Some people are incredibly busy and take calls at all hours of the day and night. Those who are self-aware enough to not want to look a dweeb with a Bluetooth earpiece hanging out of one ear now have other options, such as Jabra's new Halo Smart headset. These Bluetooth headphones ( 80 and available at Amazon) let you seamlessly switch from calls to music without swapping out one pair of earbuds for another. Bonus: If Apple ditches the iPhone's headphone jack, you'll be ahead of the curve with an affordable Bluetooth pair on standby. The tip fit is always slightly off, most Bluetooth models don't sound the best, and models that wire the left and right channels together--and the ones that have a band behind the neck--often get tangled in my long, thick hair.
Bose first brought its active noise-cancelation technology to its earphones with its QuietComfort 20. Until then, ANC headphones were bulky affairs. The closest you'd get to compact was if they collapsed down small enough to be jammed into your carry-on bag. The earphones, with their inline controls and combination battery pack/ANC hardware, were compact enough to tuck into a hip pocket. Other companies followed Bose's lead, introducing similar hardware of their own.
Apple's revamped Powerbeats Bluetooth workout earphones take what was great from the firm's true wireless earbuds and add a cable, longer battery life and cheaper price. Powerbeats replace the older, more expensive Powerbeats 3, with redesigned ear hooks, cable guides and Apple's H1 chip, which simplifies Bluetooth connectivity and gives them all the AirPods-like features Apple's headphones have with iPhones. The design of the Powerbeats is pretty simple. Each earphone's body has an earbud sticking out of one side with a traditional silicone ear tip that twists into your ear canal. The other end has an hook that loops over the back of your ear, holding it in place and neatly guiding the cable backwards rather than in front of your ear like its predecessors.
Need a solid pair of headphones or earbuds but don't have a ton of money to spend? You can save $10 on the TaoTronics Neckband Bluetooth Headphones with ANC using coupon code LWU24WQW. Or, get the TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones for $15 off using the promo code MWLQEBLD. The Neckband Headphones are a solid option for the gym. Since they're splashproof, you won't have to worry about working up a sweat, and because the buds are also magnetized, they'll attach together to sit securely around your neck when you're not listening to anything.
The company's Stylish True Wireless is my go-to IEH for the gym and walks around the neighborhood, and I gave the Triple Driver IEH a rating of 5--the only such rating I've given to date--in my review of three wired models from 1More. So, it should come as no surprise that I was excited to review 1More's latest offering, the Dual Driver ANC Pro wireless IEH. Its form factor is similar to several of the company's models but different than the other wireless IEHs I've tried. I really like the form factor, but sound quality is most important, and the Dual Driver ANC Pro is something of a split personality in that regard. The Dual Driver ANC Pro consists of a flexible, silicone-covered neckband with thin wires emerging from both ends that connect to the earpieces. The back of the earpieces are magnetic, so they clasp together to form a necklace for convenient, safe storage when not in use.