Headphones for the Open Office

Open office plans are yet again in the news as Apple’s new headquarters building plans initially included open office spaces for the engineers along with many stories of the frustrated employees being asked to work there. As someone who’s been working in a creative environment that embraces the collaborative space, there are times I find value in it. But I also work on the technical side of an agency which requires heads down time to get things done. I just remarked to someone today that a big pair of headphones is the modern day equivalent of a closed door to an office since nobody has doors anymore. I’ve never been one to listen to music to try and drown out the noise, but learning I need to find a way to focus an hour or so once a day. So I started looking at some options that might go well with some white noise or music.

I narrowed my choices down to 4 based on a couple of factors. I’ve ordered them in my preference.

  • I wanted noise suppression or active noise cancelling.
  • I preferred something with a small bag/case.
  • I wanted bluetooth capability with a wired backup.

The MPOW one was the cheapest, but it was not active noise cancelling. I also liked the design and am a fan of tighter fitting headsets.

My next choice by Hiearacool, included active noise cancelling and it had pretty good reviews. It’s flexible, but some indications of low volume.

The JIFFY one had 18 hours of battery life and otherwise pretty light and comfortable based on the reviews.

The Cowin headset had the longest battery life, was extremely light, but I am a cheapskate so probably not going to get it.

Tag me on twitter with some of your favorite methods and techniques for dealing with any open office headaches.