The advantages of a headset at the office (and our recommendations)

Rinkel collega Janine
Janine Wilbrink
update: 22 July 2021

Make your life easier with headphones at work (or in your home office). Headsets are a real godsend: you block out ambient noise, you let your colleagues know when you don't want to be disturbed AND you can multitask more easily.

In other words: why not buy it?

But there are so many different headphones, it's not strange if you can't see the wood for the trees. For example, a SONY or JBL headset is designed for a particular use that is vastly different from, say, a Jabra office headset.

And your customers will notice this when you talk to them. 

That is why we have made a small selection for you, with all the advantages listed so that you can make the best choice. Read on! ↓

(Last updated on 17-09-2021)

Koptelefoon ligt op een tafel

Why headphones in the office?

No headphones in the office yet? Do you call via a DECT phone (like the home phones of yesteryear), or do you always push your mobile phone between your shoulder when you need to look something up for the customer? 

Even if you don't call often, headphones are an absolute must in the workplace. Why? We'll explain that to you!

#1: Ergonomic
Stop hurting your neck and shoulders by clamping your phone between your ear and shoulder. Avoid physical complaints and opt for an ergonomic solution: headphones.

Your ergonomist and your future self will thank you.

#2: Multitask easily
Having a conversation with a client and checking what he or she is up against at the same time? Instantly taking your notes, or just looking up the customer in the CRM system? 

Make it easy for yourself to do this right away while on the line! With headphones, you have your hands free to do other things:

  • Having a cup of coffee
  • Watch the customer
  • Taking notes
  • Petting your dog
  • Feeding your child

#3: More productive with full focus
With all your colleagues in the open-plan office? The sales or support department busy on the phone helping customers (or bringing them in)? Avoid getting pulled into the conversation and losing focus with headphones.

Put on your headphones, choose your favourite music and step into the focus zone. Work hard undisturbed, without outside noise.

Ideal when you just need to meet that deadline, you work in a flex office or just want to flame out.

#4: Colleagues immediately see when not to disturb you
Unlike ever-shrinking earbuds, your colleagues or fellow flex space users know you're busy when you have your headphones on. 

Because: do you have your headphones on? Then you are in a call of busy. In other words: do not disturb.

Are you working with colleagues? Then it is useful to agree with your direct colleagues that they will not disturb you when you have your headphones on.

It often happens that people nevertheless start talking to you, even if you are not listening. In any case, it prevents a lot of irritation for both parties if you take a moment to discuss it.

Or go for a headset with a built-in "Do Not Disturb" light, then it is immediately clear! Plus: both our recommenders have such a light. Super handy, if you ask us.

#5: Polar bearing (pacing back and forth) during your calls
A strategy session via Zoom? Or a tricky call with a client? That naturally calls for restless walking back and forth while thinking, aka (in a literal Dutch translation): polar bearing!

But also when you walk back and forth through the office towards the coffee machine, or because you want to stretch your legs (that's good for circulation!).

Many headsets these days are wireless. Of course, this is a choice, but the quality of wireless these days is not inferior to wired headsets.

This also allows you to walk away from your computer or workplace with peace of mind without being pulled back because you forgot to take off your headphones.

IJsbeer en pinguïn in de natuur

What should headphones for work meet?

Headphones for work are specially designed for optimal use in the workplace. This is different from, say, gaming headsets: these have other advantages and disadvantages.

Therefore, always choose a headset for your purpose. A game headset might sound nicer to you, but the sound quality while calling is often a lot lower than with work headsets.

Looking further into what a headset should meet, that is still a personal preference. But, we did lay out some things to make choosing a headset easier:

  • Do you want in-ear (earbuds), over-ear (over your ears, often very large because of this) or on-ear (sits on your ears)?
  • Wireless or wired? (Bear in mind that wireless can always be wired, but wired never becomes wireless).
  • Mono (one ear) or stereo (both ears)?

And what functional requirements do you have? Consider:

  • Battery life: do you expect to make a lot of calls? Then choose headphones with a long battery
  • Do you want to filter out all the noise around you (and while calling) so that ambient noise can no longer be heard? Then look for headphones with noise cancelling.
  • How far should that bluetooth range be (think 5 metres, for example, or 10 metres)?

Wireless can always be wired. But wired will never be wireless.

- Janine Wilbrink

Which headphones do we recommend?

A well-known headphone brand for office and work is Jabra. The brand has specialised in audio equipment especially for the office. And we have been happily using them for a long time too!

Especially for you, we tested several headsets, from which 2 favourites emerged: 

  • Jabra Evolve 2 40 (wired)
  • Jabra Evolve 2 65 (wireless)

The Jabra Evolve 2 40 & 65 are both high quality and ideal for the office. They are sturdy, high quality and work on any laptop or computer as well as on your mobile (ideal for simultaneous use with the Rinkel Webphone!). Moreover, you are not tied to a large charging station. And are you away from the office for once? Then you can easily take your headphones with you in the included case.

Personally, we are still the biggest fan of the 65: the wireless one. With its long battery life, our Arthur can provide all-day support without having to recharge or drop out in between. And thanks to the "Do not disturb" light, we as his colleagues can immediately see when he is busy for a customer!

So that is the main difference between the two: wired and wireless. On top of that, the wired one (the 40 variant) is slightly heavier and does not have access to the Jabra Sound+ app.

The Jabra Sound+ app lets you set your personal sound. This gives you exclusive features, the latest updates for your headphones and personalisation options in, for example, bass strength.

Still not sure which headphones best suit your needs? We take you through the differences and features!

What is the difference between the Mono and Stereo?
Both favourite headphones come in Mono and Stereo variants.

The only difference is that the Mono only has one ear. You often see this in customer service departments, for example, where calls need to be made, but you still want to keep hearing the sound around you with one ear as well.

Mono headphones come in handy when you need or want to keep communicating with your work environment. Think of giving feedback or input to your colleague, or making sure you don't miss the postman at the doorbell.

Stereo has - as you are probably used to - two ears. This one has the advantage that you can fully concentrate on your work or on the phone call.

Man zit op bureau met een koptelefoon op

Which is better: wireless headphones or wired?
If you go for wireless headphones, you need to consider battery life. Make sure it lasts long enough for your working day. Charging in between, that won't make anyone happy of course (even though it's easy to do).

With wireless, you are also often automatically in a slightly more expensive segment: but you can go wherever you want.

Wired headphones are a bit cheaper and never need to be charged. Then again, you shouldn't forget you have your headphones on. Before you know it, you'll be pulling half your contents off your desk. ;-)

What is noise cancelling?
Noise cancelling filters out ambient noise for you. So when you turn it on, you hear less to no sounds around you.

Ideal if you want to focus and not be disturbed.

Slightly less ideal if you often have colleagues or customers wanting to ask you something.

But: noise cancelling also plays a role for the caller. This way, while talking, it also filters out the ambient noise of what you are saying. 

So are you in a busy office where lots of people are talking at the same time? Then that noise will be filtered out so your conversation partner will only hear your voice.

What should I choose: in-ear, over-ear or on-ear?
So many ears! So much choice.

In-ear headphones are basically just earbuds. It's called in-ear because they sit partially inside your ear.

Over-ear means the headphones are bigger than your ear: they fall over your ears. As a result, you hear less ambient noise. The downside is that they are a bit larger by default.

On-ear headphones (like the Jabra Evolve 2 40 & 65) sit on your ears. They are smaller than over-ear headphones and are therefore easier to carry!

In the end, it's still personal preference. This is really a trade-off you have to make for yourself.

So choosing headphones is not just picking one (or finding the perfect one right away). You need to determine your requirements & wishes beforehand, and at least an estimate on how much you want to spend. 

Once you have determined that, it's really a matter of looking and comparing. Perhaps in the end, design is the deciding factor. Anything goes. As long as you enjoy it.

PS: A headset is even more useful when calling from the computer. And let's have just built that! The Webphone is live for all subscriptions from September 2021! Log in via My Rinkel and make your next call from your computer.