Preferred headphones store
Updated

The 6 Best Wireless Earbuds For Working Out and Sport - Fall 2018
Reviews

Best Wireless Earbuds For Working Out and Sport
288 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.

If you workout or run a lot, then you may have already considered getting a pair of wireless in-ears or earbuds for their breathable and compact design. They're typically portable enough to easily carry around on your person, and they won't make you sweat like over-ears and on-ears since they only trap a little heat within your ear canal.

If you don't mind wired options, check our recommendations for the best earbuds and in-ears for working out and sport. However, most of the recommendations overlap, mostly because a wireless design is usually better for running and working out since there are fewer cables to get tangled in your clothes or caught by gym equipment.

We've tested 48 wireless earbuds and in-ears and below are our top recommendations for the best ones for sports you can purchase in 2018.

  1. Best Wireless Earbuds For Working Out: Jabra Elite Active 65t

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    8.0
    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 : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best wireless earbuds/in-ears for sports that we've reviewed so far are the Jabra Elite Active 65t. They are a more sports-oriented variant of the truly wireless Elite 65t. They have a higher IP56 rating, more water resistance, a step counter within the app and a better, matte coating that makes the earbuds feel a bit more premium. They also come with a better charging case that's compact enough to easily fit into most pockets and does not open as easily as the original Elite 65t so your earbuds won't be as likely to fall out or get lost. 

    The Elite Active 65t also benefit from a full 5-band EQ so you can really tweak their sound to match your liking, unlike the Samsung Gear IconX, which come with a couple of simple preset EQs. They have a long 15-hour battery life, good physical controls and a durable design that feels high-end. Unfortunately, the bulkier earbuds do not fit as well on everyone so they won't be as comfortable. They also do not have as many sports-specific features in their app as the Gear IconX. On the upside, if you like truly wireless design and want a good headset for sports, then the Jabra Elite Active 65t are a great choice.

    If you want a bit more sweat and dust resistance, consider the more rugged Jabra Elite Sport, however, they're even less comfortable than the Active 65t, and they're also a bit more expensive.

    See our review

  2. More sports-oriented features: Samsung Gear IconX

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

    If you want even more sports dedicated features like an in-app coach and also have an Android device, then the Samsung Gear Icon X may be a better choice. They do not have the best sweat resistance and tend to get clogged relatively easily, which may be a deal breaker for some. They also do not have the rugged design of the more sports-focused Jabra Elite Sport.

    On the upside, if you want a truly wireless headset that you can use at the gym and for most activities in your daily routine, then the Samsung Gear Icon X are a good option. They're more comfortable than the Elite Active 65t. They also have a bit more features and options like the aforementioned built-in coach, as well as a step counter and 4Gb of onboard storage, so you do not need to have your phone on you when going for a jog.  They also have a slightly better default sound although their EQ is not as customizable. Overall, the IconX are a good truly wireless headset for sports and a great alternative to the Elite Active 65t.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Wireless Earbuds For Working Out: Jaybird X4

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    8.0
    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 prefer traditional wireless in-ear designs over truly wireless headphones, then get the Jaybird X4. Since they do not have a truly wireless design, they won't be as portable as the Samsung Gear IconX or the Jabra Elite Active 65t. They also have a cable that runs behind your head which could be a bit of a hindrance for some depending on your workout routine.

    On the upside, the X4 are good and stable sports headphones for running and working out, with a decently well-balanced sound that you can easily EQ via the Jaybird MySound app. They also have a slightly better build quality than the Jaybird X3 since they have a higher iPX7 rating and should be more water and sweat resistant although we do not yet have a sweat and water test in place to confirm this.

    Simply put, the Jaybird X4 are straightforward and easy to use wireless in-ears with good controls, a couple tip options to help you find the right fit and a decent 7-hour battery life. Unfortunately, their charging cradle is somewhat limiting which may be a deal breaker for some.

    See our review

  4. More comfortable alternative: Bose SoundSport Wireless

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

    If you want a sports headphone but refuse to compromise on sound quality, then your best bet are the Bose SoundSport Wireless. They have a semi-open fit, so they do not isolate as well in noisy conditions as the Jaybird X4. They also do not have a customizable sound profile so they may not be as versatile as the X4 or the Jabra Elite Active 65t for different listeners.

    However, they more than make up for it with a balanced sound that caters well to most genres and may not even need an EQ. They also have a comfortable earbud fit that most will prefer over the fit of more traditional in-ears. They have an okay battery life of 6 hours, a decent wireless range and they're compact enough to fit in your pockets even if they are a little larger than the X4. If you want the best sounding wireless earbuds for sports we've tested so far, then the Bose SoundSport Wireless are one of the best options, only slightly surpassed in sound by the truly wireless variant, the SoundSport Free

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Wireless Earbuds For Working Out: Anker SoundBuds Curve

    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 want something cheaper, the best wireless earbuds for sports in the budget category are the Anker SoundBuds Curve. These wireless in-ears are a bit bulkier than the Jaybird X4, the Bose SoundSport Wireless and the other truly wireless recommendations on this list. They also do not have a customizable sound profile, and they're a bit less sweat resistant than the JBL Endurance Sprint and the Anker Soundcore Spirit X.

    On the upside, they offer a slightly better value for your money being one of the most budget wireless options we've tested that still deliver a good performance overall in most categories. They have a good 12-hour battery life and a comfortable earbud-like fit that you can wear for longer despite being in-ear headphones.

    Overall, the Curve are easily one of the better budget options for any wireless in-ears we've tested so far. 

    See our review

  6. More sweat resistant alternative: JBL Endurance Sprint

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

    If you want a more sweatproof and balanced sounding in-ear for running and working out, then consider the JBL Endurance Sprint. They do not have the earbud-like fit of the Anker SoundBuds Curve so they won't be as comfortable for everyone. They also have a touch-sensitive control scheme that can be a bit difficult to use especially while running and working out.

    On the upside, the Sprint have a good design that looks a lot more high-end than their price would suggest. They also have better ear-hooks than the Anker Curve that make them stable enough for most sports-related activities. They have a balanced sound that caters well to most tracks and a decent battery life with a great auto-off feature that saves a lot of power. They may not have the powerful bass range of the Curve which some may prefer and their touch control scheme can be a tad too sensitive at times, but if you want a premium looking wireless sports in-ear under 50$, then the JBL Endurance Sprint are a great choice. 

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Bose SoundSport Free. A truly wireless variant of the Bose earbud design. Comfortable, great sound but slightly bulky and lack good customization options. See our review
  • Jabra Elite Sport. A more rugged and sweat proof alternative to the Active 65t but more expensive and less comfortable overall. See our review
  • Jaybird X3. A great overall performance with added customization options. Stable sports headphones but the X4 are better. See our review
  • Anker Soundcore Spirit X. A more sweat proof alternative to the SoundBuds Curve but also a bit more expensive. See our review
  • Sony WI-SP600N. A wireless noise canceling in-ear for sports. Decent performance overall but not the best value and mediocre noise canceling. See our review
  • Beoplay E8. Good sports earbuds but the Samsung Gear IconX perform better for half the price. See our review
  • Jaybird Run. Good truly wireless headphones for sport, but the Samsung Gear IconX are a better pick. See our review
  • Samsung U Flex. A flexible around the neck design that's suitable for most use cases. They have a lot of customization options but they're a bit limited to Samsung and Android devices.  See our review
  • Fitbit Flyer. Good sports headphones with very low leakage; mediocre battery life and more expensive than the Jaybird X3. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best wireless earbuds 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 wireless 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.

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:

Create Discussion

Preview Back to editor Format guide

The editor uses special characters (aka. markdown).

To post formatted content follow these rules:

What you typeWhat it will look like
*italic text*italic text
**bold text**bold text
[link](http://rtings.com)link
> quoted text
quoted text
# header

header

- item 1
- item 2
- item 3
  • item 1
  • item 2
  • item 3

* Quotes and lists must be followed by a blank line