TV and Audio

Best Workout Headphones in 2021: Improve Your Results

best workout headphones


Whether you go to the gym or you like the outdoors, your workouts will be more focused and bring better results if you can listen to your favorite tunes. But this can’t happen without a pair of headphones that can withstand the movement and the sweating.

So, the best workout headphones should be able to deliver audiophile-grade sound, but they also need to have other characteristics that put the sound quality on a lower place when it comes to importance.

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How to Choose the Best Workout Headphones?

Comfortable Fit

The first thing you need from a pair of headphones when you’re working out is a comfortable fit. While the idea of comfort is subjective and different from person to person, there are some guidelines to keep in mind. As such, the best workout headphones should be:

  • Lightweight – even after wearing them for a while
  • Breathable (for on-ear or over-the-ear designs) – your ears should not get hot or too sweaty
  • Easy to forget you’re wearing them – if there is a headband or a wire, it should not be annoying or interfering with your activity in any way
  • Easy to control – The earcups or earbuds should offer easy access to controls

Resistant materials

Since you will be sweating or maybe exercising outside on rainy days, it’s best to choose a product designed with materials resistant to water and sweat. To make sure you’re choosing a product suited for your needs, check for the IP rating, which speaks about the resistance to water, sweat, dirt, and more.

For instance, if you know you’re mostly working out outdoors and that you only practice high-intensity activities, then you’ll need a product that’s rated IPX7 or better.

Design

Whether it’s earbuds, on-ear, or over the ear, each person has certain preferences when it comes to design. In this situation, your preferences matter, so make sure to choose a pair of headphones that respond to your needs.

Also, if you don’t feel comfortable with any of the mentioned designs, have a look at bone conduction headphones. They don’t sit on or in your ear but send the sound using the bones in the skull. If this sounds a bit too weird, here is a detailed explanation of the way they work here.

Sound quality

Most headphones designed for use in the gym are not made with audiophiles in mind, and if you want high levels of sound quality, you need to be prepared to pay more. Still, even the budget products deliver a punchy and rich sound, which goes well with music destined to motivate you during workouts.

Wired vs. Wireless

As you can see from the reviews below, we opted mostly for wireless designs, with good life battery. Wires tend to get in the way, whether you’re at the gym or running, and it’s best to avoid using products that could cause accidents.

Still, if you really want a wired design, it’s best to choose one with a removable wire. This way, if the wire gets tangled, it will not pull the entire headset off your head.

Other Features

Modern workout headphones come with other cool features that make the experience better. For instance, if you like to take calls while doing your morning run, you should focus on a headset with a noise-canceling microphone. This mic can also be used to do some work with the help of voice assistants (Siri or Google Now).

Another cool feature is the possibility to track your activity. For this, the headset would need to have an integrated motion sensor and work with a companion app.

The list could go on, but it’s important to keep in mind that additional settings also mean more money. So, make sure you pay attention to the most important features first, and then look for the cool ones.

Best Workout Headphones

Powerbeats Pro

The Best Wireless Workout Headphones

powerbeats pro
Marketed as the totally wireless headphones, the Powerbeats Pro are perfect for any workout because there are no wires to hinder your movements. Each earbud is fitted with adjustable hooks that allow users to wrap it around the ear. This way, the buds won’t move an inch even if you shake your head while listening to your favorite rock music. Furthermore, they’re so lightweight that you won’t even feel them!

And when we say any workout, we mean it! They have a sweat- and water-resistant design, and each earbud has volume and track controls.

Powerbeats Pro are powered by the Apple H1 headphone chip, which guarantees high sound performance and good quality. Also, you get up to 9 hours of listening time and over 24 hours if you use the charging case (delivered with the headphones).

Finally, class 1 Bluetooth technology makes sure the connection stays strong. Also, each earbud connects to the source device independently, so if the connection drops on one, the other one will keep going. They even feature sensitive mics, so it’s easy to answer calls while wearing them.

Pros:
  • Lightweight design and comfortable fit
  • Available in several color options
  • Good battery life
  • Charging case
  • Good sound quality
  • Controls on each earbud
  • Sweat and water-resistant
Cons:
  • A bit expensive
  • The case is quite big
  • They are obvious in your ear

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Jaybird Vista

Lightweight and Comfortable Headphones for Working Out

jaybird vista
Vista earbuds are designed for active people who are not afraid to get dirty or wet. They have an IPX7 rating (waterproof and sweat-proof), which means you can wear them outdoors and indoors, regardless of weather conditions and workout intensity.

We also like that they come with a compact charging case that extends the battery life with up to 10 hours. You also get a quick-charge setting, where the battery will last for another hour for 5 minutes of charge time.

The Bluetooth connection is clear and solid, without any lag, and you can listen to music or take calls. Vista can be paired with the free Jaybird app that lets you customize the EQ and other settings to create the perfect audio experience for your taste. Moreover, there’s a Find My Buds setting, in case one of them gets lost.

While they may seem a bit weird at first, the Vista earbuds fit perfectly in most ear sizes and shapes and provide that perfect sealing that isolates you from the world outside. They’re also lightweight, so once you get used to them, you’ll probably forget you’re wearing earbuds.

Pros:
  • Lightweight & comfortable fit
  • Charging case with 10 extra hours
  • Good battery lifetime
  • Jaybird app for customization
  • Quick charge
  • IPX7 rating for durability
  • Impressive audio experience
Cons:
  • Controls on the earbuds could have more functions
  • The case is really small and easy to misplace
  • A bit on the pricey side

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Bose Sport Earbuds

Boost Your Workouts with Good Music

bose sport earbuds
These BT earbuds can deliver a powerful and crystal clear sound while you’re enjoying your favorite physical activity (IPX4 resistance rating). They fit securely in your ear, due to the specially-designed StayHear Max tips, and you can wear them for a long period of time without them hurting your ears. Also, the battery life is good, at about 5h per charge and charging case.

The sound quality is impressive and very lifelike, and you can also use them to take on calls. This is due to the beamforming microphone array that was designed to pick up your voice from surrounding noise.

In addition, you can control the volume and music using the capacitive touch interface on each earbud (so you can toss the phone aside, as long as you’re within range).

Pros:
  • Good fit in the ear
  • Very lifelike sound
  • Weather and sweat-resistant (IPX4)
  • Good phone calls clarity
  • Easy to use touch controls
Cons:
  • A bit bulky
  • Touch controls can be a bit erratic at times
  • Not a good fit for small ears

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Apple AirPods Pro

One of the Best Workout Headphones Out There

apple airpods pro 1

Apple AirPods Pro is an exceptional headphone set that brings an excellent active cancellation and more importantly, great sound quality, with excellent bass and vocals performance, as well as clear and detailed mids, which perfectly fits the pop fans.

This headset comes with three differently sized, customizable, silicone ear tips that allow an easy finding of the perfect fit; however, the installation may be a bit complicated for many, due to the small clips used for their installation.

Apple AirPods Pro are water and sweat-resistant and they support wireless charging and come with the Charging Case that delivers more than 24 hours of battery life, while the headset itself offers around four and a half hours of non-stop listening to music, before the need for charge. Moreover, there is the adaptive EQ that perfectly adjusts the music to your ear shape, easy pairing with your every Apple device, as well as the Spatial Audio feature that brings the Dolby Atmos audio.

The device itself is controlled over the responsible touch-sensitive ridge that is located on each stem, and allows track skipping, pausing, and turning noise cancellation on or off, as well as the transparency mode. If you are more into voice controls, there is also Siri. However, its use may not be that practical because it takes around four seconds for Siri to respond, which may be too much for most users.

All in all, if you are after one of the best there is, and their high price isn’t an issue, the choice is more than easy for you.

Pros:
  • Good fit
  • An excellent noise cancellation feature
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Easy pairing
  • Lightweight
Cons:
  • Pricey
  • May take loose during workouts
  • Ear tips aren’t so easy to fit

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Jabra Elite Active 75t

The Best Fitting Earbuds for Active Workouts

jabra elite active 75t
Jabra deems these earbuds as the best-fitting earbuds for all sorts of sportive activities. In addition, they are sweatproof, so you can truly enjoy your favorite tunes while pumping your workout.

Besides the standard noise cancelation provided by the tips, there is also an ANC module with HearThrough that can be activated from the Jabra Sound plus app. Also, there are four mics installed in the earbuds, to help you take crystal clear calls or have a chat with your favorite assistant.

Lastly, the battery is reliable, and the charging case gives you up to 24h of music (ANC module on). Overall, these earbuds are truly designed for supporting your active lifestyle.

Pros:
  • Secure fit – they stay in your ear regardless of your activity
  • Sweatproof and waterproof (IP57-rated protection)
  • 4-microphone call technology
  • Long battery life
  • An easy to use charging case
  • Jabra MySound technology with the Jaba Plus app
Cons:
  • The case doesn’t have wireless charging
  • They are only sweat resistant

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Sony WF-SP800N

Truly Wireless Sports In-Ear Buds

sony wf-sp800n
Created to provide athletes and sportives with total freedom, these earbuds offer a secure fit and have the necessary features for a truly hands-free experience (including touch controls). They are also sweatproof & splash-proof and have a good BT range so you can listen to music or take phone calls without interrupting your activity.

Even more, the digital noise cancelation module allows users to get deep in the zone. To help with this, the battery will last for up to 9h (ANC on) on one charge. If you add the case, you get up to 18h!

The sound is clear and the low end is surprisingly punchy given the size of the buds. Furthermore, the built-in mic keeps you connected with other people or your phone via Alexa (the voice assistant).

Lastly, you can keep wearing them and pay attention to what happens around due to the Quick attention mode and wearing detection technology.

Pros:
  • Digital noise cancellation
  • Up to 9h of battery life on one charge
  • IP55 sweat and splash-proof rating
  • A deep and punchy low end
  • Good phone call quality
  • Quick attention mode and wearing detection
Cons:
  • They are a bit on the heavy side
  • With ANC mode on, you feel a bit of “cabin pressure”

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SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds Pro

Perfect Earbuds for Samsung Galaxy Fans

samsung galaxy buds pro

SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds Pro is an amazing device, and probably one of the best on-ear headphones you can buy on the market; however, only if you own a Samsung Galaxy device. In every other situation, these headphones are a solid, but not an ideal option, simply because many of its features, such as the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app, are only available on Galaxy devices.

On top of that, there are also multipoint pairing and Bixby voice command support that are available on a limited number of devices, which, for instance, excludes iPhone. There is no Siri, or Google Assistant support, while there is active noise cancellation, IPX7 water-resistance, wireless charging capability, as well as the Scalable Audio that supports UHD audio streaming over Bluetooth.

On top of that, this device is highly comfortable to wear for long periods, while the audio is pretty good, with a balanced, pleasant sound; however, it’s not that detailed, which certainly isn’t something beneficial.

SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds Pro are available in three colors (phantom black, phantom silver, and phantom violet); they come with a decent, seven-hour battery life, and bring a lot to the customer; nonetheless, only if you are a proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy device.

Pros:
  • IPX7 waterproof-certified
  • Decent sound
  • Simple touch controls
  • Scalable Audio
  • Multipoint pairing
Cons:
  • No Google Assistant or Siri support
  • Audio lacks details
  • A bit bulgy

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Soundcore by Anker Life A1

More than a Solid Workout Headset

soundcore by anker life a

Soundcore by Anker Life A1 is an affordable, yet highly capable headset that brings a ton of features and bass-heavy sound that makes them appealing to a large base of users.

This headset offers wireless and cable charging (over the USB-C cable); it comes with two microphones with uplink noise reduction and On-Ear Controls. Moreover, three custom sound modes involve Signature Mode, Bass Booster Mode, and Podcast Mode, while there is also a decent battery, with nine hours of playing time that can be extended up to 35 hours, with the help of the compact charging case that is included in the package.

Soundcore by Anker Life A1 is a compact headset with large 8mm drivers with triple-layer composite diaphragms, for a mighty sound, clear mids, and clear sound that is appreciated by many.

In other words, if you want a solid, yet affordable headset, Soundcore by Anker Life A1 is the device for you.

Pros:
  • Wireless charging support
  • Decent battery life
  • Fast charging support
  • Easy pairing
  • Compact
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • It comes with five ear tip sizes
Cons:
  • Not the best customer service
  • A bit soft sound

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AfterShokz Aeropex

Enjoy the Music & Avoid Discomfort in your Ears

aftershokz aeropex
Bone conduction technology allows users to enjoy their music in an open-ear design that lets the rest of the world chime in as well. These workout headphones are great for joggers or people who usually workout outdoors (IP67 waterproof rating), as you can pay attention to your surroundings without having to use an ANC module.

Furthermore, the open ear design is lightweight and comfortable, even though the neckband can get a bit weird at times. These headphones are perfect for people who don’t feel comfortable wearing in-ear or over-the-ear headphones.

Also, the battery is reliable (about 8h of continuous play) and the dual noise-canceling mics are great for crystal clear calls. In addition, they are equipped with a multifunction button that keeps you in control of the play, pause, skip, voice assistant, and call answer actions.

Pros:
  • You don’t have to stuff your ear canal
  • Open-ear audio experience
  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • Multifunction button for easy control
Cons:
  • There is some pressure around the ears
  • The neckband can get in the way at times

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Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds

A Headset that Has It All

beats flex wireless earbuds

Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds is an affordable headset, with exceptional sound quality and a ton of features that rightfully position its neck and neck with the best workout headsets available.

This headset is available in four colors (beats black, flame blue, smoke gray and yuzu yellow), and is fitted with multiple handy features, such as magnetic Auto-Play/Pause control, 12-hour long battery life, as well as on-device controls for calls, voice assistant and music. Moreover, this headset has a built-in microphone, a fast-charging function, and excellent wireless connectivity.

Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds is also compatible with both iOS and Android devices; it provides much-needed comfort to the user and offers a perfect voice call performance that makes it suitable not only for pleasure but for business, as well.

Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds comes with four different ear tip options; it is powered by the exceptional Apple W1 headphone chip and provides better performance than the AirPods, which is just another proof of how exceptional this device is and what a great value this headset brings to you.

Pros:
  • Excellent audio performance
  • Great price
  • Great wireless connection
  • Easy pairing
  • Compatible with both iOS and Android devices
  • 12-hour battery life
Cons:
  • They aren’t water-resistant
  • Not the best noise isolation

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Wrap Up

Workout headphones need to be comfortable, lightweight, easy to use with sweaty fingers, and durable. But they should also provide a booming audio experience (to feel truly motivated by the tunes) and answer each users’ personal needs.

Overall, we consider wireless, in-ear designs to be the best for active people because they don’t have cables to get in the way and come with secure fittings that make sure they stay put. However, you are the one to make the final choice, so make sure to look for a pair tailored to your specific conditions.

About author

In her work, Mirela studies, tests and reviews the latest releases in audio, video, gaming, gadgets, and more. Mirela has been writing about tech for over 5 years now, during which she collaborated with people all over the world on various projects.
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