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10 Best Headphones for Running in 2020

Last updated: 3 months ago
13 min read

Here are the best running headphones that stay in the ears and survive bad weather.

Rating Price Water-resistance Battery Mic & Controls More info
Jabra Elite Active 75t Best overall
Jabra Elite Active 75t
Under $150
7h + 20h in case
Under $250
9h + 24h in case
Jaybird Vista Best sound
Jaybird Vista true wireless earbuds
Under $160
6h + 10h in case
Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo Affordable true wireless
Soundcore Liberty Neo
Under $40
5h + 19h in case
AfterShokz Aeropex Best bone conduction
AfterShokz Aeropex
Under $160
Jlab Audio Jbuds Air Best under $50
JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless
Under $30
5.5h + 15h in case
Bose Sport Earbuds Best all-around
Bose Sport Earbuds true wireless earbuds
Under $150
5h + 10h in case
Sony WF-SP800N Best battery
Sony WF-SP800N true wireless earbuds
Under $150
13h + 13h in case
Treblab X3 Pro Best affordable
Treblab X3 Pro true wireless earbuds
Under $70
9h + 36h in case
Under $100
Table of Contents

    Introducing, the latest Bluetooth and wired headphones best fit for runners.

    After thorough research and choosing from over 50 headphone models here are the 10 best.

    We looked at water-resistance which is crucial if you want your headphones to survive long, sweaty runs. But more important is the fit. Without a secure fit you can’t run comfortably, so all headphones here have a stable fit and shouldn’t fall off even during a sprint.

    These are the most “running-friendly” headphones on the market whether you’re running outside in the heavy rain or just jogging inside on a treadmill. Check them below.

    The Best Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds for Running

    1. Jabra Elite Active 75t

    1st-place Best overall
    Jabra Elite Active 75t wet

    Jabra Elite Active 75t are the best running headphones.

    The overall performance is among the best in the category, with excellent fit and HearThrough awareness mode. These are perfect for runners.

    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: 7h + 20h in case | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h 20min + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, BT-CVSD, mSBC | Water-resistance: IP57 | Features: EQ, "find my buds" feature, ambient aware
    • 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 review

    Should You Buy These?

    If you’re looking for the best running headphones, the Elite Active 75t have everything you need.

    The Good

    Comfy, stable fit doesn’t need a lot of readjustment, it’s every runner’s dream. The Jabras deliver with an ergonomic design that’s better than the alternatives (for most people).

    To keep you safe, you can enable the HearThrough mode that picks up ambient sound around you, so you know when to step away from an incoming car.

    In case rain catches you, the buds have full water and dust protection with an IP57 rating.

    And, if you like to chat with your friends you can accept calls with built-in microphone and controls.

    7-hour battery life is more than enough, even for a marathon. And when you run out of juice, fill them up for 15 minutes and get 1 hour of music. Perfect for a quick run.

    The Bad

    A bit more expensive. The HearThrough mode picks up wind noise but isn’t a deal-breaker.

    The Sound

    You get bass emphasized signature that works great for modern music and setting a rhythm. If you prefer less bass, you can EQ the earbuds with the Sound+ app.

    The Verdict

    Jabra 75t are the best running headphones with multiple options for outdoor and indoor runners. For the most versatile option, check these out.

    Jabra Elite Active 75t review

    Check related sports headphone guides:

    2. Beats PowerBeats Pro

    trophy Best bass
    Beats PowerBeats Pro in charging case

    PowerBeats Pro are one of the lightest true wireless earbuds that stick to ears like glue.

    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

    Beats PowerBeats Pro review

    Should You Buy These?

    If you like powerful bass in your music and enjoy using the latest technology, then these are perfect for your runs. More best bass earbuds.

    The Good

    Beats Pro feature some of the latest technology. The earbuds automatically pause the music when you take them off due to built-in sensors.

    You can make phone calls, control volume, song selection, and give voice commands, all with on-board physical buttons.

    To make sure sweat doesn’t break them, these are water-resistant (IP rating of IPX4). And they come with a long 11h battery life per charge, plus 24h more in the charging case. That’s standard-setting for truly wireless earbuds.

    And, with ear hooks, they stay in place no matter what. You can easily sprint and you won’t even have to readjust them.

    The Bad

    Can be uncomfortable for people with smaller ears. High price.

    No Transparency mode.

    The Sound

    As is usual for Beats they output a lot of bass. The lows are clearly boosted, together with treble that gives them a nice V-shaped sound.

    You’ll feel more energy from your music when listening to these.

    Overall, Beats PowerBeats Pro are a great choice for every runner, whether you’re a sprinter or long-distance runner.

    Beats PowerBeats Pro review

    3. Jaybird Vista

    trophy Best sound
    Jaybird Vista true wireless earbuds on a wooden log

    The best sounding true wireless earbuds for runners.

    Even when running, you deserve to listen to your favorite songs with high-quality audio. Jaybird Vista can give you exactly that.

    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: 6h + 10h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC (with JBS1 chip) | Water resistance: IPX7 | Features: Ear fins, EQ, "find my buds" feature
    • Comfortable fit
    • Excellent stability, even with small ear fins
    • Good Bluetooth 5.0 connection
    • Robust build quality
    • IPX7 rating and MIL-STD-810G standard
    • Superb sound quality (after EQ)
    • Proprietary silicone ear tips
    • Treble stays grainy, even after EQ
    • Annoying notifications when opening the app

    Jaybird Vista review

    Should You Buy These?

    If you desire great sound quality and comfortable fit, Vista’s might be a perfect pick for you.

    The Good

    These truly wireless earbuds are made to withstand harsh conditions. They are fully IPX7 water-resistant, while also capable of surviving a couple of drops thanks to the MIL-STD-810G standard.

    They fit nicely inside your ears, providing a comfortable listening experience even when running. You can use the included ear gels with ear fins, which offers better stability.

    Six-hour battery life can last you through a marathon. You get another 10 hours of charge from the carrying case, which is not much. Thankfully, you can quickly charge them, with 5 minutes providing an hour’s worth of playtime.

    The Bad

    Call quality is below average.

    No heart rate sensor.

    The Sound

    Initially, the audio quality is not that great. But after some EQ tweaks inside the mobile app, you can get them to perform rather impressive. Bass is punchy, midrange detailed, and treble sparkly.

    You can’t miss much if you decide to get Jaybird Vista. They’re great value, even at their price.

    Jaybird Vista review

    4. Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo

    dollar Affordable true wireless
    Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo true wireless earbuds

    Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo are the best true wireless earbuds if you’re on a tight budget.

    Fun to listen to, with fantastic comfort.

    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: 5h, 9h in case | Charging: 1.5h + quick charge – Micro-USB | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water-resistance: IPX7 | Features: Ear fins
    • 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

    Anker Soundcore Liberty Nep review

    Should You Buy These?

    If you’re looking for the best earbuds under $50 that are suitable for running, look no further.

    The Good

    As mentioned, these provide excellent comfort. With their different sized ear fins, you can achieve a very secure fit, preventing them from falling out of your ears even during an intense workout.

    They’re very lightweight, measuring only 5.5g per earbud. Despite that, construction quality is rather good, with a water-resistant IPX7 rating on the top of it.

    They come with lots of accessories, offering high-level customization when it comes to comfort and fitting. While their battery life isn’t superb (3.5 hours per charge), you can quick-charge them for 10 minutes, which gives you another hour of use.

    The Bad

    The charging case is a bit flimsy.

    Physical controls are a bit annoying to use.

    The Sound

    Perfect if you’re looking for a punchy, energetic sound. There is a clear bass emphasis, which makes them warm sounding. The midrange lacks a bit of detail, but vocals come through loud and clear. Treble is smooth and non-fatiguing.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo are a good choice for commuters, casual listeners, and sportspeople.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo review

    5. Aftershokz Aeropex

    trophy Best bone conduction
    AfterShokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones

    Aftershokz Aeropex are the best bone conduction headphones for running.

    These have a great deal of stability for runners. And, they leave your ears open to detect possible accidents before they happen.

    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

    AfterShokz Aeropex review

    Why Buy These?

    If you are an outdoor runner or a roadrunner, the Aeropex may be your new best friend.

    Plenty of stability keeps these sturdy around the head while you run. They’re also waterproof, so you don’t need to worry about rain while jogging.

    The bone conduction design means that your ears aren’t covered while listening. You can hear your surroundings when running outdoors.

    8 hours of battery life is plenty, even for long runs. The Bluetooth is 5.0 and is very reliable, so it shouldn’t fail you even for a marathon (unless you’re a really slow runner).

    The Bad

    Bone conduction technology doesn’t quite provide the same sound quality offered by the standard headphones. Also, some people don’t enjoy the feel of the vibrations.

    The Sound

    While they aren’t the best bass headphones, their boosted bass makes them the best sounding bone conduction headphones on the market.

    The frequency response is good, and they have plenty of power. Just don’t expect them to rival the elite headphones as the lack of lows is still apparent.

    For a sturdy design with plenty of features for runners, and a perfect awareness consider the AfterShokz Aeropex, a gold standard of bone conduction headphones.

    AferShokz Aeropex review

    6. Jlab Audio Jbuds Air

    trophy Best under $50
    Jlab Audio Jbuds Air

    Jlab Audio Jbuds Air are the top choice for jogging earbuds under $50.

    With exceptional fit even for sprinting, good sound quality, and Bluetooth performance, you get great cheap true wireless earbuds for running.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 18h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Under 2h – USB-A (attached) | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: Rubber sleeves
    • 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

    Jlab Audio Jbuds Air review

    Should You Buy These?

    If you want to enjoy music without wires for a low price of $50 and with no fear of sweat damage or a bad fit, the Jbuds Air are the way to go.

    The Good

    Thanks to rubber sleeves, they stay in ears fantastically well. You can run and move your head around frantically, and you won’t have to adjust the buds at all.

    You can wash them under tap water because they’re IPX5 water-resistant. It also blocks any amount of sweat as well.

    Check the best waterproof Bluetooth headphones.

    Moreover, they’re true wireless, so no wires to bounce around. Plus, you manage volume, songs, calls, and voice assistant with built-in controls.

    The charging case is small enough to squeeze into a smaller pocket, and you always know how much power is left in it thanks to the LED indicator.

    The Bad

    The sticky fit comes at a cost. They can irritate smaller ears. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s good we tell you about it.

    The Sound

    The audio quality of the Jbuds Air is average, which for the price is pretty good. You get a nice V-shaped sound with the Jlab signature preset. You can change it to 2 other presets (balanced & bass boost).

    The Verdict

    For the low price point of $50, you get reliable waterproof Bluetooth headphones that are sweat-resistant and offer a fantastic fit. The Jbuds Air make a no-brainer for any runner on a budget.

    Jlab Audio Jbuds Air review

    7. Bose Sport Earbuds

    true-wireless Best all-around
    Bose Sport Earbuds open charging case

    New sporty true wireless buds from Bose with excellent stability and comfort.

    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

    Bose Sport Earbuds review

    Should You Buy These?

    If you need a pair of running headphones, Sport Earbuds fit well, have a decent battery life, and produce a punchy, fun sound.

    The Good

    Bose Sport Earbuds have a surprisingly excellent comfort, despite their huge size. The housing sits comfortably inside the ear without going into the ear canal. Thanks to the ear fin, they lock firmly in their place, even during sports activities.

    Apart from Bluetooth 5.1 support and auto-pause/play sensor, there aren’t many big features on these earbuds. They can also repel sweat thanks to an IPX4 rating of water-resistance.

    With the companion app, you can check earbuds battery status and enable a couple of touch control gestures. There are 5 hours of battery life inside the buds, whereas you get another 10 hours in the charging case.

    The Bad

    Lackluster mobile app with no EQ.

    The Sound

    Well-balanced and punchy, with excellent bass detail and control. Sport Earbuds provide an enjoyable audio experience with most genres, and a good for movies, too, with a wide soundstage.

    The Verdict

    The price has dropped slightly, and for under $150, Bose Sport Earbuds are a great deal.

    Bose Sport Earbuds review

    8. Sony WF-SP800N

    trophy Best battery
    Sony WF-SP800N true wireless earbuds

    True wireless headphones with the best battery life in business.

    Fun sounding true wireless earbuds with active noise-cancelling, fantastic battery life, and Sony 360 Reality Audio support.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 7mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 13h + 13h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2.5h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: ANC, ambient aware, EQ, ear fins, 360 Reality Audio
    • Fun sound
    • Stability for sports
    • Great battery life
    • Unreliable touch controls

    Should You Buy These?

    You’re getting a little bit of everything with these. They’re a solid package, especially when coming from a famous brand like Sony.

    The Good

    As with all sports-oriented running earbuds, these provide excellent comfort with cushioned arc supporter and IP55 water protection.

    They boast a fantastic battery life of 13 hours per charge, with an additional 26 hours from the charging case. That makes them even better compared to Beats PowerBeats Pro‘s 11 hours on a single charge.

    You can connect these with an app, where you can enable active noise-cancellation. You can also change their EQ settings.

    See best noise cancelling earbuds for similar options.

    The Bad

    Touch controls are not very reliable.

    The Sound

    Out of the box, they are not very inspiring. If you want them to be more bassy, you need to download a mobile app and play with EQ. These earbuds also support Sony 360 Reality Audio, which is the surround sound feature that lets you listen to music, mixed in this audio format.

    You get a little bit of everything with these running earbuds. They’re quite versatile, making them a fine choice for your next running in-ears.

    9. Treblab X3 Pro

    dollar Best affordable
    Treblab X3 Pro open charging case

    PowerBeats Pro lookalikes with many similar characteristics but at a much lower price.

    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

    Read the Treblab X3 Pro review

    Should You Buy These?

    If you don’t mind ear hook design and want superb stability during exercise, X3 Pro are a good pick.

    The Good

    For a third of the price, you get a very similar experience as with the PowerBeats Pro. From a design standpoint, they’re identical. Silicone ear hooks gentle grab your ears and prevent the earbuds from falling out even when you shake your head erratically.

    An IPX7 rating gives you the freedom to wash them underwater after every workout. Earbuds also seem quite durable, without any noticeable weak points.

    Treblab X3 Pro can play music for around 9 hours (depending on the volume), with extra 36 hours inside the charging case. Apart from Bluetooth codecs SBC and AAC, they also support aptX, which is great for Android users.

    The Bad

    Stock ear tip sizes might not fit properly.

    The Sound

    Once you achieve the perfect fit, the X3 Pro outputs a very punchy sound with good bass impact. They’re quite good in other areas, too, with a reasonably balanced midrange and smooth treble that doesn’t get sibilant.

    The Verdict

    Treblab X3 Pro are very practical true wireless earbuds that are easy to use.

    Read the full Treblab X3 Pro review

    The Best Headphones For Running

    Here are the top wired and wireless on-ear running headphones. On-ear (supra-aural) are better than over-ears, since the over-ears (circumaural) are just too big and wobble around too much.

    10. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500

    A solid on-ear alternative for runners.

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 are Bluetooth on-ears, providing nano-coating sweat resistance, long battery life, and pleasing audio.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 4.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 50-20.000Hz
    Type: On-ear | Battery life: 18h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Weight: 155g | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water-resistance: IPX2 | Features: Sweatproof nano-coating
    • Long battery life
    • Enjoyable sound
    • Multipoint support
    • Not the most comfortable

    Should You Buy These?

    If you want solid on-ears you can run with and not worry about killing them with sweat, these are a great choice.

    The Good

    These on-ears are lightweight and comfortable with good background noise isolation. They stay on your ears even when running fast which makes them a suitable contender for runners.

    The battery life of up to 18 hours and stable Bluetooth connection helps you focus on your running only. They also have Multipoint (connect 2 devices), built-in remote control and microphone you can use for calls.

    The Bad

    Because this headphone is supra-aural, your ears might hurt a little after extended use.

    The Sound

    They produce rich audio with bass. Mids and highs are clear too, but the bass is always in the front. That is perfect for everyone that likes punchy, loud bass. They’re bassy, and that’s what a lot of runners love.

    The Verdict

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 are bass enhanced wireless on-ears with waterproof design. On top of that, great comfort, stability, and relatively affordable price make them ideal for runners.

    Honorable Mentions

    Origem HS-1

    Great cheap wireless earphones that got discontinued. You might still get them somewhere. Read the Origem HS-1 review

    Koss SportaPro

    Retro and cheap on-ears that are light and suitable for running.

    Jaybird X4

    If you want running earbuds that have a secure fit for all ears, fantastic audio quality, and dependable water-resistance, get the Jaybird X4. Jaybird X4 review

    MEE Audio X1

    If you’re looking for dedicated wired running headphones with great sound, durability, stability, and comfort, which are suitable for all conditions, all for a low price, MEE Audio X1 are great. Check more best cheap earbuds.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    How to Pick Running Headphones for Yourself

    Before you pick your running headphones, you need to know where and how you’ll be using them.

    If you run outside in all weather, even rain, you need good waterproof headphones. IPX5 and more is recommended as this ensures complete resistance to rain and sweat.

    In case you run inside on a treadmill, you don’t really need extra water and sweat protection unless you sweat excessively. It’s still beneficial if the headphones are sweatproof, but not crucial.

    Check the most durable earbuds on the market right now.

    Getting a stable fit is crucial.

    Stability is the most important thing when choosing solid running headphones. If they don’t stay in, you won’t be able to run with them. It’s simple as that.

    Because of fast movement, big, bulky headphones aren’t really suitable for running. The most common sport headphones are small in-ear designs. They are lightweight and offer a good stable fit.

    But in case you don’t like earbuds (IEMs), lightweight on-ear headphones are a good alternative.

    In any case, you need to pick a good fitting pair of headphones that don’t fall off even when soaked in sweat.

    What kind of sound do you like?

    Sound quality is important but not crucial. You probably won’t be focusing on the details or lack thereof during a run. The brains are very busy with other things during exercise, like breathing and body coordination.

    On the other hand, you still want quality, engaging sound that will make you go the extra mile. A bass heavier sound signature is preferred by many people, but it really comes down to personal preference.

    If you like rock music and more of a balanced sound signature, then you should look for that. But if you listen to audiobooks and podcasts, any decent headphones will do.

    How much noise isolation do you need?

    There are 2 options. Closed-back and open-back headphones. Closed-back ones have far superior noise attenuation and are best for running inside when you want to keep private. Or running in nature, on a safe path where you don’t have to worry about the dangers of traffic.

    Also, effective noise blocking means you won’t bother other gym-goers with your loud music and will instead keep it to yourself. It’s a behavior of a civilized person.

    On the other hand, open headphones leak in and out a lot more ambient noise. But this isn’t bad in every case. If you’re running on busy streets with “blood-lusting” drivers, hearing ambient noise is an advantage. And in many cases a necessity for a safe run.

    Sure, you’ll hear less music because noise will overlap it, but what’s more important? Your safety or your enjoyment of music. It’s your call.

    Now just because the noise bothers you doesn’t mean you should turn up the volume to max. You can damage your hearing fast if you’re not careful. More on this here.

    Don’t forget that open-back design leaks sound in and out. Meaning, other people will hear what you’re listening to which can be embarrassing, depending on your music taste.

    Good comfort always plays a role.

    Irritating your ears with uncomfortable headphones isn’t fun. When you’re physically exerting yourself, the last thing you want is getting your ears rubbed the wrong way.

    Pick earbuds with many variations of eartips so you can change them to fit your ear canal comfortably.

    Having control of music.

    Some of you use your smartphones for your music and want a convenient way to change the songs and volume on the go.

    This is where the built-in (or in-line) controls become useful. There are many iPhone and Android compatible headphones that will make controlling music much easier.

    To sum up…

    The perfect running headphone models are those that won’t have you worry about fit, discomfort, breaking the headphones or annoy you with horrible sound quality.

    There are many great picks on this page that do great in all the categories.

    Are Wireless Headphones the Best for Running?

    scissors cutting wires

    Seriously, why do I need Bluetooth headphones if wired ones do the job just fine?

    Well, you don’t need them, many people use wired running headphones just fine. But…

    … if you want that extra freedom and convenience, Bluetooth is a great technology.

    With wireless headphones, you’ll never have to deal with untangling the mysterious mess of wires before a run.

    There’s also less of a chance to damage the headphones beyond repair. With most headphones, if cord goes, headphones go.

    Regular wired headphones aren’t bad at all, but only those who tried wireless know the difference.

    You feel free to do anything you want. You’re not limited by the wires or the audio player.

    Running, playing sports or working out while listening to music is just more comfortable.

    What to Expect of Wireless Bluetooth Headphones for Running?

    The freedom wireless headphones give you is liberating. But it comes with a price. The biggest one being the battery charging.

    You’ll need to regularly recharge your batteries otherwise your Bluetooth cans won’t work. Now, some on-ears have the option to use them wired as well which is always useful.

    The other thing you should expect is that the battery capacity will diminish over time. It’s the fault in the technology that isn’t made to last forever. Over a couple of years, your headphones will lose battery space. There’s nothing you can do about it.

    Audio quality might not be up to par. Now, every audiophile will tell you that wireless headphones don’t sound as good as wired. While this is technically true, the difference is minimal. So, barely anyone can hear the difference. You need professionally trained ears and be younger (hearing diminishes with age) to notice a difference.

    If you’re not an audiophile and just want to enjoy quality music and have fun, you don’t have to worry about it.

    Moreover, you might experience temporary interruptions. Because Bluetooth technology isn’t perfect, you will sometimes get the unwanted distortion or loss of signal. It happens to the best of them. Fortunately, with later versions of Bluetooth, these problems are becoming less common.

    How to Get a Secure Fit When Running?

    When it comes to on-ear, supra-aural headphones, it’s very straightforward. The cans need to have strong clamping force and be light enough, so they don’t move around during a jog. Many have the ear hook-shaped headband to help with stability.

    For in-ears, there are many options.

    You can wear most earbuds in 2 ways:

    • Over the ear (most secure)
    • Under the ear

    Some earbuds allow both fits, some only one. It depends on the model.

    We found over the ear fit to be more secure because your earlobes give more support to the cables. But both can work well for running.

    Check the video explaining how to fit buds over the ear style.

    Here is a video explaining how to fit Vi Sense (mentioned above) in an under the ear fit.