Best Neckband Headphones for Calls in 2022

by Alex.   Last Updated On August 31st, 2022.
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Neckband earbuds and headphones are facing something of a “jack-of-all-trades master of none” situation. They are inspired by the short and sweet form factor of earbuds, along with the longer battery life and noise canceling capabilities of over-ear headphones.

So, neckband headphones are sort of the sweet spot between the two. Unfortunately, it is also why many casuals and audiophiles want nothing to do with them.

Regardless, if you are in the “neckband earbuds minority” or hoping to get a front-row seat to these eccentric devices, you’ve come to the right place because here, I’ve listed some of the best neckband headphones for calls and listening to music.

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Comparison of the Best Neckband Headphones for Calls

Best Active Noise-Cancelling Neckband HeadphonesSee On Amazon
photo of the Sony WI-1000XM2 WirelessSony
WI-1000XM2 Wireless
Best Bone Conduction-Type Neckband HeadphonesSee On Amazon
photo of the Haylou PurFreeHaylou
PurFree
Best Neckband Earbuds for Audiophile TunersSee On Amazon
photo of the Sennheiser IE 80SSennheiser
IE 80S
Best Mid-Range Neckband HeadphonesSee On Amazon
photo of the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410Plantronics
BackBeat Go 410
Best Wireless Neckband for Listeners on a BudgetSee On Amazon
photo of the Anker Soundcore Life U2Anker Soundcore
Life U2
Best for Apple UsersSee On Amazon
photo of the Beats Flex WirelessBeats
Flex Wireless
Best Neckband Bluetooth Headphones for Long Term WearSee On Amazon
photo of the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)Beyerdynamic
Blue BYRD (2nd generation)
Best Wireless Neckband Headphones for Working OutSee On Amazon
photo of the Bose SoundSport WirelessBose
SoundSport Wireless
Best Bluetooth Neckband Headphones with the Simplest ControlsSee On Amazon
photo of the Jabra Elite 25e WirelessJabra
Elite 25e Wireless
Best Neckband Headphones for Phone CallsSee On Amazon
photo of the Jabra Evolve 65E UC & Link 370Jabra
Evolve 65E UC & Link 370

Reviews of the Best Neckband Headphones for Calls

If you’re an avid neckband headphone enthusiast and a strong proponent of active noise cancellation, you’ll love the Sony WI-1000XM2 wireless neckband earbuds. Sony is one of the “industry-leading” noise cancellation experts, so you’ll have no worries on that end.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Type: Closed backs, in-ear
  • Battery Life: Maximum 10 hours
  • ANC: Yes, 14 hours with wired
  • IP rating: No
  • Mic: In-line
  • Weight: 0.12lbs

The microphone is located inside the inline controller, and although it’s nothing special, the microphone does a decent job of cutting out most ambient noise when you’re on a call. However, when there’s loud background noise caused due to trains and airplane engines, the person on the other end will hear them.

On the flip side, with Sony’s active-noise canceling technology (industry-leading, as I mentioned previously), you’ll be able to cut out most low-mid frequency ambient noise. However, I cannot guarantee that these neckband headphones will be able to block out crying and snoring noises.

The sound quality is passable; there’s clean bass, clean mids, and somewhat tinny highs. The flexible neckband is silicone and folds easily to fit inside the compact carrying case. However, some users have had issues finding a comfortable fit with the included ear tips.

The app support is good, with options to tweak the noise reduction technology, ambient sound settings, and active noise cancellation.

What We Like

3.5mm port for aux

10 hours of battery life

Adaptive Sound Control

Know Before Buying

Lacks an official IP rating

Misses the mark when it comes to proper controls and indicator LEDs

The included ear tips are not that comfortable

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Type: Bone conduction open-ear headphones
  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • ANC: None
  • IP rating: IP67
  • Mic: CVC dual microphones
  • Weight: 0.7lbs

These neckband earphones are different from the other wireless earbuds in that they only weigh around 0.7lbs yet provide passable audio within a comfortable and waterproof housing.

These bone conduction neckband headphones utilize the latest Bluetooth version (5.2) and include a dual CVC microphone setup to reduce background noise while answering phone calls. The noise canceling feature is decent enough to block most wind, traffic, and conversations. Voices are clear and coherent, but unfortunately, they don’t sound natural.

Unfortunately, this is not the best neckband in terms of battery life: you get around 8 hours, and it takes 1.5 hours to recharge. These neckband headsets have a dedicated charging interface, so if you lose the charger, you won’t be able to recharge via Micro USB or Type-C.

The controls can be confusing, but it’s pretty simple once you grow up and realize that life is too short to roll back to the previous audio track.

Overall, the open ear design is definitely safer, but you’ll be compromising audio quality since bass is basically nonexistent, and so are the highs.

What We Like

Noise Cancelling microphone

IP67 waterproof rating

Connect to two devices simultaneously

Know Before Buying

Difficult control setup

Requires a dedicated charger

Average sound quality

See On Amazon

The Sennheiser IE 80S is for audiophiles who love to customize their sound profile. As a result, these wireless neckband earbuds include a five-band equalizer (via the app), along with a bass tuning filter.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Type: Over-the-ear wireless earbuds
  • Battery Life: Approx 6 hours
  • ANC: No
  • IP rating: No
  • Mic: Standard in-line
  • Weight: 0.06lbs (1 ounce)

These options aren’t just for show since the audio playback on these in-ear headphones will reflect the new frequency response changes on the 10mm drivers.

These wireless earbuds support the 5.0 Bluetooth version and include Hi-resolution wireless technology codecs such as LHDC, aptX HD, and AAC. These wireless earbuds have an over-the-ear design, which makes them more stable for physically active users. (Although it can be a nightmare for glass wearers.)

The physical controls have a simple layout and are located on the left side of the in-ear headphones’ neckband. There are four buttons: two for volume control, a multifunction button, and a dedicated button to activate voice assistants. Here, the multifunction button takes on a lot of responsibilities. These include managing playback, calls, pairing, and power.

The microphone is on the inline controller (left side) and doesn’t offer any premium noise-canceling technologies. Regardless, the microphone quality is passable as long as you don’t have too much background sound.

What We Like

Impressive sound quality

Decent noise isolation

More sound customization options

Know Before Buying

Disappointing battery life

Overwhelmed multifunction button

Uncomfortable for glass wearers

See On Amazon

The Plantronics BackBeat GO 410 is one of the best neckband headphones that offer decent battery life, a bass-heavy sound profile, and active noise cancellation all at a surprisingly low price.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Type: Normal In-ear headphones with neckband
  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • ANC: Yes
  • IP rating: No
  • Mic: Standard inline
  • Weight: 0.07lbs (1.23 ounces)

These neckband headphones are ridiculously lightweight and make for a very low-profile design. The earbuds are slightly offset from the main body of the drivers, and despite looking a bit odd, they can be quite comfortable, provided you use the appropriately-sized ear tips.

These are also magnetic earbuds where the backs of both buds can stick to each other. In this position, the earbuds will shut down and switch to standby mode.

These Bluetooth earbuds can last up to 10 hours without ANC and fully recharges in a couple of hours.

The sound quality is definitely a step up when compared to the price tag. However, the 10mm drivers can run into some trouble trying to manage the mids and highs. The active noise canceling feature will reduce noise, but won’t eliminate them entirely.

The onboard controls are pretty simple. You’ve got an inline controller on the right side that features the volume control pair and a multifunction button. The Bluetooth transmitter/receiver pair works with the latest 5.0 Bluetooth version and offers a longer range.

What We Like

Good value for money

Lightweight design with magnetic earbuds

Lightweight and low-profile design

Know Before Buying

Micro USB interface

ANC disables during wired mode

Disappointing multi-point operation

See On Amazon

For users on a tight budget, the Anker Soundcore Life U2 is the best neckband headphones they can invest their money.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Type: In-ear neckband
  • Battery Life: 24 hours
  • ANC: None
  • IP rating: IPX7
  • Mic: CVC 8.0 for microphone noise reduction
  • Weight: 1.12 ounces

With an impressive build quality, well-balanced sound, and seamless compatibility for both Apple and Android devices, it is a steal.

The flexible neckband is made out of silicone and is extremely lightweight. It’s also foldable and comes with an IPX7 waterproof rating. (So you can even wear these to the shower.) Unfortunately, these are not retractable earbuds, and the earbuds do not attach to the neckband.

The microphone is laid into the inline controller (on the left), and the CVC 8.0 noise reduction technology does a decent job of eliminating background noise to your caller. Unfortunately, its noise-isolating properties (on the listening end) are disappointing, so you will have trouble listening to the caller when there’s a lot of ambient noise.

The controls follow the usual three-button system, with the multifunction button doubling as the power and Bluetooth pairing functions. Thankfully, the volume controls have taken over the skipping tracks function.

The audio quality is pretty good for most casual listeners. The bass can be a little overwhelming, especially with the BassUp feature, but it doesn’t put too much pressure on the mids and highs by overshadowing them.

What We Like

Affordable

IPX7 rated

Long battery life

Know Before Buying

Poor Noise Isolation

Earbud aux cords are too long

The ear tips can be uncomfortable for some users

See On Amazon

The Beats Flex Wireless neckband earphones are a decent mid-range option for anybody who’s a fan of the Apple W1 headphone chip. It pairs well with Apple products (similar to the AirPods) but works without issue for Android devices.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Type: In-ear neckband
  • Battery Life: 12 hours
  • ANC: No
  • IP rating: Sweat and water resistant (advertised)
  • Mic: Standard inline
  • Weight: 0.6 ounces

Compatibility aside, if you want to choose neckband headphones that are the lightest and most easy to use, these are your best option. The Beats Flex headphones weigh only 0.6 ounces and are the most accommodating of all ear canals. The earbud backs stick together via magnets and use sensors to automatically pause the music, although it doesn’t go into standby mode or switch off, unlike other future brands.

Nonetheless, this ultra-lightweight design and compact form factor come with some compromises. For starters, the maximum battery life is limited to 8-12 hours, the device lacks an official IP rating (despite being advertised as water and sweat-resistant) and uses a standard inline microphone with no noise canceling.

The headphones do not work through a wired connection, and the controls can be confusing. The power button is on the right controller, while all the other controls are on the left. This left controller includes a volume rocker and a multifunction button, which, unlike most other neckband headphones, is not located in between the volume buttons.

The audio quality is acceptable, and although it is not refined to audiophile levels, has decent bass, mids, and highs.

What We Like

Relatively inexpensive

Lightweight design

Integrates flawlessly with Apple products

Know Before Buying

Average battery life

The provided cable is only Type-C to Type-C (lacks USB Type-A connection)

Confusing control scheme

See On Amazon

The flat back design on the earbuds with the flexible neckband and 14 hours of battery life make the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd Gen) one of the best neckband headphones for all-day wear.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Type: In-ear neckband
  • Battery Life: 14 hours
  • ANC: No
  • IP rating: IPX4
  • Mic: Qualcomm CVC with sidetone
  • Weight: 1.13 ounces

The earbuds would fit most smaller ears but also come with several ear tips to make it easier for people with large heads, and you can practically sleep with these headphones.

The microphone is also pretty decent. Unlike other headphones, this 2nd gen Blue BYRD uses Qualcomm CVC to reduce background noise during calls and commands to your voice assistant.

These neckband headsets work with the latest 5.2 Bluetooth version and offer seamless multi-point operation with two devices simultaneously. The controls are pretty simple, and thanks to a dedicated power button, the multifunction button has less to deal with. Unfortunately, Beyerdynamic (like many other brands) has decided not to use the volume control buttons to skip/roll back audio tracks.

The battery is recharged via a USB-C interface and takes around 1.5 hours to recharge. If you are in a hurry, you can charge it for 10 minutes and get two hours of “emergency” power.

The sound quality is acceptable, and considering the form factor, features, and customization options offered by the MIY app (for the sound profile and custom buttons and notifications), I don’t feel like complaining too much.

What We Like

Comfortable design for long-term wear

IPX4 rating

Almost 14 hours of playback time

Know Before Buying

Microphone noise cancelling could be better

The sound quality is just “okay”

Has a more premium price tag

See On Amazon

If you do a lot of running, yoga, and working out, you might benefit from these neckband headphones. The defining feature is the design of the earbuds and stability fins.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Type: Neckband In-ears with stability fins
  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • ANC: No
  • IP rating: IPX4
  • Mic: Standard inline
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces

The IPX4 rating is also a welcome addition. However, I would have preferred these to have an IP67 rating.

The controls are pretty simple, the inline controller has the typical three-button system, and there’s a power button on one of the earbuds. The multi-function button takes on too many jobs, including skipping forward/backward and performing fast forward or rewinding.

The charging interface is located on the side of an earbud and requires a Micro-USB cable.

Unfortunately, these Bose headphones don’t provide ANC, and the microphone has no noise reduction features built-in. The passive noise cancellation feature (or noise isolation) is good enough to muffle most noises in the background, but it won’t stand a chance against loud traffic and the constant hum of an airplane engine.

The sound quality is average. The frequency response for the mids is good, while the highs and lows need some readjusting. The adaptive equalizer feature, which automatically switches the sound profile depending on what you are listening to, tries to create a decent sound profile, but it’s not the most reliable.

What We Like

Stable fit

IPX4 sweat-resistant rating

Satisfactory noise isolation

Know Before Buying

Only six hours of battery life

A weak microphone that picks up a lot of noise

Disappointing build quality

See On Amazon

What’s this? A controller with the volume buttons doubling as forward/backward track buttons, an option to answer or hang up calls using the magnetic earbuds, and a dedicated button to summon the voice assistant? Well, sign me up for the Jabra Elite 25e Wireless headphones because I’m all for a simple and easy-to-use control setup.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Type: Neckband In-Ears
  • Battery Life: 18 hours (call time)
  • ANC: No
  • IP rating: No, advertised as wind and water resistant
  • Mic: Standard inline
  • Weight: 7 ounces

Apart from the controls, several things that the Jabra Elite 25e Wireless has going for it are the 14 hours of continuous playback time (18 hours call time). It is definitely a step up compared to other counterparts, which only provide 8 hours of battery.

The aesthetics of these neckband headphones are average. There are no fancy gimmicks like retractable earbuds or foldable neckbands. It’s a slim neckband with the microphone setup on the left and the playback controls on the right.

The earbuds look like regular ones but with a slightly offset design. Although they have tried to make it look more ergonomic, many users have complained about finding a proper fit, especially since the plasticky bits press up against the ears.

The audio performance is satisfying, mids and highs are pretty neutral, but with the lack of ANC or proper noise isolating, it can be next to impossible trying to enjoy some tunes or listen to a podcast. The microphone picks up your voice clearly, but it’s very susceptible to noise.

What We Like

14 hours of continuous playback time

Simple control panel with dedicated voice assistant button

Decent microphone

Know Before Buying

Buggy Dual-point connection

Difficult for many users to find a comfortable fit

Doesn’t offer the best value for money

See On Amazon

Without a doubt, Jabra makes some of the best call center headsets, and although the Jabra Evolve 65E doesn’t look like a typical conferencing/call center headset, it is designed to work like one.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Type: Neckband in-ear headset
  • Battery Life: 13 hours
  • ANC: No
  • IP rating: No
  • Mic: MS-certified 3-microphone
  • Weight: 1.27 ounces

This neckband headphone is very slim and lightweight. It has a flexible neckband with a standard inline controller on the right, along with another pod designed to house the speaker array and mute button.

Similar to the Jabra Elite 25e, this neckband headset has a very straightforward control panel with a dedicated mute button and integrated busy light.

The recording quality on the microphone is impressive; your voice is going to come out clearly, although it will have little hints of distortion here and there. (Especially when muting and unmuting.) Also, it doesn’t offer any noise-cancelling features for the microphone, so you and your callers will have a difficult time understanding each other when there are a lot of ambient sounds.

This neckband headset comes with the Link 370 Bluetooth transmitter, and you need this Bluetooth dongle to set up a wireless connection between your headset and computer. Thanks to the Link 370, the dual-point Bluetooth connection is seamless and very responsive.

What We Like

Excellent microphone quality

13 hours of battery life

A customizable ambient mode

Know Before Buying

More expensive than your typical call center headset

Needs the Bluetooth adapter (Link 370) to work

Lacks ANC

See On Amazon

Buying Guide for the Best Neckband Headphones for Calls

Noise Cancelling/Isolating Capabilities of Wireless Earbuds

It’s already apparent that neckband headphones are the compromise between TWS earbuds and over-ear headphones. Despite having longer battery life than earbuds, these neckband headphones won’t do a great job eliminating background noise compared to over-ear closed-back headsets.

Therefore, one of your primary decision factors should be the noise-canceling/isolating capabilities of the neckband headphones. You should consider whether it will provide a noise-free environment during phone calls.

Microphone Quality on Wireless Neckband Earphones

So after figuring out how you might be able to focus on your phone calls without getting distracted by whatever’s going on in the background, you should start to consider how you sound to the caller on the other end.

Most call center headsets, especially the high-end ones (with closed-backs and headbands), utilize unidirectional microphones that pick up voices from the user while almost eliminating almost 80% of background noise. In the case of neckband headphones, it is impossible as the inline microphone hangs off the side. So you’re not going to get the same level of noise canceling and recording quality as you would with a traditional headset.

So before picking out a neckband headset, please consider the noise reduction technologies and check the call quality from reviewers.

Blue headphones on a laptop keyboard with loudspeaker signs - digital music concept.

Comfort

So considering the advantages of neckband headphones over traditional earbuds or over-ear headphones, you are probably thinking about wearing these for long periods of time, level while sleeping. If so, you need to pick out a pair of neckband headphones that are comfortable for long-term wear.

I recommend going for lightweight earbuds with a sturdy neckband. Although it won’t be foldable and easy to fit inside a carry case, the neckband will take some of the stress off your ears.

Also, look for low-profile earbuds with flat-backs, these are great for long-term wear, and you might even be able to wear them while sleeping.

Battery Life

Depending on your use cases, battery life may not be that important. For example, if you are someone who works out two hours a day, you won’t need that much. However, if you are using these for work and answering phone calls for 6-8 hours (while also listening to some podcasts on your off-time), you might need a neckband with 8-10 hours of battery.

I suggest going for at least 8 hours of battery life. When checking this spec, don’t always trust the values advertised on the product page. Make sure you get a second opinion from customer reviews.

Apart from that, please take note of the charging time and the charging interface. The best options are maximum of two hours of charging and a USB-C interface. Micro-USB and dedicated chargers can be difficult to deal with.

Also, I recommend shorter charging times so as to avoid overnight charging as much as possible.

Sound Quality

And finally, the sound quality. Unfortunately, you won’t get the same quality as audiophile open-backs, closed-back headphones, or even wired IEMs. While using these neckband headphones, you might notice that the frequency response on either end (bass and highs) are all over the place.

You might be able to do some tweaking with the help of the support software, but I highly doubt that these will replace your current Hi-Fi setup.

But if you still need to prioritize sound quality when deciding on a pair of neckband headphones, don’t forget to check reviews and the audio customization features on the support app.

Final Thoughts

Best Active Noise-Cancelling Neckband Headphones
Best Bone Conduction-Type Neckband Headphones
Best Neckband Earbuds for Audiophile Tuners

Neckband headphones do have their use cases. They have longer battery life than TWS earbuds and none of the restrictions of over-ear headphones. Unfortunately, they have a lower demand since they cannot improve the quality of the speakers and microphone.

That said, if you are willing to get a pair of neckband headphones for working out or answering phone calls, the list above will, without a doubt, show you some worthwhile options.