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The 5 Best Over-Ear Headphones For Working Out - Winter 2024 Reviews

Updated
Best Over-Ear Headphones For Working Out

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 370 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.


  1. Best Over-Ear Headphones For Working Out

    The Beats Studio Pro Wireless are the best over-ear headphones for working out that we've tested. The Beats brand has long been a staple of gym-goers, thanks to their sleek and eye-catching look. While you might not want to spring for such a pricy pair of headphones for workouts, they have much to offer and are worth a look if you want high-end features like noise cancelling (ANC) or if you care about style. Their ANC does a good job of blocking out sounds like the ambient chatter of gym-goers nearby and high-pitched noise like an A/C unit. Their physical controls are solid and give you good tactile feedback when skipping a song or changing the volume. However, the controls are completely flush with the body of the ear cup, so there's no way to differentiate between buttons, which can lead to misclicks.

    These over-ears have a decently comfortable and stable fit, so they'll stay in place unless you move your head a lot during your reps. They have a surprisingly neutral sound out of the box compared to older products from this manufacturer. Their sound is versatile enough for most kinds of audio content, but even though they have a couple of EQ presets, this feature is only available if you're using them wired. They last over 28 hours on a single charge, which will be more than enough for long workouts.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Over-Ear Headphones For Working Out

    If you're looking for a more affordable pair of over-ears for the gym, check out the Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless. There's a big price difference between these cans and our top pick, and they're not quite as durable. Still, if you're looking for headphones that'll cost less to replace if damaged, take a look. They're stable enough for moderate exercise without feeling too tight.

    Their earpads are deep and decently comfortable but have a faux leather lining prone to trapping heat. Fortunately, their battery lasts around 44 hours on a single charge, so you're likely to get through many workouts before meeting to charge them. While they don't have an ANC feature and struggle to passively cut out background noise, like nearby traffic or chatty gymgoers, they arguably offer better value if you want to stay aware of your surroundings during a run outdoors.

    If the step down in build quality bothers you, the TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless are a more durable pair of mid-range over-ears. They're more expensive than the Skullcandy but have an IPX4 rating for protection against water splashes—a rarity among over-ear headphones that makes them better suited for tough workouts and outdoor excursions.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Over-Ear Headphones For Working Out

    If you need something simple and cheap for the gym, the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are the best over-ear headphones for running and working out in the budget range. They're less stable on your head than the Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless, which might be an issue for a dance workout, but they're more comfortable. They'll stay in place during moderate movement, like if you're jogging or using a workout machine, though. Their bass-heavy sound profile also 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 prefer 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 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 are prone to damage if they fall off your head during a more intense workout.

    See our review

  4. Best Over-Ear Workout Headphones For Bass

    If your pump-up playlist consists mainly of EDM or hip-hop, you want a pair of headphones that can deliver heavy thump and punch in the bass range. The Sony WH-1000XM4 are a lot more bass-heavy than our top pick. They're also well-suited for use while exercising as they're very comfortable and don't move around during moderate movement. They're well-built and durable enough to survive a few accidental drops on the gym floor. Their battery lasts around 38 hours on a single charge, meaning they'll get you through several workouts without needing to top them up. While their sound is bass-heavy by default, you can change how you'd like the mix to sound by using the companion app's graphic EQ and presets.

    You can also use their app to activate transparency mode, which allows you to hear your surroundings better while you have these over-ears on. If you'd prefer peace and quiet, you can activate their ANC, which does a fantastic job of cutting out background noise across the range, from low, rumbly bus engines to high-pitched PC fans. They leak more audio at high volumes than the Beats Studio Pro Wireless, though.

    See our review

  5. Best Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones For Working Out

    A powerful ANC system sets the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless apart from other picks. It can block out more noise than other picks on our list, so they're a good choice if you want to focus on your music at a crowded gym. Their app also includes a slider that lets you adjust how much ambient sound you hear, which is nice when you want to stay aware of your surroundings. Their control scheme is easy to use and allows you to skip a track or change the volume without using your phone.

    They have an amazingly comfortable and lightweight fit. The plush padding on the ear cups and headband reduces the chances of fatigue during long workouts. They're stable enough to stay in place when you're lifting weights or riding a stationary bike but may slip around during a run or exercise class. That said, their well-balanced default sound profile has some extra thump and rumble in the bass range, but you can customize the sound profile with an in-app graphic EQ and presets if you prefer a different sound.

    Unlike similar Bose headphones like the Bose QuietComfort Headphones Wireless, they have a virtual surround sound feature that can make your audio feel more immersive. They're also the most expensive option on this list and out-price the Beats Studio Pro Wireless; while they have a premium feel and performance, they aren't in everyone's budget for over-ears.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95 Wireless: The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95 Wireless are premium over-ears that stand out from other picks on this list as they have an IP63 certification for resistance against dust and light water exposure. Their price point is significantly higher than the Beats Studio Pro Wireless, and their sound profile isn't as neutral. See our review
  • Apple AirPods Max Wireless: The Apple AirPods Max Wireless are popular at gyms thanks to their sleek look. However, they're less stable than the Beats Studio Pro Wireless, and possible condensation forming inside the ear cups over time makes them a less-than-optimal choice for working out. See our review
  • Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless: The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless are Bluetooth-enabled over-ears that improve on the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless in most areas, with longer battery life, a more effective noise isolation feature, and better build quality. However, they're also bulkier and not as stable on the head. See our review
  • Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless: The Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless are similar in build and comfort to the Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless but are more expensive due to their ANC feature. It's not super effective, but it can still isolate you from background chit-chat at the gym. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Feb 01, 2024: We've added the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95 Wireless to the Notable Mentions as they're IP-certified for water resistance. We also added the Apple AirPods Max Wireless, a popular but less-than-ideal option. We've also made minor updates to the text to improve its readability and accuracy.

  2. Jan 05, 2024: We've checked our picks to ensure they're all in stock and the text remains accurate.

  3. Dec 05, 2023: We've replaced the Beats Studio3 Wireless with the Beats Studio Pro Wireless as the Studio Pro offer a better all-around performance.

  4. Nov 07, 2023: Replaced the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless with the newer Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless, which offer an improved battery life and virtual surround sound.

  5. Oct 11, 2023: We've made minor changes to the text to improve readability and accuracy. Our picks have stayed the same.

All Reviews

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.