Whether you're a seasoned athlete training for an upcoming event or just like to go for a jog now and then, a good pair of sports-oriented wireless earbuds can make all the difference in your exercise routine. While many runners prefer going truly wireless, having a cable between your earbuds can be a benefit when you're working out in the gym. Truly wireless earbuds eliminate the annoying rustling sound you hear when a cable brushes against your shirt, also called microphonics. However, if you're receiving instructions from a coach or simply want to strike up a conversation with a friend, it's a lot easier to just let your earbuds hang around your neck while they're not in use.
We’ve tested over 150 wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best earbuds for running and working out to buy. Also, make sure to check out our recommendations for the best headphones for working out, the best wireless earbuds under $100, the best neckband headphones, and the best true wireless earbuds.
The best wireless earbuds for running that we've tested are the Beats Powerbeats Pro. Thanks to their ear-hook design, these truly wireless in-ears have a very stable fit, so they shouldn't move around during your run. They're lightweight and breathable, too, so they should be comfortable on your ear even throughout your longest runs.
They have a very neutral, balanced sound profile that's well-suited to a wide range of music genres, so you can stay motivated with your favorite tunes. They don't block out a lot of background noise, either, which can help you stay aware of your surroundings if you're running outdoors. With an over 11-hour battery life, they shouldn't run out of battery during your workout, either.
Unfortunately, because they have poor noise isolation performance, they may not be the best choice to wear on the treadmill at a noisy gym. They also don't have any sound customization features, which may be disappointing for some listeners. However, these stable in-ears are still a solid choice for runners.
If you're looking for sport-oriented earbuds with superior build quality, you may want to consider the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless. These truly wireless earbuds have a much shorter continuous battery life than the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless, but they feel very well-made and have an even more stable fit. They also have a well-balanced sound profile that should suit whatever kind of content you enjoy listening to while you're out on a run, whether that be pop music or podcasts. Unfortunately, they don't offer any sort of sound customization features, like an EQ or audio presets, though their controls can be remapped through their companion app. That said, no matter how you configure it, there's no way to set up on-board volume controls. While these earbuds filter out very little ambient noise, that may be a benefit if you wear them while running outdoors and want to stay aware of your surroundings.
Get the Beats if you want a more comprehensive control scheme and a longer continuous battery life, but consider the Bose if you want earbuds with superior build quality and a more stable fit.
The Jaybird Tarah Pro are the best wireless earbuds for working out that we've tested. Although we don't currently test for it, these well-built headphones have an IPX7 rating for water resistance, which makes them well-suited for tough workouts at the gym. They have a thick braided cable that connects the left and right earbuds and are portable enough to fit into most pockets when you're on-the-go.
They're very stable and have a rotating earbud design that allows you to find a fit that works best for you. They also have an in-line remote so you can easily manage calls or music while working out. Right out-of-the-box, they deliver a slightly boomy but still fairly well-balanced sound that's suitable for most audio content. However, if you prefer something different or if you like to customize their sound profile, they have a great companion app that offers a parametric EQ and presets.
Unfortunately, unlike the regular Jaybird Tarah Wireless, they don't support multi-device pairing. They also use a proprietary charging cradle, which isn't great if you forget it at home and need to top the battery up. On the upside, they have a 13.3-hour battery life and an auto-off timer to help further conserve battery life when not in use. If you're looking for Bluetooth earbuds to wear during intense workouts, these headphones are a solid choice.
The best wireless earbuds for running outdoors that we've tested are the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction. If you live in the city and frequently run outdoors, you likely want an option that helps you stay aware of your surroundings. They have a unique design that transmits audio using bone conduction, leaving your ears completely open and unblocked. This allows you to hear your music or podcasts while also fully taking in all the sounds around you.
They're lightweight, comfortable, and easy-to-use, making them a popular choice among not only outdoor runners but athletes of all kinds. Due to the way bone conduction technology transmits sound, they're best suited for fans of podcasts, audiobooks, or just regular talk radio, though they still sound surprisingly decent for most music genres. Their battery lasts nearly 13 hours on a charge, so they should easily last for most runs.
Unfortunately, they don't sound nearly as full or accurate as most regular earbuds. While they still have a surprising amount of bass, fans of bass-heavy music will definitely find them lacking in this department. They also use a proprietary charger, which is limiting compared to the older AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction that use a regular micro-USB cable to charge. However, the Aeropex have better controls, feel more durable, and have longer battery life.
The best budget wireless earbuds for working out that we've tested are the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019. These wireless in-ears have a comfortable, stable fit, so they should have no trouble staying in your ears during intense workouts, in no small part due to their ear-hook design. Their control scheme is also fairly comprehensive and quite easy to use, so you won't need to pull your phone out in order to make playback or volume adjustments.
These in-ears have a bass-heavy sound profile that should emphasize the thump and rumble in EDM or hip-hop tracks, but without overwhelming more delicate vocals or instrumentals in other genres, so they're a good fit for a variety of content. They filter out a fair amount of noise, so you shouldn't hear too much ambient chatter or the clanking of weights while you're in the gym. You shouldn't need to worry about charging them often either, as they supply over 18 hours of continuous playback time.
While they feel decently well-built overall, the audio cable connecting the two buds is thin and feels fragile. If it breaks, the entire unit needs to be replaced. They also don't have a companion app that offers any sort of sound customization features, like an EQ or audio presets. Still, if you're looking for wireless in-ears that can handle day-to-day use as well as trips to the gym, they're a great option.
If you prefer a pair truly wireless headphones for running that won't break the bank, try the FIIL T1X. While they have a shorter continuous battery life than the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019, and they don't sound as bass-heavy, they're even more portable, thanks to their small size. They have better build quality, and their companion app offers EQ presets so you can customize their sound profile to better suit your tastes. They also have a comfortable and stable fit, so you don't need to worry about them falling out of your ear as you move, and they're rated IP65 for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. However, their touch-sensitive control scheme isn't the most intuitive to use.
Go for the Anker if you're looking for affordable earbuds with more ear tip options and a neck-cable design. However, if you don't want to worry about cables getting snagged on something while you're moving, check out the FIIL.
01/21/2022: Replaced Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless with Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless as 'More Durable Alternative'. Added Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless, Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless, and Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless to Notable Mentions.
12/18/2020: Replaced the SoundPeats TrueFree/True Wireless with the FIIL T1X True Wireless.
10/20/2020: Minor updates to text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
02/24/2020: Removed Beats PowerBeats Pro, JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless, and Jabra Elite Active 45e. Replaced AfterShokz Treks with AfterShokz Aeropex.
01/22/2020: Replaced Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless with Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless Upgraded 2019.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Bluetooth earbuds for running and working out for most people to buy 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 for wireless in-ear headphones and earbuds. 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.