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 190 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 Beats Powerbeats Pro are the best wireless earbuds for running that we've tested. These truly wireless earbuds have an ear-hook design that helps give them a very stable fit, so they shouldn't move around much while you run. They're lightweight, comfortable, and don't trap heat against your ears, so they should be suitable for even your longest runs.
They have onboard controls that are very easy to use and don't block out very much noise, which is helpful if you want to stay aware of what's going on around you during a run. Their very neutral, well-balanced default sound profile is suitable for a variety of content and genres. They also have a long continuous battery life of more than 11 hours.
Unfortunately, they have a sub-par companion app that doesn't offer any sound customization features, which may be disappointing for some. Also, since they hardly block out any background sound, they may not be ideal for working out in loud places like at the gym. Otherwise, these very stable headphones are a great choice for running, especially if long battery life is a priority.
If you want better-built earbuds for running, you may prefer the Bose Sport Earbuds. These truly wireless headphones have a shorter continuous battery life than the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless, but they have a much better build quality and a more stable fit. Some may prefer their earbud design, and they're a solid option if you want to stay aware of your surroundings since they hardly block out any ambient sound. Their sound profile is quite well-balanced, but it lacks some thump and rumble, which may be disappointing if you listen to bass-heavy music like EDM or hip-hop while you run. Unfortunately, the companion app doesn't give you access to any sound customization options, but on the plus side, you can use it to remap some of the earbuds' controls.
Go for the Beats if you want headphones with longer continuous battery life or like the ear-hook design, but consider the Bose if build quality is a priority or you want a more stable fit.
The best wireless earbuds for working out that we've tested are the Jaybird Tarah Pro. These headphones are impressively well-built and rated IPX7 for water resistance, although we don't test it currently. The two earbuds are connected by a thick braided cable that makes it easy to keep the earbuds around your neck when they're not in use.
They're also compact enough to easily slip into most pockets. They're very stable, and the earbuds are designed to be rotated so you can find the best fit for your ears. While they don't have an ANC feature, they passively block out a good amount of mid-range noise like ambient chatter, which can help cut down distractions at the gym. Their default sound profile quite well-balanced but slightly boomy, and if you prefer a different sound, you can customize it with a parametric EQ and presets in the companion app.
Unfortunately, these headphones use a proprietary charging cable, which makes it more inconvenient if you forget it at home or it gets misplaced. However, they have a long continuous battery life of around 13.3 hours, as well as an auto-off timer to conserve power when you're not using them. Overall, if you want Bluetooth headphones that can withstand tough workouts at the gym, these are a great choice.
The Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless are the best wireless earbuds for running outdoors that we've tested. These headphones have an open-ear design, so while they don't block out any ambient design, they allow you to hear what's going on around you while you're listening to audio. They also have a very stable fit, thanks to their ear hook design.
These headphones are well-built as they're made of a sturdy and durable plastic composite that's rated IPX4 for water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. They have over nine hours of continuous playback time, which is great for long runs, and an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when you're not using them. Their controls are simple to use, so you can easily play, pause, or skip tracks while you're moving.
Like many open-ear headphones, they lack low bass, which can especially be disappointing if you're a fan of thumpy genres like EDM and hip-hop. They also lack any sound customization features to help adjust their sound to your liking. That said, their mid-range is fairly neutral, so tracks with vocals and lead instruments sound clear, accurate, and detailed.
If you prefer headphones that have a bone conduction transducer, consider the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction. While they're prone to more inconsistencies in their audio delivery due to their unique design compared to the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless, which use a dynamic transducer, the AfterShokz use vibrations to reproduce audio. As a result, they don't cover your ears at all, so you can stay aware of your surroundings while you run. These headphones have a comfortable fit as they don't put a lot of pressure on your head, and they're rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. They also have over 12 hours of continuous battery life and have a standby mode to further conserve battery life when not in use. However, just like the Bose, they lack low-bass and are best-suited for vocal-centric content.
Try the Bose if you're looking for traditional open-ear headphones with a dynamic transducer and more consistent audio reproduction. However, if you prefer a bone conduction transducer design that's also more comfortable, check out the AfterShokz instead.
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 prefer wireless earbuds that have a longer continuous battery life, try the Beats Flex Wireless. While they don't have an IP rating for water resistance, and unlike the FIIL T1X True Wireless, they lack any sound enhancement features, the Beats have a continuous battery life of roughly 11 hours, which should last through long runs. These headphones have a flexible neck cable design that's comfortable and very portable. While they don't feel stable as the FIIL, they should stay put in your ears while you move. They also have a bass-heavy sound profile that delivers extra thump, rumble, and boom to your mixes to keep you pumped up. Unfortunately, their treble range is recessed, which hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments as well as dulls sibilants like cymbals.
Take a look at the FIIL if you like to adjust your audio experience to your liking with presets. However, if you prioritize a longer continuous playback time, go for the Beats.
Jul 15, 2021: Added the JBL Live Pro+ TWS True Wireless to Notable Mentions. Checked to make sure the picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
May 19, 2021: Added the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction as 'Bone Conduction Alternative' as some people may prefer this design over the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless' dynamic transducer.
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.
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.