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10 Best Workout Headphones in 2022 (that won’t die in 6 months)

Last updated: 8 months ago
13 min read

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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
Jaybird Vista 2 small image
3.9
Under $200
8h + 16h in case (USB-C Qi charging)
IP68 (buds) & IP54 (case)
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.0
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4.2
Under $180
8h + 22h in case (USB-C & Qi charging)
IP57
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.2
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Beats Fit Pro Best Beats
Beats Fit Pro
4.5
Under $200
6h + 18h in case (USB-C)
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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4.4
Under $50
9h + 26h in case (USB-C & Qi charging)
IPX7
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.0
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EarFun Free Pro 2 Budget noise cancelling
EarFun Free Pro 2
4.4
Under $70
5h + 20h in case (USB-C & Qi charging)
IPX5
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.2
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4.1
Under $150
7h + 14h in case (USB-C)
IPX7
In-ear, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.1
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Shokz OpenRun Pro Best open-air
Shokz OpenRun Pro
4.5
Under $180
10h (proprietary)
IP55
Bone conduction
Bluetooth 5.1
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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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CONTENTS (show more)

    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
    • 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 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

    1st-place Best overall
    Jaybird Vista 2 earbuds

    Best true wireless earbuds for working out.

    The best option on the list 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
    Jaybird Vista 2 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    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.

    Jaybird Vista 2 review

    Also check: Jaybird Vista review

    2. Jabra Elite 7 Active

    2nd-place Runner-up
    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.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 22h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2.5h + quick charge – USB-C + Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP57 | Features: SAATI Acoustex mesh, PeakStop, app
    • 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.

    The design is similar to their predecessors (Jabra Elite Active 75t). At least in ergonomics, which grip your ears exceptionally well and keep them from falling out.

    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

    trophy Best Beats
    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).

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 9.5mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 18h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: ANC, ear fins, H1 chip, Spatial Audio
    • 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.

    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, 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.

    Bose Sport Earbuds review

    5. Anker Soundcore Life A1

    dollar Best value
    Anker Soundcore Life A1 review

    Great pair of wireless workout earbuds 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: 8mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 9h + 26h in case | Wireless range: 60ft (18.2m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Quick charging – USB-C & Qi charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX7 | Features: EQ presets, ear fins
    • 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
    Anker Soundcore Life A1 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    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.

    Anker Soundcore Life A1 review

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

    Find more best cheap earbuds.

    6. EarFun Free Pro 2

    anc Budget noise cancelling
    EarFun Free Pro 2 buds and case

    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.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h + 20h in case (with ANC on) | 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 sound mode, low latency
    • 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
    EarFun Free Pro 2 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    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.

    EarFun Free Pro 2 review

    7. JBL Reflect Mini NC

    trophy Best JBL
    JBL Reflect Mini NC earbuds

    The best sport headphones from JBL for the gym.

    They should cover all your workout essentials.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 14h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX7 | Features: Ambient Aware, TalkThru, mono mode, EQ
    • 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
    JBL Reflect Mini NC Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Fun true wireless headphones with immersive sound profile that’s on a bassier side of Harman target curve. Audio performance is tight and reasonably detailed, albeit occasionally sibilant.

    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

    trophy Best open-back
    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.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction transducers
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Bone conduction | Battery life: 10h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1h – quick charge – proprietary port | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: TurboPitch, moisture detector
    • 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

    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 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

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

    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.

    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. 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.

    Treblab Z2 review

    Honorable Mentions

    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:

    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.
    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 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.

    Can you swim with headphones
    Bluetooth stops working underwater.

    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.

    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 solid 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 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.

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

    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).

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

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Can I swim with waterproof workout headphones?

    First, you need waterproof headphones with a minimum IPX7. Then if you have wireless headphones, you can only swim with your head above water. Bluetooth technology stops working underwater. Otherwise, opt for a waterproof MP3 player with dedicated 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.

    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.

    20 Comments
    1. Thanks for sharing the reviews, you helped me find the best headphones for my jogging, please keep on posting helpful stuff like this, I got them from amazon and they are great, they are doing well and they came with a great price.

      Reply

    2. How did you not include a review of the Jabra Rox for the wireless roundup? I’ve used Jay birds and Rox goes toe to toe with X2. If not for the Comply ear cushions, Jay birds would lose hands down. You can swap out the Jabra tips with Comply tips and still spend less overall so the value proposition is even better still. Curious if Jay bird paid you for this review? Maybe provide an updated review including the Rox w Comply tips and see which comes out ahead. In addition the Powerbeats have horrible durability and battery life is mediocre at best in real world usage, maybe on the test bench it8ght be great.

      Reply

      1. Jabra Rox seem good, but durability and customer service is not on par with Jaybird. We think Jaybird X2s are still a better option and if you take a look at other reviews that aren’t paid (btw, Jaybird didn’t pay us anything, we don’t do sponsored reviews) most agree. By all means keep using the Rox if you like them.

        You are right Powerbeats don’t shine in every category, but they are still a good option and that’s why people buy them.

        Reply

    3. No, the Jaybird x2 is not the best sports earbud. Nowhere close. I’ve had these for three years, tried various solutions from the company, and the buds just will not stay in your ears. What a huge waste of money. And I guarantee there is no one else out there that has tried harder to make this product work.

      Reply

    4. Just got a set of Jaybird X2s.. Very disappointed in the sound quality, i get better bass out of the standard headphones i got with my iPhone. Went to MySound app to customize sound, X2 is not supported by the app for customization. I am completely disappointed and will be returning them.

      Reply

      1. If you want strong bass you picked the wrong earbuds, Jaybird X2s have a balanced sound signature so like we said in our review they aren’t bass heavy.

        Reply

    5. While I have experienced the oft-referenced issue of the earbuds falling off or falling out of my ears, the most recent issue I have experienced was with a set of JBL Reflect Mini sport buds. These “sport” earbuds literally sound like you’re wearing a stethoscope and someone is tapping the mic end after every stride while running. I couldn’t be more disappointed after buying them and giving them a go. I never read anything about this issue in these reviews. Am I crazy? Could I be the only one experiencing this phenomena?

      Reply

      1. Seems you got a faulty model or the earbuds have bad microphonics. No headphones/earbuds should sound like someone is tapping the mic. The microphonics which can be very annoying for running and can greatly diminish the sound quality.

        BTW, we didn’t recommend or review the JBL Reflect Mini buds for working out or running. Must’ve been another website. 😉

        Reply

    6. Bought the Plantronics BackBeat Fit in April. They were perfect for running and cycling. Sound quality isn’t that important when you’re working out (at least to me it’s not), so I appreciate the ambient sound coming through, cause it keeps me safe.
      The problem with my Backbeat Fit came after four months, when the buttons stopped working. First the play/pause, then the on/off. Had to send them back. Real pity, cause they were near perfect up to then.

      Reply

    7. Just wanted to say thanks for your thorough reviews. Just clicked through from you to order the 66 Audio over ears model from Amazon. I too can’t keep earbuds in while in motion. Went to a high-end pair with soft tips, which fit and sound great when sitting (plane rides, etc), but fall out when I start moving too fast. If I push them in hard enough to stay put I get that uncomfortable clogged ear pressure effect. Anyway, I appreciated how you covered all the key points and gave them true test runs. I worried that over ear models wouldn’t work either, but these seem good. Thanks

      Reply

    8. How about the FX-Sport VRX? I see you gave it a good review for swimming, but for me it’s main strength is as a land based training device. The headphones have an excellent integrated mp3 player, but also come preloaded with hundreds of training sessions in all sorts of categories [even multi-week running programmes], with instructional messages playing over your own music. Certainly been great for me. http://www.fx-sport.net/product/products/vrx-mp3-personal-trainer/

      Reply

    9. I would suggest updating this article and then listing the date of the last update was in 2017. This article was very useful for me but the prices have changed for a number of the models. The Jaybird X3 are now $100 at Best Buy & the Bose SoundSport Wireless are now $150 on Amazon or Best Buy. Updating price will help inform decisions consumers make about which product to purchase.

      One quick comment is that I wouldn’t recommend the Bose SoundSport
      (Wired) so high. I followed the advice above and immediately exchanged for the Jaybird X3s. I tried both the Bose SoundSport (Wired) yesterday and the Jaybird X3’s yesterday. I would recommend the Jaybirds because they are cheaper, have the same if not better sound quality and are wireless. With the Bose you are paying $130 for a wired headphone. They both stay in your ears super well, but for $130 either upgrade to the wireless Bose for $150 or get the Jaybirds.

      Hope this helps someone because I spent way too much time at BestBuy yesterday figuring this all out.

      Reply

      1. Thank you for your recommendation. Updated the Jaybird X3s info. The prices listed are not exact but rather a price range you can expect to pay. Prices change all the time and even though we’re trying to keep everything updated we are sometimes too slow.

        Our top recommendation is the wireless Bose SoundSport. But for people who don’t like Bluetooth we provide a wired option too. The Bose SoundSport wired are one of the best wired sports in-ear monitors today.

        We’re happy you decided for Jaybird X3s, we like them a lot too!

        Reply

    10. Strange comparison on Wired (Pros & Cons) section not comparing the fact of having the phone into your pocket for BT will eliminate the comparison with distance. Can you use a 8m long wire? So then forgot to explain the BT connection is even faster then installing a wire plug-and-play as it recognise the device already….and then can you answer calls, pause music adjust volume with similar price wired headphones? This was not mentionnés into the Pros & CONS…

      Reply

      1. Thanks for your comment Carl. The distance comparison depends on how you use the headphones so it comes down to personal preference.
        Plugging in the headphones/earbuds doesn’t take any more time than turning on the Bluetooth.
        You can also answer calls and control music with wired models so that’s something both types can do.
        Hope that explains the pros&cons a bit.

        Reply

    11. Hi.. Great article! Thanks for it. These are some very good selection indeed.
      Got a Rowkin earbud recently and really loving its sound and other features. I’d love to add Rowkin to this list.

      Reply

      1. Rowkin earbuds seem to be getting a lot of bad rep about their connection issues.

        Reply

    12. Check out Pulse & Surge from Rowkin as well. Pretty sturdy and well priced headphones.

      Reply

    13. seeing as this was a review on headphones, how is it the audio/sound quality isn’t one of the rating factors in the list…I mean, who wants to read this entire article just to find it doesn’t COMPARE sound quality….pass.

      Reply

      1. How would you objectively compare the sound? We’re open to suggestions. We thought putting a frequency response in the comparison but most people can’t read those/don’t care. We could describe it with words but again this is only useful for audiophiles who know the differences in sound signatures. It’s hard to make a sound comparison in the limited space of a table.

        Reply

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