Beyerdynamic's upgraded neckband earbuds combine ANC with built-in Alexa control

Beyerdnamic Blue BYRD ANC
(Image credit: Beyerdynamic)

You don’t see many earbuds with a neckband around so much these days, and even fewer with active noise cancelling (ANC). Nevertheless, Beyerdynamic’s latest Blue BYRD ANC are here to add noise cancellation to the second-generation model while also promising “unmatched sound quality”, optimal comfort and a raft of handy features.

ANC is a big deal for the new iteration considering it was a feature lacking from the standard model, with noise cancelling and Transparency Mode now offering flexibility as to the amount of exterior sound intrusion you’ll experience when you're out for a run.

ANC aside, the new buds are fitted with Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec and the standard AAC codec, and Qualcomm cVc for clearer quality over calls. The Blue BYRD ANC will also come equipped with Bluetooth 5.2, Google Fast Pair, built-in Amazon Alexa and Siri compatibility, so you’ll never be without a hands-free voice assistant.

Like the previous Blue BYRD, the second-generation ANC model comes with a strap-and-wire design, with the buds connected via wires to a band that sits around the neck. This semi-wired configuration still requires charging, however, as the buds connect to a music source wirelessly.

Beyerdnamic Blue BYRD ANC

(Image credit: Beyerdynamic)

The Blue BYRD ANC will provide you with 14 hours of battery life without ANC. With ANC that number drops to just over 8 hours, while a 10-minute charge will give you two hours of playback time. There’s also an app with extra features such as over-the-air updates and adjusting Alexa control, plus an in-app hearing test to facilitate a more personalised listening experience.

Planning on going away with your new earbuds? Beyerdynamic has included a carry case for travelling, five pairs of ear tips and a USB cable for charging. An IPX4 rating isn’t the best if you're planning to use them for regular intense workouts, but it should ensure safety from splashes if the weather goes south and the clouds turn grey.

The new Blue BYRD ANC earbuds are available now for $149 / €129 (UK and AUS prices pending) from the official Beyerdynamic online store or via Amazon.


Best headphones – for every price and preference

Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs Beats Fit Pro: which earbuds are best?

19 of the best songs for running and workouts (playlist included)

Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.