Wireless headphones offer many advantages over a wired connection — especially when they’re used on-the-go, when exercising or when engaged in sport activities. But just having a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone isn’t enough; there needs to be more built “into” the headphones if they’re to be highly functional. These are.
6. JLab GO Bluetooth Wireless Sport Headphones
The first thing you’ll notice about these Bluetooth headphones is how they’re worn: there’s a wrap-around design providing a comfortable yet lightweight fit. Full throated bass is assured from dynamic 13-millimeter drivers, with up to five hours of battery power between charges leading the charge. The $49.95 price includes seven interchangeable ear tip sizes for a secure fit.
5. Denon AH-W150BU Exercise Freak In-Ear Headphones
With integrated earpiece smartphone controls and a long battery life (up to 7 hours), the use of an integrated amplifier engages a level of pounding bass that makes for energized exercising. The flexible neckband mates with an articulating in-ear design for a reliable fit, thanks to in-ear tips that are both air cushioned as well as possessing an anti-microbial coating against bacteria. And as befits the name, the Exercise Freak ($129.00) is sweat-proof and has a reflective back band for making the user visible during evening workouts. A Denon smartphone app not only records fitness goals but tracks outdoor workouts using GPS, with results available to share on social media sites.
4. Tenqa Fit Bluetooth In-Ear Bluetooth Earbuds for Sports
Fitness buffs will find a lot to like in this Bluetooth 4.0 earbuds, starting with up to 5 1/2 hours of playback per battery charge. It’s compact size contains CVC Active Noise Cancellation,with wind noise reduction, and apt audio compression for delivering a stable and sonically pure signal. The $39.95 price also covers the multiples sizes of ear stabilizers and ear tips for assuring the best fit possible, with a plush case for carrying these provided.
3. LG Tone Wireless Stereo Headset
This $67.99 weather resistant headset has an unusually shaped, but very comfortable behind-the-neck design for all day use (the battery providing up to 10 hours of talk time per charge). The magnetic ear buds snap into place on the strap when not in use, and pop off when it’s time for listening — it’s also on the strap that the controls for playing music can be found. The addition of the Android BT Reader app will notify you of incoming calls, and will read incoming text messages to you in real-time as well.
2. JayBird Bluebuds X Sport Bluetooth Headphones
Designed to handle the toughest workout, this $152.59 Bluetooth headphones features a patented, secure fit for sports enthusiasts, voice prompts and an enhanced version of Bluetooth that delivers sound with a quality equal to that of a wired connection. Skip-free music outdoors, regardless of where the audio player is being worn,is assured through SignalPlus technology, with the elimination of white noise done in-ear to reduce listener fatigue. Battery life is extended to up to 8 hours, and those who push themselves to the limit will be pleased to know that there is a lifetime warranty against sweat ruining the headphones.
1. YURBUDS Inspire Limited Edition Wireless Headphones
Ergonomically made with flexible silicone, this sweat and water resistant earphones ($129.95) features a locking system that keeps them in place in the ear comfortably over extended periods of time. The woven cloth cord inhibits tangling, while the 15mm audio drivers provide for a big sound. Battery power lasts for up to 6 hours, with visual and audible indicators updating in real-time. There is a dedicated pairing button for a fast install, as well as a greater ambiance noise level awareness for safety, when compared to other earphones at similar volume levels. The full track and call control also includes an in-line wind-blocking mic to enhance call quality.
Honorable Mentions (not necessarily for the working out)
Nokia Purity Pro Wireless Stereo Headset by Monster
This wireless headset ($236) features such audio enhancements as Apt-X audio compression, Voice Guidance Echo cancellation and Active Noise Control. Additionally, there is built-in DSP auto power off, a Volume control and Answer/End button and Near Field Communication. The headset can be used wired if desired, with unfolding it turning it on. It also has a high level of integration built in for use with Nokia Lumia phones, Software and Tap to Pair.It is available in four color combinations (Black, Red, Yellow, Silver).
6. Parrot Zik Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones
Innovations abound in Parrot Zik $350 wireless headphones — to begin, there is noise cancelation enacted by employing two internal and two external microphones– the results being up to 98% noise reduction. There is also a head detection sensor within the ear piece that activates/deactivates the headphones, depending on whether they are being worn or have been taken off. Add to that a touch-sensitive panel (located at the right ear cup) which enables swiping motions to control volume, or move forward or backwards to skip music tracks, and NFC capabilities. The Parrot Audio Suite app not only controls music wirelessly, but can be used to customize the audio settings as well as enhance the sound depth to create a “virtual” concert hall effect.
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.