While some might say running is sometimes boring, you can make it a lot better with a pair of good headphones for running.
We’re talking about a comfortable pair of headphones that will stay in your ear when you’re active and moving around, and will allow you to listen to your favorite song or podcast while out on a run.
With that in mind, there are a lot of headphones out there that might seem like a good choice for the best headphones for running, so which ones do you go for? To help you with that, we’re looking at a few options, so let’s go.
Things To Look For In Running Headphones
Not every pair of headphones is suitable for running, so how do you determine which pair of headphones you should actually buy?
The first thing that’s key with running headphones is comfort, and more specifically, how well they stay in your ears.
For this, your best bet is a pair of in-ear earbuds with rubber, or foam tips. Foam tips will adapt to your ear’s shape, and won’t fall out once you pick the right ear tips size. Rubber tips are also good, and for some people, even a bit more comfortable.
The headphones’ weight is also a major factor here, because lighter headphones will stay in your ear better. Or, you could even go for an over-ear pair, or one that has ear hooks. Whatever is most comfortable for you.
Next, you’ll want to take note of the build quality. A pair of headphones that you’ll use for running should be a bit more rugged than a regular pair, and at the very least, have some kind of sweat resistance protection.
This will ensure that you won’t get any issues from sweat getting inside the headphones and potentially destroying them. To add to this, you wouldn’t be the first person to drop a pair of headphones during running, and a more rugged design will ensure that they don’t get damaged too easily.
Even though we’re talking about headphones, sound quality obviously does take a bit of a back seat in this one.
But it is important after all. Most of the headphones you’ll come across tend to come with a sound signature that emphasizes the low end of the spectrum, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
And to add to this, some of them will even come with an app that has a built-in equalizer, so you can adjust the sound as you like it. And don’t worry, all of the headphones we’ll talk about have great sound.
Next up, if looking at a pair of wireless headphones, battery life is important. You don’t want your headphones dying mid-run, do you? In this regard, most of the headphones will offer at least 6 to 8 hours of battery life, and some over ear models will easily extend that to 15 or even 20 hours.
In any case, unless you’re using them for 24 hour marathons, you should be covered with just about any pair. Some true wireless options will also charge when you put them in your case, so that’s one less thing to worry about, too.
Last but not least, you should consider the price.
Even though a higher end pair is oftentimes worth it in terms of sound quality and durability, if you’re a person who isn’t too careful with their headphones, you should actually get a cheaper pair – it’s going to be less costly to replace if you damage them. It’s all a matter of what you can afford, though.
Best Running Headphones 2021 Buying Guide
So now that we have discussed different factors to consider while choosing running headphones pairs, let’s start the actual review roundup where we’ll check the different headphones that I think to be best for running/gym/work out.
I have included as different models here as I could, so that you can pick one according to your style.
JBL Endurance RUN Wired: Check Price On Amazon
While many people would prefer going wireless in this scenario, you can actually save quite a lot if you go for a wired pair like the JBL Endurance Run. This is a pair of headphones that’s made to be versatile in a few ways, and has a few features that make it a great choice for a running pair.
First things first, you can wear the Endurance Run in two ways. One of them is to wear them as regular earbuds, while the other is to route the cable over and behind the ear, for a slightly more secure fit.
This gives you a bit of choice, and if you’re a person who has issues with earbuds staying in their ears, you should definitely route them behind the ear.
The fit is great, with a rubberized surface that adapts to your ear shell, so they won’t be uncomfortable, and of course, you get a few different sized tips so you can use the ones that fit you best.
The cable is rather soft and comfortable as well, and the twistable, flexible design allows you to get the perfect fit pretty easily. Oh, and you also get sweat resistance, and magnets in the earbuds that keep them together when you aren’t using them.
The sound is pretty good, with a slightly emphasized bass, but overall you’ll like the sound signature if you aren’t too picky. What we also liked was the included in-line remote with a microphone, so you can talk while you run – the quality is decent.
- Wallet-friendly price
- No battery to charge
- Very comfortable and versatile
- Some people find the idea of wired running headphones hard to digest.
- Somewhat bulky
Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500: Check Price On Amazon
Best On-Ear Headphones For Running
When you first look at the BackBeat FIT 500, they might not seem like a good choice for running, but it’s quite the opposite. They have an excellent fit, even though on ear, and are a great pick for people who can’t really work with an in-ear design.
To begin with, they fit great. They stay on your ear, instead of over, which adds a bit of pressure and makes sure the headphones don’t go anywhere when you’re running. The thick headband adds a bit more comfort as well, and overall, you will love how these feel even when you’re running and moving around.
Oh, and the material used on the earcups themselves adds a bit of isolation, so you can focus on your run instead of being distracted by the surroundings.
The headphones come with a sweat resistant coating, so they won’t get damaged from running. However, we do have to mention that apart from that, the design isn’t too rugged. We would suggest taking good care of them, because if you dop them, they might break more easily than you think.
As far as the sound quality goes, it’s pretty good. The design means that you’ll have a bit of extra bass since the headphones sit on your ears, but overall, the sound is pretty balanced and the headphones sound pretty good.
Last but not least, you can expect about 18 hours of battery life, which is pretty good for headphones that cost this much. Overall, they’re a great pick for people who find in-ear models uncomfortable, as they get you good isolation, excellent sound, and a great battery life.
- Long battery life
- Comfortable design with memory foam
- P2i nano-coating for sweat protection
- Build quality could be better
- Somewhat heavy at 155 grams
Bose SoundSport Wireless: Check Price On Amazon
Best Wireless Earbuds For Running
Bose has somewhat of a reputation in the sport headphones world, and the SoundSport, as simple as that sounds, is one of their best options, and quite possibly the best pair of headphones for running. Yes, they’re expensive, but they’ve got a lot going for them so let’s take a closer look.
To begin with, the fit is great. The SoundSport are pretty big, but come with rubber wingtips and very comfortable ear tips that keep them in your ears.
The fit is great, and they won’t fall out of your ear, that’s for sure. You do have a cable connecting the two earbuds, so they aren’t true wireless, but the cable is soft and comfortable, so it won’t get in the way. It also houses the inline controls, so you have easy access to them, too.
The sound quality is really great. The headphones come with what Bose calls Active EQ, which keeps the sound balanced at just about any volume. There is no overpowering bass like you get with many other sport earbuds, which is pretty great. Oh, and for added convenience, you also get NFC pairing. Neat!
These being Bose’s go-to sports headphones, they also come with sweat resistance, so they won’t get damaged by sweat anytime soon. They’re also somewhat water resistant, so even if you get caught out in the rain, you should be safe.
The battery life isn’t too impressive at only 6 hours, but honestly, it’s still more than you’d need for an average run, so we have no complaints there. They charge pretty quickly, and given their weight and comfort, the short battery life is understandable.
- Excellent sound quality
- IPX4 rating
- Plenty of accessories in the case
- Mediocre battery life
- Somewhat expensive
Jabra Elite 75t Earbuds: Check Price On Amazon
Best True Wireless Earbuds For Running
Jabra’s Elite series is one of the most highly recommended sport headphones out there. The 65t was a bestseller for a long time, and the Elite 75t is the successor, which is only better in a few key ways. These are true wireless earbuds, which means you won’t have any cables connecting them whatsoever, and they come with a carrying case that also charges them.
The best things about the Elite 75t is how compact they are. They sit in your ear, with no cables and nothing extra.
This also means that thanks to the low weight, they won’t be falling out of your ear because nothing is dragging them out. However, people who aren’t fans of in-ear headphones might not like this, because you do need to set them up well in order for them to stay in your ear.
The sound quality is great, and you also get active noise cancelling. This means that while you’re out on a run, you won’t have anyone disturb you because the ANC will eliminate all outside noises. This is an underrated feature, especially if you’re someone who tends to run outside often. Overall, we have no complaints in this regard.
Connectivity is excellent as well, with zero dropouts so you can enjoy your music. This is thanks to Jabra’s 4th generation true wireless connection, which works brilliantly. What we also loved was the 24 hours of battery life, and this is with active noise cancelling on.
The charging case is pretty compact as well, and this is a pair of headphones you can comfortably have in your pockets. The case does charging capabilities as well. A great choice, albeit at a somewhat high price.
- Excellent fit and no wires
- Stable connection with no dropouts
- Active noise cancelling
Beats PowerBeats Pro: Check Price On Amazon
Beats used to be a brand that nobody would recommend, but ever since Apple bought them, they’ve had some really nice products out there. The PowerBeats Pro are a best seller for various reasons, and even though they’re very expensive, they could still be a great choice for some people.
To begin with, they’re a pair of true wireless earbuds that have an over-ear hook design. This means that while heavy, they won’t fall out of your ear. Honestly, this is an underrated feature, and we would have loved to see it on more headphones.
The sound is great, and unlike the typical Beats sound signature, it isn’t too bass heavy. It’s pretty balanced, and once you have the right fit with the ear tips, they sound really good. Each earbud also comes with volume and track controls, so you don’t have to reach for your phone when you want to change the track.
Another thing that you won’t find with any other earbuds is the Apple H1 chip, which extends the connectivity range, and gives you a quick pairing feature with your iOS devices like an iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much if you use these with an Android device, so you might want to think twice about that.
Overall, the PowerBeats Pro are a great choice for any iOS user, because they offer a lot of great functionalities and an overall great sound and experience.
The fit is great, the guarantee that they won’t fall out is great, and you even get sweat resistance so you don’t damage them when you’re running. However, the price must be mentioned – they’re extremely expensive for a pair of true wireless earbuds, and we found it hard to justify the price.
- Secure ear hook design
- True wireless with no cables
- 9 hours of battery life
- Very expensive
- Functionality is better for iOS than Android
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700: Check Price On Amazon
Best Over-Ear Headphones For Running
Bose used to be the king of noise cancelling with the QC 35, and the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is the evolution of that model. It’s an even better, lighter and more comfortable design, with a sound that’s just as good, if not better.
On the outside, the headphones look and feel premium wherever you look.
The headband is slim, yet very comfortable, and the earcups themselves are extremely comfortable, so you can wear these for hours at a time, without any discomfort at all. And with up to 20 hours of battery life, you can actually take advantage of that since you don’t have to charge them all the time.
The highlight of the Noise Cancelling 700 is definitely the noise cancelling – it’s in the name. It works wonders in a variety of environments, regardless of how loud it is, and it even cancels out things like airplane engines if you need to. How does that translate to running? Well, you can enjoy running indoors our outdoors, without ambient noise disturbing you, so you can focus on your run instead of that obnoxiously loud person in the gym.
We love the sound quality of the headphones as well, they sound great with just about any music genre, with and without noise cancelling turned on. Everything sounds balanced, and nothing is overpowering. These are great even if you just want to relax a bit and listen to music.
What must not be forgotten about these over ear headphones is the fact that they are very, very expensive. They’re the most expensive option on our list, and unless you really need the noise cancelling, we find them hard to recommend.
- Extremely good noise cancelling
- Very comfortable design
- Premium build quality
- Very expensive
- Don’t stay on your ears all that well
Conclusion – which ones should you go for?
If you’re trying to pick one pair out of all the options we spoke about, we would wholeheartedly recommend going for Jabra’s Elite 75t. This pair of true wireless earbuds has a great feature set with a long battery life, active noise cancelling, excellent fit, and best of all, no wires!
Yes, they aren’t the cheapest pair on the list, but you’re getting a lot for your money, and they’re definitely the best headphones for running you can get at the moment.