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Many people find that listening to music when working out can improve performance, aid stamina, and help motivation. Some companies have designed headphones and earbuds that are suitable to wear when working out.

These products typically account for increased movement and sweating while maintaining a secure fit and quality sound.

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.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, each week. Additionally, they suggest engaging in muscle-strengthening activities on at least 2 days of each week.

The general opinion is that music makes it easier to work harder, and scientific research supports this idea.

Benefits that researchers have linked to 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

Also, one study found that people were more likely to move spontaneously to rhythmic music when they listened through headphones than when they used a speaker.

The best workout headphones for a person will depend on their personal preferences and chosen type of exercise. Factors that a person may wish to consider when purchasing workout headphones include:

  • sound quality
  • wired vs. wireless
  • how secure they are
  • resistance to sweat and water
  • battery life
  • price
  • headphones vs. in-ear options

Many different types of sports headphones and earbuds are available to purchase. Below, we look at six of the best options available.

Bose Sport Open Earbuds

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds are wireless headphones that do not fit inside or cover the ear but rest on it. They use OpenAudio technology to produce a clear and consistent sound.

The company claims that while individuals can hear both what is playing and the environmental sounds around them, other people close by will not hear what is playing through the headphones.

The earbuds provide great sound for phone conversations and may suit runners, walkers, and other outdoor fitness enthusiasts due to their secure fit and resistance to sweat and rain.

Beats by Dre Powerbeats

The company says that it had people who like to move in mind when designing these in-ear headphones.

They are sweat- and water-resistant, with adjustable ear hooks to ensure that they remain securely in place. A cable connects the two ear hooks, but the connection to sound is wireless.

A person can expect up to 15 hours of listening time with Powerbeats, and they can control their headphones via buttons on the side of the earpiece.

AfterShokz OpenMove

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.

Soundcore Spirit X2

The manufacturer’s website says that these wireless sport earphones have “extreme sweatproof” technology, thanks to a hydrophobic nanocoating.

Flexible ear hooks and ear tips help a person achieve a secure fit.

The sound quality supports phone calls, and the headphones feature an extra intense bass capacity.

One charge of the Spirit X2 can provide 9 hours of listening, which people can increase to 36 hours by using the charging case that comes with the product.

Jabra Elite Sport

One of the more expensive options, the Elite Sport earbuds connect with an integrated fitness app that lets a person track their heart rate and access personalized, real-time coaching during workouts.

The company claims that the earbuds are waterproof and come with a 3-year warranty against sweat damage, although registration is required for this.

The sound quality supports phone calls and enhanced bass. The earbuds also have a “HearThrough” function that filters in environmental sounds.

The Elite Sport earbuds have a battery life of up to 13.5 hours.

Jaybird Tarah

Jaybird caters to the athletic market, and its website emphasizes the durability of the products on offer.

The company describes the Tarah model of wireless earbuds as sweatproof, waterproof, and suitable for use both in the gym and outdoors.

The cable that connects the earbuds is available in three different color combinations.

The Tarah earbuds have a 6-hour battery life.

When sound levels are too high, they can damage the ear and cause hearing loss. The CDC advises a safe sound range of 0–60 decibels (dB). However, personal listening devices can have a maximum volume of 105–110 dB, which the CDC reports can cause ear damage in just 5 minutes. People using workout headphones should ensure that they do not exceed the safe volume level, even if the product allows it.

Researchers note that many headphones can make a person less aware of their surroundings because they block or cover the ear canal. This reduced awareness can potentially be dangerous when a person is biking, running, or walking in high traffic areas. Individuals should take extra care in these situations or consider purchasing headphones that filter in environmental noise.

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.