The best running headphones are capable of much more than just playing music. Of course, having a workout music blasting while you push yourself through a tough run has its own motivational value, which all of the headphones and earbuds on our list will provide.
However, to be a genuinely outstanding pair of running headphones, they must have a fitness focus. That may mean a clever design that stays firmly in your ears even while you exercise, or IP-rated water and perspiration resistance. So, out of all the headphones we’ve tried, these are the ones that are ideal for hitting the pavement: the best running headphones overall.
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Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones – Apple H1 Headphone Chip
- Totally wireless high-performance earphones
- Up to 9 hours of listening time (more than 24 hours with charging case)
- Adjustable, secure-fit earhooks for lightweight comfort and stability
The Beats Powerbeats Pro may not look like Apple’s AirPods, but they are clearly inspired by them. It even employs the same Apple H1 chip as the AirPods Pro, which means it can pair with iPhones quickly. You can also switch to other iOS and Mac devices you may have at home if you’ve updated to iOS 14.
That’s great, but how does the Powerbeats Pro perform while running? It turns out to be really successful. The ear hooks keep each bud in place during tough jogs, the acoustic signature is adequate, and an IPX4 designation indicates water resistance. The Powerbeats Pro isn’t completely waterproof, but it can withstand sweat. The Powerbeats Pro is a one-stop shop for wireless sport headphones, with a huge box including the earbuds as well as an additional 15 hours of battery life. The buds last for nine hours on a single charge, so you’re unlikely to use it.
When sweat causes the earphones to lose some of their seal, ambient noise becomes more noticeable. The music becomes more empty, yet the increased awareness allows you to hear strong surrounding noises such as sirens and horns. With an iPhone, Bluetooth connecting is instant, and a five-minute quick charge provides 90 minutes of music. The Powerbeats are IPX4-rated, which means they can withstand rain (but not submersion), and despite their big size, they have a low enough profile to wear with a hat and sunglasses.
Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
- SECURE ACTIVE FIT – We scanned thousands of ears to create the...
- ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION: With these noise cancelling earbuds, you can...
- CRYSTAL-CLEAR CALLS – 4 microphones, the latest digital signal processing...
The Jabra Elite Active 75t wireless earbuds are a terrific pair of wireless earbuds in general, but there’s a lot here that makes it a near-perfect set of running headphones. The first is the fit: it’s remarkable to find a pair of truly wireless buds that remain in the ear so well without wing-tips or ear hooks.
Although Jabra has released updated headphones for runners, the Elite Active 75t remains a strong contender on our list because it is frequently on sale and Jabra has mastered the form. That’s thanks to the angular design, which fits securely in the outer ear canal without producing that high-pressure “thud” with each step. The sound quality is clean, dramatic, and full, comparable to Apple’s AirPods Pro, but these Jabras are less expensive and last roughly 90 minutes longer on a single charge.
Then there’s the weatherproofing, which is rated IP57, which means it can withstand dust and even total submersion in shallow water. Sweat or a sprinkle of rain offer no hazard. Jabra’s buds have better battery life than the AirPods Pro, and they even include ANC for a lesser price. They’re rated IP57 for dust and water resistance, so they should be able to weather a sandstorm or a rainstorm. Competing earbuds from Apple, Bose, Jaybird, and others may have better sound, comfort, or ambient-awareness settings, but none of them compare to the 75t.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport True Wireless In-Ear Bluetooth Earphones with Customizable Comfort Fit
- The freedom of truly wireless sound built to push you harder through all...
- UP TO 28 HOURS OF PLAYTIME. Beoplay E8 Sport delivers market leading...
- REDESIGNED WIRELESS CHARGING CASE. The redesigned charging case has been...
Anyone who has bought an audio product from the high-end Danish electronics manufacturer knows they aren’t cheap. They also understand that you get exactly what you pay for, which in this case is exceptional craftsmanship and performance, as demonstrated by the Beoplay E8 Sport.
This sportier version of B&O’s signature wireless earbuds has the greatest sound in the category, with a full-of-depth soundscape that can pump up your adrenaline with strong bass response or relax you with lovely highs for relaxed listening. The buds’ build quality is equally sophisticated, with the perfect balance of richness and durability; they’ll make you stand out at the gym while also protecting the exterior from scratches and scuffs.
The drivers provide a sound signature that promotes accuracy over exaggeration, with an emphasis on high-frequency detail and overall clarity. Of course, you can get fantastic true wireless audio for less money elsewhere, so whether the E8 Sport earphones are worth the premium price depends on whether you buy into the luxury package as a whole.
The Bang & Olufsen app for Android and iOS takes you through a visual tour of how to use your earbuds before allowing you to make modifications. When in transparent mode, for example, you can vary the level of ambient sound you hear—off, low, medium, and high—and the music is pretty clear, making this function ideal at the gym or when out for a run. You can also change the sound signature by using listening presets or making your own EQ preset.
The Beoplay E8 Sport isn’t a pair that everyone can buy, and its connectivity troubles should have them discounted by $50, but it’s still a top performer that only a few competitors can match in terms of appearance and sound.
Bose Sport Earbuds – Bluetooth Headphones for Workouts and Running
- Wireless Bluetooth earbuds engineered by Bose for your best workout...
- Product Note : If the size of the earbud tips does not match the size of...
- Bose lifelike sound: Makes your music sound like the performer is right...
The best Bluetooth earphones for running outside are the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless. Because they don’t cover or block your ears, you can easily be aware of your surroundings while listening to audio. They contain ear hooks to assist them stay in place even during vigorous workouts.
They’re quite durable and have an IPX4 water resistance rating, which means they can endure mild water exposure such as light rain. While their open-ear design prevents them from reproducing the thump and rumble of low bass, their sound has enough boom to get you psyched up throughout long runs. Because of its neutral mid-range response, voices replicate clearly, which is important if you listen to podcasts or audiobooks while exercising. On a single charge, their battery lasts roughly nine hours.
These genuine wireless earbuds are an improvement over the original SoundSport Free. Those elder buds were huge, protruding from your head like Frankenstein’s monster’s neck bolts.
The new buds, on the other hand, stick out barely from your ears and have no buttons (touch gestures play/pause and skip tunes, while tapping and holding activates a phone’s voice assistant). They also offer the same wonderful design that doesn’t totally seal your ear, allowing you to enjoy outstanding music quality while remaining comfortable. During our testing, we discovered that the Bose Sport almost removes the “thump” that comes with each stride when using traditional earbuds.
Unfortunately, they employ a proprietary charging wire, which makes borrowing a replacement more difficult if you leave it at home. They also don’t have app support or sound tweaking options like an EQ or presets. Otherwise, they’re ideal for runners or anyone who wishes to be aware of their surroundings while exercising.
Sony WF-1000XM4 Industry Leading Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbud Headphones with Alexa Built-in
- Industry-leading noise canceling bluetooth earbuds with the new Integrated...
- Exceptional sound quality with new Integrated Processor V1 and supporting...
- Crystal-clear call quality, beamforming microphone and a bone-conduction...
These sweat-resistant, 2021 Award-winning Sonys should be at the top of your list if you’re searching for premium running headphones to fit into your ears. They boast a lot of dynamics and detail, as well as a well-balanced sound with taut and heavy bass and refined mids and highs. It’s impossible not to be caught away by their musicality.
Those who value battery life in their running headphones should find the Sonys’ eight hours to be more than enough. The wireless charging case adds another 16 hours to this. The WF-1000XM4 features secure foam tips and sound that is deep and clean. You can also adjust the audio settings via the app, which includes automated mode detection (the sound switches to transparency mode when you speak with someone).
Because these buds are so sensitive, a sudden downpour of rain caused them to flip to “noise-canceling off” mode on rare occasions. (The IP designation means “water-resistant,” not “waterproof.”) We discovered that the connection was occasionally patchy, necessitating a rapid turn-off/turn-on of the right bud to reset the sound.
The Sonys are comfy enough to wear for a marathon, with touch-sensitive controls and noise-isolating ear tips. With Sony’s Integrated Processor V1 providing excellent noise cancellation, the WF-1000XM4 is tough to fault. Quick Attention and Speak-To-Discussion are two clever features that allow you to talk without taking off your earbuds – perfect for a mid-run chat. If you’re looking for a high-end pair of running headphones, the WF-1000XM4 should be on your list.
Jaybird Vista 2 True Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones with Charging Case
- ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION cuts out background noise so you stay in the zone...
- Product Note : If the size of the earbud tips does not match the size of...
- SURROUNDSENSE keeps you connected and aware of your surroundings....
The Jaybird Vista 2 sports buds have a similar style to the original Vista buds, but they have a few essential changes, like active noise cancellation and SurroundSense, a transparency mode that lets you to hear the outside world, which is a vital safety feature for runners and cyclists (as well as skiers).
The Vista 2 buds are dust-proof and totally waterproof, with an IPX68 water-resistance rating. They’re also sweat-proof, crush-proof, and drop-proof, according to Jaybird. With an IP54 rating, the small case is now splash-proof and dust-resistant.
The Vista 2 lasts eight hours on a single charge, which is two hours longer than the original Vista and long enough to bring you to the finish line of your next 26.2. With the charging case, you’ll enjoy an extra 16 hours of use. The earbud shape was kept the same, with a snug fit that keeps dust and moisture out. In terms of moisture, the sweat- and waterproof 2 now has an IP68 grade, up from IP67 in the original iteration. To switch between Active Noise Canceling (ANC) and SurroundSense (environmental noise pass-through) modes, double-tap (don’t press).
They sound nice once you tune the EQ settings to your satisfaction, but they don’t quite match the sound quality of some other premium earbuds. Their noise cancellation, transparency mode, and voice calling are adequate but not exceptional (the Beats Fit Pro earbuds perform better in all departments). However, if you’re purchasing these, you’re doing so for the secure fit and long-term durability.