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Headphones: The New Business Productivity Tool Turn on, plug in, get more done--with better sound quality

By Jonathan Blum

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Meet the new small-business productivity tool: headphones. That's right, you heard us. Portable audio devices have spawned a new generation of discriminating audiophiles who use music to help them think more clearly, to relax and, generally, to be more productive at the office. And that means there's demand for a new generation of headphones that, when used properly, can turn long flights, cramped cubicles and even busy home offices into focused zones of workplace excellence. Here's a look at our favorites.

Best entry-level sealed headphones
Beyerdynamic DT 235

Made by German audio legend Beyerdynamic, the DT 235 sets the bar for fit over the ear--and for blocking outside noise. This surprisingly comfortable set will drive out the drone of your next business flight, without the need for finicky or pricey active noise-reduction technology. Great sound at a great price.

Best in-ear headphones with mic
Woodees W100B

Better-known headphone makers such as Ultimate Ears, Shure and Etymotic Research make quality ear buds with microphones built in. But Woodees, in Baton Rouge, La., gets the nod for small-business use. Excellent audio quality, crisp voice sound on calls and, believe it or not, a comfy, natural-feeling wood make these the pick of the in-ear litter.

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