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The 7 Best Headphones For Running - Fall 2023 Reviews

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 your head, as well as be comfortable, easy to use, and portable enough to take around with you. Some people like to block out as much background noise as possible when working out on a treadmill in a noisy gym. However, it's helpful to stay aware of your surroundings if you run outside, and you'll want headphones with high build quality for improved protection against the elements.

We've tested over 760 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best wireless headphones for running that you can buy. These picks are geared towards over-ear headphones, so if you're looking for in-ears and earbuds, you'll want to check out our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds for running. You can also see our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones for working out and the best wireless headphones.

  1. Best Headphones For Running

    The Beats Studio Pro Wireless are the best headphones for running that we've tested. You've probably seen Beats at the gym before; the brand's iconic look and sleek monochromatic colorways make them a popular choice for running and working out despite the availability of more versatile products from competitors. You'll want to check these out if you care about showing off your style.

    In a departure from previous Beats headphones, they have a pretty neutral sound that's well-suited for a variety of audio content. That said, sibilants like cymbals are piercing, and they lack sound customization features when used via Bluetooth, so you're stuck with their sound out of the box. They also lack a W1 chip, so you can't pair them with Apple devices seamlessly.

    These cans have a decently stable fit but can still slip off your head with more intense movement. They also have a good ANC system. While it doesn't outperform the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless (which are further down on this list), it can still block out chatty gym-goers and squeaky treadmills. With their ANC on, they last over 28 hours continuously. They're also more affordable than the Sony, which may be important if you're prone to damaging your headphones while exercising.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Headphones For Running

    The TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless stand out on this list since they have an IP rating for water resistance, which is uncommon for over-ear headphones. Their IPX4 certification ensures that they survive the occasional splash of water without taking damage, so you don't have to worry if you get caught up in a drizzle or light shower during your run. They also feel sturdy overall and have a stable, comfortable fit.

    Their excited sound is much less neutral than the Beats Studio Pro Wireless as they deliver intense thump, rumble, and boom to the audio while sibilants like cymbals are piercing. While this sound is well-suited for genres like rock and pop, these headphones lack customization settings to help you fine-tune them to your liking. On the upside, they have noise cancelling and can block out a great amount of ambient sound around you. With the ANC on, they last over 37 hours continuously, which will be more than enough for long runs.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Headphones For Running

    If you want something cheaper, try the Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless. These comfortable headphones have a durable build and will stay in place during a moderate jog or brisk run on the treadmill. However, they can move around during a more intense sprint. Unlike the TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless, they don't have an ANC system and can't cut out the low rumble of nearby traffic or mid-range ambient chatter. This can be advantageous if you want better spatial awareness while running outside.

    These cans deliver thumpy bass to compliment genres like EDM and hip-hop and keep you pumped up during your workout. That said, they also have extra treble, which makes sibilants like cymbals sound piercing. They aren't compatible with a companion app, so you can't customize their sound. Thankfully, they have a 44-hour battery life, which is twice as long as our top pick and will last you several long runs without needing a top-up.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Headphones For Running

    Current Deal: The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless has dropped in price by $20 at Get Deal

    For the frugal foot racer, consider the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. These budget headphones have decent stability on-head, so they'll stay put during moderate runs and jogs. Their ANC system performs very well, considering their low price. It can easily block out background conversations and high-pitched frequencies at the gym but will still let in some noise from passing traffic and rumbly bus engines when outside. It's a substantial leg up from the Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless, which don't have an ANC system at all, but the Skullcandy have better stability and will stay in place better during intense runs and workouts.

    Their sound profile is excited and V-shaped. There's lots of rumbly, thumpy bass to compliment your pump-up playlists, while vocals and instruments sound clear and intense. However, the overemphasized treble range makes high-end frequencies sound somewhat sharp and piercing. There's also no way to adjust their mix to suit your preferences since they aren't compatible with a companion app. If you like how they sound out of the box, their nearly 33-hour continuous battery life will last through several long runs.

    See our review

  5. Best Bass-Heavy Headphones For Running

    While you may expect the Beats Studio Pro Wireless to be our choice for bass-heavy cans, the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless pack in a lot more thump, rumble, and boom to mixes, which can be handy for keeping you pumped up during your laps. They're customizable, too, so if you want more or less bass, their companion app's got you covered, thanks to their graphic EQ and presets. If that's not enough, they also have a fantastic ANC system that can easily block out noise across the range, from rumbly bus and car engines to ambient chatter.

    So what's the catch? Some people may find that extra bass bloats vocals and instruments. They also leak some audio at high volumes, which can be an issue if you're running in a room with other people. While they have a decently stable fit, they can still move around your head with high-intensity movements. On the upside, they have over 37 hours of continuous battery life, and their build is quite premium, although all this comes at a higher price tag than the Beats.

    See our review

  6. Best Bone Conduction Headphones For Running

    Current Deal: The Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction has dropped in price by $30 at Get Deal

    Having good spatial awareness is key to staying safe when running outside. Unlike the previous picks, the Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction completely bypass the ear canal and use bone conduction to send vibrations via your cheekbones, leaving your whole ear uncovered so you can hear the world around you. However, this means they don't block out any background sound. Their unique sound reproduction may not be for everyone since they lack low-bass, and music like EDM and hip-hop sounds hollow. However, thanks to their fairly balanced mid-range, they can be a solid choice if you listen to vocal-centric content like podcasts.

    These headphones hook around your ear, ensuring they don't move too much during intense movement outside. They're well-built and have an IP67 rating for resistance against dust and water, meaning you can wear these out in the rain without worrying about 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 you'll need to buy a new one if you lose or misplace it.

    See our review

  7. Best Earbuds For Running

    The Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless are the best earbuds for running that we've tested. Their ear hook design makes it almost impossible for them to shake out during an intense sprint or brisk jog. They're also lightweight and flexible enough to fit comfortably around your ears without causing any discomfort. While they're only rated IPX4 for resistance against water splashes, they have good build quality, and their H1 chip allows for seamless pairing with Apple devices, so you won't have to spend time ensuring connection to your iPhone before starting a run.

    While they lack sound customization options, they have a neutral default sound profile suitable for most audio. Their battery lasts nearly 12 hours on a single charge, meaning they're well-suited for longer runs or marathon training sessions. They don't passively block out much ambient noise, but you'll stay more aware of your surroundings. You can also check out the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless if you want noise cancelling earbuds. They block out sounds like car traffic and ambient voices very well but aren't as stable, and their battery doesn't last nearly as long as the Beats.

    If you like earbuds for running, check out our list of the best earbuds for running and working out.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless: The high-end Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless are worth considering if you're willing to pay a premium price, especially as they're more comfortable than the Beats Studio Pro Wireless and have a better noise isolation performance. However, they leak more audio at high volumes. See our review
  • Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Wireless: The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Wireless are premium over-ears. Their build quality surpasses the Beats Studio Pro Wireless, and they have a more stable fit. However, they're significantly more expensive, and have a less neutral sound out of the box. See our review
  • Razer Opus Wireless 2021: Razer Opus Wireless 2021 are upper mid-range over-ear headphones. Their ANC can block out more background than the TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless. They lack an IP rating for water resistance, but this is common for over-ear headphones. See our review
  • Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless: Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless are mid-range over-ear headphones. They have excellent ANC performance, longer battery life, and more sound customization options than the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. However, they're less stable on your head than the Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Dec 06, 2023: We've checked our picks for accuracy and availability. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.

  2. Nov 10, 2023: We've replaced the Beats Studio3 Wireless with the Beats Studio Pro Wireless as the Studio3 have been discontinued. We've also added the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless as a 'Best Bass-Heavy' pick, as some users may prefer more bass in their audio compared to the Beats Studio Pro's more neutral sound. We've replaced the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless with the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless, which offer a better overall performance.

  3. Oct 12, 2023: We've removed the Apple AirPods Max Wireless as they're not the most stable on-head but added the TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless as the 'Best Upper Mid-Range' pick as they have an IP rating for water resistance.

  4. Sep 13, 2023: Made minor updates to the text and checked that the products are in stock.

  5. Aug 16, 2023: We've overhauled this article to focus on over-ear headphones.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Bluetooth headphones for running and the best 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.