The Best Earbuds for Running

Last updated: 3 weeks ago, Oct. 8. 2020
Article Contents

    Find the best earbuds for running that stick in ears like glue and make you run like a cheetah (almost).

    Mic & Controls
    Jabra Elite Active 75t - best overall3.8
    More info
    under $200IP57 (IPX7)
    Bluetooth 5.07 hours+
    20h in case
    Beats PowerBeats Pro - best bass4.1
    More info
    under $250IPX4
    Bluetooth 5.0
    11 hours+
    (Lightning to USB)
    AfterShokz Aeropex - best bone conduction4.3
    More info
    under $170IPX7
    8 hours
    Jaybird Vista - best sound4.3
    More info
    under $160IPX7wireless
    6 hours
    10h in case
    (USB - C)
    Sony WF-SP800N - best noise-cancelling4.2
    More info
    under $150IP55wireless
    13 hours
    13h in case
    Aukey Key Series T10 - affordable true wireless4.2
    More info
    under $120IPX5wireless
    Bluetooth 5.0
    6 hours+
    Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 - best under $1005
    More info
    under $80IP68wireless
    9 hours
    25h in case
    Bose SoundSport - best wired4.0
    More info
    under $50IPX4wired
    Jlab Audio Jbuds Air - best under $504.0
    More info
    under $50IPX5wireless
    5.5 hours
    Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo - great value4.3
    More info
    under $40IPX7wireless
    5 hours
    9h in case
    Aukey EP-T21 - best under $304.5
    More info
    under $30IPX4wireless
    4.5 hours
    20h in case
    Anker Soundcore Spirit X (2019) - best cheap4.3
    More info
    under $30IP68wireless

    The best running earbuds, stay in ears with ease, feel comfy for hours, sound good, and survive rain and sweat like a hero. That’s the ideal world.

    But you know that’s not true for most earphones. A lot of “running buds” die in a couple of months have a bad audio quality, and constantly fall out of your ears.

    It’s frustrating.

    As a result, we made a list of the best running earphones that fit the job perfectly. These are the best options for avid runners who want to focus on their training and jogging style.

    Table of Contents

      What You Need to Know About Running Earbuds

      Stability is crucial. Earbuds that don’t fit well fall out. This is extremely frustrating especially during a run. You want to focus on your tempo and not worry about a bad fit. Many earphones come with multiple ear tips for better stability. And, for the best stability, look for earbuds with ear hooks. These tend to stick in no matter what.

      Senso Bluetooth Headphones earbuds with hooks

      Ear hook design offers stability.

      You need water protection. If you run outside and you get caught in rain, it might damage your earbuds. Your earphones need to stand up to the environment whether you’re accidentally dropping them in a puddle or sweating profusely during a marathon. Look for at least IPX4 which effectively means full sweat protection. Or certified sweat protection of another kind. A rating of IPX6 or IPX7 means that the earbuds are fully waterproof.

      Do you need noise isolation or awareness? Depending on where you run, you may want effective passive noise isolation or environmental awareness. You want to block ambient noise if you run on a treadmill in a gym, so you can focus on your tempo and music. But if you run outside, especially on the streets, having good awareness is crucial for safety. You want to hear traffic around you, so you don’t get into an accident. For safety, shallow-fitting earphones are the best.

      Wired or wireless?

      • Freedom – If you want earbuds that stay out of the way then wireless is for you. Wired models are likely to tangle up.
      • Battery charging – Wireless earphones need charging, which is a hassle. Running out of battery when you are on a run is frustrating.
      • Price – Wired earbuds tend to be cheaper. If you are on a budget, you can get better sound quality for your money.
      • Durability – Wireless headphones will probably die out sooner, but still, last a couple of years. Wired technology is simpler and thus fewer things can go wrong.

      Best Earbuds for Running

      Time for our rundown of the best running earbuds. We’ve taken into account the best fit, comfort, audio quality, and durability for runners. On the bottom, you’ll find cheaper options.

      1. Jabra Elite Active 75t – best true wireless

      Jabra Elite Active 75t wet

      The best wireless earbuds for running

      With great awareness, secure fit, and sound quality, the Jabra Elite Active 75t make for the top choice.

      Full Jabra Elite Active 75t review.

      Connection: Wireless Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: Over 7 hours (20h in the case)
      Bluetooth: 5.0
      Charging: USB-C

      Why Buy These?

      The Elite Active 75t do a brilliant job of staying stable, with a comfortable fit, making them ideal for sports activities.

      With the HearThrough mode, you get perfect awareness around you, so you can stay safe on busy streets. This is a must-have for all joggers.

      To make phone calls, you can use a 4-microphone system and superb physical controls.

      Rain or dust isn’t a problem either. With IP57 protection, they are resistant to dips in water or small dust.

      And with the 7-hour battery, you can run a whole marathon without worrying about power (20h more in the case).

      The Bad

      Slightly more expensive (even than the previous model). A bit of wind noise, especially with the HearThrough mode active.

      The Sound

      With a bass-boosted sound signature, the Jabra Elite buds answer the taste of most runners. In case bass isn’t your thing, you can equalize it with the Sound+ app (plus other options). More on this in the review.

      Find out more in the Jabra Elite Active 75t review.

      2. Beats PowerBeats Pro – best bass

      Beats PowerBeats Pro review

      These are the top choice for runners who enjoy deep bass and secure fit

      The best bass earbuds come with one of the largest batteries, unbeatable stability, and a H1 chip for fast connectivity with Apple devices.

      Full PowerBeats Pro review.

      Connection: Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 9 hours (24h in the case)
      Bluetooth: 5.0
      Charging: Lightning to USB cable

      Why Buy These?

      Beats PowerBeats Pro have a fantastic fit that’s suitable for sprinting as well as long-distance running. The ear hooks do a good job of keeping them in place, which is exactly what you want.

      To keep them playing your favorite music, you get 9 hours of battery life per charge, and 24h altogether with the quick-charging case. That’s plenty of power for even the most extreme runners. If you forget about the battery, you get 1.5h per 5-minute charge.

      In case rain catches you outside, the truly wireless earbuds don’t get damaged. They’re sweat-resistant with IPX4 rating which means you can confidently take them outside.

      The Bad

      The charging case is large and doesn’t fit in a pocket. High price. They might be uncomfortable for people with small ears.

      The Sound

      These are the best sounding Beats earbuds to date. They still produce stronger bass which the brand is known for. But it’s more refined and detailed together with slightly boosted treble.

      PowerBeats Pro tick most of the boxes a demanding runner might have, and though pricey, they’re still worth your money.

      Read the full Beats PowerBeats Pro review.

      3. AfterShokz Aeropex – best bone conduction

      AfterShokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones

      The best bone conduction option for jogging

      AfterShokz Aeropex are the best bone conduction earphones for running. They allow you to keep your ears completely free to hear your surroundings.

      Read the AfterShokz Aeropex review.

      Connection: Wireless Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 8 hours
      Bluetooth: 5.0
      Charging: Proprietary charger

      Why Buy These?

      As well as keeping your ears free to hear your surroundings when you’re out for a run, the Aeropex have some other great features for runners.

      They are extremely lightweight. They’re 30% lighter than the AfterShokz Air model which came before.

      This means they don’t weigh you down or feel awkward. They’re also waterproof (IP67), meaning a bit of rain doesn’t matter.

      With 8 hours of battery life, they’re suitable even for long runs. The Bluetooth is really reliable too and doesn’t drop out.

      The Aeropex come with a band around the head, and they stay firmly in place throughout your run, giving a good level of stability.

      Running races usually discourage wearing regular headphones but bone conduction is safer and thus allowed.

      The Bad

      Some runners don’t enjoy the feel of vibrations. You feel and hear the music vibrating.

      Low-end frequencies aren’t as clear and powerful with this technology.

      The Sound

      A wide frequency response makes these great for casual listeners, though they aren’t quite as good as traditional headphone designs.

      Nonetheless, for bone conduction, you will struggle to find a better sound. The bass is boosted compared to older models, so it’s the best yet.

      If you are looking for stable running earbuds that will allow you to hear your surroundings, you should get the AfterShokz Aeropex.

      AfterShokz Aeropex review.

      4. Jaybird Vista – best sound

      Jaybird Vista true wireless earbuds

      For active people who are also audiophiles that want the best sound

      No more true wireless earbuds falling out of your ears while running. With these, you can be sure to get a perfect fit and fantastic sound.

      Read the full review.

      Connection: Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 6 hours (10h in the case)
      Bluetooth: 5.0
      Charging: USB-C

      Why Buy These?

      Thanks to the tiny ear wings Vista’s stay firmly in your ear canal, providing a high level of stability. They’re comfortable to wear and can be fully submerged (IPX7).

      Earbuds can instantaneously connect to your phone and maintain a very stable connection.

      The battery on the buds lasts around 6 hours. The charging box is rather small, which translates to an additional 10 hours of playtime. You can also use only one earbud and extend the battery life to 32 hours in total.

      Vista’s come with a mobile app that can make a personalized sound profile. It plays a bunch of different sounds and analyzes your hearing. You can also customize the controls to a great degree.

      The Bad

      For the price, there are no high-quality audio codecs or some other sporty features, like a heart rate monitor.

      The Sound

      It is punchy, detailed, with a good bass slam. Overall fun-tuned earbuds with a lot of energy, which is quite normal in the sport-oriented earphones.

      Found out more in Jaybird Vista review.

      5. Sony WF-SP800N – best noise-cancelling

      Sony WF-SP800N true wireless earbuds

      Best workout earbuds with noise cancellation

      For those who desire to work out in peace, Sony made active noise-cancelling earbuds with transparency mode, and IP55 water resistance.

      Connection: Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 13 hours (13h in the case)
      Bluetooth: 5.0
      Charging: USB-C

      Why Buy These?

      First of all, you’re getting a comfortable fit that assures you to wear them until your workout is done. Earbuds come with a small ear fin or arc supporter that prevents them from falling out of your ears.

      So that you don’t have to worry much about sweat or water splashes, SP800N come with IP55 dust and water resistance. They’re not submergible but can easily survive jogging in the rain.

      If you like to zone out during your workouts, earbuds have noise-cancellation, which works pretty well. You can also amplify ambient sound with Transparency mode. Battery life is also impressive, giving you around 13 hours of non-stop playback, with an additional 13 hours inside the case.

      The Bad

      No wireless charging or multipoint support.

      The Sound

      The sound might be a little dull at first, but you can correct it with a simple EQ. Since you can pair them with a companion app, some settings and features might be of interest, like 360 Reality Audio for virtual surround sound.

      Sporty true wireless earbuds from Sony that will convince you with excellent comfort, long-lasting battery, and active noise cancellation.

      6. Aukey Key Series T10 – best under $100


      Aukey T10 charging in case

      The best true wireless earbuds for running around $100

      Check the full review.

      Connection: Bluetooth
      Battery life: Over 6 hours (with 24h in the case)
      Bluetooth: 5.0
      Charging: USB-C

      Why Buy These?

      True wireless earbuds don’t have to be expensive. The T10s cost around $100 but come with the latest technology.

      You get Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C charging, solid battery at over 6 hours per charge, touch controls, IPX5 waterproof design, and modern, award-winning design that looks more expensive than it is.

      The buds stay in place during regular running or sprinting. The ear wings are changeable to fit your ear size best.

      Also, passive noise isolation isn’t the best but that’s good for running since you want to hear more of your surroundings. The more ambient noise is let in, the better your awareness and thus safety.

      The Bad

      The only thing that will probably annoy you are the touch controls. They need some getting used to as they’re not the most responsive.

      The Sound

      Audio is balanced and suitable for all music genres including classical, jazz, and other non-bassy types. It’s a nice harmony of treble, vocals, and bass but not bass-heavy. The lows can go quite deep but aren’t as punchy as bassheads would want.

      Nonetheless, Aukey T10 are one of the best earphones for running right now.

      Get all the info in the Aukey T10 review.

      Not what you’re looking for? See other options:

      Best headphones for running (on-ear)

      Best headphones for working out

      Waterproof Bluetooth earphones

      7. Anker Soundcore Spirit X2

      Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 true wireless earbuds

      A worthy choice under $100

      A great solution for those seeking a PowerBeats Pro alternative. A similarly stable fit, high IP rating, and a sound every basshead will love.

      Connection: Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 9 hours (25h in the box)
      Bluetooth: 5.0
      Charging: USB-C

      Why Buy These?

      In the box, you get a wide selection of accessories to ensure a secure fit. You don’t have to worry about them falling out since their hooks grab nicely around your ear.

      Just to make sure, Anker has equipped these with a high IP68 water and dust resistance, giving you the ability to completely submerge them in water after they accidentally fell on a dusty floor.

      You also don’t have to worry about the battery. It can hold up to 9 hours per charge, with an additional 25 hours in the charging case.

      The Bad

      These are quite bulky, which can introduce some wind noise.

      The Sound

      Bass is truly the main performer here. There is also an EQ button on the earbuds called »Bass Up« that additionally boosts the bass. It is amazing that despite the quantity of the low end, the mids and the treble remain very clear and not muddy at all. They also support AAC and aptX for better sound quality and latency.

      8. Bose SoundSport – best wired

      Bose SoundSport In-ear

      The best wired running earbuds

      Bose SoundSport earbuds offer a great way to listen to your music if you don’t mind the wires.

      Connection: Wired 3.5mm

      Why Buy These?

      Many of us are perfectly happy with wired earbuds for running and you get more for your money in terms of audio quality.

      You can easily take calls, they have an inline microphone and controls that allow you to skip songs and alter the volume.

      Comfort is a priority, too. The StayHear tips come in three sizes and give good situational awareness (perfect for jogging in the city).

      The Bad

      Naturally, wires can get in the way. Many people are opting for wireless or true wireless models.

      Another big impact on this decision is the fact that many smartphones now don’t have conventional 3.5mm jacks. Having to use an adapter is awkward.

      The Sound

      Bose offers sound quality we’ve become accustomed to. Though they’re not wireless, for good audio at a good price, the Bose SoundSport earphones are a great choice.

      Cheap Earbuds for Running

      Here you’ll find budget options under $60.

      9. Jlab Audio Jbuds Air – best under $50

      Jlab Audio Jbuds Air

      The best wireless earbuds under $50 for running

      Jlab Audio Jbuds Air are a great pair of running earbuds. Due to their stable fit, you can wear them for sprints of marathons.

      Read the full Jbuds Air review.

      Connection: Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 6 hours (18h in the box)
      Bluetooth: 5.0
      Charging: Micro-USB

      Why Buy These?

      If you’re looking for budget truly wireless earbuds that you can take on a run, then the Jbuds Air are a great choice.

      For under $50, you get almost 6 hours of music per charge. They’re offering IPX5 water and sweat resistance and stick in ears well.

      With built-in controls and a microphone, you can have a phone call during a run and change songs, volume, or call up voice assistant hands-free.

      The Bluetooth connection can be spotty sometimes but generally works fine.

      The Bad

      They are a big bigger and might be uncomfortable for smaller ears.

      The Sound

      While you can’t expect high sonic fidelity for the price you pay, you get good sound quality with a V-shaped signature. Plus, you can change it to a more balanced or bass boost built-in preset.

      For a quick run, when you listen to the beat of your heart and taking in a lot of air, you won’t complain about the audio these little buds give.

      Read the Jlab Audio Jbuds Air review.

      10. Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo – best under $50

      Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo true wireless earbuds


      These little buds represent great value for money, especially if you need something to give you company during a workout.

      Check our full Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo review.

      Connection: Bluetooth
      Battery life: Up to 5 hours (9h in the box)
      Bluetooth: 5.0
      Charging: Micro-USB

      Why Buy These?

      While many true wireless earbuds have trouble finding the perfect fit on a first try, these are super easy to use. They’re also very stable due to their ear fin design and remain comfortable until their battery dies.

      Speaking of battery life, we got around 5 hours of it from a single charge, which is more than an hour more than advertised. That is more than enough to get you through a day. You get extra 9 hours coming from the case.

      There aren’t many features, but you do get physical controls that work nicely, Bluetooth 5.0, and IPX7 water-resistance, making them completely submergible.

      The Bad

      The charging case feels a bit flimsy.

      No EQ settings for changing the sound profile.

      The Sound

      It’s quite enjoyable. There is an emphasis on the bass, but it doesn’t feel exaggerated. It has a good punch for most of the popular music genres. The clarity in the midrange is decent, with strong vocal performance. The treble remains smooth and free of sibilance.

      Despite being last year’s model, they’re still an excellent buy for casual users who need reliable, sporty earbuds for a budget price.

      11. Aukey EP-T21 – best under $30

      Aukey EP-T21 sweatproof earbuds in rain

      For those tight on a budget, the Aukey EP-T21 make for great budget running earbuds

      The Airpod-like design sticks in the ear well during a run, and thanks to thinner ear tips, you can hear more of your surroundings.

      Full Aukey EP-T21 review.

      Connection: Bluetooth – true wireless earbuds
      Battery life: 4.5 hours (20h in the box)
      Bluetooth: 5.0
      Charging: Micro-USB

      Why Buy These?

      They’re super cheap at under $30 and have a true wireless design. There are no wires to bother you during a jog.

      Plus, you don’t have to worry about sweat or rain as they’re protected with the IPX4 sweat resistant layer (for waterproof options check here). You can make phone calls and use touch controls for maximum ease of use.

      And, unless you’re an extreme runner, the 4.5-hour battery life is more than enough for all your needs, even a marathon.

      The Bad

      The earbuds are light and don’t move even during a sprint, though you might have to readjust them from time to time if you grimace a lot.

      The Sound

      The Aukeys are very loud and come with a balanced sound signature that works well for most music. Since you’re paying so little, you can’t expect high fidelity, but these sound better than the price suggests.

      Read the full Aukey’s review.

      12. Soundcore Spirit X (2019) – best cheap


      Anker Soundcore Spirit X wireless earbuds

      Another great option for those seeking the best wireless earbuds under $30

      A good pair of earbuds for runners on the budget who want to get a lot and pay little.

      Connection: Bluetooth wireless earbuds
      Battery life: Up to 18h
      Bluetooth: 5.0
      Charging: Micro-USB

      Why Buy These?

      At the price of under $30, these are really solid performers. They are very light and amazingly comfortable. The perfect stability is achieved with the ear hooks.

      You shouldn’t worry too much if you sweat a lot. These are water-resistant with an IP68 rating, meaning you can even wash them under a tap after the run is done.

      The 18-hour battery life is simply awesome for this type of wireless earbuds. You can even extend the playtime if you listen to them below 50% volume.

      It is also good to know that if someone calls you while you are jogging, the microphone is quite decent. Voices sound clean from both ends.

      The Bad

      They may not be loud enough for some users.

      The Sound

      It is fairly decent, but at this price, you shouldn’t expect too much. Overall the music sounds clean, with just enough bass to keep it interesting. There is a Bass Up feature that adds just a bit more of the low end.

      Best cheap wireless earbuds with high IP rating.

      Honorable Mentions

      Aukey Key Series B80 – A great sounding earbuds with ear hook design to keep them on your ears no matter what kind of exercise you’re doing. They’re also light and comfy, with IPX6 water-resistant rating and 8 hours of playtime. Read the full review.

      BackBeat FIT 350 – These are super stable, providing a great fit and comfort. They offer IPX5 water-resistance and are suitable for all kinds of sports. Read the full review.

      Jaybird X4 – A good sound with great fit and even better app. Water-resistant and superb for all sorts of activities, although the durability is somewhat questionable. Read the full review.

      How Do You Keep Your Earbuds in While Running?

      Pick ergonomic and stable earbuds. A lot of the sports earbuds come with ear wings or ear hooks for better stability. Those help with keeping them in your ears. If you have Apple Airpods you can find special ear wings or sleeves for the same purpose, see here.

      Use the right size of eartips. If you have a bigger ear canal you need to use tight-fitting L or XL ear tips. If they feel snug, they’re less likely to fall out.

      Get earbuds that fit you.  Sometimes you buy a model that just doesn’t suit your ears no matter what you do. If that’s so, you can try using a head sweatband to keep them in place. Or sell them and get another pair that’s well-suited.

      Note: What to listen while running