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The Best Headphones That Stay Put During Running and Sweat Sessions

The best running headphones are often a little different than what you might wear at home or on your commute.

In an ideal world you’d own a single set of wireless headphones or earbuds for all your audio needs, whether you’re listening to music on the sofa, pounding the treadmill or while taking a jog around the neighborhood in the rain. And while you can make owning just a single pair work, a lot of people prefer to switch to wireless earbuds designed expressly for running or working out, mainly because they’re waterproof and offer an extra-snug fit.

We generally recommend using true wireless earbuds for exercise or running instead of traditional headphones, due mainly to their light weight and the potential for a secure fit. Some runners may prefer wireless bone conduction headphones, which wrap around your head instead.

Based on research and testing, we’ve rounded up the best running headphones to help you make the most of your jog.

  1. Jabra Elite 7 Active
  2. Bose Sport Earbuds
  3. OnePlus Bids Z2
  4. Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
  5. Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro
  6. Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats Pro
  7. Oladance Open Ear
  8. Shokz OpenRun Pro

1. Best Running Headphones Overall: Jabra Elite 7 Active

 

Jabra Elite 7 Active
Jabra Elite 7 Active

Battery life: Up to 8 hours | Waterproof rating: IP57 | Driver size: 6mm | Noise cancellation: Active

Best for: A snug, sweat-resistant fit.

We believe the Jabra Elite 7 Active earbuds are the best wireless earbuds for running (and working out in general) because they offer a unique liquid silicone rubber compound coating that adds comfort. It also keeps them firmly in place, even when they get wet or covered in sweat.

These earbuds are extremely lightweight and comfortable, while the noise cancellation works with or without audio playing.

The audio intensity with extra strong bass makes the Jabra Elite 7 Actives appealing for workouts—especially when you’re listening to a favorite playlist that includes upbeat and motivational music.

From the mobile app, it’s easy to adjust the noise cancellation, activate the HearThrough transparency mode, or manually tweak the music equalizer. You also get six audio presets, including Neutral, Speech, Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Smooth and Energize.

Pros:

Special coating makes them waterproof and provides a secure fit
Lightweight and very comfortable
Transparency mode works great when running outdoors

Cons:

No spatial audio or Dolby Atmos support

2. Best Running Headphones Without Noise Cancellation: Bose Sport Earbuds

Bose Sport Earbuds
Bose Sport Earbuds

Best for: When you need be acutely aware of your surroundings.

Make no mistake: There are some really outstanding headphones on the market today and several of them have most of the ingredients we’d consider essential to be great workout gear.

Pros:

Extremely secure fit
Up to 5 hours of listening time
Hear what’s happening around you while running

Cons:

No wireless charging

3. Best Value Running Headphones: OnePlus Bids Z2

OnePlus Buds Z2

The biggest thing that sets the OnePlus Buds Z2 wireless earbuds apart from the others in this roundup is the price. You get noise cancellation and support for Dolby Atmos from earbuds that sound amazing whether you’re listening to audio or participating in a handsfree phone call. They’re also waterproof and sweat proof. When you’re running or engaged in a physical activity, they stay firmly in place. And while you can easily manage and control these earbuds using an app, they also offer onboard touch controls that are both accessible and intuitive.

The OnePlus Buds Z2 were recently our pick for best value wireless earbuds in our testing. You can read a full review to discover all of the reasons why we recommend them so highly. At $100, these earbuds were a true bargain. However, when they’re on sale for 40% off, it’s a deal that’s too good to miss.

Pros:

Dolby Atmos support
Comfortable and snug fit
Waterproof and sweat proof

Cons:

No wireless charging

4. Best Headphones For Runners With iPhone: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

Best for: Pairing with an Apple iPhone or Apple Watch.

If you’re an Apple iPhone or Apple Watch user, the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) take your audio listening to a new and more immersive level. In addition to the spatial audio with dynamic head tracking feature, the earbuds offer improved noise cancellation. Meanwhile, the new onboard touch controls and longer battery life are among the other features you get from these earbuds.

Pros:

Improved noise cancellation
Better onboard touch controls
Offers a snug fit for working out or running

Cons:

Best used with other Apple equipment

5. Best Headphones For Runners With Android: Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro

The Best for: All-purpose wireless earbuds that are sweat- and water-resistant.

While the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) are recommended specifically for Apple device users because of the exclusive features they offer, we highly recommend the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro wireless earbuds for Android-based mobile device users, especially Samsung smartphone users.

Pros:

Comfortable and well-fitting for athletes and runners
Excellent surround sound with or without noise cancellation
Works best with Android devices

Cons:

Some features only work with Samsung devices

6. Best Secure-Fit Running Headphones: Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats Pro

Best for: Outdoor runners who want high quality audio, while, for safety, need to hear ambient sounds.

The PowerBeats Pro are ideal for runners and athletes for several reasons. First, they offer an around the ear hook that’s adjustable and comfortable to ensure a secure fit. They’re also lightweight and water/sweat resistant. Thanks to Apple’s H1 chip, these earbuds easily and automatically pair with Apple devices, but they work just as well with Android-based devices to provide spatial audio that’s clear and immersive.

Pros:

Secure and comfortable fit
Automatic pairing with Apple devices
Good battery life

Cons:

No noise cancellation
Requires the Beats app only when used with an Android-based device

7. Best Open Ear Running Headphones: Oladance Open Ear

Best for: Athletes who don’t want to insert earbuds into their ear canal.

Available in four colors (orange, blue, silver or white), there’s a lot that sets the Oladance Open Ear Headphones apart from typical wireless earbuds. Unlike traditional earbuds, these fit comfortably and securely over your ears, instead of being inserted into them. This is accomplished without putting pressure on or inside the ears. Instead, they wrapping around your ears to provide a snug fit.
They also generate 360-degree immersive audio that utilize 16.5mm drivers—almost 3 times the size of the drivers most other wireless earbuds offer.

Pros:

Unique over-the-ear design.
Extra-long battery life.
Waterproof and sweat proof.

Cons:

Noise cancellation is only for hand-free phone calls

8. Best Bone Conduction Running Headphones: Shokz OpenRun Pro

Best for: Athlete looking for bone conduction headphones which don’t block their ears.

The Shokz OpenRun Pro headphones are also a hybrid between traditional over-the-ear headphones and wireless earbuds. However, these use bone conduction technology that surrounds your ears—while not covering them at all. This allows for awareness of your environment, while listening to high-quality audio with clear sound and rich bass.

Pros:

Unique and comfortable design.
Offers superior sound without covering your ears.
Long battery life.

Cons:

Noise cancellation only works during phone calls.

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