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Workout headphones often feature a more secure fit and are sweat- and water-resistant. Many are wireless, which reduces the chances of wires catching on equipment and leading to injury.

A quick look at the best workout headphones

Fitness goals can vary significantly among individuals. However, whether they are training for a triathlon or trying to squeeze in a regular morning walk, many people like to listen to their preferred motivational sounds while working on their fitness.

Learning more about the various options available can help a person find the best workout headphones for them.

Medical News Today chooses workout headphones that meet the following criteria:

  • Type of headphones: Headphones that are bone conduction or in-ear that may provide a better sound experience.
  • Secure fit: Headphones that offer a secure fit, such as ear clips or umbrella tips which help the earbuds remain in the ear canal.
  • Battery life: Headphones that reportedly have a greater battery life, allowing people to listen to music for longer.
  • Price: Headphones that fit a range of budgets.
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Many different types of sports headphones and earbuds are available to purchase. Below, we look at six of the best options available.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best bone conduction: Shokz OpenMove

  • List price: around $80
  • Type: bone conduction
  • Connectivity: wireless
  • Battery Life: up to 6 hours

These lightweight headphones use bone conduction technology to provide users with an open-ear listening experience, allowing for complete awareness of environmental noise.

The company claims that athletes inspired these headphones, which are resistant to sweat, water, and dust.

The headband is titanium, which supposedly provides a secure fit.

OpenMove headphones offer up to 6 hours of listening time on a single charge.

Best umbrella tip: Bose Sport Earbuds

  • List price: around $149
  • Type: in-ear
  • Connectivity: wireless
  • Battery Life: up to 5 hours

These headphones contain sweat-resistant material, and each purchase comes with three sizes of silicone ear tips for a more comfortable fit. These tips have an umbrella design to ensure the headphones remain secure and comfortable during workouts.

The earbuds are touch-sensitive. People can double-tap the left earbud to skip through playlists and can set up shortcuts in the Bose Music App to Spotify. People can answer calls by double-tapping the right earbud.

Bose also states that these earbuds contain proprietary technology that balances sound levels and may be able to block out ambient background noise.

The company offers a 90-day trial and free 2-day shipping.

Best iOS compatible: Powerbeats Pro

  • List price: around $250
  • Type: in-ear
  • Connectivity: wireless
  • Battery Life: up to 9 hours

These earbuds are sweat- and water-resistant with over-ear hooks that are adjustable, keeping them secure during exercise.

Beats by Dre states that these earbuds have spatial audio technology, in-built microphones, and hands-free controls. To use the hands-free controls, a person must have a device that has a voice assistant, such as Siri on iOS.

The company states that the earbuds are fast charging, with five minutes of charge leading to up to 1.5 hours of battery life.

These earbuds are compatible with iOS and Android. They contain an Apple H1 headphone chip which reportedly provides a faster and more stable wireless connection to iOS devices.

Each purchase comes with four sizes of ear tips, a charging case and cable, and a 6-month free trial of Apple Music. People who purchase these earbuds through Apple will receive free engraving.

Best personalized sound: Liberty 2 Pro

  • List price: from around $50
  • Type: in-ear
  • Connectivity: wireless
  • Battery Life: up to 8 hours

Soundcore describes these earbuds as having a state-of-the-art sound design which Grammy Award-winning producers have endorsed.

These earbuds may be most suitable for people who want clear sound that the product customizes to their preferences. The product has HearID technology, which the company states intelligently analyses a person’s hearing profile and changes the sound setting accordingly.

The Liberty 2 Pro has a battery life of up to 8 hours. The charging case provides a total of 32 hours of battery life. Soundcore states that a 10-minute charge in the case provides up to 2 hours of listening time.

The earbuds have six sizes of ear tips, which may mean the product fits a wider range of ear canal sizes than some of Soundcore’s competitors.

Best secure fit: Jabra Elite 7 Active

  • List price: around $180
  • Type: in-ear
  • Connectivity: wireless
  • Battery Life: up to 8 hours

These earbuds are lightweight, sweat-proof, and may be suitable for intense workouts due to their ShakeGrip technology. Jabra states that this technology means the earbuds will stay in the ear canal as people exercise.

Another feature of this product is that the ear tips are silicone, which means they do not require ear wings to stay in place.

The Elite 7 Active have noise cancellation, which may help people focus more on their workouts. Additionally, the MySound feature in the Jabra Sound+ app allows people to further customize their sound profiles.

These earbuds are iOS and Android compatible.

Each charge provides up to 8 hours of battery life and up to 30 hours with the charging case. A fast charge of five minutes provides one hour of listening time.

Best durability: Jaybird Vista 2

  • List price: around $150
  • Type: in-ear
  • Connectivity: wireless
  • Battery Life: up to 8 hours

Jaybird Sport states that these earbuds are durable, with military-grade ratings for protection against dust, water, sweat, and drops. These earbuds may be a good option for people who exercise outdoors and have a risk of getting their earbuds dirty or dropping them.

This product contains Google Fast Pair and Made For iPod technology which Jaybrid states ensures easy pairing on most devices.

The Vista 2 has noise cancellation technology and SurroundSense mode. The SurroundSense mode elevates outside noise, allowing people to stay aware of their surroundings.

One charge gives up to 8 hours of battery life, or 6 hours with noise canceling and SurroundSense mode active. The charging case provides a total of 24 hours of battery life.

The following table compares the headphones in this article.

PriceTypeConnectivityBattery Life
Shokz OpenMovearound $80bone conductionwirelessup to 6 hours
Bose Sport Earbudsaround $150in-earwirelessup to 5 hours
Powerbeats Proaround $250in-earwirelessup to 9 hours
Liberty 2 Profrom around $50in-earwirelessup to 8 hours
Jabra Elite 7 Activearound $180in-earwirelessup to 8 hours
Jaybird Vista 2around $150in-earwirelessup to 8 hours

There are many headphones available that are suitable for workouts. People may wish to consider the following to choose the best headset for their needs:

  • Sound quality: Some headphones offer clearer sound quality. However, it is always a good idea to read customer reviews, as some headphones may project white noise in between tracks.
  • Wired vs. wireless: Wireless headphones may be better for workouts than wired products. Wires may catch on gym equipment or on a person’s body, leading to injury. However, people may find that wireless headphones are easier to misplace.
  • Secure fit: People who are active may prefer headphones that rest over the head or clip over the ears. While in-ear buds are more discreet, they may fall out of the ear canal during more intense exercise.
  • Sweat and water resistance: People who exercise are more likely to sweat. They should choose headphones that are sweat and water-resistant to reduce the risk of damaging the product. Water resistance also means that people may be able to clean the headphones more easily.
  • Battery life: Wireless headphones require charging. People who intend to use their headphones for several hours should be aware of the maximum battery life, and ensure it lasts long enough for their needs.
  • Price: Headphone prices can vary widely. However, people may be able to purchase renewed products, which are used headphones that companies have reset, for a lower cost.

The general opinion is that music makes it easier to work harder, and scientific research supports this idea, with music increasing a person’s perception of how hard they work out, and increasing exercise performance and oxygen consumption.

Other benefits of listening to music when working out include:

  • helping people exercise for longer
  • lowering levels of anxiety
  • improving performance
  • increasing aerobic capacity
  • enhancing the overall workout experience
  • assisting people in sticking with exercise programs

There is also some evidence that listening to music through headphones may increase the amount a person exercises. A 2020 study found that people were more likely to move spontaneously to rhythmic music when they listened through headphones than when they used a speaker.

When sound levels are too high, they can damage the ear and cause hearing loss. A safe sound range is 0–60 decibels (dB). However, personal listening devices can have a maximum volume of 105–110 dB, which can cause ear damage in just 5 minutes.

People should ensure they do not exceed the safe volume level, even if the headphones allow it.

Many headphones can make a person less aware of their surroundings because they block or cover the ear canal. Reduced awareness can potentially be dangerous when a person is exercising in high-traffic areas. People should take extra care in these situations or consider purchasing headphones that allow environmental noise.

Here we answer some common questions about these products.

Which headphone is best for the gym?

The best headphones for gyms depend on a person’s preference. People should consider whether they prefer in-ear or over-ear headphones and whether they require products with noise-canceling technology.

People may prefer to purchase headphones that are sweat- and water-resistant. Those who prefer more intense workouts may prefer headphones that fit securely, such as ones that clip over the ears.

Wireless headphones may be a better choice than wired products. Wired headphones may catch on gym equipment and cause injury.

Is it better to work out with headphones or earbuds?

Earbuds are easier to transport and are more discreet. Some people may find them easier to clean.

Over-ear headphones may be more comfortable for some people, especially those with smaller ear canals that experience pain when using in-ear headphones.

What is the best Bluetooth headset for working out?

There is no best Bluetooth headset for working out. People should consider a range of factors such as their budget and which style of headset is most comfortable. Some people may prefer in-ear headsets, whereas others may prefer over-ear.

Listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks can help people get the most from their fitness activities.

A person looking for workout headphones should first determine the characteristics, such as cost, sound quality, battery life, or durability, that are most important to them.

Once they know exactly what they are looking for, it should be easier to navigate the options and choose the product that best meets their needs.