Since it’s placed on your shoulders, the neckband speaker doesn’t directly block your ears, so you don’t get fatigued even if you use it for a long time.
It’s comfy to use and has sound insulation, so it’s recommended for those who watch TV at a low volume or don’t like the pressure of headphones.
In recent years, many people started working from home. With neckband speakers, video conferences became a lot more comfortable.
But when looking for a wearable speaker, it’s hard to decide which one is better.
To create a comfortable audio environment, I have thoroughly tested and reviewed 5 neckband speakers for those considering buying one.
In this article, I also covered:
- What are neckband speakers?
- Two ways of connecting neckband speakers
- How to choose neckband speakers
– Soft materials
– For the elderly
– For TV
– For game consoles
– Simultaneous connection of two devices
1. Sony SRS-NS7
Last month I bought myself the SRS-NS7 neckband speakers primarily for working from home and listening to music.
The sound quality is great; all is clear and satisfying. It sounded fuller and more immense than my previous neckband speakers and, in contrast to the Bose Companion, felt like real speakers.
I tested it in-store with bass-heavy tracks such as Fisher – Losing it, and it sounded great. Interestingly, because the bass is passive, you feel it in your shoulders rather than your ear.
Owners of a Sony Bravia XR TV can be especially happy about this model. Because, unlike other neckband speakers, this product offers support for Dolby Atmos.
This is only possible with Sony’s in-house TV lineup. Still, one can hope that other devices will also bring support for Dolby Atmos in the future.
The 360 Spatial Sound personalizer in the speaker detects the user’s ear shape and provides a sound field oriented toward the user.
Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality audio were awesome; I tested them using Galaxy Tab S8 and Netflix.
It sounded pleasing and almost felt more three-dimensional than the 360 reality audio on my high-end noise-canceling headphones.
As a result of these two features, the neckband speaker delivers sound optimized for the user. The x-balanced speakers in the neckband speaker minimize distortion in the transmission and increase the sound pressure itself.
Users do not have to do without bass at all with this model, either. The included transmitter ensures a low sound delay in the TV transmission.
This neckband speaker has a battery life of up to 12 hours. However, if you forget to charge it beforehand, you’ll benefit from the integrated quick-charge function.
Around 10 minutes of charging time are sufficient for just under 60 minutes of playback, so half an hour of charging before a movie night can be enough for the entire movie length.
Sony SRS-NS7 is available on Amazon for under $300.
2. Avantree Torus Wearable Wireless Neck Speaker
Avantree Torus is a 2-in-1 speaker that combines earphones and a neckband speaker.
It offers support for 3D surround sound at just under $110. This makes it a fine choice for upgrading your home theater at a reasonable price.
Its fit has been optimized to rest comfortably on the neck and shoulder for several hours without bothering users with the weight.
What sets this wearable speaker apart from others is the built-in slide-in earbuds that allow for more applications.
The earphones are equipped with cvc8.0 noise canceling to reduce ambient noise, allowing you to have clear sound quality calls in online meetings.
They are also very convenient when you want to concentrate on your music.
A high-performance microphone is also built-in, allowing you to participate in online meetings without changes.
Since the speaker supports wireless transmissions, you can connect your phone to listen to music or take calls through it.
The integrated microphone records the voice with as little noise as possible to enable clear phone calls.
Another plus point is the low delay it offers for movies and TV. Thus, the sound doesn’t seem asynchronous to the picture. The integrated aptX HD provides excellent sound quality and good bass performance.
If you’re interested in neckband speakers, but expensive ones like Sony and Bose are out of your budget, you’ll find Avantree Torus fantastic.
3. Panasonic SoundSlayer Wearable Speaker SC-GN01
This neckband speaker is designed for gaming. It delivers surround sound with three different game sound modes.
It has a dual microphone that transmits voices without interference, allowing gamers to talk with more players simultaneously.
You can also use it in the home office; since this neckband speaker has an ergonomic shoulder design, you can comfortably wear it for many hours.
This makes it an ideal companion for a day at the office or a long gaming session.
My wife enjoys it as she’s often in 1-2 hour Zoom meetings throughout the day or listening to music while exercising or cleaning the house in between.
It’s super useful because she can have different audios playing in the same environment/room (like a podcast or FM in the living room speaker and meeting/music audio on her neck following her).
Thanks to the 3m USB cable, with Panasonic SC-GN01, you have some freedom of movement, but since you can’t operate this speaker with a wireless connection, it cannot be moved around rooms in the same mobile way as other models.
However, it has the advantage of no delay in its sound signal transmission.
Being around $150 on Amazon, this wearable speaker is more affordable than some competitors.
4. Sony SRS-NB10
This neckband speaker delivers up to 20h of battery life. It also offers a helpful fast charging function and the possibility of multiple connections with up to two devices simultaneously.
Ten minutes of charging time are enough for the device to provide an hour of playback.
A flexible silicone band on the back of the speaker ensures a snug fit, spreading the sound near the ear and allowing you to monopolize the sound.
It responds to low frequencies and generates vibrations, so there is no doubt that you will be drawn into music and images with a more three-dimensional effect.
Thanks to the built-in microphone, you can use it for personal, and home office calls.
Those who want to use the device for phone calls will especially benefit from Voice Pick-Up technology, which transmits the voice clearly and distinctly.
The device also features a mute microphone function that can be conveniently operated while wearing it.
In addition to the microphone mute, Sony SRS-NB10 has volume controls and a play and pause button.
It’s IPX4 water-resistant, which means the speaker is splash-proof and can thus also be used as a companion for sports. However, it should not be exposed to heavy rain.
For just under $150 on Amazon, this one is cheaper than other Sony neckband speakers and represents a fair compromise between performance and price.
5. Monster Boomerang Neckband Bluetooth Speaker
My cousin bought these a month ago. I asked him to inform me how good they were.
He said that the dynamic range is crazy good – good highs, nice mid-tones, and even the bass feels heavy – but nothing feels “overdone” – the speaker keeps a very good balance.
So far, he has watched the new Netflix Movie “Luckiest Girl Alive,” and some clips from other movies – he said Bohemian Rapsody blew him away.
He used it loudly during the afternoon office sessions, which was again pleasing.
He needs to get used to the directionality of it and thinks it works better if you don’t concentrate too much on it, and then it subconsciously works better.
He also paired it with his phone, listened to music (via Spotify), and called me on the phone through them.
I noticed that the quality of the mic was good, and I hadn’t heard any echo of myself.
For the music, he said he still prefers his headphones to use. But not having the ears blocked and walking around is a nice experience – it almost feels like wearing a wireless headset for driving, but with proper bass response.
You can find Monster Boomerang on Amazon for less than $100.
What Are Neckband Speakers?
Neckband speakers are wearable speakers that can be worn around the neck.
While headphones and earphones plug directly into the ear, you can use neckband speakers simply by hanging them around the neck, making them less stressful on the ears.
Neckband speakers are wireless, so you can move around while wearing them, and they have excellent surround sound performance and a rich sense of presence.
Sound can be heard only around your head, allowing you to enjoy movies and TV without worrying about your surroundings.
Wearable speakers do not press down on your ears, so they are less tiring than headphones or earphones. They are suitable for use over long periods.
You may wonder, “Won’t these speakers put pressure on my neck and shoulders and tire me out?” or “Won’t this strain my neck and shoulders and tire me out?
Well, with a lightweight type weighing less than 90g, the burden is so low that you may forget you are wearing it. You won’t mind wearing them.
Neckband speakers are all wireless, with no cords. Even when moving around for short periods, such as between chores or tasks, you don’t have to trouble yourself about the cord getting in the way and causing stress.
In addition, since the neckband speaker doesn’t block the ear, you can also hear sounds around you.
Models with microphones allow you to talk on the move.
Surround sound is a three-dimensional acoustic effect generally achieved by using five or more speakers and arranging them around a person.
Neckband speakers use virtual surround sound to provide a virtual surround experience.
High-end wearable speakers such as Sony and JBL are perfect for watching movies because they focus on creating realistic sound. You can easily enjoy the three-dimensional sound of a home theater.
Neckband speakers are recommended for people who share a room with several people, such as a family or dormitory.
The speaker portion is tilted inward, limiting the direction of the sound. The sound is heard from the head to the neck. The sound doesn’t echo throughout the room like a television.
There will be some sound leakage, but it is quieter than using the TV or phone speakers directly.
Late at night or early in the morning, you can immerse yourself in TV or movies without worrying about disturbing your family. This is also a good choice for those with children taking exams or raising children.
Two Ways of Connecting Neckband Speakers
Neckband speakers can experience delays depending on the connection line.
There are two types of connections for neck speakers: 2.4GHz and Bluetooth.
Bluetooth connection is not a problem for applications where the delay is not a concern, such as radio and music.
If you are concerned about discrepancies between video and audio, choose the 2.4GHz method.
If you use it frequently and want to use it casually, use a Bluetooth connection; if you want stable connectivity, use a 2.4GHz connection.
2.4GHz method” using a receiver
The 2.4GHz method is a connection method that mainly uses a receiver. The terminal is connected to the receiver, and the radio waves from the receiver are sent to the neckband speaker.
It is characterized by smooth operation with almost no delay. Many GHz speakers have a long connection distance, and some types can be connected at a distance of approximately 30 meters.
Bluetooth method for wireless connection over a short distance
The disadvantage of the Bluetooth method is that it tends to cause more delay than the 2.4GHz method. It is unsuitable for games sensitive to delay, such as rhythm games.
In addition, the Bluetooth method requires both the device and the neckband speaker to support Bluetooth.
The connection distance is also short, at about 10 meters. This is not a problem for use around a desk, but the connection may become unstable when moving around, such as in the kitchen or bathroom.
How to Choose Neckband Speakers
There are four key factors to focus on when purchasing wearable speakers:
- Sound quality and functions
- Weight and wearing comfort
- Equipment you will use with neckband speakers
- Other features
Neckband speakers are characterized by excellent surround sound performance. However, the sound quality and functions vary depending on the product.
Look for “vibration function” and “equipped with passive radiator” like Sony SRS-NS7 if you want to enjoy the heavy bass sound for action movies and live videos.
If you want to enjoy movies, I recommend a model equipped with a passive radiator.
A passive radiator is a system that outputs bass sound using air vibrations emitted from the speakers. This system can express realistic bass sounds, making action and sci-fi movies even more enjoyable.
Neckband speakers don’t require much space and are recommended for those who have longed for a home theater and want to enhance their home time.
For high sound quality and low latency, “aptX compatible Bluetooth” transmits and receives compressed files.
There are different codecs, such as SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX LL. If you want to reduce latency, which is a weak point of Bluetooth, we recommend a model that supports aptX. aptX compresses files more efficiently than SBC.
aptX is a codec with a lower compression ratio than SBC, allowing you to enjoy high-quality sound with low latency. Low latency does not mean there is no latency at all, but it is not that noticeable.
For those who frequently play rhythm games or watch videos, latency can be stressful. If you feel that the sound and video are out of sync, please try an aptX-compatible model.
If you are concerned about latency even with aptX, I recommend aptX LL, which stands for Low Latency and is even lower latency than aptX. If you are sensitive to sound shift, choose aptX LL.
However, not only the neckband speaker but also the source of connection, such as a smartphone or transmitter, must support aptX LL. Check the codecs supported before purchasing.
AAC is mainly supported by iPhones and offers better sound quality and lower latency than SBC.
Check in advance which codecs are supported: SBC, aptX, aptX LL, or AAC. Android users should focus on aptX and aptX LL, while iPhone users should focus on AAC for high sound quality and low latency.
Built-in microphone” for telework and hands-free calls
With a built-in microphone, we can talk hands-free. It is easier and more comfortable to move than usual when talking while working or taking notes.
You can also use it for stress-free web conferencing such as zoom and online meetings. The microphone is closer than a wired earphone, so it is also suitable for those with a quiet voice.
“Noise-canceling” for clear sound quality calls
For those seeking a more comfortable calling environment, check for noise-canceling functions in addition to microphone performance.
Noise canceling is a mechanism that reduces the noise portion of the voice picked up from the microphone so that the other party can hear the voice.
The sound quality will be clearer than a device without noise cancellation.
Also, if you want to use a neckband speaker for web conferencing, we recommend a speaker with an echo-canceling function. It prevents the echoing of each other’s voices during a conference.
Choose “with earphones” if you want to use them while you are out.
If you want to enjoy music while on the go, I recommend the “with earphones” model. The earphones are stored in the body of the neckband speaker and can be taken out when you want to use them.
It is appealing because you can easily switch between the two when you are in a public place or when you want to concentrate on enjoying the sound.
“Lightweight” for use while biking or running
Some people are more concerned about whether they can use the earphones comfortably for long periods than about sound quality. For such people, weight and fit are important.
Heavy neckband speakers are unsuitable for sports because they are hard to move.
I recommend the lightweight type if you want to use it during light exercises such as cycling or jogging. They are less stressful on your shoulders and neck, and you won’t mind wearing them for long periods of time.
For the elderly, choose easy-to-operate, lightweight speakers.
Some older adults may find it difficult to hear the TV. For those with hearing loss or the elderly, I recommend a lightweight neck speaker that is easy to operate.
Lightweight types do not hurt the shoulders and require less strain. Also, a simple button operation type will not be difficult to use and will not be a hassle to continue using.
If you are looking for a lightweight type, I recommend Sony SRS-NB10 (Amazon link). It’s simple to operate, has long battery life, and can be easily used daily.
Look for soft materials such as “silicone” if you want to use them while sleeping.
Some people may want to use wearable speakers while sleeping or when taking a break.
Metal products are hard and painful when they hit the neck. A soft silicon type can be used comfortably with less burden on the neck.
Silicon is flexible and will not break easily, even if accidentally bent. Also recommended for those who tend to break things or are concerned about the fit to the neck.
Recommendation: Oraolo Neckband Bluetooth Speakers
If you want to listen while doing housework or remote work, choose a product that feels good on your neck and doesn’t stiffen your shoulders.
If you want to use neckband speakers daily, choose a product with a good fit.
I recommend neck speakers that are ergonomically designed to be supported at three points: the neck, shoulders, and collarbone. You can wear it for a long time with less strain on your body.
I recommend that the part that touches the shoulder be curved rather than straight.
TV, game consoles, and smartphones: Choose according to your equipment.
The connection method depends on your devices, such as PC, smartphone, TV, PS4, or Nintendo Switch.
Go with a Bluetooth transmitter if you want to connect to a TV.
Most neckband speakers use Bluetooth connectivity, so you will need a Bluetooth transmitter if your TV is not equipped with Bluetooth.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Avantree Orbit Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Transmitter for TV with 5.1 Surround Sound
Some products come with a transmitter as an accessory. If not, you will need to purchase one separately.
Once the transmitter is connected to the TV with a cable, it can be used in connection with the Bluetooth-equipped neckband speaker.
If you have Bluetooth-enabled headphones or earphones, it is also convenient to have a transmitter that can connect to multiple devices. You can enjoy TV with your family and friends.
For connecting to game consoles such as PS4 and Nintendo Switch, “wired compatible” or “compatible transmitter.”
Game consoles are equipped with Bluetooth but do not support audio output. Therefore, a separate Bluetooth transmitter compatible with the game console is required to make a Bluetooth connection.
I recommend a transmitter and neck speaker set that supports aptX LL with low latency for rhythm game players.
Alternatively, you can purchase a wired-compatible neck speaker that can be used with a game console, but make sure it comes with a cord before you buy. Connect it to the game console’s USB or audio jack.
A word of caution
If you want to connect to a game console via Bluetooth, purchase a transmitter separately. Check whether the game console uses a USB or earphone jack. If you don’t want to buy a transmitter separately, I recommend the 2.4GHz SONY SRS-WS1.
Bluetooth use with smartphones and PCs
Since smartphones and PCs are equipped with Bluetooth, so they can be used separately without purchasing a transmitter.
Since there is no need to prepare peripheral devices, you can use them even when you are out and about with less baggage.
With the 2.4GHz method, you must go through an attached transmitter when connecting to a smartphone or PC. When going out, the transmitter must be carried simultaneously, increasing the luggage amount.
If you want a wearable speaker for your smartphone or computer and do not want to increase the number of peripherals, I recommend the Bluetooth-enabled type.
Check for other features
Neckband speakers are not cheap. You can avoid purchasing a mistake by assuming what kind of environment you will use and how many hours a day you will use it.
The neckband speakers with the least playback time have 4 to 6 hours of battery life. Some can be used for more than 12 hours.
If you use wearable speakers all day long for remote work or housework, check the playback time before purchasing to ensure that you can use them for a long time.
Waterproof and drip-proof functionality
I recommend waterproof and drip-proof functionality if you want to use it when walking or taking your pet for a walk.
Even if you encounter a sudden rainfall, you don’t have to worry about it breaking down immediately.
The waterproof function is also suitable for those who sweat easily. If the product is not waterproof, it may malfunction, just like submerging it in water, depending on the amount of sweat.
Check for waterproof and drip-proof features to prevent submersion in water due to sweat.
Simultaneous connection of two devices
You need to do two things to connect two speakers simultaneously and enjoy them together as a family.
The first is to buy a neckband speaker that can be connected simultaneously. SONY SRS-WS1 supports two simultaneous connections.
The second is to purchase a transmitter that can be connected to two devices simultaneously. It is typical to connect only one transmitter, but some transmitters can connect two units simultaneously, so please look for one.