Wishing your favorite headphones or earbuds were wireless? You can buy the Bluetooth equivalent, but if you’d like to keep those trusty cans and still enjoy the freedom of Bluetooth (while saving a bit of cash), JLab Audio has a solution for you: the Gravity Bluetooth Neckband Adaptor.
No Headphone Jack, No worries: Skip the Dongle and Go Bluetooth
There was a lot of fuss when Apple nixed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 series. A Lightning adapter dongle was included in the box, but the move was unpopular. It’s largely died down to a non-issue at this point, in large part because of the growing popularity of Bluetooth headphones. About a year ago—even before the iPhone 7 launch—sales of Bluetooth headphones surpassed old school wired models in the U.S. for the first time.
However, many of us have wired headphones and earbuds still kicking around. They sound great, they’re comfortable, and maybe they have sentimental value. But the temptation grows to replace them with a Bluetooth pair. That can be expensive, it means abandoning an otherwise perfectly good piece of equipment, and, when it comes to earbuds especially, Bluetooth battery life can be pretty poor. Often four to six hours between charges poor.
Enter the JLab Gravity Bluetooth Neckband.
JLab Gravity Bluetooth Neckband Makes Your Wired Headphones “Wireless”
JLab came up with an interesting solution to the problem: incorporate a rechargeable battery, Bluetooth 4.1 radio, and 3.5mm headphone jack in an IPX4-rated water resistant neckband. Plug any wired headphones or earbuds into the Gravity Bluetooth Neckband, pair it with your device using the usual Bluetooth connection procedure, and voila! Your wired headphones are now “wireless.”
I use the quotes because they are wireless in the sense that there is no wired connection between your mobile device and the neckband. There is still the wire connecting the headphones to the neckband, but JLab included some built-in clips to help with that cable management.
The point is, you get the Bluetooth wireless experience. The neckband is surprisingly comfortable and its battery goes for about 10 hours between charges. It also has a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and it has basic music controls (play, pause, skip, volume) which worked with Apple Music and the iPhone 7 I tested it with. You can wear it in the rain (although that may wreck your headphones) and you can be about 30 feet from the paired music source before you drop the connection. You do lose a little of the audio quality compared to being wired, but welcome to the world of Bluetooth audio—wireless headphones seldom match the performance of their wired counterparts.
JLab even includes a pair of earbuds (complete with fins and tips) with the Gravity Bluetooth Neckband. GeekMom’s Karen Walsh thought JLab’s Epic 2 wireless earbuds were better than PowerBeats 2. These are not… They’re basic earbuds, but, hey, they’re free and no worse than the pack-ins you’ll get with most smartphones. Give them to the kids to plug into their device (remember, the buds themselves are wired, it’s the neckband that’s wireless).
At $39.99, the JLab Gravity Bluetooth Neckband is an easy recommendation for anyone who wishes they would wake up one morning to find those old headphones sitting in the drawer were somehow, magically, wireless. Especially since JLab offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee so you can try it out without risk.
Disclosure: JLabs provided a Gravity Bluetooth Neckband for review purposes, but had no editorial input.