The 8 Best Workout Headphones for 2022 — Best Workout Earbuds – Popular Mechanics
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Buds you can rely on to keep pumping as long as you.
There’s nothing like great music or an engrossing audiobook to keep you motivated to move during a workout, though not all wireless headphones cut it when you’re in constant motion and teeming with sweat. If you’re a serious fitness enthusiast, it’s essential to invest in workout headphones designed for high performance to keep pace with you during your most intense runs, HIIT classes, and rides. Water resistance and an excellent fit are a must, and things like active noise-cancelling and good battery life will help to stay focused and in the zone.
But with so many headphones on market, it can be tough to figure out which ones have the right combination of features to be workout-ready—which is why we rounded up the best workout headphones available for your consideration. Read on for our top picks, plus advice on everything you need to know before buying.
Finding the ideal set of workout headphones for you is a highly personal decision, depending on your budget and the workouts you typically do. Keep the following in mind, and you’ll be much more likely to land on the perfect pair.
Type: Some people will never feel comfortable heading out on a run with just earbuds in, while others couldn’t imagine dragging over-ear headphones everywhere with them. We feature earbuds, classic headphones, and others with ear hooks or neckbands.
Water-resistance: All the workout headphones we write about are water-resistant to varying degrees. An IP rating grades how resistant gear and devices (among other electric and electronic equipment) are to liquid and dust. We provide the IP rating for every pair covered below.
Battery Life: It’s important to read the fine-print when looking at the battery life of any wireless headphones. Some brands advertise up to 50 hours of listening time, for example, but that can drop down to 6 hours per charge minus the wireless charging case and features like active noise-cancellation turned on.
ANC: Several of our headphones include active noise-cancellation (ANC). This allows you to surround yourself with your music or podcasts, and block out distracting background noise. The feature can be turned off for safety purposes as needed.
Our selection includes workout headphones from top brands including Apple, Beats, Shokz, Bose, and other, all with average customer ratings of 4 stars or more. We carefully reviewed a slew of options, read through dozens of professional reviews, along with countless consumer comments to get an overall sense of performance. We feature options in a range of styles, from earbuds to over-ear headphones to models with neckbands and ear hooks, across multiple price points.
For more workout gear and equipment, check out our stories on the best adjustable dumbbells, the best yoga mats, and the best GPS fitness trackers.
These flexible secure-fit wingtip earbuds will stay put in your ears during intense workouts. They’re sweatproof and water-resistant, with an IPX4 rating, and are powered by Apple’s H1 chip. Top features include immersive sound and great call quality, active noise-canceling, and transparency mode, plus they’re compatible with IOS and android devices. They deliver 6 hours of listening time with ANC turned on, and up to 24 hours inside the wireless charging case.
The package includes earbuds, the charging case, three sets of eartips for a custom fit, and a USB-C charging cable. They’re also available in four color options.
Along with several other top-notch features, AirPods Pro are the only generation of pods that are water- and sweat-resistant with an IPX4 rating. They also feature active noise-cancelling, transparency mode, and an adaptive equalizer, plus they come with three sizes of tapered silicone tips to help customize fit.
Other highlights include immersive audio and more than 24 hours of listening time inside the MagSafe case, though only 4.5 of listening time per charge. However, thanks to their H1 chip, a quick 5-minute charge will give you an hour’s worth of tunes.
Plenty of people prefer cans over buds, but finding workout headphones that are water-resistant is no easy task. Trelab’s Z2s are one of the few out there that fits the bill, with a IPX4 rating that delivers a degree of protection against damage from perspiration.
The headphones also have ANC, up to 35 hours of playtime, and a signal range of 33 feet, plus they come with a carrying case and 1-year warranty. While the lineup of features for these on-ear workout headphones are tough to beat, the tradeoff is that they’re on the heavy side, at 8.5 ounces.
This pair of workout headphones are great choice for dependable buds on a budget. They’re water-resistant with an IPX5 rating and the front digital LED display lets you know at a glance how much power is left for both the earbuds and wireless charging case.
The ergonomically designed workout headphones offer up to 6 hours of listening time per charge, along with quick-charging thanks to the included USB-C cable. They come with three sets of eartips in a range of sizes, and the immersive stereo sound quality is impressive—especially at this price point—though they lack active noise-cancellation.
The JLab Epic Air Sport earbuds offer incredible bang for the buck. For starters, they’re water-resistant and sweat-proof with an IP66 rating, and offer more than 10 hours of playtime on a single charge and an additional 55-plus hours with the charging case. You can choose any wireless charging pad to juice them up, or via their USB-A charging port.
In addition to active noise-cancelling, there’s also a low-latency “movie mode” that reduces audio lag and a sensor that automatically switches off sound when you pop the earbuds out.
The package comes with an impressive six sets of eartips for a custom fit. One drawback, but perhaps not a dealbreaker at this price point, is that there’s no quick-charge feature.
The OpenRun bone-conduction workout headphones from Shokz (formerly AfterShokz) are great if you love to cycle or run trails, and don’t feel secure with earbuds. The patented open-ear design delivers an immersive audio experience and the headphones feature intuitive controls and voice assistant. They’re also considerably lightweight, at about 1 ounce.
With an IP67 rating, the headphones are sweat-proof and even stand up in the rain. They don’t have active noise-cancelling, but they offer up a decent 8 hours of music and calls per charge, plus a 10-minute quick-charge buys you and hour and a half of juice. There’s a package of reflective strips included with each set, a nice extra for safety if you run or bike on busy roads.
The Powerbeats Pro wireless earbuds are known for pumping out awesome sound, plus they offer an impressive 9 hours of listening time per charge and up to 24 hours with the charging case. They also feature a 5-minute quick charge that add 1.5 hours of playback time if the battery is low.
Powered by Apple’s H1 chip, the water-resistant workout headphones are designed for high performance, with ear hooks for a comfortable, secure fit, and are considerably lightweight at less than 1 ounce.
The caveat is that the case doesn’t support wireless charging, which is a real drawback at this price point, and there’s no active noise-cancellation. However, the workout headphones are still a fan favorite, with an average 4.6 stars from more than 75,000 customers.
If you’re a fan of the Bose QuietComfort noise-cancelling headphones, the brand’s Sport Earbuds are a great option for working out. They’re water-resistant with an IPX4 rating, and comes with three sizes of eartips for a customized fit.
Like their over-ear cousins, call quality is excellent, with a microphone designed to block surrounding noise and isolate your voice. They’re also a cinch to use, with intuitive touch controls rather than buttons.