I have tried more than a dozen Bluetooth earbud form factors, but the one I absolutely love for everyday use is the Jaybird Freedom Sprint / Plantronics Backbeat Go 2 design. Two small earbuds, one wire, and all the freedom you can think of. It's less cumbersome than the dog tag design (à la Jabra Tag) and lighter to carry around than the necklace style (think Samsung's Gear Circle or LG's Tone series). And when you have something like the Freedom Sprint, you simply wrap up the small wire and put it in a pouch, pocket, or purse and you're good to go whenever you need it.
That's why we're telling you today about Photive's PH-BTE50 earbuds. They follow the same form factor of light and compact earbuds, an ergonomic design with ear stabilizers, and a short single wire that connects both ends. They use Bluetooth 4.0 to stream audio from your phone and support the aptX codec. Controls are included on the buds to help you pause your music or change the volume without having to reach for your phone. The Photive can also give the Backbeat Go 2 a run for its money thanks to IPX6 rating, which makes it water-resistant and sweatproof, a relatively acceptable battery life of 7 to 8 hours, and an included pouch and two sizes of ear stabilizers.
The Photive BH-BTE50 usually sell for $40 according to CamelCamelCamel, but they're now discounted to $29.95 on Amazon with free shipping for orders over $35 or Prime customers. Their 600+ reviews are rather positive, averaging 4 stars, but a few users point out that many of the reviews were for the older BTE10 model, which had more trouble staying put inside the ear. The newer BTE50 should be more stable.
I wouldn't personally count on these for vigorous activities like running or try to test their water-resistance during a swim, but they should be more than enough for everyday activities, walking, and moderate gym exercises. If you're interested, you should grab them now on Amazon because we don't know how long the discount or stock will last.
- Photive BH-BTE50 on Amazon