You know that feeling when you’re in the zone, and suddenly the construction outside or coworker conversation breaks your focus? If you’re working from home, you might hear your dog barking or family going about their day in the background. With increasingly open office spaces and the rise of remote work, distractions are everywhere.
Distractions are the enemy of productivity, and many developers choose to close in with a pair of headsets to get that laser focus they need to code. But with so many headset options in the market, which one is a good option for you?
Let’s find out!
Before you invest in a pair of headphones, a few areas are worth thinking about first. The most significant factor when considering any purchase is, of course, your budget. Now luckily, many tech companies offer hefty equipment allowances. We’ve broken down our recommendation list by price range if this is an essential factor for you.
Another thing to consider is comfort. As a developer, you’re probably planning on wearing your headphones for hours. So look for what materials the headphones are made of as well as their weight.
Other areas we’ve covered are noise reduction level, battery life, compatibility with voice assistants, and more.
You may be surprised to find the Airpods as the first item on the list, but the truth is that they work the best for me. I use my headsets pretty much all day, and I tried a lot of over-the-ear headphones, and none of them are very comfortable after a bit.
So to try something different, I got myself the Airpods, and I loved them, I can take them all day, and I even forget they are still in my ears.
I was worried about the sound quality, but they are fantastic, it is only too bad they don’t offer noise cancellation, but if that is a must for you, you can always go for the Pro version. I have them both, and I still go for the gen three over the Pro any time.
The microphone quality is surprisingly good for calls and meetings.
In the past, I had two pairs of headphones with me, one for working and another for walking and running; now, the Airpods are all I need for every situation.
The Bose QuietComfort 45 has two levels of noise cancellation. You can choose from “quiet mode” (full noise cancellation, you won’t hear a thing of what’s going on outside your headphones) or “awareness mode”, where you will be able to hear the environment around you, great if you use them outside.
We are in 2022, so of course, it offers support for your phone’s assistant. Additionally comes with an app that is great for setting the EQ, changing modes, and getting information about the headphones.
You can alternatively adjust the noise level through the app, where you can also connect another pair of Bose headphones so you and a friend or coworker can listen to the same thing simultaneously.
Compared to its predecessor, there have been good improvements in battery life, with them lasting for up to 24hs, though in practice, I never got as much, but got me through three full days of work and music, without any problem.
Not a good option for gaming though as the sound may be a bit delayed compared to other options.
Perhaps not your everyday driver for work, or being outside, but this wired (yep, no wireless) gaming headphones will not disappoint.
I’m not a big gamer myself, but I thought about trying some options that would do great for coding, while being fantastic for gamers, as I do realize many of you code and play.
We’ll start this list with the cheapest headphones of the bunch. Normally, we’d recommend investing a little more in your day-to-day tech, but these will do the trick if you need something you won’t lose sleep over if left at the office.
We like them because they’re made by Anker, an electronics company founded by an ex-Google engineer known for their product affordability and excellent quality. You’ll see this brand come up a couple of times throughout this list.
The hybrid ANC (active noise cancellation) works with four microphones and an algorithm that can detect and filter out up to 90% of low- and mid-frequency sounds. For the price, you probably shouldn’t expect total “tune out the world” level ANC. Nevertheless, they’re probably the best option for this price.
They have a built-in microphone so you can make calls, and the battery lasts up to 40 hours in ANC or 60 in standard listening mode. The headphones also include an AUX cable that you can use to listen when the battery is dead.
Sennheiser is a German audio company that makes headphones meant to last. They’re the most durable headphones on this list and are so worth the price tag if you can afford them.
While the arms don’t look as sleek as the Sony headphones, they’re made of steel, so they’re extra sturdy (in case you sit on them by accident — it’s happened to us before too).
Speaking of things we’ve done before, you can track your headphones down with the app if you’re constantly misplacing your items. The tracking technology is by Tile, the mega-popular Bluetooth tracker device company.
You can choose from three different noise-canceling modes or the transparency mode. They can automatically detect background noise and adjust the noise-cancellation accordingly. They have three buttons on one side to control volume and pick up a call quickly, but you can also pair it with your voice assistant of choice.
In true luxurious fashion, the padding on these headphones is made of genuine leather. Cue the red carpet. All jokes aside, genuine leather is much more comfortable and breathable than leather.
Did I mention that they promise 60hrs of battery life? I have the momentum 3 headphones, and they are amazing; now with the release of momentum 4, and the upgrades in battery life, Sennheiser took it to a completely different level.
These wireless headphones are truly premium (and come with a premium price tag as well). However, if you have the budget for them, then they are worth checking out.
The battery lasts up to 30 hours with noise cancellation, and up to 40 hours without. But if that’s not enough, you can fully charge the headphones in three and a half hours.
You can pair multiple devices and reviewers say they switch between them seamlessly. This will come in handy if you like to listen to music on your phone but need to switch to meetings on your computer throughout the day.
The headphones are the most beautiful looking, and there are touch sensor controls to activate your voice assistant, skip songs, up the volume, answer calls or play and pause. Your music will automatically pause when you take them off and pick up where you left off when you put them back on.
They use dual noise sensor technology, which means there’s one sensor picking up outside noise and one picking up your voice, so they know which one to cancel out. In addition, your music will play smoothly with the Edge-AI technology, which Sony developed with their music studio in Tokyo.
These headphones are another pretty affordable option from Anker. They claim to filter out up to 95% of low-frequency ambient sounds (5% more than the Q20).
They have three modes: transport (for reducing vehicle noises like an airplane engine), outdoor (for reducing sounds like wind and traffic), and indoor (for environments like the office or coffee shop with people talking). You can connect the headphones to two devices.
The headphones have a battery life of up to 40 hours of music in noise-canceling mode and have quick charging of 5 minutes for 4 hours of listening.
As for ergonomics, the earcups are made with memory foam and faux leather and have padding on the headband, too.
Wyze is another great tech company that primarily makes smart home products but entered the headphone world with this excellent pair.
They have voice-isolating microphones, built-in Alexa (or you can use your device’s voice assistant), and hybrid ANC that you can turn on or off to use transparency mode.
Reviewers commented on how good the range is on these headphones, which is ideal if you like walking around the office without carrying your devices with you.
The battery life isn’t as long as some of the other options on this list, at only 20 hours of listening time. However, they do have quick-charge capabilities so you can get 4 hours on a 10-minute charge.
These are Anker’s more premium wireless headphones that are basically the upgraded version of the Q30. It has many of the same features, like the three noise-canceling modes and 40-hour battery life, but the main difference with the Q35 is improved sound quality. This is due to the new support for LDAC technology, which transfers three times more data than other Bluetooth codecs, giving you a crisper sound.
Other upgrades featured with the Q35 are ear detection, beamforming microphones with AI noise reduction, wired usability when the battery is dead, and a more compact hardshell case.
The AI noise reduction is particularly interesting (especially for programmers) because it can reduce the sound of non-stationary noises like keyboard clicking.
Jabra is a Danish brand that specializes in sound solutions, and these headphones are part of their extensive roster. We think these are the best headphones for being on the go.
The headphones have eight built-in microphones, six of which enhance call quality and block out external sounds. They feature smart ANC, and it’ll switch on automatically when background noise is detected.
The battery life is 36 hours when the ANC is on and can fast charge 5 hours in 15 minutes. It works with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.
Two nice features about these headphones are that they are water-resistant and can withstand temperatures between 23 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. While this might not be super relevant in a work setting, it’s good to note if you’ll also be using them for exercise or during your commute.
These are some of the best headphones for coding available right now, for each budget and taste.
I hope this guide helps you select the right headphones for your work, if you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know in the comments section.
Thanks for reading!