Whether you're a seasoned athlete training for an upcoming event or just like to go for a jog every 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, then it's a lot easier to just let your earbuds hang around your neck while they're not in use.
We’ve tested over nearly 120 wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best earbuds for running and working out to buy. See 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 we've tested so far are the Beats Powerbeats Pro. They have a surprisingly comfortable truly wireless design thanks to their malleable ear-hooks that help keep their earbuds securely in place without sticking too far down your ear canal. Their impressively stable fit ensures they won't go flying off your head, even as you're sprinting towards the finish line.
These wireless earbuds have a balanced sound signature that's very well-suited to punchy, lively tracks that'll get your heart pumping. They're missing a bit of detail and clarity in the treble range, so you might find podcasts or audiobooks slightly muffled, but some people prefer this since they find it helps take a bit of edge off the brighter sounds. Their 11-hour battery life ensures they'll last you an entire marathon and they charge in under an hour as well.
On the downside, these earbuds are expensive, and it's unclear how well they hold up to more rugged weather conditions. If you're a fan of their ear-hook design but don't want to have to spend a fortune if you need to replace them, then you'll want to consider the Mpow Flame Pro Truly Wireless. They're nearly identical in design and even have an even longer-lasting battery. Their dark, bass-heavy sound is best-suited to EDM, though, so you'll want to stick with the Beats if you listen to a wider range of music genres.
If you're looking for something with a more solid build quality for trail running or hiking, then get the Jabra Elite Active 75t. They don't fit quite as securely in the ear as the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless since they don't have any ear-hooks or stability fins, but they feel a lot more durable. Jabra also backs up their IP57 rating with a 2-year guarantee against sweat or dust exposure damage, as long as you register in the Jabra Sound+ app. The app also provides some good sound customization options that you can assign to location-specific presets, which is helpful if you prefer a more balanced sound at work, but extra bass at the gym. On the downside, their battery only lasts 6.5 hours on a charge, which is a bit short, especially for long hikes.
Get the Beats if you're not worried about dust or water damage, but if you need something that can withstand the elements, you'll want to go for the Jabra.
The best wireless earbuds for working out that we've tested so far are the Jaybird Tarah Pro. These Bluetooth headphones look and feel very rugged and well-built, and have a thick braided cable connecting the left and right earbuds. Though we don't currently test for it, they're rated IPX7 for sweat and water resistance, and they feel very stable in the ear, making them a good choice for more intense workouts. Their in-line remote is also easy to use, so you can easily change your music mid-workout.
They don't enter the ear canal as deep as most in-ears, which some people may prefer, and they come with three different tip sizes to help you find the best fit. Their sound profile is fairly well-balanced, but with a bit of extra kick and warmth to help keep you pumped up in the gym. They're also compatible with the great Jaybird MySound app that gives you access to a fully parametric EQ to completely customize the way they sound.
Unfortunately, these headphones use a proprietary charging clip, which can be a pain if you forget to bring it with you or lose it entirely. Also, while their 13.3-hour battery life is good and much longer than the 6 hours on the regular Jaybird Tarah Wireless, it's still less than some other options, and they don't have a charging case to give you additional juice on-the-go. Overall, however, these Bluetooth earbuds are a great workout companion, thanks to their rugged build quality, great companion app, and easy-to-use controls.
The best wireless earbuds for running outdoors we've tested so far are the AfterShokz Aeropex. If you live in the city and often 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 which use a regular micro-USB cable to charge. That being said, the Aeropex have better controls, feel more durable, and have longer battery life.
The best Bluetooth earbuds for working out we've tested so far in the budget range are the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019. Like the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless, they have a comfortable in-ear design thanks to their ear-hooks which help keep their earbuds securely in place. They're now rated IPX7 for waterproofing and feature Anker's SweatGuard technology, which should help protect the earbuds in most weather conditions, although we don't yet have a test to confirm this.
These Bluetooth earbuds have a bass-rich sound profile that brings out the thump and rumble of rap and EDM without overpowering the vocals and lead instruments of rock or pop music, making them a versatile option for fans of a wide range of music genres. They also have an 18-hour battery life, which is among the best we've seen among sports earbuds at any price point to date.
While they feel fairly well-built overall, especially for the price, their cable still feels quite thin and prone to breakage. Fortunately, they come with an adjustable cable clip to make sure their cable isn't dangling freely behind your head, and even a shirt clip to help reduce microphonics. They even come with a nice hard carrying case and carabiner so you can clip them to your bag, protecting them on-the-go.
If you need something without a wire for running, then get the SoundPeats TrueFree. They're not as comfortable as the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 since they need to fit more deeply in your ear to stay secured in place, but their truly wireless design ensures you don't have to put up with any pesky microphonics. Their bass-heavy sound will help get you pumped while running, but you might find they lack detail and clarity if you listen to brighter genres. Their 3-hour battery life is also quite short, so they won't be ideal for marathons, and they isolate quite a bit of noise, which can reduce awareness when running outdoors. That said, if you're training on the treadmill and need to block out the chatter of a noisy gym, they're a solid choice.
Get the Anker if you're not easily bothered by having a wire behind your neck and prefer something more comfortable; however, if you want to go truly wireless without breaking the bank, it's hard to beat the SoundPeats.
06/22/2020: Minor updates to text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
04/24/2020: Article overhaul; structural changes to better distinguish between the best earbuds for running and for working out.
02/24/2020: Removed Beats PowerBeats Pro, JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless, and Jabra Elite Active 45e. Replaced AfterShokz Treks with AfterShokz Aeroplex.
01/22/2020: Replaced Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless with Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless Upgraded 2019.
12/23/2019: Replaced Jabra Elite Active 65t with Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless.
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 sports/fitness earbuds and in-ears. 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.