Best Business Headsets for Videoconferencing Windows Central 2020
Let's talk business: When you're constantly in meetings or need to talk on the phone, your headset needs some specific qualities. You need a headset with great microphone quality, is comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and maybe includes active noise cancelation so you can hear the call better. The Sennheiser MB 660 UC is your best bet. It has long battery life, is super comfortable to wear, and can pair to two devices simultaneously.
- Best Overall: Sennheiser MB 660 UC
- Best Over-Ear: Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC
- Best Wired Headphones: Jabra Evolve 80
- Best Earbuds: Jabra Evolve 65e UC
- Best Mono Headset: Jabra Motion UC
Best Overall: Sennheiser MB 660 UC
The Sennheiser MB 660 UC are slightly more expensive than options out there, but they're a great pair of headphones that do basically everything, including taking videoconferencing calls.
Let's first talk about microphone quality, which is one of the key strengths of the MB 660 MS. They isolate your voice well in loud environments and are also able to block out a good amount of background noise. The sound quality is excellent if you plan on using these for casual listening as well. The bass is a bit boosted and boomy, the mid-range is neutral and flat, and the treble is a bit uneven and recessed. Overall the MB 660 UC have a warm sound signature. They feature active noise cancelation (ANC) but that can mostly be ignored as it ruins the sound quality to a great degree.
Comfort wise, the Sennheiser MB 660 UC are solid. The ear cups aren't as deep as some other headphones, so you might have an issue if you have bigger ears. However, the pleather they use on the ear cup and headband are super comfortable, making them great to wear for long periods of time for most people.
Battery life is good with up to 30 hours of listening/calling time on a single charge. You can pair up to two devices simultaneously which is great if you're needing switch back and forth between two clients. Unfortunately, you don't have any wired options here. So, if your battery dies you'll need to recharge them.
- Mic quality
- Great battery life
- Sound quality
- Pair two devices simultaneously
- ANC isn't good and should be ignored
- Discomfort for those with bigger ears
Jack of all trades
The Sennheiser MB 660 UC are an excellent pair of videoconferencing headphones that can pair up to two devices simultaneously.
Best Over-Ear: Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC
While over-ear headphones aren't typically great for video conferencing due to discomfort, the Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC is an exception to this rule. This headset is extremely comfortable for long term use.
The microphone quality is excellent on the Voyager 8200 UC as well. In an office environment you won't have much issue with the person on the other end being able to hear you. Even in a non-office environment, they perform great. There are no reported issues with other people being able to hear you when on the phone and vice versa. The noise isolation algorithm also isn't too aggressive like it is with other headphones where you may sound robotic. This, conbined with the active noise cancelation, really helps when needing to take that important phone call.
Unfortunately, while it's able to be used wirelessly, the battery life is mediocre at best. You're better off using them wired as you'll only get three hours on a single charge when used wirelessly.
Still, overall sound quality is exceptional. The Voyager 8200 UC feature a V-shaped sound which means it has boosted bass and treble with a neutral/flat mid-range. The dynamic range is decent and extends well but the soundstage is rather small so keep that in mind.
- Over-ear design
- Excellent mic quality
- Great noise isolation
- Poor battery life
- Soundstage could be better
Comfortable over-ear headphones that are also great for conference calls are rare. The Voyager 8200 UC from Plantronics is the exception.
Best Wired Headset: Jabra Evolve 80
As it turns out, not every industry needs to go wireless when it comes to headphones. Usually, with wireless headphones, they need to pack in an amp/DAC, processors, and a battery which can add weight to the overall package. The Jabra Evolve 80 goes old school with wires, and is all the better for it.
When we say classic design, we really mean it. Similar to gaming headsets, the Evolve 80 includes a microphone that sticks out in front of you and honestly, in 2019, looks a bit goofy. The upside to it is you can adjust the microphone position to be either closer or farther away from your mouth. Even with the design, the Evolve 80 still has excellent microphone quality. Your voice is clear and crisp and the person on the other end won't have any issues hearing you no matter the environment.
Comfort wise, the Evolve 80 headset is excellent as well. The ear cups are large and extend deep for even the largest of ears. The cups and headband are made of a pleather material, which will help with any sort of heaviness that may occur.
The only real downside to the Evolve 80 is the in-line controls. Unlike most other headphones that build them into the cable, the Evolve 80 has it as a separate piece, requiring you to plug it in when you want to use it. It's rather large as well but that's less of an issue as the Evolve 80 is designed to be used while sitting down.
A neat feature of the Evolve 80 is that it has a "do not disturb" light that you can toggle. With it on, it lets people around you know that you're busy and to not interrupt. Some may find it tacky, but its useful if you want it.
- Wired, so no batteries
- Excellent mic quality
- Do not disturb indicator
- In-line controls a bit bulky
Best Wired Headphones
It might look like the early 2000s, but it functions well. With an adjustable microphone, and solid comfort, you can easily use them for hours.
Best Earbuds: Jabra Evolve 65e UC
If most of your work relies on flying, sitting at airports, or sitting through long commutes, the Jabra Evolve 65e UCs are a solid option. Not only is the mic quality great, but they also have some good active noise cancelation.
They also feature great sound quality. They're fairly neutral with a slight bass and mid-range boost. You can use a smartphone application that allows you to change the way they sound in addition to adjust how much active noise cancelation you want, among other features. Battery life is excellent as well with up to 13 hours on a single charge.
Comfort wise, they're larger than most earbuds. They're comfortable and you can use them for long periods of time without much ear fatigue. And the band that goes around your neck isn't terribly heavy, either.
- Great sound quality
- Solid battery life
- Weird weight along the neck
Jabra's Evolve 65e UC are perfect for those who travel a lot for business but are always on phone/video calls.
Best Mono Headset: Jabra Motion UC
If you're looking for something that doesn't cover both of your ears, the Jabra Motion UC is your best bet. It's a single mono headset that allows you to use your other ear to hear what's going on around you. The microphone quality is excellent and you won't have any issues hearing the other person and vice versa. Noise isolation is excellent here as well, helping you block out background noise in louder environments.
What's neat about the Motion UC is that it can detect when it's in your ear and automatically pick up any incoming calls. There's also a motion sensor built-in that automatically adjusts the volume to match your environment. So, if you're in a silent office space, they'll be notably lower and if you're in a loud environment it'll crank up the volume so you can still be able to hear the person on the other end.
Unfortunately, this means that there's no physical volume control which may be a dealbreaker to some. But you're still able to control the volume from your source device.
They're quite heavy and may require you to take them off every few hours since most of the weight will be pushed towards the outer portion of your ears. Battery life is decent with 7 hours on a single charge.
- Great mic quality
- Automatic volume control
- Automatic phone call pick up
- Weight makes it uncomfortable
- No physical volume control
- OK battery life
Best Mono Headset
Hello? I can hear you
Convenient for on-the-go conference calls with decent noise isolation and battery life.
When it comes to business headsets there's only one thing you really need to know: the difference between UC and MS. UC is a universal standard and will work with nearly anything you have and most, if not all of your programs. MS is used specifically for Skype Business. It's not an open standard and will only work within Skype Business. Most headsets have two different models so that you can pick based on what you need.
Whether you sit at the office taking conference calls all day or on-the-go, there are tons of different headset options out there depending on your needs. For those who have a tendency of sitting at the office, the Sennheiser MB 660 MS is your best bet. They're pricey, but offer everything you could want for video or phone conferencing, including a long battery life and amazing sound and mic quality.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Peter Cao spends most of his days testing and listening to headphones. While not at work, he likes to analyze music with headphones and play video games.
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