by Harry Guinness on
If you’ve any interest in writing nicely then a $1 ballpoint won’t cut it, you need to look at a fountain pen.
Your new phone is a huge upgrade over your old one, except that it doesn’t have a headphone jack. Don’t worry, though. There are a few affordable Bluetooth headphones you can use instead.
Phones without headphone jacks are an increasingly common pain in the bezel-free glass. Still, you might wind up with a jack-less phone out of necessity. We’ve already covered a few Bluetooth adapters so you can connect to things like external speakers or your car stereo. Here, though, we just want a good pair of Bluetooth headphones to replace the corded ones you can’t use anymore. Preferably something inexpensive, because you just bought a phone and you don’t need to drop a bunch of money on headphones, too.
If you’re just looking for a low-budget option to fill your headphone needs now that you can’t use a cheap, corded option, then the Aukey Latitude headphones will probably fit the bill. They feature small earbuds and in-ear hooks to keep them in place. The battery is rated to last for about 8 hours of continuous use. At $27, it’s about as cheap as you can get and still get headphones that work. In our experience, the absolute dirt-cheapest headphones tend to have connection problems, but these will get the job done.
It’s a personal preference, but I can’t stand earbuds. If you’re like me and would prefer something with a little more stability—especially important if you’re physically active and need your headphones to stay in place—then the Anker SoundBuds Curve could fulfill your needs. It costs $26 which puts it in line with our overall pick. The main distinguishing feature between the two are the over-the-ear hooks that hold the earbuds in place while you run, work, or move around.
Anker claims the battery life on this pair of headphones will last for 12.5 hours of continuous music playing. It also supports aptX streaming cVc noise cancellations. These features (plus being a dollar cheaper) would make it our overall pick, but the ear hooks might not be for everyone. Either one of these two pairs of headphones will work for just about anyone, though, so pick the form factor you like.
Most Bluetooth headphones aren’t completely “wireless” if you count the wire that runs between the left and right earbud. Truly wireless headphones don’t even have that. If you want to ditch all the wires, then the Anker Liberty Lite is what you’ll want to check out. At $60, they’re more expensive than our basic picks, but you won’t have to deal with troublesome wires anymore.
Anker says these batteries will get up to 3.5 hours of continuous playtime out of the buds themselves, while the charging case can top them off for up to an extra 9 hours. You can charge the case (and the buds therein) via the included Micro USB cable. They also come with IPX5 water resistance so, while there are better workout headphones (like our pick below), these will at least hold up to a little moisture.
Over-the-ear headphones can be bulky, but they can also be more comfortable, and they’re often better at blocking out noise. To that end, the Tribit XFree headphones ($50) are comfy and sound great without paying a fortune. The cans have soft foam pads and fold inwards so you can easily store them in a laptop bag or backpack when you’re not using them.
The XFree boasts 40 hours of continuous usage, and can fully recharge in under 4 hours. You can also use them as a wired headset by connecting them through a 3.5mm headphone jack. Not on your phone, obviously, but if you want a pair of wireless headphones that can still go wired with your laptop or tablet, the Tribit XFree can go both ways.
You can use any old headphones while working out, but with all the sweating and movement, you could end up destroying them a lot sooner than you’d like. If you want a pair of wireless headphones that can handle as much as you can while working out, then we recommend the Jaybird X3.
This headset is pricier than most others on our list at $110, but it can also handle a lot more. Unlike most wireless headphones, the X3 doesn’t have a typical USB port. Instead, it uses a proprietary charging dock. This is less convenient, but it keeps moisture out, which is important when you’re sweating all over them. On top of that, the company offers a 1-year warranty that covers sweat damage. The headset boasts an 8-hour battery life and an impressive array of foam and silicone wings to make sure the earbuds fit perfectly.
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