Listen to music or podcasts while riding a bike with the best headphones suitable for cycling.
Compare the best headphones for cycling and get more info below.
Many cyclists can’t imagine going out on their bikes without entertainment. Headphones give you the option to listen to music or podcasts while cycling.
But not every pair of headphones is good for driving a bike. Some don’t fit well under a helmet, and some create too much wind noise.
We present the best headphones for cycling in this guide.
We also address questions you may have about safety, and what makes good workout headphones for a cyclist.
Key Features of Headphones for Cycling
The key features go far beyond just sound. There is a lot to look out for when buying cycling headphones.
You need to consider both your listening comfort and your safety. We’ve selected the following features as vital for cyclists.
Safety is paramount, especially for road cyclists who need to hear the world around them.
- Don’t take any chances of not being able to hear background noise like traffic noise 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 headphones are impressive, but shouldn’t be used at the expense of having your wits about you when cycling with headphones.
- Most wireless Bluetooth earbuds and true wireless headphones don’t totally block out sound, so you should still be able to hear some traffic.
- The best bone conduction headphones keep your ear canals uncovered and the sound vibrates via your cheekbones. Bone conduction technology is an excellent solution for cyclists.
Is it even legal to wear headphones when riding a bike?
Cycling can be quite strenuous and fast. Whenever there is a lot of movement, we recommend specific sports headphones.
- Headphones have to be designed to stay firmly in place even while you’re active.
- Look mainly at in-ear headphones, as they aren’t overly bulky. An in-ear design with ear fins or ear hooks that stays in the ears is important for uninterrupted listening.
- On-ear and over-ear headphones are generally a no-go (plus won’t fit under a bike helmet).
Replacing headphones every few months because they’ve broken is a pain.
A durable set of headphones is essential for users with an active lifestyle.
- Having at least sweat resistance is essential. You might sweat a lot or get caught in the worst weather conditions.
Water-resistant headphones are a must (look for a high IPX rating).
- Also look for durable earbuds or headphones. They can potentially get scraped or thrown around a bit on challenging terrains.
Wired vs. Wireless
- Wired headphones can save you the hassle of charging but can tangle when moving. They 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.
Key features of wireless headphones:
- 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
- Often have sweatproof or even waterproof rating
- All have convenient controls and microphone for phone calls
- You need to charge them regularly
Obviously, the lack of cable is the main plus point, and so is the fact that you don’t have to have your music device attached.
You can keep it in your backpack if you like. Also, you can use voice control on some of the headphones we’ve reviewed for even easier control.
Battery and Bluetooth
If you are going down the wireless route, think carefully about what battery lives will suit your 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.
Nonetheless, the Bluetooth connection is reliable enough to make sure the sound is constant with no interruptions.
How to Choose Headphones for Cycling
Choosing the right headphones for cycling is a case of matching up your own unique needs to the type of headphones on offer.
While some features such as good sound quality and stability are essential, different cyclists may prioritize different functions.
How do Cycling Headphones Differ?
One of the key differences when finding cycling headphones is that the priority may shift from sound to stability.
Having a good quality of sound is important, useless if you are wearing true wireless earbuds and they keep falling out.
Cycling headphones usually have an in-ear design (earbuds) since they’re the only ones that can fit under a helmet.
They don’t get in the way as much, and there is less chance of getting them sweaty. Earbuds are also less bulky and therefore more comfortable for sports.
Consider Where (and How) You Will be Cycling
Being able to hear is always important for cyclists. However, in some areas, it may be even more vital.
- Cycling around busy traffic: open-ear wireless bone conduction headphones could be useful since they don’t block the ear canal.
- Indoor cycling or cycling outdoors around local villages: wired workout headphones may be fine.
- Long-distance cycling: you need headphones you can rely on for constantly playing music while cycling. Go for Bluetooth headphones with longer battery life.
As you can see, knowing how to choose cycling headphones is a case of establishing which features you think will be important for you.
Use these features as a guide when looking at the sports headphones below. We’ve selected 8 models of best cycling headphones.
Best Headphones for Cycling
1. Jaybird Vista 2
Best cycling headphones with the best sound quality.
If you like listening to music on your bike, do it with one of the best-sounding true wireless earbuds out there.
- 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
The second iteration provides a smoother, more balanced sound. Of course, 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.
2. Jabra Elite Active 75t
Still one of the best cycling headphones for most cyclists who don’t like ear hooks or fins.
Jabra Elite Active 75t Bluetooth earbuds are the top choice for avid cyclists.
- Reliably stable during movement
- Comfortable for hours thanks to smart ergonomics
- Fully waterproof with IP57 (IPX7)
- Great sound quality with equalization
- HearThrough awareness mode (useful for runners, cyclists…)
- Competitive battery life at 7 hours per charge (+20h in case)
- Perfectly designed physical controls
- High build quality
- Tiny soundstage (all sounds come from the middle of your head)
- Pricier than most alternatives
- Only right earbud can be used as mono
Jabra Elite Active 75t Bluetooth headphones have bass-boosted sound reproduction, but it can be equalized in the Jabra app. It works well for all types of music, though modern, bassy genres work best.
Great ambient sound mode awareness is the reason why the Jabra Elite Active 75t make the top of the list.
Although they have good passive noise isolation, you can use them with the HearThrough mode.
The 4-microphone system picks up more ambient sound and diverts it to you. After an update, they even have active noise cancelling mode.
And the physical controls are easier to use than touch controls, especially if you’re wearing cycling gloves. The microphone also works for hands-free phone calls or giving a command to your favorite voice assistant.
With a 7-hour battery life and full water and dust protection, you’re getting high-quality headphones for the toughest terrains like mountain biking.
Check related: Best bass earbuds
3. Beats PowerBeats Pro
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.
- 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
- Large charging case
- No way to turn them off without the charging case
- Mids sound a bit subdued
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.
4. AfterShokz Aeropex
The best bone-conduction headphone for cyclists.
It’s a vital requirement to hear ambient noise with biking headphones. The AfterShokz Aeropex open-ear wireless bone conduction headphones leave your ears free while still providing clear sound.
- 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 clarity is respectable, and the frequency response is great, for bone-conduction headphones. They are currently the best bone conduction headphones for sound.
Bone conduction technology has been invented to allow you to hear ambient noise. The sound vibrates through facial bones, leaving the ear canal free. Of course, that means you don’t get any noise isolation.
This is great for cyclists who can hear what is on the road while wearing headphones. 8 hours of listening time is pretty good for all kinds of cycling tours, even if you go on longer journeys.
The Bluetooth is highly reliable, so you can keep your device tucked away in your bag.
5. Apple AirPods Pro
Best biking headphones for iOS users.
Feature-packed AirPods Pro are a great choice if you already own an iPhone.
- 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 very balanced sound, with a slightly emphasized 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.
Most Affordable Headphones for Cycling
Here are the top picks for biking headphones under $60.
6. Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2
A great value for money in-ear cycling headphones.
Get a decent sound quality and a secure fit for your cycling adventures.
- Bassy sound, suitable for sports activities
- Robust, waterproof build
- Good stability with ear wings
- No app or EQ support
- Battery life could be better
The audio quality isn’t pitch-perfect, but the sound signature is suitable for sports activities. During cycling, a lot of sound gets masked by wind noise, so boosted lows help balance out the loss of bass.
The upper highs and lower treble are boosted as well, providing good clarity in vocals, which can also suffer during cycling.
Otherwise, Spirit Dot 2 are well-made earbuds with high IPX7 ingress protection and detachable ear wings to help them stabilize in your ears.
They’re pretty slim, so they don’t protrude that much. The latter is vital to reduce wind noise.
Also see the best headphones under $100.
7. Jlab Audio Jbuds Air
Best true wireless earbuds under $50 for cycling.
Keeping the cycling helmet on with a strap and then getting the wires somewhere in between can be complicated. The Jlab Jbuds Air Bluetooth headphones don’t have any of these problems.
- Good water protection IP55
- Stable fit suitable for sports
- User-friendly magnetic design
- Good sound quality for the price
- Annoying physical controls (Air Icon have touch controls)
- Can become uncomfortable after prolonged time for small ears
- Phone calls require the right earbud
The sound quality is the most average aspect of the Jbuds Air. You get the sound you can expect from cheap earbuds. It’s good for the low price and for listening during the activity, but you won’t win any awards.
Find more of the best earbuds under $50.
Like mentioned before, the design of these wireless earphones is much more convenient to wear under a cycling helmet. The earphones don’t stick out of the ears too much, so it’s easier to fit them.
Now, you get up to six hours of battery life per charge. The charging case is small enough to fit into a smaller pocket. And, if you get caught in the rain, neither sweat and water damage shouldn’t occur – IPX5.
Plus, you only pay $50 and can control music and make calls with onboard buttons and a built-in microphone.
8. EarFun Free Pro
Budget noise reduction earbuds with high-quality sound.
They have a low profile, are easy to use, and let you hear ambient mode, which is suitable for cycling.
- Excellent sound quality for the price
- Natural, dynamic audio performance
- Punchy bass with good extension
- Great comfort and stability
- Stable connection with Bluetooth 5.2
- Long battery life
- Many useful extra features
- Decent active noise cancelling effectiveness
- … but not the best ambient mode
- No mobile app or built-in EQ presets
- Flimsy charging case
EarFun’s sound performance is genuinely surprising for the price tag. It’s very dynamic, with good detail and soundstage. Although they’re far from neutral, Free Pro make for an excellent listening experience.
These earbuds have a relatively small housing that doesn’t protrude much. Therefore, wind noise isn’t that big of an issue. The mic is also fairly resistant to the wind, providing decent call quality.
Longer ear tips and small ear fins that you get in the box provide a secure fit. That way, you can be sure you don’t lose them while cycling.
Also, a slightly longer ear tip ensures better noise isolation that is further improved by active noise cancellation. ANC performance is similar to the best budget noise cancelling headphones.
With Bluetooth 5.2, even the connection is stable enough, regardless of where you store your transmitting device. Also, with up to 8 hours of continuous playback, you take them on long rides.
9. SoundPEATS H1
Best headphones for bike riding with a total of 40 hours of battery life.
If you cycle for long periods of time, such as cycling tours, you need a battery that can match your needs.
- Comfortable design
- Excellent passive noise isolation
- Long-lasting battery life
- Water-resistant design (IPX5)
- Great sound quality
- … but with too much bass
- Bluetooth range isn't great
- No ANC or ambient mode
Dual hybrid drivers (dynamic and BA) produce excellent audio quality for the price. They have a good bass that’s slightly boosted, but it doesn’t hurt the overall clarity.
For maximum stability and comfortable fit, you have to use them with the included memory foam ear tips. The latter also helps improving sound quality.
Foam ear tips grab your ears securely no matter how much you move your head. They’re great for outdoor riding and surprisingly don’t produce much wind noise.
Earbuds are well-protected from sweat, with an IPX5 rating keeping their internal away from liquids.
Expect an impressive battery life, with up to 10 hours per charge and another 30 inside the charging case.
10. Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo
The best budget headphones for cycling.
Liberty Neo’s are proving you don’t have to pay a lot of money to get excellent value in-ear headphones.
- Very comfortable
- Ear fins provide secure fit
- Reliable Bluetooth 5.0 connection
- IPX7 water resistance
- Good sound quality with graphene drivers
- Pretty decent build quality
- The charging case seems a bit flimsy
- Charging via micro USB
- Bass isn’t very agile
- Physical controls are annoying and only support basic commands
The sound can make all but the most demanding users satisfied. Punchy bass with the natural-sounding midrange. The treble stays smooth and clear of sibilance. They work great with the most popular genres.
These are very lightweight (only 5.5g per earbud) and comfortable to wear.
They come with 4 pairs of interchangeable tips 3 different rubberized ear fins, that lock them firmly into place. Once in your ear, you can feel confident they aren’t going to fall out.
No matter how much you sweat or get surprised by the pouring rain, you can rest assured these biking headphones can survive anything. They have IPX7 water and sweat resistance and can survive water jets straight into them.
The Bluetooth connection remains strong, and while they have a short battery life, they should last you through a full trail.
Jaybird Vista – 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
Bose Frames Tempo – Bluetooth cycling headphones that come in a 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, so don’t use them on public transport. (Check Frames Tempo price)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can Cyclist Wear Headphones?
Some countries or states allow you to wear headphones during cycling, while others don’t. Always check the local laws in your country to avoid getting fined.
Read more about road rights and cycling laws.
Is It Dangerous to Cycle with Headphones?
As long as you don’t fully block environmental noise and always check your surroundings before making a turn, you should be fine.
Ideal headphones for cycling are open-ear ones, like bone conduction headphones or earbuds with the Ambient mode feature.
Can You Wear AirPods while Cycling?
Apple AirPods Pro are the best option for cycling since they offer a better grip. Regular AirPods can fly off your ears due to wind speed.
However, keep in mind that silicone ear tips on AirPods Pro can get slippery once you get sweaty ears.