Around the neck Bluetooth headphones have a lot of advantages over other type of headphones. They are great for phone calls and have stronger battery life and better sound. What are the best and why we still see this type of headphones?
Here are a few tips for picking your first neckband Bluetooth headphone.
- Stay put on your neck as you move
- Able to perform business calls
- Transparency mode to hear the ambient sound – nice feature if you want to hear your friend talk to you or aware of traffic.
- Bass, mid-range and highs are great for the music you love
- Stable Bluetooth connection and long Bluetooth range
- Noise cancelling, tracking your body temperature or HRM is a plus even the neckband can blast music as a Bluetooth speaker
- Quick charge is a relief if your headphones’ battery is low and need it for running in just 5 minutes you get several hours of juice.
- Wire listening mode and the neckband become lighter and less sturdy
- Future neckband earbuds would include sound amplification or hearing aid feature (Bose with hearphones is the first to make it real)
Here are my picks
233621 Wave Plus
Apple’s new release Beats Flex with neckband form factor heated up the entry-level Bluetooth market.
233621 Wave plus, I’m not quite sure you know this brand 233621, are the latest set of neckband earbuds I recently tested.
233621 Wave plus feature silicon sports jacket, IPX5 rating and get U-shaped neckband which is thicker than Beats Flex but still flexible and the buds fit more securely.
In terms of hardware, they have 10mm dynamic driver which deliver solid bass and clear vocals.
Equipped with Qualcomm’s QCC3034 ultra-low power Bluetooth SOC chip the Wave Plus have 15 hours of battery life, CVC 6.0 tech for clear voice call it also supports AptX-HD sound quality.
Apple’s most affordable Bluetooth earbuds, Beats Flex has USB-C charging port, making it a truly Android friendly earbuds.
Beats Flex have a nifty feature that once earbuds magnetically clip together and it automatically pauses the music, and plays when you put earbuds back in your ears.
Beats Flex are still equipped with Apple’s old W1 chip to process the noise reduction for mic which is repositioned and upgraded from BeatsX.
The lasting thing is about the sound, the Flex use new acoustic drivers for more balanced sound and better sound imaging.
Huawei Freelace Pro
The Freelance Pro combined all great features for a neckband headphone: ANC, transparency mode, great call quality.
- Great sound for the price
- Touch control on earbuds to activate ANC/transparency mode is hit and miss
I personally like this neckband design it’s less sturdy and more flexible on the neck, compared to 1More or Sennheiser HD1
Freelance Pro doesn’t not just function as commuting headset, with wing tips design they provide secure fit for sports
MORE Stylish Dual-dynamic Driver BT – A New Comer
This year 2019, I’ve seen some new features that neckband headphones offer such as wire listening mode and dual driver (Dynamic and BA). These features the 1MORE Dual Driver BT ANC notably represent.
- Build quality is great for the price
- Clear and detailed sound, strong bass
- The neckband is flex and lightweight
Bluetooth 4.2 version
Note that 1More recently released the Pro version to compete with Beats Flex and Oneplus Bullets Wireless Z – both are excellent neckband earbuds under $50. The Pro version (called 1More Stylish BT Pro) have better battery life and improved the control module design. Equipped with Qualcomm Bluetooth chipset, Bluetooth 5.0, AAC codec and IPX5, fast-charging with 10min/5hours listening, the Stylist BT Pro are crowned itself from other for both design and performance.
Oneplus Bullets Wireless 2
Not about wire-listening mode, the Oneplus Bullets Wireless 2 is great for its quick charging features – 10 minutes of charging and 10 hours of listening.
While the neckband looks a lot like Beats Flex, Bullets Wireless’ earbuds are stylish and look larger than previous model – the Bullets Wireless, because the Bullets 2 have dual drivers.
The Bullets 2 can be a headset you can rely on everyday – for calls, sports and listening to music.
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BeatsX – For iPphone Users
Sound signature: Balanced with a little bit bass boost.
With built-in W1 chip developed by Apple, the BeatsX is an excellent around the neck Bluetooth headphones for iPhone users. The benefits of W1 is that it will let the headphone automatically pair with any Apple devices with the same cloud ID.
For the sound quality, the BeatsX sounds balanced and natural, thanks to the Apple audio engineer team.
The beatsx come with a sporty design, the earbuds fit securely and comfortably into the ear with wingtips.
For design, the BeatsX is the hybrid between Bluetooth earbuds and neck band headphones, but they are more comfortable to wear even though the flat cable is long and noticeable.
The BeatsX’s sound signature is neutral, which bass is present but with a reasonable ohm.
Fast charging is a great feature if you forgot to charge it before your workout, leave it for 5 minutes for charging. That is enough for your running.
What’s an alternative to BeatsX?
Bose QuietControl 30 – The Noise Canceller
Bose QuietControl 30 is good for commuters, frequent flyers.
- Very comfortable to wear
- Top the competion for best NC neckband Bluetooth headphone
Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear Wireless
Except the sound becomes less natural, you can find the sound of HD1 is pretty much the same as their wired companion Momentum in ear
- Great build quality, leather neckband
- Typical V-shaped sound signature strong bass and prominent treble
- Bulky neckband
- It is not designed for sports so no water-proofing feature
Sony WI-C400 Wireless In-ear Headphones
- Excellent mid-range
- Solid build quality
- Bunch of color options
- Long battery life up to 20 hours
- Vibrate on calls
- No water-proofing feature
Supported by Bluetooth 4.2, the Sony WI-C400 sounds good for a Bluetooth headphone.
Sony recently release their new budget neckband headphones, the Sony WI-C400. The collar is very comfortable to wear, and seems to have a good build quality, the earbuds are small and lightweight, the cable can be adjust with the ball position on the band.
The WI-C400 is not for basshead. The bass is not really punchy and rich, but it is present and the treble is a bit harsh.
Sound signature: Plenty of bass, enhanced treble
This around the neck Bluetooth headphones offer more than what you would be expected for the money. It sounds good with a plenty of bass while maintain the clarity and detail of treble. The buds are metal-built and durable and sweat-proof.
The earhooks are easy to fix the position for a secure fit, and they are comfortable to wear too.
With 8 hours of battery and nifty feature – magnetically clip when not in use, this is the best budget option you could pick. The only thing we prefer if they have more stable Bluetooth connection and longer range of connectivity.
- Plenty of bass, clear treble and detailed mid-range
- Great build quality for the money
LEOPHILE EEL IP67 Waterproof Sports Neckband Bluetooth
- Excellent water-proof feature
- Long battery life
- Stable Bluetooth connection
LG TONE Studio HBS-W120
The neckband that can work as a Bluetooth speaker
- Can work as a Bluetooth speaker worn around the neck
- Natural sounding headphone with clear treble
- Decent earbuds performance: deep bass, no distortion, clear treble
- Bulky for a neckband headphone
- Not sound isolating
Without doubt, the Sony SBH70 is a very comfortable and ergonomic headphone. If not looking at the flexible neck band, the earbuds looks pretty much like Amazon premium earbuds, Sony STH30, or Apple earpods, which don’t have eartips and welcome ambient sound in. In other words, it lets the noise in and indeed does offer open sound stage. If you feel uncomfortable with ear tip insertion, it’s a ideal choice.
It is waterproof with IPX rated as 5-7, but you can not use it in swimming pool, jut light rain.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the sound quality, the SBH70 would need to do a lot to catch up with LG Infinim. The lows represents pretty the same as LG, but mids and highs are not equal and don’t sound smooth.
Sol Replublic Shadow
- Cheap price
- Bulky neckband
- Not for sports
- Average battery life
Although the band is flexible, Replublic Shadow isnot bendable and still bounces as you move. The AptX, as a part of marketing campaign of Bluetooth audio makers, promises a better sound quality compared to regular Bluetooth connection.
The Replublic Shadow’s sound quality is decent and priced afford-ably for a Bluetooth earbuds. Fans of Beat headphones may be disappointed since it is not a bass-focused earbuds. Despite the bass is deep and tight you still find it is quite heavy when playing R&B.
Is these earbuds designed for sports? not quite, you need to purchase the sport hooks if you tend to use these earbuds for running, working out or whatever sport that require earbuds fit securely in the ear.
This headset comes with retractable earbuds. The earbuds can retreat to their nests positioned on the band when not in use. Having this nifty feature, the cable has to be thin, which increase the chance that it is easy to break if you incidentally snag earbuds.
Unlike other LG Ultra Tone headsets, this latest LG headset doesn’t feature active noise cancelling feature.
They sound good and balanced over all ranges. The lows are decent and not that heavy like the Shadow. Its sound also emphasizes on the middle-range. Sound quality was rated possitively (PCmag rated it 3.5 stars and CNET rated it 4 stars).
In terms of feature, when the battery is low, the female voice will pop to tell you and it vibrates when there is a incoming call or you just step far from Bluetooth working range.
Note that the play time depends on the volume level. The more it plays loud, the less the battery life is
Sony WI-1000X – An alternative to Bose QC30 for more classic look
If you are looking for premium sound and design, the Sony WI-1000X would be a good choice. You can control how much the ambient sound let in by various level NC.
Though it lacks in USB-C charing, and quite sturdy yet it has a rock solid Bluetooth connection, adjustable noise cancelling and great Bluetooth audio pefromance.
RHA MA750 Wireless
The metal earpieces, solid neckband and strong bass sound signature make the RHA MA750 Wireless
The RHA MA750 have a nice balanced sound, clear highs and decent bass. They are also very comfortable to wear with loops for secure fit.
Samsung Level U pro is a great set of Bluetooth earbuds for conference calls. Their mic locates on the right position and with the NC tech it can filter out the noise if you make calls in noise environment so the caller will be able to hear your voice clearly.
The latest in ear headphones of Moto is available on the Bluetooth market. The neck band seems most likely to contour well around the neck. By design as it’s said “engineered for sound and designed for comfort, the Moto stay evenly on the neck, now matter how fast you walk. It is waterproof too, but even so sport enthusiasts may find the band is a nuisance since the Moto Surround is not appropriate for exercise except running or biking.
With current 2.4 GHz Wireless TECH, it is not impossible to make totally cordless Bluetooth earbuds–2 separated pieces worn on each ear, which is capable of creating stereo sound. There are a plenty of true wireless earbuds available such as Samsung Gear IconX, Bragi Dash, Apple Airpods and Earin and they arent’ without a flaw.
Meanwhile, most Bluetooth earbuds you’ve seen today require a cable, or a band that fits around the neck or even behind the head to connect to two wired earbuds. For those of you who are familiar with around-neck design, I can’t fail to mention, LyreBeats-NB1, BeatsX, LG Ultra Tone Series and Sony SBH70.
Here’s our comparison table about the features of these around neck/behind the neck wireless in ear headphones. Besides known features like the multipoint technology, which allows the headset to connect two devices at once, so you can switch back and forth between devices it paired with, they all have a longer playtime than average Bluetooth earbuds with a short cable.
If you don’t like around-neck design, check out best bluetooth earbuds–with only a cable to connect 2 earbuds.