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, 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. 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 Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless are the best wireless earbuds for running outdoors that we've tested. Their open-ear design blocks out next to no ambient noise, so you should be able to pay attention to your surroundings without straining to hear over your music. Thanks to their built-in ear hooks and lightweight plastic composite construction, these truly wireless earbuds should stay in place even during intense workouts. They're even rated IPX4 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for that.
They supply upwards of nine hours of continuous playback time on a single charge, which should be more than sufficient for a couple of long workout sessions. Their integrated mic also transmits your voice clearly, which is good if you like to take calls while you're on the move. Their control scheme is also quite comprehensive, as it allows you to pause or play media, skip tracks forward and back, adjust volume, and even check their battery status, all without forcing you to pull out your phone.
Unfortunately, their open-ear design doesn't allow for much in the way of thump and rumble, which could be annoying if you like to listen to EDM or hip-hop while you run, though they do reproduce vocals and lead instruments accurately and in good detail. They also lack any sort of sound customization functions. Still, if you're looking for truly wireless earbuds that can let you stay aware of your surroundings, these are a good option.
The best budget wireless earbuds for working out that we've tested are the FIIL T1X. These truly wireless in-ears have a compact, low-profile design that allows them to stay firmly in place even when you bob your head around. They feel sturdy enough to deal with a couple of drops and bumps, with a high-grade plastic construction that's rated IP65 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for that.
Out of the box, these in-ears have a bass-heavy but not overpowering sound profile that should suit genres like EDM or hip-hop without overly cluttering or muddying vocals and lead instrumentals. If that isn't to your liking, you can use their companion app to choose between 15 different EQ presets. They supply nearly seven hours of continuous runtime on a single charge, which should be sufficient for a couple of workout sessions, though battery life can vary drastically depending on your usage habits. Their case supplies roughly three extra charges.
Unfortunately, they have fairly high Bluetooth audio latency on most devices, which could be somewhat annoying if you plan on wearing them while streaming movies or videos. Otherwise, their customizable sound profile, sturdy, comfortable design, and relatively affordable price help make them some of the best budget wireless headphones that we've tested.
If you're looking for wireless earbuds to bring to the gym that last longer on a single charge, consider the Beats Flex. Unlike the FIIL T1X True Wireless, they don't have an IP rating, but they provide a longer continuous battery life of about 11 hours. Their silicone and plastic construction also makes it easy to wrap them up and store them in a bag or a pouch. They should do a good job of staying in your ears while you work out, though their fit isn't quite as secure as that of the FIIL. Their sound profile is somewhat bass-heavy, which should emphasize the thump and rumble of EDM and hip-hop music, but without giving a muddy, cluttered quality to vocals or lead instrumentals. Unfortunately, their underemphasized treble range does result in a loss of overall clarity in some mixes, and they don't have any sound customization features to help fine-tune your listening experience.
Consider the FIIL if you want a customizable listening experience, but take a look at the Beats if you prioritize longer continuous battery life.
Mar 22, 2021: Replaced AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction with Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless as 'Best Wireless Earbuds For Running Outdoors' due to superior suitability for sports and fitness. Replaced Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 with FIIL T1X True Wireless as 'Best Budget Wireless Earbuds For Working Out' due to current availability. Replaced 'Truly Wireless Alternative' category with 'Alternative With a Longer Battery Life' category, with Beats Flex Wireless as main pick. Added AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction and Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 to Notable Mentions.
Dec 18, 2020: Replaced the SoundPeats TrueFree/True Wireless with the FIIL T1X True Wireless.
Oct 20, 2020: Minor updates to text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
Feb 24, 2020: Removed Beats PowerBeats Pro, JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless, and Jabra Elite Active 45e. Replaced AfterShokz Treks with AfterShokz Aeropex.
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.