Anyone who works out knows that having the right music can make a huge different to how you feel when exercising and the quality of your workout. But if you are running, in a busy gym, or just don’t want to disturb others, that music needs to go directly into your ears.
Finding a good pair of headphones that stay in place while you are moving, feel comfortable, don’t get wrecked by seat, and deliver great sound is a constant challenge.
Not to worry, we have come up with a list of the best sports headphones that you can buy in 2021. We’ve got options if you prefer wireless, clips to secure them to your ears, or big mufflers that deliver great sound and make a statement.
Best Sports HEadphones
AfterShokz Aeropex Sports Headphones
Many people don’t like bud headphones as they just don’t like having the feeling of something in their ears. But buds and over-ear headphones are no longer your only options. You can now get bone conduction headphones that deliver audio through the cheekbone. The sound is just as good as buds in the ear, but a lot more comfortable.
Aeropex is one of the companies offering patented bone conduction headphones, and this is our favourite of their many designs. They weigh just 26 grams (that’s lighter than an egg), so it feels light, and they are IP67 waterproof so won’t get damaged by sweat. There is a strap that goes around the back of the head, so you can easily take them off and put them on with no fiddling.
The headphones have an eight-hour battery life, and controls on the earpieces so you don’t need to pull out your phone to skip songs. Connect via Bluetooth 5.0 and enjoy CVC 8.0 noise-canceling technology. These headphones are more expensive than the other options on this list, but you are paying for that patented bone conduction technology and you get a two-year warranty
- Bone Conduction Headphones
- 26 grams
- 8-hour battery life
- Head Strap and controls
- Noise-cancelling technology CVC 8.0
- Two-year warranty
JBLab Audio Epic Air Sport Earbuds
If you like the comfort of in-ear headphones, and you want something that is top quality, then consider these premiums earbuds from JBLab. These comfortable buds have hooks that go behind the ears to you get maximum stability while working out.
The battery life on these Bluetooth headphones are an impressive 15 hours, plus they come with a charging case that lets you use them for 55 hours straight before you need to find a charging socket. This makes them ideal for all-day use and travel. When you do charge, you have both wireless and USB options.
As well as delivering excellent sound quality, the headphones use active noise cancellation to filter out unwanted noise. You control whether this is active or not, and the headphones use six microphones to detect and block ambient noise. You can customize a lot of the sound features on the headphones with the JLab Air App.
The headphones should connect with your device automatically once they have been paired, and even have a small microphone to better calls with C3 Calling which only shares your voice. Sensors allow your headphones to pause your music automatically if you take out your headphones, and resume when you put them back in.
There are so many features with these headphones that it should be no surprise that they don’t come cheap. But it can be worth it to enhance your workout experience.
- Earbud Headphones with Clip
- 15 Hour Battery Life, 55 Hour Charging Case
- Advance Noise Cancelling
- Stops music automatically when you remove your headphones
- Customization with App
Tiksounds Bluetooth Headphones
If you want something that is affordable, but easy to use and works, then this option from Tiksounds might interest you. These Bluetooth headphones have six hours of listening time, but also come with a portable charging case that can give you up to 150 hours of playing time before you need to charge it again. This is ideal if you plan to use your headphones several times throughout the day before charging again.
The in-earbuds are comfortable, and there are straps that go around the back of the ears to give them extra staying power during a workout. They are also IPX7 waterproof, so they won’t start to get damaged if you put yourself, and your headphones, through a particularly gruelling workout.
And, of course, on top of all this, the sound quality is fantastic with deep bass and stereo sound. Plus, you can simply tap them for your basic controls. These affordable headphones may not last as long as some of the others on this list, or have as many features, but they are more than up for the job, and a great price.
- Earbud Wireless Headphones
- IPX7 Waterproof
- 6 Hours Battery, Charging Box with 150 Hours
- Tap Controls
- Deep Base and Stereo Sound
TOZO T10 Wireless Earbuds
If you don’t like the clips that go behind your ears, you’ll find that these earbuds from TOZO offer a lot of stability without them. A but oof sweat shouldn’t dislodge them, and they are IPX8 waterproof, so they also won’t get damaged.
Bluetooth wireless headphones, these buds can carry a six-hour charge, and have a charging case that can give you an additional 30 hours, so you never find yourself without tunes. The tap-based controls are pretty advanced, letting you skip, pause, control the volume, answer calls, activate Siri, and activate voice recognition.
The sound quality is great matching a powerful base with a mellow midrange and clear treble. While you don’t need to adjust these smart headphones, music fanatics can take control to get the exact balance that they are looking for. Considering all this, these headphones are great value at the price.
- Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds
- 6-hour charge, 30-hour charge box
- Sophisticated tap controls
- Voice command with Siri
- IPX8 Waterproof
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones
If you are all about music quality, then treat yourself to a pair of Probeats headphones that deliver the best sound quality and promise to hold up to your toughest workout.
Get nine hours of listening time for the headphones, and more than 24 hours more with the charging case so you can use these amazing headphones all the time. But one of the best things about these headphones is their supercharge, When the battery is low, just five minutes of charging can give you 90 minutes of playback.
The adjustable over-ear clip offers a snug and stable fit, and they are sweat and water-resistant, so your intense workouts won’t wear out your fancy headphones. The controls are sophisticated and easy to use while on the move for volume, track skipping, and answering phone calls.
But the real reason that you will buy these headphones are the amazing sound quality that you have come to expect from Beats.
- Earbud adjustable clip headphones
- 9-hour playback, 24 hours with charging case
- Fast charge, get 1.5 hours in just 5 minutes
- Sweat and water-resistant
- Beats quality sound
There are a lot of features to consider when choosing the best headphones for working out. These are the ones that we consider most important.
OK, that’s not really a word, but you know what we mean. You want your headphones to stay in place in your ears while you are working out. You don’t want to be picking them up off the floor or even readjusting them eery few minutes during an active workout.
Some people prefer to have their headphones connected on a wire that goes around the back of their head. This means that if they do want to take their headphones out to talk to someone, or for some other reason, they can just hang them around then neck and easily replace them.
When it comes to design of headphones, this is often down to personal preference. Some people prefer simple buds with wings to keep them in place since they feel the most like “wearing nothing”. Other people appreciate clipping measures that go around the back of the earlobe as they make the headphones feel more stable, especially during an intense workout. Yet others will prefer larger on ear headphones as they tend to do a better job of blocking out other noise.
When you are working out, you want to focus on what you are doing. But it can be hard to focus on anything when there is something uncomfortable worming into your ear or a sharp clip scratching behind your lobe.
This is one of the hardest things to recommend for, since everyone’s ear canals and lobes are shaped slightly differently. While some companies do a better job of creating a universally comfortable design than others, sometimes you just have to try them out, and cut your losses if they really aren’t the right shape for you.
The last thing you want is having to deal with the cord that connects your headphones to your smartphone or other device to get in the way of your movement. Anyone who has ever worked out in the pre-wireless age knows the pain of hitting that cord with your arm or getting it stuck in a machine and seeing your smartphone clatter to the floor.
A Bluetooth connection is a must to maintain a strong link between your device and your headphones even in crowded areas or locations without Wi-Fi.
You don’t want to have to pull out your smartphone every time you get the urge to skip a song or hear it again. Good headphones should have accessible controls on the headphones themselves. You might only be able to skip and repeat songs with a simple tap, but it will make a big difference.
Control setting tend to be device specific, so make sure that headphones that you choose have controls compatible with your device, principally Android or iOS.
Ever used the basic headphones that come with your smartphone at the gym. Did you start to lose sound in at least one of the ears after only a few sessions? These headphones often aren’t sweat resistant, so the sweat that leaks in quickly damages them.
A good paid or sports headphones should be sweat resistant, since you’ll be surprised just how much sweat your ears give off!
The level of waterproofing of a pair of headphones is known as an UP certification. IPX7 means that the headphones are fully waterproof, so you could probably use them in the shower. You want something with at least an IPX4 rating when working out.
Most wireless headphones come with a battery life of at least six hours. This should be enough for most people. Unless you are a professional athlete, working out for six hours straight is probably doing you more harm than good!
Nevertheless, if you are into long walks, hikes, or bike rides, or you want to use your headphones on your commute and at the gym, looking for something with a decent and stable battery life can be a major priority.
Benefits of Listening to Music while Exercising
Listening to music while working out isn’t just about staving off boredom or distracting yourself from the fact that you are only a quarter of the way through a ten-mile run. There are other tangible benefits to listening to good tunes while you are exercising.
We don’t always feel motivated to workout, but often drag ourselves out there anyway knowing that getting started is often the hardest thing and that we won’t regret the workout afterwards.
Listening to music can help you get in the mood and motivated faster. Beats that elevate your mood and make your body want to dance and move will get you enjoying your workout faster on those days when you just don’t feel like it at first.
Keep the Pace
For types of exercise, such as running, where you need to maintain or actively control your pace, music can be a major benefit. A well-constructed playlist can make a big difference during a longer run. Start with a slower warm up pace that still has plenty of energetic good vibes, then upgrade to your core pace, and then add some faster tunes to help you push yourself at the end.
Not sure what to start with? Costas Karageorghis, Associate Professor of Sports Psychology at Brunel University, suggests songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute, since this matches the average heartrate during a workout. Start there and then personalize as you gain experience.
While it is good to focus on your body, what it is doing, and how it is feeling when you are working out, you can focus too hard. If you are thinking too hard you might focus on pain points and struggle to push through.
Music can distract you in a positive way as mood enhancing music can help reduce your focus on negative aspects, in particular boredom but also pain. It is not distracting enough that you are likely to miss a warning sign like a twinging muscle, but enough that you might be able to push through a heavy moment in your workout. The American Council on Exercise has found that good motivational music can increase workout endurance by around 15 percent.
Not sure what to read next? Check out our recomendations for the best pedometers for tracking your daily movement and activity.
Having some good tunes in your ears can make a major difference to how you feel during your workout and can also improve the quality of your workout. But if your headphones are always falling out, uncomfortable, delivering uneven sound, or distracting to use, they can be a hindrance rather than a help.
That is why you need to choose headphones specifically designed for exercising when looking for something to workout with. They should be comfortable and have staying power, be wireless, connect via Bluetooth and have controls on the headphones themselves, and they should be sweat resistant so that they don’t start losing sound quality with a little sweat!
Hopefully one of the great options on our list are exactly what you are looking for.
- Exploring the Effects of Music on Exercise Intensity – American Fitness Council
- Choose the Best Music for Exercise – New York Times
Last update on 2023-11-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API