More than ever, people are finding jobs that offer remote work. Whether you work a hybrid schedule — a few days in the office, the rest at home — or a fully remote job, you need the right equipment to make it comfortable. We’ve gathered some of our favorite webcams, monitors, USB mics and other devices that help make remote working that much easier. Add these essentials to your home office and see how your work-from-home experience improves.
The home office must-haves for a remote worker are obvious: a full-size keyboard, a wireless mouse and an external monitor. But there’s a handful of other gear — from the best desk, blue-light-blocking glasses or a good pair of noise-canceling headphones — that can make your workday less frustrating, more productive and comfortable. Our recommendations for the best home office essentials for your home office setup are below. We’ll update this list periodically as we review new products.
This Logitech mouse is ostensibly geared for travel, but it’s really just a good all-around mouse for anyone who finds the step-up Logitech MX Master 3 to be overkill. From the scroll wheel to the programmable side buttons, this mouse can handle any pointing task. It charges via USB-C, and interfaces with devices via the included USB-A unifying dongle or Bluetooth. There’s also an Apple-centric model available for the same price.
Read our Logitech MX Anywhere 3 hands-on impressions.
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It’s not my favorite webcam — that would be Logitech’s StreamCam, which costs twice as much — but the C920S will get the job done. The image quality and sound pickup are pretty good, and the clip-on design makes it suitable for an external monitor or laptop computer. The physical privacy shutter is a confidence-inspiring flourish that protects you and your office space from prying eyes.
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The Shure MV5 digital condenser microphone combines an unfussy setup and high-quality audio with a compact design. I wouldn’t recommend it for high-stakes recording projects, but it will certainly boost the sound quality of your Zoom meetings and other webconferencing interactions. It comes with both USB-C and Lightning cables.
If you’re willing to spend more, and can find it in stock, the Blue Yeti is an even better mic for advanced users. It features three capsule microphones, four pickup patterns (for different kinds of recording) and just enough controls to help optimize the way you sound without overloading you with super technical features.
There’s a lot to like about the Edge Desk System. It provides a highly ergonomic sitting position, with an ergonomic chair and knee supports that can relieve the tension of sitting in a traditional chair. It’s highly adjustable and we’ve been able to change the height and angle to accommodate everyone in my family, including an 8-year-old child. It can also easily and quickly fold up into a surprisingly compact and mobile package; you can essentially use it in any room, whether your work environment is your living room or even next to your kitchen table.
Apple’s Magic Keyboard is awesome. It has the old-school Mac keyboard design and space, with the pleasing scissor key mechanism, and it’s wireless, connecting via Bluetooth. Best of all, the battery, which is rechargeable via USB, lasts for months on a charge. (I also love Apple’s Magic Mouse 2 for the same reasons.) The larger version with the numeric keypad — yep, that’s great, too.
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You can use Apple’s peripherals with Windows machines, but if you’re looking for an alternative Bluetooth keyboard that will work with anything from Windows PCs to Macs to iPads to phones, the Logitech K380 is a great choice for about $30. Pair it with up to three devices, and toggle between each of them with the click of a button.
Read our Logitech K380 review.
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Rated up to 11 hours
Yes (IPX4 — splash-proof)
Beyerdynamic may be late to the game, but it’s finally introduced its first true-wireless earbuds, which feature active noise canceling, up to 11 hours of battery life (with noise canceling off) and impressive sound quality.
Beyerdynamic is known for its over-ear wired studio headphones, including the newish DT 700 Pro X ($259). The Free Byrd earbuds, which support the AAC and aptX Adaptive audio codecs, exhibit many of that model’s sonic traits, including clean, accurate sound and an airy open quality (aka a wide soundstage).
If you can get the proper fit and a tight seal, these are excellent-sounding earbuds that are right at the top of their price class in terms of sound quality. The Free Byrd are closer to the middle of the road in other areas, particularly their noise-canceling performance. But Beyerdynamic has said it made sound quality its highest priority and that definitely shows. Read our Beyerdynamic Free Byrd review.
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When you work from home, making coffee becomes a sacramental practice. Think of this kitchen appliance as the Swiss army knife of the drip coffee maker world. The Ninja programmable brewer (with frother, thermal carafe and reusable filter) offers an uncanny degree of flexibility, making it the best coffee maker for those who don’t always want the same cup. It can create everything from solid drip, to perfect cold brew, to iced coffee, to latte-style drinks with its milk frother, and it will adjust the temperature according to your choice. Its thermal carafe will keep tea or coffee hot up to two hours.
This programmable coffee maker even lets you brew iced coffee and hot coffee in multiple sizes, from small cups, mugs and travel mugs, all the way up to half and full carafes.
Read our Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System review.
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When you’re not commuting, there may be some more time for dinner prep. Dinnerly rolls out exciting-sounding and delicious meals such as summery chicken panzanella and risotto with asparagus and cannellini beans. But with no more than six ingredients per recipe, the damage done to your time and kitchen is minimized. The price tag for Dinnerly puts it squarely in the budget-friendly category, clocking in with a cost per serving of around $5. The subscription options include a Two-Person Box for $30, or a Family Box for $60, each with three recipes for the week. Looking for more options? Check out our list of best mealkit services.
After testing the Expression I was pleasantly surprised at how well this printer did. Being Epson’s budget option it could have been poor, but instead performed excellently at text reproduction and about average on the image quality.
The setup was quick and easy and the Wi-Fi connection seems to be solid wherever I put it in my house. Print time was average at 1 minute, 15 seconds, but the text quality more than made up for the speed. All of the text, even the photocopied text, was legible and smooth.
The only downside is how small the ink cartridges are on this printer. I know ink is where companies make the most money, but replacing these tiny cartridges every few weeks or months will get old quickly.
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At first glance, the Branch standing desk looks pretty generic, but the level of craftsmanship is apparent on closer inspection. All of the materials feel premium, with a weight that only comes from good engineering.
Putting it together was simple and only took about 30 minutes, though I think having two people would reduce that significantly. It was also extremely well packaged — something that Branch does with all its products — so it was in top shape once I had it all together.
The Branch desk can remember four separate heights and has a handy cable door at the back to keep your desk clear and tidy. While the desk can feel a little too business-like — I bought the white top and white legs — if you choose one of the warmer woods and the gray legs it will likely fit into your home office better.
If you’re furnishing an office, the Branch desk and Verve office chair from our best office chairs is a great combination.
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