Whether you’re strategizing with your gaming crew or talking to your clients on Skype, you’ll need a good headset. More specifically, you’ll need one that will carry your voice loud and clear and allow you to hear the other side of the conversation as well. However, finding a good headset is tricky — which is why I’ve decided to compile a list of the best noise-canceling microphone headsets.
Now, before we begin, we ought to establish a working definition of what we’re talking about. What’s the difference between headphones and headsets? Let’s find out.
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What Are Noise-Canceling Microphone Headsets?
First of all, both kinds of devices have audio drivers — or speakers. Headsets just also have a microphone built into the device. However, while all headsets can be considered headphones, headphones without microphones can’t be considered headsets.
Still, in this particular case, we’re talking about finding a specific kind of headset: one with a noise-canceling microphone. In noise-canceling headphones, the technology limits the amount of ambient noise that makes it into the user’s ear. In cars, it removes road and engine noise to create a more pleasant driving experience.
However, when it comes to noise-canceling microphone headsets, the priorities of the active noise control technology are somewhat different. Namely, it’s supposed to make the user’s voice come across crisp on the other side of the line. So the system is reducing the ambient noise around you in order to make the person you’re talking to understand you better.
But how does it all work? As I have explained in previous articles, there are several key components in every active noise control system:
- A microphone picks up the low, continuous sounds around you
- A machine inverts the polarity of the frequencies
- Speakers play the opposite frequencies of the ones around you, thereby canceling out the extra noise
The difference between regular noise-canceling headphones and a headset with a noise-canceling microphone is the location of the speakers. However, there are other properties of recording devices that make for a great microphone. But we’ll talk about that later. For now, let’s discuss the benefits of using a noise-canceling microphone headset.
Why You Need a Headset With a Noise-Canceling Microphone
Obviously, the main reason you might need a noise-canceling microphone headset is if you often need to talk to people on your computer or even over the phone. But as you can imagine, many different kinds of people have that same need.
If you work at a call center, your employer has already provided you with a headset. However, circumstances might necessitate getting a better one. After all, your sales may depend on your being able to hear your clients and vice versa. A quiet environment is especially difficult to achieve in open-plan offices, where all the workers are in each others’ spaces.
Alternatively, you might need a good headset if you’re a freelancer working from home. Even if you don’t work in a crowded office, you might still need to talk to your clients over Skype. However, if your roommates or family members are always around, it might be a good idea to invest in a noise-canceling microphone headset. That’s also why students who live in dorms could benefit from having a noise-canceling microphone headset.
Furthermore, a headset will certainly come in handy if you like playing multiplayer games. Counter-Strike and World of Warcraft practically require you to have a microphone in order to coordinate with your teammates. We all know what happens when you don’t pay attention to your group’s strategy meetings. Nobody wants to be the Leeroy Jenkins of their guild, at least not because they didn’t have a functioning headset.
Ultimately, using a noise-canceling microphone to reduce the noise around you will make it so the people you’re talking to don’t have to damage their hearing by turning up the volume of their headphones. And the same thing applies to you.
Features to Look Out for When Shopping for Microphone Headsets
So we’re clear on the many benefits of having a noise-canceling microphone headset, but how can you go about finding a good one? As always, certain features can indicate that a product is of high quality. Here are some of the factors I used when looking for the products on my list.
One of the most important features of the headset’s speakers is the way they prevent noise from reaching your ears. That is the principle of passive noise isolation, which I have explained in previous articles about headphones. There are three types of those headphones that all perform very differently when it comes to isolation:
- Earbuds are essentially like earplugs, in that they close off your ear canal — so they’re excellent at noise isolation. However, the kind of in-ear headphones that just sit inside the shell of the ear are less proficient at blocking sound.
- On-ear headphones are probably the worst sort of devices when it comes to noise isolation. However, active noise-canceling technology could help them perform better. So don’t rule them out just yet.
- Lastly, over-ear headphones are by far your best option, especially if you’re deciding between devices that don’t have active noise control.
Additionally, the isolating properties of a headset also depend on whether they have open or closed-back speakers. Open-back headphones have been known to leak sound outwards, and let ambient noise penetrate to the user’s ear. Fortunately, closed-back headphones are much better at handling noise.
Of course, if you’re looking for an above-average headset, you’ll want to find one with excellent audio reproduction. There are some indicators you can check to ensure that the devices you’re looking at have decent audio reproduction.
Mainly, though, you may have to rely on user reviews. Still, here are some questions you can ask when looking for the perfect headset for you:
- Are the high frequency sounds crisp? If the audio drivers are low-quality, high frequencies may emit a buzzing noise.
- Do the mid-tones sound well rounded, or are they a bit flat? If you’ll be using the same headset for talking over Skype and, say, music production, you know how important the middle register is.
- Do the lowest frequencies sound rich? Low-end speakers tend to butcher bass tones and instead just vibrate on your ears. Or worse, you could end up with a completely flat audio reproduction with no bass to be heard.
- Lastly, you’ll want to find out whether there is distortion coming through the headset when you turn the volume up.
Overall, if sound quality is something that matters to you, you may need to dig a little deeper to find your winner. However, if you’re just looking for a headset for work, that may not matter as much.
Naturally, the thing we’re looking for here is a headset with a noise-canceling microphone. But, since I’ve already explained that feature, let’s see which other properties determine the microphone’s performance.
First, you should see whether the device you’re looking at has a unidirectional or an omnidirectional microphone. As the name suggests, omnidirectional mics pick up sounds from multiple directions. So they’re not that great at sending crisp audio — generally, they tend to pick up surrounding sounds as well. Generally, unidirectional microphones are your best bet, since they only transmit the sounds that are closest to the mic itself.
What’s more, headsets generally have one of three types of microphones:
- Wireless headsets usually have built-in microphones. On- and over-ear devices usually store them right in the part that goes over your ear, while wireless earbuds have them in the cable.
- Corded headsets typically store their mics in the cable, so they are near your throat or on your chest. The obvious advantage that these kinds of microphones have is the fact that you can pull them closer to your mouth. However, both built-in and in-line mics are generally omnidirectional.
- Lastly, some on- and over-ear headsets also have boom mics, which are by far the best option if you want your voice to carry clearly. These are the kind of microphones that are connected to the headphones but are still movable. Boom mics curve around your face to reach your mouth, so most of them are unidirectional as well.
Basically, if you want to have your voice come across clearly, you’ll look for headsets with boom microphones.
When it comes to connectivity features, headsets actually have more options than headphones. Generally, most devices have either a wireless Bluetooth connection or 3.5mm jack cable. On top of those options, some headsets also have USB connectivity which is a better option for devices without a regular audio jack.
If you’re really worried about lagging, you should definitely avoid wireless headsets. Additionally, most wireless headphones don’t give you a good indication of when the batteries will run out. So they’re not a great option if you need a good headset for business purposes.
Conversely, if you tend to walk around while you’re talking, get a wireless headset with a great battery life. Most brands provide some sort of estimate as to how long their wireless models can last in playback mode.
Of course, there’s another problem you might have to deal with if you get a wireless headset — interference. Some wireless headsets can accidentally connect to other Bluetooth-enabled devices in the area. Obviously, you don’t want to get disconnected in the middle of an important call.
Comfort and Portability
Finally, the last consideration you should have when choosing a headset is how comfortable the model is. Generally, that is determined by two factors:
- The design of the headset
- The materials the headset is made of
The headset you end up choosing should ideally be lightweight. Most likely, it’ll have to be plastic, which should make it pretty flexible and therefore comfortable. Another thing that might factor into how comfortable the headset it is the amount of cushioning it has.
There’s another aspect of the headset’s design that can impact your ability to store and transport it. For example, on- and over-ear headphones, which are certainly larger than earbuds, could be foldable.
Many headsets have speakers that rotate and collapse towards the headband. Some of them even have foldable headbands. These features further flatten the headset and reduce the amount of space it takes up in your bag or your office drawer. So they’re especially important if you have to transport your headset between your home and the office.
Top 10 Noise-Canceling Microphone Headsets in 2023
Keeping in mind the factors I’ve just explained, I went looking for the best headphones with a noise-canceling microphone. I’ve chosen to present 10 of the best ones in groups, starting with headsets for business and everyday use, then moving on to headsets for gaming.
1. Tecknet Trucker Bluetooth Headset Noise-Canceling Headphones With Microphone
The first device on my list is this Tecknet headset that features dual microphone environment noise cancellation. In other words, one of the mics transmits your voice clearly, while the other picks up on the ambient noise around you and cancels it out. As a result, your voice is crystal clear, ensuring that your online meetings go smoothly no matter where you are.
When fully charged, the headset can work for over 70 hours without interruptions. So, you can use it during the entire work week on a single charge. Plus, the charging time is only 1.5 hours, which is one of the fastest on this list.
If you need a headset that you can easily mute during a call, this option will be perfect for you. The mute button is highly responsive and easily accessible, allowing you as much privacy as you may need during a meeting.
However, it’s important to note that the button only works for calls. So, you cannot use it to mute noises from your PC.
Furthermore, this model is a great choice if you have to take calls both over PC and phone. Namely, it lets you connect two devices at the same time, and you can switch between them depending on which one you need to use at any given time. Just note that you might have to download a separate Bluetooth driver to be able to pair the headset with your laptop.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that this headset is truly made with your comfort in mind. The overhead band is soft and adjustable, so wearing the set all day won’t be uncomfortable. Plus, the headset is suitable for heads and ears of all sizes, meaning you don’t have to worry about it not fitting.
- Built-in dual microphone technology
- You can pair it with two devices at the same time
- Needs 1.5 hours to fully charge
- 70 hours of playtime on a single charge
2. Eaglend USB Headset for PC With Noise-Canceling Microphone
What is great about this Eaglend headset is that you can wear it on either ear depending on your preferences. The unidirectional boom 270° microphone picks up on your voice while blocking out all background noise.
Since it is 100% adjustable, this headset is equally fitting for children and adults. It is made of high-level breathable, ROHS-certified materials. So you won’t sweat or feel uncomfortable even if you have to wear it all day long. Moreover, the material is extra soft and suitable for sensitive skin prone to irritation.
This corded headset also has a quality built-in audio sound card. As such, it is fitting both for calls and for enjoying your favorite movies, shows, games, or music. The sound is always crisp, and the bass comes through powerfully and clearly.
Since it comes with a 5+4 feet USB cable, this headset is compatible with just about any device out there. So, you can use it with your PC, laptop, android and iOS devices, tablets, and even Kindles.
Last but not least, the manufacturer offers you a 24-month warranty for this headset. In addition, you can contact the customer service team at any time of day. They are quick to respond, and they’re generally helpful with whatever issue you are having.
- Wired headset with a 5+4 feet USB cable
- Features a unidirectional boom 270° microphone
- Compatible with all devices ranging from laptops and PCs to phones and tablets
- The size is adjustable, making the headset suitable for all ages
3. Logitech H390 Wired Headset with Noise Canceling Microphone
The next on-ear headset I was impressed with was the corded Logitech H390 model with the unidirectional noise-canceling boom mic. The headband is adjustable for different head sizes, with slight padding on the bottom side of the band. Meanwhile, the sides of the headband slope towards the speakers which have thicker cushioning.
The shape of the headphones is pretty much set, so you won’t be able to collapse the device and stuff it in your bag. Additionally, the design of the model will tell you which way you’re supposed to wear them. That much will be evident in the position of the noise-canceling mic, which comes down from the left speaker and reaches all the way to the front of your mouth.
Like the previous device, this one is a corded model. Still, that’s not to say that you won’t have some freedom of movement. After all, the USB-A cord is 7.64 feet long. The cord also features 3-button in-line controls to adjust the volume or mute calls.
- Corded on-ear headset
- Noise-canceling rigid boom microphone
- 7.64-ft USB cord
- In-line controls
4. Sonitum Noise Canceling Computer Headset for Office With Rotating Mic
These Sonitum noise-canceling headphones were expertly designed to offer you the best audio experience during calls and meetings. They’re ideal for online seminars, call centers, as well as YouTube or TikTok recording sessions.
With these headphones, you can sound professional just about anywhere. In fact, you can even work from your favorite coffee shop, as the mic will drown out all background noise and ensure your voice is front and center as you talk.
If you hate the bulkiness of most overhead headsets, you’ll love this model. It’s lightweight and features cushioned ear pads and an adjustable headband. Therefore, wearing the headset for extended periods won’t be an issue.
Although it is not the most important feature, these headphones have one of the most stylish designs. They are slight and sleek, and they’ll easily fit in with the rest of your equipment.
Next, Sonitum also has a 12-month replacement policy. So, if you have any problems with the headphones, you can request a new pair. In most cases, the company will approve and send you a new model within a few days.
- Wired headphones with a built-in mic
- Fully adjustable headband and microphone
- Sleek, two-tone design
- Comes with a 3.5 jack connector
5. Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
The Quiet Comfort 35 II headset is one of the most popular choices in the over-ear product category. As you’ll recall, these kinds of headphones have the best passive isolation properties. In this case, that feature gets an upgrade in the form of an active noise control system as well.
There are 3 levels of noise cancelation you can use, depending on whether you still want to hear some of the surrounding sounds.
In addition to the active noise canceling in the speakers, the device has two built-in noise-rejecting microphones. Although built-in mics aren’t as great of an option as boom mics, this one is as good as it gets.
Aside from the microphone system, the speakers house other features — notably, the control buttons. You’ll find the Bluetooth activation switch on the exterior of the left speaker, with the volume controls on the underside of the same speaker. The middle button between the volume controls will allow you to access Siri, while the corresponding button on the other speaker can access Alexa.
The battery indicator light is also on the left. However, the headset should last up to 20 hours on a full charge. If you use the 3.5mm audio cable, you should be able to get up to 40 hours of use. The battery will still be used for active noise reduction, but you can use the mini USB cable to recharge it whenever you need to.
- Noise-canceling wireless over-ear headset
- Built-in noise-rejecting dual-microphone system
- Up to 20 hours of playtime
- Amazon Alexa and Bose Connect App support
6. SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset
The next four products on my list are all advertised as gaming headsets. So let’s start with the wireless SteelSeries Arctis 7 model. Even though this headset may not have conventional headband padding, it has a comfortable, flexible band that should make it a breeze to wear for hours at a time. The speakers, however, have pretty thick yet breathable AirWeave cushions.
Since this is primarily a wireless model, most of the controls are built into the left speaker, with the power button on the right.
There are two outlets on the left, one for the 3.5mm jack cable that comes with the set and another for the mini USB charger. But you won’t even need to use it that often since this headset has up to 24 hours of playtime.
Since the boom mic is retractable, you may not even notice it right away. When you need to use it, you can just pull it out of the left speaker, but don’t expect it to reach all the way to your mouth. Still, the noise-canceling function should make sure that your voice remains clear.
- Wireless over-ear gaming headset
- Retractable noise-canceling boom mic
- Breathable cushions
- 24-hour battery life
- Comes with a 3.5mm jack cable
7. JBL Quantum One Performance Gaming Headset With Active Noise Canceling
JBL is one of the best companies to check out for all your headset needs, and this particular model does not disappoint. Although it is primarily made for gaming, it is just as suitable for working in the office or at home.
This headset features both a calibration and a detachable boom mic, so the audio experience is truly top-notch. Also, both mics are excellent at transmitting your voice only, so you can sound professional no matter where you are.
Since these headphones are on the pricier side, it is wise only to buy them if you also game in your spare time. Otherwise, you’ll be better off with a different pair that isn’t specialized for gaming.
While the headphones appear bulky, they are actually one of the lightest models on this list. Moreover, they’re made of a soft material that ensures maximum comfort, regardless of what you use the headphones for.
Lastly, the manufacturer also sends you a safety sheet and an extensive instruction manual. So, you can find your way around the various features of the headphones easily even if you are not tech-savvy.
- Wired headphones
- Two microphones
- Premium audio experience with surround sound feature
- Excellent noise-canceling ability
8. Bengoo G9500 Gaming Headset With 720° Noise-Canceling Mic
Out of all the headsets, this BENGOO model takes the cake in terms of appearance and design. It has a modern two-color look that is equally sophisticated and funky. In addition, the ear pads also light up in the corresponding colors, making the headphones look extra cool in the dark.
The headphones are compatible with most devices out there. The options range from PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switches to all PCs, tablets, and phones.
Since the headset comes with a premium 270° noise-canceling mic, it is a perfect option for all remote workers. You can adjust the mic however you like, and it will isolate all background noise as you talk.
According to the manufacturer, the headphones are made with comfort in mind. As such, they come with soft over-ear pads with fantastic air and sound permeability. Furthermore, every single part of the headset is adjustable. So, you can truly customize them to have the best possible experience.
Another great thing about them is how easy it is to control and adjust the volume or mute the sound. You can do it all within seconds and without pausing your game or meeting, so convenience is guaranteed.
- Wired over-ear headset
- The mic is fully adjustable
- The best and most modern design on the list
- Excellent price-to-quality ratio
9. ZIUMIER Gaming Headset With Noise-Canceling Mic and Led Rgb Light
If gaming is your main hobby, this ZIUMIER headset will be perfect for you. Featuring 50 mm drivers, the headphones offer superior audio performance and can generate a virtual surround sound experience.
As big as they appear, the headphones are surprisingly light and soft. You can easily wear them for several-hour gaming sessions, as well as in meetings with clients or employees.
The headband is fully adjustable, and the headphones also come with a retractable head beam. So, they are a good fit for just about anyone. Most importantly, they won’t cause you discomfort or make you sweat during the summer.
Next, it is worth mentioning the omnidirectional sensitive microphone. It transmits high-quality communication while simultaneously filtering out background noise or ambient sounds. You can also move it to accommodate your needs as you play or work.
In terms of design, this model gives you the most variety. You can choose between 5 different styles and colors, including lilac and bright green. In addition, the options range from subtle to bright and colorful, so there is something for everyone.
Finally, the rotary volume controller and mute button ensure that adjusting audio settings takes just a second. Thus, you can focus on your game without worrying about missing out or losing because you need to fumble with your headset.
- Wired over-ear gaming headphones
- Excellent stylistic options
- Fully adjustable and comfortable to wear
- A perfect option for most FPS games on the market
10. Audio-Technica BPHS1 Broadcast Stereo Headset with Dynamic Cardioid Boom Mic
Lastly, I wanted to present the Audio-Technica over-ear headset that would even suit professional audio engineers. One of the main indicators that this is a serious piece of equipment comes in the form of the 10.8-foot cable. There’s an 8-pin connector on the headset end of the cord, so you’ll be able to take the cable off and fold it up.
There are also multiple outlets, with a 3-pin XLRM connector for the mic, and a 6.3 mm jack for the headphones.
The adjustable headband doesn’t have much in the way of cushioning — just enough to be comfortable. However, the padding around the 40mm audio drivers is the standard, soft foam. It’s certainly enough to create a decent seal around your ears.
While the speakers don’t have active noise control, the microphone has something close to it. The boom mic is flexible and reversible, so you can have it on either side of your face. Between the mic’s polar pattern and foam windscreen tips, the device should pick up only the nearest voice and reject the surrounding noise.
- Corded over-ear professional headset
- Dynamic cardioid boom mic with tip attachments
- Replaceable 10.8-ft cable with different connectors
- Comes with 3 foam windscreens and a spare connector screw
Ultimately, any of the products I’ve mentioned would be a great choice for people looking for headsets with a noise-canceling microphone. However, there may be other steps you can take to ensure a quiet environment during your conversation.
If you’re trying to find a peaceful place to play video games, you can make sure that your gaming room is quieter. Alternately, if you’re trying to work from home — there are ways to go about soundproofing your home office.
On the other hand, if you work in an office building, you may have to put in some effort. People who work in open-plan spaces certainly have it worse than those who have their own offices. Still, there are a few ways to go about soundproofing your cubicle. You may even be able to set up some acoustic partitions and call it a day.
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