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The 7 Best Headphones For Running - Summer 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Headphones For Running

Whether you’re a casual jogger or a marathon runner, music can be a perfect companion to help push you to your limits. Running headphones should be stable enough to stay on or in your ear, as well as be comfortable, easy to use, and portable enough to take around with you. While some people like to block out as much background noise as possible when working out, if you run outside, it can be helpful to stay aware of your surroundings.

We've tested over 685 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best headphones for working out and running that you can buy. Check out our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones for working out, the best wireless earbuds for running, and the best wireless headphones.


  1. Best Headphones For Running

    The Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless are the best headphones for running that we've tested. These comfortable in-ears have ear-hooks to hold them in place, which keeps them stable during intense runs. They're also certified IPX4 for resistance against splashes of water in case you get caught in a light downpour. Their well-built design has physical buttons which are easy to use and handy features like smart pause, which automatically pauses your audio when you take a bud out of your ear. Thanks to their H1 chip, you can seamlessly pair them with your Apple devices.

    These headphones have a fairly neutral sound profile that's well-suited for most audio content. However, you can't customize them as their companion app doesn't have any features like an EQ or presets. They also don't passively block out much background noise. Some users may prefer this design since you can still hear what's going on around you when running outdoors. They have over 11 hours of continuous battery life too. If you need to top them up, there's an extra charge in the case.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Headphones For Running

    The best upper mid-range headphones for running that we've tested are the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless. Although they don't have ear hooks like the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless, they have stability fins that do an even better job staying in your ear during tough workouts. They're also better-built but have the same IPX4 rating for water resistance. Their lightweight fit doesn't enter your ear canal deeply either, ensuring a comfortable fit. Although they don't block out much when it comes to background sound, you may prefer this as you can more easily monitor your surroundings if you're outside.

    They have just over four hours of continuous battery life, which will be enough for a jog in the park. Their carrying case holds two additional charges if you need it. Out of the box, they have a warm sound profile that adds a touch of extra boom to mixes. The touch of extra bass doesn't overwhelm vocals and lead instruments, making them a solid choice for most kinds of audio content. Their companion software doesn't offer an EQ to help you tweak their sound, though.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Headphones For Running

    The Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless are the best mid-range headphones for running that we've tested. While they have a higher MRSP that puts them on par with the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless, they tend to fluctuate in price, and you might even find them under the $100 mark. They also have a more rugged and sturdy design that's well-built. Their IP68 rating is higher than the Bose and ensures that they're dust-tight and protected from submersion in water. They also have a comfortable, stable fit with an easy-to-use control scheme with music and volume functions.

    These buds have a well-balanced sound profile that's also versatile enough for most kinds of audio content, and their companion app has a parametric EQ and presets, so you can adjust it to suit your tastes. While they have an ANC feature, it's not very effective, especially when blocking out bass-range sounds like rumbling engines if you're jogging near a busy road. Their roughly 5.3-hour continuous battery life might also be a bit short for long runs. Their portable case holds a couple of extra charges and helps protect them from dust and water, thanks to its IP54 rating.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Headphones For Running

    The best budget headphones for running we've tested are the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless. These headphones stand out from the pack thanks to their exceptionally high total battery life. They have over seven hours of continuous battery life, which far exceeds the Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless. Their carrying case also supplies over 12 extra charges, meaning you don't have to worry about recharging the headphones each time you use them.

    These buds have a stable and decently comfortable fit, even though they don't have stability fins. They're also certified IPX5 for resistance against direct water contact and can passively isolate you from ambient sound like ambient chatter at the gym. Their somewhat bass-heavy sound profile delivers extra thump, rumble, and boom to mixes, which can help keep you pumped up while moving. They don't have any sound customization features to help you adjust their sound to your liking, though.

    See our review

  5. Βest Cheap Headphones For Running

    If you want even more affordable earbuds for running, check out the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless. If you worry about forgetting your earbuds at the gym or losing one during an outdoor run, you may prefer cheap earbuds like this. Their total battery life pales in comparison to the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless, but they're a good choice for runs if you don't want to risk having to replace more expensive options. Despite their affordable price, they feel sturdy and have a well-balanced sound profile with a touch of extra bass. They're also stable and decently comfortable, although their deep in-ear fit might bother you, and using the onboard controls can push them in further.

    They have a long continuous battery life of about nine hours, so you probably won't need to recharge them after every run. While they have a shorter total battery life than the Anker, their portable charging case holds three extra charges. The case's charging cable is built into the case itself, meaning you can't forget it at home, but also you need to replace the headphones if the cable gets damaged.

    See our review

  6. Best Headphones For Running Outdoors

    If you want to stay aware of your surroundings while running outdoors, the best headphones for outdoor exercise that we've tested are the Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction. Unlike any of the other picks on this list, they don't enter your ear canal and use bone conduction to send vibrations through your cheekbones to your ear canal. It means that they don't block out any background sound at all. Their unique sound reproduction may not be for everyone either. These headphones lack low-bass, so music like EDM and hip-hop lacks body and sounds hollow. If you like these genres, you may want to look at the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless instead, which have a warmer sound. However, if you like to listen to vocal-centric content like podcasts, the Shokz can be a solid choice, thanks to their fairly balanced mid-range.

    These headphones hook around your ear, ensuring they don't move around too much during intense movement. They're well-built and have an IP67 rating, so they're dust-tight and can be immersed in water without damage. They last roughly 13 hours continuously and have a standby mode to help conserve battery life if you forget to turn them off. However, they use a proprietary charging cable, so if you lose or misplace it, you'll need to buy a new one.

    See our review

  7. Best Over-Ear Headphones For Running

    The JBL Live 660NC Wireless are the best over-ear headphones for running we've tested. Although over-ears aren't most people's first choice for running since they trap heat and lack water resistance, you may prefer this design if you find in-ears and earbuds uncomfortable. They aren't as stable as the other picks on this list but will stay in place during jogs in the park. They're also well-built and decently comfortable. Out of the box, they have a slightly bass-rich sound profile that adds a touch of extra thump and punch to audio. You can adjust their sound to your liking by using their companion app's parametric EQ and presets.

    They have under 26 hours of continuous battery life and an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when you're not using them. They also have an ANC feature but struggle to block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines, which can be frustrating if you like to run outdoors. They also clamp quite tightly on your head, and you may find it uncomfortable if you wear them for long periods.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Beats Fit Pro True Wireless: The Beats Fit Pro True Wireless are lightweight in-ears with built-in stability fins to keep them from falling out during tough workouts. Like the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless, they're certified IPX4 for water resistance, but their overall design can become uncomfortable when worn over time. See our review
  • Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless: The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are premium in-ears that are just as well-built as the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless and even have noise cancelling to help block out a significant amount of ambient noise around you. However, they aren't as stable in-ear as the Bose, and some users have even reported that the buds wiggle out of place while walking. See our review
  • Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless: The Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless are sports-oriented earbuds with an IP57 rating for dust and water resistance. They also have better overall battery life. They're not as stable or well-built as the Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless. See our review
  • JBL Live Free NC+ TWS True Wireless: The JBL Live Free NC+ TWS True Wireless are a good choice for runs, thanks to their good build quality and an IPX7 rating for water resistance. However, they don't have stability fins, so they aren't stable as the Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Sep 15, 2022: We've overhauled this article with picks that better reflect the market. We've moved around the picks and added the following: Beats Powerbeats Pro, Bose Sport Earbuds, Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2, and Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction. We've also removed the Bose Sport Open Earbuds since they're not currently available through most retailers and moved the Jabra Elite 7 Active to Notable Mentions. We've cleared the Notable Mentions of out-of-date products and added more relevant picks.

  2. Jun 16, 2022: Added the Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless as the Βest Noise Cancelling Ηeadphones for Running. Moved the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless to Notable Mentions and added the JBL Live Free NC+ TWS True Wireless.

  3. May 18, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.

  4. Apr 20, 2022: We've checked our picks for accuracy and product availability. However, there hasn't been a change in our recommendations.

  5. Mar 15, 2022: Replaced the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction with the Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best in-ear and earbuds for running to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones 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).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all of our headphone reviews, ranked by their suitability for sports and fitness. 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.

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