The Wirecutter: The Best USB Office Headset

Jabra UC Voice 550After more than 30 hours of research and testing 11 different headsets, the Jabra UC Voice 550 Duo is our pick for the best USB office headset. It’s comfortable enough to wear during even the longest conference calls thanks to soft, well-padded earcups that don’t put pressure on your ears, and it has the best sound quality for voice calls of all the models we tested but still allows you to hear what’s going on around you. The noise-canceling mic filters out background noise so you won’t drive your callers crazy, and when you don’t want to be heard, the easy-to-use mute controls were among the quietest and most discreet we tried. It also features an easy-to-position mic boom, which combines rigid plastic with a more flexible wire tip. If your day at the office consists of frequently switching between calls and your mp3 collection, Microsoft’s LifeChat LX-6000remains a very good option—it was our previous pick, and it’s currently a few bucks cheaper than the Jabra. It’s heavier than our main pick but also has a fuller sound profile that is better for music, while voice calls still sound great.

For heavy users, the UC Voice 550 Duo is the best USB headset we tested. Calls are crisp without being so bright that your ears get fatigued. The mic boom offers the convenience of rigid plastic with the flexibility of a wire—allowing you to place it precisely for the best possible sound and quickly flip it out of the way. It’s light and doesn’t feel bulky, so it’s easy to wear all day.

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