It’s no secret that music and running go hand in hand. That’s why you’ll find many people listening to their favorite songs while training. Running while listening to your music has many benefits and not only improves your mood, but also gives you a boost of energy. With that said, if you’re a runner and you’re in the market for a new pair of headphones for running, read on.
- Running Headphones: Worth The Extra Cost?
- Best Running Headphones of All Types – Only The Finest Products
- Sony WF-1000XM4 – Most Powerful ANC Wireless Earbuds for Running
- Bose QuietComfort Earbuds – Runner-up – True Wireless Running Headphones with ANC
- Adidas RPT-01 – Best On-ear Running Headphones
- Best Truly Wireless Headphones for Runners
- The Best Headphones for Runners On a Budget
- Comfortable and Lightweight Headphones for Running
- What are the best wireless headphones for running?
- What’s Important In a Headphone for Running? Anatomy of The Best Running Headphones
- Stability – Don’t Worry About Dropping Your Earbuds When You’re Running
- Environmental Awareness – Keep Your Feet On The Ground (Literally and Figuratively)
- Sound Quality – Wear Them Snug, Play Your Favorite Songs
- Comfort – Wear Them Indefinitely, Run Whenever You Feel Like It
- Touch Controls instead of Buttons
- How Much Should I Pay for The Best Headphones for Running?
- What are The Best Brands of Headphones for Runners?
- Why are Headphones with Ambient Sound Mode Great for Running?
- IP Ratings Explained – “How Is Water Resistance Measured?”
- Answers & Questions
- Should you run while listening to music?
- Should you buy wireless or wired headphones for running?
- Are on-ear headphones good for running?
- Are Bluetooth running headphones good for running?
- How do I choose the best running headphones?
- Are bone conduction headphones more suitable for running than in-ear sport headphones?
- Are noise-cancelling headphones good for running?
- Does sweat harm the headphones?
Running Headphones: Worth The Extra Cost?
You plan to start the 2022 year with a bang and if you’re a runner, it’s time to hit the ground running. In order to do so in style, you may want to start considering investing in a pair of quality running headphones. After all, when your favorite tunes are playing at the right volume level and rhythm, it can be an exhilarating experience! But the question remains- are running headphones worth it?
Running headphones can provide you with a number of perks. First of all, if the fit is correct they will play your favorite tunes in the background at the volume that you want. This way, you will be able to hear your music without being distracted by it.
Secondly, when your favorite song is playing in the background you’re more likely to run faster and for longer. You can talk on the phone while running using the built-in microphone of your running headphones. Additionally, they will protect your ears from the sounds of other people’s music or the surrounding environment.
Finally, running headphones are also easy to carry around. and keep you safe.
Best Running Headphones of All Types – Only The Finest Products
One of the most annoying problems you can encounter while running or training is listening to music without paying attention to your surroundings. Luckily, Sony has come up with a fully-fledged wireless headphone for runners – the WF-1000XM4. As a whole, this pair is good-sounding, IPX4 protected, offers beamforming mics and bone conduction sensors for clear calls, and a reliable wind-protected Ambient Listening Mode. On top of all that, Sony’s WF-1000XM4 also features the most potent ANC system available in a very compact and ergonomic enclosure.
With its default in-ear fit design, the earbuds will fit in snugly, even in smaller ears. However, the use of Comply foam tips can make the device safer and more comfortable for extended periods while running on the Ventura boardwalk and enjoying the view of the Pacific Ocean. It’s also worth noting that the same foam tips can make your music sound less sharp and more balanced.
The Active Noise Reduction on these earbuds is a beast. As a matter of fact, Sony can attenuate sounds by a whopping 20-30 dB for what should be an entirely peaceful experience in the gym or crowded places. On average, the lows are reduced by 10-15 dB, mid-range frequencies by 20 dB, and high-frequencies by as much as 30 dB. The average noise reduction of the ANC is approximately 25 dB or more.
The luxury of listening to great noise-canceling headphones in any environment, even in windy weather, without experiencing annoying interference, is something that the WF-1000XM4 has been designed to provide. The headphones have wind noise sensors that disable the external noise reduction microphones to reduce the noise of the wind. In contrast, the internal microphones remain active for you to listen to clearer audio in your headphones.
I like it when I write about a product that makes me feel enthusiastic about my life. And the WF-1000XM4 is such a pair of headphones that truly makes running more pleasurable and enjoyable. Whether you take these headphones with you on your long walks at the beach, morning runs, or you commute by train, their performance is simply superb. If I could change one thing about these earphones, it would be the microphone call quality, which is average.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds – Runner-up – True Wireless Running Headphones with ANC
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are a solid choice for true wireless headphones with ANC. These earbuds are superior to other true wireless running headphones that lack efficient noise cancelling technology, but they’re not cheap, and they also have poor ambient sound in windy conditions. But if you’re looking for a good-sounding pair of truly wireless headphones with ANC to run with, we think these are worth considering.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are comfortable, lightweight, and secure when worn correctly in the ears (you’ll have to follow the tips on Bose’s YouTube channel to ensure they fit securely). They stay in place naturally in my ears when I run or do high-intensity workouts in the gym. Of their many features, Bose’s shape and dynamic in-ear sizing make them great for running and walking. They’re slightly bulkier, which is good for stability and people with big ears.
The ANC has 10 different levels that will suit your environment. It’s best to allow ambient sounds in when you’re in the street to be aware of your surroundings. When you decrease the ANC level, you’ll hear more ambient noises, but your music will sound the same. Bose claims that the earbuds have a 6-hour battery life, provided you do not use the max volume available.
The Bose audio quality is excellent with good highs and lows, even on tracks with heavy bass. Has 10 different levels that will suit your environment. It’s obvious that compared to Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds, the sound is more neutral and natural. Whereas Sony focuses more on a warm, dynamic sound signature.
Bose QC Earbuds have an Active EQ setting which is already configured inside the Bose Connect App. The only issue with their app is that it’s the only way to make adjustments to your sound, controls, ANC (Ambient Mode alike), and to use it, you have to agree to their collecting data policy.
All in all, Bose QC Earbuds are the second-best true wireless earbuds for running among many other choices on the market, including Apple AirPods Pro and Jabra Elite Active 75t. They are comfortable, have excellent audio quality with amazing noise-canceling technology, which is a lifesaver when you’re running in the busy streets of New York or doing your cardio in the gym.
Adidas RPT-01 – Best On-ear Running Headphones
Adidas RPT-01 features a new style of headphones with an on-ear fit that is IPX4 water and sweat-resistant. The Adidas RPT-01 headphones are perfect for my daily runs and workouts in the gym and some casual music listening. The Adidas RPT-01 headphones are really solid, have a good design, excellent support, the earpads are soft, and the earcups provide enough clamping, perfect for runners who want a stable fit while running or cycling.
The sound is of excellent quality, very well balanced despite a slight accentuation of the bass, which can disturb certain music styles. Even at a higher volume, the sound plays without experiencing any distortion. The basses are punchy but don’t disturb you when listening to other genres outside Rock, Electronic, and Hip-Hop, as it is detailed and well balanced. The mids and treble are satisfactory as well.
Unlike Bose QC Earbuds, whose “EQ” lacks customizability, RPT-01 offers multiple listening modes such as ROCK, POP, ELECTRONIC, ELECTRO, BOOST VOCAL. Some have a minimum impact, while others are quite funky.
The battery life offered by the RTP-01 is 40 hours, which is enough to get us through the whole week. The Bluetooth 5.0 is the latest version and allows for a good range, stability, and low-power consumption. The only downside here is the lack of advanced Bluetooth codecs. The headphones support the SBC codec, which, fortunately, is quite a prevalent standard. All in all, Adidas RPT-01 is a solid choice if you’re looking for an on-ear pair of running headphones at a very competitive price.
I have tested many headphones and I discovered that many true wireless sport earbuds lack the qualities that most runners look for when buying a pair. If you want to find the best true wireless earbuds for running on the market, then keep reading! I have compiled a top 3 list of wireless running earbuds that consistently deliver excellent sound quality with no distractions during your run!
We have already reviewed the Sony WF-1000XM4 noise-canceling wireless earbuds above. To elaborate on that, we’ll compare the WF-1000XM4 with the other wireless sport earbuds. We have a variety of top-rated wireless earbuds for sport from the most popular manufacturers. But, after comparing and contrasting them with the other ones, we think these are by far the best. Here’s why:
Sony WF-1000XM4 is versatile, but that’s not what makes them win the competition. They also excel in two aspects: ANC and sound quality. And provide an above-average performance in many other areas such as Bluetooth technology, battery life, charging time, sound quality over wireless, and weight of 7.3g per earbud. Whereas other TWS sport headphones do good in some areas yet have nothing special to make them stand out from the rest.
The active noise cancellation function isn’t really necessary when running with your headphones. Nevertheless, it is one of the things Sony does better than any other truly wireless earbuds. This offers you the versatility to use Sony WF-1000XM4 not only for your running but also for training sessions, commuting, traveling, and even in noisy places where you want to focus on the important stuff.
Many people complain about the lack of ANC in Apple AirPods Pro in which the ANC sometimes fails to work properly, and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds still has some imperfections: the 20 – 30 Hz area is boosted when the ANC is enabled, and the high-frequency sounds aren’t as effectively cut off.
Now, onto the sound quality. Sony’s WF-1000XM4 stands out in terms of sound quality, with customizable 5-band EQ settings and a balanced sound signature with accurate sound reproduction and warm tones that sound much better than WF-1000XM3 and Jabra Elite Active 75t and 85t. The bass is present without being overwhelming, and the sound isn’t sharp or sibilant. You can also use a Bass Boost EQ Preset and improve the bass response in the sub-bass and mid-bass by an average of 5 dB or drag the 400-frequency EQ band all the way up (+10 dB).
The comfort is decent, but it doesn’t match Bose’s true wireless sports headphones. The addition of the latest Bluetooth technology, version 5.2, offers a pathway to new features and functions on the next firmware update, good operation range, energy efficiency, and—unfortunately— basic codecs: AAC and SBC. Sony’s proprietary LDAC technology for high bit-rate audio transmission, which Apple AirPods Pro, Bose QC Earbuds, Bose Sport Open Earbuds, or Jabra Elite Active 75t or 85t don’t provide, improves the audio quality transmitted via wireless. Aside from Bowers & Wilkins PI5 and PI7 with aptX, almost all TWS headphones have AAC and SBC encoded, so Sony has a significant edge here with the presence of Bluetooth 5.2 and LDAC.
For athletes and runners, there are plenty of wireless earbuds that stay in place during the run or workout. The Jabra Elite Sport has been designed to withstand maximum sweat and water thanks to its IP67 certification, while Bose Sport Open Earbuds offers great surround awareness. These headphones and a few others like Beats Powerbeats Pro have a slight advantage over Sony WF-1000XM4 in comfort and stability. However, it doesn’t make the WF-1000XM4 less viable for running. They don’t fall and sit well. Besides, Sony’s earbuds excel in far more areas than any other true wireless running headphones, making them a definite winner and a very tough opponent to beat for the upcoming TWS running headphones.
Jabra Elite Active 75t – Sport Headphones with the Best Call Quality and Ambient Listening Mode
Jabra Elite Active 75t offers an above-average sound quality, great water protection (IP57), and the best call quality for a pair of wireless workout headphones. The ANC is decent, but it doesn’t compare to Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. Nevertheless, the “HearThrough” Ambient Sound Mode is way superior in Jabra’s headphones, and it’s thanks to the 4 microphones with Jabra’s DSP, which makes it deliver better ambient sound from your surroundings. In addition, the call quality is exemplary.
Surprisingly, for a pair of running headphones without ear hooks, Jabra Elite Active 75t are one of the most comfortable wireless earbuds with a secure fit that will stay put in most situations. However, they can get a little bit uncomfortable if you wear them for more extended periods of time. Because wireless earbuds are not a one-size-fits-all, Jabra Elite Active 75t may be outstandingly comfortable with some and a nuisance with others.
The battery life is not the best-in-class, with 6-hour per charge and a total of 28 hours, but it’s still impressive. It allows you to listen to your favorite music without recharging it more than twice a week. The Jabra Elite Active 75t has an above-average sound quality with tight basses that overflow slightly into the lower midrange. In the V-shaped sound signature, highs are present without competing with the mids for the most part. Most people won’t be disappointed with these headphones, but if you’re an audiophile, you’ll likely want to look elsewhere.
Overall, Jabra Elite Active 75t are great for running. They aren’t expensive as Bose QuietComfort Earbuds or Master & Dynamic MW08 but also not affordable either. The earbuds provide good quality for their price point. They have a perfect design regarding efficiency and user experience, with a feel-good comfort and secure fit. However, the sound quality is not without flaws and does not always convey all the beauty of your music.
Bose Sport Open Earbuds – Open-ear Wireless Headphones with Bose OpenAudio Technology
In the Bose family of wireless running headphones, Bose Sport Open Earbuds are a worthy competitor to Jabra Elite Active 75t. They both provide a level of awareness that’s not offered by any other wireless earbuds. You can hear practically everything in your environment without the need to take out your headphones when you’re in an open field or when it’s windy, and this makes them two of the best wireless headphones for running.
Bose Sport Open Earbuds have a bright sound signature. The sub-bass is almost inexistent, and trebles feel quite prominent, unlike other Bose headphones. The mid and high frequencies feel very smooth and detailed as they should. We also note that these wireless open earbuds sound better than Bose’s bone-conduction headphones audio sunglasses. Although we were hoping for better bass response, we’re impressed with the comfort and stability of Bose Sport Wireless Headphones.
Thanks to their excellent passive ambient sound feature, you can also use them to listen to music or take calls while working out, running, or hitting the gym. Noise-canceling earbuds usually last for about 8 hours, but these don’t. Even though they don’t have noise cancellation, the battery life is comparable to that of Sony WF-1000XM4 – 7-8 hours of playtime. It is also unfortunate that the case provides no battery charges. You only got 7 hours of playtime, and that’s it.
The Bose Sport True Wireless open earbuds don’t seem to have much going, although they’re fantastic for running. Their sound quality has a bit more clarity and definition than other Bose’s ANC wireless headphones and many other sports earbuds, thanks to its 16 mm drivers. They’re also lightweight and easy to use with a secure ear-hook design making this pair of earbuds a great choice despite their average battery life and lack of versatility. It can be argued that these Bose earbuds are an alternative to the Beats Powerbeats Pro, but with an open-ear design and unconvincing bass.
The Best Headphones for Runners On a Budget
Running with headphones can be a great way to escape your environment and focus on your running. Depending on the price, the headphones you use can be a deal or a waste of money. Here is a list of some great options that are not going to cost you more than $50!
Treblab X3 Pro – Best Affordable True Wireless Running Headphones with aptX and IPX7
Treblab X3 Pro is a great budget TWS headset that you can use for running since they’re IPX7-protected and provide a secure fit. In many ways, they are almost identical to the Powerbeats Pro, and some actually consider the Treblab X3 Pro to be their cheaper equivalent. Right off the bat, the Treblab X3 Pro has a feature that most high-end TWS headphones lack, namely the aptX Bluetooth codec. The Treblab X3 Pro doesn’t offer sound quality comparable to the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds or Powerbeats Pro, but it has a lot going for it.
Treblab X3 Pro doesn’t have the most lightweight design, and each earbud weighs 9.6 grams. Still, they feel comfortable when worn. Like the Powerbeats Pro, these headphones won’t fall out of your ears during fast-paced exercise like sprinting or HIIT cardio. Treblab X3 Pro’s sound is clear, bright, and perceptible. They are not as “refined” as the Powerbeats Pro, but they are still great true wireless sports headphones. Even at high volume, the music remains beautifully perceptible, doesn’t become incomprehensible, and isn’t highly distorting.
The 11 mm drivers are 1 mm smaller than the Powerbeats Pro. Still, you can expect to get the advantages of the larger drivers, but not the same refinement and amount of bass output as Powerbeats Pro. The voice overall seems to be less present and natural than Beats’ Powerbeats Pro, which is due to the slight recession of the mid-range frequencies. The overall clarity of the Treblab X3 Pro isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. For its caliber, the X3 Pro is a good-sounding pair of wireless earbuds for running with quite a spacious soundstage and Bluetooth capabilities.
We liked many aspects of the Treblab X3 Pro, but the battery life caught our attention. The Treblab X3 Pro’s battery life is 9 hours. The charging case can only hold 4 more charges, and it doesn’t give you the 100% that it promises. You only get 80-90% of the advertised battery life. Also, if you’re like me and change songs frequently, the headphones don’t lack touch controls and will disappoint you. Actually, the physical control buttons aren’t intuitive but quite cumbersome, especially for people with big hands.
Despite these two minor flaws, Treblab X3 Pro is a terrific pair of wireless running earbuds for its reasonable price. These wireless sports headphones offer the convenience of Beats Powerbeats for less, IPX7 waterproofing, Bluetooth 5, aptX technology, and everything an athlete needs when running, including a cVc 8.0 microphone, virtual assistant.
JLab Epic Air Sport ANC
JLab Epic Air Sport ANC is among the best wireless sports earbuds for running at an incredibly affordable price. Affordable sometimes means low quality, but there are some exceptions. Although they have some competition, they managed to deliver sound with an above-average clarity even if they lacked detail and treble definition.
Epic Air Sport ANC uses 8 mm drivers to provide fun, punchy basses at the expense of mids & highs clarity. Bass lovers will be happy about their sub-bass response, whereas the mids and highs are a bit missing. The sound signature is slightly mellow with a slight mid-bass roll-off into the midrange. The mids and highs aren’t as emphasized, and therefore you cannot get to hear crisp highs with these earbuds.
The battery life is beyond most high-end wireless earbuds – around 10 hours at moderate volumes with ANC or 15 hours without it. Additionally, the case provides up to 5 charges to a maximum of 75 hours. This is enough to listen to your favorite music everywhere you go, as long as you have the charging case with you. Just as surprising as the battery life is the integration of Bluetooth 5.0 and Wear Detection sensor that allows the Epic Air Sport to pause music when you take them off.
The earbuds are ergonomically designed, which gives the Epic Air Sport an impressive fit. They don’t fall out of your ears, but at 10 grams per earbud, they can feel a bit heavy after wearing them for long periods of time.
The fit and comfort of these running truly wireless headphones are great. The earbuds are small, albeit not as lightweight as our other picks, but fit properly in your ears. The rubber wings make a secure fit without pushing too hard against your ears.
In the end, the JLab Epic Air Sport has a great sound quality, but the lack of mids and highs causes them to sound a bit dull. Additionally, the battery life at the top of the industry is very pleasing, and the charging case provides 5 additional charges. All these aspects make Epic Air Sport fantastic wireless earbuds for running on a budget, and we highly recommend them.
What’s the difference between JLab Epic Air Sport ANC and JLab Audio Epic Air Sport?
JLab Air Sport ANC is priced at under $100, which is quite affordable for many people. But so is JLab Audio Epic Air. The difference between the two is that the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC sports headphones have active noise cancellation (noise control) and an ambient listening mode, while the JLab Audio Epic Air Sport does not. The 15-hour battery life of the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC is much longer than the 10-hour battery life of the JLab Audio Epic Air Sport.
In addition, the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC also features the following:
- Lower latency for movies and gaming!
- Dual connect technology to use any earbud independently
Soundcore Life P3
Anker Soundcore Life P3 are great wireless headphones for running. They are lightweight with a 6 to 7 hours battery life with additional charges in the charging case that amounts to a total of 35 hours of playtime, which is damn impressive. Plus, they have an IPX5 waterproof rating, so you don’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain while running using these earbuds.
The battery life is one of the highlights of the Life P3 Sport. Still, sound quality can be impressive, too. With 11 mm drivers, much bigger than many high-end wireless earbuds, the Soundcore Life P3 sounds quite spectacular for its class. It has some punchy basses but lacks sub-bass weight and definition, resulting in muffled lows overall. The highs and mids don’t sound as crisp or detailed as we would like. However, the overall sound is pretty neutral and decent enough in terms of clarity, so you can enjoy your favorite songs while working out or running. Still, they don’t expect audiophile-quality audio from these earbuds.
The performance of these wireless headphones for running is very good. They’re lightweight, weighing 5 grams per earbud, and comfortable to wear for hours at a time. The ear hooks secure the headphones firm into your ears without feeling too uncomfortable or difficult to put on. These truly wireless headphones are water-resistant: they can resist a sustained, low-pressure water jet and offer an amazing bass response at this price point ($50 – $100).
What we don’t like about these earbuds is that the 3 microphones in each earbud don’t deliver very clear calls. And the ambient listening mode is average. Also, in windy conditions, it becomes rather awful. Still, it’s better than what the competition has to offer for the same amount of money. Nonetheless, what makes Soundcore Life P3 stand out above all else is the customizable sound experience, great battery life, and “Find my Headset” function similar to Skullcandy’s “Tile.”
Comfortable and Lightweight Headphones for Running
As a runner, I found that many wireless running earphones were either uncomfortable or always fell out of my ears during my afternoon runs. This led me to try more stable and comfortable running headphones. That’s not to say that the sports headphones we’ve recommended so far aren’t comfortable, but they do offer different levels of comfort.
Beats Powerbeats Pro
The Beats Powerbeats Pro is among the most comfortable and stable running headphones. They’re 23% smaller and 17% lighter than their predecessor, the Powerbeats3. They’re also comfortable and fit firmly in the ears due to their own rubber ear tips and hooks. So you can run, jump, and engage in any active activity without fear that they’ll fall out of your ears or get lost! They do not have noise-cancelling and ambient mode as the AirPods, though they sound much better and are better suited for running.
The Powerbeats Pro headphones can stand up to sweat, rain, and even small splashes, but not water immersion. They only have IPX4 water resistance, but they withstand a few sweat sessions. The true wireless headphones use the same H1 chip as the AirPods 2, which means they work well with your iPhone. One of the best features is that you can call Siri with a voice command and take control of all other functions on your device with your voice.
The Powerbeats Pro did well in terms of functionality and design. The sound quality of the Powerbeats Pro is more balanced than its other Beats counterparts; it has less of a focus on bass. It can play any music without problems. Of course, Powerbeats Pro naturally prefers bass-focused songs, but that doesn’t mean you cannot use them for classical music. And for the price you pay for them, this level of quality is not bad at all. On the other hand, if you want to treat yourself with better-sounding high-end true wireless running headphones, look at the WF-1000XM4.
With the Powerbeats Pro, the company tried a different approach, moved away from the abundance of bass, and went for a more balanced sound reproduction. At the same time, they have enough saturation and volume to brighten up not only training but also any other activities.
The Powerbeats Pro headphones offer a balanced sound that can brighten even the most challenging activities. These headphones are not neutral, but they will surprise you with their tonal qualities and versatility over many music genres. The 9 hours battery life is also more than welcome for long-distance runs, whereas the headphones’ hook design makes them super stable. The Powerbeats Pro has qualities that make it a great headphone for running and for regular use.
The Aftershokz Aeropex headphones are the most lightweight and comfortable sports headphones that can be used for running and intense activities. They’re made of durable and flexible materials like titanium, provide IP67 protection, and a secure fit that doesn’t put any pressure on your ears. Their lightweight and open-ear design bring you closer to the world around you than most other bone conduction headphones.
The first thing you need to know about Aeropex is that they use piezoelectric drivers, which behave in a certain way that makes the low sound unclear. Although the frequency range is 20 Hz to 20 kHz, the listener perceives the sound completely different from conventional headphones, simply because the sound waves propagate differently in your head and in the air.
The lows may not be as pronounced and clear as they are in regular headphones and even compared to Aeropex Trekz Air. At the same time, the basses are less tiring, and other frequencies are more natural and “transparent.” Compared to Trekz Air, the basses have better dynamics, whereas the mids are exceptionally reproduced. The highs are just as accurate as impressive and distinguishable, although there’s a bit more focus on the middle part of the audio spectrum.
The Aeropex headphones, made by Aftershokz, are different than the company’s previous bone-conduction headphones. The Aeropex doesn’t have sound leakage because the holes installed along the edge of the speakers are not present in this model. As a result, the headphones don’t leak as much sound as the other bone-conduction headphones.
Almost every essential element for modern running headphones has improved compared to other bone-conduction sports headphones. The Aeropex wireless headphones provide stronger protection against water, more autonomy, and better sound quality, so it should be noted that the price of the headphones is much greater than other models on the market. In addition, they have a more stylish design and innovative technology that makes them convenient for outdoor activities.
Jabra Elite 3
We initially wanted to give this position to the true wireless headphones Jabra Elite Active 65t – they are more popular, have been reviewed by more people, and received plenty of positive feedback and trust. On the other hand, a few things pushed us away from Elite Active 65t and got us closer to the slightly better, cheaper alternative: the Elite 3 sports headphones. So, we decided to give third place to Jabra Elite 3 – They’re affordable, have a mono mode, newer Bluetooth technology 5.2, intuitive touch controls, HearThrough technology, and overall a great value.
The Mono Mode allows you to listen to your phone’s media on a single earpiece, whether it’s the left earbud or the right. This is incredibly helpful for those who want to preserve battery life, especially for runners who want to stay in touch with the world around them and don’t really need a stereo listening experience. If you want the stereo experience, HearThrough technology can provide you a similar level of openness and awareness to your surrounding.
The performance of the Elite 3 true wireless sports headphones is much better than that of Jabra Elite Active 65t. However, in terms of sound quality and functionality-wise, the Elite Active 65t wins. In addition, the Elite 3 also doesn’t have an accelerometer that tracks your fitness performance. Nevertheless, in terms of value for the money and convenience for running, the Elite 3 is for sure the winner between the two.
What are the best wireless headphones for running?
If I had to choose a wireless headphone for running and could only buy and use the same model forever, I would go with Sony WF-1000XM4. There are plenty of TWS headphones with ANC that are viable for running, like Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, Bowers & Wilkins PI7, Master & Dynamic MW08, SENNHEISER Momentum True Wireless 2, Apple AirPods Pro. So why Sony WF-1000XM4?
Why? They’re comfortable, sound fantastic (though not audiophile-grade sound), IPX4 water-resistant, which is good enough for the job, provide an adequate Transparency mode with a wind filter and the most stunning active noise reduction. In fact, I’ve been using them for a few months, and they work flawlessly, which is awesome. You can purchase them for between $249.00 and $299.00 on Amazon.
The battery life of 8-hour per charge is plenty for me, and I like knowing how much I can listen to music without worrying about how much battery is left. The earbuds are also better-sounding and more convenient than many other high-end TWS running headphones I’ve tried. They have a warm, energetic, and dynamic sound that isn’t tiring on my ears even after a few hours. They’re also customizable, unlike Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds, which is a huge plus for me. I can adjust the sound to fit my running pace. The sleek and elegant design also makes me feel better looking at them than the sometimes gaudy wireless earbuds’ style. The design is simple yet sophisticated. Indeed, a truly timeless work of art.
On paper, the Sony WF-1000XM4 looks quite impressive, but the experience you get from using them for a month or so is so much more unforgettable. If the price drops, I would probably buy another pair, knowing they will last a long time and provide me with years of use. I’m only unhappy that these earbuds do not come with multipoint technology, which, besides the new Elite Active 85t, no other truly wireless earbuds have.
What’s Important In a Headphone for Running? Anatomy of The Best Running Headphones
Stability – Don’t Worry About Dropping Your Earbuds When You’re Running
Stability is important to consider when choosing your headphones for running because if they slip or fall off, you could lose them. Most runners prefer professional in-ear headphones with hooks for stability because they sound better than regular wireless sport earbuds and stay in better during exercise.
Even if your headphones don’t fall off, you still want to feel a sense of security that they’ll sit tight and with a firm grip onto your ears for the duration of your run. It’s annoying to run and worrying that the headphones might fall off, so it’s a good idea to try a pair out in-store before you purchase them or go with our recommendations.
How to Make Your In-Ear Headphones More Stable and Comfortable
- Use ear hooks for stability – Some headphones have a strap or metal hooks for stability, but these are typically only found on the brands’ high-end earbuds. If your headphones don’t have hooks, you can buy ear-hooks on Amazon. The fit won’t be perfect, and they won’t look aesthetically pleasing. But they will stay in your ears more securely
- Try Bose StayHear+ tips for an improved fit. Bose StayHear+ tips are made from a different material that fits the ear canal better and stays in place longer. This video will help you get started with your Bose StayHear tips
- Use Comply TrueGrip foam ear tips for a more secure fit. Some high-end in-ear headphones come with three sizes of Comply Foam ear tips which offer a much more secure fit.
Apart from the last option, these are not the most elegant solutions for improving the stability of your in-ear headphone while running. They can turn mild annoyances into some discomfort. If you’re looking for something more comfortable, check out our list of Best Wireless Sport Earbuds for Running instead.
Environmental Awareness – Keep Your Feet On The Ground (Literally and Figuratively)
So if you’re running, walking, or simply jogging outside – you want to be aware of your surroundings. If you’re walking uphill or downhill, you’ll want to know when there’s traffic coming. If you’re running, you’ll want to be able to hear if someone is coming up behind you. Sound isolation is not required when exercising outdoors; instead, sound awareness is an important factor when choosing the best headphones for running. It also helps that they just look cool!
The best pairs of headphones for running with Ambient Listening mode include:
High-End Running Headphones
- Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
- Bose Sport Open Earbuds
- Jabra Elite Active 75t
- Jaybird Vista 2
Mid-Range Running Headphones
- AfterShokz – Air Wireless Open-ear Headphones
- JLab Epic Air Sport ANC
Entry-level Running Headphones
- Jabra Elite 3
- Soundcore Life P3
- SoundLiberty 94 True Wireless Earbuds
- Creative Outlier Air V3
If you’re in the gym and running on the treadmill, spatial awareness isn’t as important. Here, you’ll want headphones that block out the noise of the treadmills you and other people are using. You’ll want to be able to hear your music, but not the treadmill next to you or the other people on their treadmills. Most in-ear headphones for running that help isolate ambient noise from the outside environment are either neckband headphones or truly wireless headphones.
With the exception of AfterShokz – Air Wireless Open-ear Headphones and Bose Sport Open Earbuds, all the running headphones listed above provide decent passive and active noise reduction for their price category. That’s because the ambient listening mode is found in many headphones that also offer active noise cancellation.
For example, the mid-range JLab Epic Air Sport ANC and high-end Bose QuietComfort Earbuds running headphones offer both ambient sound and active noise cancellation modes. Both are versatile and great for running. For the entry-level category of truly wireless running headphones, the Soundcore Life P3 and SoundLiberty 94 True Wireless Earbuds are worth considering because of their price and reliable microphones that provide good noise reduction and ambient sound from the outside.
Sound Quality – Wear Them Snug, Play Your Favorite Songs
A high-quality headset will make pretty much any experience more enjoyable, especially jogging, running outside, or on a treadmill. Every time you put these headphones on, you’ll feel a return in your running form and your overall fitness. Mainly because you’ll already be familiar with the sound signature of your sports headphones.
The bass is usually more present and gives you that extra kick when running at a faster pace. The mids also have their boost so that the sound is clearer and richer sounding at all volumes. Trebles with good extension provide a high-fidelity type of listening experience. However, you don’t want these to be too emphasized as they’ll become piercing and noticeable at high volume levels.
Luckily, they also don’t require an amp or specialized hardware to be loud, so if it’s just you and you want to listen to your favorite tunes with decent sound quality at high volumes, they’re perfect. It’s up to you how loud you want them.
While running, listening to music can boost your level of enjoyment and will help distract your mind from the fatigue experienced toward the end of a run. Additionally, music can motivate you and increase your cadence during sprints or slow down your pace during long runs.
Poor sound quality may affect this experience and the overall way your music will sound. And if you eventually plan on using the earbuds outside of the sports environment, then you have two more reasons to pick some good-sounding wireless earbuds for running.
Comfort – Wear Them Indefinitely, Run Whenever You Feel Like It
Comfort is also an important factor in choosing running headphones. It’s not about how lightweight your headphones are but how comfortable they sit in your ears. For instance, many in-ear running headphones have their own ergonomic hooks that help keep them in place while working out or exercising vigorously, while others have an inconvenient shape and earbud design that doesn’t feel right.
If you’re going to run for an extended period of time, they need to be able to stand firm and handle multiple bumps. Running can take a heavy toll on headphones, especially those that don’t come with ear hooks.
If you have the budget, go for true wireless headphones instead of wireless neckband headphones. The wires tend to rub against your neck and shoulders after extended use, becoming annoying and even irritating the skin. True Wireless Stereo sport headphones will likely require more care than neckband and on-ear ones, so you’ll want to look at their durability first and foremost.
Touch Controls instead of Buttons
While this aspect may seem insignificant, touch controls are a major perk for runners.
- They’re more convenient because they don’t require you to push into your earbuds and feel uncomfortable every time you press a button.
- Secondly, they are typically more responsive during active activities, even in tough weather conditions. One quick tap will pause your song, while long presses can be programmed for other functions.
- Lastly, if the headphones fit snugly inside your ears, you won’t have to worry about them losing that perfect fit as they would with physical control keys.
Bose Sport Open Earbuds, Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, Jabra Elite Active 75t, Jaybird Vista 2, JLab Epic Air Sport ANC, Soundcore Life P3, SoundLiberty 94, Creative Outlier Air V3 all provide the necessary features for running, including touch controls.
Between Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and Jabra Elite Active 75t, we favor Bose’s touch controls and ANC more than Jabra’s. Be that as it may, they’re by far the second-best running headphones with ANC below Sony WF-1000XM4 and above the Apple AirPods Pro wireless earbuds.
How Much Should I Pay for The Best Headphones for Running?
The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with spending a hefty amount on your running headphones ($100-$250); you’ll probably do it anyway, and it won’t be just for sport. But also for those times when you want to avoid the bustling of the Rockefeller Center or Times Square as you would stroll through the serenity of the Central Park. High-end headphones will like Bose QuietComfort Earbuds will provide you that powerful active noise canceling and impactful sound quality for listening to music while running through Brooklyn Bridge Park or any other New York City area, but then again, that’s really up to you.
If you’re just starting out with running, choose a pair of running headphones in the entry-level category ($25 – $50). Most of the above wireless headphones are perfect for people whose running is part of their lifestyle.
Once you start to get serious about running, you might want to consider the mid-range category of good-quality in-ear running headphones ($50-$100). You can also get a more accurate idea of what’s great and bad about different pairs of in-ear headphones on different online review sites.
Let’s say you’re just getting into running, or you’re an inexperienced runner who just wants to start listening to music while running, and you’re not willing to pay a little more than necessary for the extra quality that entry-level running headphones don’t provide. In this case, instead of buying a pair of Jabra Elite 3 earbuds, which is a great pair of TWS headphones for running, you can go for the JLab wired Epic Sport – a decent option for under $50 with average audio quality but a good fit.
What are The Best Brands of Headphones for Runners?
There are several good brands of headphones for running. There are the sport-oriented headphone brands that focus on high-quality sports headphones, such as Jaybird, Aftershockz, and Amazfit, and then there are the general brands, such as Bose, Jabra, and Sony.
Nevertheless, when it comes to the best brands of headphones to use while running, these are Bose, Jabra, JLab, Anker, Jaybird, and Aftershockz.
Bose is a well-known and established company in the audio field. Bose has come a long way and is one of the most prominent headphone companies. When we think about Bose, we think about well-built and sophisticated yet affordable headphones with great sensitivity, clarity, and bass response. They also created some top-notch headphones designed for sports use that have become renowned worldwide for their noise-canceling capabilities and comfortable fit.
Even though Bose Headphones are a significant investment, they’re well worth it as they’ve proven to be reliable, have a great quality of sound, and powerful noise reduction.
Jabra is another well-known brand thanks to its Elite Sport headphones. Jabra is a popular manufacturer of office headphones and wireless headphones with great sound quality and crystal-clear microphones that provide easy access to the outside world via HearThrough technology. They also have some great wireless sport headphones. The Elite Active 75t is a fantastic model with a balanced and warm sound. But an even more impressive sports headphone is the Elite Active 85t which has managed to be even more comfortable and sport-oriented than the Elite 75t.
JLab is also known for its sports headphones. It has a variety of budget-friendly earbuds for working out, running, and fitness. Most are available for under $100. JLab makes excellent earbuds for running that are well built, durable, sweatproof, and waterproof; all of these features make it suitable for people who love running or any other outdoor sports.
The JLab Epic Air Sport is a fantastic pair of sports headphones and their best wireless earbuds. They’re stable and comfortable, though not as high performing as other high-end brands. If you’re looking for affordable wireless running headphones that will give you a great quality of sound while at the same time provide you with plenty of battery life and the secure locking of earbuds with hooks, then the JLab Epic Air Sport beats all other Sport headphones by far.
Anker is just as good of a brand as JLab. They have wireless headphones, Bluetooth neckbands, and TWS headphones that are affordable and of good quality. Their true wireless earbuds, Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo, are high-quality headphone that provides a good value for the money. It doesn’t have an ANC function or even an Ambient Listening Mode like the other models, but it has impressive IPX7 water protection and plenty of basses.
Jaybird is an American company that specializes in wireless sports headphones. The Jaybird headphones are popular among athletes, fitness enthusiasts, music, and runners lovers. They have different types of wireless headphones available to suit different needs, these are lifestyle sports headphones, in-ear style wireless headsets for workouts or running, but most importantly, the company also offers the praise-worthy waterproof & dustproof Vista 2 True Wireless Sport Earbuds with IP68, excellent audio quality and a cool smartphone app that lets you customize your headphones and controls as well as find your earbuds if you ever lose them.
Aftershockz is the go-to when it comes to bone conduction headphones. And like any wireless sport headphones, all their products are designed to be lightweight, provide protection against water and sweat, and allow you to hear your environment like no other running headphones. They aren’t as affordable as JLab and Anker, but they satisfy a different customer segment in different ways.
The brand is relatively new, but it quickly became popular among runners due to its comfortable design and excellent build quality. They’re well built. Some of them with an aluminum or titanium frame. The clean, airy sound and spatial impression of bone conduction headphones are unbeatable.
Aftershockz headphones are the best bone-conduction headphones you can get for running, adding a layer of music in your life like a soundtrack in a film. Listening to Synthwave or Retro music with a pair of Aftershockz and running on the Santa Monica boardwalk really takes you back to the 80s.
Why are Headphones with Ambient Sound Mode Great for Running?
I know that you’re probably wondering why you would want to listen to ambient sounds while running. Here are a few reasons:
- Having ambient sound helps keeps you aware of your surroundings and alerts you to possible dangers, such as a car speeding or somebody running after you.
- It’s good for getting outside to hear the sounds of nature. Not only are the birds singing, but it’s possible to hear traffic sounds or even an occasional airplane flying overhead.
- Ambient Mode can help you hear better; some high-end headphones even amplify the sounds received by the microphones that feed you the ambient sounds.
Ambient mode is undoubtedly an essential feature for running or even walking, as it makes it easier for you to focus on your surroundings. Safety is one of the main reasons you want to use this feature to help you stay in tune with your surroundings. That’s why we made sure that the best and highest-rated earbuds for runners and athletes offer a quality built-in Ambient Listening Mode.
How Effective is an Ambient Listening Mode?
Ambient Listening Mode or Transparency Mode is a feature found in most headphones with ANC. This function records the outside sounds with two or multiple microphones and feeds them through the headphones.
Different companies have different Ambient Listening Mode technologies and names, but all of them have the same function. Most companies like Sony name their ambient mode “Ambient Sound Mode,” Bose and Jabra’s is named “Aware Mode” and “HearThrough,” while Jaybird’s transparency mode is called “Surround Sense.” All work similarly, with microphones that record sounds around you and deliver them through the speakers.
Not all ambient sound modes provide the same level of ambiance. Sony, Bose, and Jabra have the most realistic and effective ambient sound modes. Other Ambient Listening technologies may pick up more sound if the microphones implemented don’t provide a filter that reduces those frequencies to an acceptable level. For example, Galaxy Buds have an issue with wind noises when using the ambient mode. Jabra Elite Active 75t has 4 MEMS microphones for call quality with wind-noise filter and ANC. In contrast, Bose QuietComfort Earbuds’ ambient mode is slightly mediocre in comparison with Elite Active 75t’s. It packs a total of 4 microphones that don’t handle wind noises too well for a high-end model. On the other hand, QC Earbuds’s active noise cancellation is one of the most efficient among other true wireless headphones.
Some headphones also have a function that enables the Ambient mode and mutes or pauses your music. Bose has such a feature called “Conversation mode.” While others go beyond and even boosts the volume of ambient sounds recorded. By the way, don’t close your car door when using the “Conversation Mode” or “Ambient Listening Mode” as the noise of the car door will be picked up by microphones and hurt your ears.
Runners looking for ambient listening can be disappointed with some headphones, which is why a high-quality pair of running earbuds makes all the difference. Because of that, we made sure that even our entry-level picks offer a quality ambient listening mode for our runners. Soundcore Life P3 costs less than $100 and comes with three microphones per earbud. It also handles wind and traffic noises particularly well. The same goes with JLab Epic Air Sport ANC and the rest.
A low-quality ambient mode may produce too much background noise, pick up too much wind noise, or when someone is shouting right next to you, which can even hurt your ability to enjoy listening. A few quality microphones in each earbud are required to provide the best experience when using ambient mode.
IP Ratings Explained – “How Is Water Resistance Measured?”
The Ingress Protection Code, or IP code, is a numeric code that indicates the level of protection against water, dust, and sweat. The higher the number, the greater protection it offers.
An example of IP-level protection would be the IPX7. The first number indicates the level of dust protection, in which case here is X or unknown. The device doesn’t have a certification of protection against dust. But that doesn’t mean it provides no dust protection. The second number is an indication of the level of protection against water. In our example, we only know the level of protection against water, which is 7. IPX7 means it can be immersed in water of less than 1 meter for thirty minutes.
Categorizing the level of IP rating for dust protection
IP0X: No protection against dust
IP1X: Protected from objects larger than 50 mm
IP2X: Protected from any object larger than 12.5 mm
IP3X: Protected from things above 2.5 mm
IP4X: Protected from particles bigger than 1 mm
IP5X: Some dust may get inside the product, but it won’t damage it
IP6X: The product is dustproof – no dust gets inside
Categorizing the level of IP rating protection against water and sweat
IPX0 – No protection against water
IPX1 – Protected against moist only
IPX2 – Protected against water falling vertically at 15 degrees
The IPX2 rating group applies to electronic devices protected against minor water splashes but may be adversely affected by water jets. The product should withstand the effects of rain without suffering any consequences but is not shielded explicitly against rain, wetness, or sweat.
IPX3 – Protected against water falling vertically at 60 degrees
The IPX3 rating group applies to products that can withstand dripping water, such as rain, sleet, and water sprayed from a watering can. However, sport headphones with an IPX3 rating aren’t reliable and cannot be used because detrimental effects may occur.
IPX4 – Protected against water falling from any angle
The IPX4 rating group applies to products that can be operated in the rain and splashes of water but cannot withstand flowing water. The headphones will remain unaffected by condensation and small amounts of spray.
IPX5 – Protected against low-pressure water streams from any angle
The IPX5 rating group applies to products that can withstand low-pressure water jets from any direction, even if the product is fixed in place, such as water spraying from a hand-held hose or when it is in use in a shower. However, the device cannot be used underwater or when the user is submerged in water using them.
IPX6 – Protected against high-pressure water streams from any angle
The IPX6 rating group applies to devices that can withstand high-pressure water jets from any direction but cannot be used in constant exposure to water. For example, they can be used in the rain but not when submerged underwater and kept there.
IPX7 – Protected against water immersion under 1 meter for 30 minutes
IPX7 rating group is the second-best you’ll get in a pair of running headphones. Headphones with an IPX7 rating are designed for swimming or underwater activities. If the headphones are immersed in water deeper than their maximum rated depth for more than 30 minutes, they will be damaged. Unless you run underwater, you don’t have to worry about this rating.
IPX8- Protected against water immersion deeper than 1 meter for 30 minutes
IPX8 rating group is the best you’ll get in a pair of running headphones. At this point, headphones with an IPX8 rating are considered waterproof and no more “water-resistant.” In mild conditions, they are waterproof. Under high pressure, IPX8 headphones can be submerged deeper than 1 meter (3.3 ft) for slightly longer than 30 minutes. Unless you want your running headphones to accompany you on your Lake Tahoe swims, you don’t need a headset with IPX8 water resistance.
IPX9K: Protected against high-pressure, high-temperature sprays at close range
There is no headphone with IPX9K protection.
More about IP Ratings: https://www.audioreputation.com/ipx-ratings-explained/
Why Do Some Headphones Have an IP Rating with Two Numbers?
Two numbers are used when displaying the level of protection of a device against dust, water, and sweat. The first number is an indication of the level of protection against dust. The second number is an indication of the level of protection against water.
When you see, for example, IPX5, the device shows only the IP certification for water, while a device with an IP5X rating shows only the specifications for dust.
Some sports headphones show their protection against water, sweat, and dust by displaying both numbers, such as the Aftershokz Aeropex, which has certification for IP67 protection. It tells the user that the product is rated 6 for dust protection and 7 for water protection.
IP6X dust protection means that the product is dust-resistant but not dustproof, while IPX7 protection means that the product is protected against immersion in water under 1 meter for 30 minutes. In short, an IP67 rating tells you the level of protection against both water and dust.
What IPX Rating Should Headphones for Running Have?
When buying a good wireless headphone for running, the most common water-protection IP rating you’ll see are IPX5 and IPX6. These guarantee enough protection for the type of activity you can perform outside, in any weather conditions. On the other hand, these headphones aren’t designed to be waterproof, and they don’t provide any protection for immersion underwater, such as swimming. Nevertheless, an IP rating higher than IPX6 is overkill and isn’t needed for hiking on the Tahoe Rim Trail or run from La Jolla Shores to Torrey Pines Beach.
Answers & Questions
Should you run while listening to music?
Running doesn’t have set rules for who should or shouldn’t listen to music while running or how often they should do it. It really comes down to how your preference. If you don’t want to run with headphones, then you won’t have to. It’s that simple.
You should only run with music if you feel comfortable with it. You may not need music at all, or maybe just something motivational or inspirational. Or perhaps you prefer to listen to some podcasts.
However, if your question is whether running with headphones benefits you more than running without, or vice versa, you should be aware of a few things.
On one hand, running with music can help you run longer periods of time since you’re enjoying it more and lose the sense of time. It can also help motivate you to run, which is a big plus. Many people dislike running or don’t find it pleasurable because they cannot associate it with something enjoyable like listening to music.
On the other hand, running with music can be distracting and may not allow your mind to focus on your run at all times. Many runners will disagree when listening to music when they’re trying to concentrate on their body movements.
And then, there isn’t a lot of evidence to support either side. But too much evidence is pointless. Your observation on the subject matters just as much. If you can run without music and still enjoy it, then why go through the trouble of putting headphones in your ears that will only serve to distract from your running? And if you can run with music on, why would you want to stop?
Would I suggest running while listening to music? Absolutely, music has plenty of benefits and keeps you motivated. You can also use music to speed up or slow down your running pace, make you want to pick up the speed, but be aware of your surroundings first – either by buying a bone-conduction headphone or earbuds with ambient mode.
Should you buy wireless or wired headphones for running?
Wireless headphones are undoubtedly the best type of headphones for running. They’re the most convenient, and the difference in sound quality between wired and wireless headphones is so marginal that it’s almost unnoticeable.
If you can’t run with wireless headphones, try to use a wired sports headset with an ambient sound mode. It will allow you to hear what’s happening around you but still enjoy listening to music. But if you want the best experience during your running routine, try looking for wireless models that are also water-resistant. IPX5 or more, if possible, just in case sweat gets into the headphones. That way, any damage will be minimal or nonexistent.
Best wireless running headphones
The best wireless earbuds for running that you can use are Sony WF-1000XM4, Bose Sport Open Earbuds & Jabra Elite Active 75t and 85t. The Beats Powerbeats Pro is also excellent for running if the places you usually run are quiet and calm such as Golden Gate Park or Central Park, where the lack of ambient awareness is not an issue.
If you go for wired headphones, you will have to be extra careful not to let it drag, get caught on anything, or get dropped. You will also want to make sure that the wires aren’t too long, which can be annoying. But compared to wireless headphones, wired models have a slight advantage in terms of sound quality and don’t drain your smartphone’s battery as much; they can also last longer. The best wired running headphones you can use are the JBL Endurance RUN or Apple EarPods for iOS users. Neither have phenomenal sound quality, but for under $30, they’re perfect and come with water protection certification of IPX5 and IPX4, respectively. For mid-range and high-end wired running headphones: Beats Powerbeats and 1MORE Dual Driver Active Noise Cancelling Pro.
Best wired running headphones
If you go for wired headphones, you will have to be extra careful not to let it drag, get caught on anything, or get dropped. You will also want to make sure that the wires aren’t too long, which can be annoying. But compared to wireless headphones, wired models have a slight advantage in terms of sound quality and don’t drain your smartphone’s battery as much; they can also last longer.
The best wired running headphones you can use are the JBL Endurance RUN or Apple EarPods for iOS users. Neither have phenomenal sound quality, but for under $30, they’re perfect and come with water protection certification of IPX5 and IPX4, respectively. For mid-range and high-end wired running headphones: Beats Powerbeats and 1MORE Dual Driver Active Noise Cancelling Pro.
Are on-ear headphones good for running?
For sure, on-ear headphones can be used for running. If you want to enjoy your music without letting the outside world bother you, at the expense of truly wireless earbuds’ comfort, then on-ear headphones are your best pick. But if you’re looking for something more than just casual listening, you’d better go with true wireless running earbuds. On-ear headphones can become a bit tiring, unlike TWS earbuds, and there aren’t any on-ear models that can be used with Ambient Sound Mode, as far as I’m aware.
The issue with using an on-ear headphone for running is that most, if not 99%, of on-ear headphones are not water-resistant or sweat-resistant. There are no other viable options. You can either go with the Adidas RPT-01 on-ear headphones, JBL Under Armor Sport Wireless Train, or a cheap, disposable on-ear noise-canceling headphone. Which means that at some point, the headphones will become unusable, and you’ll have to throw them in the trash.
Are Bluetooth running headphones good for running?
Bluetooth headphones are quite popular and widely used for many reasons. First of all, they’re wireless and easily connect to devices via Bluetooth pairing or NFC. Secondly, they’re compact and lightweight, which is great, especially if you plan to travel a lot and want to bring light and portable earbuds with you. Finally, they can be used for various purposes, such as listening to music when working out at the gym, running, or commuting over long distances.
How do I choose the best running headphones?
While you’re considering how to buy running headphones, keep in mind that several factors should be considered, namely: price, durability, sound quality, compatibility with devices (like smartphones), features (like microphones for calls or ambient sound modes), etc. Your choice should be in alignment with what it’s required from a running headphone, what you desire to get out of them, how much you want to spend.
There are all kinds and types of running headphones, and the only thing that changes is the quality and experience you get from their usage. The sound quality can be just okay or outstanding. The features can be simple or complex. The durability, build, and comfort can vary from one model to another. Still, most parameters are already set: good, stable fit, water-protection at least IPX5, and low weight (<10 – 12 grams per earbud).
If none of our recommendations meet your needs or appeal to you, make sure the model you purchase has the features that we talked about and, of course, those that are important to you.
Are bone conduction headphones more suitable for running than in-ear sport headphones?
For people who need to wear hearing protection because of their profession or people who don’t want to risk their hearing by listening to in-ear headphones every day, bone conduction headphones are better than in-ear sport headphones. What’s even more advantageous about bone-conduction headphones is that they don’t isolate you from the ambient sound. Because of that, they’re excellent for running, cycling, or any other activity where you need to be “in tune” with your surroundings.
On the other hand, bone conduction headphones are more suitable for other activities such as swimming or exercising at the gym where if you work with a trainer or instructor. If you have a healthy and active lifestyle, you should definitely get yourself a pair of bone-conduction headphones for sport. Pretty much any bone-conduction will do, but if you’re serious about your activity and want to get the best deal and use your money wisely, go for Aftershokz Aeropex or Aftershokz Air. The former is more expensive, but they’re also lighter and provide stronger water protection (IP67), allowing you to swim under 1m of water for 30 minutes.
Are noise-cancelling headphones good for running?
Active Noise Cancelling headphones can be used for running. The noise cancelling technology isn’t required, and it isn’t ideal to enable the active noise canceling function when running. However, the “Ambient Listening Mode” function is essential for running, and most sports headphones with ambient listening mode implicitly feature ANC technology. You can use a pair of ANC headphones to run with the condition they fit well, don’t fall out, and provide enough protection against sweat and water.
Most active noise canceling earbuds like Bose QC Earbuds and AirPods Pro are quality headphones with good active noise reduction. But other wireless earbuds with NC are better suited as running headphones. Sony WF-1000XM4, Jabra Elite Active 75t, and Bose Sport Open Earbuds are good alternatives to Bose QC Earbuds. The same goes for other products. The running NC headphones we recommend received top ratings from independent reviewers, the community, Amazon reviewers, and our editors.
Does sweat harm the headphones?
Sweat is a corrosive liquid. It can damage your headphones in the long run if you’re constantly sweating with them on. The easiest way to prevent this is to make sure your headphones are IPX4 or IPX5 rated, which offer sufficient protection against sweat but aren’t designed for activities underwater, such as swimming in the LA Silverwood Lake.
Sweat-resistant headphones for running are made for more strenuous activities that generate sweat. A good pair will have an IPX5 or better rating, allowing you to use them in any weather conditions without worrying about moisture penetrating the interior components. So, if you’re looking for a running headphone that’s sweat-resistant and safe from your perspiration, choose one with at least an IPX5 rating.