Do you know what are the best headphones for running right now? Or Best workout earbuds for Running, gym, sports and fitness?
Find out the most “running-friendly” headphones on the market whether you’re running outside in a heavy rain…
…or just jogging inside on a treadmill.
Compare the best and most popular running models by checking the comparison table below.
You can also check the in-depth reviews of each model.
Check the 4 different categories of running headphones:
- Best running earbuds (in-ear)
- Best running headphones (on-ear)
- Best Bluetooth running earbuds (in-ear)
- Best Bluetooth running headphones (on-ear)
Keep oriented by using our table of contents.
- 15 Best Headphones for Running Comparison
- Best Earbuds for Running Reviewed (IEMs)
- Best Headphones for Running Reviewed (On-ear)
- Best value for money on-ear running headphones
- Best Bluetooth Earbuds for Running Reviewed (wireless in-ear)
- Best Bluetooth Headphones for Running Reviewed (wireless on-ear)
15 Best Headphones for Running Comparison
The models are listed by price.
|Bose SoundSport In-Ear (Top Pick)||4.1||In-ear|
|Sennheiser CX 685||3.4||In-ear|
|Yurbuds Inspire 100||3.4||In-ear|
|Soundmagic E30||4.0||In-ear||$ ($80-$120)|
|Philips ActionFit SHQ5200||4.1||In-ear|
|Beats Powerbeats 2||3.8||In-ear|
|Plantronics BackBeat Fit||4.2||In-ear|
|Monster iSport Freedom||4.0||In-ear||$ ($30-$80)|
|66 Audio BTS+||4.3||On-ear||$ (<$30)|
What Every Runner Should Know About Running Headphones
If you run outside in all weather, even rain, you need good water-proof headphones.
If you run inside on a treadmill you don’t really need extra water protection unless you sweat excessively.
Stable fit is the most important thing when choosing running headphones. If they don’t stay in you won’t be able to run with them. It’s simple as that.
Because of fast movement big, heavy headphones aren’t really suitable for running. The most common sports headphones are small in-ear designs. They are lightweight and offer good stable fit.
But in case you don’t like earbuds (IEMs) lightweight on-ear headphones are a good alternative.
In any case, you need to pick a good fitting pair of headphones that don’t fall off even when soaked in sweat.
Good comfort always plays a role with headphones.
Irritating your ears with uncomfortable headphones isn’t fun. When you’re physically exerting yourself, the last thing you want is getting your ears rubbed the wrong way.
Pick earbuds with many variations of ear tips so you can change them to best fit your ear size.
Because exercise is a harsh environment for any headphones, you need well-built headphones that will last you at least a few months if not years.
Strong cabling and impact resistant casing help with improving the lifetime of your headphones, but what’s even more important is sweat resistance.
If you sweat heavily you need good built quality that won’t allow the moisture to get inside to the drivers. You don’t necessarily need certified sweat-resistant or water-proof headphones for that.
Any regular but well-built headphones will resist the sweat your body produces, in fact, you can use most non-sweat-proof headphones in the rain as well.
But if you sweat a lot and worry you’re going to ruin your headphones, take a pick from the many sweat-resistant headphones on the market. They can be very affordable and don’t lack the sound quality either.
Some of you use your smartphones for your music and want a convenient way to change the songs and volume on the go.
This is where the built-in or in-line controls come useful. There are many iPhone and Android-compatible headphones that will make controlling music much easier.
Just make sure your phone is supported.
Sound quality is actually not so important when running. You probably won’t be focusing on the details or lack thereof during a run. The brains are very busy with other things during exercise, like breathing and body coordination.
On the other hand, you still want quality, engaging sound that will make you go the extra mile. A bass heavier sound signature is preferred by many people, but it really comes to a personal preference.
The perfect running headphones are those that won’t have you worry about fit, discomfort, breaking the headphones or annoy you with horrible sound quality.
There are many great picks on this page that do great in all these categories.
Why Get Wireless Headphones for Running?
Seriously, why do I need Bluetooth headphones if wired ones do the job just fine?
Well, you don’t need them, many people use wired headphones for running just fine. But…
… if you want that extra freedom and convenience, Bluetooth is a great technology.
With wireless headphones, you’ll never have to deal with untangling the mysterious mess of wires before going running.
There’s also less of a chance to damage the headphones beyond repair. With most headphones, if wires go, headphones go.
Regular wired headphones aren’t bad at all, but only those who tried wireless know the difference.
You feel free to do anything you want. You’re not limited by the wires or the audio player and don’t have to worry about it.
Running, playing sports or working out while listening to music is just more comfortable.
Best Earbuds for Running Reviewed (IEMs)
Bose SoundSport In-Ear(Top Pick)
The new Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones aren’t the cheapest…
…but still offer great value for money because no other headphones offer the same combination of features that are as perfect for running as these.
The combination of stable fit, amazing comfort, sweat-proof design and strong bassy sound makes Bose SoundSport wired headphones the overall best running headphones, period.
You get what you pay for and if you want something better to take along on your runs, this is it.
Everything about these wired earbuds says “Runner earbuds!”
The fit is great. The silicone ear tips (3 sizes) come with wings that keep the earbuds in your ears very effectively.
You can easily run or sprint without having to adjust the fit. Once you put them in you’re good to go.
The earbuds are a bit shallower than your average IEMs (in-ear monitors) so they don’t go that deep into your ears. This helps with environment awareness, the passive noise isolation isn’t very good so you can hear what is going on around you at all times.
That’s perfect for runners who need to know what is going on around them, at least if you’re running outside and not on a treadmill.
Bose is known for making very comfortable headphones and these are no different.
In fact, for us, these are one of the most comfortable earbuds you can get right now.
If you do marathons or long runs you know how important it is to have comfy headphones that don’t annoy you along the way.
Running marathons is hard enough you don’t need to be bothered by irritated ears as well.
The earbuds are very light and you will soon forget about wearing them altogether. The ear tips are made out of quality and soft silicone and feel good inside the ears.
Overall, comfort is top notch which is perfect for running.
Build quality is the only average feature of these earbuds. It’s not bad but isn’t great either.
The earbuds are plastic with rubber protected wires. There is strain relief on all important parts, but we’ve seen better before.
The 3.5mm plug-in is I shaped which isn’t optimal but does the job.
While physical durability is about average, water and sweat resistance are better. They are completely sweatproof and can survive a downpour or two as well so no worries of getting caught in the rain.
We wouldn’t wash them under running water but instead rather use a wet cloth to clean them.
As long as you don’t throw them around or pull on them too hard, they should serve you for many years of your running career.
There are 2 models available, the cheaper model doesn’t have an in-line remote or microphone, but the other model does.
Just keep in mind to pick the right one depending on whether you use an iPhone or Android (Samsung, LG, HTC…) device.
The remote controls are very intuitive and very soon you’ll be changing songs, adjusting volume and accepting calls without having to look at what you’re pressing.
The microphone sound quality is also pretty good for an in-line mic. Your voice will be heard well and clearly.
Sound quality doesn’t disappoint either, it is typical Bose sound signature, emphasized bass with clear mids and highs.
While this may not be balanced audiophile signature it produces fun and dynamic sound that is perfect for running.
Stronger bass gives good rhythm to your step and makes it easier to keep going. They are not bass cannons so bassheads might want more bass, but the bass is clearly emphasized.
The clarity and details are better than average so you can easily enjoy all genres of music.
Instrument separation is good, nothing that can compare to high-end audiophile IEMs, but good enough to be enjoyed even by a demanding user.
Since these aren’t real IEMs but shallower, the microphonics is nonexistent. This means the cables don’t make noises if they’re flapping around when running. This is a very important thing for a runner.
Overall, as long as you can enjoy stronger bass you’ll be very happy with how these sound.
As the best wired running headphones, Bose SoundSport offer great comfort and fit, sweatproof design and good, bassy sound signature.
- Great fit that doesn’t need adjusting
- Amazing comfort even when running marathons
- Sweatproof & water-resistant
- Good environment awareness
- Good value for money
- Typical Bose sound signature with strong bass
- Too much bass for audiophiles who want balanced sound
Shure SE215 (best sounding earbuds for running)
Shure SE215 are one of the overall best earbuds on the market right now.
They offer great durability, comfort and amazing sound quality that can compete with earbuds for $200 or even $300.
They might not be dedicated sports headphones, but their great build quality is perfectly suitable for all types of sports as well.
If you want to enjoy high-quality sound on your runs, these are the headphones to get.
Because of their in-ear fit and memory wire, they stay in ears even during fast exercise, running with them is not a problem at all.
You need to learn how to adjust the memory wire for proper fit, but once you do, it becomes a breeze.
You can run, workout or do yoga, Shure SE215 won’t fall out.
Noise isolation is superb, one of the best in class actually.
With the right ear tips, you get an air-tight seal that doesn’t let any noise in or out which makes them perfect for running in loud gyms or at home when you don’t want to bother other people with your music.
On the other hand, situational awareness is pretty bad since you can’t hear anything, keep that in mind if you run outside.
Comfort is greatly dependent on ear tips, but thankfully you get a nice selection to choose from in the original package. Shure Olives are a well-known type of ear tips that provide optimal comfort and isolation.
Because they’re light you’ll barely feel them and this is pretty much the best comfort you can get from any IEMs (in-ear monitors).
The casing is made out of high-quality plastics, which saves on weight, but the great durability feature is detachable cables.
It happens way too often the cables get damaged and then you have to throw away the headphones. With Shure SE215 you just replace the wires with new ones and you’re good to go.
As long as you keep the drivers and its casing working, these earbuds will server their purpose.
While they don’t have any official sweat-protection these are more than suitable for running even outside. Some people report accidentally putting them in the washing machine and surviving.
Build quality is top notch and if these earbuds die on you, all others would die too.
Shure SE215 don’t have any in-line controls or microphone, but since they use detachable cables you can combine them with the cables that do have it. The cable with in-line controls and the mic is quite expensive, but you can combine it with all Shure earbuds.
Sound quality is the biggest advantage of Shure SE215 over the competition. No earbuds have such a fun and engaging sound in this price range.
The bass is slightly emphasized to give a good boost to every song, but it’s controlled and detailed.
The mids are by far the biggest plus. Most earbuds have a problem with playing clear and rich middle ranges, but not SE215. Highs are also clean and detailed, don’t have much sibilance or harshness to them, they are just about right.
This is the best sound you will get from $100 earbuds by our opinion.
It’s fun and engaging, but balanced and detailed at the same time. It will bring a smile on your face.
If you value high sound quality even during your runs, get the industry-leading Shure SE215 which will make you enjoy your music in high comfort anywhere you run.
- Great, stable fit with memory wire
- Nice selection of ear tips (plus nice carrying case)
- Great passive noise isolation (with right ear tips)
- One of the most durable earbuds on the market (with detachable cables)
- Great fun sound with slightly stronger bass (audiophile approved)
- Unusual design needs getting used to
These are one of the many Sennheiser sports earbuds, in fact, they are one of the older models, but still the best option overall.
The price is quite high and you’ll get better sound and accessories with Shure SE215 which aren’t that much more expensive.
What these have is great durability with water protection and super stable fit. They have one of the most stable fits of all sports in-ear headphones.
You don’t get as many ear tip options as with some other models, just the standard, small, medium and big sizes. But the lack of tip variety doesn’t diminish the stability of the fit.
Once you put them on, it’s called “slide-to-fit”, the ear wings make sure the earbuds don’t fall out. It’s surprising how fast you can move without losing the fit.
Sennheiser CX 685 really stay in your ears no matter what. In case you can’t find earbuds that will stay in you should try this model.
Noise isolation is quite good, not as good as with Shure SE215, but good enough to use in gyms. Some outside noise still comes in which makes them useful for street running as well.
The comfort is also very good. At about 2 hours of continuous use, you might experience some discomfort, but unless you’re a marathon runner 2 hours is plenty of time to run.
There could be a better selection of ear tips to help with comfort, but it’s actually pretty good without that.
They’re lightweight and the ear wings aren’t too strong or aggressive, but rather squishy.
Build quality is very high. Sennheiser CX 685 were built for running and other exercise after all.
Whole earbuds are sweat-proof and suitable for running in the rain. You can even clean them with some water to get the dirt off.
The L-plug is strong enough to survive the harsh sports treatment, in general, these are durable sports earbuds perfect for running.
There are no in-line controls or microphone, just the standard cable with a plug at the end.
One thing we find missing is the chin slider, the small piece of plastic that helps with cable control. It’s a bit funny how sports earbuds like these don’t have a chin slider, that small thing is usually very useful.
Sound quality isn’t anything special and is probably the biggest disadvantage compared to the alternatives.
The range most lacking is bass, it isn’t as deep as with other running earbuds and since most people want good tempo setting bass this is a bit of problem.
The truth is, the strength of bass greatly depends on air-tight fit and if you don’t have it you lose almost all low frequencies. The bass is still there, but more refined and clean so it doesn’t overpower other frequencies.
If you enjoy bass-light music during your runs, these will be perfect, but for anything bass dependent like dubstep and hip hop, MEEletronics Sport-Fi M6 have deeper bass while costing a lot less.
Highs and mids are clear and generally better than your average earbuds, but can’t compare to Shure SE215 or SoundMAGIC E30.
Microphonics is quite bad as well, you’ll hear the sound of cables rubbing against your clothes. This is annoying for some people, so use a tight fitting top to tuck in the cables which more or less solves the problem.
Overall the sound is mediocre and won’t give the bass oomph most people like, but it’s better than regular Apple earbuds for example.
If you value stable fit and great water protection above everything else, Sennheiser CX 685 are a good choice for you.
- Super stable fit that never falls out
- Good noise isolation, perfect for gym running, still good for outside
- Comfortable for average runs (2hours+ becomes irritating)
- Great durability, sweat-proof and water protected (can wash them)
- Mediocre sound quality with somewhat lackluster bass
- Bad microphonics (tuck the cables good to solve this)
Yurbuds Inspire 100 Women’s
Yurbuds Inspire 100 for women are designed by JBL specifically for smaller ears, plus you can get them in cute colors just for girls.
There is also regular, version with man-friendly colors as well, click here for regular black earbuds.
Yurbuds Inspire are one of those budget running headphones you almost can’t go wrong with. They have great, stable fit are comfortable and you can get them for little money.
With their “twistlock” technology Yurbuds has created a new way to insert earbuds. You do basically exactly what it says, you twist and lock it in your ear canals.
Once you get used to it, it works like a charm and the buds really stay in.
You can easily use them for running, yoga or any other exercise, without worrying about them falling out, it won’t happen.
The design is made in a way that lets in environment noise so these don’t have much noise isolation. The reason they’re made like that is because they are meant to be used outside on the streets where you have to hear your surrounding for safety reasons.
So if you need good noise isolation to avoid the loud gym music, these might not be best for you.
They are very comfortable. They’re smaller than the regular Yurbuds Inspire 100 so if you have smaller ears you should try these.
The special ear tips are soft and comfortable to wear for hours, but there are still some women who report having problems with getting a comfortable fit.
In case you have very small ears you might have a problem with fitting these too, but then again no other in-ear headphones will fit you.
You shouldn’t worry too much about fit though, as this is a very popular product that is comfortably used by many women.
Yurbuds Inspire 100 for women are also completely sweat-proof and water resistant for those of you who sweat heavily or enjoy running in the rain.
Build quality is good. It could use better quality materials and some weak point reliefs but they seem to last quite a while for most people.
You don’t get any carrying bag in the box so keep in mind to get one to ensure maximum life expectancy. If you just put them in pockets it’s more likely they’ll break or suddenly stop working.
Overall durability is very good for a budget product like this.
There are no controls or microphone to use during runs. For the low price you’re paying, you’re going to have a difficult time finding similar earbuds with in-line controls or microphone. Well, take a lot at MEEletronics Sport-Fi M6P.
Sound quality is good, nothing special and definitely can’t compare to Shure SE215 or SoundMAGIC E30, but it’s good enough to enjoy during runs.
The bass is strong enough to give you the right tempo but won’t make your ears explode.
Generally, they sound good for the price, definitely better than most earbuds priced at the same value.
If you’re looking for some stylish, smaller running earbuds that are perfect for women, offer great fit, comfort, and good durability, get Yurbuds Inspire 100.
- Designed specifically for women (bigger version exists too)
- Great fit that never falls out
- Sweat-proof & water-resistant, good durability overall
- Very comfortable even for long runs
- Affordable and good value for money
- Good sound quality for the price, better than most earbuds in the same category
- Sound can’t compare to better headphones
- No carrying bag
SoundMAGIC E30 are one of the best sounding running headphones you can get for less than $40 right now.
This makes them a budget IEM while offering great running experience with audiophile-like sound quality.
In case you don’t have the money for Shure SE215 get these, they aren’t much worse.
With the help of memory wire, the fit is as stable as with any other sports headphones. While SoundMAGIC E30 aren’t dedicated exercise earbuds, they do offer a perfect fit for even the fastest movement.
It takes some time to get used putting them in and getting a comfortable and stable fit, but once you learn how these earbuds stay in ears.
Once you find proper eat tips sound isolation is quite good. These won’t completely isolate outside noise, but do a good enough job for you to enjoy your own music.
This makes them perfect for the gym or running outside, just be more careful if you’re using them in busy, urban areas where you have to hear your surroundings for safety reasons.
Just like with all IEMs (in-ear monitors) comfort is largely dependent on ear tips. With SoundMAGIC E30 you get 7 different sizes and shapes of ear tips to choose from. This is a lot and unless you have very special ears, you’re going to find a comfortable fit for yourself out of the box.
No need to get new ear tips, though Comply tips do improve the comfort and fit, you can easily take a look at those as replacement.
Build quality is decent. They aren’t made for extreme abuse and aren’t sweat-proof certified either, but they are strong enough to survive a year or two of running without many problems.
Considering they are on the cheaper side while offering stable fit many people use them for exercise and in case you break them, you can just get another pair without losing much.
Good build quality can help with “survivability” of the headphones for running, but it can’t guarantee long life. Accidents can happen and it’s much better to break $30 earbuds than a $100 ones.
SoundMAGIC E30 don’t have any in-line controls so you’re pretty much left to your MP3 player or your smartphone.
The only thing you do get is a shirt clip which comes in very handy during a run, but if you’re looking for any other special features look at other models. This one is a budget one after all.
One of the biggest advantages of these earbuds is the sound quality. Bass is quite strong, but not to the point of overpowering other ranges.
Treble is clear and precise and makes for a perfect balance of musicality and accuracy.
These earbuds don’t add or change the sound so you can enjoy it in its original form. The sound produced is overall enjoyable and non-fatiguing making them perfect for long marathon runs as well.
Microphonics, as in how much sound is leaked to your ears when the wires touch your clothes, is minimal, yet still easily noticeable. If you’re not a demanding audiophile, you won’t really mind it.
If you want to enjoy a clear, audiophile-like sound during your runs, get SoundMAGIC E30s and be amazed how much value $40 earbuds provide.
- Very stable fit with memory ear hooks
- Good choice of ear tips out of the box
- Very affordable
- Great value for budget in-ear monitors
- Clear, audiophile-like sound quality, amazing for the price
- Durability could be better (but they are cheap)
- No in-line controls
- Need some time to get a comfortable fit
Best Headphones for Running Reviewed (On-ear)
For those of you who don’t like earbuds or can’t seem to keep them in during your runs, you can try with on-ear headphones.
Philips ActionFit SHQ5200 are one of these rare sports on-ear headphones that do a good job at it.
The fit is pretty good and the headphones will stay on for most people, but if you have a really small head you should probably look for earbuds instead.
The headband is pretty tight and with the help of silicone headband you can keep them on even if you’re bald.
In general, they stay on well enough to exercise with them with the occasional adjustment.
Noise isolation is non-existent. These headphones leak a lot of sound and let in all the surrounding noise as well.
This is good when you want to have good environment awareness, but pretty bad if you use them in gyms with other people around.
The headphones are light to the point you’ll forget you’re wearing them. The fabric on-ear pads are soft and comfortable and you can take them off and wash them if they get soaked in sweat.
If you’re used to wearing on-ear headphones these are very comfortable, but just like all on-ear models, they start to hurt after a few hours.
Philips ActionFit SHQ5200 headphones look very cheap and nobody will guess they cost as much as they do.
The plastic isn’t top quality and the headband makes cracking noises, but they seem to do pretty well in real life.
They are sweat-proof and rain-proof so you can easily use them in any outside weather. The cables are reinforced with Kevlar and because they are so light they don’t get damaged if you accidently drop them on the floor.
All in all, these are well designed for sports even if they don’t promise much just looking at them.
They have no in-line controls or any microphone for making calls. They are the standard, headphones with a plug-in at the end. The cables aren’t detachable (but you do get an extension) so you can’t combine it with in-line mic cable either.
The sound is pretty good. It has nice, strong bass to give you the right rhythm while other ranges aren’t too overpowered.
Of course, the sound can’t compare to high-end over-ear headphones, but compared to other sports models, it’s pretty good.
As long as you don’t turn up the volume too high you will enjoy a bass-heavy, but a clean sound that is easy to run to.
Microphonics aren’t an issue so you can easily wear these any way you want without getting the annoying “cable noise”.
All in all, if you’re looking for good running on-ear headphones Philips ActionFit SHQ5200 are a great choice.
- Good, snug fit that doesn’t fall off (unless you have a small head)
- Comfortable, light design with washable ear pads
- Sweat & rainproof for all sports conditions
- Good, bass-heavy sound
- The headband doesn’t inspire confidence
- Expensive compared to earbuds
Best value for money on-ear running headphones
Koss SportaPro are the best bang for your buck if you’re looking for sports on-ear headphones and don’t mind the retro design.
Great sound quality with amazing comfort makes them perfect for all types of activity.
If the price of around $20 is still too much for you, you can check Koss KSC75which are a similar design, but even cheaper.
Because of their lightweight nature, you will barely feel them and for the same reason, they won’t move on your head even during fast running.
Keeping them on is very easy so these are suitable for working out in the gym or doing yoga. Adjust the flexible headband to your head size and you’re good to go.
Because they are an open design they have almost no noise isolation. If you’ll turn up the volume you leak quite a lot of sound so keep that in mind when using them with others around.
At the same time, bad noise isolation helps with environment awareness in case you run in urban areas where you have to watch out for the cars and pedestrians.
Koss SportaPro are very comfortable headphones. The reason is their ultra-light design that really doesn’t have the weight to put any pressure on your ears.
The on-ear pads are soft and make sure your ears don’t come in contact with drivers. You can wear them behind the neck too if you find that more comfortable.
The plastics are pretty cheap and don’t offer the best durability. This is probably the only disadvantage of Koss SportaPro.
It’s a good thing they are so cheap and when they break on you, you can simply buy new ones for less than $20. In fact, with such a low price durability stops being an issue, because if you get 1 year out of them this will be money well spent.
They don’t have any special sweat protection like other sports headphones, these are just regular plastic and metal headphones. They can survive some sweat of course, just don’t drench them in water.
They don’t have any controls, just the regular cable with a plug at the end. Hey, these are a budget model after all.
Koss has made a special version of these headphones with the mute button, but they are very hard to get nowadays and probably cost a lot more.
Sound quality is what makes these a great choice for sports. The bass is strong, but controlled and punchy and gives a good rhythm.
The highs and mids are clear and detailed and together with great bass response make for an amazing sound that is perfect for sports.
You can make these headphones very loud with just your smartphone or MP3 player to overpower all the environment noise if that’s what you want.
The cables aren’t making any noises or distorting the sound when touching the clothes, so this is another plus.
Overall, if you don’t mind the retro look, Koss SportaPro have stable and comfortable fit with amazing sound that will make you enjoy every ran mile.
- Very stable fit, perfect for running
- Comfortable due to their ultra-light design
- Best value for money on-ear headphones
- Amazing sound quality with strong bass
- Not the most durable
Best Bluetooth Earbuds for Running Reviewed (wireless in-ear)
Jaybird X2(best Bluetooth headphones for running)
The Jaybird X2 are the new and updated Jaybird BlueBuds X that reigned supreme in the Bluetooth sports category for quite some time.
Truth be told, the new model isn’t much different.
It looks and feels the same, the materials have been slightly changed and now you have the option to choose from different colors.
The biggest differences are that you get Comply tips in the original package, the ear wings have become slightly softer and the battery is supposedly a bit better.
The sound quality is still the same, clear and detailed with just the right amount of bass.
In any case, if you get the original Jaybird BlueBuds X you’ll save some money and won’t lose on much of functionality. The X2 model is slightly better, but probably worth the price difference only if you want the best market has to offer.
Jaybird BlueBuds X are still a great option and better value for money.
The fit with X2 is very good just like with BlueBuds X. Once you find the right size of ear wings and learn how to put them in they stay in your ears even during fast exercise.
Running or lifting weights is not a problem.
The new and improved ear wings seem to be slightly softer, but you’ll only notice this if you wear them for longer periods of time.
They make earbuds stick to your ears and that’s most important.
Noise isolation hasn’t changed and is about average for earbuds. Of course this also depends on what ear tips you use, but generally, you will hear some environment noise around you.
This comes very helpful when running outside when you have to hear the surroundings for better safety.
With the old BlueBuds X, it was almost mandatory to get the Comply tips for best comfort.
This time around, Jaybird X2 have them in the original package which is a nice touch and probably the most tangible improvement over the old model.
With the Comply tips the earbuds become very comfortable, fit great and are perfectly suited for long marathon runs as well.
Jaybird advertises they have improved the sweat resistance in the new X2 model, but this will yet have to be proven. This is a new model that hasn’t been tested long term to really know if this is true.
In any case, the Lifetime Warranty Against Sweat is here to stay. If your Jaybird X2 suddenly stop working and you think sweat is the one to blame, contact Jaybird and they will either repair or replace your Bluetooth earbuds.
Overall durability seems about the same, it’s good, but hasn’t been a highlight of the previous model either.
If you take decent care of your earbuds, these should survive for at least over a year. If they don’t, it’s highly advised to contact Jaybird customer service, usually, they’re really helpful.
The behind-the-neck wires include an in-line, control buttons for volume and songs just like the old model.
You can easily control the songs without having to use your music device, this is pretty much standard with all Bluetooth headphones nowadays.
You also get a nice carrying bag with charging cable and a nice selection of regular and Comply ear tips.
The Jaybird X2 use the same Bluetooth technology as BlueBuds X and works fine without much distortion. It doesn’t have aptX support but sounds great nonetheless.
Bluetooth has the average range of about 30ft depending on obstacles in between the earbuds and music device.
The battery power Jaybird X2 has supposedly been upgraded with a slightly better one than before, but they still advertise the 8 hours battery life.
The BlueBuds X have some problems with battery life declining after some time, hopefully, this new model won’t have these problems, but only time will tell. Right now nobody can know for sure since it’s a new model.
If the battery is similar then it’s a bit of a lottery, but generally, it should work fine over 1 year, after which time it’s bound to lose some if its capacity.
The sound is the same as before even though it’s advertised as being improved you probably won’t notice any difference.
It has crystal clear highs and mids with good bass. Just keep in mind you need an airtight seal for the bass to come alive. At the same time, bass won’t satisfy hardcore bassheads, so if that’s you, look at some other models.
When it comes to sports Bluetooth headphones, Jaybird still offers better sound quality than the competition, both Jaybird X2 and BlueBuds X sound great.
Don’t compare them to the audiophile, wired headphones as those still have an edge in sound quality of course.
All in all, if you want the best Bluetooth headphones for running right now, get Jaybird X2 that offer stable fit, great comfort, lifetime sweat warranty and best-in-class sound quality.
- Very stable fit with ear wings (3 sizes)
- Stay comfortable even for marathon running (with Comply tips)
- Jaybird’s Lifetime Warranty Against Sweat
- Good battery life with up to 8 hours of playtime
- Best in class sound quality, clear and detailed (not bass heavy)
- Pricey (but they are industry leaders in sports Bluetooth category)
- It seems durability hasn’t improved much (but that’s ok because of liberal replacement policy)
Beats Powerbeats 2 Wireless
Powerbeats 2 Wireless are one of the best and most popular Beats headphones.
If you watch basketball, these are the headphones LeBron James uses during his workouts.
They are everything you’d expect from Bluetooth sports earbuds.
They are a bit pricier than most alternatives, but you get what you pay for.
The fit is very good, it’s stable and doesn’t move even if you’re doing fast aggressive exercises. Running with them is not a problem at all as they don’t move out of their position.
The ear hooks are long enough to create a stable fit for all ear sizes.
Noise isolation isn’t very good as Beats wanted to create earbuds with good environment awareness… and for that, you need to hear your surroundings.
If you want to block all outside noise during your runs you should look at some other model.
Powerbeats 2 Wireless are very comfortable earbuds. The earbuds are very lightweight and because of that you barely feel them in your ears. As long as you have the right size of ear tips, they should never hurt or inflict discomfort.
Whatever you do with them, if you’re running, doing yoga or lifting weights, Powerbeats 2 stay in your ears comfortably.
Durability is pretty good, they aren’t made like a tank, but because of their IPX4 water and sweat resistance and decent build quality, they should serve you well for quite some time.
Note that many people report that the earbuds or battery stop working after a few months, it seems durability is a bit of a gable.
But unless you’re a hardcore user they should work for at least a few years.
With the in-line controls and microphone, you can change volume, songs and accept calls. The microphone works fine on most devices and you’ll be able to talk normally without taking your phone out.
The hard shell carrying case you get in the package is very useful for carrying them around in your gym bag or just storing the earbuds at home, it’s well made and offers good protection. Beats really added top-quality accessories as always.
Compatible with all Bluetooth devices, the range is standard 30ft, depends on how many walls are in between. For gym purpose or running this is more than enough of range.
Battery life stands at solid 6 hours, it isn’t the best in the category, but isn’t bad either. The fast 15 minute charging gives you around 1 hour of playtime which is great when you forget to charge the earbuds.
For those of you with aptX supported devices, Powerbeats 2, unfortunately, can’t use it.
Just like all Beats headphones, these are also bass heavy. The bass is sometimes so strong it overpowers other ranges, so these are great for people who like strong lows (bassheads). But if you appreciate a more balanced sound, check out Jaybird X2 instead.
The highs and mids are generally clean and sound good, but if you listen to bassy music, low ranges will be in the center of every song.
Powerbeats 2 used to have a sound sync error with videos, this has been fixed with the new firmware update and is no longer an issue.
With premium design and strong bass tone, these earbuds won’t leave you cold.
Many runners like strong bass in their music and if you’re one of those, Powerbeats 2 Wireless are a top choice of sports Bluetooth earbuds.
- Very stable fit, great for all sports activity
- Very comfortable even for long hours
- Good battery life at 6 hours per charge
- High quality carrying case comes useful
- Bass heavy sound quality, good for bassheads
- Durability isn’t top notch
Plantronics BackBeat Fit (Best value for money Bluetooth running headphones)
Plantronics BackBeat Fit are one of the most popular wireless, sports headphones.
They are great for running, lifting weights, CrossFit or other exercises.
The combination of stable and comfortable fit with great durability persuaded a lot of people to choose Plantronics especially considering their price which makes them the best bang for your buck in sports Bluetooth category.
They’re also one of the best wireless workout headphones, if you lift weights or do yoga, they are perfect.
BackBeat Fit have to be worn behind-the neck but this doesn’t affect the stability of the fit. Its ear hook design does more than stellar job at keeping the earbuds in your ears.
You can easily use them during the most aggressive workouts, sprints or even yoga without worrying about losing a good fit.
These are proper sports headphones and stay in even if you’re sweating heavily.
Noise isn’t well isolated, Plantronics wanted to create headphones with good environment awareness and these are exactly that.
You need to hear the sounds around for safety purposes.
Because of their ultra-lightweight design you’ll mostly forget you’re wearing them. The earbuds are unobtrusive and don’t rub against your skin. The headband behind the neck doesn’t touch the skin like with some other similar headphones, all in all Plantronics BackBeat Fit are very comfortable.
You only have to learn how to put them on properly, getting comfortable and stable fit is a little tricky in the beginning, but after a few uses you’ll be a pro at it.
The entire Bluetooth headset is made out of light rubbery, plastics which is flexible enough to survive the usual sports use.
They are protected against sweat and water with nano coating which gives them IPX7 certified.
This is better sweat and water protection than most sports headphones have, so you can easily use these in rain and even wash them under water if they get dirty.
There are no visible weak points as it’s one headband and if you take good care of these, they should serve you for years.
They come with on-headband controls on both sides. You can control calls, songs, volume and of course turning them on or off.
Controls need some getting used to because they are positioned in an unusual way, but this stops being a nuisance very soon.
It comes with a soft carrying bag that you can also use as an armband where you put your music device (smartphone or Bluetooth MP3).
Plantronics BackBeat Fit are compatible with all Bluetooth devices. Most of you will probably use them with your phone, iPhone and Android phones are perfectly compatible and if you download their app it will notify you about new firmware updates.
The range of Bluetooth connection is pretty good, but you can expect at least the standard 30ft while with some other devices you can use them up to 50ft close.
The battery offers from 6-8 hours of use, depending on how loud you play it or how many phone calls you make. Just playing music it will last for 8 hefty hours which is plenty of time for running even the longest marathons.
Sound quality isn’t as amazing as the rest of the features, but does the job well. These are Bluetooth sports earbuds so you can’t really expect Hi-Fi sound quality.
The bass isn’t as deep as with alternatives, probably because of the air-passing fit and if you get it air-tight you should get much better bass, but know that you lose on situational awareness.
While highs and mids aren’t the most crisp or detailed, you can make them very loud which comes useful in loud gyms.
If you want a pair of durable and comfortable Bluetooth headphones with good sound that have been proven over and again in harsh sports environment, get Plantronics BakcBeat Fit.
- Very stable fit, behind-the-neck headband
- Ultra-light, comfortable design
- Very durable, perfect for all sports (IPX7 water-proof)
- Good battery life at 8 hours per charge
- Very good value for money, best in category
- Sound is only average, lacking deep bass (but good enough for sports use)
Treblab XR100 (Best budget Bluetooth headphones for running)
Here are great budget Bluetooth headphones perfect for running.
Treblab XR100 are very affordable wireless earbuds that offer a lot of value to a runner.
With great comfort, fit, battery life and sound you have to check them out if you’re on the lookout for some Bluetooth sports headphones.
With big ear hooks, similar to Powerbeats 2, the fit is very stable. You can run, jump, sprint or do gymnastics, these earbuds will stay in and not move.
This is crucially important if you’re working out or running.
Noise isolation is about average for in-ear monitors, which means it’s pretty good in general. You will still be able to hear some background noise, but the most annoying noise will be isolated.
If you want more environment awareness when running outside you can always put on smaller ear tips which will let in more noise. Keep in mind you also lose some bass by doing that.
Comfort is top notch as well. They’re lightweight and with a nice selection of ear tips you’re sure to find a comfy fit.
You get 6 different pairs of ear tips, 3 sizes of regular, silicone tips and 3 sizes of foam tips.
They are suitable for long runs, even marathons because they’re easy to forget about and don’t irritate the ears.
Durability is good as well, sure, they are made out of plastic, but it’s high quality plastics with good built quality. Add in sweatproof design and it’s very easy to understand why these are so popular among sportspeople.
The wires are rubbery, flat and flexible enough to be folded into any shape.
As long as you don’t dip them into water or step on them they will serve you for a long time.
You get 1 year of manufacturer’s warranty meaning if there is anything wrong with earbuds when you buy them you get a new pair. Not exactly lifetime-sweatproof-guarantee, but better than nothing.
The built-in controls which are positioned on both sides of earbuds are intuitive and big enough to press even for people with big fingers.
You can control songs (next/previous), pause, change volume and accept/hang up calls.
In the package you also get a nice, sturdy, carrying case with a zipper and a charge cable. You can put all of the things inside for protection.
Treblab XR100 also have a built-in noise cancelling microphone (CVC6). Keep in mind only the microphone is noise cancelling and not the earbuds.
The mic sound quality is good enough to make calls in normal environment, but don’t expect to make clear calls in loud places. For the price you’re paying, it’s better than expected.
Bluetooth 4.1 has the average range of about 30ft (10m) which shortens with more obstacles in between. Since you’ll be mostly using these for running or sports you can either keep your phone next to you in a pocket or if you’re running inside on a treadmill, keep it somewhere near in the gym.
The connection stays stable most of the time and you won’t experience major problems with it. Frequent Bluetooth disconnects can be very annoying, thankfully Treblab XR100 don’t suffer from it.
The battery is also solid at 9 hours of playtime per full charge (2 hours). This is plenty of time even for marathon runners. Average marathon runner finishes in under 5 hours.
Sound is good too. You won’t experience audiophile sonic fidelity since these are Bluetooth headphones, but they’re better than average.
They support aptX which really helps with improving the sound quality over Bluetooth, make sure to use aptX enabled music device as well.
Remember that none of the iPhones have aptX, even some new Android phones lack it too. Check if your phone has it before getting them.
The sound quality difference is very noticeable without aptX and you will be disappointed if you don’t use it.
Overall sound signature is definitely emphasizing bass more than middle or high ranges. The bass has a nice thump to it without overpowering other ranges.
The mids and highs still come out clear and detailed. Instrument separation is also surprisingly good for such an affordable product. You’ll be able to distinguish different instrument better than with average headphones.
Microphonics is not a problem since these are wireless headphones.
The sound quality might not be completely the same as with higher-end sport headphones, but it’s very close.
If you’re looking for affordable, Bluetooth earbuds with great fit, comfort, durability, sweatproof design that also sound good (stronger bass), you must get Treblab XR100.
- Very stable fit
- Great comfort even for long runs
- Durable, sweatproof design
- Good battery, up to 9h
- Very affordable
- Great value for money
- Good sound quality, stronger bass (aptX)
- Require aptX music device to sound good
- Higher-end products are still better
Best Bluetooth Headphones for Running Reviewed (wireless on-ear)
Monster iSport Freedom are the best Bluetooth on-ear headphones for running, if only you’re willing to pay the price.
They are a great combination of everything you’d expect from high-end sports headphones and if you’re looking for the best of the best, get them.
The price of around $200 is pretty steep, but no headphones in category come close to their performance in real life. You’re paying money for a high quality product and not just high expenses for marketing (like with some other companies…).
The headband is tight enough to keep the headphones on in all situations. You can be running, lifting weight or doing the most impossible yoga position, these headphones will stay on.
Usually noise isolation isn’t so good with on-ear headphones, but these Monster headphones do a surprisingly good job at it.
There’s almost no sound leakage, probably because of the rubbery ear pads that stick to your head like glue and don’t let anyone else enjoy your music.
At the same time they let in some ambient noise, even though they are noise cancelling. You won’t hear people breathing nearby on a treadmill, but if they shout you’ll hear it.
This makes them great for gym or outside running as they offer good combination of minimal sound leakage with some situational awareness.
The rubbery ear pads offer good tight fit, but are also comfortable. The soft cushions helps fighting discomfort, but just like with all on-ear headphones, after a few hours you’re bound to feel some irritation.
In case you don’t need headphones for 2-3 hours straight, they’ll be as comfortable as any other, but for longer wearing, get running earbuds.
Monster iSport Freedom are made out of flexible, rubbery plastics. They are very durable and you can easily treat them less than decently. If they fall on the floor or you drop them in the puddle, they are probably going to survive without issues.
While they don’t feel so durable once you take them out of the box, they actually have long survivability even in the harshest sports environment.
The headphones are sweat and water-proof, in fact you can wash them under water when they get dirty. This makes them great for “heavy-sweaters” or running in rain.
These are truly tough sports headphones.
The controls are positioned on the side of an ear cup, like with most Bluetooth headphones. They are big enough to control even if you have big fingers.
Making calls is easy and most people won’t know you’re using headphones to talk to them.
The headphones fold for easy storage and with them you get a soft pouch to put them in. The pouch won’t give much protection against physical abuse, but at least you can protect them from some dust (not that you would need to do that).
It uses standard Bluetooth connection that works without disconnections up to the range of 30ft. You can connect them to any Bluetooth device and connecting is as easy as pressing a button.
The battery offers good 20 hours of playtime on one charge. This is more than enough time for most runners and enough even for long marathons.
Additionally they support aptX and ACC so you can get the best sound quality over Bluetooth.
Sound doesn’t disappoint either. It’s not on par with other $200 audiophile headphones, but it’s good compared to sound of other headphones for exercise.
It has the right balanced of highs, mids and bass and while bassheads won’t be too ecstatic, it still has a nice bass punch to it, just enough to get you going harder on the run.
Additionally, headphones can be driven loudly with your smartphone or Bluetooth MP3 player so you can easily overpower environment noises if you want to.
For running sound quality is more than enough and you’ll be more than happy with it anywhere you run.
For the best of the best you can get from Bluetooth on-ear sports headphones, get Monster iSport Freedom and you can stop searching for running headphones for at least a few years.
- Tight and stable fit, great for running
- Light, but sturdy and flexible design
- Sweat and water-proof, can wash under water
- Good battery life at 20 hours per charge
- Good, balanced sound quality
- Sound can’t compare to audiophile headphones
66 Audio BTS+ are very popular Bluetooth on-ear headphones that many use for sports as well.
They are not sports headphones per se, but because of their stable fit and good durability they’re more than suitable for running or working out.
They are worn behind the neck and made stable by ear hooks which are a part of the design. Because they’re so lightweight they don’t bounce or demand readjusting all the time.
Once you put them on, they will more or less stay that way. Of course, if you do fast acrobatics they might move, but for most sports they fit great.
The on-ear design isn’t very good at noise isolation so these headphones leak sound in and out for better environment awareness.
As said earlier, they are very light and because of that you barely feel them on your head. Most running headphones are usually light because this helps with comfort and keeping them on your head.
Anyways, because of the on-ear design they do get a bit uncomfortable after a few hours. The headphones put pressure on ear lobes and after a while this becomes irritating. For long term exercise you should probably look at earbuds instead.
66 Audio BTS+ are made out of sturdy plastics. They aren’t water or sweat-proof but don’t seem to get damaged by sweat quickly, just don’t wash them under water.
They are pretty cheap for Bluetooth headphones so you can’t expect awesome durability, if you want maximum protection from sweat look at Monster iSport Freedom.
For running on a treadmill or outside, these wireless headphones fare well even though they don’t have sweat protection.
On the right ear cup there are nice, bug buttons with which you control the music and calls. You can change songs, volume or take calls when connected to your phone. Controls are very easy to get used to and work well.
Sound quality of calls is good, it uses noise cancelling technology (cVc), and most people won’t know you’re talking with a headset.
The soft pouch for carrying the headphones isn’t going to protect the headphones from much harm because it’s so soft, but it’s nice to have it to organize things.
They are compatible with all Bluetooth devices and keep the connection up to standard 30ft without any walls blocking the signal.
What makes these headphones really impressive is their super long battery life. On one charge you will get up to 25 hours of playtime, which is far more than any of the premium earbuds can offer.
25 hours is probably enough for many workouts and if tend to forget to charge the battery this comes very helpful. iOS devices are compatible with battery level indicator which is a nice touch, but would be nice if it worked on Android as well.
Additionally, the 66 Audio BTS+ have aptX support for best wireless sound quality.
The sound is actually pretty good, it can’t really compare to high end audiophile headphones, but you’re getting better sound than with most Bluetooth sports headphones.
The highs, mids and lows are balanced and no range overpowers others, so bass isn’t very strong and these headphones definitely aren’t suited for bassheads. It’s fun and easy to listen to nonetheless.
To enjoy your music in clarity and detail or listen to your audio books, these headphones are perfect for that.
If you’re looking for Bluetooth on-ear headphones for running, 66 Audio BTS+ offer everything a runner needs for an affordable price, which makes them a popular choice by many.
- Stable fit with ear hook headband
- Comfortable due to their light weight
- Affordable, good value for money
- aptX support, noise cancelling microphone
- Awesome battery life with up to 25 hours per charge
- Good, balanced sound for all genres of music (not bass heavy)
- Sound can’t compare to high end headphones
- On-ear design isn’t perfect for sports (but good nonetheless)
Motorola S305 are the budget version of Bluetooth on-ear headphones for running. If you’re short on cash and want a cheap solution these headphones are for you.
The price of around $20 is really cheap, but you actually get quite good headphones for it.
With the headband design that uses ear hooks to stabilize the fit they do pretty good. For running they will stay on without budging, but if you intend to use them for working out and possibly moving your head in a fast manner, these will probably lose the fit or even fall off.
Running is safe because you’re not really moving your head that much, but once you start bench pressing or doing yoga things get unstable.
The on-ear design doesn’t offer very good noise isolation, so generally you’ll hear other people around you and they will hear your music.
This is good for running outside, but a bit annoying if you run in a gym with others around.
The headphones are comfortable to wear, they might not be the most comfortable headphones ever made, but because of their lightweight design you barely feel them on.
It should be noted these aren’t sports headphones, but just a regular Bluetooth headset intended for music and making calls. You can easily wear them for hours without discomfort, just don’t expect them to “melt” on your head like some over-ear headphones.
Build quality isn’t the best, but this isn’t surprising as Motorola S305 only cost about $20.
They feel cheap once you touch them with your hands and these won’t be able to endure a lot of physical abuse. You get what you pay for they say and this shows in durability.
Sweat protection wasn’t applied and don’t expect the headphones to survive for long if you sweat a lot or use them in rain. Moisture will kill them rather quickly.
In any case if you take decent care of them, aren’t sweating excessively all the time, these should last you long enough to justify their price.
The controls and microphone work well and the call quality is high enough to converse in a normal fashion. In fact this headset was probably intended for making calls so the microphone quality is very good.
The buttons are easy to remember and soon you’ll know exactly what to press to change the songs or volume.
You don’t get a carrying bag for them or any other nice accessory, but for the price that’s ok.
Motorola S305 use standard Bluetooth technology so you can expect up to 30ft of wireless connectivity, after which distortion will occur.
The battery is good for such a low budget product. You’ll get up to 6.5 hours per charge which is plenty of time for running. Just remember to charge them after use.
Sound quality is better than what you’d expect from such tiny Bluetooth headphones.
It has a rather balanced sound, though bass is more prominent than other ranges. It’s not enough to make a basshead happy. While the sound isn’t anything special, it’s good enough for running.
Compared to other Bluetooth headphones on this list these don’t sound so good, but for $20 you’ll be surprised how good they actually are.
In any case, if you’re looking for the cheapest running headphones with Bluetooth, get Motorola S305 and enjoy some tunes on the go.
- Pretty stable fit, good for running
- Lightweight design is comfortable for long wearing
- Very cheap, great value for money
- Good battery at 6.5 hours per charge
- Better sound quality than most $20 headphones
- Budget model that isn’t great at anything
- Cheap build quality
- Fit is unstable for anything more than running
Vote for Your Favorite Headphones for Running!
Add your own favorite model so other people can vote for it, if it gets enough votes, we might even review it ourselves.Do you use some other great headphones for running?
For future updates of new running models subscribe or like the website.
Feel free to add your own comment below.