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The best headphones for working out: Bose and Apple aren't your only options

With a good pair of headphones, working out can sometimes feel like a breeze. That's why we collected the best headphones for working out so we can all work out efficiently while burning off those calories.
Written by Josh Slate, Contributor on

Sometimes, the hardest battle you have to face while working out is keeping your earbuds from falling out of your ears. Fortunately, as tech has improved, the design of these small earpieces makes it a lot easier to enjoy your workout without the constant worry that your music will stop playing.

But, while more companies have been able to produce incredible wireless earbuds or headphones, few have mastered the art of the design. That being said, it's hard to tell what you're going to get until you try them on.

With the perfect pair of headphones for your workouts being difficult to find, we did the hard work for you. Here are the five best headphones for working out.

Also: The 14 best AirPods deals happening right now: AirPods Pro and Max on sale

Pros & Cons
  • 6 microphones for crystal-clear calls
  • Ability to connect to two devices simultaneously
  • Available in an assortment of colors
  • Doesn't have a "winged" design for extra stability
  • ANC could use improvement
More Details

Specs: Earbud weight: 0.2 ounce | Battery life: 8.5 hours | Bluetooth version: 5.2 | Waterproof: IP57 | Noise cancellation: Active noise cancellation

When it comes to working out, having music to keep you moving is almost essential. These Jabra Elite 7 Active headphones provide the high-energy tunes you need at a price that makes you look twice. 

With over eight hours of battery life as well as active noise cancellation that these headphones provide, you can listen all day without dealing with those outside distractions. Though they have a small size and below-average price tag, the exquisite design featuring Jabra ShakeGrip technology keeps these earbuds fit in your ear no matter how hard you work out.

Lastly, with all the amazing features these headphones provide, sometimes the impressive sound quality can be ignored. 6mm speakers in each ear along with a fully personalized experience on the Jabra Sound+ app make for a rich, powerful music experience no matter where you listen to your favorite songs. 

Pros & Cons
  • Wire running behind the neck can be annoying
  • Both the microphone and the speaker have noise cancellation
  • Heavier because both earbuds are attached around head
  • Bone conduction headphones aren't for everyone
More Details

Specs: Weight: 1.02 ounces | Battery life: 10 hours | Bluetooth version: 5.1 | Waterproof: IP55 | Noise cancellation: Dual noise cancellation

When it comes to earbuds, I personally struggle with finding the right fit in my ear. But, with bone conduction headphones becoming more popular in the headphone market, that search for the perfect-fitting bud could be over. While these Shokz OpenRun Pro earbuds aren't the cheapest pair of headphones, their 9th-generation of bone conduction technology provides their, "best listening experience with clear sound, powerful volume, and a rich bass."

The sound quality on these headphones is powered by Shokz' TurboPitch technology and a battery that can last up to ten hours on a single charge. Within each earbud are two bass enhancers to allow you to fully immerse yourself in the music while you focus on your workout. 

With no physical earbud in your ear, you're able to hear the outside world when you're running through your city streets or biking down your favorite paths. Though these headphones don't fit inside the ear, a titanium frame runs around the back of your head to ensure your headphones don't move while your body does.

Pros & Cons
  • Small size makes them comfortable in ear
  • JBL app allows for personalized experience
  • Not super affordable
More Details

Specs: Weight: N/A | Battery life: 8 hours | Bluetooth version: 5.0 | Waterproof: IP68 | Noise cancellation: Adaptive noise cancellation

JBL is one of the few companies that has an app to fully customize your listening experience. Not only can you use the app to figure out which tip fits best in your ear on the earbud, but you can also customize the buttons on your physical earbud to change the volume, engage with your voice assistant, or pause and play your music.

When constructing this earbud, JBL considered that people have more going on in life than just working out. That being said, with 6 microphones on the pair of earbuds, you will be able to talk on the phone with crystal-clear quality even with a lot of background noise or wind. In addition to the clear phone calls going out, the sound going into your ears is even better. JBL utilizes 6.8mm dynamic drivers to make sure you have top-notch sound no matter where you are.

Pros & Cons
  • Comfortable fit in-ear
  • Active noise cancellation is phenomenal
  • Features dynamic head-tracking
  • Battery life isn't as great as competition
  • Most expensive on this list
More Details

Specs: Weight:  0.18 ounce | Battery life: 6 hours | Bluetooth version: 5.3 | Waterproof: IPX4 | Noise cancellation: Active noise cancellation

AirPods are no doubt the most popular pair of wireless headphones today -- but why? The answer is simple. Their noise cancellation capabilities and their comfortable fit. Apple has completely transformed the design of these powerful headphones throughout the years. Coming from being shaped like the original wired ones, to now featuring a smaller, comfier design with these AirPods Pro, the improvement is noticeable and much appreciated.

As someone with AirPods Pro, I highly recommend these headphones. With two times the amount of active noise cancellation as the first generation of the AirPods Pro, there is no need to worry about external noise getting in your way. But, even with the active noise cancelling in these AirPods Pro, the battery last 6 hours on a single charge and up to 30 hours of battery life with the charging case.

Finally, these headphones are fully customizable when it comes to the fit with various tips included in the box so there will be a perfect size just for you. 

Pros & Cons
  • Impressive battery life
  • Affordable price
  • No noise cancellation
More Details

Specs: Weight: N/A | Battery life: 10 hours | Bluetooth version: 5.2 | Waterproof: IP55 | Noise cancellation: N/A

Headphones continue to become smarter and these Skullcandy Push Active headphones are a perfect example of that. Using the Skullcandy app, users are able to push new features and update their earbuds with just a quick touch. Additionally, when you say "Hey Skullcandy," a voice control assistant will listen so you can skip to your favorite song or call your loved ones without using your phone.

When working out, you don't have time to wait for your headphones to charge in the midst of your set. Thankfully, these Skullcandy Push Active headphones allow for 10 hours of listening before the need to charge. But with the charging case, you can get up to 44 hours of total battery life on a single charge.

Though these wireless earbuds don't feature noise cancellation, they are still perfect for the typical gym rat or the neighborhood walker. At such a low price and incredible features through the app, I recommended giving these a try.

What are the best workout headphones?

The Jabra Elite 7 Active headphones are our clear pick for the best headphones for working out. But, here's how the other headphones included in this list stack up against the top-rated pair.



Battery life

Waterproof rating

Jabra Elite 7 Active


8.5 hours


Shokz OpenRun Pro


10 hours


JBL Reflect Flow Pro+


8 hours


Apple Airpods Pro 2


6 hours


Skullcandy Push Active


10 hours


Which headphones for working out are right for you?

At the end of the day, the specs speak for themselves. But, each person is going to prefer something different, especially when it comes to headphones. That being said, with all the different preferences in the world, consider this table before making your next headphone purchase.

Choose these headphones for working out…

If you want…

Jabra Elite 7 Active

The best headphones for working out overall

Shokz OpenRun Pro

Headphones that use bone conduction technology

JBL Reflect Flow Pro+

Workout headphones built with a small size for maximum comfort

Apple Airpods Pro 2

To block out the background noise with incredible noise cancellation

Skullcandy Push Active

A pair of comfortable headphones that won't break the bank

How did we choose these headphones for working out?

These headphones were chosen based on an array of factors including:

  • Fit: From multiple ear tips to extra-soft materials, there are several ways to make your workout and running headphones more comfortable while you exercise.
  • Waterproof capabilities: The waterproof rating for your workout headphones is important in case you find yourself caught in a sudden downpour or in the middle of an especially vigorous workout. Some charging cases even include waterproofing. 
  • Sound quality: After all, what good are your headphones if you cannot hear your audio? Some headphones feature better technology than others to offer improved sound and call quality.
  • Special features: Spatial awareness can be improved with bone conduction, while active noise cancellation can help drown out the outside world so you can get lost in your workout. Whatever you prefer, consider which audio features are available for your next workout and running headphones. 
  • Price: The price for your headphones can vary significantly, with our top picks running in cost from $50 to $250. Your budget may determine which workout and running headphones are available to you. 

Is it better to work out with headphones or earbuds?

Personally, I like to wear earbuds when working out because there is no padding around the ear to absorb sweat. But, if you want the highest quality sound and don't sweat too much, you can't go wrong with a nice pair of headphones.

Are bone conduction headphones good for working out?

Depending on what workouts you do and what fits you best, bone conduction headphones could be an excellent purchase. If you want a pair of earbuds that don't physically go inside the ear, bone conduction headphones are for you. But, if you want limited background noise and high-quality sound when working out, you should stay with the typical in-ear headphones.

Are there alternative headphones worth considering?

There are many other types of headphones available for running and workouts. Here are three additional headphones to consider before buying your next pair of earbuds.

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