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Having headphones built into your hat may not seem like something you’d actually use every day like your favorite over-ears. But for cold days and hands-free calls, the best Bluetooth hats have become increasingly useful, and now a bunch of brands have released new caps and hats that can easily pair with your phone or device for music and more. Here’s what to look for when considering a hat with built-in Bluetooth capabilities.
Bluetooth Hat Buying Guide
Material: For both warmth and durability, the material it’s made from matters. Polyester and acrylic can insulate, but a hat with wicking materials means you can use it for jogging and exercise and not be afraid to sweat.
Cleaning: Since they have electrical components, don’t go dunking these in water or throwing them into the laundry. But they still need to be cleaned just like any other item of clothing, and that’s why having removable parts is pretty practical. You’ll want easy access to a compartment where the speakers and Bluetooth receiver are, so you can quickly take it out (and put it back in without hassle) to clean it.
Control: Because these will be in a spot where you can’t see them, having an accessible control panel makes a big difference, so you won’t need to take your hat off every time you want to skip tracks or pause. Buttons that are big enough to feel make it way easier while keeping your hands free.
Pairing: Bluetooth is pretty much a given in the way these connect, but not all Bluetooth is the same across the board. The more recent generation of Bluetooth (5.2) features faster and stronger pairing than previous ones, saving you time and frustration when trying to connect. They can also vary in terms of how far you can stray from the device your music is playing without it breaking up, but the average is about 30 feet or so.
Battery and Charging: Most of these are compatible with USB, but since you’ll likely be wearing your hat when you’re commuting, a USB port isn’t always available. That’s where having an AC plug as a backup option can really be a lifesaver. Same with a fast charge if you’re refueling somewhere away from home and need to get moving, and protection from overcharging is a nice safety feature too. Battery life varies widely, but having a hat that can hold an all-day charge or longer on standby (up to 60 hours), is usually enough to get the job done.
Speakers: While they’re not going to compete with the best headphones, many of the hats you can find now offer impressive sound. Go for something that can handle bass and the lower end of the sound spectrum without distorting it, as well as high volumes.
What Are the Best Bluetooth Hats and Caps?
Overall, these options below are an easy way to keep the music playing while staying comfortable in style. Here are four of our favorites.
1. Bluehresy Bluetooth Hat
The Bluehresy is like having a private little concert hall in your hat. This gets plenty loud, up to 100db, and is super warm thanks to the double-knit, while still staying stretchy and breathable. Its buttons are big enough to be pressed, even with gloves on.
The wireless range is a bit above average here at 33 feet, and the battery life is awesome. The 200mAh Li-Ion inside is rechargeable in an hour or two, and lasts up to 10 hours. The electrical components are all removable, making washing it easy after a cold and sweaty jog.
2. SoundBot SB210 Beanie
This soft and warm hat features high-performance drivers, which do a decent job keeping music loud and clear. This connects via Bluetooth 4.0, and can still stretch up to 33 feet.
The SoundBot boasts a plentiful 60 hours of standby time (but only about five hours of play time), and the microUSB cable is simple enough to plug in and recharge. The battery and speakers are removable when you need to wash it, and there’s also a built-in mic for taking phone calls while out on your winter walks.
This also comes in a bunch of different colors to match your cold weather outfits too.
3. Edyell Adjustable Cap with Bluetooth Speakers
There are no built-in headphones here. Instead, this ball cap packs speakers in the brim, letting you listen to music out loud. While not the best for crowded spaces that might bother other people, this can be a nice addition to outdoor activities where you have wide open spots to yourself. And since it’s not right up against your ears, you’ll still be able to hear your surroundings.
It even has a built-in mic to take speakerphone calls, and the Bluetooth wireless range stretches past average, at 45 feet. A full battery will get you about six hours of playing time, with another 48 in standby mode.
Three big buttons on the side make controlling tracks and volume simple, and everything is removable when it’s time to hand-wash it.
4. Xikezin Bluetooth Beanie
This hat cranks up to 120db, with a surprisingly nice sound quality, and can get 15-20 hours of play time from a full charge. Syncing it up to devices is simple, and the connection holds strong at about 33 feet.
There’s also an integrated mic so you can take calls without taking the hat off. The double-knit material is nicely warm, with a stretchy feel that fits most heads, and as a bonus, this also comes with a set of knit gloves