I had an opportunity to go hands-on with ZAGG’s Flex Arc Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds + Speakers headset. My first thought was that this is a curious-looking piece of technology. Though it looks like it might be a headset to be worn over the head, it’s not. The Flex Arc is worn only around the neck with retractable earbuds that pull out and placed into the ears.
You may use the Flex Arc for taking phone calls as well as listening to the entertainment of your choice via earbuds or speakers. When the earbuds are retracted, the Flex Arc automatically switches to speaker mode.
What I Liked
The ZAGG Flex Arc Wireless is the best headset I’ve tried to date. The fact that the earbuds are retractable prevents them from getting tangled. The earbuds themselves are the most comfortable and offer the most precise and secure fit I’ve experienced yet. The Flex Arc comes with three sets of earbud covers to fit a variety of ear sizes. The earbuds’ sound is excellent; I have not heard better.
You pull the earbuds out to use them manually, and there are buttons to retract them. When you pull the earbuds out, the sound is automatically routed to them. When you retract them, the sound is re-routed to the speakers.
The controls on the Flex Arc are minimalistic but get the job done. In addition to the earbud-retractions buttons, there is a power/mode control button that allows you to connect to your iPhone via Bluetooth. There’s a music/call control button that allows you to pick up and disconnect phone calls, or play and pause your music. You can also use this button to connect to Siri. There are volume up and down buttons as well.
The speakers are placed on the outside of the Flex Arc, while the microphone used for phone calls is on the inside. This feels like a natural placement for talking on the phone and no headset adjustments are necessary to switch from listening to picking up a call.
The Flex Arc is lightweight and does not feel cumbersome sitting on the neck, in fact, you can barely feel it. ZAGG claims that play time is 8 hours on a single charge. That sounds about right, because I’ve been using it for weeks and have not had to charge it yet.
What I Didn't Like
While I like the retractable earbuds, the cords feel slightly too short. I’m not a big or tall person, but I could use an extra inch in cable length. The cords are long enough when facing straight, but when I turn my head from side to side, sometimes the earbuds are tugged.
As excellent as the sound is in the earbuds, I did not find the speaker sound to be as rich. Coming from the speakers, the sound is lackluster, at best. It’s not expected or necessary to have a speaker function on a headset, but if offered, it should be on par with the earbud functionality.
Overall, the Flex Arc is the best headset I’ve used. Despite minor flaws, it offers the most comfortable earbuds, best quality sound, and most functionality. It is expensive, but you get a lot for your money.
ZAGG’s Flex Arc Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds + Speakers headset is available on ZAGG’s website for $79.99 in Black/Silver, Black/Gold, and White/Gold or in the same colors on Amazon for $92.01 to $99.48, depending on which color.