Bluetooth earphones with SEPARATE buttons for volume and music
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arg0

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I listen to a variety of podcasts and I find myself frequently adjusting the volume and jumping forward and back in time. So I really appreciate Bluetooth headphones having remote controls with separate buttons for controlling the volume and music. Ideally, they have 6 buttons (vol+, vol-, answer call, rew, fwd, play/pause), although a 5-buttons design (integrated call and play/pause) works almost equally well.
My Sony SBH80 recently broke down and I realised that there are very few, if any, such earphones currently on the market. I also could not come up with an easy way to find them with a web search.

So, the aim of this thread is to make a list of such earphones.I will start with the few ones I know and add any one you suggest to the list.

Bluetooth earphones with remotes having separate buttons (or touch controls) for volume and music:
- Sony MW600 (2009, shirt clip)
- Sony SBH20 (2012, shirt clip)
- Sony SBH80 (2014, neckband)
- Sony SBH52 (2014, shirt clip)
- Sony SBH54 (2015, shirt clip)

- LG HBS-730 Tone+ (2013, neckband)
- LG HBS-800 (2014, neckband)
- LG HBS-900 Tone Infinim (2014, neckband)
- LG HBS-850 (2015, neckband)
- LG HBS-910 Tone Infinim (2016, neckband)
- LG HBS-A100 (2016, neckband)
- LG HBS-1100 (2016, neckband)
- LG HBS-750 Tone Pro (2016, neckband)
- LG HBS-820 Tone Ultra (2017, neckband)
- LG HBS-920 Tone Infinim (2018, neckband)

- Mpow Jaws V4.1 (2015?, neckband)

- EarStudio ES100 (2017, shirt clip)

- Master & Dynamic MW07 (2018, true wireless)

- APEKX Clip / Bluebyte Clip / Castell / Griffin iTrip / Jumbl (since 2012, shirt clip)

MP3 players with Bluetooth:
- Sony NWZ-W237/NWZ-W274 (2013, neckband)
- Sony NW-WS413/NW-WS414 (2016, neckband)
- Sony NW-WS623/NW-WS625 (2017, neckband)

Thanks.
 
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mrbubbles

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SBH50, SBH20 (re-released as SBH24 -rewind/forward button +usb C, Sony went with the same setup on the new SBH56).

This is a product category that's unfortunately not getting a whole lot of innovation as most BT headset/earsets are integrated, which personally to me is a no-no as the batteries will be hard to find when they die out a few years down the road.

I went from SBH20, SBH50, SBH52 knockoff, to FIIO μBTR. Still have SBH20, and the battery is not what it used to be (it wasn't that great to begin with). SBH50 and SBH52 is now retired.

I got the μBTR as I wanted USB C, aptx, longer battery life, and a shirt clip type over 5/6 separate buttons.

My ideal BT clip would be μBTR/SBH50 size with 5 separate buttons, usb C, and 10+hr battery life.
 
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arg0

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Indeed I share you point about battery life and I'm looking for a rather inexpensive unit that I can replace when the battery eventually gives up. I know, it's not ideal, but I prefer the neckband type because it's tangle-free with respect to the shirt clip / portable amp.

I used to have a Sony MW600 and I ended up attaching it to the neck band of my Sennheiser PMX 100 after cutting its cord short. It looks a bit weird, but it worked. I still use it sometimes, but now I prefer earbuds for my commutes.
 
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Rickyearl

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Not 100% sure this is what you mean, but MW07 has a volume rocker on one ear and a play/pause on the other ear. Actual buttons, not "a touch sensitive surface."
 
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arg0

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I prefer actual buttons, but touch stripes or pads are also fine, as long as they control music playback and volume separately (e.g., no tap vs long press).
The MW600 has a touch strip for volume control and man I hated that. I still have it around, attached to an old pair of Senn PMX100s but tend not to use it exactly for this reason.

The MW07 seem great, I've added them to the list.
But they're way above my budget: I need new earphones for commuting and don't expect to last them more than a few years at most. Though I managed 3 with my SBH80 and actually still don't understand why the microphone suddenly stopped working (they didn't get wet, overly bent, sat on, etc.). Also, I need at least 5-6 hours of battery life.

Any other neckbands, apart those from LG?
 
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arg0

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It looks loke there are not many products in this category. Upon reconsideration, I don't really need separate controls. But I skip forward/back much more often than I adjust the volume.

So I started wondering whether there are Bluetooth neckband earbuds with combined Vol+/Ffwd and Vol-/Rew buttons where short presses will control music and long presses volume. If I understand correctly, usually it's the other way round.
Thanks for helping with a question that is hard to look up online.
 
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ClieOS

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Just throwing you an idea: how about a seperated small BT remote to go with a BT headset instead? I know carrying two devices are less ideal, but BT remote is generally very small and allows you to use BT headset with better SQ that might not have the buttons configuration that you want.
 
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arg0

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Thanks for the tip, I hadn't really thought about a separate remote. However, I feel I would mislay it instantly, since I use my neckband headset in a variety of places. Sound quality isn't really that important to me, since I mainly listen to podcasts when on the move.
Maybe I could think of a "Bluetooth cable" with customisable buttons, if such a thing exists.
 
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ClieOS

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Xduoo XQ-23
Creative E3
Audio-Technica AT-PHA50BT
Bluewave Audio GET
 
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arg0

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Hey thanks, I might consider one of those, as they seem to be operable without looking at them, especially the AT and the Xduoo.
Still prefer the neckband design, though, because of less wiring.

PS. Besides, the mike on by SBH80 just started working again, so I may have a bit more time before buying a replacement, though now I hear a crackling sound through the left earpiece at times.
 
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Sony WS623. Separate volume and RW/FF rocker buttons and play/pause, mode, ambient/BT buttons

...and you have an MP3 player built in with folder/album/playlist skip so the podcasts can be in one place with no pairing or two devices needed if you choose. Of course it has BT as well.
 
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arg0

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That's a whole new category I wasn't aware of. Added to the list, thanks.
 
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David512

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Hello,

Just giving my thoughts.
I am not an audiophile so my perspective is as a dog walker that needs this functionality. I have 2 dogs with a leash in each hand. It is more convenient to control my audio thru the headset buttons vs opening my smartphone and controlling there.

For me if I want to pause a podcast, answer a phone call, rew or fwd, and I guess vol+ vol- I like separate controls. As of Mar-2020 it seems like everything is getting to minimized number of buttons. Above they have the list of models. I went to Amazon and found the MPows 5th gen but it mentions 3 button controls, and compares itself to the 4th gen (shown above) which shows 5 buttons. I guess I put the 4G on my wishlist whenever one of my current headsets dies. In 2018 I bought a LG Tone device which was nicer than my usual low end stuff, anyway I had to return it because combination of volume and fwd/rew buttons. I guess this scenario (hands busy) apparently don't come up often, so devices like Airpods and other stuff assume complete handsfree. If anyone could make a recommendation as an alternate thing to consider. Thanks.

Bluetooth
 
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