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The 4 Best Neckband Headphones - Fall 2022 Reviews

Best Neckband Headphones

Not too 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While neckband headphones might seem a bit outdated in comparison - after all, their core design hasn't changed much from the very first Bluetooth earphones - they're still very popular. Many people prefer how you can just 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 if you take them out to chat with a friend. Even though truly wireless technology is catching up, neckband headphones still generally have better ANC, microphone, and battery performance.

We’ve tested more than 660 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 overall neckband headphones we've tested are the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless. These headphones are the next generation of the Sony WI-1000X Wireless with easy-to-use 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.

    These headphones have a warm sound profile that you can tweak to your liking using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. Thanks to their active noise cancelling (ANC) system, they can block out a very good amount of ambient noise, like the rumble of bus engines and office chatter. They have roughly 6.8 hours of continuous battery life, and they support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them to your smartphone and PC at the same time.

    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. Luckily, they come with several differently-sized pairs of ear tips to help you get the best fit.

    See our review

  2. Best Neckband Earbuds For Working Out

    The Sony WI-C600N Wireless are the best neckband headphones for working out that we've tested. These headphones have a decent build quality with a lightweight and malleable neckband. They have a stable and breathable in-ear fit that doesn't create too much pressure in your ears.

    These buds have a warm sound profile that delivers extra boom and warmth to mixes, so you stay pumped up during tough workouts. If you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets. They have a good noise isolation performance, thanks to their ANC system, which is handy if you're working out at a noisy gym. Their controls as easy to use, so you don't have to take out your phone to skip tracks or play and pause audio.

    Unfortunately, they have under six hours of continuous battery life and lack a power-saving feature to keep the battery from draining while you're not using them. The audio cables feel very thin, and the headphones lack an IP rating for water resistance. However, if you're looking for neckband headphones that you can take to the gym, they're worth considering.

    See our review

  3. Best Neckband Earphones For iPhone

    The Beats Flex Wireless are the best iPhone-oriented neckband headphones that we've tested. While they're technically neck cable headphones, you may still prefer this design if you want more portable headphones meant to wear around your neck. Unlike other picks on this list, they also have a W1 chip, which allows you to seamlessly pair them with other devices in your Apple ecosystem.

    These headphones have a bass-heavy sound profile that delivers a touch of extra thump, rumble, and boom to mixes, making them an ideal choice if you like to listen to music like EDM and hip-hop. They also have a good build quality with a flexible neck cable. They have a comfortable fit and come in a few colorways, so you can find a look that matches your style.

    Unfortunately, their in-line mic offers a sub-par overall performance, and your voice can be drowned out if you're taking a call in a moderately noisy environment like a busy street. The buds also struggle to block out background sound like the low rumble of bus engines, which can be annoying on your daily commute. However, they do a much better job of cutting down office chatter.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Neckband Headphones

    The Sony WI-C400 Wireless are the best budget-friendly neckband earbuds we've tested. Their price sometimes fluctuates above $50, but they offer a versatile performance at a budget-friendly price. Also, unlike other headphones on this list, you can adjust the length of the cables that go to your ears.

    They have a long, roughly 17.5-hour battery life, meaning you can take them from work to the gym without any recharging. Their sound lacks low bass, but otherwise, it's well-balanced, so vocals and lead instruments are clear and detailed. They also have a comfortable, stable fit, and although they don't have ANC, they block out a decent amount of mid-range ambient noise like background conversations.

    Unfortunately, they don't isolate you from bass-range noise like rumbling bus and plane engines. Also, their build quality is just alright since the audio cables feel thin and the earbuds seem a bit cheaply made. Otherwise, if you're looking for budget-friendly neckband headphones, these offer solid all-around performance.

    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 nine-hour battery life, but they sound dark and boomy. See our review
  • Jabra Elite 25e Wireless: The Jabra Elite 25e Wireless are more comfortable and better built than the Sony WI-C400 Wireless. However, their sound profile isn't as neutral, and they don't support NFC pairing. See our review
  • Sony WI-C310 Wireless: The Sony WI-C310 are wallet-friendly neck cable headphones that lack a rigid neckband. However, they don't feel very durable. See our review

Recent Updates

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

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

  3. Jan 17, 2022: Checked our picks for product availability and accuracy. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.

  4. Nov 18, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations in their categories and that the products are in stock. There were no changes to product picks.

  5. Sep 22, 2021: We've checked our picks for accuracy and product availability. We haven't changed 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.

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