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The 7 Best Headphones For Running - Winter 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Headphones For Running
658 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
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Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

Whether you’re a casual jogger or a marathon runner, music can be a perfect companion to help push you to your limits. The best headphones for running 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 650 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 Wireless Headphones For Running: Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless

    8.4
    Sports/Fitness
    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless are the best headphones for running with a wireless connection that we've tested. These rugged and sturdy earbuds have a great build quality and are certified IP68 for dust and water resistance, meaning they can handle tough runs without an issue. They also come with three differently-sized ear tips to help keep them stable while you're moving.

    These buds have a comfortable and breathable fit, while their control scheme is comprehensive and easy to use. Out of the box, they have a well-balanced sound profile that's versatile enough for most kinds of audio content. That said, their companion app offers a parametric EQ and presets so that you can adjust their sound to suit your tastes. When you're not using them, their sturdy carrying case can help protect them from dust and water, thanks to their IP54 rating.

    While they have active noise cancelling (ANC) to help reduce noise around you, they still do a sub-par overall job in this regard. They only have 5.3 hours of continuous playback time, which may not last through long runs. However, they have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when you're not using them, and their carrying case holds roughly two additional charges if you need it.

    See our review

  2. iPhone Alternative: Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless

    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    If you're looking for headphones that you can easily pair with all your Apple devices, take a look at the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless. While they don't feel as well-built as the Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless, they have an H1 chip that allows seamless pairing with devices like your iPhone. They have an ear-hook design, which ensures that they aren't moving around while you're running, and they're certified IPX4 for protection against splashes of water. Their well-balanced sound profile ensures that vocals and lead instruments sound clear and accurate, although they lack sound customization features to help you tweak them to your liking. They have a continuous playback time of roughly 11 hours, and their carrying cause holds roughly one additional charge if you need it. Unfortunately, you may have trouble fitting the hooks around your ears if you wear glasses.

    Check out the Jaybird if you're looking for more durable and customizable earbuds. However, if you want headphones that work seamlessly with your iPhone or other Apple devices, consider the Beats instead.

    See our review

  3. Best Over-Ear Headphones For Running: JBL Live 660NC Wireless

    7.3
    Sports/Fitness
    Type Over-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The JBL Live 660NC Wireless are the best over-ear headphones for running that we've tested. These headphones have ANC and an 'Ambient Aware' mode that lets you stay aware of your surroundings during a run in the park. Their controls are easy to use, and they have a stable fit, so they shouldn't fall off during moderate exercise.

    Out of the box, they have a well-balanced sound profile with a bit of extra thump and punch in the bass range that's well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop. If you prefer a different sound, you can customize it with a parametric EQ and presets in the companion app. They also have over 24 hours of continuous battery life, so they can last through a few long runs without being recharged.

    Unfortunately, while they have decent overall noise isolation, their ANC struggles a bit to isolate you from bass-range noise, so they aren't ideal for blocking out the sound of workout machines at the gym or traffic outside your window. They also clamp onto your ears quite tightly, which can cause discomfort if you wear them for a long time. Otherwise, if you like to run in over-ear headphones, these are a solid choice.

    See our review

  4. Best Headphones For Running Outdoors: Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless

    8.2
    Sports/Fitness
    Type Earbuds
    Enclosure Open-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless are the best headphones we've tested for running outdoors. These earbuds sit outside your ears and don't block out any ambient sound, so you can hear what's going on around you when you run outside. Their ear hooks help give them a very stable fit as well.

    The onboard controls are very easy to use and allow you to turn up the volume or change the track without pulling out your phone during a workout. They're sturdy, have an IPX4 rating for water resistance, and have roughly nine hours of continuous battery life, so they can easily last through longer runs. Their open design means their sound lacks bass, but the very neutral mid-range response ensures vocals and instruments are clear and detailed.

    Unfortunately, their companion app is quite basic and doesn't include features like an EQ or presets that you could use to customize their sound profile. Also, while they come with a plastic case that can protect them from minor bumps and drops, it doesn't hold any extra charges. That said, if you want earbuds that let you hear your surroundings while you run, they're a great choice.

    See our review

  5. More Comfortable Alternative: AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction

    Type Bone Conduction
    Enclosure Open-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Bone Conduction

    If you want a more comfortable pair of headphones for running outdoors, consider the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction instead. These aren't as well-built as the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless, but they fit over your ears like a pair of glasses and should be more comfortable for most people. They're intended for sports use and don't cover your ears since they use bone conduction to deliver sound via vibrations against your temples. Their nearly 13-hour continuous battery life can easily last through a few workouts. They're also stable enough to stay in place while you run and have an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. Unfortunately, like the Βose, they struggle to reproduce the thump and rumble of low-bass and leak a lot of audio.

    If you're looking for better-built headphones or prefer a more typical earbud design, go for the Bose, but try the AfterShokz if you're looking for something more comfortable.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Headphones For Running: Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless

    8.1
    Sports/Fitness
    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless are the best budget headphones for running that we've tested. These in-ears come with a selection of stability sleeves and ear tips and have good stability once you find a good fit. They're also well-built, comfortable, and rated IPX5 for water resistance.

    While they lack an ANC feature, they do a good job isolating you from mid-range noise like ambient chatter at the gym. Their sound profile delivers extra rumble, punch, and boom in the bass range to help keep you pumped up, but vocals are reproduced clearly, so they're also suitable if you prefer to listen to podcasts. They have more than seven hours of continuous playback and come with a case that holds about 12.5 extra charges, so you can use them at work and top up the battery before heading to the gym.

    Unfortunately, their control scheme is a bit limited, and you need to pull out your phone to turn the volume up or down. They also lack a companion app and don't have sound customization features, which some may find a little disappointing. That said, their stable, sturdy design and long total battery life make them a great choice for running if you're on a budget.

    See our review

  7. Cheaper Alternative: JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless

    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    If you're looking for less expensive headphones for running, try the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless instead. These have a worse passive noise isolation performance than the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless, so they aren't as suitable for cutting out ambient noise at the gym, but they're cheaper and have a similarly comfortable, stable fit. Their bass-rich sound profile delivers extra punch and boom to your audio, which fans of genres like EDM and hip-hop may like. If you prefer a different sound, you can use the earbuds' onboard controls to choose between two other EQ presets. Their roughly nine-hour continuous battery life is more than enough for long runs, and their case holds three extra charges, so you can easily top up the battery.

    If you're looking for earbuds with a good passive noise isolation performance, go for the Anker, but consider the JLab instead if you want sound customization features or a cheaper option.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Beats Studio3 Wireless: The Beats Studio3 Wireless are over-ear headphones with a stable fit and W1 chip for seamless pairing with Apple devices. However, their battery life doesn't last as long as the Razer Opus Wireless, and they aren't as well-built. See our review
  • Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless: The Jabra Elite Active 65t are well-built, truly wireless earbuds with sturdy build quality and a highly customizable sound profile. They aren't as stable or comfortable as the Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless, though. See our review
  • JBL Endurance Peak Truly Wireless: The JBL Endurance Peak are stable and durable in-ears thanks to their ear-hook design, but they're not comfortable for everyone. See our review
  • Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless: The Jabra Elite 85t are semi-open, truly wireless in-ears with a comfortable fit and many customization options. However, they aren't as stable as in-ears with stability fins. See our review
  • Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless: The Beats Solo3 2018 have an on-ear fit with great sound and build quality. However, they aren't the most breathable headphones, and they have a tight fit. See our review
  • Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless: The Jaybird Vista are very well-built, truly wireless headphones and a viable alternative to the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless. However, their fit isn't as deep or stable. See our review
  • Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless: The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are premium, truly wireless headphones with a highly effective ANC system and a well-balanced sound profile, but they're a bit bulky. See our review
  • Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless: The Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless are in-ears with nine-hour-plus battery life and a very stable fit. However, they protrude far out from your ears, and their sound profile isn't as neutral as the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless. See our review
  • Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless: The Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless are sturdy and stable in-ears with a neck cable design. They also have a companion app that offers a parametric EQ and presets so that you can tweak their sound to your liking. However, it's getting harder to find them in stock. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 04, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.

  2. Dec 09, 2021: Replaced the Razer Opus Wireless with the JBL Live 660NC Wireless as the 'Best Over-Ear Headphones For Running' since the Razer aren't currently easy to find in stock.

  3. Nov 09, 2021: Replaced the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless with the Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless as the Jaybird offer slightly more versatile performance. Also added the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless as 'Cheaper Alternative'.

  4. Oct 20, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are available.

  5. Sep 24, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are available. There were no changes to recommendations.

All Reviews

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.

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