Review: Edifier W360BT Bluetooth Neckband Headphone
The world has moved to the world of the wireless earbuds with the popularity of the Apple AirPods and other products like the Jabra Elite sport. Wireless earbuds, however, suffer from several issues: easily loss if not cared for, they don’t always stay in your ear during active use and they offer a relatively short battery life.
The compromise comes in the form of neckbands that increase battery life and eliminate the loss of individual buds whether they are being worn or not. Wireless earbuds without neckbands only incrementally decrease loss (if they fall out, they often fall away from the person wearing them) without adding much in terms of battery life.
I recently received my first neckband headphones, the Edifier W360BT. I found the sound adequate for the $49.95 price-point, and the design in line with other neckband type headphone products. The main drawback for many neckband headphones is the inability to drawback the buds when they aren’t being used, which leaves the earbuds dangling and in the way.
In day-to-day use, I like wearing them. They feel secure when I’m walking around. For my occasional use case, I’ve never run the batteries dry and they work well when taking or making a call.
What I like
- 13mm neodymium drivers produce great sounds for entry-level Bluetooth headphones.
- Better battery life than most wireless headphones or wireless earbuds.
- Connect two devices. I like that I can have one headset that connects to my iPhone and my iPad.
- Up to 10-meter connectivity with Bluetooth 4.1.
- Easy access to controls.
What I don’t like
- Dangling headphones may tangle when performing tasks (when they are not in my ears).
- Not easy to tell up from down when putting on the all black version–gold and white version (which was not reviewed, see image below) seems to make this more intuitive.
- Silicon ear tips. I had an extra pair of memory foam ear inserts which increased comfort and noise isolation.
- The included bag doesn’t close—no give in the stiff draw-string top. Because of the size of the Edifier W360BT, though, they don’t fall out of the case even if the top doesn’t close. The lack of closure is more a quality perception issue than a functional one.
Edifier has produced a well-made product at an entry-level price in the Edifier W360BT. The dangling earbud problem isn’t unique to Edifier but exists with all neckband headphones that don’t include a way to retract the connecting cables. Retractable earbud cables be a good feature for Edifer to include in the next generation. Shipping them with memory phone ear inserts would also be a good addition. While the engineering teams look to the next generation, I’m just going to keep enjoying the pair I have.