Nothing quite gets you as pumped for a good workout like the sound of your favorite songs filling your ears. Some people spend hours curating the perfect gym playlist consisting of all the songs that give them energy and help them power through various exercises. These songs then keep them company and motivate them to do one more set, even when they’re tired.
Whether you’re a fan of listening to electronic beats, classic rock, or perhaps some heavy drum&bass when you visit the gym, one thing is certain: you need a pair of good headphones. The reason for that is simple. Nothing quite ruins a good song like headphones made on the cheap. Sound reproduction is a real thing, and to enjoy your music to the fullest; you need something that can do it justice.
Workout headphones are a whole genre of their own, and so they should be — the requirements for them are quite unique. They need to hold on to your ears well, even if you’re moving vigorously. They also need to offer a lot of breathing room and be waterproof in case of those extra tough workouts that make you break a sweat.
Finding the right balance between the above factors and great sound quality can be tricky. To make it easier for you, we’ve prepared this guide on the best workout headphones currently on the market.
Read on and take advantage of our expertise. Save yourself the precious time you’d otherwise spend researching and pick out your new headphones today!
Things to Keep in Mind
Before jumping straight to our recommendations, please check out our buying guide. We will talk about all the things you need to be mindful of when deciding on a brand-new pair of headphones.
- Headphone type: This is the most important factor, but also one of the trickiest. Some people vastly prefer over-the-ear headphones over earbuds. We get it because they do have their advantages. However, it’s rare to find a pair of huge headphones that will grant the same breathability as earbuds will. Ask yourself: are your workouts quite vigorous? Do you often get sweaty? If the answer is yes, you’ll probably prefer earbuds instead of over-the-ear options.
- Wired/wireless: Another dilemma that comes down to preference. Whether you should go with wireless headphones over a wired option depends on the types of workouts you usually do. For example, if you tend to stick to the treadmill, the cord won’t bother you as much as it will during broader, more unexpected movements. In general, most people these days go with wireless earbuds, wireless headphones, or neckbands (earbuds attached to a half-circle placed around the back of your neck).
- Battery life: If you’ve chosen wireless, battery life can be an issue. Fortunately, most wireless earbuds offer at least 3-5 hours of continuous power, and then an extra 8-15 hours inside their handy charging case. Big over-the-ear wireless headphones can sometimes work for up to 50 hours before calling for a recharge.
- Waterproofing: This is HUGE when it comes to picking out workout headphones. If you work out, you’re bound to break a sweat even during light exercises. Not all headphones, especially earbuds, are water-resistant. Too much moisture can be a real killer, so make sure you pick up a pair that can handle it.
- Wire compatibility: This is relevant for both wireless and wired headphones. Most headphones with a cord operate on a 3.5mm audio jack. Occasionally, you’ll find models that only have USB compatibility.
- Wireless compatibility: As for wireless headphones, the most commonly used technology is Bluetooth. You have to check whether the headphones work with your mobile device (iOS, Android compatibility) and also whether the version of Bluetooth is the same or lower than in your mobile device.
Best Headphones for Working Out
We can bet that you’re eager to pick out your new headphones and hit the gym, so that’s enough information for now. Of course, there are other things to take into consideration, such as noise isolation, sound frequency, and special features. However, to save your time, we will discuss these in regard to each individual product.
We’ve done our research and prepared this list of the best workout headphones for you. Read on to check them out!
Our Best Overall Pick
These flexible earbuds are our favorite pick. Between their superior noise isolation, secure, comfortable fit, and stable Bluetooth 5 technology, they’re the best headphones for working out.
Type: true wireless
Connection: Bluetooth 5
Special features: IPX7 Waterproof, quick pairing, true wireless, stereo calls
Powered by strong, expertly tuned graphene drivers, these earbuds offer supreme sound quality that is rarely matched in earphones that small.
A lot of emphasis has been placed on bass, which has been bosted with Soundcore’s BASSUP technology. The levels of bass are being analyzed in real-time as you listen to music and then boosted to improve sound quality even further.
For those that workout tirelessly and break a sweat, these headphones are a good option due to their durability. First of all, the material they were made of is 100 times harder than steel while simultaneously being 35% lighter than traditional drivers. Second, they’re entirely sweat-proof and waterproof. Not even a very rigorous workout will damage these.
They have a comfortable fit, and they feature a specialty technology that ensures they stay securely in place even when you’re pushing yourself to the limit.
For all of the above reasons, we really recommend these to every lover of sports.
- Bluetooth 5
- Secure fit with Soundcore’s proprietary GripFit technology
- Strong, enhanced bass
- Immersive stereo sound
- Waterproof, durable, made out of strong material
- Solid battery life, made longer by the charging case
- Great for music, but the sound quality during calls is less amazing
- Some people find the noise isolation to be too strong
Our Best Neckband Pick
Neckbands, also known as necksets, are quite popular among those that like to listen to music while active. They’re headphones, so they don’t suffer from the disadvantages of earbuds, but they’re still comfortable to wear.
Type: wireless neckset
Special features: built-in microphone, foldable, long battery life
These headphones may remind some people of a call center, but there’s a reason why they are produced that way. Made into a band that goes behind the neck and over your ears, they offer a very secure fit regardless of the circumstances.
They’re a great option if you simply hate the feeling of earbuds, especially for hours on end. These go over your ears like any other pair of headphones would, and they receive extra support from the built-in ear hooks. It’s worth noting that this neckband is super lightweight and doesn’t apply too much pressure to your ears.
LEVIN made these with four control buttons right on the headphones, so you can pick up calls and control the volume easily. The built-in microphone is not outstanding, but it does have adequate audio quality.
The sound in the headphones, however, is strong, loud, and clear. You’ll hear your favorite songs as they were meant to be heard without sacrificing situational awareness, as the noise cancelation here will be less overwhelming than in most earbuds. We recommend LEVIN as an alternative to true wireless earphones.
- Alternative solution to earbuds
- Over-the-ear design with secure ear hooks
- Lightweight and foldable
- Control panel right on the headphones
- 12-hour battery life
- Built-in microphone
- Comes with a case
- Not the best microphone quality
- Not ideal for people with large heads
Our Best Budget Pick
You don’t need to spend a fortune to get yourself a solid pair of sports earphones. This model was manufactured with workouts in mind, and as such, it just might be what you’re looking for.
Type: wireless, ear hooks with a neckband
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
Special features: boosted bass, waterproof, long battery life
These affordable earphones feature an interesting design that almost reminds us of a gaming headset. A mix of black and red, they look somewhat futuristic and trendy. However, more than anything else, their design promotes freedom of movement, which is the bread and butter of sports.
A lot plays into why these earbuds sit securely in your ears. They have ear hooks and a soft band that goes behind the neck. Losing them is practically impossible, so your music will stay with you throughout the entire trip to the gym.
As you may need a strong bass to pump you up when you work out, you’ll be pleased to know that this was the main focus when these headphones were made. They offer a thumping, loud, discernible bass that manages not to overshadow the other sounds. For a pair of really budget earphones, the sound quality is surprisingly good.
Following the sports theme that these were made for, they are waterproof (IPX7 rating) and will endure even the most extreme workouts. They’re also sure to keep you company throughout the exercise, as they offer up to 9 hours of non-stop listening. If you want to listen to your favorite tunes without spending too much, check these out!
- Highly affordable
- Interesting, secure design
- Strong bass & overall good sound quality
- 9 hours of battery life
- Quick recharge
- Latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology
- Waterproof, sweat-proof
- Not everyone finds the design comfortable
Our Best High-End Pick
If money is not a concern, why not pick something that’s bound to make you happy? Bose has years of experience in making top-notch headphones, and a lot of it has been poured into this particular model.
Type: true wireless
Special features: dual-microphone array, track lost earbuds, sweat-proof
Let’s start with innovation. What’s the most common problem with true wireless earphones? You guessed it — they go missing under mysterious circumstances, and often losing just one can set you back a lot. Bose, knowing of this problem, pioneered a way to fix it.
These earbuds can be tracked with the Bose Connect App. It has a built-in “Find My Buds” feature that will show you where to search. This is especially handy as these earphones are remarkably tiny and lightweight.
They have a fun, sporty design that is not often seen in wireless earphones. On a single charge, they offer up to 5 hours of playtime, which can be extended to 15 with the use of the charging case.
Bose SoundSport earbuds are waterproof, sweat-proof, and weather-resistant with a rating of IPX4. They also come with three different pairs of ear tips, each in a different size. This ensures that you’ll be able to find a fit that is comfy but completely secure.
They do have a bit of a hefty price tag, but it all ties in with excellent sound quality, great durability, and a number of features that the competition hasn’t yet caught up to. We recommend Bose if you want your headphones to have a touch of luxury.
- Comfortable and safe thanks to the three differently-sized ear tips
- Sweat, water, and weather-resistant
- 5 hours of battery life + 10 hours in the charging case
- Dedicated smartphone app
- Offer the ability to track lost earbuds
- Dual-microphone array
- They’re not a budget option
- The app is required to update firmware
Have you found your dream pair of headphones yet? We sincerely hope so, but if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the different options, let’s take one parting glance at each pair now.
- Soundcore Liberty Neo Earbuds presents a very desirable pair of headphones at a relatively good price. With great sound quality, a good battery life, and sturdy design, these are our favorites on the list.
- LEVIN Behind the Head Wireless Headphones: If you prefer headphones over earbuds, you might want to look into this neckband headset. It gives you a lot of breathing room without crowding your ear canals.
- Villain X6 Bluetooth Wireless Earphones: Extremely affordable & with a bass that hits hard, these budget earphones impressed us with great audio quality.
- Bose Soundsport Free: For those that don’t need to worry about the budget, we recommend Bose — a high-end blend of all the things you’d want in a pair of headphones for working out.
With all that said, all that remains is for you to take your pick and then hit the gym. You’re just a few short steps away from listening to your favorite songs while you work out! If you have any questions, make sure to ask down in the comments, and if you’ve already gotten your headphones, let us know which model you went with!