The 8 Best Bluetooth Beanies
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in October of 2015. Keep up with your favorite music or important phone calls hands-free, even in the depths of winter, with one of these wireless beanies. They come with built-in speakers that are easy to pair with a Bluetooth-enabled device, as well as microphones that let you make and receive calls, all while keeping your head warm. We've ranked our selection by sound quality, durability, and style. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
January 19, 2021:
During this update, our priority was to only recommend models using the Bluetooth 5.0 protocol. This meant we had to remove nearly every one of our previous selections. The truth of the matter in this category is that most options are very similar to one another when it comes to build and features, so the deciding factor will often be style. That being said, there are a couple of standout models, like the Deego Ponytail, which has a hole for you to pull your hair through. The Greenever Visor Cap is also notably different than the rest due to the inclusion of a brim, as is the Greatfine HAT5.0 thanks to its pom pom on top. Another interesting model is the Asiilovi Winter Headlamp VG002, which features an LED on the front, making it the best choice for those who exercise at night and who want to ensure motorists see them.
December 31, 2019:
Before anything else, comfort is a big factor in deciding which of these hats lands where on our list, or if they make the list at all. Even if one of these hats sounded like a pair of audiophile headphones, it'd be useless if it wasn't comfortable enough to wear regularly. And comfort extends beyond just fit and softness, here, as well, since we're specifically looking for hats that can do an effective job of retaining heat when you're out in the cold. The newest addition to the ranking, the Zukn Stereo Winter Hat, does a phenomenal job of fitting well, feeling soft, and keeping in your natural warmth, all while sounding pretty good, to boot. It's thanks to a combination of the supple acrylic the company uses and the cable-knit style that almost looks hand-made that this is such a nice choice.
As an additional note about sound quality, I wish we could tell you that anything on the market boasted the kind of audio fidelity we'd normally count as a baseline for inclusion in our rankings, but the truth is that the best among these is going to be about on par with the earbuds you get for free with the purchase of certain Apple products. It's not that the sound is bad, necessarily, it's just that you're liable to know you've heard better.
A few models have been upgraded since our last visit, including the Zibaar SK-BB03 and the Highever Double Knitted, the latter of which has been enhanced to include Bluetooth 5.0, which offers a little more range and a more reliable connection, so users won't have to worry as much about having to re-pair their devices with shivering hands.
How Bluetooth Technology Works
To ensure there is limited to no interference when Bluetooth devices communicate, they frequency hop at a nominal rate of 1600 hops per second.
Instead of using wires and cables to connect two devices, Bluetooth capable devices connect with each other via radio waves. For Bluetooth devices to work, they require a combination of software and hardware. The hardware generally consists of a microchip with an integrated antenna. This chip is capable of sending and receiving signals at specific frequencies. Software is then used to interpret the incoming signal, or send a signal that another Bluetooth capable device can read. If the signal is being sent to wireless speakers, the transmitting device would send audio files along with other informational files that are related to volume, track controls, etc.
When connecting two Bluetooth devices, the receiving device will usually be set to discoverable. When a Bluetooth device is set to discoverable, it will appear in the list of available devices when scanning with a transmitting device. If a device is not set to discoverable, it will not be detected when scanning with a transmitting or controlling device.
Bluetooth signals are designed with a limited range otherwise there would be a massive amount of conflicting data over most areas, causing communication issues between devices. Once two devices have been synced or paired, they will continue to communicate with each other within a set signal and will only detect, read, and send signals to each other on that signal. This allows them to know which data is the correct data to interpret, and which data can be ignored.
Bluetooth operates in the unlicensed ISM band between 2.4 and 2.485GHz, but many other devices also use this band. To ensure there is limited to no interference when Bluetooth devices communicate, they frequency hop at a nominal rate of 1600 hops per second. When two devices are synced, they frequency hop synchronously. This frequent change in wavelengths means that if a signal is interrupted for some unexpected reason, it won't be interrupted for longer than 1/1600th of a second.
What Is A Beanie?
Beanies, also known as skullies, are close-fitting hats that are usually made of some kind of knitted material. This is often a soft fabric like wool, cotton or fleece. Traditionally they were worn low over the head and designed to keep the ears and head warm on cold winter days. The beanie started out as a blue-collar working hat usually worn by manual laborers like mechanics, welders, and dock workers. For these workers it would serve a dual purpose, keeping the head warm while keeping the hair from falling in front of the face.
Sometimes they may be worn tight over the head, as they were in the past, to keep the head warm on cooler days.
Exactly when the beanie became more of a fashion statement than a working hat is hard to say, but it is believed that schoolchildren first started wearing them in an imitation of their blue collar working-class fathers. They were also used heavily in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Over time they became popular with college kids and are currently trending in the fashion world. Many celebrities are known for wearing beanies on a regular basis and we have even seen some appear on the red carpet recently at well-known entertainment events. Beanies worn as a fashion accessory are often heavily branded with the designers name, logo, or other slogans.
Today they are worn by both men and women in a variety of different ways. Sometimes they may be worn tight over the head, as they were in the past, to keep the head warm on cooler days. Some people choose to pull them even tighter so that they cover the forehead and the upper eyebrow. This gives of something of a hip hop look and is a throwback to the style of the 90s. A more recent style is to wear them higher up on the head with the front few inches of hair showing. Celebrities like Justin Bieber are known for pioneering this look and making it extremely popular with teens and college students. Hipsters are known for wearing the type of beanie that sits loosely on the head with top couple of inches of the hat unstretched.
Choosing A Bluetooth Beanie
Two things must be taken into consideration when choosing a Bluetooth beanie: electronics and style. If either of these features isn't to your liking, the beanie will most likely spend more time at the bottom of a drawer than on top of your head.
Some may only offer three hours of music playback, while others offer upwards of eight hours or more.
Start by finding a few Bluetooth beanies that you like the design of. Don't forget that beanies are a fashion statement these days, so look for one that matches your personal style. Unless you plan on buying a couple of different styles, it's also best to look for one that is somewhat neutral and can work with a number of different outfits. If you are particularly concerned about comfort, choose a beanie made out of a soft, breathable fabric like cotton or fleece. These will keep you warm on cold days, but also be comfortable on warmer days. If you want one solely for warmth, choose a wool beanie with a fleece interior.
When factoring in electronics, look for a Beanie that features removable speakers and controls. This makes washing easier. It's also best to find one with the newest Bluetooth version and a long battery life. Some may only offer three hours of music playback, while others offer upwards of eight hours or more. If you plan on working out in your Bluetooth beanie, one with water resistant electronics is also a good choice.