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10 Best Workout Headphones in 2021

Last updated: 1 week ago
13 min read

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

Rating Price Battery Water resistance Fit Connection Mic & Controls More info
Jaybird Vista 2 Best overall
Jaybird Vista 2 small image
3.9
Under $200
8h + 16h in case (USB-C)
IP68 (buds) & IP54 (case)
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.0
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4.3
Under $180
7h + 28h in case (USB-C)
IP57
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.0
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4.6
Under $250
11h + 24h in case (Lightning)
IPX4
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.0
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Bose Sport Earbuds Best all-around
Bose Sport Earbuds true wireless earbuds
4.5
Under $150
5h + 10h in case (USB-C)
IPX4
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.1
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4.6
Under $50
9h + 20h in case (USB-C)
IPX8
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.0
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EarFun Free Pro Budget noise cancelling
Earfun Free Pro true wireless earbuds
4.6
Under $60
+8h + 25h in case
IPX5
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.2
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Sony WF-XB700 Best affordable
Sony WF-XB700 true wireless earbuds
4.4
Under $70
9h + 9h in case
IPX4
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.0
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AfterShokz Aeropex Best open-air
AfterShokz Aeropex
4.6
Under $160
8h (proprietary)
IP67
Bone conduction
Bluetooth 5.0
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Adidas RPT-01 Best on-ear
Adidas RPT-01 wireless on-ear headphones
4.3
Under $170
40h (USB-C)
IPX4
On-ear
Bluetooth 5.0
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Treblab Z2 Best over-ear
Treblab Z2 wireless headphones
4.3
Under $90
35h (Micro-USB)
IPX4
Over-ear
Bluetooth 5.0
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Table of Contents

    There are many headphones for sports 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
    • water and sweat resistance
    • sound quality
    • ambient noise isolation

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

    Hone down your search:

    Best wired workout headphones

    Best running headphones

    Best waterproof Bluetooth headphones

    Best Workout Earbuds

    Small workout earbuds are the most popular choice when it comes to sports. Because of the lighter design and better passive 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 wireless headphones, and wireless buds are the best in this class.

    1. Jaybird Vista 2

    1st-place Best overall
    Jaybird Vista 2 earbuds

    High-end truly wireless headphones with extremely robust, water-resistant construction, and engaging audio performance.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 16h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP68 (IP54 on case) | Features: Ambient mode, mono mode, EQ
    • Great out-of-the-box sound
    • Excellent comfort and stability
    • Extremely durable with water-resistant charging case
    • Good battery life
    • Feature-rich companion app
    • Decent active noise cancellation
    • Occasional connection stutters
    • Error messages during firmware updates

    Unlike other workout headphones, Vista 2 have a slightly V-shaped sound with a smooth midrange. The bass isn’t overdone, which makes them well-suited for all music genres.

    Jaybird Vista 2 have a similar design as their predecessor, with 3 sizes of ear gels (ear tip & ear fin combo). All ear tips are in one size. They’re stable with all ear shapes and comfortable for long workout sessions.

    Their rugged housing sports IP68 rating and MIL-STD-810G military standard, making the buds waterproof, shockproof, and dust resistant. Even the charging case can repel water (IP54).

    Vistas now have even more features inside the app. The second iteration comes with transparency mode and active noise cancellation. The latter should successfully reduce engine noises during a daily commute.

    Jaybird Vista 2 review

    Also check: Jaybird Vista review

    2. Jabra Elite Active 75t

    2nd-place Runner-up
    Jabra Elite Active 75t black earphones

    Elite Active 75t are among the best true wireless workout headphones (for most people).

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 20h in case | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h 20min + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, BT-CVSD, mSBC | Water-resistance: IP57 | Features: EQ, "find my buds" feature, ambient aware
    • Reliably stable during movement
    • Comfortable for hours thanks to smart ergonomics
    • Fully waterproof with IP57 (IPX7)
    • Great sound quality with equalization
    • HearThrough awareness mode (useful for runners, cyclists…)
    • Competitive battery life at 7 hours per charge (+20h in case)
    • Perfectly designed physical controls
    • High build quality
    • Tiny soundstage (all sounds come from the middle of your head)
    • Pricier than most alternatives
    • Only right earbud can be used as mono

    The sound profile is perfect for an avid athlete who likes bass-heavy presentation but also works for those who prefer a calmer sound signature. You have the option of full equalization with the Jabra Sound+ app.

    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 be able to hear ambient sound.

    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. There’s dust resistance, too, so Jabra’s can survive all of it.

    To top it all off, a 4-microphone system provides high call quality on the go with superb built-in controls. Their playtime is slightly higher than advertised, giving around seven hours of battery life.

    After a firmware update, Active 75t also support the active noise canceling feature.

    Jabra Elite Active 75t review

    3. Beats PowerBeats Pro

    trophy Best bass
    Beats PowerBeats Pro in charging case

    Beats PowerBeats Pro are arguably the most stable truly wireless workout headphones, plus they output strong bass.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type:: In-ear | Battery Life: 11h + 24h in case | Range: 33ft – 10m | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Under 1h + quick charge – Lightning | Mic & controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Ear hooks, H1 chip, volume controls on both sides
    • Deep, punchy bass that energizes modern music (slight V-shaped signature)
    • Great battery life with quick charging (we got over 11 hours out of them)
    • Perfect stability for working out
    • High build-quality and nice materials
    • Sweatproof, but can’t be submerged
    • They get slightly uncomfortable after 30 minutes
    • Pricey
    • Large charging case
    • No way to turn them off without the charging case
    • Mids sound a bit subdued

    Beats is known for its bass-forward sound and PowerBeats Pro workout earbuds are no different. The bass notes and highs are boosted to give your music more rhythm and get your heart rate faster.

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

    The tight fit is amazingly stable for all kinds of exercise. They also have longer battery life than most other best workout buds, and you top it off with a Lightning cable. High-quality materials and IPX4 ingress protection make these a fantastic choice.

    Auto on/off feature with physical built-in controls to easily adjust volume. A multifunction button enables you to make calls or give hands-free voice commands.

    They’re a great pair of workout earbuds with sports in mind.

    Beats PowerBeats Pro review

    More: Find out, which are the best noise-cancelling earbuds and best bass earbuds.

    4. Bose Sport Earbuds

    trophy Best all-around
    Bose Sport Earbuds on a rock

    A successor to the popular Bose SoundSport Free Bluetooth earbuds with exceptional comfort, secure fit, and sweat proof housing.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h + 10h in case | Wireless range: 30ft (9m) | Noise cancelling: / | Charging: 2h + Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water-resistance: IPX4 | Features: Auto pause/play, ear fins
    • Exceptional fit and comfort
    • Great audio quality with controlled bass
    • Massive soundstage (for an in-ear headphone)
    • Sweatproof housing with an IPX4 rating
    • Support for Bluetooth 5.1
    • Good passive noise isolation
    • A barebones mobile application without EQ
    • Somewhat average battery life
    • Lack of extra customizations

    The audio performance is on the bassier side, and you can’t change it, but it’s pretty great when you listen to music. The bass shows excellent control and punch without skipping a beat, whereas the mids and highs remain slightly subdued yet clean.

    Even though Bose Sport Earbuds appear bulky, they fit securely in your ears without creating pressure points. They’re using StayHear Max wing tips, a combination of an ear tip and fin, that only differ in fin length. The latter latches into your ear and prevents earbuds from moving around.

    Regarding the included ear tips, they rest gently in front of ear holes, providing excellent comfort for long listening sessions. Despite that, you never feel like earbuds are about to fall out during workouts.

    These have an IPX4 rating, which should keep the sweat away from the internals. After the last software update, you can change the volume, too.

    Bose Sport Earbuds review

    5. TaoTronics Soundliberty 97

    dollar Best value
    TaoTronics Soundliberty 97

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

    Essential equipment in your gym bag.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: PEEK+ PU dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 9h + 20h in case | Wireless range: 3ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Touch controls
    • Good overall sound quality
    • High water protection (IPX8 rating)
    • Comfortable fit for long listening sessions
    • Impressive 9-hour battery life
    • Great passive isolation
    • Competition comes with extra features
    • No EQ presets

    Earbuds can deliver pleasing rumble when a song asks for it. The midrange stays free of bass bleed and is quite clean, while the shy treble could use a slight boost.

    These simple-looking earbuds are small enough to fit any ears. Due to their ergonomic design, you can wear them comfortably for an entire day.

    Speaking of long listening sessions, the battery life is rated for 9 hours of playtime per charge. An additional 20 hours are waiting in the charging case.

    Earbuds don’t protrude as much, which prevents wind noise. That’s great if you plan to work out outdoors and want your music with you.

    They’re also great for watching videos with zero audio lag thanks to the aptX Bluetooth codec.

    TaoTronics Soundliberty 97 review

    For similar options go to the best earbuds under $50.

    Find more best cheap earbuds.

    6. EarFun Free Pro

    anc Budget noise cancelling
    EarFun Free Pro on a moss

    Budget offering for music lovers with active noise canceling and better sound than most earbuds in this price range.

    A dynamic sound that makes snare drums stand out in the mix.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: Dual composite dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 25h in case | Wireless range: 50ft (15m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: ANC, ambient aware, ear fins, mono mode, touch controls
    • Excellent sound quality for the price
    • Natural, dynamic audio performance
    • Punchy bass with good extension
    • Great comfort and stability
    • Stable connection with Bluetooth 5.2
    • Long battery life
    • Many useful extra features
    • Decent active noise cancelling effectiveness
    • … but not the best ambient mode
    • No mobile app or built-in EQ presets
    • Flimsy charging case

    Punchy bass that is accompanied by a lush midrange and sparkly treble. Free Pro’s are a good pair of workout headphones on the budget that sound great with most music genres and get loud enough. And the soundstage isn’t too shabby, either.

    As for the rest, you get a decent performance out of active noise cancellation. There’s also a transparency mode, which lets you hear ambient sound.

    Comfort is great, and due to their size, you barely feel them in your ears. Since the tips go slightly deeper into your ear canal, providing good seal, passive noise isolation remains quite strong. To stay secure in place, ear buds use wing tips.

    Despite their size, they last you for around 8 hours and more on a single charge, with an additional 25 hours hiding in the Qi-compatible wireless charging case.

    EarFun Free Pro review

    7. Sony WF-XB700

    trophy Best affordable
    Sony WF-XB700

    A Sony budget pick for gym.

    They should cover all your workout essentials.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 9h + 9h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2.5h + Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Tri-Hold design, physical controls
    • Robust construction
    • Bassy sound that is great for exercising
    • No companion app
    • Some find Tri-Hold design uncomfortable

    Sony’s XB series is known to deliver some serious punch. Thankfully, that’s exactly what sportspeople want in their headphones. XB700 don’t disappoint, giving you a good amount of rumble and slam. They have a decent sound, with good midrange and treble response.

    These in-ear workout headphones come with a Tri-Hold design, which rests in 3 areas in your ear. That ensures great stability, although it can cause fatigue after prolonged listening.

    Their housing is somewhat bulky (8g per earbud), but it stays in your ears nicely. One physical button on top gives you access to basic onboard controls to skip tracks and volume adjustment.

    With an IPX4 rating, they’re fully sweatproof, giving you the freedom of soaking them in sweat during intense exercises. The battery life is good, with up to 9 hours per charge and an extra 9 hours inside the charging case.

    More top picks under $100:

    8. AfterShokz Aeropex

    trophy Best open-back
    AfterShokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones

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

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

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction transducer
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Bone conduction | Battery life: 8h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h – Proprietary cable | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IP67 | Features: Moisture detect alert, EQ, multipoint
    • Stable fit for all types of sports
    • Perfect environment awareness due to open-ear design
    • Lightweight (almost 30% lighter than Air)
    • Waterproof and dustproof (IP67)
    • Good battery life (8 hours)
    • Improved bass response from previous models
    • Vibrating transducers might be annoying
    • Sound quality is suffering (compared to regular earphones)
    • Lack of bass

    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.

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

    Whether you’re doing cardio or lifting weights, they stay out of the way. AfterShokz Aeropex are the lightest yet (30% lighter than the AfterShokz Trekz Air model).

    Also, the Bluetooth is very reliable, and they keep connection even at around 30 ft (10m) without disruption. Up to eight hours of battery life should last you an entire marathon.

    Thanks to a waterproof IP rating, they can deal with even the sweatiest workouts and gym sessions.

    AfterShokz Aeropex review

    For similar alternatives, see the best bone conduction headphones.

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

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

    Made specifically for sports, you get all the features, durability, and an excellent fit in a classic headphone design. Here are our best workout headphones picks.

    9. Adidas RPT-01

    trophy Best on-ear
    Adidas RPT-01 wireless sports headphones

    Adidas RPT-01 are the best workout headphones with an on-the-ear design.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: On-ear | Battery life: 40h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Washable fabric
    • Punchy, bassy sound
    • Washable fabric for keeping them fresh
    • Treble lacks energy and detail

    Adidas headphones have a bass-forward presentation that might sound overwhelming to some.

    However, punchy bass is excellent for working out, pumping you extra energy to finish your exercise.

    The RPT-01 workout headphones are specially designed for sweaty conditions. They have an IPX4 rating for sweat resistance and light water splashes.

    Also, they’re dressed in washable fabric, so you can always keep them clean and fresh-smelling.

    The on-the-ear design uses just the right amount of clamp force to keep headphones in place during workouts. And if you take them in the outside world, there’s a reflective Adidas logo on the headband.

    Even though they’re small in size, you still get a better battery life than in most headphones (40h). They support USB-C charging.

    10. Treblab Z2

    trophy Best over-ear
    Treblab Z2 workout headphones on the table

    Full-sized gym headphones with active noise cancellation for all of you over-ear lovers. They offer great comfort, bassy sound, and have a sweatproof design.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 35h (ANC on), 20h+ (ANC off) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 3h – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: ANC, 3.5mm port, multipo supportint
    • Comfortable, plush earpads
    • Great noise isolation
    • Good build quality
    • IPX4 water-protection
    • Great sound performance
    • Hard carrying case
    • 35-hour battery life
    • Micro-USB port
    • Average ANC performance
    • Earpads get a bit sweaty

    Without noise canceling, the sound is quite bassy and warm, but it lacks detail. With ANC, the sound signature becomes more balanced and detailed. However, the bass is almost completely gone.

    See the best bass headphones.

    Their build quality feels nice, with a hard plastic body that has a soft, premium finish. The design is quite understated yet trendy, so they don’t look weird on your head.

    Ear cushions go around your ears and create a great fit that remains comfortable to wear for hours.

    Z2’s are one of the best budget noise-cancelling headphones, although it’s not quite on par with more expensive models. In practice, they do a good job blocking low-end humming noise but can’t completely eliminate speech, which is reasonable in this price range.

    Apart from the IPX4 water resistance rating, Treblab also included a hard carrying case and a carabiner for more secure transport. With up to 35 hours of runtime, the battery shouldn’t be a problem.

    Treblab Z2 review

    Honorable Mentions

    JBL Under Armour Flash X – One of the best workout earbuds from JBL that won’t fall off, even when performing jumping jacks. They offer a durable build with an aluminum charging case and are water-resistant up to 1m (IPX7). (Check Under Armour Flash X price)

    Apple AirPods Pro (Apple AirPods Pro review) – One of the best headphones in terms of noise reduction performance, are comfortable to wear, have a rock-solid connection with H1 chip for Apple users, and seamless user experience on iOS devices. There is also good sound and microphone quality and a very useful Transparency mode that lets you be aware of your surroundings. (Check AirPods Pro price)

    Skullcandy Push Ultra (Skullcandy Push Ultra review) – Running earbuds with ear hooks that are fully waterproof (IP67) and come with a 6-hour battery life per charge. Their open design lets you hear background noise. (Check Push Ultra price)

    Sony WF-SP800N – A decent pair of Sony workout buds that sound great and come with active noise cancellation. With 13 hours of battery life and a secure fit, these are worthy of consideration. (Check WF-SP800N price)

    Jaybird X4 (Jaybird X4 review) – Still one of the best workout headphones from Jaybird, that ensure rock-solid stability regardless of the ear shape, and decent sound quality. You can connect them with the app to unlock other features and tweak the EQ settings. (Check X4 price)

    Aukey EP-T32 – One of the best cheap headphones for working out. For the low price, you get good sound quality, a comfortable fit with ear hooks, an aptX codec for Android devices, and long battery life. Sadly, they’re no longer available on Amazon, but you can get them on the official site. (Aukey EP-T32 review)

    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 great option since the BackBeat 500 are first-rate, but they seem to have a build-quality issue.

    Sennheiser CX Sport – These are the newer Bluetooth 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 workout purposes.

    You need to look for specific features. Before you buy something, 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.

    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-ears)

    • Have the most stable fit for working out
    • Are lightweight
    • Usually come with stability ear-wings or ear hooks
    • Offer plenty of “staying power” even for the most intense sports

    Earbuds also come with a variety of ear tips to fit comfortably most ear canals.

    • The best are memory foam ear tips which are comfier and more stable than silicone tips. You can get them separately for most in-ears.
    A pair of memory foam ear tips
    Memory foam ear tips make a big difference in providing comfort and a good fit.

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

    The other options are:

    On-ear and over-ear workout headphones

    • Offer superior comfort
    • Many people use them for a slower activity like lifting weights
    • Have a less stable fit
    • Aren’t suitable for fast exercise like sprinting due to higher weight (prone to fall off)

    Are They Water or Sweat-Resistant?

    Best sports headphones have to be resistant to moisture.

    • When you’re pushing yourself, you’ll be sweating heavily.
    • Also, you might get caught running in the rain or get splashed if you do water sports.

    When liquids come in contact with the headphone’s electronics, they can damage it.

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

    A higher IPX rating (from 1-9) means better water protection. 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 you swim with headphones
    Bluetooth stops working underwater.

    Can I Swim with Waterproof Workout Headphones?

    You can, but there are limitations. First, you need waterproof headphones with a minimum IPX7.

    Then if you have wireless headphones, you can only swim with the head above water. Bluetooth technology has a limited range (most around 33ft/10m) and stops working underwater.

    As for wired workout headphones, there aren’t many fully waterproof plus you need a water-resistant MP3 player, and the wires will be in the way of swimming.

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

    Can I Shower with my Workout Headphones?

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

    We recommend waterproof headphones with at least IPX5 rating/water protection. Any rating lower and you risk damaging them.

    Find out more about what is IP rating how manufacturers test it.

    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.

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

    How Durable are They?

    Build quality is an essential factor.

    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.

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

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

    • It’s best to test them (waterproof test) and check for feedback from 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 headphones are the most popular. They offer a better overall experience due to convenience.

    Here are the benefits and flaws of wireless workout headphones.

    • You’re free to roam around—in the Bluetooth range of roughly 30ft (10 m)
    • No wires to entangle and annoy you
    • All wireless Bluetooth headphones support phone calls
    • 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 with each other, 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 biggest problem with wireless headphones is the battery.

    • It needs constant charging
    • it adds weight
    • is prone to deterioration

    Thankfully, the new wireless in-ears 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 really well
    • Workout headphones come with improved tangle-free cords
    • Plug & play operation. No worries about batteries dying during workout session
    • You have to keep your music device in your pocket.
    • You could potentionally pull on the wire and damage the headphones.

    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.

    We advise to wire the cable under your shirt or behind your back. That way, it doesn’t dangle right in front of you.

    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?

    Reducing ambient noise is great for:

    • when you don’t want to be bothered by the ambient noise (like gym music, traffic noise, etc.).
    • when you don’t want other people to hear your music, which might be embarrassing.

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

    Taxi driving in the street.
    Good external noise awareness protects you from oncoming traffic.

    On the other hand, in situations like running in the city, good situational awareness is critical. Being aware of your surroundings can save you from injury.

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

    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 quality.

    Most people prefer a bass boost for exercising because it gives them rhythm and motivation.

    Most of the Bluetooth workout headphones in this guide have a bass-emphasized sound signature.

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

    Check the reviews for more info.

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

    Best workout headphones need to have enough power to get you through at least two workouts.

    You should look for exercise headphones with at least 4-5 hours of battery duration per charge.

    A good thing is that, nowadays, many can surpass that duration. Better models can last up to 10 hours while the smaller, truly wireless in-ears around 5 hours (don’t go for less).

    Earbuds vs. Headphones for Working Out

    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)

    Which Type of Headphones is Best for Exercise?

    The best and most popular type of headphones are earbuds or earphones. They’re small, lightweight, and offer the most stable fit and decent comfort.

    You can choose from wired earbuds, traditional Bluetooth earbuds, and truly wireless earbuds. Due to their small size, their battery capacity is lower.

    Man running with on-ear sport headphones
    Full-sized headphones are a good alternative to smaller earbuds.

    What Headphones Do Weightlifters Use?

    On-ear and over-ear headphones are most popular with weightlifters. Bigger headphones with ear cups offer superior comfort. Many gym-goers prefer them but some also use them for jogging.

    You can get wireless or wired headphones for working out that are sweat proof and have a decent fit.