Let’s face it, exercise can often be a bit of a grind. What better way to get you through a hard session than listening to your favorite tunes via the best workout accessory money can buy, a great pair of headphones specifically designed for the task.
The best workout headphones and earphones should provide a combination of comfort and great sound quality, with a sturdy build and highly secure fit that can handle the most strenuous of workouts.
Whatever your choice of activity, music is a great motivator to keep you going. We’ve tested a whole host of sport-based headphones to bring you what we believe to be the best workout headphones currently on the market.
So, let’s go through them and find the perfect option for you, starting with our comparison table…
- 1 Top 10 Best Workout Headphones and Earphones on the Market in 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Jaybird Vista True Wireless Earbuds – Most Comfortable Workout Earbuds
- 1.2 2 Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Earbuds – Best Value for the Money Workout Earbuds
- 1.3 3 Bose-Sport True Wireless Earbuds – Best Sounding Workout Earbuds
- 1.4 4 Beats PowerBeats Pro – Best Premium Workout Earbuds
- 1.5 5 Amazfit Powerbuds Truly Wireless Earbuds – Best Budget Workout Earbuds
- 1.6 6 AirPods Pro Truly Wireless Earbuds – Best Apple Workout Earbuds
- 1.7 7 AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conducting Headphones – Best Cycling Headphones
- 1.8 8 Adidas RPT-01 Truly Wireless On-ear Headphones – Best Battery Life Workout Headphones
- 1.9 9 Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100 – Best Bass Heavy Workout Headphones
- 1.10 10 Bose 700 Noise-Cancelling Headphones – Best ANC Workout Headphones
- 2 Best Workout Headphones and Earphones Buyers Guide
- 3 Looking for Something Else?
- 4 What are the Best Workout Headphones and Earphones?
Top 10 Best Workout Headphones and Earphones on the Market in 2021 Reviews
|(4 / 5)|
|(3 / 5)||(3 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)|
|(5 / 5)|
|(4 / 5)||(3 / 5)||(4.3 / 5)|
Bose-Sport True Wireless Earbuds
|(3 / 5)|
|(4 / 5)||(4 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)|
Beats PowerBeats Pro
|(5 / 5)|
|(4 / 5)||(5 / 5)||(4.6 / 5)|
|(2 / 5)|
|(2 / 5)||(2 / 5)||(4.1 / 5)|
|(4 / 5)|
|(3 / 5)||(5 / 5)||(4.8 / 5)|
|(3 / 5)|
|(2 / 5)||(3 / 5)||(4.7 / 5)|
|(3 / 5)|
|(3 / 5)||(3 / 5)||(4.3 / 5)|
Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100
|(4 / 5)|
|(2 / 5)||(3 / 5)||(4.2 / 5)|
|(5 / 5)|
|(5 / 5)||(5 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)|
1 Jaybird Vista True Wireless Earbuds – Most Comfortable Workout Earbuds
Jaybird has built a reputation for making some of the best workout headphones around. And their Vista true wireless earbuds are no exception to this rule. Comfort and fit have been given top priority in the design process.
A fit everyone can enjoy…
The Vista comes with three sets of ear tips and silicone fins, a combination of which should fit virtually any ear size. It’s a distinctive design and remarkably effective at keeping your buds in place.
Try as you may, these remain stubbornly in position with no need for those annoying on-the-go adjustments. Therefore, these are some of the best secure fit workout earbuds on the market.
The Jaybird Vista also comes with an IPX7 water/sweat/dust-proofing rating, which means they can survive up to 30 minutes’ full immersion in shallow water. It’s safe to say they’ll stand up to any outdoor conditions you find yourself exercising in.
So how do they sound?
Pretty good. Jaybird has put together an agreeable sound profile for the Vista. It’s a full-bodied experience across the frequency spectrum. The Jaybird app also allows you to choose from several EQ profiles or create your own if you’re not 100% sold on the factory sound.
A full battery charge supplies you with six hours of continuous playback, with the charging case providing an extra ten hours. This isn’t exactly mind-blowing but should certainly cover most exercise sessions (marathon runners aside).
Versatile and practical…
All in all, thanks to a “hand in glove” fit and its exciting and tweakable sound profile, the Jaybird Vista fully deserves to be on this list of best workout headphones and earphones.
- Outstanding fit.
- Flexible EQ options.
- A satisfying sound profile.
- 6-hour battery life only.
2 Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Earbuds – Best Value for the Money Workout Earbuds
Hands down, one of the best wireless running headphones on the market have to be the Jabra Elite Active 75t. It’s also perfect for any other kind of workout where you build up a good sweat, regardless of the activity.
As light as a feather…
Once you’ve tried a well-secured pair of wireless earbuds, it’s impossible to imagine going back to wired listening. The lack of cable to snag on your neck or top allows you to concentrate on what you’re doing. Fit has always been exceptional for the elite series, and that tradition has been continued here.
Having chosen the correctly sized silicone gel tip, the Jabra Elite Active 75t provides excellent grip and stability. It helps that each earbud weighs a mere 5.5 grams. As a result, these are some of the best lightweight wireless workout earbuds currently available.
Likewise, the texture of the tips creates a good seal and isn’t prone to slipping even when you’re sweaty. They also carry an IP57 rating, meaning they are essentially rainproof. But don’t try and immerse them.
What about the sound?
Thankfully, the Elite Active 75t is also a pretty decent-sounding set of earbuds. They have enough bass to accompany your most energetic exercise music. And enough musicality in the mids and highs to double up as earphones you’d be happy using on your commute.
The active noise cancellation technology certainly helps when you want to block the world out. It can also be used to let ambient noise in if you’re running in a busy urban area, for example.
As with the Jaybird, the Jabra Sound+ app also allows you to customize your own EQ profiles. It’s hard to understand why this isn’t standard for every set of headphones, but it isn’t.
Plenty of juice…
You’ll get 7.5 hours of non-stop playback on a full charge, with a further 28 hours available in the charging case. Not bad at all, especially as you can get 1½ hours listening from a quick 15-minute charge from empty. For hassle-free listening during your workouts and elsewhere, the Jabra Elite Active 75t is a tough act to beat.
- Sweat-resistant ear tips.
- Complete stability.
- A full-bodied sound profile.
- Active noise canceling.
- Can get dangerously loud.
3 Bose-Sport True Wireless Earbuds – Best Sounding Workout Earbuds
The Bose-Sport Earbuds are the company’s latest foray into the wireless sports bud market. There have been improvements over their predecessor, the SoundSport Free. But while that signature Bose sound is very much present, they fall down in a couple of key areas.
As mentioned, they do sound great. Bose’s unique drivers provide the warm and balanced soundstage that we’ve come to expect from Bose headphones, even with their cheaper models.
They could maybe do with a punchier bass considering they are designed for the workout market. However, this does give the Bose-Sport more crossover appeal. Exercising audiophiles will be happy enough with this set-up.
How about the comfort?
When it comes to fit, and stability, the silicone ear-tips and the flexible wings (three sizes of each) do a nice job of holding the earbuds in place. There’s no danger of them coming loose; it’s just that they’re not very comfortable to wear for any real duration.
The casing presses up against your ear, and after about 45 minutes to an hour, the more sensitive among you may start to feel mild discomfort. This wouldn’t be too much of a problem for brief workouts, but it discourages anything over an hour and extended listening outside of exercise.
The battery could be better…
The Bose-Sport also scores quite low on battery life. Expect no more than five hours on a single charge. You’ll get a few hour-long workouts in before these will need to be recharged. The charging case carries an extra 15 hours of power.
If you’re only using the Bose-Sport for working out, this will suffice. Planning on using them as your primary cans? Then you’ll need more juice than these can offer.
Good, but there are better options…
The solid audio delivery earns the Bose-Sport a place on this list of the best workout headphones and earphones. Although its minor flaws mean it’s nearer the lower end of the order.
- Clean audio delivery.
- Secure fit.
- Bluetooth 5.1
- Potential comfort issues.
- Unimpressive battery life.
4 Beats PowerBeats Pro – Best Premium Workout Earbuds
Far and away the priciest earbuds on this list, the Beats-PowerBeats Pro has been designed with working out as the primary function.
Built for the gym…
As far as comfort and fit are concerned, they’ve done a very effective job. Adjustable ear-hooks are responsible for holding things firmly in place, and that’s exactly what they do. It’s hard to imagine the PowerBeats Pro coming off in hurricane conditions, let alone any athletic endeavor.
They stayed secure through anything we could throw at them, which admittedly wasn’t exactly Olympic levels of athleticism. Comfort levels were also high. You can wear these for long periods without any issues.
Good sound profile…
In a departure from the norm for Beats headphones, the PowerBeats Pro has a sound profile that isn’t as bass-orientated as you’d expect. Perhaps this has to do with the Apple takeover. True or not, it’s a welcome change to the notoriously tub-thumping image they’ve built.
Bass is still powerful but not overwhelming. Finally, music lovers of genres other than hip-hop and EDM can buy a set of Beats that pays attention to all the frequency ranges, not just bass.
Plenty of playtime…
Battery life also gets a thumbs up with nine hours continuous playback possible on a single charge. The case only provides an extra 16 hours of use, but we can let this go when taking into account the single charge duration.
Apple devotees will be happy to hear the PowerBeats Pro come armed with the ultra-fast H1 chip giving you full Apple-world compatibility and a host of extra features.
The only real negative that can be found is the price tag. It’s hard to get past the fact that the PowerBeats Pro costs twice as much as earbuds on this list that have a similar level of sound quality and functionality for working out.
If you’re a fully paid-up member of the Apple universe, then it might be worth the extra layout. If not, you’ll be happier spending half as much on the Jabra Elite Active 75t featured above.
- Rock-solid stability.
- A vastly improved sound profile.
- Lengthy single charge battery life.
- Apple compatibility.
- Better value to be had.
5 Amazfit Powerbuds Truly Wireless Earbuds – Best Budget Workout Earbuds
Amazfit is a brand more associated with smartwatches and fitness bands. The Amazfit Powerbuds are their first attempt at carving out a name for themselves in the workout headphones market. And we have to say they’ve done rather a good job.
These are the best cheap wireless workout earbuds on the list, offering potential buyers excellent value for money. A selection of four differently sized ear tips helps ensure a good fit. Magnetic hooks can be attached to the earbuds to further increase stability, and the whole set-up is pretty effective.
What sets these earbuds apart?
The built-in heart-rate monitor in the right earbud. It measures your BPM through contact with the outer ear. Once you’ve installed the Amazfit app, the earbuds can be used to log workout information, much like other fitness gadgets. It’s a clever idea, and the sensor seems to be pretty accurate.
As a result of the sensor, the Amazfit Powerbuds are a little on the bulky side, and this may lead to comfort issues for some. If you’re only using them for an hour or two, then this shouldn’t be a problem. Anything over that, and you’ll likely start to experience discomfort. All-day earbuds these are not.
Decent battery life…
A full charge will get you almost eight hours of playback, and the case comes with an extra two charges on offer. This is decent enough and comparable with headphones on this list that are three times the cost.
Annoyingly, the charging case doesn’t have any kind of charge indicator. You have to go into the app to see how much power is remaining.
Audio-wise, the Powerbuds have a well-balanced sound profile that will satisfy most listeners. Bass was a little underwhelming, but fortunately, that can be boosted via the app for a more energetic experience.
Considering the price, the Amazfit Powerbuds offer great value for money and certainly earn their place on our list of best workout headphones and earphones.
- Built-in heart rate monitor.
- Solid battery life.
- A clean sound profile.
- Excellent value.
- Comfort an issue for extended use.
- No charging indicator.
6 AirPods Pro Truly Wireless Earbuds – Best Apple Workout Earbuds
Probably the most popular workout earbuds you’ll see being used, the AirPods Pro has made big improvements when it comes to stability and fit. Once you’ve found the correct-sized ear tips from the three sets available, the lightweight design is very effective at keeping them in place.
There’s no danger of the AirPods coming loose, regardless of the activity engaged in. This is a big improvement over the original AirPods, which were notorious for popping out. The lightweight design also makes them comfortable to wear for hours on end.
Excellent noise cancellation and transparency…
Very effective active noise-canceling technology is part of the deal. Not always the easiest feature to get right, Apple has managed it successfully without negatively affecting the audio quality. A transparency mode that pipes in external noise is also available. This makes them some of the best wireless jogging earbuds available.
Battery life is an area that needs improvement…
Apple claims five hours of playback on a full charge, reduced to 4.5 with the ANC turned on. For such an expensive item, these are disappointing numbers.
On the plus side, the case carries an extra 24-hours of power, and a quick five minute charge will gain you an extra hour of listening. Once again, though, there is no indicator to let you know how much power is left in the case. Something to be included in the next generation.
So what do they sound like?
Significant improvements have been made to the overall sound profile. A rich and detailed mid-range is the highlight, with vocals and lead instruments coming through very nicely. There’s just enough bass present to keep things rolling along, and the trebles never sound too sharp.
There are better-sounding workout earbuds on this list, but the overall quality is good enough to satisfy most Apple devotees. The question is, are they worth the exorbitant price tag? For Apple users, probably yes. Others will find better value elsewhere.
- Very effective ANC.
- Comfortable and secure.
- An improved sound profile.
- Poor battery life.
- Relatively expensive.
7 AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conducting Headphones – Best Cycling Headphones
And now for something completely different. If safety and hearing your surroundings whilst working out are paramount, then bone-conducting headphones like the AfterShokz Aeropex would make a good choice.
What’s the advantage?
The headphones go around the ear and rest over the cheekbone, resonating through the bone and leaving your ears open to the outside world. For cyclists and urban runners, it doesn’t get any safer than this. The effect is similar to listening to music through an external speaker and is surprisingly effective with the added benefit of not compromising your spatial awareness.
Be warned, though, as the volume of your surroundings increases at certain levels, it will drown out the music completely. Still, this is what they are supposed to do, so it’s not exactly a criticism. Forget trying to listen to anything on the subway, though.
No issues with comfort…
Due to the design, comfort and fit shouldn’t be an issue for anyone. They are exceptionally light at 26 grams, and there’s no chance of them slipping off thanks to the around the top of the ear and rear headband design.
An IP67 rating means it’s completely sweat and weatherproof. Although it would be interesting to see what kind of effect loud rain would have on your listening experience. That said, these are some of the best waterproof wireless workout headphones you will find. Additionally, the battery life is a reasonable eight hours, although it takes a full two hours to recharge to 100%.
How do they sound?
Considering the delivery method, the sound quality of the AfterShokz Aeropex was pleasantly surprising. You do, however, lose a certain amount of the fine-tuning you get with traditional over/in-ear headphones.
It’s hard to see the technology ever developing to a point where bone-conducting headphones are serious audio contenders. But that’s the price you pay for the extra safety, and the sound isn’t at all bad.
- Secure, lightweight design.
- Safest option for runners and cyclists.
- IP67 water and dust rating.
- Quite expensive.
- Musically inferior design.
8 Adidas RPT-01 Truly Wireless On-ear Headphones – Best Battery Life Workout Headphones
Now for a set of on-ear headphones that are specifically designed with your workouts in mind. Adidas has teamed up with the Swedish company Zound Industries to bring you the RPT-01 on-ear wireless headphones.
Rugged usability is the name of the game here…
The earcups and headband are covered with a mesh-like knitted fabric that can be easily removed for washing. The fabric is sweat resistant but will still get smelly after a while, so easy cleaning is a big plus point.
These are some of the most durable wireless workout headphones out there. They look and feel as though they could stand up to all sorts of mistreatment. This is fortunate as they don’t come with any kind of carry-case.
Weighing in at just over 200 grams, they are pretty lightweight for full-size headphones. They also have a secure fit thanks to the slightly more clamping force than your average headphones. You don’t need to worry about these slipping off in the middle of a run or weightlifting.
Battery life is also a standout feature…
A full 40-hours listening can be achieved from a full charge. This means you won’t be needing to charge them very often unless you spend every waking minute at the gym.
So does the sound quality match up to the workout functionality?
The sound profile is definitely on the bass-heavy side of things, which many listeners find preferable for a pair of workout headphones. This comes at the expense of subtlety in the mids and trebles. Still, it’s the kind of meaty sound that goes well with the genres of music people like to exercise too.
If workout functionality is top of your priority list, then the Adidas RPT-01 is a hard set of headphones to beat. The lack of sophisticated sound certainly isn’t a deal-breaker.
- Durable design.
- Easily cleaned.
- Secure and comfortable.
- Amazing battery life.
- A rather unsubtle sound profile.
- Style won’t be to everyone’s taste.
9 Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100 – Best Bass Heavy Workout Headphones
In-ear headphones dominate the workout market, but there are still many people who prefer over-ear headphones, and Plantronics has made a great set of cans for that market.
The Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100 ticks all the exercise boxes…
They are lightweight, comfortable, and water-resistant. Our favorite aspect of the design is the adjustable band that allows the fit to be temporarily tightened during extreme exertion and later relaxed for a more comfortable fit. It’s this kind of attention to detail that sets the Plantronics model apart.
The earcups are covered by a hexagonal-pattern material that allows the headphones to breathe more instead of a sweat-inducing rubberized surface. This helps cool things down, a big help when working out as over-ear headphones cause a certain amount of heat. The memory foam padding is very comfortable and suitable for those with glasses.
Listen for long periods…
Plantronics lists battery life at 24 hours. We managed to get just over 26 hours. When completely drained, a quick 15-minute charge will yield a full six hours charge. Otherwise, it’s a full two hours back to full power. These are impressive numbers considering that Plantronics is using micro-USB charging.
Low-end on full display…
The BackBeat FIT 6100 has what can only be described as an aggressively bass-heavy sound profile. Even with adjustments made through the app, the bass is still at the forefront of things. On full bass mode, they almost sound silly.
If you prefer a more balanced and detailed approach to your workout listening, look elsewhere. If you want oodles of bass to accompany savage gym sessions, or you just love bass, these are the best workout headphones and earbuds for you.
- Clamping force adjustability.
- Excellent battery life.
- Breathable fabric.
- Too bass-heavy for most.
10 Bose 700 Noise-Cancelling Headphones – Best ANC Workout Headphones
OK, the Bose 700’s are not purely workout headphones. But for those that want an audiophile-level sound to accompany their exercise, they’re an excellent choice. If your regime revolves around more static exercises and you have the money, these amazing all-rounders can 100% be used in the gym.
Industry-leading ANC technology…
Allows you an amazing degree of control over what you allow in. The transparency mode is also a great tool if you decide to venture outdoors. That being said, even though they are very light by industry standards, the Bose 700 is not ideal for long runs or cycles. The extra weight will soon become an annoyance.
Comfort is of the highest order…
The memory foam and faux leather create a pleasantly secure fit. They can comfortably be worn for hours on end with no problems. There is no IPX rating, though, but this is less of an issue for over-ear headphones if worn indoors.
In terms of audio quality, the Bose 700 is one of the best-sounding headphones on this list. The 43mm drivers deliver that crisp, neutral, and finely balanced sound that Bose is famed for. If anything, there’s a little more bass in the profile than Bose usually opts for. Many will consider this a positive change.
A great all-rounder…
Throw in a whole host of the latest technological features, app and voice assistance, and a battery that will last for up to 20 hours, and voila. You have one great set of cans for use in any scenario, including working out.
- Audiophile sound quality.
- Highly comfortable.
- All the latest mod-cons.
- Best ANC on the market.
- Eye-watering price tag.
- Not suitable for running/cycling.
- No IPX rating.
Best Workout Headphones and Earphones Buyers Guide
There are several key attributes that you want your workout headphones or earphones to possess, which we will run through briefly here.
Build Quality and Design
There’s no faster way to destroy a poorly made set of headphones than use them whilst working out. Your headphones or earbuds should be made from extra-durable materials that can withstand excess sweating and robust treatment. Look to buy headphones with a minimum IPX4 water resistance rating.
Comfort and Fit
Many workouts have been ruined by ill-fitting headphones or earbuds that need constant adjustment. The models on this list were selected because they all provide the high levels of stability and comfort required when trying to keep your mind on exercising.
If your exercise regime involves a lot of movement, this is even more important. Plus, if they are comfortable enough, they can also double up as your daily headphones.
The longer, the better, right? Look for models with at least seven to eight hours on a single charge. This will be enough to power at least four to five good workouts. It quickly becomes annoying to have to be wary of how much power you have left when your headphones only pack four hours of playback.
Tailor your choice to the type of workout you’ll be doing. Will you be mostly running or cycling outdoors, or does your activity mostly consist of visits to the gym? Make sure you buy a set of phones that are up to whatever you’re planning on throwing at them.
Just because you’re buying a set of workout headphones or earbuds, doesn’t mean you have to make sacrifices on sound quality. There’s high-level sound to be had in this sector of the market, and we’ve featured some of the best in this list. You can have the best of both worlds.
Looking for Something Else?
We continue to grow our audio and music equipment selection. Check out our in-depth Sony WH-CH700N Review, our Audio-Technica ATH-M20X, our SteelSeries Arctis 7 Review, our AKG Perception 220 Review, and our Skullcandy Indy True Wireless Review for amazing headphones you can buy in 2021.
Also, take a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming, the Best Wireless Workout Headphones, or our Sony MDR-7506 Review, our Sennheiser PXC 550-II Review, and our Monolith M1060 Headphone Review for more superb headphone options currently available.
What are the Best Workout Headphones and Earphones?
For those on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the Amazfit Powerbuds. But if you’re willing to spend a little more, the best earbuds for working out have to be the…
Perfectly designed to handle the rigors of any workout, they also sound great. ANC technology also lets you decide just how much of the outside world you want to allow in. All of this at a very affordable price.
The PowerBeats Pro may be the slightly superior earbud for working out but costs twice the price and certainly not worth the extra outlay. Special mention goes to the Adidas RPT-01, an impressive first foray into the market that would make a good choice if you prefer on-ear headphones.
Happy listening and, hopefully, more enjoyable workouts.