Neckband earbuds are convenient for those who either have small pockets or no pockets at all. They lay around your neck and are always readily available whenever you need them. If you’re looking for a dependable pair, the JBL Live 200BT Wireless are an excellent choice with exceptional sound, battery life, and comfort.
Best Overall: JBL Live 200BT Wireless
The Live 200BT from JBL make the top of our list due to their superb sound quality. For the price, the overall frequency response is mostly balanced. They produce some of the best sound you can get for their form factor and price.
You’ll also get up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. They’ll take roughly two hours to charge when dead, which is pretty average for a set of Bluetooth earbuds. The Live 200BT allow you to pair up to two devices simultaneously. So, you can pair them to your phone and computer at the same time and if you’re listening to music on your computer and a phone call comes in, they seamlessly switch to your phone to answer the call.
Depending on the type of person you are, you might have some comfort issues with how the Live 200BT sit in your ear. This is mostly due to the variety of ear tips in the box as they may be super uncomfortable for some people. If the ear tips in the box aren’t comfortable, you can always buy a set of third-party tips. You’ll be glad you did because the Live 200BT are super lightweight and breathable and are great for working out.
- Great sound quality
- Dual device pairing
- Super lightweight and breathable
- Comfort out of the box could be better
JBL Live 200BT Wireless
$84 at Amazon From $70 at Walmart $70 at B&H
Superb sound to price ratio
The best value when it comes to wireless neckband earbuds. Excellent sound quality, excellent battery life, and impressive comfort.
Best Battery Life: Mpow Jaws Gen-5
If you’re looking for a pair of neckband earbuds without breaking the bank, the Mpow Jaws Gen-5 are a great selection. First and foremost, they support the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology, which equates to better overall efficiency between the Jaws Gen-5 and your smartphone. You’ll also get superb battery life with up to 18 hours of battery life on a single charge. This is more than enough juice to last you through a few days of use or a long flight.
Speaking of long flights, the Jaws Gen-5 feature active noise-cancelation (ANC). As expected, ANC performance isn’t mind-blowing but is still better than having no noise isolation while flying. You’ll also get a slight vibration when you get a call. It’s not the strongest vibration but super-useful if you’re planning to use them to take calls often.
Lastly, they’ll magnetically attach when not in use. This will force the earbuds to enter a super low power mode. Technically speaking, they’re not off because they’re still paired to your phone, however, you’ll get super cool vibrations for when you get a call.
The Jaws Gen-5 have two major flaws: sound quality and comfort. Sound quality-wise, they’re average and what you’ve come to expect from super cheap wired earbuds. There’s not much dynamic range or soundstage. The bass is boosted quite a bit, the mid-range is balanced, and the treble is also boosted but not overbearing. For comfort, they’re good for about an hour or two, but you’ll probably need to take a break if you plan on using them for more than that as your ears will need some time to breathe. Needless to say, the Jaws Gen-5 are not breathable at all.
- Bluetooth 5.0 support
- Superb battery life
- Active Noise-Cancelation (ANC)
- Phone call notifications
- Magnetically attach when not in use
- Sound lacks dynamic range and soundstage
- Comfort could be better
Best Battery Life
Mpow Jaws Gen-5
$33 at Amazon
Super long battery life
Just because they have a low price doesn’t mean they’re bad. The Jaws Gen-5 offer excellent battery life, Bluetooth 5.0, ANC, and a few smart features.
Best Sound Quality: Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear
For the price, Sennheiser’s Momentum In-Ear offer superb sound quality. The bass is boosted a bit, giving them a slightly “boomy” sound. The midrange is balanced, and the treble is recessed.
In terms of battery life, the Momentum In-Ear will net you up to 10 hours on a single charge. Once dead, you’ll be looking at roughly two hours to recharge. They use Micro-USB for charging, which is annoying. USB-C would’ve been preferred here, but ultimately that’s not a huge deal. It might mean that you’ll need to carry a separate cable to charge your headphones.
The only real downside with the Momentum In-Ear is that, unlike most other neckband earbuds, they don’t magnetically attach. This means they’ll dangle around your neck while not in use. Not a huge deal if you plan on using them while you have them on but something to think about.
- Great, warm sound signature
- Above-average battery life
- Solid comfort
- No magnetic closure for easy storing
- Micro-USB for charging
Best Sound Quality
Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear
$100 at Amazon $200 at B&H
Excellent HQ sound
The Momentum In-Ear pair excellent sound quality with long battery life and excellent comfort.
Best For Phone Calls: Samsung Level U
While not many people make them anymore, phone calls are still relatively important. For those who take a lot of phone calls, finding the right earbuds to take them can be a bit challenging. The Samsung Level U are an excellent pair of earbuds if you’re specifically looking for neckband earbuds that are great for phone calls.
First and foremost, the earbuds magnetically attach when not in use. They don’t turn off, since the earbuds are still paired to your phone, but they enter a super low power mode so that the earbuds are always ready for use when you put them in your ear.
You get up to 11 hours of battery life on a single charge and charge over Micro-USB. This isn’t ideal, plus they don’t feature fast charging, which means they’ll take roughly three hours to charge from dead.
Their only downside is comfort. They’re great to use in bursts but if you’re planning on using them for longer periods of time, you’ll likely start feeling discomfort as the ear tips aren’t too soft.
- Great for phone calls
- Magnetically attaches when not in use
- Long battery life
- Low power mode
- Comfort could be better
- Charge over Micro-USB
Best For Phone Calls
Samsung Level U
$48 at Amazon $35 at Walmart $49 at Newegg
Hello? Are you there?
With long battery life and great convenience features, the Level U from Samsung are excellent in most scenarios.
Best Workout Buds: Philips Wireless
It’s never a bad time to work out, and you’ll need a great set of workout buds. When it comes to neckband earbuds, the Philips Wireless are unrivaled in this price range. First and foremost, they feature IPX5 water resistance. This means they can withstand light or moderate working out and heavy rain without breaking a sweat (ha). However, swimming or submerging them is not recommended. They also feature a vibration motor to notify you when you’re getting a call.
Even when you’re not working out, the Philips Wireless will do a superb job. You’ll be able to use them for extended periods as well since they’re super comfortable. You’ll want to listen to them for a while, too, since they sound great. They have an overall bass and treble-heavy sound which is common among a lot of headphones. However, you won’t hear any fatigue from the boosted treble or muddiness with the boosted bass.
Battery life is excellent with up to eight hours on a single charge. Unfortunately, there’s no fast charging here so it’ll take roughly three hours to charge from dead to 100%. Both buds magnetically attach when not in use, so they’re not just dangling around your neck.
- IPX5 water resistance
- Superb comfort
- Long battery life
- Great bass and treble-boosted sound
- Call notifications
- Micro-USB for charging
- No fast charging
Best Workout Buds
$60 at Amazon $60 at Walmart
Don’t break a sweat
Great workout buds that feature eight hours of battery life, excellent sound reproduction and are IPX5 water-resistant.
Despite their decline in popularity, neckband earbuds are still rather popular among a certain subset of people. The JBL Live 200BT are worth a look at if you’re looking for neckband earbuds that do everything. The Samsung Level U aren’t bad either if you’re looking for a pair that purely focuses on taking phone calls. They also have a few neat tricks up their sleeve.
Regardless, neckband earbuds are yet another option for consumers. You can never have too many choices! If you’re looking for the best wireless headphones in general, don’t forget to check out our guide on best wireless headphones.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Peter Cao is an audio enthusiast. He spends his days testing headphones from over-ear open-back headphones to true wireless earbuds. When he’s not working, he likes to analyze music and play video games.