The best headphones for running and working out should have great stability, and not fall off the listener's ears. Sports headphones should also be comfortable, easy-to-use, and compact enough to carry around on your person. 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, where ever 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 are the Jaybird Freedom. They are thinner and lighter than the 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 X series and benefit from the Jaybird My sound app, so you can customize their sound with an equalizer to better suit your taste and preferences. However, they have a bulky and cumbersome charging clip that limits the use of the headphones while charging.
If you need a better battery life and have an iOS device, then get the BeatsX instead. They have a better-balanced sound than the Jaybird Freedom and thanks to their flex from neckband they're more portable and flexible than other around the neck designs. They're stable enough to run with and block a lot of ambient noise, so they perform well in loud environments like a noisy gym. However, they lack a few features on Android devices.
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 for running and working out are the SoundPeats Q9A. They're a good alternative to the Jaybird X2 if you’re on a tight budget. These Bluetooth headphones are good for running thanks to a stable ear-hook design. They will rarely fall off your ears even during intense workouts. 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 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:
- Jaybird X3. Performs slightly worse overall than the X2 but has better active features and a customizable sound. 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
- 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.