Image credit: Unsplash
The online electronics market holds a special place for neckband Bluetooth headphones. It’s through around-the-neck headphones that consumers started embracing the culture shift towards wireless music listening.
Some of the best neckband headphones have had their fair share of popularity until true wireless earbuds disrupted the online electronic marketplace. Sure, true wireless earbuds are convenient to use and trendy to show off. They, however, lack many features and functionalities that you get with a Bluetooth neckband headphone.
Practical reasons why neckband headphones are better in many aspects
Bluetooth neckband headphones owe to their physical size in having several advantages over true wireless earbuds. As compared to true wireless earbuds, neckband headphones have a larger form factor. This essentially means that there is more room for a bigger battery and a larger circuit board that includes a larger audio processor.
Have a look at these teardowns of true wireless earbuds and neckband earphones and you’ll get an idea as to how drastically small the circuit board of true wireless earbuds is as compared to that of neckband headphones.
Teardown of true wireless earbuds:
Image credit: FCC ID
Teardown of a neckband headphone:
Image credit: FCC ID
From the above images, it is evident that neckband headphones benefit from a larger antenna, a larger audio processor, and a larger battery. With true wireless earbuds, it’s a whole different situation. Brands size down the circuit board, Bluetooth antenna, and battery to make the earbuds as compact as possible. This translates to limitations in terms of connectivity, battery, and audio performance.
Benefits of neckband headphones for sports/workouts
Almost all Bluetooth neckband headphones reviews list the neckband headphone as being the best option for people who are into sports and workout. This mainly has got to do with not losing the earphones even if they accidentally fall out from the ears.
True wireless earbuds, especially ones that do not have in-ear rubber tips, tend to fall out more when you are exercising or playing a sport. This is because they do not insert in the ear. Rather, they rest on the three outer portions of the ear, the concha, the tragus, and the anti-tragus. These portions can slightly move when you are unknowingly flexing/moving your jaw during workout or sports sessions, causing the earbuds to fall out.
Image credit: Corporis YouTube
Unlike true wireless earbuds, you do not stand at the risk of losing neckband earphones even if they fall out from your ears while working out at the gym or practicing sports. The fact that they are attached to the neckband doesn’t put you at the risk of losing them.
According to a secure fitting test done by Wall Street Journal, true wireless earbuds with rubber in-ear tips can either fall out during extreme physical activities or during simple scenarios, such as when munching on your favorite meal.
GIF credit: Wall Street Journal YouTube
Benefits of neckband headphones for everyday commuters
Neckband headphones are convenient to use for everyday commuters, especially those who prefer public transport. There are several instances when you have to abruptly take off your earphones, such as, when listening to public or emergency announcements on the subway, when catching a train or a bus that’s about to leave, or when holding on to grab bars/rails crowded subway or bus.
It’s during these types of instances that you want to quickly remove your earphones for situation awareness without standing at the risk of losing them. With a pair of neckband headphones, you can simply remove the earphones and let go of them as they are attached to the neckband.
GIF credit: JuanBagnell YouTube
This is not the case with true wireless earbuds as you have to reach for their case in order to remove them from your ears and store them (and this is not a quick process as compared to simply popping off your neckband earphone and letting go of it).
Benefits of neckband headphones for working/calling professionals
For working professionals who need to make calls every now and then or go on long client meeting calls, the battery performance of wireless earphones is one of the topmost priorities. And when it comes to delivering music listening or call usage on a single charge, neckband headphones perform better in most cases.
Here, we have compared the specs sheet of a true wireless earbuds model and a neckband headphone model. They have similar pricing.
Redmi Earbuds S (true wireless earbuds)
Image credit: MI
OnePlus Bullets Z (neckband headphone)
Image credit: OnePlus
As it is evident from the above specs sheets, Redmi true wireless earbuds deliver a maximum of 12 hours of charge retention with the charging case. On the other hand, OnePlus neckband headphone tops with up to 20 hours of playtime.
6 best neckband headphones
Although true wireless earbuds are the biggest trend, neckband headphones are here to stay, especially considering the fact that many renowned brands, including the likes of Apple, have recently launched new neckband headphone models.
Check out this list of the six best neckband headphones that you cannot go wrong with:
1. Beats Flex – check it out here
Beats Flex is one of the newest and undoubtedly one of the best neckband headphones that you can get your hands on. This model is by far the most affordable audio product from Apple. What is interesting to know is that there are no performance compromises despite the affordable price tag. This model delivers up to 12 hours of listening time with a magnetic play/pause function. Audio performance is simply one of the best, with the bass sounding natural, and the mids and highs sounding clear.
2. OnePlus Wireless Z Bass Edition – check it out here
OnePlus Wireless Z Bass Edition offers everything you can possibly expect from a modern neckband headphone. This Bass Edition model is specifically fine-tuned for delivering a bass-rich audio performance. It also stands out in terms of playback time as it delivers 10 hours of playtime with just 10 minutes of charge with OnePlus’s proprietary Warp Charge feature.
3. Sennheiser Momentum – check it out here
Sennheiser Momentum takes the wireless music listening experience to a premium level. This model packs a premium look and feel in a quintessential neckband form factor. From seamless pairing to uncompromised audio performance, this model covers all grounds. It also excels at battery performance by offering up to 10 hours of playtime.
4. Sony WI-SP600N – check it out here
Sony WI-SP600N comes as an unmistakable choice for people who are into workouts/sports and are planning to get their hands on a reliable sports neckband headset. As one of the best wireless neckband headphones for sports from Sony, this model does not fail to live up to the expectations of a proper fit, thanks to the ergonomically designed ear tip hooks. Apart from having IPX4 water-resistant rating, this model is also lightweight. It delivers extra bass audio with up to six hours of battery life.
5. Shure SE535 – check it out here
Shure SE535 is surely a one-of-a-kind, both in terms of form factor and audio performance. Although not a typical around-the-neck headphone, this model sure lives up to expectations with its phenomenal audio performance. Due to its minimal and compact design, this model is highly easy to use and carry around.
6. LG Tone Flex HBS-XL7 – check it out here
LG Tone Flex HBS-XL7 helps you make the most out of your work and entertainment. This model is undoubtedly one of the best retractable Bluetooth headsets out there in terms of audio performance and premium build quality. You can conveniently retract the earbuds into the neckband after you are done using them without risking losing them. The rich and balanced audio performance of this headset will not let you down for your work as well as entertainment requirements.
3 best 2-in-1 earbuds (wired and wireless)
When it comes to electronic gadgets, the options for different types of models are endless. This is true with earbuds as well. You don’t necessarily have to stick to one specific type of earbud if you like all types of headsets.
Here are three headsets that can help you enjoy a high-quality audio experience with wired connectivity or go wireless for enjoying full fidelity:
1. Back Bay American EQ 40 – check it out here
Back Bay American EQ 40 brings the functionality of a wireless neckband headset and a wired headset in one single package. The versatility of this model is not just limited to its form factor as it also includes five equalizer modes. When used as wireless earbuds, this model delivers up to 6.5 hours of playtime.
2. Motorola Tech 3-in-1 – check it out here
Motorola Tech 3-in-1 is the ultimate deal when it comes to getting the most out of the investment you make for a good pair of earbuds. This model is designed to function as a true wireless earbud, neckband headphone, and a regular wired earphone. You can seamlessly switch between these headset types by attaching or detaching the intuitive connector. As far as audio performance goes, this model benefits from Bluetooth 5.0 and dynamic sound drivers and delivers immersive audio.
3. Motorola Vervebuds 200 – check it out here
Motorola Vervebuds 200 lets you enjoy the best of neckband headset as well as true wireless earbuds experience. If you want full fidelity, use the model as true wireless earbuds or simply attach the neckband on it to keep the risk of accidental falls at bay when working out or playing sports. The audio performance of this model is on par with some of the premium earbuds available. With up to 10 hours of playtime, this headset will not let you down if you want to take a long call or listen to your favorite records for hours on end.
Transform your true wireless earbuds into a neckband headset
Already own a pair of true wireless earbuds but wish you could make them work as one of the best around-the-neck headphones? It’s not just wishful thinking and yes, we’ve got you covered on this.
Check out these handy neckband straps that can help you use your Apple AirPods classic, AirPods Pro, and other wireless earbuds as a neckband headset:
Neckband strap for Apple AirPods classic – check it out here
Neckband strap for Apple AirPods Pro – check it out here
Non-slip rubber ear tips for Apple AirPods classic – check it out here
Non-slip rubber ear hooks for Apple AirPods classic – check it out here
Non-slip rubber ear tips for Samsung Galaxy Buds Live – check it out here
Non-slip rubber ear hooks for Samsung Galaxy Buds Live – check it out here