The Blueear Bluetooth Beanie Hat is worth considering if you keep your expectations in check. It’s not the most amazing hat or the most powerful audio experience, but it’s a reasonable compromise of style and functionality. Its understated design makes it a good winter accessory, and the sound produced by the speakers is good enough to justify the price.
Design: Simple and discreet
This Bluetooth beanie’s concept is both simple and effective. Stitch some inexpensive Bluetooth speakers into the seam of a beanie. The speakers are hidden behind each ear in a small pouch. After you’ve put the cap on, you can adjust the speakers to fit your head perfectly. Every time you put the beanie on, you’ll have to adjust the speakers, which gets annoying after a while.
This beanie is available in six different colors and textures. For our test unit, we went with carbon black. Black, grey, dark grey, H1 grey, and H4 black are also available. Keep in mind that the design weave varies from color to color when choosing a color.
Depending on the color you choose, the size of the beanie will also change. From bottom to top, the carbon black option measures 10 inches. The majority of the top will rest on the back of your head unless you have a head the size and shape of a space alien. The rest of the options are only 8.5 inches long, so keep that in mind when deciding on a color.
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The sound quality produced by this Bluetooth beanie is acceptable, but you won’t forget that you’re listening through tiny speakers in a $15 beanie.
You can use voice commands and take phone calls or other audio communications with the built-in microphone, but you won’t be able to use digital assistants like Siri.
The promotional materials and user manual for this Bluetooth beanie emphasize that the speakers can be easily removed when it’s time to wash it. However, there are no instructions in the manual and it is not immediately obvious how to do so.
The Bluetooth range is listed as standard at 10 meters (30 feet). As long as you have a direct line of sight to the phone or computer it’s paired to, we found that to be generally accurate. When obstacles such as walls and other objects get in the way, the range is drastically reduced.
Setup Process: Just like any other Bluetooth device
Anyone who is familiar with pairing Bluetooth devices should have no trouble configuring this beanie. To make it discoverable on the device you want to pair it with, simply hold down the play button for three seconds. On your list of available Bluetooth devices, the hat will appear as “Magic Hat.”
It took us less than a minute to start listening to music from our iPhone X on this Bluetooth beanie right out of the box. All we had to do was pair it with our phone via Bluetooth. When we paired it with a Mac, however, we had to manually pair it in the Bluetooth settings and route the computer’s audio to it through the sound settings.
Switching between paired devices isn’t as seamless as it is with AirPods and PowerBeats Pro Bluetooth earbuds. During our testing, switching from a Mac to an iPhone took about one minute on average. Because you have to manually route the audio from an iPhone to a Mac, it took even longer.
Controls: Awkward but easy
Over your left ear, the control panel sewn into the band sits. For right-handed people, this is an unusual location because it requires them to reach across their torso and face to use it with their dominant hand. Despite this, the controls are simple and comprehensive. Volume, pause, play, previous and next track are among the controls. It only takes a few minutes of use to become proficient with the cap’s controls.
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Battery Life: Good, but not as advertised
This Bluetooth beanie, according to Blueear, will provide eight hours of listening time when fully charged. During our testing phase, however, we never got past six hours of continuous use. That’ll last you through an autumn hike or a winter evening out, but if you’re going to be outside all day and want to listen to music the entire time, you’ll want to invest in a pair of heavy-duty wireless earbuds like the Powerbeats Pro.
Because this Bluetooth beanie isn’t an expensive item, all of its minor flaws can be overlooked.
This Bluetooth beanie takes a little over an hour to fully charge. An included USB charging cable can be used to charge the speakers through a small hole in the fabric. It doesn’t come with a wall adapter, but if you don’t have one, you can use a computer or other USB-enabled device instead.
Related: Rotibox Bluetooth Beanie Hat Review
Comfort: Kinda scratchy, but you’ll get used to it
This Bluetooth hat is made entirely of acrylic fibers. It’s not as cozy as you might think from the outside. The product was dry and scratchy when we tested it, and it caused mild chafing around the ears and neck. It’s not enough to leave a mark or cause blisters, but it’s enough to make you remember you’re wearing the hat.
Sound Quality: Decent sound from inexpensive speakers
The sound quality produced by this Bluetooth beanie is acceptable, but you won’t forget that you’re listening through tiny speakers in a $15 beanie. Even at maximum volume, the volume is sufficient to drown out outside noises but not overpowering. Because these are speakers rather than earbuds or headphones, they don’t provide the same immersive audio experience as Bluetooth earbuds like the AirPods.
Price: Inexpensive enough to take a chance on
Because this Bluetooth beanie isn’t an expensive item (), all of its minor flaws can be overlooked. Expect to pay between $15 and $25 depending on the color you choose, with grey being the most expensive.
Blueear Bluetooth Beanie Hat vs. Rotibox Bluetooth Beanie Hat
We compared this wireless beanie to the Rotibox Bluetooth Beanie Hat, and the two are nearly identical in terms of design and functionality. The Rotibox, on the other hand, is much more comfortable and produces better sound. The best thing about Blueear is that it is the most affordable wireless music beanie we tested.
The Final Word
However, if you’re looking for a good beanie with good sound at a low price, this is a good option. It’s a stylish beanie that goes with any winter outfit, and the Bluetooth speakers add enough functionality to make it more than a novelty.