What It Is: Without large over-the-ear cups or an awkward dangling cord, these are Bluetooth headphones built for everyday use.
Why We Like It: Wireless headphones make so much sense and are really the future of audio consumption, but to date we haven’t found a pair that feels right day in and day out. The Sol Republic Shadow is a big step in that direction. These earbuds are linked by a light and flexible neckband that sits behind your head and is so comfortable you quickly forget it’s there. The in-ear headphones are shipped with three silicone and two memory foam tips making it easy to dial in a secure fit; and the Bluetooth connection is strong with few dropouts and pairing is ridiculously fast. (After the initial set-up, the Shadow were ready to receive audio whenever we turned them on.)
The sound is very warm, with a surprisingly deep bass — on par with any $99 earbuds we’ve tried. Add to that an 8-hour battery life (we didn’t even need to charge once during a week of pretty continuous use), and you have a great pair of headphones for anyone who is ready to cut the cord.
Nitpick: They may look like a lot of sports headphones, but the Shadow (although water-resistant) are not great for working out. The only time the neckband proved to be uncomfortable was when we sweated a bit.