Some are clearer than others, and if your background gets noisy (think public spaces or a home with other people and pets), zero in on models with noise cancellation in the mic such as Clear Voice Capture technology, also known as CVC. Some options use sound-insulating materials, like fitted foam or silicone inserts, while others use something called active noise-canceling technology : The latter is a digital ability that listens for outside noise disturbances and neutralizes them with opposing sound waves. Again, these headphones are more expensive, but a worthy investment if you're looking to minimize distractions.
Wireless options, however (aka the best Bluetooth headphones), require some extra setup and need to be charged regularly, but they allow you both freedom of movement and wire-free comfort. All of these six earbuds have quality built-in mics and help to minimize background noise, making them great for Zoom meetings.
Among their many redeeming features (including clear audio and a reinforced cable), reviewers love them for video calls because the buds block out background noise with memory foam inserts, they have a clear microphone that hangs right next to your mouth, and they offer an on-wire three-button control pad for mic and volume control. While the mic and the speakers don't offer any active noise-canceling, they're a great affordable option for day-to-day meetings.
I initially purchased a pair of regular headphones, but found them to be too tight and uncomfortable for long meetings, so I got these instead. They don't have active noise-canceling technology for the microphone or the in-ear speakers, but if you need an affordable, reliable pair of earbuds, these from Sony fit the bill.
They have a built-in microphone, silicone earbuds to block out moderate background noise in your ears, and interior neodymium magnets for high-quality sound. They're small, totally wireless, and comfortable enough that you might forget you're wearing them, but those aren't the only reasons why these TOO Bluetooth earbuds are still a great pick for video conferences: They have both a built-in microphone that reduces environmental noise and three-layer active noise-cancelation technology to prevent you from hearing those same distractions, too.
The LETS COM's Bluetooth headphones have multiple features that also make them ideal for a worker who's always on the go: This includes an eight-hour battery life, noise cancellation in the mic (though not in the speakers), and an ear-hugging design with a connective wire for a secure fit. This one falls halfway between an earbud and a headset, but it's on this list because of its sleek, low-key profile and superb microphone quality.
If you find yourself presenting a lot, it actively blocks out background noises and echoing with its elongated mic while also delivering crystal-clear, disturbance-free sound to your ear. My practitioners report that my voice comes through loud and clear, and they are not hearing other distracting sounds such as road noise.
For those who love Apple products, AirPods Pro reviewers have reported that these are “the best buds to buy” and “worth every penny.” While they're optimized for music and workouts because of their adaptive drivers and water-resistant design, they also have active noise-cancelation in the ears and high-quality dual built-in microphones for calls.
In addition, they offer transparency mode (which allows you to turn off the noise-canceling, so you can connect with your environment), three tapered silicone tips sets (so you can customize the fit to your ears), quick access to Siri (for voice-activated control of your devices), and a charging case (so you have up to 24 hours of battery life on the go). Last but not least, its long wire ensures that it never needs to be charged without being too limited, and you can opt for the plug-and-play 3.5-millimeter audio jack or the included USB adapter that provides convenient on-device controls.
Connectivity: Wired 3.5 mm/USB Battery life: N/A Available colors: Black, blue, purple, silver, white One reviewer wrote : “I really needed a headset with a microphone for Zoom meetings as well as to drown out various household noises.
Zoom has become part of our workday and generally integrated into our daily lives. If you use exclusively Apple products yourself, you probably won't find a better user experience than with the AirPods Pro.
The pro version of Apple's uber-popular earbuds have Active Noise Cancellation for when you want to block out outside sounds and Transparency Mode for when you don't. Three different sizes of silicone tips ensure a good, comfortable fit for your ears.
Get premium sound, comfort, and call quality with these over-ear advanced noise-canceling headphones. Headphones the cover your ears are just physically going to do a better job of blocking out the outside world.
While they don't offer Active Noise Cancellation, they are designed to fit snugly enough to physically block out unwanted sounds. Be heard clearly on your call with a dedicated internal and two external microphones that pick up your voice and isolate it from distracting outside noises.
You don't have to spend a ton of money for true wireless Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds. You may not experience the same call quality that you go with a more expensive pair, and there is no ANC feature.
If you want truly wireless earbuds, but you don't want to pay a lot, consider the Radar Bluetooth Earbuds. If earbuds are too small or easy to lose, and over-ear cans are too “much,” you might prefer a lightweight ear hook style like Powerboats Pro.
On the heavy side Lacks the sound quality of pricier headphones For battery life, ANC, and price, the COIN E7 headphones can't be beaten.
Make and take Zoom calls throughout your workday; you won't run out of juice. Being able to block out distractions is also a helpful feature, so it's worth considering headphones with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC).
Some people prefer a headphone that physically blocks outside sound by either covering up the ears or being inserted snugly in them. If you spend more than a few minutes here and there in Zoom, a comfortable fit is vital as well, especially if you wear them throughout your workday, whether you're on calls or not.
Apple's AirPods Pro tick all the boxes above and more, though any of the choices on this list will provide you an excellent Zoom experience. Karen S. Freeman is a teacher, writer, and family woman.
She loves to travel, play with tech stuff, drink coffee, discover amazing new restaurants, and experience new things. As a tech writer for the Strategist, Jordan Bowman covers everything from headphones to speakers to computers (and also happens to be interested in menswear and photography).
One benefit to having spent the past year cooped up in my house following the same simple morning routine (placing my earbuds into my ears, pressing play on a new album or podcast, and then staring at my screen until it was time to break the monotony with a drink or a snack) is that it provides the perfect opportunity to test earbuds. When I wasn’t on Zoom calls, I spent hours laughing with Jesus and Hero and playing Ghost face Kill ah’s Supreme Clientele, all while juggling different earbuds and an endless list of Bluetooth connections.
My testing focused on five features: sound, comfort, connection quality, size, and price. The technology is at the point where you shouldn’t have to worry too much about a dodgy Bluetooth connection or a dropped signal.
You can also get decent sound, battery life and noise-cancelling at a variety of different price points. What might ultimately be the deciding factor for you is the convenience of the setup process and how much you care about premium sound quality.
When I wore them for a jog, they did jiggle a bit, but after a quick adjustment, they stayed perfectly snug. For those moments when you do need to hear someone talk, there is a convenient button that you hit to activate hear-through mode, a feature on every noise-canceling earbuds I tested that temporarily pauses the ANC.
The bass really delivered during a listen to Nicolas Jar’s Space is Only Noise, and the heavy synth and bass on Space Is Only Noise If You Can See managed to flow beautifully as the track hit a peak in the beginning of the song, instead of falling apart into a muddied mess. If you don’t like the way they’re tuned out of the box, or if you’re switching from a podcast to a bass-heavy playlist, adjusting the settings is easy in the app.
The earbuds themselves protrude out of your ears, making them feel constantly at risk of falling out when I did anything other than lounge around the house or take a walk. But if your main concern is noise cancellation, like if you know you’ll be sitting in a loud office again when things are back to normal, these will make you very happy.
Plus Apple added these little black vents to the outside of the Pros to alleviate that completely-sealed-off, underwater feeling that some earbuds can give you. They have a somewhat average 4.5-hour battery life that should be fine for most people, but you’ll definitely be charging them more often than the Sony or Sabra earbuds.
Once in a while, even after leaving them in the case overnight, I’d pull them out to find my left earbud completely drained, but the problem has happened less after a recent update. The noise cancellation isn’t top of the line like the Songs or Sennheiser, but it’s excellent for the price, and it does a decent job of blocking out people talking and other ambient sounds.
After I paired my phone with the earbuds it managed to work out, but it was a learning curve some people might not be able to forgive at this price point. When I listened to the popular track, Grinding from the Clips’s Lord Willing, I was reminded of why every student would bang the beat on every public school table in 2002.
The earbuds managed to balance the vocals and bouncy drums all without any sense of the grimy harshness you might expect from lesser headphones.