case. The design looks excellent and premium and is comfortable to wear for hours because of its generous padding and leather cups. Furthermore, Shure has done an excellent job of creating a companion app that goes along with these headphones, which use the microphone to create environment awareness mode.

Hardware Specifications of Shure AONIC 50
Driver Size50 mm
Weight334 g
Dimensions27.3 x 27.3 x 8.1 cm
ConnectivityWireless Bluetooth
Battery Life20 hours
Noise CancellationYes
Ambient Sound PassthroughYes

Features

  • The Shure Aonic 50 comes with 20 hours of battery life.
  • The environment awareness mode allows you to hear the surrounding world by the flip of a switch.
  • Extremely comfortable because of the memory foam leather earpads.
  • It is using 50 mm drivers.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology.
  • Exceptional noise cancellation and exceptional call quality.
  • Allows playing high-resolution music. 
  • Supports aptX HD.  
  • Supports aptX low latency.

Product Outlook

User Experience

Shure Aonic 50 provides solid performance in every area as a convenient wireless headphone to audiophiles and a great sounding headphone to travel bugs. The build quality is robust, the materials all feel premium, the leather used in the earcups is soft, and some headband is made from anodized aluminium. In addition, it has the best microphone quality for any professional call or video chat and delivers excellent listening with exceptional comfort.

Comparison

The Shure Aonic 50 is a wireless headphone with over-the-ear form earcups. It offers maximum bass, has a neodymium magnet, and a 10mm bigger driver unit than Jabra Elite 45H. In addition, the Aonic 50s are loved for their increased sound isolation and that it won’t leak sound to others nearby, compared to Jabra Elite 45H, which don’t support active noise cancellation. Generally, Shure Aonic 50 has a decent battery life but was disappointed as Jabra Elite 45H has a 30-hour long battery life, 174g lighter, noise-cancelling microphone comparing to Shure Aonic 50.

Pros & Cons

Pros
+ passive noice reduction.
+ 50mm driver.
+ over-the-ear foam.
Cons
- cannot be folded.
- bulky build and design.

6. Apple AirPods Max – Best for Everyday Use

Pricing: $450

Apple is new to the headset/headphone market, and the new AirPods Max has its caveats. However, it delivers the best possible experience for any Mac or iPhone user. It connects automatically without delays and provides a seamless experience for video calls and business calls on the Apple Ecosystem. Oh, and not to mention, it looks premium and has premium materials all around the body. On the other hand, if you’re not heavily invested in the Apple Ecosystem and enjoy portability, this should not be your choice, and you should look elsewhere.

Hardware Specifications of Apple AirPods Max
Driver Size40mm
Weight384.8 gram
Dimensions7.37 inches x 6.64 inches x 3.28 inches
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0
Battery Life20 hours with ANC on
Noise CancellationYes (8 mics for ANC)
Ambient Sound PassthroughYes

Features

  • Total nine mics for ANC and Audio Pickup for Calls
  • Metal headband and earcups
  • Premium aesthetic and seamless compatibility with Apple devices
  • H1 chip for instant connection
  • Comfortable headband for larger head sizes

Product Outlook

User Experience

Using the AirPods Pro Max feels like a luxury product, and it fares well for all your business and regular calls. The premium build and aesthetic presents it forward as a luxury business and everyday choice that will ensure you get the best of best. However, it is still filled with caveats for people not on the Apple ecosystem and features such as aptX and LDAC, making it a bad purchase for anyone using Android or Windows as their daily driver. So, if that’s something you’re familiar with, then we would suggest you look elsewhere.

Comparison

The Apple AirPods Max comes with 40mm drivers that produce a great balanced audio profile that is very similar to the Sony XM4s. The Noise cancellation is also on par, and the audio passthrough is probably the best all-around on the list. Furthermore, I would say the hardware is the best overall, but it is mainly limited to the software. If that gets fixed with the next generation, it would be the best choice for everyone with some cash to spare. Oh and did we mention, it’s very, and I mean very expensive.

Pros & Cons

Pros
+ Amazing beautiful premium hardware.
+ Great audio profile and comfortable earcups.
+ Great battery life.
Cons
- No 3.5mm jack or USB-C port.
- No aptX or LDAC support.
- Doesn’t work perfectly with Android or Windows

Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Headset for Business Calls

Now that you’re through with the recommendations, let’s get into what factors you should consider before investing in a decent pair of headphones for all your business calls.

1. Audio Quality – One of the most critical factors is to get an experience of the audio quality as that’s what you want to look out for to have a great calling experience. Look for a balanced audio profile that delivers crisp and clear sounds and makes understanding speech much more manageable.

2. Microphone – A good set of microphones is a must, so be on the lookout for some decent microphone sets for noise reduction and impressive pickup audio on calls.

3. Build Quality – Also, look for decent build quality as you don’t want your headphones falling apart mid-call and destroying the experience and blowing out your business call.

4. Price – Ensure that the headphone you’re buying is within your price limits and that you’re not overspending dor the pair.

5. Portability – Finally, as this is not a significant consideration for today’s work from home scenario, if you’re someone who always has to be on the move, look for an option that can be folded and portable for easier access on the go.

How do we collect and assemble our headset list?

We considered multiple factors, but the most crucial decision-making factors were the ones listed above. We compared how the headphones work for the workflow and how seamless the overall experience is.

Safety and Maintenance Tips

There are a few things that you should note and take care of a few things after you get your new headphone so that they last longer and work better. For example, a common issue with pleather earcups is the deteriorating and crumbling nature of earpads. However, if you keep them clean and free of natural oils, you can extend the overall life of the earpad and the headset. So, follow the things mentioned below:

  • Keep the earpads clean
  • Use a case while storing the headset
  • Take care of the product and try not to drop it

FAQs

Are headphones good for phone calls?

Yes, headphones are suitable for phone calls and work perfectly with the microphone array and noise cancellation to mitigate all background noises and deliver a clear and crisp sound quality. Sony XM4s provide a decent experience for phone calls and should work perfectly for all business calls.

Which are the best headphones for meetings?

There are many headphones that deliver an impressive seamless experience for meetings, and the Surface Headphones 2 from Microsoft is a great business and meetings headset and offer an overall satisfactory experience.

What are the best headsets for zoom calls?

Zoom calls require two things in a headphone – audio quality and microphone quality. So a headphone with a solid audio profile and mics would work great with any zoom call, and if you need a great affordable option, then the Jabra Elite 45H is the perfect option for you.

Do all business headphones have a mic?

No, some cheap headphones don’t come with mics for budget constraints, but if you’re buying a decently priced option or any from the list above, then you will be greeted with fantastic microphones that deliver a satisfactory calling experience.

Do Noise Cancelling headphones work in an office?

Yes, all Noise Cancelling headphones work in an office environment and help you focus and improve productivity while neglecting all background noise. You can also use these headphones in your homes to help you enjoy music and have better-sounding calls.

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