Earbuds/IEMs

6 Best Wired Workout Headphones Right Now

Last updated: 2 weeks ago, Dec. 5. 2017
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    Top Wired Sports Headphones that Can Compete With the Wireless.

    The best wired workout headphones are, in our opinion, Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones. Click here for a review.

    After checking more than 23 of the latest “sports” headphones with wires we picked the best ones so you don’t have to.

    If you hate always charging the battery or don’t want to pay a premium price for wireless, you can get top-notch wired headphones for working out just below.

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    Comparison Table: Best Wired Workout Headphones

      ModelRatingPrice
    i
    Price range.
    FitRemote
    & Mic
    Sweat
    Resistant
     
    BEST
    OVERALL

    Bose-SoundSport-In-Ear



    Bose SoundSport In-Ear
    4.1$$$ ($80-$120)
    In-earReview
    BEST VALUE

    Sennheiser CX 685
    Adidas Sports
    3.9$$ ($30-$80)
    In-earReview
    BEST SOUND
    QUALITY
    Shure SE2154.0$$$ ($80-$120)
    In-earSE215m+ onlyReview
    BEST BUDGET

    MEElectronics
    Sport-Fi M6
    3.6$ (<$30)
    In-earReview
    BEST VALUE
    ON-EAR
    Skullcandy Grind4.3$$ ($30-$80)
    On-earReview
    BEST BUDGET
    ON-EAR
    Koss SportaPro4.2$ (<$30)
    On-earReview

    Best Workout Earbuds (Wired) – Reviews

    Bose SoundSport In-ear

    best overall: Bose SoundSport In-Ear Wired

    The new Bose earbuds replacing Bose IE2 are the best wired earbuds for sports you can get right now.

    If you’re familiar with Bose sound quality and value comfort, Bose SoundSport are the right pick for you.

    The latest wired SoundSport are the most comfortable earbuds for working out among wired models.

    Fit (Isolation)

    Ear hooks keep them in place. Sound isolation sub-par.

    Bose SoundSport aren’t your average in-ear monitors because they actually don’t go that deep into your ears. The design is something in between in-ear monitors and first Apple earbuds.

    The earphones sit slightly into your ear canal but don’t go very deep. This is great for comfort, but it’s not very effective at noise isolation.

    You can hear quite a lot of background noise with these so make sure you don’t intend to use them in a loud environment.

    Sound leakage helps with being aware of your environment so this is a good thing if you’re working out outside.

    At the same time, there is more sound leakage than with average IEMs (in-ear monitor). If you listen to them loudly, others will be able to hear your music.

    For gym use that isn’t too loud these are perfectly fine, even better for outside exercising or running.

    Keeping them in your ears is very easy, due to secure fit they don’t fall out even during fast movement.

    Comfort

    Super comfortable, lightweight.

    Like said before, these are very comfortable earbuds. In fact, we think SoundTrue are the most comfortable earbuds on the market among wired workout earbuds.

    This says a lot about this Bose sports model. If you have problems finding comfy IEMs for working out, try these.

    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.

    They’re lightweight and have great ergonomics, you can’t ask for more comfort from a pair of earphones.

    Durability (Sweat-resistance)

    Decent durability, not the best plastics.

    This is where Bose SoundSport lack the most, this doesn’t mean durability is bad, but it isn’t top notch.

    The plastic housing is built rather well, but still can’t compare to metal earbuds that you can find on the market.

    The wires are relatively thin, but have good strain relief with an I shaped 3.5mm plug.

    They’re also sweat and moisture resistant to survive hot and sweaty workouts, just don’t dip them into water, they aren’t water-proof.

    Overall, as long as you don’t abuse them, they should last you a long time even in a harsh sports environment. Check the most durable earbuds on the market here.

    Controls

    A model with in-line controls and microphone can be yours for more money.

    There are 2 models, one has an in-line remote and microphone and the other, cheaper one doesn’t have it.

    Make sure to pick the right model as there are different models for Apple or Android devices. The remote is well made and easy to use with accessible buttons.

    The microphone sound quality is good enough to make calls, but don’t expect sonic fidelity. If you’re used to cheaper in-line mics this one will be more than you’re used to.

    In the package you get a nice protective carrying case, a shirt clip and 3 pairs of ear tips with wings.

    Sound

    Typical Bose sound signature, stronger bass.

    Sound quality is another selling point for Bose SoundSport. While audiophiles might not like its imbalanced sound with recessed highs and mids and enhanced bass, it offers a fun and dynamic sound.

    The bass isn’t too boosted so these aren’t basshead earbuds, but for an average user who isn’t too concerned with balanced sound, these sound great.

    The music with these has a nice beat to it while not dramatically lacking mids or highs. It has the typical Bose sound signature.

    Overall, the sound can’t compare to audiophile models, but is better than your average earbuds so they’re very easy to enjoy during workouts.

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

    Buy on Amazon.


    best sound quality: Shure SE215

    Shure SE215 are the best sounding wired earbuds suitable for exercise right now.

    While not made specifically for sports, they’re very suitable for working out as well. You can use them for listening to your music on the commute, on the plane flight or just enjoying the music at home.

    Very versatile and useful IEM (in-ear monitor) model you can take anywhere you go.

    Fit (Isolation)

    Stable during workouts with good noise isolation.

    The whole design is very specific to Shure and it takes some time to get used to. In the beginning you might have some problems getting the right fit, but in a week or two you’ll put them on like regular earbuds.

    Once you find that sweet spot they will hardly ever fall out unless you pull on them accidentally.

    One feature really standing out is the sound isolation that is better than competition at this price. It blocks out a lot of ambient noise.

    Comfort

    Ergonomic design makes for good comfort with the right ear tips.

    When it comes to comfort, it all depends on your ear size and shape, but most people find them very comfortable.

    The secret is finding the right size of eartips that best fit your ears. Once you do that, you’ll have a hard time finding more comfortable IEM headphones.

    Shure also designs their own ear tips, also called Shure olives. These too require some time to get used to, but do their job very well at comfort and isolation.

    Note: Looking for noise canceling headphones?

    Generally SE-215 don’t irritate the ears and the unique Shure casing fits nicely to anyone’s ears.

    Durability (Sweat-resistance)

    Detachable wires, sturdy plastics, good durability.

    The build quality is very good, it doesn’t have any particular sweat resistance or invisible coating, but fares just fine even in sweat. The casing of these Shure earbuds is all plastic, but sturdy plastics that instills confidence.

    The most durable part is the wires. These are “memory” wires that you can fold to your own liking, usually forming an ear hook for best stability. The wires are detachable; Kevlar reinforced and rather thick, giving the impression they will last a long time.

    While not dedicated sport earbuds, you can easily use them as such.

    Controls

    You can buy wires with in-line controls & mic for more money.

    The original Shure SE-215 wires don’t have any controls or microphone, but since they are detachable you can easily replace them with microphone wires if this is what you want.

    Sound

    Great sound quality, audiophile standard, balanced sound signature.

    Shure SE215 are the best earbuds if you only look at sound quality.

    At this price they truly excel with a very natural sound and a real presence of space. You’ll hear the sound coming from different directions creating a “sound illusion” of space.

    Treble is very clear and precise, though the weakest range for SE215. Where these truly flourish are the mid ranges, which are very detailed, precise and rich, just fun to listen to.

    The bass is not overpowering either, but slightly emphasized, just enough to give any song a kick.

    The overall mix makes for a rather natural, but also dynamic and fun sound that you can enjoy in all genres of music.

    If sound quality is important to you even when you’re working out, look at Shure SE215 for amazing sound quality with durable and comfortable fit without falling out.

    Buy on Amazon

    Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas

    best value: Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas Sports

    The best value for money wired headphones for sports are Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas.

    This is the product of collaboration of two well-known companies. Sennheiser and Adidas have created a durable, sweat resistant earbuds with great stable fit.

    These are an older model, but are still considered the better model as the new ones haven’t really been an improvement over this one.

    Fit (Isolation)

    Big casing doesn’t fit well with smaller ears. Good noise isolation.

    If you have very small ears, it’s best you look at some other model as these will probably not fit you. They seem to be built for average or bigger ears and they tend to fit badly to smaller ears.

    The IEM (in-ear monitor) design has very good sound isolation, but still lets in some noise to let you know what is going on around you. Because of good sound isolation, these aren’t most suitable for outdoor activity where you have to be on the lookout for possible dangerous accidents.

    Check out other good sound isolating earbuds.

    Comfort

    Better comfort than expected.

    With the so called “slide to fit” mechanism Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas are one of the more stable earbuds and surprisingly comfortable. You can wear them for hours without problems, unless you have smaller ears than most.

    Some women with really small ears have a bit of a problem keeping these earbuds in during exercise, so if you are in this category look elsewhere.

    Durability (Sweat-resistance)

    Well built, moisture resistant, great for sports.

    As is known for Sennheiser headphones, these are also very well built and made from quality materials. You can easily use them for all fitness purposes.

    Para-aramid reinforced cables and sweat proof & water resistant design makes these perfect for sports. You can actually wash them with water if they get dirty.

    Controls

    No controls or microphone.

    The Sennheiser CX 658 have standard wires without any controls or microphone and this is the only model that exists, so unfortunately you won’t be able to make phone calls with these sports bad boys.

    Sound

    Decent sound quality, poor bass, could be better for the price.

    The sound quality is slightly disappointing. While overall great sports wired earbuds, the sound could be better.

    Being used to audiophile grade sound won’t make you happy with these. The range most lacking is bass, it’s just doesn’t have much presence and lacks detail. Treble and mids are rather harsh, but that makes them very good for listening to audio books or podcasts.

    Overall the sound is average and if you don’t mind that because you’re not really an audiophile, these are great fitness earbuds.

    Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas earbuds are super durable and water-proof, have stable and comfortable fit with very good sound isolation, perfect for solo gym workouts.

    Buy on Amazon

    MEEletronics M6 Sport-Fi - Best Wired Budget Sports Earbuds

    best budget: MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6

    MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6 are the best wired workout headphones on a budget in our opinion (IEM: in-ear monitor). Over 9000 people agree on Amazon.

    The company MEEletronics is known for making quality products for little money and Sport-Fi M6 are no different.

    For under $20 you’re getting a ton of value.

    Fit (Isolation)

    Ear hooks keep them stable but you have to find the right ear tips size.

    They don’t fall of and don’t irritate the ears even after hours of wearing them. If you have problems with other earbuds staying in your ears, you should try these.

    Choosing from 6 different ear tips from the beginning is a nice feature, it’s very likely one size will fit your ears perfectly.

    Noise isolation is rather average, but hearing what is going on around you makes them suitable for outdoor use as well.

    Comfort

    Good comfort, lightweight.

    Achieving a comfortable and stable fit is a bit of a problem in the beginning, but once you get used to folding the memory wire, it works nicely.

    You can order the model with a microphone to take calls during workouts, but it costs a few dollars more. If you take a lot of calls, it’s worth it.

    Durability (Sweat-resistance)

    Good, rugged durability. Flexible and rubberized design.

    The design is simple but effective. Made from durable plastics with IPX5 sweat and water resistance and rubber memory wire, they are hard-core sports earbuds. They come in many different colors to match every outfit.

    These are able to withstand any amount of sweat and even rain, perfect for inside or outside exercise. See other durable earbuds on the other page.

    Earbuds connect with standard gold plated 3.5mm audio plug that lacks any strain relief, but this is common at this price range.

    Controls

    A model with in-line controls exists for more money.

    The regular earbuds don’t feature any in-line controls so you’ll just have to use your playing device for that.

    You can order the model with the microphone to take calls during workouts, but it costs a few dollars more. If you take a lot of calls, it’s worth it.

    Sound

    Strong bass, detailed sound, great for sports.

    When it comes to sound MEEletronics don’t disappoint.

    The bass is emphasized, but detailed and doesn’t overpower other ranges. Mids are pretty clear and detailed for a budget model.

    Treble is also slightly emphasized but not unbearable.

    The overall sound quality might not be great enough for an audiophile but if you’re looking for some punchy bass with overall warmer and fun sound, you’ll like these.

    For the price under $20 you will have a hard time finding better workout earbuds.

    Meeletronics Sport-Fi M6 are wired, sport IEMs that do everything right, as long as you keep the price in mind.

    P.S. We dare you to find better cheap workout earbuds.

    Buy on Amazon

    Best On-Ear Workout Headphones (Wired) – Reviews

    Skullcandy Grind

    best value on-ear: Skullcandy Grind

    Best value for money on-ear workout headphones with wires are Skullcandy Grind, we think.

    Skullcandy has become quite popular lately and we understand why.

    The new Skullcandy Grind on-ear headphones offer a lot of value for its price.

    The basic, black and grey model costs under $30 while you’ll have to pay around $40 for other color combinations.

    These on-ear sport headphones offer everything a gym goer needs for very little money.

    Fit (Isolation)

    Reasonably stable, need some readjustments. Not the best noise isolation.

    The headphones being on-ear, they aren’t as stable as earbuds, but if you’re lifting weights or using machine in the gym, they stay put.

    They’re good to use for running as well, as long as you don’t try to do acrobatics as that would probably be too much. Here you can check best running headphones.

    The noise isolation is average, you can hear some of the background noise and others will also be able to hear your music in a quiet room. No big issue if you’re in the gym when it’s quite loud or working out outside.

    Comfort

    Light and comfortable for first couple of hours.

    The foam on-ear earpads are soft enough to make them comfortable to wear for at least a couple hours, after which time your ears start to get slightly irritated.

    On-ear headphones are never as comfortable as over-ear or in-ear headphones, so this is not the fault of the Skullcandy Grind, but the general design.

    The ears do get warm after a while especially during exercise, but you won’t avoid heat or sweat with any other on-ear or over-ear headphones either.

    They are lightweight, stay on and are comfortable to wear long enough for even the hardest working gym-goers.

    Durability (Sweat-resistance)

    Average durability, flexible headband, no water resistance.

    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 strong enough to last a couple years as well, just don’t throw them around because they’re heavier than IEMs.

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

    For the price that you’re paying, durability is more than good enough and with some care you’ll be using these for a while.

    Controls

    On-board controls and microphone, sub-par mic quality.

    There is one button on the side of the ear cup which controls songs and calls, but not volume. The buttons are quite intuitive and become easy to use once you learn what to press for each function.

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

    This is a budget model after all so it’s great you get a microphone at all.

    Sound

    Good sound quality for the price, strong bass.

    The sound quality is surprisingly good, not like other Skullcandy models, this one is actually good for the price.

    While the bass emphasized sound signature still can’t compare to high-end models in clarity and richness, it produces a satisfactory sound that’s perfect for working out.

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

    The only thing we did notice is they are 33 Ohm headphones so you’ll need a bit more power to listen to them very loudly, like many earbuds which are 16 Ohm.

    These are budget headphones so expect less from them and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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

    Buy on Amazon

    Koss SportaPro

    best budget on-ear: Koss SportaPro

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

    Koss SportaPro are very similar to famous KSC75 , but with slightly different sound signature.

    Fit (Isolation)

    Because they are light they stay on the head, bad noise isolation.

    Keeping them on your head is easy due to their lightweight nature and flexible head band, making them great for jogging or working out.

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

    With soft ear cushions that touch your ears, sound 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.

    Comfort

    Very comfortable due to their lightweight design.

    The cushions are mostly good for comfort, which SportaPro definitely are. Feather-like light you’re sure to enjoy wearing these for hours.

    Durability (Sweat-resistance)

    Not the best durability, plasticy design.

    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.

    If you break your headphones frequently, just get 2 of these to last you a while.

    Controls

    No controls or microphone.

    One of the simplest and cheapest headphones on the market right now, you can’t really expect any additional features like in-line remote or microphone. You can forget about that when it comes to Koss SportaPro.

    Sound

    Bassy sound signature, good for bassheads.

    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 lightweight headphones.

    Many prefer bass heavy sound for sports activity.

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

    In general, these are great value for money, lightweight, comfortable on-ear sports headphones with bass heavy sound.

    Buy on Amazon

    Wired Workout Headphones PROS & CONS

    PROS

    • Usually cheaper than Bluetooth
    • Always ready, no need to charge battery
    • No distortion in sound

    CONS

    • Wires can get tangled and damaged easier
    • Not all wired models support answering/making calls
    • Need to have music device close nearby at all times

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