When you decide to quit your traditional wired earphones and switch to Bluetooth earphones, you are presented with two options. These are wireless neckbands or truly wireless earbuds. But which is best for you? If you’re confused, I am back with wireless earbuds vs neckband comparison in this post.
I have tried to explain the differences between neckbands and truly wireless earbuds. The parameters I have used are design, sound quality, portability and pricing. This 3-minute guide would help you choose the best Bluetooth headset as per your need, desire & budget.
What Do You Need to Know About Wireless Earbuds?
We also call them “truly wireless earbuds”. This is because they are absolutely wire-free and no wiring is involved between your phone/laptop and earbuds.
Since there are no wires involved, both the earbuds are completely separated & independent of each other. So, you get freedom from those messy wires & eliminate the chance of tangling or twisting of wires.
True wireless earbuds have small cells (say 40 mAh each) in them. In addition to the earbuds, you also get a charging case that has another battery in it (up to 2500 mAh). Wireless earbuds charge themselves from this power case after you keep them inside.
These Bluetooth earbuds connect to your smartphone or laptop via Bluetooth for music streaming. Each earbud has smart touch controls on either side which gives you control over music, calls & voice assistants.
Ideally, each earbud weighs anywhere between 4 to 6 grams (depending on the brand). Hence, they provide you with better portability & mobility. You can move a lot with earbuds on and if they are waterproof (in most cases, they are), enjoy music at the gym too.
Wireless Earbuds Pros & Cons
How About Neckbands?
Neckband wireless earphones have metal (or plastic) clips that rest around your neck while earbuds go into your ears. Like wireless earbuds, neckbands use the same connectivity: Bluetooth.
There are no wires involved between the neckband and your smartphone. However, both the earbuds are connected to the neckband via wires. So, while they promise to give you a wireless lifestyle, it’s not 100% wireless.
To counter the issue of tangling & twisting, nowadays the earbuds of the neckband come with magnets. Magnetic housing makes the earbuds stick together beautifully around your neck when not in use.
There are no cells inside the earbuds, but the neckband has a battery (150-200 mAh) that supplies the power. You can charge the neckband earphones via USB or Type-C cable.
Neckbands tend to give you the control for music, calls & assistants via inline button controls. These buttons are present on the neckband. After wearing a neckband, you can move or even run as the headset has very little chance of falling apart as it’s locked around your neck.
Neckband Pros & Cons
What Is The Difference Between Wireless Earbuds and Neckbands?
From a design perspective, truly wireless earbuds seem to take the lead, because of the portability they offer. Wearing them you can move anywhere without hesitating. Most of the earbuds are now IP rates waterproof so they are immune to sweat & water splashes- so gym & sports friendly.
Neckbands are also waterproof but performing physical exercises are not very convenient because of tiny wires hanging around your neck. The portable nature of TWS earbuds makes them easy to misplace, which is not in the case of neckbands.
The difference is clear– truly wireless earbuds offer you greater flexibility than neckbands. If you fear losing earbuds, you should choose a wireless neckband instead.
The next important factor while choosing a Bluetooth earphone is the sound quality. A bigger driver means sound quality would be better. Neckbands beat wireless earbuds in this field because of their larger driver size.
With wireless neckbands, the driver size is about 13mm which is great for immersive listening with decent bass. Hands-free calling is of great experience with an inbuilt microphone. A few brands offer noise cancellations too.
On the other hand, TWS earbuds come with a driver of 6mm (on average) which still offers good, but not the best sound quality. The bass quality is just average. On a call, you might have to speak a bit louder to get heard.
Battery | Neckbands vs Earbuds
I have mixed views here. Neckband headsets have a single inbuilt battery with a capacity of 150-200 mAh. They last for about 10-12 hours per charging cycle. Few boAt earphones now offer even more. Post which, you have to plug in the neckband to the charging socket.
On the other hand, wireless earbuds have cells in them, in addition to the beautiful power case. This case may contain a battery of up to 2500 mAh. After a full charge, the earbuds last for about 4-6 hours and if you include the charging case, cumulative playtime might surge up to a week.
The thing is, after exhausting the neckband, you need electricity on an immediate basis, there is no other option. But with truly wireless earbuds, you can keep them inside the case for 20 minutes and resume the music. (because the case acts as a power hub).
Pricing | Earbuds or Neckbands which are cheap?
After offering so much value, it’s obvious that truly wireless earbuds are going to cost you higher than neckbands. In India, they start for as low as Rs. 1000 and go up to Rs. 5000. You need a decent budget (say, Rs. 2000) to get a decent pair of wireless earbuds.
On the other side, neckbands are pocket friendly, you can get one for as low as Rs. 700. Most of them cost Rs. 1500. They offer a greater value for money against the better sound quality & design.
Difference Between Bluetooth Earbuds & Neckbands- Summary
|Controls method||Inline buttons||Touch panels|
|Sound Quality||Better||Good but not the best|
|Battery size||150-200 mAh||35-40mAh (earbud), 1000-2500 mAh (powercase)|
|Total Playtime (approx)||10-12 hours||100-150 hours|
|Pricing||Rs. 700- Rs. 3000||Rs. 1000- Rs. 5000|
Conclusion | Truly Wireless Earbuds vs Neckband
Hence, we are done with the comparison between neckbands & wireless earbuds. Both are excellent options to start your wireless lifestyle at a reasonable cost. While TWS offers you great portability, neckbands are a value for money product.
Now the ball is in your hands. You must have a clear idea of what would work for you – a wireless neckband or Bluetooth earbuds. Decide on your requirements, lifestyle & budget and choose the best- leaving the rest!
Yes, I personally use truly wireless earbuds because they offer true comfort, excellent battery life and flexibility. However, go after them only if you have the budget.
Yes, neckbands are good because of their excellent sound quality, bass & call conversations quality. Plus, they don’t burn your pocket or monthly budget in any way.
Wireless earbuds are better than neckbands in terms of design & portability, battery. But they are not in terms of sound quality or pricing. We have covered everything in detail already.
You can use them for jogging, but they are not recommended for high speed running. This is because as you speed up, the wires start twisting around your neck, making the experience unpleasant.
If you are going to use your Bluetooth earphones for calling, then I strongly recommend to go for neckbands. The microphones on them stay close to your mouth, offering a better call experience. On the other hand, TWS earbuds don’t offer that clarity on calls.