Samsung Gear Circle: A space-age spin on the Bluetooth headphone

Samsung's Gear Circle is an around-the-neck stereo Bluetooth headset with a magnetic personality that's set to hit stores in October.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Headphones, Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, Apple, Sony, Bose, e-readers, Amazon, glasses, ski gear, iPhone cases, gaming accessories, sports tech, portable audio, interviews, audiophile gear, PC speakers Credentials
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David Carnoy
2 min read

The Gear Circle is set to ship this October. David Carnoy/CNET

Bluetooth headphones come in several different varieties, including the in-ear, around-the-neck version popularized by LG with its Tone stereo headsets . Now Samsung's come out with the Gear Circle, its own space-age spin on that wireless headphone design.

Available in October, the Gear Circle will come in black, blue, and white, though Samsung was only showing the blue and white models at an event in New York to announce its new Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge smartphones, along with the Gear S and Gear VR devices. No word on UK and US pricing yet, but in Australia it'll cost AU$179 with product available in November.

The two ends join up magnetically. David Carnoy/CNET

One of the key features is the magnetic clasp that allows you to wear the headphone as a necklace when you're done listening to music or making calls (yes, there's a built-in microphone). The headphones also have a vibrate feature to alert you of incoming text messages and calls.

New Samsung gadgets you'll want: Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge, Gear S, Gear VR. (pictures)

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Overall, the Gear Circle seems a bit swankier than LG's competing products, but it's unclear how sturdy it is. This is the type of headphone that has its fans and critics, with some folks liking the secure, around-the-neck design, while others don't like the feeling of having something wrapped around their neck (I tend to like the design).

The Gear Circle in blue. David Carnoy/CNET

That neck piece houses the electronics and battery, which is bigger than the battery found in earbud-only wireless headphones such as the Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 (the Circle's battery life is rated at 9 hours, which is decent).

We'll let you know how the Gear Circle compares to its competitors as soon as we get our hands on a review sample. For now here's a look at its specs, sans pricing: