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 675 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.
The Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless are the best headphones for running that we've tested. These rugged and sturdy earbuds have a great build quality and are certified IP68 for dust and water resistance. They have a comfortable, stable fit and an easy-to-use control scheme with music and volume functions. Their well-balanced sound profile is 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. They also have an ANC feature, but it's not very effective, especially when blocking out bass-range sounds like rumbling engines. Their roughly 5.3-hour continuous battery life might also be a bit short for the longest runs. Their portable case holds a couple of extra charges and helps protect them from dust and water, thanks to its IP54 rating.
If you use an iPhone to listen to your music or podcasts while you run, you may prefer the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless. Their Η1 chip allows them to pair easily with Apple devices. They have flexible ear hooks to help them stay in place and are as stable and comfortable as the Jaybird. However, they aren't as well-built and don't come with sound customization features.
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 the JLab. These headphones are 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, meaning you can't forget it at home, but also you need to replace the headphones if the cable gets damaged.
The best headphones we've tested for running outdoors are the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless. Their open-ear design offers a unique advantage over the Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless for trail and road runners. Since they keep your ear canal free of obstructions and don't block sound, you can stay aware of your surroundings. Their ear hooks give them a stable fit, and their build feels sturdy and durable. Although they lack low-bass due to their open-back design, they have a very balanced mid-range, so they're a solid choice if you listen to vocal-centric genres like podcasts or audiobooks. They also have a long 9.5-hour continuous battery life.
While they're decently comfortable, you may find that the rigid ear hooks put pressure behind your ears, which can be uncomfortable during long runs. The Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction are a good alternative if you're concerned about comfort. Their sound comes from vibrations against your temples, so your ears aren't blocked, and you can hear your surroundings. They fit like a pair of glasses and are more comfortable for most people, especially if you have bigger earlobes. However, they aren't as sturdy and reproduce even less bass than the Bose.
The Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless are the best noise cancelling headphones for running we've tested. These earbuds have a comfortable fit and a rugged build rated IP57 for dust and water resistance. They don't have stability fins or ear hooks to help improve their stability, but they should easily stay in place during runs. While they aren't as great at blocking out bass-range noise as some other ANC earbuds, they can isolate you from mid-range noise like background conversations at the gym and have a very good noise isolation performance. There's also a 'Ηear-Through' mode that allows you to hear your surroundings without taking out the earbuds.
They have a well-balanced, slightly bass-rich sound profile that adds a touch of extra rumble, punch, and boom to your audio to keep you pumped up during long runs. If you prefer a different sound, their companion app includes a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization. You can also remap the onboard controls and enable or disable auto-pause, which automatically pauses your audio when you take one of the earbuds out.
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 should 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.
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.
May 18, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
Apr 20, 2022: We've checked our picks for accuracy and product availability. However, there hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Mar 15, 2022: Replaced the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction with the Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction.
Feb 10, 2022: Verified that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
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 (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.