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The 6 Best Ear Hook Headphones

Last updated: 4 months ago
7 min read

What are the best headphones with ear hooks that provide a fantastic fit? Get the answer here.

Rating Price Battery (charging) Connection Water protection Mic & Controls More info
4.6
Under $250
11 hours, 24h in case (Lightning)
Bluetooth 5.0
IPX4
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Treblab X3 Pro Best under $100
Treblab X3 Pro true wireless earbuds
4.3
Under $60
9 hours, 36h in case (USB-C)
Bluetooth 5.0
IPX7
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4.1
Under $40
6 hours (Micro-USB)
Bluetooth 4.1
IPX5
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AfterShokz Aeropex Best bone conduction
AfterShokz Aeropex
4.6
Under $160
8 hours (proprietary)
Bluetooth 5.0
IP67
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Aukey EP-T32 Best under $50
Aukey EP-T32 true wireless earbuds
4.0
Under $40
7 hours, 28h in case (USB-C & Qi wireless)
Bluetooth 5.0
IPX8
checkmarkcheckmark
4.4
Under $30
18 hours (Micro-USB)
Bluetooth 5.0
IP68
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Ear hook headphones are popular sports headphones. If you do a lot of physical activity using your headphones, then you know how important it is to keep them in place.

The annoyance of earbuds falling out during exercise is frustrating. In-ears change sound just by moving inside your ear canal. It’s not a pleasant experience.

Headphones in this design hook around the back of the ear. A wire or rigid hook, usually plastic or silicone, adds stability while you move.

Hook design is good for using in the gym, running, cycling, and other activity.

But some hook headphones are simply uncomfortable.

Nonetheless, we’ve made a list of the best ear hook headphones here.

Table of Contents

    Related:

    Best workout headphones

    Best headphones for running

    Best running for earbuds

    Key Features of Ear Hook Headphones

    If you’ve decided that the hook design is for you, how do you know which ear hook earbuds are best?

    And what are the key features of ear hook headphones?

    Stability

    This should be the number one priority if you are looking for headphones or earbuds to use when exercising.

    Nobody wants earbuds that fall out, the whole point of this design is to combat this.

    There are a few ways that stability can be provided.

    Ear hooks vs. ear wings

    Though hooks are popular many people opt for ear wings which are different. These adapt to the inner shape of your ear rather than hooking around the outside.

    Ear wings and ear hooks
    Ear wings sit in the ear lobe while ear hooks go behind and over ears.

    However, you can still wear the earbuds with ear wings behind-the-ear/ear hook style. They are compatible.

    Wearing earbuds the ear hook style (behind-the-ear) can be used for wired and wireless in-ears without hooks like the Jaybird X4.

    Occasionally, you may see on-ears with ear hooks, but the design isn’t suited for over-ears.

    Comfort

    Every pair of headphones should be comfortable by design.

    Check the most comfortable headphones.

    However, the hook design is easy to get wrong. There are examples of hook headphones which make good sports headphones in terms of staying put but aren’t comfortable.

    The problem is ear hook rubbing against the skin of the ear which gets irritated over time. It can be uncomfortable or plain painful.

    Ear hook headphones are normally made of plastic or silicone, with a rigid or semi-rigid area hooking around the ear. Some have cushioned designs to help with comfort.

    Sound

    Of course, the sound is still important with a hook design.

    Earbuds are of no use if they stay put but sound so bad you won’t want to listen to them.

    Whichever headphones you are looking into, pay attention to the sound fidelity.

    Volume is important too, and a good quality driver will go a long way to providing this.

    Wireless or Wired?

    If you are looking for wireless ear hook headphones, pay attention to the Bluetooth wireless version.

    Most modern sports headphones today are wireless, more specifically, have Bluetooth connectivity.

    Wireless connection offers more freedom and gets rid of wires which often get in the way during exercise.

    That doesn’t mean wired headphones can’t be a good option.

    If you plan on using your ear hook earbuds for activity in which wires won’t be in the way, then wired headphones are the cheaper and more practical option (no battery charging).

    Activities like cycling, treadmill running or using some other exercise machine that doesn’t require complicated movement are the perfect opportunities for wired buds.

    See the best headphones for cycling.

    How to Choose Ear Hook Headphones

    Choosing ear hook design is not easy because not all options are comfortable or well-made. Some can end up hurting your ears.

    So, read the reviews of others who tried them, our reviews are a good start, and you’ll soon know what to expect from a specific model.

    Consider all of the features discussed above, but there are a few additional considerations when choosing good ear hook headphones for you.

    Set Your Budget

    Though Bluetooth wireless in-ears will be more expensive than wired, there are affordable options for wireless ear hook headphones.

    Set your budget and compare what you can get for this price. We’ve reviewed affordable options for ear hook headphones below.

    Consider the Fit

    Ear hook headphones should be designed to fit your ear. If you’ve ever worn in-ear monitors as a musician, you’ll know roughly how this style feels. They wrap around the ear.

    There are a few types of ear hooks:

    • Soft silicone hooks are flexible and softest on the ears
    • Memory-wire hooks can be molded into different shapes and angles which gives you different fit options but might not feel as stable
    • Hard plastic hooks aren’t flexible and often rub against your ears the wrong way, but offer great durability

    Most are flexible and have some give. However, if you are opting for rock-solid plastic earpieces, ensure they fit your ears; otherwise, they can be uncomfortable.

    Unfortunately, you can’t learn that from reading reviews. You can only try them and see for yourself. Thankfully, most vendors offer friendly return-policies if you’re not happy.

    How will You Use Them?

    Good ear hook headphones are suitable for sports as well as casual listening.

    There are many options for different uses.

    If you aren’t doing strenuous activity, an ear hook may not be needed. We advise ear hooks only for serious exercise and movement. Otherwise, you have more choices.

    Alternatively, the best workout headphones or true wireless earbuds with ear wings may provide plenty of stability with superior comfort.

    Best Ear Hook Headphones

    1. Beats PowerBeats Pro

    trophy Best bass
    Beats PowerBeats Pro in case

    The best bass earbuds with ear hooks.

    There wouldn’t be a lot of people who’d argue that these are the best wireless earbuds with ear hooks today.

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

    The audio quality of these Beats by Dre headphones doesn’t disappoint.

    Bass still reigns supreme but this time it’s more detailed and controlled. Together with boosted highs, they produce a fun V-shaped sound.

    Beats Pro take the crown with their superbly stable fit, long battery life, and super-fast charging (5min = 1.5h of music).

    To make them survive the harsh sports environment, they have IPX4 water protection (effectively sweat-resistant).

    Plus, they come with nice features like automatic pause/play when taken off/put back on. To give voice commands or hold phone calls, you get built-in microphones on both sides.

    Pro’s might have high price tag but come with the latest technology and unbeatable fit.

    Beats PowerBeats Pro review

    2. Treblab X3 Pro

    dollar Best under $100
    Treblab X3 Pro open charging case

    The best sounding ear hook headphones.

    Finding ear hook headphones that are stable, comfortable, and sound great is tough. The Treblab X3 Pro Bluetooth wireless in-ears do a great job.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 11mm graphene drivers
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 9h + 36h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX7 | Features: Ear hooks
    • Good stability during sports activities
    • Comfortable, even for more extended listening
    • Durable construction with an IPX7 rating
    • 9-hour battery on a single charge
    • Good sound quality (if you get a seal)
    • Great passive isolation (if you get a seal)
    • Both earbuds support mono mode
    • Support for multipoint and aptX
    • Ear tips are too short to fit everyone
    • Bulky design brings wind noise
    • Discomfort when pressing the center button

    The sound quality depends on a proper seal. By using correct ear tips, you get to experience great sound with punchy lows, clean mids, shimmery highs, and a good soundstage.

    Their design is very similar to the PowerBeats Pro. The logo doubles as a control panel for playback, while the rocker on the upper side lets you adjust the volume control. They’re also okay for making a phone call from time to time.

    Of course, ear hook design ensures excellent stability, especially if you plan to use them outdoors. X3 Pro have an IP rating of IPX7, providing high levels of durability.

    Treblab equipped these with an aptX codec to reduce video latency and improve audio quality on Android gadgets. In total, with the charging case, they hold a 45-hour battery life.

    Treblab X3 Pro review

    3. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350

    dollar Best value
    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350

    The best workout headphones for long gym sessions.

    Whenever you buy a pair of headphones there is a balance to be struck between price and features. For ear hook headphones, these are the best choice for value.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 4.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Wireless in-ear | Battery life: 6h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: mSBC | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: Ear hooks, multipoint support
    • Super stable fit (suitable for all sports)
    • Water-resistant IPX5 (can wash under tap water but not submerge)
    • Comfortable
    • Effective noise isolation
    • Enjoyable bassy sound
    • Loud
    • Cable noise when rubbing against skin
    • Occasional signal interruptions

    For the price you pay you get an enjoyable, slightly bass emphasized sound that’s perfect for earbuds for running.

    Secure-fit ear hooks are made of soft silicone that’s soft on the skin and hold up well even during fast movement.

    These are also clip-on headphones. A clip can attach to your shirt in case they fall off or control the cable at the back of your head.

    Designed to be ultra-lightweight, the BackBeat FIT workout earbuds can be very comfortable even when listening for long periods of time.

    They have specific patent-pending eartips designed for comfort, which also do a good job at passive noise isolation.

    With up to six hours of battery life it should last for a couple of workouts or runs.

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 review

    Want similar buds? See the best earbuds under $50.

    4. AfterShokz Aeropex

    trophy Best bone conduction
    AfterShokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones

    One of the best bone conduction ear hook headphones.

    Bone conduction headphones are a relatively new option. As they don’t cover your ear lobes, you can still hear what’s going on around you while listening to music.

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

    The sound is definitely the best you can get from bone conduction technology.

    Aeropex are the best bone conduction headphones that let you hear ambient sound of your surroundings as the sound vibrates through bones instead of eardrums.

    Most importantly, the bass has been improved from the Air model, but it isn’t completely perfect. There are also multiple sound presets to choose from.

    AfterShokz Aeropex are a gold standard in this category. They have quality, rubbery ear hooks and stay in place while you exercise.

    They’re designed for a full-on active lifestyle and offer plenty of stability thanks to the hooks.

    Waterproof and dustproof design (IP67) protects them from water and small particles like sand and dust. So, you can confidently use them in places other headphones would die in.

    AfterShokz Aeropex review

    See other water and dust resistant models, check the best waterproof Bluetooth headphones.

    Most Affordable Ear Hook Headphones

    5. Aukey EP-T32

    dollar Best under $50
    Aukey EP-T32 earbud

    Best cheap ear hook headphones.

    Aukey made these earbuds with some serious specs. Not only do they come with Bluetooth 5.0, IPX8 water-resistance, and durable construction, but also support for aptX audio codec.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 28h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Ear hooks, auto play/pause, mono mode
    • Excellent comfort and stability thanks to ear hooks
    • Reliable touch controls
    • Extreme water protection (IPX8)
    • Enjoyable, punchy sound
    • Great Bluetooth stability and coverage
    • Support for Qi wireless charging
    • No multipoint support
    • Subpar microphone quality
    • Mediocre passive isolation due to shallower fit

    These budget earbuds have a rather pleasant sound with a boosted low-end and smooth treble. They aren’t the most detailed but still enjoyable with various music genres.

    Among all ear hook headphones that we tested, the EP-T32 are by far the most comfortable.

    Hooks are a bit shorter than usual, with a gentler grip. However, thanks to that, you can wear them for extended listening sessions.

    Earbuds come with some cool bonus features like Qi wireless charging, aptX Bluetooth codec, and a proximity sensor for automatic playing and pausing.

    They also offer an impressive IPX8 water-resistant rating, meaning you can use them in the most extreme conditions.

    Aukey EP-T32 review

    More: Best cheap earbuds

    6. Anker Soundcore Spirit X (2019)

    dollar Cheap alternative
    Anker Soundcore Spirit X wireless earbuds

    An alternative cheap Bluetooth ear hook headphones with wires.

    The best choice for sportspeople on a budget that want something reliable and durable.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Wireless in-ear | Battery life: 18h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Quick charge – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP68 | Features: Ear hooks, multipoint support
    • High water resistance
    • Great stability during workout
    • Enjoyable sound
    • Can't get very loud

    Frequency response is far from an audiophile-level of quality, but they’re still enjoyable to listen to during workouts. You can also enable the Bass Up feature to spice up the sound a little bit.

    While some ear hook earbuds don’t provide the best comfort, these do quite the opposite. They’re very lightweight, with a comfortable fit that you can appreciate. The cable noise is minimal.

    With IP68, they can withstand everything from dust to more than a meter of water.

    They can last up to 18 hours of battery life, with quick charging that adds 3 hours of battery in just 10 minutes.

    Also worth mentioning is the microphone, which is of good quality if you tend to take many phone calls.

    Always looking for bargains? Check the best cheap headphones.

    Honorable Mentions

    Beats PowerBeats High-Performance – A slightly different version of the true wireless PowerBeats Pro, with the wire that connects the earbuds. (Check PowerBeats price)

    SENSO Bluetooth headphones – If you need cheap ear hook earbuds, consider the SENSO Bluetooth headphones which offer lots of features and technology for a really low price. (Senso Bluetooth headphones review)(Check Senso price)

    JLab Audio Epic Sport2 – Sport earbuds under $50 with a high water resistance rating and cush fins to ensure a more stable listening experience. (Check Epic Sport2 price)

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 2100 – Shorter wireless buds with a rubberized exterior for better grip during sports activities. Always Aware ear tips don’t fully block ear canals, which is why you’re able to hear your surroundings without the use of “ambient sound mode”. (Check BackBeat Fit 2100 price)