Sports

13 Best Workout Headphones in 2020

Last updated: 2 months ago, May. 12. 2020
Article Contents
    VIEW ARTICLE CONTENTS
    41 Shares

    Need robust, sweatproof sport headphones that don’t fall out? Find the best headphones for working out.

    Comparison: Best Workout Headphones

      RatingPrice
    (approx.)
    Battery
    (charging)
    Water
    Resistance
    FitConnectionControls
    & Mic

    1. Jabra Elite Active 75t
    best overall
    3.8
    More info
    $200up to 7h
    28h in case
    (USB-C)
    IP56 (IPX7)
    waterproof
    in-ear
    true wireless
    Bluetooth 5.0
    2. Beats PowerBeats Pro
    best bass
    4.1
    More info
    $200-$2509h+
    24h in case
    (Lightning)
    IPX4
    sweatproof
    in-ear
    true wireless
    Bluetooth 5.0
    3. Aukey Key Series T10
    best affordable true wireless
    4.2
    More info
    $1106h+
    24h in case
    (USB-C)
    IPX5
    waterproof
    in-earBluetooth 5.0
    4. Jaybird X4
    runner-up
    2.9
    More info
    $100up to 8h
    (micro-USB)
    IPX7
    fully waterproof
    in-earBluetooth
    5. Aukey Key Series B80
    best under $100
    4.0
    More info
    $60up to 8h
    (USB-C)
    IPX6
    waterproof
    in-earBluetooth

    6. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350
    best value
    4.2
    More info
    $80up to 6h
    (micro-USB)
    IPX5
    waterproof
    in-earBluetooth
    7. Bose SoundSport Wired
    best wired
    Bose SoundSport Wired4.1
    More info
    $120n/ano IPX
    sweatproof
    in-earwired
    3.5mm
    8. AfterShokz Aeropex
    best open-air
    4.3
    More info
    $160up to 8h
    (proprietary)
    IPX7
    (IP67)
    bone conductionBluetooth 5.0
    9. Aukey Key Series B60
    great value
    4.3
    More info
    $40
    up to 8h
    (USB-C)
    IPX6
    waterproof
    in-earBluetooth

    10. Jlab Audio Jbuds Air
    best under $50
    4.0
    More info
    $505.5h
    15h in case
    (micro-USB)
    IPX5
    (IP55)
    waterproof
    in-earBluetooth 5.0
    11. 66 Audio BTS Pro
    best on-ear
    3.6
    More info
    $85up to 40h
    (USB-C)
    no IPX
    sweatproof
    on-earBluetooth
    12. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500
    best for gym
    3.8
    More info
    $100
    up to 18h
    (micro-USB)
    no IPX
    sweat-resistant
    on-earBluetooth
    13. BlueAnt Pump Zone
    best over-ear
    4.0
    More info
    $200up to 30h
    (micro-USB)
    no IPX
    sweatproof
    over-earBluetooth
    & 3.5mm

    Table of Contents
      VIEW ARTICLE CONTENTS

      There are many sports headphones available on the market right now, but only a good dozen made the top list. We’ve scoured all the options and made the selection.

      The best workout headphones here are picked based on:

      • stability of fit for sports
      • battery life and Bluetooth technology
      • build-quality
      • sweat and water protection
      • sound quality
      • noise isolation

      Find the best-rated and most popular headphones for working out below.

      Hone down your search:

      Best wired workout headphones

      The best running headphones

      Best waterproof Bluetooth earbuds

      Best Workout Earbuds

      Small in-ear headphones are the most popular choice when it comes to sports. Because of lighter design and better noise isolation, most people choose them as the first choice.

      If you have an iPhone X or another phone without the 3.5mm support, you don’t have any other option. You need Bluetooth headphones, and wireless earbuds are the best in this class.


      1. Jabra Elite Active 75t (best overall)

      Jabra Elite Active 75t black earphones

      Jabra Elite Active 75t are the best true wireless earbuds for working out (for most people).

      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: Over 7 hours (20h in the case)
      Water-resistance: IP57 (IPX7), waterproof
      Type: True wireless, in-ear

      Why Buy These?

      If you’re looking for the best of the best, then Jabra Elite Active 75t fit the needs of all sportspeople.

      With a super stable fit, you don’t have to worry about the earbuds falling out. You can use them for working out, using the treadmill, or even gymnastics.

      The HearThrough mode offers versatility for when you want to block or hear your surroundings.

      And to make sure you never run out of music during a workout, a 7-battery life provides plenty of juice for even the most extreme athletes.

      To protect against sweat, rain, and dust, IP57 rated protection keeps them safe even if you dip them underwater or use plenty of chalk when wall climbing. The Jabras survive all of it.

      To top it all off, a 4-microphone system provides high quality calls on the go with superb built-in controls.

      The Bad

      You have to pay a premium price of around $200. Tiny soundstage.

      The Sound

      As is usual for workout headphones, the sound is bass emphasized. Still, you have the option of full equalization with the Jabra Sound+ app.

      These sound perfect for an avid athlete who likes stronger bass for extra motivation but also work for those who prefer a calmer sound signature.

      If you want the most versatile workout buds with the latest technology on the market, get yourself the Jabra Elite Active 75t.

      Check the Jabra Elite Active 75t review.


      2. Beats PowerBeats Pro (best bass)

      Beats PowerBeats Pro

      PowerBeats Pro are arguably the most stable true wireless headphones for sports, plus they come with strong bass.

      Full PowerBeats Pro review.

      Connection: True Wireless, Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 9 hours (24h in the case)
      Water-resistance: Sweatproof, IPX4
      Type: In-ear

      Why Buy These?

      If you like your music bassy and want to work out in style then these Beats are for you.

      The fit is amazingly stable for all kinds of exercise, the battery life is best-in-category, and high quality materials with IPX4 water protection, make these a fantastic choice.

      Auto on/off feature with physical built-in volume controls and multifunction button enable you to make calls or give voice commands.

      It’s a great pair of true wireless earbuds with sports in mind and the latest Bluetooth 5.0.

      The Bad

      They can get slightly uncomfortable for people with smaller ears.

      The Sound

      Beats is known for strong bass and PowerBeats Pro are no different. The bass and highs are boosted to give your music more rhythm and have you working harder.

      Plus they’ve taken good care of muddiness and harsh treble that’s hard to spot. These sound the best we’ve seen from Beats earbuds.

      For the best bass in wireless workout headphones that are suitable for all kinds of working out, get the PowerBeats Pro.

      Get more info in PowerBeats Pro review.


      More: Find out the top noise-cancelling earbuds here.


      3. Aukey Key Series T10 (best affordable true wireless)

      Aukey Key Series T10

      Great sports true wireless earbuds that compare to higher-end models for less money.

      Full Aukey Key Series T10 review.

      Connection: TWS – True Wireless, Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 7 hours (24h in the case)
      Water-resistance: Waterproof, IPX5
      Type: In-ear

      Why Buy These?

      If you’re looking for true wireless earbuds with the latest technology and features, but don’t want to pay a premium price, the Aukey T10 are the best choice around $100.

      The wireless earbuds come with Bluetooth 5.0 and strong connection, around 6-7 hours of battery life per charge, or 24h in the charging case, plus a quick charging capability that makes these ready in no time.

      To protect against sweat and water, they have IPX5 waterproof rating, fit well and comfortably in the ears, and offer dependable touch controls.

      The Bad

      Touch controls need some getting used to.

      The Sound

      Sound is balanced, so it’s suitable for all music genres. The treble is clear and detailed with vibrant vocals and rumbling bass. But bass lovers should know the lows aren’t as strong as a lot of them prefer.

      For the best workout true wireless earbuds around $100, check out the Aukey T10 that come with a modern design and latest technology.

      Read the full Aukey T10 review.


      4. JayBird X4 (runner-up)

      Jaybird X4 wireless sports earbuds

      The best and latest waterproof (IPX7) Bluetooth earbuds from Jaybird. A great choice for any sports.

      The full Jaybird X4 review.

      Connection: Wireless, Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 8 hours
      Water-resistance: Fully waterproof, IPX7
      Type: In-ear

      Why Buy These?

      In case you’re looking for wireless workout headphones with fantastic sound quality (in the category), these are for you.

      Note: It seems Jaybird quality has been declining. While we had no problems with the earbuds during testing, there is an unusually high report rate of connectivity issues and faulty batteries. But you can use one-year warranty if problems occur.

      The newest model is better protected from water and sweat than ever before. Now you get an IPX7 certification which means you can easily use them in the rain and even wash them under water.

      And, just like with the older version, comfort is superb. Lightweight and with memory foam Comply eartips it’s easy to get a comfy and secure fit. They are perfect headphones for running or lifting weights.

      The buds last about 8 hours per charge but have an annoying feature (more in the review).

      The Bad

      Questionable durability because the battery tends to develop problems over time.

      The Sound

      You can have any sound signature you want. Install the Jaybird app, and you can change the audio quality on the go. Like heavy bass? No problem.

      Prefer a flat response? Tab on the phone and you get immediate sound change. You can make them bassy or balanced. It’s a nice feature that makes these flexible and enjoyable for most people (even more demanding users).

      Fantastic comfort and fit with the option to change sound are the two main advantages of Jaybird X4. If that’s important to you, these are your top choice.

      Full Jaybird X4 review.


      5. Aukey Key Series B80 (best under $100)

      Aukey Key Series B80

      Aukey B80 are the best workout headphones under 100$.

      Read the full Aukey Key Series B80 review.

      Connection: Wireless, Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: Up to 8 hours
      Water-resistance: Waterproof, IPX6
      Type: In-ear

      Why Buy These?

      If you’re looking for wireless workout earbuds with amazing sound, waterproof design, USB-C charging, and stable fit, all under $100 then read on.

      Aukey B80 buds are extremely well-built. You don’t get the sense these cost less than 100 dollars.

      IPX6 rated they can withstand sweat and the occasional dip in the water (more on IPX here).

      Moreover, you can charge them with USB-C cable and thanks to Quick Recharging you get a full battery in about 1.5 hours.

      Also, there’s an in-line remote for controlling music. And, a well-working microphone to make phone calls.

      The wireless earphones come with memory-foam eartips that provide great noise isolation and comfortable fit.

      Memory ear hooks make sure they stay in ears, so they’re suitable for faster sports like running, sprinting and so on.

      The Bad

      Once connected via Bluetooth, there’s some white noise scrambling the music at lower volumes.

      The Sound

      Their sound signature is pretty amazing for the price. They sound crisp, detailed, and give off a good amount of bass. They have support for aptX Low Latency and feature dual hybrid drivers.

      You’re really getting more audio quality on the dollar than with comparable workout headphones.

      Aukey B80 wireless earbuds are perfect for working out.

      They have everything you need in a pair of sports headphones; stable fit that’s comfy, sweat and water protection (IPX6), fantastic sound quality (in the category), noise isolation, and decent Bluetooth performance (7-8h battery).

      Full Aukey B80 review.


      More headphones under $100:

      The best of ovn-ear and over-ear headphones (under 100)
      Excellent in-ear headphones under $100


      6. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 (best value)

      Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350

      Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 are the best value-for-money workout headphones.

      Read the full Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 review.

      Connection: Wireless, Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 6 hours
      Water-resistance: Waterproof, IPX5
      Type: In-ear

      Why Buy These?

      Plantronics is known for making great in-ear buds, and their BackBeat FIT 350 seem like their top offer.

      For an affordable price, you get Bluetooth workout earbuds with an ear-hook design and winged eartips for maximum stability (they really stay in).

      These are suitable for running, cycling, lifting weights, or any other activity in the gym or outside.

      To make sure water doesn’t hurt them, they are protected with IPX5 water-resistant P2i layer (effectively sweatproof).

      Moreover, the battery life isn’t bad with up to 6 hours per charge, and a 10-minute charge gives around 1 hour of music.

      To make your more visible outside the cable is protected with reflective weaved fabric. And, you also get a cable clip to make cable management a breeze.

      The Bad

      Micro-USB charging is a bit outdated. The in-line remote and mic module is weirdly positioned (can hit the back of your head during workout).

      The Sound

      With 6mm drivers but no aptX support, they produce decent sound quality. Most bassheads will complain about not enough bass.

      This is due to the eartip design that doesn’t go deep enough for the best noise isolation and airtight fit.

      Nonetheless, if you like more balanced sound and aren’t crazy about deep bass, you’ll love these.

      All in all, the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 are lightweight and stick to ears like glue, they’re sweatproof, have good battery and sound, and an affordable price which makes them fantastic value for your money.

      Full Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 review.


      7. Bose SoundSport Wired (best wired)

      Bose SoundSport Wired workout headphones

      Bose SoundSport Wired are the best wired workout headphones that are perfect for runners.

      Connection: Wired, 3.5mm
      Battery life: n/a
      Water-resistance: Sweatproof
      Type: In-ear

      Why Buy These?

      Don’t want to deal with constant charging and wireless connectivity. Then wired earbuds are the way to go.

      Amazing comfort, which is expected of Bose, is something many runners will appreciate.

      The earbuds don’t apply much pressure on the ears. Yet they stay stable even during faster movement.

      Now, thanks to the semi-open design, they offer plenty of environmental awareness, which is very useful for urban runners.

      On the other hand, they don’t isolate noise that well so these aren’t the best for noisy gyms.

      You get an in-line remote control to change tracks and volume. Plus, you can make phone calls with a great-sounding microphone.

      The earphones are also sweatproof, so you can use them for working out without worries.

      The Bad

      These Bose earbuds don’t provide the best noise isolation. So, if you’re running in noisy streets, expect to hear the noise. But that can be great for your awareness.

      The Sound

      The sound is somewhat balanced and can satisfy most average users. But they do lack a little bit of punch in the bass. But regardless of that, for the price, these earbuds sound good.

      Bose SoundSport Wired are a great pair of old-school wired workout earbuds. Their superb comfort and stable fit with better situation awareness make them one of the best for runners.


      8. AfterShokz Aeropex (best open-back)

      AfterShokz Aeropex

      Best bone conduction headphones with open-air design, fanastic for outside sports.

      AfterShokz Aeropex bone-conducting headphones have reliable Bluetooth functionality and keep your ears free during a workout.

      Read the full Aeropex review.

      Connection: Wireless Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 8 hours
      Water-resistance: Waterproof, IP67
      Type: Bone conduction

      Why Buy These?

      These headphones fit the bill for workout headphones. They are very stable and stay in place around the head during rigorous workouts.

      Whether you’re doing cardio or lifting weights, they stay out of the way.

      AfterShokz Aeropex are the lightest yet (30% lighter than the Air model).

      Also, the Bluetooth is very reliable, and they keep connection even at around 30 ft (10m) without disruption.

      A waterproof IP67 rating means they are waterproof. Even the most sweaty gym sessions can be dealt with by the Aeropex.

      The Bad

      Some people don’t like the feel of the vibrations on their temples. The bass is less pronounced due to bone conduction.

      As they sit on the head, not in the ears, you will hear what is going on around you. In a busy gym, this might not be ideal.

      If you’re doing bench presses, you can’t rest your head on it because the back headband is in the way.

      The Sound

      Undeniably, the sound has vastly improved compared to the AfterShokz Air (older model).

      These headphones have boosted bass. Bone conduction headphones sometimes don’t have the low-end power of standard headphones, but these are the best yet.

      Otherwise, these sound pretty good for non-bassy music.

      For high stability, and for being able to hear your surroundings while working out, consider the AfterShokz Aeropex as a top option.

      Full AfterShokz Aeropex review.


      9. Aukey Key Series B60 (great value around $60)

      Aukey Key Series B60

      Aukey B60 are great value for money Bluetooth workout earbuds.

      Read the full Aukey Key Series B60 review.

      Connection: Wireless, Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: Up to 8 hours
      Water-resistance: Waterproof, IPX6
      Type: In-ear

      Why Buy These?

      If you’re looking for something more affordable, closer to $50 that’s awesome for working out, then these are a great choice.

      B60s have a fully waterproof design with IPX6 water resistance, so you even wash them under water. They stay put with the help of silicone eartips with attached wings. They fit nicely and don’t fall out during a run.

      The best thing is how powering on and off is handled (Magnetic QuickSwitch). You turn them by detaching the magnets inside the earbuds. When you’re done exercising, just attach them together, and they power off.

      Also, the battery is great for the price lasting up to 8 hours with USB-C charging (1.5h to full charge).

      And, last but not least, you can control music and volume with in-line remote controls.

      The Bad

      They only come with silicone eartips, and you can’t use third-party foam tips because the proprietary tips and wings are in one piece.

      The Sound

      The wireless sports earbuds come with 6mm single dynamic drivers and without aptX support, but they sound pretty good.

      The bass emphasized audio isn’t as good as with B80 but good enough for the price. If you don’t want to spend more money for better sound and just want something decent, these are it.

      Great value for money workout earbuds with the latest Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C charging, great battery life, fit, and water resistance.

      The Aukey B60 are one of the best wireless workout headphones at their price.

      Read the full Aukey B60 review.


      10. Jlab Audio Jbuds Air (best under $50)

      Jlab Audio Jbuds Air

       

      Jlab Jbuds Air are the best workout earbuds under $50.

      Read the Jlab Jbuds Air review.

      Connection: True wireless, Bluetooth
      Battery life: 5.5 hours
      Water-resistance: Waterproof, IPX5
      Type: In-ear

      Why Buy These?

      Jbuds Air are one of the cheapest true wireless headphones for working out. The low price under $50, stable fit, and solid performance makes them a top choice.

      If you’re always looking for cheap gear that is better than its price, then you should check the Jbuds.

      Overall, the Bluetooth earbuds aren’t anything special, but the low price and many features make them a great buy.

      You get entirely sweatproof earbuds—rated as IPX5 (IP55)—with a stable and comfortable, fit due to lightweight and ergonomic design. They’re suitable for all types of sports except swimming.

      Additionally, the battery holds for solid 5 hours with 15 more hours in the charging case.

      While 5 hours isn’t fantastic it should last you more than a whole workout. Most people stay in the gym for around 1 hour.

      The Bad

      Can be uncomfortable for people with smaller ears. Physical controls make you irritate your ears.

      The Sound

      Audio quality is good for the price that you pay and comes with 3 different EQ presets (Jlab signature, balanced, and bass boost).

      It’s main preset is V-shaped with emphasis on treble and bass which makes them great for a fitness environment.

      Unfortunately, there’s no aptX support, so you have to do with SBC and AAC.

      Overall, they are a great budget purchase for the gym that will save you money if you’re willing to give up Hi-Fi sound.

      Read the Jlab Jbuds Air review.


      Find more cheap earbuds.


      Best Workout Headphones (on-ear, over-ear)

      In case in-ear headphones aren’t comfortable for you, take a look at on-ear and over-ear workout headphones.

      Made specifically for sports, you get all the features, durability and a stable fit in a classic headphone design.

      11. 66 Audio BTS Pro (best on-ear)

      66 Audio BTS Pro

      66 Audio BTS Pro are the best on-ear workout headphones.

      Connection: Wireless, Bluetooth 4.2
      Battery life: Up to 40 hours
      Water-resistance: Sweatproof (unknown IPX, not waterproof)
      Type: On-ear

      Quick BTS Pro review below.

      66 Audio BTS Pro are the best wireless headphones with the on-ear design you can get right now.

      For under $100 they are affordable and great value for money.

      Note: You can get a newer Pro Voice model which is basically the same headphones with added Alexa support. If you want Alexa support get them, instead we recommend to get the BTS Pro model (it’s cheaper).

      The on-ear workout headphones are an excellent choice if you have problems with earbuds.

      These have many incredible features it’s easy to understand why they’re so popular.

      Fit (Isolation)

      Lightweight and stick to ears well.

      These are worn behind the neck, hooked to ears. The fit is stable even for running unless you have tiny ears. They are lightweight and don’t bounce a lot.

      Compared to earbuds, on-ear cans will be slightly harder to keep on during fast exercise.

      Weight does have an impact, so, it’s good to keep that in mind when choosing. Thankfully, the new BTS Pro have shed weight and are sporting 2.9 oz (83 g) which is still more than in-ear headphones.

      Nonetheless, for less intense exercise like cycling they are perfect.

      Comfort

      Comfortable for long hours.

      The on-ear fit is very comfortable for working out and listening to the music for hours. While other on-ear models are softly pushing on ears and when worn longer, they become uncomfortable, this isn’t the case with BTS Pro. The memory foam earpads are comfier than ever before.

      In reality, you’ll soon forget you’re wearing them, so you can focus on doing one more set or a couple more miles. You will have a hard time finding more comfortable on-ear headphones with Bluetooth and sweat-protection.

      The clamping force is just right, and you can wear them behind-the-neck or on top of your head like regular headphones. It all depends on what’s more comfortable for you.

      Durability (Sweat-resistance)

      Sturdy plastics, headband design, reliable durability, sweatproof.

      Durability wise these are sports headphones made out of sturdy plastics. The older 66 Audio model wasn’t water-resistant, but the BTS Pro are fully sweatproof.

      Additionally, the materials feel solid as well as the build quality. Now because of their weight, you can’t throw them around and expect they’ll hold for long. Keep them in a carrying case—which you get in the package—to protect them from physical harm and failure.

      Great customer service helps here as well, if you have any problems with these, contact support and most often than not they will replace your defunct pair of headphones for new ones.

      66 Audio BTS Pro built-in controls

      The built-in controls are intuitive and easy to use.

      Controls

      On-board controls and microphone.

      You can connect 2 devices at the same time, accept and make calls and control everything from the multi-function controls on the right headphone. The built-in mic call quality is outstanding—clear voice recording with noise cancelling technology.

      Moreover, the buttons are easy to use, which is still not usual for today’s wireless headphones.

      Bluetooth (Battery)

      Aptx support, stable Bluetooth connection. Great battery life.

      4.2 Bluetooth connection works with iOS and Android devices or any Bluetooth MP3 players for fantastic 100ft. The signal range is much better than with competitive Bluetooth headsets because of the so-called “3D antenna”. The improved Bluetooth range is useful in larger gyms and sports courts.

      Furthermore, the 66 Audio BTS Pro have full aptX support for better sound compression. aptX brings better sound quality over Bluetooth, just make sure to have an aptX music device. Most Android smartphones have it.

      Battery life is the best in the category. You can get up to 40h—upgraded from 25h—of playtime with just one charge.

      This is many times more than any Bluetooth workout earbuds. Because 66 Audio went on with times they’ve used USB-C cable for fast charging—you’ll have to throw away your old Micro-USB cables as they’re worthless.

      Quick Charging substantially shortened the charge time which is now only 90 minutes. That’s impressive battery performance by any standards.

      Sound

      Strong bassy sound.

      The sound is engineered to fit the role of fitness headphones, which means powerful, deep bass. With 36mm drivers you won’t miss the emphasis on the low range, and you probably won’t mind it either.

      You get an equalizer app for iOS and Android.

      Because a bassy sound signature is preferable in sports circles for adding rhythm and motivation, this is precisely what you get. Strong bass to keep your going further and longer than before.

      Thankfully, other ranges don’t suffer, and you get a beautiful representation of mids and highs which aren’t too harsh or lacking in detail.

      Overall, we can say they sound the best of all fitness on-ear headphonesjust don’t compare them to audiophile cans.

      With amazing battery and comfort, plus a sweatproof design and enjoyable changeable sound, the 66 Audio BTS Pro are the go-to choice for workout on-ears.


      12. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 (best for gym)

      Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 - Black wireless workout on-ear headphones

      The best workout headphones for weight lifters.

      Connection: Wireless Bluetooth & wired – 3.5mm
      Battery life: Up to 18 hours
      Water-resistance: Sweat-resistant (no IPX rating)
      Type: On-ear

      PROS

      • Excellent sound isolation and comfort
      • Suitable battery life (up to 18h)
      • Good value for money under $80
      • Sweatproof design
      • Fun sound for all genres

      CONS

      • Might get uncomfortable after a while

      Why Buy These?

      Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 are the same headphones as the BackBeat 500 model that has been available for some time. Only the “FIT” model also has a so-called “2Pi” coating that makes them sweatproof.

      They also cost a bit more money but are still great value-for-money on-ear headphones for the gym.

      With a superb battery that gives up to 18 hours of playtime and stable Bluetooth connection with the standard range of 33ft (10m), you’re going to free yourself from the wires.

      You can connect them to multiple devices at the same time and use their built-in buttons for controlling music and microphone for calls.

      The build quality is reliable, and with the added anti-water coating you can comfortably use these for any sports. The fit is stable, and you can even use them for more vigorous exercise just not something like sprinting.

      The BackBeat FIT 500 are most suited for weightlifting where you don’t move your head a lot.

      Moreover, memory foam earpads covered in leatherette fabric give comfort and protection. Combined with closed-back design gives good noise isolation that removes ambient noise around you. It’s beneficial in a loud gym.

      The Bad

      On-ear headphones not suitable for vigorous exercise. A bit weak on water-resistance, no IPX rating, only sweat-resistant. Be careful around water or they might malfunction.

      The Sound

      The sound is above average too. They are bass emphasized which suits nicely with all the gym music.

      The bass is loud and punchy making music full and fun. Treble is detailed, though at high volumes slightly sibilant. Overall, they have a great gym sound that will be appreciated by most.

      If you need great wireless on-ear headphones for the gym, Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 are the way to go.


      13. BlueAnt Pump Zone (best over-ear)

      BlueAnt Pump Zone over-ear workout headphones

      BlueAnt Pump Zone are the best over-ear workout headphones.

      Connection: Wireless, Bluetooth 4.1
      Battery life: Up to 30 hours
      Water-resistance: Sweatproof
      Type: Over-ear

      Why Buy These?

      If you’re an avid weight lifter, you’ll value over-ear workout headphones more than earbuds. And, the BlueAnt Pump Zone are the best in the category.

      First off, the ear cups are large and well-padded for an extremely comfortable fit.

      Also, they are sweatproof with an IP54 rating (IPX4). You can connect them wirelessly with Bluetooth 4.1 and get up to a massive 30 hours of battery life.

      So, you can use them in the gym for days and never worry about low battery.

      For more comfortable travel, you can fold them and take them around in the carrying case.

      There are also control buttons on the ear cups. You can easily change the volume or the tracks, and there’s even Siri/Google Assistant integration.

      All in all, everything you’d want in over-ear headphones for weight lifting.

      The Bad

      Their stability is not the best, as they are over-ears. They will probably not stay in their place if you go running. Also, a bit pricey.

      The Sound

      The sound is clearly bass enhanced. It’s geared towards an average weight lifter who prefers stronger lows.

      They are best with hip-hop, rap, EDM and other bassy genres.

      BlueAnt Pump Zone over-ear workout headphones are perfect for the gym. Because of their exceptionally long battery and high comfort, they can be your best friend while lifting heavy weights.


      Honorable Mentions

      Origem HS-1 – Great cheap wireless earbuds with long battery and water protection but out of production.

      Bose SoundSport Wireless – Or SoundSport Pulse, slightly outdated wireless earbuds that are still solid (check price)

      What Sports Headphones to Avoid?

      We see some big websites recommending Jlab Audio Epic2. We recommend against Jlab Audio Epic2 because of their poor durability. It seems they have a problem with sweat and moisture in general and die out pretty quickly. Avoid the 1st Jlab Audio Epic model as well.

      Beats PowerBeats3 – Used to be our recommendation for Beats workout headphones but ever since 2017 the durability has gotten worse.

      Plantronics BackBeat FIT 300/305 – Might seem like a good option since the BackBeat 500 are first-rate, but they seem to have a build-quality issue.

      Sennheiser CX Sport – These are the newer wireless workout headphones from Sennheiser. In contrast to their positive reputation, this model seems to suffer from signal interruptions and is better to avoid.


      More related guides:

      How to Get Good Workout Headphones – Buyer’s Guide

      Most headphones are not suited for working out.

      You need to look for specific features. Before buying, ask yourself these questions:

      To learn why asking this is important check the explanations below.

      How Will They Fit During a Workout?

      Whether you’re lifting weights, running, or exercising on fitness machines, you need your headphones to stay put.

      There’s nothing more annoying than constantly readjusting a bad-fitting pair of headphones.

      You want to focus on your exercise in comfort and enjoy music without distractions.

      For these reasons you need to know that:

      Small earbuds (in-ear headphones) have the most stable fit for working out. They’re lightweight, usually, come with stability ear-wings or ear hooks, and offer plenty of “staying power” even for the most intense sports.

      Earbuds also come with a variety of eartips.

      The best are memory-foam tips which are comfier and more stable than silicone eartips. You can get them separately for most in-ear headphones.

      A pair of memory foam ear tips

      Memory-foam ear tips provide superior comfort and fit.

      Here’s more on how to improve the fit of earbuds.

      The other options are:

      On-ear and over-ear workout headphones which offer superior comfort but less stable fit. These aren’t suitable for fast exercise like sprinting due to higher weight (prone to fall off).

      But many people use them for a slower activity like lifting weights.

      Are They Water or Sweat-Resistant?

      Sports headphones have to be resistant to moisture.

      When you’re pushing yourself, you’ll be sweating heavily. And, when the sweat comes in contact with the headphone’s electronics, it can damage it.

      Also, you might get caught running in the rain or get splashed if you do water sports.

      It’s not uncommon that a bit of sweat kills a set of headphones forever.

      That’s why you should look for (at least) sweat-resistant or sweatproof headphones—even better if they have a certified IPX rating.

      Higher IPX rating (from 1-9) means better water-resistance. In-depth IPX explanation here.

      Generally, an electronic device needs at least an IPX4 rating to be sweatproof.

      • Sweat-resistant is < IPX4
      • Sweatproof is IPX4
      • Waterproof (or water resistant) is IPX5 – IPX7
      • Fully waterproof IPX7+

      Full water-protection or “waterproofness” starts at IPX7 and IPX8 ratings.

      These headphones can be submerged in water up to 30ft (1m) but not further.

      Can I swim with waterproof workout headphones?

      You can, but there are limitations.

      First, you need waterproof headphones with minimum IPX7. Then if you have Bluetooth headphones, you can only swim with the head above water.

      Can you swim with headphones

      Bluetooth stops working under water.

      Furthermore, Bluetooth technology has a limited range (most around 33ft/10m) and stops working under water.

      Water is too dense for Bluetooth signal to travel through (rain is fine, but pools and lakes are not).

      So if you’re serious about swimming, get dedicated swimming headphones.

      As for wired workout headphones, there aren’t many fully waterproof plus you need a waterproof smartphone, and the wires will be in the way of swimming.

      Can I shower with my workout headphones?

      You can, but only if the water protection of your sports headphones is high enough.

      We recommend waterproof headphones with at least IPX5 rating/water protection.

      Any rating lower and you risk damaging them.

      Also, Bluetooth works fine under the shower but not underwater in the bath.

      Keep in mind, just because the manufacturer says the headphones are waterproof or sweatproof, it doesn’t mean you can shower with them.

      You need at least IPX5 (more is better) to shower comfortably. IPX explained here.

      The problem is, not all companies reveal their IPX ratings. Bose, for example, won’t give you the info.

      In cases when you don’t know it’s better not to try it. Thankfully, we’ve made a guide on waterproof wireless headphones you can check out.

      How Durable are They?

      Build quality is an essential factor.

      During exercise, you are moving fast, and you’re more likely to hit and damage your headphones accidentally.

      Perfect gym headphones have to sustain hits and bumps without suffering damage.

      If you’re a regular gym goer—as most are—you’ll be using your headphones quite a lot. Picking a well-built product that doesn’t break after a couple of months will save you money in the long run.

      It’s tough to measure durability just by looking at headphones.

      It’s best to test them (waterproof test) and check for feedback of other users.

      In this guide, we recommend only the better quality workout headphones that have lower rates of failure.

      How Will I Connect Them, Wirelessly or With Wires?

      For working out, wireless Bluetooth headphones are the most popular. They offer a better overall experience.

      It used to be a hard question. However, today, all the major headphone manufacturers make their flagships wireless.

      When the Bluetooth technology was in diapers, it was less reliable and more expensive. That’s not the case today.

      Here are the benefits and flaws of wireless workout headphones.

      Benefits

      • You’re free to roam around—in the Bluetooth range of roughly 30ft (10 m)
      • No wires to entangle and annoy you
      • All Bluetooth headphones support phone calls

      Flaws

      • Must charge the battery (battery capacity lowers with age, increased failure rate)
      • More expensive on average—though you can still get them on the cheap

      The freedom of not having any wires is a strong selling point.

      You can put your iPhone or Android smartphone somewhere in the gym, connect it, and start working out.

      If you’re exercising outside, you can put your phone in the pocket and never have to worry about pulling on wires.

      The only problem with Bluetooth headphones—now that audio quality isn’t such a problem anymore, thanks to bit rate efficiency—is the battery.

      It needs constant charging, it adds weight and is prone to deterioration. Thankfully, the new wireless earbuds can last around 8 hours and are filled up in under 2 hours with quick-charging.

      If you don’t mind charging the battery, wireless headphones are the way to go.

      When to get wired workout headphones?

      On the other hand, wired sports headphones are usually cheaper and more reliable.

      Wires are a proven technology that works well, especially with improved tangle-free cords.

      There’s no need to think about charging the battery, only plug in and play. You do have to keep your music device in your pocket, but then again, you’re probably used to it.

      In case you aren’t working out too intensely and have a 3.5mm audio device (many new smartphones don’t have the AUX), then wired workout headphones are a good choice.

      In the end, it comes to personal preference.

      Overall, wireless headphones have become excellent. Thus they easily out-compete the wired competition.

      Do I Want Good Noise Isolation or Better Awareness?

      Passive noise isolation is great for when you don’t want to be bothered by the ambient noise (like gym music, traffic noise, etc.).

      Also, other people might hear your music, which might be embarrassing—if you’re a Hannah Montana fan.

      To block the maximum amount of background noise, check the best noise isolating headphones.

      On the other hand, in situations like running in the city, good situational awareness is critical.

      Being aware of the surroundings can save you from injury.

      Good awareness protects you from driving vehicles.

      In this case, you should get open-back or semi-open headphones with little passive noise isolation.

      Or use smaller ear tips for earbuds to let more air (and noise) in, but this will also diminish audio quality.

      You can check the best running headphones here.

      How is the Sound Quality?

      Just because you’ll use the headphones for exercise, doesn’t mean you have to suffer lousy sound.

      You want to enjoy your music without irritation. Most people prefer an emphasis on bass for exercising because it gives them rhythm and motivation.

      In any case, most of the wireless workout headphones in this article have a bass emphasized sound signature.

      And many also come with an equalizer that makes it easy to change the sound to what you want (those at a higher price).

      Check the reviews for more info.

      What’s the Minimum Battery Life I Need? (if wireless)

      Wireless workout headphones come with a battery that needs to be charged.

      But how long do you need it to last?

      Your wireless workout headphones need to have enough power to get you through at least one workout—if not more.

      The battery dying right in the middle of a workout is irritating.

      You should look for exercise headphones with at least 4-5 hours of battery life (or more).

      Better models can last up to 10 hours while the smaller, true wireless earbuds around 4 hours (don’t go for less).

      Earbuds vs. Headphones for Working Out

      Which type of headphones is best for exercise?

      We know a couple of types:

      • Earbuds/in-ear headphones (wireless and wired)
      • True wireless earbuds (wireless only)
      • On-ear headphones (wireless and wired, smaller than over-ears)
      • Over-the-ear headphones (wireless and wired, the biggest)

      The best and most popular type is in-ear or earphone type.

      They’re small, lightweight and offer the most stable fit and decent comfort.

      You can choose from wired, wireless, and true wireless earbuds.

      Due to their small size, their battery capacity is lower.

      On-ear and over-ear headphones are most popular with weightlifters.

      Man running with on-ear sport headphones

      On-ear headphones are a good alternative to smaller earbuds.

      Bigger headphones with earcups offer superior comfort. Many gym-goers prefer them but some also use them for jogging.

      You can get wired and wireless over-ear headphones for working out that are sweatproof and have a decent fit.

      In the end, it’s a question of better comfort or fit, and it’s up to you.

      Back up

      Check more guides:

      Top passive noise isolating headphones.

      The most rugged earbuds on the market.


      Disclosure: We might receive affiliate compensation if you purchase products via links on this page. In spite of that we do our best to tell the truth about every product and don’t favor any one brand or model.

      Comments