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The Best Wired Workout Headphones

Last updated: 2 months ago
11 min read

The best wired workout headphones with sweat-protection and secure fit for all your activities.

Rating Price Water protection Type Mic & Controls Plug design More info
4.5
Under $160
IPX4
In-ear, closed-back
checkmarkcheckmark
3.5mm, I-shaped
JBL Endurance Run Runner-up
JBL Endurance RUN wired earbuds
4.6
Under $30
IPX5
In-ear, closed-back
checkmarkcheckmark
3.5mm, Y-shaped
Samsung Active InEar Best security
Samsung Active InEar wired earphones
4.4
Under $20
/
In-ear, closed-back
checkmarkcheckmark
3.5mm, I-shaped
Sony MDR-XB510AS Best under $50
Sony MDR-xb510AS Extra Bass
4.2
Under $40
IPX5
In-ear, closed-back
checkmarkcheckmark
L-shaped
MEE Audio X1 Best budget
MEE Audio X1 wired workout earbuds
4.2
Under $20
IPX5
In-ear, closed-back
checkmarkcheckmark
L-shaped
JVC HA-EBR80 Best classic earphones
JVC HA-EBR80 classic sports earphones
4.2
Under $20
Sweatproof
In-ear, closed-back
checkmarkcheckmark
I-shaped
Shure SE215 Best sound
Shure SE215 wired earbuds
4.5
Under $100
/
In-ear, closed-back
crosscross
L-shaped
Koss SportaPro Best budget on-ear
Koss SportaPro
4.4
Under $30
/
On-ear, open-back
crosscross
L-shaped
Skullcandy Grind Wired Best value on-ear
Skullcandy Grind orange wired
4.5
Under $60
/
On-ear, closed-back
checkmarkcheckmark
L-shaped

The best wired sports headphones are, in our opinion, Bose SoundSport in-ear wired headphones.

In the world of true wireless earbuds, some of us still want a reliable and hassle-free experience of wired headphones.

Worrying about battery level isn’t what you want. Wired workout headphones are simple, you put them on and they work. Here are your best options.

Table of Contents

    The Best Wired Workout Earbuds

    1. Bose SoundSport In-Ear Wired

    1st-place Best overall
    Bose SoundSport Wired workout headphones

    Bose SoundSport are the best wired earbuds for sports you can get right now.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: n/a | Weight: 0.64 oz (18g) | Cable lenght: 51 inch (1.3m) | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Ear fins
    • StayHear ear tips ensure great stability
    • Great, enjoyable sound
    • Wires can get in a way during workout

    Should You Buy These?

    These are one of the most comfortable earbuds on the market among wired workout earbuds. You can barely feel them in your ears, and because they’re quite small, you can even sleep with them with your head on the side.

    Sound leakage helps with being aware of your environment, so this is a good thing if you’re working out outside. And it’s also the reason why these are one of the best-wired earbuds for running (you need awareness to stay safe).

    They’re also sweating and moisture resistant to survive hot and sweaty workouts. Just don’t dip them into the water since they aren’t water-proof.

    The Bad

    Because of their lack of isolation, they are not suitable for loud gyms.

    The Sound

    While audiophiles might not like its imbalanced sound with recessed highs and mids and enhanced bass, it offers a fun and dynamic sound. The music with these has a nice beat to it while not dramatically lacking mids or highs. It has the typical Bose sound signature.

    The Verdict

    For a combination of great comfort and fit for sports with a slightly bassy sound, get Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones.


    2. JBL Endurance RUN

    2nd-place Runner-up
    JBL Endurance RUN wired earbuds

    Of course you can get perfect in-ear headphones for workout under $20.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8.2mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: n/a | Features: FlipHook, TwistLock
    • IPX5 water resistance
    • Good stability for sports activities
    • Fun, V-shaped sound
    • Slight cable noise

    Should You Buy These?

    Their well-thought design lets you decide if you want to wear them normally, with the wire going straight down, or with the wire going behind your ears. The latter is much better since it makes these workout earbuds much more lightweight and it can also reduce microphonics.

    There are magnets in the earbuds which lock them together. This prevents them from falling off your neck when you’re not using them.

    As it is expected from sport-oriented wired headphones, these do offer some sweat protection. It is also worth mentioning that the microphone quality is very good for a budget product such as this.

    The Bad

    There could be more accessories in the box, like ear fins for better stability.

    The Sound

    There is a noticeable bass presence, which makes the overall sound quite warm, but still enjoyable to listen to. Mids are well defined, with the highs being nice and crisp.

    The Verdict

    JBL Endurance RUN’s are proving, that you don’t have to spend much to get an excellent pair of earbuds for sport.


    3. Samsung Active InEar

    trophy Best security
    Samsung Active InEar wired earphones

    A cheap wired solution for active people on a tight budget.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Earphones | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: n/a | Features: Inline controls, ear fins
    • Good stability
    • Decent sound (if you fit them right)
    • No IP rating

    Should You Buy These?

    Having similar design as the Apple Earpods and new AirPods, the Active InEar’s can be tricky with finding the right fit. Samsung found the solution in the form of soft gel ear tips that are providing extra grip. You can also »dress« them in a tip with an ear fin, which adds to even greater security while working out.

    With the controls on the cable, you can skip music or raise the volume. Of course, you can also answer calls. For the price point, the microphone quality is really great.

    The build quality is good and should survive quite a bit of usage. You get a lot of additional gel tips inside the box.

    The Bad

    Users are reporting some quality control issues, which is sadly common in budget products.

    No water-resistant IP rating.

    The Sound

    They can sound muffled if the fit isn’t on perfect. When the fit is just right, the sound quality is quite good. It is very punchy, with decently clear midrange and treble.

    The Verdict

    Samsung Active InEar’s are cheap and simple to use workout earbuds, with good microphone and stability.


    4. Sony MDR-XB510AS

    dollar Best under $50
    Sony MDR-xb510AS Extra Bass

    Sony MDR-XB510AS are perfect for everyday use in the gym or while running.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 4-24.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: 56 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: 4 feet (1.2m) | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: Ear fins
    • IPX5 sweatproof design
    • Good stability during workout
    • Punchy sound with deep bass
    • Inline remote offers limited functions

    Should You Buy These?

    As their name already suggests, these Sony headphones are made for sports enthusiasts who also like heavy bass.

    The Good

    Ear wings help stabilize these earbuds on your ears during a workout. Even if you move your head a lot, these won’t fall out.

    They are made out of sturdy materials. Because of that, they last a long time. And with the IPX5 rating, you can use them in every condition and every weather. They are sweat and water-resistant, you can even clean them under a tap.

    Moreover, playing or pausing music is possible with a single button remote. There’s also a microphone. It’s good quality, so you can even use it for more critical calls.

    The Bad

    Even though there is a remote control, you cannot adjust the volume.

    The Sound

    Clear mids and highs are joined by mostly deep, boomy bass. The bass fits nicely into other ranges and gives you perfect motivation in the gym. Mids are slightly warm, and highs are satisfying enough for an average listener. It’s ideal for rhythmic music (like EDM and pop), which sounds marvelous.

    The Verdict

    If you want that extra bit of bass in wired workout earbuds, then Sony MDR-XB510AS Extra Bass can give you a little push to finish your daily workout plan.


    5. MEE Audio X1

    dollar Best budget
    MEE Audio X1 wired workout earbuds

    MEE Audio X1 are cheap in-ear headphones for sports, but bassy sound and solid construction make them a steal.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 9mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: 16 Ohm | Weight: 0.7 oz (20g) | Cable lenght: 4 feet (1.2 m) | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: Ear hook design
    • Comfortable for long listening sessions
    • Sweatproof build
    • Bassy, fun sound
    • Barebones remote controls

    Should You Buy These?

    If you’re looking for budget sports earbuds, these are the best for the money.

    The Good

    These are the same as the popular MEE Audio M6 but come with a mic and remote control while still under $30.

    Ergonomically rounded and smooth plastic design makes them comfortable for long workout sessions. Plus, the memory wire folds into ear hooks and provides stability and fit even for running. With the right ear tips, you can get fantastic isolation to block most ambient noise.

    Moreover, the in-line remote gives you the ability to play and pause your tracks, and there’s also a microphone, so you can use these for calls too.

    Because of the IPX5 rating (sweat-resistant), they can withstand any amount of sweat and even rain, perfect for inside or outside exercise. Check other durable earbuds or earbuds for swimming.

    The Bad

    The one-button-remote doesn’t provide volume control, which is a bummer.

    The Sound

    The sound quality is pretty good for the price. It is bass enhanced, but you need an airtight secure fit. It’s perfect for all bass-heavy music, which is most popular among sportspeople.

    The Verdict

    MEE Audio X1 are one of the best wired workout earbuds on the budget. With bassy sound quality, high comfort, fit, and stability, you’ll start to understand why they are so popular.


    6. JVC HA-EBR80

    earbud Best classic
    JVC HA-EBR80 classic sports earphones

    JVC HA-EBR80 are the best cheap classic earphones (earbuds) for working out.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 13.5mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 16-20.000Hz
    Type: Earphone | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: 16 Ohm | Weight: 0.46 oz (13g) | Cable lenght: 4 feet (1.2m) | Water resistance: Sweatproof | Features: Ear hooks
    • Great stability with ear hooks
    • Balanced sound signature
    • … but subpar sound quality
    • Limited remote control functions

    Should You Buy These?

    If you’re searching for cheap, comfy sports earphones in a classic design, then read on.

    The Good

    The JVCs have a classic design. They fit well and can stay in your ears no matter what. You can use them both for running or the gym.

    They rest on your ears rather than go inside the ear canal. Yes, they lack good noise isolation because of that, but it makes them better for your awareness.

    Note: Looking for active noise cancelling headphones?

    The adjustable ear-clips secure them on your ears perfectly. The clips are made out of soft rubber, so that makes the earbuds extremely comfortable.

    Sweat and water won’t ruin them. Also, you can use the 1-button-remote to manage your music and a microphone for calls.

    The Bad

    The remote control doesn’t provide volume adjustment. You have to reach for your phone every time you want to adjust it. Also, the sound quality is really not the best in this category.

    The Sound

    Their sound signature is balanced. Mids are clear and well-present. Bass isn’t strong, and some people might complain it lacks in the lows. Nonetheless, for budget classic earphones, they sound great. Just don’t compare them to expensive in-ears.

    The Verdict

    JVC HA-EBR80 bring extremely secure fit and comfort with ample situational awareness (perfect for runners or cyclists) in a cheap, classic design.


    7. Shure SE215

    trophy Best sound
    Shure SE215 wired in-ear monitor

    With the great sound quality, stability, and the way you need to wear them, Shure SE215’s are perfect for a wired workout solution.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 22-17.500Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise Cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Microphone only | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: n/a | Features: Detachable cable, optional wireless adapter
    • Good sound quality
    • Price-to-performance ratio
    • Detachable cable
    • Narrow soundstage

    Should You Buy These?

    They have many characteristics of earbuds for sport. You have to wear them with the wire going behind your ears, reducing the microphonics and the weight of the earbuds themselves.

    The housing is perfectly shaped to fit in your ear, providing good comfort and great stability. Shure’s are made from clear plastic, making the insides of the earphones visible.

    The good thing about these earphones is that the cable can be replaced. So if you ever damage the connectors or the cable you can simply buy a new one.

    The Bad

    If you use them for a workout, you should be cautious about their lack of sweat or water resistance.

    The Sound

    These use a single dynamic driver that produces a nice, controlled low end with a good kick. The warm midrange is definitely the star of the show, presenting a lot of details, with the treble being quite smooth and rolled-off.

    The Verdict

    If you do a lot of light workouts and are looking for great sound quality earbuds you should check these out.


    The Best On-Ear (Wired) Workout Headphones

    8. Koss SportaPro

    dollar Best budget on-ear
    Koss SportaPro

    The best on-ear cheap sports headphones are Koss SportaPro, perfect for fitness.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 5-25.000Hz
    Type: On-ear | Back design: Open-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 60 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: 4 feet (1.2m) | Features: Foldable
    • Lightweight and comfortable
    • Lively, open sound
    • Not the best durability

    Should You Buy These?

    Keeping them on your head is easy due to their lightweight nature and a flexible headband, making them great for running or working out. The cushions are also very comfortable.

    These can be worn either over the ears or behind the head. Either way works, and it’s only a question of personal preference.

    The open-back headphones have soft ear cushions that touch your ears. The background noise isn’t isolated much, but they are loud enough to overpower any noisy gym. Because they let in ambient sound, they’re safe for running outside.

    The Bad

    The durability isn’t much to be desired. The same cheap design with no durability features, probably the reason why they can be so cheap.

    The Sound

    The sound quality of SportaPros is rather “bassy,” even to the point of losing treble. Bass is deep and emphasized even at higher volumes, quite a feat for such a lightweight pair of headphones.

    You can also check PortaPro model for slightly more money, but with more Hi-Fi sound quality.

    The Verdict

    In general, these are great value for money, lightweight, comfortable on-ear sports headphones with a bass-heavy sound. One of the best headphones for workout.


    9. Skullcandy Grind Wired

    dollar Best value on-ear
    Skullcandy Grind orange wired

    The best value for money on-ear workout headphones with wires are Skullcandy Grind.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: On-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: n/a | Features: Detachable cable
    • Good sound with punchy bass
    • Flexible metal headband
    • Lightweight and comfortable
    • Mediocre microphone quality

    Should You Buy These?

    They are lightweight, fit well, and are comfortable to wear long enough for even the hardest working gym-goers. You can even use these wired headphones for running.

    They aren’t made for sports use specifically, so they don’t have any sweat protection, but since these are on-ear headphones, the drivers are well protected from the sweat.

    The metal headband is very flexible and will survive for a long time. The plastic casing is durable enough to last a couple of years as well.

    The wires with L-shaped 3.5mm are detachable, which is great when you accidentally pull on them too hard. They can be replaced easily without having to throw away the headphones.

    The Bad

    The microphone is also present and does the job, but compared to other in-line or in-headphone mics, it lacks a bit in recording quality.

    The Sound

    The sound quality is surprisingly good. The bass is strong enough to get you going while still hearing treble and mids with enough clarity.

    The Verdict

    For the best bang for your buck when buying on-ear sports headphones, get Skullcandy Grind with a good combination of comfort, fit, durability, style, and sound quality, all for an affordable price point.


    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Why Get Wired Workout Headphones?

    There are many reasons why the cable still wins the wired or wireless battle today.

    Wired headphones are GOOD at:

    • Always ready. There’s no need to charge the battery life. Your sports headphones are regularly prepared, and you can just keep them in your sports bag for when you need them again.
    • Usually cheaper. Sure you can get cheap Bluetooth headphones, but most often than not, wireless are more expensive. This plays a vital role if you’re on a budget.
    • Longer lasting. As you probably know, lithium-ion batteries inside wireless headphones don’t have an unlimited life expectancy. In fact, with every cycle (charge and discharge) and every year of age, it loses its capacity. It’s only a matter of time when your wireless workout headphones become useless. You can read more about why lithium-ion batteries die.

    But not everything is sunny for headphones with a cable. There are significant reasons when wireless is better.

    Wired headphones are BAD at:

    • Tangling wires. As you’ve probably experienced, tangled wires are annoying to deal with. You always have to be careful not to tug or pull on them too hard. The cable is a big weak point because it tends to break more easily than other parts.
    • Not as convenient during workouts. You need to have your music device with you at all times. This adds additional weight, which is significant during sports. A smartphone flapping around in your pocket is annoying and increases possible damage danger.
    • Wireless tech is slowly getting cheaper. All new technologies eventually drop in price, and Bluetooth is no different. Now you can get compelling wireless headphones or earbuds for under $30.

    What Makes Good Workout Headphones?

    You should look for a couple crucial things:

    • A secure fit. Without it, the gym headphones won’t stay put during a workout and thus be useless. This is primarily a problem for bigger over-ear and on-ear headphones. The best workout headphones provide a stable fit for all sports situations.
    • Long-lasting comfort. You can keep up with the reps if your ears ache. Therefore, it should be a priority to get yourself stable headphones with a comfortable fit. Check the most comfortable headphones.
    • Sweat and water resistance. Water is the arch-enemy of electronics. You should keep it away from the internal parts of headphones if you want them to last. Thankfully, many models come with a certified IPX rating, which tells you how much moisture exposure they can survive.
    • Enjoyable sound. As with all headphones, audio quality plays a part. While you might not expect sonic fidelity in the gym, you want to enjoy the music to push you harder. There are many different sound signatures to choose from and, thankfully, at least as many headphones that fit the bill.
    • Good warranty. Workout headphones are probably going to be abused more than the ones we use at home. These headphones get thrown in the bag a lot, are exposed to lots of excessive sweat, and may fall on the floor at least a couple of times. Here are some of the most durable headphones.

    Is It Bad to Wear Headphones While Working Out?

    It depends on where you’re working out. If you plan to run outside, you should consider wearing something that lets you hear more of the ambient noise. Hearing things around you is crucial for quick reactions if there’s a danger on the path.

    Otherwise, sports headphones are entirely harmless, and you can safely wear them for hours. If you’re at home or the gym, there are absolutely no worries about safety. Most athletes use them to motivate themselves.

    Just make sure you don’t abuse them. High volume can damage your hearing over time. Read more about it here.

    Are All Sports Headphones Bassy?

    It’s quite common for sport headphones to be bassy. It gives you energy and rhythm for running or lifting.

    Also, when you’re moving, all that shaking results in vibrations, which can reduce low-frequency audibility. Therefore, the boost in bass helps to even out the audio perception during a workout.

    More: Best bass earbuds

    Do Wired Headphones Radiate?

    The short answer is that all electronic devices, including wires, emit radiation. However, the catch is in a type of radiation and its strength.

    Wired devices

    • Wires can cause radiation. However, we’re talking radio frequencies, which are completely harmless. Just like the antenna on your radio or on the roof of a car, the wire is able to pick up frequencies from the outside or create them on its own.

    At worst, these radio frequencies can distort the audio signal, which makes for an unpleasant listening experience.

    • The best tool to combat this phenomenon are ferrite beads. The latter suppresses the electromagnetic interference in the wire, providing a cleaner signal from one device to another. While you don’t see many ferrite beads in headphone wires, they’re very common in cables for data and video signals.

    Wireless devices

    We all know that smartphones and other wireless devices, like Bluetooth headphones, use radio frequencies for communication. But are they harmful?

    • Bluetooth uses the 2.4GHz frequency band, which is also used for WiFi, and even microwave ovens.

    It’s an ideal frequency for agitating water molecules. Frequency gets absorbed by those molecules, which causes them to start shaking. That creates friction, which results in heat. Because of that, the microwave only heats the food and not the plate.

    • WiFi and Bluetooth use significantly lower power than a microwave oven. So you don’t have to worry that you’re going to cook your brains if you use Bluetooth headphones too much.
    • Smartphones use more power for beaming out their signal. Their radiation is the highest when they need to reconnect to a different cell tower or at the start of a phone call.

    Longer exposure to phone radiation can also heat up the water molecules in your body. That is why your ears start sweating after a 30-minute phone session.

    The latter is also a reason why it’s recommended for men not to wear a smartphone in their pocket since it might heat up the male parts.