Stock earbuds that are included with the purchase of a phone don’t sound great or isolate sound well when you make or receive calls. You may not hear the caller’s voice clearly, and the inline mic is not the best for picking up your voice either. Another drawback is the cable which bounces, tangles and rubs on your clothes, causing annoying noises. All these nuisances lead many people to get a decent Bluetooth headset that allows for total freedom when making a lot of calls everyday or doing multiple tasks.
High-end and sophisticated models like Plantronics Voyager Edge, one of the best Bluetooth headsets on the market with noise cancelling technology costs less than $100 (as of June 2018).
But some models with prices as low as $30 are also worth buying because of their convenience and stellar sound quality for the price. Considering battery life, comfort, fitting, build quality, and call quality, here are the top 4 budget Bluetooth headsets on the market today.
- Best Affordable Bluetooth Headsets
- QCY Q12 mini earphone business headset
- Bluetooth Headset: An Absolute Necessity
Best Affordable Bluetooth Headsets
The Plantronics M55 is a comfortable and lightweight Bluetooth headset. It has a small, simplistic yet flashy design. It is easy to carry anywhere and has features like voice prompts and multipoint tech.
However, it works better indoors than than outdoors as ambient noises or wind may significantly interfere with the mic. When used indoors it offers great voice call quality.
The battery of the M55 wireless headset is strong and efficient. A built in DeepSleep function will automatically turn the headset off when not in use to preserve the battery.
One size doesn’t fit all, however, and this headset features just one size of earpiece which may fit snugly or loosely in your ear. If this happens to be a snug fit for you, they provide excellent noise isolation. A looped stabilizer is soft and adjustable, providing extra secure fit to ensure the headset won’t fall out.
QCY Q12 mini earphone business headset
Bluetooth headsets tends to be more compact and smaller but don’t necessarily sacrifice the sound quality. The latest release from QCY, the Q12, is so lightweight you won’t feel like you’re wearing a headset at all. You can wear the Q12 all day and forget it is even there.
The Mutiple function button on the top makes it easy to control playback and call functions.
Samsung Level U
If you are looking for in-ear headphones that have headset functionality, the around the neck style Level U is a perfect choice.
The Mpow® FreeGo offer clear and detailed sound for any calls you make. The included eartips are comfortable and blocks outside noise well. The control is positioned well so you can effortlessly locate the buttons and press to adjust playback or take calls.
- Impressive and slick design
- Good noise isolation, comfortable
- Strong battery
- Over the ear wearing may not fit right to your ears.
Earbuds are made for music, but mono Bluetooth headsets simply aren’t . Fortunately, there is a set that can either work as in-ear headphones or a Bluetooth calling headset. The SBH20 is supported by NFC, it connects to Bluetooth by just a couple of taps, and the Bluetooth range even pairs up to an impressive 15 feet.
In term of design, the volume control button is quite small, and hard to press.
Aside from good call quality, it sounds like some of the best budget earbuds when listening to music. Bass is present but lacks a bit of and impact. You will, however, hear rich, clear sound at a reasonable level.
Axgio Mini Pro Minimal Wireless Bluetooth Headset with Mic
You wear Axgio the same as regular earbuds. It is compatible with iOS devices and conveniently displays the battery level on the right corner of your screen. When chatting outdoors this inexpensive Bluetooth headset is not able to eliminate wind noises much because it is still picked up by the mic.
Samsung HM3300 Inexpensive Bluetooth Headset With Crisp Sound Quality
The Samsung HM300 offers 3 different sizes of earbuds which gives you a better fit than other headsets like the Plantronics M55. Some users don’t like the earhooks which are worn over the ears. Even though the earhooks are felxible enough for a custom fit, they sometimes loosen up.The call quality is impressive, offering consistent, crisp and clear audio at all times.
Despite not being able to make voice command prompts or an app to sync to, this is still a great Bluetooth headset for the price with a bunch of useful accessories.
Bluetooth Headset: An Absolute Necessity
If you often chat on the go, wired headsets are not always the best option and would lead you to look for an alternative without a cable. Bluetooth headsets are gaining popularity from consumer and manufacturers – most devices today are made with built-in Bluetooth hardware.
Types of Bluetooth Headsets
Bluetooth headsets have been integrated with a lot of great features like noise cancellation, voice command prompts, application syndication, and much more. Based on the sound channel they can be divided into two main categories: mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets.
Mono Bluetooth Headset: While keeping your left ear free, a mono headset is worn on the right ear only.
Stereo Bluetooth Headset: These have 2 earbuds that are connected to a base, neckband (LG Tone Infinim HBS-900 Wireless headset) or just a short cable. The controls can be inline or on the right earbuds.
How To Pick A Bluetooth Headset
Check out the CNET Bluetooth headset Guide for everything you need to know before shopping for a wireless headset. There are five factors you should be interested in: battery life, design, size, functionality and prices. Remember to consider what your main use for it will be whether that is VoIP calls, personal computer audio, or music. Also keep in mind where you will use your headset: in a noisy office, quiet room, car or cafe. For some, fitting is the most important factor when deciding a headset should be secure and fit comfortably for long periods of time. Additionally, audio quality needs to be good enough to hear callers in any situation. The battery life of Bluetooth headsets varies, ranging from 4 to 6 hours, and high-end model’s usually last longer.
Battery life. Bluetooth headsets should last for at least 5 hours of talk time. To measure the battery life, after the headset has been connected with our host phone via Bluetooth, it will continuously stream audio.
Plantronics produced some of the best Bluetooth headsets, with high-end models like Plantronics Voyager Edge and Voyager Legend UC B235-M which are very popular among professional users who frequently have business calls, work at a call center or in a customer support department. For smartphone users the Bose Series 2 is the most expensive headset and has excellent sound and noise cancelling functions.
If you are a music lover, look for a Bluetooth headset that can enable you to enjoy stereo sound and decent call quality. This type of personal gadget is a favorite among office workers who want music along with calls functions. Most stereo headsets come with a band which rests on your neck.
Legal issues: In some states (for example in Florida), you are not allowed to wear headphones or other audio devices while operating a vehicle. In the most cases, you are required to wear headsets if you want to talk on the phone while driving. Whether or not your state has laws requiring hands-free calling while driving, Bluetooth headsets are the safest choice while driving.
Here we’ve rounded up the best wireless headsets on the market. Call and audio quality were ranked by Thewirecutter and CNET.
|Model||Wearing style/Photo||Battery Life (talk time)||Features||Price|
|Plantronics Voyager Edge||6 hours||$$|
|Sennheiser Presence Basic||10 hours 20 minutes||$$$|
|Plantronics Explorer 500||7 hours||$$|
|Plantronics Voyager Legend UC B235-M Bluetooth Headset||7 hours||Noise cancelling||$$|
|Mpow® FreeGo||4.5 hours||$$|
Noise cancelling feature built into the microphone
This feature helps the caller hear you better by only capturing your voice instead of ambient noises such as wind. The effectiveness of this feature depends on the mic position, design and technical specifications. High-end Bluetooth headsets have a number of microphone styles which work better for noise cancellation, making them ideal for taking calls in any environment.