The best headphones for making phone calls

Whether you’re working from home or living the life of a digital nomad taking calls on the go, it’s important to have high-quality headphones so your important chats can flow without any disruption. While you can use any headset to make calls, we recommend opting for options with excellent active noise cancellation (ANC), clear sound quality, and an easy-to-change transparency mode to get the best results.

We’ve saved you the hard work and rounded up the best headphones with microphones for calls, and to be clear, we’re talking about over-ear headphones. Do you prefer headphones? We’ve also got you covered with our list of the best headphones for phone calls. Let’s go.

Woman wearing Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones.


Sony WH-1000XM5


  • great sound

  • Very good comfort

  • Ultra-clear call quality

  • Best-in-class noise cancellation

  • Very good autonomy

  • Hi-Res Compatible (Wired/Wireless)

  • Access to hands-free voice assistant

  • Chic and modern design

The inconvenients

  • Fold flat, but don’t fold

Sony is well known for making some of the best headphones on the market, and this pair is one of the best they have – they top our best headphones and best wireless headphones lists right now. With unrivaled sound quality and top-tier noise cancellation, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is a solid 10/10. Their powerful noise cancellation “cancels” outside sound, as our reviewer put it, so you can take calls anywhere from a busy cafe to a noisy construction site. Thanks to their powerful processors, your sound clearly reaches the person on the other end of the call, even if you’re in the middle of a busy street or using heavy machinery. Transparency mode is equally impressive, giving you a good mix of indoor and outdoor sounds for those times when you need to be aware of the world around you.

The XM5s get even better with their long battery life. You get 30 hours of continuous battery life with ANC on and 40 hours when ANC is off. This means you can go there all week at no cost. Just three minutes of charging gives you three hours of playtime, making them one of the best pair of headphones for phone calls as well as overall use.

The only problem here is the high price tag which costs you $400. But the standout features are well worth the price, so if you’re on a bigger budget, go for it.

Sony WH-1000XM5
Apple Airpod Max


AirPods Max


  • Best-in-class ANC

  • Incredible transparency mode

  • Excellent build quality

  • Excellent sound quality

  • Top call quality

The inconvenients

  • Charges via Lightning cable

  • Heavy on the head

If you are an iOS user, AirPods Max is definitely the best choice for you. Featuring great clear sound and top-notch noise cancellation, they’re great for indoor and outdoor calls, earning a spot on our list of the best noise-canceling headphones. Transparency mode and ANC features are all you could ask for, giving you better performance than other similarly priced headphones.

Calls are as smooth as it gets with AirPods Max. They manage wind noise and minimize disturbance to the point where you don’t even realize there’s noise around you. You also have a large, intuitive button to switch between ANC mode and transparency mode so you can manage calls and listen to music the way you want.

Connectivity is also excellent, especially with Apple products, although they are terrible for Android users. The $550 price tag also puts them out of many people’s budget range, but if you’re deep into the Apple ecosystem and have the cash to spend, we highly recommend the AirPods Max. There’s also a wide range of great AirPods Max accessories to spice things up.

Apple AirPods Max
JBL Tour One


JBL Tour One


  • Effective ANC

  • Good sound quality

  • Excellent call quality

  • Great battery life

The inconvenients

  • No dial tone for calls

  • No aptX/aptX HD/LDAC codecs

JBL isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you think of headphones, but the JBL Tour Ones are definitely worth considering, especially for frequent callers. These are cheaper than the popular Sony and Apple models, but offer good ANC with brilliant call quality, even in noisy environments. Noise cancellation isn’t as good as the Sony WH-1000XM5, AirPods Max, or Bose headphones, but they more than make up for it with call performance. The mic doesn’t pick up external noise and keeps your voice crystal clear for perfectly smooth, professional-quality calls.

You get a transparency mode called Ambient Aware for keeping track of your surroundings, as well as a TalkThru mode for talking to someone in front of you. But it does not work when you are on a call. Battery life is another bright spot, giving you 50 hours of playback with ANC off and around 25 hours with continuous ANC. Charging is also fast, adding three hours with a 10-minute charge.

JBL Tour One
A man wearing Bose 700 headphones with a moody background.

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700


  • Excellent noise cancellation

  • Extremely comfortable

  • Outstanding voice clarity for calls and voice assistants

  • Connect to multiple devices at once

  • USB-C brings convenient fast charging

The inconvenients

  • The boost to lower the treble is also harsh

  • Requires the Bose Music app to control many functions

Bose delivers clean performance every time, and the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 are no exception. You get impressive sound clarity on calls, and the mic is capable of canceling background noise so there are no distracting interruptions during your conversations. They’re pricey at $400, but great-sounding calls are definitely worth the investment if you’re still using your headphones to call.

The Bose 700 also works great with voice assistants, so you don’t have to fiddle with buttons for every little function. ANC is already pretty decent, but using the Bose Music app gives you more control over your listening experience. The battery is also good, giving you 40 hours of battery life with ANC off and 20 hours with ANC on, which is more than enough for daily calls and general use. The fast charge will also come in handy if you have an urgent call coming up, as you get over two hours of playback from just 15 minutes of charging.

These don’t offer 10/10 sound quality and unparalleled noise cancellation, which can make it hard to justify the high price. But the Bose 700s are really, really good at calling, so if that’s your priority, you might want to pick them up.

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Wear the 1More SonoFlow.

Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

1More SonoFlow


  • Great sound quality

  • Very comfortable for long periods

  • Ridiculous battery life

  • Solid ANC performance

  • Excellent app support

  • Affordable price

The inconvenients

  • No wear sensors

  • Wired mode disables additional features

If you can’t invest in a pair of headphones over $300 right now, don’t worry. You can still get good quality call headphones with a mic for just $100. Take the 1More SonoFlow, for example. You get decent ANC considering it’s a third of the price of other high-end headphones, and call quality is good enough for everyday use.

Sound quality is pretty good too, with our review gushing over the SonoFlow’s punchy 40mm drivers and support for Sony’s high-res LDAC codec, if you’re into that sort of thing. But where these cans really shine is with their impressive battery life. You get an incredible 50 hours of battery life with ANC on and an incredible 70 hours with ANC off, putting them ahead of most popular premium headphones.

You also get Bluetooth multipoint and 12 EQ presets, which is a lot of features for a $100 headphone. As expected, these aren’t our top picks for noise cancellation and sound quality, but if your focus is on calls they’ll do a great job for a budget pick.

1More SonoFlow

Editors’ Recommendations

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