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Free up your hands with our collection of the best Bluetooth headsets available. If you spend the majority of your day on the phone, answering calls with your cell phone or a handset pressed up against your face can quickly become a nuisance. However with a hands-free Bluetooth headset answering calls in rapid succession becomes a breeze.
Call quality is obviously priority one for these headsets, but you'll also want to keep in mind whether or not they have noise-canceling features built-in. With the prevalence of open offices in modern work environments, a headset with some solid noise cancellation can make all the difference.
If you're wondering how your noise-canceling headphones stack up, make sure to check out our articles on how to measure noise cancellation in your headphones.
Courtesy of Amazon
Intelligent voice tech
Uncomfortable with prolonged use
If you spend a lot of time talking on the phone, a Bluetooth headset is essential, and Sennheiser has the best all-around product for the job. Its Presence Grey Business headset is pricey, but it won’t leave you wanting for much. Sennheiser put its audio expertise into practice to deliver crystal clear calls from the headset's three microphones, which work in concert to filter out background noise. To sweeten the pot, it can detect your voice and adjust the sound to a moderate level to keep your caller happy.
The Sennheiser Presence Grey Business is intuitive and easy to use. It features one-button control for calls and virtual assistant needs and a sliding mechanism makes it painless to power the headset on and off at a moment’s notice. You can walk up to 82 feet away from your device before the signal weakens and the battery, which charges to full in just over an hour, lasts 10 hours, enough for a full work shift. As for comfort, with the padded hook and four tip options you get in the box, you shouldn't struggle to find a secure fit.
Excellent call quality
Great quality-of-life features
Ear hook is too big
For the busy caller whose hands are full, we present the Plantronics Voyager Legend. Like any top-tier Bluetooth headset, it has three noise-canceling microphones that Plantronics says can separate 80dB worth of background noise from your voice, and Lifewire reviewers found it effective at the task. It includes stainless steel windscreens, plus hardware and software-based audio processing wizardry for sharp call performance. Many of those components live within the device’s brick of an ear hook, but the size is forgivable if the trade-off is water resistance and high-quality performance.
The Voyager Legend is perfect for busier people because of its hands-free functionality. Our tests proved that it can detect whether it’s in your ear and will route audio accordingly, allows you to answer calls or summon Siri or any other voice assistant via voice recognition, and can be tracked from a smartphone using a Find My Headset feature. Plantronics advertises a 7-hour battery life, and though it advertises a charging case with the headset at almost every store you’ll see it, you won’t get one in the box. Regardless, the Voyager Legend is simple to operate, sounds excellent, and looks great too.
"The sound quality on these was serviceable, providing a great level of detail without any substantial amount of low end." — Jason Schneider, Product Tester
Boom mic excels in calls
Comfortable to wear
Limited Bluetooth range
Lacks charging stand
MPOW has one of the most well-respected names in the affordable Bluetooth game, so you can expect its office-ready MPOW Pro BH015B to do the job well. This over-head piece is perfect for professionals wearing it for hours at a time. At 1.4 oz, it’s like wearing a feather on your head. The hardware doesn’t feel cheap despite being made mostly of plastic, and the metal headband’s flexibility should support a wide variety of head sizes. A padded earpiece keeps you comfortable while handling your business. A boom microphone that has integrated volume buttons, plus one for placing calls is attached for convenience. The arm houses four noise-canceling microphones for reliable, consistent audio.
Our testing showed that the 12-hour battery life will easily support long stretches away from your desk, though some folks in bigger offices may have trouble with the MPOW Pro’s 30-foot Bluetooth range. Comfort was another area Lifewire critics thought needed improvement. Get past those blemishes, however, and you’re in for a quality headset from a company you can trust.
"If you’re looking for a cheap Bluetooth headset, or you want to buy a few to outfit a team at your business, this is a great choice." — Jason Schneider, Product Tester
Amazing sound quality
Siri or Google Assistant compatibility
No volume button
Six hours of battery
Jabra’s Talk 45 is an excellent choice for general use, especially if you’re an avid Siri or Google Assistant user. This comfortable headset has a separate button to connect to your smartphone, making it simple to ask for directions, check the weather, or listen to tunes while you’re driving or otherwise occupied.
The Talk 45 stands out for its impressive features, including two microphones equipped with HD Voice, which automatically adjusts the volume, taking into account the background noise in your surroundings. This does mean there’s not an additional volume control, but the HD Voice should do a good job of automatically adjusting this for you. It also has built-in noise cancellation, and wireless streaming- very useful for listening to music or podcasts straight from your phone. You can also make additional adjustments through Jabra’s app.
Jabra promises six hours of call time per battery charge, which might be a bit short for frequent users, but overall it’s a solid choice with a lot of helpful features.
Long battery life
Noise-canceling boom mic
Includes charging stand
Build feels cheap
The Willful M98 is marketed as a trucker’s best friend, and rightfully so. This over-head unit looks like something you’d find in a call center, but there are a few reasons it’s perfect for the road. The main reason is the battery life, which maxes out at a 17-hour runtime and is ideal for the long routes truckers brave. If you're going even further, you should have no problem juicing back up between each rest stop with the quick two-hour charge time.
The lone earpiece, with dedicated buttons for volume and song control, leaves your other ear free to hear road-noise, while a boom microphone complete with integrated mute and multi-function buttons helps detect your voice over a diesel engine’s roar. It works great for office use, too. You’ll get a charging stand with your Willful M98 that holds it upright while the battery charges, plus you can connect up to two sources for quick swapping between your favorite devices.
Must be charged via the included cradle
Battery life could be longer
The Jabra Talk 25 is a fantastic headset for anyone on a budget. Despite the low price, it delivers way above its price range, offering high definition sound provided by its omnidirectional microphone and an 11mm speaker. It works with most Bluetooth enabled devices, allowing you to easily listen to podcasts, get directions, or make calls while driving or on the go. The headset itself is comfortable and easy to wear, staying in place securely on your ear.
The Talk 25 has a useful ‘Power Nap’ feature, allowing the user to extend battery life — it turns itself off when not in use after a certain amount of time, allowing you to go longer between charges. It’s worth noting the device needs to be charged via the included charging cradle, so try to always have it with you, so you’re not caught out. Jabra states the Talk 25 has an eight-hour battery life, but users report it’s not always quite this long. Still, it’s a great value headset that will work well for those after something simple but effective.
Amazing battery life
Are you someone who spends every waking moment of the day talking on the phone? If so, you’ll want to cut down on charging time, and the New Bee LC-B41 is how you do it. New Bee promises 24-hour battery life and takes just three hours to get back to 100 percent. The headset is even better if you’re not talking much, with a 60-day standby time that means light conversationalists might go weeks without a charging break.
At under $20, you shouldn’t expect a ton from the New Bee LC-B41, but you’ll be pleased to know that its lone microphone implements Qualcomm’s clear voice capture. The technology, a mix of physical and digital audio filtering, doesn’t use active noise cancelation, but it does a decent job keying in on your voice in noisy environments. It also uses Bluetooth 5.0, which even some more expensive headsets can’t claim. As for smartphone functionality, a single button enables track pausing and call management, but nothing more. If that sounds a little unexciting, remember, it lasts an entire day and costs less than a large pizza.
Professional and clear sound quality
G Hub software is a bit clunky
The Logitech Pro X headset is designed with gamers in mind. The Logitech Pro X sit easily on your head, and the memory foam padding, in either leatherette or velour, makes them easy to wear over long periods of time.
The sound quality is high-grade and likely to impress those you’re playing against. The detachable mic is a useful feature and Logitech’s innovative Blue VO!CE technology means you can adjust and control the sound via their software, allowing you the option to alter noise reduction, compress sound, and clean up the quality to improve your experience. Object-based 7.1 surround sound also delivers an immersive and impressive sound, bringing your game to life.
Although many users report the G Hub software takes some getting used to, it’s worth spending the time to learn it, as it gives users a wide range of options to customize and tweak their sound experience. Overall, the X Pro is great value for money, considering how much they can offer.
Noise cancelling mic
If you work in consistently loud environments, the BlueParrot B550-XT headset is a great option for taking calls. This headset features an adjustable microphone that can cancel out up to 96 percent of background noise so callers always hear you. The battery gives you up to 24 hours of talk time and 400 hours of standby time so it's always ready to work when you are.
You can connect this headset to two devices, including iOS and Android smartphones or Windows and Mac computers. With a range of 300 feet, you won't have to worry about being disconnected if you need to move around your office or work site. This headset features one-touch voice commands with Google Assistant or Siri to handle incoming calls as well as GPS directions and other digital assistant functions.
Dynamic mute alert
Stereo and mono modes
Microphone is not collapsible or removable
The Voyager 4220 UC Bluetooth headset is perfectly designed for both calls and music streaming while traveling. This headset's battery gives you up to 12 hours of talk time and 15 hours of listening time on a full charge. The included charger doubles as a display stand to help keep your desk neat and organized. With universal connectivity, you can use this headset with iOS and Android mobile devices as well as Windows and Mac computers. This allows you to switch between your devices effortlessly when you need to.
Amazon Alexa voice commands are integrated into this headset to give you hands-free control over all your devices and computers. The microphone can be rotated out of the way when not in use for easier music listening and storage. A dynamic mute alert lets you know if you're trying to talk while muted, and a red LED indicator light lets others know when you're on a call. With both stereo and mono listening settings, you can keep one ear free to stay aware of your surroundings while traveling or working in an office. It comes with a carrying bag and features folding earcups for easier travel.
For no holds barred listening and connectivity, its tough to beat the Sennheiser Presence. However, if you're looking to outfit a whole team with hands-free headsets, you may want to go with the Mpow Pro BH015B instead.
Jason Schneider is the resident audiophile for Lifewire, offering his audio expertise on everything from guitar amps to speaker systems. He has been writing for tech and media companies for almost a decade.
If you’re driving, shopping, exercising, working, or even just hanging out around the house, a Bluetooth headset allows you to answer the phone and control some of your phone’s features and functions without having to constantly have it in hand. A Bluetooth headset also helps those working at a desk, as you don’t have to be tethered to your laptop by that dreadful cord when you’re sitting in a meeting.
When picking out a Bluetooth headset, there are several factors to consider. In addition to choosing a headset that looks and feels good while you’re wearing it, you also want to make sure it fits your needs. Factors like battery life, compatibility, pairing, sound quality, noise cancellation, water resistance, and cost all come into play. We put together an in-depth guide, including just about everything you need to know to choose the right Bluetooth headset for you.
If you’re primarily interested in music playback, you’ll want a good pair of the best wireless headphones. Headphones don’t necessarily provide a microphone for speech, while a headset always has a microphone. Headphones are optimized for sound quality, so you can get the best possible listening experience.
A headset is optimized for conversation, so you can talk on your phone (or another Bluetooth device) hands-free. Headsets often have other controls, like a button to answer calls, so you can use your phone’s voice assistant. Features like noise cancellation help promote the best environment for conversing back and forth, and a headset’s engineering focuses on the listener and the speaker.
Headband style headsets are often larger and heavier than the other Bluetooth headset styles. They’ll typically have an ear cuff that goes on the ear with a speaker for listening, and a microphone that protrudes out for speaking. The headband portion goes around the top of the head and then rests against the opposite side. The headband style is often the preferred style for business professionals who work at a desk.
If a headband style isn’t comfortable for you, but still you want the stability of a band, you may want to go with a neckband style, which wraps around the back of the neck. Some neckbands have short wires that connect to earbuds that go into the ears, and other neckbands are foldable for easier storage. Many runners and gym-goers prefer the neckband style.
If you want a smaller, less noticeable Bluetooth headset, go with an earpiece or in-ear style headset. These types of headsets are very small—often around two to three inches in size—and they may wrap around one ear. Instead of having an ear cuff that rests on the outside of the ear, they usually have an ear cushion you gently place in your ear canal. This type of headset is more versatile, and the style is ideal for gym-goers, business professionals, and regular day-to-day users.
Battery life is perhaps the most important factor to consider when choosing a Bluetooth headset, especially when you’re using your headset on-the-go. There are four main battery life numbers you need to pay attention to: mAH (which stands for milliampere hours), charge time, talk time, and standby time.
When you look at mAh for a battery, it’s basically just a formula that calculates battery storage capacity. It’s the product of the time a battery lasts times the discharge current. So, a 1,000 mAh battery in a headset that draws 50 milliamps of power would last for 20 hours (1,000 divided by 50 milliamps equals 20 hours).
Charge time represents how long the headset takes to reach a full charge. Most Bluetooth headsets should take between one and five hours to reach a full charge. Talk time represents how long you can use the Bluetooth headset in calls and meetings before a single battery charge runs out, and standby time represents how long the headset can sit off of the charger without being used and still maintain a single battery charge. Sometimes, you’ll also see a metric for music time, which represents how long you can listen to music on a single charge.
Talk time and standby time will vary widely by the manufacturer, the type and style of headset, and the features it offers. The price of the unit doesn’t necessarily have an impact on its battery life. For instance, the New Bee earpiece Bluetooth headset sells for less than $20, but it provides 24 hours of talk time and about 60 days of standby time. However, the Jabra Steel retails for around $100, but it has six hours of talk time and around 10 days of standby time.
Some headsets offer charging accessories that can help manage battery life. If you’re worried about running out of battery, you may want to look at a headset that comes with a charging stand, a charging case, or a backup battery.
Some headband style headsets may include a charging station or stand where you can rest your headset when it’s not in use. You may also be able to purchase a compatible charging stand after the fact. For instance, Plantronics offers its Plantronics Spare charging stand, which is compatible with its Voyager Focus UC headset. If you’re using your headset primarily at a desk, charging stands can be particularly helpful because they allow you to keep the device charging when you get off of a call.
You may also see charging cases. The case can extend the battery life by adding additional on-the-go charges. You may get ten hours of talk time on a single charge, but the charging case lets you charge the device three more times without having to connect to an electrical outlet.
While not as common, a handful of headsets (like the Aminy UFO) come with two batteries. This allows you to charge one battery while you use the other.
Before choosing a Bluetooth headset, you’ll want to make sure it’ll connect seamlessly to all of the devices you need it to. Take note of the Bluetooth version. Most headsets will be either Bluetooth version 4.1, 4,2, or 5.0. In the product’s description, it’ll also sometimes indicate which devices it works with. However, most headsets will work with most modern phones and Bluetooth compatible laptops/PCs, as modern Bluetooth versions are backwards compatible.
If you plan on using your headset on multiple devices, you’ll want to make sure the headset can connect to more than one device. The product should indicate that it connects to more than one device, or it may say it has a multi-pairing feature that allows you to use it with more than one device at a time. For instance, the Jabra Steel can connect to up to eight devices, and it can connect to two devices simultaneously with its multi-use feature.
How far is the Bluetooth range? This number indicates how far you can travel away from the device to which the headset is connected, and still experience clear audio. If the range is up to 10 meters, this means you can go up to 10 meters away from your phone or laptop before you start to experience connection issues. Keep in mind this is an “up to” number, and obstructions like walls, floors, and appliances may impact the range. If you’re planning on travelling to a different room than your device when you’re using your headset, look for a headset with a longer range.
With headphones, you’ll often see metrics that measure sound quality like sensitivity (which measures sound efficiency), frequency response (which measures the speakers’ ability to produce low and high tones), and impedance (which measures resistance). You’re less likely to see these metrics with headsets because the focus is less on music playback and more on battery life, call quality, features, and overall performance.
There are two main types of noise-canceling in the context of Bluetooth headsets: Noise-cancelling in the headphone (speaker) and noise-canceling in the microphone. The first type of noise-canceling—in the speaker—helps block out background noise in the vicinity of the person wearing the headset, so they can better hear music or speech without disturbances from background noise. The second type—noise cancelling in the microphone—blocks out noise for the person on the other end of the call, so they can hear your speech over background sounds like planes flying by, people talking in the background, or a television.
Most Bluetooth headsets, even budget headsets, will have some type of noise-canceling technology in the microphone. This is an important feature for those who are using a headset for business, or for those who are using a headset out in public areas.
If a headset has active noise cancellation, this means the headset uses sound waves to help counteract, or cancel out, background noises.
Passive noise cancellation means the headset uses hardware (extra padding, tighter seals, etc.) to reduce background noises.
If noise cancellation is an important feature for you, and you need your conversations to be as clear and noise-free as possible, look carefully at the product’s noise-canceling technology. Look at how it cancels out noise, and not just whether or not it has noise-canceling.
Water resistance is less common on headband style headsets, as the headband style is more often used indoors by a business professional at a desk. However, for neckband and earpiece style Bluetooth headsets, water resistance is becoming more of a common feature.
If the product is water resistant, this means it can usually tolerate rain, sweat, spills, and splashes. The product will indicate water resistance in the description of if it has this feature. It should also indicate a water resistance rating (something like IPX5 or IPX8). This indicates the degree of water resistance a device features—an IPX5 rated headset can withstand water jets from any direction, for instance, while one with an IPX8 rating is protected from being immersed in water of more than three meters in depth. Some devices will be rated with a pair of numbers, in which case the first number indicates particle protection, shielding it from dust and dirt, and the second indicating water resistance. In both cases, IP stands for Ingress Protection.
Some headsets may also be shockproof, which means the headset won’t easily break if you drop the device. If you’re planning on using your headset outdoors or during periods of heavy activity, this may be important for you.
With some devices, like phones and laptops, the brand is significant. Going with a trusted brand typically leads to a better experience. With Bluetooth headsets, this isn’t necessarily the case, and you can find quality headsets from big-name brands like Jabra, Plantronics, and Sennheiser, as well as from brands you’ve never heard of. We’ve tested a number of headsets here at Lifewire, and we’ve included information on a few brands below.
Jabra is known for making headsets for workers across every type of profession, as well as headsets for the everyday user. Products like the Jabra Steel headset are durable and designed for an outdoorsy professional, while headsets like the Jabra Evolve 65 UC are meant for the professional who primarily sits at a desk. Jabra also makes units like the Jabra Style, which are ideal for the everyday user or worker on the go. Most Jabra headsets are high quality, but the battery lives on Jabra sets often aren’t as good as you’d see in other headsets, even those that cost less.
Plantronics is a leader in business headsets, and the brand creates a lot of headband-style units. Plantronics units are pricey but you can usually expect high quality. Most modern Plantronics headsets also offer excellent noise cancellation and more advanced features. The Voyager 5200, for instance, has Alexa built-in, it has four-microphone noise cancellation, and it has technology that detects wind direction so your voice comes through clearly outdoors.
A lesser-known brand, New Bee, has a highly rated headset that costs less than the price of two large pizzas, yet it has 60 days of standby battery and comes with all the accessories you could ever want. A budget headset like this won’t offer the same performance and features as a flagship headset from a brand like Plantronics, but it will serve its purpose well for those who don’t want to spend a ton of cash.
Headband-style headsets may not come with too many accessories outside of a charging cable, but in-ear style headsets often come with a variety of accessories like extra ear cushions, ear hooks, charging cables, and carrying cases. Neckband style headsets also typically come with accessories like a charging cable, carrying case, and extra ear gels. Look for accessories that promote comfort and flexibility.
Different sizes of ear cushions can be important because there’s nothing worse than having a headset that doesn’t fit properly. If your headset is too big for your ear, it won’t feel comfortable, and it may even fall out while you're running errands or working out. An ear hook can provide additional support, and help the headset stay in place. It helps to have both a left and right ear hook, so you can choose which side feels better for you.
When you’re shopping for a Bluetooth headset, you’ll find hundreds of different types and styles from a number of different brands. It can be tough to sort through all the fluff and find a quality product that fits your needs, but if you choose a headset with a long battery life, good noise cancellation, water resistance, and the right features and accessories, you should find a headset that’s right for you.
If the headset is for working at a home at a desk, you’ll probably be happy with a comfortable headband unit with a reliable connection, good noise cancellation, and a long enough range to travel into the kitchen for a snack. If you’re looking for a headset you can use at the gym, focus more on factors like stability and making sure the headset will comfortably remain in place during heavy activity. Gym enthusiasts may want a headset with some range, so they can leave their phone in a locker or bag. For outdoor users, durability and battery life may be important factors—water resistance ratings, shock proofing, and battery life.
Finding the right Bluetooth headset is less about cost and brand and more about features and reputation. We have some great options listed above.