Review: While I realize these Apple airpod headphones are not advertised as “workout headphones” we include them for two reasons. 1. Battery life. 2. Connectivity. Simply, they have superior technology.
Award Star: Best truly wireless headphones
Battery Life: 5 hours per charge
Technology: Apple products only. Wireless Bluetooth
Style: Truly wireless, “free” No cables of any kind ear buds
I ear sensors, music plays only when in ear.
Case doubles as charger Case hold 24 hrs worth of charge and can charge the airpods in 15 minutes.
Due to the exclusive W1 Chip, these have superior connectivity, unlike other earphones of this style.
Complete freedom, no wires, cables, nothing holding you back.
May fall out if you sweat a lot.
They look weird to some people.
Liberate your workout with truly wireless headphones.
Review: These Soul X-tra Headphones were specifically designed for the gym, with removable ear cups, you can clean, breathable synthetic materials that dry quickly and won’t stink, wireless connectivity so you are not tied down by cable and fast charge so you are not waiting around for them to be ready.
Award Star: Best Wireless headphones for working out
Battery Life: 24 hours
Technology: Wireless Bluetooth
Style: Over the ear wireless headphones
Removable and washable ear pads.
Built-in LED lights help others see you in the dark, an innovative safety feature.
Breathable headband and sweat proof cups.
Snug comfortable fit – stays on during upright moves like running and standing exercises.
Excellent sound quality.
May slide during bench work or exercises done lying down.
One of the only over the ear styles we recommend for running due to the LEDs and good fit in an upright position.
Review: These headphones by CB3 Audio provide some of the best value for money for sports headphones on the market right now. They fit well, provide excellent sound quality and are a popular choice for runners.
Award Star: Best in-ear sports headphones for sound quality
Battery Life: 7 hrs
Technology: Wireless Bluetooth 4.1
Style: In earbuds with ear hooks and a behind the neck wire connecting the two buds
IPX Rating: IPX4 Splashproof
Sweat and weather resistant.
Three earbud sizes included, medium size installed.
Led light and sound prompts let you know you are connected.
Good bass level, impressive sound quality.
No way to adjust the behind the neck cord.
If sound quality is important to you, these earbuds offer that. One of the best wireless workout headphones in sound quality for lower end earbud style headphones.
Review: These headphones use some pretty new and exciting technology delivering the sound through vibrations in your cheekbone allowing you to hear your music while not blocking out background noise.
Award Star: Best bone conduction headphones
Battery Life: 6 hours
Technology: Bluetooth v4.2
Style: Bone conduction headphones with a band that wraps around your head
You can hear your music but no one else can, even though there’s nothing blocking your ears!
Light weight wrap around headphones stay in place securely while exercising.
Very comfortable – you might even forget you’re wearing them!
Comes with reflective visibility strips for safety at night.
Not designed for heavy bass.
Limited control when wanting to skip tracks.
These are the best headphones for wearing at the gym if you need to be able to talk to people but want to listen to music at the same time, and they’re also the safest and most comfortable option for running outside.
Review: If you can’t afford the high price point of the some of the models above but want something a little better than the budget options below, these headphones are a good compromising, providing good sound, great battery life and a comfortable secure fit that will cope with working out.
Award Star: Good mid-range Wireless headphones
Battery Life: 10 hours
Technology: Bluetooth v4.1
Style: Wireless with a cord that runs around the back of the head
IPX Rating: IPX 5
Charges quickly in 15 minutes.
Second generation ear wings stay put regardless of the intensity of your workout.
Very effective noise isolation.
ACC + aptX support for maximum audio quality.
Include a variety of ear tips for customizing the fit.
The low battery warning is extremely loud and shocking.
A good mid-range option for people transitioning from budget options to Bluetooth headphones.
Review: I’m old school when it comes to music. To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Bluetooth headphones (possibly due to the fact that my 7-year-old mp3 player does not possess this feature). But for workouts, I don’t want to worry if my mp3 will keep falling out, so I ordered these headphones by WRZ.
You know how you see in movies the ripped guy/girl working out (with some hustle music in the background?) The sound and feel on these are THAT amazing!
It feels like you have nothing at all in your ears, while still having a good quality of sound.
Award Star: Best cheap workout headphones
Battery Life: 10 hours
Technology: Bluetooth V5.0
Style: in ear headphone with a small horn that helps with keeping the earbuds in, also there’s a wire that connects the two and runs behind the neck
Come in a hard case to keep the lifespan of the earbuds longer.
Different sizes of earbud tips for different ear sizes.
Very comfortable, even for smaller ears.
Rubber ear clips give you a better fit that stays in place while you move.
The fit isn’t great for everyone. Extremely small ears might find this not their perfect match.
You have to stay realistic when buying such an affordable product – overall, I think they’re the perfect companion for an everyday runner, but don’t expect to have the sound quality of the large headphones that really block out all the noise.
If you opt for over the ear headphones, look for aluminum and durable plastic construction. If you opt for the earbud style, check the reviews for the unit’s durability.
Most earbuds in earpieces are silicone and washable.
What you want to look for if you choose the over the ear style is removable cups. Sweating on to the faux leather and foam can lead to stinky ear cuffs if you cannot remove and wash them.
Water or Weatherproof
Blood, sweat and tears.
The things athletes are made of. Be sure your headphones can withstand all that your body and the weather might throw at them.
What is an IPX rating?
Some headphones are kind enough to brag about their IXP rating, which is ONLY helpful if you know what the heck IXP stand for.
I did not know, so I looked it up, so you don’t have to.
Very basically, the IPX rating refers to how well the item withstands water and dust.
The higher the rating the better.
In terms of water resistance, IPX 7 is the highest rating meaning that the item can be submerged in water up to 1 meter for thirty minutes.
To compare, a rating of IPX4 means the item can withstand water being splashed in any direction for up to 5 minutes.
In our reviews of the best Bluetooth workout headphones, we have listed the IPX rating, when available.
Note: Not all headphones have an IPX rating; even some of the best headphones for working out on the high end of the range do not feature an IPX rating.
This does not mean they are not water and dust resistant, it simply means they do not carry the specific IPX rating.
How well they fit
Are they comfortable? Look for soft ear hooks vs hard plastic hooks.
If they have a cord that runs behind the neck, is it soft and pliable, or hard? Does it snag the back of the neck? Will the cord adjust to fit snugly at the back of the neck?
If you are looking at over the ear sports headphones the best over the ear workout headphones have memory foam cups and ear openings big enough to fit your ears.
It is the little details like this that will make a difference in your user experience.
Do they Move?
You don’t want the headphones to move or shift.
For really intense workouts like CrossFit, this is going to be even more important as any movement will likely cause the earbuds to fall out.
For the over the ear style, look for a band that adjusts, ear cups that fit your ear shape, and enough tension in the band to hold the headphones to your head.
The weight of the headphones is important too.
Heavy over the ear headphones tend to move and shift more than light ones.
For the in-ear style, over the ear hooks are practically a must, they secure the buds in the ear and allow you to feel as if you are not wearing earphones at all.
You don’t need to worry about them falling out while jogging or doing pull-ups.
The best headphones for gym workout are the ones that you don’t have to think, fuss with, or worry about. They allow you to focus on your game instead of the headphones.
What Earbuds are Included?
Do they fit small, large, elf, ogre or whatever ear shape YOU have?
If you choose in-ear headphones, look for brands that offer several sizes and style tips so you can get a perfect in-ear fit.
Most offer three size tips, but some brands, like the Anker SoundBuds offer not only different sizes, but shapes and styles as well.
This is important, as getting earbuds to fit small ears can be especially hard.
Some sports headphones focus more on the sports side than the sound side. It is not necessarily a bad thing since you are using the headphones to workout.
But if sound is equally important to you, check these 4 characteristics before you buy.
If you like to bump it while hitting the gym, bass may be an important factor.
As a rule, over the ear headphones offer more bass, and some styles have a bass adjustment.
Highs and mid-tones
Usually, high-end brands like Bose and Sennheiser shine in this category.
Surprisingly, some styles of earbuds either do not have high enough volume, or they cannot be lowered to a comfortable level for some athletes.
We avoided these problem earbuds in our review.
If you are in a noisy gym environment, you may appreciate noise-canceling headphones.
Over the ear headphones tend to do better at noise canceling, which is why some still use bulky over the ear headphones at the gym.
If you are a runner or jogger and you run out in the real world, noise cancellation may not be the best option, since you need to be aware of your surroundings.
You would not want to get caught off guard by a car or cyclist, or not be able to hear a barking dog.
What technology do they use?
Do they have a reputation for staying connected to the music?
Some wireless headphones, both in the cheap and high-end range, just will not stay connected to the music, leaving you with an inconsistent listening experience.
I excluded headphones that had too many problems in this area from my review because, no matter how sporty the headphone is, if it does not stay connected to your music and give a smooth consistent listening experience, then the headphone is not worth it.
Are they wireless?
This is a preference thing.
There are some people who swear by only exercising with wireless headphones. And, they may have a point when it comes to the convenience of not having fuss with wires.
But wireless headphones comes with their own cons, too.
Connectivity is more vulnerable (it is never a problem with corded headphones), battery life needs to be considered (also never a problem with corded headphones) and some people may be concerned about the EMFs associated with wireless devices.
Some corded headphones offer better sound quality than their wireless counterparts and depending on your clothing, it can be pretty easy to tuck the cords inside your shirt and out of the way.
How long does the battery last?
Some of the best wireless headphones for running of the in-ear style have battery lives up to 12 hours.
Look for at least 6 hours for the in-ear style. It should last at least a couple workouts.
One brand of over the ear headphones we reviewed, the Skullcandy Crushers, have a battery life of 40 hours. That would last through at least a week’s worth of workouts, even if you work out 7 days a week for 4 hours!
Does the unit feature a “fast charge”?
This is a nice feature to have if your headphones are wireless. A really nice feature.
Because if you forgot to charge the headphones, you don’t want to be waiting around for them to charge so you can get to the gym.
Nope. No one has time for that!
Freedom of movement
Since you are looking for headphones to exercise with, being able to move freely is a priority.
They must fit well and stay in your ears or on your head.
Don’t hesitate, pick up a pair of the best workout headphones today.
Once you try headphones designed with movement and durability in mind, you will wish you had gotten a pair sooner.
Feel free to drop us a line and share your thoughts!
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Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!