- What are Bluetooth Neckband Headphones?
- What Key Features to Look for When Buying Bluetooth Neckband Headphones?
- How to Choose the Bluetooth Neckband Headphones?
- Our Recommended List of Best Neckband Headphones
Even if you are not a runner – for whom they are a must-have – there are plenty of reasons why Bluetooth neckband headphones deserve your attention.
In the last few years, Bluetooth neckband headphones have exploded in popularity. Whether you are commuting in a tube, sweating out in the gym or running on a dirt trail, it is likely you'd see persons wearing them. The reason why they have become ubiquitous is that these headphones are easy to carry, cost less and are impossible to lose.
Still, if you need further information about them before making the purchase, you've come to the right place.
What are Bluetooth Neckband Headphones?
As you'd have seen already, Bluetooth neckband earphones have a flexible band which connects their two earpieces. It is this headband which – after going over your head – sits around your neck. Since they aren't positioned on shoulders, these headphones don't move even when you do. Hence the reason why they are a go-to choice for runners.
Types of Bluetooth Neckband Headphones
These headphones come in two types: on-ear and in-ear.
As the name suggests, these headphone earpieces sit atop your ears. Their neckband forms a loop over your ears before connecting behind your neck. As a result of this operation, these headphones are a cinch to wear. Also, if you don't like Bluetooth headphones, they are also available in wired form.
In contrast to on-ear headphones, these have a stiff neckband with their earbuds spouting out of their arms via small cords. They also have inline mics which make them suitable for communication.
When using them, you can plug them directly into ears. When not in use, however, they either hang off the neckband or stick together. Therefore, if you’re looking for neckband headphones for running, they are worth a shot.
Following are the main advantages offered by Bluetooth neckband headphones.
- Thanks to their neckband, these headphones have more space which they utilize to store a bigger battery. Consequently, they allow for greater battery life.
- Since the base of the cable is plugged into the neckband, there's less cable length to get tied together.
- As you might see in neckband headphones offered by Sony, they offer better noise-cancellation.
- Since everything – the battery, the inline mic, the buttons – is located on their neckband, their earphones weigh less.
- Whether you're running in the park or walking around the home to do some chores, they allow you to talk and walk simultaneously without holding the cable.
- Due to their sporty design and sophisticated feel, these headphones are more stylish than their counterparts.
What Key Features to Look for When Buying Bluetooth Neckband Headphones?
Since they store all the electronics inside their neckband, the best Bluetooth neckband headphones offer additional features. They include:
Active Noise Cancellation
In contrast to what some people believe, not all types of noise cancellation are equal. Instead, if your headphone offers active noise cancellation, it will shield your ears better from outside noise than those headphones which provide passive noise cancellation.
Why? The reason lies in technology. All passive noise cancellation headphones do is to just block the outside noise – with the sheer weight of their ear cups. So, with no technology in play, they are helpless against loud external noise.
Conversely, active noise cancellation generates inverse frequency – which is equal and opposite to the frequency of outside noise. As a result, no matter how powerful or loud the outside noise is, active noise cancellation will take care of it.
As good as active noise cancellation technology is, it has one major shortcoming: price. That's right, headphones with active noise cancellation are ridiculously priced. So, as long as you don't want them for a specific task i.e. running, you might not want to spend on them.
Hence the reason we recommend a cheaper alternative: noise isolation headphones. Granted, they aren't as effective at blocking out noise as noise-canceling headphones, but they don't require batteries either. That means a long battery life, and that too with a small price tag.
As convenient to carry as these headphones are, they'd still be uncomfortable if the untagged earpieces keep vacillating around your chest. What you need, therefore, is a magnetic EZ-lock to keep the earpieces from jangling.
Thanks to its magnetism, this lock lets you connect both the earpieces together when you aren't using them, hence making sure they are safe to use.
Latest Bluetooth Standard
In contrast to what most people think, it isn't only the signal range which improves with each upcoming Bluetooth standard. In addition, the data transfer rate of every new Bluetooth standard is better than its predecessor as well.
More importantly in the context of headphones, connection processing speed – the speed with which your headphones will pair with your smartphone – is also greater in the latest iteration of Bluetooth. Therefore, if you want all these features, make sure your phone offers the latest Bluetooth technology.
How to Choose the Bluetooth Neckband Headphones?
It is easy to say that your preferred headphones need to have good sound quality. What isn't as easy, sadly, is to determine what is it that differentiates ''good”sound quality from ''bad”. After all, for some people, the sound quality is a matter of personal preference.
Hang on there a minute; even if sound quality is relative, there are few factors which differentiate good from bad. For instance, your headphones provide a good sound quality if their bass isn't muddy. Also, if their vocals are clear, they are much more likely to produce clear noise.
Finally, the best way to judge a headphone's sound quality is by playing it at maximum volume. For, average headphones produce a piercing sound at that level, hence not letting you enjoy the music.
Music and Phone Control
Starting with the former, the majority of neckband headphones provide at least three buttons on their neckband. They include music pause, volume increase, and volume decrease. Some – especially the high-end ones – have a motion sensor technology which requires you to merely move your hand to switch songs.
As for phone control, you won't get as many buttons. What you should get, still, is the option to take calls directly from the neckband. Also, while the inline mic is a given in most headphones, you're still recommended to check it.
When looking at the battery timing of your preferred model, make sure to note three things. First one is obvious; the battery timing of the model. Second, you're recommended to note the playtime – which is the battery timing of your headphone while playing music. Granted, it won't be as big as the first, still, playtime should not be less than 5 hours.
Finally, you need to look at the time your headphones will take to charge. For instance, as is the case with Jaybird X3 – it charges for 20 minutes to last an hour. Put simply, then, your headphones need to have both ample battery timing as well as low charging time.
Our Recommended List of Best Neckband Headphones
1. Philips Rich Bass
Advantages: Made of lightweight plastic, their clip-on design and foam ear pads let them easily sit atop your ears. Also, they provide bass vents for strong bass and excellent audio quality.
Disadvantages: Treble isn't that good
Bottom Line: The Philips Rich Bass are the best neckband headphones to buy if you want advanced audio quality at a low price.
2. Jarv Joggerz
Advantages: Sporty design; perfect for jogging, running, and walking. Compatible with both Android and Apple devices. Provide 20 hours of playtime on 2 hours of charging.
Bottom Line: The Jarv Joggers Pro Sports Bluetooth Headphones have managed to provide most features which most neckband headphones can only dream of.
3. Bose QuietControl 30
Advantages: Comfortable to wear and well-built, they offer excellent sound quality and variable noise-cancellation. Also, they are sweat resistant and work effortlessly as a headset.
Disadvantages: Provide no wired option.
Bottom Line: Provided you aren't going to plug them into your airline entertainment systems, the QuietControl 30 would work hand-in-glove with your smartphone.
4. SOL REPUBLIC Shadow
Advantages: Apart from providing an ultra-light fit, these headphones provide multi-device compatibility and their 3-button remote lets you take calls, pause/skip music and adjust volume.
Disadvantages: Meager battery timing of 8 hours
Bottom Line: Despite coming at a reasonable price, the Sol Republic Shadow headphones provide solid sound quality.
5. Samsung Level U Pro
Advantages: Sweat-resistant; offers much better Bluetooth sound than its predecessor. Has well-placed buttons, built-in noise cancellation and vibrates around your neck to notify you of an incoming call.
Disadvantages: Looks cheap
Bottom Line: Granted, this model doesn't look premium, but it still offers a comfortable fit and decent Bluetooth sound.
6. Sony WI1000X
Advantages: With an atmospheric pressure optimizing feature, this model offers digital noise cancellation. Also boasts Ambient Sound mode, Smart Listening technology, and a wired cable for in-flight entertainment.
Bottom Line: The WI1000X neckband headphone from Sony has got all the premium features, though you won't get it for cheap.
7. Bluephonic Bluetooth Wireless
Advantages: IPX7 Waterproof, noise-cancellation technology, and a built-in mic. Also, their expandable memory foam earbuds make them comfortable to wear.
Disadvantages: 8 hours battery timing
Bottom Line: The Bluephonic Bluetooth Wireless headphones are for those people who aren't brand conscious but still want their pair to provide the best features.
As we stated at the start of this article, Bluetooth neckband headphones aren't only for runners. Instead, even if you're an audiophile – or likes listening to music on the go – they still offer some dependable features. So, regardless of what you're going to do besides listening to music, these headphones will come in handy.
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