Health and Fitness

18 Best Headphones and Earbuds for Workouts for 2021

workout headphones

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There are two types of people: the first, those who hate to listen to music while working out. They prefer to hear their surroundings and breathing, or the silence as time to think and ponder. And the second, those who can’t workout without their music. No tunes means no workout. And whether you prefer to listen to music, a podcast, or tune into a sports game while getting your sweat on, you’ll need a solid pair of headphones to make it happen. So investing in a pair of headphones that are truly built for working out is key.

For most, that means a high-quality pair of wireless headphones. Of course, there are multiple camps: those who prefer ear buds, over-the-ear headphones, or even bone conducting headphones. The key is to pick the ones that fit your ears and head best, and won’t budge while you’re running or repping out sets on the Smith machine. Plus, they need to withstand plenty of sweat.

But picking the right pair can be tricky, with so many options flooding the market. Brands like Jaybird, Beats by Dre, and Apple all make stellar sweat-proof headphones for all your workouts, including CrossFit. But there are so many more to choose from, including Bose, Jabra, Samsung and Google. To help you out, we rounded up some of the best workout headphones for all budgets, ones that are worth the splurge, and ones that will save you some serious coin. Here are 18 of the best.

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Google Pixel Buds A-Series

With a $99 price tag, these Google Pixel Buds A-Series are a bang for your buck. One of the coolest features is Google’s Adaptive Sound feature, which automatically adjusts the volume to suit your surroundings, so you don’t have to juggle making changes if your hands are full. And of course, they’re Google compatible. All you need to do is say, “Hey Google,” or press and hold the earbud to talk to Google for anything from the weather, sports stats, or to play your music.

UA Project Rock Over-Ear Training Headphones

These over-ear headphones are the latest of the UA Project Rock x JBL audio devices.  These bass-heavy headphones have the “Ambient Aware” setting, which makes it easier for you to hear the world around you. They have a super long charge, with 45 hours of playtime per full charge. They’re also made for the sweatiest of workouts, thanks to UA Storm Super Grip to prevent them from slipping, and UA SuperVent ear cushions that are fast-drying.

Beats by Dre Powerbeats Pro

amazon.com

$249.95

$179.95 (28% off)

The flashiest name in audio doesn’t sit on the sidelines at the gym. The greatest from Beats are the PowerBeats Pro, which are the company’s first true wireless option and the only earphone outside the AirPods to feature Apple’s H1 chip for seamless smartphone connection. Add a sweat-proof design, long-lasting battery, and MH fitness director Ebenezer Samuel’s rating of “Superman pushup proof” and you might just have the perfect gym companion. These come in multiple colorways and will be your best headphones for sweating in.

Bose Sport Open Earbuds

These buds introduce a new concept for true wireless audio: your ears are open to the world, so you can hear what’s going on around you along with your music. AfterShokz has a similar open-ear design (more on that in a moment), but Bose brings the idea to buds using a technology called “OpenAudio,” which the company claims can allow for better sound quality. Not quite sold, but interested? Check out our whole review

Apple Airpods Pro

If you’re already an Apple AirPods fan, you probably can’t remember life without them. That’s how exciting it was when they first came out.  The latest version of Apple’s AirPods is one giant leap ahead of the originals, especially for working out in. Not only will you get more than 24 hours of battery life in the charging case (something the originals fall short of with use), you’ll have a more customizable fit with interchangeable ear tip options. These wireless buds boast seamless connectivity with iPhones, thanks to its intuitive H1 chip. And more importantly the sound quality and noise-cancelling claim drastically improves. Plus, they are water-resistant, so feel free to get sweaty AF.

Nuheara IQ Buds Max

IQBuds MAX come with Nuheara’s EarID technology, which uses he clinically-validated NAL-NL2 hearing test through a mobile app to assess a wearer’s hearing, allow you to create a personal hearing profile. These earbuds also have tap-touch and gesture control to make adjusting volume a cinch, as well as active noise-cancellation technology to focus on your fitness game. 

Under Armour True Wireless Flash Earbuds

These true wireless earbuds are tough enough for The Rock, so they should be good enough for anyone.

If that doesn’t convince you, maybe the specialized JBL sound, IPX7 waterproof/stormproof rating, rugged metal-hinge design, and 10-hour battery life (with an aluminum 40 hour charging case) will win you over. Plus, the winged ear tips lock them and feel like second skin. This tiny design packs a whole lot of punch. If there is anything we like about 2020, it’s the technology to create a product like this. 

Bose Sport Earbuds

Bose is renowned for amazing sound, and the company’s true wireless earbuds do not disappoint.

The units depend on a specialized EQ and Bose digital signal processing system that works to keep your music at peak performance, no matter how much noise is in the background. The buds also boast an IPX4 waterproof rating, so sweat all you want. The detailed nodule makes these true wireless earbuds the best in the game because no matter how hard you hit, they will stay in place. They come in three different color ways and are on sale now. 

Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

The Jabra Elite 85T are the brand’s latest and greatest true wireless headphones that truly live up to their name and have become one of our new favorite workout headphones. In these compact earbuds you’ll find everything you need in a headphone. They feature 12MM speakers, 6 microphones for phone calls, over 5 hours of battery life, wind and weather protection, a multi-connect system, and more. With adjustable noise-cancelling settings to find your perfect sound, if there’s one set of headphones that have it all, it’s these.

JLab Audio Epic Air Sport

If you’re looking for the best alternative to the Powerbeats Pro, look no further. This under-$100 option from JLAB brings over 15 hours of playtime and 55 additional hours from the charging chase. We love a smart noise-cancellation system that adapts to the environment and a dual connection so you can use each air bud independently if you please or share with a friend. These over the hear buds bring you all the great features for a fraction of the price.

Bose Frames Tempo

If you want to listen to music or podcasts personally and privately, but absolutely hate the idea of having something in your ear, the Bose Frames Tempo are for you. 

For starters, they feature a high-quality performance sport sunglass with an open ear audio system. This patented design lets you listen to music and your surroundings. The aerodynamic frames are sweat- and weather-resistant, and feature soft silicone nose pad grips for extra comfort with a secure fit. These sunglasses are rugged and durable, making them a great option for runners and cyclists for when they need to be alert and aware of their surroundings. The best part is you can swap out the lenses colors depending on your trek for the day. You can even insert your own prescription frames through Lensabl.  These are the most unique workout headphones on this list.

Jaybird Vista Earbuds

Jaybird’s wireless earbuds are fully waterproof and sweat-proof, so you can work out in any weather or condition. (They meet MIL-SPEC STD810G standards.) They also can be adjusted to 3 different sizes for a customized fit. If you always find your buds popping out of your ears, consider these. 

 Plus, they have massive battery life, with up to 16 hours of total charge from the compact charging case. And connecting to your phone is easy with JBS1 true wireless bluetooth technology. 

Aftershockz AS800 Bluetooth Wireless On-Ear

These wireless bone conduction headphones from Aftershockz bring you similar qualities of the Bose Frames Tempo without the shades. Runners and cyclists especially love this style so they can stay alert of pedestrians, wildlife, and oncoming traffic while working out outside. They send sound through the ear canals with a patented bone conduction technology that delivers audio through the cheekbones. You won’t believe it until you try it. 

You get 8 hours of continuous listening, plus they are waterproof and sweat-proof. With over 8,000 near perfect reviews on Amazon, these babies are the lightest Aftershockz to date. 

Pro tip: they pass the test of road races that don’t allow runners to wear anything in their ears, because technical they are “over the ear.”

Plantronics BackBeat Fit

For those that enjoy the bulkier over-the-head-headphones while working out, let us suggest the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100. These headphones are made to take a beating like no other.  

And the sound in these babies is no joke. You get theater-like, rich audio all in a sweat proof and water-resistant overhead system. They are designed to be breathable and comfortable with a soft cushioning and to stay on during the hardest rips. They feature a special Awareness Mode, which is the happy medium between noise-cancelling and background listening.

Beats By Dre Flex Wireless Earphones

I bet you didn’t think the best cheap workout headphones on this list would come from Beats, did you? These under $50 earbuds bring you the basics. You know you get seamless connectivity and ease of use under the Beats/Apple name, so that’s not even a question. 

Additionally, you’ll get 12 hours of listening time and a built-in microphone. The sound quality is good, but it won’t be audiophile status—but remember you’re only spending $49.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds

If you’re a minimalist type and really just want a single pair of headphones to take you from work to the gym and off on your travels, look no further. If the household electronics name doesn’t sell you, maybe this will. These are the most versatile on this list, making them a lovely option for your entire day. They come with complete with a built-in microphone, 18 hours of battery life, noise-cancellation features, and Alexa capabilities. Whether you’re listening to a podcast, taking a meeting, or getting hot and sweaty in an intense HIIT class, these bad boys will have your back. You can activate any of their features with a single touch sensor. Plus, they have smart listening technology, which automatically adjusts the noise with your environment.

Bose SoundLink Around Ear Wireless Headphones II

Bose might be getting a lot of love on this list, but that’s because they have an audio system like no other. This version is a set of over-ear wireless headphones that can do it all. With it seamless bluetooth connectivity for audio and video, it also allows you to stay connected to 2 devices simultaneously. You can also take calls with them on, thanks to its advanced microphone system and HD voice technology to make sure your sound is clear in the noisiest conditions. Plus, they have up to 15 hours of battery life.

SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Electronics

$150.99

If you’re a fan of Samsung, or have a Galaxy phone, you will love these noise cancelling buds. You can easily answer calls with a single tap, and switch back to your jams just as easily. They have excellent sound quality thanks to an 11-mm woofer and 6.5-mm tweeter built into every ear bud. Plus, it comes with a convenient wireless charging case so you can charge on-the-go.

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