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Open Ear vs Neckband Headphones: What's the Difference?

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By The Nuroum Team July 10, 2024
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As the weather is becoming accumulative hot, staying cool and comfortable is a top priority. Whether you're hitting the gym, jogging in the park, or simply relaxing outdoors, the right choice of headphones can make a world of difference. Open ear or neckband headphones are a nice choice in summer. Open-ear headphones offer breathability and situational awareness, perfect for those who want to be aware of their surroundings. On the other hand, neckband headphones provide stability, ideal for extended wear during long walks or commutes. We tested the benefits and drawbacks of open ear and neckband headphones below, and you will pick the headset you want today!

Quick List

Open Ear Headphones


  • Environmental Awareness:Open Ear headphones typically feature an open design, allowing users to perceive ambient noise such as approaching cars and cyclists as well as other warning signals while making calls or listening to music. This makes them particularly suitable for outdoor activities and sports such as running, cycling, or walking.
  • Natural Sound Quality: The open design allows ambient sounds from the environment to naturally enter around the ears, blending with the music the user hears, enhancing the auditory experience to be more realistic and natural.
  • Healthy Hygiene and Hearing Protection: Many Open Ear headphones utilize ear clips or ear-mounted rather than inserting earbuds deeply into the ear canal. This design promotes hygiene by reducing the likelihood of ear canal irritation or wax buildup that can occur with traditional earbuds. It is more suitable for ear disease sufferers and people with sensitive ears.
  • Protable and Comfort:Open ear headphones are typically designed to be lightweight, making them comfortable for extended wear without feeling heavy or stuffy. It features a simple design, reducing extra components and complex adjustment mechanisms, which makes the overall appearance more compact and easy to carry. Many Open Ear headphones use soft ear loops or frames, enhancing comfort during wear and also making them easy to fold and store, thus improving portability.


  • Poor Noise Isolation: Due to their open-ear design, it can not isolate noise completely. This means users may find it challenging to block out surrounding noise in noisy environments, affecting the listening experience of music or audio.
  • Sound Leakage: People nearby can hear the music or other sounds being played when using open-back headphones with high volume. In places where quietness or not disturbing others is important, such as libraries, sound leakage may potentially disturb others, especially in environments with low ambient noise or when the volume is high. Besides, it may disclose the audio being listened to in private settings, such as during personal calls or confidential meetings.

Nuroum OW20B

Price: $149           Weight: 31g
Waterproof level: IPX6
Talking time: 12h  Music time: 15h
Reasons to buy:
☆ Powerful sound and deep bass
  The wireless headphones are equipped with large dynamic drivers and use HiFi4 DSP as well as an advanced algorithm for bass enhancement, making a richer, darker sound. It is a reliable companion for working in a noisy environment.
☆ Bluetooth 5.3 and multipoint connection
  The wireless headphones use the latest Bluetooth 5.3 technology for a stable connection and minimal latency. With a range of up to 10 meters, you can move freely without losing connection to your device. Besides, you can connect to two devices such as computers and phones simultaneously and switch at will with the muti-function button.
☆ Noise reduction
  With a HiFi 4 DSP processor and ENC noise reduction technology, it only transmits your voice during calls and eliminates ambient noise. Additionally, the microphone can be turned in front of your mouth when making calls and stowed discreetly behind the ear when listening to music.
☆ Light and comfortable:
  It only weighs 31g and the silicone material ensures that you feel no any pressure on your ears and even forget their      presence.
☆ Long battery life:
  A full charge of 2 hours allows for uninterrupted calls for 12 hours or music play for 15 hours. The battery can be easily and quickly charged via the included magnetic charging cable. Even if you need to drive or work for a whole day, you don't need to worry about it
Buy them if:
If you are looking for headphones which are more suitable for business or logistics environments, Nuroum OW20B is the best choice. Its long battery life suits people who need to work all day long. It allows you to enjoy favourite music or have clear calls, whether in the office, in the truck, in the car, on the noisy road or in the warehouse.

Shokz OpenRun

Price: $129.95  Weight: 26g
Waterproof level: IP67
Talking time: /   Music time: 8h
Reasons to buy:
☆ Outstanding Sound Quality:
  Powered by patented 8th generation bone conduction, OpenRun delivers clear sound, powerful volume, and a rich bass, delivering an immersive music experience.
☆ Flexibe size and comfort
  It is available in 2 sizes, allowing them to better accommodate individual differences and usage needs, offering a more comfortable and secure wearing experience. These wireless headphones stay put for all-day listening while keeping you motivated and aware of your surroundings, which is suitable for athletes.
☆ IP67 Waterproof
  An IP67 rating means the headphones are effectively protected against water and dust. This protection ensures the headphones can withstand outdoor conditions, such as rain, sweat, or dust, thereby enhancing durability and reliability. Besides, headphones with a high waterproof level are typically easy to clean. Users can rinse them with water or wipe them down with a damp cloth without worrying about water damaging their functionality.
Buy them if:
If you are an athlete or people like sports such as swimming, running, cycling, choose Shokz OpenRun. You can enjoy music without worrying about water and swear damaging their functionality.

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

Price: $299       Weight: 55g
Waterproof level: IPX4
Talking time: /   Music time: 7.5h
Reasons to buy:
☆ Immersive audio sound
  Bose Ultra Open spatializes audio, creating the impression that the music you hear is being played in the room around you instead of through the earbuds you’re wearing, making audio sound more realistic and natural. This effect is especially significant during music listening and movie watching.
☆ Anti sound leakage
  Compared to other open ear headphones, Bose Ultra Open has better sound leakage release, reducing disturbances to people nearby, enabling users to focus on their music or media content without causing inconvenience to others.
☆ Smart music APP
  You can take personalization even further with Adjustable EQ settings in the Bose Music app. Control bass, mid-range, and treble levels as you go. In addition, the app can provide firmware upgrades and updates, ensuring that the headphones always have the latest features and performance improvements, as well as addressing any potential issues.
Buy them if:
These headphones are more suitable for music lovers or for daily commuting, shopping and running errands. Its compact design is easy to carry and can be tucked right in your pocket!

Neckband Headphones


  • Steadiness: Neckband headphones feature a flexible and lightweight neckband that connects the earphone units on either side. This design allows users to securely hang around the neck, minimizing swinging or movement with body motion, which is more suitable for vigorous exercise such as rope skipping, ball game and so on.
  • Versatile styling: The design of neckband headphones on the market is diverse. Some adopt a minimalist modern look with single or dual-tone colors, offering a sleek appearance. Others may feature more intricate designs such as metallic finishes, chrome accents, or unique geometric shapes to highlight their fashion-forward and personalized features. Additionally, neckband headphones offer flexibility in color and accessories.
  • Not easy to lose: Neckband headphones are designed to be secured around the neck with an elastic or rigid band made of materials like silicone, plastic, or metal. This design ensures that the headphones hang securely around the user's neck, minimizing the risk of them falling off or getting lost during activities or when not in use.


  • A compressed feeling: Neckband headphones typically feature a band-like structure that wraps around the neck. This design can create a sense of compression or constraint for some users. Due to their fixed design, users can not adjust positions to relieve pressure freely. Many neckband headphones still utilize an in-ear design, which can be oppressive and uncomfortable for the ears.
  • Inconvenient to store: Neckband headphones typically consist of a band that wraps around the neck and two earpieces, making them relatively bulky and space-consuming to store. Unlike traditional headphones, they cannot simply fold or collapse. They need to be kept carefully to maintain their shape and prevent tangling, which can make storing them require more space.

Sony WI-C100

Price: $35         Weight:20g
Waterproof level: IPX4
Talking time: /   Music time: 25h
Reasons to buy
☆ Stylish colors
  There are four colors for you to choose from: blue, taupe, white and black.
☆ Natural music sound
  With Digital Sound Enhancement Engine(DSEE), it can analyze audio signals and attempts to restore compressed or lost high-frequency signals, educing quality loss and making the audio sound closer to the quality of the original recording.
☆ Stable connectivity and fast pair
  In one tap of pop-up guidance, the WI-C100 headphones enable quick, effortless Bluetooth pairing with your Android™ devices. Also, you can easily locate where you left your headphones by ringing them or checking their last known location on your smartphone.Additionally, you can check the weather and get news with its voice assistant.
☆ Quick charge and Long battery life
  You can enjoy up to 25 hours of non-stop music. And if your headphones are running low on power, a 10 minute quick charge will give you up to 60 minutes of playback.
Buy them if:
Sony WI-C100 wireless neckband headphones are suitable for users who need portability and have a limited budget. It is ideal for daily commuting, workouts, or everyday activities.

Jabra Evolve 65E UC

Price: $254         Weight: 36g
Waterproof level: IP54
Talking time: 8h  Music time: 13h
Reasons to buy
☆ Noise cancellation
  A snug, in-ear fit provides passive noise cancellation, filtering out background noise to help you concentrate on what you’re doing. Additionally, with a built-in busylight, it can signal to those around you when you’re not to be interrupt.
☆ Jabra Sound+ app
  In the Jabra Sound+ app, you can customize your sound, so your music and call experience always suits your surroundings. And you can personalize your experience by customizing the way Sound+ delivers your sound and how it looks.
☆ Compativity
  It can be compatible with all softphone and web clients, from Microsoft Teams to Mitel. It makes the whole company work seamlessly with UC platform, promoting productivity, audio quality and reducing IT issues.
Buy them if:
Jabra Evolve 65E UC is perfect for on-the-go professionals who are always on the go visiting existing and potential clients, such as salespeople, managers, or professionals who need clear communication with clients or team members.

Soundcore Life U2i

Price: $24.88    Weight:/
Waterproof level: IPX7
Talking time: /   Music time: 24h
Reasons to buy
☆ Dual EQ Modes
  Dual EQ mode allows the user to switch between different sound to accommodate different types of content or personal preferences. For example, you might have a mode optimized for bass-heavy music genres like hip-hop or electronic, and another mode that enhances clarity for podcasts or audiobooks. You can switch EQ modes to better suit the conditions.
☆ Flexible Neckband
  The flexible neckband allows the headphones to adjust to different neck sizes and shapes, ensureing the headphones stay securely in place without causing excessive pressure or discomfort.
☆ Waterproof
  An IPX7 waterproof casing protects Life U2 neckband Bluetooth headphones against rain, water, and more.
Buy them if:
Soundcore Life U2i is ideal for people who like vigorious exercises such as running, playing ball games, or other outdoor activities because they are waterproof and sweatproof.


Open ear and neckband headphones are both suitable for business, sports and other scenarios, but in terms of details, open ear is more suitable for outdoor sports, such as cycling, outdoor exploration, while neckband headphone is more suitable for strenuous sports, such as jumping rope, playing pingpong. Open Ear earphones are suitable for long day work that need to maintain a sense of the surrounding environment and wear comfortable for a long time, such as warehouses, logistics. Neckband earphones are more suitable for mobile work that requires call functions and stable fixed, such as salesmen, managers. If you want to buy one kind of open ear headphones, I recommend Nuroum OW20B with powerful sound stable connectivity, long battery life, and lightweight. If you need neckband headphones, I recommend cost-effective Sony WI-C100 because it has a lower price and high quality. So choose a headset that you need the most!
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