Bluetooth headsets are incredibly practical. Whether it’s a hands-free device for the car or using around the house and at work, or music during a gym session, there’s plenty of incentive to own a Bluetooth earpiece.
Especially since devices like Apple’s iPhone nix the headphone jack, a reliance on Bluetooth becomes mandatory. With advancements in Bluetooth technology, it’s evolving and increasingly versatile. Learn more about Bluetooth here (no, it’s not magic).
However, unlike their corded counterparts, Bluetooth earpieces require batteries. While audio quality is undoubtedly an essential feature, battery life is equally as important. Looking for the Bluetooth headsets with the longest battery life? Check out the top four!
Bluetooth Headset Varieties
The term “headset” misleads a little. When choosing a Bluetooth earpiece, there are two main factions: single earpieces and headphones. These categories divide into on-ear, over-ear, and in-ear. Check our guide to the best Bluetooth headphones for an excellent breakdown.
For this guide, we’ll focus on both single and double ear headsets. If you’re confused, check out our guide to buying the right Bluetooth headset.
Defining “Good” Battery Life
“Good” is a vague and subjective term. For these purposes, we’ll concentrate on talk time, as you’ll likely be more concerned with actual talk time than standby time. If you know you won’t be using your headset for a while, you can always turn it off.
For the most part, with some exceptions, headsets with excellent talk time also have a high standby time as most many manufacturers include a standby feature to conserve battery power.
1. On-Ear/Over-Ear Bluetooth Headset
Bose is synonymous with top-tier audio quality. The Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones offer a wireless experience with premium features. There’s the conventional Bose noise canceling technology, NFC, and loads of EQ options. Battery life is phenomenal with a 20-hour lifespan per charge. Wired mode doubles this to 40 hours. A dual-microphone system touts noise rejection capabilities which make for incredibly clear calls.
If you’re seeking the ultimate in sound and battery life, the Bose QuietComfort 35 is tough to beat. The whopping $349 price tag is tough to justify unless you’re a major music junkie.
For similarly long battery life, try the Creative Blaster Jam Ultra. This Bluetooth headset also offers exceptional fit and sound quality along with a 13-hour battery. Our review found that the Creative Sound Blaster Jam clocked 13 hours of non-continuous battery life. Its sub-$40 retail value makes the Sound Blaster Jam a fantastic compromise of battery life, comfort, and sound quality.
- 20-hour battery life (40 hours in wired mode).
- Lots of EQ options.
Since this article was published, Bose has released a new version of their headphones, the Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II).
2. In-Ear Bluetooth Headset
Decidedly cheaper than competing Bluetooth headsets, these AYL Bluetooth headphones are a stellar bargain. Running around $30, AYL packs in noise reduction and sweatproof technology, while gracing these headphones with a commendable seven-hour battery life. Thus, AYL’s headphones are perfect for working out.
As the AYL headset is a budget device, you’ll find it lacking in a few areas where higher priced headphones shine. Notably, the AYL microphone is not as reliable as other mics. Reviewers noted muffled quality from the mic.
If you’re willing to step up to a higher tier, the Jaybird X2 gets you eight hours of battery life, secure fit, and a superb range of deep bass and crisp highs. Similarly, the JBL Reflect Mini BT has around eight hours of battery life, and it’s sweat resistant and secure. However each of these costs about $100 or more. The Plantronics BacBeat Go 2 features a measly two-hour battery life, but its included charging case provides an additional 14.5 hours of charge making it a good alternative.
- 7-hour battery life.
- Sweat resistant.
- Noise reduction.
- Subpar mic.
3. Ear Jam Bluetooth Headset
Single ear Bluetooth headsets suffer from short battery life. That’s because a smaller form factor limits endurance. The Plantronics M55 boasts a colossal 10-hour battery life. Although this clocks in at half of the top-tier devices like Bose’s QuietComfort. It’s even a few hours shy of budget Bluetooth headphones such as the Creative Blaster Jam Ultra. Even so, it’s excellent for a single earpiece. Jabra’s Stone handsets manage a little over two hours. In comparison, the Plantronics M55 offers a massive battery life boost.
Moreover, call quality and comfort remain healthy. It’s sleek with its modular design. PC Mag does note that the M55 does not come equipped with A2DP bass. But as the M55 will likely be used primarily for calls, not music, lack of A2DP bass is not a deal breaker.
- 10-hour battery life.
- Clean design.
- Excellent sound quality.
- No A2DP bass.
4. Hook Bluetooth Headset
The Plantronics Voyager is utilitarian, stylish, and battery friendly. Premium inclusions such as smart sensor technology, noise canceling capabilities, and voice recognition posit the Voyager Legend well above its mid-range price level. Plus, the Voyager Legend boasts water resistance making it semi-rugged. While its battery is rated for seven hours of use, an optional battery case adds 14 hours of talk time.
With the charge case and Voyager Legend, you can clock in around 21 hours total, which puts this headset in league with headphones like the Bose QuietComfort. Unfortunately, you can’t use the earpiece while it’s charging as you’ll have to leave it in the case.
Another drawback: the case runs you an extra $20. Nevertheless, for around $80, you get incredible battery life and a nice charging case. As an alternate, consider the Plantronics Voyager 5200. This Bluetooth hook earpiece sports clear HD voice and noise-canceling technology and seven hours of talk time.
- 7-hour battery life (21 hours with optional charging case).
- Water resistant.
- Smart sensor.
- Charging case extra.
Final Considerations on Bluetooth Headsets
The best headset depends on what you’re looking for. Almost every dual ear headset includes a built-in mic for calling. If you’re a music junkie, you’ll want one of these, but even if you only need something for calling it’s worth considering simply for the functionality. Planning on using your headset while working out? Water resistance is a must. Need something for a car-based hands-free set up? Go with a single ear solution.
Comfort varies due to the differences in human ears. I’m using a Plantronics Explorer 220 and a pair of Powerbeats 2 in-ear headphones. The 220 and Powerbeats2 both get about six hours of talk time which serves my purposes. My recommendation: The PowerBeats 2 stands out for comfort, sound quality, and (most important) they don’t fall out while running. Or walking slowly down the street like some earbuds do. But for battery life, there are better options.
Which Bluetooth headset are you using?
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