10 Best Headphones & Earbuds For Running Reviewed
Working out to music makes the time fly. These are the top 10 earbuds for running that stay in place and are sweat-resistant – See the full list here!
Finding The Best Headphones And Earbuds For Running
The best headphones or Earbuds for running need to stay in place and sound crystal clear. Most runners have experienced their earbuds falling out during a run. And no one wants to run with their hands keeping their earbuds in place. Fortunately, electronics designers have created earbuds that are specially designed for runners so they can keep the beat and remain hands-off with every run.
10 Best Headphones & Earbuds
1. TaoTronics Earphones w/ Mic
- Flexible smart cable
- Bluetooth 4.1
- CVC Noise Cancellation 6.0 technology
- Quality speaker
- Short 5-hour battery
- Big for small ears.
2. Phaiser BHS-530
- Customizable memory wire neck strap stays in place
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Liquipel Nano Coating for water resistance
- HD Sound
- Limited Bluetooth range
3. AYL V4.1
- Bluetooth 4.1
- CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction Technology
- Apple and Android Compatible
- Adjustable fit
- Short battery life
- Control buttons can be confusing
4. Bose® MIE2i
- Bose quality sound
- Stable “StayHear” tips for snug fit
- No Bluetooth
- Designed for Apple products
5. Rovking Sweatproof Sport
- Noise isolation
- Good-quality sound
- Durable cord
- Comfortable, over-the-ear arcs
- Snug fit
- No Bluetooth
6. Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas Sports
- Water and sweat resistant
- Slide-to-fit neck strap
- Fine-tuned transducer with perfect sound
- Cord needed to connect to smartphone
7. Sony MDR-AS600BT
- Eight-hour battery
- Custom-fit silicon earbuds and arc support
- Single-button controller
8. PulseaudioTM Vitality
- Easy-access controls
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Eight-hour battery life
- Bluetooth range as limited
9. Powerbeats 2
- Bluetooth with 30-foot range
- Dual-driver acoustics
- 6-hour battery life
10. JayBird BlueBuds X Sport
- Eight hours of battery life
- Pure sound
- Lifetime warranty from sweat damage
- Headset is heavier than other brands
When looking for a good set of earbuds for running, it is helpful to find some with features that you’ll find most useful to you. Obviously, it is important to get a set that sounds good. It is also equally important to be sure they stay put throughout the entire run – even when you build up a sweat. Many of the top earbuds have hooks, cables, or other small features that help keep them in place. Many of the best earbuds come with Bluetooth, so you do not have to worry about the long cord bouncing as you run.
The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of Headphones & Earbuds
We didn’t want to disappoint any audiophile out there, so we made sure to research for the highest quality headphones and earbuds on the market right now. Most runners feel slightly overwhelmed when it comes to selection because of the hundreds of options that are available. It seems like every manufacturer promises the world when it comes to how their products sound, so we have taken into consideration the feedback from daily runners and what they had to say about the sound quality during real world use.
Price Compared To Value.
When selecting any form of audio equipment, earbuds and headphones included, it’s important to remain price conscious. This is because there is no shortage of companies that are more than willing to charge you an exorbitant amount of money for their sound tech.
Premium options and hi-fidelity powerhouses come with a large price tag, but are they really worth it? We made sure to match up all the qualities against what their cost is to provide the best buys at all price range. No matter your budget, you will be sure to get the biggest bang for your buck.
According to most runners, sound isolation is the biggest and most significant factor they overlook and they regret it deeply on their runs. How much or how little sound isolation your earbuds or headphones have can make all the difference in the world. Blocking outside noise can be great when you are flying long distances on an airplane, but dangerous when you are running in a big city (listening for carhorns). We made sure to include the amount of sound isolation to give our readers the options when making their selection.
How They Connect The User To Their Music.
There are several ways that earbuds and headphones can connect to your smartphone or mp3 player. From the standard wired versions to Bluetooth technology, there are pros and cons associated with whichever options you choose. Runner feedback regarding how obtrusive or convenient these options can be was of the upmost importance when we were preforming our research for this buying guide.
This is another segment where manufacturers can promise you the world, but it’s such a personal preference, that their advice should be taken with a grain of salt. We made sure to listen to runners from all walks of life to ensure a pick that matches our preferences and how you plan on wearing them. From marathon runners to casual joggers, we took note of what they has to say in regards to long term comfort levels.
How Well Do They Stay In Your Ear?
Anyone who has used those clumsy, one size fits all earbuds that come bundled with our smartphones has experienced how they manage to pop out of your ear; every single time you make a slight move.
Our buying guide seeks to eliminate this everyday annoyance by providing options that say put and even have customizable inserts that ensure they fit every ear type and size. Also included in our selections is “how” they stay put; whether it be through a supportive attachment or on their own. Because nobody wants to pause mid-run to put their ear bud back in.
Other Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Earbuds Or Headphones
Just walk into any electronics store and you will find that it’s very easy to get distracted by fancy features and creative packaging when choosing a pair of headphones or earbuds for your runs. Don’t loose focus runners, we have put together a brief list of considerations that should help you make a much better, informed decision.
After all, the last thing you want to do is select a pair of earbuds and find that you’re not happy with the sound quality, or a pair of headphones and find that they irritate your ears. Let’s take a look and some of these important considerations together and we’ll have you running to your favorite playlist in no time!
Know Which Type Of Form Factor You Are Comfortable With.
Perhaps the most significant decision that you will have to make is form factor. While this may be overlooked, let’s go over the pros and cons of the proverbial “earbud vs. in-ear headphone” debate. Earbuds and in-ear headphones are the familiar tiny earpieces that have become more and more popular thanks to them being bundled with most smartphones and mp3 players.
Both earbuds and in-ear headphones are super portable and typically offer you much more freedom because of their lightweight. Now, don’t expect to get the same sound quality that you would get from headphones that completely cover you ear. While the high quality earbuds do sound great when compared to their cheaply constructed counterparts, audiophiles don’t consider them to be in the same league with headphones.
When considering in-ear headphones over earbuds, most runners don’t realize that there are actually two separate form factors as far as construction goes. Earbuds sit in the outer bowl of your ear, while “in-ear” headphones actually go into your ear canal. So you are going to want to consider how comfortable you are with putting something into your ear. There are also two different type of headphones, there is what is called “ear pad” headphones that typically do not cover the entire ear, and there are “over the ear headphones” which, you guess it, cover the entire ear.
Ear Pad headphones are typically the most comfortable because they sit on the outside of your ears so your lobes won’t get pinned back. As far as sound isolation goes, these sit right in the middle (sound slightly leaks both ways). This is actually a benefit to runners because you’ll actually be able to hear some outside noise for the sake of safety. However, take into consideration that because of the sound leakage, these will not be ideal for a plane trip as they will let sound in; or to listen to in the library as they will let sound out.
Over-the-ear headphones, on the other hand offer very best, crisp sound with excellent bass response and the most isolation from outside noise then you can get. However, the trade off here is obviously that they are very large and bulky and can make a runner’s ears very hot because of their increased padding. This is why most runners typically will never choose to go with a full-size pair of headphones.
How Will Wires Impact Your Running Regimen?
Let’s talk about wires (or lack there of), Bluetooth technology is excellent in it’s ability to provide runners with a cable free run. Both outdoor runners and indoor treadmill runners agree that having a pair of Bluetooth earbuds gave them a lot more freedom on their runs. The first thing to consider here is battery life. Our list provides you with what you can expect from a full battery charge, however keep in mind that this means that you will have to be plugging these in and charging them either before or after every run or two. If you are the type of person that is not great at remembering to charge your smart phone, perhaps a pair of Bluetooth earbuds is not the way to go. Additionally, if you are an audiophile keep in mind that Bluetooth sound quality is rarely as good as that of their wired counterparts.
Another factor that you are going to want to take into consideration is durability. Some runners report that they sweat more than others depending on the type of running that they are doing. If you are a runner that sweats a lot, you’re going to want to look for a pair of earbuds or in-ear headphones that come with either some sweat resistant material or a lifetime warranty against what damage. There seems to be an expensive trend of throwing away earbuds a couple of times a year, save yourself a ton of money and make a sound investment (pun intended) on your selection depending on what you’re going to put them through.
All The Aspects Of Comfort.
Finally, much like every other piece of equipment that you choose to take with you on your runs, comfort is essential. While this is a personal preference and can vary wildly between runners, you should consider if a solid neck strap or a behind the neck wiring system is better for you. Additionally, if you don’t find the feeling, Earbuds that come equipped with some sort of an arc support will help you keep the earbuds in your ears without them falling out during you runs. If you don’t mind placing these tiny devices in your ear canal, then you will enjoy more sound isolation and clearer tones.
To further help you make an informed choice, we have included some frequently asked questions that most runners had while making the choice for themselves. Regardless of which you choose, most testers agreed that when listening to their favorite music, they seem to have a better overall experience on their runs.
Q: I run in a big city and like to be a safe as possible while I’m out on my runs. What is the best recommendation?
A: We feel that safety always comes first, especially in a big city where heavy traffic and distractions can be plentiful. Look for a pair that does not offer noise cancellation or at least has the ability to turn it off when you don’t want it. This way, you can still hear some outside sound. Being able to hear a car horn or a yelling pedestrian can keep you safe in an emergency.
Q: I see long battery life on some Bluetooth headphones; does this mean I can worry less about their charge levels?
A: Most runner have found that even 6 hours of battery life can mean less when you stretch it out over two or more days. That’s because they have to maintain a charge for the time when you are not using them, and they can loose some charge even when they’re off.
Q: I tried to use the earbuds that came with my smartphone, and they didn’t fit very well. Does that mean that I can’t use earbuds at all?
A: Not at all, smartphone manufactures try to supply a mass-manufactured earbud that can “fit most” because of the cost associated with providing them. Look for earbuds that come with several different sized swappable molds. This will give you a comfortable and customizable fit.
Q: I’m looking for something less invasive than an in-ear headphone that doesn’t fall off, but I sweat too much for a conventional headphone. What’s the best solution?
A: You’re going to want to look for an earbud that comes with some kind of an ear anchor. This can be a half-moon shaped arm that goes over your ear, or a loop that goes completely around. This will give you a secure fit while not giving you the feeling associated with an “in-ear” option.
This was our approach when selecting the right pair earbuds or in-ear headphones for running. Remember that this purchase will be a wise investment in your running experience and making a selection that is based on personal use is essential. We hope this guide provided you with all the information you need when making you choice between form and function. Thanks for following along with us. Time to put on you favorite playlist and keep running!
Here are some sources we used while conducting our research
It’s important to use a wide variety of sources to ensure quality information. We like to utilize trusted outdoor enthusiasts and manufactures when providing our readers with the most up-to-date statistics found in all our buying guides. We are also very interested in taking what everyday users have to say about specific products, and we perform our due diligence to make sure that quality research goes into every guide. Here are some sources which helped us with this guide: