8 Best Around-the-Neck Bluetooth Headphones In 2020

Looking for a pair of sports-friendly or multipurpose Bluetooth headphones? A nice pair of around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones might be just the thing you need. They are fairly similar to regular wireless sports earbuds with a cable connecting two buds but they provide better stability and usually have longer battery life

Our article on 8 best around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones will answer all the questions you may have about around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones. We will discuss their advantages over other wireless headphones/earbuds (true wireless and regular wireless), their disadvantages, and the most important features. We will also present you with our selection of 8 best around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones. 

The Advantages of Around-the-Neck Bluetooth Headphones

The market is flooded with all kinds of sports earbuds/headphones and some of them offer pretty good performance. However, they all have their downsides. So, why should choose around-the-neck headphones rather than some other headphone type? Well, there are a few things that come to mind.

Why should choose around-the-neck headphones rather than some other headphone type

First of all, there are some personal preferences. Some people simply like this kind of style. However, this is just a matter of taste and it’s not going to be a decisive factor if you don’t have any preferences when it comes to headphone style. 

Around-the-neck in-ear Bluetooth headphones, as well as all the other types of in-ear Bluetooth headphones, are definitely a better choice than on-ear and over-ear headphones. They are lighter and usually more stable than on and over-ear headphones.

But what makes around-the-neck headphones better than other types of in-ear headphones? There are three things that we can think of – stability, convenience, and battery. Also, there’s one very important advantage over true wireless headphones – they are much harder to lose since they are always around your neck.

Regular wireless in-ear headphones have rubberized cables connecting two earbuds and these cables dangle while running, which can be quite annoying. The neckband doesn’t stay perfectly still at all times but it’s still firmer and heavier than the cable and doesn’t dangle as much. 

The biggest advantage over other types of wireless earbuds is the average battery life. Since the neckbands are much thicker than the cables, the manufacturers can use larger batteries. As a result, around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones usually deliver longer playtimes than true wireless and regular wireless headphones. 

Best Around-the-Neck Bluetooth Headphones – Comparison Table

Around-the-Neck Bluetooth HeadphonesRatingPriceReview
Samsung U Flex4.1Check PriceRead Review
Mpow Jaws4.2Check PriceRead Review
Sennheiser HD14.0Check PriceRead Review
Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 23.9Check PriceRead Review
LG TONE INFINIM HBS-9203.7Check PriceRead Review
Sony WI1000X4.0Check PriceRead Review
SOL REPUBLIC Shadow Fusion4.0Check PriceRead Review
Bose QuietControl 303.3Check PriceRead Review

When you click on “Check Price” you will be redirected to Amazon.

The Disadvantages of Around-the-Neck Bluetooth Headphones

The only disadvantage of around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones, compared to other types of in-ear headphones, is their weight and size. You can toss a pair of regular or true wireless earbuds in your pocket when not using them but you can’t do that with around-the-neck headphones. You can wear them around your neck, which is convenient, but you will need a carrying case for storage if you don’t want them around your neck. 


After testing more than 20 popular around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones, we’ve made a shortlist of the most capable and best-performing ones. This is our selection of 8 best around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones. 


1. Samsung U Flex Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with Microphone

Samsung U Flex

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Samsung U Flex is a great choice if you are on a budget (priced under $50) and if you already have a Samsung phone. The headset’s functionality is fairly limited when paired with other Android and iOS devices. 

What’s in the box?

Inside the box, you will find your headset, tips in 3 sizes, micro USB charging cable, manual, and 1-year warranty. Unfortunately, the carrying case is not included.

Things we like

U Flex in-ear headphones feature around-the-neck design with a flexible rubberized neckband and two sturdy earbuds connected to the neckband with a thin wire. The build quality exceeds the price tag. Everything seems fairly durable except for the cable connecting the earbuds to the neckband. 

The comfort is pretty good. The earbuds are angled and don’t put any excessive pressure into your ears. The neckband is not perfectly stable but it’s good enough for sports and workouts.

The controls are fairly simple. Almost everything is located on the right neckband arm. You have two volume/track buttons, play/pause button, power/pairing switch, integrated microphone, and a micro USB charging port. On the left arm, you will see only one button called ‘active button’. 

The active button works only on Samsung devices and can be used to launch customized features like voice recognition apps (Bixby or S Voice). You can customize the ‘active button’ through the Samsung Level app (Android only). The app is great and has so many features when installed on Samsung device (EQ presets, room effects, playback timer, etc.). When used with some other Android phones, the app only allows you to see the battery status. It’s even worse if you want to pair the headphones with your iPhone since there’s no app for iOS.

U Flex headphones feature Bluetooth 4.2. The connection is stable and without any hiccups.  The range extends well beyond 100ft (unobstructed). Multipoint pairing is supported, too. 

The battery offers very good performance. The advertised battery life is 8h but you will get more than 10h at 50% volume. The recharge takes less than 2h. 

The mic performance is decent but not perfect. Your voice will be intelligible most of the time but noise isolation is not the best.

The sound is a bit too bright. The bass is nice – there’s a subtle mid-bass emphasis that extends to the low midrange. The midrange reproduction is fairly accurate and the vocals are clear. The highs are not perfectly balanced and there are some noticeable peaks that could cause some excessive brightness, especially on treble-heavy songs.

Things we don’t like

The cables connecting the earbuds to the neckband are probably the weakest link. They look flimsy and are too thin. In addition, the cables don’t retract.

Samsung level app is designed for Samsung devices. It’s not compatible with iOS and it offers very limited functionality on other Android devices. 

There’s no auto-off feature. You will have to turn off the headphones when not in use.

Comparison Table


2. Mpow Jaws Upgraded Gen5 V5.0 Wireless Neckband Headphones

Mpow Jaws Upgraded Gen5

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Mpow Jaws are your best option if you’re looking for something really cheap. They are maybe a bit too plasticky but their performance definitely exceeds the price tag. Mpow Jaws are priced under $30 and are the perfect option for bass lovers.

  What’s in the box?

The box contains your Mpow Jaws, 4 pairs of ear tips, manual, and a warranty card. The carrying case is not included.

Things we like

Mpow Jaws feature somewhat unusual design with two plastic arms that look like shark jaws and a rubberized neckband connecting two arms. The arms have magnetic ends so you can attach the earbuds when not in use. 

Comfort is almost perfect. Once you find the right pair of tips, the earbuds stay stable in your ears. The neckband doesn’t move too much and it’s good enough for workouts.  

The most noticeable upgrade, compared to the previous version of Mpow Jaws, is a different button layout. The Gen 5 features a simple 3-button layout. It’s very easy to use and very responsive. You can use those three buttons to control the playback and volume, answer calls, and activate Siri. The charging port and built-in mic are also on the right neckband arm. The neckband will vibrate when powered on/off and when you pair it with your phone.

The latest version of Jaws headphones features Bluetooth 5.0. It delivers stable and reliable connection. The unobstructed range extends above 50ft. The pairing is simple. You can pair two devices at the same time (multipoint pairing). NFC pairing is not supported.

The battery is another big upgrade. The advertised playtime is 18h but we’ve got 15.5h. at 50% volume. The recharge takes less than 3h. Fast charge and auto-off features are not supported. The headphones are compatible with both Android and iOS devices.

The microphone works very well. The neckband will vibrate when there’s an incoming call. Your voice may sound a little bit thin on the other end but it will be perfectly intelligible. All in all, the mic performance is more than satisfying.

The previous version of Mpow Jaws was quite bassy. This one has even larger drivers and it’s even bassier. If you’re not into heavy bass, you’re not going to like them. The bass elevation extends to low midrange.  The rest of the midrange is nicely balanced and quite clear. The treble reproduction is probably the worst thing when it comes to sound. It’s very inconsistent and it lacks a lot of detail. It sounds lifeless. We were impressed by the passive isolation provided by these earbuds. The leakage is minimal.

Things we don’t like

Mpow Jaws feel cheap and flimsy but that’s perfectly understandable considering their price. However, you have to be aware that these are not the most durable headphones on the market. 

If you are not a bass fan, you should avoid these. Their sound signature is very bassy.

Comparison Table


3. Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones

Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones

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Looking for something more premium, with better sound quality and various customization options? Sennheiser HD1 in-ear Bluetooth headphones might be just the thing you need.

What’s in the box?

Inside the box, there’re your HD1 in-ear headphones, a hard-shell carrying case, 4 pairs of silicone tips, manual, and 2-year warranty. 

Things we like

The headphones are quite premium. The neckband is wrapped Nappa leather with red stitching and it looks very attractive. The earbuds are made of aluminum and feel solid and durable. The overall build quality is very good. The only problem are the wires connecting the earbuds to the neckband – they definitely don’t feel as durable as the neckband and earbuds.

The button layout is somewhat unusual. All the buttons are located on the inner side of the left neckband arm and you will need some adjustment time. The good thing is that the control scheme is fairly intuitive and easy to use. You have 4 buttons – one power/pairing button and 3 buttons for playback/volume/call control. You can also use the middle button to activate Siri or Google Assistant. Until the introduction of the Sennheiser Smart Control app, there was the app called Sennheiser Cap Tune which was compatible with HD1 in-ear headphones and allowed you to play with EQ settings. The new app doesn’t support HD1 so you can only use some third-party software to adjust the EQ settings.

The headphones feature Bluetooth 4.1. The connection is stable and reliable. The pairing is simple and, if your device supports NFC pairing, you’ll happy to know that HD1 supports it, too. The headphones are compatible with both iOS and Android devices. They support AAC, SBC, and aptX Bluetooth audio codecs. In the end, HD1 headphones support multipoint pairing. 

The battery life is very good. HD1 will deliver up to 10h of playtime and the recharge takes less than 2h. 

Sound quality is one of the biggest highlights. HD1 headphones are not audiophile material, but their sound signature is quite enjoyable and fun. The bass is accurate, punchy, and dynamic. High-bass frequencies are slightly elevated which can cause some boominess when bass-heavy tracks are played. The low-midrange is also slightly elevated due to high-bass emphasis. The rest of the midrange is nicely balanced and clear but the vocals are slightly pushed back. Treble response is not great. Low treble is recessed and it lacks detail while the high treble is elevated and can cause some sibilance when treble-heavy tracks are played. Sound leakage is minimal and the isolation is satisfying. 

Things we don’t like

The mic performance is probably the only downside of HD1. It’s not useless but we have expected better noise handling and better overall performance at this price point. 

Comparison Table


4. Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2

Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 2

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Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2 are, along with Mpow Jaws, one of the cheapest around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones on the market. Their most notable characteristics are bassy sound, good comfort, and affordable price. 

What’s in the box?

Smokin’ Buds 2 come in a very modest packaging. Along with the headphones, you will get only two pairs of silicone tips, charging cable, manual, and a warranty card.  

Things we like

In terms of design, Smokin’ Buds 2 are similar to Skullcandy Method Wireless but with a chunkier neckband. One of the most interesting features is that you can remove the neckband (aka ‘flex collar’) easily and use them as regular Bluetooth earbuds. You can choose one of four versions – blue, black, black/red, and white.

The build quality is better than expected. The cable is flat and rubberized, and the neckband is flexible and feels durable. The earbuds are made of solid plastic and are quite small.

Comfort is one of the best things about Smokin’ Buds 2. They are light, the earbuds are small and don’t put too much pressure on your inner ears, and the neckband doesn’t dangle during workouts. 

The control scheme is intuitive and simple. The buttons are not located on the neckband. There’s a simple 3-button controller with the inline mic on the left end of the cable, 4 inches away from the left earbud. 

Smokin’ Buds 2 feature Bluetooth 4.0 with a standard 30ft range. There are no advanced features like NFC, multipoint pairing, or aptX support. The connection is stable most of the time but we did experience a few connection hiccups (usually caused by fast and sudden movements). 

Battery life is decent but far from amazing. You can get a better playtime, even at this price point. Smokin’ buds 2 will deliver 6-7 hours of playback per one charge. The recharge takes less than 1.5h. 

The mic performance is far from flawless but it’s usable. It can’t handle the noise well but it’s good enough in quiet environments.

Skullcandy is known for its bass. Practically all their headphones and earbuds deliver massive bass and Smokin’ Buds are the same. The bass is not very fast and it’s not perfectly controlled. It leaks into the midrange and makes the low mids muddy. The rest of the midrange is fairly accurate but not very detailed. The treble response is a little bit softer but not lifeless. All in all, Smokin’ Buds 2 deliver fun and engaging sound. Ambient noise attenuation is very good. The same goes for sound leakage.

Smokin’ Buds 2 definitely have some flaws but their overall performance still matches the price tag. They don’t have any fancy features but they are fun to listen to and they are very comfy.

Things we don’t like

The low-battery warning is really annoying and it’s way too loud.

The headphones come with only two pairs of ear tips (S and M). These are not the best headphone for people with large ears.

Like all the other Skullcandy headphones, Smokin’ Buds 2 are bass-heavy. If you are not a bass head, you should probably avoid these.

Comparison Table


5. LG TONE INFINIM HBS-920 Wireless Stereo Headset

LG TONE INFINIM HBS-920

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HBS-920 is one of the latest models from a very popular LG’s TONE INFINIM headset line, made in cooperation with Harman Kardon. HBS-920 is not the most advanced around-the-neck Bluetooth headset on the market but it’s more expensive than all the previously mentioned budget options and it allows you to play with the sound signature in many ways. Some of the most important features are aptX support, adjustable bass, good battery life, and EQ presets. The biggest downsides are thin wires and poor mic performance. 

What’s in the box?

The box contains your HBS-920 headphones, 3 pairs of ear tips (medium tips are preinstalled), micro USB charging cable, manual, and 1-year limited warranty. The carrying case is not included. 

Things we like

HBS-920 headphones feature recognizable curvy around-the-neck. The manufacturer advertises it as a body-contoured design. Two extremely thin wires connect the earpieces to the neckband. The earbuds are retractable.  The build quality of the neckband is very good – it’s completely wrapped in silicone. The earbuds look solid, too. On the other, those thin wires don’t look very durable.

Comfort is great. The neckband stays in place, even during the longest and hardest workouts and it doesn’t cause any discomfort. 

The button layout is simple and easy to use. There are two retract buttons on the inner sides of the neckband. On the left end, there are the volume rocker, call button, and charging port. On the other end, there’s the track management button and play/pause button. All the buttons are responsive. The headphones come with the LG Tone & Talk app (Android and iOS). You can use it to assign certain functions to control buttons, turn on/off the vibrations, change notification settings, turn on voice recording, etc. The app works much better on Android devices.

HBS-920 headphones feature Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX support. They are compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The range is 30ft and the connection is stable within the advertised range. 

The battery is quite capable. The rated capacity is 220mAh and it can deliver 12-13h of continuous playback (at 50% volume, in normal EQ mode, and without bass boost). The recharge takes less than 2h. Fast charge is not supported.

The sound is probably the greatest highlight of HBS-920. The drivers and earbuds are designed in cooperation with Harman Kardon. The sound signature can be adjusted/changed in two ways. First, you can press the play/pause button twice to shift between bass, normal, and treble EQ presets (bass mode is the default EQ mode). You can also use the ‘tone bass’ knob on each earbud to boost the bass. 

The manufacturer(s) designed proprietary metal-layer speaker technology that’s supposed to minimize the distortion, improve clarity, and enhance the overall sound quality.

We preferer the sound in normal mode, without bass boost since it’s more balanced and improves the midrange and treble clarity. If you are into bass, you can always change the mode or boost the bass response but, even in normal mode, the bass is quite present and punchy.

Things we don’t like

The earbud cable is very thin and it looks like the weakest link. It simply doesn’t look as durable as the neckband and earbuds. 

The manufacturer also used the so-called advanced voice capture technology which is supposed to improve the call clarity but it doesn’t work well. Ambient noise suppression is sub-par, the volume is pretty low, and your voice sounds thin and muffled on the other end. 

Comparison Table


6. Sony WI1000X Wireless Behind-Neck In-Ear Headphones

Sony WI1000X Wireless Behind-Neck In-Ear Headphones

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Sony WI1000X is, along with Sennheiser HD1 and Bose QuietControl 30, one of our favorites when it comes to premium models.

WI1000X features industry-leading adaptive ANC and some other advanced features like the smart listening and ambient sound mode. The battery life is very good, the app that comes with them offers many customization options, and the sound is nicely balanced. WI1000x around-the-neck headphones are a great choice for commuting and for sports.

What’s in the box?

WI1000X headphones come in a very premium-looking black box. Along with the headphones, you will get 7 pairs of ear tips (hybrid silicone and triple-comfort tips), airplane adapter, micro USB charging cable, micro USB to AUX audio cable, carrying pouch, user manual, and a warranty card.

Things we like

WI1000X headphones feature premium around-the-neck design. The neckband is solid and it’s reinforced with a thin metal bar which is reassuring and makes them even more attractive. The overall build quality is quite impressive. All the plastic parts feel solid and durable. Even the cables connecting the earbuds to the neckband are much thicker than on some previous versions and don’t look flimsy. Along the neckband, there are two cable slots so you can manage and adjust the cable length.

Comfort is above-average but not ideal. Some previous models had softer and a bit more flexible neckbands while this one is quite firm. 

The button layout is fairly simple and easy to use. Most of the buttons are located on the inner side of the left neckband arm. There are two volume buttons, power/pairing button, and play/pause/call button. On the inner end of the right neckband arm, you will see the ANC button. The micro USB charging port is located on the left neckband arm. This port can also be used for audio reproduction (wired connection). 

The headphones come with the Sony Headphones Connect app. The app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. It’s nicely designed and very user-friendly. It allows you to adjust the EQ settings (presets and manual settings), adjust the amount of ANC, play with room effects and button mapping, control the playback, and customize adaptive sound control and ambient sound control.

The ANC feature automatically adapts the amount of noise cancellation (adaptive sound control) depending on the height/pressure which is perfect for in-flight use. Ambient sound mode allows you to hear the ambient noise without taking out the earbuds. 

WI1000X headphones also support Google Assistant and have Alexa built-in. You can change the function of the ANC button through the app and use this button to activate Google Assistant or Alexa.

The headphones use Bluetooth 4.1 and have a very good range (more than 150ft without obstacles). The headphones support NFC and multipoint pairing. They are compatible with both Android and Apple devices. The list of supported Bluetooth audio codecs includes LDAC, aptX, and aptX HD.

The battery can deliver 10-11h of playtime with the ANC on (up to 13h without ANC). Fast charge feature is also supported – you’ll get 70mins of playback after 15mins of charging.

One of the greatest things about WI100X headphones is their audio performance. They are really good. The bass response is extended, dynamic, accurate, and punchy. Certain high-bass frequencies are slightly elevated and the elevation extends to low mids. The rest of the midrange is very accurate, clear, and detailed. The treble is fairly consistent but you may notice some sibilance when treble-heavy tracks are played. 

Noise cancellation is very good across the whole audible spectrum. If you like around-the-neck design and you need ANC feature, WI1000X is one of the best options on the market. And, it’s much cheaper than Bose headphones.

Things we don’t like

The only problem with these headphones could be their comfort, especially if you are not into around-the-neck design. Also, the price is a bit higher but, in our opinion, they are not overpriced. 

Comparison Table


7. SOL REPUBLIC Shadow Fusion

SOL REPUBLIC Shadow Fusion

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SOL REPUBLIC Shadow Fusion could easily be the best-looking around-the-neck headphones on the market. They are not as feature-rich as Sony WI1000X headphones but they are still a great choice if you’re looking for something attractive. The biggest highlights are flashy design, solid build, reliable Bluetooth connection, and bassy sound. 

What’s in the box?

Inside a premium-looking packaging, you will find your Shadow Fusion headphones, 3 pairs of silicone tips, USB-C charging cable, premium carrying case, manual, some SOL REPUBLIC stickers, and a warranty card. 

Things we like

Shadow Fusion headphones are elegantly designed. They’re very attractive and eye-catching. The neckband is wrapped in so-called knit fabric and looks very premium. It’s also flexible and quite durable. The same goes for the wires and earpieces. The headphones are IPX5 certified which makes them perfect for workouts.

Comfort is not an issue. The neckband is soft and it’s not too tight. The earpieces feature angled design and provide a very stable fit.

The button layout is fairly simple. You have three buttons on the left neckband arm and you can use them to control the playback and volume, to answer calls, and to activate Siri or Google Assistant. All the buttons are responsive and easily reachable. The left neckband arm also houses a USB-C charging port.

The headphones utilize Bluetooth 5.0 and deliver stable wireless connection within a standard 30ft range. They are compatible with iOS and Android devices. Unfortunately, the headphones don’t support multipoint pairing and NFC. Also, they don’t support advanced Bluetooth audio codecs – only AAC and SBC. 

The battery delivers up to 10h of playtime per one charge. The recharge takes less than 1h. Thanks to the USB-C connection, the headphones support fast charging – 15mins of charging will give you 3 hours of playback.

The most interesting and kind of unexpected feature of the SOL REPUBLIC Shadow Fusion headphones is Tile tracking technology. If you lose the headphones, you can use the Tile app to locate them.

The mic is usable but not perfect and it can’t separate your voice from the ambient noise, especially if there’s a lot of noise around you. 

Shadow Fusion headphones deliver bass-heavy sound. The bass extension is not huge but the response is elevated and massive. Low mids are a little bit muddy but the rest of the midrange is quite accurate and balanced. The highs are slightly recessed and lack some detail but aren’t dull or lifeless.

Things we don’t like

Compared to other similarly priced around-the-neck headphones (Sennheiser HD1 and Sony WI1000X), Shadow Fusion headphones are not very feature-rich. Also, their sound is not for everyone. On the other hand, Shadow Fusion could easily be the best-looking and most durable around-the-neck headphone model under $200.

Comparison Table


8. Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless Headphones

Bose QuietControl 30

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Bose QuietControl 30 headphones are the most expensive headphones on this list and probably one of the most expensive around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones on the market. They have some advanced features and offer very good performance but not good enough to be considered the best choice when it comes to around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones. QC30 is basically a more compact version of QC35 with shorter battery life. The greatest highlights are very good noise cancellation, simple and intuitive controls, user-friendly app, and balanced sonic performance. The biggest downsides, besides the price, are poor stability and sub-par build quality.

What’s in the box?

Inside a premium packaging, you will find your QuietControl 30 headphones, a nice-looking carrying case, StayHear+ QC tips with in-ear stabilizers in three sizes, micro USB charging cable, manual, and a warranty card.

Things we like

Like any other piece of Bose equipment, QC30 around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones look very premium, very high-end. They are mostly made of plastic but the neckband and the earbuds feel solid and the wires are quite thick. At first glance, the build quality seems very good but it’s not flawless and some long-term users had issues with a rubber coating covering the neckband (read about this issue in the ‘Things we don’t like’ section). 

The headphones offer great comfort. Bose’s StayHear+ QC Tips with in-ear stabilizers improve the stability of earbuds. A small issue could be the size of the neckband. It’s quite large and it doesn’t stay in place if you move your head a lot. So, QC30 is not a great choice for all kinds of sports activities. 

The control scheme is rather simple. The on/off/pairing button is located on the inner side of the neckband. There’s also a small in-line remote on the cable, below the right earbud. The remote has 5 buttons. Three buttons on the front side of the remote are used for playback/volume control and for call management. Two buttons on the side are used for controlling the amount of noise cancellation.

The headphones also come with the Bose Connect app. The app is compatible with both iOS and Android. It’s simple and user-friendly. You can use it to set the auto-off timer and adjust the ANC level. It also has a simple media player. However, you can’t play with room effects and there are no EQ settings.  

The headphones feature Bluetooth 4.2. They support NFC and multipoint pairing (up to 2 devices simultaneously). The unobstructed range is 100ft. In real-life conditions, you will get up to 50ft. The connection is perfectly stable within that range. 

The battery can deliver up to 10h of continuous playtime with the ANC on. The recharge is done in less than 3h.

The mic is decent but not as good as you would expect at this price point. It can’t separate voice from the ambient noise in loud environments. 

The audio reproduction is, along with noise cancellation, the greatest quality of these headphones. The bass is very good. It’s slightly elevated but very balanced and accurate. The midrange reproduction is almost perfect. The whole midrange is elevated, just like the bass. The treble is not perfectly consistent across the whole range. The frequencies below 8kHz are nicely balanced with the mids but there are some peaks around 10kHz that could cause some brightness and sibilance on treble-heavy tracks. All in all, Bose QuietControl 30 is a great-sounding pair of headphones.

Noise cancellation is very good, too. They can cancel out most of the ambient noise. However, you can get a similar noise canceling performance with Sony WI1000X headphones. 

Things we don’t like

As mentioned earlier, the headphones look and feel premium and durable. However, some long-term users experienced issues with the rubber coating covering the neckband. It turns out that the coating comes off after a few months of use. This isn’t the case with all the users but it happened to more than one user and it can be considered a common issue.

The app is easy to use but it’s not very feature-rich. The biggest downside is the lack of EQ settings.

The battery doesn’t support fast-charge feature which is surprising considering the price tag.

The headphones don’t support aptX or any other advanced Bluetooth audio codec (only standard SBC and AAC codecs). 

Comparison Table


This is the end of our list of 8 best around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones. We’ve tried to cover all the price ranges and offer something for every pocket. If you want to keep searching, here’s a little extra. We have made a short buyer’s guide for you. 


Things to Look for When Buying Around-the-Neck Bluetooth Headphones

Price

The first and most annoying thing we all have to do is to set our limits. The good news is that the market has a lot to offer even if you are on a budget. There are all kinds of cheap around-the-neck headphones and our favorite when it comes to budget options is Mpow Jaws (priced under $30). If you can spend more than $100, the number of viable choices increases. The priciest and most advanced models are priced over $300. As always, the good-old rule ‘you get what you for’ applies here so you must have realistic expectations. You can’t expect the same kind of performance and build quality from $30 headphones and from $300 headphones.

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Design and build

Well, all these headphones have the same basic shape with a hard neckband going around your neck and two earbuds connected to each end of the neckband. On the other hand, the build quality varies a lot with the price. The cheapest models have a simple plasticky neckband and thin wires connecting the earbuds to the neckband, while the pricier models are more premium-looking with rubberized neckbands or neckbands wrapped in leather. 

Comfort

Most of the around-the-neck headphones we’ve tested were quite comfy but there’s a difference in earbud size and neckband material. These two things are the most important factors when it comes to comfort. Naturally, rubberized and leather neckbands feel better around the neck but the difference is not huge. The earbud size is, in our opinion, more important. Just to be clear – we are talking about the size of the earpieces and not about the silicone tips.  Some around-the-neck headphones have quite large earpieces and, if you have small ears, you should avoid those. 

Control scheme

Controls are usually quite simple and easily reachable. In some cases, all the buttons are located on one arm while the charging port is located on the other. In other cases, you have control buttons on both arms. The most important thing when it comes to controls is their responsiveness. Some cheap models may have clunky and unresponsive buttons but there’s no rule – you can find a very inexpensive pair of around-the-neck headphones with perfectly responsive controls.

Bluetooth connection

Since Bluetooth is usually the only available connection (these headphones don’t have AUX inputs), you really have to pay attention to Bluetooth specs. You should check the version (latest Bluetooth version is desirable), range, supported Bluetooth audio codecs (AAC and SBC are important for Apple and Android compatibility), and additional features  (like NFC or multipoint pairing). The most important thing is connection reliability. In most cases, you will get a stable connection within the 30ft range.

Battery 

Most around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones will deliver at least 8 hours of continuous playtime and some models will deliver 10-15 hours. Naturally, they are not as capable as over-ear headphones when it comes to battery life. Still, 10 hours should be more than enough for any kind of activity.

ANC

If you need advanced features, like ANC, you will have to invest more. There’re only a few models with ANC and they are quite pricey (Bose QuietControl 30, for example). You should also be aware that these headphones are not on par with their over-ear rivals when it comes to noise cancellation.

Sound quality

We all want headphones that sound good but we don’t all have the same definition of ‘good’. Today’s mainstream audience prefers strong bass emphasis and numerous manufacturers simply follow this trend. So, the majority of currently available earbuds and headphones have some kind of bass emphasis while the rest of the audio spectrum is more or less affected by this kind of tuning. Still, it’s not impossible to find a pair of headphones with a more balanced sound with perfectly clear mids and consistent treble. The best thing you can do is to try the headphones before buying them. If you can’t do that, the next best thing is to trust us and read our reviews. 

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