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Lifewire / Jeffrey Daniel Chadwick
Comfortable and warm
Enjoyable audio quality
Many styles and colors to choose from
Can’t connect with a computer
Long charge time
Control panel not well defined to the touch
If you want the convenience (and novelty) of a beanie and speakers in a single, attractive package, the Rotibox option is a great mid-tier choice. It’s comfy, warm, produces audio on par with budget earbuds, and is relatively affordable for around $40.
The Rotibox Bluetooth Beanie Hat feels like a useful novelty rather than a heavy duty audio device or fashion piece. It delivers good quality audio, is very comfortable and warm, and has a battery that gives you about six hours of listening time. Among the wireless beanies we reviewed, Rotibox made the best showing.
Bluetooth beanies are about as basic as wearable tech gets. It’s a one-size-fits-all beanie that contains Bluetooth speakers over the ears. They’re convenient and useful in the winter time, because you won’t have to fumble around with earbuds under your hat or earmuffs.
Since it comes in a variety of colors and styles, this beanie pairs well with a range of winter outfits. The one we tested was the BB013-Black, but when it showed up it was actually a shade of light gray. It’s one of simple options, just a knit cap, where some of the others have brims, ear flaps, and tassels. There are a total of 29 options to choose from, the most of all the music beanies we evaluated.
From the moment we opened the package, we had the beanie connected to an iPhone X in less than 30 seconds.
This Bluetooth beanie has a range of about 30 feet from the device it’s paired with, the minimum range of any Bluetooth device. When we tested the device, we found that the connection remains strong in that range. In addition to the Bluetooth speakers, this beanie has a built-in microphone that allows you to take phone calls.
From the moment we opened the package, we had the beanie connected to an iPhone X in less than 30 seconds, and it always took less than five seconds to pair with a device thereafter. Unfortunately, it only works with mobile devices, but since it’s designed to be an on-the-go device, that’s not a deal breaker.
A common problem we encountered when we tested the best Bluetooth beanies was the control panel being located over the left ear. A larger problem is that the buttons aren’t well-defined tactilely, so you’ll often hit pause when you wanted to skip to the next track. You’re generally better off just using your phone for things like volume and media selection.
Over a week’s time of testing this and other Bluetooth beanies, we found that you can expect it to yield about six hours of listening time on a full charge. The product description of this beanie claims that it takes two and a half hours to fully charge a dead battery, which turned out to be pretty accurate. This is the longest time to charge amongst the beanies we’ve tested, with others filling up in under an hour.
Two annoying things about the battery: there’s no way to monitor how much juice you have left, and no audio warning that your battery is about to die. It just sputters and stops, a let down when you’re in the middle of Eight Days a Week.
When we first put it on, we thought it was a cotton beanie instead of acrylic. It’s very soft and comfortable, in stark contrast with some other wireless beanies we reviewed that felt scratchy and itchy.
It’s hard to expect high-quality sound from a product at this price point. Music comes through loud and clear, but lacks the depth and range of sound produced by more expensive devices like Apple’s AirPods or Powerbeats Pro. We listened to the album Past Masters by The Beatles. While many of the small details got lost in the background, it wasn’t enough to stop us from getting lost in the verses of Hey Jude.
Music comes through loud and clear, but lacks the depth and range of sound produced by more expensive devices.
We also took several calls on this Bluetooth beanie. The quality of the call was crisp and clear on our end. However, the party on the other end reported that it sounded like we were on a speaker phone and that although the conversation was understandable, they had to pay closer attention than they would if we were calling from a handset.
As far as Bluetooth beanies go, this product is on the higher end of the price scale. It’s $40, while competing beanies are closer to the $15 mark. However, it’s the most comfortable of the bunch and delivers the best sound quality.
We tested this wireless beanie simultaneously with the Blueear Bluetooth Beanie Hat. While both do a decent job delivering head warmth and music, the Rotibox delivers the overall best experience. Blueear offers lower prices, but the sound quality is significantly worse. While the SoundBot offers marginally better sound, it’s inconsistent in reliability and performance in other areas.
Stay warm and rock out in style.
This Bluetooth beanie delivers in the four most important categories: comfort, warmth, aesthetics, and audio quality. It’s not a perfect or powerhouse audio device, but it’s a good pick if you love music and being outdoors during winter.
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