15-workout-headphones-that'll-help-you-crush-your-fitness-goals-this-year

15 Workout Headphones That'll Help You Crush Your Fitness Goals This Year

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There are the best wireless headphones and then there are the best headphones for working out. Sure, there’s some overlap there, but those that fall into the latter category have one huge bonus going for them: They’re not going to pop out of your ear mid-stride, -squat, or -sit-up, so they’ll be there for you every time you hit a new personal record (or as the pros call it, a “PR”).

In the past looking for wireless headphones for working out meant opting for a low-quality pair of “wireless” headphones (those ones that are still wired yet called wireless for some reason) or spending a boatload of money to get truly wireless headphones. Thankfully, the technology has improved drastically, and you can find a great pair of workout-friendly headphones at price points that you won’t, ahem, need to sweat. These headphones can hold their charge for longer than 30 minutes, stay connected to your phone, and fit and stay in your ears no matter how intense the workout. Heck, these days, even wireless headphones not specifically designed for working out make adequate workout buds.

To find the best headphones for working out, we’ve spent years (yes, literal years) running, biking, lifting, and…walking briskly, with a few dozen different pairs of Bluetooth headphones. We did the heavy lifting for you, so that we may now introduce you to the best wireless headphones for working out—ones that function so well you won’t really have to think about them at all.


The Best Headphones for All Kinds of Workouts: Jabra Elite 7 Active

Jabra Elite 7 Active

Water Resistance: IP57
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Battery Life: 8 hours

For too long, you had to spend over $100 to get a pair of just half-decent wireless headphones. In 2022, that’s no longer the case. Our favorite headphones for working out are the very-affordable, $100 Jabra Elite 7 Actives. Released in October 2021, the Active model of the Elite 7s feature something called ShakeGrip technology—self-explanatory as it sounds, pop these earbuds in your ear, give your head a shake, and be in awe of how stable these stay put. The only problem with this sturdy fit is that the earbuds essentially plug up your whole ear, and since the earbuds are made of silicone rubber, they feel like they’re completely blocking up you ear in the same way an ear plug would. This might feel uncomfortable if you’re used to a looser-fitting earbud, but they’ll at least be more secure when you’re toggling between HIIT exercises or getting your heart rate up jumping rope.

These headphones are a step up above the Elite 4 Actives, and we find that the more premium pair of earbuds are worth the money. The Elite 7 Actives have a better battery life—eight hours of playback time or 30 hours with the charging case—plus two extra microphones, which improve the sound quality of your phone calls if you’re using them as everyday buds, too. The addition of wireless charging is also a huge plus, and while wireless charging isn’t exclusive to these, it does offer a major bonus. The Elite 7s also use Bluetooth Multipoint technology so you can be connected to two devices simultaneously—like if you need to go from computer to phone (given it’s not a workout situation)—for seamless connectivity. Users are able to switch between adjustable active noise cancellation, as well as a transparency mode so you can remain aware of your surroundings, like say if you’re running in a crowded urban area, without giving up on your tunes. 

The pocketable-ness of these earbuds and their case make them convenient to tote around, and we still can’t get over the affordability of these things. Get this when you’re just overwhelmed by the over-saturated market place for headphones for working out.

The Best True Wireless Earbuds for Using Beyond the Gym: Beats Fit Pro

Beats Fit Pro true wireless earbuds

Water Resistance: IPX4
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Battery Life: 6 hours

We were eager to give the Beats Fit Pro earbuds a 2022 Fitness Award, although its price keeps it from topping this list. One of the biggest things going for these workout headphones is its streamlined design. The ear cups feel soft and cushy, while the shape is blessedly ergonomic compared to more bulbous fitness models from Jaybird and Jabra. That’s a huge plus if you’re looking for a multi-tasking, sweat-resistant, stylish AirPods alternative that you can wear while you’re commuting, working out, and maybe even dozing off to white noise. It’s also notably more comfortable to wear for long periods of time than the wraparound style of its predecessor, the beloved Powerbeats Pro.

Compared to the Powerbeats, you still get easy Bluetooth pairing and device switching thanks to Apple’s H1 chip, though the Fit Pros charge up with a USB-C cord instead of the standard iPhone lightning cable. The active noise cancelling mode is a plus (though maybe not quite as enveloping as that of the Airpods Pro), and there’s a transparency mode for balancing out background noise, spatial audio for a surround sound feel, and enhanced audio performance that digs into Beats’ signature bass-heavy notes without getting too murky in the mids and highs. 

The Fit Pro’s battery life maxes out at six hours of continuous use, and its touch controls for volume feel jankier than the dedicated buttons on the Powerbeats for crescendoing your way through a particularly punishing set of reps. The earbuds can also easily lose suction when you’re in a downward dog or wobbly quadruped position that calls for resisting sweat, gravity, and motion (though they do stay put during high-intensity pavement pounding). Still, if you want one pair of buds for everything from working out to listening to podcasts, consider the Fit Pros. Their crisper, more balanced sound make them well worth the upgrade.

The Best Headphones for Running: Jaybird Vista 2 

Jaybird Vista 2 true wireless sport headphones

Water Resistance: IP68
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Battery Life: 8 hours

Jaybird took everything we loved about its original Vista model, and scaled it up with the Vista 2. It earned a nod in the 2021 Fitness Awards for its souped-up sound profile, an impressive IP68 durability against sweat and dust (these can handle full submersion in water), new protections against drops, plus a better battery life at eight hours—instead of six. It’s also kept up with its competitors in the sports headphone space by offering active noise cancelling and a SurroundSense feature that allows you to control environmental noise. One of the best continuous features Jaybird has in its corner is its companion app, which lets you get super precious about your EQ settings with a range of presets (or the option to add your own). 

Maybe you want to dial up the bass on your headphones so it sounds like you’re surrounded by subwoofers in the middle of a set—the world is your oyster. The Vista 2 still comes in a tank of a carrying case, which is a real clunker for carrying around, but not a huge setback for what’s an otherwise great set of workout headphones. And despite that annoying case (which is actually quite thin), the Vista 2 themselves offer a very secure fit for when you’re running—or any other kind of active movement. 

The Best Budget Headphones for the Gym: Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2

Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 wireless earbuds

Water Resistance: IPX5
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Battery Life: 8 hours

There is very little in this category under $50 that’s sweat-proof, sounds decent, and actually connects easily with your phone. But after testing some real stinkers, we found one actually kinda good pair at $50: the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2. Soundcore kind of owns the universe of super cheap, beater headphones. The sound quality won’t win any awards, but for $50, these Soundcore earbuds sound fuller, clearer, and more balanced than you’d expect. Water-resistant headphones aren’t super common at this price, but these are IPX5 rated, which means they’re protected extremely well against water and dust. The flexible silicone “airwings” easily conform to the shape of your ear and, impressively, they offer a whopping 100 hours of battery life in total from the charging case (eight hours per charge). We’ve never tried to workout for 100-hours straight, but rest assured these are not headphones that are going to die on your way to the gym. 

The Best Workout Headphones for Biking: Shokz OpenRun

Shokz OpenRun

Water Resistance: IP67
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Battery Life: 8 hours

If you’re a city biker, you know that using any pair of headphones while you’re riding can be dangerous. You need a ton of spatial awareness to safely navigate all the trucks, cars, pedestrians, and other bikers zooming around the streets. The simplest way to address the problem of quiet commutes while biking is with a portable Bluetooth speaker. But if you don’t want your entire neighborhood to know you’re still listening to the Carly Rae Jepsen album from 2019, you have other options.

The best option we’ve tried is Shokz OpenRun. Shokz is a proponent of bone-conduction headphones, which have speaker pads that rest on your temples instead of in or around your ears. You pick up some of the sound through your outer ear, but the majority of the sound travels through the bones of your jaw in the form of vibrations to your inner ear. The result is a pretty hollow sound, leagues away from the high-fidelity experience of something like the Jabra Elite 7 Actives, but it’s plenty good enough for listening to talk-y podcasts. And, more importantly, you can listen to those podcasts while also hearing literally everything else around you. Other advantages? The OpenRun headphones are light, have a decent eight-hour battery life, are fully waterproof, and come with a two-year warranty. If you’re looking for headphones for your bike workouts and commutes, this is your safest and best option.


10 Other Wireless Headphones We Like for Working Out

Beats PowerBeats Pro true wireless headphones

Water Resistance: IPX4
Noise Cancellation: No
Battery Life: 9 hours

The Beats PowerBeats Pro are true wireless headphones, just like the brand’s latest Fit Pros, but the biggest difference you’ll notice is the design. The PowerBeats employ ear hooks, which loop around the top of your ear and provide an immovable secure fit. Compared to a more loose-fitting earbud, the security offered by these ear hooks might understandably be preferred by people who enjoy workouts using a full range of motion, no matter what jumps and lunges and jostling that involves. The Powerbeats make good use of Beats’ mastery for a specific kind of bass-heavy sound, though we’d say these are more bass-forward than bass-heavy, and less balanced than the Fit Pros. It’s not the kind of sound profile you’ll get much out of when listening to This American Life, but it’s perfect for a Metro Boomin track. The PowerBeats Pro headphones also pack up in a clunky charging case the size of a clenched fist, but on the plus side, that little brick fuels a long battery life of 24 hours (and nine full hours between charges). The headphones don’t have as much water resistance as the Jabra Elites above, but they’ll certainly hold up through the sweatiest of workouts.

Jaybird Vista true wireless headphones

Water Resistance: IPX7
Noise Cancellation: No
Battery Life: 6 hours

Jaybird was late to the true wireless game—by the time it announced the Jaybird Vista in 2019, Jabra was set to release the third version of its own true wireless headphone—but the headphones are decent enough to be worth the wait. The Jaybird Vista has a great sound profile, not as good as the Beats Fit Pros, but much better than the AirPods you’re likely comparing them to. They connect to your phone easily and boast a battery life of six hours. The real advantage is in their more rectangular design that supports the use of a bunch of different kinds of ear tips. All the provided options mean that there’s a zero percent chance these workout earbuds won’t fit and stay in your ears. And if any five hour ultra-marathons are in your future, that’s all you need to hear.

Skullcandy Sesh Evo true wireless heapdhones

Water Resistance: IP55
Noise Cancellation: No
Battery Life: 5 hours

We’re only just starting to reach a point where the true wireless earbuds available under $100 aren’t frustratingly bad. The Skullcandy Sesh Evo isn’t nearly as good as other in-ear headphones, like the Jaybird Vistas or even the Ankers, but it offers a decent fit; good sweat-, water-, and dust-resistance; along with 24 total hours of battery life with the charging case (each single charge gets you five hours). The connection quality and pairing process isn’t as good as that from other budget headsets like the Anker and Beats Flex, and the sound quality is similarly inoffensive. But for $40 and under, these are the perfect headphones for tossing at the bottom of your gym bag at the end of a workout and completely forgetting about until you start your next circuit.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)

Water Resistance: IPX4
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Battery Life: 6 hours

AirPods, Pro or otherwise, aren’t generally our favorite workout headphones. Something about the fit, like that little tail, just don’t feel very secure. Even the second-generation AirPods Pros with their new extra-small silicone tips feel like they might jump out of your ear while you’re mid-stride. Their IPX4 makes them sweat- and water-resistant, so they can hold up against a less-rigorous workout, but if you’re already an Apple user, go ahead and stick with brand loyalty. Six hours of battery life feel inadequate, and while we don’t think you’ll be working out for six hours straight, it does require more charging sessions (wireless charging is an option, at least!). On the other hand, as regular wireless headphones, these are great with much better active noise cancellation than the OG AirPods Pros and an adaptive transparency mode that feels somewhat like witchcraft. 

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport

Water Resistance: IPX4
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Battery Life: 12 hours

Master & Dynamic’s reputation seems to have been built on its vintage-inspired over-the-head headphones. But that hasn’t stopped the brand from trying to break into the earbud and workout headphone categories. These Sports buds don’t feel as suction-y or uncomfortably ear plug-y as the Elite 7 Actives, but when you consider the price point—a whopping $350—it’s hard to justify that $250 premium just for fit alone, which, by the way, is secure but not that secure. They feel more apt at being your daily earbuds instead of your workout headphones mainly because of their high-quality sound. We appreciate that Master & Dynamic has prioritized audio upgrades like 11 millimeter Beryllium acoustic drivers for richer sounds, but something about using high-end headphones for moving and sweating in feels a little counterintuitive. 

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Water Resistance: IPX7
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Battery Life: 5 hours

If you have an iPhone, you get Airpods; if you have a Samsung, you go for the Galaxy Buds. In this case, you go for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pros when you need something to work out in. These are smaller, fit better than the previous model, and boast better sound quality than a lot of other headphones on this list. But the problem is that some of these earbuds’ best and most essential features—like noise controls and earbud insights—are reserved for those with a Galaxy device as the companion app is only available on Android devices (sorry, iOS users). Though if you’re already tapped into the Samsung tech-sphere, these are a worthwhile pair of workout headphones.

Ultimate Ears fits

Water Resistance: IPX3
Noise Cancellation: No
Battery Life: 8 hours

These earbuds are designed specifically for you. This is not a joke. The UE Fits feature a gel tip, which mold to the inside of your ear for the perfect fit. Ultimate Ears uses patented light-forming LEDs to perform this crazy trick, though once the tips are set, you’re stuck with them. That means no sharing these earbuds (do people do that?) unless you shell out for a new set of tips, which can be molded to someone else’s ears. They’re rated IPX4 for water resistance, but they lack wireless charging and any form noise cancellation. On the bright side, you get eight hours of battery life, and hey, they fit great.

JBL Live Free 2

Water Resistance: IPX5
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Battery Life: 7 hours

JBL has gained a reputation for its high-quality sound, a factor that rings true with the brand’s Live Free 2. Its IPX5 rating isn’t as good as our top pick’s, the Elite 7 Actives, but if waterproof abilities aren’t at the top of your list that shouldn’t be an issue. And while the Live Free 2s retail for $150, they’re typically found for way less, hovering in the $75 to $100 range, putting it in line with our top-pick Jabras. If you’re not using active noise cancellation, these earbuds boast an impressive 10 hours of battery life, and the fit is standard—nothing to write home about.

Bose Sport earbuds

Water Resistance: IPX4
Noise Cancellation: No
Battery Life: 5 hours

In the past we’ve recommended the Bose SoundSport headphones, but let’s be honest: They weren’t true wireless headphones and there are way better options. Namely, in the same brand family, the Bose Sport earbuds. We like their fit, but they look a little strange because of the way they jut out of your ear. They also lack active noise cancellation, which at this price point should really be a given. With only five hours of battery life to their credit, you’ll need to take multiple trips to the (non-wireless) charging station, but they’re still offering that excellent Bose sound quality you expect in a splash-resistant and comfortable package.

LG Tone Free TF8

Water Resistance: IP67
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Battery Life: 10 hours

LG doesn’t have a lot of clout in the headphone game, but its LG Tone Free TF8, a 2022 release, include some worthwhile features that make these earbuds worthy of this list. They boast something called “SwivelGrip” technology, which is just a glorified way of saying the wing tips will stay securely in your ear—something it does surprisingly well. Their matte finish is nice, but the case they come in is small but bulky enough that it juts out strangely in your pocket. Another impressive feature lives in their case: a bacteria-killing light called UVnano+ that’ll help kill any funk on your earbuds. The UVnano+ only works on the gel tips, and it’s only active when you’re charging (wireless or otherwise) the headphones, but it’s a nice touch that’ll please any germaphobe who is prone to dropping their buds on the dirty subway floor.

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