May 19, 2022

Best neckband earbuds under $100 in 2022

By Ted Kritsonis Christine Persaud published 16 days ago

Wear ’em around your neck, not in your ears.

Included in this guide:1

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JBLLive 220BTCHECK PRICE2

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SkullcandyJib Plus Wireless EarbudsCHECK PRICE3

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SonyWI-C400 Wireless In-ear HeadphonesCHECK PRICE4

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CreativeAurvana TrioCHECK PRICE5

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AnkerSoundcore Life U2CHECK PRICE6

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PhilipsWireless Bluetooth Headphones PN402CHECK PRICE

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JBL Live 220BT

(Image credit: JBL)

When your pockets are too small — or you don’t have any at all — neckband earbuds are a convenient alternative to wearing larger over-ear or on-ear headphones. They lay around your neck and take away the weight from the earbuds for a more comfortable fit. If you’re looking for a dependable pair, the JBL Live 220BT Wireless are a good place to start when it comes to the best neckband headphones under $100, owing to their exceptional sound, battery life, and comfort.

JBL Live 220 BT
Source: JBL (Image credit: JBL )

JBL Live 220BT Wireless

Superb sound for the priceTODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+Great sound quality+Dual device pairing+Ambient and TalkThru modes+Alexa integration+Color options

REASONS TO AVOID

-Comfort could be iffy-Micro-USB charging

JBL made the Live 220BT good enough to stay at the top of our list, mainly because of its superb sound quality. You get a pretty balanced soundstage out of the box that stands out for the right reasons. Bass is present without it being too heavy, while the highs and lows complement each other well.

Finding the right fit will largely depend on which ear tips you feel offer the best seal. This part is critical to ensuring they fit right and getting the most out of the audio quality. It’s the only caveat as far as comfort goes because the Live 220BT are lightweight and easy to manage, so that you can wear them for leisure or while working out. The Ambient Aware mode pipes in some background noise to hear your surroundings, while TalkThru lets you talk quickly and hear other people.

You can pair the Live 220BT with up to two devices simultaneously, such as your best Android phone such as the Galaxy S22 Ultra and a game console like the PS5. It’s a great way to listen to audio from your computer while keeping your phone accessible for phone calls or notifications. The headphones will switch automatically when the phone rings, silencing the audio from the computer all at once. Amazon Alexa is also built-in through a dedicated button on the neckband, adding the voice assistant to the feature set.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…CLOSEhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.516.0_en.html#goog_21139136380 seconds of 59 secondsVolume 0% PLAY SOUND

Battery life is modest at up to 10 hours per charge. So a quick 15-minute charge can get you up to an hour of playback. That’s pretty average for a set of Bluetooth earbuds and is as good as it gets with Micro-USB.

Skullcandy Jib Plus
Source: Skullcandy (Image credit: Skullcandy)

Skullcandy Jib Plus Wireless

Tight sound, tight budgetTODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+Good sound quality+Comfortable fit+Voice assistant access+Color options+Great price

REASONS TO AVOID

-Battery life isn’t long-Micro-USB chargingAdvertisement

If you’re on a tight budget within various budget options, the Skullcandy Jib Plus Wireless are among the cheapest neckband earbuds you can find. They come in several colors to stand out aesthetically, but you should measure your expectations with anything in this price range.

That’s not to say there aren’t some decent features and performance to give you bang for your buck. Sound quality belies their price, coming off better than you might expect. Bass is present, with decent highs and mids to make audio playback feel pretty resonant. Onboard controls also include an easy way to get to Google Assistant to make any requests or commands. They are splash-resistant, so they should be reasonably safe to use for workouts and show they’ve got some durability.

You won’t get too far on battery life, with up to six hours per charge — potentially shorter depending on volume. You will be recharging them often, but you’ll also have to do it with Micro-USB.

Sony WI-C400
Source: Sony (Image credit: Sony)

Sony WI-C400

Long battery lifeTODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+Good audio quality+Superb battery life+Vibration notifications+Comfortable fit+Multiple color options

REASONS TO AVOID

-No ANC or ambient mode-Wires are delicate-Micro-USB charging-Can’t tweak soundAdvertisement

Sony may often play in the higher end, but there are affordable options, too. The WI-C400 were made for tighter budgets, and when battery life matters, these neckband earbuds are up to the task. With up to 20-hour battery life on a single charge, they’re among the longest-lasting neckbuds available. So it’ll have more than enough juice to pace you over a few days or on a long flight.

These neckbuds don’t have ANC, nor many other bells and whistles, but you do get good sound quality worthy of Sony’s branding, with enough bass to make it all feel balanced. Unfortunately, you can’t tweak the sound signature in any way, as these earbuds aren’t compatible with Sony’s Headphones Connect app. So what you hear is essentially what you get.

You should feel pretty comfortable wearing them, overall, though your mileage may vary. The wires attaching the two ends are fragile, so the key is not to pull too hard and weaken them over time. Those ends are great, thanks to the array of buttons and how they vibrate for incoming notifications and calls.

Despite the solid battery life, Sony went with the aging Micro-USB port for charging, negating any quick charging, and the inconvenience of bringing along a charging cable few devices use nowadays. At least it only takes about two hours to fully charge them back up.

Aurvana Trio Wireless
Source: Creative (Image credit: Creative Labs)

Creative Aurvana Trio Wireless

Clear, concise, and on timeTODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+Excellent sound quality+Lightweight build+Solid codec support+Great battery life+Comfortable fit+Magnets hold earbuds together

REASONS TO AVOID

-Super X-Fi is too limited-Outdated Micro-USB chargingAdvertisement

If you haven’t considered Creative as an option, you might want to give the Aurvana Trio Wireless a try. The sound quality is excellent for the price. What works so well is the solid bass complementing such a lively combination of mids and highs. Call quality is equally up to the task, with impressive clarity on both sides.

Much of the audio performance comes from the wired earbuds the company launched back in 2017. Going wireless is great, but codec support is what takes it to another level. You get aptX, aptX LL (Low Latency), aptX HD, and AAC support, making them great for higher-quality streams and no lag when watching a video or playing games. Creative did include its amazing Super X-Fi (SXFI) technology; it only works with media files you’ve downloaded to your device — not anything you’re streaming.

The fit is comfortable, and with both silicone and foam tips included, the odds are good you’ll find the best possible seal. Whenever you’re not using them, the two earbuds connect with magnets. Battery life hits up to 20 hours, which is great, but you, unfortunately, have to charge them via Micro-USB.

Anker Soundcore Life U2
Source: Anker (Image credit: Anker)

Anker Soundcore Life U2

Hello? Are you there?TODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+Great for phone calls+Great sound quality+Good for workouts and runs+Long battery life+Fast charging

REASONS TO AVOID

-Might be too flimsy-No app support-Can’t tweak sound with appAdvertisement

Hands-free phone calls are super convenient, and though any pair of earbuds are capable, not all are necessarily great at it. You may not think of Anker’s Soundcore brand meeting that challenge, but the Life U2 are a solid pair of neckband earbuds — not just for phone calls, mind you, but also for several other features. The key lies in the CVC 8.0 noise reduction technology that amps up the microphones to pick up your voice more clearly.

A flexible and lightweight neckband helps keep things comfortable, even when you want to go for a run or workout. They should feel comfortable to wear for more extended periods — provided you’re OK with how light and flimsy they might feel. The IPX7 rating gives these earbuds some ruggedized clout to make them affordable and durable all at once. Sound quality is solid for the price and may surprise you when you start pushing them. Unfortunately, they’re not compatible with the Soundcore app to get even more out of the sound.

With USB-C charging to sweeten the deal, you get up to 24 hours of battery life per charge. That’s excellent battery life that should last for days, and when you really need to start listening, a quick charge for five minutes will get you up to two hours of playback.

Philips Wireless earbuds
(Image credit: Philips)

Philips Wireless PN402

Don’t break a sweatTODAY’S BEST DEALSCHECK AMAZON

REASONS TO BUY

+IPX5 water resistance+Superb comfort+Long battery life+Good bass and treble-boosted sound+Call notifications

REASONS TO AVOID

-Micro-USB for charging-No fast chargingAdvertisement

It’s never a bad time to work out, and you’ll need a great set of workout buds. As far as neckband earbuds are concerned, the Philips Wireless are standouts. They feature IPX5 water resistance, meaning they can withstand light or moderate workouts and heavy rain without issue. Just don’t dunk them in water or go swimming with them. They also feature a vibration motor to notify you when you’re getting a call. Both buds magnetically attach when not in use, so they’re not just dangling around your neck.

When you’re not working out, the Philips Wireless work well, letting you wear them for extended periods because of their comfortable fit. They sound great, with bass and treble-heavy thumps that aren’t uncommon for headphones in this price range. They’re pretty vibrant and are in line with how sporty headphones generally sound.

Battery life is good at up to eight hours on a single charge. Unfortunately, there’s no fast charging, so it’ll take roughly three hours to charge from empty to full.

Listen up!

Neckband earbuds may not be as popular as other headphone types, but at least there are some excellent options to select from, especially if you’re on a budget to find the best neckband headphones under $100. The JBL Live 220BT are worth a look at if you’re looking for neckband earbuds that do everything and are also among some of the best JBL headphones available. The Creative Aurvana Trio Wireless are a nice alternative if sound quality is your main motivation.

Whether or not you consider neckband earbuds an acquired taste, they are a worthy option if you don’t want something big or don’t trust other wireless earbuds to be comfortable or stay in place. But, of course, if you’ve broadened your search, you can always look at the best true wireless headphones.Round up of today’s best deals

JBL LIVE 220 - In-Ear...

JBL Live 220BT

Amazon

US$39.97VIEWSee all pricesREDUCED PRICE

Skullcandy Jib+ Wireless...

Skullcandy Jib Plus Wireless Earbuds

Amazon

US$19.99US$15.99VIEWSee all prices

Sony WI-C400 Wireless in-Ear...

Sony WI-C400 Wireless In-ear Headphones

Amazon

US$38.99VIEWSee all prices

Creative Aurvana Trio...

Creative Aurvana Trio

Amazon

US$79.99VIEWSee all prices

Anker Soundcore Life U2...

Anker Soundcore Life U2

Amazon

US$42.99VIEWSee all pricesWe check over 250 million products every day for the best pricesPOWERED BYAndroid Central

Christine Persaud

Christine Persaud 

Christine Persaud is a freelance writer for Android Central who has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a “thing.” When she isn’t writing, she’s probably working on her latest fitness program, binging a new (or old) TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets, or spending time with her school-aged son. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate cook, she’s immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.MORE ABOUT…Google Pixel 6a vs. 5a: Which should you buy?Best wallet & folio cases for Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 2022LATESTBest PS5 SSD in 2022

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