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Headphones for virtual meetings

Virtual meetings are more common today than ever before, and in a virtual setting, your audio quality becomes a part of the first impression you have on others.

Today’s headphones come equipped with high-performance microphones, wireless technology and numerous style options. Although you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a crisp, clear sound, you need to understand the different kinds of headphones available and what makes each of them unique. Our number one choice, the Jabra Evolve 80, has numerous features that make it ideal for virtual meetings.

What to know before you buy headphones for virtual meetings

What are noise-canceling headphones?

Noise-canceling headphones ensure that outside noise doesn’t interrupt your meeting. They’re an excellent choice for anyone whose meetings may occur in a noisy office or with kids and pets in the background. Some noise-canceling technology dulls the noise coming from outside the headphones, and others seek to dampen the unwanted noise that gets picked up by the microphone.

What type of headphone connection do you need?

Some jobs may have specific requirements for the type of headphones you use. You must know whether you want (or are required) to use a USB, 3.5 millimeter or wireless connection.

No matter which style you go with, there are top-notch models to match. Some headphones can switch between different types of connections, but not many are capable of all three.

Types of headphone designs

Most of us likely associate virtual meetings with on-ear and over-ear headphones, but you can get a high-quality sound with inconspicuously designed in-ear headphones too. For some, using in-ear headphones is preferred as taking headphones on and off multiple times a day can easily agitate earrings or mess up hairstyles.

What to look for in headphones for virtual meetings

Comfortable headphone design

If you’re interested in over-ear or on-ear headphones, you’ll want them to fit snugly without being too tight. Having soft ear and headset cushions makes a huge difference in long-term wearability.

For in-ear headphones, a snug fit is one of the most critical aspects of comfortability. Nobody likes to continually readjust their headphones or put them back in after they fall out.

Headphones with noise cancellation

Active noise-cancellation technology has evolved to impressive heights thanks to built-in processors that can recognize and eliminate distracting external noises while leaving essential sounds intact. Passive noise cancellation can be helpful as well and costs significantly less.

Some headphones are equipped with clear voice capture technology, a type of noise cancellation that seeks to reduce reverberations and echo through your microphone. This type of noise cancellation is beneficial if you work in a noisy environment that could distract co-workers or clients when you speak.

Headphones with call transferring

Meetings will occasionally take longer than expected. When they do, it’s nice to switch from your laptop or desktop to your phone. Some wired headphones have built-in features that enable automatic call transferring. Many high-end wireless headphones allow you to connect to multiple devices, making it easy to leave your desk without leaving your meeting.

How much to spend on headphones for virtual meetings?

For something that’s adequately comfortable with standard passive noise cancellation, you can get a good set of headphones for around $35. If you want feature-packed headphones that are so comfortable you forget you’re wearing them, expect to pay up to $350.

Headphones FAQ

How do noise-canceling headphones work?

A. Cheaper, passive noise-canceling headphones use heavy-duty padding to block external sounds. Active noise-canceling headphones use a microphone to hear outside noise, then create a sound of their own that effectively eliminates the external noise. This process is known as destructive interference. It provides a far superior noise-canceling experience but often comes with a price to match.

How do wireless headphones work?

A. Most wireless headphones pair to devices through Bluetooth, although some can also connect using the less popular near-field communication. Wireless headphones have internal batteries that will need to be charged or replaced regularly. 

What are the best headphones to buy for virtual meetings?

Top headphones for virtual meetings

Jabra Evolve 80

Jabra Evolve 80

What you need to know: A refreshingly comfortable pair of headphones with a range of connectivity options.

What you’ll love: The Jabra Evolve 80 is equipped with passive noise cancellation that blocks high-frequency sound and active noise cancellation that eliminates low-frequency sound. These versatile headphones can connect to your device via USB-C, USB-A or a 3.5-millimeter jack. Should you need to leave your desk, you can automatically transfer calls to your phone.

What you should consider: Although the device has many connectivity options, none of them are wireless.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Top headphones for virtual meetings for the money

SoundPEATS Magnetic Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

SoundPEATS Magnetic Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

What you need to know: Unobtrusive wireless headphones with competent noise-cancellation and battery life.

What you’ll love: The SoundPEATS connect to your devices via Bluetooth and have a single chord between them, making them virtually invisible on video calls. These headphones come equipped with clear voice capture technology, ensuring the audio your coworkers and clients hear is crisp and clean.

What you should consider: The noise cancellation features are adequate but far from advanced. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Worth checking out

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

What you need to know: High-quality wireless audio, superb noise-cancellation and a surplus of additional features packed into a comfortable design.

What you’ll love: This option connects to your devices via Bluetooth, but the audio quality is better than many wired headphones. The noise-cancellation processor learns from and adapts to your environment, ensuring an immersive experience no matter where you are. 

What you should consider: The built-in microphone works only when connected via Bluetooth. 

Where to buy: Sold by Best Buy and Amazon.

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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