The best sports headphones are ideal companions for staying fit. And not just because they can keep you motivated by letting you hear your workout mix – any pair of headphones or the best wireless earbuds can do that.
The headphones on this list focus on durability and a good, secure fit, as the strenuous exercise of athletic activities can cause standard earbuds to fall out.
- Stay active with the best headphones for your run
- The best noise-canceling headphones to keep out distractions
- The best budget wireless earbuds on the market today
What are the best sports headphones?
Based on our testing, our pick of the best sports headphones for exercising is the Jabra Elite Active 75t. They offer amazing comfort and outperform most competitors in several key categories, including battery life, durability, sound, and special features. It is one of the few products that has achieved a perfect score with us.
iPhone owners have the luxury of choosing between the AirPods Pro (another perfect score pick), Beats Powerbeats Pro, and the Beats Powerbeats 4. All three models produce an impressive sound and are easy to pair with any Apple smartphone while having their own distinctive features. The AirPods Pro comes with active noise cancellation, while the Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 have longer battery life and are more suitable for intense workouts. Apple’s H1 chip also powers every device and opens the portal to many cool iOS tricks.
Budget-conscious exercisers who want quality performance at a low cost can look to the Amazfit Powerbuds, which somehow packed a heart rate sensor and a host of other features into a $70 set of wireless earbuds.
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The 10 Best Sports Pods and Headphones You Can Buy Today
1. Jabra Elite Active 85t
The best fully wireless sports earbuds
Speaker: 12 mm | Battery life (estimated): Up to 5.5 hours; 25 hours (with charging case) | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1 | Water repellent: Yes
The Elite Active 85t turns out, you can have it all. Jabra Elite 85t Wireless Earbuds have been engineered with the most cutting-edge technology for calls and music experience like never before.
Jabra somehow Features Jabra Advanced Active Noise Cancellation technology, you can adjust your level of ANC (to cancel noise you don’t want to hear), or adjust your level of HearThrough mode (to let in what you do) using the Jabra Sound app.
Even with its smaller shape, the Elite Active 85t offers great comfort and stability on the ear. Seriously, they didn’t move at all while we were training. You’ll also enjoy the same vibrant audio that comes with the Elite series, but this time the bass has been fine-tuned to deliver a rich, detailed sound.
You can also further customize the audio via the Jabra app. And to top it off, Jabra just released a free wireless ANC update, so now all Elite Active 85t (and Elite 75t) owners have active noise cancellation at their disposal to block out ambient noise while training in noisy environments.
- Loud, full sound
- Stay in place while running
- In-app audio customization
- Active en passive noise cancellation
- Can get extremely loud at maximum volume
2. Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds
The best wireless earbuds for iPhone owners
Size and weight: 5.59 x 5.59 cm, 19.85 grams | Battery life (estimated): 9 hours, 24 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth range: 30 meters | Water repellent: Yes
Add AppleCare+ to your order and receive accidental damage protection and 24/7 priority tech support from the people who know your headphones best. Features the Apple H1 headphone chip and Class 1 Bluetooth for extended range and fewer dropouts
Up to 9 hours of listening time (more than 24 hours with charging case).Adjustable, secure-fit ear hooks for lightweight comfort and stability. We also found that the Powerbeats Pro delivered well-balanced audio – no bass explosion here, as with other Beats products.
Reinforced design for sweat & water resistance during tough workouts or running. While we’re fans of the original lineup, the company’s new vibrantly colorful models (Glacier Blue, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Spring Yellow) are even better.
- Magically seamless installation, just like with AirPods
- Long battery life
- Balanced sound
- Comfortable, stable fit for running
- Comprehensive charging case
3. Apple AirPods Pro
The one and only workout-friendly AirPods
Size and weight : 6.1 x 4.3 x 2.3 cm, 250 grams | Battery life (estimated): 4.5 hours; 24 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth range: 10 meters | Water repellent: Yes
AirPods were never designed for exercise, but we still see them everywhere when we run outside. Well, Apple has finally made a version you can wear to train with: the AirPods Pro. The sweat and water resistance adds an extra layer of protection that the older models lacked. The included earplugs also make a big difference to comfort and sound quality, maintaining a secure, relaxed fit and improving quality by blocking out ambient noise.
The AirPods Pro welcomes the active noise cancellation feature and it is very good. You can muffle external noises around you, be it at the gym or on speed walks nearby. There’s even a transparency mode for outdoor runners to hear their surroundings more clearly without pausing their music. The improved controls, hands-free “Siri” feature, and cool updates like spatial audio to enjoy theatrical audio when Netflix shows air on the Peloton also make this one of the best sports headphones for iOS devices.
- Modern, functional design
- Geweldige active noise canceling
- Comprehensive, easy-to-use controls
- Comfortable semi-custom fit
- Battery life could be longer
4. Jaybird Vista
Completely wireless sports earbuds for runners
Size and weight: 2.3 x 1.8 x 2.3 cm, 5.67 grams | Battery life (estimated): 6 hours, 10 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth range : 10 meters | Water repellent: Yes
The Jaybird Vista is a great choice for sprinters who want dynamic sound and on-ear stability without the hassle of annoying cables. Beneath the durable, waterproof housing is powerful 6mm drivers that deliver bass to your workouts.
The fit can also be adjusted with Jaybird which bundles a variety of ear tips and fins for different ear shapes. They are good at passively blocking sound, but almost too much; it was hard to hear oncoming traffic when we were on our way to go for a run with music.
Battery life is decent at 6 hours on a full charge, although many of its rivals are rated higher. Soundproofing is also great. It’s a shame, though, that Jabra didn’t program these earbuds with a transparency mode to make listeners more aware of their surroundings.
The lack of this makes the Vista more practical for indoor training. At the moment you can score the Vista online for around €35, but only in the color Nimbus Gray. Runners who appreciate interesting designs should consider purchasing the all-new Planetary Green color.
- Well-balanced audio
- Companion app with various EQ settings
- Stable and sturdy design
- Super compact charging case
- Short battery life
5. Amazfit Powerbuds
Smart workout earplugs for under €85
Weight and size: 8.1 x 5 x 3.1 cm, 5.67 grams (per cap) | Battery life (estimated): 8 hours, 24 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth range: 10 meters | Water repellent: Yes
To call the Amazfit Powerbuds an impressive product would be an understatement. It’s remarkable to see just how much functionality there is in these earbuds, especially for under £85. They have a PPG heart rate sensor that collects biometric data, which can be stored in the companion app.
Also, the Zepp app has many fields for activity tracking (e.g. calories burned, BMI, step count) and personalized settings, from a customizable EQ with multiple presets to workout modes. Then there’s the generous playtime (8 hours) you get on a full charge, along with the bass response to keep the adrenaline high.
Comfort may be an issue for some users, as the earbuds are on the thick side and the sensor, which nestles against the ear for a stable fit, presses against the skin. It would also have been nice if the app had worked with more of the best running apps; Strava and Relive seem to be the only ones compatible at the moment. Still, it’s impossible to ignore the level of performance for such a low retail price.
- Bass-forward sound with adjustable EQ
- Long battery life
- A lot of features, including heart rate measurement
- Voluminous design that stands out
- The Amazfit app works with only a handful of other apps
6. Bose Sport Earbuds
The best sports earplugs from Bose
Size and weight: 1.8 x 2 x 0.5 cm, 5.67 grams | Battery life (estimated): 5 hours; 15 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth range: 10 meters | Water repellent: Yes
Bose’s latest release is a sportier version of the popular QuietComfort Earbuds, minus the listening modes and massive design. They are lighter and smaller and come with water-resistant protection (IPX4), it also has a variety of ear tips bundled for different ear shapes.
The bass is toned down compared to the SoundSport Free, which can be positive or negative, depending on your sound preference. However, music lovers will appreciate the powerful bass and beautiful details of these earbuds. Connectivity to Bluetooth 5.1 is also a highlight in the foreground; Pairing is easy and the wireless range is greater than advertised (12 meters).
Fitness enthusiasts who want to use the Sport Earbuds on a daily basis should keep their eyes on the battery level, as the earbuds and charging case don’t have the longest playing time. There aren’t many features to work within the Bose Connect app either.
- Clear, balanced sound
- Secure, personalized fit
- Bluetooth 5.1 Battery life lower than the competition
- No EQ or transparency mode
7. Powerbeats High-Performance Wireless Earbuds – Apple H1 Headphone Chip
Reasonably priced, high-quality running headphones
Size and weight: 5.6 cm long, 25.5 grams | Battery life (estimated): 15 hours | Bluetooth range: 30 meters | Water resistance: Yes
The Powerbeats 4 is practically identical to its wireless brother, minus one or two features, different colors and the wireless design. Does that make it inferior? Not really. These are still the best sports headphones in their class. They make the most of the H1 processor to provide iPhone users with great wireless performance across the board. Connectivity is instant with all major Apple products, plus the Beats app makes it easier to pair the earbuds with Android devices.
But what really makes the Powerbeats 4 a superior upgrade over the Powerbeats 3 is its sturdier design and improved sound and call quality. The improvement in the call quality is to be expected, as Beats uses the same drivers and beamforming microphones as the Powerbeats Pro. Comfort could be a little better and the thread gets annoying after a while, but all is forgiven when you consider it only costs around €125.
- Very good fit
- Impressive sound and call quality
- Best battery life on a single charge
- Interfering Wire
- Feels uncomfortable after a while
8. Adidas RPT-01
Durable on-ear sports headphones with impressive sound
Size and weight: 7.1 x 14.2 x 19.1 cm 215 grams | Battery life (estimated): 40 hours | Bluetooth range: 10 meters | Water repellent: Yes
Adidas isn’t a brand you think of when discussing sports headphones, but the RPT-01 has the design and features to pique your interest. These on-ear headphones feature the same durable design as the company’s running shoes, wrapped in a stylish, strong mesh fabric and with IPX4-rated water resistance.
You can even remove and wash the ear pads and inner headband. Sound quality is where the RPT-01 with Adidas shows its prowess launching a companion app with multiple EQ settings tuned to select music genres and it sounds great.
The controls are also inventive, from the multi-directional button that performs multiple commands (play, recall, power) to the action button that users can assign to summon the Siri/Google Assistant or Spotify.
While the ear pads feel soft on the ears, the headband is a bit aggressive and exerts more pressure than is necessary to stay on your head. We would also have liked Adidas to have included a carrying case with the purchase.
- Flexible and durable design
- Up to 40 hours of playtime
- Customizable Sound
- No carrying bag
- Feels uncomfortable after an hour of use
9. Jaybird Tarah Pro
Long battery life and a personalized audio profile
Size and weight: 49 x 1.8 x 2 cm (including cable), 19.8 grams | Battery life (estimated): 14 hours | Bluetooth range: 10 meters | Water repellent: Yes
The Tarah Pro looks just like Jaybird’s other Bluetooth sport earphones, but don’t be fooled. This is the set you want to hang around your neck during workouts. It offers a 14-hour battery life, which allows you to train for a week, go to work and call family and friends. We also love the intuitive power management, where the earphones automatically turn off after 15 minutes of inactivity. A custom audio profile setting in the Jaybird app tunes the sound so it’s perfectly in tune with your ears.
Build quality is the real highlight here as the Tarah Pro comes with an IPX7 rating making it waterproof and sweat resistant. The fabric cable is extremely strong and does not get damaged easily like the silicone cables on other models.
Our only complaints are the lack of a transparency mode and unexpected volume dropouts when switching playback on your mobile device to the external module. If around £110 still seems too expensive to you, then we highly recommend its more affordable sibling, the Jaybird Tarah (around £30), one of the best cheap headphones out there.
- Long battery life
- Can customize the audio profile
- Adjustable fit with fabric cord
- No setting to allow more ambient noise
10. Jabra Elite Active 65t
Wireless sports earbuds with amazing performance
Size and weight: 3 x 2.8 x 2.3 cm, 5.67 grams | Battery life (estimated): 5 hours; 15 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth range: 10 meters | Water repellent: Yes
The Elite Active 65t has set the standard for true wireless sports earbuds by combining advanced features and great sound in a compact, water-resistant package. And since it’s an older model, it still performs well in all major categories.
We’ve found that they stayed in place even during the most difficult exercises and resisted sweat well to prevent slipping. We also like how Jabra has managed to put an accelerometer in the earbuds for running track, meaning the Elite Active 65t can be used as an activity tracker for when your Fitbit stops working.
That they sound just as good as their successor, the Elite 75t Active, also proves their quality. You also get access to the Jabra Sound+ app to adjust audio and enable different modes such as HearThrough for ambient listening. With a great fit and 15 hours of battery life, you get superior performance at a great price.
- Fantastic sound
- 15 hours of battery life
- Accelerometer for running tracking
- The charging case is difficult to open
- ‘HearThrough’ cannot be disabled while tracking runs
How to choose the best sports headphones for yourself
The best sports headphones offer some form of water- or sweat-resistant protection. Some may say they are water and sweat-resistant and some are IP-certified. If you want to know you’re protected, look for headphones with at least an IPX4 rating (or higher).
You’ll also want to look at the design of the headphones and think about how you want to wear them while exercising. Not only should they be easy to wear, but they should also stay on your head without having to constantly readjust them.
For earplugs, look at the number of ear inserts and wings that come with the pair to give you the best fitting option. Some people may prefer over-ear or on-ear headphones as they tend to block out sound better, but some prefer earbuds for their snug fit and lightweight portability.
For wired headphones, make sure you have an inline remote so you can easily control your music without taking out your smartphone. Fully wireless fitness earbuds allow you to control your music with physical buttons or taps on the earbud instead of a remote. Some headphones are device-specific; make sure to get a pair that is fully compatible with Android and iOS.
If you’re considering wireless sports headphones, make sure they have the stamina you need. Some people need headphones with a battery life of only 6 to 8 hours to train for a week, while others may want a device with a longer lifespan to get through long runs, bike rides, and hikes.