The 5 Best Headphones For Running - Fall 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Headphones For Running
624 Headphones Tested
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1Whether 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 as well.

We've tested over 620 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: Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless

    8.3
    Sports/Fitness
    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless are the best headphones for running with a wireless connection that we've tested. These Bluetooth in-ears have an ear-hook design that helps make them very stable, so they shouldn't fall out of your ears during runs. They're comfortable and don't block out very much ambient sound, which you may like if you run outside and want to hear your surroundings.

    Their sound profile is quite well-balanced, with enough thump and rumble for genres like EDM and hip-hop and a neutral mid-range that ensures voices are present and clear. They have a continuous battery life of roughly 11 hours, so they should easily last through your longest runs, and they also come with a charging case that holds about one extra charge. They're also well-built and rated IPX4 for water resistance.

    Unfortunately, their companion app doesn't offer any sound customization features like an EQ or presets, which may be a little disappointing if you like a more bass-heavy sound. People who wear glasses may have trouble fitting the ear hooks around their ears too. That said, these should be quite comfortable for most people, and are even among the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds for running and working out that we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Best Over-Ear Headphones For Running: Razer Opus Wireless

    7.4
    Sports/Fitness
    Type Over-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best headphones for running with an over-ear design that we've tested are the Razer Opus. These well-built over-ear headphones are impressively comfortable and stable enough to stay in place while you run. Their onboard controls include call, music, volume, and ANC control, so you can adjust your settings without pulling out your phone.

    Their default sound profile is very neutral and well-balanced. Fans of bass-rich genres like EDM and hip-hop may find it's missing a bit of thump and rumble, but if you prefer a different sound, you can customize it with a graphic EQ and presets in the headphones' companion app. They're a solid choice if you like to run at the gym since their ANC system offers a fantastic noise isolation performance.

    Unfortunately, their over-ear design makes them less breathable than in-ears or earbuds, and they may cause you to sweat more than usual if you wear them during workouts. They're also not as portable as more compact headphones, but they fold into a smaller shape and come with a carrying case. Overall, if you like to use over-ear headphones for running, these are a great choice.

    See our review

  3. 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 best headphones for running outdoors that we've tested are the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless. These headphones have an ear-hook design and sit outside your ear. While they don't block out any ambient noise, this design allows you to listen to your own audio while still staying aware of your surroundings.

    They have a great build quality that's breathable, stable, and rated IPX4 for water resistance, although we don't currently test for it. Their continuous battery life of over nine hours should last through long jogs in the park while their auto-off timer helps conserves battery life when you're not using them. They also have a neutral mid-range, which ensures that vocals and lead instruments are clear, present, and detailed.

    Unfortunately, due to their open-back design, they struggle to reproduce a thumpy low-bass. They also lack sound customization features to help you adjust their sound to your liking. Although they're decently comfortable, they're a bit bulky and can put pressure behind your ear, too, which some users may find uncomfortable. That said, if you like to run outdoors, these open-ear headphones are a suitable choice.

    See our review

  4. 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 headphones with an open-ear fit that are more comfortable, consider the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction instead. These headphones designed for sports don't feel as sturdily-built as the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless and don't have a companion app, but they fit over your ears like a pair of glasses, which may be more comfortable for some users. Since they use a bone conductor transducer to deliver sound through vibrations on your temples, they don't cover your ears at all, which is useful when you want to listen to music and stay aware of your surroundings at the same time. They're well-built, have a stable fit, and their 12.8-hour continuous battery life means you shouldn't need to recharge them after every workout. Unfortunately, they leak a lot of audio, so people nearby may be able to hear your audio if you're listening at a high volume.

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

    See our review

  5. 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 have a comfortable and stable fit, thanks to their stability sleeves. They're also well-built and are rated IPX5 for water resistance, although we don't currently test for it.

    They have a slightly bass-heavy sound profile that can add a bit of thump and boom to your mixes and help you stay pumped up while you run. Vocals and lead instruments are still reproduced clearly, though. While they don't have active noise cancelling, they can passively block out a good amount of ambient noise like office chatter around you. They also have over seven hours of continuous playback time, and their carrying case holds roughly 12.5 additional charges, which is handy if you're running a marathon.

    Unfortunately, they have limited controls, and you can't adjust the volume from the buds themselves. They also lack sound customization features, which some users may find disappointing. That said, although they're simple in design, they offer a long-lasting battery life and a sturdy build, which make them suitable for most runners.

    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 Mpow X3 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 lots of customization options, but 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 have a tight fit. See our review
  • Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless: The Jaybird Vista are very well-built truly wireless headphones that represent 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 quite 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. Sep 24, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are available. There were no changes to recommendations.

  2. Aug 26, 2021: Verified that picks represent the best recommendations and that they're in stock. There were no changes to product picks.

  3. Jul 27, 2021: Replaced the FIIL TIX True Wireless with the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless as the FIIL are no longer available.

  4. Jun 30, 2021: Checked the text for accuracy and product availability. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.

  5. May 31, 2021: Moved the Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless to Notable Mentions as they're currently unavailable from major retailers.

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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