Over the last few decades, we have seen quite a number of changes in our headphone designs. From the ones that covered our whole ears to the ones that are almost invisible, we have always looked for headphones that are the easiest to handle, as well as the trendiest.
Neckband Bluetooth headphones, or "behind-the-neck" headphones or "collar-band" headphones are the latest trends in headphones now. They are simple, elegant and almost invisible unless you look closely. They also happen to be very convenient and has all the features you need in your headphones. You won't have to worry about them falling off your head, or have to rummage through your bag to find them; whenever you need your headphones, they are within your reach, always ready for action. Of course, they are almost discreet, too; you won't have to worry about a large pair of headphones looking odd around your neck.
Neckband headphones can cost something between $50 to $300. You can get a good quality, premium one from a reputed brand if you can spend over $150 on a pair.
What features should I consider in a budget neckband headphones?
What are the more advanced features that I should consider in a high-end neckband headphones?
This neckband headphone from BeatsX cost just under $150, with a simple, elegant design that will become almost invisible with your clothes. You can keep wearing them all day and never notice the extra weight on your shoulders, and neither will anyone else. You can do a lot more than just listen to music with them; you can use it to take calls and control your phone via Siri or RemoteTalk. This headphone can be connected via Bluetooth and comes with volume control.
A unique feature of the BeatsX Neckband headphone is that it comes with an option of 4 different ear tip options for you to choose from, all the better to give you personalized comfort while using them. You can use this headphone to connect to your phone over Siri and RemoteTalk, as well as control your music or take calls. You don't need a separate hands-free device for your phone to take calls with.
The ear buds are magnetic, and the style is so simple that you won't have to worry about the wires getting tangled together. In fact, there are no extra wires that can get tangled. Charging is lightening fast and will require only a few hours to get a full charge.
Even at such a high price, you only get around 8 hours of use with a full charge, as opposed to more than 12/13 that most other headphones gives. Also, they are not exactly noise cancelling headphone; they will block off your ears and stop outside noise from disturbing you, but they will not block all the noise if you happen to be somewhere extremely noisy. Besides, you can't really use them for very long. They are not exactly very durable.
The LG Tone Infinim HBS-920 costs just a little over $100, but a great choice if you happen to be very particular about your music quality. You can use it to not only listen, but also to effectively record your voice and take calls. The contoured body fits perfectly around your neck and doesn't make you at all uncomfortable, even if you are wearing this neckband headphone all day long.
This neckband headphone definitely pays attention to sound quality while most other brands only focuses on the more basic, practical aspects. Besides, with this model, you can get up to 12 hours of play time and 15 hours of talk time after a single full charge; also, standby time is more than 25 days. The sound quality is clear with very little to no distortion, when you re playing music or recording your own voice. The body is beautifully contoured to fit your neckline, and lightweight enough so that you won't feel anything.
With the adjustable tone bass, you can adjust your headphone's bass and even turn the boost bass on or off.
This is definitely not a noise cancelling pair of headphones. The ear pieces may block some of the noise, but not unless you are listening to music in an extremely loud volume. The Bluetooth connectivity is weak and doesn't work unless the phone/tablet is very close to the headphone. Calls may drop on Bluetooth every now and then. The sound, although good initially, gets damaged over time.
As with their other music-related products, Sony cares about your sound quality. This neckband headphone will therefore give you almost crystal clear sound whatever you are using your pair for. It will cancel out any unwanted noise from the outside so that you can truly concentrate on your work/music. It can give you around 10 hours of talk or play time with one single full charge. Besides, you can use this headphone to make hands-free phone calls via your smart phone.
The ear buds are not personalized and there are no options in it, so they may just be the wrong size or shape for your ears. Many users have complained about the ear buds falling off without any warning. At least, they become quite loose at times. It has no app for an iOS users, only for Google and Android. The phone needs to find the headphone every time before use, it never connects automatically. Ultimately, for the exceptionally high price, this headphone doesn't really have many premium features that you can enjoy.
The QuietControl 30 from Bose is quite expensive at around $300, with a few premium features that you won't find in the more budget-friendly headphones. If you are willing to spend money on a good, reliable headphone, this model from Bose is certainly one to consider. It can be connected to your smartphone or tablet both via Bluetooth and NFC without the need for any wires. The design is beautiful and the model absolutely lightweight so that you won't feel anything.
An amazing and unique feature of the Bose QuietControl 30 is that with this headphone, you won't just cancel outside noise, but control it to your convenience. This means that you can program your headphones to control how much of the outside noise you want to hear (announcements, voices, horns, etc.) and how much you want to ignore (traffic, construction work, etc.). The Volume-optimized EQ of this headphone gives you the chance to balance your audio performance any time you want to.
You can also connect your Bose headphone to the Bose app available for all smart phones and tablets, The app is free and extremely convenient, personalized according to your mood and preferences.
This headphone has been created mainly for noise cancelling purposes, even when you are not using it for listening to music. However, to use your headphones for more than 6/7 hours simultaneously just to cancel noise can be quite harmful for your ears. Besides, to truly cancel out all the external noise, you need to press the ear buds deep into your ears; this is not very good for your ears either. The control options are all not on the neckband but on one of the ear bud wires, which sometimes makes it a problem to operate.
The Halo Smart from Jabra is a elegant, minimal neckband headphone under $100, wit miniature 10mm ear buds that give you a good quality audio, minus unwanted noise. It is a good noise cancelling pair that is also water-resistant with a rating of IP54. You can use it for both taking calls and playing music; the magnetic earbuds help keep the whole thing tangle-free.
The Jabra Halo Smart gives you an astounding 17 hours of talk/play time with a single full charge, more than any of the other brands. The 10mm speakers have magnets in them, that helps them to stay together so that you don't have to face any tangles or hassles. The neckband is flexible and bendable, and will be very comfortable around your neck, even when you are wearing it all day long. The Bluetooth range on this headphone is about 10 meters, which makes it easy and convenient.
Besides, another convenient option is the dedicated mute/unmute button that helps to turn off your music/voice for a short time without having to bother with turning it off.
These headphones don't actually come with a great lifespan. They can give you a good service but not for very long; you can get around 6-9 months use out of these headphones but probably not more than that. Connectivity can be difficult sometimes, especially if you want to connect them to your laptop. Taking conference calls can be tricky at times, too. All the muting and un-muting can mean you might end up missing conversations.
The Shadow Bluetooth Wireless Neckband Headphones from SOL Republic costs under $75; they give out a clear, full sound that will enable you to enjoy your favorite tunes in peace. The noise-cancellation features ensure that you won't be bothered with unwanted, outside sound when you are using these headphones, and only that you will be able to take calls without any interference.
This is a lightweight, flexible headphone that can be perfect for when you are jogging, running or exercising. The sound is quite clear and the noise-cancelling feature quite standard. The design is elegant and beautiful; as is the sound quality. This headphone comes with multiple ear tips options that will fit your ears perfectly, thus cancelling out all unwanted noise from the outside world. You can also interchange between two devices with your headphone, while being connected to your phone, at the same time.
The neckband is a little shorter than with other brands, which might make it a little problematic for some people. They don't come with any kind of adjustments, either. The earbuds can fall off if you haven't chosen the exact one that fits your ears.
The sound is quite loud. This is not the headphone for you if you want to play music quietly in the background while you work. The sound will go from off/mute to quite a loud volume. One side of the headphone might stop playing earlier than the other, leaving you with a single ear headphone.
Samsung is known for making some of the world's most popular smart phones and tablets, as well as televisions and household gadgets. The Level U Pro neckband headphone from Samsung also happens to be quite popular among users. Costing less than $75, this is a Bluetooth Wireless headphone that is flexible, comfortable, easy-to-use and reliable.
This is a great neckband headphone for people who already use a Samsung Galaxy smart phone or tablet, although it also works with devices from other brands. You can both listen to music and take phone calls with this headphone, getting a crystal clear sound quality, thanks to the Samsung UHQA Audio Sound. It is a sweat-resistant and splash resistant headphone, perfect for exercising, running or jogging. You won't have to press any buttons to take a call or end it; separating the earbuds from one another will accept the call and connecting the magnetic earbuds will end the call!
The speaker is a two-way one that will give you a good, clear sound; the noise reducing and echo cancelling features happen to be efficient and very convenient.
Both the neckband and the wires are too short, very uncomfortable for a larger person. The buds can fall off or become strained if you happen to move your head to one side. This is not very comfortable. While the sound quality is good, the voices can be distorted when in a call. This is not a very durable pair of headphones that might last only a few months.
Costing under the $150 range, the Forza Metallo Wireless headphones from V-MODA is ultralight, durable and of a military-grade quality. It comes with a designer carrying case and an astounding Bluetooth range of 33 feet (10 meters). This is an extremely durable model that can probably last years of use.
Unlike other models that are made from plastic and not very durable, the Forza Metallo is build to last. It is not made from plastic but has a titanium body that will last. The 5.8mm lightweight earbuds perfectly fit your ears and will give you a decent sound. However, one unique point of this headphone is that it will give you more than 2 hours of use after a fast 15-minute charge. With a full charge, you can get around 10+ hours of play time with this headphone.
This is not a headphone that you should buy for the sound quality. While the body is durable, the sound is not; honestly, sound is low, weak and the base minimal. Even with the highest volume, the sound is low compared to the other headphones. Neither the earbuds nor the body of the headphone will get physically damaged in a long time, but they can stop giving sound complete after a while. The battery works fine in the beginning but will slowly deteriorate after use.
The LEGATO neckband headphones form Spigen is quite affordable at under $60, with all the standard features you might want in a pair of headphones. You can get connected via Bluetooth up to 70 feet, with almost excellent performance. The sound is quite mature for the price, as well.
This is quite a lightweight and convenient neckband headphone that comes with retractable earbuds that you can keep hidden away when you are not using them. This completely eliminates any chance of tangles or hassles around your neck, giving you a complete hands free experience. The sound is clear with a 3-step equalizer that gives you the chance to choose between treble, mid or bass. You can not only listen to music with a great sound, but also use this headphone to watch movies, sports or a documentary with the various genres of sound quality.
You can also use voice command to control your headphone via Siri, Android phones of Bixby. Your incoming calls will be notified with a vibration around your neck, oblivious to anyone else.
Although the earbuds are retractable, the retracting is weak and slow. You might just have to manually push the wires inside after a few weeks of use. This happens more in a more colder weather. Besides, the sound might get a little distorted when you are moving around a lot, i.e. not a great headphone for exercising. The volume happens to be quite low too.
At just over $100, the BackBeat Fit headphone from Platronics is more of a sports and exercise headphone in a funky, fun color. It is not like the usual neckband headphones with dangling earphones, but with bended earphones that will fit your ears, too. The design was created so that the earbuds don't fall off your ears even when you are most active. It is also water- and sweat-proof and thus perfect for athletes.
If you are an athlete of if you are into working out, this is the perfect pair of headphones for you. You won't have to worry about your earbuds falling off with this unique design. The controls are easy to reach and use, even when you are running or jogging. Besides, you can also easily answer calls or change your music while exercising. The battery levels can be tracked with your phone so that you are not suddenly left with a dead headphone.
The headphone happens to be a little larger and brighter than others, not really something you can wear with everything, everywhere. This is basically a sports headphone, and will clash if you want to use it while in the office or in formal ware. These will probably last you less than a year or so after a few months.
More or less, all these neckband headphones come with the same features: you can listen to music with them, take calls, keep it hanging around your neck when you don't use them and not even remember it. However, one important feature of a good headphone is that it needs to have a good battery life. You don't want a headphone that will only give you 6/7 hours of play and talk time, while others can give you more than 16 hours of battery life. The design matters too; you'd want a pair of headphone that you can keep around your neck at all times but not feel the weight of it.
Budget can vary a lot too. You have headphones in the market ranging from $50 to $300, but for a good pair from a good brand, you have to spend something along the lines of $150. Anything less than this budget will not be very durable.