Running with headphones can add a real perk to sweat sessions, hence it is very common to see runners with earbuds poking in their ears. In this article, we will be sharing with you the best headphones for running, depending on your preferred design, features and budget.

Before sharing with you our curated list for the best headphones for running, let’s have an overview of the types of headphones or earbuds:

Best headphones for running – Truly Wireless: Taking after its name, these buds don’t have hooks or wires that extend around the ear. A runner simply needs to push them in the ear and they’re good to go. They are compact, lightweight and have small batteries, which could mean that they have shorter battery life than all other models. However, most of the best headphones for running with this model come with charging cases but also tend to be more expensive.

Best headphones for running – Truly Wireless with Ear Hooks:  Ear hooks can add more security to an earbud’s fit. Ear hooks can also serve as a storage for battery or antenna, boosting the bud’s ability to play longer than truly wireless devices. Generally, they are cheaper than truly wireless models.

Best headphones for running – Wire-connected ear buds: This type of earbuds remain untethered from your phone but they use a band or wire to connect the buds, store microphones, antenna or batteries. If you are willing to look past the connecting wire, you can enjoy a longer battery life compared to truly wireless gears at a significantly lower price.

This review is intended to guide you through a comprehensive selection of the best headphones running and to help you pick the best product that suits your active lifestyle (and budget).

Best Headphones for Running: Jaybird Vista

What We Like:

  • Compact model
  • Durable
  • Waterproof

What We Don’t Like:

  • No extra fins or tips
  • pricey

Jaybird Vista is our first pick for the best headphones for running. It gives a playback time of six hours for a single charge, which is more than enough to get you through a serious running session. Jaybird Vista is also charged with durability that protects the earbuds from dust and moisture.

It also has its own Bluetooth chip that provides a more improved connection with smartphones. This pair of best headphones for running from Jaybird are smaller than most of its counterparts except for the Apple Inc. AirPods. The Vista comes with a pocketable case that protects it from harsh tossing and turning in your backpack or gym bag.

Best Headphones for Running: Jabra Elite Active 65t

What We Like:

  • balanced , dynamic sound

What We Don’t Like:

  • Jabra Elite 75t has a better hear through mode

If you love the Jabra Elite 75t but want a cheaper alternative, you can check out the Jabra Elite 65t as one of the strong choices for the best headphones for running. The Jabra Elite 65 offers a secure fit with three available sizes of silicone inserts. In terms of sound quality, Jabra is a no-brainer and has a seamless reputation among music lovers.

The best headphones for running need to have a good bass to give that needed motivation to push through heavy activities and the Jabra Elite 65t does not disappoint. Although the bass of this best headphones for running may not be as awesome as that of Sennheiser and Bose, it still manages to give that much needed thump with a tight seal and balanced sound that supports folk, rock, and of course, hip-hop and EDM.

Another feature to look out for when shopping for the best headphones for running is the tight fit to ensure that the buds stay in place all throughout the run. The 5 hour battery life is not as long as that of the Jaybird Vista but it has a small charging case that gives users an additional 10 hours of playback. This is also one of the best headphones for running when it comes to a sound investment because it has a warranty of two years covering sweat and dust damage.

Best Headphones for Running: Bose Soundsport Free

What We Like:

  • IPX4 rating

What We Don’t Like:

  • Bulky than other best headphones for running
  • May need constant adjustment during runs

Bose is another hall of famer when it comes to the best headphones for running. It’s not really a surprise because it sounds really good, with crisp high tones and rich, deep bass. The secret in the best headphones for running is that they simply don’t need to pump out loud bass, they also need to give a superb sound quality and Bose Soundsport Free does not disappoint. If there’s a drawback with the Bose Soundsport Free, it would have to be the fact that the buds may need to be adjusted every now and then during runs. Connectivity may also have some glitches.

The Bose Soundsport Free are not only the best headphones for running but also a favorite pick for workout buffs. These cans also have an IPX4 rating that boost the durability of this pair of true wireless earbuds to withstand the harsh elements that athletes go through. Even though this pair of best headphones for running may seem to be a bit bulkier than its competing counterparts, the StayHear ear tips actually offer a secure fit to the outer ear.

Best Headphones for Running: Beats Electronics Powerbeats Pro

What We Like:

  • 9-hour battery life
  • Ear hooks provide secure fit

What We Don’t Like:

  • Minimal ambient noise

Beats Powerbeats Pro is designed to give users high quality performance that goes the extra mile. It is well rounded as a sport headphone and can easily be tagged as one of the best headphones for running on the track or for a quick jog around the village.

As the user sweats it out and the moisture seeps through the seal, the sweat makes the earbuds lose some of the seal making the music a little bit hollower. However, this experience has a bright side too as it means that the user can pick up loud external noises in the environment such as horns and sirens, increasing situational awareness.

In terms of connectivity, the Bluetooth pairing is seamless with an iPhone. If you run out of battery and you find yourself needing to use your favorite pair of best headphones for running, you can charge it for five minutes and get 90 minutes of playback. The Powerbeats Pro are durable and reliable enough to withstand a rainstorm with an IPX4 rating – just don’t jump into swimming pools, okay? Despite its large size, the earbuds of this pair of best headphones for running can still manage to keep a low profile when used with sunglasses or a hat.

At the price of this pair of best headphones for running, you are actually getting a high-quality, premium product that’s worth more than its price tag. The Powerbeats is also functional and can make calls and control smart assistants like Siri. The sheer sound quality of this pair of best headphones for running is quite incomparable and the fact that it is impossible for these buds to be dislodged from the ears accidentally is a great bonus.

Veteran runners can actually swear by the Powerbeats Pro’s features, making it one of the best headphones for running in the market. However, if you think that the price tag of this best headphones for running is a bit steep, you can opt for the more affordable alternative, the plain Powerbeats.

Best Headphones for Running: JBL Endurance Peak

What We Like:

  • IPX 7 waterproof rating
  • Buds switch off when not in use

What We Don’t Like:

  • Minimal ambient sound
  • 4 hours battery life

If you are looking for the best headphones for running that’s totally worth its price in terms of design and performance, the JBL Endurance Peak is an awesome pick among various choices. Music quality is balanced and clear and the ear buds securely stay in the ears thanks to the ear hook design that’s made not to interfere with the fit of sun or eyeglasses. There’s a minimal ambient sound but it can be easily overlooked thanks to the amazing technology of the JBL Endurance Peak. If there’s one drawback about this pair of best headphones for running, it would have to be its low battery life that can only deliver four hours of playback.

Best Headphones for Running: Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100

What We Like:

  • Secure fit
  • IP57 dust and water-resistant

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not compatible with eyeglasses
  • Minimal Bluetooth interference

The best headphones for running don’t just rely on good, thumping bass. It also needs situational awareness technology to make sure that the runner or athlete is safe while working out. Whether one is running in midtown Manhattan traffic or on a rail trail, the convenience of being able to hear honks, horn or sirens plays a vital part in a runner’s self protection. With the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100, a runner can enjoy traditional high quality audio combined with modern Plantronics technology.

The Ambient Aware ear tips technology allows ingress of external noises so that a runner can still remain aware of what’s happening outside.However, it is worth noting that the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 isn’t only an ideal selection for runners but for swimmers, too. This gear also looks cool with attractive flat panels on each bud that is actually packed with functional tech.

The IP57 rating makes the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 3100 one of the best headphones for running, or for other forms of exercise. You can try to swim with this pair but it’s not guaranteed that water won’t seep in because technically, it’s just water-resistant and not waterproof.

Best Headphones for Running: Plantronics BackBeat Fit 2100

What We Like:

  • Lightweight body

What We Don’t Like:

  • Average sound quality
  • Doesn’t have much bass

The Plantronics Backbeat Fit 2100 is an older version of the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 so don’t be surprised if it’s sold for a lower price on Amazon.com.  Its body weighs only about 26 grams so that’s practically why they’re part of our list for the best headphones for running.

While the earbuds are tethered with a connecting wire, it is not cumbersome at all because the wire is rubberized and rigid, lessening the chances of it bouncing annoyingly against the neck while working out. The ear tips of this pair of best headphones for running sit just outside the ear canal, pumping up ambient sounds to deliver a decent level of situational awareness.

In terms of sound quality, this pair of best headphones for running sound decent enough but not  to the point where you can say that they are the best sounding headphones. There are also reviews saying that the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 2100 is not suitable to be used in noisy environments because they allow too much sound to leak in, pretty much like how Apple AirPods perform in noisy situations.

Best Headphones for Running: Aftershokz Trekz Air

What We Like:

  • Most ambient sound
  • Can work well with eyeglasses

What We Don’t Like:

  • Thinner sound than earbuds

If you are not comfortable jamming an earbud in or fiddling with an earbud as you go about your daily run, the best headphones for running that’s ideal for you are the Aftershokz Trekz Air. They are powered by bone conduction technology that controls the transfer of sound through your cheekbones, leaving the ears open to pick up potential hazards along the road. Bone conduction technology has been backed up by years of research so while some may find it a bit weird to use these kinds of devices, Aftershokz is known to be an expert in this gear electronics niche.

Compared to its other in-ear counterparts from brands like Bose and Jaybird, the sound is admittedly quieter and, for lack of better words, thinner. However, if you aren’t an audiophile purist and are happy with a happy and reliable pair of best headphones for running, you’re good to go with the Aftershokz Trekz Air. 

The headband is slim and light and also allows users to wear their sunglasses or eyewear with their headphones with no sign of discomfort or interference. This pair of best headphones for running has a six-hour battery life and has a rating of IP55, putting the Trekz Air on the same level of truly wireless earbuds at a similar cost. Think of it this way – you’re spending money on a pair of best headphones for running that can deliver total situational awareness.

Best Headphones for Running: JBL Reflect Mini 2

What We Like:

  • Clear playback sound
  • Nighttime visibility

What We Don’t Like:

  • Minimal ambient sound

Just like the Backbeat Fit 2100, the JBL Reflect Mini 2 may not belong to the freshest pair of best headphones for running, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have the features and controls to be part of the list. This pair is perfect for athletes who are looking for choices that can fit their budgets.

Aside from the budget friendly offer, the JBL Reflect Mini also has lots of functionality that proves why it deserves to be included in our list of the best headphones for running. Such features include a tight seal in the ears, a secure fit, and a clear playback sound. One drawback of the JBL Reflect Mini 2 is its lack of ambient sound but if you’re willing to look past this, the audio is really good even without needing to max out the volume.

The sound quality of this pair of best headphones for running is clear enough that if you listen to it in a quiet environment, you can actually identify each instrument. The connecting wire holding the buds together is hardly noticeable thanks to its lightweight build and the Bluetooth connectivity of the JBL Reflect Mini 2 can reach up to 100 feet in range. This is also a great pair of headphones for running at night because the earbuds have reflective cables for increased nighttime visibility. This pair of best headphones for running have an IPX5 water-resistant rating plus 10 hours of battery life.

Best Headphones for Running: Jaybird X3

What We Like:

  • Sweat-friendly
  • sound quality can customized via EQ app

What We Don’t Like:

  • no noise reduction

The Jaybird X3 caps off our list of the best headphones for running. They are ultimately balanced in terms of audio performance and design, delivering impressive multi-sport functionality. These are compatible with helmets and are made with super slim seams and covered with a special coating, protecting it from rain, sweat and mud. 

The earbuds are tethered with a simple wire featuring a single small panel that houses three control buttons. The battery life of the Jaybird X3 can offer up to 8 hours of playback and a 20-minute charge can give users around an hour of playback time. If you are looking for the best headphones for running that allows you to EQ the sound quality, the Jaybird X3 allows customization thanks to the Jaybird MySound App. Users can also save their preferred unique profile so that the preferences will automatically stream when using an iPod or Spotify playlist. This is also compatible with Android phones, smartwatches, and Apple products that take voice commands with Siri.

Best Headphones for Running: Beats by Dre Powerbeats3 Wireless

What We Like:

  • Better battery quality than Jaybird X3 

What We Don’t Like:

  • May hurt ears after long time usage
  • Not truly wireless

The Powerbeats 3 Wireless is usually compared to the Jaybird X3 with compact, wireless earbuds and durable build that cranks out high quality audio. The Powerbeats 3 Wireless are designed to be one of the ebay headphones for running with an adjustable and malleable design of the ear hooks to make sure that it can accommodate any ear size.

The best headphones for running should have a tight and snug fit, where the runner shouldn’t have to be conscious about the buds falling out mid-run. Fortunately, the Powerbeats 3 Wireless have done a great job in making sure that runners can fully focus on their workout. In terms of sound quality, there’s a great balance in high and mid range frequencies although the story gets a little different when the volume is cranked really up.

Another feature to look for when shopping for the best headphones for running is its ability to withstand movement. Running takes a lot of sprinting, jumping, hopping, etc. hence the best headphones for running need to be virtually unshakeable. The Powerbeats 3 Wireless can withstand sprints, agility drills and box jumps, perfect to be used for any sport or physical activities.

Best Headphones for Running: Choosing the Best Pair

Now that we’ve finished rounding off our list of the best headphones for running, we’ll recap the features that you need to look for to make sure that you get the best value for your money.

The best headphones for running need to have ample waterproofing abilities to ensure that you can be at your running best without needing to worry about the elements harming your headphones.

Another feature that you need to look for in choosing the best headphones for running is that it must have a secure yet comfortable fit. A secure fit comes in different styles and design, depending on a runner’s preference. There are different kinds of fitness-oriented designs that you can choose from – those that wrap around your head, those that rest deep in your cranium and those that rest over or around your ears. For extra comfort and security, you can opt for the true wireless models or the Bluetooth in-ears.

The best headphones for running also need to have a decent sound quality. Most people use music to make them feel more motivated or hyped up during workout hence, good sound quality is really needed. It wouldn’t feel so great running around with headphones that give off choppy or broken audio, right? It’s great to invest in a pair of the best headphones for running so you can have more fueled and motivated workouts for a better performance.

Last but not least, the best headphones for running should have situational awareness. This is a very important feature of the best headphones for running especially if you are planning to run in a busy street at night. But practically speaking, situational awareness is a feature that is needed not only by runners but for everybody as well. When going out for a run, it is very important to leave some space for situational awareness so that you can still hear honks, sirens and protect yourself from any danger.