What are the features that make the best neckband headphones? For starters, these audio systems are incredibly comfortable and offer excellent noise cancellation, making them some of the best headphones for music lovers to use over extended periods.
If you’re looking for a sleek and stylish pair of wireless headphones that don’t get in your way or get uncomfortable in your ears, you can’t go wrong with wireless neckband earphones. Plus, with plenty of hours of battery life, different sizes of earbud tips, and excellent microphone quality, you can use these wireless earphones for virtually any task without a problem.
Keep reading below to learn all about the best neckband headphones, their key features you should consider, and how to find the best pair for your needs.
Top Neckband Headphones
#1 LG Tone Style HBS-SL5 Headphones
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a built-in battery that provides up to 8 hours of runtime, this headset is suitable for work and leisure. It has retractable earbuds and high-quality drivers that provide balanced sounds at all volume levels.
- Outstanding sound quality
- Retractable earbuds
- Decent battery life
- Lacks built-in voice assistant
- Doesn’t have an external speaker
Thanks to rich, clear treble, and accurate high notes, the LG Tone Style HBS-SL5 headphones deliver a rich listening experience. This device comes with a built-in battery that provides up to 8 hours of music time. It chargers remarkably fast, gaining 3 hours’ worth of runtime in just 10 minutes. This headset has a vibrating mechanism that alerts users when they receive a call or text message. However, this unit doesn’t have a built-in voice assistant.
High-quality audio drivers deliver high-fidelity, blanched sounds at all volume levels. This headset features high-quality earbuds, which are retractable for hassle-free storage. A multi-layer metal and plastic setup provides durability. The headset was designed in partnership with Meridian technology, and it has a lightweight over-the-neck design that provides comfort. A dual mic array captures the voice in crisp details, enhancing conversations and gaming. This headset is quite versatile, helping users to hold gaming conversations and phone calls.
#2 Anker Soundcore Life U2 Headphones
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: An advanced noise reduction system facilitates smooth calls. This device is water-resistant, so it can be used in rain, and it has a bass boost mode that provides thumping low sounds.
- Excellent bass-boosting mode
- cVc 8.0 noise reduction system
- IPX7-rated waterproof design
- Earbuds are not retractable
The Anker Soundcore Life U2 headphones come with a remarkable battery, providing up to 24 hours of music playtime. This headset comes with a USB-C charging system that provides up to 2 hours of runtime in just 5 minutes of charging. Premium 10mm drivers with a bio-cellulose diaphragm produce impressive audio. This headset has a BassUp mode to optimize the performance of low tones. However, the earbuds on this unit are not retractable.
With a cVc 8.0 system, this device is optimized for making calls, and it has noise reduction technology, suppressing unwanted background sounds caused by traffic or office chatter. This headset has a 3D design that sits comfortably around the neck. A lightweight silicone headband with a titanium alloy core offers strength without compromising comfort. This headset is IPX7-certified for waterproof performance, and it has a sleek black finish that will stand out.
#3 BearTwo SX-990 Headphones
Award: BEST CABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
WHY WE LIKE IT: An excellent cable management system allows users to conveniently get the buds out of the way. This device folds seamlessly and comes with a case for hassle-free transportation.
- Exceptional folding design
- Retractable earbuds
- cVC noise cancellation
- The bass is too heavy for some users
With an innovative foldable design, the BearTwo SX-990 headphones will appeal to people who want to take their music for a work or leisure trip. This device has a sleek design that will stand out. It comes with large, small, and medium gel ear tips, so users can find the perfect fit. Vibration and voice prompts help to alert users of a phone call or text message. However, the bass on this unit is too heavy for some users at the default settings.
This gaming headset uses the latest Bluetooth tech, easily connecting to computers, smartphones, and gaming consoles. It has CVC noise cancellation, eliminating distracting background calls. A built-in mic delivers voice with clarity. This headset has superb bass that will appeal to audiophiles. Offering about 18 hours of talking time and 16 hours of music listening time, this device is quite dependable, and it has retractable earbuds with excellent cable management, preventing cord tangling.
#4 Monster Boomerang Headphones
Award: BEST OVER-NECK DRIVERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: An excellent around-neck design and 3W audio system don’t require using earbuds. This headset is remarkably comfortable and runs for about 12 hours before requiring recharging.
- Comfortable earbud-free design
- Outstanding 3W speaker system
- IPX7 waterproof construction
- Doesn’t offer privacy
With a unique 3W speaker system, the Monster Boomerang headphones deliver a stunning music playback experience. This device has two bass diaphragms, delivering the ultimate in accurate low tones. A 3D surround system delivers directional audio, providing an engaging listening experience during gaming and movie watching. This headset has an around-neck wearable design that offers comfort. However, the audio from this system can be heard by others, so it doesn’t offer privacy.
Featuring IPX7-rated waterproof construction, this device is ideal for use indoors and outdoors. It has an excellent battery that offers up to 12 hours of music time at half volume. With a USB-C charging interface, this drive charges fully in about 1.5 hours. This device connects via a Bluetooth 5.0 chip, providing a pairing range of up to 33 feet. It has a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and works with a wide variety of devices, including computers and smartphones.
#5 Exfit BCS-700 Headphones
Award: BEST FOR IN-CALL GESTURE CONTROLS
WHY WE LIKE IT: With an audio transparency mode, this headset allows users to hear ambient sounds while answering a call or listening to music. It has simple gesture controls for answering or declining calls
- Three EQ presets
- Retractable earbuds
- Transparency mode
- Poor retraction mechanism
Users seeking an open-ear system should consider the Exfit BCS-700 headphones. This device has an audio transparency mode, allowing users to stay engaged with others in the office or home theater while listening to music. An auto-answer call control enables users to answer calls by pulling the earbud wire. With 8 hours of music playtime, this headset is suitable for gaming, calls, and work. Three sound presets allow users to optimize this device for bass and treble. However, it’s relatively big and heavy.
High-quality 8mm speakers deliver outstanding sounds that are blanched for treble, bass, and high notes. Vibration alerts help users know about incoming calls. This headset has an attractive design with a sleek navy blue color scheme, and it’s also available in Charcoal Black and Silver White. This headset has an IPX4 rating for water resistance, so it’s suitable for workouts and jogging in mild rain. Thanks to retractable earbuds, this device prevents cord tangling.
#6 Klokol X25 190705 Headphones
Award: BEST BATTERY LIFE
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a battery life of up to 20 hours, this unit is ideal for people who call or listen to music for long hours at a time. It has a cVc 6.0 sound reduction system that removes annoying background sounds.
- Exceptional battery life of up to 24 hours
- Magnetic earbuds
- Multiple ear tip sizes
- Earbuds are not retractable
The Klokol X25 190705 headphones use Bluetooth 5.0 tech to provide stable connections with devices as far away as 33 feet. This drive has an outstanding battery life, playing music for a whopping 20 hours before requiring recharging. The headset charges in about 1.5 hours and allows users to call for up to 17 hours on a single charge. The magnetic earbuds attach to each other to prevent dangling. However, these buds won’t retract.
This headset features a cVc 6.0 noise reduction system, providing excellent phone calls. Lightweight construction and an around-the-neck band provide comfort. This unit comes with three different sizes of ear tips, offering compatibility with ears of varying shapes and sizes. Volume controls enable adjusting the sound level seamlessly. This device is compatible with a wide variety of gadgets, including iOS and Android mobile devices as well as computers. This unit has enhanced audio and is well-balanced for bass, midrange, and treble frequencies.
Beginner’s Guide to Neckband Headphones
What Are Neckband Headphones?
When searching for the best neckband headphones, you’ll want to focus on several key factors. First, make sure your pick for top neckband earphones are the loudest neckband earbuds, especially if you’ll be using these great neckband earbuds for calling people. While you’ll be using the best around the neck Bluetooth headphones for listening to music or audiobooks, having the finest neckband headphones for calls will guarantee a good buy. Read on to get started.
Neckband headphones are handy wireless earphones that you can wear around your neck instead of storing them in your pocket or bag. The earbuds on these headphones are wired directly into the neckband.
Premium options feature retractable earbuds that remain protected inside the plastic housing that rests around your neck when not in use. Options with non-retractable earbuds either allow them to hang loose when not in use or keep them in place using low-powered magnets at the ends of the neckband, making them top headphones for teens.
Despite the presence of this wire, the best around-the-neck headphones are considered truly wireless since they don’t require the use of an audio cable to connect to your audio source. Instead, they utilize Bluetooth wireless technology to connect to your smartphone or other portable devices. These headphones also typically offer excellent active noise cancellation, decent battery life, and a comfortable design. They’re also often found as the top noise-canceling true wireless earbuds and the finest noise-canceling headphones for sleeping.
Neckband Headphones vs Traditional Headphones
The best neckband earbuds don’t differ too much from traditional alternatives when it comes to general functionality. They connect to your audio source and play music through the earpiece into your ears. Although, they’re not the best headphones for sleeping, especially if you sleep on your back. So, what are the main differences between these unique in-ear headphones and other types?
The most obvious difference comes into play when you consider form factors and overall design. As the name suggests, neckband headphones utilize a lightweight neckband that rests on the back of your neck to house the battery, earbuds, and other internal components. Other headphones rely on your head or ears for support and contain the battery and other internal components inside the earpiece. So, it’s not only the best neckband earbuds that you’ll come across.
If you opt for premium neck headphones from top manufacturers, you’ll also often get better onboard noise cancelation technology, higher audio quality, and a more durable and comfortable design than many wireless earbuds. Features like this make them ideal headphones for mowing and outdoor lawn work. Plus, with a larger body in which to store a battery, you’ll also usually get a much longer battery life with wireless neckband headphones than other wireless headphones.
How Neckband Headphones Work
Aside from the way they are designed to sit on your shoulders for support, neckband headsets don’t differ in terms of functionality compared to other headphones. These audio systems operate essentially the same as speakers, just on a smaller scale. But they’re probably not the greatest swimming headphones.
First, you’ll need to connect your solid neck headphones to an audio source, whether through a wired connection using an audio cable or through a wireless connection using Bluetooth 5.0. Then, the audio source sends an electric signal to your headphones through that connection.
Once your headphones receive the audio signal, they utilize an internal component called a driver to translate the electrical signal into vibrations, creating sound waves that your ears can hear.
Like speaker drivers, the drivers inside your headphones also need a power source in order to create sound. For wireless neckband headphones, this power is derived from their built-in battery.
Do You Really Need Neckband Headphones?
If you like loud music at the parties you throw, whether large or small, you can’t afford to go with any other type of speaker than a party speaker. These powerful speakers produce loud volume and excellent audio quality without breaking the bank. Plus, no matter where you’re throwing your party, you can find a speaker that’s up to the task, even in inclement weather. And, with a great neck band to wear, you’ll stay comfortable while using them.
Are Neckband Headphones Worth Buying?
- More Comfortable Earbuds: If you find the hard plastic of AirPods or other truly wireless earbuds to be uncomfortable, you’ll enjoy the superior comfort that neckband earbuds offer. These tend to be more comfortable because they’re incredibly lightweight. This is because all of the heavy internal components, like the battery, are housed inside the neckband. Plus, with various sizes of silicon tips and a lightweight design, you’ll get the best fit for your ear canals for all-day listening comfort.
- Longer Battery Life: Most competing earbuds need to house their rechargeable battery directly inside the earbud. Because of these, the batteries are often tiny and have shorter battery life. If you need more hours of battery life, the larger battery size of neckband earphones is the best option.
- Better Onboard Noise Cancellation: Many neck headphones offer superior ANC or active noise cancellation compared to other wireless earbuds. Again, this is because they have more real estate in the neckband to house better components. If you’re looking for the best noise-canceling headphones for kids, then neckband options are excellent options for you.
- Excellent Hands-Free Experience: These headphones offer a simpler and more comprehensive user control experience. Since there is room on the neckband for built-in buttons, you’ll know exactly what you’re controlling without any complicated setup or configuration.
Why Neckband Headphones May Not Be For You
- Audio Quality Isn’t as Good as Over-Ear Headphones: If you’re looking for the best audio quality you can get out of headphones, you likely won’t find it with neckband options. While many products in this category offer powerful sound quality, they won’t stand up against premium over-ear headphones.
- Some Latency Problems: Only the best Bluetooth neckband earphones offer the latest and greatest when it comes to Bluetooth technology. Unfortunately, many manufacturers in this space have fallen behind in providing the latest version of Bluetooth connectivity. As such, you may experience some latency problems between your earbuds and your audio source, especially if you’re using a newer smartphone or tablet.
- Not Great for High-Energy Activity: While neckband headphones tend to be more comfortable than other alternatives, they aren’t the best at staying in place during high-energy activities like exercise or sports. If you’re looking for something to use during these activities, you might want to consider an option like the best over-ear headphones for working out.
How Long Will Neckband Headphones Last?
Since neckband headphones stay put better than other headphones, you can expect them to last a bit longer in terms of the housing and physical components staying in good condition. Most industry experts say you should get anywhere between 5-10 years out of most sets of headphones. If you opt for premium models, you’ll be on the longer end of that scale. If you’re on a tight budget, you may not get that much lifespan from the model you purchase.
For neckband earphones, you’ll also need to consider how long the battery will last before it needs to be replaced or repaired. These headphones use lithium-ion batteries that can be charged 300 to 500 times before their total capacity drops below 80%. You can still use the battery past this point, but you’ll experience a noticeable decrease in the total hours of battery life you’ll get.
How to Choose Neckband Headphones
When it comes time for you to purchase a new pair of neckband headphones, you’ll need to keep a few key considerations in mind. First and foremost, you’ll want to find a pair of headphones that fits comfortably on your neck and sounds great in your ears. However, you’ll also want to consider additional features like active noise cancellation, retractable vs. non-retractable earbuds, and battery life.
Best Neckband Headphones Factors to Consider
1. How good should the sound quality of your neckband headphones be?
Sound quality can vary widely across different brands and individual models of neck headphones. In general, it’s best to follow the “You Get What You Pay For” rule when shopping for new headphones. This rule simply states that the more you pay for headphones, the better audio quality you’ll get during your listening session.
Of course, you’ll need to decide how much sound quality you actually need for an enjoyable listening experience. To do so, consider how you plan on using your neckband headphones. If you plan to use them as your primary pair of headphones on which you listen to music, take calls, and watch movies, then you’ll want something with exceptional audio quality. On the flip side, if you only plan on wearing them while doing yard work, you might want to consider louder volume over better sound quality.
2. Should you buy neckband headphones with noise-cancellation capabilities?
Many of the best neckband Bluetooth headphones offer some kind of noise-cancellation capabilities. You have a few different options when it comes to noise cancellation, described below:
- None: If you want to hear what’s happening around you while the earbuds are in your ear, then opting for a pair of headphones without noise cancellation is valid.
- Passive: Passive noise cancellation utilizes the design of the earbuds to block out surrounding noise. Most neckband earphones offer passive noise cancellation in the form of flexible silicone earbud tips, which conform to your ear shape and create a seal that blocks ambient noise. Headphones with passive noise cancellation don’t block all ambient noise, but they work well in environments with minimal to moderate noise.
- Active: Active noise cancellation, also known as ANC, uses a combination of microphones and speakers to actively cancel ambient sounds. The microphones pick up noise from your surroundings and then utilize speakers to create a phase-inverted sound to cancel it out. These are perfect for loud areas like airports, airplanes, and crowded places. If you need headphones for more stationary activities, you may not need neckband headphones. If you game often and need some decent headphones but don’t need a mic attached, the best gaming headphones without a mic can be a great alternative.
3. How comfortable should your neckband headphones be?
The top-selling point for neckband headphones is how comfortable they are. When it comes to comfort while wearing these headphones, you’ll need to consider both how the earbuds feel in your ear as well as how the flexible neckband feels on your neck.
When it comes to ear comfort, you’ll want to consider options with flexible silicone tips and a variety of different size options. This way, you can find the perfect fit for your specific ear shape.
When it comes to neck comfort, you’ll first need to consider whether you want a snug or loose fit. A snug fit is great for wearing during activities but may not be as comfortable over longer periods. A loose fit is better for wearing headphones over longer periods.
4. How long do you need the battery in your neckband headphones to last?
Fortunately, most neckband headphones offer a longer continuous battery life than other wireless headphones. However, you should still put some thought into how long you want your device to last, which is often based on how often you use it.
If you plan to use your headphones all day while you run errands or work, you’ll need to purchase something with long-lasting battery life. If you only plan on using your headphones for short bursts at a time, then battery life isn’t as important because you can simply do a quick charge when you aren’t using them.
In general, the best neckband headphones offer a 15-20 hours battery life on a single charge, while others provide around an 8-hour battery life on average.
5. What kind of user controls should your neckband headphones offer?
Most neckband headsets offer at least two or three different physical buttons on the neckband for essential user and volume controls. However, some options include a full set of buttons mapped to each individual function you can perform, including answering and ending phone calls.
You’ll also want to consider an option with a built-in mic for voice commands and phone calls. These options are some of the best headphones with mic capabilities that your money can buy, especially if they offer dual microphones.
6. Do you want non-retractable earbuds or retractable earbuds?
Finally, consider the differences between models with a retractable pair of neckband earbuds and those without. Headphones with retractable earbuds tend to be more expensive, but they’re also more streamlined and less likely to get tangled up during use. If you do opt to save some money and go for an option with a non-retractable pair of earbuds, we recommend purchasing a model that secures the earbuds in place with a magnet when not in use.
7. Should your headphones be water-resistant?
You’ll want to consider the IP rating scale, which measures a product’s effectiveness against water and dust ingress when it comes to water resistance. Many neckband headphones offer water resistance, so keep an eye out for an IP designation followed by two numbers on the packaging or in the product description if that’s something you need.