by Jeannie Lacroix

AUDIO SOLUTIONS FOR WORK (some with bluetooth) – ATTN.BUSY PROFESSIONALS

“Headphones and earphones are often a necessary part of office life these days because with the open space work environment becoming de rigueur you have to find a way to cancel out all the noise or risk a meltdown.” Tippy Johnson.

Hello busy professionals! You are probably not at the office when you read this because it is Saturday. But then again, some busy professionals work on Saturdays too. Whatever the situation, I decided to curate headphones and earphones today because I realize that a lot of busy professionals need and want a good pair of headphones. You may need headphones for work because, as Tippy pointed out, you need to avoid having a melt down at work given the cubicle set up in most offices these days, and a noise-cancelling headphone could be just the thing. But you probably need your headphones in other contexts as well. For example, when you are commuting to work on the metro or subway or tube, you may want to be able to listen to music, or to a podcast or to an audio book. You may also like to use your headphones at the gym when you are working out. Or even at home when the kids are romping around and making a lot of noise.

There are all sorts of different moments in your life where headphones and earphones are a welcomed reprieve. So if you are looking for a headphone or earphone for your work or office (or any other venue), I would like to highlight a few different ones to you.

Here goes:

Mpow

Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, Hi-Fi Stereo Wireless Headset, Foldable, Soft Memory-Protein Earmuffs, w/Built-in Mic Wired Mode PC/Cell Phones/TV.

This headphone with foldable design and a portable bag by Mpow, is very popular, it seems. No fewer than 30,762 people rated this as of today and it has close to a 5 star rating. How can this be possible??? The interesting thing is that they don’t claim to actually “cancel” noise with this one the way a lot of other brands claim. Instead, this is what the sellers say about noise cancellation with these headphones: “NOTE: Mpow 059 headphones is passive noise isolating, NOT active noise cancellation(ANC), it can’t cancel the noise completely but it won’t drain the battery and damage the sound. 2. The closed-back design provides immersive Hi-Fi sound with CSR chip and 40mm driver together, it is better than ANC in term of sounds quality.” So if sound quality is a big issue for you, this may be a good option to try out. The headphone has both wireless and wired mode of operation and it can give you up to 20 hours of music/talking time according to the description box. They describe the earplugs this way: “The Memory-protein ear cushion simulate human skin texture, ensuring lasting comfort.” Simulate human skin texture?! That sounds intense. So, yea, for work, these could be a very good option for  you. What do you think?

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Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Buds , Bluetooth True Wireless Earbuds (Wireless charging Case included), Black – US Version with Warranty

These Samsung Galaxy buds were rated by 11,739 as of this writing and have a 4.5 out of 5 rating. Amazing. You can definitely use these earbuds at work to tune out the talkative coworkers but while these buds are “ambient aware” they don’t totally cancel out your boss who is calling you for an important meeting. And this is a good thing. These earbuds require Android 7.1.1 or higher and they are compatible with Android, iOS and “iOS compatible devices via a Bluetooth connection.” $101.85

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Sony

https://amzn.to/2I7RATE

Sony WH1000XM3/S Noise Cancelling Headphones Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headphones with Mic and Alexa voice control – Industry Leading Active Noise Cancellation – Silver

This Sony headphone is one of the best noise-cancelling headphones out there according to most of the sources I read. And it has a ton of great reviews! So far 7,836 people rated it and it has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars!


Price: $348.00 + $8.60 shipping

Color: Silver

Amazon Certified

One of the cool things about this Sony headphone is that, according to them, it can adjust the ambient sound around you to complement whatever the activity you are engaged in, and really cancel out the undesirable noise. It great for use at work and at the office, but for traveling, gym and working out, or even just at home. According to the description, it is  “virtually sound-proof.” It comes with a carrying case, charging table and audio cable. You can activate it by a touch and it is “Alexa-enabled for voice access to music.” You can easily turn the music low by covering the ear cup. It has a long battery life and SONY claims it is “ergonomically designed” for your listening comfort.

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Vipex

VIPEX Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Bluetooth 5.0 Headphones Wireless Over Ear Headphones with Microphone, All Day Power with 30 Hours Playtime, Comfortable Protein

https://amzn.to/2TqRBat

At only $52.99, this budget Bluetooth noise cancelling headphone is well reviewed on Amazon with 300 reviews and a 5-star rating. Not bad. According to the description box, the “steady Bluetooth 5.0 ensures stable connection and hands-free calls.” This headphone is suitable for use at work and at the office as well as for travel, working out, and just vegging at home. Two modes, wire and wireless enjoy the noise cancellation function. In Bluetooth mode, the description says you get “30 hours of playtime.” It also comes with a portable carryon bag.

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Samsung

AKG (A Samsung Brand) N700NC M2 Over-Ear Foldable Wireless Headphones, Active Noise Cancelling Headphones – Black (US Version)

This headphone device with “ambient aware technology” has only been rated by about 104 people. So not a lot of ratings yet but great reviews overall. You have full noise control with the touch of a button so this is definitely suitable for the office and for use at work by busy professionals I’m thinking. And it is not like you totally obliterate your colleagues because with just the touch of a button you can turn the music or whatever you are listening to down. At $298.48, it seems like a reasonable price for a Samsung device of this type. It is described as being both Android and iOS compatible via Bluetooth connection. Ergonomically designed to fit your ears with soft ear cushions and padded adjustable headband and they say that it delivers a “luxurious listening experience.” Personally, I’m all about the luxury. What about you?

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Butfulake

Butfulake GH1 Stereo Gaming Headset with mic & Splitter Cable for PUBG Over Ear Headphone Noise Isolation mic, Surround Sound, Compatible with PS4, Xbox one S/X, Switch, PC, Skype (Mint Green)

This mint-green headphone with lightweight & adjustable headband is appropriate for work if you need to skype for your job. But obviously it is great for gaming also and the mint green color gives it a playful vibe. According to the description, this is “compatible with multiple console, PS series controller, Xbox one series controller, Switch, PC, Cell phone, Tablet.”  It has “soft ear cushions with breathable leatherette” which can “release heat and pressure effectively.” As far as reviews go, to date it has been rated by 148 users and has close to a 5 star rating.

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Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black

  This one from Audio-Technica for $149.00 found its way on a recommended list on Amazon by MUSIC CRITIC which bills itself as an “onsite associates program.” I picked it because it looks formidable to me. I don’t know anything about the sound quality and whether even, for the money, you are getting the best deal. I can say that the price sounds pretty reasonable. And the reviewers say this one is for music engineers and producers and I have to assume they know what they are talking about. But I imagine busy working professionals in other fields other than music would like these as well.

The Reviewers reviewed 5 headphones and said in part “We had fun with this review, as under the moniker of ‘Best Headphones’ we were able to put any and all headphones into the mix, whether wireless, Bluetooth, sports, earbuds, you name it. What we were looking for was what we all agreed were the best pairs of headphones that gave value for money, exceptional sound and build quality. The idea of what is best can often be subjective. Some we have selected based on the premium nature of their components and others based on their audio abilities, better still some are a perfect blend of the two criteria. We also took cost into consideration, as at Music Critic we want to make sure that you get the very best headphones at a price point that you are comfortable with. We had fun with this review, as under the moniker of “Best Headphones” we were able to put any and all headphones into the mix, whether wireless, Bluetooth, sports, earbuds, you name it. What we were looking for was what we all agreed were the best pairs of headphones that gave value for money, exceptional sound and build quality. The idea of what is best can often be subjective. Some we have selected based on the premium nature of their components and others based on their audio abilities, better still some are a perfect blend of the two criteria. »

I do agree that these things are subjective. There are so many headphones on the market, it is totally flooded. How can you really pick? How can you really differentiate and say one has better sound than the other unless it is really significantly better? But you can look at it and say, “oh, this one looks cool. And the price is reasonable. And the brand is reliable. I think I will go with it.” Which is kind of how I approach it, if you want to know the truth.

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Bose

This one was reviewed by 12,128 people and has 4 out of 5 starts. I think that speaks for itself. And at work, you will look cool with these hanging out of your ears. Voila.

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