The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones with Microphones for Remote Work (2024)

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular. But even the comfort of your home can have its share of distractions—noisy kids, barking dogs, and slamming doors. In other cases, you may try to work in a crowded café or co-working space and need to center yourself in peace and quiet.

When you need to focus, noise-canceling headphones with microphones can help block out the world so you can get work done.

This guide breaks down the top noise-canceling headphone options for remote workers in 2024. We’ll explore all the features to consider so you can find the right fit for your needs and budget. Let’s get to it.

The Best Noise-Canceling Headphones with Microphone For Remote Work

With so many models on the market, many workers aren’t sure where to turn their attention. It can be challenging to pick the perfect noise-canceling headphones with a microphone for your home office setup.

The good news? In 2024, there are many excellent options for remote workers who need to eliminate background noise. These headphones don’t just block out noise; they also deliver crystal-clear audio for all your calls and virtual meetings.

We break down the heavy hitters to make your buying decision easier:

  1. Apple Airpods Max
  2. Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones
  3. Beats Studio Pro
  4. Sony WH-1000XM5
  5. Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless
  6. Anker Soundcore Life Q30
  7. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
  8. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless
  9. Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
  10. Focal Bathys

Let’s go through them..

1. Apple Airpods Max ($529)

Apple products always come with premium price tags—and the AirPods Max are no exception. But for remote workers who want both style and utility, these headphones deliver.

The active noise cancellation rivals other top brands, reducing unwanted sounds around you. Acoustic design ensures immersive, theater-like sound when you want to pump up your favorite playlists. And Apple ecosystem integration offers convenient features for iPhone users. For instance, you can access Siri hands-free.

AirPods Max also supports Adaptive EQ, which adjusts the frequency response in real-time based on fit. The headphones self-tune for a more personalized experience. There’s also Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking for a super immersive listening experience.

Pros:

  • High-quality noise cancellation
  • Sleek, stylish design
  • Spatial Audio for immersive sound
  • Seamless connectivity for Apple devices
  • Hands-free Siri access

Cons:

  • Very expensive price point
  • No support for higher-bitrate codecs like LDAC
2. Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones ($429)

You can’t go wrong with the Bose QuietComfort Ultra when it comes to noise cancellation. These over-ear headphones deliver incredible noise reduction across the frequency spectrum. Bose comes out on top for handling those complex mids and highs.

The advanced electronics system also effectively mitigates low rumbles like bus engines or airplane noise, blocking ambient sounds by up to 87%.

There’s also an Active Aware mode, which lets in louder noises from your surroundings when you need to hear what’s happening. Immersive audio modes create spatial effects for music and calls, while innovative CustomTune technology personalized sound based on your unique ear anatomy.

With up to 24 hours of battery life, these headphones keep you powered through marathon work blocks without missing a beat.

Pros:

  • Best-in-class noise cancellation technology
  • Adjustable EQ settings in the app
  • Spatial audio for immersive listening
  • Comfortable over-ear fit

Cons:

  • High price tag
  • Lack of waterproofing
3. Beats Studio Pro ($199.95)

You know them, you love them—the Beats Studio Pro headphones need no introduction. The iconic Beats design gets a professional upgrade and is built for all-day wear. These over-ear headphones deliver booming sound quality and solid ANC.

The design is a head-turner, and they play nice with all your Apple gadgets. In fact, they are the only ones on this list that aren’t called “Apple” but integrate with the ecosystem. Like Airpods Max, the Studio Pro integrates with Apple devices for hands-free “Hey Siri” and Find My tracking.

Active Noise Cancellation and transparency mode help eliminate or let in outside sounds on demand. With fast charging, you get over 40 hours of playtime. The USB-C port enables both charging and lossless wired listening if you ever run low on battery. An Apple Watch charger is also neatly built into the case. And Spatial Audio support allows for immersive music playback.

Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • Active noise cancellation and transparency modes
  • Over 40 hours of battery life
  • Beautiful design
  • Apple Compatibility

Cons:

  • Less comfortable than other options
  • High price like most Apple products
4. Sony WH-1000XM5 ($398.00)

If you want class-leading noise cancellation, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is the answer. These flagship headphones rival even Bose for ambient noise reduction. But Sony isn’t just about the quiet game; they’re audio wizards, too. Music lovers will love this option.

The sound quality of these headphones is out of this world. An adjustable EQ in the Sony companion app lets you customize audio to taste. Support for the high-end LDAC codec translates to exceptional wireless fidelity for enjoying hi-res streams. And wearing comfort is a highlight thanks to a lightweight build and plush materials.

Pros:

  • Top-notch audio with deep bass
  • Best-in-class active noise cancellation
  • Fully-featured mobile app
  • Lightweight and comfortable

Cons:

  • Very expensive MSRP
5. Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless ($149.95)

Priced under $200, the Sennheiser ACCENTUM offers a nice balance of utility and affordability. Noise canceling isn’t as robust as premium models, but that’s okay. Independent testing found these headphones still reduce outside noise by 75% under 1kHz. They achieve a 90% drop above 1kHz.

With almost 50 hours of playback per charge, you shouldn’t run low on juice, even during marathon work blocks. Simple, tactile controls on the earcups also encourage eyes-free operation.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly pricing
  • Around 50 hours of battery life
  • Decent noise reduction

Cons:

  • Less advanced noise canceling capabilities
6. Anker Soundcore Life Q30 ($79)

Here’s another wallet-friendly ANC headset. Starting under $100, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 punches way above its weight. You can expect over 40 hours of playtime on a single charge. The sound quality rivals more expensive options, with deep bass and clear highs.

The flexibility continues with adjustable ANC modes for different environments. For low-frequency rumbles, it claims to filter out up to 95% of unwanted noise. App support also lets you tweak EQ settings and access firmware updates. For convenience, the Q30 includes a hard case and audio cable for passive listening. Considering the price, there are very few compromises here for remote workers.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Good sound with adjustable ANC
  • Around 40-hour battery life
  • Hard case for travel included

Cons:

  • Cheaper plastic construction
7. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro ($109.99)

When the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro first hit the scene, everyone was buzzing about them being the “AirPod-killers.” Whether or not they’ve earned that title is up for debate, but these are some impressive earbuds nonetheless.

As a pioneer in mobile technology, Samsung knows how to make quality earbuds. The Galaxy Buds Pro stands out for its portable size without sacrificing features.

These in-ear monitors deliver great sound quality, enabled by co-engineering with audio leader AKG. You get deep bass, natural mids, and crisp highs that sound great on calls and playlists alike. They also lead the industry in microphone performance with advanced noise reduction algorithms focusing on your voice.

The buds themselves withstand sweat and water, so you can wear them to the gym. And the wireless charging case conveniently fits in any bag or pocket. The Buds Pro checks the boxes for remote workers needing premium sound and mobility.

Pros:

  • Sweat and water resistance rating
  • Great sound quality and ANC
  • Leading microphone performance
  • Ultra-portable charging case

Cons:

  • Can only connect to one device at a time
  • Relatively expensive
8. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless ($299.95)

Sometimes, simple is best. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense option that gets the job done without all the extra bells and whistles, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless headphones are a great option. This pair gets all the basics right.

With a four-microphone system tuning in your voice and surround technologies enhancing audio, this model shines for remote work needs.

A clean, minimalist design and professional attire look great. It also works for lounging with plush leather and cozy materials. On-ear detection pauses playback when removing headphones—then resumes instantly when you put them back on.

With intuitive onboard controls, adjusting volume, switching noise cancellation modes, or triggering your phone’s voice assistant hands-free is easy.

Pros:

  • Strong Bluetooth codec support
  • Excellent audio with robust bass
  • Effective ANC technology

Cons:

  • The companion app could be more fully-featured
9. Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro can almost keep up with the top noise-canceling headsets on this list. And that’s hugely impressive for true wireless earbuds. While they don’t compete over over-ear models for noise reduction, the ANC performance remains solid.

Powered by the new H2 chip, AirPods Pro wipes out the low-frequency rumbles that are most grating. The updated transparency mode also lets you focus when needed or engage with your surroundings.

With the MagSafe charging case, you get over 24 hours of playtime. IPX4 waterproofing holds up to workouts and weather. And seamless Apple device pairing makes AirPods Pro ideal for iPhone owners.

Pros:

  • Excellent audio quality
  • Great noise canceling for earbuds
  • Total Apple ecosystem integration

Cons:

  • More limited customization than others
10. Focal Bathys ($699)

If you’re an audiophile, you’ve probably heard of Focal.. This French brand focuses on acoustic excellence with their audiophile-grade headphones. And the Bathys bring a sophisticated noise-canceling model perfect for discerning ears.

You can use a wired DAC mode to bypass Bluetooth 5.1 compression. This delivers music and calls in higher resolution than the wireless setting. But even over Bluetooth, support for Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive technology means enjoying CD-quality streams.

With almost 30 hours of battery life, on-ear detection pausing playback automatically when removed, and exquisite craftsmanship, the Bathys checks all the boxes. Besides being a bit pricey. But for remote workers who consider sound a priority, these won’t disappoint.

Pros:

  • Audiophile-quality sound
  • Excellent microphone clarity
  • Comfortable design and materials

Cons:

  • Shorter battery life than competitors

How to Choose The Right Noise-canceling Headphones

With so many options on the market, it helps going in with a game plan tailored to your needs and budget. Here are some key factors in picking the best noise-canceling headphones and microphone combo for your home office.

Consider Your Budget

Your remote worker gear has lots of parts. You need a laptop, monitor, keyboard, mouse, desk, chair…the costs add up fast. Determine how much you can allocate towards headphones without blowing your whole budget.

Of course, don’t go too cheap and get flimsy models that disappoint, either. Find the sweet spot between features you want and wallet-friendliness for your situation.

Look at Noise-Cancellation Effectiveness

If the whole reason you’re shelling out for these headphones is to drown out the world, you want to make sure they get the job done. Not all noise-cancellation tech is created equal, so it’s important to do your homework.

Pay attention to how well each model cancels outside noise—especially if that’s your primary reason for buying. Figure out your needs in a decibel reduction sense. Are you trying to block out the occasional barking dog, or do you need complete and total silence to get in the zone?

Then, match with options that deliver.

Understand Intended Use

While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about what you’re actually going to be using these headphones for. Besides quietness for concentration, think about other uses too. Will you be enjoying music in between deep work sessions? Taking frequent calls from home?

Devices optimized for music playback may differ from voice-centric ones. Identify must-have uses, so you don’t over or under-spend.

Evaluate Battery Life

If you’re a remote worker who’s always on the go, bouncing from coffee shop to co-working space, battery life is going to be your best friend. The last thing you want is for your headphones to die mid-workday and leave you at the mercy of all that ambient noise.

The best noise-canceling headphones promise 40-50 hour playback per charge. Make sure options you consider work for your typical schedule without running dry.

Mind The Comfort

The last thing you need is a pair of headphones that feels like it’s slowly crushing your skull. Think hard about wearing comfort if you’ll have headphones on for hours daily. Over-ear models with plush padding prevent neck and ear pain over long periods. And lightweight constructions reduce strain.

Make sure potential options not only sound great but feel great for extended use.

Check for Connectivity

Lots of noise-canceling headphones today are wireless—which simplifies setup. But better Bluetooth connectivity means fewer disruptions. And for smartphone users, high resolution codec support translates to better streaming quality.

If you’re an Apple user, you might want to consider a pair that’s designed to play nice with your ecosystem. Headphones like the Airpods Max and AirPods Pro are going to give you that seamless, easy-peasy connectivity that Apple is known for. But if you’re an Android user, don’t despair! There are plenty of excellent options out there for you, too.

Just keep in mind that even wired headphones can have their connectivity quirks. If you’ve got a newer Apple device with a fancy-schmancy proprietary port, you might need to shell out for an adapter to use certain wired headphones. It’s all about doing your research and making sure your headphones will connect easily.

The Perfect Pair Awaits

There you have it—a complete breakdown of the top noise-canceling headphones with microphones for remote workers in 2024! We covered all the heavy hitters from premium brands like Apple, Bose and Sony. As well as more affordable picks offering great bang for buck.

No two remote working setups are identical. So, think through your personal needs and preferences before deciding.

Once you’ve got the best noise-cancelling headphones, check out these guides:

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