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These Wireless Earbuds are Perfect for Working Out

Jaybird is well known for its wireless sports earphones and its X3 ($100+) “neck buds” — earbuds that are tethered together by a cord but communicate wirelessly with your device — are still some of the best running earphones you can buy. The Jaybird Run ($160+) were released in 2017 and are the company’s first and only truly wireless earbuds. As the name suggests, the Run earphones are fitness-focused and sweat resistant. They also work with a companion app that comes with some neat features, like adjust the audio’s EQ.

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The Good: The Jaybird Run have pretty much everything you want in wireless sport earphones. They have a double hydrophobic nano coating to make them really sweat resistant. They come with a number of silicon ear tips and earwings, just like Samsung’s IconX (gen-2), so you can really get them to fit securely, no matter your ear size. Battery life is above average at roughly four hours per earbud. The Jaybird MySound app is straightforward to use and lets you customize the audio’s sound signature or try out one of Jaybird’s sponsored athletes’ preferred sound signatures. Both the left and right buttons have an on/off button — a nice and rare feature among wireless earbuds that gives the wearer more control. A single press of the left earbuds accesses your phone’s voice assistant while pressing the right earbud is your play/pause button. There aren’t any swipe features to get you frustrated. They quick charge too — just five minutes of charge time in the case gives each earbud about an hour of playtime.

Who They’re For: These are wireless sport earbuds that sit at the intersection of great fit, audio quality and features — they provide a generous amount of each. If you want simple-to-use wireless earbuds that also fit securely and allow you to customize the sound, Jaybird’s Run earbuds are a great choice. The only caveat is that at $180, you’re paying a little extra for their more premium looks.

Watch Out For: Several journalists, including Adam Molina of Sound Guys, noted connectivity issues caused the audio to occasionally skip, which I only noticed when I had the Run earbuds connected to my MacBook Pro; when running and connected to a Gear Fit 2 Pro fitness tracker, I had no connectivity issues. No “hear through” technology to let you hear ambient sounds, which is a nice safety feature while running or bike riding. The companion app doesn’t have a coaching assistant, integrated step counter or heart rate sensor, like more serious running headphones such as Jabra’s Elite Sport ($220). The charging case is relatively big and charges via micro-USB.

Alternatives: Although the Jaybird Run earbuds fit securely, in terms of fit, Samsung’s IconX just edge them out. If you want more fitness features and built-in sensors to track your runs, I’d go with the more expensive Jabra Elite Sport or the Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds (the Elite Active 65t aren’t available yet, but they are a sweat-resistant version of the Elite 65t earbuds).

Review: Over the course of a week, the Jaybird Run were my go-to earbuds for running, commuting and working. And I found a lot to like about them. They fit great; like Samsung’s Gear IconX earbuds, the Run earbuds come with a variety of silicon tips and earwings so anybody will likely find a fit that works for them. Mine fit me great. The earbuds are small, too, making them seem and feel more discreet than say the Bose SoundSport Free, which is huge. The app, too, is easy to use and customize your own sound signature is great. Pairing the earbuds with any device and turning the earbuds off is also really simple, which isn’t the case with other wireless earbuds.

On the flip side, and like many other truly wireless earbuds, the volume of the Jaybird Run doesn’t get as loud as I would’ve liked. And even with an adjustable EQ, the audio quality of the Run earbuds won’t blow you away either, which is where the Apple AirPods and Beoplay E8s (and to a lesser extent, the Bose Soundsport Free) really shine. On the fit front, the Run earbuds are great, as mentioned before, but they also fit tight which could prove uncomfortable for some.

The last thing I should mention is that Jaybird’s Run earbuds have a couple other nice touches that really hit home for me. I hate swipe gestures on earbuds because they make me feel like I can’t control the earbuds without disrupting their fit. These have buttons on each earbud that initiate simple commands. And, within the MySound app there’s a “Find My Buds” feature that, if you allow it access to your location always (which can’t be great for battery life, btw) can help you locate your misplaced earbuds.

Verdict: In many ways, the Jaybird Run are the safe option for anybody looking for a truly wireless pair of earbuds. Even though they are designed for running, you can use them for anything. They’ll work seamlessly with both iOS and Android devices. And they’re very good (almost great) in terms of fit, audio quality, features, battery life and durability. I’d argue that these are the most polished looking, especially in white, of any wireless earbuds you can buy. If you’re willing to spend around $180 or a little less, which is still fairly expensive, then these a stellar sweat-resistant alternative to AirPods.

What Others Are Saying:

• “When it comes down to it I was simultaneously impressed and unimpressed with the Jaybird Run. The build quality and discreet charging case definitely caught my attention, but it lines up with what I’d expect from a product that costs $179. Plus the quick charging feature is super useful and because the entire package is so small, keeping them in my pocket while walking to the gym was enough to charge them up enough for a full workout. The sound quality was also better than most truly wireless ‘buds I’ve tested purely because of how much the app lets you customize the sound.” — Adam Molina, Sound Guys

• “The Jaybird Run are exactly what you’d expect from a company that’s been working on wireless headphones for years. They’re comfortable, easy to use and they sound great. You’ll pay a bit more than similar headphones — even Apple’s Airpods — but it’s worth it for fitness fanatics.” — Devindra Hardawar, Engadget

• “The Jaybird Run sound great, are weather resistant and packed full of functionality. That they provide all of this at a reasonable price makes them an excellent choice.” — Séamus Bellamy, MacWorld

Key Specs

Drivers: two 6mm
Battery: 4 hours per earbud, 8+ hours with charging case
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1
App: Jaybird MySound
Noteworthy features: Find My Buds locator, customizable sound signature, fast charging capability

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Tucker Bowe

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Most of us need music for a motivational boost in the gym or on the trail. Whether you’re lifting weights or running out in the countryside, workout headphones can give you the push you need to go the extra mile.

After testing a number of models, we think the best sports earbuds for working out are the Jabra Elite Active 65t. They fit well, sound great, and last a long time on a charge. Apple iPhone owners may prefer the AirPods Pro, which have noise cancelling and are a cinch to pair with Apple’s smartphone.

Here are our current favorite earbuds for sports and exercise.

(Image credit: Future)

1. Jabra Elite Active 65t

Best totally wireless sport earbuds

Incredibly comfortable Doesn’t budge during runs 15-hour battery life Accelerometer for run tracking In-app audio customization Charging case is annoyingly difficult to open HearThrough can’t be disabled while tracking runs

Cut the cord with Jabra’s Elite Active 65t wire-free sweat-resistant earbuds, which are the best sport headphones for working out. We found that they stayed in place even during the most strenuous exercises, have built-in run tracking, and let you customize the audio through Jabra’s app. With excellent fit and 15-hour battery life, the Elite Active 65t are the best totally wireless Bluetooth earphones you can buy for running.

Read our full Jabra Elite Active 65t review.

(Image credit: Future)

2. AirPods Pro

Best sport earbuds for iPhone owners

Modern, functional design Great active noise cancelling Expanded, easy to use controls Comfortable semi-custom fit Great sound No companion app Battery life could be longer

Apple finally made a version of AirPods that you can wear to work out, making these the best sport headphones for iPhone users. With built-in sweat- and water-resistance, interchangeable ear tips and a new Transparency Mode, AirPods Pro are perfect for working out, whether you’re in the gym or on the trails. Apple also added more controls and active noise cancelling is great for when you want to block everything out.

Read our full AirPods Pro review.

(Image credit: Future)

3. Powerbeats Pro

Best Totally Wireless Sport Earbuds for iPhone

Magically seamless setup, just like with AirPods Lengthy battery life Well-balanced sound Comfortable, stable fit for running Bulky charging case

Apple’s Beats by Dre brand offers an AirPods alternative with the sporty Powerbeats Pro. The wire-free, sweat-resistant earbuds hook around the ear for stability and use Apple’s H1 chip (also found in Apple’s AirPods Pro) for seamless integration with iPhones. With more than 24 hours of battery life (9 hours in the buds and 18 in the charging case), these earbuds are a no-brainer purchase.

Read our full Powerbeats Pro earbuds review.

(Image credit: Jaybird)

4. Jaybird Tarah Pro

Lengthy battery life and a personalized audio profile

Lengthy battery life Personalized audio profile Customizable fit with fabric cord Device powers down automatically when not in use No setting to allow more ambient noise

Jaybird’s Tarah Pro look just like Jaybird’s other Bluetooth sport earphones, but don’t be fooled: This set offers 14-hour battery life, which will carry you through a week of workouts, commutes and phone calls to family and friends. A customized audio profile setting in the Jaybird app fine-tunes the sound so it’s perfectly tailored to your ears. The Tarah Pro are the performance athletes of running earbuds.

Read our full Jaybird Tarah Pro review.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

5. Jaybird Vista

Totally wireless sports buds for runners

Well-balanced audio Companion app with several EQ settings Stable and sturdy design Super-compact charging case Competitive price Short battery life

The Jaybird Vista is a remarkable choice for sprinters who want dynamic sound and on-ear stability minus any cables. Underneath the durable, waterproof shell are powerful 6mm drivers that deliver bass-forward sound to fuel workouts. Fit is also customizable with Jaybird bundling a variety of ear tips and fins to accommodate different ear shapes. The charging case (0.7 ounces) is nearly as light as the buds (0.2 ounces) themselves, so you’ll be able to charge and run without ever feeling weighed down.

Read our full Jaybird Vista review.

(Image credit: JLAB)

6. JLab JBuds Air Sport True Wireless Earbuds

Best budget wireless sport earbuds

40+ hours of Bluetooth playtime (with case) Ambient listening modes Ergonomic, sweat-resistant design Strong bass performance Bass Boost mode muddles sound Controls are too touch-sensitive

JLab’s sturdy wireless JBuds Air Sport earbuds provide fitness buffs with the performance and versatility they seek. The pliable hooks wrap firmly around the ears to maintain a stable fit. JLab’s bassy profile doesn’t skimp on the low end, hitting your ears with energetic sound that rushes through your body like a can of Red Bull before a workout. You’re also getting up to 6 hours of playtime on a single charge (not including 34+ hours via charging case), which is more than enough juice to refuel your energy levels when fatigue sets in.

(Image credit: Master & Dynamic)

7. Master & Dynamic MW07 Go

Great sound and fully wireless with a good charge

Fantastic sound Water resistant Distinctive and sturdy design Strong battery life Charging case only holds one full charge Connectivity is wonky

Master & Dynamic’s MW07, the company’s first attempt at wireless sports earbuds is a successful one that houses strong sound and battery life in a premium, durable shell. The MW07 Go carries the same 10-millimeter beryllium drivers as its pricier predecessor, the MW07, ensuring crisp, warm sound that keeps the energy going on long runs. These buds are one of the fancier-looking models out that have water resistance, meaning excessive sweat won’t damage their appearance or circuitry. Getting 10 hours on a single charge is a huge bonus for forgetful types. However, the charging case only holds one full charge (12 hours in total), so you’ll need to check the battery levels after every workout.

Read our full Master & Dynamic MW07 Go review.

(Image credit: Adidas)

8. Adidas RPT-01 Wireless On-Ear Sports Headphones

Durable on-ear sports headphones with impressive sound

Flexible and sustainable design User-friendly control knob Up to 40 hours playtime Customizable sound No carrying case Feels uncomfortable after an hour of use

Adidas isn’t a brand you think of when discussing sports wireless headphones, but the RPT-01 has the design and features to demand your attention. These on-ear cans share the same durable aesthetics as the company’s running shoes, wrapped in a stylish, strong mesh fabric and IPX4-rated water-resistance protection. You can even remove and wash the ear cushions and inner headband. Sound quality is where the RPT-01 showcases its dexterity with Adidas launching a companion app featuring multiple EQ settings that fine-tuned to select music genres and sound great. We just wish a carrying pouch came with the purchase.

(Image credit: JBL)

9. JBL x Under Armour True Wireless Flash Earbuds

Indestructible wireless earbuds for outdoor activities

Damage-proof construction Strong audio performance Two ambient listening modes 25 hours of total battery life Bulky housing and charging case Lag while watching videos

The JBL x Under Armour True Wireless Flash Earbuds is a collaborative effort from JBL and UA. Design-wise, the buds are built from super-durable plastic with IPX7-rated coating that protects the internals from water damage. The aluminum charging case is even more durable and stores four extra charges. Outdoor exercisers will enjoy active sound highlighted by strong bass, along with two transparency modes (Ambient Aware and TalkThru) to stay aware of their surroundings; each mode amplifies environmental noises to hear distractions clearly.

What to look for when buying earbuds for working out

Since you’ll be breaking a sweat in these headphones, you’ll want to look for water- or sweat-resistant devices. Some simply say they can withstand water and sweat, and some are IP-certified. If you want to know you are protected, look for headphones with at least an IPX7 rating, meaning they’re resistant to water and sweat.

You’ll also want to look at the design of the headphones and consider how you want to wear them while working out. They should not only be easy to wear, but also stay on your head without the need for constant readjustment. For earbuds, look at how many ear inserts and wings the pair comes with, to give you the best fit option. Some people may prefer over-ear or on-ear headphones because they tend to do a better job of blocking noise, but some prefer earbuds for their secure fit and lightweight portability.

Be sure to check for an inline remote, which will let you easily control your music without pulling out your smartphone. Completely wireless fitness earbuds allow you to control your music with taps on the earpiece rather than a remote. Some headphones are device-specific; make sure you get a pair that’s fully compatible with Android and iOS.

If you’re considering wireless sport headphones, make sure they have the endurance you need. Some people need headphones with only 6 to 8 hours of battery life to last through a week of workouts, while others might want a device with extended longevity to get through long runs, bike rides and hikes.

We’ve tested well over 200 headphones for this guide, which is a lot to digest, so we’re sticking with the most notable competitors here. However, if you’re curious about a specific model, reach out to our team via Twitter (@wirecutter) or email ([email protected]), and we’ll be happy to help.

Adidas FWD-01: These headphones are like leggings made with thin material: They look sporty and are fine for walking around, but at the gym they can become downright uncomfortable. The fabric-covered cable holds sweat (but isn’t washable) and is heavy, so it tugs at the ears and thumps loudly during high-impact activities.

Adidas RPT-01: This on-ear pair was so close to being fantastic. The sound is quite good: fun and bass-forward, without being muddy. The washable earcups and headband cover are a great idea for hygiene. The build quality feels durable, and the design looks sportily reminiscent of Adidas Primeknit sneakers. But the clamping force of the headband squeezes too tightly to be comfortable, especially on medium- to large-size heads. That clamping pressure combines with the textured weave of the earpad fabric and leaves your ears aching after 20 to 30 minutes of use.

Anker SoundBuds Curve: Although we found the shape of the earbuds themselves to be comfortable, the cable that connected them was far too long and quickly became annoying. The sound quality didn’t add to the appeal, with a blurry, muddy bass.

Anker SoundBuds Slim: These earbuds initially performed well enough to reach our endurance tests. When we ran the water test, their volume dropped drastically, to the point that even at full volume they sounded like 40 or 50 percent max.

Anker SoundBuds Sport NB10: The excess cable clanged around behind the head, and the highs were uncomfortably sibilant. You can find better options even for this low price.

Aftershokz Aeroplex: Bone conduction headphones are a solution for a very specific subset of folks who can’t handle having headphones on or in their ears. Of this kind of device, these are the best we’ve come across. They’re light and comfy, and have easy-to-use controls. The problem is that sending sound waves through your skull to your inner ear isn’t the best way to get quality sound, and most people will find the tinny, muffled audio to be inadequate for their needs.

Apple AirPods Pro: While the AirPods Pro’s IPX4 rating will protect you from some mild sweat damage, the Pro earbuds aren’t our first choice for regular gym use. The vented design allows in external noise, and the noise cancellation won’t reduce the sound of weights clanking or the lyrics of the pop music piped onto the gym floor. They will stay in place for moderate movement, but those who do very high impact workouts (like burpee tuck jumps) may find the Pro earbuds can slip out of place. Additionally, the controls are fiddly and can be tricky to activate while on the move. For more information on how they stack up against other earbuds, check out our Wireless Earbuds guide.

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay E6: The cable is heavy and tugs like crazy. The stabilizer wings aren’t very comfortable, and the cord is short, so it isn’t comfortable on thicker necks. Plus, this pair has sizzly sibilant highs that made harpsichord and piano sound tinny.

Beats Powerbeats3: These headphones have a tricky fit that drastically affects the sound quality and prompts lots of reports of shorting out. When they do fit properly, they offer a fun, bass-heavy sound, but half of our panel couldn’t get them to seal effectively.

Bose SoundSport Free: These true wireless earphones don’t seal out external noise, they sound a bit dull, and they’re about as large as a dollar coin. They look a bit like ear gauges.

Jaybird Tarah Pro: These were a close second to the Jabra Elite Active 65t. The earbuds are sweat- and water-resistant with an IPX7 rating and they have a 14-hour battery life, one of the longest we’ve seen in wireless earbuds. They don’t sound as balanced from low to high as the Jabra Elite Active 65t, nor are they truly wireless—and the wire slack can bounce annoyingly during workouts.

Jaybird Tarah: The less-expensive version of the Tarah Pro, it has the same flaws but lacks the bonus features that make the Tarah Pro desirable. You can’t wear the Tarah over your ears like you can the Tarah Pro. Overall, though these are fine for walking around, the Tarah Pro is better for serious gym folks.

Jaybird Vista: There is a lot to like about the Vista. These true wireless earbuds are small and comfortable, they connect easily and quickly, and they sound great right out of the box. The charge case is small enough that you could practically use it as a keychain fob. Either earbud can work independently if you prefer to keep one ear open. If the Jabra Elite Active 65t didn’t exist, these would likely be our pick. However, the Vista earbuds have more-limited controls and no dust resistance, and the microphones are just passable—they sound distant and clipped and are very susceptible to wind noise caused by a brisk walk. Overall, the Vista earbuds are very recommendable gym headphones that lack the everyday appeal of the Active 65t.

Jaybird X4: This pair was tricky to set up, even for our experts. Plus the cable hanging in the back bounces when you do jumping jacks, burpees, or jog, even when worn over the ears. We think the Tarah Pro is a better choice.

JBL Endurance Sprint: We loved the hook-over-the-ear design, IPX7 rating, and stable, comfortable fit of this pair and the similarly designed Jump. However, the material on the cable can start to grip and snag on your neck when you get sweaty, and the touch controls go haywire if you get them too wet.

JBL Free X: Although this pair is pretty comfy, it doesn’t have volume controls, and the sound isn’t as pleasant as that of the Jabra Elite Active 65t—the bass has a reverby quality, and acoustic guitars have a metallic twang to them.

JBL Reflect Mini 2: If the cable were shorter or had a better harness system, we’d be all in. The fit was comfortable, and the sound—with loud bass and boosted treble—was hyped yet fun for the kind of upbeat music you want for the gym. But the cable dragged and snagged and made noise when we bounced.

JLab Epic Air Sport: Although the earbud design is comfortable and the charge case has a clever built-in USB cable, the Air Sport earbuds have too many downsides to be a pick. The sound quality ranges from blurry to sibilant to overpowering bass-in-your-face, depending on EQ setting. The awareness mode is so tinny and odd-sounding that it’s unusable. With phone calls, the audio is equally jarring to your call recipient.

JLab Flex Sport: This pair is comfortable and stays in place, plus it’s sweat- and waterproof. The controls are easy to feel and use, the hear-through awareness mode is useful, the earpads and headband cushion are machine washable, and the storage bag doubles as a laundry bag. The “moisture wicking” earpads are nice for temperature control and pulling sweat off of your face, but if you sweat heavily, you must wash them after every workout. If the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 500 are sold out or you don’t mind rinsing your earpads after each trip to the gym, the Flex Sport headphones really are wonderful to use.

JLab JBuds Air Sport: This pair is a decent affordable true wireless alternative for the gym. The over-ear hooks keep the buds secure, the six-hour battery life is good, and the IP66 rating and two-year warranty are impressive. But the semi-flexible hooks can rub larger ears and aren’t quite as comfortable for longer wearing sessions, the tap controls can be a bit fiddly especially when you’re in motion, and the sound options are at best super boomy with sibilant highs.

Optoma BE Sport4: The long, thick cable on this pair tugs and transfers a lot of noise. Additionally, the material that the stabilizing wings are made of is a little too stiff and made the inner edge of our antihelix (inner cup of the outer ears) ache after 20 minutes of use.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 300: The ear-tip-and-wing system is comfortable, and the build quality feels sturdy. The sound is a little icy on the highs with a lot of bass but the bass doesn’t blur the male vocal range. Unfortunately, the cable is noisy and just a little too long, and the remote is huge and heavy.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 350: Great fit, bad cable, “meh” sound. The fit is comfy, but the cable is incredibly noisy. Plus, the sibilant highs cause “s” sounds to be piercing when the volume is above moderate levels.

Plantronics Backbeat Fit 3200: The 3200 earbuds are a sealed version of the new Backbeat Fit 3150, which will be our new running headphones pick. Unfortunately, the 3200 earbuds aren’t as good for the gym as the 3150 are for outdoor jogs. The tips aren’t very isolating, so you’ll need to compensate with higher volumes to block out gym noises. The awareness mode seems to only consist of higher frequencies, so the world around you sounds like you are in a metal tunnel. Even though the music audio quality was a pleasant bass-forward profile and the controls were easy to use, we were too bummed by the flaws to make these a pick.

Plantronics Backbeat Fit 6100: We so badly wanted to love these. The design feels sturdy and is comfortable on your head, and the adjustable headband tension is a nifty idea. Unfortunately, the features that would make this pair special didn’t deliver. The lacing that pulls the headband inward also draws the earcups away from your face at the bottom, causing sound and noise leakage. The hear-through situational awareness is so tinny and hissy-sounding that it’s painful to use, especially when a barbell clangs down on a metal bench. Worse, the sound quality is not great, with the best of the three EQ profiles described by a panelist as “bloated in the bass with muffled male vocals.”

Sennheiser CX Sport: Although the earbuds themselves are small and comfortable, the remote and Bluetooth transmitter are massive. Make any large movement and they clang into your face. The cable is also long and prone to snagging. A sibilant, piercing treble sound profile doesn’t help matters.

Skullcandy Sesh: If you want true wireless earbuds for the gym that are under $50, these are a great choice. The battery life is only three hours per charge, but the Sesh earbuds are easy to use, sound good, have IP55 water and dust protection, and sport track, volume, music, and call controls. These earbuds come with Skullcandy’s “fearless use guarantee,” which means that if you lose or break an earbud after the warranty, you pay only for the replacement part rather than for a whole new set.

Soul Electronics Run Free Pro Bio: This pair analyzes your running gait and makes coaching suggestions. If we otherwise loved the Pro Bio, we’d test the software with a trainer and see how accurate the results are. But we’re not thrilled with the experience of using these. We don’t like the sealed design for running outside, and the remote bounces on the right side and adds a loud thump-thump noise to your gait. Plus the cable tugs a little as it bounces.

Soul Electronics Run Free Pro HD: If the Run Free Pro HD didn’t have a superlong cable that slapped my back when I bounced, it would have been a contender. This pair fit our panel really well and it sounded nice, too. If your gym routine is all stable movements (cycling, weights, and the like), these headphones could be an option.

Soul Electronics X-tra: The around-ear design didn’t breathe as much as we hoped, and with those fabric earpads sucking up sweat, you’ll want to wash them after every workout. Unfortunately, the removable earpads are particularly difficult to put back on. Lackluster sound quality and control buttons that clicked loudly in our ears rounded out our reasons to dismiss this pair.

Soundcore by Anker Spirit: For someone who wants durable headphones for walking around, these are fine. The eartips fit us securely and comfortably, and the sound was decent for the price. But the long cable tugged, snagged, and made noise during higher-impact movement.

UA Sport Wireless Pivot: A massive remote and a cable that transfers a great deal of noise were enough to make the Pivot less than ideal for workouts.

UA Sport Wireless React: This pair is almost great, with a few key flaws. The React feels very sturdy and comfortable, but the remote is massive and on high-impact movements will swing about, smacking your face. And the hear-through feature, which is handy for conversations, makes your music so quiet that it may as well be paused.

UA True Wireless Flash: This pair is lightweight, and the wings make the earbuds very stable in your ears—but the metal case is heavy. Also, this pair lacks a volume control, so you’ll need to keep your phone or smartwatch handy. The “bionic hearing” (ambient awareness mode) is great for chats between sets, but it dips the music volume so much that you can’t leave it on all the time for outdoor running awareness. If the Jabra Elite Active 65t pair’s shape tends to pop out for you, these might be a decent alternative.

Underwater Audio Swimbuds Sport: These headphones are our previous swim pick and they still hold up. They sound great, have an adjustable cable length, and stay in place well. They’re just a little trickier to use than the traditional Swimbuds. The Swimbuds Sport pair offers an astounding amount of ways to seal water out of your ear. With a little trial and error and some patience, even the most unusually shaped ears will find a watertight seal.

Vi Sense and Vi React: The Vi sets are part fitness tracker, part subscription-based virtual running coach, part headphones. Both earbud designs had issues for runners. The collar design slipped around on some of our testers’ necks, and the stems on the earbuds bent at an angle that made the remote bump into their face when in full-gallop mode. On top of that, the sealed earbud design isn’t the safest for running outside because you can’t hear your surroundings well.

When looking for the best running headphones or for the gym, priorities are slightly different to when you’re searching out the best headphones for casual listening.

Headphones for exercise need to be comfortable and secure fitting as well as being sweat resistant. This is important as sweat is really bad for electronics.

  • Best in-ear headphones: Wired, wireless and wire-free

With that said, that means the best sports earphones are the ones that will stay in your ears, are lightweight and are comfortable to wear when you’re a sweaty mess pounding your feet against tarmac.

It also helps a lot if there’s plenty of bass pumping to keep you driving on. So without further ado, let’s check out the best headphones for running, the gym and general exercise.

Our top recommendation

Beats Powerbeats Pro

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The previous generation Powerbeats earphones were one of our top recommendations and now Beats have reinvented the earphone and got rid of the wire, resulting in an even better pair of workout earphones.

It starts with the new, refined shape. The curves and angles are a lot softer and more ergonomic than the Powerbeats 3 Wireless, everything from the over-ear hook through the ear tips and the angle of the casing has been adjusted to ensure that they fit as comfortably as is possible. They’re light too, so when they’re in your ears, not only do they fit very securely, but you can barely tell that they’re there.

Obviously, the lack of a cable or tether between the two earbuds also means there’s a much better sense of freedom, and no annoying cable tapping on the back of your neck during runs.

With the seal combined with a bass reflex hole, it ensures you get really great sound across the highs, mids and bass, but also the airflow means you don’t ever get that pressurised feel that is often so prominent while wearing in-ears. The only disadvantage to the bass reflex vent is that it means you don’t get complete isolation from the noise around you.

Battery life is, quite frankly, insane for a pair of wire-frees, with the Powerbeats Pro capable of lasting up to 9 hours of constant music listening outside the case, and then having two further full charges from being docked.

You also get the Apple H1 chip, which means extra convenience for iPhone, Apple Watch and Mac users. It’s really easy to pair, and then automatically paired across any other Apple device logged in with the same iCloud account.

All things considered, right now, these certainly seem like the best workout headphones you can get.

Read the full review: Beats Powerbeats Pro

The best of the rest

Pocket-lint

AirPods Pro

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Apple’s new kids on the block are, quite simply, the best AirPods yet. We were some of the many people who would occasionally use previous AirPods models in the gym guiltily, knowing that their lack of waterproofing made it a real risk. No more — AirPods Pro bring water and sweat-proofing to let you go hard, and that in-ear design makes for a way more secure fit, too.

Plus, the addition of active noise cancellation means that you won’t have to crank the volume too crazily to drown out the playlist your gym chooses, or the honking and sirens of your outdoor environment. They don’t have many dedicated fitness functions, and while the fit is secure and comfortable, the hooks from the Powerbeats Pro do make those earbuds even safer.

Read the full review: AirPods Pro

Pocket-lint

Jaybird Vista

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These are superb running headphone, and are extremely reasonably priced given the features on offer. They don’t boast a huge range of controls, but they’re comfortable, lightweight and sweatproof. The security of the fit on offer is best-in-class, too, which matters a lot when you’re working out vigorously.

With a good charging case into the mix, taking the earbuds’ six-hour battery life up to 16 hours without needing main power, and really decent sound, too, the Vista marks a genuinely impressive effort from the ever-improving Jaybird.

Read the full review: Jaybird Vista

Pocket-lint

Bose SoundSport Free

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These fantastic true wireless headphones are some of our favourite fitness earphones out there, even a few years after release — they just sound great. The disadvantage is that they don’t have some of the smart fitness features you get in the likes of the Lifebeam Vi or Jabra Elite Sport we’ve talked about below; there’s no heart-rate or cadence measure for example. They are comfortable though and crucially don’t fall out.

You get a battery life of around five hours per charge although naturally there’s extra power in the case – enough to charge the earphones twice over again. So that’s around 15 hours in total. Because they’re black, they’re also a lot more subtle than many of the other choices out there.

Read the full review: Bose SoundSport Free

Pocket-lint

Libratone Track Air+

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These rather well-designed headphones are a great alternative to AirPods Pro, undercutting their price too. You can adjust the sound profile to suit your preferences and also fine-tune the noise-cancellation so you can hear others and, rather importantly, traffic at the level that you wish. The Track Air+ also don’t come out of your ears and are comfortable, too, so you can wear them for long periods.

We really don’t have much bad to say about them at all — though the lack of Apple’s H1 chip does make for slightly slower pairing. However, it’s a small quibble; there’s a lot to commend the Track Air+.

Read the full review: Libratone Track Air+

Pocket-lint

Beats Powerbeats 3 Wireless

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Despite being usurped by the completely wire-free Powerbeats Pro, the Powerbeats 3 Wireless are still a very sensible option for anyone looking for a pair of in-ears to get them through rigorous, sweaty workout sessions. They use the same chip as the first generation AirPods, to ensure easy connection and pairing with iOS devices, and they sound good too.

The earhooks help them fit comfortably, and ensure they won’t fall out of your ears whether you’re circuit training or running. What’s more, they’re water, sweat and weather resistant and have great bassy sound. Add all that to the fact that they can last up to 12 hours of use before needing to charge, and it’s a great all-round pair of sports headphones.

Read the full review: Powerbeats 3 Wireless review

Pocket-lint

Jaybird X3

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The Jaybird X3 is one of the easiest pairs of earphones to recommend for sports use. There’s no ear hook, but the in-ear fins come in different sizes, and offer a much less cumbersome fit that’s just as secure. What’s more, they ship with multiple different size/material tips and are very lightweight and durable. As a bonus, you can attach the fins in two ways to allow you to wear them with the cable feeding over or under your ear, with an adjuster to make it as snug as you like.

As for audio, this again is versatile thanks to the superb bespoke app which lets you create your own sound profiles or use those shared by other users in the Jaybird community. It lacks some of the clarity and ring of higher-end earphones, but they’re bassy, loud and great fun. They’re not too pricey at all and offer eight hours of battery life too, which is a major plus point.

Read the full review: Jaybird X3 review

Pocket-lint

Bose SoundSport Pulse

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Bose is – first and foremost – known for its quality audio. It’s a brand synonymous with amazing sound. It just so happens, however, that it also knows how to make a decent pair of sports headphones. The Soundsport Pulse don’t just sound great, they fit nicely and stay securely in your ears.

As the name suggests, they can also measure your pulse thanks to a built in heart rate monitor. This can be used with apps like Strava, MapMyRun, Runkeeper and others to log your heart rate as you run you best 10k. Thanks to their wide, tapered cone-shaped eartip, they don’t feel like they’re invading your ear canals either. They form a seal without squeezing all the air from your head.

Read the full review: Bose SoundSport Pulse review

Pocket-lint

Jabra Elite Sport (2017)

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While they’re perhaps not as small or comfortable to wear as some of the others, the Jabra Elite Sport are very secure and fit very snugly. Perhaps too snug for some. Still, the connection didn’t drop once in our testing and the sound was powerful and immersive. What’s more, the battery lasts much longer than the first generation.

They’ve also come down considerably from their initial price point, although still among the most expensive on this list and that’s purely because the technology is classy. Not only are they completely wire-free, they feature a heart rate sensor, motion sensors and connect to your phone’s GPS to measure your performance and distances as you run.

All your distances and performance stats are stored within the Jabra smartphone app, and more vitally, the app uses these stats to inform you how long you need to rest before you attempt your next session.

Read the full review: Jabra Elite Sport review

Pocket-lint

Lifebeam Vi

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Anyone who’s tried to get fit in the modern era has probably used an app of some kind, with pre-recorded audio or video tips built in. The problem with those, however, is that they don’t really know you or your fitness level. With Lifebeam Vi you get a pair of headphones full of the necessary sensors to measure your performance, and then uses that information to get to know you, then build coaching tips specifically for you.

They’re comfortable to wear, sound loud and bassy, and stay securely, snugly inside your ears. What’s more, during your running sessions you can ask for updates at any time by tapping the right ear bud and asking “how am I doing?”. If you want a smart earphone, the Vi is an ideal running coach.

Read the full review: Lifebeam Vi review

Pocket-lint

Sony XB80BS Extra Bass

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The earhooks might be a little chunky, but the XB80BS from Sony are among the best sports earphones we’ve tested so far. Using the adjuster on the cable, the fit can be really snug and secure, meaning they stay in your ears really well during all kinds of workouts.

As the name suggests, there’s lots of bass to go around, Sony’s usual attention to good overall quality on show. As you’d expect, they’re also resistant to sweat and rain. In fact, they’re designed to be rinsed off after every use to keep them clean. What’s more, they’re pretty cheap and can last seven hours on a full charge.

Pocket-lint

JBL Reflect Aware

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As a sort-of wildcard: if you don’t want Bluetooth and would rather stick with a wired connection, JBL make a great pair of sports earphones. They’re equipped with a Lightning connector for iPhones and deliver great audio.

What we loved most about the JBL earphones is just how comfortable they were to wear. Like the Jaybirds, they have in-ear fins to keep them in your ears. These ones happen to be really soft and easy to wear, while the tips are wide cone-shaped ones, similar to the Bose.

You never have to worry about battery life, because it doesn’t have a built-in battery, and they even feature some active noise cancelling technology (although it doesn’t work that well). They are pretty expensive, but they are very good wired sports earphones for iPhone users.

Read the full review: JBL Reflect Aware review

Although people tend to search for ‘best running headphones’ (or ‘headphones for running’), what follows is also a list of the best buds for gym, work outs, sports, cross-fit, cycling and fell trekking, as well as running. We know from looking at our traffic that these were sprinting off the shelves on the Day of Amazon Prime and they will do the same on Cyber Monday. However, with our ever-updating price widgets, and workout bud and running headphones that range from under £50 to around £200, you needn’t wait that long to get the best workout buds and running headphones deals.

Whatever your activities of choice, these buds and sports headphones will soundtrack your path to fitness. That’s because they resist sweat, have Bluetooth wireless convenience and a fit that can stand up to the movement inherent in running, gym workouts and other physical jerks. We’ve listed all the lowest prices on the best running headphones below so you can be sure you’re getting a good deal on your model of choice.

  • Best running watch
  • Best fitness tracker
  • Best running shoes

What are the best running headphones and headphones for the gym?

My advice for a while now to anyone picking the best running headphones for their workouts has been to go true wireless and right now The Mother Of All True Wireless Gym Buds is ready for you to buy. Beats by Dr Dre Powerbeats Pro have better sound quality than any other true wireless bud and are not shakeable from your ears by anything short of a tsunami. They also have no-button access to Siri, if you want that and the same controls on both buds – that sounds simple but it’s a masterstroke.

Once you get used to having no wire at all rubbing on the back of your neck and no snagging on things ever, it is bloody hard to go back to the more traditional styles of running/gym headphones, even older Bluetooth ones. Powerbeats Pro are the clear standout option but there are several supremely good, more affordable alternatives, such as : Jabra Elite 65t, or the less tightly-fitted RHA TrueConnect. Those on a budget should look no further than Anker Soundcore’s Liberty Neo – they’re cheap at £70 RRP and can currently be found with a 20% off deal at Amazon.

The various limitations of true wireless, which make them irritating to use as full-time buds, just don’t apply if you only run, ride or work out in them. The battery life is usually short (although guess what? Powerbeats Pro will go for 9 hours per charge) but it’s more than long enough for gym and running, at least for anyone who’s not doing ultra-marathons. The usually slightly poorer sound quality of True Wireless is also less important for pumpin’, workout-style listening. Obviously, if you work out to Nick Drake, it’ll be more of an issue, but I think you may be in a minority, there.

Those who prefer the old-fashioned, more affordable route to a sweat-soaked soundtrack should get a pair of NuForce. About 18 months ago, I said the Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 is the best pair of Bluetooth headphones for running and gym. They’re still the best pair that isn’t true wireless.

How to choose the best running headphones for you

A decent pair of sports headphones are a very worthy investment. Research has shown that the right type and tempo of tune can keep you in the zone for longer, and we’ve all run up park steps to a suitably bombastic soundtrack like we’re Rocky. Even if we’ve then keeled over at the top.

There are four things to look for, really.

1. Waterproofing. Although a ‘normal’ pair of headphones can work well for exercise, if they fit well enough, they’re just not built to stand up to heavy rain when running or, more importantly, sweat when doing any exercise. And sooner or later, sweat or heavy rain will find them. And it will kill them. All the headphones here are sweatproof and rain resistant, but not suitable for immersion (ie: swimming, or running in Manchester).

2. A secure but comfortable fit. You can get all sorts of fitness-oriented designs that wrap tightly around your head, over and around your ears, and then deep into your cranium. However in my experience, the best types of running headphones are actually either true wireless or lightweight Bluetooth in-ears with tips that go into the ear as usual, but with additional, curved, tapered ‘hooks’ that sit under the antihelix of your ear. For those of you who aren’t ear doctors, that is the crater of cartilage that sits above your earhole. Of that type, pioneered (I think) by Monster and Bose, the Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 are the best but again, Powerbeats Pro is the gold standard here, with a different approach that involves using spectacles-style, over-ear hooks.

3. Decent sound quality. Most people want to be able to hear/feel their tunes as they workout and be motivated by them, whilst blocking out the gym/the world. They don’t necessarily want to be picking out hitherto undetected nuances in the string quartets of Brahms or the early works of Fleetwood Mac. So while three or four of the running headphones here sound really good, most just sound ‘good enough’, usually with a sound that favours bottom-end and mid-range tones.

4. Situational awareness. This is all-important for some people, who feel that effectively deafening themselves leaves them in danger of traffic or muggers when road running. It’s of no importance to me, as I prefer to shut out the world entirely when working out, but nonetheless I’ve included three great pairs of headphones specifically designed to let ambient sound through.

Whatever the sound you want, there is nothing more annoying than ear buds worming their way out when you’re trying to stay focussed. The main causes of this are poorly fitting ear-tips, plus the vibrations through your body and movements of your head as you run or work out. Even the best running headphones can become annoying when their cable snags on the back of your neck or your clothing.

Okay. On your marks, get set, SHOP!

The best headphones for running, gym, sports and fitness

1. Beats by Dr Dre Powerbeats Pro

The best headphones for gym and running. Also the best true wireless headphones

Specifications

Type: Bluetooth in-ear true wireless with anchoring hooks Battery life: 9 hours Sound isolating: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Great sound+Great fit+Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-Fairly great expense too, it must be said-Battery case is rather large

You can’t beat these Beats. They share a name and, superficially, an appearance with previous Powerbeats buds but these true wireless powerhouses absolutely crush their predecessors when it comes to quality of sound and security of fit.

The only down side I can think of to Powerbeats Pro is that the battery case is considerably larger than most rivals. However, with 9 hours of life per charge and the ability to give them a charge that lasts a few hours, by plugging them in for just a few minutes, the case is a less essential item than it is with other true wireless buds.

For sheer sound quality and the way they are all but impossible to accidentally dislodge from your ears, Powerbeats Pro are the gold standard of wireless buds for gym and running. Buy some, would be my advice.

• Read our full, 5-star Beats Powerbeats Pro review.

2. Jabra Elite Active 65t

More affordable rival to Powerbeats Pro

Type: Bluetooth true wireless in-ear with anchoring hooks Battery life: 5 hours (plus 10 hours from recharging in its case) Sound isolating: Yes +The best fit of any true wireless bud+Decent comfort too+Great for the gym and running -Pricier than partially-wired buds

If you’re after a great true wireless headphones for running, but can’t stretch to Powerbeats Pro, Jabra’s Elite Active 65t is your new workout bud. It’s also great for gym workouts, cross training, cycling, spinning, rope thrashing and anything else where you get sweaty. Since I started using them, I would now not willingly go back to even the most minimally wired Bluetooth headphones (the excellent Optoma buds below, for instance).

For workout purposes the 65t sound great. At launch they sounded a bit ‘off’ but Jabra has honed the sound with a seemingly never-ending sequence of software updates since then. They’re sufficiently bassy, great with pounding, workout-friendly music, and have a reasonable amount of musicality too. I’ve used them many times as headphones outside of a gym/run environment. There is actually an accelerometer in these, for counting reps and working in conjunction with Jabra’s own fitness app. I don’t recommend that – get a running/gym watch instead – but some people might find it useful.

It’s the comfortable yet unshakeable fit, and complete absence of wires that makes the Jabra Elite 65t so essential for workouts. Once you’ve tried true wireless, it’s very hard to go back to having that wire joining your buds, snagging on your neck or running vest.

One final note: this model, the Elite Active 65t, has a special coating so it ‘sticks’ in the ear a little better. Jabra’s other model, the Elite 65t lacks that coating (there’s also no accelerometer, but I’m not too bothered about that). As such, that’s less recommendable if you work out outdoors, where there’s a risk of them falling out and being lost forever – as, in fact, happened to me. It’s otherwise a similarly excellent true wireless earbud.

3. Optoma NuForce BE Sport4

Best Bluetooth headphones for running and gym that are not true wireless

Type: Bluetooth in-ear with anchoring hooks Battery life: 10 hours Sound isolating: Yes +Astounding audio for running headphones+Great fit: secure but comfortable+Excellent value -Minimal wiring but not ‘true’ wireless

The BE Sport4 headphones takes the T3-Award-winning BE Sport3, which previously topped this chart since about 1987, and improves on it in several ways whilst maintaining the sub-£100 price tag. And so, naturally enough, it’s our top-rated, non-true-wireless wireless headphones for workouts and running.

These in-ear sports headphones with ear-hugging hooks are the best headphones for exercise that you can get at their price point. The only caveat I’d add to that is personally, I’d advise spending more and going true wireless with the Jabra Elite Active 65t. But then I’m a big-ticket guy.

That aside, the BE Sport4 is great; easily good enough to use as day-to-day headphones, thanks to fantastic clarity, support for both AAC and Apt-X (giving improved audio quality on Apple and Android devices respectively), well-deployed bass and 10-hour battery life (up from 8 on the previous model). They also offer a very secure yet comfortable fit.

Down sides? If you prefer to be able to hear the world around you whilst exercising – I don’t – these might not be to your liking, because their noise isolation is very good. See further down this buying guide for some headphones that let more sound filter in. The choice of tips includes different size buds (so you don’t have to use the slightly horrific-looking ‘double-penetrator’ pictured above) and in-ear hooks, which strike just the right balance of very good anchoring, without sacrificing comfort.

The price is very reasonable given the quality of the Optoma NuForce BE Sport4. If you aren’t ready to embrace true wireless, they’re the best headphones for running and gym that you can get, and also a pair of headphones you can happily use when doing nothing strenuous at all.

4. Soundcore Spirit Sports by Anker

Best cheap headphones for running and workouts

Type: Bluetooth in-ear with anchoring hooks Battery life: 8 hours Sound isolating: Yes +Very waterproof indeed+So cheap+Perfectly acceptable audio+Brilliant fit -Obviously can’t compete with the pricier options here on audio quality

The first two options here are at least somewhat high-end, and tailored for those who value good audio quality. The Anker Soundcore Spirit Sports are a bit scrappier in the musical department, but easily as good when it comes to running and workout essentials such as sweat-proofing, secure but comfy fit and solid battery life, and they can be had for less than 30 quid. What can you get for 30 quid nowadays? Practically nothing!

The killer features here, besides the value for money, are the excellent fit (at least in my ears, although a variety of ear tips mean they should work for most people) and the fact that they’re not just sweat-proof but actually submergible in sea water. There’s no little cover over the USB charging socket, as on most such headphones, because the socket itself is water resistant.

Now personally, I would not advise going swimming in the sea in these because they will eventually corrode, but this level of protection does inspire confidence they will survive multiple sweaty workouts. I’ve had supposedly gym-friendly headphones literally explode because sweat got into the charging port, so know of what I speak, here. Sound quality-wise these are nowhere near as good as the Optoma Nuforce buds, nor are they as high-tech as the Jabra ones. However at this price, you might well shrug and ask, ‘who cares?’

5. RHA TrueConnect

Run-friendly AirPod lookalikes with better sound and proper sweatproofing

Listening time per charge: 5 hours Listening time with case: 20 hours +Excellent audio especially by true wireless standards+Comfortable yet secure fit -Minor pairing issues-Iffy case design

The RHA TrueConnect look quite like Apple AirPods, and aren’t a million miles away in terms of comfort. However, they go into your ear rather than sitting just outside, and have sweat-proofing for all your run/cycle/gym needs. What you end up with is a pair of running headphones that sound at least as good as the Bose SoundSport Free (#5), are just as workout-friendly, but look less peculiar, and are not as susceptible to wind noise.

There’s a lack of overt bass, but I’ve found there’s enough to keep you motivated whilst listening to ‘Techno Workout Playlist 57’, and mid-range and treble sparkle more than on the Jabras. One way these £149 AirPods-a-likes are not like actual AIrPods is that pairing is very occasionally a bit clonky – if you return them to the case and try again, it tends to work second time. The case it self is a bit fiddly too, but again not enough to make the TrueConnect lose my love.

Fit is obviously important with true wireless, and the RHAs are excellent in this respect because they come with about 15 billion choices of ear tip. They don’t feel as super secure as the Jabra buds, but the flip side of that is that they’re a little more comfortable. In the gym, they’re perfect, although on the road you may find yourself at times nervously prodding them back into your ear holes as you pound potholed roads.

Overall, these fall just short of Jabra’s superb workout buds, but many punters will prefer their less intrusive fit and more musical audio. If the price starts to slide down below the Elite 65t, they’ll become very attractive indeed.

6. Soundcore Liberty Neo by Anker

Best cheap true wireless buds for workouts and running

Type: Bluetooth true wireless in-ear with optional anchoring hooks Battery life: 3.5 hours (12 hours in total by using recharging case) Sound isolating: Yes +Superb value+Great fit+Sound is fine -Short battery life

• Buy Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo for £43 at Amazon (with voucher deal)

Until recently, true wireless buds were either expensive, or a bit crap. Now Anker’s Soundcore spin-off brand has got involved, that’s no longer true. Just £70 RRP and often on offer for less than that (20% off with voucher code at Amazon now), Liberty Neo offer excellently reliable Bluetooth connectivity, a great fit and just enough battery life to make them work for workouts. Audio is solid rather than spectacular and obviously overall they can’t compete with Powerbeats or the other more expensive true wireless buds further up this chart, but come on – for £70 RRP they are very good and for what you’ll actually pay for them, they’re remarkable.

7. Bose SoundSport Free

The best true wireless buds for gym (but not running)

Type: Bluetooth true wireless in-ear with anchoring hooks Battery life: 5 hours (plus 10 hours from recharging in its case) Sound isolating: Yes +Very good sound +Unshakeable connectivity+Incredibly comfortable -Incredibly susceptible to wind interference-They look stupid even by true wireless standards

The way the Bose SoundSport Free buds protrude from your ears gives a look that is somewhat less than icy cool. But if you work out a lot, you probably value performance over appearance, and are well used to looking a tad ‘off-beat’. And their is no doubt that at the gym, the SoundSport Free perform.

Sonically, these are a better true wireless option than the slightly artificial sounding Jabra Elite 65t. Like them, they give you five hours of battery life, with 10 more hours provided by recharging in their case. A quick-charge facility gives you 45 minutes use from 15 minutes charging.

Although perfect for the gym or home, I don’t consider these great earbuds for running outdoors, or cycling. The fit is brilliantly comfy but less unshakeable than the Jabras, which is off-putting if you hit the ground like a runaway giraffe, as I do. The way they protrude also makes them impossible to wear with your hood up in winter, as they will catch on it. The real problem with the way they protrude, however, is wind noise. They whoosh quite a bit in a breeze and in a high wind, I’d go so far as to say they are unusable.

However, the weird fit is also why they’re so comfortable, and with notably better audio than Jabra’s Elite 65t, and a more unshakeable fit than the RHA true wireless, the SoundSport Free are among the very best true wireless buds for the gym and other sports where no wind is likely. Yes, you look a bit stupid wearing them but, come on, you’re working out – you probably already look daft.

Curiously, calls only come through one SoundSport Free bud rather than both, so if you’re buying these with the intention of making or receiving a lot of calls, bear that in mind. It is weirdly jarring.

8. Urbanears Stadion

The best running headphones for situational awareness

Type: Bluetooth in-ear with wrap-around neckband Battery life: 7 hours Sound isolating: No +Secure fit but ambient sound does penetrate+Good value for money -Controls are on the back of your neck

I didn’t necessarily expect much from the Urbanears Stadion headphones from hipsters’ favourite, Stockholm’s Urbanears. However, this is actually a great pair of headphones for running. Because the Stadion has a solid (but not uncomfortable) neck band, and springy, coiled cables, running to hooked earbuds, it pulls off the unlikely feat of an unshakeable fit, without totally blocking out the world around you.

Personally, I don’t like hearing the world around me, but I know many runners and cyclists would like to be able to hear large, wheeled objects bearing down on them when on the roads, and some people, more bizarrely, even want to be able to hear the ambience of their local gym.

Well, the Stadion is just the ticket for those people. Add perfectly decent audio (the fact that a dose of ambient sound is allowed in means that by definition it’s not amazing), plus 7 hours of battery life per charge and a choice of attractive colourways, and you have a winner. I can even forgive the bizarre design flaw that plants the control buttons, mystifyingly, on the part that sits directly on the back of your neck, thereby rendering them almost entirely unusable when you’re running.

9. Monster iSport Victory Wireless

A great pair of in-ear headphones for running and fitness, often going cheap

Type: Bluetooth in-ear with anchoring hooks Battery life: 6-7 hours Sound isolating: Yes +Unshakeable fit+Reliable connection+Decent enough sound -Slightly iffy battery life

The Monster iSport Victory Wireless headphones are an interesting counterpoint to the NuForce BE Sport3 and Sennheiser CX Sport headphones. Overall there’s not a great deal to tell between them, and your choice could boil down to whether you value sound quality or firm fit, and what this week’s best prices on each happen to be.

Thanks to a wide range of tips and wings, the iSport Victory can be made to sit pretty much unshakeably in your ears. As such, although they are slightly less comfortable than their NuForce and Sennheiser rivals, they are arguably better suited to really vigorous exercise. They also pair via Bluetooth more quickly and reliably than the NuForce, with a clear voice announcing the battery level (high, medium or low) as well.

On the other hand, this is less musically gifted than its rivals, with Monster going for a more standard ‘pumping’ sound. But then, to be fair, most people don’t listen to Vivaldi or Andrew Bird at the gym, and they do sound suitably ‘motivational’ when pumping out bass-laced power tunes. I just wouldn’t use them for general, non-exercise-related listening, which I do with the NuForce.

One other thing to note: they actually only sound suitably motivational, pumping (etc) so long as the ‘Sport’ mode is activated (by pushing down both volume controls for a few seconds). In standard, ‘Warm Up’ mode they’re a bit weedy. As I felt the need to permanently keep it in Sport mode, battery life also suffers slightly, although you still get a good 6-7 hours per charge.

10. Bose SoundSport Wireless

Another great pair of ‘one wire’ Bluetooth workout buds

Type: Bluetooth in-ear with anchoring hooks Battery life: 6 hours Sound isolating: Yes +Excellent sound quality+Great comfort and fit -Pricier than NuForce and Monster

Bose is yet another competitor in the ‘lightweight buds joined together with a short wire’ gym-and-run headphones stakes, and the Bose SoundSport Wireless pair of headphones is, again, very good. However, like the Sennheiser offering it’s also somewhat more expensive than NuForce and Monster’s takes on the style.

That aside, I don’t really have a bad word to say about the SoundSport Wireless. Sound quality is very solid and you could use them outside the gym or after a run quite happily. They also pair and fit very well.

The usual, pleasingly forceful Bose sound quality is present, and the overall package is sweatproof, reasonably rugged and unfailingly comfortable. My only reservation is that the marginal gains over the Monster and NuForce sports headphones are not sufficient to justify the price, which tends to be considerably higher.

• Traditionalists may want to consider the wired version of the SoundSport. They’re very similar, the cable aside, and a fair bit cheaper

• And there’s also the SoundSport Pulse with built in cardio tracking

11. Aftershokz Trekz Air

Best bone conducting headphones for running and cycling

Type: Bone conduction Battery life: 6 hours Sound isolating: No +Cool bone conduction tech+Comfortable -By definition, not ‘hi-fi’ kinda sound

If you really don’t want to block out external sound, you can’t get much better than a pair of ‘earphones’ that don’t even sit in your ears. Aftershokz Trekz Air follow on from the older Titanium model and are 20% lighter, but the way they work remains the same. Sound is transmitted via bone conduction, from just next to your ear, so as well as enjoying the music, you can hear approaching cars and buses. It also makes it somewhat harder to damage your ears from excessive volume.

Early bone conduction headphones were pretty awful, but these ones work, and are a further step up from the – also very good – Trekz Titanium in terms of comfort. By definition, sound quality can’t compare with the best traditional headphones, but when you aren’t being yelled at by taxi drivers, or beeped at by a truck that’s about to run you over, you can enjoy audio that’s surprisingly punchy and enjoyable. When there is sound around you, you’ll be able hear it very easily.

The only slight issue with this is that on a noisy road, or in high wind, you can hear all that sound over your music as well, which is less useful. For those who want tunes but really prize situational awareness, however, this strikes me as a price worth paying.

Connecting to your phone via Bluetooth is simple, and the Trekz Air is sturdy waterproof, sweatproof, dustproof and easily portable. As much as the Aftershokz Trekz Air is not for musical purists, for safely soundtracking your cycling or road runs, this pair of sports headphones is hard to beat.

12. Monster iSport Freedom 2

The best on-ear running and gym headphones

Type: Bluetooth on-ear Battery life: 24 hours Sound isolating: Yes +Decent sound+Robust build+Long battery life -Dodgy touch controls

Who in their right mind wants to use on-ear headphones when their head is a sweaty mess? I dunno, but I keep seeing such people at gyms, and they would definitely be best advised to fulfil their bizarre needs with the Monster iSport Freedom headphones.

Yes, they’re bulky compared to everything else here, and the touch controls take considerable work to get used to. But on the other hand they’re sweat-proof – which of course they need to be, as you will sweat BUCKETS of ear sweat – and, in fact, washable. They also sound great, and due to being huge, can fit a battery that lasts for 24 long, sweaty, hot-eared hours.

I’m not sold on the concept as you may be able to tell, but if you actually prefer old-school, on-ear headphones to in-ears for gym and running, these are the best on-ear running and gym headphones you can get.

Best sports headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?’s round-up of the best sports headphones you can buy in 2020.

New year, new you? If you’re looking to up your fitness game in 2020, then a new pair of headphones for running or the gym is a great way to give yourself some motivation.

The best sports headphones will deliver great sound while offering sweat-resistant designs that stay in place, and with wireless options aplenty to choose from, you should get a decent battery life, too.

From cheap true wireless buds that completely remove the wire, to in-ear wireless earphones, neckband headphones, and even Bluetooth over-ears, these are the best sports headphones we’ve reviewed for running and the gym.

How we choose the best sports headphones

Here at What Hi-Fi? we review hundreds of products every year – and that includes plenty of headphones. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them?

We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency.

All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same price category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer, again helping to ensure consistency and avoid any personal preference.

The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics.

From all of our reviews, we choose the best products to feature in our Best Buys. That’s why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended below, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you’re getting a What Hi-Fi? approved product.

(Image credit: Bose)

1. Bose SoundSport Wireless

A fine pair of wireless in-ears, directly aimed at sporty types. They’re comfy and sound great too.

SPECIFICATIONS

Reasons to Buy

Comfortable Fun sound Strong wireless performance

Reasons to Avoid

Very little at this price

Theses are some of the best-sounding, most reliable running and gym headphones you’ll find for this money. There is a soft cable between the two buds, each of which uses an in-ear hook to keep them in place. We like the design here, complete with lightweight remote, and these running headphones are also sweat-resistant and IPX4 splashproof, too. The battery life is a modest six hours but we’d imagine that’ll do most people for a few runs or circuits.

Read the full review: Bose SoundSport Wireless

2. Sennheiser CX Sport

A solid-sounding and appealing pair of wireless in-ears for running and the gym.

SPECIFICATIONS

Clear, detailed sound Punchy, weighty delivery Lack a little rhythm

These Sennheisers are designed with running and the gym in mind, with their rubberised ear fins and splash and sweat-resistant design. Fit is excellent and noise isolation is good. The earpieces are connected by a short run of cable which includes an in-line mic and controls. Battery life is a respectable six hours and sound quality is robust and powerful, just what you need when you’re making a push for the finish line or your final set of squats. And now they’re available for a bargain price.

Read the full review: Sennheiser CX Sport

(Image credit: JBL)

3. JBL Reflect Flow

If you’re after sports in-ears, these are some of the best around.

SPECIFICATIONS

Good detail Strong bass depth Long battery life Can be beaten for dynamics Carrying case is a bit big

JBL is a heavy hitter when it comes to sports earphones and the JBL Reflect Flow is a hotly anticipated entrant to the flourishing, albeit rather niche, true-wireless-for-sports market.

In their niche category, though, the JBL Reflect Flow headphones impressive performers for the money, especially if you want a bass-heavy sound for the gym without resorting to a pair of over-ear headphones – and the 10-hour battery (or 30 with the case) will outlast a seriously long gym session.

There are better wireless earbuds for pure sonic performance but if you want a sporty option, these might just be the best bet.

Read the full review: JBL Reflect Flow

(Image credit: Sony)

4. Sony WF-1000XM3

The best wireless earbuds you can buy.

SPECIFICATIONS

Musical sound Good noise-cancelling Excellent battery life Snug fit No volume controls No aptX HD support

The best true wireless earbuds just got better! The latest version of Sony’s earbuds, the Sony WF-1000XM3 offer an all-new Bluetooth chip which sharpens up music synchronization and a noise-cancelling processor which claims to bring a 40 per cent upgrade on its predecessor. Everywhere else, pretty much everything has improved, from the fit, to the battery life, to the sound quality. A five-star all-round option and a decent bet for the gym, too.

Read the full review: Sony WF-1000XM3

(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

5. Bowers & Wilkins PI3

Brilliant wireless buds from B&W

SPECIFICATIONS

Clean, detailed presentation Solid, weighty and tight bass Flexible design and fine build Not IPX rated Lack of eartip options

Bowers & Wilkins has successfully made a smooth move into the headphone market, building on its almost unrivalled reputation when it comes to making speakers. In-ears of this design, which makes us think of sport and the gym, haven’t necessarily been on the hit list however – fear not, B&W has knocked it out of the park with these wireless in-ears too.

The PI3 earphones are a dual driver design, complete with a flexible neckband. We would prefer a few more ear tips to get the optimum fit, so it might be one to try before you buy. They deliver a decent battery life and though they aren’t technically waterproof, B&W claims they are “resistant to light rain, splash and sweat”.

Happily, they deliver a clear, controlled, punchy and well-balanced sound. From rock to pop to hip-hop, the B&W PI3 earphones deliver a confident, entertaining sound. Another fine option from B&W.

Read the full review: B&W P13

(Image credit: Cambridge Audio)

6. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

A truly exceptional pair of true wireless earbuds.

SPECIFICATIONS

Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 9hr | Charging: Micro USB | In-line mic and controls: Yes

Detailed, insightful sound Reliable Bluetooth Long battery life Some may find the fit difficult

If top value sound quality from true wireless earbuds is what you’re after for a pair of gym headphones, Cambridge Audio has answered your prayers. For an affordable price, the Melomania 1 earphones deliver an open, detailed sound that’s hard to beat without spending more money.

A good fit is essential, and, due to the length of the earpiece itself, that might not be as easy to come by for everybody, but their sonic talent is such that it’s worth the effort and potential purchase of extra buds.

With nine hours battery life from the buds themselves, plus four additional charges from the case, that means an impressive 45 hours of continuous use from this little set-up. There’s no noise cancelling, but it is clear Cambridge Audio’s focus has been on great sound over bonus features.

Read the full review: Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

(Image credit: Future)

7. Apple AirPods Pro

The new AirPods are a joy to live with and use all day, every day.

SPECIFICATIONS

Exceptionally comfortable Strong noise-cancelling Balanced, easy-going sound Noise-cancelling impacts timing Sony rival sounds more engaging

By combining the magic of the original AirPods with active noise-cancelling, Apple will be hoping it has another hit on its hands. And while the AirPods Pros aren’t the best-sounding noise-cancelling in-ears, they are still an utter joy to own and use.

Excellent noise-cancelling is complemented by a transparency mode that feels almost as natural as wearing non-isolating earphones. Here Apple has created a pair of headphones that’s as well suited to a long-haul flight as it is to a run around the block. For many, they could be the only pair of headphones they ever need.

Read the full review: Apple AirPods Pro

8. Bose SoundSport Free

Thanks to a recent update, these true wireless earbuds are pretty much the perfect package

SPECIFICATIONS

Weighty, full-bodied sound Deep, powerful bass Even tonal balance Thanks to an update, not a lot

Built with sporty types in mind, the SoundSport Free in-ears are both sweat- and water-resistant, and have a suitably rugged feel to them. They stick out a bit more than some rivals, and you could argue that some of the competition look both more stylish and more discreet. But it’s more than made up for it by the performance. After some initial connection issues, Bose seems to have sorted this with an update – and we never had a problem with the sound quality. There’s no noise-cancelling but there is a bold but balanced sound with plenty of bass. Good battery life, buoyed by a charging case, are the icing on the cake.

Read the full review: Bose SoundSport Free

(Image credit: Beats)

9. Beats Powerbeats 3

Supremely practical buds with a more-than-decent sound

SPECIFICATIONS

Good fit Great battery Bassy, fun sound Bass is too much at times Can lack clarity and dynamics

The Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless earphones are, predictably, wireless, offering Bluetooth connectivity, but they have a flexible cable between the buds. They also have a hook over the ear. The cable and the hooks mean they’re highly unlikely to fall out of your ears, so they’re ideal should earphones that stay put be a key priority. They’re comfortable, too, have a decent battery life of 12 hours, and offer a mic and volume controls on the cable. The sound is bassy and exciting, not offering the last word in clarity but perhaps ideal for the getting a sweat on to some pumping tunes. A solid bet if the feature set ticks your boxes.

Read the full review: Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless

10. Lindy BNX-60

Noise-cancelling and wireless on a budget.

SPECIFICATIONS

Great value Detailed, solid sound Noise-cancelling and Bluetooth Treble muffled in standard mode

We weren’t sold on brand name alone but a thorough reviewing later and we were sold on their skills for such an affordable price. If you prefer on-ear headphones for the gym, then these deliver good wireless sound and decent noise-cancelling for a great price. Of course you get what you pay for, and much more expensive headphones will deliver better all-round sound, but for this price they’re hard to fault.

Read the full review: Lindy BNX-60

(Image credit: Jaybird)

11. Jaybird Vista

Energetic sound and a secure fit.

SPECIFICATIONS

Punchy, energetic sound Meaty bass Good app Excellent fit Can be beaten for detail Quite expensive

The Jaybird Vista are true wireless earbuds aimed at athletes. They’re the company’s second shot at truly wireless in-ears and the latest in a fairly long-line of sports headphones from Jaybird. And it shows, with a comfortable, secure fit and an accompanying set-up app that’s a joy to use. And they sound good, too, with only the best wireless earbuds (see the top of this page) offering a slither more detail and composure. They’re sweat-proof, comfortable, secure and come with a range of features, ensuring they’re a good bet for any budding runner.

Read the full review: Jaybird Vista

12. AKG N60NC Wireless

Compact wireless noise-cancellers with superb sound quality.

SPECIFICATIONS

Noise cancellation Solid bass Clear midrange and treble Nothing of note

A 2019 Award-winner, these AKGs are compact, convenient and surprisingly affordable considering what’s on offer. They’re a headband design, which probably doesn’t make them the best running headphones, but they’re a decent shout for the gym. The noise-cancelling is impressive and the AKG sound is dynamic and punchy.

Read the full review: AKG N60NC Wireless

MORE:

Best in-ear headphones

Best wireless headphones

Best headphone deals

Although people tend to search for ‘best running headphones’ (or ‘headphones for running’), what follows is also a list of the best buds for gym, work outs, sports, cross-fit, cycling and fell trekking, as well as running. We know from looking at our traffic that these were sprinting off the shelves on the Day of Amazon Prime and they will do the same on Cyber Monday. However, with our ever-updating price widgets, and workout bud and running headphones that range from under £50 to around £200, you needn’t wait that long to get the best workout buds and running headphones deals.

Whatever your activities of choice, these buds and sports headphones will soundtrack your path to fitness. That’s because they resist sweat, have Bluetooth wireless convenience and a fit that can stand up to the movement inherent in running, gym workouts and other physical jerks. We’ve listed all the lowest prices on the best running headphones below so you can be sure you’re getting a good deal on your model of choice.

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The Best Workout Headphones & Earbuds of 2020

Best Overall: Under Armour Flash Wireless Earbuds ($150 on Sale)

Different buds and fins mean you can dial the fit on these truly wireless earbuds and appreciate their full sound comfortably during workouts and runs. The 5-hour battery life and 20 hours of backup in the charging case put these earbuds at the forefront of longevity.

Hefty construction and waterproofing make these durable enough for all kinds of outdoor workouts. We had a couple issues getting the Flash to quickly connect to Bluetooth when removed from the case, which is something we found other headphones did easily. But once connected, we didn’t lose signal.

We appreciated the rich sound and strong bass. And the volume was plenty loud, even in a noisy gym environment. It’s worth noting that some phones have a known issue of limiting volume via Bluetooth. If you’re initially unimpressed with the sound level, try connecting to your computer or other device to diagnose the problem.

Battery: 5 hours + 20 hours from case
Weight: 16 g
Pros: Big battery; durability; rich bass; fit options
Cons: Initial connectivity issues; can feel bulky

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Runner-Up Best Overall: The Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless Earbuds ($169 on Sale)

The Jaybird Vista wireless earbuds were quickly a favorite with a rich sound. Runners will like that these can be activated separately to allow for running with just one earbud. Prolonged use revealed some shortcomings in comfort and sound due to a less-dialed fit.

As our editor noted during review, “At $180 , the Jaybird Vista falls on the steep end of the price spectrum for the category. But for that price, the brand offers up some impressive performance in terms of audio quality, fit, and software features.

“The Vista presents a great buy, but it does fall short when it comes to the clarity and quality of the wearer’s voice on phone calls and video chats.”

Battery: 6 hours + 10 hours from case
Weight: 12 g
Pros: Big battery; full sound; compact charge case
Cons: Fewer fit options

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The Best Budget Workout Headphones: JBL Endurance RUN ($20 on Sale)

These adjustable, wireless, in-ear buds can also be worn behind the ear when you need to be more aware of your surroundings. They’re sweat-resistant (IPX5) and have magnetic buds to keep them together while stored.

The fit was comfortable, and we didn’t have any problems with slippage. The sound isn’t as rich as some higher-end headphones, but for just 20 bucks they’re a great value.

Battery: 8 hours
Weight: 11 g
Pros: Sweatproof; inexpensive; tangle-resistant
Cons: Floppy cord

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The Best Headphones for Running: Jaybird Tarah Pro ($130 on Sale)

Anyone who prefers round earbuds will want to check these out before the Vistas. The 14-hour battery life means you don’t have to worry about heading out for a long run. And the quality sound is great for workouts.

The magnetic snap is convenient for keeping cords tidy and for wearing around your neck when not in use. And while some wired earbuds flop annoyingly, the cinch on these makes for a comfortable, custom fit. There’s also an app that allows you to connect with the Jaybird community and find recommended playlists and podcasts.

Battery: 14 hours
Weight: 21 g (with band)
Pros: Big battery; waterproof; fabric cord
Cons: Priced like true wireless

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Best Over-Ear Headphones: Plantronics Backbeat Fit 500 ($100)

Anyone who prefers over-ear Bluetooth headphones should consider this wireless pick. We like that they’re sweat-resistant and easy to clean. We found them comfortable after hours of use. And they offer up an impressive 18-hour battery life.

The sound wasn’t as rich as some of our favorite earbuds, but overall it’s decent (especially considering the price). Our main complaint is one we have with every over-ear headphone: movement. During rigorous workouts, the Backbeat is prone to slippage.

But these work great for lifting weights, walking, or circuit training around the gym.

Battery: 18 hours
Weight: 155 g
Pros: Budget-friendly; sweatproof
Cons: Heavier; can shift during extreme workouts

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Best for Situational Awareness: AfterShokz Air ($120)

These bone-conducting headphones are a comfortable and safe option for outdoor pursuits. Instead of filling the ears with sound, they rest on the bone in front of the ear and conduct sound via vibration. It seems crazy, but it works. It allows for full enjoyment of music or podcasts while still being aware of what’s happening on the trail or when biking or running around town.

We were able to comfortably wear them with glasses and a helmet. And at just a little over one ounce, they were light and easy to wear for long rides. The only time we noticed any vibration was at full volume. And because they don’t fill the ear, they aren’t noise-canceling. But you can pair them with earplugs to achieve full noise cancelation.

Battery: 6 hours
Weight: 30 g
Pros: Easy fit; situational awareness; ambient sounds
Cons: OK sound; vibrations at high volume

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Best of the Rest

Jabra Elite Active 65t ($128 on Sale)

The Elite Active 65t are proven earbuds that have come down in price. These lightweight, truly wireless earbuds connect out of the case and automatically pause sound when removed from the ear. We also like that the volume is easily adjusted on the side of the left earbud.

The sound was solid — but not as good as our top picks. Our big complaint was that their midrange sound felt constrained and often tinny.

These are designed to fit farther in the ear and only use gels to secure a fit in the ear canal. While this is comfortable, it can leave them feeling less secure during vigorous workouts, though they never fell out during test runs.

Battery: 5 hours + 15 from case
Weight: 6 g each
Pros: Lightweight; four microphones for voice calls
Cons: Tinny midrange

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Apple AirPod Pro ($235 on Sale)

The Pro version of Apple’s wireless earbuds finally come with different-size silicone tips to seal the ear canal and ensure getting the most of the active noise-canceling qualities that adjust what you hear by monitoring surrounding sounds.

For workouts, transparency mode will help you keep aware of your environment. It’s worth noting, though, that these are only sweatproof (IPX4). At $250 MSRP, you better hope you never get stuck in the rain — and that Apple has fixed issues with the long-term life of its earbuds.

Battery: 4.5 hours + 24 with wireless case
Weight: 5.4 g
Pros: Adjustable fit; great sound; noise cancelation; headset features
Cons: Pricey; questionable long-term battery life

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Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 ($100)

These are a great value for truly wireless, sweatproof earbuds. Plus, they boast an impressive battery life. There can be frustrating issues with connecting both earbuds to Bluetooth. And the sound quality lags in comparison to other earbuds in the category. While these are decent earbuds, we’d generally spend a little more or search for better models on sale.

Battery: 7 hours + 28 hours in case
Weight: 11 g
Pros: Sweatproof; single-use earbuds; call quality
Cons: Subpar sound and connectivity

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How to Choose the Best Earbuds & Headphones for Your Workout

For our ratings, we prioritized the interrelated factors of fit and comfort, which ultimately affect sound quality. An improper fit will likely create a muffled, underwater sound.

Features like phone calls aren’t factors for workouts — we hope — though, for the price, you’ll want to use these beyond exercise. Other important features were those that added to functionality and safety, like dropping sound quickly to hear your surroundings.

Fit

The first goal of fit is to keep the earbuds in the ear. The stems of in-ear headphones wedge into the ear canal while a “fin” or “wing” tucks into (the concha part of) the outer ear to prevent lateral movement.

Getting a great fit is crucial to both comfort and sound quality. Most earbuds come with smaller and larger tips and fins, and we advise trying those out no matter how well the default options fit out of the box.

Headphone Types

Wired headphones have been around for generations and are now included with most smartphones. For many, these work fine, but an athlete’s sweat can quickly gunk up the wires — if they don’t snag one on gym equipment or a branch first.

Once you experience the freedom of wireless earbuds, subtracting an annoyance may prove worth the expense. The truly wireless versions tend to be favorites for workouts. Though some runners prefer banded wireless earbuds for the peace of mind in knowing that if an earbud falls out mid-run, it’s still within reach.

In general, truly wireless earbuds have a (slightly) shorter battery life, though this gap is closing. Battery life and accessory apps are where companies are making the most advances. Updated versions of existing product lines are gaining hours of use (extended as well by charging cases) and offering personalized EQs to create customized sounds.

At this point, those are nice additions, but all the earbuds we reviewed have sufficient battery life for a decent marathon time, and charging them is easy.

Testing Methods

We put these headphones through a series of exercises to test for comfort and, of course, to see if they’d fall out. We even chewed gum during workouts to change the shape of the jaw and ear.

Some fit better, and feel better, than others during the constant jostling of runs, while they all performed well during workouts — including burpees, which jostle the head at different angles.

To test the waterproofing, we walked and ran with these during misty and rainy days. Back at home, we sprayed them with a mist of water to check for any loss in audio quality. We found proper fit had more to do with the sound than any exterior element.

Have a favorite workout headphone we missed? Let us know in the comments for future updates to this article.

Best true wireless earbuds for working out

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