Sports

10 Best Headphones for Running in 2020

Last updated: 1 month ago, Aug. 14. 2020
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    Here are the best running headphones that stay in the ears and survive bad weather.

    Comparison: The Best Running Headphones

      RatingPrice
    (approx.)
    Sweat
    Resistant
    i
    Higher IPX is better.
    Type
    i
    (Xh)=battery life if wireless
    Controls
    & Mic
    i
    Do they have remote controls and microphone?
     
    Jabra Elite Active 75t
    best overall
    3.8under $200IP57 (IPX7)
    waterproof
    Bluetooth 5.0
    (7h+)
    built-inMore info
    Beats PowerBeats Pro
    best bass
    4.1$250IPX4
    sweatproof
    Bluetooth
    (9h+)
    built-inMore info
    Jaybird Vista
    best sound
    4.3$180
    IPX7Bluetooth
    (6h+)
    built-inMore info
    Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo
    affordable true wireless
    4.3$40IPX7Bluetooth
    (3.5h+)
    built-inMore info
    AfterShokz Aeropex
    best bone conduction
    4.3$160IPX7
    (IP67)
    Bluetooth
    (8h)
    built-inMore info
    Jlab Audio Jbuds Air
    best under $50
    4.0$50IPX5Bluetooth
    (5.5h+15h in case)
    built-inMore info
    Bose SoundSport Wireless3.7$130waterproofBluetooth
    (6h)
    in-lineMore info
    Sony WF-SP800N
    best battery
    4.1$150
    IP55Bluetooth
    (13h+)
    built-inMore info
    Bose SoundSport wired
    best wired
    4.0$130waterproofwired
    3.5mm
    in-lineMore info
    Plantronics
    BackBeat FIT 500

    on-ear sub
    3.8$100waterproofBluetooth
    (18h)
    built-inMore info

    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.

    Table of Contents
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      Check related sports headphone guides:

      Best workout headphones
      The best swimming headphones
      Best MP3 players for swimming

      The Best Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds for Running

      1. Jabra Elite Active 75t – best overall

      Jabra Elite Active 75t wet

       

      Jabra Elite Active 75t are the best headphones for running.

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

      See the Elite Active 75t review.

      Type: In-ears, true wireless
      Back design: Closed-back
      Water-resistance: Waterproof (IP57)
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 7h per single charge

      Should You Buy These?

      If you’re looking for the best of the best running headphones, the Jabra 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 sounds 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. Check the review for more info.

      The Verdict

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

      Check the full Jabra Elite Active 75t review.


      2. Beats PowerBeats Pro – best bass

      Beats PowerBeats Pro

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

      Full PowerBeats Pro review.

      Type: In-ears – true wireless
      Back design: Closed-back
      Water-resistance: Sweatproof (IPX4)
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 11h per single charge

      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.

      The Good

      PowerBeats 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 (IPX4 rating). 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.

      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.

      Check the full PowerBeats Pro review.


      3. Jaybird Vista – 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.

      Read the full review.

      Type: In-ears, true wireless
      Back design: Closed-back
      Water-resistance: Waterproof (IPX7)
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 6h per single charge

      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

      Microphone quality is below average.

      The Sound

      Initially, the 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.

      Check the full Jaybird Vista review.


      4. Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo – 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.

      Read the full review.

      Type: In-ears, true wireless
      Back design: Closed-back
      Water-resistance: Waterproof (IPX7)
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 3.5h per single charge

      Should You Buy These?

      If you only have around $50 to spend and you’re looking for a reliable running companion to keep you entertained, 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.

      Check the full Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo review.


      5. Aftershokz Aeropex – best bone conduction

      AfterShokz Aeropex

      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.

      Read the full review.

      Type: Bone conduction
      Back design: Open-air
      Water-resistance: IP67
      Connection: Bluetooth
      Battery life: 8 hours

      Why Buy These?

      If you are an outdoor runner or a roadrunner, the AfterShokz 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 headphones don’t quite have the same sound quality offered by the standard ones. Also, some people don’t enjoy the feel of the vibrations.

      The Sound

      With boosted bass, these are 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.

      The full AferShokz Aeropex review.


      6. Jlab Audio Jbuds Air – 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.

      Type: In-ears
      Back design: Closed-back
      Water-resistance: IPX5
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery: 5.5h with 15h in charging case

      Read the 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 IPX rated wireless earbuds.

      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 Bluetooth earbuds that are sweat-resistant and offer a fantastic fit. The Jbuds Air make a no-brainer for any runner on a budget.

      Read the full Jlab Audio Jbuds Air review.


      7. Bose SoundSport Wireless

      Bose SoundSport Wireless

      Bose SoundSport Wireless are one of the best Bluetooth in-ears for running.

      These high-ranking workout earbuds provide hours of quality listening time that is true to the Bose name.

      Type: In-ears
      Back design: Closed-back
      Water-resistance: IPX4
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 6h per single charge

      Should You Buy These?

      Bose is known for excellent comfort, and this is what makes them one of the best running headphones.

      The Good

      You can comfortably wear these for several hours of running, in the gym, commuting, or around the house. The earbud casing is larger than some other brands, but the StayHear + eartips keep the earbuds in place and secure during your most active workouts.

      These wireless earbuds offer a decent amount of moisture and sweat resistance. The in-line controls also have good moisture resistance.

      6-hours of battery life is ok, but it isn’t the best. A 15-minute charge will deliver 1-hour of music. Bluetooth range and connectivity are good, and NFC pairing works well.

      The Bad

      A large earbud housing sticks out from the ear, producing wind noise.

      Sound

      The sound signature is not necessarily audiophile quality or flat, but it doesn’t overcompensate with too much emphasis on the bass. Lows are warm yet powerful. The mids are presented evenly and openly, while highs remain reasonably balanced.

      If you’re a fan of Bose quality, then the Bose SoundSport wireless earbuds are worth checking out.


      8. Sony WF-SP800N – best battery

      Sony WF-SP800N true wireless earbuds

      True wireless earbuds 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.

      Type: In-ears
      Back design: Closed-back
      Water-resistance: IP55
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Battery life: 13h per single charge

      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 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-cancelling. You can also change their EQ settings.

      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 earbuds. They’re quite versatile, making them a fine choice for your next running in-ears.


      The Best Wired Running Earbuds

      Wires are still kicking strong. Here are the best wired earphones for jogging. You can also check the guide on the best wired workout headphones.

      9. Bose SoundSport In-Ear – best wired

      Bose SoundSport In-ear

      No other in-ears provide the same combination of features that are as perfect for jogging as these.

      Type: In-ears
      Back design: Closed-back
      Water-resistance: n/a
      Connection: Wired, 3.5mm

      Should You Buy These?

      The combination of stability, incredible comfort, sweat-resistant design, and strong bassy sound makes Bose SoundSport the best wired running headphones, period.

      The Good

      You can easily run or sprint without having to adjust the fit. Once you put them in you’re good to go. These are also one of the most comfortable earbuds you can get right now.

      While physical durability is about average, water and sweat resistance are better. They are completely sweatproof and can survive a downpour or two, so no worries of getting caught in the rain.

      The remote controls are very intuitive, and very soon you’ll be changing songs, adjusting volume, and accepting calls without having to look at what you’re pressing.

      The Bad

      Too much bass for audiophiles.

      Sound

      It’s a typical Bose sound signature, somewhat emphasized bass with clear mids and highs. While this may not be a balanced audiophile signature, it produces fun and dynamic sound that is perfect for running.

      As the best wired running headphones, Bose SoundSport offer great comfort and fit, sweatproof design, and good, bassy signature.


      The Best Headphones for Running

      Here are the top wired and wireless on-ear headphones for running. 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.

      Type: On-ears
      Back design: Closed-back
      Water-resistance: Waterproof
      Connection: Bluetooth
      Battery life: 18h per single charge

      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 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 in-ears that got discontinued. You might still get them somewhere. Read the full 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. Read the full review.

      MEE Audio X1

      If you’re looking for dedicated running headphones with great sound, durability, stability, and comfort, which are suitable for all conditions, all for a dirt-cheap price, MEE Audio X1 are your best choice.


      How we do reviews?

      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 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 headphones for running. 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 sports headphones are small in-ear designs. They are lightweight and offer 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 headphones 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 wiresSeriously, why do I need Bluetooth headphones if wired ones do the job just fine?

      Well, you don’t need them, many people use wired headphones for running 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.

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