Review: The ‘Zero’ Neckband Bluetooth Earbuds from Leophile
In the world of personal audio, there are brands that come immediately to mind and there are those that don’t. Just because the “those that don’t” are not at the top of your list, it doesn’t mean that they’re not worthy of consideration. Is the Leophile Zero one of those? Let’s find out.
The Zero by Leophile is an around-the-neck Bluetooth earbud-style headphones. Around-the-neck earbuds do have an advantage due to their extended battery capability and they allow other electronics to be stored in the neckband instead of having to be crammed into the actual earbuds.
Unlike other around-the-neck earbuds I’ve tested so far, the Zero has a more premium look and feel to it. The neck collar is very comfortable and looks fantastic.
The Zero comes with interchangeable small, medium, and large earbud tips. There’s a micro-USB charging cable (oh how I wish it was USB-C!) and I was surprised to see a micro-USB to 3.5” plug. This will allow you to plug your Zero directly into a computer, phone, or in my case, my Walkman (don’t judge!) and the Zero will still work even if the battery is completely depleted. The battery only takes two hours to charge fully, giving your ears a little break. But don’t worry — you’ll soon be rocking away for another up to 20 hours of play time.
The Zero includes Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and does a somewhat decent job. When I had the ANC turned on I could no longer hear the sound of the heat pump running in the background. You do have to be careful with the ANC, however. It’s controlled by a switch on the left side of the neckband, but the ANC does drain the battery faster and gives you only 15 hours of active playback instead of 20. If you forget and leave the ANC turned on when not using the Zero, the battery will run down faster. In my opinion, the ANC isn’t really a needed feature. If you’re rocking out to Bon Jovi, then you’re not going to hear background noise anyway.
Another thing I like about the Zero is that the control buttons, volume up/down, previous/next song, and the multi-function button are oversized. I can easily feel each button and be confident that I’m pressing the correct one when I need it.
When receiving a phone call, the music automatically stops and you’ll get a slight vibration in the band and a musical tone. Just press the multi-function button to answer the call, and hang up after you’re done. If you don’t want to talk, just hold the MFB for two seconds and the call gets sent to your voicemail.
Now that I’ve told you what I like about the Leophile Zero, I need to tell you what I’m not so fond of.
When you’re not listening and want to remove the earbuds from your ears, there’s no storage. Other earbuds retract or have magnetic storage options. The earbuds on the Zero just dangle.
The other thing that bothered me — it actually annoyed me quite a bit — was the listening experience. I realize that everyone has different listening preferences and what works for one person may not work for another. I tend to prefer a good bass and fullness in my listening. If you agree with me and enjoy a fuller sound, then the Zero may not work for you. On the other hand, if you’re all about that treble, then these are the earbuds for you.
The Leophile Zero is currently listed on Amazon for $99. Even though these are styled as “premium” earbuds, there are better choices available at the $99 price point. In my opinion, the Zero needs to be priced around $59 to be considered as an alternative to earbuds like the Legato from Spigen.Get the Leophile Zero from Amazon