24 hour a day bluetooth headset wear
February 1, 2018 10:58 AM   Subscribe

How can I add bluetooth headphones to my daily routine in a way that works for relatively constant use.

I have found so many uses for audio from my smart phone via headsets that I am wearing them much of my day. Practically speaking, there are considerations to doing that and I'm hoping to find out tips or experiences to make this more seamless.

I've been wearing a set of Photives like these for over a year and they've worked fairly well.

I like ear hooks on a headset for comfort and stability. Ear buds do not fit my ear well and they fill up your ear canal so you cannot hear conversations or other activity. Ear hook phones I can rest on my ear and hear the world around me. The Photive type are kind of bulky looking on your ear so unaesthetic. I wear a knit cap and push the wire up inside the cap to hide it.

I use a bluetooth headset for music or podcasts while commuting, for focus music and pomodoro timers at work, for meditation and sometimes for phone calls.

I find the aural interaction with my smart phone to be very useful, it's the phones part that could use improvement. The airpod looks kind of interesting but I would never wear something looking like that. It's the minimal ear speaker thing that I think looks interesting rather than the standard speaker setup on standard headsets.

In my fevered imagination, I am looking for a minimalistic earhook+airpod type of headset with wires that loop behind the neck and are easily controlled out of the way. The ear canal is open to hear the world around yet you can also clearly hear the phones.

Does this exist yet in any form? How does one combine daily life with smart phone audio via headphones? I'm starting to ramp up my collection of knit caps so i can have a better repertoire of head gear for just this purpose. A minimal headset that lets you pick up a physical telephone handset without having to take off your gear would be the bomb.
posted by diode to Technology (7 answers total)
If your aversion to the airpods is fit, that makes sense. But I’ve been surprised that you can actually hear what is around you quite well with them on.
posted by umbú at 11:13 AM on February 1, 2018

I think one challenge you can expect to have is battery life. Expecting active operation over about 8 hours is probably too much for one charge, and all the (5 or 6) pairs I've had will stop operating when they start charging. For that reason, I'd suggest getting at least 2 pair, better 3, for the times of day you aren't sleeping, and establish a regime to always be charging the ones you aren't using at any moment.

I have the Jaybird X2s, which I am extremely happy with-- they've outlasted, by almost a year and counting, every other bluetooth earbud-style pair I've had. Lightweight and I pop them out easily to use my handset. (I don't use them for phone calls because I'm usually outdoors when I have those on, and the quality suffers from wind and ambient noise, something I've had with every set.)
posted by Sunburnt at 11:40 AM on February 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was going to say Jaybird X2 also, but I've never used them constantly like you want to. The little fin thing holds them in place well and they are comfortable for me. But if I had to guess the battery life, I'd guess 4-6 hours.
posted by cmm at 12:55 PM on February 1, 2018

Could you try the kind of headphones that don't go in your ear but send vibrations through the bones in your head? I tried those on at a running expo once and I could hear the music great, but my ears were also open and I could hear the things happening around me.

Sorry, I can't remember the brand that I was sampling. I remember they came in black, blue, pink and green ...
posted by mccxxiii at 1:23 PM on February 1, 2018

Response by poster: I'm not really talking full time nonstop use. No one wants to wear headphones that much. Rather, ti's long sessions of 2-4 hours where you are working and doing other things while wearing them.

I've tried headphones with the ear insert and not had good luck with them. Perhaps my ear is a difficult fit and those tend to be in-ear buds. I might try the Jaybirds to see if they work for me.
posted by diode at 2:27 PM on February 1, 2018

Trekz Titanium, or the slightly better but quite a bit more expensive Trekz Air sound like they might be right?

They use bone conduction, and don’t sit in your ear so don’t block other sound. I use mine for podcasts while running, and you can hear cars, bikes, etc. fine. I also use them for phone calls while walking/running, and sending texts, setting reminders, and other standard smartphone things. Battery life is good, and might be okay for 8 hours, but I’m not certain.
posted by siskin at 3:11 PM on February 1, 2018

"The ear canal is open to hear the world around yet you can also clearly hear the phones" = aftershokz
posted by at at 11:53 PM on February 1, 2018

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