9 Best Headphones with Mic: Top Picks for Crystal Clear Audio

Table of Contents

Last Updated on February 7, 2024 by Muisc Pro Editorial Team

In today’s fast-paced digital world, headphones with built-in microphones, especially those with active noise canceling capabilities, have become indispensable tools for both personal and professional use, particularly for voice and video calls. Whether it’s for attending virtual meetings, enjoying music, gaming, or simply staying connected on the go, the right pair of headphones can significantly enhance your audio experience. This comprehensive review is dedicated to helping you find the best headphones with a microphone that suit your needs. We’ve meticulously tested and compared various models based on sound quality, microphone clarity, comfort, durability, and additional features. Our goal is to provide you with well-informed recommendations, ensuring you make a choice that offers the perfect balance of performance and value.

Our Choice for:

Sony WH-1000XM5 Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM5 Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones

 

Noise Cancellation

The WH-1000XM5 stands out with its industry-leading Dual Noise Sensor technology. It offers exceptional noise cancellation, making it ideal for immersive listening in noisy environments with lots of background noise.

Sound Quality

These headphones boast a wide frequency response of 4Hz-40,000Hz, ensuring rich and detailed sound. The Edge-AI, co-developed with Sony Music Studios Tokyo, further enhances audio quality, offering a premium listening experience.

Battery Life and Charging

With up to 30 hours of battery life and fast charging capabilities (10 minutes of charging for 5 hours of playback), the WH-1000XM5 is perfect for long listening sessions.

User Interface

The touch sensor controls are intuitive and responsive, allowing easy management of tracks, volume, voice assistant activation, and call handling.

Voice and Call Features

The speak-to-chat technology, which automatically reduces volume during conversations, and superior call quality with precise voice pickup are innovative features that enhance user interaction.

Comfort and Build

Weighing just 9 ounces, these headphones are comfortable for extended use. However, some users may find them slightly heavy after long periods.

Additional Features

The wearing detection pauses playback when headphones are removed, adding convenience. Seamless multiple-device pairing and Adaptive Sound Control cater to a personalized listening experience.

Pros:

  • Outstanding noise cancellation.
  • Superior sound quality with Edge-AI enhancement.
  • Long battery life with quick charging.
  • Intuitive touch controls and smart features like speak-to-chat.
  • Comfortable for prolonged use.

Cons:

  • Weight may be slightly uncomfortable over long periods.
  • Price point might be high for budget-conscious users.

Comparison with Competitors: Compared to its competitors, the WH-1000XM5 excels in noise cancellation and sound quality. Its unique features like speak-to-chat and adaptive sound control set it apart in the market.

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Panasonic Lightweight Over The Ear Wired Headphones with Microphone

Panasonic Lightweight Over The Ear Wired Headphones with Microphone

Sound Quality

These headphones feature dual 30mm neodymium driver units, handling up to 1000Mw maximum power input. This results in powerful bass, clear mid-range, and high-frequency trebles, making them suitable for music, movies, and gaming.

Comfort

The plush padded earpads and smooth, quick-adjust headband offer substantial comfort, minimizing ambient noise and distractions. Despite their full size, they are lightweight at 10.2 ounces, suitable for extended use.

Design and Build

The sleek, matte black finish gives these headphones a stylish look. They are durable and lightweight, ideal for everyday use.

Microphone Quality

The built-in microphone allows for seamless transition between taking calls and listening to media, adding convenience for users.

Cord Length

An extra-long, 6.5 feet audio cord provides ample space to move around, particularly beneficial for gaming or watching TV.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality with powerful bass and clear trebles.
  • Comfortable design with plush padding and adjustable headband.
  • Stylish and durable build.
  • Versatile use for movies, gaming, and calls.
  • Long cord for increased mobility.

Cons:

  • Wired design might limit portability compared to wireless options.
  • Some users might find them bulky for on-the-go use.

Comparison with Competitors: In comparison to other headphones in the same category, these stand out for their sound quality and comfort at a potentially lower price point. However, they lack the portability and wireless convenience of some competitors.

User Experience: Ideal for users seeking a balance between performance and comfort, especially for home entertainment. Not as suited for users looking for compact, wireless headset for travel.

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JBL T500 On-Ear Headphone

JBL T500 On-Ear Headphone In-Ear Headphone

Sound Quality

The JBL T500 delivers the signature JBL Pure Bass sound, offering a robust and rich audio experience. The bass is deep and powerful, making it suitable for genres that emphasize low-end frequencies.

Design and Build

These headphones feature a lightweight and foldable design, weighing just 5.3 ounces. The compact form factor enhances portability, making them a great choice for on-the-go use.

User Interface

The 1-button remote with a microphone is convenient for managing calls and music playback. The simplicity of the control scheme is user-friendly, even for those who are not tech-savvy.

Cable

The tangle-free flat cable is a thoughtful addition, reducing the hassle of untangling wires, a common issue with many headphones.

Voice Assistant Integration

The ability to use Siri or Google Now directly through the headphones adds a layer of modern functionality, useful for hands-free operations.

Pros:

  • Excellent bass response suitable for bass-heavy music.
  • Lightweight, foldable design for easy portability.
  • User-friendly one-button remote with mic.
  • Tangle-free cable reduces inconvenience.
  • Voice assistant compatibility for added convenience.

Cons:

  • On-ear design may not be as comfortable for all users, especially for long listening sessions.
  • Limited features compared to higher-end models.

Comparison with Competitors: While the JBL T500 excels in bass response and portability, it may lack the advanced features and over-ear comfort found in more expensive models.

User Experience: Best suited for users looking for a balance of sound quality and convenience in a budget-friendly package. Ideal for casual listening and commuting, but may not meet the needs of audiophiles or those seeking high-end features.

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Bose QuietComfort 35 Series 2 Gaming Headset

Bose QuietComfort 35 Series 2 Gaming Headset

Versatility

The Bose QC35 II Gaming Headset uniquely bridges the gap between a wired gaming headset and a wireless lifestyle headset. This dual-functionality is a standout feature, accommodating both gaming sessions and everyday use with ease.

Noise Cancellation

Featuring Bose’s best-in-class noise-cancelling technology, this headset excels in providing a distraction-free listening environment, whether for gaming, music, or work.

Comfort

The materials selected for the QC35 II are focused on comfort and lightness, making it suitable for extended gaming marathons and daily wear.

Microphone Quality

It includes a detachable boom mic for gaming, which is Discord and TeamSpeak-certified for clear communication. The built-in mic system in lifestyle mode ensures clarity in calls, even in noisy environments.

User Interface

The PC desktop controller offers handy control over volume and mic monitoring, enhancing the gaming experience by allowing users to hear their own voice.

Voice Assistant Integration

Optimized for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, adding a level of convenience in wireless mode.

Design 

The Triple Black design with Copper accents gives it a modern, stylish look that’s versatile for various settings.

Compatibility

Universally compatible with major gaming platforms, including PCs, laptops, consoles, and mobile devices, ensuring broad usability.

Pros:

  • Excellent noise cancellation for focused gaming and listening.
  • Comfortable for long durations.
  • Versatile with both wired and wireless modes.
  • High-quality detachable boom mic.
  • Stylish and modern design.

Cons:

  • Some users might prefer dedicated gaming headsets for advanced gaming features.
  • The dual-purpose design might not meet the specific needs of hardcore gamers or audiophiles.

Comparison with Competitors: Compared to other gaming headsets, the QC35 II stands out for its noise cancellation and dual-purpose design. However, it might lack some gaming-specific features found in dedicated gaming headsets.

User Experience: Ideal for users who value versatility, comfort, and noise cancellation in both gaming and everyday scenarios. Less suited for users looking for specialized gaming-only headsets.

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JBL Quantum 400 – Wired Over-Ear Gaming Headphones

JBL Quantum 400 - Wired Over-Ear Gaming Headphones

Sound Quality

The JBL Quantum 400 is engineered with JBL Quantum Surround sound technology, providing an immersive audio experience crucial for competitive gaming. The sound signature is tailored for accuracy in games, enhancing the ability to detect footsteps, shots, and in-game cues.

Comfort

Equipped with memory foam ear cushions covered in soft PU leather, these headphones offer comfort for long gaming sessions. The over-ear design also aids in sound isolation.

Microphone

The flip-up boom microphone with echo cancelling technology ensures clear team communication. It’s Discord certified, indicating reliability for in-game chat.

Compatibility and Connectivity

Offering versatility with 3.5 mm and USB adapter connections, the Quantum 400 is compatible with PC, Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and more.

Customization

The JBL Quantum Engine software allows for personalization of EQ, sound effects, mic modes, and RGB lighting, enhancing the gaming experience.

Pros:

  • Immersive surround sound technology tailored for gaming.
  • Comfortable memory foam ear cushions for extended use.
  • Effective echo cancelling boom microphone.
  • High compatibility with multiple gaming platforms.
  • Customizable settings with JBL Quantum Engine software.

Cons:

  • Wired design may limit mobility compared to wireless options.
  • The headset’s weight (9.7 ounces) might be slightly heavy for some users.

Comparison with Competitors: The JBL Quantum 400 competes well with other gaming headsets in its class, offering superior sound customization and comfort. However, its wired design and weight might be less appealing compared to lighter, wireless alternatives.

User Experience: Ideal for serious gamers seeking immersive sound and customization options. Best suited for stationary gaming setups due to the wired design.

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PHILIPS Over The Ear Studio Headphones (SHP9600/MB)

PHILIPS Over The Ear Studio Headphones

Sound Quality

These headphones feature perfectly tuned 50MM drivers, delivering a detailed stereo sound with crisp bass and balanced midrange. The frequency range of 6Hz-35kHz ensures a broad spectrum of audio, from deep lows to clear highs.

Versatility

The detachable mic transforms these headphones into a professional gaming headset or a work-from-home business headset, offering clear voice quality for calls and gaming.

Design

The open-back drivers allow air to flow through, preventing pressure buildup and ensuring sound clarity without echoes. This design choice contributes to the overall sound quality and user comfort.

Comfort

Designed to fit the ear’s natural shape, these headphones come with breathable ear-cup cushions, ideal for long listening sessions. The adjustable headband with numbered sizes ensures a perfect fit from the start.

Cable Length

With almost 5 feet of cable with the mic and an additional 9.8 ft cable, users have the freedom to move around, which is particularly useful in studio settings or during gaming sessions.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality with wide frequency range.
  • Versatile use with detachable mic.
  • Open-back design for natural sound experience.
  • Comfortable fit with adjustable and breathable design.
  • Generous cable length for mobility.

Cons:

  • The open-back design might not be ideal for noisy environments as it can allow sound leakage.
  • Weighing 1.54 pounds, they might feel heavy for some users.

Comparison with Competitors: The PHILIPS Over The Ear Studio Headphones stand out with their versatile detachable mic and open-back design, making them a great choice for both audiophiles and professionals. However, they may not be the first choice for those looking for more compact or noise-isolating headphones.

User Experience: These headphones are best suited for studio use, gaming, and work-from-home professionals who prioritize sound quality and versatility. They may not be the optimal choice for users seeking lightweight or noise-cancelling headphones for travel or noisy environments.

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Logitech H390 Wired Headset

Logitech H390 Wired Headset

Comfort and Design

The Logitech H390 is designed with optimum comfort in mind. It features a plush, padded headband and earcups, making it suitable for extended use. The adjustable headband with swivel-mounted, leatherette ear cushions ensures a snug and comfortable fit.

Sound Quality

The headset offers enhanced audio quality with fine-tuned 30 mm audio drivers. This results in clear and precise digital stereo audio, ideal for work and play. The frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz covers a wide range of sounds.

Microphone Quality

A key feature is its noise-cancelling, rotating microphone that minimizes background noise, ensuring clear calls and communication. The rigid, left-sided mic can be positioned for optimal voice capture and tucked away when not in use.

User Interface and Controls

It includes handy in-line controls on the cable, allowing easy adjustment of volume and muting calls without disruption.

Connectivity

The H390 offers simple plug-and-play USB connectivity, compatible with both PC and Mac computers with a USB-A port. It eliminates the need for software installation, adding to its user-friendly nature.

Cable Length

The 6.23 ft (1.9 m) cable provides enough length to move freely, especially useful during long conversations or tasks.

Pros:

  • Comfortable design suitable for long usage periods.
  • Clear digital stereo audio quality.
  • Effective noise-cancelling microphone.
  • Easy-to-use in-line controls.
  • Hassle-free USB plug-and-play connectivity.

Cons:

  • Wired design may limit mobility compared to wireless options.
  • Some users might prefer a more modern or sleek design.

Comparison with Competitors: The Logitech H390 stands out for its comfort and clear audio quality at its price point. However, it might lack the advanced features and wireless convenience of higher-end models.

User Experience: Ideal for users seeking a comfortable, no-frills headset for work, virtual meetings, and casual listening. It’s a practical choice for those who prioritize simplicity and functionality.

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Skullcandy PLYR Multi-Platform Over-Ear Wireless Gaming Headset (S6PPY-Q770)

Skullcandy PLYR Multi-Platform Over-Ear Wireless Gaming Headset

Sound Quality

The Skullcandy PLYR is equipped with 50mm dynamic drivers, offering a wide frequency range and rich, detailed sound. Enhanced Sound Perception technology further tunes the audio to the user’s unique hearing profile, providing a personalized audio experience.

Microphone

It features a Clear Voice Smart Mic with Artificial Intelligence to isolate the speaker’s voice and reduce background noise. The dual mic system ensures clear communication, even when the boom mic is removed.

Versatility and Connectivity

Designed for multi-platform use, it works seamlessly with PC, MAC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices. Dual connectivity allows for both wireless and wired audio experiences, adaptable for different gaming and streaming needs.

Control

Intuitive, easy-to-reach headset controls enable quick muting and volume adjustments without interrupting gameplay.

Design and Comfort

The headset’s design balances aesthetics and functionality, and at 11.1 ounces, it offers a comfortable fit for extended gaming sessions.

Bluetooth and App Features

Utilizing Bluetooth 5.2, it offers robust wireless headset connectivity. Advanced features like game/chat mix, custom EQs, and sidetone are accessible via the Skull-HQ App.

Pros:

  • Superb sound quality with personalization options.
  • Effective AI-powered noise-cancelling mic.
  • Versatile for both wired and wireless use across multiple platforms.
  • User-friendly controls for uninterrupted gaming.
  • Comfortable and stylish design.

Cons:

  • Weight may be slightly heavy for some users.
  • The multitude of features might be overwhelming for casual users.

Comparison with Competitors: The Skullcandy PLYR stands out with its unique AI-powered microphone and Enhanced Sound Perception technology. However, it may compete with lighter headsets in terms of comfort during long gaming sessions.

User Experience: Ideal for serious gamers and streamers seeking a versatile headset with high-quality sound and advanced features. It’s a strong contender for those valuing customization and multi-platform compatibility.

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JLab Go Work Gen 2 Wireless Headsets with Microphone

JLab Go Work Gen 2 Wireless Headsets with Microphone

Connectivity and Versatility

The JLab Go Work Gen 2 stands out with its dual connectivity, featuring Bluetooth multipoint technology. It allows simultaneous connection to two devices, such as a mobile and laptop, facilitating seamless transitions without manual setting adjustments. For a more stable connection, it also offers a wireless USB-C dongle and the option for wired use via the included USB-C cable.

Microphone Quality

The headset employs C3 Calling with dual microphones – one captures the voice while the other eliminates environmental sounds. This ensures clear call quality in various environments.

Battery Life and Comfort

Offering over 48 hours of playtime on a single charge, it caters well to heavy usage throughout the work week. The Cloud Foam earcups provide all-day comfort, and the boom microphone can be rotated for listening only or active communication.

User Interface

The headset features multi-functional buttons for complete control over play/pause, call management, volume, mute, and track control. It offers two EQ settings: Work and Music mode, catering to different audio preferences.

Mute Functionality

A notable feature is the quick mute function, with a red LED indicator on the boom mic to show mute status – a practical addition for video conferencing.

Pros:

  • Versatile dual connectivity with Bluetooth multipoint and USB-C dongle.
  • Superior microphone quality for clear calls.
  • Long battery life suitable for extensive use.
  • Comfortable design with Cloud Foam earcups.
  • Intuitive controls with quick mute functionality and LED indicator.

Cons:

  • Some users might prefer over-ear design for enhanced sound isolation.
  • The headset’s focus on call clarity may compromise high-fidelity music listening experience.

Comparison with Competitors: The JLab Go Work Gen 2 excels in its dual connectivity and microphone clarity, making it ideal for work-related use. However, it might not match the sound quality of headsets specifically designed for high-fidelity audio.

User Experience: Ideal for professionals seeking a reliable, comfortable headset for calls and multitasking across devices. It’s less suited for audiophiles or users looking primarily for a music-focused headset.

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Introduction to Headphones with Mics

The journey of headphones with microphones began as tools for communication in call centers and gaming environments, evolving into essential gadgets for a wide array of uses in our digital era. With the rise of remote work, online gaming, and virtual socializing, these headphones, particularly those with a boom mic and mic quality for clarity amidst ambient noise, have become indispensable in ensuring clear communication. Modern iterations combine high-quality audio output with advanced microphone technology, catering to everything from professional video conferencing to immersive gaming experiences.

Key Features to Consider

When selecting headphones with a mic, several key features merit attention. Sound quality is paramount, providing a rich and immersive listening experience. Equally important is microphone clarity, ensuring your voice is transmitted clearly without interference. Noise cancellation is a game-changer, particularly in noisy environments, as it helps keep focus on the audio without external disturbances. For wireless models, battery life is crucial to avoid frequent recharging. Comfort is another significant aspect, especially for prolonged use, where factors like padding and weight distribution play a role. Additionally, build quality dictates durability and longevity. Features like voice assistant compatibility enhance user convenience, integrating seamlessly with smart ecosystems.

Different Types of Headphones

The world of headphones offers a variety of styles to cater to diverse preferences, including the specialized category of studio headphones. Over-ear headphones, a common type for studio recoding bundle, enclose the ear, offering superior sound isolation and comfort, ideal for immersive listening and long periods of use, especially in studio environments. Studio headphones typically focus on delivering accurate sound reproduction and are favored by audio professionals and audiophiles. On-ear headphones, while more compact, rest on the ear and are suitable for casual listening but are less common as studio headphones due to their lesser sound isolation. In-ear models, or earbuds, offer portability and a more discreet profile, perfect for on-the-go use, but again, they are not typically categorized as studio headphones due to their different acoustic properties. Wired headphones, often preferred in studio headphones, provide uninterrupted, high-quality audio without the worry of battery life, whereas wireless models offer unparalleled freedom of movement but may not always meet the stringent fidelity criteria of studio headphones. Noise-cancelling headphones are a blessing in noisy environments, actively blocking out ambient sounds to provide a focused audio experience, a feature that can also be beneficial in studio headphones for clear, isolated sound monitoring.

Microphone Quality Analysis

In scenarios like online gaming, where communication is key to team strategy, microphone quality can make or break the experience. A good gaming headset will have a mic that captures voice accurately and minimizes background noise. For online meetings, a clear microphone ensures effective communication, essential in a professional setting. Even in regular phone calls, a quality mic helps in conveying clear, uninterrupted speech. Factors like mic sensitivity, noise reduction capabilities, and the ability to handle variations in voice pitch and volume play critical roles in determining the overall effectiveness of the microphone in different use cases.

FAQ Section for Choosing the Best Headphones with Mic

Q1: What are the most important factors to consider when buying headphones with a mic?

A1: Key factors include sound quality, microphone clarity, comfort, build quality, noise cancellation capabilities, battery life (for wireless models), and additional features like voice assistant compatibility and connectivity options.

Q2: Are wired or wireless headphones better for microphone quality?

A2: Both can offer excellent microphone quality. Wireless headphones provide more freedom of movement, while wired headphones often deliver more consistent audio quality without relying on battery life.

Q3: How important is noise cancellation in headphones with a mic?

A3: Noise cancellation is crucial for those who use headphones in noisy environments as it helps isolate your voice from background sounds, ensuring clearer communication.

Q4: Can I use gaming headphones for regular phone calls or online meetings?

A4: Yes, gaming headphones are typically equipped with high-quality microphones and can be used for phone calls and online meetings, though they might be bulkier than typical office headsets.

Q5: What’s the difference between on-ear, over-ear, and in-ear headphones?

A5: On-ear headphones sit on top of your ears, over-ear headphones fully enclose your ears, and in-ear headphones fit inside your ear canal. Over-ear headphones generally offer better sound isolation, whereas in-ear models are more compact and portable.

Q6: How do I test the microphone quality of headphones?

A6: You can test microphone quality by making calls or recording your voice, checking for clarity, background noise cancellation, and how well the mic picks up your voice.

Q7: Are headphones with mics compatible with all devices?

A7: Most headphones are compatible with a range of devices, but it’s important to check the connectivity options (like Bluetooth version or cable type) to ensure compatibility with your specific devices.

Q8: What should I look for in headphones if I plan to use them for extended periods?

A8: Look for headphones with comfortable padding, an adjustable headband, and a lightweight design to ensure comfort during prolonged use.

Conclusion

In conclusion, choosing the best headphones with a mic is a decision that hinges on balancing various factors including battery life, sound profile, and active noise cancellation, tailored to individual needs and preferences, tailored to individual needs and preferences. Whether it’s for immersive gaming, professional communication, or simply enjoying music, the perfect pair of headphones is one that aligns with your lifestyle. Sound quality, microphone clarity, comfort, and additional features like noise cancellation and voice assistant compatibility play pivotal roles in enhancing your auditory experience. Wired or wireless, over-ear or in-ear, each style has its unique advantages. By considering these key aspects and understanding the specific requirements of your daily routine, you can select a pair of headphones that not only delivers exceptional audio but also elevates your overall listening and communication experience. Remember, the best headphones are the ones that resonate most with your personal and professional needs, ensuring every conversation is heard clearly, and every note is experienced fully.

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