Whether you’re a casual jogger or a marathon veteran, music can be the perfect companion for your workouts and a good beat can help you push yourself to the limits. The best headphones for running and working out should have great stability and not fall off your ears.
Sports headphones should also be comfortable, easy-to-use and compact enough to carry on your person when you take them to the gym or hit the road on a bike. Below are our recommendations for the best workout headphones we have tested so far.
Best Sports Heaphones
Sports headphones in this price range are usually very compact and easy to carry around on your person, wherever you go. They also have a stable, comfortable fit and a decent sound. Premium workout headphones also come with additional features, like different stability tips, a case, wireless audio, or active noise canceling.
The best headphones for running and working out we've tested are the Jaybird Freedom. They are thinner and lighter than the Jaybird X3 or the X2, are easy to carry on your person, and they will fit in any pocket or bag. They're also more comfortable than the rest of the X series and benefit from the Jaybird My sound app, so you can customize the sound with an equalizer to better suit your taste and preferences. Unfortunately, they have a slightly bulky and cumbersome charging clip that limits the use of the headphones while charging.
If you're going to be using your sports headphones through the day, then get the Jaybird X3 instead. You can use them for longer continuous listening sessions, unlike the Freedoms which have to be recharged every 4 hours with the bulky charging clip.
They also have a better suite of features for both Android and iOS users, unlike the BeatsX, and the MySound app lets you customize the sound to match your preference and taste. They're a bit pricier than the Freedoms or the Beats X, but it's a great option if you're looking for compact, sturdy and stable headphones to take to the gym.
Best Budget Sports Heaphones
In this price range, workout headphones are compact and portable. They're also comfortable and maintain a stable fit during exercise. However, their build and sound quality won't be as good as some of the higher end models.
The best budget headphones we recommend for running and working out are the SoundPeats Q9A. These Bluetooth headphones are a bit better than the Anker SoundBuds Sport for running, thanks to their incredibly stable ear-hook design. They will rarely fall off your ears even during intense workouts. Unfortunately, they're not as well built as the pricier options and do not last as long on a single charge, but they should have enough battery life for most training regiments.
If you want even cheaper workout headphones and don’t care about any fancy active features, then the Venstone may be a better choice than the SoundPeats Q9A. They also have a stable ear hook design that’s good for running and easily fit into your pockets. Unfortunately, their sound and build quality are not the best, but they’re so affordable that you can purchase multiple spares for the price of the Q9A, should your current Venstone X1 break.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones for running and working out to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
A few examples of sports/fitness headphones that didn't make the cut:
- Beats BeatsX. A versatile headphone with a good sound and flexible around the neck design. A bit limited for Android users. See our review
- Jaybird X2. The older iteration of the Jaybird X3. They're cheaper and perform better overall but do not benefit from the MySound customization options. See our review
- Anker SoundBuds Sport. Good in-ear running headphones with a stable wireless design. Poor sound quality may be a deal breaker. See our review
- Bose SoundSport Wireless. Stable wireless design and a comfortable earbud fit. Hard to use control scheme and prone to sweat damage. See our review
- Beats Solo 3. An on-ear fit for those who do not like in-ears. Great sound and build quality but a bit tight and they get a bit warm when running. See our review
- Bose SoundSport In-Ear. Stable headphones for runners. Good sound and an open fit to monitor your environment. See our review
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for sports/fitness headphones. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference and where you use the headphones will matter more in your selection.