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
8h + 16h in case (USB-C)
IP68 (buds) & IP54 (case)
In-ear, true wireless
Jabra Elite Active 75t Runner-up
7h + 28h in case (USB-C)
In-ear, true wireless
Beats PowerBeats Pro Best bass
11h + 24h in case (Lightning)
In-ear, true wireless
Bose Sport Earbuds Best all-around
5h + 10h in case (USB-C)
In-ear, true wireless
TaoTronics Soundliberty 97 Best value
9h + 20h in case (USB-C)
In-ear, true wireless
EarFun Free Pro Budget noise cancelling
+8h + 25h in case
In-ear, true wireless
Sony WF-XB700 Best affordable
9h + 9h in case
In-ear, true wireless
AfterShokz Aeropex Best open-air
Adidas RPT-01 Best on-ear
Treblab Z2 Best over-ear
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
- 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 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
High-end truly wireless headphones with extremely robust, water-resistant construction, and engaging audio performance.
- 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.
Also check: Jaybird Vista review
2. Jabra Elite Active 75t
Elite Active 75t are among the best true wireless workout headphones (for most people).
- 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.
3. Beats PowerBeats Pro
Beats PowerBeats Pro are arguably the most stable truly wireless workout headphones, plus they output strong bass.
- 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
- 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.
4. Bose Sport Earbuds
A successor to the popular Bose SoundSport Free Bluetooth earbuds with exceptional comfort, secure fit, and sweat proof housing.
- 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.
5. TaoTronics Soundliberty 97
Great sports true wireless buds that compare to higher-end models for less money.
Essential equipment in your gym bag.
- 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.
For similar options go to the best earbuds under $50.
Find more best cheap earbuds.
6. EarFun Free Pro
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.
- 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.
7. Sony WF-XB700
A Sony budget pick for gym.
They should cover all your workout essentials.
- 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
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.
- 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.
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
Adidas RPT-01 are the best workout headphones with an on-the-ear design.
- 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
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.
- 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.
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:
- How will they fit during a workout?
- Are they water or sweat-resistant?
- How durable are they?
- How will I connect them, wirelessly or with wires?
- Do I want good noise isolation or better awareness?
- How is the sound quality?
- What’s the minimum battery life I need? (if wireless)
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.