CNN Underscored is consistently testing merchandise — be it espresso makers or headphones — to seek out the very best in every respective class.

Our testing course of is rigorous, consisting of hours of analysis (consulting consultants, studying editorial critiques and browsing person scores) to seek out the highest merchandise in every class. As soon as we decide on a testing pool, we spend weeks — if not months — testing and retesting every product a number of instances in real-world settings. All this in an effort to decide on the very best merchandise.

This yr, we examined numerous classes — from huge purchases like standing desks to peripherals like USB hubs — that make establishing the perfect dwelling workplace a bit simpler.


The Steelcase Collection 1 stood out as one of the vital customizable, high-quality, comfy workplace chairs in the marketplace, beating out chairs double the worth — making it one of the best bang for the buck.

The Alera Elusion Collection Multifunction Chair emerged as our greatest price range choose, standing as much as (and in some circumstances far surpassing) workplace chairs that retail for greater than 5 instances its value level, significantly within the consolation and adjustability classes.

Standing desks

Greatest total standing desk: Department Adjustable Standing Desk ($699;

The Department Adjustable Standing Desk is a near-perfect desk that may deal with a number of displays, twin laptops and a plethora of knickknacks. It’s additionally extremely sturdy, with probably the greatest builds we’ve encountered.

Greatest customized standing desk: Uplift V2-Industrial Standing Desk (beginning at $549.99, initially $599.99 for 42×30;

The Uplift V2-Industrial Standing Desk provides the widest breadth of customization out of any standing desk we’ve encountered, from dimension to complete to keypads — along with being a high-quality desk.

Greatest price range electrical standing desk: SHW Electrical Peak-Adjustable Pc Desk ($228.87;

The SHW Electrical Peak-Adjustable Pc Desk is a surprisingly purposeful, sturdy desk at an extremely inexpensive value, comparatively. It was a breeze to assemble, comes with a cable administration tray and incorporates a digital keypad with reminiscence presets. ​

Greatest standing desk converter: Flexispot Peak-Adjustable Standing Desk Converter (beginning at $169.99 for 28” or 31”;

The Flexispot Peak-Adjustable Standing Desk Converter is a superb converter that’s accessible in a number of sizes. Each its desktop and keyboard tray present ample house, and it adjusts with the push of a lever.

Headphones and earbuds

If you happen to’re on the lookout for probably the most performance and options, the Galaxy Buds Professional are a no brainer. The spotlight: class-leading noise cancellation that blocks out all distractions for the instances you significantly have to focus. And, because the Galaxy Buds Professional earbuds additionally characteristic an ambient noise mode — which intelligently lets exterior noises in — you received’t miss something necessary, like your partner or the doorbell. And in case you’re the sort to hearken to music or podcasts whilst you work, the Buds Professional ship distinctive sound high quality (on par with the AirPods Professional) and a customizable EQ combine courtesy of the buds’ companion app. On high of all of it, these are a few of the most comfy earbuds (even edging out the AirPods, to a level) we’ve ever worn, and we simply wore them for a full workday.

After numerous calls and normal use, the EarFun Air earbuds proved to ship loads with just a few compromises. The sunshine, plastic construct and 4 included ear ideas guarantee all-day consolation. With 4 microphones in whole, they’re glorious at selecting up your voice whereas ignoring different components within the background (so your co-workers received’t hear the barking canine or different random family noises). Positive, there are some downsides — noise cancellation is nonexistent and the built-in controls are finicky — however in case you’re on the lookout for an affordable pair of earbuds good to be used whereas working, the Earbuds Air are a positive guess.

Ought to headphones be extra your jam, you needn’t look additional than Sony’s WH-100XM4 headphones ($348; Whereas not probably the most inexpensive, they have been in a distinct stratosphere in comparison with different headphones we examined. They ship best-in-class noise cancelation that places you in your individual bubble, whereas transparency mode ensures that you would be able to nonetheless hear a knock on the door. With 5 microphones, it additionally dramatically improves the voice pickup over different headphones we examined — solely being bested by a pair that’s $200 extra — and produced clear audio in numerous exams.

Whereas we’d love to focus on a price range pair of headphones, we discovered that the choices round $100 or much less muffled our voice and at instances confused it with background sounds, making them removed from ideally suited to be used whereas working.

Mike Andronico/CNN

Whereas we tried out tons of nice microphones, the Blue Yeti managed to outclass all of them. This microphone delivered one of the best mixture of sound high quality and options for the cash, producing heat, natural-sounding voice recordings full with helpful onboard controls and 4 helpful recording modes. There’s a motive you see a number of your favourite YouTubers utilizing this mic — it truly is that good.

If you happen to’re not trying to spend as a lot, the FIFINE Ok669B is a ridiculously good worth. We examined a number of high-quality mics beneath $60, however this $35 mannequin outshined some rivals practically twice the worth, due to its superior controls, extremely versatile design and spectacular quantity and readability. There are some trade-offs for this low value — the Ok669B’s voice high quality isn’t as refined as that of the Blue Yeti, and it picks up rather more background noise. You’ll additionally should reside with out a number of sound modes and a headphone jack. However by way of sheer worth, this small however mighty microphone can’t be beat.

For individuals who are critical about their Twitch streaming, the Elgato Wave:Three is made particularly for you. On high of being one of many best-sounding mics we examined, the Wave:Three has a wonderful companion app that makes it simple to handle a number of audio sources when broadcasting out to the world. Whereas the Yeti has strong controls for adjusting how loudly you get picked up, the Wave:Three goes a step additional with an onboard mixer that permits you to stability your voice and no matter you’re broadcasting with a fast flip of a knob.

Laptops, tablets and displays

At $999, the MacBook Air with M1 is a price range laptop computer that may tackle any job — from net looking to productiveness to 4K video modifying. And in case you’re within the Apple ecosystem, it’ll work completely with different Apple units.

The Dell XPS 13 packs a stunning, light-weight, slim and extremely transportable design for working wherever, a virtually borderless show that makes content material pop and a strong 11th Gen Intel processor that may burn by means of most workloads with ease.

The 14-inch MacBook Professional provides beastly efficiency for critical energy customers, in addition to one of the best ports, show and audio system on a MacBook.

The Floor Professional Eight delivers quick efficiency, a vivid show and a very good keyboard inside a flexible, removable design.

Jacob Krol/CNN

The ninth Gen iPad stood out as one of the best total possibility in our testing due to a quicker processor that crushes on a regular basis duties with ease. It mixes efficiency and worth in a approach that no different pill can, and tosses in assist for core iPad accessories.

The 2021 iPad Professional is the quickest pill we’ve ever examined and it runs effortlessly by means of all kinds of duties — Photoshop exports, video renders, gaming, productiveness duties and streaming all occur and not using a hitch.

Greatest Android pill: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Wi-Fi (beginning at $649.99; or

The Tab S7 is a transparent winner, with sufficient energy to maintain up with no matter you’ll be able to throw at it and loads of battery life. Whereas Android isn’t fairly on par with iPad OS, Samsung DeX brings Home windows-like multitasking to the Tab.

The Hearth HD Eight Plus can deal with a bunch of on a regular basis duties and entry Amazon’s library of content material, together with streaming motion pictures and TV exhibits, e-reading and even some mild gaming. For $109.99, it may possibly do loads, however know that the Amazon App Retailer is restricted.

Jacob Krol

This 23.8-inch QHD monitor has the chops to deal with no matter you want it to, from Phrase docs to gaming. The Lenovo’s tremendous slim bezels don’t distract the attention from its vibrant panel, and a blue mild filter additionally helps lower eye pressure, making it ideally suited for longer workdays.

For these consistently working with visible duties like photograph or video modifying, Dell’s 27-inch UltraSharp 4K monitor is a no brainer, bursting with vibrancy and a stage of element that was unmatched by different flat shows we examined.

You probably have sufficient desk actual property, Samsung’s CJ791 affords probably the most house with a curved, ultra-wide 34-inch show. Irrespective of what number of completely different duties and apps you’re juggling directly, you’ll be able to neatly organize them and unfold them out in entrance of you.

Mice, keyboards, printers, audio system and peripherals

Jake Krol/CNN

The HP Envy Professional 6455 is a feature-filled and dependable unit that proves you don’t have to spend a ton for excellent efficiency. As an all-in-one unit it provides high quality prints throughout textual content and visually heavy duties alike, whereas additionally with the ability to scan and duplicate with ease.

The Logitech MX Grasp Three is the right mix of conventional ergonomic design, clever workflow options and portability. At $100, it’s ideally suited for anybody on the lookout for a workhorse mouse that may get them by means of years of productiveness throughout a number of units.

The Logitech M510 punches above its weight class. At $25, it’s a budget-friendly mouse that also provides a snug design, a number of programmable buttons and impressively lengthy battery life.

The Logitech MX Grasp Three is an unequivocally comfy mouse. It’s formed to perfection, with particular consideration to the fingers that do the click. Utilizing it felt like our fingers have been lounging — with a sculpted ergonomic groove for practically each finger.

The Logitech Z407 pc audio system supply a modern design, tons of connectivity choices and a cool puck-shaped controller that you would be able to put wherever you need. Anybody who needs moderately priced pc audio system will love what they’ve to supply.

The Cyber Acoustics CA3090 audio system are extraordinarily cheap, however they’re a critical improve over your built-in pc audio system. These include a subwoofer for prolonged bass response, and have a wired distant for straightforward management.

If you wish to prioritize audio high quality and have a bit of additional house and money, the PreSonus Eris 3.5 BT audio system are the best way to go. These audio system supply each wired and Bluetooth connections, however in addition they supply a extra detailed audio high quality and respectable bass.

The THX-certified Logitech Z625 audio system not solely assist immersive audio requirements for suitable video games, however in addition they sound nice, include a subwoofer to enhance that bass and supply loads of connectivity choices, together with an optical port for integration.

Eric Ravenscraft/CNN

The total-size, full featured Logitech MX Keys provides a terrific typing expertise, simple machine switching, and easy customization.

The compact, transportable Ok380 provides a typing expertise that compares to keyboards twice its value, plus two years of battery life and pairing with three units. Greatest ergonomic keyboard: Logitech Ergo Ok860We discovered the Logitech Ergo Ok860 to be a phenomenally comfy keyboard. Its split-keyboard construct coupled with a wave-like curvature throughout the physique permits each your shoulders and arms to relaxation in a extra pure place that eased the stress that may usually accompany hours spent in entrance of an everyday keyboard.

We discovered the Logitech Ergo Ok860 to be a phenomenally comfy keyboard. Its split-keyboard construct coupled with a wave-like curvature throughout the physique permits each your shoulders and arms to relaxation in a extra pure place that eased the stress that may usually accompany hours spent in entrance of an everyday keyboard.

The Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard compromises little regardless of its affordability. It’s constructed equally to the Ok860: a cut up keyboard, curvature that brings the middle of the keyboard off your desk and a palm relaxation alongside the underside edge. In contrast to the Ok860, this one is wired, so it isn’t practically as simple to swap between units.


My Passport has sufficient house to retailer all of your recordsdata — packing near 100,000 photograph recordsdata, or in our case, two backups of our complete library. All that in a trendy but rugged bundle.

The premium choose: SanDisk Excessive Professional Transportable SSD (Beginning at $209, initially $309.99;

The sturdy construct (with safety from drops of 6.5 toes) is ideal for on-the-go use. It could come at a premium, however for these looking for a top-of-the-line onerous drive, the SanDisk won’t disappoint.

Anker’s Powerline II is a primary cable that does every thing nicely, with none bells and whistles that enhance the price. The 6-foot cable does are available in three colours, although: white, inexperienced and black — alongside a 3-foot model that is available in white and black. We stress examined the cables with some onerous tugs and a few tight bends, and it felt like it might maintain up nicely over time, the place different cables may break down and fray on the ends.

Greatest mesh Wi-Fi router: Eero 6 and two extenders ($181, initially $279;

With its foolproof setup course of, practically unequalled speeds and protection areas, Eero 6 is your finest guess when choosing a mesh router. It’s an funding however one that may final for a number of years, due to the most recent requirements being supported inside.


With tons of lighting and placement changes, the EMart ring mild provides you the pliability to get nice, constant lighting for video calls, streaming, selfies or any content material creation want.

Sufficiently small to place in a pocket or purse, the Whellen ring mild provides you nice video name and selfie lighting you’ll be able to take wherever. The handy clip mounting matches in your cellphone or laptop computer, and received’t scratch your display.


Anker’s Powerline + USB-C cable is sturdy and purposeful, with a braided jacket, strong connectors, and handles as much as 60 watts of energy for quick charging. And its backed by a lifetime guarantee.

The Nomad USB-C to USB-C cable is wrapped in a thick, roadworthy Kevlar jacket with and helps as much as 100 watts of energy, sufficient to cost laptops. A 5 yr guarantee retains you coated ought to something go mistaken.

Michael Berk/CNN Underscored

With 45 watts of energy, assist for all the main fast-charging requirements, cool-running GaN circuitry and a slim design that makes it simple to plug in wherever, the PowerPort Atom III was probably the most versatile single-port charger we examined.

If you happen to’re on the lookout for a compact charger with fashionable fast-charging assist to go together with a brand new cellphone that ships with out one, the PowerPort Nano Professional 511 does a fantastic job at an inexpensive value.

Greatest higher-wattage USB-C charger for laptops and a number of units: Anker PowerPort Atom PD 4 ($129.99,

Supplying 100 watts of energy throughout two USB-C and two USB-A ports, the PowerPort Atom PD Four distributed energy probably the most intelligently of the multi-device chargers we examined it, making it a fantastic alternative if you might want to hold a number of units able to go.


The Satechi USB-C hub delivered a few of the quickest information switch speeds in our testing pool, whereas packing Ethernet and 60W energy pass-through in a slim, pocketable type issue that we discovered to be a really perfect go-anywhere companion to a 13-inch laptop computer.

The Totu 9-in-1 triple show USB-C hub provides extra ports and 100W energy supply whereas offering strong total speeds on file switch exams. It allowed us to make use of two exterior displays with our laptop computer with none lag or stutters (and might deal with as much as three shows), making it a superb match for increasing the connectivity of extra highly effective 15-inch notebooks.


The $69 Logitech C920S is one of the best webcam for most individuals, delivering glorious image high quality in each brilliant and dim lighting situations. Its design is sturdy and versatile, and it has some helpful companion software program for customizing your photographs.

The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 provides very spectacular efficiency for a comparatively low value. This light-weight digicam is right for laptop computer customers, and it delivers pure colours and a area of view that rival its extra dear opponents in some areas.

For content material creators it doesn’t get a lot better than the $169 Logitech StreamCam. This enticing digicam delivers 1080p video at 60 frames per second (fps) for extra-smooth Twitch streams, and has the distinctive capability to be positioned in portrait mode for whenever you’re attempting to shoot the subsequent viral TikTok hit.

The $199 Razer Kiyo Professional delivers one of the best video high quality and suppleness of all of the cameras we examined. It shoots at 1080p at as much as 60 fps, nevertheless it actually stands out with a complicated mild sensor that made us look nice even in poorly lit environments.


Simple to configure and use, the Wi-Fi 6 suitable TP-Hyperlink RE605X gave us constant excessive efficiency and supplied one of the best wi-fi sign over the widest space of all of the extenders we examined.

If you happen to’re trying to spend as little as you’ll be able to and nonetheless get strong efficiency (and solely want Wi-Fi 5 assist), the TP-Hyperlink RE315 gave us higher protection in all of our exams than another cheap possibility.


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