The best headphones with microphones, for crystal-clear voice calls and video chats
The best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls showcase the multitasking prowess of modern headphones. Of course, we’ve long had wired headphones with inline mics, as well as headsets with boom arm mics — but the models we’ve chosen here are much more modern wireless headphones, with hidden mics that are no less capable of picking up speech clearly.Since testing for call quality is a standard part of our reviewing regimen for headphones and earbuds, it was easy to gather the models best suited for Skype chats and Zoom calls. Many of these happen to be part of our best wireless headphones and best wireless earbuds rankings as well, though that just shows that if you buy one of the best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls, you’re probably getting an excellent pair of headphones in general.
What are the best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls?
Not every single pair of headphones has a mic — audiophile models like the Focal Clear might not see the need — but there are lots of great options to choose from. Bose has the honor of producing both the best over-ear headphones for calls and the best wireless earbuds for calls. First up is the Bose 700, a plush pair of over-ear headphones with an intelligent microphone array that blocks ambient noises from interfering with your voice and video chats.
In-ear buds can often struggle with microphone recording quality, but the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds shows the rest how it’s done. Your voice will come though loud and clear, unlike ambient noise, which the QuietComfort Earbuds – just like the Bose 700 – do a fine job of keeping quiet.
How we test the best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls
We test the calling capabilities of mic-equipped headphones exactly as you’d expect: by making calls. This lets us make sure each pair delivers the sound quality needed to ensure other callers are clearly audible, and we ask whoever we call for their feedback on how we sound. This helps us identify any problems with microphone volume or clarity — or, conversely, if we sound clear to others.
This is one of many tests to which we subject each pair of headphones. We also judge overall audio performance by how well each pair handles a variety of music genres, and will measure how long we get out of the battery before it runs empty.
To test comfort, we make sure to use the headphones over several says, including sessions wearing them for 2-3 hours at a time. This gives a good indication of how comfy each pair is, and whether that comfort is maintained in extended use.
Finally, we score each pair of headphones on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is the lowest, 5 is the highest, and the most impressive headphones might get an Editor’s Choice badge as well.