These GRDE New Sport Neckband Bluetooth headphones were one of my best surprises so far this year. I did not expect much from Bluetooth headphones this cheap (these New Sport Neckband Headphones are currently only $25). Actually, I didn’t even realize it was possible to get Bluetooth headphones this cheap. But it is, and what’s more, they work really well. I am surprised and impressed.
I am listening to music on them as I write, and I am hearing layers in the music that I have missed before. These Bluetooth headphones have good treble, bass, and dynamic range. I am lucky to be wearing them, because as soon as Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist tried them out, she wanted them!
The design of these Bluetooth headphones is quite unusual – I have not come across it before. There is a neckband that picks up the signal and has all the controls, and then an ear bud on each side for each ear, attached by a short cord.
I think Bluetooth headphones are ideal for cyclists, because otherwise you risk having the wires snag on something. I had that happen to me once, and I ended up destroying a perfectly good iPhone 4, as it was pulled out of my pocket, hit the ground, and was then run over by three cars. (Being smashed into four pieces by three cars is NOT covered by Apple Care warranty.)
Since switching to the convenience of Bluetooth headphones, I have become quite spoiled, and I pretty much can’t stand wired headphones any more. The wires get caught in things, and I keep accidentally ripping them out of my ears. I only use them when I am asleep, as my standards are a lot lower when I am unconscious! (And I don’t want to break my Bluetooth headphones by rolling onto them.)
These GRDE New Sport Neckband Bluetooth headphones are perfect for cyclists, because there is nothing to interfere with your helmet. The neckband rests comfortably on your shoulders, and you just forget it is there. Out of all the headphones I have tried for cycling, I have to say that these are the most convenient because they make it a cinch to use just one earplug (which I always do, so that my left ear can listen to the traffic). With all others, if you use just one earplug you can set up a tension that pulls at the other earplug – which can range from slightly annoying to downright infuriating over a long ride. And of course, this can eventually pull the earplug right out. This can even happen when you have two earplugs in – somehow the cord behind your head seems to stick to your sweat and get dragged in one direction or another, creating a tug. This does not happen with these Bluetooth headphones. So they don’t annoy me, and they don’t fall out!
I was also pleased to see that these Bluetooth Headphones come in other colors apart from your basic black!
Not only are these Bluetooth headphones cheap, but the manufacturer, GRDE, has offered this coupon code for readers: KLROCK6E. This will get you an additional $5 off these already very cheap Bluetooth headphones.
These headphones support Bluetooth 4.0, and I have had no issues using them with my iPhone 5. They are also iPhone 6 compatible, and compatible with a range of other smart phones. As we have come to expect with today’s products, pairing was simple – and is instantaneous every time I turn them on (using the tiny button on the neckband). A voice tells you that the headphones are on, and then that they are “Paired.”
The distance you can go from your phone before the signal becomes impaired is identical to what I have experienced with Jaybirds and Plantronics Bluetooth headphones (once you get two rooms away, it starts to be annoying).
I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of phone calls, as this is often a Big Fail on Bluetooth headphones. I have actually managed to make calls without having to switch to regular mode. And making a hands free call was easy – the headphones understood me perfectly, despite my accent.
Claimed battery performance is 7 hours play time. I have been using them for 8 hours now, and they are still going (although I have turned them off a few times to talk to people).
If your phone is on vibrate mode, the entire neck band vibrates if you get a call. While this might be great if you are expecting an important call and don’t want to miss it, I found it very startling, and so I disabled vibrate-on-ring.
These GRDE New Sport Neckband Bluetooth headphones have all of the features and functions of more expensive headphones. They even do something my more expensive headphones do NOT do – when there is an incoming call they tell me what it is. This is really a help, as I don’t have to waste my time or energy on my bike commute home answering calls I don’t want.
That said, some of the functions are not so easy to use on a bike. For example, the buttons on the Plantronics Backbeat headphones (reviewed here) are much easier to feel. With these GRDE headphones, I did not find it practical to adjust the volume while cycling, as the buttons are very tiny and I could not feel them (even with bare fingers). These headphones have all the functionality of the more expensive products, but they are not as easy to operate while cycling. Close to impossible, really. Still, I can cope with adjusting the volume before I start my ride.
The IMPORTANT controls are really easy, whether you are riding a bike or sitting in a chair – the Start playing, Stop playing, and Start/Take a Call. Those are big, flat buttons on the neck band that are really easy to use. For me, this is the third best thing about these headphones (after the price and the sound quality).
I’m very happy with these headphones – top marks for price, comfort, ingenuity, sound quality and suitability for cycling. I received a sample of this product, but I plan to buy another pair while they are still so cheap. As I know from long experience of headphones, none of them last forever, and when these go, I want to have a backup ready to go!
Buy these New Sport Neckband Headphones here from Amazon, and don’t forget to use the coupon code KLROCK6E to get an extra $5 off.
Here are some other budget headphone options. It’s Amazon, so you can’t really go wrong – if the quality is not good enough, you can return them and get a full refund. You don’t even pay for postage!
Finally, if you just want an open-ear option to take calls on your bike, try something like this:
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