A good pair of headphones can mean all the difference in the world when it comes to your exercise routine, but any set of headphones won’t do. We’ve picked some of the best wireless workout headphones for their ability to take a beating, provide you with high-level sound quality, and pack in cool cutting edge features like virtual assistant integration and synchronicity with third party apps. We’ve even put a more traditional set of wired headphones in the mix.
What all of these headsets have in common is the balance between quality and value. You can’t go wrong with any of these headphones, but there’s bound to be one that fits your budgets and your needs.
TL;DR - Best Headphones for Working Out:
- Best Overall: Jabra Elite Active 65t Wireless Earbuds
- Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Wireless Headphones
- Best Value: Mpow Flame Waterproof Wireless Earbuds
- Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones
- Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones
- Sony WH1000XM3 Cancelling Wireless Headphones
- SENSO Wireless Sweatproof Earbuds
- Plantronics BackBeat FIT Earbuds
- TBI Pro Bluetooth Earbuds
- Anker Wireless SoundBuds
- Jaybird Tarah Sport Headphones
- JBL Endurance RUN In-Ear Headphones
1. Best Overall: Jabra Elite Active 65t Wireless Earbuds
Jabra's Elite Active headphones are sturdy ear buds built from the ground up to withstand the rigors of the most intensive workouts, but what makes them such a strong product is how effectively they can be customized to suit your routine. The Active has an accelerometer built in so it can double as a fitness tracker, and that's where the genius of Jabra's free Sound+ app comes in. It allows you to log your activities and even allows you to establish your music profile and noise reduction settings so that you can spend your time focusing on your exercise.
Support is available for multiple virtual assistants, and they can be activated with a single push of a button. These are some of the best bluetooth workout headphones both because of the app integration and their incredibly comfortable and unobtrusive design.
2. Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Wireless Headphones
If you're looking to drop a few hundred dollars on a pair of headphones, chances are that you'll want to wear them even when you aren't at the gym. Bose's QuietComfort 35 can work admirably well as some sturdy and comfortable over ear workout headphones, but they can also find use in the studio or on your work commute. They're packed with the most advanced noise cancellation technology that Bose offers, and Alexa integration is built right in.
While they aren't as specifically tailored to workouts as Jabra's Active headphones, they do coordinate with a dedicated Bose app so that you can adjust your noise cancellation settings, access music sharing, and adjust your Bluetooth settings. Three levels of noise cancellation technology are baked into these over ear cans, and the QuietComfort 35 can provide you with consistent and quality sound performance regardless of your volume settings.
3. Best Value: Mpow Flame Waterproof Wireless Earbuds
You don't have to drop hundreds of dollars to get a pair of good workout headphones. A price tag below $20 and a decent selection of standard features makes the Mpow Flame a strong contender for the best budget workout headphones around. These are surprisingly durable ear buds for their price: sweat resistant, wireless, and with a Bluetooth range of up to 33 feet. Noise cancellation comes in the form of Qualcomm's signature cVc technology.
An ear hook helps keep these buds locked into place and comfortable even during the most grueling endurance trials, and these headphones are waterproof as well. Despite the small size and modest price tag, the Flame can provide you with high definition sound on the high end and booming bass to keep you pumped throughout your workout routine.
4. Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones
Powerbeats3 headphones are designed to keep you going in the final stretch of your workout. The Fast Fuel system provides these Beats workout headphones with an hour of juice on just five minutes of charge, and the secure fit earhooks can keep the headphones snugly and securely positioned even while under duress. These wireless earphones are both sweat and water resistant as well. RemoteTalk gives you control over practically every aspect of your listening experience via voice.
That includes changing the volume, navigating your playlists, and answering and making phone calls. These headphones will get extra mileage for Apple owners. Siri is built right into the headphones, and holding these buds to your iPhone will sync them to your mobile device as well as any connected Apple Watches, iPads, or Macs. The Powerbeats3 are available in six different colors to suit your style.
5. Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones
If the advantage of Bose's QuietComfort 35 is its versatility outside of the gym, the strength of these Bose wireless workout headphones is in how every aspect of their design is catered to the needs of high intensity athletes. The Bose Connect makes it a breeze to define your music settings, establish Bluetooth pairing, and keep up with new firmware updates, but it can also help you track down your lost ear buds with its "Find My Buds" function.
The StayHear+ sports tips fit comfortably into your ear without wiggling and without causing discomfort, and the sweat and weather resistant coating has an IP4X rating. You can expect the smooth and crisp level of audio performance that Bose is known for, and that extends to outgoing calls as well. A dual microphone array is built into the right bud and can be used to make calls through your phone's Bluetooth.
6. Sony WH1000XM3 Cancelling Wireless Headphones
These Sony workout headphones aren't just some of the best workout headphones in their price range. They're some of the best headphones in their price range period. Like the QuietComfort, they're an over-ear variant, a design choice that's sorely underrepresented as far as workout headphones are concerned. But they also make use of some of the best noise cancellation technology in the business. And while this is great for tuning out your surroundings in a crowded gym, it also offers for clearer and steadier phone calls when making use of the built-in microphones.
Both the design and the noise cancellation tech make these a step above in terms of sound reproduction. 32-bit audio and 40mm drivers produce immersive and pulsing soundscapes that can take you out of your ordinary surroundings. Amazon Alexa is built right in and can be accessed with a simple touch of the right ear cup.
7. SENSO Wireless Sweatproof Earbuds
If you're looking for a pair of durable, affordable, and comfortable headphones for your workout and you don't care about cutting edge bells and whistles like voice assistants and compatible exercise apps, SENSO can suit your needs for a cool twenty dollars. They combine a high-quality HD audio experience with passive noise reduction to produce refreshingly quality results without a lot of extraneous technologies. The strong Bluetooth connection provides lossless performance, while the stable fit of the buds themselves are engineered to fit everyone regardless of the size or shape of their ears.
The waterproof coating is rated at IPX-7, and you can make and answer calls through your phone using the crisp Bluetooth compatibility. Up to two Bluetooth enabled devices can be connected to these SENSO buds at the same time. These headphones earn their affordable price tag and then some.
8. Plantronics BackBeat FIT Earbuds
The Plantronics Backbeat FIT headphones are built with the demands of runners and other high intensity athletes in mind. That's reflected in the P2i nano-coating which is sweat proof at a IP57 rating and can withstand fresh water at a depth of a meter for up to a half hour. Then there's the dedicated companion app which runs on both iOS and Android devices and allows you to customize your settings and switch between connected devices more easily.
The controls themselves are all neatly laid out on the ear piece and can be accessed with a single touch. The Backbeat Fit can achieve stereo level sound, and a microphone is built in for supporting crystal clear phone calls. Five bright and vibrant color choices let you pick a pair that you can wear to the gym or the track with confidence.
9. TBI Pro Bluetooth Earbuds
These headphones from TBI Pro look unlike any other ear buds on the market, but when you look at the nuts and bolts of what's gone into their creation, you'll find a set of headphones that are all about the fundamentals. That includes the inclusion of an aptX codex and CSR8645 chipset to facilitate crisp performance when playing music and a 170 mAh battery that can deliver over 12 hours of continuous play time and 240 hours on standby.
TBI works overtime to make sure that their technology is always updated, and that's reflected in the fact that these headphones are upgraded to Bluetooth 4.1. It also maintains IPX7 sweat and splash protection. It doesn't have the more advanced features that some of its more established competitors do, but it offers a premium and highly modern take on the necessities you'd expect from a solid pair of sports headphones.
10. Anker Wireless SoundBuds
Another very inexpensive option, the SoundBuds combine the name of a trusted industry leader with a focus on perfecting the necessities. There's a level of thoughtfulness in the ergonomic design that indicates the designers knew that smart engineering doesn't have to equate to expensive materials, and foam tips, fins, and clips are all included so you can find a fit highly customized to your needs.
Its casing is also resistant to both water and sweat. Anker makes use of the highly regarded cVc technology for their execution of a noise reduction feature, and their high resolution sound is offered in the form of an aptX codec.
11. Jaybird Tarah Sport Headphones
The Jaybird Tarah is stripped and streamlined by design. It may not look like much to write home about on the surface, but the companion Jaybird app provides an impressive amount of EQ options for customizing your listening experience and saving your preferred settings. Interchangeable soft and flexible tips are designed to suit a variety of different ear shapes and sizes, while the sweatproof and waterproof material is ideal for high intensity training sessions.
The general selling point here is that they combine the sort of practical design you'd find with cheaper headphones along with a customizable app that's generally reserved for more expensive options.
12. JBL Endurance RUN In-Ear Headphones
The JBL Endurance Run is a pretty simple pair of headphones, but the basics are well executed. The necessity of a cable makes them a little more unwieldy than a completely wireless headset, but they generally fit comfortably, and the sound performance is solid for the price.
The mid and high range both sound natural, and JBL avoids the pitfall of pumping up the bass too much and losing clarity in the process. A one-button remote simplifies the process of navigating your music. If you're looking for a wireless variant, you can also check out the JBL Endurance Sprint for a slightly higher price tag.
Workout Headphones Buyer’s Guide
Features to Look For in the Best Headphones for Workouts
Durability: Good workout headphones need to be able to withstand the test of time more than just about any other type of headphones, and that should be a high priority when analyzing your options. If sweat proofing and water resistance aren’t present in a pair that interests, you should be looking at them with a high degree of skepticism. Some headphones are durable enough to even wear in the pool, but be sure to carefully investigate the level of waterproofing before you take them for a dive.
Pricing: While there are countless workout models on the market, they can generally be categorized in three rough categories. Headphones in the range of 30 dollars are less will offer the fundamentals, and sometimes do them very well, but not do much else. You can expect to find a sturdy design and nods towards comfort in terms of fit, but wireless capabilities won’t be available beyond basic Bluetooth. Once you move towards the sub $100 range, you’ll start to see more solid integrations like Bluetooth support for dual devices and dedicated phone apps.
These headphones tend to split the difference between the basic needs of gym-goers while also making a nod towards new technologies. Once you move above $100, the top tier of headphones can start to clock in at multiple hundreds of dollars. But they also become more feasible as just everyday headphones or even alternatives to more traditional studio cans. Many of the technologies available in these high-end sets – such as the GPS finder in the Bose SoundSport – aren’t really available anywhere else.
Design: Ear buds are the recognized standard when it comes to sports headphones, and they naturally hold prominence in our list. They generally fit more snugly in your ears and have less chance of falling off during strenuous activities than over-ear headsets. But that doesn’t mean that the latter aren’t feasible. Their increased size means that they often sport longer battery lives, they can work respectably well as crossover headphones for other aspects of your life, and many just find them to be a more comfortable fit than inserted ear buds. Often over-ear headphones offer better bass to add to the intensity of your workout.
Noise Cancelling: Gyms can become noisy, and that’s a big deal when you’re trying to get in the zone. Noise cancelling lets you tune out yammering gym partners or the sound of traffic when jogging. And while they won’t be a necessity for everyone, you should evaluate how high a priority they are to you when making your final decision. You might like our Noise Cancelling Headphones guide.
On a budget and Need Noise Cancelling? Check out our guide to noise cancelling headphones under $100.
The specialization of workout headphones creates for a surprisingly dense market, and that means that our list of the best headphones only scratches the surface of what’s available, and that’s a good thing. Whether you want a stripped down solution that will only set you back twenty bucks or a pair of high-end headphones that can serve as a dedicated tool for tracking your exercise regimen, there’s something to suit your needs.
These aren’t the only headphones on the market, but they’re the best, and they can serve as a good litmus test for how to evaluate the value and features of any headphones you may find.If you liked our article on workout headphones, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.