What are the top workout headphones with the best sound quality?
|Rating||Price||Battery||Water protection||Mic & Controls||More info|
Jaybird Vista Best overall
6 hours + 10h in case
Jabra Elite Active 75t Runner-up
7 hours + 20h in case
Beats PowerBeats Pro Best bass
11 hours + 24h in case
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Best sound
7 hours + 28h in case
Shure SE215 Best wired in-ear
Bose Sport Earbuds Best Bose
5 hours + 10h in case
Treblab Z2 Best over-ear
EarFun Free Pro Best affordable
8+ hours + 25h in case
After considering more than 30 headphones, these are the top picks for sports headphones that sound great.
We considered suitability for working out; water and sweat-proofing, durability, comfort, and fit, and sound quality.
Wireless Bluetooth Workout Headphones with Best Sound Quality
1. Jaybird Vista
Best sports earbuds for audio quality right now
You work out a lot and need great-sounding headphones to keep you entertained? Then look no further.
- Comfortable fit
- Excellent stability, even with small ear fins
- Good Bluetooth 5.0 connection
- Robust build quality
- IPX7 rating and MIL-STD-810G standard
- Superb sound quality (after EQ)
- Proprietary silicone ear tips
- Treble stays grainy, even after EQ
- Annoying notifications when opening the app
The sound is exceptionally good once you tweak it inside the mobile app. Out of the box, it’s somewhat harsh, with the forward midrange. Thankfully, you can change their sound whatever you like with the EQ. The result is a punchy, energetic sound.
They come with IPX7 water-resistance, giving you the option to rinse them in water to clean them after the sweaty workout. More so, you don’t have to worry about them falling on the floor. Workout buds have the MIL-STD-810G military standard to ensure high durability.
The battery life is relatively decent, with six hours per single charge, and another 10 spare hours waiting inside the charging case.
There is the option to quickly charge them, getting you an hour’s worth of battery life in just 5 minutes.
These best workout earbuds are very comfortable to wear, with a secure fit. In our test, we took them for a run, and we never felt like they’re about to fall out.
2. Jabra Elite Active 75t
One of the best headphones for workouts right now
Ranking top spots in many of our best guides, these workout earbuds deserve a place among best audio products.
- Reliably stable during movement
- Comfortable for hours thanks to smart ergonomics
- Fully waterproof with IP57 (IPX7)
- Great sound quality with equalization
- HearThrough awareness mode (useful for runners, cyclists…)
- Competitive battery life at 7 hours per charge (+20h in case)
- Perfectly designed physical controls
- High build quality
- Tiny soundstage (all sounds come from the middle of your head)
- Pricier than most alternatives
- Only right earbud can be used as mono
Out of the box, the bass is boosted, making them great for sportspeople and bassheads. However, if you want to tame them to the point of sounding more natural, you can do that inside the app’s EQ. Like the Jaybird Vista, the sound can be fully customizable.
Compared to slightly cheaper Elite 75t, the Active model offer better water protection and dust resistance (IP57 rating), while also coming in different colors. For similar options, see the best waterproof Bluetooth headphones.
They provide exceptional ergonomics and comfort. Housing is designed in a way that doesn’t require fins or ear hooks to ensure stability during workout.
Jabra’s also come with HearThrough awareness mode, which is helpful if you tend to run near a busy road or want to talk to people without taking out your sports earbuds.
3. Beats PowerBeats Pro
The best sport-oriented truly wireless buds with good bass depth
With bass-heavy sound and ultimate stability during movement, PowerBeats are among your best workout essentials.
- Deep, punchy bass that energizes modern music (slight V-shaped signature)
- Great battery life with quick charging (we got over 11 hours out of them)
- Perfect stability for working out
- High build-quality and nice materials
- Sweatproof, but can’t be submerged
- They get slightly uncomfortable after 30 minutes
- Large charging case
- No way to turn them off without the charging case
- Mids sound a bit subdued
They have a distinct V-Shaped signature, with boosted bass and treble, and slightly subdued midrange. Fortunately, the low-end is much more controlled compared to older models.
Related: Best bass earbuds
Apart from their signature sound, they also make good sports earphones. PowerBeats Pro have an ear hook design that firmly grabs your ear, not letting go during rapid head movements.
Workout earbuds are made from rock-solid, water-resistant hard plastic, protected by an IPX4 rating. Although to us they aren’t the most comfortable out there, many users say they can wear them for hours without any irritations.
What makes these class-leading, is their battery life. Despite the advertised 9 hours, we got 11 hours of battery out of these, which is fantastic. You get an additional 24 hours from the charging case.
They charge via Lightning cable and use an H1 chip, which is great for iPhone users since it ensures quick pairing process between each other.
4. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
Wireless in-ear headphone with the best sound quality
Sennheiser make fantastically sounding consumer electronics. MTWS 2 also come with active noise cancellation that can help you block gym noise.
- Refined, audiophile-grade sound with natural midrange
- Above-average soundstage
- Great comfort and secure fit
- Good noise-canceling performance for truly wireless earbuds
- Premium-feeling charging case
- Good build quality with IPX4 water protection
- Good overall battery life
- Futureproof with Bluetooth 5.1
- Useful mobile app
- Responsive and intuitive touch controls
- Bass could be tighter
- No foam tips included in the box
- Call quality could be better
- Some audio lag when watching videos
One of the best you can get right now in terms of refinement and detail. After the software update and a slight change in EQ settings, they really start to shine , with the lush midrange, rumbling low-end, and shimmery treble.
Comfort is one of the essential characteristics when picking your next sport headphones. Momentum 2 can deliver both great comfort and stable fit, despite the lack of support for ear fin or ear hook design.
You’re also getting some premium features like active noise-cancellation and transparency mode for amplifying ambient sound. Buds can also connect via a companion app for changing touch controls and fine-tweaking the sound.
Buds have seven hours of juice per charge and can also quick charge, giving you extra 1.5 hours of battery life in 10 minutes.
5. Shure SE215
Audiophile-grade in-ear monitors
Of course, you can use in-ear monitors during your exercise. Shure SE215 are sweat-proof, comfortable, and sound amazing.
- Good sound quality
- Price-to-performance ratio
- Detachable cable
- Narrow soundstage
If you like smooth, inoffensive high-end, these might be perfect for you. The trebles start rolling-off relatively quickly without losing too much detail.
The bass is punchy and boosted, providing a noticeably warm sound signature. Making things even better, they’re great at imaging and sound staging.
These earbuds are built very well, with long-lasting durability. You can also change the cable if the original one gets damaged or prefer a fancier looking one.
Housing is very lightweight and super comfortable. Because of their design, you need to wear them with the wire going behind your ears. That is great for reducing cable noise, and weight distribution.
They don’t offer ANC, but they still isolate incredibly well.
6. Bose Sport Earbuds
Workout wireless headphones for running with great sound
Bose Sport Earbuds are the best running headphones for most people.
- Exceptional fit and comfort
- Great audio quality with controlled bass
- Massive soundstage (for an in-ear headphone)
- Sweatproof housing with an IPX4 rating
- Support for Bluetooth 5.1
- Good passive noise isolation
- A barebones mobile application without EQ
- Somewhat average battery life
- Lack of extra customizations
While the sound is tuned to fit more popular genres like hip hop, it should please most users. The bass is punchy and well-controlled, portraying drums and bass guitars with good authority.
The midrange and treble remain balanced and smooth, reducing fatigue even during long listening sessions.
Don’t let the bulky size fool you; Sport Earbuds provide a comfortable fit. They sit in front of the ear canal, preventing unwanted pressure, while fins ensure ultimate stability. There’s a little bit of wind noise, though.
You can connect the workout earbuds with a Bose app for tweaking basic functions and updating firmware.
Touch commands support essential commands for music playback and volume control. For good wireless stability with your mobile device, Bose equipped Sport Earbuds with Bluetooth 5.1.
7. Treblab Z2
Best over-ear gym headphones with ANC
These sport headphones are great to commute, as well as for working out.
- Comfortable, plush earpads
- Great noise isolation
- Good build quality
- IPX4 water-protection
- Great sound performance
- Hard carrying case
- 35-hour battery life
- Micro-USB port
- Average ANC performance
- Earpads get a bit sweaty
When you disable ANC, the bass boost takes over the mix. It can bleed into the midrange, masking the fine detail you otherwise hear.
However, turn the ANC on reveals exceptional clarity at this price point. Everything sounds sharper, with better resolution. Sadly, the bass goes to the other side of the spectrum, lacking the power to balance itself.
If you like deep bass see the best bass headphones instead.
Headphones are made from plastic that has a soft finish to it and feels good in the hands. They come with a chunky battery life of 35 hours, which can last you more than a couple of days.
Earcups can swivel at 100° so you can lay them flat on your chest when you stop listening. Ear cushions provide excellent comfort and fit, despite the gentle clamping force.
Treblab equipped these with active noise-canceling, which works great if you want to eliminate low-end hum. They’re suitable for office work, commuting, phone calls, and exercise, thanks to their IPX4 water resistance rating.
8. EarFun Free Pro
Most affordable sports earbuds with great sound
These are stylish and sound good, especially if you want to use them for sport.
- Excellent sound quality for the price
- Natural, dynamic audio performance
- Punchy bass with good extension
- Great comfort and stability
- Stable connection with Bluetooth 5.2
- Long battery life
- Many useful extra features
- Decent active noise cancelling effectiveness
- … but not the best ambient mode
- No mobile app or built-in EQ presets
- Flimsy charging case
With a balanced sound profile and a tasteful boost in bass, EarFun Free Pro outputs an enjoyable audio performance on a budget.
Everything sounds punchy and full, but not overly warm, despite the amount of low-end. They can also get quite loud, with decent detail retrieval. You can’t go wrong with this budget pick.
Of course, you get other bonus features, too, like Qi wireless charging, Bluetooth 5.2, good call quality, and active noise cancellation. Basic controls lets you skip track and change volume levels.
Wireless earphones tiny size and lightweight design ensure long-term wear without experiencing fatigue. There are multiple sizes of ear tips and fins in the box to make ear buds stay in place during movement or workout.
The battery life is impressive, scoring 8 hours and 40 minutes in our test (at 50% volume, which is plenty loud). You find another 25 hours inside the wireless charging case.
Sony WF-SP800N – Pair of true wireless workout earbuds with active noise reduction and 9 hours long battery life. That is more than enough for a few gym sessions or even ultra marathons. WF-SP800N provide a secure fit by using unique wing tips (ear tips and fins combo) that fit all ear shapes. (Check WF-SP800N price)
Jaybird X4 – Bluetooth earphones with wing tips to ensure good fit for workout purposes. They deliver a decent sound that can be tweaked via a companion app. Jaybird X4 review
AirPods Pro – One of the best sports headphones with noise cancellation for many Apple users. AirPods Pro also have a lifelike Transparency mode, amplifying ambient sound. Their ear tips don’t go too deep and are very comfortable to wear. They also have exceptional microphone quality. Apple AirPods Pro review
JBL Under Armour Flash X – Robust running headphones with lengthy 25-hour battery life. In the box, you get special ear tips and wing tips that can withstand intense workouts. JBL Under Armour Flash X are a worthy pick for the best workout in-ear headphones. (Check UA Flash X price)
Plantronics BackBeat FIT 2100 – Workout buds with 7 hours of battery life should be enough for a decent workout. Earbuds hook comfortably around your ears without the use of an ear tip. They also have one of the highest IP ratings. List price is definitely reasonable for what you get. (Check BackBeat FIT 2100 price)
Looking only for wired sports headphones?
What’s Important for Sound Quality in Wireless Bluetooth Headphones?
The only thing you need to know is that Bluetooth slightly lowers the sound quality of your music.
Before music is sent to your headphones it has to be changed into the signal.
Because the wireless signal carries less data than wires it compresses the music into “smaller pieces”. But when this happens you lose some audio quality.
While there are many innovations in headphone technology, Bluetooth seems to be the most popular way to transfer music in running headphones.
Thankfully, lots of modern wireless sport headphones, even those made for working out, use special codecs which improve the process of compression. Most-known are aptX, LDAC, aptX HD, AAC, and SBC.
Better consumer technology is being developed all the time. This is good news for Bluetooth headphones.
So if you want to get better sound quality from your running headphones, get ones that support aptX or other Bluetooth codecs.
Quality Bluetooth transmission is very important for sound quality in wireless headphones.
How to know if my music device supports Bluetooth codecs?
If you have one of the newer smartphones it probably already supports multiple Bluetooth codecs. The most common is probably Qualcomm’s aptX.
In most smartphones, you can select which Bluetooth codec you prefer. You can also check your phone’s specifications. You can usually find them on the manufacturer’s site.
Apart from efficient Bluetooth transmission, background noise reduction is also important for good audio quality.
To hear the most details you always need peace and quiet, and perfectly sealed ear canals.
You can’t really enjoy your music if it’s being interrupted by the sound of heavy traffic all the time.
For example, the best bone conduction headphones let you hear ambient noise, but that takes away from enjoying your music.
This is why headphones with good sound isolation are more enjoyable in non-quiet places.
Basically, the only quiet place is your home, at least for most people. So if you want to use them anywhere else, passive isolation plays a role.
The quality of the drivers and how they’re set up is important in all headphones, including wireless ones.
Unfortunately, you can’t really check any stat or data to know the quality of the sound you’ll get.
It all comes down to personal preference which means it’s impossible to know before trying.
The best you can do is check the reviews of other people. What other people say about a particular headphone model can be of great help in making a decision.
What Makes a Particular Set of Headphones Good for Working Out?
The basic requirements for a good pair of workout headphones are pretty straightforward.
Since we all sweat during exercise, sweat-resistance is very important for your Bluetooth sport headphones.
Electronics is known to be very weak against water and moisture. Things can quickly break and stop working because of a small drop of water in the right circuitry.
Thankfully, many modern headphones for sports have some kind of water-resistance level. The water-resistance is most often measured with an IPX standard, explained here.
The higher the claimed IPX rating is, the better the protection from water. Some headphones can even survive a dip in the water and heavy rain.
There’s a lot of badly made headphones out here. Headphones that fall to the ground once and stop working. You want to avoid these.
Since you’re always moving around during exercise there’s a higher chance you drop your headphones.
The best wireless headphones for working out are made from durable materials and in a compact and sturdy design that doesn’t break easily.
It’s really hard to measure up front, but you can get a pretty good idea if you take the headphones in your hands and feel how they’re made.
Comfort & fit
Comfort and fit are important with all headphones, but even more so with workout ones.
Because if your ears get irritated during a workout when you need to focus on actually working out, you’ll only get annoyed instead of motivated by music.
Since movement can change how the headphones fit on your head, this can change comfort in between working out. You don’t want this.
Good fitness headphones need to stay put comfortably on your head or in your ears, even during fast movement or unusual positions.
Sound performance also plays a role since you simply won’t enjoy listening to headphones if they sound bad.
In a workout environment, you probably won’t be looking for sonic fidelity but good enough sound quality that is fun to you. This can mean many different things to different people.
Generally, if you like how certain headphones sound nobody can tell you they have low-quality sound. On the other hand, there are a couple of standards that are important to most people.
For most users having clear highs, a strong, deep bass, and being loud enough is good audio quality.
Having wireless headphones is definitely more convenient so this might be one of your requirements for best sports headphones.
Having the ability to control (or even voice control) music and calls with built-in buttons might be another thing you want. Some even have built-in heart rate monitor.
There are many different types of headphones on the market today. Finding the ones best for your needs is important.
Could be interesting; The benefits of noise-canceling headphones.
Want to avoid peple in the gym? See the best noise cancelling earbuds.
Do Expensive Headphones Last Longer than Cheaper Ones in the Gym?
After looking at hundreds of headphones we are willing to claim this is usually true but not always.
You can still get headphones with great build quality and durability at an affordable price tag. Though this is more of an exception than a rule. See best cheap earbuds.
On the other hand, there are some expensive headphones from “Premium” brands that don’t offer good durability. You’re mostly paying for a brand name.
Expensive gym headphones will usually last longer in the gym, but you can sometimes still save money by buying cheap headphones simply because they’re so cheap.
Compare buying 5 pairs of workout earbuds for $30 to 1 pair for $150. Both cost $150. But it’s very unlikely all 5 cheap pairs to die out earlier than the more expensive one. It all comes down to your personal preference.
A lot of headphones die because of moisture. Cheat the water by getting yourself a pair of swimming headphones.
Is Sound Quality in Headphones Subjective?
What is considered high sound quality is a matter of preference.
Generally, most people want a clear sound with a strong bass response and loud enough volume. Whether working out in the gym or outside this is the preferred audio quality for most users.
Why is it Worth Getting Workout Headphones with High Sound Quality?
Enjoyable sound quality is important because it impacts your performance in the gym or at other activity.
Benefits of using workout music are many and proven. It has an effect on your perception of pain, endurance, improves mood and overall makes you stronger, and faster. So pick your favorite music and get moving, you will get better results.
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