Headphones With Mic:The Ultimate Guide For Getting The Best Headphones
- 21 Nov, 2018
Table of content
- Why Do You Need Headphones with Mic?
- What to Consider When Looking for The Best Headphones with Mic
- Headphones with Mic Over $100
- Jabra Evolve 65 UC Stereo Wireless Bluetooth Headset
- Bose Soundlink On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone
- Master & Dynamic MH40 Over Ear Headphones with Microphone
- Headphones with Mic $50-$100
- CORSAIR Void PRO RGB Wireless Gaming Headset with Microphone
- Sony MDRXB950AP Bass Headset with Mic
- Logitech H800 Bluetooth Wireless Headset with Mic
- Headphones with Mic Under $50
- BT260 Bluetooth CSR8645 Wireless Headphones with Mic
- MG-2 Stereo Detachable MIC In-Ear Gaming Headset
- Arkartech V-1 Stereo Over Ear Gaming Headset with Mic
A few years ago, headphones were simply that – headphones. They were the most basic contraption that only allowed you to listen to sounds and audio. Only a few, if any, paid attention to features like sound quality, comfort, and connection medium, and there were very few headphones with mic back then.
Fast forward to today, and the scene is completely different. There are thousands of headphones, each offering specialized features for different scenarios. Doing a simple google search for “best headphones with mic” or “noise cancelling headphones with microphone” will give you so many results you'll not know where to begin your search.
Well, not to worry though. Getting good quality headphones that will be perfectly suited for your needs should not be that hard. After all, it's not rocket science. But in order to get it right the first time and avoid spending your money on useless electronics, you need to have a few things figured out. This guide is meant to help you get these facts right. We will also recommend some of the best headphones with microphone we've come across. It might just save you hours or even days of searching.
So, read on.
Why Do You Need Headphones with Mic?
Before we get started on what a good quality headset with mic is, there's a million-dollar question that needs answering.
Do you really need a headphone with a mic?
The answer for this question will vary greatly from person to person. It is therefore impossible to give a clear-cut answer for it. The best way to approach it however, is from a needs point of view.
What do you need it for? Are you a music lover and want to carry your music with you wherever you go? Do you need one for gaming purposes? Or maybe you are a morning jogger and just can't leave the house without some music to psych you up?
Using this approach will be an eye opener for the type of headset you need. Do not be surprised if you find yourself with more than one answer. If that is the case, there is nothing wrong in getting several sets for different situations. But if you are on a limited budget, you can also get one that can serve you pretty decently for all your needs.
Let's look at some general scenarios you would want to have a headphone with microphone:
- You can't function without music
If this describes you, know you are not alone. In fact, a majority of people fall in this category. Why else are there so many people walking around with earphones? It is impossible to recommend a specific type or design of headphones because in your travels, you are bound to encounter many different situations. Generally, though, some good quality noise cancelling headphones would be the best pick. This is because you are going to encounter noisy environments, and the noise cancelling feature will be quite handy in giving you the best musical experience. A good quality mic is also a must for answering calls on the fly. Otherwise, you'll have to… well, you know what you will have to do without a mic.
- You love working out and music puts you in the right state of mind
Joggers, gym lovers, and athletes fall into this category. Nothing psyches you up more than a nice song to match your steps with. If you don't know what I mean, you are really missing out. Unfortunately, there is something that cannot be avoided in such situations – sweat. You will therefore need headphones with waterproofing unless you have no problem getting a new set every few days because your previous pair got soaked. Additionally, the set you get must be lightweight, otherwise they'll become a pain in the a** before long. In-ear headphones are best for this. They usually have a small and compact design that makes them very comfortable. This however does not mean that your beats by dre headphones are bad. They are just not suited for jogging or working out.
- You are a gamer and quality headphones are part of the set
Gaming today is a completely different world to what it was a few years ago. That means that what is expected in terms of sound quality is also very different. With introduction of surround sound in FPS games like call of duty, killing your enemy or getting killed can boil down to how directional the sound you hear is. Apart from that, you will need to communicate with your friends since you are in a real virtual battle and need to come up with strategies on the go. For the best experience therefore, you must have some good quality gaming headphones with mic if you are to stand a chance against your opponents.
- You work online and need to make internet calls or attend virtual conferences
More and more people are making a living online, and this has created a huge market for specialized PC headsets made to deliver optimum comfort when attending long conferences or skyping with clients for hours on end. Generally, these are USB headphones that focus more on the quality of the microphone than with the quality of sound output. This is because there is really not much required out of them since their primary use is for conversations. They will most probably have some very decent noise-cancelling feature though. You wouldn't want to ask your client to repeat themselves every few minutes, would you? You will however, not want to use these to listen to music because the sonic response is quite lacking.
This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but it covers the top 4 reasons anyone would want to buy headphones that have in-built microphones. Your answer can be completely different, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There is actually no wrong answer because we all have different needs.
One thing we can all agree on however, is that the quality has to be perfect for the headphones to meet your expectations. So, what does a good quality headphone with mic entail? We cover that next.
Must-Have Features for High Quality Headphones with Microphone
Before making up your mind on which headphones you are going to buy, there are definitely some expectations you would want to be met. Why else would you spend time understanding different aspects about headphones?
We have found out that some of the most important things that people look out for when shopping for any type of headset include: the sound quality, comfort, mic quality, location of controls, and the type of connection.
Below we take a deeper look into each one and why they are important things to look out for.
- Sound Quality: This is by far, the most important thing for many buyers, and we are sure it is the same for you. How your headset reproduces sound matters a lot because it is what you'll be listening to most of the time. Whether you are listening to music or answering a call, you want a headphone set that delivers clear, crisp, and natural sound. A good indicator of a quality headphone set is its frequency range. Basically, the wider the frequency range, the better sounding the audio will be. Another important factor is the impedance of the headphones. This is simply the amount of power needed to create sound in the headphone. To get the best out of your set, match the impedance of your headphones to the audio source. For example, smart phones and audio players have a low impedance, so you should use headphones with low impedance if you want the best quality sound.
- Comfort and Fit: Even though this is a very important aspect of headphones, there is no way to know how comfortable a pair will be until you've spent a few days with it. Some pointers though when buying headphones is to try it on if you can, and experience it. You should also take note of the material quality and design of the headphones to get an idea of whether it is worth spending your money on. Good headphones should not be so tight that they crush your skull and cause you pain. It should only rest gently on your head, allowing optimum comfort even after long hours of use. If you will be using your headset regularly and for long periods of time, the best options for you would be padded headbands that provide decent protection for your head. Your choice should also be lightweight to allow even more comfort when on the go.
- Microphone Quality:Headphone mics are available in various designs and with different features. Your best bet is in a microphone that tries to do something extra for the quality of your audio. It could do this using dual mics, integrated noise cancelling, or any other trick that will help raise the quality of your communication. If you are a gamer or need a headset to use with your PC, you could go for headphones with boom mics – either omnidirectional or unidirectional. Omnidirectional mics however tend to pick up noises from the surrounding which can make conversations in noisy places difficult. Unidirectional mics are better because they do a better job of rejecting off-axis sounds, and therefore produce a clearer, crispier audio. If you feel boom mics are too obstructive, there are plenty of headphones with in-built mics that still produce great sound quality.
- Inline Controls: Any good quality headphone set should have some way of controlling the audio – at the very least, a volume notch or buttons for turning the volume up or down. Headphones designed for listening to music will however, have more that just volume controls, but this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. You will therefore find multiple styles and functionalities in your search. We recommend getting a set with controls that will actually add value to your experience. Wireless headsets should however have all the basic music control features: play/pause/answer call, next/fast-forward, previous/rewind, and volume up/down to qualify as a feature-rich headphone set.
- Wired or Wireless: The type of connection you get will mostly depend on the level of convenience you want. Wired headphones tend to deliver better sound quality but with less convenience. Wireless headphones on the other hand, are a bit lossy, but offer great convenience in terms of allowing free movement. If you generally use your headphones with your gaming console or PC, wired headsets are better suited. Make sure that the cable is long enough, but avoid very long cables because they can have a negative effect on the sound quality and volume. Also get a pair with shielded cables that will minimize noise. Wireless headphones with mic are perfect if you move around a lot. The convenience is unrivalled. You should however, first consider how long they last on a single full charge, and also the features they have. Also test a few to find ones that offer the best balance.
What to Consider When Looking for The Best Headphones with Mic
Now that you understand what to look for in a good quality headphone, it is time to get started on your search for the ideal one for you. Depending on your preferences, here are a few things that you need to consider when shopping.
The price of headphones varies greatly with some going for upwards of $200 and others available for less than $50. We however assume that you already have an ideal price-point in mind. Good news is that you can get very decent cheap headphones with mic that will be pure bliss to use. Depending on different features though, the price may vary a little. For example, the price of a Bluetooth headphone with mic may be slightly higher than a wired headphone with similar features. At the end of the day though, life is about compromises, so be ready to make some to get what you wa
Type of Headphone you Prefer
- Over-Ear Headphones: Also called circumoral headphones, these sit around the ear, and are generally they largest. They are also the best sounding headphones you can buy. It is rare that you find these in a compact or collapsible design. Over ear headphones with mic often trade portability for comfort and better sound quality of larger components. This is therefore the category you want if you are only interested in the quality of sound.
- On-Ear Headphones: Supra-aural headphones are most often the most compromised category of headphones. They sacrifice sound quality, the noise isolation of closed back design, and overall comfort for portability. They are however, still larger than in-ear buds. They are also the most widely used category, but this is mostly because they are more portable, and has nothing to do with sound quality. If you want easily portable headphones for use over short periods of time, and sound quality is not much of an issue, then this are great for you.
- In-Ear Headphones (Ear Buds): The quality of sound reproduction of in-ear headphones is nearly as good as over-ear headphones, but they can't match the comfort. That is why even the best in-ear headphones with mic can still not compete on the same level as circumoral headphones. The biggest advantage of these category is their portability. Even with a carry case, they are still small enough to comfortable fit into your pocket. These are therefore the best pick if you want something that is absolutely portable and with great sound. Just know they may not be the most comfortable pair you will own.
- Noise Cancelling Headphones: If you are a commuter, you know that it gets literally impossible to enjoy music when travelling because of the background noise. Noise-cancelling headphones remove the background noise through phase-cancelling technology. Note however, that the noise-cancelling technology will have a slight effect on the sound quality, but it should not be so bad that you cannot enjoy your favorite music on the go. For most people, it will not be recognizable. The best noise-cancelling headphones may do such a good job you will not realize that you are in a noisy environment. They are what you want if the musical experience is the most important for you. They are available as either over-ear, on-ear, or in-ear headphones.
- Waterproof Headphones:If you love working out or are a generally adventurous person, waterproof headphones are most probably the best for you for obvious reasons. They give you peace of mind because they will not suffer damage from sweat or rain, and there are some that can be used when swimming too. All of these however, are in-ear headphones because there are really no over-ear or on-ear headphones with waterproof protection worth mentioning right now.
BEST HEADPHONES WITH MIC: OUR PICKS
Headphones with Mic Over $100
The Jabra evolve Bluetooth headset gives you up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. The on-ear configuration keeps your ears breathing and doubles up as passive noise cancellation. Weighing only 0.6 lb., they are lightweight and comfortable when used for multiple hours.
The microphone is great for use in office discussions and does a good job at highlighting your voice. This headset also has dual connectivity allowing you to use two Bluetooth devices at the same time. In addition, it gives you up to 30 meters radius from your point of connectivity.
When not in use, the USB dongle will stay paired with your computer or phone for fast wake up time. It also comes with a light signal to show when you are busy, or to just leave on when you don't want to talk to annoying colleagues.
The downside with the Jabra Evolve 65 is the audio quality. If you are a music junkie who prefers heavy bass, this is not the headset for you. They may work well in the office where there is minimal noise, however they do not give peak music performance.
- Light and stylish
- Can connect to two devices at the same time
- Compatible with UC platforms, MS Lync, Cisco, and Skype for business among others
- Simply tap to NFC-enabled device to connect
- Excellent battery life
- Excellent sound for calls
- Works with both Mac and PC
- Audio quality may be underwhelming for serious bass lovers
- A bit pricy for lower budget buyers
The Bose Soundlink headphones will give 15 hours of endurance and are extremely comfortable. They come with velvety padding and, they are light at only 0.75 lb. Their sound quality is above average. However, the noise cancellation is not very effective. They do leak quite a bit, which is not ideal for anyone in close proximity.
The sound quality on these is good and fairly consistent with the Bose Intelligent Active EQ tech. It calculates which notes need a boost reducing the need for you to do so manually. Additionally, the control panel is pretty straightforward.
The microphone on the Bose Soundlink picks up your voice with ease and filters out background noise. Therefore, it is good for sparse use in the office for calls.
These headphones connect to two devices at once flawlessly and switch back and forth with ease. They are also fast-charging giving you up to 2 hours on only 15 minutes of charge.
The wireless tech is a big plus for many users and although these may cost a pretty penny, they are an excellent pick.
- Compact and comfortable
- Rich bass response
- USB charging
- Easy pairing to multiple devices
- Over 15 hours battery time
- Simple controls
- Bose sculpted sound may not be a favorite for some
The Master & Dynamic MH40 are a revolutionary beast designed to stand out.The ear pads are made of delicate lambskin and memory foam. And, they are detachable!
These over-ear headphones also come with a fairly decent carry case and two removable, tangle-resistant cables. One has an in-built mic and remote and they have an integrated mute button. If you are a purist it comes with a 2 meter “plain cable”.
The noise isolation quality is excellent on these closed-back headphones. The sound quality is articulate. Deep bass (which is not boomy), warm mid-range, tame high-mids, but the vocals could use some tweaking. The treble is also incredibly detailed.
Proudly touted as “The Modern Thinking Cap”, the MH40 are not only stylishly crafted, they are high-performance headphones. The makers thought of everything, even the ear pads are attached magnetically making replacement a breeze.
The only downside we found was that the remote and mic are not fully functional when paired with Android.
To conclude, a lot of talent and design went into engineering these headphones. They may be a little heavy, however they give excellent sound quality for music and calls. Its sturdy construction and tasteful presentation makes it worth the $400.
In addition, it gives the competition at that price range a run for their money.
- Excellent sound profile with minimal distortion
- Additional extras
- Sturdy build
- 16-hour battery life
- Stylish design
- Heavy at 12 ounces
Headphones with Mic $50-$100
The corsair Void Pro RGB is the ultimate pair of gaming headphones with mic. It is fairly lightweight, but it is sturdy and handles well. It is also very accommodating for larger heads with plenty of padding. The downside to this, is that if you have a smaller head you'll have to deal with constant slipping.
It comes with two buttons and a dial for controls. You can adjust the volume, EQ quality and mute with ease. The ear cups are comfortable and are pretty innovative, rotating 90 degrees to give you a comfortable fit.
The microphone is a flexible stem that you can mold into any shape. Flip it up, and it mutes. It does have a bit of compression and muffling;however, its low tones and detail are audibly present. Corsair provides a pop filter in the package, which you can install yourself with ease.
You will require Corsair's CUE software to use these headphones. To reap the maximum benefits of the Pro RGB, you will need to have the software running on Windows. Paired with Mac, it only gives you basic performance.
You can expect 16 hours of battery life, however if you leave the lighting on the ear cups on, they will only be up for 5 hours.
- Voice Prompts
- USB chargeable for wireless version
- Reasonable priced
- Excellent recording quality
- Nice overall design
- Average stereo
- Mic does not detach
- Most features work with software on cue
These headphones are very comfortable with a metal band ensuring a snug fit. Designed with pressure relieving ear pads, the sound is sealed in. This works great for noise cancellation even with no music playing.
The frequency range is designed for modern heavy-bass. In addition, to astounding clarity, these headphones pick up mid-range quite effectively. The sound is deep yet balanced, volume notwithstanding.
These are highly effective at sound conversion, giving you louder audio compared to headphones that are less sensitive.
Sony have balanced power with precision on these headphones. They not only have great specs, you don't need to take them off to receive calls. They come with an in-line remote and mic. They are not wireless however, which may limit movement. On the upside, they expand to accommodate larger heads.
If you are an audiophile, these headphones are in a class of their own for the price range. They also fold flat for on-the-go users.
Overall the headphones are excellent for movies, music, and are very comfortable. Did we mention the bass?
- Bass heavy
- Noise cancelling
- Light and comfortable for long wear
- Zero distortion
- Smartphone compatible
- The bass might be too heavy for some
These Logitech H800 wireless headphones are compatible with most smart devices and PC via the UBS transmitter. You can use them up to a 40ft radius. The nano-receiver is compact and unobtrusive, and the headphones fold up, almost like sunglasses for easy packing.
The microphone is noise-cancelling, eliminating background noise for crystal clear conversation. This is perfect for the busy person who needs to switch between internet and cell phone calls. Position the mic to discreetly hide it when you are not on-call.
These Logitech headphones give you over 6 hours of battery time, and can work even while on charge. It comes with a built-in equalizer and laser-tuned drivers to minimize distortion. However, the sound quality is not for the avid music listener, and far from perfect for gaming.
These are comfortable and adjustable. Their lightweight design and sculpted ear cups also make them a winner for us. They are however, made of plastic so the durability might be in question. That said, if you are careful with them, they can last a pretty long time.
Another downside we found is they leak. This might make it a bit difficult to have private conversations or listen to your music without disturbing the person next to you. There is also no option of a 3.5mm jack if you would like to use them wired. This may be restrictive, but it beats the purpose of buying wireless headphones.
- Mic folds up
- Easy to set up
- Can connect to a variety of devices and switch back and forth with relative ease
- Poor sound quality for purists
- Poor noise isolation
- Short battery life
Headphones with Mic Under $50
While these may be cheaper compared to other headphones with mic, they are in no way lesser than their counterparts. These wireless sports headphones are waterproof and anti-sweat, giving you maximum comfort and effortless performance as you work out.
The magnetic technology keeps them on your neck so they won't fall out when not in use. They have stylish metallic exterior which is quite eye-catching. The silicon ear tips and hooks are available in deferent sizes for added comfort.
The battery can give you up to 8 hours of play on one charge. The in-line microphone reduces interference going you clear calls and easier communication. You can also pair these to two devices simultaneously enabling you to switch between calls and music seamlessly.
In addition to the on-cable, textured controls, these in-ear Bluetooth headphones boast of clear, hi-fi bass, wireless transmission. This is ideal for all your gaming needs. It also syncs audio with visuals without missing a beat for an enhanced user experience.
Our take, these are pretty sturdy wireless headphones for sport if you are on a budget.
- Good sound
- Sleek metallic design
- Extras; waterproof, sweat-proof, noise-cancellation
- Long battery life
- Connects to multiple devices
- Bass quality may not be ideal for avid bass lovers
These next-level design, lightweight gaming headphones with mic are great for e-sports games and convenient for everyday use. The ergonomically designed headphones with unique ear caps are small with soft ear buds for maximum comfort for long use.
The sound quality is clear, giving you the best audio experience whether you are watching a movie, gaming or listening to music. They come with a dual communication mic, for your gaming communication needs.
In addition to the comfort of not having over-ear headphones, these are noise-cancelling giving you the full gaming experience. The in-line mic is clear from the highs, all the way through to the lows.
The most exciting part about these, is probably the vibration. The in-built vibration engine enhances your user experience and is just really cool for headphones this affordable.
They are compatible with PC, MAC, XBOX ONE and have a standard 3.5mm jack. The mic gives clear sound and is detachable if you want to unplug. The noise cancellation on these makes them great for communication.
These MG-2 Stereo headphones are also ideal for mobile games such as Mobile Legends, Rules of Survival, and Fortnite.
- Clear sound quality
- Ideal gaming headphones with mic
- Light and comfortable
- In-line controls
- Noise-cancellation mic
- Do not offer the freedom of wireless headphones
- The bass might not be strong enough for bass lovers
The Arkatech V1 Stereo gaming headphones with mic are not only really cool in appearance, they are also great for all your needs. Whether you need them for working, gaming, online calls, recording or broadcasting, they fit your needs perfectly.
Weighing in at less than 330g, they are as light as they are comfortable. We don't come across many feature-packed, professional gaming headphones with mic in this price range. However, the Arkatech V-1 headphones are hard to beat.
They are compatible with most operating systems and have superior wearing comfort for long use. The dazzling light effect has 7 changing colors. In addition to looks, these impressive headphones are also well equipped for performance.
The powerful stereo has deep bass and impressive detail. The foldable mic comes with noise-cancelation giving you clear delivery. You also have controls such as the mute key and volume adjustment.
Our thoughts, if you are a serious gamer on a budget, these are perfect for you. With high quality sound and breathing LED effects, your gaming experience will be taken to the next level.
- Light and comfortable
- Noise-isolation, and adjustable mic
- Mic is supersensitive and may pick up sound from the headphones
- The colorful nature might be better suited for younger gamers
Now that you've seen the evolution that headphones with mic have gone through from what they were a few years ago, we hope you are better equipped to get yourself a pair that you will. If you do not have the time to do the search yourself, we hope that you will find a set that is just perfect for you in the headphone reviews included in the guide. Lastly, what is the single most important feature you look out for in a headphone set? We would love to know. See you in the comments section.