Best Workout Earbuds in 2020

Last updated: 2 months ago, May. 12. 2020
Article Contents

    Earbuds, earphones, in-ear headphones, whatever you call them, these are the best for working out.

    Comparison of Sport Earbuds

    Mic & Controls
    Jabra Elite Active 75t
    best overall
    More info
    under $200IPX7 (IP57)
    Bluetooth 5.07 hours+
    20h in case
    Jaybird X4
    best sound
    More info
    under $100IPX7Bluetooth
    8 hours
    Key Series B80

    best sound
    More info
    under $100IPX6Bluetooth
    8 hours
    BackBeat FIT 350

    best value
    More info
    under $80IPX5Bluetooth
    6 hours
    Key Series T10

    best affordable TWS
    More info
    under $120IPX5Bluetooth
    7 hours
    AfterShokz Aeropex
    best bone conduction
    More info
    under $170IPX7
    8 hours
    Jlab Audio Jbuds Air
    best under $50
    More info
    under $50IPX5Bluetooth
    5.5 hours
    15h in case
    Bose SoundSport
    best wired
    More info
    under $50IPX43.5mm
    Bluetooth Earbuds

    best battery
    More info
    under $20IPX7Bluetooth
    24 hours
    Anker SoundBuds Slim+
    best cheap
    More info
    under $30IPX7Bluetooth
    10 hours

    Wireless earbuds are compact and convenient for use on the move due to their small size. For this reason, many people choose them to wear for the gym and other activities.

    We’ve compared the best workout earbuds in this guide. You’ll find top choices for everything from weightlifting to running.

    The options on the list all have features you should expect from wireless headphones for working out, like water-protection, stable fit that doesn’t annoy you, and enjoyable sound.

    Everyone’s workout needs are slightly different, so take a look at the top 10 options we recommend. You’re likely to find good choices for you.

    Table of Contents

      Key Features of Earbuds for Working Out

      Looking for great earbuds for working out is not just about finding the top earbuds on the market.

      You need to think about your workout, and the strain it will put on the buds.

      Features you may not care about on the train or at home might be very important for your workout.


      If your wireless earbuds keep falling out of your ears, they’re pretty useless for workouts. It’s also extremely frustrating.

      Imagine you are on an elliptical trainer and you need all of your limbs. If your earbuds keep falling out, then you will have to stop the exercise to put them back in. Annoying.

      Manufacturers of workout headphones know that it’s key that the buds stay in your ear throughout. A winged design which molds to fit inside your ear, or a hooked design that hooks around the back of your ear, are great for combating this.

      Earbuds are usually better for workouts than on-ear headphones due to better stability.


      Slightly different to stability. They need to be durable, too. This means they can stand up to regular sweaty use.

      When you’re running or in the gym, there’s a chance they’ll have to cope with a lot of movement, being stored in a gym bag and more. Nobody wants buds that will break at the first sign of trouble.

      Waterproof (or at least sweat resistant) protection

      If you don’t sweat when you exercise, you’re probably not doing it right. The best earbuds for working out have been made with this in mind. IPX (waterproof rating) will tell you how waterproof the headphones are. About IPX4 and upwards is sweatproof.

      IPX rating - infographic

      Noise Isolation

      This passive feature is a big thing for gym-goers since it allows you to drown out the gym noise and focus on your workout.

      Don’t mistake active noise cancelling earbuds, that actively cancel sound waves within the ear, with passive noise isolating that physically block external sounds. More info about the difference here.

      If you plan to work out in a gym or another busy location, then blocking out ambient noise is the way to go.

      However, if you need to hear noise such as traffic for your safety, then get earbuds with less noise isolation.

      Wireless or Wired?

      Do you need wireless workout headphones or will a wired option do?

      Obviously, wires get in the way. If you’re using equipment in the gym, this can be particularly annoying. Many people like to tuck their wires under their clothes, but this can cause chaffing.

      Instead of wireless earbuds, which don’t have a cable leading to the device, you can opt for true wireless earbuds (TWS). These have no wires at all.

      TWS buds can be convenient, but it’s even more important that you find a stable option that will stick in the ears.

      Battery Life

      If you are going wireless, think about battery life, too. This is one of the few downsides to having wireless functionality. The longer your battery life, the better.

      Also, think about other features and functionality such as whether they have a quick-charge capability. Great for people who forget often.

      Best Workout Earbuds

      1. Jabra Elite Active 75t (best overall)

      Jabra Elite Active 75t black earphones

      Best overall workout earbuds

      Jabra Elite Active 75t are the best workout earbuds right now (in our opinion).

      Best for: All-rounder workout buds
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Water-protection: IP57 (IPX7)
      Battery life: Over 7 hours (20h in charging case)

      Why Buy These?

      As the most versatile workout earbuds that you can use in a loud gym or playing basketball, the Jabra Elite Active 75t make the top choice.

      The buds block the ambient noise with effective in-ear design, but you can also increase your awareness by activating HearThrough mode.

      They fit well and stay comfortable for hours. Add a generous 7-hour+ battery life with quick charging, and you’ll understand why these are so popular.

      You can expose them to dust and water thanks to the highest yet IP57 protection.

      The Bad

      Higher price around $200. Tiny soundstage.

      The Sound

      The Elite Active 75t have a bass emphasized sound quality. Additionally, you can equalize it with the Sound+ app (it also offers other options).

      You can create your own custom presets for different moods and occasions. These are perfect for even more demanding users. Read more about in the review.

      As the go-to earbuds for working out, the Jabra Elite Active 75t make for a great choice.

      Read the Jabra Elite Active 75t review.

      2. Jaybird X4 (best sound with EQ)

      Jaybird X4 wireless sports earbuds

      Best sounding workout earbuds with EQ

      Jaybird X4 earbuds are a great option for anyone who wants that extra level of control via an EQ app. Sound is still a key feature for workout headphones.

      Best for: Sound customization
      Connection: Wireless
      Water-protection: IPX7 waterproof
      Battery life: Up to 8 hours

      Why Buy These?

      The Jaybird X4 model is better than Tarah, in our opinion. The X4s have better battery life while costing only slightly more.

      They have excellent noise isolation and the bonus of an EQ app. This allows you to boost bass, mids, or high-end based on your own preference. There are EQ presets included, too.

      8-hours of battery life should be plenty for all of your workouts. Though the charging adapter is proprietary, so don’t lose it.

      Comply Ultra tips are made out of memory foam and should fit your ears with ease, warmth allows them to mold and shape to the contours of your ears.

      IPX7 protection is perfect for resisting rainwater, and working out outdoors is no problem for the X4s.

      The Bad

      Some users are complaining about the manufacturing quality of the X4s. It seems the Bluetooth or battery die more often than usual (though we didn’t experience that during our testing). The charging cable is also proprietary, which is an extra cable to have to carry and even replace.

      The Sound

      Being able to quickly and easily adjust the sound with your EQ app is great, and the frequency response of the X4s is wonderful.

      If you want control and a clear sound with high fidelity, check out the Jaybird X4 headphones.

      For more details, check out our full Jaybird X4 review.

      3. Aukey Key Series B80 (best under $100)

      Aukey Key Series B80

      Best workout earbuds under $100

      Budget is normally a consideration when choosing earbuds for any purpose. Being able to get some brilliant earbuds like these under $100 is a big plus.

      Best for: Sound quality under $100
      Connection: Wireless
      Water-protection: IPX6 waterproof
      Battery life: Up to 8 hours

      Why Buy These?

      In spite of the relatively low price, there’s a lot to like about the B80s. They’re built for workouts, with a compact and stable design.

      Ear hooks keep these in place while multiple tips (including memory foam) for both small and large ears are included.

      They block a fair amount of unwanted noise which can be ideal for use in the gym.

      An 8-hour battery life is also ideal for most gym-goers and workouts. Plus, 10-minutes of charging gives 2-hours of battery, so you won’t be waiting around for these to charge.

      The Bad

      When you listen to the Aukey B80 at lower volumes, you’ll notice annoying white noise which goes away when you increase it.

      The Sound

      Considering the price, the sound fidelity is good. A dual-driver design gives a little more power to these wireless earbuds. You can run your favorite bassy tracks, and you’ll enjoy every minute of it.

      To get solid workout earbuds under $100, consider the Aukey Key Series B80.

      Read the full Aukey B80 review.

      4. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 (best value)

      Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350

      Best value workout earbuds

      The BackBeat FIT 350 offer a lot of value. You get plenty of bang for your buck, a sturdy fit and good sound quality.

      Best for: Value
      Connection: Wireless
      Water-protection: IPX5 waterproof
      Battery life: Up to 6 hours

      Why Buy These?

      These are great value-for-money and have some top features considering the price.

      With these earbuds, you have the option to quick-charge, with 15 mins providing an hour of listening. The overall battery life is 6 hours.

      Like many of the affordable wireless earphones, these have hooks around the ears to stay in place. As a backup, a neckband clip controls the wire flap during a run or workout.

      The level of comfort is good, but the ear tips are proprietary, so take care of them.

      The Bad

      The cable touching your skin produces annoying cable noise.

      Also, they don’t have the best Bluetooth connection. You have to keep your music device close for uninterrupted connection.

      The Sound

      Though it doesn’t rival the very elite, these headphones have an excellent frequency response. They also have slightly boosted bass and highs for a “V-shaped” signature, which is very popular for sports.

      For a great value set of wireless workout earbuds, we recommend the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350.

      Read the full Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 review.

      5. Aukey Key Series T10 (best affordable true wireless earbuds)

      Charging of Aukey T10 true wireless earbuds


      Best affordable true wireless earbuds for workouts

      True wireless earbuds tend to be very expensive, if you’re looking for an option that gives true wireless functionality but doesn’t cost a fortune, the T10 headphones could be a great solution.

      Best for: Affordable TWS
      Connection: Wireless
      Water-protection: IPX5 waterproof
      Battery life: Up to 7 hours (24 with charging case)

      Why Buy These?

      Finding true wireless earbuds at a good price is not easy to do. But these fit the bill.

      USB-C charging is the method of getting juice in the earbuds (through the case), With the charging case you get up to 24 hours of battery life. This is exceptional for the price.

      These are stable wireless earbuds, too. Three sets of tips and wings allow you to choose the best for your needs, whether you have small or large ears. Wearing them for hours doesn’t irritate the ears, but you do feel you wear them.

      Volume and other controls are handled on the earbuds by tapping them (touch controls).

      The Bad

      The controls have a short delay and take some getting used to. About 1-second delay from tap to change of a function.

      The Sound

      The audio fidelity is better than expected. Clear with a slight emphasis on bass which you can feel in your eardrums. Vocals sound vibrant and live while treble isn’t overly harsh. Considering these cost under $100 and are true wireless, the sound is excellent.

      A nice bass boost and enjoyable audio, combined with true wireless functions, make the Aukey Key Series T10 a top choice under $100.

      Read the full Aukey T10 review.

      You can also check out another option for true wireless earbuds.

      6. AfterShokz Aeropex (best bone conduction)

      AfterShokz Aeropex

      Best bone conduction earbuds

      Bone conduction leaves your ears clear to the environment, great for working out outdoors, where you have to be aware.

      Best for: Bone conduction
      Connection: Wireless
      Water-protection: IP67 waterproof
      Battery life: Up to 8 hours

      Why Buy These?

      Bone conduction headphones are the best option for those who want to keep their hearing open.

      AfterShokz is a top brand for this style of sports earbuds, and they have multiple patents. The Aeropex weigh only 26g, which is incredibly lightweight, but they still don’t compromise on features.

      This is the newer and better model compared to AfterShokz Trekz Air.

      PremiumPitch 2+ is an improved technology in these latest earbuds for improved bass through bone vibration. Also, it lessens the vibration feel in your cheeks, which is annoying some people.

      A titanium wrapped headband is designed to be extremely flexible and fit all sorts of head shapes.

      With IPX7 waterproof design and super stable fit, you can use them for all types of working out.

      The Bad

      Some people don’t like the feel of bone conduction; it can cause the vibration of their face. Other than that, it is very hard to fault these.

      The Sound

      Once you’ve converted to bone conduction, you may well love it. The sound fidelity is brilliant, with wide frequency response and a tailored bass boost (for bone conduction headphones).

      But it falls short to regular headphones that have more and deeper bass.

      For perfect awareness during your workout and good sound quality, check the bone conducting AfterShokz Aeropex headphones.

      Check the full AfterShokz Aeropex review.

      Most Affordable Workout Earbuds

      7. Jlab Audio Jbuds Air (best under $50)

      Jlab Audio Jbuds Air

      The best true wireless earbuds under $50 for working out.

      Jlab Audio Jbuds Air are great true wireless earbuds for working out due to stable fit, excellent noise isolation, and enjoyable sound (for cheap buds).

      Best for: Best under $50
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      Water-protection: IPX5 (IP55)
      Battery life: 5.5 hours per charge (+15h in charging case)

      Why Buy These?

      The combination of Bluetooth performance, super stable fit that will survive your workout without much readjustment and competition-beating price make these a bargain.

      If you’re short on money but need dependable workout earbuds that don’t need to be exceptional in every way, but just good enough for an enjoyable gym experience, then these are it.

      Sure, the battery life is on the lower end with 5 hours, but most people don’t spend more time than 1.5 hours per workout. With the charging case, you get a week’s worth of workout music.

      Moreover, solid noise isolation protects you from bad gym noise so that you can focus on your lifting. And, when you want to call your friends, you can do so hands-free with a built-in microphone.

      IPX5 also makes them waterproof; you can wash them under the tap.

      The Bad

      The earbuds can irritate smaller ears. You can get a longer battery for a similar price. See other wireless earbuds under $50. LINKZ

      The Sound

      Jbuds Air come with 3 EQ presets with decent sonic fidelity. These are cheap true wireless headphones, so the sound isn’t Hi-Fi but more than good enough for working out. Read more in the full review.

      With the overall good performance, the Jlab Jbuds Air offer a lot of value to a gym rat who wants a decent product for a low price.

      The full Jlab Audio Jbuds Air review.


      8. Bose SoundSport (best wired)

      Bose SoundSport Wired workout headphones

      The best wired earbuds for working out

      Best for: Wired workout earbuds
      Connection: Wired, 3.5mm
      Water-protection: IPX6 waterproof
      Battery life: n/a

      Why Buy These?

      If you don’t mind wired earbuds for running, you can definitely get more for your money. Bose SoundSport is an example of this.

      They have an inline mic and controls which enable you to take calls, change the volume, and skip through tracks.

      StayHear tips are one of the main benefits of these Bose earbuds. They are in three different sizes to allow for a snug fit, but also still allow you to hear what is going on around you. So, passive noise isolation is bad, but this gives you better awareness.

      Still, these are wired, and you need a smartphone or MP3 player that supports it.

      The Bad

      Also, 3.5mm connections are becoming less common in smart devices, making it impossible to connect to many modern devices.

      The Sound

      Most audiophiles are not surprised when they hear great audio from the Bose brand. Though not wireless, these offer an excellent frequency response, plenty of power, and balanced audio.

      For an affordable wired option with high fidelity, the Bose SoundSport earbuds are a top choice.

      9. iTeknic BH001 (best battery)

      Best battery life in wireless workout earbuds

      Best for: Battery life
      Connection: Wireless
      Water-protection: IPX7 waterproof
      Battery life: Up to 24 hours

      Why Buy These?

      It’s hard to believe that headphones which are so affordable have an incredible battery life of 24 hours.

      They’re pretty good at staying in your ears, and in spite of bigger earbud casings, the ear pieces don’t fall out often. The tight buds also do a good job of blocking noise.

      IPX7 water resistance is another impressive feature that makes these great for exercise.

      So, if you’re looking for cheap earbuds for working out that have a fantastic battery, you should consider these.

      The Bad

      You shouldn’t expect ultra high fidelity from such affordable wireless earbuds.

      The iTeknic BH001 are a little big and bulky for some peoples liking.

      The Sound

      Though not award-winning fidelity, the respectable sound, and decent frequency response are some of the plus points of these headphones. It’s decent and should satisfy average users for music, audiobooks, and podcast listening.

      If you’re looking for amazing battery life on a budget, consider the iTeknic BH001 wireless earbuds.

      See the full iTeknic BH001 review.

      10. Anker SoundBuds Slim+ (best cheap)

      Anker SoundBuds Slim+

      The best cheap earbuds for workouts

      Some people just want earbuds that can do the job, at a very reasonable price. If you’re in that category, these headphones could be your answer.

      Best for: Cheap price for decent performance
      Connection: Wireless Bluetooth
      Water-protection: IPX7 waterproof
      Battery life: Up to 10 hours

      Why Buy These?

      In spite of not costing a huge amount, these earbuds have plenty to like. The 10-hour battery life is one example of a feature you’d expect from more expensive earbuds.

      The water resistance is excellent (IPX7), so you can work out outdoors. You can also take calls with a decent microphone.

      For stability, ear wings help them stay in place. They do a good job of keeping the wireless earbuds stable even during rigorous movement.

      The Bad

      Patchy Bluetooth is the most common issue people experience with these Anker earbuds.

      Also, although the sound isn’t bad, it is a little lacking in the bass frequencies.

      The Sound

      If you’re realistic about what sound you can get at this price point, these headphones have plenty to offer, especially if you don’t need loads of bass. For casual listeners, the sound is more than adequate. For more demanding sportspeople, expect to pay more.

      If you’re looking for cheap workout earbuds with Bluetooth and decent overall quality, get the Anker SoundBuds Slim+.

      Check the Anker SoundBuds Slim+ review.


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      How to Choose Earbuds for Working Out

      There’s no way someone can recommend one set of earbuds for everyone. You need to consider your needs before you can make this choice.

      What is Your Type of Earbuds?

      The chances are you’ve decided on earbuds as opposed to on-ear headphones.

      • In-ear headphones are lightweight and fit great
      • On-ear headphones are the smaller type of “normal” headphones, but they aren’t suitable for fast movement
      • Over-ear headphones aren’t good for exercise at all. They can be great for active noise canceling, and they can provide a full sound, but earbuds are usually far more convenient for exercise.

      Buds are smaller, can comfortably fit with a wing or hook design, and aren’t likely to get in the way. Get more info on the subject of earbuds versus headphones.

      You can also look into our guide on workout headphones, comparing on-ear to in-ear options.

      Where are You Working Out?

      Obviously, you can exercise in different places. However, it makes sense to base a lot of your decision on where you’ll be for most workouts.

      • If you go to a noisy gym a lot, think about noise isolation.
      • If you exercise somewhere where there’s traffic, you need to hear it. So go for awareness instead of noise isolation. For instance, bone conduction headphones give perfect awareness.
      • If you exercise outside, even in the rain, waterproof functionality is a must for your buying decision.
      • Running requires more stable fit than just lifting weights in the gym. Ear wings and hooks help with stability.

      What is Your Budget?

      You don’t have to buy the best, which is usually the most expensive, earbuds on the market. You can often get by with paying a lower price and getting a great value pair of headphones.

      Here’s a general price range to consider:

      • $100-$200: high-end workout headphones, wireless and true wireless
      • $50-$100: mid-range where you can expect better value for money but fewer features and customization
      • under $50: low-end sport earbuds that come with basic features

      One exception are true wireless headphones. Budget models start at the $50-$100 range.