Let’s face it, even the best headphones aren’t always the right choice when it comes to listening to music, audiobooks, and podcasts while running. We’ll gladly trade a bit of audio quality in favor of something smaller, lighter, and more durable. It doesn’t hurt if they are resistant to sweat, dirt, and rain either. Make them simple to interact with while on the move and you’ll likely have a winning combination.
Fortunately for runners, there’s a wealth of Bluetooth-enabled headphones that meet that description these days, many of which excel when it comes to comfort, sound quality, and fitness tracking features. The selections below are the best headphones for running but also kick ass for general fitness, too.
At a glance
|Jabra Elite Sport||Best running headphones overall||4 out of 5|
|Urbanears Hellas||Best for the in-ear hater||Not yet rated|
|Anker SoundBuds Sport||Best no-frills pick||Not yet rated|
|V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless||Best for both running and everyday use||4.5 out of 5|
|Beats PowerBeats 3||Best for iPhone users||Not yet rated|
|JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash||Best for those who like to get wet||3.5 out of 5|
Why you should buy them: Between fitness tracking, sound quality, battery life, and full wireless design, the Elite Sport is decked out with every feature serious athletes would want.
Who they’re for: Runners who want the best mix of sound, features, and durability
Why we picked the Elite Sport:
When looking for headphones you can wear while running — or engaging in any exercise — you’re likely looking for the lightest and least cumbersome option that also sounds great and has excellent battery life. Jabra’s fully wireless Elite Sport headphones are all the above and are some of the best fully wireless headphones we’ve had the pleasure of testing. They are waterproof, offer great performance, and have a flexible-yet-secure– fit that puts them a cut above most other true wireless earbuds on the market.
In terms of performance, not only do the Elite Sport sound great, the lack of a wire eliminates that annoying jostling sound you get when wearing a pair of wired headphones that tend to ruin your listening experience. The lack of wire actually allows them to stay firmly in place in your ears too, as there isn’t an annoying cable pulling on them while you run.
Jabra went an extra step in making them great for runners by putting a heart rate monitor in the right earpiece and when paired with Jabra’s Sport Life app, the headphones provide heart-rate readings during workouts — you can even add and track specific workouts for more in-depth statistics.
The 4.5-hour battery life should be plenty to get you through your runs or gym workouts but the inclusion of a charging case makes powering them up while on-the-go a cinch. To top it off, these buds are IP67 waterproof, so rainy runs are a go.
The best for the in-ear hater
Why you should buy them: Comfortable and stable, the Hellas are made for high-intensity workouts and include a washable headband and ear cushions.
Who they’re for: Runners who prefer the fit and feel of over-ear headphones to in-ears.
Why we picked the Urbanears Hellas:
Urbanears is known for making affordable headphones that offer great sound quality and are comfortable to wear — and the Hellas are no exception. Outside of its sonic benefits, they also give athletes the option of removing its washable ear cushions and headband, which is a very useful feature for a headphone sure to see its fair share of sweat.
Priced at just $83, the Urbanears Hellas won’t break the bank either and since they weigh just 4.5 ounces, you might even forget you’re wearing them at all, despite the fact they’re on-ears. An intuitive swipe interface on one of the ear cups makes it easy to adjust volume, change tracks, or pick-up incoming calls, while the 14-hour battery life ensures you’ll get through multiple workouts before needing a recharge.
Anker SoundBuds Sport
The best no-frills pick
Why you should buy them: If you’re on a budget and don’t need a suite of features, Anker’s SoundBuds Sport is the perfect, straightforward option.
Who they’re for:Runners on a budget who still want wireless connectivity.
Why we picked SoundBuds Sport:
These headphones offer wireless connectivity, eight hours of battery life, and are sweat-proof, making them well suited for use at the gym or an outdoor run. They offer three sizes of silicone tips to help find the right fit capable of keeping them stable in your ears and they’re even equipped with noise-canceling technology.
Best of all, however, is the fact the Anker SoundBuds Sports are incredibly easy on the wallet, selling for just $30. That makes them the perfect choice for runners who aren’t looking for a lot of fancy features or simply don’t want to spend a lot on a pair of headphones — after all, with as much beating as these are going to take, it doesn’t hurt to pinch pennies when you can.
V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless
The best for both running and everyday use
Why you should buy them: The Forza Metallo Wireless stays put regardless of what activity you’re engaged in while wearing them.
Who they’re for: Those who want a single pair of headphones for use during any activity.
Why we picked the V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless:
The water-resistant V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless are a straightforward pair of earbuds that put excellent sound quality at the forefront, with a round and warm sound signature that pairs well with virtually all genres. However, sound quality alone isn’t enough to make them a good pick for your workouts. To keep them in your ears, a wide assortment of sport fins and tips are included. Almost any listener will find a perfect seal and they’re made from a soft rubber compound that ranks them among the most comfortable in-ears we’ve ever encountered.
These earbuds have also been built to survive rain and sweat and are a perfect companion for workouts, rainy commutes, or any other outdoor activities that beg for a crisp and clear soundtrack. Even the rainy climate our Portland, Oregon, office is located in was no match for these durable headphones.
Beats PowerBeats 3
The best for iPhone users
Why you should buy them: The PowerBeats 3 offer superb sound quality, plenty of booming bass, and Apple’s W1 chip which makes pairing them to your smartphone an absolute breeze.
Who it’s for: Runners who carry their iPhone with them while working out.
Why we chose the Beats PowerBeats 3:
While the PowerBeats 3 is a worthy headphone option for any runner, it’s especially attractive for iPhone users. This is due mainly to the fact the PowerBeats 3 uses the same W1 chip found on the AirPods, allowing them to effortlessly pair with Apple devices. But unlike Apple’s AirPods, these headphones are also sweat and waterproof, while also offering a 12-hour battery life.
The PowerBeats 3 offers Beats’ signature sound quality, which includes more bass than almost any other sports-focused pair of headphones. Ear hooks are also included, providing extra stability and a better all-around fit — a welcome feature for any style of runner.
JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash
The best for noisy runs
Why you should buy them: The JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash can handle your sweatiest workouts and are comfortable enough for long listening sessions.
Who it’s for: Those who want a set of fully wireless earbuds that can survive the most intense workout routine.
Why we chose the True Wireless Flash:
With no awkward cables to get in the way, truly wireless earbuds seem like they were designed specifically for runners, and everyone else with a super active workout routine. But if you’ve looked around, you probably noticed a lot of models — specifically Apple’s super popular AirPods — just aren’t built for sports. They can’t handle much sweat and they aren’t designed to stay securely in your ears no matter how much you pound the pavement. That is where the JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash shine. With a five-hour battery life that can be extended to 20 hours via the charging case, they offer a good amount of playtime. But it’s their IPX7 rating and ultra-secure, yet comfortable, ear fins that earns them a spot in this list.
Though similar to the excellent Jabra Elite Active 65t, the True Wireless Flash has the edge when it comes to running and other workouts thanks to its superior fit and comfort.