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Best Wireless Headphones for Running – Review

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Wireless Headphones and Exercise

If you work out, there’s a good chance you listen to music while you’re doing it. There’s nothing like listening to fast-paced, upbeat song to keep you going when your body starts to feel tired. Research has shown that music has a positive influence on how we respond to fatigue, our breathing rate, and our muscle movement and coordination.

But have you ever tried running with the Apple EarPods? Or lifting weights while wearing some bulky Beats headphones?

Exercising with standard earphones or headphones always gets complicated, and can do more harm than help. The cord can become tangled and interrupt the flow of your arm movements, or sweat in your ears might cause earbuds to fall off.

In this post, we want to recommend the 5 best wireless headphones for running and your workout sessions.

Key Points to Consider in Buying Headphones for Exercising

Comfort – One of the most important considerations for any set of headphones: are they comfortable? Since they will be resting on your ears and head, some of the most delicate parts of the body, you want to make sure you can keep them on for extended periods.

Build Quality – Headphones need to be strong and durable. They need to withstand the wear and tear of other objects in your backpack, and from being used daily.

Audio Quality – Of course, at the end of the day headphones are about how good the audio or music sounds. While all of our headphones have a good standard output, we also place a high significance on the audio clarity.

Affordability – Everyone has a different budget and you want to make sure that you choose a pair that doesn’t break the bank account.

Battery Life – Bluetooth headphones aren’t much use when they die in the middle of each workout. We chose headphones that lasted a long time, and some that only needed to charge for a few minutes to get an hour of charge.

Additional Features – Do you plan on being around water and need it to be waterproof? Do you need a cord just in case, maybe one with a microphone and volume controls?

Let’s take a look at some of the best wireless headphones you can buy for running or exercising in general.

Jaybird X3 Bluetooth Wireless In-Ear Earphones

Jabra Elite Sport Earbuds - Waterproof Fitness & Running Earbuds with Heart Rate and Activity Tracker, True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds with Superior Sound, Advanced Connectivity and Charging Case
  • TRUE WIRELESS EARBUDS - Jabra Elite Sport earbuds offer superior sound for calls and music and advance wireless connectivity to ensure true performance. Two microphones in each earbud work together to filter our background noise and ensure clarity.
  • SECURE CUSTOM FIT - Enjoy custom-fitting workout earbuds thanks to the 3 sizes of EarGels and foam tips included to give you the right fit that boosts music and call quality. Plus, 3 sizes of EarWings further enhance comfort and heart rate sensor.
  • ALL-DAY POWER - Now with a battery that delivers 4.5 hours of play time coupled with a portable charging case, these Jabra wireless in-ear headphones give you 13.5 hours of power to keep you going.
  • SPORTS EARBUDS - The in-ear precision heart rate monitor works with our integrated Jabra Sport Life app to track/analyze your fitness. Monitor absolute fitness level, have reps counted automatically, predict race pace and more. For all experience levels.
  • WATERPROOF DESIGN - Jabra Elite Sport are waterproof earbuds that offer guaranteed durability. They have an IP67-rated waterproof design with a 3-year warranty against sweat damage (registration required via Jabra Sport Life App).

There are actually two Jabra Elite Sports: one released in December 2016, and one released on July 2017. The latter has an additional 50% battery life, and is the one we reviewed.

If you want “true wireless headphones” similar to the Apple AirPods without being locked to Apple, check out the Jabra Elite Sport. The design is based off the Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition in-ears, but without the cord in between. A heart rate sensor is also implemented in the left earpiece, allowing you to keep a check on your heart rate as you exercise. The playback controls are built into the headsets as well.

The Elite Sport also has an IP67 waterproof rating, which means the headphones can stay submerged for about a half hour under a couple feet of water (as long as it’s not saltwater), and the updated battery boasts 4.5 hours of playback before charging.  

The Elite Sport has a tight base and great sound quality, but the silicone tips that come with them won’t be enough to create that isolated sound. Fortunately, they should work with any standard silicone earbud cover. One cool feature of the headset is its built-in noise reduction- which switches audio to the earbud with the least background noise.

Bose SoundSport Wireless In-Ear

Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones - Black
  • A high quality audio experience, consistently balanced at any volume, thanks to Bose active EQ. Connectivity Technology: Wireless
  • Wireless convenience, with easy Bluetooth and NFC pairing aided by voice prompts
  • Exclusive Stay Hear and tips keep the headphones comfortably in place during workouts
  • Sweat and weather resistance for reliability while exercising
  • Up to 6 hours battery life per charge. Please refer the User Guide before use

Bose has established a solid reputation for sound isolation and comfort, and the Bose SoundSport In-Ears are for the sporty audiophile.

Similar to the Jaybird X3, they feature a wingtip that should fit comfortably into the contour of your ear. They also feature an inline remote and microphone, at an additional cost. The SoundSport doesn’t have the same level of water-resistance as other headphones, but it still has a “weather and sweat-resistant design.”

The Bose SoundSport Wireless In-Ears deliver some clear signals. Bose has always been good at balancing the lows, mids, and highs, and having some punchy bass. It’s worth noting that they also tend to use the same drivers as their open earbud counterparts.

The Bose SoundSport Wireless In-Ear are comfortable and deliver some great sound quality. 

Beats By Dre PowerBeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Sale
Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphone - Black
  • Connectivity Technology: Wireless Connect via Class 1 Bluetooth with your device for wireless workout freedom
  • Up to 12 hours of battery life to power through multiple workouts. Take calls, control your music, and activate Siri with RemoteTalk
  • With Fast Fuel, a 5-minute charge gives you 1 hour of playback when battery is low
  • Sweat and water resistance to handle tough training. Flexible, secure-fit earhooks maximize comfort and stability
  • What's in the box: Powerbeats3 Wireless earphones, eartips with four (4) size options, carrying case, universal USB charging cable (USB-A to USB Micro-B, Quick Start Guide, warranty card

 

Beats by Dre have gained worldwide popularity, endorsed by the most popular celebrities and producers and having been bought by Apple. But it has always gotten a reputation for having a lackluster quality in material and sound design. The PowerBeats 3 puts all that to rest.

The PowerBeats feature two rectangular buds with earhooks and a wire between them that can rest on the back of your neck. The battery can get you 12 hours of continuous play, but more importantly, you can charge it for five minutes for an hour of charge. This can be super useful when you’re going for a quick run and don’t want to wait around. Note that some people have run into issues finding a good fit for their ears.

The audio quality puts other Beats products to shame, and ends the stigma of a less than stellar sound quality. The tones felt warm and rich, especially in the lows and mids. The PowerBeats 3 has a chance to go up against some of the more professional, high-end headphones.

JLab Audio Epic 2 Wireless Sport Earbuds

 

Finally we reviewed JLab’s latest entry into its Epic line of wireless earphones, the JLab Epic 2. JLab has two earbuds with earhooks that wrap around the ear and connect through a cord that dangle behind your neck. It also has an inline microphone and control where you charge it with a micro USB.

The material is IPX5 waterproof rated, meaning it won’t get soaked in rain or sweat. JLab claims the battery is tested to last up to 12 hours. We thought the JLab offered some of the most comfortable earpieces, but that could also be due to the numerous rubber tips they provide.

The JLab Epic 2 delivers some punchy, heavy bass, more than some of the other headphones we tested. These headphones get loud. The mids and highs take a backseat to the bass, but they still sound clear and present when turned up.

The JLab Epic 2 is a solid choice for someone looking to keep their budget low while getting some head-thumping bass during their workout. 

 

JayBird X3 Sport Bluetooth Headset for iPhone and Android - Blackout
Jabra Elite Sport Earbuds - Waterproof Fitness & Running Earbuds with Heart Rate and Activity Tracker, True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds with Superior Sound, Advanced Connectivity and Charging Case
Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones - Black
Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphone - Black
JLab Audio Epic2 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sport Earbuds, GUARANTEED fitness, waterproof IPX5 rated, skip-free sound, pristine high-performance 8mm sound drivers, 12hr play time w/ microphone - Black
JayBird X3 Sport Bluetooth Headset for iPhone and Android - Blackout
Jabra Elite Sport Earbuds - Waterproof Fitness & Running Earbuds with Heart Rate and Activity Tracker, True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds with Superior Sound, Advanced Connectivity and Charging Case
Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones - Black
Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphone - Black
JLab Audio Epic2 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sport Earbuds, GUARANTEED fitness, waterproof IPX5 rated, skip-free sound, pristine high-performance 8mm sound drivers, 12hr play time w/ microphone - Black
$76.95
$131.99
$99.00
from $79.00
$59.00
-
-
-
-
-
8 hour battery life
13.5 hours
6 hours
12 hours
12hr
-
IP67
IPX4
-
IPX5
JayBird X3 Sport Bluetooth Headset for iPhone and Android - Blackout
JayBird X3 Sport Bluetooth Headset for iPhone and Android - Blackout
$76.95
-
8 hour battery life
-
Jabra Elite Sport Earbuds - Waterproof Fitness & Running Earbuds with Heart Rate and Activity Tracker, True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds with Superior Sound, Advanced Connectivity and Charging Case
Jabra Elite Sport Earbuds - Waterproof Fitness & Running Earbuds with Heart Rate and Activity Tracker, True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds with Superior Sound, Advanced Connectivity and Charging Case
$131.99
-
13.5 hours
IP67
Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones - Black
Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones - Black
$99.00
-
6 hours
IPX4
Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphone - Black
Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphone - Black
from $79.00
-
12 hours
-
JLab Audio Epic2 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sport Earbuds, GUARANTEED fitness, waterproof IPX5 rated, skip-free sound, pristine high-performance 8mm sound drivers, 12hr play time w/ microphone - Black
JLab Audio Epic2 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sport Earbuds, GUARANTEED fitness, waterproof IPX5 rated, skip-free sound, pristine high-performance 8mm sound drivers, 12hr play time w/ microphone - Black
$59.00
-
12hr
IPX5

Final Thoughts

That wraps up our list of best wireless headphones for running, or exercising in general. All you really need are headphones that have long battery life, a robust design, and a balanced soundstage. Whichever you choose, as long as you choose from our list, you should have your bases covered.

If we had to choose, and it’s so difficult because there are so many great ones, we would choose the Jaybird X3 Sport Bluetooth Headset. Out of all our choices, the Jaybird is the only one that hits all our expectations and meets our criteria for a truly great exercising experience, all while staying affordable. A search online shows that countless audiophiles and headphone publications online agree with us.

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree or disagree? Which ones do you have, or want the most? Let us know in the comments.

Wireless Heaphone Guru, Gadget Researcher and Writer

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