Long Life Earbuds That Are Good For Phone Calls ...?

Let me just start this post by saying I love my Airpods. Love. They’re fantastic. Except one little thing…

Battery life.

I start in the morning, fire up my phone, and listen to a few podcasts and/or some music while I do a super-quick scan of email, social media, etc. A few hours later, a phone call comes in, I pick it up, and the Airpods die maybe half an hour into the call.

My current solution to this has been to just wear the left Airpod, and switch off with the right one - but it’s still a hassle. And I’d like to be able to listen to stereo.

I have a large set of wireless headphones with insane battery life that’s actually not that bad for taking the occasional phone call, but my hair is long enough that wearing headphones for an extended period of time leaves me a nice indentation where the headphone band was.

So I’m finding myself looking for either a set of earbuds or a set of “behind the neck” style headphones.

The criteria:

  • Comfortable for all-day wearing
  • Decent audio quality (it doesn’t have to be world class, but I like to be able to listen to music!)
  • Good phone call quality
  • Don’t need noise cancelling, but I also pretty sure I don’t want something like AfterShokz that lets room audio pass through.

Anybody have experience with this sort of thing? I was looking at the PowerBeats Pro, and they look like a good potential option - but they’re also pretty pricey.

Any advice?

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I’ve been using the Airpods Pro. I didn’t buy it for phone calls, but it turns out to be great for that too. Noise cancelling makes it easier to have a call in a noisy room.

From what I’m reading those suffer from the same battery life issues as the regular Airpods. Is that not your experience?

I feel like the battery life is better than the regular airpods, but I also don’t use them continuously throughout the day. I usually work in 25 minute intervals with 5 minute breaks in between. So I’ll wear the Airpods for 25 minutes, then they charge for 5 minutes and that seems to be enough to keep them going all day long.

I don’t work this way for battery life, I was having shoulder pain issues and I starting taking these regular breaks to help with that.

Hey, if you can use your shoulder pain break to extend your headphone lifespan to “all day”, that’s fantastic. No judgement here. :smiley:

The Plantronics Backbeats that are wireless and connected behind the neck might work for you. I believe some versions of them are close to all day talk (others only offer several hours of battery time, which would probably be 3-4 hours of talk time if the ratio is similar to the Airpods.) They’re usually priced a little under $100.

I just looked them up, and the ones you’re talking about (the ones that are available new anyway, not “Amazon renewed” - who buys used earbuds?) look really nice except the sales copy says the earbuds are designed to let in ambient noise.

Although that got me doing some more searching, and in the $100 range there’s a pair of Beats earbuds that might work.

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If you want something you can wear all day that is OK for music and good for calls, try a pair of Panasonic ErgoFit Earbud Headphones. So comfortable you will forget you have them on. $12.97.


I really need wireless.

I’ve used LG and Sony around the neck type headphones and both worked well and had all day battery life. I listen to a lot of podcasts while driving and don’t want to use the car audio because my wife may not want to hear my podcasts. I usually only plugged in one earbud while driving so I could still hear outside noises.

Recently picked up a pair of AfterShokz to try. Really like them because I can hear around me. Also my ears don’t get itchy from the buds being in for a few hours. If I want sound isolation I can switch back to my Sony headphones.

I have them, and they’re good for 6-8 hours of use before recharge. Very satisfactory for podcasts and music. Took some adjustment with one ear to become comfortable but I can keep them on for hours. Not as comfortable as AirPods though.

Do you take phone calls while wearing them? If so, do you find the calls to be nice and clear?

Usually excellent, occasionally bad. As an Apple product you should be able to purchase direct and return if you don’t like them (check to be sure).

I actually usually buy through Best Buy. If you have their credit card and buy enough stuff on it (anywhere, not just Best Buy) you get extended return policies, less hassles, and some other minor perks. :slight_smile: Plus if it has to go back I can just walk into a store.

Good deal all around.

And I just noticed that the PowerBeats have AppleCare available…that might be a nice add-on if I go that route.

Yes, I bought Applecare+ for the PowerBeats Pro.

I now buy from BB too. And I get a 3% from my bank credit card if I place the order online then drive to the store and pick it up.

Bose Soundsport


This won’t be a popular solution, but, since you’re happy with your AirPods, I would solve the problem with two pairs of Airpods. Make add a pair of Airpods Pro to your existing pair, or save a few bucks and get another pair of the Airpods you know you already like. Use one while the other charges, then switch. Problem solved.

That’s actually not a horrible idea. Right now though the PowerBeats Pro are on sale for $199, so I feel like if I’m going to spend that much money, I might as well just toss in the little bit extra and get the ones with longer battery life. :slight_smile:

Either way, I’m not ditching the existing AirPods. Those will probably live on my keychain for when I’m out of the house.

I have the PowerBeats Pro(s?) after killing two successive pairs of AirPods with what I assume was sweat, rain, and snow and I have these observations:

  1. They probably meet all of your criteria except that I have found them to be not quite a comfortable as AirPods. It took quite a bit of fiddling with them to get them to not be irritating, but now they’re there for me.

  2. (This is the big one for me) With AirPods, you just pop them in quickly, but with the PowerBeats you have to “put them on”. It’s not a big deal for something like going for a run, but for quick, casual use, I find it really irritating.

I have somewhat misshapen ears (one worse than the other), so these may not be issues for you though.