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Christmas 2017 buyer’s guide: Best wireless neckband headphones
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Christmas 2017 buyer’s guide: Best wireless neckband headphones

by Stephen Charlton2017/12/14

Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a truly legit pair of headphones and that’s a fact. At Christmas we’re all shopping for a good deal, so we’ve made it easy for you with this handy guide. We’ll be focusing on the best buys for Bluetooth neckband headphones. The categories are: Best high-end headphone, best audio performer, most comfortable and best value for money.

Best high-end neckband headphone: V-MODA Forza Metallo

V-MODA Forza Metallo in ear headphones headband

The V-MODA Forza Metallo.

Price: $130

Battery life: 10-hours

Sweat/water proof: Resistant to both

V-MODA’s Milan design studio tweaked the Forza Metallo until it was close to flawless. The neckband headphone is comfortable, sounds stunning and is highly customisable. You get four eartip sizes to choose from as well as three sports fin sizes to hold the eartips in place.

V-MODA went for an audiophile approach with the Forza Metallo. This is a little unusual for in-ear headphones, but they got it right in this case. The headphones offer a broad 20Hz – 40,000 Hz frequency response and sound very detailed. They really show off mixes as they were originally intended, rather than trying to make everything sound punchy like many modern headphones.

The cables leading to the earpieces are a bit too long, resulting in some distracting movement of the cables. But apart from this criticism, it’s hard to go past the Forza Metallo for a high-end audiophile experience.

See our full review of the headphones here.

Best audio performer: Sennheiser CX 7.00 BT

Sennheiser CX 700 BT side

The Sennheiser CX 7.00 BT.

Price: $150 USD

Battery life: 10-hours

Sweat/water proof: No

Sennheiser have refining the CX in-ear headphone range over a number of years and the latest CX 7.00 BT model is the best yet. It’s the best-sounding consumer in-ear headphone I’ve ever heard, and as you can imagine I hear a lot of headphones doing this job. It’s got a boosted bass and treble response that is pushed enough to sound massive, but that doesn’t get overwhelming. It also doesn’t lose clarity in the mids like most headphones that are tuned in this way.

Sennheiser have fitted it with a rigid neckband design. This makes it stay in place better than most neckband headphones, although it’s not quite as comfortable on the neck as some more lightweight competitors. Sennheiser’s eartips are a breeze to wear as usual though, so they got the comfort factor right in that area.

You can see our full review of the Sennheiser CX 7.00 BT here.

Best budget performer: House of Marley Smile Jamaica Wireless

Marley Smile Jamaica Wireless neckband main

The Smile Jamaica Wireless.

Cost: $45 USD

Battery life: Eight-hour

Sweat/water proof: Sweat-proof (IPX4)

House of Marley have packed quite a lot of headphone into this $45 design. The Smile Jamaica Wireless is also super lightweight and comfortable. It’s very easy to forget it’s on your neck, which is exactly what you want from a neckband headphone. However it can jiggle around a bit more than other weightier designs.

The headphone offers very solid audio for the price-range. It’s got the familiar boosted lows and highs sound that many modern headphones have. In this case, House of Marley have paid more attention to the mid-bass, which seems a little unusual until you listen to reggae on it. It’s perfectly tuned for the genre, as you would expect. It’s also a good performer for most modern styles. It’s worth noting it’s not all that good for rock music due to the recessed mids.

See our full review of the headphones here.

Most comfortable neckband headphone: BeatsX Wireless

Beats BeatsX neckband headphone

The BeatsX.

Price: $110

Battery life: Eight-hours

Sweat/water proof: No

Beats may have once been the most hated headphone company on the planet, but since the Apple acquisition, they’ve gone from strength to strength. The BeatsX are lightweight and very comfortable. The headphone has a semi-rigid neckband which can be shaped to stay in place as you move about. There’s also four eartip sizes and removable secure-fit wingtips, so there’s no shortage of options to get the fit right.

The BeatsX have a fast charge feature, which gives you two hours of playtime off a five-minute charge. If you require sweat/water resistance, you may want to instead consider the Powerbeats3 Wireless. The audio is decent but not outstanding. The BeatX provide boosted bass and highs, although the latter can come off as a bit harsh at times.

Buy the Beats X

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About The Author
Stephen Charlton
Stephen Charlton is a musician, journalist and editor.

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