Working out with music can keep you motivated. However, gyms don’t have the best playlists. But with a good pair of headphones, you can keep yourself distracted from pain and fatigue while elevating your mood. You’ll also be able to keep out background noise and even answer calls without reaching for your phone.

There are dozens of choices for the best workout headphones. We tested numerous options before coming up with this list of our top picks. Read on to find out which one deserves a place in your workout sessions.

Best Workout Headphones Reviewed

Beats Fit Pro wireless earbuds are designed for working out with a robust set of valuable features. First, the sleek wing tips sit inside the ears and ensure they don’t fall out while running or doing intense exercises. You’ll like the bud shape as it comfortably fits most people’s ears. The buds also come with three pairs of ear tips so you can find the perfect fit for your ears.

These headphones are sweatproof, thanks to an IPX4 water resistance rating. Nonetheless, you cannot swim with them since they are not waterproof. As for the sound profile, you will find Beats Fit Pro heavy on the bass, but you can tone it down on the Beats App. They produce a multi-dimensional sound that immerses you in the music or content through all activities.

We like that the controls are a simple ‘b’ button that allows you to switch between tracks and increase or lower the volume. You will still use the button to toggle from Active Noise Canceling (ANC) to Transparency mode. Hence, you can use the transparency mode, which allows you to hear the surroundings when running and, in the gym, and the ANC mode working out at home.

Beats Fit Pro have an H1 chip that enables some features on iOS devices. These include spatial audio, automatically switching between devices, hands-free “Hey Siri,” and audio sharing with other Beats headphones. We feel these headphones will benefit iOS users more because of the hands-free use with iOS devices.

Another feature to like on Beats Fit Pro is automatic on and off when you insert or remove them from the ears. In addition, you get six hours of battery life, and the charging case fits nicely in the pocket without any bulk. You can also customize most features on the Beats app, such as the ‘b’ button.

While we liked most features of the Beats Fit Pro, we found that not all people find the stability fins comfortable. And since they are not removable, you can’t do anything to make them comfier. Still, it’s our top pick for fast connectivity, water resistance, sound customization, on-ear controls, and immersive sound.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) raise the bar of wireless earbuds. With an upgraded H2 chip, you now get more immersive sound, better noise cancelation, and longer battery life. The case is also updated with a U1 chip that allows you to locate the case using the Find My app.

Both the earbuds and case are IPX4 rated. Hence, they can withstand moisture from direct splashes. The stemmed design offers a comfortable fit, although they may fling out if you have long hair. Nevertheless, Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) come with four sets of silicone ear tips. You’ll get a secure fit to prevent them from falling giving you a great sound experience using noise isolation.

The ANC can quickly block out lots of noise, like a bus or plane engine rumble. Still, it’s best to use the Adaptive Transparency mode when working out. The controls are on the stem with both touch and press controls. You can do everything on the earbuds, from adjusting the volume to pausing music, answering and ending a call or switching between the noise isolation modes on the stems.

You’ll get 6 hours of battery life with ANC on, plus the case is small and can charge wirelessly with a MagSafe, Qi charger, or Apple Watch. The earbuds support automatic on and off when in or out of the ears. Furthermore, you can use “Hey Siri” for hands-free commands.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) have a slew of useful features for Apple devices and is the best choice for working out on the Apple AirPods line of wireless earbuds.

If you’re a serious fitness enthusiast and would like a pair of earbuds that defies the odds in waterproofing, grab the JBL Reflect Aero TWS. This pair has an IPX8 waterproof rating meaning it is entirely water and dustproof. In addition, these headphones can withstand complete submersion in 3 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.

JBL Reflect Aero TWS have a bass-forward sound profile but is customizable on the JBL app. The buds have an in-canal design to ensure they stay in your ears without pinching or being painful. We like that they include three pairs of ear fins in different sizes. Thus, you’ll be able to find comfy ones for your ear shape.

These headphones are workout-forward with Adaptive Noise Canceling and Smart Ambient technology. Switching between tracks is super easy with extremely touch-sensitive controls. This is because touch controls tend to be insensitive to moisture. Therefore, you’ll still be able to tap the left earbud with wet fingers to change from ANC to Ambient modes and enable the talk-through mode.

The right earbud controls the playback, skipping tracks and returning to the previous song. You can also switch to the hands-free mode by connecting to Google Assistant or Alexa by holding down both earpieces. Nonetheless, it’s possible to customize the controls on the JBL app.

The feature we didn’t like have to do with the case since it is bulky and comes with a long non-removable lanyard. Its Adaptive Noise Cancelation is at par with what you’d expect for working out. Moreover, it has incredible sound performance to lose yourself in your workout.

If you’re looking for Apple AirPods alternative with richer sound and longer battery life, the PowerBeats Pro Wireless Earbuds are your best bet. This pair comes in a fitness design with adjustable and lightweight ear hooks that mean they won’t fall off.

There are four ear tip options to seal the ear canal for excellent noise isolation and outstanding sound quality. When listening with iPhones, the PowerBeats Pro has negligible audible noise, while Android users will encounter a low noise level. This difference in noise is due to the Apple H1 chip. The Bluetooth codecs offer longer-range connectivity, and you can connect both earbuds independently.

For Apple, the earbuds connect with your phone instantly when you unlock your iPhone and open the case. They also have sensors that allow automatic on and off when in your ears. Since these are true wireless earbuds, you can take and end calls, pause and play songs, and control the volume on each earbud using the ‘b’ controller independently.

The PowerBeats Pro Wireless Earbuds are water and sweat-resistant. They have an IPX4 certification to withstand splashes from all directions. The case is bulkier than an AirPods case and does not offer wireless charging. Nevertheless, you get 9+ hours battery life which is incredible in a pair of wireless workout headphones.

You can expect rich, clean sound without any distortion. Beats use upgraded piston drivers and a much better noise-isolating design to ensure you don’t lose any bass. It’s a premium choice with decent sound quality for motivation-filled workouts.

Jabra Elite 4 Active is an affordable pick in workout headphones. This pair features good sound quality, a durable build, and active noise canceling features. Although it does not have many add-ons, it delivers on the most critical aspects of workout headphones.

First, these headphones have an IP57 rating. The earbuds are sweat and waterproof. Thanks to the lightweight and compact design, these earphones stay in your ears without needing wing tips or ear hooks. They come with three silicone ear tips in different sizes. Besides, they have a grippy coating that keeps them secure even when jogging.

Jabra Elite 4 Active features 6mm drivers that deliver strong sound out of the box. You may find them a bit neutral as they lack low bass. However, you can increase the bass on the Jabra Sound app. The app has a graphic EQ and presets to customize the sound.

While you won’t connect the Jabra Elite 4 Active to multiple devices, their Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC and aptX connects fast without dropouts. They are great for Android since you can use Google Fast Pair to connect easily by tapping on the prompt that will pop up after you unlock your device. These earbuds also connect with iOS devices, but they are more useful when listening with Android devices.

Jabra Elite 4 Active have decent noise isolation. Nonetheless, it’s not the best in its class, but considering they are for working out, you will find them helpful in the gym or on runs.

JLab Epic Air Sport ANC 2nd Gen combines some of the best features you want in workout headphones. First, this pair has ear hooks that highlight the fitness design. As such, they will stay put no matter how hard you work out. Second, this pair boasts class-leading battery life with 70+ hours under its hood.

If you’re also looking for ANC functionality, JLab Epic Air Sport ANC 2nd Gen got you covered. You can turn off ANC entirely or choose the Be Aware functon, also known as a pass-through mode. These earbuds use six microphones to cancel out noise, but you can also depend on the various tips to provide dependable noise isolation.

You’ll get various ear tips, including gel, foam, and extra-long tips. The foam tips can conform to your ear canal over time, making them ideal if you wear these earbuds daily. We also like that the hooks are a bit flexible, so you can adjust them for a comfortable fit.

With an IP66 water resistance rating, these headphones are sweatproof. You can also count on the on-ear controls on each bud. The buds feature tap controls for playback, volume, noise isolation mode, digital assistance, call management, and EQ selection. JLab Epic Air Sport also have wear detection that you can turn on and off on the app.

The sound performance on the JLab Epic Air Sport is well-balanced. The higher frequencies are excellent, while the lower bass is enhanced with the ANC mode on. Since you can adjust the ANC levels, you can adjust the sub-bass and bass ranges to your liking. The out-of-the-box sound profile supports many music genres and will go along with most of your workout rhythms.

Shokz OpenRun Pro are easy to recommend if you’re looking for open-ear headphones that don’t compromise the sound quality. These headphones’ open-ear design does not cover the ears, so you are aware of your surroundings. They are great for running, biking, and other outdoor activities. 

Shokz has perfected bone-conduction technology by including bass transducers, so you don’t lose out on the bass. However, this technology delivers vibrations to the aural nerve. Hence, you’ll feel vibrations against the skin. These headphones provide a secure fit with a titanium headband that flexes in all directions.

Shokz OpenRun Pro have the best bass in open-ear headphones. They still lag behind in-ear owing to the lack of sealing the ear. Still, the headphones keep the sound consistent no matter where they are on your cheekbones. They offer a quick-charging feature where you can get 1½ hours of battery life from a 5-minute charge. When properly charged, you’ll get 10 hours of playtime.

Shokz OpenRun Pro is a reliable pair as it has an IP55 rating. It can resist dust and water which is important for longevity during outdoor workouts. The only annoying feature is the 2-pin charging port that is smaller than a microUSB port. However, the port is magnetic to reduce fiddling with it.

Overall, Shokz OpenRun Pro offer a barely-there feeling with excellent sound quality for bone-conduction headphones. That’s why it’s our pick for running headphones.

Bose is another headphone brand offering open-ear headphones. The Bose Sport Open Earbuds use OpenAudio technology, not bone conduction, to deliver sound through the air instead of the bone. This design keeps the ear open, which is ideal if you’re working out outdoors.

These headphones feature a hook to wrap around the ear. The headphone will clip to the ear and wedge between the bud and the ear hook. It may feel unnatural initially, but you’ll soon get used to it. Regarding the sound, these headphones sound better than most bone-conduction headphones. They emphasize the mid frequencies, so you will hear vocals and string instruments quite well. However, they are not heavy on the bass, but the 16mm drivers amplify treble to enhance the music clarity.

As open-ear headphones, they compete with wind both when running and biking. They won’t cut you off from your surroundings when safety is a concern. But they will not have the bass that fitness enthusiasts love. The controls are a single button on each bud for play/pause, skip track, decline calls, playback, and power on/off. You’ll have to set the volume and automatic on/off on the Bose App.

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds are the best-sounding open-ear headphones if you don’t mind the lack of thumping bass. They are a premium choice thanks to their comfort, water resistance, and staying in tune with your environment.

When you want to swim and simultaneously stream music, podcasts, or audiobooks, no headphones can do better than the Zygo Solo. These headphones use radio frequencies to connect to devices while underwater. Since Bluetooth does not connect underwater, the FM transmitter can go through water, so you don’t need to listen to music from a saved playlist.

The setup process for these headphones is longer than regular headphones since you have to power the transmitter and then connect the headphones to your device through Bluetooth. Fortunately, you don’t have to repeat the connection process, as the headphones will connect automatically to the paired device.

These are bone-conducting headphones, so they will transmit the sound through your bone. As such, the sound won’t be rivaled by Bose or any other in-ear headphones. Nonetheless, the music underwater is clear enough that you can understand and even follow the coach’s workout available on the app.

The Zygo Solo is packed with waterproof FM transmitter, headset, charging case, and earplugs. Although it has a chunky design, we feel it helps it stay in place during open turns, flip turns, kicking, and even dives without coming off. Every feature is well-thought-out for a pleasant listening experience.

Zygo Solo uses the case as a charging dock. As such, you have to plug it in to charge the headset. It also uses the older micro-USB cable, which can be fiddly. These are the only features that we didn’t like. If you’re out to get swimming headphones to add spice to your laps, Zygo Solo is the best choice in its category.

For those who work out at home or in an empty gym, active noise-canceling headphones are a good buy. Sony WF-1000XM4 is a premium set with top-notch active noise canceling and excellent sound that’s hard to beat for the price. These buds are also small and flat; they fit snugly in the ear canal. Additionally, they come with polyurethane foam tips that prove to be more comfortable than gel or silicone tips.

Sony WF-1000XM4 come with capacitive touch controls for simple input of commands. You can use the headset for calls in the noisiest gym, and you’ll be able to have a conversation without distracting ambient noise. Moreover, it’s possible to customize the adaptive noise canceling feature to suit your preferences.

These earbuds are also water resistant. They have an IPX4 certification, so you won’t get them damaged from sweat. The set offers one of the best sound experiences in workout headphones. One, the foam tips provide a complete seal; second, the 6mm drives are tuned with deep bass that emphasizes lower-end frequencies.

You’ll find this pair great for keeping in rhythm with your workouts, as they can thump the right amount of bass. You can also expect lots of details and clear mids and highs for memorable listening. Still, you’ll be able to change the sound profile by tinkering with the EQ on the Sony companion app.

Regarding battery life, Sony WF-1000XM4 offers about 8 hours with ANC on. The case can charge the headphones for up to 24 hours of battery life. The headphones offer excellent noise isolation, remarkable sound performance, and in-ear stability to support everyday workouts.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport comes with a list of thoughtful features to suit your fitness style. The pair is stylish and comes in a fully waterproof design. Being a high-end choice, the sound quality is the most accurate you’ll find. These buds favor the high frequencies with intense sub-bass and superb clarity on the lows and mids.

You’ll like the premium design featuring an anodized aluminum trim, rubber material, four pairs of silicone ear tips, and three pairs of ear fin sleeves. These buds are also compact and fit snugly, thanks to the included fins. If you don’t like the color black, you can also get these in light blue and Anthracite Oxygen.

These true wireless headphones come with touch-sensitive controls that work pretty well. Although physical controls are desirable for working out, you won’t have trouble playing back or adjusting the volume with wet fingers. The rubberized texture makes them easy to grab every time.

If you want to experience intense music that is immersive and warm at the same time, Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport has it. You’ll like the laidback experience that draws you with no exaggeration. The sound comes out rich and works well with all music genres. The silicone tips provide a nice seal for passive noise cancellation. The lack of active noise canceling affects calls, so you may not like them for receiving calls in a noisy environment.

The Transparency mode works quite well without competing with the audio. We like that you’ll get about 7 hours of battery life and 21 hours on the case. The case can charge on Qi charging pads, so that’s another advantage.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport showcase impressive sound performance unmatched by some of the popular options on the market. You can listen on all volume levels without distortion, and the stability allows for intense workouts. Perhaps the only thing that will keep you from this pair is the steep price tag.

If you are out for a solid pair without paying an arm and a leg, the Jaybird Vista 2 is our recommended pick. These headphones are durable, featuring IP68 and MIL-STD 810G certifications. This means that the earbuds are water, dust, and sweatproof. They are also shock, freeze, and impact resistant. The fabric provides wind protection allowing you to pick calls without competing with the wind.

Jaybird Vista 2 have a rounded shape which can be uncomfortable for some. We found that the proprietary ear tip sleeves can be difficult to find replacements for, so don’t lose the ones you get. Once you find a proper fit, these earbuds stay in your ears without causing pain to the ear canal.

The sound quality is warm and powerful and good for indoor and outdoor workouts. Its ANC feature allows you to get in the zone since you can isolate yourself with no ambient noise. Again, these buds feature a SurroundSense mode that lets in noise.

Controls are on the buds allowing you to toggle between ANC and SurroundSense, adjust the volume, or change the track. If you want to change the sound profile, you can do so on the Jaybird app for EQ adjustments. It has presets for different scenarios. Lastly, the battery life is a solid 8 hours, although we’ve noted that it can decrease when playing music at the highest volume.

Best Workout Headphones Buying Guide

Workout headphones are slightly different from headphones for casual listening. They need to not fall off, be comfortable and offer noise isolation. They should also have great sound quality, and durable features. Let’s dive deeper into the features that the best workout headphones have to offer.

Water Resistance

When engaging in any form of physical activity, you need your headphones to be water-resistant. Earphones with a high IP rating or those with a liquid repellant can resist liquids. You’ll want headphones with at least an IPX4 rating. This means that they can resist splashes from all directions.

An IPX5 rating shows the headphones can resist water jets, while an IPX6 resists strong water jets. An IPX7 rating shows the headphones are waterproof and can withstand complete submersion up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. Lastly, headphones with an IPX8 rating are waterproof and can withstand full submersion in water up to 3 meters deep for 30 minutes. Hence, you can swim with them without worrying about internal electrical damage.

Fit and Comfort

Fit is super crucial in workout headphones. Without the right fit, your headphones will likely kill your workout vibe. To this end, in-ear and open-ear buds earbuds are convenient when doing strenuous exercises. They are also small and unobtrusive, adding to the coolness and light feeling you can’t get with over-ear headphones.

Since you can’t tell whether the headphones you choose will stay put, it’s best to go with headphones with a wing-tip, hook, or neck-band design. Still, you can read reviews to find out about other people’s experiences regarding fit and comfort.

Physical Controls

Headphones will either have physical or touch controls. We prefer physical controls in a sweaty environment since you can skip a track or tinker with the volume without having trouble with touch-sensitive controls. Remember, you’ll want to put your phone away when exercising, so having headphones that are easy to use is a huge convenience.

Having headphones that sync fast and easily is a nice addition. Some can even connect with other workout devices, such as a fitness watch.

Noise Isolation

Noise-canceling headphones, also known as active noise canceling (ANC) headphones, significantly reduce certain types of noise. They use microphones to analyze sound waves and cancel unwanted noise. Noise-isolating headphones offer a good fit by plugging the ears so that less noise gets in. It’s the equivalent of plugging your ears with your fingers.

Workout headphones don’t need to be noise canceling since you need to hear what’s around you. Look for headphones that have noise canceling and hear-through modes. This way, you can hear ambient noise or block it out when necessary. A hear-through mode is important, especially when working out outdoors. It’s also essential in the gym since you’ll be around people using heavy equipment.

Sound Profile

Most workout headphones are bass-heavy as opposed to the mellow podcast audio. Whether you like thumping bass or something less up-tempo, the ability to adjust the sound profile is great. Some headphones come with companion apps where you can change the EQ settings.

Beats Fit Pro are a wonderfully designed pair with useful features for an active lifestyle. Never worrying about dropouts and having many connectivity options amidst the spatial audio with head tracking makes this pair the best pick for all sorts of workouts.

Special Mentions

Even as the top workout headphones list concludes, there are more choices with a few drawbacks that are not necessarily deal breakers. These are the headphones that did not make it to this list.

Sony LinkBuds: Having an open ring design is the way to go when you want to stream content and still be connected to your surroundings. This set has many desirable features like built-in Alexa and a quick-charge attribute. Still, the design can be a hit or miss, so they may or may not fit properly.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro: These are technology-forward headphones with deep bass suitable for running. The earbuds can also keep tabs on your health. They will let you know your heart rate and remind you you’ve been seated for too long. Nonetheless, the heart rate readings are inaccurate and almost always read higher than a heart monitor.

Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless: These headphones offer powerful sound and grippy material that should help them to stay in. However, the material does not keep them in, and they lack wings or hooks, so there’s nothing to keep them from falling during intense exercises.

JLab Go Air Sport: This pair is relatively cheap in workout headphones, and they come with hooks which is a huge plus. They are not long-lasting, so you may have to contend with either buds that do not hold a charge or a short circuit after a few months.

SoundCore by Anker Sport X10: This is another affordable pair with impressive sound performance. However, you need to sign up to use the companion app for any changes you want to make to the sound or the controls.

Tribit MoveBuds H1 Wireless Earbuds: With an IPX8 certification, you can put this pair through anything, and they will still perform great. The battery life is also impressive, with 15 hours on each bud. The hooks, however, are not flexible, so if they do not fit well, they won’t be comfortable to wear for long periods.

Sennheiser Sport True Wireless Earbuds: These are great for music and calls thanks to the superior noise isolation. The fit is also fantastic due to the wing tips. Nevertheless, the overall volume is not great when compared with other headphones in their price range.

JLabs JBuds Air Pro: These buds are capable in terms of sound quality if you prefer headphones with heavy bass. They are affordable and have three EQ presets. Still, you can’t customize the features since they do not have a companion app.

Cropped Oluwasegun

Loise Wambui is a freelancer and sub-editor, a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) degree. Born in Beachwood, she has over 10 years of experience under her belt and is one of our top writers for all-around content. From sous vide cookers to stock pots, smartwatches, and even pet feeders. Loise has a keen eye for detail and spends a lot of her time providing expert recommendations in these areas for Top Ten Reviews. So, if you’re wondering which stock pot is best to whip a thanksgiving or whether a productivity tool can really help you improve your work quality, Loise is the one to ask. When not working, she loves reading, traveling, and trying out new recipes.

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