CMF Neckband Pro review – news


Neckband-style earbuds have mostly gone out of fashion these days, but there’s still specific use cases where they work better than TWS alternatives. For one they let you drop the wire but still have great battery life, and ensure they won’t fall while running. And if you are after a pair that won’t significantly impact you finances you definitely need to check out the CMF Neckband Pro.

Before we start, a word on the brand. CMF by Nothing is Nothing’s affordable brand of accessories with a distinct styling and aggressive pricing. The Neckband Pro are possibly CMF’s most powerful headphones and they retail for just ₹2,000 ($24).


In the box, you get two extra sets of ear tips of different sizes.

When you think of neckband-style headphones, you think of sports and fitness, so a pair of wingtips for the buds themselves could have made the Neckband Pro an even better overall package. But then a valid case can be made that with this form factor you don’t really need those.

Design and features

This reviewer is a TWS user and regular runner and found the CMF Neckband Pro a perfect fit.

CMF Neckband Pro review

Doing high-intensity workouts with the buds was a breeze and they stayed snug and secure in my medium-sized ear canals.

The buds are small and light – the total set is just under 30 grams.

CMF Neckband Pro review

The way to turn off the Neckband Pro is attach the two buds together. They lock nicely in place thanks to built-in magnets and mostly stay put when worn on your neck.

However, the buds would separate as soon as I put them in my backpack, turning during my car commute to the office and would both burn battery and cause issues with music playback from my car’s stereo.

CMF Neckband Pro review

Each bud houses a huge 13.6mm custom dynamic driver with Ultra Bass Technology 2.0. The drivers can simulate spatial audio and have active noise cancellation of up to 50 dB.

CMF Neckband Pro review

The USB-C port is on the right stem of the Neckband Pro. The headset’s 220mAh battery supports fast charge – you’ll get up to 18 hours of use with just 10 minutes on a charge with ANC off. With ANC on, you’re looking at 11 hours.

The smart dial is a highlight on the CMF Neckband Pro. It’s both a clicky wheel and a button. It gives off lovely physical feedback – you can really feel each step.

CMF Neckband Pro review

By default, rotating the dial changes the volume, while a press does pause/play, a double press is for the next song, and a triple press is for the previous song.

A press and hold changes between active noise cancellation and transparency mode.

There’s also a small button on the underside of the right stem that toggles between Bluetooth devices – yes, the Neckband Pro support dual connection and it worked flawlessly in our testing.

The Nothing X app
The Nothing X app

The Nothing X app

CMF’s products use the Nothing X app on Android and iOS and you get essentially the same menu.

Sound quality and battery life

We’ve already said that the CMF Neckband Pro has beefy 13.6mm drivers – that’s bigger than the 11mm drivers on the new Nothing Ear buds. The active noise cancellation on the CMF Neckband Pro is also higher-rated – 50 dB vs 45 dB. Impressive stats for a set that costs under $30.

In the real world, we can’t really say we felt those extra 5 dB of noise cancellation. We’d say the noise cancellation felt the same between the CMF Neckband Pro and Nothing’s more expensive buds. That’s to say it’s on par with just about every other set of TWS buds with ANC around, except a few very expensive outliers, like the Apple AirPods Pro 2, or Sony’s WF-1000XM5.

Nothing’s X app is where you tune the sound and here, we’re a little disappointed. The equalizer is a simplified three-channel one with Bass, Treble, and Mids and you can adjust each from -6 to +6.

That lacks granularity and we’d prefer the full adjustable equalizer you get in the same app for the new Nothing Ear. We just left the buds in Balanced, which seemed to suit it the best.

Tuning the sound
Tuning the sound
Tuning the sound

Tuning the sound

As for sound quality, the CMF Neckband Pro is loud, very loud. When listening to higher-quality audio, like Spotify, you get solid, ear-filling sound.

The low end is very strong, even when Ultra Bass is turned off. Turning it on fills it in a bit more, making sound better rounded. The midrange is not very balanced. Instruments and vocals feel full of presence and life in some songs, while in others, we hear cracking. Sometimes instruments came out a bit tinny. Lowering the volume a notch helped here.

There’s a lot of presence and clarity with the CMF Neckband Pro, but opting for loud volume levels can cause it to break apart at times.

CMF Neckband Pro review

Putting these side by side with the Nothing Ear (2), we’d say it’s a matter of big volume and a rumbling low end on the CMF side versus a mature sound stage with more presence and brilliance on Nothing’s side.

CMF claims you can get up to 37 hours of playback with ANC off and 8 and a half with it on. We didn’t manage to kill these buds in a week of testing, despite the accidentally connected sessions while the buds were in a backpack.


The CMF Neckband Pro is an excellent headset for the lover of neckband-style headphones. They are well-built, have logical and intuitive controls, and fit perfectly in our use case.

Their specs sheet is also impressively long. It’s hard to find a better-specced device for the money.

We’d say the CMF Neckband Pro is worth it for the big drivers with powerful bass and loud sound, good active noise cancellation, and good app integration. Add in the great battery endurance, and the standout price, and the CMF Neckband Pro is a winner.

CMF Neckband Pro review

The only issue is finding the CMF Neckband Pro on sale at a retailer near you. European users have the CMF Buds and Buds Pro, while the Neckband Pro is seemingly only available in India at the moment.

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