Stereo Bluetooth headsets for wireless music listening aren't as popular as mono headsets for phone calls, and not many reviewers evaluate them. Users expect these models to provide great-sounding music in addition to the features and sound quality found in mono headsets. Comfort is also a big issue: Music lovers want to be able to wear their Bluetooth headsets for long periods, and sometimes during workouts.
The Plantronics BackBeat Go (*Est. $80) is our choice for best stereo Bluetooth headset. This sleek, unobtrusive model offers great call quality, and is simple to use and pairs seamlessly with a phone. When it comes to music quality, most Bluetooth headsets come up short and the BackBeat Go is no exception. PCMag.com calls the BackBeat Go"…the best stereo Bluetooth headset we've ever used for phone calls." Reviewers say the bass sound on music is "lightweight" and "thin," although the mid- and high ranges work well.
Reviewers are divided on this headset's comfort, with some calling it very comfortable and others saying its "comfort is quirky." The BackBeat Go comes with three sets of earbuds that are very soft, which can sometimes be difficult to insert in the ear.
An alternative is the Samsung Modus HM6450 (*Est. $45), which a reviewer at PCMag.com calls "the best affordable stereo Bluetooth headset on the market." He likes its clear voice quality and says its stereo sound quality is "quite good." While the Modus HM6450's high-end sound isn't really pure, the headset is good enough for everyday music listening.
The Modus HM6450 isn't an in-ear headset; two of the three sets of included earbuds come with an extra rubber loop at the end that helps hold the headset securely and makes it comfortable to wear. Alternatively, the headset can be clipped to your shirt during exercise. Android users can add features to the headset through the FreeSync app that provides text-to-speech ability. The app also installs a battery meter. This functionality is not available for iPhone or BlackBerry users.