Woman with headset in front of laptop

The Best Bluetooth Headsets of 2021

By Austin Meadows SoundNo Comments

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Whether you’re working from home, taking calls on the go, or smashing out a few rounds of Fortnite with some buddies, having a quality Bluetooth headset is a must. 

Of course, the specific type of headset you need depends on how you plan to use it. Online gamers need great sound quality with an excellent mic. Home workers will likely prioritize comfort, given they may be wearing the headset for hours at a time. For those looking for a hands-free way to take phone calls on the go, a compact model with good noise-cancelling is best. 

There are hundreds of models on the market, but some are dramatically better than others. Factoring in features, price, performance, and comfort, these are our picks for the best Bluetooth headsets of 2021.

Best Bluetooth Headset: BlueParrott M300-XT
  • Weight: 0.7 ounces
  • Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
  • Microphone: Noise-canceling, rigid stalk
  • Battery life: up to 14 hours

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Best Bluetooth Headset for Phone Calls: Plantronics Voyager 5200
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Microphone: Noise-canceling, rigid stalk
  • Battery life: up to 7 hours

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Best Bluetooth Gaming Headset: SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Connection: Bluetooth 4.1 or 2.4Ghz base station
  • Microphone: Noise-canceling, flexible stalk
  • Battery life: 20+ hours

Best Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headset: BlueParrott B450-XT
  • Weight: 5.7 ounces
  • Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Microphone: Noise-canceling, flexible stalk
  • Battery life: Up to 24 hours

Best Bluetooth Headset for Working from Home: Plantronics Voyager Focus UC
  • Weight: 5.5 ounces
  • Connection: Bluetooth 4.0
  • Microphone: Noise-canceling, rigid stalk
  • Battery life: Up to 12 hours

Best Bluetooth Headset: BlueParrott M300-XT

BlueParrott M300-XT Noise Cancelling Hands-Free Mono Bluetooth Headset for Mobile Phones with up to 14 Hours of Talk Time for On-The-Go Mobile Professionals & Drivers

Looking for a versatile, affordable choice? The BlueParrot M300-XT is the best Bluetooth headset for most applications. 

Its compact on-ear design makes it more than suitable for use while out and about, while at the same time remaining comfortable enough for long hours in the office or at home. It’s also reasonably durable, its IP54 meaning it can handle a bit of sweat, dirt, or dust without giving up the ghost.

A battery life of up to 14 hours means you can use it for multiple workdays before it needs to charge. In this case, the battery life refers to active talk time, so it will likely last far longer in the real world if you’re not constantly on the phone. That’s due in part to the use of Bluetooth 5.1, which is far more energy-efficient than earlier iterations.  

The M300-XT strikes a nice balance between affordability and quality. It won’t break the bank for most people, but it also doesn’t feel or sound like a cheap Bluetooth headset. This model has excellent audio quality, both incoming and outgoing.

It has solid noise cancellation, with two noise-cancelling mics that eliminate up to 80% of background noise. This, combined with excellent battery life, make this model the M300-XT the best Bluetooth headset for truckers and others whose work takes place far from a quiet office environment. 

The headset is simple to use, with one customizable button that can be programmed to provide fast access to features like mute, speed dial, and more. Settings can be customized via the free BlueParrot app on your mobile device. 

The only real downside to this model is that it can feel a bit heavy after a few hours. At just 0.7oz it’s actually very lightweight, but the single-ear design doesn’t provide much support, so the entire weight rests on your ear. If you prefer a more even weight distribution, the B250-XTS model has an over-the-head design at a similar price point.

Pros
  • Effective background noise suppression
  • Good battery life
  • Quality audio, both incoming and outgoing
  • Some dust and water resistance
  • Up to 300 ft range
Cons
  • Single-ear design can feel heavy after a while
Buy on Amazon

Best Bluetooth Headset for Phone Calls: Plantronics Voyager 5200

Plantronics - Voyager 5200 (Poly) - Bluetooth Over-the-Ear (Monaural) Headset - Compatible to connect to Cell Phones - Noise Canceling, (Charger not included)

The Plantronics Voyager 5200 is a solid all-round headset, and one of the best Bluetooth headsets for phone calls, mostly thanks to its unique wind-cancelling technology.

Like our top pick above, the Voyager 5200 is an on-ear model with a fairly compact design. It has a useful range of close to a hundred feet, and easily connects to any Bluetooth-enabled device such as your smartphone or computer. The useful companion app lets you check battery life, change the ringtone, and track down a misplaced headset.

The highlight of this device is its unique noise-cancelling technology, which helps reduce sound interference caused by wind in outgoing audio. While many Bluetooth headsets have some sort of noise-cancelling technology, the Voyager’s is specifically meant to limit wind, traffic, and other background noise, making it a better bet for taking calls outside. 

The downside of that fancy noise cancellation, though, is the effect it has on battery life: the runtime is only around half as long as the BlueParrot model above. At around seven hours of talk time, almost everyone will still get through a full workday while using it, but ultimately you’ll still have to charge it more often.

Given that, it may be worth grabbing a charging case, an inexpensive backup battery option that provides two extra full charges while doubling as a desktop docking station and a protective travel case.

Pros
  • Compact design
  • Wind cancelling tech for outdoor use
  • ~100ft Bluetooth range
Cons
  • Noise cancellation means lower battery life
Buy on Amazon

Best Bluetooth Gaming Headset: SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset - Lossless High Fidelity Wireless + Bluetooth for PS5/PS4 and PC - Black

Good Bluetooth gaming headsets are rather rare, as most major manufacturers opt for more reliable connectivity technologies. For the gamers out there, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless is a fantastic high-end option, with a choice of two connection types: wireless lossless audio via a dedicated base station (more on this below) or Bluetooth 4.1. 

Sound quality on this device is fantastic. Thanks to DTS’ “Headphone:X v2.0” technology, you get exceptional surround-sound performance that feels truly immersive. The quality drivers in the Arctis Pro Wireless delivery a very impressive frequency range of 10Hz to 40kHz, beyond the range of normal human hearing on both the high and low end.

The headset comes with a transmitter base station, which uses the 2.4Ghz wireless band to provide ultra-low latency wireless audio and up to 40 feet of range. Put simply, this means you get high-quality wireless audio without any detectable lag. 

You can plug a wide range of devices into the base station, including Playstation, Xbox (albeit with some limitations), and anything using a standard 3.5mm audio cable. It also has both optical and analog outputs, so you can drive amps and speakers as well as your headset.

Two batteries ship with the headphones, and you’re able to charge one in the base station while using the other. Expect 20+ hours from one battery, and swapping them over only takes a few seconds so you’re not left sitting around for ages waiting for the headset to charge.

The Arctis Pro does have actual Bluetooth, as well. It can connect to most any Bluetooth-enabled device, including mobile devices, but it can be a bit buggy with PCs and gaming consoles. Unfortunately, issues with Bluetooth headsets are quite common, which is why most gamers stick to other wireless technologies (or opt for wired options).

So, why is this our pick for the best Bluetooth gaming headset, given that the actual Bluetooth connectivity isn’t great? Because it provides a Bluetooth-like experience (wireless connectivity with a ~40 foot range), without the delay or connectivity issues that plague many Bluetooth gaming headsets.

Of course, it does have actual Bluetooth as well: you’re just better off using the wireless transmitter box when you can. The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless isn’t a cheap headset, but for serious gamers, it’s well worth the upgrade.

Pros
  • Connect via wireless base station or Bluetooth
  • ClearCast microphone includes background noise cancellation
  • Impressive frequency range
  • Swappable batteries
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Bluetooth can be buggy on some devices
Buy on Amazon

Best Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Headset: BlueParrott B450-XT

BlueParrott B450-XT Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headset – Updated Design with Industry Leading Sound & Improved Comfort, Long Wireless Range, Up to 24 Hours of Talk Time, IP54-Rated Wireless Headset

The BlueParrot B450-XT is the best Bluetooth headset for noisy environments like offices and call centers. With exceptional battery life (up to 24 hours of talk time), it could easily last an entire work week depending on your usage. The wireless range of up to 300 feet means you can keep your conversation going while you head to the break room for a coffee. 

The B450-XT’s impressive noise reduction technology is designed to cancel up to 96% of background sound. This is on the outgoing audio end, meaning the person you’re talking to shouldn’t be disturbed by your loud surroundings. Because this headset only has an ear cup on one side, though, it’s not as effective at blocking background noise for the wearer.

If you want both, you’re better off with an upgrade like the SteelSeries Arctis Pro (see above), or the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC below. 

This headset is quite comfortable, with a supportive over-the-head design, padded headband, and cushioned earcups. It should also hold up well over time, with a durable design and IP54-rated protection against dust and moisture.

The only real downside is that, as mentioned, the headset only has a single earpiece. This is the preferred design for most situations, as it allows you to be aware of your surroundings while talking on the phone, but it’s not ideal if you want to listen to music or play games.

If you prefer headphone-style headsets, BlueParrot offers the S450-XT, or you could opt for the Plantronics model below. 

Pros
  • Excellent background noise reduction
  • Up to 24 hours of talk time on one charge
  • Wireless range of up to 300 feet
  • Durable, comfortable construction
Cons
  • Incoming audio on one ear only
Buy on Amazon

Best Bluetooth Headset for Working from Home: Plantronics Voyager Focus UC

Poly - Voyager Focus UC with Charge Stand (Plantronics) - Bluetooth Dual-Ear (Stereo) Headset with Boom Mic - USB-A Compatible with PC and Mac - Active Noise Canceling - Works with Teams, Zoom & More

Working from home? The Plantronics Voyager Focus UC is a great option. It’s comfortable, has excellent voice quality, and provides up to 12 hours of active talk time on one charge. Oh, and it’s designed for use with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other remote-working essentials. 

This is a headphone-style headset, meaning it has audio in both ears. This can be a liability when you’re in the office or taking a walk, it’s but it’s ideal when working from the comfort of your own home. This set is great for taking calls, listening to music, or even for casual gaming after work is done for the day. 

If you have kiddos running around or other household distractions, active noise cancelling (ANC) technology will help you focus, while noise-cancelling microphones help to reduce background sound levels. Your co-workers will thank you! 

The downside of this set is its durability. Several components are plastic, and can become brittle over time. Given the moderately high price, we’d have hoped for a better build quality. We also have a dedicated article on the best headsets for working from home, if you’re looking for something a little different.

Pros
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Strong battery life
  • Excellent voice quality
  • Compatible with Microsoft Teams, Zoom and more
  • Active noise cancelling (ANC)
Cons
  • Durability could be better
Buy on Amazon

🎧 Looking for something else to put in or on your ears? Check out our picks for noise-canceling headphones and earbuds, the best options for making calls, USB headsets, and more.


Main image via Shutterstock, product images via Amazon

About the Author
Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows

Austin is a digital nomad with a passion for exploring alternative lifestyles and testing the latest technological innovations. Rarely under the same roof for long, when he's not sampling wine and cheese in Bulgaria or downloading the latest travel app, you can find him running, gaming, or cooking up something delicious.

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