The Best Home Office Gear: Headphones, Computer Speakers, Desks, & More


7 Ways To Upgrade Your Home Office

For many, "back to school" and "work from home" is going to look very different this year. Many of us are already working from home in one room and juggling our kids' virtual learning or playdates in another. Some of us are sharing office spaces... and some of us are sharing kitchens or dining rooms doing double duty as office spaces.

We see you.
We feel you.
We're here for you.

While there's a lot we can't control - like little Jimmy's mid-morning melt-down or your neighbor's poorly-planned power-washing marathon, we can help you create a comfortable and efficient work space where you (and/or your entire family) will love to work.

Here's a sneak peek: high-performing noise-cancelling headphones that drown out distractions (like that power-washer). Flexible office desks for any sized room - standing, seated or both - and laptop stands that double as chic side tables. Computer monitors and mounts that free up desk space. Podcast-style microphones that cut out background noise so you can stop saying "can you hear me?" on every call. Powered computer speakers that double as incredible-sounding stereo systems. And, the backbone of it all: Enterprise-Grade network solutions so you can stop fighting for Wi-Fi bandwidth in your own home. Need design help? We've got an in-house interior designer that can bring it all together so that you don't have to worry about a thing.

1. Noise Canceling Headphones

If we had to pick only one item in this guide for someone looking to boost productivity in a busy home, this would be it. Noise canceling headphones don't just sound great, they can help you concentrate. Noise cancelling headphones cut out the ambient noise around you, so that you can focus on the music you're playing, being present for that conference call, or collecting your thoughts for an important email or homework assignment. Active noise canceling headphones use active noise control (ANC) that detects ambient sounds around you to create a type of “anti-noise” that cancels out exterior sound with destructive interference. It creates a sort of cocoon of sound - think Daredevil's isolation tank, but without the tank part. Lately, we've even found ourselves turning on the noise-cancellation without any music just to get some peace and quiet at home. It's instant sound-proofing without ever having to leave the room. For a long work day, we prefer the comfort and flexibility of wireless over-ear noise canceling headphones, though in-ear, on-ear, wired, and truly wireless noise canceling headphones are available.

2. Home Office (and Virtual School) Furniture

Whether you have a dedicated home office or are simply setting up shop at the kitchen table, establishing a designated work space tells your brain that you’re in the place where you do work productively. This is perhaps even more important for kids now, as they try to adapt to an at-home school environment. Brands like BDI don't just make beautiful and functional A/V furniture, their home office line combines modern engineering and innovative design to create comfortable and efficient work spaces. A workspace should work for you, giving you the tools and innovative features you need to perform your best throughout the day.

Furniture and components are available in an array of finishes, materials, and configurations - including standing and modular desks and sets, corner desks for tight spaces, laptop stands, and storage solutions. Combine inline, peninsula and standing desk components with adjustable shelves or cabinets to extend desk space. Keyboard drawers with flip-down fronts and are lined with nonslip material to keep your work surface clear. Built-in wire management channels, removable panels, and cable openings conceal and keep cords organized. Rollable storage drawers with extending printer trays keep everyday office supplies close at hand, yet tuck neatly away when not in use. Our in-house interior designer can put an entire room together for you or simply help you choose the right finishes.

3. Computer Monitors

Most people typically spend around a third of their day in front of a computer screen, having a sizable impact on your health and wellness and your productivity. Sharper resolutions and larger screens can benefit those working and learning from home, but also gamers, and those that watch movies or stream TV shows on their computer monitor. We typically recommend something 27-inches or above, with a solid refresh rate and high resolution. A bigger screen lets you maximize space with multiple windows, increasing productivity, and generally offers more USB ports and improved ergonomics with more versatile viewing angles.

4. Desktop Mounts for Computers, Phones & Tablets

Elevate your monitor to achieve a more comfortable viewing position (for you and the person at the other end of your Zoom call!) and to clear up desk space. To really increase productivity, set up a secondary monitor with a dual monitor stand. For smaller devices, enjoy hands-free access to your smartphone or tablet with universal device stands. Multiple points of rotation ensure your device is positioned exactly where you need it.

Desktop mounts attach to the back of your monitor(s) and provide you with the flexibility to reposition your display in a variety of ways thanks to the adjustable/articulating arms. Aside from the obvious improved efficiency of desk space, this helps to minimize neck strain and encourage proper seating positioning and also anchors your display to prevent unwanted accidents. Most mounts come equipped with a clamp mechanism for easy installation on any surface with a grommet hole or ledge up to three inches thick, and include integrated cable management for a clean and professional appearance.

5. Computer Speakers

Most people don't think twice about investing in their computer speakers. Most laptops come with speakers built in, and you can buy external desktop computer speakers for... what, $20? Yeah. Sure. Of course you can. But if you're reading an article on, you probably know by now that we LOVE music and it's our life's work to rid the world of crappy audio. There are desktop computer speakers out there that will blow you away - that can double as a killer, high performing pair of powered speakers for your home stereo system. Add a DAC, and you've just taken your audio quality up another level. Brands like Audioengine and Kanto have crafted simple yet beautiful, easy-to-use speakers that perform exceptionally well as tabletop/bookshelf speakers or premium computer speakers. Add a pair of powered Audioengine speakers to a turntable for an essential 2-channel setup and you've got one of our best selling vinyl-lover's setups. Or get a little funky with Harman Kardon's Multimedia Soundsticks - which is a part of the permanent collection at MOMA.

6. Studio Sound at Home

"Can you hear me"? Yep, a line often heard on the average conference or video call. But, no more. Podcast or conference like a pro at home or on the go. Home studio microphones, headphones, and audio interfaces by Shure enhance vocal clarity and screen out background noise. Think: outside traffic or your neighbor's power-washer. We use some of the mics from Shure's podcast series for our really important conference calls or client meetings and they've noticeably upped the audio quality for our Virtual Workshops. The MV88+ is a super flexible piece of gear and the MV5 is great for those with a more permanent desk space.

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7. Enterprise-Grade Home Networks & Wi-Fi

To put it simply: crappy Wi-Fi is the biggest hindrance to virtual productivity there is. With higher bandwidth demands for streaming and an increasing number of connected devices, a robust network offering uninterrupted connection is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity for the modern home. Your network powers mission-critical systems in your home, from Smart TVs and home entertainment systems, to door locks and climate control. With more people working from home and virtual schooling, many families are wrestling with bandwidth that is delaying their internet speed. You may also be finding areas in your home with lousy connectivity that's impacting your ability to hold a productive video call or finish a project.

Your home’s network is the digital “backbone” that all your other home technologies rely on. Enterprise-Grade Networks are systems specifically designed for the modern home, with the same enterprise grade standards for security, control, reliability, scalability, up-time availability, and support. We expect that your home entertainment systems and your Wi-Fi and streaming services are getting a lot of use right now, and we are here to support you and make your experience at home as comfortable and connected as possible.

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