Best Around the Neck Bluetooth Headphones in 2022

by Alex.   Last Updated On October 14th, 2022.
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Neckband headphones are an outlier: they look like regular wireless earbuds (for the most part), but they don’t come with a charging case, and they expect you to carry them around the neck at all times.

On top of that, they are not classified as over-ear headphones because they don’t cover your ears and don’t shield you as much from ambient noise.

However, neckband earbuds and headphones have certain advantages. They have a longer battery life than regular TWS earbuds and remain more breathable than over-ear headphones. Besides, some prefer an around-the-neck design as you can always carry it on yourself without fear of losing it or standing out.

There are different neckband headphones with well-known brands such as Sony, Beats, and Skullcandy (see also the best Skullcandy headphones here) dominating the market. Here, I’ve covered most of the “high-value” options and populated this list with some of the best neckband headphones available.

So with that said, let’s get into the product reviews.

Table of Contents
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Comparison of the Best Around the Neck Bluetooth Headphones

Best Value for Money See On Amazon
photo of the Anker Soundcore Life U2Anker Soundcore
Life U2
Best for Apple Users See On Amazon
photo of the Beats Flex WirelessBeats
Flex Wireless
Best for Working OutSee On Amazon
photo of the Jabra Elite 25e WirelessJabra
Elite 25e Wireless
Best Mid-Range Neckband HeadphonesSee On Amazon
photo of the LG Tone Style HBS-SL5LG
Tone Style HBS-SL5
Best Wireless Neckband Earphones for AudiophilesSee On Amazon
photo of the Sennheiser IE 80SSennheiser
IE 80S
Best Neckband Bluetooth Headphones for ANCSee On Amazon
photo of the Sony W1 1000XM2Sony
W1 1000XM2
Best Neckband Earbuds OverallSee On Amazon
photo of the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)Beyerdynamic
Blue BYRD (2nd generation)

Reviews of the Best Around the Neck Bluetooth Headphones

The Anker Soundcore Life U2 is one of the best neckband headphones on the market, thanks to its ridiculous “high-value” features. What I like most about this pair of neckband earphones is that it’s got an impressive battery life and a waterproof IP rating.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Battery Life: 24 hours
  • ANC: No
  • Drivers: 10mm
  • Magnetic: Yes
  • IP rating: IPX7

The neckband headphones come with a silicone neckband and magnetic earbuds. The setup looks good and feels like a premium product, with the only exception being the rubberized headphone cable (which feels very flimsy).

The flexible headband is very lightweight and appears to be able to survive an accidental drop or two. However, since the earbuds are not retractable or very durable, I don’t think the aux cable and the buds will be able to survive. Regardless, these neckband headphones offer an IPX7 rating, which will at least protect them against water damage.

These wirelessneckband headphones come with removable ear tips, and the earbuds also include cool-looking wingtips for extra stability.

The controls include a multifunction and two volume control buttons. The multifunction button controls power, pairing, play/pause, phone calls, and even activating voice assistant. Meanwhile, the volume control buttons also allow you to skip tracks — by holding them for more than one second.

The USB-C port is included alongside the controls (on the left band) and comes with a waterproof cover. Therefore, don’t forget to put the flap on while listening to music. Also, make sure the port is dry before recharging.

Got your phone or headphones wet? Try these hacks to dry out your headphone port.

Regarding the sound quality, I wouldn’t go so far as to call these to have an organic and accurate sound signature (especially in the bass and treble extremes). Nonetheless, they have a satisfying mid-range. (One of the primary reasons people recommend them for phone calls and podcasts.)

What We Like

IPX7 waterproof rating.

24 hours of battery life

Affordable price tag.

Know Before Buying

It doesn’t come with tangle-free cables.

Average sound quality.

See On Amazon

The Beats Flex Wireless Neckband headphones use the Apple W1 headphone chip. On top of that, they have decent battery life, a stable sound profile, and comfortable earbuds. With these headphones, you’ll have no problem listening to music or getting work done for hours and hours.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Battery Life: 12
  • ANC: No
  • Drivers: 8.2mm
  • Magnetic: Yes
  • IP rating: IPX4

The Apple W1 headphone chip is truly a godsend for the Beats Flex. This chip allows you to pair almost instantly with Apple devices and offers lag-free streaming with a higher range and reduced dropouts.

Thankfully, these devices work on Android and iOS devices, so there’s no need to have qualms about non-Apple phones and laptops.

Unlike regular neckband headphones, these feature a thin tangle-free silicone strip for the part that goes behind your neck. Therefore, you can find the battery and internal circuits within the two compartments/pods at the front (where the controls and microphone are).

I like this slimmer design as it minimizes the strain on the back of your neck to almost nothing. As a result, you don’t have to worry about damaging the headphones when resting on your back. Also, you can wear travel pillows over these headphones without feeling that discomforting “lump.”

In terms of audio quality, these have an average frequency response where the bass, mids, and highs are not very accurate, but they are clear and coherent — for the most part. These wireless headphones are okay for casual listening while you are working out or commuting but aren’t the best at blocking out ambient noise or providing a rich and immersive experience.

What We Like

Magnetic sensors with auto play/pause.

Reasonable Price Tag.

12 hours of “long” battery life.

Know Before Buying

The microphone’s recording quality is not the best.

Android devices need to go through the Beats app.

The IP rating (IPX4) could have been better.

See On Amazon

The Jabra Elite 25e Wireless Neckband behind-neck headphones are one of the best options for fitness fanatics. These headphones offer an 18-hour battery inside an IP54-rated housing with durable earbuds, cables, and a neckband.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Battery Life: 18 hours
  • ANC: No
  • Drivers: 10mm
  • Magnetic: Yes
  • IP rating: IP54 (sweat and water resistance)

One of the things that stands out with these Jabra neckband headphones is the build quality. These headphones feature an incredibly resilient tangle-free cable, ergonomic earbuds, and a weighty neckband.

This neckband may not be the slimmest or most flexible, but it does a great job hugging the outside of your neck without getting tangled in other items or pieces of clothing. You can safely wear these while sleeping or during intense physical activity as long as you aren’t hanging upside down.

You can slightly flex the neckband and adjust it to your liking but don’t bend it too much.

The controls include the usual volume controls and multifunction button layout on the right side. These allow all the typical functions such as power, calls, music, and skipping tracks, and on the left, there’s a separate mic button that pulls up the voice assistant (when not on a call) or mutes the microphone (during phone calls).

Unfortunately, the audio quality is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Apart from the clear mids, the bass tends to be a little boomy. Also, it has poor background noise isolation capabilities, and the lack of ANC/ambient mode is a huge loss; hence, it’s difficult to expect uninterrupted crystal-clear audio with these Jabra neckband headphones.

What We Like

Good microphone quality for answering phone calls.

Sweatproof Bluetooth Headphones.

The sensors on the magnetic earbuds can answer/end calls.

Know Before Buying

Micro-USB Charging interface.

Not the most flexible neckband.

Slightly more premium.

See On Amazon

The LG Tone Style HBS-SL5 is a little unassuming. However, it offers decent sound, enough battery life, and a neat pair of retractable earbuds in a durable plastic neckpiece. On top of that, it’s got a reasonable price tag justifying its audio performance.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • ANC: No
  • Drivers: Unspecified
  • Magnetic: No, retractable earbuds
  • IP rating: Unspecified

Unlike other future brands that got into the neckband headphone niche, LG has always been a solid contender that delivered the LG Tone Style HBS-SL5 as one of the most balanced neckband devices on the market.

The HBS-SL5 features a cool-looking neckband with less stylish earbuds and thin rubber retractable cables.

Now, I would have preferred the earbuds to look more modern and the cables to feel sturdier, but luckily, the buds can fit snugly inside most ears, and the earbud cables can do just fine. (As long as you don’t get caught up in something else.)

The controls include the usual three buttons (volume up, down, and multifunction). But unlike other control layouts, the multifunction button is located a couple of inches apart from the volume control pair.

These controls allow for all the basics but offer more advanced combinations for functions such as switching between calls, switching over to your phone’s headset, toggling vibration mode, etc.

The device’s I/O ports include a USB-C port for charging with a 10-minute fast charge for three hours of continuous playback.

The sound quality is decent, and although these are not the best neckband headphones in terms of sound, they do a good job articulating the mids. (Which is significantly noticeable when answering phone calls and listening to podcasts).

Unfortunately, the microphone recording quality and passive noise isolation capabilities are not up to par, as many users complain that the person on the other end cannot hear them properly.

What We Like

Retractable Earbuds

Justifiable price tag.

Intuitive controls.

Know Before Buying

The dual microphones don’t fare well during phone calls .

Weak earbud cables.

The 8-hour battery life could’ve been a lot better.

See On Amazon

Wireless behind-neck headphones are not something that many audiophiles would like to consider as devices with a Hi-Fi stereo sound signature. Nonetheless, the one that comes the closest to satisfying audiophiles is the Sennheiser IE80S.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • ANC: No
  • Drivers: 10mm
  • Magnetic: No
  • IP rating: Unspecified

The Sennheiser IE80S neckband headphones feature over-the-ear buds with a slender neckband and weighty battery compartments on either end. The buds have a flat back design and offer a small control knob to give users more control over the bass response.

The leftmost compartment holds the controls. Here we’ve got the three-button layout and an extra button to activate the voice assistant. The control setup is decent, with the only exception being the function for skipping tracks — handled by the multifunction button instead of the volume controls.

The passive noise isolation of these earbuds is pretty top-notch and fares well against most noises in the bass and treble ranges. The sound is also impressive, with a stable and neutral sound profile that does amazingly well for casual listening.

Unfortunately, I can’t recommend this for working out due to the lack of an official IP rating.

What We Like

Customizable EQs

Detachable earbuds.

Satisfying passive noise isolation capabilities.

Know Before Buying

Around-the-ear design can make it difficult for glass wearers.

The multifunction button also takes control of the “skip tracks” function.

Lacks an official IP rating.

See On Amazon

Neckband headphones with active noise cancelling are few and far between, and the only viable solution I could come up with was the Sony Wi-1000XM2. These wireless noise-canceling earphones might not be the most affordable, but they deliver on their promise of cutting out a significant amount of background noise.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Battery Life: 10 hours
  • ANC: Yes
  • Drivers: 9mm
  • Magnetic: Yes
  • IP rating: Unspecified

These Sony Wi-1o00XM2 noise-canceling headphones (similar to most of Sony’s other consumer-grade audio devices) showcase a stylish and modern design that looks cool and remains comfortable.

The neckband isn’t very thin, and the line controller (to the left earbud cable) feels a little unnecessary, but the earbuds stay comfortable and don’t weigh you down like regular over-ear headphones.

As mentioned, the controls are on the inline compartment and include the three-button layout with a “C” button (Short for custom) which switches between ANC and ambient mode. Also, you can remap this button to activate voice assistants via the Sony Connect app.

Although its noise isolation/cancellation properties aren’t comparable to that of premium over-ear closed-backs, these headphones have an average noise elimination threshold of -20dB and do a noticeable job of cutting out most bass-heavy noises (like airplane engines).

The sound profile is satisfyingly good, with the entire frequency range following a stable and (almost) flat frequency curve. The bass and mids are extremely neutral: allowing for crystal clear audio for most casual scenarios (playing music, working out, listening to podcasts, etc.)

Also, with the additional 3.5mm headphone port, you can use these for wired applications such as video editing, gaming, etc.

What We Like

Active Noise Cancellation and Ambient Mode

Offer Superb Bluetooth Stability (5.0)

3.5mm headphone port for wired connection.

Know Before Buying

Premium price tag.

The headband can feel a little more “weighty.”

Unspecified IP rating/water resistance.

See On Amazon

The Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd represents some of the best combinations of sound quality, design, and battery life. These wireless headphones offer good value for money and remain one of the top neckband headphones in the market.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Battery Life: 14 hours
  • ANC: No
  • Drivers: Unspecified
  • Magnetic: No
  • IP rating: IPX4

The Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd is one of the best wireless behind-neck headphones I’ve come across. These feature extra-long cables, low-profile flat-back earbuds, a slender neckband, and an inline controller.

Despite looking flimsy (and missing out on tangle-free cables), these headphones are durable, and the earbuds have a sleek design with an IPX4-rated enclosure.

The controller is also pretty straightforward: the inline controller consists of a multifunction button and two volume controls. This multifunction button takes on a lot of responsibility and includes functions for power, play/pause, phone calls, and even skipping tracks.

The sound profile on these wireless earphones is highly commendable as everything from the bass, mids, and highs are neutral and religiously follows the target curve. Also, the EQ customization provided by the app makes a considerable difference: especially in the bass ranges.

These aren’t the best headphones for passive noise isolation, as they fail to block out most bass-heavy sounds. However, these are extremely useful for listening to music or podcasts in a quiet environment. Besides, the 14-hour battery life ensures you can always wear these for work.

What We Like

Impressive 14 hours of battery life.

High-end Bluetooth connectivity technology with simultaneous dual-point pairing.

Excellent microphone quality.

Know Before Buying

Passive noise isolation could be better.

Track skipping (via the multifunction button) can be confusing.

See On Amazon

Around the Neck Headphones Buying Guide

Price

Although neckband headphones are not as “modern” or performative as wireless earbuds or over-ear headphones, they have a more practical approach to surviving situations such as working out, commuting, answering phone calls, and casual listening. (Thanks to their comfortable design and extended hours of battery life.)

Therefore, most casual users will elevate neckband headphones as their daily driver and won’t spend money on anything else. So if you’re one of those people, I recommend going for a mid-high tier pair of neckband headphones that cost you around $70-$150.

These high-end devices usually have a longer battery life with an improved sound signature. Some may also include much-needed features, such as active noise cancellation, ambient mode, and customizable EQs, allowing you to listen to your music or podcasts no matter where you are.

Sound Quality

As neckband headphones have a similar construction to IEMs and TWS earbuds, these devices tend to miss out on the exceptional sound quality presented by over-ear and on-ear headphones.

For example, you can’t get better noise cancellation from earbuds or neckband headphones compared to over-ear headphones as they don’t envelop your ears properly. Also, the earbuds are so close to your ear canals, making it impossible to produce an airy and expansive soundstage.

Users hoping to invest in the best wireless neckband headphones (with superior sound quality) should instead switch over to the classics: over-ear headphones as an ultra-glamorous audiophile experience with neckband headphones is futile.

That said, neckband headphones are much more suitable for a casual setting. So if you want to listen to podcasts or stream lossy audio (via Spotify or similar platforms) while commuting or working out: neckband headphones will do.

Also, it’s best to consider neckband headphones with a neutral sound profile since the cheaper options tend to put up a “bassy facade” that tricks most beginners into believing that supercharged bass equals a high-quality audio experience.

Wireless headphones. Use for business meetings with translator. No people

Build Quality

Despite sharing a similar core design philosophy (the headband sits on the back of your neck while the earbuds reach into your ears), neckband headphones come in different materials, cables, and earbud configurations.

The most common design changes could be small stuff like a flexible neckband made of Silicone or a sturdier plasticky one. However, it could be more noticeable alternatives such as magnetic earbuds or retractable ones.

So in terms of the ideal build quality, my favorite is a flexible silicone neckband coupled with magnetic earbuds on a tangle-free cable.

Also, don’t forget about the IP rating. Apart from the properties I mentioned above, I also recommend going for devices with an official IP rating of at least IPX4, especially if you want these neck headphones to endure your trips to the gym or walks through light rain.

Battery Life

Since these are around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones we are talking about here, the battery life is an important aspect. Neckband headphones with optional wired functionality are very scarce; hence, you’ll always use the battery to listen to music.

With the battery, there are three things you should always consider: continuous playback time, charging interface, and charge time.

For these headphones, 6-8 hours is decent, while some devices may offer more than eight hours, a characteristic that is always a bonus.

For the charging interface, I recommend going for USB-C. They are the most common interface for charging modern devices, and you’ll always have a USB-C cable lying around — even if you’re an Apple user.

Micro-USB and proprietary charging interfaces are decent but tend to become inconvenient, especially when dealing with all the extra cables.

And finally: recharge time. Most neckband headphones can top up in less than a couple of hours, and although it’s not the most significant spec regarding your battery, it’s always good to know how long you have to let it sit before you can use it again.

Conclusion

As you can see, neckband headphones are not the same: there are different neckband styles, materials, and extra features. Picking the one that suits you can be difficult, but with the help of our list, you might be able to understand the bigger picture and select one with a decent sound profile, battery life, and comfortable fit.