Best Bluetooth Headphones - 2017 Buyer's Guide

A wired-life is one for the luddites and technophobes. Are you still living in the past and anchored to your device with a lowly headphone wire?

Our Top Bluetooth Headphone Picks

Time to cut the cord and upgrade, my friend, and order yourself a pair (or two) of freedom inducing Bluetooth wireless headphones. And lucky for you, we have already researched the topic and thoughtfully organized everything you need to know in one place - right here!

Beats Solo3 Wireless

Editor's Choice

Jabra Move Wireless

Best Budget Choice

Best Wireless Bluetooth Earphones & Headphones 2017

There is no better time than now to transition to the wonderful world of wireless Bluetooth headphones - in fact, more wireless Bluetooth headphones are now being sold than wired models.

But with hundreds of models out there, it’s hard to know which one to buy.

The Sweetflow has researched and tested the top contenders to make your path to purchase a confident and successful one. No matter your lifestyle or budget, you can find your perfect pair of wireless Bluetooth earphones or headphones in our Top 2017 picks.

Beats Solo3 Wireless Best Bluetooth Headphones

At The Sweetflow, if we had to recommend one pair of Bluetooth headphones that would work for most people, we would suggest the Beats Solo3 Wireless.

There is a reason that the Beats brand has captured nearly half of the Bluetooth headphone market - they produce solid products. And even though they are Apple owned, they work equally well with Android and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

For us, the reason to buy the Solo3 Wireless Headphone is because they sound fantastic (a noticeable upgrade from previous Beats headphones), are comfortable, and can be found at a decent price. Add-in best in class battery life (40 hours!), amazing range (up to 300 feet - for realz), a stylish look, and ridiculously easy pairing with Apple devices, it is easy to recommend the Beats Solo3 Wireless as our top pick for Best Bluetooth Headphone.

Design:

The Beats Solo3 Wireless, released in September 2016, looks almost the same as the Solo2 - and that’s OK. What has changed are features found on the inside, like Apple’s proprietary W1 custom Bluetooth chip, which has drastically improved battery life and makes pairing to Apple devices flawless and simple. Umm...40 hours of listening without recharging? Wow!

It still showcases the hallmark Beats design and is available in many attractive finishes such as glossy or matte black, white, gold, rose gold, and silver. We are loving the matte black and matte silver models because their texture matches the look and feel of the iPhone and is less prone to fingerprints (and scratches). What we love about the newest models of the best selling Solo, are that the appearance is less aggressive and more mature. For instance, you can now pull off a Beats headphone if you are over 25. The bright red “B” logo has now been color-matched to the shade you pick.Think more sophisticated and mature.

It is important to note that the frame is all plastic - only the skeleton of the headband and fold-up hinges are made of metal. The earpads are made of comfortable foam covered in a leatherette type material and do look “leather-like”, but their comfort makes up for it. The headband padding is also more functional than fashionable but does help spread the pressure while wearing them, making them fit securely. With all of that said, we still find the overall design to be pretty appealing, and definitely recognizable, as the well-known Beats headphone that so many have already grown to love.

Whereas some testers weren’t that over the moon about the plastic design, almost all liked the controls of the Beats Solo3. The left earcup includes the 3.5mm input for use when the battery is dead. The Beats logo found on the right earcup is actually the button that controls playback, navigates tracks, and answers/ends calls depending on how many times you tap it. Tapping the ring above or below the “B” logo controls the volume levels and the right earcup also controls power and pairing. The Solo3 has a mic hidden in the ear cup to let you take calls, but it is important to note that this model does not have active noise cancellation. They are fine for those who want some isolation and muffling of outside noises, or don't want the sound from the headphones to escape and disturb others. They do both well.

One other great feature of the Solo3 is that it folds easily and compactly and comes with a durable and handy carrying case.

Comfort:

When it comes to on-ear headphones, it is very rare to find a pair that is both comfortable and securely fitted. We feel that the Beats Solo3 does a good job of marrying these two ideas. The Solo3 feels substantial and solid, but is surprisingly lightweight. The headband is sturdy - there is no flexing of the material - and the earcups swivel to aid in a better fit.

The earpads are not real leather, but are very plush and feel like soft cushions on-ear. We did not have a problem with sweaty ears and our testers that wore glasses were able to adjust them enough to make them fit comfortably for shorter listening sessions. The driver that emits sound is also padded better than most headphones, and was appreciated by testers that consider themselves as having small ears. The headband cushion is also soft and cushion-like and does a great job at helping the Solo3 stay in place on the head, while evenly spreading out pressure to maintain a secure fit without too much head pinch.

We had no issues when briskly walking outside and working around the office and house - some testers used them at the gym and on a brisk run, but it is important to note that the Solo3 is not considered sweatproof.

We would definitely recommend them for shorter listening sessions, but for those who wear headphones all day, you are best to check out an over-ear model like the super comfortable Bose QuietComfort 35 or the Sony H.ear On Wireless NC.

Sound Quality:

Beats was once known for bass-heavy, inferior sound - pretty much just good looks and booming bass. It is safe to say that the Beats brand has really stepped up their game in terms of sound quality - the Solo3 sounds natural and clear and brought out the emotion and passion in the music we tested. The Solo3 Wireless may lead with the Beats bass sound profile, but the mids and highs and much more balanced and represented than previous models. The sound was very crisp and well-spaced and not too heavy on the lower end, making us feel like we immersed at a concert with great evocative sound. The sound quality has definitely not been sacrificed for wireless convenience and can now compete with other audiophile members in its class.

Overall, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the sound.

Features:

Time to geek out a bit. The Apple W1 Bluetooth chip is the abracadabra that makes the Solo3 a better buy than its predecessors. It makes pairing your Apple device as simple as the good ‘ole days when you just plugged in a wire. It also has ridiculously long battery life, touting 40 hours, and the W1 acts as the magic wand that stretches out the juice in a same size battery.

The exciting news for some is that you do not have to own an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus to reap these benefits. The W1 chip can work with any Bluetooth-enabled device, which includes any model of iPhone, Android phone, tablet, Mac and many PCs that are consider Bluetooth compatible. If you do not have a newer iPhone you would just simply pair your device the “old fashioned” way. It may take a few more finger swipes and taps, but you can still easily pair and - you do seem to get the same battery life!

Other features:

  • Our favorite! Fast Fuel allows you to get 3 hours of playback with only 5 minutes of charging when battery is low. Who needs to be responsible anymore? Not us/you!
  • Up to 40 hours of battery life for multi-day use.
  • Take calls, control your music and activate Siri easily and intuitively.
  • Hot design - have to be honest, we feel pretty bad@$$ in our Beats.

Additional Information:

If you are not using iCloud, the connection is still very quick, and if you don't use iOS devices at all, the Solo3 Wireless still operate as standard Bluetooth headphone.When you connect the included audio cable, the Solo3 automatically powers down. We found no dramatic difference in audio performance between wireless and wired modes. The same cable even comes with an inline remote for music and phone calls making it pretty versatile.

The Bottom Line

If you want a all-around great wireless experience, definitely consider the Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones.

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Best Value Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphone technology has been improving by leaps and bounds, in return making more budget friendly options that are still quality products even if you don’t have $200+ to spend.

Sweetflow recommends these three models if you want the best “bang for your buck” and you are looking for great design, comfort, and sound quality. Why settle for less?

First up: A headphone perfect for almost everyone.

Jabra Move Best Budget Bluetooth Headphones

The Jabra Move Wireless was an easy choice for best sounding budget headphones - they even have a better soundstage than some headphones that cost twice as much. The Jabra Move is very durable, comfortable, and what we love the most - they are super affordable. They are the Sweetflow editor’s pick for best all around value headphones because they are a great choice for most people.

The Jabra Move Wireless was an easy choice for best sounding budget headphones - they even have a better soundstage than some headphones that cost twice as much. The Jabra Move is very durable, comfortable, and what we love the most - they are super affordable. They are the Sweetflow editor’s pick for best all around value headphones because they are a great choice for most people.

Design

These headsets are stylishly designed, on-ear headphones, and are available in three colors - black, red and blue. They use Bluetooth to pair to devices and have a range of 30 feet from your device source. The controls are easy to use and easy to find with a nice rubberized texture. There is also a good sounding microphone built in as well. Overall, solid design and easy to use features.

Comfort

The earpads are made of a soft material and sit pleasantly on ear. The headband is also cloth coated and padded and also features a slight swivel to the earcups for extra comfort. They are extremely lightweight and can be work for commuting and work applications.

A few complaints about the fit from our testers is that these headphones can cause some discomfort to glasses wearers and that they are not quick to take off and on. Something to consider.

Sound Quality

The sound is clear and pretty great. By pretty great, we mean they sound almost as good as a luxury pick that is 3-4 times the price. The mids and highs are nice and bright the bass offers a fullness of sound. Overall, the high, mid, and lower end frequencies are nicely balanced, but someone used to very booming bass may be left a little disappointed. They are not actively noise cancelling but they do it well enough that you might consider taking off one of the earcups if you are out walking or biking.

Features

  • Ultra-lightweight model (5.6 oz.) with adjustable headband fits all head-types, even XL hat sizes
  • Control music and calls directly from the headphones
  • Beautiful, durable design
  • Helpful voice activation for pairing devices
  • High quality call performance - doubles as a Bluetooth headset
  • Connects to all Bluetooth ready devices via Bluetooth 4.0
  • Option to go wired
  • Up to 8 hours active battery life and up to 12 days standby time

Additional Information

The Jabra Move headphones come with a cord but it doesn’t have an in-line mic or remote. This means you would have to power up the headphones to take a call. Good news, a cord from the Revo Wireless is compatible with the Move and available separately. It will take calls and play/pause for an additional $10.

Bottom Line: The Jabra Move sounds great, works great, looks great and are super affordable. They are the Sweetflow editor’s pick for best all around value headphones.

Now for those who want to rock out in style:

Ghostek soDrop 2 Series Wireless Over-Ear Headset - Best Value for the Stylish Audiophile

If premium style, amazing crystal clear sound, and a price point under $100 matter to you, seriously consider the Ghostek soDrop 2 Over-Ear Headset. We love them!

Design

These gorgeous headphones definitely have a unique design that sets them apart from most headphones on the market today - especially in this price category. They are made of a beautiful, lightweight brushed aluminum and soft actual leather that feels silky soft against your ears. Sumptuous.

The square ear phone design completely covers your ears creating a comfortable sound experience and also lessens ear fatigue, while also blocking noise. The Ghostek soDrop 2 is available in three in-vogue colors: black, white and gold, and a stunning white and rose gold. A microphone in the ear cup lets you receive calls without having to take off your headphones and the three button control deck is easy to find and navigate. These beauties also easily fold up and come with a sturdy carrying case.

Comfort

What impressed us was the soft leather and ultra lightweight brushed aluminum that made these headphones feel like a premium model.

The ear cups were also very pleasant and did not create as much ear fatigue or head pinching as some on-ear models.

Sound Quality

Hands down these are a great alternative to those in the market for a headphone with enhanced bass. If classical music if your thing, the bass may be a little overpowering. The Bluetooth 4.0 technology creates a crisp and multi-faceted sound, with balanced high and mid frequencies, and again, enhanced lower end sounds. One tester who owns headphones from sound giants such as Bose and Beats commented that these offered surprisingly excellent sound quality and noise reduction (however, they are not actively noise cancelling). Another thing we liked is that these cans allow you to go wired and there was not much of a difference between Bluetooth and wired sound.

Features

  • Manufacturer’s suggested range is 10 feet but we were able to get a good 30 feet range
  • Battery features 14 hours talk/play time and 540 hours of standby time
  • Can be paired with two Bluetooth devices at once and automatically reconnects to your device after it pairs once
  • Recharges with enclosed micro USB
  • Can be wired so if Bluetooth is not allowed, you can used them wired, like on a plane

Additional Information

There were a few minor flaws to note about the soDrop 2. The bass enhancement was a little too much when we wanted to mellow out, the enclosed cord was not very long, and some testers noted a tight range in old houses with thick plaster walls.

Bottom Line: Sweetflow loves the design and amazing sound quality - hands down an unbeatable deal. Get you some!

Next up, the best deal for frequent flyers:

Paww WaveSound 3 Bluetooth Headphones - Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones for Travel

Road Warriors and Frequent Flyers - do you have a major crush on the Bose QuietComfort 35 cans but cannot quite justify the premium price? Well, Sweetflow has found a stellar pair of budget noise cancelling headphones that will have you singing Hallelujah and resting easy on your long commutes. We’d like to introduce to you the amazing Paww WaveSound 3 with active noise cancellation for under $100!

In a nutshell:

These are the Sweetflow #1 airplane headphones for penny-wise shoppers.

Why we like them: The WaveSound 3 Wireless Headphones effectively block out most surrounding noises with actual noise cancelling technology, like annoying cabin noises and fussy babies. They actually work pretty good for 1/3 the price of premium competitors. They come with an airplane adapter that plugs into the viewing system easily when you want to watch an in-flight movie, and they fold up for compact storage in your carry-on. They are comfortable and stylish, easy to use, and not too heavy that they self limit their use. They also include an auxiliary cord for use with a smartphone or laptop if you prefer to bring your own entertainment. They are easy to charge with an enclosed micro USB charger.

Full Discretion: We have to admit that we are totally in love with the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones because they are our go-to pair when we are traveling. However, the Paww WaveSound 3 headsets are pretty amazing in their own right. They are a little bulkier than the Bose and do not cut out all external noise, but they do make it possible for sleep and relaxation on long commutes. The sound quality and noise cancelling technology is not going to perform the same as the industry leader Bose, but these headphones are scrappy and sturdy, and definitely come out strong pound-per-pound as compared to a premium brand. In terms of sound quality we would rate them a 7/10, with Bose QuietComfort 35’s being a 10.

Bottom Line: If your budget for travel airphones is $100 then have no fear that you will be flying high and not disturbed by cabin noises and toddler screams.

Best Bluetooth Headphones for Working Out

For those living the fit life, there is nothing more annoying than having a cord or cable smack you in face while exercising. Or, getting to the gym and spending five minutes untangling earbuds while someone steals your favorite treadmill. You know, the one next to the fan.

This is why wireless headphones made especially for exercise are a must have for runners, gym rats, body pumpers, Sunday afternoon walkers, and treadmill warriors.

Exercise headphones are unique - they are designed to take a lot of abuse and to stay in your ears while remaining comfortable during strenuous activities. They have to be sweat proof and water resistant and have a good design that makes them either noise blocking or noise muffling, depending on your activity.

The Sweetflow has reviewed and tested this very crowded market of wireless sport and exercise headphones to bring you our top picks. No matter what your activity, you are sure to find one that will suit your active lifestyle.

What we looked for in sport and exercise headphones: stressors related to activity, such as sweat, rain, abuse from being dropped, and strenuous movement.

We also considered design, sound quality and battery life. Who we considered: people who want to run, hit the gym, bike, or even hike.

What we found:

Bose SoundSport Wireless - Sweetflow’s Top Pick for Best Bluetooth Sports Headphone

The Bose SoundSport Wireless commands attention because of its excellent comfort and stay-put build, high quality sound, sweat resistant construction and steady Bluetooth connection.

It is a stellar product from a great and dependable brand and is the Sweetflow Top Pick for Best Best Sports Headphone

Design and Comfort

The SoundSport Wireless headphones from Bose have many design features that make them a great sports headphone. They are considered isolating or “sealed” headphones and combine elements of in-ear and earbud design. The earpieces seal the ear canals but they don't insert completely into the ear, as do other insert models. They are supported by “StayHear+” ear bowls that fit securely onto the ear and come with three sizes to help find the perfect fit. One thing we really liked was that they were very stable even with vigorous head movement like the dreaded burpee.

These earphones have an integrated microphone near the right earpiece, which has pretty decent sound, and an easy to use and find remote that allows you to adjust the volume, skip tracks and take and make calls.

The cord comes with a clip that helps attach it to your shirt to help eliminate the feeling of cord bounce and the headphones feel very lightweight.

One con of the design for some testers was that the the ear pieces are fairly bulky and noticeably protrude from your ears. However, to others the stay-put design was a definite pro and eliminated an uncomfortable in-the-ear feeling found in most other sealed models. A common comment of the SoundSport is that it was easy to forget you were wearing them, which is fairly uncommon for sports headphones.

You can currently purchase them in there very classy, yet stylish colors, including Citron, Aqua and Black.

Sound Quality

Here is another category in which the SoundSport Wireless headphones shine when compared to other in-class models. They definitely have an impressive audio performance to match exercise intensity. The sound signature leads with a motivating boosted bass but also delivers a rich and nicely balanced and consistent treble, partly due to the Bose volume-optimized EQ technology. We would say it delivers consistently balanced sound, even when turned up in a crowded gym.

For example, we tested a few song tracks that were not overly “bassy” to begin with, but with deep vocals like Johnny Cash singing “Hurt”. The high-mids and highs made the vocals and acoustic guitar sound rich and silky. The baritone vocals were rich and vibrant with added extra depth from the boosted bass, but never too overwhelming or bumping as most sports wireless headphones tend to be. All in all, it was very moving.

For the rest of our move-it-groove-it playlist, the songs were bumping and bass heavy. The SoundSport provided nicely boosted bass but the crisp treble sound was such a nice addition - something we found lacking in most other in-class models.

The complaint with many exercise and sport headphones is that their sound platform leads with bass and that it easily takes over many other frequencies. We would not recommend the Bose SoundSport Wireless to be the best choice for everyday listening, (although we would recommend the Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless Headphones), but we definitely recommend them for exercise and sport. Again, due to their comfort, durability, sweat resistance and true stay put design.

What we are trying to say is - don’t buy a regular pair of headphones if you want to get your “fitness on”.

Features:

  • Balanced sound at any volume thanks to Bose active EQ
  • Reliable Bluetooth and easy NFC pairing with a 30 foot range
  • Multiple sizes of ear pieces to find personal fit
  • Sweat and weather resistant
  • Up to 6 hours battery life per charge

Additional Information

We were a little disappointed that the battery life of the SoundSport tops out at six hours, however, it definitely got us through a few workouts. It takes two hours to charge back up again but a 15 minute charge will provide enough power for at least an hour.

Each purchase comes with a small USB charging cable, and a basic neoprene carrying case, and can be used with the free Bose Connect app, which lets you customize your settings.

We also considered the Bose SoundSport Wireless car charger bundle, which comes with a iOttie RapidVolt Mini Car Charger and the Bose SoundSport Charging Case which holds a charge itself and can recharge your headphones up to three times while you are on the go. Both nice accessories that came in very handy.

Lastly, if you are looking for an exercise headphone with an included heart rate monitor, check out the new Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless. It is the same great headphone we love but with a built in heart rate sensor that makes it easy to track performance. Plus, it works with popular fitness apps like MapMyRun, RunKeeper, Endomondo and Runtastic

The Bottom Line

Yes, the Bose SoundSport Wireless costs a little more than some of our other top picks, but we feel it is money well spent. There is not a better in-class exercise headphone out right now that matches in terms of comfort, quality, durability and sound experience.

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JLab Audio Epic2 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sport Earbuds - Best Sealed Bluetooth Sports Headphone

After researching and testing many models of sealed sports headphones, Sweetflow recommends the JLab Audio Epic2 as the best sealed bluetooth sports headphone.

What we love about them: These are tough and lightweight earbuds that provides a good fit for a variety of ear sizes. The JLab Audio Epic2 has better battery life than many competing models, and features a quality, stabilized sound for a great price.

What is a sealed Bluetooth sports headphone?
One that features no cord to get in your way, as well as sealed design to limit distraction from outside noise, like at the gym. One thing to note, we recommend unsealed bluetooth headphones for runners and bikers. They allow you to be aware of your surrounding while training outside, like the Plantronics BackBeat FIT. Our Top Pick Bose SoundSport Wireless also offers some awareness, even though it is considered a sealed design

Design and Comfort

The design of the JLab Epic2 definitely helped launch this model to the top of our list. It is extremely comfortable, intuitive and lightweight, and we love the look and color options. Perhaps, most importantly, are the design features that keep these headphones in place while moving.

  • Wire-reinforced cable hooks create a secure fit - but are slim enough to wear with glasses and sunglasses.
  • The Epic2 comes with six pairs of eartips in various shapes and sizes, making it to find a secure fit for most ear sizes and shapes. All of our testers were able to find a pair of silicone tips that made the Epic2 work for them.
  • The adjustable neck cable helped up to create a customizable “cinch” to help reduce cable slack while running and moving.
  • The three-button remote is easy to access (behind the right ear) and allows for play/pause, call answer/end, track changes, and volume control. We must note that the design of the remote makes it to skip a track when trying to adjust the volume.
  • Comes in a good assortment of colors - from understated to attention getting. We love the blue/gray model.

Sound Quality

The Epic2 Bluetooth is a headphone with a big bass sound that will help drive and motivate your workout with thunderous percussion and drum machine kicks. We liked the sound and were able to enjoy a wide variety of music, but did notice that low-end frequencies seemed louder than we were used to hearing. Not a bad thing, and it helped to get us pumped up, but it would be even better if there was a clearer sense of definition and balance in the mid and higher frequencies. We were impressed with the absence of distortion when the volume was really cranked up, and even though very bass heavy, the Epic2 sounded good for a sports headphone at such a fantastic price.

Classical lovers, or those looking for a high fidelity experience, should consider the Bose SoundSport Wireless for a richer, more neutral sound that is indicative of the Bose brand.

Additional Features: The JLab Epic2 packs some nice features, especially for its appealing price.

  • An upgraded Bluetooth antenna helps eliminate skipping during intense workouts
  • An IPX5 rating means the earphones can handle sweat, water and rain, and can be rinsed off after working out.
  • THE BATTERY LIFE IS BEST IN CLASS - up to 12 hours of battery life
  • A voice prompt tells you the remaining charge and will also alert you before the system will shut down from power loss

Additional Information

The microphone works but is not in the best location or of the best quality for making calls, but will do the job. Some testers had a few Epic2 duds that quit working and charging after a few months, however, JLab made good on their one year warranty.

Bottom Line: The JLab Epic 2 Bluetooth headphones are a great pair of fitness headphones. They sound great (although bass heavy), fit great, look great, work great and stay charged for hours. Plus, their price will have you smiling all the way to the bank...of hand weights.

Plantronics BackBeat FIT - Best Unsealed Bluetooth Sports Headphone

Plantronics BackBeat Fit - Last Year’s Model & less expensive - no notable changes except for new color options and new model does not come with armband case. Notice the spelling of the word FIT.

Plantronics BackBeat FIT is a rugged and super flexible wireless sports headset that features a sweat proof design, built-in microphone, good battery life and satisfactory sound. It is considered “un-sealed” meaning it isn't designed to block out noise like many in-ear headphones, which is a good thing for joggers and bikers who need to be somewhat aware of external situations. This also means the BackBeat FIT isn't the best headset to completely block out the grunter next to you at the gym on the exercise bike, but it still offers decent sound, a comfortable, lightweight fit and does it at a good price.

The older, and generally less expensive “Fit” models also include a reflective armband case for smartphones that doubles as a storage case for the headphones.

Design and Comfort: The most notable design feature of the BackBeat FIT, is that it is made from a very flexible and durable material that you can literally squish-up to fit in the palm of your hand. They are super lightweight, weighing in at less than an ounce, and they stay in place comfortably while jogging. We did have a few testers that did not like the bounce of the cord on their neck. One was able to solve the problem with a rubber band to take up slack - another used a cord-clip to secure the band to her shirt. Something to think about.

Another cool design feature we loved is that the headset has a reflective material that helps make you visible to motorists.

These are unsealed headphones, so the FIT's eartips aren't designed to be inserted all they way into your ears. They are open eartips and they do not seal off all external noise. They were design this way for a reason - they let in some background noise so you can stay aware if you're running or biking in the great outdoors.

On-ear controls were easy to find and use and include a play/pause button and volume controls that sit on the left earpiece. The power and phone buttons are located on the right side and we found the microphone sound to be pretty good.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the BackBeat FIT is not best in class, but still reasonable considering their non-isolating design. They are not as dynamic and bass-heavy as other sealed excercise sports headphones like the JLab Epic2 or the Bose SoundSport Wireless, but in terms of listening enjoyment, most people will probably be pleased. The FIT sounds nicely balanced and delivers a good amount of bass and volume. These headphones do leak a little sound due to being unsealed, but overall, they deliver for their design and let you listen and enjoy your music while staying safe and aware.

Features:

  • Secure, extremely lightweight, with a comfortable fit
  • Designed for durability - can be tossed into gym bag or even folded up to put in pocket
  • Many colors to choose from (newer FIT models)
  • Open-ear design makes it easy to stay safe and aware while excercising outside
  • Free companion app to download
  • On-ear controls with built in mic
  • Reflective finish
  • Battery life clocks in at eight hours
  • Sweat and waterproof - An IP57 rating means they will withstand strenuous workouts, a sudden rain shower and can even be rinsed off in the sink

Bottom Line: We love the look and fit, and the sound is good for an unsealed model. The BackBeat FIT packs all the features we need to exercise, run and bike. The sound is not quality enough to be our number one pick for commuting or working from home. But, if you are looking for a pair of wireless sports headphones that can take you through a strenuous workout - and that have safety features like reflective coatings and will let you be aware of your surrounding - then definitely consider the BackBeat FIT.

Other models to seriously consider:

Best Premium Sound: B O Play H5

Best Bass Heavy Budget for Gym Use: SkullCandy Method

Good for Apple Users: Powerbeats 3 - Proprietary W1 Chip makes for super simple pairing of Apple devices and longer battery life.

Best Budget for Runners: Phaiser BHS-730

Bose QuietComfort 35 Best Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

Simply put, the Bose QuietComfort 35 is the best noise cancelling wireless headphone you can currently buy. With the flip of a switch, it measures, reacts and cancels outside noise. It boasts a lightweight, super-comfortable design, premium materials and exceptional sound with no wires. Even with a seemingly hefty price tag, the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones are worth every penny. Thoroughly enjoy your music and movies, or relish in the “sound of silence”.

Design

The Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones are designed the same as their very popular “wired” sibling the Bose QuietComfort 25. The difference - wireless controls are built-in the back of the right earcup. They are built to be superbly comfortable, as well as durable for life on the go. Impact resistant materials and resistant stainless steel make them great for travel - they are tough. They are also feel like sumptuous pillows on your ears fitting snugly, yet comfortably, without pressure around your head. Multiple hours of wear yielded no uncomfort - great for work, home use, and long commutes on the train or plane.

Smart design details make the QuietComfort 35 just that - smart.

The size adjustment mechanism is sturdy and even when dropped (it’s going to happen) they suffered no damage. The earcups face outward instead of inward when worn around the neck so they rest nicely. The control buttons on the headset are a nice feature for volume and track control when your phone is out of reach.They easily fold up to fit in the included solid carrying case and come in two colors - black and silver.

One criticism of the design by a few Sweetflow testers, is that they are perhaps a more “mature” in design and style compared to the super-hip and colorful Beats Studio Wireless and Sony H.ear, and the super sleek Parrot Zik 3.0. However, for many their “mature” design may be an asset. Think sophisticated and classy.

Comfort

Imagine having clouds cuddling your ears - there you go. Yes, they are that comfortable. I mean, the word “comfort” is in the name. The ear cups are made from a soft suede-like material that is used in high-end automobiles. They are over-ear headphones, but multiple hours of wear will not induce ear pain, headaches, sweating or a feeling of ear suffocation (ear anxiety!). Relax while traveling or working, and don’t worry about nodding off with these headphones. One friend complained that they were a little tight at first, but then easily loosened up and fit like a nice pair of earmuffs in a fairly short period of time with no ear pressure.

Sound Quality

Easy - they sound simply fabulous and natural. When you put them on, you turn off the noise around you.

Bose has been the leader in noise-canceling headphones for some time now and they have matched up Bluetooth audio that is deep, powerful and balanced. Every note sounds clear and they are so quiet that train and air travel become comfortable and peaceful. All frequencies are very well represented making them great for music listening and movie watching. Unlike some other premium headphones, the lower frequencies are very well represented - the bass is good but not too strong. Vocals are inspiring and drums are crisp. You’ll find you have tears in your eyes from songs you have heard a dozen times over. It also doubles as a great headset for phone calls.

Features

In no particular order, there are so many features that make these headphones outstanding.

  • The 20 hours of battery life and 33 feet of Bluetooth range are modest estimates at best. Expect to get more!
  • The battery is very solid and they charge quickly.
  • Walk around your house and challenge the Bluetooth because you will most likely be amazed at their range...like 70 feet with no obstacles.
  • They also come with a noise rejecting dual-microphone system for clear calls on noisy or windy streets
  • Easy Bluetooth and NFC pairing aided by voice prompts
  • Volume-optimized EQ, ensuring quality audio at all volume settings.
  • They can also be paired with multiple devices by using the Bose Connect app (which is amazing).

Additional information

These headphones allow users to continue to listen to their source even if the battery power is depleted. However, without power, neither active noise cancellation nor Active EQ is able to function. The battery is also not user replaceable.

The Bottom Line

The Bose QuietComfort 35 is the paramount noise cancelling headphone you can currently buy and an easy pick for our Sweetflow Editor’s Choice for best noise cancelling AND best overall Bluetooth headphone.

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Sony H.ear On Wireless NC - Best Over Ear Bluetooth Headphone

The Sony H.ear On Wireless NC is a comfortable, great sounding headphone that is super easy to use and garners attention. It’s lightweight, extremely stylish, offers effective noise cancellation and has a price tag that won’t drain your piggy bank. It’s a great package that doesn’t compromise, making it the Sweetflow pick for Best Over Ear Bluetooth Headphone.

Design: The Sony H.ear On NC is hard to miss - it has a striking design and comes in vibrant, gorgeous color choices like lime yellow, viridian blue, bordeaux pink, cinnabar red, and a sleek charcoal black. Really something to match every personality out there (we’re loving Viridian Blue - a sign of productivity and serenity).

They are best described as having a minimalistic/futuristic design - eye-catching but still understated, with nothing but a small NFC logo on the side of the ear cups. The finish is attractive - it looks like matte or brushed aluminum but the headphones are actually a hard plastic, making them very lightweight. The padded faux-leather ear cups are comfortable and feel premium, providing all day wearability, along with noise muffling and active noise cancellation.

One thing we didn’t care for is that the earcups don’t completely rotate and swivel to rest naturally on the shoulders when not in use. They stick out and don’t rest flat. So, something to consider if you plan to wear while working and are switching between the headphones being in use or in rest mode.

You’ll find all of the controls and ports on the bottom of both ear cups.There are a total of seven buttons, two ports, and two microphones. They all work great - they are easy to find and navigate, but it does feel a little cramped. However, once we got past a slight learning curve, we had no issues.

The H.ear On Wireless NC folds up into an included carrying case but doesn't fold flat, making the case rather bulky to store and carry around. Another important thing to note is that the hinges can pinch a finger that's in the wrong place when you unfold them. Ouch! Yes, this happened to us so be careful out there.

Comfort:

The H.ear On Wireless NC is very comfortable with plush draped ear pads and an adjustable and padded headband – a good mix of form and function. It's a little heavier than Bose's QuietComfort 35 and isn't quite as comfortable as that model (we’d say it produces more pressure on the head), but it is obvious it has been designed to compete and it does a good job. Most people should have no issues with multiple hours of wear or on a long flight, however if day-long comfort is a priority, it is best to consider the Bose QuietComfort 35.

Sound Quality:

One area where the H.ear On Wireless NC shines is in sound quality - we would rate it excellent, which makes sense since it is a Sony product. It is even arguably a touch better than the Bose QuietComfort 35.

The bass, high-end, mids and lower levels are nicely balanced with good clarity. It has a very natural sound for a Bluetooth headphone, imitating a wired headphone in all the right ways. We were expecting an emphasized bass, but were happy to find that the lows were not overly aggressive and were nice and tight. The mids were smooth - no muddiness, but if we had to nit-pick we’d say that the highs were a little lacking. They never became too strident, but a little more brightness on this end would be more satisfying. While no headphone is perfect, the audio shortcomings of this model are really pretty minor.

Of course, another notable feature of the H.ear On Wireless NC is the NC - the active noise cancellation, which helps to reduce unwanted external sound with the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first. It’s very good and offers the same sound quality regardless of whether the noise-cancelling feature is turned on or off. It doesn't completely eliminate external noise, but it masks it considerably. It also does a good job of not “hissing” (like many lower end options) when no music is playing and only the noise cancellation is turned on.

Overall, this headphone sounds very impressive for a Bluetooth headphone, performs well as a headset for making calls, and offers effective noise cancellation that adapts to your surroundings. It’s a great choice for a listener who demands top notch music playback and wants to tune out ambient sounds in an office, at home, or on the street.

Features:

  • 20 Hours Battery Life
  • 30-40 feet range
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • High Resolution Audio capability when wired
  • NFC or Bluetooth connectivity
  • A built-in microphone and HD voice support for hands free calling
  • Beat Response Control technology optimizes diaphragm movement to enable more accurate reproduction of bass
  • Detachable headphone cable has a one-button in-line remote and microphone that's suitable for making calls - no volume control however

Additional Information:

The included USB charger requires you to charge to a booted computer and does not let you charge to a wall charger. This we did not like. However, you can purchase an USB to wall adapter almost anywhere now.

The Bottom Line

Is the Sony H.ear On Wireless NC better than the Bose? Well, the Bose is considered to be exceptionally comfortable and is our top pick for Best Noise Cancellation and Most Comfortable headphone, but the Sony edges-by in the better sound quality category. Plus, the price tag is considerably easier on your wallet and the style and colors are head-turners. We are confident to say that the H.ear On NC is a safe bet for most people and an excellent pair of wireless headphones making them the Sweetflow pick for Best Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones.

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BeatsX - Best Neckband Bluetooth Headphones

The BeatsX has quickly become one of the ultimate wireless neckband-style headphones since being released with high expectations in February 2017. Unlike collar-style neckbands that look like a horseshoe around your neck, the BeatsX is a comfortable, lightweight, securely fitting wireless headphone that is perfect for Apple users, and Android users alike.

We were a little skeptical at first from all the hype, but have truly developed a crush on this well thought-out and well designed little number. It’s a fabulous option to take you through the day with great sound, easy device pairing, exceptional wearability and good battery life.

Plus - unlike the completely wireless AirPods, you can feel more confident you won’t lose them.

Design and Comfort:

What makes the BeatsX a perfect pick for Apple users? Well, for starters, the BeatsX is made with Apple's new W1 chip (just like the AirPods), which means a stronger Bluetooth connection, and easy pairing across all your Apple devices. To pair, you just turn them on and hold the BeatsX close to your iPhone. Once paired, they will also automatically pair with anything registered to your iCloud account - like your Apple Watch, iPad and Mac. They are easy to switch among all paired devices as well.

The BeatsX also works awesomely with non-Apple Bluetooth devices and offers the same 8 hour battery life, you just have to connect the “old” fashioned way, which means just a few more taps or swipes. Still simple to pair.

Another obvious feature is the neckband style of this headphone. It is Bluetooth enabled, but not completely wireless. The Flex-Form cable has two wires running through it and is made from a pliable, durable and lightweight material. We considered it a plus that these headphones can be rolled up to fit in a pocket or the included carrying case. They are very totable, unlike other very rigid collar style neckband headphones.

The cable rests on your neck with two not too heavy weighted bulbs in the cord, which house the batteries and brains, and do a nice job of keeping the cords from overly flailing and bouncing around. This is where you’ll also find the remote and mic for making inline calls and controlling the music and volume. We found them easy to find and easy to use.One small “gripe”, however, is that the material used is slightly dirt porous so the white cord needed a good wipe down pretty regularly. Maybe consider a darker model?

If you see any ads for the BeatsX, you’ll see the models cleverly snapping together the lightweight magnetized buds at the end of the cables. This is where the 8mm drivers are housed, and the added magnets inside make them bond so you can click them together when not in use. It’s actually a pretty clever idea and makes the headphones easy to wear, like a pendant - you don’t have to worry about them becoming tangled or falling off your neck.

They are actually designed to be worn around the neck all day - and while this is a personal preference, we loved that you could take them from in-use to in-rest mode easily as activity changed (unlike heavier headsets that fatigued our neck or the wireless AirPods - again, it seems ridiculously easy to misplace one of them). You’ll actually kind of forget you are wearing them, but subconsciously you’ll know they are there. One thing to note it that they are a one size fits all, so if you are rather petite, you may feel like the cords are rather long. There is no cinching or shortening mechanism.

The BeatsX comes with four different sizes of eartips and a few sizes of wingtips to help secure the buds in your ears. The fit is pretty impressive - all of our testers were able to find a super secure, and comfortable bond. Something to note - there is a dedicated right and left ear piece, and the imprinted R and L is tiny and you may have to squint to see it. But, once in - rock solid security. Even if you are into headbanging breakdancing, there’s a good chance you’d be pleasantly pleased.

The BeatsX are in-ear “sealed” headphones and do a better job of noise cancellation than their cousin the AirPod. Unlike their sporty cousin, the PowerBeats 3, they are “water resistant” but are not considered waterproof or sweatproof, so they are OK for some workouts but not your best option as a true sports headphone.

We put them through vigorous testing and are pleased to report that the BeatsX excelled in a wide range of activities and lifestyles. For the active and sporty, the flexible and soft material feels great on, even when you’re doing jumping jacks or jumping rope. They’ll stay put on your neck all day long, if you’re doing yoga at the studio, grabbing coffee between calls, studying/working, or walking the dog (or cat) on the trail. We consider them stealthy at cancelling ambient noise, so be careful out there when running or biking in high traffic areas.

The range is exceptional, again thanks to the proprietary W1 chip - expect to get up to 300 feet, even walk between house levels and never lose connectivity.

And lastly, the battery life is 8-10 hours between charges, enough to get you through a long working day, and with Fast Fuel, 5 minutes of charging gets you 2 hours of playback when battery is low. So before you leave for your long commute, plug them in for five minutes while you finish up that last email and you’re good to go.

Sound Quality:

Ok, so this is where many readers may be curious if the BeatsX is worth the money. The Beats brand has developed a few haters over time because previous models were known to be super loose and bass heavy with poor audio delivery. The new BeatsX does have a prominent bass signature (more so than the AirPods), but the bass is balanced. You can hear the deep lows like they were intended, plus get clear mids and pretty good trebles as well

Interestingly enough, the treble is where we found the sound to be slightly lacking. Some may find this headphone has a touch too much sibilance or sizzle. Some upper to mid-range vocals and percussion were a tad too sharp and bright, mostly at high volume levels.

Another thing to note is that the BeatsX wasn’t the best at making phone calls. While we could hear our callers just fine, some had a hard time hearing us, especially in windy situations. But overall, we thought they sounded great and we were content with their phone making functions.

Features:

  • Comes in four colors - black, white, gray and blue
  • 8-10 hours battery life
  • W1 chip makes for seamless setup and switching between Apple devices
  • Fast Fuel - 5 minutes of charging equals two hours of playback
  • Siri-compatible RemoteTalk lets you take calls with an on-cable mic and play music with easy-to-use controls
  • Variety of eartip and secure-fit wingtip options
  • Lightning to USB-A charging cable

Ultimately, the BeatsX delivers the awesome features made possible by the new W1 chip (some specific to Apple users), including Lightning charging, great battery life and painless syncing. It also leads with a compact and comfortable design that makes it easy to wear round-the-clock. It's a fresh take on the neckband style headphone that will appeal to a wide variety of users and lifestyles (both Apple and Android alike).

The Bottom Line

With great sound and well-designed features, it is easy to recommend the BeatsX as The Sweetflow top pick for Best Neckband Bluetooth Headphone.

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Best Bluetooth Headphones for Phone Calls

The new working culture is one where we can work with anyone at anytime. Many workers now share the need to work on the go, outside a typical cubical or stationary office. However, even as the mobile working culture shifts and changes, some things still remain the same: workers need to communicate effectively and professionally. That is why having the right tools is pertinent to getting the job done.

Sweetflow has researched and evaluated different types of mobile working environments to bring you the best Bluetooth headphones for flexible working situations - whether it be the need to be ready to take a call no matter where you are or the ability to remain focused on your conversation, not background noise.

We have had testers in the trenches of all types of these working environments and have some great options to recommend.

Road Warrior - AKA “Itinerant Traveler” - This person is always on the go, traveling from place to place to get the job done. He or she need to be able to connect from anywhere in any environment.

Flex Worker - AKA “Adaptive Worker” or “Working from Home”

This person has constant activity and change and need to be able to adapt to different environments with ease.

Mobile Manager - AKA “Decision Maker” or “Connected Executive”

This worker is making decisions and solving problems all day and needs be constantly, comfortably, and flexibly connected.

Let’s take a look at these different models to find the best one for you.

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Headset - Best Stereo Bluetooth Headphones/Headset for Making Calls and Staying Mobile

Day long comfort and all-day conversation, solid Bluetooth connection, dynamic stereo quality audio, and high quality noise cancellation - if these features sound like a dream come true for your working environment, then consider the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC. It is the Sweetflow Pick for best headset for making phone calls and all types of working environments.

Design and Comfort:

This category is paramount in terms of selecting a headset for a professional environment. Often, most flexible workers and connected executives find themselves wearing a headset nearly all-day. What separates the Focus UC from other headsets is that it looks and feels like a high end product. It is super comfortable with features such as a spring loaded metal band to keep the soft earpads in place, without causing a tension headache after multiple hours of wear. The padded headband also provides added comfort with plenty of give to not flatten your thoughtfully coiffed hairstyle. Our testers also found it to be comfortable for eyeglass wear and liked the nice notch and lock system that keeps a perfect fit. It is also fairly lightweight weighing in at 5.5 ounces.

You will find the voice-command button on one earcup and on the other eacup, music and volume controls. The buttons are large and easy to find and press, and the earcups also swivel flat to rest comfortably when they are around your neck and not in use.

A 2-inch smart boom mic pivots down for conversation or up out of the way. It also swivels making the headset reversible, with the stereo, volume and track controls adjusting automatically. Cool!

One con of the design that disappointed us is that it is Bluetooth only and has no wired option.

Sound Quality:

These headphones are not just for making conference calls. You can actually enjoy your music while working with surprisingly good stereo music quality.

We were able to turn up the volume without distortion and we loved the balanced sound - all frequencies were nicely represented and neutral and it was easy to become immersed in our work.

Another notable and important feature is the active noise cancellation, which allows you to reduced distracting sounds in noisy environments. This really helped our testers be able to focus on calls and their work even with yippy dogs barking in the background or next-door cubicle chatter.

For outbound calls, there is in-ear feedback of your own voice to keep you from yelling or talking too loudly and most of the time the voice quality was very good. One thing to note is that in some office environments that overcrowded with various wireless signals, the Bluetooth performance can struggle a bit. One tested noted some pops and cracks and wished for a wired option to help diminish some of the static.

Features:

If we had to pick one word to describe the features of the Voyager Focus UC it would be - smart. We actually geeked out a bit while playing with it because of the well-designed and thoughtful features that made us feel like a boss.

First of all, check out the included desktop charging stand. It helped our desk look pretty sweet and plugs into your PC or a USB charger. There is also the option to plug a micro USB cable into the Focus UC. Battery life is good and will get you through an entire day of work coming in at around 15 hours for listening time and 10 hours talk time.

Other smart features:

  • Sophisticated muting features - you can easily mute/unmute with the touch of a button, or you can just take off the headset. If you’re listening to music, it automatically pauses and resumes when you put the headphones back on. Music pauses when a call comes in and you always know when you are on mute. Just check the USB adapter. If you do try to talk when you’re muted, you get a friendly little voice prompt letting you know.
  • Connect to multiple devices at once.
  • Smart sensor technology uses contextual intelligence to know if your headset is on or off.
  • Roam up to 98 feet - the Voyager will automatically switch between class 1 and class 2 Bluetooth to help preserve battery life.
  • If you need to pay attention to what's going on around you, just press the OpenMic button to focus on your surroundings.

Additional information:

If you need to manage calls from PC, desk phone (like a PBX office system) and even a mobile phone all at once, then you can purchase the MDA200 Headset Communications Hub from Plantronics to make this headset a truly universal one.

Bottom Line:

The Plantronics Voyager Focus UC is worth every penny. If you spend a lot of time on either the phone, a VoIP via Skype, or are on conference calls most of the day then you owe it to yourself to invest in a solid pair of Bluetooth headphones. With the Voyager Focus UC you get what you pay for - great audio quality, excellent comfort, active noise cancellation, helpful and intuitive business centric features, and great tonal range. Top it off with excellent battery life and a well design charging dock, then these are the winner hands down for best Bluetooth headphones for making calls and staying mobile.

Runner Up for Best Bluetooth Headset for Making Calls and Staying Mobile: VXi BlueParrott S450-XT

If you are looking for a little less expensive model and best in class battery life, then consider the VXi BlueParrot S450-XT.

How does the VXi BlueParrot S450-XT compare to the Voyager Focus UC? The main notable differences are that the S450-XT charges with an included standard cable and battery life clocks in around 31 hours well over the guaranteed 24 hours. So unlike the Voyager Focus UC, if you run out of battery, you can use a USB cable to make the S450-XT a wired PC headset, or with an included 3.5mm cable as a pair of stereo headphones.

What we didn’t like about the S450-XT is that the are way less comfortable than the Voyager and noticeably heavier and clunkier. They also are very bass heavy in terms of sound so were not the best stereo quality headphone we tested. They also have no active noise cancellation, but we must say that they do a good job of muffling most external noise with their large over-ear pads.

The S450-XT is an overall good headset for people who want stereo quality music, but also need great call quality and business-centric features in a headset, plus beyond impressive battery life. However, the Voyager Focus UC reigns supreme as our top pick for Best Bluetooth Headphone for Staying Mobile because of its superior all-day comfort, better stereo sound, and active noise cancellation.

Voyager 5200 UC - Best Bluetooth Headset for Making Calls and Staying Mobile

Meet the newest member of the Plantronics Voyager family, the Voyager 5200 UC. Its reputation as the best Bluetooth headset for voice-calling have made it the over-ear headset of choice for serious road warriors and the truly mobile.

Design and Comfort:

It is true that no one will think you are talking to yourself when you’re wearing the Voyager 5200 UC. It is definitely substantial and visually apparent - but still very lightweight and comfortable to wear. The professional looking headset is a 2.25” behind-the-ear/over-the ear piece with a 2.75” long boom. We found the design to provide for a secure fit for most of our testers and liked that the Voyager was noticeable. (It’s kind of a pet peeve to see people seemingly talking to themselves - are they crazy or on a business call?)

As with most headphones across all spectrums, some testers were not as keen on the fit. A few glasses wearers had trouble with it pressing on the temple of the their glasses and others needed to fiddle with the Voyager to get the earpiece to fit nicely in the ear. However, it does come with three different sizes of eartips and most of us were able to make them work.

The headset has and on/off switch on the back, and two volume buttons on top that were easy to find and navigate. On the boom, there's a call button and a voice command button. The headset is completely reversible between the right and left ears with a swinging boom.

Sound Quality:

Due to the awesome range, interference sounds better on the Voyager than any other headset we tested. We much preferred the pops and clicks from the Voyager than the garbled mess we encountered in other models.

Plantronics touts that the new Voyager 5200 offers their most advanced, adaptive noise cancelling technology called “WindSmart” to help reduce disruptive noise (always an issue for previous Voyagers). What we found is that the four mic-boom combined with the aggressive noise cancellation made for a somewhat synthetic voice quality, but did easily mute background busy streets noises and crowded office chitter-chatter - a definite plus for us.

We even tested the 5200 with the windows down on the way to Starbucks and could still make out our caller somewhat (had to dictate the Costco list). It is obvious that cancellation of wind noise has been improved on the new Voyager 5200 making it a definite win when using it in windy or noisy areas. It was great for both indoor and outdoor use for us.

Features:

Well, it pretty much has all you need. It pairs via NFC or Bluetooth and remembers up to eight devices (even though it also can be used simultaneously with two). The 5200 headset connects with Siri, Google Now, or Cortana so you can call contacts, dictate texts, schedule meetings, or even ask for directions - all via voice. Vocal alerts give talk time updates and even announce incoming callers. Simply say “Answer” or “Ignore” to manage calls.

The range is great - up to 60 feet with no obstacles, up to 40 without interference. Battery life is satisfactory with seven hours of active use, and the charging case will provide two full recharges. If they both die, charge priority is given first to the headset and then to the case.

Other features:

  • Dynamic mute alert senses and alerts you when you talk when muted
  • WindSmart technology detects wind direction and responds accordingly - actually works pretty well!
  • Use Plantronics Hub mobile app to locate your lost headset, change languages, wirelessly update firmware, or personalize settings and alert
  • Special coating protects the headset from light-rain, sweat and humidity

Additional Information:

The “UC” in Voyager 5200 UC means “universal communications” and bundles together the headset, a charging case and USB Bluetooth adaptor. You can purchase the Voyager 5200 alone, but you will not get the charging case (which holds up to two full charges) or BT600 USB Bluetooth adaptor, which can stay in your laptop for always ready PC connectivity.

The Bottom Line

It is for a reason that all other Bluetooth headsets are judged against the Plantronics Voyager family. If you’re looking for a solid Bluetooth headset that provides good quality calls, comfort and smart features, then get the Voyager 5200 UC, get to work and take a call wherever you are.

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Logitech G533 Best Bluetooth Gaming Headset

The Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset is new for 2017 and does it all. If you are looking for a headset with long range and battery life, a comfortable fit and superb sound quality, then look no further. We fell in love with this mean machine...and another added bonus - the price!

Design

A successor of the Logitech G930 (one of the best selling wireless gaming headsets of all time), the new G533 has been improved all around with a streamlined simplicity. It is a durable, lightweight headset that can be worn for marathon gaming sessions. The materials have been improved in weight and feel and the G533 doesn't squeak at the joints anymore or feel cheaply made. G533 has over-the ear, sports mesh ear pads that are breathable and can be removed for cleaning. It is compatible for Windows PC gaming.

The G533 is quite substantial (7.8 x 7.4 x 3.3 inches) and fairly heavy (12.3 ounces), but is still very comfortable and a good fit for small to larger head sizes. The hinge tension is lighter and will not pinch like the G930.

The look is understated yet refined. It has black, glossy ear cups (which do gather fingerprints), and no decoration, but is still a good look and not over designed like many gaming headsets that offer much flash but no delivery.

The adjusting mechanism is a standard notch system and the left ear has a noise-cancelling microphone on a folding, extending boom. An easy-to-reach and identify volume control roller and microphone mute button on the left earcup makes it easy to adjust your audio settings.

The major design criticism of the G533 is that is does not have a 3.5 mm audio jack. It is completely wireless and cannot be used for much beyond gaming.

Logitech prides itself on creating gaming products for gamers by gamers and comfort for long gaming sessions appears to be a priority. Again, they set out to improve on the G930, which is one of the best selling wireless headsets of all time. The new G533 has cushy, plush, cleanable, ear pads that envelop your ears, making sound quality premium. The headband tension has also been improved for less pinch and discomfort for people with larger head sizes. The rectangular ear pads may feel different for those used to rounder headsets, but quickly provide a comfortable alternative.They are relatively lightweight, but since you do have something not normally on your head, you may need to adjust here and there to maintain maximum comfort.

Sound Quality

Gaming headsets often get a bad rap in terms of audio quality, but the G533’s sound great listening to music, as well as gaming. They have realistic mids and booming bass - maybe some jagged edges on high treble, but overall a very nice sound. You will notice the stereo performance on this headset to be crisp and rich.

Some awesome audio features include patent-pending Pro-G audio drivers that use hybrid mesh materials to deliver audio performance normally found in high-end audiophile headphones.

According to gamer opponents, the microphone audio sounded good. In part due to a few nice features - like being able to automatically mute the noise cancelling microphone by folding up the boom, easily tuning the volume of your own voice with a "sidetone" feature, and a micro pop filter that reduces those "gross" breathing noises .

In terms of gaming audio, there was some real depth to the sound - for instance, hearing where your "enemies" are coming from.

From the Logitech website: "G533 has a remarkable ability to recreate the in-game environmental effects and positional audio game designers intended you to hear. You can even tune the volume levels for each of the 7 audio channels—for example, to amplify game sounds coming from rear channels to hear what’s behind you."

Features

For the amazing price, the G533 packs in many fantastic features that are perfect for gamers.

  • You can create custom sound profiles by using the Logitech Gaming Software
  • Microphone features: Noise cancelling, extending boom folds up to automatically mute microphone, sidetone lets you hear how loudly you are speaking so you don’t unknowingly yell every word
  • Battery is rechargeable and REPLACEABLE, and has at least a 15 hour battery life
  • Great range up to at least 45 feet - walk away from your game, even go upstairs, or listen to your music all through the house
  • Indomitable wireless connection. Connects easily and automatically and does not drop or disconnect like the G930

The Bottom Line

You'll be hardpressed to find a better wireless PC gaming headset for the price. An easy choice for Sweetflow's top gaming Bluetooth headset.

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Wireless Headphone Buying Guide

Wireless headphones, also known as Bluetooth headphones or transmitter headphones, are not just for people living in thin walled apartments anymore. Anyone who lives a fairly ambulatory life could benefit from a pair of wireless headphones.

Wireless headphones are exploding in popularity, and as quality and competitive pricing improves, they are actually taking over the headphone market. According to the NPD, Bluetooth headphone sales surpassed non-wireless headphone sales for the first time in the summer of 2016.

Wireless Headphone Market Share - United States

Up to this point, there have been founded criticisms of wireless headphones, including poor sound quality and the fact that they require batteries or need to be charged. However, as their popularity soars, so does competition and technological advances within the market. In a nutshell - there is a pair of wireless headphones that sound great, look great, and will match your lifestyle and budget.

What are the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones for You?

There are different attributes and features to consider when buying a pair of wireless headphones - model type, sound quality, comfort, design and features. Your lifestyle and budget are also a factor, but once you determine the best type for you, it is easy to find your perfect pair.

Model and Style Type:

There are different models and styles of wireless headphones. Where you will be using your wireless headphones - at home, at the gym, at work, on the subway - will help determine what type to purchase as well as how you will be using them - listening to music, answering calls, working out, gaming.

Wireless Earbud Headphones - also known as “in-ear” headphones

The wadded-up corded earbud is as ubiquitous as its best friend the smart phone. Earbuds are super portable, but the freebies that come in your smart phone box are usually junked and upgraded for a superior headphone in a flash. Now even the new Apple iPhone 7 is designed without a headphone jack, so the wireless earbud will soon reign supreme.

How They Fit:

The tiny earpieces “earbuds” sit on the outer ear or are inserted into the ear canal with a foam or silicone tip. Many wireless models include clips for an adjustable, secure fit. Some earbud headphones are considered “sealed”, meaning they let in very little ambient noise. These are great for when you need to get serious and concentrate and often are inserted into the ear. Others are considered “unsealed” and do let in some external noise by sitting on the outer ear. These are perfect for runners or bikers who need to be aware of their surroundings for safety reasons.

Highlights:

Super portable and easily fit into pockets. Lightweight and the usual choice for working out or exercising. Many models have useful features such as microphone and track navigation controls built into the wire. Due to their position close to your ear canal, they have moderate to excellent isolation from external noise. They do not interfere with glasses, hair, earrings or hats. Neckband styles, like the BeatsX, let you wear them all day long with little discomfort or interference.

Challenges:

Most complaints have to do with sound and fit. Because they are so small, they cannot produce the same rich bass or lower end sound as their larger counterparts. Many also have a hard time finding a snug and comfortable fit, one that will not keep coming loose while exercising.

On-Ear Headphones - also known as supra-aural headphones

On-ear headphones sit on top of your outer ears and are attached to some sort of headband - padded or not. They are generally lighter than over-the-ear models and press on the ears, rather than the sides of your head. A plus for some is that they are comfortable for everyday normal use and less likely to make your ears hot and sweaty during long stretches of listening. Due to their design, they do not usually offer much in terms of ambient noise cancellation and they can also leak out sound, but do come in "open" and "closed" versions which can help reduce noise-in and noise-out. Some can fold for storage and come with handy carrying pouches.

There are many great models to choose from, including quality budget models (like the Jabra Move), and highly recommended cans like the Beats Solo3 Wireless. They are great for a wide variety of activities and are generally very comfortable.

Highlights:

Comfortable and lightweight and less likely to overheat ears than over-ear headphone. Most models fold up for easy transport. Some models have great sound profiles and effective features such as built in microphones, voice activated controls and corded options.

Challenges:

They generally allow more ambient sound to enter and leak noise to neighbors. Often have less powerful bass than over-ear stereo models. Some models can pinch ears or glasses.

Over-Ear Headphones - also known as full sized headphones or Circumaural headphones

Over-ear headphones have earcups that fully enclosed your ears, be it circular, rectangular or angular styled earcups. When you think of stereo type headphones, you’re most likely picturing an over ear model. They feature acoustic isolations and are often thought to be better suited for home stereo use, home office use, and travel because of their rich sound, and noise-canceling abilities - however, newer models are making them perfect for many other lifestyles and activities like gaming or city walking. They are great for listeners looking to tune out their surroundings and fully enjoy their music, or even silence, if they have an active noise cancelling feature.

They can be extremely comfortable and high-performing, like the Bose QuietComfort 35, but some models can also apply too much pressure on the head and can make for sweaty, hot ears after long listening sessions.

Highlights: Over-ear headphones generally offer maximum bass and loudness levels. Larger earcups set up a rich sound stage that makes it possible to visualize the placement of instruments and vocalists when listening to music recordings, playing video games or listening to movies. Surround-sound and active noise cancelling technologies effectively blocks outside noises, and seals in music.

Challenges:

Can be large and cumbersome to tote around. Some models are heavy and also have wide headbands that can interfere with glasses and hairdos. Some users can experience sweaty, overheated ears after long periods of use.

Features and Attributes to Consider Before you Buy

The headphone model type is a critical trait to consider on your path to purchase. But you may also run into an assemblage of features in each description with very techy-specific sounding vocabulary. To us, this is where it gets fun. There are many highly worthwhile features that can take a headphone from “blah” to “tada” - and best part - make your life easier in the meantime.

Active Noise Cancellation:

This feature eliminates ambient noise by using active noise control technology. Perfect for plane rides, long commutes, studying and working from home.

Sound Quality:

Each headphone has its own “signature sound” and many emphasize different parts of the audio spectrum. Do you want a booming bass to power you through your workout? Or a profile that makes classical music sound elegant, intimate, with surround sound capabilities? Some Bluetooth headphones simply sound horrible with loose lower end frequencies and overly sibilant highs. However, The Sweetflow has made sure to report on what to expect from each of our picks.

Comfort, Fit and Weight:

If you wear your headphones all day at the office or at home, you’ll want to make sure they are comfortable for extended wear and not too heavy. If you plan to workout and move around, you’ll want to make sure they are going to fit well and stay-put. If you are planning a marathon gaming session, again, you’ll need to feel comfy and free. Think about how long, where and why you’ll be needing a pair of Bluetooth headphones and let that guide your selection.

Durability:

We don’t think it’s too much to ask that if you fork over some cash, you should be assured your new headphones are going to last. Again, selection of headphones is greatly influenced by activity. If you plan to hustle and sweat, make sure they are sweat proof. If you travel frequently, you’ll want to them to be resilient and tough.

Mic, Music and Call Controls:

Many models come with built-in mics for taking calls, on-ear volume and music controls and voice activated prompts. Each headphone is different in function and design, so make sure to consider how your day-to-day activity and preferences will mesh with your new headphones purchase.


Battery:

A few things to consider when selecting your new headphones is battery life, time it takes to recharge, and method for charging.

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