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9 Best Headphones for Cycling in 2024

Last updated: 11 months ago
11 min read

We’ve looked at dozens of sports models and found the 9 best headphones for cycling in 2024.

If you’re struggling to find cycling headphones with a stable fit when wearing a helmet or experiencing an obnoxious amount of wind noise, then you’re at the right place.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What are the best headphones for cycling
  • What features to look for
  • How to safely listen to music while cycling

Let’s dig in.

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

But first, here’s a quick comparison:

Rating Price Water protection Connection Battery (charging) Mic & Controls Read more
Jaybird Vista 2 #1 Best for cycling
Jaybird Vista 2 small image
Under $200
IP68 (IP54 on case)
Bluetooth 5.2
8 hours, 16h in case (USB-C & Qi wireless charging)
Under $180
Bluetooth 5.2
8 hours, 22h in case (USB-C & Qi wireless)
Beats Fit Pro Best Beats
Beats Fit Pro
Under $200
Bluetooth 5.0
6 hours, 18h in case (USB-C)
Shokz OpenRun Pro Best awareness
Shokz OpenRun Pro
Under $180
Bluetooth 5.1
10 hours (proprietary)
Under $250
Bluetooth 5.0
11 hours, 24h in case (Lightning)
1MORE ComfoBuds Mini Best under $100
1MORE ComfoBuds Mini small
Under $100
Bluetooth 5.2
5 hours, 18h in case (USB-C & Qi wireless)
Anker Soundcore Life A1 Best under $50
Anker Soundcore Life A1
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.0
9 hours, 26.5h in case (USB-C)
TOZO OpenReal Best air-conduction
TOZO OpenReal small image
Under $50
Bluetooth 5.3
12 hours (proprietary charger)
Under $70
Bluetooth 5.0
24 hours (Micro-USB)


Key Features of Headphones for Cycling

The key features go beyond just sound. You need to consider both your listening comfort and your safety.

We’ve selected the following features as vital for cyclists:

Safety (As In: Awareness of Oncoming Traffic)

Safety is paramount, especially for road cyclists who need to hear the outside world around them.

Bicycle accident with car
Cycling on busy streets too often ends up in an accident. You have to stay aware and keep your ears peeled.


  • Don’t block background noise like vehicle engines and car horns.
  • Keep the volume low enough, so you can still hear the oncoming cars. It’s dangerous to do otherwise.
  • Active noise-canceling is useful, but don’t use it when cycling with headphones. Turn the ANC off for better awareness.
  • Turn on “awareness mode”, “hear-through” mode, or similar if your wireless Bluetooth earbuds support it. This way, you’ll hear traffic.
  • Consider the best bone conduction headphones that keep your ear canals open to the environment. The sound vibrates via cheekbones. Thus, bone conduction technology is an excellent solution for cyclists. See the top model in the list below.

Bonus question: Is it even legal to wear headphones when riding a bike?

Stability (Get the Headphones to Stick Like Glue)

Cycling is often energetic and fast. And when there is movement, headphone stability is a problem.

So, what’s the solution?

  • Get sports-oriented headphones with ear wings and hooks that stay firmly in place even when you’re moving your head fast.
Ear wings and ear hooks assorted colours
As long as you can fit them under a helmet, ear wings and hooks help keep earbuds in place.
  • Look for small earbuds (in-ear headphones) that aren’t bulky. The in-ear design is by far the best for the job.

On-ear and over-ear headphones are a definite no-go (won’t fit under a bike helmet and will create heavy wind noise).

Durability (Don’t Waste Your Money on Crap)

You don’t want to replace headphones every few months because they’ve broken.

A durable set of headphones is essential for cyclists with an active lifestyle and those who only cycle around town.

For example:

You get caught in heavy rain, and your headphones aren’t resistant to water. What happens? You’ll most probably have to buy another pair.

  • Get cycling headphones that have at least some sweat resistance. You might sweat on a hot, sunny day or get caught in the worst weather conditions.
Jaybird Vista are fully IPX7 water-resistant.
Water resistance is crucial for cycling outside.

How to know which are water resistant?

Look for a high IPX rating (min: IPX4 and best: IPX6+)

  • Another thing to look for are durable earbuds that won’t break after the first accidental drop on the floor. And that happens way too quickly.

Wired vs. Wireless (Which Is Better for You?)

  • Wired headphones save you the hassle of charging but can tangle when moving. They’re okay if you’re cycling on a stationary bike (when movement is more uniform).
  • Wireless headphones have come a long way in recent years and have a lot to offer to active people, including cyclists.

What are the key advantages of wireless headphones for cycling?:

  • Not getting in the way since there are no wires, perfect freedom
  • You can keep your music device (smartphone) in a bag instead of attached
  • Are often sweatproof or even waterproof
  • All have convenient controls and microphones for phone calls
  • (Con) You need to charge them regularly, and they have a limited lifespan

Obviously, the main benefit is that you don’t have to deal with a cable. And you don’t have to keep your music device attached.

Also, you can use voice control, if earbuds support it, for easy music and volume management.

Battery and Bluetooth (How Long Does It Last?)

How much battery life for cycling do you need?

If you are getting wireless headphones, you want a strong battery that will last your entire biking routine.

You don’t want the lithium battery to die in the middle of a tour, especially if you like to cycle long distances.

But is Bluetooth reliable?

Generally, Bluetooth today is reliable and stable, so you can listen to music without interruptions, even on windy or rainy roads.

How are Cycling Headphones Different from Regular Headphones?

One of the key differences when looking for cycling headphones is that you want to prioritize stability over sound.


Good sound quality is important but completely useless if you are wearing true wireless earbuds that keep falling out.

Small earbuds that stick in ears and fit under a bike helmet are the best cycling headphones.

Besides, do you really think you’ll be focusing on sonic fidelity when you’re pushing down the pedals and breathing heavily?

Earbuds vs. headphones
Can you imagine wearing big over-ear headphones under a helmet? Earbuds are the way to go.

Now, we’ve established that earbuds are best for cycling. But how do you choose the right ones for you?

How to Choose Earbuds for Cycling?

You need to match up your own unique needs to the right type of headphones.

Good sound quality and stability are essential, but you might need special functions. Not all cyclists are the same, so ask yourself this question:

Where and How Will I Cycle?

To be able to hear is always important for cyclists. However, in some areas, it’s absolutely critical.

  • Cycling in busy streets and traffic: Get headphones with great awareness. Look for “hear-through” (ambient-aware) mode, open-ear design, or wireless bone conduction headphones since they don’t block the ears.
Cycling in streets
Having an Ambient-aware mode is vital when cycling through busy streets.
  • Indoor cycling: Wired workout headphones are fine, and you don’t have to charge them. On-ear headphones might work too, but Bluetooth earbuds are still the best. And it’s good if they have sweat proofing.
On-ear headphones might work for indoor cycling, but they get sweaty fast. Earbuds are better.
  • Long-distance cycling: You need reliable Bluetooth headphones with long battery life, good awareness, and some water protection. When listening to music while cycling, you often get caught by rain or meet an unexpected situation on the road.
Cycling long distance on a road
Going on cycling tours is fun but more demanding for headphones.

As you can see, knowing which cycling headphones to choose is a case of figuring out what features are important to you.

Now you know how to find the right headphones for cycling that will fit you.

It’s time to check the in-depth list of headphones for biking:

Best Headphones for Cycling: The List


1. Jaybird Vista 2

Jaybird Vista 2 on the ground

Jaybird Vista 2 are the best cycling headphones with excellent sound quality, ambient-aware mode, waterproof casing, and stable fit.

If you like listening to music on your bike, do it with one of the best-sounding true wireless earbuds.

Jaybird Vista 2 review

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 sound for all music genres you can fully customize with EQ & presets
  • They stay comfy and stable in your ears during activity, even when sweaty
  • Can easily survive dust AND water, even submerging
  • 8-hour+ battery provides convenience without worrying about charging
  • Fully customize the earbuds to fit your needs in the companion app
  • Removes background noise with ANC so you can focus on the workout
  • Occasional connection stutters
  • Annoying errors during firmware updates

Hear the Jaybird Vista 2 A/B Sound Test:

Jaybird Vista 2 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

The Vista 2 provide a smoother, more balanced sound. And you can further tweak it with the app’s EQ.

You can also choose between EQ presets from the community or let the Jaybird app create a personalized EQ.

Despite their bulky construction, wind noise isn’t a huge problem. The outer side is covered in mesh so that wind doesn’t hurt mic quality during phone calls.

Earbuds are pretty comfortable and offer a stable fit thanks to ear gels with wings. Physical buttons are also reasonably comfy to use, with all the controls you need to keep your phone in a pocket.

The best thing is durability, with earbuds sporting MIL-STD-810G shockproof standard and an IP68 water resistance rating. See more in:


Best workout headphones

Best headphones for running

Best waterproof Bluetooth headphones

2. Jabra Elite 7 Active

Jabra Elite 7 Active

Still one of the best cycling headphones for most cyclists who don’t like ear hooks or fins.

Jabra Elite 7 Active Bluetooth earbuds are the top choice for avid cyclists.

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
  • Natural sound that sound good for all music genres
  • Comfortable fit you can wear for hours
  • Decent ANC that removes background noise
  • Feature-rich app with EQ, control customization and more
  • Wind hurts the ANC
  • Not the most secure fit out there

Instead of deep bass (like on Jabra Elite Active 75t), the new Elite 7 Active opt for a more balanced sound signature. Albeit still fun for music listening, the earbuds are slightly more detailed and natural overall.

Earbuds perfectly contour your ears due to their ergonomic design. Consequently, they stay inside even during more intense workouts.

Special SAATI Acoustex mesh ensures less wind noise during phone calls, while the earbud’s flush design also reduces wind noise during running and cycling.

Jabra app contains useful features like custom controls, EQ, and the “find my buds” feature. On top of that, they have a reliable connection due to Bluetooth 5.2.

Furthermore, you get a decent active noise cancellation feature and ambient sound mode to amplify ambient noises for better awareness.

Check related: Best bass earbuds

3. Beats Fit Pro

Beats Fit Pro

Great fitness-oriented earbuds from Beats that work for cyclists as well.

Keeping the cycling helmet on with a strap and then getting the wires somewhere in between can be complicated. The Beats Fit Pro Bluetooth headphones don’t have any of these problems.

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
  • Fun sound with a good bass punch
  • Comfortable & stable fit: Suitable for sports and activity
  • Good ANC performance that removes background noise
  • Apple's Spatial Audio that recreates a life-like listening experience
  • Many features not supported on Android
  • No Qi wireless charging

Unlike the PowerBeats Pro model, the Fit Pro has a much more tame sound with a brighter signature. It’s still punchy but not boomy. Thanks to Adaptive EQ, the sound adapts to your ear’s shape.

Earbuds are pretty tiny and have a built-in ear fin instead of hooks. That makes them very comfortable and stable, especially during sports activities, cycling included.

Thanks to the Beats app, you can access all of the features (ANC, Transparency mode) even if you own Android. Apple users with enjoy the benefits of the H1 chip.

The battery life of 6 hours is good enough for a lengthy ride. Popping them into the charging case will fast charge them, on top of giving you extra 18 hours.

4. Shokz OpenRun Pro

Shokz OpenRun Pro

The best bone-conduction headphone for cyclists.

It’s a vital requirement to hear ambient noise with biking headphones. The AfterShokz OpenRun Pro open-ear wireless bone conduction headphones leave your ear canal free while still providing clear sound.

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
  • Fun sound quality with more bass than other bone-conducting headphones
  • Long 10-hour battery life with quick charging (0-100% in 1 hour)
  • Ergonomic and lightweight, Comfortable and stable fit for all activity
  • Vibrating transducers can be annoying
  • Proprietary charging cable

The upgraded TurboPitch sound technology provides an even better bass response than the AfterShokz Aeropex model. They’re no bass monsters but will make your listening experience more enjoyable.

Of course, the biggest advantage of bone conduction is perfect awareness. You will always know what’s happening around you, even when the music plays.

Since you’ll be wearing headphones over the ear, you won’t lose them during cycling. Moreover, the OpenRun Pro have an IP55 rating, so you don’t have to worry about covering them in sweat and dust.

The battery life tops at 10 hours on a single charge. It can charge from 0-100% in just one hour.

Related: See other picks from our best bone conduction headphones guide.

5. Beats PowerBeats Pro

Beats PowerBeats Pro outside

Best bass headphones for cycling with amazing battery life.

For a fully free wireless experience with a powerful bass boost, the PowerBeats Pro are a no-brainer for every cyclist.

Beats PowerBeats Pro review

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 music (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
  • Ear hooks rub against skin
  • Pricey
  • No way to turn them off without the charging case

PowerBeats Pro are the best bass headphones for those who want deeper and stronger lows in music. The Bluetooth headphones have an emphasis on bass and treble, which results in a fun V-shaped signature.

Even though they have ear hooks they should fit nicely under a helmet for most people. Bare in mind they might generate some wind noise, despite good noise isolation.

They’re lightweight and completely cord-free, which makes them impossible to entangle. The fit is highly secure and doesn’t require adjustments.

To protect sports earbuds against weather, they have an IPX4 water resistance rating for rain and sweat protection.

And, if you own Apple devices, the built-in H1 chip ensures excellent connectivity. Also, you can make phone calls or give voice commands from your bike with built-in mics on the two earbuds.

With quick-charging capability, you will get around 11h per charge (24h with the case), and charging takes less than 1 hour.

6. Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro on the case

Best biking headphones for iOS users.

in stock
29 new from $134.98
17 used from $89.96
as of July 12, 2024 6:51 am
in stock
10 used from $228.13
as of July 12, 2024 6:51 am

Feature-packed AirPods Pro are a great choice if you already own an iPhone.

Apple AirPods Pro review

Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h + 24h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h + quick charge – Lightning | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: ANC, Transparency mode, Dolby Atmos
  • Sound better than original AirPods
  • In-ear fit that’s suitable for moderate exercise
  • Effective noise cancelling and isolation
  • Seamless user experience with iPhone/iOS
  • Sweatproof with IPX4 certification
  • Expensive even among premium alternatives
  • No built-in volume controls
  • Cheap lid mechanism on the charging case

Despite the impressive features, the sound quality leaves lots to be desired. Audio reproduction is not bad, but it’s not exciting either. You can expect a high-quality sound, with a slight emphasis on treble.

The Pro version of the AirPods is a significant upgrade over the classic ones. They offer better outside noise isolation due to their silicone ear tips, but they also support some of the features regular AirPods aren’t able to.

The most impressive feature is active noise cancellation (ANC), which works fantastically. However, as a cyclist, you are probably more excited about the Transparency mode. It helps you hear the ambient sound without taking your earbuds off.

See more of the best noise cancelling earbuds with transparency mode.

They come with an IPX4 sweat-resistant rating, which is more than enough to protect them from sweat.

Affordable Headphones for Cycling (under $60)

Here are the top biking headphones under $60.

7. Anker Soundcore Life A1

Anker Soundcore Life A1 on rock

Best true wireless earbuds under $50 for cycling.

Get a good sound quality and a secure fit for your cycling adventures. No wonder they’re also among the best cheap earbuds on the market.

Anker Soundcore Life A1 review

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

Hear the Anker Soundcore Life A1 A/B Sound Test:

Anker Soundcore Life A1 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

Fun-sounding true wireless earbuds with a V-shaped sound signature that doesn’t get too boomy. Toggling between 3 different EQs lets you add or reduce bass.

The housing’s shape is perfectly ergonomic and fits comfortably in your ears. With the addition of ear wings, they won’t fly out of your ears no matter how hard you shake your head.

Despite using physical commands, they’re comfy to use and offer all essential commands, including volume control. Also, you get great Bluetooth connectivity, even though earbuds use a bit older Bluetooth 5.0.

Since they’re flush with your ears, you don’t have to deal with annoying wind noise when riding outdoors.

Furthermore, they’re fully waterproof and pack more than 8 hours of battery life on a single charge.

Also, see the best headphones under $100.

Or find cheaper alternatives among the best earbuds under $50.

8. TOZO OpenReal

TOZO OpenReal on head

Best headphones for bike riding with full awareness and great sound quality.

If you cycle for long periods of time, such as cycling tours, you need a battery that can match your needs.

TOZO OpenReal review

Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
Driver size icon Driver size: 16.2mm dynamic
Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
Type: Air-conduction | Battery life: 12 hours | Wireless range: 65 feet (20 meters) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Quick charge – Proprietary charger | Mic & Controls: Yes (physical & touch) | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Custom EQ
  • Incredibly natural tuning, especially after EQ
  • Ergonomic design for rock-solid stability
  • Comfortable to wear & compatible with bike helmets
  • Good battery duration of 12 hours per charge
  • Exceptional Bluetooth indoor range of 65 feet
  • Annoying proprietary charger with weak magnets
  • No support for Bluetooth multipoint or Game mode

Among air-conduction headphones (and the ones that look similar, like bone conduction), the OpenReal sound is by far the best.

They don’t have a bass oomph, but they posses excellent clarity across the midrange and treble. They can be shouty sometimes, but the quality and detail retrieval are unmatched.

Since speakers play in front of your ears, you can still hear everything around you, which is crucial during cycling. Furthermore, the “ear hookdesign keeps them stable when cycling at high speeds.

One thing is that the wind noise is slightly more noticeable. However, it doesn’t hurt the music playback.

9. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100

The best over-ear headphones for cycling.

BackBeat FIT 6100 are good quality headphones for under $70 with all the features you need during cycling.

Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
Driver size icon Driver size: 50mm
Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 24h | Wireless range: 65ft (20m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h + quick charge – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: Multipoint, app, Sound mix, Awareness mode
  • High water protection (for over-ear headphones)
  • Fabric headband provides better breathability
  • Decent battery life
  • Punchy bass
  • Outdated micro-USB port instead of USB-C
  • Headphones don't get extremely loud

The BackBeat FIT 6100 are perfectly tuned for sportspeople. They aren’t for purists, but their strong bass punch will empower you to squeeze that extra energy when cycling up the hill.

These are no ordinary over-ears. Housing is lightweight and well-padded for long listening sessions. The headband is made of breathable material to reduce sweating.

And even when you start sweating, IPX5-rated protection means headphones can resist sweat, splashes of water, and rain.

Furthermore, you can enable Awareness mode to better hear potential dangers. Headphones will play music for up to 24 hours and charge fully in 2 hours. Sadly, they still use micro-USB instead of USB-C.

Honorable Mentions

Jaybird Vista

Jaybird Vista true wireless earbuds on a rock

At the current price, these are still a compelling buy. You get the ruggedness and the customizability of the new model, as well as excellent fit and stability, thanks to ear fins.

Jaybird Vista review


SoundPEATS H1 both earbuds

Dual hybrid drivers (dynamic and BA) produce excellent audio quality for the price.

But for maximum stability and comfortable fit, you have to use them with the included memory foam ear tips.

SoundPEATS H1 review

Bose Frames Tempo

Bose Frames Tempo

Bluetooth cycling headphones that come in the form of sunglasses. Due to the design, you can hear all of the external noise to remain aware of your surroundings. However, sound leakage is strong.

Check Frames Tempo price

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo true wireless earbuds

Slightly older but cheaper alternative to the Soundcore Life A1. They’re a bit bulkier but comfortable nevertheless, providing great stability.

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo review

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can cyclists wear headphones?

Some countries and states allow you to wear headphones when cycling, while others don’t. In California, it’s illegal to cover both ears with headphones, while Texas has no such law. Always check your local laws to avoid getting fined. Read more about road rights and cycling laws.

Do headphones fit under a bike helmet?

Earbuds (in-ear headphones) are small enough to fit under most bike helmets. As long as the helmet doesn’t cover your ears, you will be able to wear most earbuds. Still, some helmets make it uncomfortable to use ear hooks, so check first.

Is it dangerous to cycle with headphones?

If you don’t fully block environmental noise and always check your surroundings before making a turn, you should be fine. The safest are open-ear headphones, like bone conducting headphones for cycling or earbuds with ambient-aware mode.

Can you wear AirPods while cycling?

Regular AirPods can fall off your ears when cycling due to movement and wind. They’re only suitable for slow cycling. Apple AirPods Pro are a better option since they have a better grip. Also, consider local laws if it’s legal to wear AirPods on both ears.