6 Best Trucker Headsets [2021]

Man wearing trucker headset
Man wearing trucker headset

We discuss what qualities make the best trucker headsets, and the top-of-the-line options you can choose from.

NameForm FactorMic Noise SuppressionBattery LifePrice
BlueParrott B550-XT Best OverallMonaural Over-ear96%24 hoursBUY
Blue Tiger Elite Ultra Strong Runner-upMonaural Over-ear96%60 hoursBUY
Angteela BM-9 Best BudgetMonaural On-earNot specified15 hoursBUY
TECKNET TK-HS001 Best Mic Noise SuppressionMonaural On-ear99. 6%32 hoursBUY
Plantronics Voyager 5200 Most PortableMonaural In-earNot specified7 hoursBUY
AfterShokz OpenComm Best for Spatial AwarenessBone Conduction HeadphonesNot specified16 hoursBUY

How to Choose the Best Trucker Headset

As a trucker, you spend most of your time on the road. When you need to take phone calls, you can’t safely do so by holding your phone up to your ear while driving. Instead, you should use a headset that can help you keep both hands on the wheel while still making and receiving calls.

However, you can’t just pick any old headset to use while you’re on the road. A trucker headset must be comfortable enough to be worn for long hours and open enough for you to maintain constant awareness while you’re driving. After all, a headset that prevents you from hearing essential traffic noises would pose a considerable safety risk to you and other motorists.

For that reason, here are some factors you need to consider when buying a trucker headset to ensure you’ll make the right choice.

Man wearing trucker headset
Man wearing trucker headset

Is it safe to drive while wearing headphones?

Any type of distraction while driving will naturally increase the risk of accidents happening. And it’s no secret that regular headphones can suppress the sounds around you, oftentimes important ones. Emergency vehicles, car horns, railroad indicators, and pedestrian crosswalk alarms, among others.

With that in mind, trucker headsets use a combination of form factor and controls to maintain awareness while on the road.

Check the law in your country or state. Some countries or states have a blanket ban that doesn’t allow the use of any headsets while driving.

Form factor

Trucker headsets are typically monaural. Monaural headsets have an ear cup on one side only, leaving the other ear free. Having one ear free helps maintain spatial awareness.

However, while they’re still safer than binaural headsets (that contain an ear cup on each side), having one ear occupied by monaural headsets can still be problematic for some. So, for those that want to be extra cautious, consider bone conduction headphones.

Bone conduction headphones use an open-ear form factor and transmit sound to your ear by vibrating your bone structure. Because they don’t transmit sound using air, both of your ears are left open, so you can hear everything around you in addition to your headset.

Controls

Truckers spend most of their days and nights with their hands glued to the wheel. Controls should be accessible and easy to press to avoid taking your hands off the wheel too much.

Nothing comes close to a headset that has voice controls. Voice controls allow you to control your music or phone calls without lifting a finger. It’s functional and useful, especially alongside voice-controlled assistants like Siri or Bixby.

Mic noise suppression

It’s no surprise that trucks, on their own, are very noisy. A truck using its engine brake without a muffler can almost reach 100 dB. This, in addition to regular traffic noise, results in a very noisy environment. Using a regular headset mic is next to impossible with all this noise. It will leak into phone calls and make it hard for anyone to hear you.

Yet, truckers need to stay in contact while on the road. Contacting customers, employers and suppliers is essential. And, pulling over to make phone calls is rarely an option due to deadlines. That’s why, to combat extremely high noise levels, your headset should have noise suppression technology.

To achieve this, most trucker headsets will have at least two mics. One is for picking up your voice and one for capturing surrounding noise. The mic that captures all the intrusive noise will filter it out so the person on the other end only hears your voice.

Wireless features

Cables are messy and obstructive. When driving a truck, you don’t want anything snagging or getting caught. The constant need to adjust the cable or check the audio source is distracting and dangerous. The good thing is, wireless technology fixes these problems.

But instead of going for the first wireless trucker headsets you can see, you’d want additional wireless features that make your life even easier. Here are some useful features to consider:

  • Wireless range: The range of your wireless headset is determined by the Bluetooth version and class it’s using. Trucker headsets commonly have a range of at least 10m, which can keep you connected even when you go around the truck. Choosing if you need to go beyond that depends on your work style.
  • Multipoint connectivity: If you’re connecting to more than one device simultaneously, you need multipoint connectivity. This, for instance, will allow you to connect to a smartphone and laptop at the same time and hear audio from both.
  • Near-field communication (NFC) pairing: NFC allows you to connect to your Bluetooth headset simply by tapping it against your NFC-supported device. This makes it easier to connect again if your connection drops for some reason.

Battery life

Being a trucker requires extensive time on the road with few stops. In the US, the Department of Transportation (DOT) imposed a maximum of 11 hours of driving time in one day. Because of this, having a battery life longer than that is crucial.

Having a long battery life means you’ll have to charge the headset less. A longer battery life also gives you the opportunity to use the headset outside of work hours to wind down after a long trip.

It’s important to also consider the time it will take for your headset to receive a full charge. As a trucker, you can’t waste time waiting around for it to charge. A good charging time to expect is around two or less.

Durability

Your headset is going to be going everywhere with you. It needs to be able to withstand all types of conditions. To make sure the headset is built to last, there are a few key factors that make up a durable headset:

  • Materials: Durable headsets should be made of metal or heavy-duty plastic. A sturdy headset will feel less flimsy and is less prone to breaking.
  • IP Rating: The assigned IP rating of your headset determines how resistant it is to water and dust. A headset with a higher IP rating means the electronics are well-sealed and protected.
The first digit of your IP rating determines its intrusion protection and can be a value from 0 to 6. The second digit refers to moisture protection and can be a value from 0 to 9. So for instance, a device with an IP rating of IP69 will be fully protected against dust and water.
  • Operating Temperature: Low temperatures can result in your battery levels fluctuating and even shutting down, while high temperatures may damage some headsets’ systems. Fortunately, many headphones come with a temperature range that they can operate at, with most being between 0-40°C.
Proper storage can extend the lifespan of your headset. Consider getting a case for your headset to safely store it when it’s not in use.

Comfort and fit

Trucker headsets are worn for hours on end. This means that comfort is critical. But more than being an annoyance, uncomfortable headsets may require the users to constantly adjust them to find a less irritating position. This is an intrusive distraction that compromises your road safety.

There are multiple factors that go into making a comfortable headset:

  • Weight: A comfortable headset should be lightweight. Wearing a heavy headset for long hours can be cumbersome. Anything below 500g is ideal.
  • Padding: Headphones often include padding on the headband and ear cups. Good padding will feel thick and cushiony. For earbuds, it’s all about having a soft and flexible tip that provides a secure and comfortable fit.
  • Clamping force: Clamping force refers to how tight the ear cups feel when worn. Too much and the headset will be too tight, while not enough will cause them to be loose and flimsy. However, each person will have their own preference based on their head shape and how the headphones fit for them.

6 Best Trucker Headsets [2021]

BlueParrott B550-XT

Best Overall
Close look at BlueParrot B550-XT (From: Amazon)
Close look at BlueParrot B550-XT (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Form Factor: Monaural Over-ear
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Mic Noise Suppression: 96%
  • Controls: Voice and on-ear buttons
  • IP Rating: IP54
  • Battery Life: 24 hours
  • Charging time: 3.5 hours
  • Wireless Range: 90 m
  • Multipoint Connectivity: Up to 2 devices

The BlueParrot B550-XT’s set the standard for trucker headsets. This is mainly because superior noise suppression ensures your voice is heard loud and clear in phone calls. And, with a wireless range up to 200ft, you can use it in and around your truck without your connection dropping.

Moreover, the headset has an IP54 rating which means it’s protected from water splashes and dust. It also has an operating temperature range between -10°C to 60°C (14°F to 140°F), making it perfect for use in hot and dusty conditions, as well as cold and wet ones.

You may think that’s all good, but, one of the best features has to be the complete voice control. It gives you full control over your phone calls and music without lifting a finger.

Compared to the older B450-XT’s, you can say that either of the two versions can be good options depending on your priority.

For one, Both headsets have a talk time of up to 24 hours, but the B550-XT only have a standby time of 400+ hours while the B450-XT have up to 500 hours. The B550-XT charging time is also 30 minutes slower and they’re four grams heavier at 165g.

However, the B550-XT’s do offer Pro voice control, which is something you won’t see in the previous version.

But, while the headset is feature-rich, it feels fairly delicate when held and doesn’t seem like it would hold up well to the occasional accidental drop. However, the B550-XT’s deliver in almost all other aspects which has earned them the top spot.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Blue Tiger Elite Ultra

Strong Runner-Up
Close look at Blue Tiger Elite Ultra (From: Amazon)
Close look at Blue Tiger Elite Ultra (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Form Factor: Monaural Over-ear
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Mic Noise Suppression: 96%
  • Controls: On-ear buttons
  • IP Rating: N/A
  • Battery Life: 60 hours
  • Charging time: 2 hours
  • Wireless Range: 30 m
  • Multipoint Connectivity: Up to 2 devices

The Blue Tiger Elite Ultra’s are another top pick that almost made it to the top. They have the best battery life of the headsets on this list (a huge plus) and can reduce road and truck engine noise by 96%. They only fall short as they have no official IP rating and the wireless range is shorter than the BlueParrot B550-XT’s.

The Elite Ultra have a total of 60 hours of talk time, 26 hours more than the previous model, Blue Tiger Elite USA’s, 34 hour talk time rating. The Elite Ultra’s also have a 1200 hour standby rating, a huge increase over the Elite USA’s 600 hour standby rating.

But, as great as the noise canceling and accessibility features are for this headset, we have to take some points away for durability. The swivel boom mic is very thin and if too much pressure is applied, it’s easy for it to snap. While the headset is very lightweight, it feels like it’s at the cost of sturdiness.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Angteela BM-9

Best Budget
Close look at Angteela BM-9 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Angteela BM-9 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Form Factor: Monaural On-ear
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Mic Noise Suppression: Not specified
  • Controls: On-ear buttons
  • IP Rating: N/A
  • Battery Life: 15 hours
  • Charging time: 2 hours
  • Wireless Range: 10 m
  • Multipoint Connectivity: Up to 2 devices

No longer will you need to break the bank to get a headset that can filter out that intrusive noise around you. The Angteela BM-9’s use a mic that’s equipped with noise-canceling technology to isolate your voice during calls so nobody hears the annoying rumbling caused by your truck and cars on the road.

While no specific noise suppression range is mentioned, there’s no doubt that these headphones really can block out the truck and traffic noise to help the other person hear you clearly.

Besides that, the on-ear controls can be used to control your calls and music, or wake up Siri.

A generous 3-year warranty gives you peace of mind knowing that you can get an easy replacement if any faults were to arise.

This headset clearly has all of the minimal requirements that are needed for a trucker headset. But, given the price, you should still limit your expectations since these won’t exactly match up with higher-end pairs in some features.

For example, the mic does include a mute function, but in order to use it, you must press the “+” and “-” buttons at the same time. This can be troublesome if you need to mute and unmute often and can quickly become a hassle.

However, perhaps the biggest drawback here is comfort. When worn for long periods at a time, the pressure from the ear cup can get uncomfortable especially for people with large heads. You can help this by switching sides as the mic can be rotated 270° degrees, but this can quickly become a nuisance if you have to do it while driving.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

TECKNET TK-HS001

Best Mic Noise Suppression
Close look at TECKNET TK-HS001 (From: Amazon)
Close look at TECKNET TK-HS001 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Form Factor: Monaural On-ear
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Mic Noise Suppression: 99.6%
  • Controls: On-ear buttons
  • IP Rating: N/A
  • Battery Life: 32 hours
  • Charging time: 2 hours
  • Wireless Range: 10 m
  • Multipoint Connectivity: Up to 2 devices

The TK-HS001 headset by TECKNET has the highest noise suppression percentage on this list, only 0.4% away from 100%. This makes it great for filtering out excessive noise produced by your truck or the roads around you. Whoever you’re talking to will hear you loud and clear without the constant noise from everything surrounding you.

Aside from that, durability is great. The majority of the headset is made from thick plastic and the interior of the headband is made from metal. Overall, it feels very strong and solid so you don’t have to worry about it breaking on the first drop.

There’s a mute button on the ear cup that’s easy to reach when you’re driving. You can also control your music and volume using the buttons on the side. And, the mic can be rotated at a 135° angle so you can move it away when it’s not in use.

However, the headset sits on your ear instead of over it. And, because of the solid build, the headset is quite heavy. This combination can make the headset quite comfortable when worn for more than three hours due to the pressure felt on your ears and the top of your head. If there was padding on the opposite side, it may relieve and balance out the pressure.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Plantronics Voyager 5200

Most Portable
Close look at Plantronics Voyager 5200 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Plantronics Voyager 5200 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Form Factor: Monaural In-ear
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Mic Noise Suppression: Not specified
  • Controls: On-ear buttons
  • IP Rating: IPX4
  • Battery Life: 7 hours
  • Charging time: 1.5 hours
  • Wireless Range: 30 m
  • Multipoint Connectivity: Up to 2 devices

If you prefer something more lightweight, the Plantronics Voyager 5200’s are an in-ear solution that can be carried wherever you go with ease. The mic uses four-mic noise-canceling and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to capture your voice while canceling out background road noise. This is only enhanced with the six layers of WindSmart technology that uses a proprietary algorithm to reduce wind noise.

A DSP is used to convert analog signals into digital. For example, the noises you hear around you are captured by a DSP, converted into a digital signal, then transmitted back to us. In headphones, a typical form of DSP is noise-canceling technology.

The headset has a useful dynamic mute alert. If you’re talking and don’t realize you’re muted, the headset will alert you so you can unmute yourself. It also has smart sensor technology that detects when it’s being worn or not so it’s not wasting battery if you forget to pause your music when you take it off.

Unfortunately, because of their small size, their battery can’t compete against those of other larger headphones on this list. With only 7 hours of battery life, they will require a regular charge if you find yourself using them extensively while on the road.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

AfterShokz OpenComm

Best for Spatial Awareness
Close look at AfterShokz OpenComm (From: Amazon)
Close look at AfterShokz OpenComm (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Form Factor: Bone Conduction Headphones
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Mic Noise Suppression: Not specified
  • Controls: Multifunction button
  • IP Rating: IP55
  • Battery Life: 16 hours
  • Charging time: 1 hour
  • Wireless Range: 10 m
  • Multipoint Connectivity: Up to 2 devices

The AfterShokz OpenComm headphones use bone conduction technology that allows you to keep your ears free while enjoying the benefits of wearing headphones. Sound is transmitted using vibrations through your bone structure rather than sound waves through the air.

Having this open ear design keeps you alert to any sounds and warnings you need to hear on the road.

Design-wise, the OpenComm headset is very modern and even features a noise-canceling boom mic that’s designed to cut the background noise made by your truck and other road users. In fact, AfterShokz recommends them for truckers based on this feature.

The single on-ear multifunction button can be used to control your phone calls and music without needing to pick up your phone.

Plus, for such a small headset, they boast a battery life of up to 16 hours with a charge time of only 1 hour. This makes it super easy to get a quick charge in a short timespan if you’re in a rush.

The headset is not adjustable, though. For some, the wire that sits around the back of your head can be very long. It can hang and prevent a snug fit. And, to remain secure, they squeeze against your temples. If too tight, they can lead to headaches from the constant pressure.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Leave a Reply