While most people prefer earbuds for sports, many find over-ear headphones more comfortable for light exercise. It can be hard to find the best over-ear headphones for the gym, though. They usually don't fit securely enough to stay in place while training and make you sweat more than usual. However, there are still a few Bluetooth options that could be a decent option for working out or running.
Most over-ear headphones aren't designed to withstand heavy physical activity - regularly working out with them could result in issues not covered by the manufacturer's warranty. None of the over-ears in this article are designed for sport, so you have to take extra care if you decide to 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.
We've tested over 330 over-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best over-ear workout and running headphones. Also, check out our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds for running and working out or the best headphones for running.
The Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless are the best over-ear headphones for working out we've tested. These sleek and premium headphones have a stable, comfortable, and decently breathable fit suitable for tough sessions at the gym. Although they're a bit bulky, they also have an active noise cancelling (ANC) system, which can block a great amount of background noise. They even deliver over 21 hours of continuous battery life and have a standby mode to help conserve battery life when you're not using them. Out of the box, they have a bright and well-balanced sound profile suitable for most audio content.
If you prefer a different sound, their companion app has a few EQ presets to help you adjust them to your liking. However, if you don't need sound customization features and you're an iPhone user, you may want to check out the Beats Studio3 Wireless instead. These over-ears have a W1 chip, which allows you to seamlessly pair them with your Apple devices. They also come in a lot more colors and are even more comfortable than the Sennheiser. However, their ANC doesn't perform as well, and they lack sound customization features.
The JΒL Live 660NC Wireless are the best over-ear workout headphones in the upper mid-range that we've tested. Although they're not as comfortable as the Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless, and their noise cancelling isn't as good, they're still worth considering if you're looking for over-ears with a lower price point. They have a stable fit, thanks to their high clamping force. Some people may find them a bit fatiguing over time, though. Still, they have physical controls that are easy to use while you're on the move and last over 25 hours continuously.
Out of the box, they pack a slight punch of extra thump and boom to help keep you motivated during tough workouts. They're still balanced enough for most kinds of audio content, and if you want to adjust their sound, their companion app offers a parametric EQ and presets. Their ANC system won't be enough to block out the low rumble of car engines if you're exercising outdoors, but it can still help block down ambient chatter at the gym.
The best over-ear headphones for running and working out in the mid-range that we've tested are the TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless. They're more comfortable than the JBL Live 660NC Wireless and, unlike other picks on this list, even have an IP rating for water resistance. They're certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes, making them a solid choice for tough workouts. They also have a good build quality that's lightweight and stable, so they shouldn't move around if you're making low-intensity head movements.
These over-ears have a great noise isolation performance, thanks to their ANC system, which can help block outdoor sounds like car traffic and ambient chatter. With their ANC on, they have over 37 hours of continuous battery life and go into standby mode when not in use. Their excited sound profile brings intense thump, punch, and boom to music while vocals and lead instruments are bright. However, if you prefer a different sound, they lack any sound customization features to help you adjust their sound.
The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are the best budget over-ear workout headphones we've tested. Although they're not as well-built or stable as the TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless, they're still worth considering if you're looking for more affordable over-ears. They have over 32 hours of continuous playback time, so they should easily last through long workouts without an issue. Thanks to their excited sound profile, the extra thump, kick, and boom they give to audio can also help keep you pumped up at the gym. While they don't have a companion app and lack robust customization controls, their bass effect feature can add extra rumble and warmth to your audio.
These over-ears have an ANC system that does a good job of blocking background noise, which you may prefer if you want to tune out ambient sound around you. Their comfortable and lightweight design is well-suited for the gym, but they're mostly plastic, and the hinges feel easily breakable. They can also move around your head if you're moving vigorously, ruining a workout if you have to keep adjusting their fit and positioning.
The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are the most comfortable over-ear headphones for working out that we've tested. They're not as stable as other picks on this list, like the Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless, but even though they can fall off your head if you're running, they should stay in place with less vigorous head movements. However, what sets them apart from other picks on their list is their amazingly comfortable and lightweight fit. There's plush padding around the ear cups and on the headband, which reduces the chances of fatigue if you're wearing them for long periods. They also have physical controls that are easy to use.
Like most other Bose headphones, they have an excellent ANC system that can help cut down noise at the gym. With the ANC on, they last over 21 hours continuously, and they're equipped with 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 to your liking using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. They leak audio at high volumes, which may bother others around you.
Sep 13, 2022: We've renamed this list's categories to better reflect what's available at different price points. However, there hasn't been a change in the actual picks, only in name and order. We've also cleared the Notable Mentions of any picks that are out of date.
Jun 01, 2022: We've added the TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless as 'Most Durable Over-Ear Headphones For Working Out' as they're IP certified, which is very uncommon for over-ears.
May 06, 2022: Added the Razer Opus Wireless 2021 to Notable Mentions.
Apr 06, 2022: Replaced the Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 Wireless with the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless as the Plantronics are no longer available. Also added the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless as 'Most Comfortable Over-Ear Headphones For Working Out'.
Mar 07, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are available.
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.