Bluetooth in-ear headphones, also called earbuds or earphones, are the most portable option for listening to music on the go and can also be used as a Bluetooth headset for hands-free calling.
Whether in a busy train station, noisy office or fitness center, there is no limit on where they can be used. In-ear headphones sound better and are lighter and smaller than a headset. These headphones insert into the ear canals for sound isolation which seals music in and keeps external noise out.
Due to the variety of designs offered you can decide whether you prefer them to fit on the neck, behind the head, or over the ears. In other words, to choose the right Bluetooth in-ear headphones you can sort them by design.
These headphones are also built with plenty of features for fitness, connected apps and customized sound that can be adjusted with an equalizer. Bluetooth in-ear headphones deliver amazing sound quality, but some brands and styles are better than others. Wireless Bluetooth headphones fall into two main categories:
- Best totally wireless earbuds, 2 separate earbuds
- Best Bluetooth earbuds with a short cable (wireless earbuds)
- 1. JayBird Freedom Bluetooth Earbuds
- 2. SkullCandy XTfree Earbuds
- 3. Motorola VerveLoop+
- Around/behind the neck design
- Hook over the ear with headband
These are Bluetooth, fully cordless, and integrated with many useful features for fitness like active noise canceling (ANC) and a heart rate (HR) monitor. Most of them are designed for sports enthusiasts rather than for audiophiles, but as audio technology improves people are able to enjoy incredible sound quality even when they are exercising.
Separate earbuds are very convenient, but have limitations such as short battery life, connectivity problems, sound quality and they are easily lost. There are more than 10 successful kickstarter campaigns to build wireless earbuds including Earin, The Dash, Hearnotes, Skybuds and more. In addition to being an earbud for music, they can also be a noise silencer, hearing aid or real-time translator. In other words, separate earbuds are developing rapidly to become wearable, in-ear devices with features far beyond simply listening to music.
Best Bluetooth earbuds with a short cable (wireless earbuds)
Since JayBird announced their first Bluetooth earbuds, the JayBird Bluebuds X1, this type of in-ear headphone has exploded onto the market. They have a sleek, simple form: two earbuds linked by a short cable. The control can be positioned either in line with the remote or on the right earbud.
They offer a sporty option for gym users by providing a wide array of eartips and earhooks which ensure a secure, snug fit. When most people look for their first pair of Bluetooth earbuds they may end up with sturdy construction, short battery life, mediocre sound, and dropped Bluetooth connection. To find the perfect pair for you, check out our top 5 picks for Bluetooth earbuds:
1. JayBird Freedom Bluetooth Earbuds
The latest in-ear headphones from JayBird have a completely new design. You can use them everywhere from the office to your commute home to the fitness center.
The Jaybird Freedom earbuds are small, lightweight and exceptionally comfortable Bluetooth earbuds. They have great sound, a decent battery that offers 4 hours of play time, or up to 8 hours when using the portable charging dock which clips to the inline control, adding more juice to the earbuds.
While the earbuds are extremely light, the remote isn’t. The wing tips supplied fit better than other versions of JayBird like X1 or X2 and you can easily get the right fit.
JayBird also offers an app which lets you customize the sound levels. This setting then remains the same if you connect to other devices.
- Incredibly small and lightweight
- Great sound
- Decent battery life
- Heavy in-line control
Motorola silently released a couple pairs of Bluetooth in-ear headphones: VerveOne and VerveLoop+ wireless earbuds. While the VerveOne has no strings attached, the VerveLoop+ uses Bluetooth and is linked by a short cable with an in-line control. Designed for active users, the earhooks fit just outside the ear canals for extra security. The VerveLoop+ sounds decent for a Bluetooth sports headphone.
- Great battery life
- Secure fit
This design consists of a “neck bank” which sits on your neck with 2 earbuds attached by a short cable that can be retractable like the one seen here in the LG Tone Infinim HBS-900. The band might be solid or flexible, but either way these are not ideal for running since the neck bank can bounce as you move. They feature a microphone and work well as a headset for hands-free calling. This type of Bluetooth headphones has a longer lasting battery than other types.
Hook over the ear with headband
These are Bluetooth in-ear headphones that come in the form of a flexible headband.
The Plantronics BackBeat FIT is a stable, comfortable wireless in-ear headphone. It is a well-known set for runners with great sound for Bluetooth headphones. Since they are designed for both outdoor and indoor use the earbuds don’t fully block external sounds. This safety feature allows users to be aware of what is happening around them.
The BlueAnt Pump is a budget, waterproof wireless sports in-ear headphone that may not sound perfect (they don’t sound clear with high levels of bass), but by design they stay neatly and securely in your ears as you exercise. The long Bluetooth working range allows you to stream from your phone up to 100 feet away.
Have experience using any of these headphones? Leave a comment below and let us know which pair is your favorite!