When it comes to a pair of in-ear headphones, not everyone is comfortable with a conventional pair, pulling down from their ears.
Some people find this a bad idea, especially with wireless headphones which have a battery and extra controls. This adds even more weight, further increasing the potential discomfort.
If you’re one of these people, a pair of neckband headphones are pretty much the perfect solution for you.
Neckband headphones come with a thick band that sits on your neck, and oftentimes houses things like the battery, wireless receiver, etc.
This means that all that weight isn’t hanging from your ears, but instead, it sits comfortably on your neck, which is a vastly improved experience.
And recently, we’ve had a host of brands that have such models, from budget-oriented ones to some truly premium models. But if you’re unsure of your preference, we’re here to help you out a bit.
Best Neckband Headphones 2021 Buying Guide
Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2 Wireless
Skullcandy is one of those brands that used to focus a lot more on looks instead of features and quality, but that focus has shifted recently.
They still offer some of the best looking headphones out there, but they’re a lot better performers nowadays. Such is the case with the Smokin’Buds 2 Wireless, a pair of neckband headphones that come at a very reasonable price, and perform better than you’d expect them to.
First things first, these are very comfortable. The earbuds themselves are rather compact and lightweight, and the cable makes sure there’s no weight pulling down
The neckband itself is thicker at the back, and thinner moving forward, giving it an ergonomic shape that sits very well on your neck.
The overall weight helps comfort quite a bit, and the soft rubberized material means they won’t be moving around too much.
The sound itself is rather good. In typical Skullcandy fashion, the bass is slightly emphasized.
However, the mids and highs aren’t all that bad, so overall, you get decent sound for the money. You also get a pair of very loud headphones, if you don’t mind the fact that higher volumes will destroy your battery life.
Speaking of battery life, you’re looking at around six hours per charge if you don’t push things too much.
There’s nothing in terms of fast charging here, so you’ll have to leave them for a couple of hours to charge, but at this price, we aren’t really complaining. Overall, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Smokin’ Buds 2 Wireless is a decent choice.
- Very affordable
- Comfortable, lightweight design
- Come in multiple designs
- Sound is mediocre
- Charging is extremely slow
Sennheiser Momentum in-Ear Wireless
Anyone who’s ever looked at quality audio products will recognize the Sennheiser name immediately.
They’ve got some stunning products for people who can afford them, and they’re oftentimes very much worth it. The Momentum In-Ear Wireless headphones are, and as you take a closer look at them, it just gets better.
Sennheiser has gone for a premium design all around with the headphones. Not only are the earbuds themselves made of high-quality materials, but the finish is stunning.
Just take a look at how the cable comes out of the earbud itself – this ensures it won’t damage over time and is a nifty trick Sennheiser have done.
Furthermore, the neckband itself is pretty ergonomic and sits very well.
There’s no cheap feeling rubberized finish here, you’re looking at sheepskin Nappa leather, which has been soft stitched and just feels expensive.
The sound quality is pretty great. Sennheiser has included aptX compatibility and AAC codec support, so you maintain great sound quality.
Everything from the thumpy lows to the precise highs and vocals sounds great, resulting in a very pleasurable listening experience.
You do get a couple of convenience features, too, like an NFC tag for one-touch pairing, which works great.
You can have up to two devices connected at once, which is neat, and you have a total of up to 10 hours of battery life. They charge quickly, too. If you don’t mind the price tag, they’re certainly a pair to take a look at.
- Premium design and feel
- Excellent sound quality
- Long battery life
- Somewhat expensive
- Leather might not be comfortable for sports
Libratone Track+ Wireless
We’re well aware that Libratone might not be the first name that springs to mind for many when you’re looking at audio gear.
However, the Track+ Wireless will change your mind about that, as they’re some of the most comfortable neckband headphones you’ll ever have the pleasure of using.
They’re made for an active lifestyle, so they’re pretty durable as well, and they come with a few nice extras, too.
To begin with, the design of these headphones is all about making them lightweight. The neckband itself is rather thin, with two thicker sections at the end that will weigh it down slightly and keep it in place.
The earbuds are slightly larger, with the tips positioned at the front.
This ensures that they sit comfortably in your ear shell, and don’t fall out once you start running. As we said – they’re all about that active lifestyle.
The sound is decent, but nothing to write home about. You have punchy bass and clear mids and vocals, but you won’t be doing any critical listening with these.
A thing to note is that you get active noise canceling with the Track+ Wireless, which, to an extent, means that you’ll be able to focus on your music much better when you’re out for a run, for example.
Add to this an IPX4 rating, as well as aptX support, and you’re looking at some of the best neckband headphones for active enthusiasts out there.
Sweat won’t hurt them at all, and they’ll remain in your ear no matter what. Yes, you will be paying for the pleasure, but it’s very much worth it.
- Very comfortable and lightweight
- Active noise canceling
- IPX4 rated
- Not that cheap
- Sound quality could be better
Bowers & Wilkins PI3
If you feel like you’ve got a bit of money to spare, you should be looking at premium product manufacturers like Bowers & Wilkins.
And in the world of neckband headphones, the PI3 is one of the best options by the brand. Even though the price is much higher than anything else on our list, for many they’ll be worth it, so let’s take a look at them.
The earbuds themselves are small and lightweight but feel very high-quality thanks to the materials used and the attention to detail.
Even the removable wingtips that Bowers & Wilkins include feel premium, and help the earbuds stay in your ears.
The neckband is thin at the back, with two slightly heavier sections at the front keeping it in place. One of them has the media controls, so you don’t have an extra module on the cable for them.
The custom balanced armature driver gets you excellent highs and vocals, and you also get a dynamic driver that ensures mids and lows are covered.
The bass is punchy but not overpowering, and the mids and highs are crisp and clear. The use of an aptX codec also ensures that no quality loss is present over Bluetooth.
When you consider things like an 8 hour of battery life, and quick charging with two hours of battery in just 15 minutes, these become a nice pair of day-to-day headphones.
If you can afford them, that is, as the price is higher than what we’d spend on such a pair.
- Premium design everywhere
- Very comfortable and lightweight
- Great sound quality
- Very expensive
- No noise canceling
Bose Quietcontrol 30
It’s becoming impossible to talk about comfortable headphones without mentioning Bose, so we have included their Quietcontrol 30 on our list.
These are their best neckband headphones, with a thick and comfortable neckband and some of the most comfortable earbuds out there. But at a premium price, are they worth it?
Kicking things off with the design, the neckband is slightly different than the other options on our list.
Not only is it thicker, but it’s also a lot stiffer. If you have a thicker neck, it might inflict a bit more pressure than you’d like it to.
What we liked, however, is that the headphones themselves don’t come out of the ends of the cable.
Instead, they come out of the sides, which makes for less cable dangling. The volume controls are on the cable, though, so the right earbud will be significantly heavier than the left one.
The sound quality is pretty good.
You have a clear sound from all aspects, with an accurate, punchy bass with plenty of thump, as well as crisp and clear mids and vocals. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a premium pair of headphones.
Where Bose excels, aside from comfort, is noise canceling, and the Quietcontrol 30 is no exception. You can adjust the level of noise-canceling as you see fit, and you even get a noise-canceling microphone so you can have clear phone calls, too.
Add to this a couple of nifty features such as NFC one-touch pairing and up to 10 hours of battery life per charge, and you’re looking at a great pair of neckband headphones for everyday use.
- Excellent noise-canceling technology
- NFC one-touch pairing
- Great sound quality
- Neckband could’ve been more comfortable
With everything taken into account, our choice from all of these options would be Sennheiser’s Momentum In-Ear Wireless.
They’re somewhere in the middle in terms of pricing, and they tend to deliver on all the important features. You get a comfortable and very premium design all around, as well as great sound quality.
There are also a few nice extras, like NFC pairing, a long battery life with quick charging, aptX, and dual device connectivity, and they’re truly a great choice.
And of course, you have Sennheiser backing them up – what more could you ask for?