Listening to wireless music using the Bluetooth function on a phone or tablet makes enjoying audio more convenient than using annoying wired headphones or earbuds. That’s why we offered a comprehensive How To on using Bluetooth with iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Now let’s look at some great accessories to enjoy listening to music or any audio while on the go..
Please read the companion to this post about Bluetooth accessories for the home and office.
Plantronics BackBeats Go 2
Plantronics wins the recommendation for best Bluetooth earbuds for a number of reasons. First, the Plantronics Backbeats Go 2 fit perfectly and stay in the ear without much struggle. They sound great and pair with a phone quickly.
The earbuds offer spoken prompts telling the user when they’re turn on. Put them in pairing mode by holding down the center button on the inline control until the earbuds offer a spoken prompt saying they’re on and how much battery life is left. Keep holding them to first pair with a new phone or tablet. A voice will indicate that the earbuds entered pairing mode.
When it’s time to turn them off, just press and hold the same center button on the inline control. The same female voice will let the user know the earbuds turned off.
When the battery gets low, the voice prompts speak the battery level. This also happens when turned on and off.
The earbuds come in black or white for $79.99 direct. A set with a charging case adds $20. The case isn’t necessary since the user can charge them with any micro-USB cable. Just pull open the charging connector cover on one of the earbuds and plug the charging cable in.
These earbuds work great, sound great and the battery lasts a long time. That’s why they win the award for best all-around Bluetooth earbuds.
Jabra Rox Wireless Earbuds
People who prefer a set of earbuds with inserts that contour to the ear’s shape should consider the Jabra Rox Wireless Earbuds ($129.99 on Amazon). They cost more than the BackBeats Go 2 earbuds, but they sound better and but didn’t stay put as well in my ears as the Plantronics.
The two buds connect magnetically to each other, which puts the battery into sleep mode to save battery life. See how this works in the demo below.
I prefered the comfort and audio prompts of the BackBeats Go 2, but liked the sound of the Jabra Rox better. The user will need to pick based on their priority: sound or comfort.
BlueAnt PUMP HD Sportsbuds
Most earbuds come with three sizes of earbuds, but the BlueAnt PUMP HD Sportsbuds come with five typical buds, one pair of foam tips and two stabilizers to help keep the earbuds in place while running, working hard or playing hard. Thanks to the behind the ear design, the buds didn’t need the stabilizers during normal use. They sit comfortably over the ear, holding the earbuds in place even during strenuous work or play.
During some yard work and some other exercise, these worked great. They sound pretty good too, although not as nice as the Jabra ROX. The PUMPs never lost their connection and lasted a long time.
Don’t worry about sweat or rain because they come with IP67 rating, meaning they are highly water-resistant. My sons helped me test all of these earbuds and we all fought over this pair.
I still prefer the Plantronics as the over-the-ear design can get annoying. However, an athlete, or someone who does hard physical labor while playing music, will love these earbuds.
Bluetooth in the Car
Not all “on the go” listening requires earbuds, so we’ve got a few suggestions for using Bluetooth in a car. This starts with the CableJive dockBoss Air Car.
The CableJive dockBoss Air Car ($65 direct) kit includes a Bluetooth adapter with a 3.5mm stereo port and a USB to car cigarette lighter adapter. The user can plug the stereo cable into the car’s auxiliary input. The cable also comes with an older Apple 30-pin adapter that plugs into the dockBoss Air. The USB port plugs into the USB adapter that goes to the car’s cigarette lighter. See the video below from CableJive that explains how this works. See the video from CableJive to understand how this system works.
Another option comes from either Motorola or Jabra. These Bluetooth speakerphone devices add Bluetooth to the car for wireless hands free phone calls. They also add music playback by connecting the speakerphone to a clear radio frequency on the FM car stereo.
Since the dockBoss Air Car doesn’t include the ability to talk on the phone, we like the Motorola Roadster 2 Universal Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone (retail $99.95), which sells for $75 on Amazon.