Whether your most important factor is fit, apps, or sweatproofing, we’ve gathered the best options for workout headphones.
All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.
BEST DEALS ON HEADPHONES:
The only thing more important to runners than their sneakers is a quality pair of headphones and a killer playlist. Running without music is like some form of medieval torture: it sucks. And cheap, crappy headphones just aren’t going to cut it.
When shopping for a quality pair of headphones to wear while running, you’ll want to look at a few key factors: Are they sweatproof/waterproof? Will they stay in your ears? Are the volume controls easily accessible? If you answer no to any of these questions, then you know the headphones aren’t going to work.
Out top choice for running headphones are the Bose SoundSport Pulse wireless headphones, which pair easily with your phone via Bluetooth, have comfy ear tips to keep them in place while you run, and are compatible with running apps like like MapMyRun, RunKeeper, Endomondo, and Runtastic. These headphones will even help you track your heart rate while you work out.
When it comes to wired headphones, we’re partial to the Bose SoundSports as well. Bose has been in the game for a long time, and their well-made headphones are worth the money — plus they have great audio. There’s a reason they’re at the top of our list. If you’re not looking to spend a lot of money though, our budget-friendly pick are the JBL Endurance RUN headphones, which will only set you back $20. (If you seriously want a deal, peep our list come Black Friday, when we’ll be rounding up all the best deals.)
Of course, there are plenty more headphones available for runners, whether you’re training for a marathon or just looking to take a jog around the block. From those that are sweatproof and have fitness tracking capabilities, to headphones with wires, earbud-style pairs, and everything in between, these are some of the best headphones available on Amazon right now.
Best wireless earbuds
Maybe you don’t want to deal with a long wire when running or want features that can track your progress while you hit the pavement. Wireless earbuds may be the best choice for you. These are also a great choice if you carry your smartphone in a waist pack, making it difficult to find a cord that will reach. There are plenty of options available that use a link cable for the earphones only or are completely wireless and have features like fitness tracking or voice controls. Whatever you’re looking for, these earbuds are all excellent for runners.
Built-in mic • Bose Connect app functions • Bluetooth or NFC connectivity • Tracks heart rate and pairs with workout apps
If you’re into great sound quality and tracking your workouts and heart rate, these could be the headphones for you.
Any runner knows that tracking your runs is essential. Data or it didn’t happen, right? While sound quality and flexibility are always good features, a great pair of headphones will do more than that. Available in aqua, black, blue, red, and white, the Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless
are excellent earbuds for runners. They have the features you’d expect at that price point, including Bose Connect app functions, Bluetooth or NFC connectivity, and a built-in mic. On top of that, the Pulse can track heart rate, which can help you pace yourself during a long training run or on race day. You’ll also be able to pair up the Pulse with workout apps like Endomondo or MapMyRun to further keep track of your runs. Amazon user Ray
was one of the people praising the SoundSport Pulse for their sound and workout features in their review, saying:
“Without a doubt, these are the best earbud-style headphones I have ever heard. From the moment I started testing them, I was extremely impressed with their clarity, dynamic range, “presence,” and, yes, even comfort. Most earbuds I have used over the years require a few days of use before they start to “break in” (and, yes, I know there is controversy about this issue, but I have experienced it myself on multiple brands of headphones at all price levels), but these sounded wonderful right from the first moment of play.”
Cord can wrap around either front or back • Features ambient noise reduction • Has companion app • Works with voice assistants
Not the cheapest, but not the priciest either
If you’re looking for some solid wireless earbuds that pair well with voice assistants, these might be the ones you want.
2. Jabra Elite 45e
The Elite 45e headphones are an example of quality at an affordable price.
Jabra has been making a name for itself in the headphones world, offering more affordable options that can compete with some of the bigger companies like Sony and Bose. Thankfully, affordable doesn’t mean low quality, especially with wireless earbuds. The Elite 45e
headphones are an example of that quality at an affordable price. These headphones have a cord that wraps around the front or back of the neck to create a secure fit, which is especially helpful when running. They have ambient noise reduction to keep distracting sounds at a minimum so you can focus on your music rather than what’s going on around you. This is especially helpful for treadmill runners who are forced to contend with annoying chit chat at the gym. The companion Jabra+ app allows you to adjust the audio to fit your needs, plus these headphones are compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. The battery should last you up to eight hours on a single charge, which is plenty of time for knocking out that Saturday morning 10-miler. Alison Hudson
gave the Jabra Elite 45e a five star review on Amazon, saying:
“These earbuds are really nicely made. The outer earpiece, with its ear-fitting curvature, take a little getting used to, but they work to keep the bud where it’s supposed to be. Bluetooth connection has worked fine for me, with no issues to speak of. Audio quality is good, and the earbuds keep the sound inside (and other noises out).”
Truly wireless • App tracks them if they get lost • Can be recharged while being used
If you’re looking for truly wireless earbuds with great sound and loss prevention features, these might be the ones.
3. Bose SoundSport Free Wireless
These truly wireless ear buds can charge while you’re using them, and the app can help you locate them in the event that they fall out.
If you get super sweaty when you run — no matter what the distance is — then these truly wireless headphones are a great option. The Bose SoundSport Free
are some of the best earbuds available. These will provide more freedom of movement since there’s absolutely no cable, while secure ear tips will keep the buds in place. And if you’re concerned that these earbuds will be easier to lose since there is no connective cable, fear not. The Bose Connect app can track lost earbuds with the “Find My Buds” feature. And if you start running low on battery, put them in the charge case for a quick recharge mid run, without ever having to break stride.
Amazon user Brian
is one of many very pleased with the SoundSport Free in his review, saying:
“Sound quality is excellent. Plenty of bass, but doesn’t overpower the rest of the notes. Also very easy to use.”
Best wired earbuds
Wired headphones are the more classic choice, and perhaps the most versatile since you can pack them with you while you travel and use them just as easily while running through a new city as you can on a plane, plugged into the in-flight entertainment. Wired earphones lean into simplicity rather than offering a crazy amount of features. So if you’re looking for an option without all the bells and whistles, wired earbuds could be the way to go. Plus, since most of these are priced more moderately, you won’t feel bad when you inevitably lose them.
Very affordable • Magnets keep the headphones from tangling
Sound quality may not be as high as higher-end models • No app
A magnet helps you keep these very affordable and highly-rated wired headphones from tangling.
4. JBL Endurance RUN
These are the kind of headphones you buy in multiples so you don’t have to fret once you’ve inevitably lost a pair.
As reliable as wired headphones can be, dealing with the wire can still be annoying. We hate it when the wires flop around during a run or get tangled in our gym bag. But if you find the right set, that could be avoided without having to go wireless. If that’s what you’re looking for, JBL has the headset you’re looking for in the Endurance RUN
. The key difference is that the earbuds are magnetic, so you can keep them connected while in transport. Priced at less than $20, these are a no nonsense pair of headphones that have great sound and a very modest price. These are the kind of headphones you buy in multiples so you don’t have to fret once you’ve inevitably lost a pair. Don S.
rated the Endurance RUN at five stars on Amazon and said:
“I use JBL products often in my professional live sound work so I tried these out and they are the level of quality I expect from JBL.”
Earhook feature keeps headphones secure • Sweatproof • Very affordable
No fancy app or tracking
If you’re looking to really save money, these are a great super cheap option.
If you’re are looking for pure simplicity, the ROVKING Sport Headphones
are the ones to get. These are simple headphones that deliver good sound quality for the price, but won’t blow the doors off by any means. The appeal of these earbuds is, aside from price, the secure design. This style of headphones includes earhooks that can hold the earbuds in place, which is probably the most important thing for runners. These are also sweatproof, which means they’ll keep working even when they get drenched. Jennifer Kittrell
is among the 63% of Amazon users who rated the ROVKING at five stars, highlighting the earhook design. Here is an excerpt from their review:
“What blew me away was the ear phone fit and the sound. I must have oddly shaped ears because I can never get ear buds to fit comfortably or stay in–and when I do, they actually hurt. Having this over-the-ear feature was wonderful and the padded part fits completely in my ears very comfortably.”
Affordable • Offers a variety of fit options • Waterproof
If you struggle to find a good fit, and need something waterproof, these headphones could solve those problems.
6. Sony MDRXB510AS/B
These Sony earbuds offer multiple sets of covers and hooks to hold the earbuds securely in place.
Flexibility is a big part of any runner’s life, and the same should be applied to headphones. The out-of-box version may not always fit or be comfortable in the ear, so its important there’s a means to wear them properly. That is where the Sony MDRXB510AS/B
comes into play. Compared to the other wired headsets here, the Sony earbuds offer multiple sets of covers and hooks to hold the earbuds securely in place so you can find a set that both fits comfortably and will stay in during a long run. These are all waterproof as well, so you know they will be able to handle the elements. Keeping your feet dry while you run is another story. Warren Harris
praised the earbuds on Amazon, saying:
“Very comfortable and the sound is exceptional. These are a LOT better than my much more expensive Bose earbuds – and LOUDER. Excellent design and sound!”
Highly-rated sound quality • Affordable for Bose headphones • Easy access to volume controls
Still a bit pricey
If you want Bose sound but don’t want to spend a ton, these could be the ones for you.
7. Bose SoundSport
Bose SoundSport are a great set of headphones to buy when the clarity of audio really matters to you.
The Bose SoundSport
are a great set of headphones to buy when the clarity of audio really matters to you. This wired pair includes quick access to volume controls, making it easy to adjust your music while you run. Bose is arguably the biggest company today in the realm of headphones with offerings at every scale. The audio quality of the SoundSport headphones is thanks, in part, to the Triport technology: built in vents that help give a boost to the bass, thus offering a much fuller sound. Gabe
on Amazon praised the Bose SoundSport in their review, saying:
“The Bose headphones fit snugly, securely, and comfortably in my ears throughout my runs. Additionally, they provide pretty good sound quality given the fact the speakers are small.”
Best wireless over-ear headphones for runners
While a little more limited, there are still over-ear headphones that can work for runners. Whether earbuds bother your ears or you want more noise canceling capabilities while running, these headphones can definitely fill that space.
Great for those who prefer over-ear headphones • Highly-rated sound and comfort • Affordable
If you don’t like over-ear headphones, don’t buy these
If your preference is over-ear but you still like to run/workout, these are a great option.
We know what you’re thinking: Over-ear headphones for running can be tricky to find. You want to look for a pair that won’t wear down because of heavy usage and sweating, and that will also stay put while you’re on the move. Thanks to Levin, there’s a headset that fits these requirements. The Levin Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Headphones
deliver an affordable and reliable option for anyone who prefers over-ear headphones. The earphones wrap around the back of the neck and have ear hook so they sit securely. That also alleviates some pressure on the ears since you don’t have to put earbuds into the ear, which could be an uncomfortable option for some people. Chris Purcell
gave a positive review of the Levin headphones on Amazon, saying:
“The headphones sound great and have phenomenal battery life. I highly recommend this product, especially if you plan to use these to workout, or have problems with in-ear headphones.”