With the release of the iPhone 7, there has been a scramble to find affordable Bluetooth headphones that don't suck.
The market is flooded with weird Chinese knockoffs and new companies that have no track record. It's becoming really difficult to figure out what's actually good.
Normally, I recommend pairs that are in the $100+ range, however most people are just looking for a cheap pair they can feel ok about losing.
Initially my idea was to compare a few popular ones on Amazon, but after using each set for a few hours, it was clear that there was one that beat out all the others: The SoundPeats.
It’s kind of insane that there are wireless headphones that only cost $19.99... and don’t sound like shit.
The crowning feature of any headphones should be that they sound GOOD. Sure, they aren't going to blow any audiophile's mind, but they're $20! Across my usual playlist, I couldn't really find a lot to criticize. In every song I listened to, the sound was fairly comparable to my daily driver, the Jaybird X3.
The battery lasted anywhere from 6 to 8 hours. Which keeps up with the current line-up of more expensive Bluetooth headphones.
There are controls on the side = a nice touch.
It comes with a small case, a good amount of different sized ear molds, and small fins that nestle into the curve of your ear to help them stay in better.
They are kinda big and sorta ugly?
When you pay more for headphones, what you usually get is more flexibility in ear fit, and a more compact size.
Quality aside, companies put a lot of time into making their headphones fit the most amount of heads. *cough* except Apple *cough* The SoundPeats include a decent amount of different fittings to accommodate most ears, but just be aware that your mileage may vary.
I should mention that they also have a microphone on them, but I seriously wouldn't rely on it to do much of anything. It sounded extremely muffled in my tests. If you're looking for headphones that *must* have that feature, these are not for you.
That all being said, for $20 the SoundPeats offer an insane value for so little money!
It wasn't long ago when Bluetooth headsets had such shit sound quality and signal range. Now you can have a pair of buds that stand up to the much more expensive ones for a small fraction of the price.