Live free of wires! It’s 2018 and Bluetooth headsets are more popular than ever due to their form factor, style, ease of use, and most of all, convenience. With so many extra features–such as being waterproof, optimized for Skype, or noise cancelling–it can be daunting deciding which headset will suit you best. Brands like Sony, Bose, Jabra, LG, Logitech, Plantronics, and more are all vying for your attention but never fear, help is at hand.
As such, we’ll be looking at how to choose the Bluetooth headset that’s right for you based on features and functionality. Once all that’s said and done, there’ll be a top 10 list of the best Bluetooth headsets to buy online. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a look.
How to Choose a Bluetooth Headset – Buying Guide
When deciding on a headset, it’s best to choose one tailored to your needs. Here are some points to consider when choosing your headset.
The Four Main Types
You’ve got four main types of Bluetooth headsets. They’ve all got strengths and weaknesses, so take a look at yourself, figure out what you want, then choose.
Stay Aware of Your Surroundings: the Earpiece Type
The earpiece won’t cover both your ears like ordinary earphones and headphones do. Therefore, you’ll always be able to hear background noise clearly even when talking with the headset. Get one if you’re a business person, constantly arguing with clients as you jog across crosswalks, grab coffee, or trot down crowded streets.
It’s easy to carry as it’s only a small piece of tech. Since it only pumps sound into one ear, you aren’t going to get full-bodied music from an earpiece. But you’ve got models that can make calls and receive calls via speech recognition, so they’re invaluable to the working adult on the move.
For Joggers and Weight Lifters: the Behind the Neck Type
If the left and right earphones are connected by a single cable, you’ve got yourself headsets that go behind the neck. A standout feature of these headsets is that they’re often waterproof, since they’ve always been popular with jocks, weight-lifters, and joggers.
As the fitness market continues to grow, these headsets are growing in popularity and functionality. Thanks to all this competition, you’ve got a bunch of options that are both cheap and high-performing.
For Audiophiles and Sound Snobs: Headphone Type
These are clunky, but if you value sound fidelity over functionality, you don’t care. Audiophiles have always turned to headphones for deep, round music—and recently, that same quality’s transferred over to Bluetooth headsets.
Since they cover your ears, these headphones block external noise even if they don’t have a noise cancelling feature. (If you’re going to use them in a park, look out for stray bikes and children.) Their inbuilt microphones also add to the sleek, classic looking form factor; they appeal to the everyday consumer as well as those seeking the utmost in audio fidelity.
The Beauty of Minimalism: Completely Wireless Earbud Type
Behold, the most recent kid on the headset block: the completely wireless earbuds. Totally wireless (no neckband to be seen here), these futuristic looking headsets have next to no clutter, won’t tangle, and are arguably the most stylish out of all the types available.
The lack of any cable means they’re easily transported, and their in-ear design means their fidelity packs a punch as well. However, due to the relatively new technology involved, the battery life can leave much to be desired. Remember to have a charger handy in case of emergency.
Don’t Want Choppy Sound? Choose the Latest Bluetooth Standard
If you’re looking to buy a Bluetooth Headset, then you’re seeking the ability to not only listen to music, but also make calls. For this to work, the headset needs to be connected wirelessly to your phone or computer. If the connection is bad, then there’s a chance your calls and music will be choppy.
Of course, the quality of the headset and microphone itself can be a determining factor in how smoothly your call goes. But the quality of the connection itself is highly dependent on what version of Bluetooth you’re using. Currently, most headsets sit between Bluetooth 3.0 to 4.1; as the numbers climb, the quality goes up along with it. If you’re all about the communication speed and quality, be sure to choose the latest standard possible.
Top 10 Best Bluetooth Headsets to Buy Online
Now, we’ll take a look at the 10 best Bluetooth Headsets. Hopefully, you can find one that suits your needs and frees you from the constraints of wires for good.
10. Plantronics Voyager 5200
Call in the Rain or at the Super Bowl and Be Heard
Featuring four microphones that work in tandem with the exclusive WindSmart technology, this nifty little unit will make sure you never lose your voice in the background noise again. (Seriously; call while you’re mowing the lawn, driving your convertible, or screaming yourself hoarse at a football game.) With an extended range of up to 30m and water-resistant P2i nano-coating, the headset will be able to keep up with any active lifestyle, rain, hail or shine.
The former model used to be the go-to unit considering it was cheaper and still high-performing, but with the current price drop, the current Voyager 5200 is simply a steal for a spectacular 7 hours of talk time.
9. Phaiser BHS-750
Gym Earphones that Stay Put and Sound Pretty Good
These shut out background noise so well, a woman used them as earplugs to drown out the voice of her co-workers. The sound’s pretty good for the price as well; you aren’t going to pick out every little detail, but the bass is present, the mids and trebles clear. Hang them on your neck, and the magnets’ll make the earbuds stick together, so you’ve got a little necklace. The mic’s clear and loud.
They’re waterproof as well, so throw them in in your gym bag. They won’t bounce their way out your ears when you’re on the treadmill. The only thing is they have a lifespan of half a year to a year, max–but if you’re going to be sweating over them all day, you’ll probably only want to keep them around for that long anyway.
8. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0
Iconic Design, Iconic Comfort, Iconic Sound
We said audiophiles will run to headphones—and this is what we meant. You get layers and layers of sound with these: the bass is warm, tight, present without muddying everything else up; the mids are clear and nuanced; the highs aren’t thin or piercing and have detail. The vocals, too, come out expressive, full, and textured (you can hear the rasp of a voice, or the waver in a note.)
For those with red, sensitive ears, the earcups are large and made of memory foam. (Some have found them a little tight, though.) The noise-cancellation cuts out most sound, but it won’t completely block out, say, a leaf blower. The two built-in microphones work; you aren’t going to sound crystal clear, but your friend’ll be able to hear you just fine.
7. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8
Detailed Sound in Tiny, Wireless Earpieces
With this offering from Bang & Olufsen, the sound’s so clear some people even made out previously indecipherable lyrics and flourishes of instruments they’d never noticed before. Fighting a losing battle against tangled cabling will be a thing of the past, since these have got a completely wireless design that fits snug just about anywhere.
If there are any issues with comfort, B&O support is always on hand to help you. Some users have experienced dropouts with the left earbud, but constant firmware updates from B&O are making this a thing of the past. The only thing is, since the mic is omnidirectional, it’ll seriously pick up sound from all around you; don’t make any calls at a club, airport, or football game.
6. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
Deep Bass and Audiophile Awesomeness on a Budget
If you’re often interrupted, these can be a dream come true; the sound automatically pauses if you take them off. No more getting angry at study buddy Kevin because he made you miss that sweet, sweet bridge of “When You Were Young.” Solid 24-hour battery life has this impressive piece of kit continually pushing out punishing bass notes that’ll almost make you forget you’re not at a show.
The noise canceling can be toggled at the touch of a button to bring you in and out of the real world. It’s not the best, and if you’re trying to watch movies on a roaring plane, you’re going to have to turn the volume way up. (It’ll also switch off after 5 minutes if you’re not listening to music, so you can’t use these as earplugs.) The mic works, but will pick up the voices of everyone around you.
5. Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones
Powerful Sound for the Fitness Focused
With these comfortable Stay Hear+ headphone tips, you’ll be connected without a care in the world. The excellent soundstaging pleases the heaviest of rockers to the most dedicated of techno fans. Output is consistent; bass is clear, warm, but not overpowering. Also, these guys just won’t fall out of your ears. Tired of the doof? Mix things up a bit with the inline remote that allows you to control volume, take calls, and change tracks with a flick of a finger.
Sweat and weather resistant, these are perfect for hikers and those dipping their toes into the fitness market. The mic’s clear enough; it’ll pick up your voice (and the voice of the person next to you) as long as it’s positioned in front of your face.
4. Jabra Supreme UC
So Comfortable, You Forget It’s Even There
This offering by Jabra sits so snugly on your ear that some people even forget it’s on at all. It’s got a Nano USB receiver to communicate with any PC, or, if you go Bluetooth, it can hook up to two devices at once. The connectivity’s good; you can leave your phone or laptop on the desk, get up, move around the room, and there’s no static.
The sound canceling’s drowned out cafe chat, airport announcements, and landscapers. And though it’s such a little earpiece, it’s loud, so you don’t need to ask your client to repeat himself a million and two times. The only thing is the battery lasts around 3-6 hours, and you can’t charge it during calls. So if you’ve got the gift of gab, the Jabra isn’t going to keep up.
3. Beats Beatsx
Balanced Sound and Perfect Fit
Beats have become synonymous with earth shattering bass tones that make any fans of low end frequencies go weak at the knees. The BeatsX headset backs off just a bit–you’ve got that punch, but it’s not muddy, so your mids and trebles are clean and clear. In a word, everything’s balanced. Just, if you’re an audiophile, don’t expect your socks to get knocked off.
You’ve got a bunch of wingtip and earbud tips, which are comfy enough for hours of wear (great)–but you’ve got to figure out which pair fits you perfectly. Until then, the sound isolation and audio quality’s going to be sub-par (when everything fits, though, you won’t hear anything but your full-bodied music). The mic’s just decent–not different from any $15 thing you can pick up at Best Buy.
2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
40 Years of Noise Cancelling Research
The sound’s clean—each instrument clear, as it should be, nothing muffled, nothing blended together. Google Assistant’s integrated—speak your commands, get phone notifications, have texts read to you, dictate your responses (yes, voice-to-text). The noise canceling’s so good, people are using it to block out the sound of the kids having another one of their daily arguments.
The amazingly soft Alcantara material on the earcups will make you forget you’re even wearing a headset at all and allow you to focus on the bright tones in your music. (No clamping!) A solid choice for those often in transit for long periods of time. Just don’t talk on the train, because the mic’s going to pick up the creaking and the rumbling.
1. Sony WH-1000MX2
Jump in and out of the Real World and Between Sound Stages
Find yourself often changing location and worrying about background noise? These have touch activated controls. You put your hand over the ear cup, and the music and noise cancelling (which leaves you deaf to the outside world) will tune out, so you can hear ambient noise (airport announcements) or your phone call clearly. When you want to return to your music, remove your hand.
Sound quality’s subjective, but these headphones are flexible. You’ve got five sound stages–club for bone-rattling bass, concert for reverb, outside stage for expressive vocals, and so on. (And everything’s crisp, clean.) The downside? These clamp and hurt after a few hours. And the mic’s not noise cancelling, so whoever you’re calling is going to hear your landscapers.
So there we have it! The top 10 Bluetooth Headsets available online in 2018. We’ve looked at the different kinds of headsets available and who they’re tailored to as well. Remember to consider sound quality, comfort, noise cancelling, and all those lovely add-on features when shopping.
Hopefully, this has simplified the decision making process, and you’ve picked up a thing or two to look out for when on the search for a headset that’s right for you.
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