Do you need robust, sweatproof headphones for working out that don’t fall out?
Below are the best workout headphones if you consider sound quality, durability, features, and price.
And, you can compare their real battery life (from our tests):
|Rating||Price||Battery||Water resistance||Fit||Connection||Mic & Controls||More info|
Jaybird Vista 2 Best overall
8h + 16h in case (USB-C Qi charging)
IP68 (buds) & IP54 (case)
In-ear, true wireless
Jabra Elite 7 Active Runner-up
8h + 22h in case (USB-C & Qi charging)
In-ear, true wireless
Beats Fit Pro Best Beats
6h + 18h in case (USB-C)
In-ear, true wireless
Bose Sport Earbuds Best all-around
5h + 10h in case (USB-C)
In-ear, true wireless
Anker Soundcore Life A1 Best value
9h + 26h in case (USB-C & Qi charging)
In-ear, true wireless
EarFun Free Pro 2 Budget noise cancelling
5h + 20h in case (USB-C & Qi charging)
In-ear, true wireless
JBL Reflect Mini NC Best JBL
7h + 14h in case (USB-C)
In-ear, true wireless
Shokz OpenRun Pro 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
- lengthy 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 or another phone without the 3.5mm support, you don’t have any other option. You need the best wireless headphones, and wireless buds are the best in this class.
1. Jaybird Vista 2
Best true wireless earbuds for working out.
The best option on the list 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). You get multiple tips but all are in one size. They’re stable with all ear shapes and comfortable for long workout sessions.
Their rugged housing sports an IP68 water and dust resistance rating. The MIL-STD-810G military standard also makes the buds shockproof. Even the charging case can withstand water (IP54), so you get an all-around best protection.
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 7 Active
Elite 7 Active are among the best workout headphones (for most people).
A good value workout headphones that are worth checking.
- Almost neutral sound
- Comfortable fit
- Decent ANC performance
- Feature-rich app
- Wind hurts the ANC
- Not the most secure fit out there
If you aren’t into the bassy frequency response, you’ll like a more well-balanced sound of the new Jabra Elite 7 Active. It helps them match well with a variety of music genres, from rock to hip hop.
Of course, pairing them with the Jabra app opens up numerous extra features and personalized settings, custom EQ included.
Furthermore, you get a good active noise cancellation performance on top of ambient sound mode.
For managing music playback, there are also touch controls this time around, with a slight boost in battery life, as well. The built-in microphone has also been redesigned, now offering excellent call quality.
3. Beats Fit Pro
Beats Fit Pro are arguably the most stable, truly wireless workout headphones.
The latest and greatest from Beats (successor to Beats PowerBeats Pro), with ANC, full compatibility with Apple products, and six hours of battery life (three extra charges in the charging case).
- Good, fun sound
- Comfortable & stable fit
- Good ANC performance
- Support for Apple's Spatial Audio
- Android users will be missing on features
- No Qi charging
The new Fit Pro model produces less bass-heavy sound than Beats PowerBeats Pro. They focus on a balanced yet slightly bright sound signature. You even get the Spatial Audio feature using the Apple Music service.
Everything is controlled by Adaptive EQ profile, which measures the environment and adjusts the sound accordingly. That way, every user can have a similar listening experience.
On top of that, Beats Fit Pro come equipped with active noise cancelling and Transparency mode.
Stability is provided by long ear fins that firmly grab your outer ear. And when you take them out of your ears, the music automatically pauses.
Since they’re from Apple, the H1 chip ensures they work perfectly with all Apple devices, and use the “Hey Siri” digital assistant for hands-free operation. Android users should get a somewhat similar experience using the Beats app.
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, but it’s pretty great when you listen to your favorite songs. 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, 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 periods. Despite that, you never feel like earbuds are about to fall out during long workouts.
These have an IPX4 rating, which should keep the the internals safe even during the sweatiest workouts.
5. Anker Soundcore Life A1
Great pair of wireless workout earbuds that compare to higher-end models for less money.
Essential equipment in your gym bag.
- Good sound quality
- Fantastic comfort & stability
- Reliable Bluetooth connection
- Great battery life (more than 8h per charge)
- Usable physical controls with 3 EQ profiles
- Okay passive noise isolation
- Some audio delay when watching videos
If you’re into the bank for a buck, you can’t get better than this. While they’re a bit bass-forward, the midrange is balanced, making the overall sound pleasing to listen to.
Along with that, you get 3 EQ listening modes that either raise or lower the bass slightly. You toggle between them using physical buttons that work reliably and don’t produce annoying pressure in your ears.
Stability is superb, thanks to ergonomic design and ear fins that come in different lengths.
You’ll be pleased to know that for outdoor activities, earbuds sit very flush and don’t produce much wind noise.
The battery life is another strong point, on top of offering USB-C charging and Qi wireless charging.
For similar options go to the best earbuds under $50.
Find more best cheap earbuds.
6. EarFun Free Pro 2
Affordable set of active noise-canceling headphones for music lovers with better sound than other pairs in this price range.
A dynamic sound that makes snare drums stand out in your favorite tunes.
- Fun, dynamic sound with good detail
- Very comfortable & lightweight
- Smaller case with Qi wireless charging
- Strong Bluetooth connection
- Great active noise cancellation (for the price)
- Included swab for cleaning the earbuds
- Earbuds easily lose seal, affecting bass performance
- Less battery life compared to previous generation
- Slighty too aggressive noise reduction for voice calls
Punchy bass that is accompanied by a lush midrange and sparkly treble. Free Pro 2 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 good 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 a tight seal, passive noise isolation remains quite strong. For extra security, ear buds use wing tips.
Despite their size, they last you for around 5 hours and more on a single charge, with an additional 20 hours hiding in the Qi-compatible wireless charging case.
7. JBL Reflect Mini NC
The best sport headphones from JBL for the gym.
They should cover all your workout essentials.
- Excellent sound quality (after EQ)
- Great stability during workouts
- Comfortable fit
- Stable Bluetooth 5.1 connection
- Companion app with custom EQ
- Durable build with an IPX7 rating
- Poor active noise cancellation performance
- Control customization could be better
Thankfully, the JBL Headphones app lets you tweak the EQ to make them sound more natural.
Ergonomically, the Reflect Mini NC are on the bulkier side and suitable for bigger ears. Mushroom-shaped ear tips create excellent passive noise isolation, while sport fins hold the buds securely in place.
An IPX7 rating prevents any potential water damage, and you can easily wash them after a sweaty workout. And with up to seven hours of playtime, you can rest assure they’ll last you a full day.
More top picks under $100:
8. Shokz OpenRun Pro
Best bone conduction headphones with open-air design, fantastic for outside sports.
Shokz OpenRun Pro bone-conducting headphones have reliable Bluetooth functionality and keep your ears free during an exercise.
- Improved sound quality with more bass
- Longer battery life (10h)
- Comfortable fit
- Vibrating transducers
- Proprietary charging cable
The latest TurboPitch technology boosts the bass, making the sound fuller than their predecessor, the AfterShokz Aeropex.
Apart from the improved bass response, the two workout headphones share many similarities. The design is almost identical, offering the same level of comfort and stability.
The battery life is slightly better, though, topping at 10 hours on a single charge. They still use a proprietary charging connector instead of USB-C.
Bluetooth 5.1 is also a minor upgrade, providing a more reliable connection. On the other hand, the OpenRun Pro aren’t waterproof anymore. With an IP55 rating, they can only survive splashes of water.
If you prefer headphones that don’t block your ear canal, see the best bone conduction headphones.
Best Workout Headphones (on-ear, over-ear)
If in-ears aren’t comfortable for you, take a look at on-ears and over-ear 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 notes are 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.
If you have small ears, you should find them comfy. The on-the-ear design uses enough clamp force to help headphones stay 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 canceling.
Treblab Z2 are good workout headphones that offer great comfort, bassy sound, aptX support, 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. In practice, they do a good job blocking low-end humming noise but can’t completely eliminate speech, which is reasonable in this lower 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.
TaoTronics Soundliberty 97 (TaoTronics Soundliberty 97 review) – Excellent and affordable workout headphones that won’t fall off, even when performing jumping jacks. They offer a durable build and are water-resistant up to 1.5m (IPX8).
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 an H1 chip for Apple users, and seamless user experience on iOS devices. They also deliver good sound and microphone quality and a very useful Transparency mode that lets you be aware of your surroundings.
Skullcandy Push Ultra (Skullcandy Push Ultra review) – Running headphones with ear hook design that are fully waterproof (IP67) and come with a 6-hour battery life per charge. Their open design lets you hear background noise.
Sony WF-SP800N – A decent pair of Sony workout buds that sound great and come with active noise canceling. With 13 hours of battery life and a secure fit, these are worthy of consideration. (Check WF-SP800N price)
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro – One of the best workout headphones from Samsung, even though they aren’t meant for that. Still, they’re very comfortable, offer high sweat and water resistance (IPX7) and have close to neutral sound profile. You can connect them with the app to unlock other features and tweak the EQ settings. (Check Galaxy Buds Pro price)
Aukey EP-T32 (Aukey EP-T32 review) – One of the best cheap headphones for working out. For the low price, you get good sound quality, a comfortable design with over-ear hooks, aptX Bluetooth 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.
What Sports Headphones to Avoid?
There’s no such thing as perfect headphones, but some truly deserve to be avoided.
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 the Best 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 an important factor, 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 secure 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 weight lifting
- Have a less secure fit
- Mostly suitable for light 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 to 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 waterproofing or “waterproofness” starts at IPX7 and IPX8 ratings.
These headphones can be submerged in water up to 30ft (1m) but not further.
So if you’re serious about swimming, get dedicated waterproof headphones for swimming.
Find out more about what is IP rating and 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, 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 better quality workout headphones with lower failure rates.
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 worry about pulling on wires.
The single issue 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 eight 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 plus side, 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 external sounds (like noisy 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, good situational awareness is critical in situations like running in the city. 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 continuous use per charge.
The 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 few different kinds of headphones:
- 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)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I swim with waterproof workout 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.
Is it better to workout with headphones or earbuds?
The best and most popular type of headphones are earbuds or earphones. They’re small, lightweight, fit smaller ears, and offer the most secure fit and decent comfort.
What headphones do weightlifters use?
On-ear and over-ears 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.
Are AirPods Pro good for exercise?
Many people swear by them as their main workout accessory. However, in our experience, they tend to slip out of your ears when you get sweaty, which isn’t ideal for intense workouts. More on that in our Apple AirPods Pro review.
You can get wireless or wired workout headphones that are sweat proof and have a decent fit.