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The 8 Best Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds For Running And Working Out - Spring 2019
Reviews

Best Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds For Running
344 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

Running without music can be quite boring for some; a good beat can help you to push yourself. Bulky headphones like over-ears and on-ears can be cumbersome and they might make you sweat more with heat being trapped under the headphones. This is why Bluetooth earbuds and in-ears can be quite convenient for runners. Sports earbuds should be comfortable, portable enough to carry on you, and have a good sound. Some runners will also like more open design to stay aware of their surroundings.

We’ve tested 286 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best earbuds for running and working out to buy in 2019. See our recommendations for the best headphones for working out, the best wireless earbuds under $100, and the best true wireless earbuds

  1. Best Wireless Earbuds For Running: Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    8.2
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best Bluetooth earbuds for running we’ve tested so far are the Jaybird Tarah Pro. They’re comfortable, well-built in-ear headphones that are great for running. They have a very stable fit that will stay put during your most vigorous runs and they are rated IPX7 for advanced sweat and water resistance.

    The Jaybird Tarah Pro have a versatile, well-balanced sound that lends itself well not only to a wide variety of music genres, but also audiobooks and podcasts. They isolate fairly well, blocking out a decent amount of noise without hardly leaking any sound at all. They also have a very good battery that lasts for over 13 hours on a charge. It charges pretty quickly too, under 2 hours, and when you snap the magnetic earbuds together, it triggers the auto-off timer to preserve battery life.

    Unfortunately, they have a proprietary charging cradle that isn’t very practical. You can’t use a spare micro-USB cable when their battery dies if you don’t have the charger on you, and even when you do have the charger, its cable is very short and not very convenient. Putting the charger aside though, the Jaybird Tarah Pro are impressive wireless earbuds for sports and are sure to please runners looking for long-lasting, comfortable headphones.

    See our review

  2. Truly Wireless Alternative: Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you don’t want any wires in your way at all and prefer to be able to charge your earbuds with a micro-USB cable, get the Jabra Elite Active 65t. They’re durable, well-built earbuds that have a premium matte finish and are rated IP56 for dust and water resistance. They come with a good charging case and last for over 5 hours of continuous playback, which is pretty decent for truly wireless in-ears. They have good audio reproduction and have great isolation, which is perfect for blocking out disruptive gym chatter.

    Unfortunately, the Jabra Elite Active 65t are quite bulky and their in-ear fit may be uncomfortable for some, especially those with smaller ears. If they do fit you well though, they’re quite stable. If the fit doesn’t work for you, consider the JBL Endurance Peak, which have ear hooks for added stability.

    See our review

  3. Feature-Loaded Alternative: Samsung Gear IconX Truly Wireless

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you find running with your smartphone distracting and would like the option of loading your favorite tracks directly onto your headphones, then get the Samsung Gear IconX. They may not be as rugged or as sweatproof as the Jabra Elite Active 65t, but they come with 4GB of onboard storage, so you can enjoy hundreds of songs without needing your phone or media player. They are well-built, truly wireless headphones that are super lightweight and pretty comfortable for in-ears.

    Unfortunately, these headphones don’t have a sweat resistance rating and tend to get clogged with sweat and debris after a while. Though they usually sound pretty decent, the clogging issue may cause a slight imbalance in loudness between the left and right earbud after only a few months of use. It is possible to restore the sound quality by cleaning out the earbuds every once a while, but headphones with higher IP ratings don’t have this issue. If you don’t mind a bit of maintenance, the Samsung Gear IconX are still great in-ears for sports with impressive stability, isolation, and cool active features.

    See our review

  4. Best Wireless Earbuds For Running Outdoors: AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.9
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    Type : Bone Conduction
    Enclosure : Open-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Bone Conduction

    If you’re an outdoors runner who needs to remain aware of their surroundings but would still like to enjoy some background music, get the unique AfterShokz Trekz Air. Technically, they’re not earbuds; they’re bone-conducting headphones that use vibrations, so you feel bass instead of hearing it. By sitting on your temples, they leave your ears wide open so you can hear everything around you.

    They have a comfortable design and they don’t sit inside, on, or over your ears, so you barely feel them. Their around-the-head design with over-ear hooks makes them quite stable for sports, however, you might have to re-position them a bit from time to time.

    Unfortunately, their bone-conduction and open design means they don't sound as good as typical in-ear or over-ear headphones. They are also sensitive to positioning, so different head shapes might get different listening experiences. That said, if you’re concerned about traffic when running outside, the AfterShokz Trekz Air are one of the best ways to enjoy music while remaining aware of your surroundings.

    See our review

  5. Alternative With Better Sound: Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless

    Type : Earbuds
    Enclosure : Semi-Open
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you like the design of the AfterShokz Trekz Air but would like better sound, look at the Plantronics BackBeat Fit. You’ll have less awareness because their in-ear fit blocks a bit of ambient noise, whereas the Trekz Air are completely open, but they sound much better overall.

    Unfortunately, the Plantronics Fit aren’t the most comfortable in-ears we’ve tested, and they’re definitely less comfortable than the Trekz Air. On the upside, they’re more portable than the AfterShokz Trekz Air, thanks to their flexible band. They can be folded into a more compact format, which is great for runners on-the-go.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Wireless Earbuds For Running: Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.9
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you’re looking for a comfortable, stable pair of wireless earbuds that won’t break the bank, then get the Anker SoundBuds Curve; they're the best earbuds for working out in the budget category. They’re not as sweat-proof as the Jaybird Tarah Pro and don’t sound quite as good, but they still deliver decent performance for the price.

    The Anker SoundBuds Curve have deep, powerful bass, which is perfect for getting in the groove on a run, but they’re still versatile enough to accommodate a range of musical genres. They also deliver almost 13 hours of playback on a single charge, which is great not only for budget in-ears but among all wireless earbuds.

    The build quality of the Anker SoundBuds Curve isn’t as good as that of the very similarly designed Anker Soundcore Spirit X, but the SoundBuds Curve offer better value. They have a slightly better battery and offer superior isolation performance. Consider the Spirit X if you really need the extra durability, but otherwise, if you’re looking for good wireless earbuds for running without busting your budget, the Anker SoundBuds Curve have got you covered.

    See our review

  7. Better Sounding Alternative: JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want budget sports earbuds with better sound quality, get the JBL Endurance Sprint. They have over-ear hooks like the Anker SoundBuds Curve, but their design is bulkier and more sweat resistant. They might not have a great battery life, but 9 hours should be enough for sports, and they have an IPX7 rating that the SoundBuds Curve are lacking.

    Although their touch-sensitive control scheme is a welcome feature at this price point, it feels very sensitive to the point of inaccuracy. On the upside, the JBL Endurance Sprint have decent sound and great isolation performance, making them a good choice if you’re training indoors in a crowded gym.

    See our review

  8. Truly Wireless Alternative: SoundPeats TrueFree/True Wireless

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you’re looking for truly wireless in-ears at a great price, get the SoundPeats TrueFree. They may not be as sweat-proof as the JBL Endurance Sprint and do not have the battery life of the Ankers. However, they’re surprisingly well-designed for the price, with a solid yet lightweight build that stays put in your ears once you find your perfect fit. They sound decent and pack thumping bass, which makes them great for EDM and hip-hop. They also achieve very good isolation performance, helping you get in the zone.

    On the downside, their battery doesn’t last long, even for truly wireless in-ears, providing only about 3 hours of playback on a charge. All things considered, though, these truly wireless earbuds are pretty cheap for what they offer and are a great deal for runners looking to free themselves from wires.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • AUKEY Latitude Wireless: Great in-ears for sports, close contenders for the top budget pick but not as comfortable nor as stable as the Anker SoundBuds Curve. See our review
  • Jabra Elite 45e Wireless: Well-built, comfortable in-ears that are good for sports with a great control scheme. However, their sound is below-average and they have rather poor isolation. See our review
  • Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless: Nice truly wireless in-ears with a premium feel and cool control scheme. Not as comfortable nor as stable as our top picks and have a disappointing battery for this price point. See our review
  • Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless: Very similar to the Anker SoundBuds Curve, but slightly more expensive. Though their control scheme is better, they isolate less and their battery doesn’t last as long, so their price difference doesn’t feel worth it. See our review
  • Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless: Very good sounding, comfortable truly wireless in-ears. They are bulkier than our top picks though and have a frustrating control scheme. See our review
  • Sony WI-SP600N Wireless: Well-built wireless headphones with a nice control scheme, but less stable and comfortable than our top picks. See our review
  • Jaybird X4 Wireless: A good alternative to the Jaybird Tarah with more battery life but a higher price tag. See our review
  • B&O PLAY Beoplay E8 Truly Wireless 2018: Good sports earbuds but the Jabra Elite Active 65t perform better for less. See our review
  • Fitbit Flyer Wireless: Good sports headphones with very low leakage; mediocre battery life and more expensive than the Jaybird X3. See our review
  • Bose SoundSport Wireless: Good-sounding wireless earbuds. Semi-open design is good for awareness  but has some build quality flaws. See our review
  • Jaybird Tarah Wireless: Nearly identical in design to the Tarah Pro, but cheaper and with significantly less battery life. May be worth it if you don’t mind charging them more often, though. See our review
  • JBL Endurance Peak Truly Wireless: Great truly wireless in-ears for sports with a durable design and stable fit. Good audio reproduction but bulky and have an overly-sensitive control scheme. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Bluetooth earbuds for running and working out to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one 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.

 

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