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The 3 Best Neckband Headphones - Spring 2024 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, true wireless earbuds.

While neckband headphones might seem outdated, they're still very popular.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 without worrying about dropping your earbuds or forgetting where you put them. Even though truly wireless technology is catching up, neckband headphones generally have better microphone and battery performance. However, many manufacturers don't make neckband headphones anymore, and a lot of popular options have been discontinued, so you may need to find these products second-hand.

We've tested more than 780 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 earbuds, the best wireless 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, offering more intuitive controls and a more flexible neckband. They feel well-built and come with a hard case to help protect them when you're out and about. 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. Their impressive battery life lasts about eight and a half hours of continuous use, and they support multi-device pairing, so you can stay connected to your phone and PC and avoid repairing when you switch devices. Unlike truly wireless earbuds, you can plug them in and use them wired when the battery dies.

    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 movement, so they aren't ideal for workouts. 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 Budget Neckband Headphones

    Consider the Beats Flex Wireless if you want to stick to a tighter budget. They're technically neck cable headphones that connect the earbuds with a thin, flexible cable instead of a more rigid neckband. Still, you may find this design more comfortable and easier to carry. Thanks to their W1 chip, they're also one of the best neckband earbuds for Apple users since you can seamlessly pair them with devices in your Apple ecosystem. They feature an in-line mic and controls but lack app compatibility, unlike the top pick.

    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 and available in a few different colors, so you can find a look that matches your style. A roughly 11-hour battery life is more than suitable for longer days on the go, too. 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

  3. Best Cheap Neckband Headphones

    The Sony WI-C310 Wireless are an even more affordable option. While their price can fluctuate, they're often less than the Beats Flex Wireless, but you might need to go the used route to locate a pair. Like the Beats, these neck cable headphones have a lightweight, flexible wire connecting the earbuds, with in-line controls for calls and music. They're less comfortable and well-built than our previous pick, but you can always choose between the different ear tip sizes to find a better fit. Since they lack ANC, they can only passively block out background noises, like chatter between nearby coworkers. Still, their roughly 17 hours of continuous battery life will easily last through your workday and commute.

    They sound more neutral than the Beats', with a clearer and brighter reproduction of voices and instruments. Their low-bass lacks some thump and rumble, but overemphasis in the high-bass range adds punch and body to your audio. They're good for most music genres and vocal-centric content like podcasts. However, they don't have a companion app or features like an EQ for sound customization, which is a downside if you like to tweak your headphones' sound profile.

    If you don't want to go the used route or take a deep dive to locate a store with new stock, or if you really just want something inexpensive, the Skullcandy Jib Wireless are more readily available than the Sony. They aren't 'better,' but you can frequently find them for bargain prices. If you prefer a bass-heavy tuning, they deliver more low-end with decent stability, a mic, and a multi-function control. However, they're hampered by a short battery life and a flimsier build than the Sony.

    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 difficult to find because they're discontinued. See our review
  • Sony WI-C600N Wireless: The Sony WI-C600N Wireless are high-end neckband headphones and offer many of the same features as the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless. However, their six-hour continuous battery life isn't the longest, and they've been discontinued, so if you want this model, you'll likely have to buy it second-hand. See our review
  • Jabra Evolve 65E UC: The Jabra Evolve 65E UC are aimed at tackling productivity. Like the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless, they have a premium price, but both have different priorities. While the Sony headphones prioritize ANC, the Jabra focus on streamlining your work by including not only Bluetooth connectivity but also a USB wireless adapter for a steady connection to your PC. However, we've not tested these, so we can't comment on their performance. Untested - Join the discussion
  • Sony WI-C100: The Sony WI-C100 are affordable and more readily available than the Sony WI-C310 Wireless with a companion app for EQ and Sony 360 Reality Audio. Still, we haven't tested them and can't comment on their performance. Untested - Join the discussion

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 12, 2024: We've updated this article to mention the Skullcandy Jib Wireless, made small edits to the text, fixed links, and added the Jabra Evolve 65E UC and Sony WI-C100 to Notable Mentions.

  2. Feb 15, 2024: We've made minor updates to the text and checked that the products are in stock.

  3. Dec 18, 2023: We've moved the Sony WI-C600N Wireless to the Notable Mentions as this model is no longer available new.

  4. Oct 19, 2023: Confirmed accuracy and availability of picks. Some minor text edits for clarity.

  5. Aug 24, 2023: We've made minor updates to the text to ensure its accuracy. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations, though.

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.