Where can I find a *durable* Bluetooth headset?
September 10, 2018 8:07 PM   Subscribe

My phone's headphone jack is broken, as is its microphone, and so I'm in the market for a Bluetooth device that I can use to listen to music and make calls. There's a lot of devices on Amazon that make that promise, but all of the ones under $50 (and a good number of the more expensive ones, too) have a pile of one-star reviews indicating they gave out after a few months. What are the available budget Bluetooth devices that don't have that particular issue?
posted by LSK to Shopping (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Any of the Anker SoundCore earbuds are quite good for the price.
posted by Amity at 9:13 PM on September 10, 2018 [4 favorites]

Headsets and earphones are ultimately as good as their warranties and the ease with which you can make a warranty claim. (An alternative option might be a Bluetooth adapter with a DAC for wired 'phones you already own.)
posted by holgate at 9:20 PM on September 10, 2018

I really like these Bluetooth headphones, of the three I own for exercise, work and (in this case) general use.

  • Looks good, feels comfortable, very reasonable price
  • Lots of reviews and answered questions on Amazon
  • I've only owned it for 2 months so I personally can't speak to how long they will last in the long run, but I thought you might want to survey the 1 star reviews of this pair, to see if the problems seemed to be durability or device compatibility or something else.

posted by forthright at 4:17 AM on September 11, 2018

I have a pair of Anker bluetooth earphones (SoundBuds Slim), which Amazon says I bought in July 2017 and use daily, stuff into bags etc that are still going strong. The little cover for the charging port has fallen off but otherwise they seem fine and still work perfectly.
posted by *becca* at 4:23 AM on September 11, 2018

I was given these TaoTronic bluetooth headphones in June and really like them.
posted by 15L06 at 5:23 AM on September 11, 2018

Warning: I've never find out how long high-end BT ear buds last because I inevitably lose or wash them within a couple months (and have thus stopped buying them). I was very happy with my Plantronics ones, though. Really nice. Too bad I left them at the doctor's office, never to be seen again.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:26 AM on September 11, 2018

Anker and Mpow are my go-to brands when wading through a bunch of copycat products. We've got two over-the-ear Mpow Bluetooth headsets, two pairs of Mpow flames, two Mpow shower speakers, and ten zillion Anker accessories, and they have all been good to us. And we haven't had to use it, but Anker has a good reputation for strong warranty/customer service.

The Mpow flame headsets have a pretty good microphone for calls, too.
posted by AgentRocket at 6:11 AM on September 11, 2018

I am also a happy Jabra Move customer. They get a ton of abuse and take it in stride. I got them over more expensive Bluetooth devices on the Wirecutter recommendation and have been extremely happy with them.
posted by General Malaise at 7:40 AM on September 11, 2018

I'm on my second pair of Arctic BT headphones. The first pair lasted over five years. I've had this set for just about a year and still going strong. I've found the battery life to be very good, they are comfortable, and the sound quality is decent for the price...but I mostly listen to podcasts so YMMV if you are picky about music quality. I tend to throw them in my bag and they get knocked around a bit and haven't broken.
posted by Preserver at 7:58 AM on September 11, 2018

I have a bluetooth headphone amp/adapter that I use to plug wired headphones into. It is pretty solidly built so I hope it'll last for a while. The whole thing is a lot bulkier than getting headphones with bluetooth built in but I find that I tend to break or misplace my headphones pretty easily so at least this way I don't have to pay extra for bluetooth on them.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:18 AM on September 11, 2018

If you'd rather on-ears, I've had these Pioneers in black for about a year now with no incident, and they sound pretty good to me. (As in, they're not as good as my Grados or my Sennheisers, but they're not too terribly far off.) They get used a good 3-4 hours or so a day and I only charge them over the weekend usually. I got my pair via meh for something like $25 or so, so you may have luck finding them on deal sites if you're not into the red color.
posted by mrg at 3:19 PM on September 11, 2018

Update: I bought a Jabra Move set. Unfortunately a few hours in and they're beginning to hurt my ears. Also, I find the double-push to redial last number called feature to be horrifying (I don't want to butt dial someone!) Probably returning these.
posted by LSK at 10:49 AM on September 14, 2018

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