While most people prefer earbuds for sports, many find over-ear headphones more comfortable for light and moderate exercise. Finding the best over-ear headphones for the gym can be hard, though. Most over-ear headphones aren't designed to fit securely enough to stay in place while training and make you sweat more than usual. Regularly working out with them could also result in issues not covered by the manufacturer's warranty, so take extra care if you use them while working out or running. Keep an eye on their performance, and give them lots of time to air out between training sessions. That said, there are still a few Bluetooth options that could be decent for working out or running.
We've tested over 350 over-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones for running and working out. If you want more fitness audio options, check out our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds for running and working out or the best headphones for running.
The Beats Studio3 Wireless are the best over-ear headphones for working out that we've tested. These over-ears have good stability, meaning you won't risk them moving around much during a moderate workout. They also have a W1 chip, which lets you seamlessly pair them with your Apple devices. Their ANC performs decently and will isolate you from the ambient chatter of gym-goers nearby and high-pitched noise like a squeaky treadmill. Their physical controls are decent too, and give you good tactile feedback when changing between songs. However, their controls are all completely flat, which means misclicks are likely.
Out of the box, they have a warm sound profile with extra bass, making them a solid choice for genres like hip-hop and EDM. However, vocals and instruments are veiled in the mix, and even though they have a companion app, it lacks an EQ for sound customization. If you don't mind their default sound, they'll last you through repeat workouts, thanks to their 23-hour continuous battery life. They even come in several different color schemes to help you find the right one that matches your style.
At the upper mid-range price point, you can expect to find headphones with similar features but some compromises in performance or quality. The JBL Live 660NC Wireless are the best over-ear workout headphones in the price range. They're less comfortable for most people than the Beats Studio3 Wireless but have a high clamping force to help them stay in place during workouts. Their ANC doesn't perform quite as well either, but they have an 'Ambient Aware' mode that lets you hear your ambient sound when you want to be aware of your surroundings, like during an outdoor run.
Their default sound profile packs extra bass to help keep you pumped up during long runs, and if you prefer a different sound, the headphones' companion app has an EQ and presets for sound customization. They last for about 25 hours of continuous use with ANC on and have an auto-off timer to help conserve power, so you don't need to recharge after every session at the gym. Their physical controls are also easy to use when you're on the go, so you don't need to pull out your phone to change the track or turn up the volume.
The TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless keep many of the same features as our pricier picks and put them in a mid-range package. Unlike other cans on this list, they also have an IPX4 rating for resistance against water splashes, meaning they won't get damaged during a run in the rain. They have a stable fit, too, meaning you'll only feel them move around your head during intense workouts. Their ANC system blocks out bass and mid-range noise well, giving you some peace during commutes to the gym and isolating you from chatty gym members.
Rock and pop music fans will appreciate the extra bass and treble from their excited sound profile. However, vocals and lead instruments sound dull, while sibilants, like cymbals, sound piercing and harsh. They don't have customizable sound settings, so you can't change your audio via an EQ or presets. Fortunately, they'll last you a while thanks to their nearly 38-hour continuous battery life. Their ANC only activates when it detects noise, and the headphones automatically pause your audio when you take them off your ears, meaning that this could save you power in the long run.
If you need something simple and cheap for the gym, the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are the best over-ear workout headphones for budget-minded users. While they're less stable on your head than the previous pick, they can stay in place during a run and have a comfortable fit for most people. Their bass-heavy sound profile adds a lot of thump and rumble to your audio, which you might like to help keep you pumped up during workouts, but they don't have customization features for people who want a more balanced sound.
They have a long 32-hour continuous battery life and decent controls that let you change the volume and skip tracks on the fly. They have an ANC feature but don't block out as much noise as the TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless in the bass range, so they aren't ideal for reducing the sound of workout machines or traffic. Still, they help cut down on mid-range noise like background conversations. Unfortunately, they have a somewhat plasticky build, and you might prefer the previous, more stable option in the TREBLAB if you move your head around a lot during workouts.
What sets the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless apart from other picks on their list is their amazingly comfortable and lightweight fit. Plush padding around the ear cups and on the headband reduces the chances of fatigue if you wear them for a long workout. They'll stay in place while lifting weights or riding a stationary bike, but they aren't as stable as other picks on this list, like the Beats Studio3 Wireless, and can fall off easier during moderate exercise. On the upside, their physical control scheme is easy to use.
Like most other Bose headphones, they have an excellent ANC system that can help cut down noise at the gym and an 'Aware Mode' that plays background noise alongside regular audio content for better environmental awareness during a workout outside. With the ANC on, they last over 21 hours continuously, and they have an auto-off timer if you forget to turn them off. Their neutral sound profile is well-suited for different audio content, but you can tweak them using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. However, they leak audio at high volumes, which may bother others around you.
May 24, 2023: We've updated our article to ensure product availability and text accuracy. However, we haven't changed our picks.
Apr 21, 2023: Checked that the picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are available.
Mar 13, 2023: Moved the Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless and the Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless to Notable Mentions, replacing them with the Beats Studio3 Wireless and the TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless, respectively.
Feb 10, 2023: Replaced the Razer Opus Wireless 2021 with the Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless as the 'Best Mid-Range' pick because the Razer aren't available.
Jan 12, 2023: Made a quality of life update for better clarity and readability.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best wireless over-ear headphones for 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 our reviews of over-ear headphones, 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.