Must-Have Audio Gear for Working Remotely
As someone who works remotely, you spend hours a day in front of a computer. Work is easier and more satisfying when music is playing — cheering us on. Music motivates. By improving our ability to focus on solutions, music truly inspires us to work more efficiently through the most challenging problems. With music, the work we complete is enhanced.
When you work from home, you design your remote workspace around you. To maintain your work-life balance, who wouldn’t show up with the best to do their best? Whether you work remotely from home or while traveling the world, the best audio gear for getting the most out of everything you do is here.
By the time you’ve finished the first part of this “best of” guide, we hope you’ll have a better understanding of how the right audio equipment can improve the music you love. If you want to know what Audio Advice recommends for remote workers, feel free to jump ahead to the best of sections that interest you the most!
Included in this guide:
- The Best Computer Speakers For Home Offices
- The Best Headphone-Styles For Home Offices
- The Best Wireless Headphones For Working Remote
- The Best Headphone Amps For Home Offices
- The Best Music Streamers For Home Offices
What Are The Benefits of Music While Working?
It’s no secret that music improves focus and concentration. Music is an extremely powerful phenomenon that’s been motivating human behavior since humans discovered it. From war-songs, patriotic music, spiritual hymns, meditation or propaganda songs that inspire revolutions, who wouldn’t want to tap into music’s power even more? Thanks to technology, many people can perform their jobs remotely. Today, there are more ways than ever to take advantage of music’s power to motivate us. When we improve the experience of music, we perform our jobs even better — all from the comfort of home! …Or Bali, Indonesia if that’s more your style!
The Best Computer Speakers For Home Offices
Our work computers do a lot of amazing things for us, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they do any one thing particularly well. That’s especially true for sound quality. But, what can we expect from speakers that are made smaller than a dime?
Working is so much more fun with good music playing in the background with great sound. If your home office is in the same area used to relax, hang out with friends, or kick back and listen to music, then adding a good pair of speakers is the best way to get great sound into your living space while also enhancing your productivity. With computer speakers, the connections are very easy as the speakers have the amplifier built in. All you have to do is get sound from your computer to the speakers, provide them with power and you’re up and running.
There are thousands of computer speakers on the market today. Most of them are an upgrade from the tiny speakers in your computer, but we decided to focus on the ones that sound as good as speakers you would want to put in a home audio system.
To make our list, the speakers needed an easy way to connect to your computer and be easy to control. We felt the speaker system needed to have a USB connection, making connecting them super simple. The USB also allows you to control the volume using your computer to adjust the output level. All of the models we suggest have a USB DAC built-in for an easy connection.
They also needed to sound great with music and not tire us out if we had them playing for 4-6 hours continuously. We’ve found a lot of inexpensive speakers start to grate on our ears after 30 minutes or so due to some level of distortion in their cheap components.
Finally, we gave out bonus points if the speakers included Bluetooth so your friends could easily connect to them when they came over.
Check out our Best Computer Speakers to discover our favorites that are able to fit on a desk, although we made a few exceptions for some models that can really rock the house when you want them to!
Which Headphones Are Best For Work?
When it comes to choosing the best headphones for work, all of the ergonomic scenarios matter. You may need wireless headphones with a built-in mic, perfect for moving around while on conference calls. You might prefer an open-back headphone that allows you to listen for kids, a delivery, or other environmental factors. If you share your home office with a spouse or tend to work on the couch with the family around, closed-back headphones will reduce the likelihood of others hearing your music. So, which headphone is the right fit for the way you need to work?
Do you want to know what’s behind Audio Advice’s ratings of headphones as “the best,” and what makes them noteworthy? Read our Headphone Buyer’s Guide to learn everything there is to know about all of the headphone styles. You can take our word for it, there’s a headphone that fits every person, and sometimes there’s a need for more than one style!
At Audio Advice, we compiled a complete list of the best sounding headphones & other gear to enhance your workflow, below.
The Best Headphone-Styles For Home Offices
Are Closed-Back headphones better than Open-Back headphones for work? If your job requires that you're alert to your surroundings or you prefer to hear what's going on around you, open-back headphones are the fit for you. However, if you share your home office with a spouse or work in areas where others are around, you should consider closed-back headphones to eliminate others from hearing the music you are listening to. If you want to know more about the benefits of open-back vs closed-back headphones, read our guide and learn why the ergonomic features between these styles are so important.
Below are three Audio Advice favorite headphones to use in your home office.
The Best Wireless Headphones For Working Remote
Ahh, the freedom from wires. Wireless headphones are all about the convenience of connecting to the music and not having to worry. When you aren’t worried about tethered connections that anchor you to the workstation, you’re ergonomically flexible.
With more ergonomic flexibility at the workstation, you’re free to raise your standing desk, stretch-out, and move about without interrupting your music or your work-flow. Another great benefit to wireless headphones is the freedom to roam and multi-task on other duties around the house — all while keeping the music playing.
With great audio quality, you’re setting yourself up to be your best. A great wireless headphone with the best soundstage and noise-cancellation will help you stay motivated longer on the tasks that need your attention the most.
There’s a host of features to consider when shopping for a great wireless headphone. If you need help deciding which wireless headphone is right for you, we compared the best ones together in our 2020 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Comparison — so be sure to check that out, if you want more information that will help you select the right one for your style.
At Audio Advice, we’ve curated the list of the Best Wireless Headphones for those who want to reach peak performance this year. For those who need built-in mics for crystal-clear hands-free calls or better audio quality with the ability to block out noise from the outside world, then these headphones were made just for you.
25-Hours of Playtime
Adaptive Active Noise-Cancelling
Proximity Sensors In Both Ear Cups
The Best Headphone Amps For Home Offices
As you might know, a good headphone amp is crucial for producing the best sound quality from wired headphones. But, of all audio components, the headphone amp is often the least understood. So, if you’re unsure if you need a headphone amp, read What Is A Headphone Amp to learn the ins and outs, and how to make the best purchase choice for your remote job.
If you’re comfortable shopping for a headphone amp, then you probably have a few reasons fueling the desire to look around. Since built-in headphone amps in the laptops we use for work are an afterthought, the bass doesn’t have the impact it could have, which makes the quality of the music sound anemic, or “lifeless.” A good headphone amp will provide 10 times the power of smartphones and laptops, giving you better bass, better dynamics, and sound that’s more “alive.” These improvements in sound all add up to support the inspiration we feel while working remotely.
Ready to inspire your work-flow with the benefits of a good headphone amp? Audio Advice curated the Best Headphone Amps Under $500 to optimize focus and improve concentration, so you can stay in-the-zone.
Stream Music Wirelessly
Upgrade 24-bit Music
The Best Music Players For Home Offices
Over the last few years, streaming music has become the most popular way to enjoy music at home. Almost all of the popular streaming music services like Spotify, Tidal, and Qobuz have their version of your own custom radio station where you can choose a favorite tune or artist and the software will play similar music for you. It’s really very cool!
The question many people have is what is the easiest way to sit at my desk while I work and access music this way? There are several great options including computer speakers, USB DACs with headphone amps built-in, or an all in one music player. If you are the type who wants to keep things simple and not add any clutter around your workspace, a super-easy way is to put an all in one music system in your office. The better ones have really great sound for their compact size, are very easy to use, and can add an elegant touch to your home office.
We like the fact you can keep your monitor up on what you are working on and use your smartphone to control the all in one system.
Below are three Audio Advice favorites for all-in-one music systems.
Naim Mu-So Reference Wireless Music System 2nd Generation
Regular Price $1,799.00 - $1,999.00 $1,799.00 - $1,999.00
Huge Sound for the Size
Legendary Naim Build Quality
Naim App Included