Starting from March, the rest of 2020 will be definitely not a year of business traveling for me. But on the other hand, I still have to be in contact with people around the world. The only way to do it, for now, is video conferencing. That’s why I started to dig into this topic to find the best conference call headset.
Home Office Torture
I think most of you who work now from the Home Office struggle with audio connection problems in your video conferences. It might be that you are the one causing a problem…
I can tell you that the worst thing you can do on the call is to use your laptop speakers. Your partners on the other side of the line will hear you with horrible echo and you will sound like calling from hell.
If you want to communicate in a comfortable way through conference calls, you have to first, choose the right video conference software, and second – a good audio device. This can be a headset or speaker. In this post, I will tell you, base on my experience, what headset features are important to experience comfortable, video calls with clear sound and best audio transmission.
Most Important Features of Call Conference Headsets
Before I will step to the list of my headset picks, please let me explain how selected headsets to my review.
Top Headset Producers
If you spend hours on calls daily, you need to be sure that the headset you use for this call is robust and the best quality. That’s why I narrowed my review to the top producers like Bose, Jabra, Logitech, and Sennheiser. This guarantees that you are not buying crap which will be broken after two days.
Type of Headphones
There are few main constructions of headphones:
- On-ear where speakers sit on the top of your ears
- Over-ear headphones fall over your ears
- Earbuds – a pair of tiny speakers that you wear inside your ears
- Mono headset – this has only one speaker
In my review, you will find all these types of headsets. You will see what are the pros and cons of these each type.
Why These Features
- Weight – since you will wear it on your head for long hours, this parameter is crucial
- Wired or wireless? Maybe you are sick of cables and you like to walk around your office while having a call? Or you have to stay with a wired headset as you don’t have to care about a battery? The choice is yours.
- If we talk about wired headsets, then the cord length is important. If wireless, then the range and Bluetooth version are important.
- Alexa, Google Assistant, or Cortana are more and more popular voice assistants – this could be a useful feature of the best conference call headset.
- Microphone – some headsets offer boom mic, others build in mics. The boom microphone gives the most accurate and best sound quality as it is in front of your mouth. On the other hand, if you want to use your headset not just for work, think to have a built-in microphone.
- Active Noise Canceling (ANC) is the technology that uses a microphone to pick the noise surrounding you and apply sound waves which are canceling noise sound waves before you are able to hear it. Very useful especially in a loud environment like open spaces.
- If you have a really good headset, you want to have it everywhere with you. That’s why it’s important how portable (Collapsible) is the headset.
- If the headset is not wired, then battery life becomes one of the crucial factors.
- Price Range will show you what you can get for what money.
The Best Conference Call Headset
These are my 5 picks for the best conference call headset. If you want to know more about headset you are interested in, just click “more” at the bottom of column of the table.
: 14 hrs
QuietComfort 35 II
Sennheiser MB Pro 2 – Best Mid Price On-Ear Headphones for Conference Calling
Sennheiser MB Pro 2 was designed to be used in call centers and for business professionals doing constant calls. It means, that this headset won’t be your only pair of headphones if you use them not only for call conferences.
You can find three variants of this headset:
- MB PRO 2 (without charger stand)
- MB PRO 2 UC – Optimized for major softphone and UC brands (with charger stand)
- MB PRO 2 UC ML – Certified for Skype for Business (with charger stand)
Versions with charger stand enable to answer and end the call by placing the headset on or off the charger stand.
The battery life is estimated by the producer to work up to 15 hours of call time. When the headset runs out of energy, you can charge it up for 40 minutes to regain 7.5 hours of usage.
Sennheiser MB Pro 2 communicates using Bluetooth 4.0. It can be paired with smartphones, but also connected to a laptop or desktop computer through the small USB Bluetooth dongle which we get with the device.
The best feature of Sennheiser MB Pro 2 is the ultra noise-canceling microphone on the boom. As users confirm, even for somebody having a call in a noisy old car, people thought that MB Pro 2 user is in the office as they were not able to recognize by the noise that he is driving a car.
Last but not least, is Sennheiser MB Pro 2 the best conference call headset? If you are working in a noisy open space, in the call center, or as a salesman who drives a lot, then the ultra noise-canceling microphone will do the job. If you consider this headset as pure for work, then it’s the right choice.
Where to Buy?
- Buy on Amazon: Sennheiser MB Pro 2
Logitech Zone Wireless – Best On-Ear Headphones for Conferencing
Logitech Zone Wireless was specifically designed for busy workspaces but, thanks to its features, you can easily use it after hours to listen to your favorite music or chat with friends.
Zone Wireless Plus version enables us to connect up to six Logitech wireless devices through a single USB Bluetooth dongle (comes with the device).
The battery is able to hold 14 hours of calls with ANC on or 16 without ANC.
The bluetooth connection range is 30 meters what enables to move around open space office.
The microphone on a boom is equipped with noise-canceling feature and flip to mute function – put the boom up and the mic goes on mute.
What might be important for those of you who use Microsoft Teams – Logitech Zone Wireless is Teams-certified and fully supports Skype for Business. It means you can answer Teams calls with a single touch of the button on the headset. If you hold the button longer, then Cortana – voice assistant will be invoked.
The Logi Tune mobile app or Tune Desktop for PC enables to setup, control, and customize Zone Wireless headset. Among other features, it’s worth mentioning the equalizer which comes with 5 sliders and custom presets.
Some users complain about the situation when the Zone Wireless is connected with phone and PC, then any incoming notification pause media which are playing.
Logitech Zone is also available in wired version.
Where to Buy?
- Buy on Amazon: Logitech Zone Wireless
- Logitech Zone Wireless Plus (check price on Amazon)
- Logitech Zone Wired Noise Cancelling Headset (check price on Amazon)
Bose QuietComfort 35 II – Best Over-Ear Headphones for Call Conference
Bose QuietComfort 35 II belongs to over-ear headphones family. It means that your ear is wrapped by the headphone. Some people have a problem with that, however over-ear headphones offer the best sound experience from all types of headphones.
I personally use the older type of QC 35 and I have never regretted this purchase. It’s a really good piece of a headset.
Bose QC 35 II is famous for its best in class active noise canceling (ANC). This shows its value in places like airplanes. ANC feature is totally gamechanger on long haul flights.
Headphones are delivered with a hard shell box where you can store collapsed headphones. Additionally, these wireless headphones are able to connect via a cord that is included in the set. This is really great feature when you want to use your own headset for watching movies on the board of the long-haul flight.
QC 35 II has dedicated button to invoke Alexa or Google Assistant and it’s noise-rejecting dual microphone system provides clearer calls, even in noisy environments.
The battery life is extraordinary – 20 hours of usage, which is the best result in my review.
The extraordinary is also the price – you have to be prepared to pay around $350 for these headphones. In return, you get 2 in 1 – the best conference call headset and great headphones to listen to music.
If you are a frequent traveler, with lots of calls and air travels, Bose QuietComfort 35 II is the best choice for you.
Where to Buy?
- Buy on Amazon: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Bose QuietControl 30 – Best Earbuds for Call Conference
Bose QuietControl 30 is the most lightweight headset in my review (64 grams – 2,2 oz) so if you spend hours on calls, this headset will not make your neck exhausted.
QuietControl 30 has a top noise-canceling feature that will do the job in any noisy environment. You are able to control the level of noise-canceling using buttons or Bose’s app (that’s where the name comes from – QuietControl).
Since QC 30 is sweat-resistant, it’s also possible to use this headset in a gym.
Unfortunately, this wireless headset is lacking wired plugin option. This makes unable to plugin to the airline entertainment systems.
Battery life is not the strongest point of Bose QuietControl 3. According to the producer, it will hold 10 hours of calls.
For those who are constantly moving, spending hours on calls, love gym and earbuds this pair of headphones is the best choice.
Where to Buy?
- Buy on Amazon: Bose QuietControl 30
- Jabra Evolve 75E (check price on Amazon)
- Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear Wireless Headphones (check price on Amazon)
Jabra Evolve 40 Mono – Best Mono-headset for Conference Call
The last headset in my review is something for those who like to keep one ear free while having a call. Jabra Evolve 40 Mono is a professional lightweight mono headset designed for professionals in offices where cutting off the surrounding is not an option.
The headset connects to the PC through the USB plug. Additionally, you can plug out a 3,5 mm jack from the control pad and connect Jabra Evolve 40 Mono with your smartphone.
Interesting feature is “busy light” which automatically turns on when you start your call. When the light is on it informs others that you are busy.
Jabra Evolve 40 is also available in the stereo version which comes with a feature called “passive noise canceling”. It’s nothing to be compared with active noise canceling but the construction of Jabra Evolve’s cushion enables to eliminate high-frequency noise such as human voices.
I can’t imagine that somebody would like to use a mono headset to listen to music. That’s why the target customers for Jabra Evolve 40 Mono are people looking for simple, lightweight, and robust mono headset for calls at work.
Where to Buy?
- Buy on Amazon: Jabra Evolve 40 Mono
To wrap it all up. If you want to have the best sound quality on your video conferences, you have to:
- Get the right video conference software – you can read about it in my previous article about best video conference software
- Pick the best conference call headset which will suit your needs
- Find the right camera (coming soon an article on that)
When looking for the right headset for you, don’t forget about the most important features of the best conference call headset:
- The type of headphones: on-ear, over-ear, earbuds, mono-headset, others?
- Isn’t it to heavy for 8 hours in the office?
- Do you prefer a wireless or cable connection?
- What about the microphone? Should it be on a boom or build in?
- What is the battery life?
- Additional features like portability, noise-canceling, dedicated buttons, etc.
- And finally the price
I hope this helps and stay tuned for my next article about conference calls’ survival.
Featured image source: Canva