Since Coronavirus spread around the globe and social distancing became the norm, you've probably been doing the same thing as us: working in a room that’s now the makeshift home office, wondering how to upgrade the peripherals around you.
There are plentiful peripherals to ponder purchasing, including some charming-but-pointless options, but you'll need some good headphones ASAP if you're trying to block out the world and focus on work.
Here are some top headsets that will help with those Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Teams calls that are now dominating our days...
Sony 1000XM3 Headphones: A strong high-end choice
A great design and very comfortable. Rated as one of the best noise-cancellation headphones around, they’re the headphones that you’ve most probably seen be worn around your town centre before the lockdown.
There’s even touch controls on the right cup, so a swipe can change the volume, the track, and talk to Siri or Alexa when needed - controlling music or podcasts is very easy indeed.
For upwards of £200, they’re a premium product, but they’re worth the price for the noise-cancellation alone; it’s that good. And if you’re in a house with noisy housemates or children running amok, that silence could well be golden.
AirPods Pro: The best choice for Apple fans
If you’ve got a work Macbook and you’re an iPhone & Apple Watch user, then it makes sense to get these, simply because they connect up and work very well with one another.
These are in-ear peripherals, with noise-cancellation and a way of using the microphones when needed to talk to the nearest person as if you’re not wearing them.
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Great features, and great battery life. As it’s baked into the whole Apple-ecosystem, pairing them once is all that’s needed to use them across all your Apple devices. Got an iPad but using these on the iPhone? Swap them on ‘control center’ and they’ll pair almost in an instant.
The sound is great, with good bass and a booming vocal sound, which is especially useful for podcasts and Zoom meetings when needed.
For £249, they do have that premium price, but for the ease-of-use and the great battery life, you really can’t go wrong with these, especially if you’re already locked-in to the Apple ecosystem.
Shure SE215-CL: An affordable in-ear option
These are in-ear earphones again, but wired ones, at a bargain price of £75.
These are a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of product, in that they don’t have much detail when listening to a dance track or a video, especially when it comes to the ‘treble’, but for working from home they’re ideal.
The design of them makes them comfortable for any ear, and the see-through design of the SE215 gives them a nineties look.
They can also be plugged out and be used as wireless earphones when needed, but you will need to buy an extra piece of kit for that.
If your primary headphones are on the blink, turn to these and you won’t go wrong.
Audsom ANC10: A truly cheap over-ear option
If you're looking for a properly cheap pair of wireless headphones, these ones should do the trick nicely.
They're easy to pair with every laptop, tablet and phone that we've tried to connect them to, and the battery lasts a decent amount of time - and it only takes a couple of hours to charge back up.
Also, these ones have a headphone jack, so you can always plug them into your devices the old-fashioned way if you do run out of juice during an important meeting.
They may lack fancy features, and the design is quite simple, but they've got active noise cancelling as an option and will 100% do the trick for your newfound WFH lifestyle.
Bose 700: The ultimate headphones
The ultimate headphones. The end of game boss, the Metal Gear to Solid Snake, the beer that defeated that curry monster in Red Dwarf.
If you want headphones to sound as best as they can with any genre of music, as well as making you look swanky in conference calls, these are the ones to invest in. Even if the RRP from Bose is truly staggering.
The design is fantastic; it almost looks like a visor from Back To The Future 2, mixed in with a weapon from the White Ranger of Power Rangers.
It also works with both Alexa and Google Assistant, so one tap and your assistant of choice can keep track of calendar appointments and tracking your Amazon Prime order.
The four (FOUR!) microphones scattered across the headset make sure that the assistant will hear you, and this also helps with the noise-cancellation, which is just as good as the Sony headphones from earlier in this post.
Touch controls are also here, and they can also be customised as well, so one set of Bose 700 could be different from another - the ease of use is fantastic again. The only minus is that they don’t fold, so if you need to quickly put them away, a throw into the pocket won’t work here.
But otherwise, these are fantastic headphones, and if you have the £300 ready, they will keep you going for the next three years at least.
These options will help with those WFH situations, while also enabling you to sing along with the first Spice Girls album as if you were there at the BRIT Awards in 1998... that's what you really want them for, right?
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