- Neckband headphones combine wireless connectivity with excellent comfort.
- Sony WI-1000XM2 offers noise-cancelling technology and 10 hours of battery life.
- One Plus Bullets Wireless Z2 provides over 30 hours of battery life and water and sweat resistance.
- LG Tone Style has retractable earbuds and a balanced sound.
- JBL Tune 125BT offers excellent connectivity with Bluetooth 5.0 and a lightweight design.
While in-ear headphones are all the rage these days, there is an often-overlooked class of headphones that you might want to reconsider for your next headphone purchase.
Neckband headphones are not going to be as small as a pair of in-ear earbuds or as fashionable as a pair of over-ear headphones, but they have found an audience for a reason.
Combining wireless connectivity with excellent comfort, the right pair of neckband headphones might win you over from any competitive headphone format. Not only do you get the benefit of earbuds with a neckband headphone, but the extra comfort cannot be ignored.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 7 best neckband headphones you can purchase today.
- #1 Best Overall: Sony WI-1000XM2
- Best Battery Life: One Plus Bullets Wireless Z2 Headphones
- Best Value: LG Tone Style
- Best Budget-Friendly: JBL Tune 125BT
- Best Lightweight: Sennheiser CX 350BT
- Best Connectivity: Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds
- Best for Phone Calls: Philips Neckband Headphones
#1 Best Overall: Sony WI-1000XM2
- Noise cancellation
- Wireless behind-the-neck, in-ear headset
- With mic
- Phone calls
- Alexa Voice Control
Widely regarded as the best neckband headphones available today, the Sony WI-1000XM2 headphones are a great choice for fans of the neckband style.
Right away, the Sony WI-1000XM2 stands out from the neckband headphone pack by adding Sony’s popular QN1 noise-cancelling processor. Courtesy of QN1 technology, Sony buyers can expect to have much better overall audio clarity, no matter the ambient noise taking place around them. In addition, the built-in microphones on the XM2 can also isolate sound while you are talking on the phone, thereby increasing call quality.
Beyond noise cancellation, the Sony’s also excel in being very comfortable with a neckband design that is flexible, so you don’t feel any fatigue while wearing them. The good news is you can wear them all day thanks to 10 hours of total battery life, with a 10-minute charge providing up to 80 minutes of playback.
As an added bonus, Smart Listening is also built-in by Sony, which automatically switches sound modes based on your surroundings for a better overall audio experience.
Check out the Sony WI-1000XM2 headphones on Amazon.
|Ultra comfortable for all-day wear
|No Google Assistant voice commands
|Includes airplane adapter plug for in-flight listening
|Not splash or waterproof
Best Battery Life: One Plus Bullets Wireless Z2
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Bombastic Bass
- 12.4mm drivers
- 30 hours of battery life
- Magico Black
When you want the absolute best battery life you can find from a neckband headphone, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z2 is the way to go.
Providing users with over 30 hours of total battery life, the One Plus Bullets Wireless Z2 is a terrific choice for headphones that can power through work hours and still have enough power left over for a Netflix binge at night. Best of all, a 10-minute charge offers One Plus buyers an additional 20 hours of battery life, which means you should never be without battery life on this neckband headphone.
Thankfully, the good battery life is paired with great sound, thanks to 12.4mm bass drivers built into the headphones, which offer exceptional bass and detail. Add in anti-distortion technology and audio gets even better on the Z2 headphones, making battery just one of the many reasons why these headphones excel.
Last but not least, the Z2s are IP55-rated for water and sweat resistance no matter the weather outside.
Find the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z2 on Amazon.
|Outstanding battery life
|Somewhat bland design
|Terrific audio experience with bass drivers
|Works best with OnePlus and Android phones
Best Value: LG Tone Style
- Tuned by Meridian Audio
- Talk time: 8 hours
- Music play time: 8 hours
- Standby time: 18 days
- 10-minute charging for 3 hours of use
- Dual microphones
Arguably one of the most recognizable designs in the neckband headphone space, the LG Tone Style headphones are popular for all the right reasons.
With retractable earbuds that fit in the neckband design, storage with the LG Tone Style can easily protect your earbuds promising a lengthy lifespan with your purchase. The 8-hour battery life isn’t the longest in the field, but it’s more than good enough to power you through a commute or work day. Plus, you can get an extra 3 hours of use with a 10-minute recharge.
When it comes to sound, the LG Tone Style delivers here as well with a balanced sound that is typical LG. Powered by a composite diaphragm inside the speaker unit, the LG neckband headphones can hit all the right highs and lows for exceptional sound clarity. Accurate levels of bass, which helps you hit the audio trifecta, are also included.
Most important of all, the LG Tone Style headphones offer great comfort with their around-the-neck design so you never miss a call.
Check out the LG Tone Style headphones on Amazon.
|Retractable design protects the earbuds from damage
|Limited battery life
|Terrific comfort levels for daily wear
|No Google Assistant built-in
Best Budget-Friendly: JBL Tune 125BT
If you’re looking for comfortable neckband headphones that are budget-friendly, the JBL Tune 125BTs are the best choice.
With a lengthy reputation in the audio industry, JBL knows how to produce big sound and this comes through very well with the JBL Tune 125 neckband headphones. From the moment you put them on, they show off their Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity for a lossless quality stream that just sounds terrific.
Equally great is the 16-hour battery life, which is more than enough to power you through a full day of working and phone calls while leaving enough juice to get through a short Netflix binge at night. You can also get an additional 1 hour of playback with just 15 minutes of charging, so you’re always likely to have power available when you need it.
The ultra-thin neckband is very comfortable, which is exactly what you want with a neckband headphone so you barely feel it on your neck during the day. Along with its comfort, as a final bonus, JBL includes easy access to your device’s voice assistant.
You can find the JBL Tune 125BTs on Amazon.
|Excellent connectivity with Bluetooth 5.0
|A one-hour fast charge is long compared to the competition.
|Solid overall battery life
|Drivers are also smaller compared to the competition
Best Lightweight: Sennheiser CX 350BT
Sennheiser has a long-standing reputation for excellence in the audio space and their neckband headphone, the Sennheiser CX 350BT is no exception.
Built with 9.77mm drivers, the sound that comes out of the earbuds is solid proof that Sennheiser’s reputation for great audio is well deserved. When you add in Bluetooth 5.0, AAC, and AptX Low Latency audio, the listening experience with these neckband headphones becomes even more exciting.
Where the Sennheiser CX 350BT headphones really shine is with their weight, or lack of weight to be specific. Weighing in at only 14 grams, these are some of the lightest neckband headphones on the market today.
Even with its lightweight approach, the Sennheiser can still deliver up to 10 hours of total battery life and fast USB-C charging. Along with the solid battery life, the great form of the CX headphone also enables support for Sennheiser’s Smart Control app, which allows you to work with an equalizer, switch on podcast mode, or receive firmware updates.
Find the Sennheiser CX 350BT on Amazon.
|Super lightweight, which means great comfort
|So-so battery life
|Excellent mobile app
|The virtual assistant button is inconsistent.
Best Connectivity: Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds
- Powered by the Apple W1 headphone chip for seamless connectivity
- Class 1 Bluetooth
- 12 hours of listening time
- Built-in microphone
If you’re on the Apple side of things with devices like a smartphone, tablet, or computer, the Beats Flex is the best for connectivity.
Powered by Apple’s smart W1 headphone chip, the Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds are a super smart neckband headphone that connects faster than any headphone on this list. As soon as you power on the Beats Flex and hold it near an iPhone or iPad, it will immediately connect to your Apple device. No need to worry about messing with Bluetooth settings or setting up sync mode, just power it on and hold it near your desired device.
Of course, connectivity isn’t the only reason to go with the Beats Flex. You can add in a fantastic fit with 4 different ear tip options, plus the Flex-Form cable rests comfortably along your neck.
Additionally, the Beats Flex stands out from the pack with Audio Sharing, which allows you to wirelessly share your audio connection with another pair of Beats headphones or AirPods. Including all of the necessary on-device controls for music and using Siri, the Beats Flex is well-rounded for Apple fans.
Have a look at the Beats Flex on Amazon.
|Outstanding connectivity options
|Available in odd color choices
|Audio Sharing is a rare feature of neckband headphones.
|Would be great to see additional battery life
Best for Phone Calls: Philips Neckband Headphones
Whether you are buying neckband headphones for music or phone calls, the Philips Neckband Headphone is the way to go.
With up to 14 hours of battery life, you have plenty of opportunities to catch up on calls while you’re commuting or sitting at your desk. You can also get another 2 hours of talk time with just 5 minutes of charging, which is great for keeping up with your schedule at work or on the weekend.
The Philips also stands out with a unique vibration feature that lets you know a call is coming in, which is a feature you quickly learn to appreciate. Once you are connected on a call, echo cancellation technology built into Philips helps make sure your calls sound very crisp and echo-free.
When it comes to music, the Philips also delivers 12.2mm neodymium drivers that provide excellent sound in both mid and low ranges.
Check out the Philips Neckband Headphone on Amazon.
|Excellent phone call quality
|IPX4 rating is the bare minimum for water resistance
|Vibration mode when a call comes in is super handy
|Bluetooth pairing can be hit or miss on the first try
How to Pick the Best Neckband Headphone: Step-by-Step
When it comes to buying a pair of neckband headphones, there are 3 important factors you want to consider before making a purchase.
- Battery life
Let’s talk about it!
When it comes to battery life on a neckband headphone, at the very least, you want to have enough juice to last through the whole day. At the low end, you’re likely to get 8-10 hours while the top end is closer to 30 hours. Depending on your needs, how often you listen to music, or what your commute is like, choosing the right neckband headphones by battery life is an important consideration.
As the cost of neckband headphones can range from around $50 to around $300, there is a pretty big disparity in price. Try to decide what features you need, the level of sound quality, and whether you need noise cancellation as that is likely to increase overall cost.
Once you know all your must-have features, then you can make an educated decision by price.
As a neckband headphone sits around your neck, comfort is a real issue as it’s an odd place to have a piece of electronic equipment sit all day. Ultimately, all of the neckband headphones on this list are comfortable, though some, like the Sennheiser model, are more comfortable due to their lighter weight. In this case, weight and comfort might as well be interchangeable.
Using a Neckband Headphone: What It’s Like
Using a neckband headphone isn’t unlike using any other headphone. It’s just where the connection piece sits that is different. What really matters is personal preference as to whether or not a neckband headphone is right for you, which is the same for anyone who has to decide between an in-ear, over-ear, or ear cup headphone.
It’s all about what is most comfortable for you and, for many people, using a neckband headphone is ultra-comfortable as you can easily rest the headphone around your neck when not in use. This is a lot less of a headache than trying to remember where you put your case for your earbuds, never mind that over-ear headphones are unwieldy when not in use around your neck.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©adutt/Shutterstock.com.