Best wireless headphones for the office

Offices are notoriously noisy environments, and some layouts can make participating in conference calls, having your say in virtual meetings, and listening to important information challenging.

However, several models of high-quality wireless headphones with robust active noise cancellation (ANC) capabilities are available in South Africa, and they can make these aspects of office work easier.

These include Apple’s AirPods Max, Bose’s 700 headphones, and Anker’s SoundCore Space Q45 headset. MyBroadband looked for five of the best wireless headsets for noisy offices across various budgets.

Anker’s SoundCore Space Q45 headphones are the cheapest, listed at R3,299, while the most expensive is Apple’s AirPods Max at R12,699.

All the headphones listed offer impressive ANC capabilities, high-quality audio, and a battery life of at least 20 hours.

Some of the best wireless headphones with robust active noise cancellation for office scenarios are listed below.


Anker SoundCore Space Q45 — R3,299 (Takealot)

While the cheapest listed, Anker’s SoundCore Space Q45 headphones offer the best battery life of the lot at up to 65 hours on a single charge.

With the headset’s fast charging capabilities, users can add up to five hours of listening time in four minutes.

The design incorporates 40mm drivers with a double-layer diaphragm made from silk and ceramic materials to provide a high-quality listening experience.

“The fully-upgraded noise cancelling system targets and blocks out a wider range of noises—from plane engines to crying babies,” Anker says.

The headphones have a rating of 4.5 out of five based on 17 Google reviews.


Jabra Elite 85H — R3,999 (HiFi Corp)

Jabra says its Elite 85H headphones are engineered for the best wireless calls and music experience with its SmartSound technology.

The SmartSound system analyses background noises and automatically applies your best-suited personalised audio settings to match.

The headphones offer up to 36 hours of listening time on a single charge with ANC activated. Its fast-charging capabilities can add five hours of listening time in around 15 minutes.

Jabra says the headset provides “unmatched call quality” through its system of eight microphones — six of which enhance call quality and block out background and wind noise.

The headphones have a rating of 4.5 out of five based on 981 Google reviews.


Sony WH-1000XM5 — R7,899 (Cellucity)

Sony says its WH-1000XM5 over-ear Bluetooth headphones offer industry-leading noise-cancellation capabilities through its system of eight microphones and two separate processors.

The auto noise-cancellation optimiser feature adjusts the level of ANC to match your wearing conditions and environment.

The headset’s four beamforming microphones offer precise voice pickup and advanced audio signal processing for those participating in many video calls.

Regarding battery life, the headphones can last up to 30 hours on a single charge, and the quick charging option will give users three hours of listening time in just three minutes.

The headphones have a rating of 4.5 out of five across 2,209 Google reviews.


Bose 700 — R8,499 (Superbalist)

Bose says its 700 headphones model offers 11 different ANC levels to ensure users can optimise noise-cancellation for music, podcasts, videos, and calls.

It claims that the headset provides unrivalled voice pickup through its microphones that adjust to noisy and windy conditions for high-quality calls.

The headphones also include Alexa voice control and offer up to 20 hours of listening time on a single charge.

The headphones are rated 4.3 out of five based on 14,298 Google reviews.


Apple AirPods Max — R12,699 (iStore)

Although the most expensive, Apple’s AirPod Max headphones offer several benefits for office workers — particularly those working with the tech giant’s other devices, such as MacBooks and iPhones.

The headphones offer a seamless experience across Apple’s ecosystem, and the company says they offer up to 20 hours of listening time with ANC and spatial audio enabled.

“Computational audio combines custom acoustic design with the Apple H1 chip and advanced software for breakthrough listening experiences,” it says.

Another useful feature is the ability to split sound from one Apple device between two pairs of AirPod Max headphones, which could benefit collaborative efforts in a noisy office environment.

The headphones have a rating of 4.6 out of five across 6,116 Google reviews.


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Best wireless headphones for the office