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The 4 Best Neckband Headphones - Spring 2023 Reviews

Best Neckband Headphones

Not long ago, if you wanted wireless earbuds with active noise cancelling (ANC), or even just a good battery life, neckband headphones were the way to go. However, companies have been getting better and better at cramming these powerful features into ultra-compact truly wireless earbuds.

While neckband headphones might seem like an outdated design, they're still very popular. Many people prefer that you can put them around your neck and forget about them. You can enjoy having your music at arm's reach all day long without needing to worry about dropping your earbuds or forgetting where you put them. Even though truly wireless technology is catching up, neckband headphones still generally have better ANC, microphone, and battery performance.

We’ve tested more than 720 headphones, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best wireless neckband headphones. If you’re looking for our top picks of other earbuds or in-ear headphones, check out our picks for the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds and in-ears, the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds for running and working out, and the best noise cancelling earbuds.

  1. Best Neckband Headphones

    The best neckband headphones we've tested are the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless. These headphones are the next generation of the Sony WI-1000X Wireless and feature more intuitive controls and a more flexible neckband. They feel well-built and come with a great hard case to help protect them when you're on the go. Thanks to their active noise cancelling (ANC) system, they can block out a very good amount of ambient noise at the office or during a commute. They have roughly eight and a half hours of continuous battery life and support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them to your smartphone and PC at the same time. You can also plug them in and use them wired if the battery dies at the wrong moment.

    Fans of bass-heavy genres like metal may find their sound lacking in thump and rumble, but they have a very accurate mid-range response that makes them well-suited for vocal-centric content like podcasts or pop music. You can customize their sound profile with the companion app's EQ and presets. Unfortunately, their in-ear fit can be fatiguing over time. The buds can also fall out of your ear with moderate head shakes, which is a little disappointing if you want to wear them during a run in the park. On the plus side, they come with several differently-sized pairs of ear tips to help you get the best fit.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Neckband Headphones

    If you want premium-quality performance at a lower price, check out the Sony WI-C600N Wireless. These neckband headphones are less pricey than the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless but have many of the same features. The build quality is decent, and they're lightweight and comfortable enough to get you through a long run without in-ear fatigue. They also have a lot of slack between the buds and the neckband, so you won't have to worry about them ripping out of your ear if you turn your head the wrong way. However, their nearly six-hour battery is slightly disappointing. Though it'll get you through a few workouts without needing a recharge, they won't last a whole workday without needing to be plugged in.

    Out of the box, these headphones have a warm sound profile with a touch of extra bass to give genres like hip-hop and EDM ample punch and rumble. However, voices and sibilants sound muddy and dull. If you wish to change the sound profile, their companion app has a graphic EQ and presets, allowing you to fine-tune the mix. Their ANC also performs well and keeps you isolated from low rumbling noises, like a bus engine, as well as chatty co-workers or whiny PC fans. However, their mic is only mediocre. Making calls with them make your voice sound muffled and thin and easily drowned out by moderate background noise.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Neckband Headphones

    Need a neckband without a neck-breaking price tag, try the Beats Flex Wireless. They're technically neck cable headphones with a thin, flexible cable instead of a more rigid neckband, but you may find this design more comfortable for all-day portability. They're also one of the best neckband earbuds for Apple users thanks to their W1 chip, which lets you seamlessly pair them with other devices in your Apple ecosystem.

    Their bass-heavy sound profile delivers a touch of extra thump, rumble, and boom to mixes, making them nice for genres like trap and RnB. They're also well-built, last roughly 11 hours on a single charge, and come in a few different colors, so you can find a look that matches your style. However, they lack ANC and struggle to block out bass-range frequencies, like engine noise, during a commute. Due to their in-ear fit, they do a much better job cutting down office chatter.

    See our review

  4. Best Cheap Neckband Headphones

    At the cheapest price point, the Sony WI-C200 Wireless are the best neckband earphones we've tested. These barebones headphones offer good value for their price. Their lightweight construction and flexible neckband make them comfortable enough for long outings or heavy workouts at the gym. While they'll stay in place during intense exercise, their long cables can flap around and get snagged on things if you're not careful. Fortunately, their control scheme is super simple and easy to use.

    These headphones have a bass-heavy sound profile. The overemphasized bass ranger gives rock and hip-hop plenty of warmth and body, but it also adds a bit of muddiness to the mix as a result. Fortunately, the rest of the range is very well-balanced, so voices and lead instruments sound clear, present, and bright. Given their cheap price, it'll be no surprise that these headphones aren't compatible with a companion app, so you can't adjust the mix or access any extra features. Fortunately, their nearly 16-hour battery life will last you through several workouts and long outings without needing a recharge.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear/HD1 In-Ear Wireless: The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear/HD1 In-Ear Wireless are neckband headphones with longer battery life than the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless. Their app has a parametric EQ, but they don't perform as well and are much more expensive. See our review
  • Sony WI-C310 Wireless: The Sony WI-C310 Wireless are neck cable headphones that are cheaper than the Beats Flex Wireless. They offer a more neutral sound profile you might like if you're not a fan of a bass-heavy sound but aren't as well-built or comfortable and lack the W1 chip. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 05, 2023: Updated our picks to reflect product availability.

  2. Jan 31, 2023: Quality of life text update for better flow and readability.

  3. Nov 24, 2022: Rearranged article to make it easier to find what you're looking for. Added the Jabra as the 'Best Upper Mid-Range' pick.

  4. May 16, 2022: Added the Beats Flex Wireless as 'Best Neckband Earphones For iPhone'. Moved the Sony WI-C310 Wireless to Notable Mentions.

  5. Mar 17, 2022: Checked our picks for accuracy and product availability. However, there hasn't been a change in our recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best neckband Bluetooth headphones and best wireless neckband earphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our wireless in-ear and earbud headphones reviews. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.