Last updated: July 1, 2020

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Performing regular exercise is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and what better way to exercise than with great music to keep you motivated. Music is an ideal complement for exercise as it helps you enjoy the hard work of physical activities such as running or Crossfit. There are many people who also enjoy listening to their favorite podcasts while exercising. Whatever your choice of soundtrack is, having a good set of sports headphones is essential.

The range of sports headphones available today is comprehensive, with many different models on the market that are both inexpensive and high quality. It is possible to find sports headphones that are connected to the music source by a cable or via Bluetooth. No matter what your favorite sport or exercise routine is, we have created the complete guide to sports headphones so that you can find the perfect set.

Key Facts

  • One of the most important decisions that you will need to make when buying a set of sports headphones is what type of connectivity you want. There are headphones that are connected via a cable to the music source, usually a smartphone, while there are other sports headphones that are wireless and connect via Bluetooth. Those that are wireless avoid messy cables that many people find annoying whilst training.
  • Comfort is absolutely essential when playing sports or exercising. Your sports headphones should be comfortable for exercise so that you can enjoy your workout and not be obstructed by poorly designed products. It is critical that the headphones don’t fall out of your ear while you’re running or moving, or that they don’t bother you during your workout.
  • The battery life of the headphones you choose, if they are wireless, is also something that needs to be assessed carefully. It is important that the battery lasts long enough to complete your workout as running out of music in the middle of a training session is one of the most annoying experiences. A good battery also means not having to charge the headphones constantly. A quality battery will solve both these problems and will ensure you can enjoy your workout with great tunes.

Our Selection: The Best Sports Headphones on the U.S. Market

Whether you want a pair of sports headphones to avoid annoying external noises or to motivate you while you exercise, a quality product is essential. It is important that you choose a pair of headphones that are specific to sport, rather than those that are made for listening to music in other situations. To help you find the pair of sports headphones that are perfect for you, we’ve created a selection of the best sports headphones that are currently available on the market.

Highest Rated Sports Headphones

With high definition speakers, noise-canceling technology and interchangeable gel ear tips, the waterproof headphones from LETSCOM deliver unparalleled sound quality and deep bass directly to your ears. The high-quality polymer lithium battery delivers 8 hours of uninterrupted playback and with a built-in microphone, you can enjoy hands-free calling while completing your favorite workout.

Best In-Ear Sports Headphones

TOZO T10 Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earbuds are ergonomically designed with gel-flexible silicone earcaps to ensure these in-ear sports headphones fit comfortably in your ears. With Bluetooth 5.0 technology, your earbuds will always stay connected to your smartphone or MP3 player to ensure you never miss a song. These are the best in-ear sports headphones on the market because of their fantastic price and high customer rating.

Most Sold Sports Headphones

The Mpow waterproof headphones are ergonomically designed with an oblique angle to securely fit in your ear canal and reduce outside noise. With up to 9 hours of playtime and a super-fast charge time of only 1.5 hours, with these waterproof headphones, you can listen to all your favorite songs, for longer. The headphones feature an ergonomically designed ear hook to ensure they stay secured to your ears even when performing intense activities such as running or rock climbing.

Best Sports Headphones With an Ear-Hook

The Anker Soundbuds Curve Wireless Headphones are the ideal set of sports headphones for intense physical activity thanks to their ergonomically designed ear hook that always keeps the headphones securely in place. The Bluetooth earbuds are inexpensive and come with ear tips and ear hooks in various sizes to fit all different ear shapes.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Sports Headphones

Music has become an essential part of the exercise routine of many people. Whether you run, lift weights or frequently walk for exercise, your favorite songs will help you enjoy the time you are taking to keep in shape. To enjoy your favorite playlist or podcast, a good quality set of sports headphones is important. In the following section, we will answer the most common questions among consumers when it comes to purchasing a pair of sports headphones.

Sports Headphones-1

There are sports headphones that suit every need.
(Source: Dolgachov: 32337262/ 123rf.com)

What are sports headphones?

Everyone knows what headphones are, however, there are a few subtle differences when it comes to sports headphones. Headphones, in general, are a device that is inserted in or placed above the ear to allow you to listen to the audio played from another device. The benefit of headphones is that other people cannot hear what you are listening to and often the music quality is higher than if played via a speaker. However, not all headphones on the market are suitable for exercise. When we talk about sports headphones, we are referring to headphones that are designed specifically for sport.

Unlike traditional headphones, sports headphones are far more rugged. The material from which they are made ensures they are able to withstand splashes of water or sweat without being damaged. They are also generally more dust or sand resistant. In addition, sports headphones allow greater mobility than normal headphones and stay fixed in your ear far more securely.

Sports Headphones-2

Listening to music when you exercise keeps you focused.
(Source: Dean Drobot: 117379314/ 123rf.com)

In general, sports headphones are designed to stay well fixed inside or over the ear even during the most intense physical activity. There is nothing more annoying than a pair of headphones that continually fall out while you are exercising. Just as you have special clothes or shoes to exercise, it is also essential to have specific headphones for your workout.

What types of sports headphones are there?

The range of sports headphones available on the market today varies considerably. Generally, it depends on how the headphones are placed on the ear to differentiate between each type. There are three main types when it comes to the placement on the ear; in-ear, which are those placed inside the ear, on-ear, which are placed on the outside of the ear, i.e. on top of it, and over-ear, headphones that completely cover the ear.

The headphones that completely cover more of the ear tend to be bulkier and, therefore, less practical for exercise. You should also not forget about the different connectivity options when it comes to headphones. There are wireless headphones, which work with Bluetooth technology and there are models that use a cable to connect to the music source.

Finally, there are also sports headphones that feature a type of hook for a better grip of the ear. The hook, used by in-ear sports headphones, keeps the earpiece securely fastened to your ear and is less likely to fall out during exercise. There are also waterproof headphones designed for aquatic sports such as swimming.

If I want… I must buy…
Greater freedom of movement Bluetooth sports headphones
To not have battery issues Wired sports headphones
Swim with my headphones Waterproof sports headphones.
Exercise without my smartphone Sports headphones that have an inbuilt MP3 player

What are sports headphones with noise cancellation?

Noise cancellation, as the name implies, is a feature in some headphones that reduces or completely cuts out external sounds. It may be that the environment in which you exercise is so noisy that you need to eliminate those annoying sounds in order to enjoy your workout. There are two noise-canceling systems available: active and passive.

Passive noise cancellation is achieved by the design of the headphones. Thanks to the design and the use of insulating materials, external sounds are physically blocked from entering the ear canal. Passive noise-canceling headphones are very simple and sometimes they do not accomplish the task completely. Often this type of noise cancellation reduces the noise but does not completely cut it out.

DrakeMusician

“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.”

An active noise cancellation system uses a tiny microphone on the outside of the headphones that picks up the external sound and then blocks these sounds by sending an opposite wave signal into your ear. These types of headphones are perfect for exercising in the gym when you don’t want to listen to gym music or irritating conversations between others. However, keep in mind that it can be dangerous to run down the street when using noise-canceling headphones, as they prevent you from hearing cars or other dangers.

What devices are sports headphones compatible with?

The compatibility between sports headphones and different devices depends on how they are connected to the device. As previously explained, there are two main connectivity options: via a cable or via Bluetooth. Bluetooth headsets are compatible with all devices with this technology. Simply connect them to the device you want to use.

Wired headphones, in principle, are also compatible with almost all devices. The most common system used by wired headphones is a 3.5 mm mini-jack. This is also the most common connection between smartphones and audio players.

Sports Headphones-3

It is recommended to choose headphones that are comfortable.
(Source: Soler: 11982212/ 123rf.com)

However, the latest iPhone models that were recently launched on the market no longer have this connection. Therefore, if you have an Apple iPhone, you should double-check that the headphones you buy are compatible with your cellphone. Otherwise, you will need to purchase a separate adapter to connect your sports headphones to your iPhone.

Are all sports headphones waterproof?

The design of modern sports headphones makes virtually all models water-resistant but not necessarily waterproof. You have to be careful with this feature as there is nothing worse than ruining your headphones because you didn’t read the specifications carefully enough. Usually, sports headphones are resistant to splashes, whether from water, rain or sweat.

If you are looking to enjoy your music underwater, you should look for a specific waterproof model. There are sports headphones that are specially designed for swimming or to be used in the shower. Take a look at our complete guide to waterproof headphones here.

Shopping Criteria

Exercising and listening to music are two activities that combine perfectly. As important as it is to have the right footwear to workout, it is equally important to have good quality sports headphones. To purchase a pair of headphones that suit you perfectly, there are a few factors to consider. Below we explain the most important aspects to consider to make a successful purchase.

Use

Knowing what you will use your sports headphones for is very important for choosing the most suitable pair. This will generally depend on the type of exercise you do and how frequently. If the type of exercise you perform is intensive, you’ll need headphones with good support. Those headphones with a hook around the ear will help them stay fixed to your ear and prevent them from slipping out.

If you practice a more static exercise, such as in a gym, in-ear headphones may be what you’re looking for. Headphones without a headband over the top of your head will provide you with a more comfortable solution. If you need greater mobility, you should look for a model with Bluetooth connectivity.

Sports Headphones-4

There are some sports headphones that are waterproof.
(Source: Maridav: 53759189/ 123rf.com)

Battery

Battery life is an important factor when choosing a pair of sports headphones. It’s extremely annoying to run out of battery right in the middle of a training session as it is equally annoying to have to charge them every day because their battery life is so poor.

The battery life of wireless sports headphones is usually between 5 and 12 hours. There are some models on the market that have a longer battery life, but they are less common. Those with a shorter battery life can be impractical and will eventually become annoying to use.

Design

Leaving colors or look aside, it is important that the design of your sports headphones is suited to your needs. It is essential that the headphones are comfortable, otherwise, they will hinder your training. In general, the design of the headphones comes back to the type of exercise you will be doing. Small earbuds designed for long-distance running won’t be very suitable for the gym and over-ear noise-canceling headphones would not be suitable for swimming laps in the pool.

Connectivity

As you have read earlier, there are two types of sports headphones, wired and wireless. The wired headphones almost always use a mini-jack connector. Most cellphones and music players incorporate this connection so there are no problems there. However, the newer Apple iPhones no longer use the 3.5mm mini-jack connection and therefore cannot use wired headphones without an adapter.

Wireless headphones utilize Bluetooth connectivity. Almost every smartphone or MP3 player has this technology, so they will be compatible with the wireless headphones you purchase. Bluetooth headphones are ideal for exercise as they allow you to be free of cables that often get in the way.

Microphone

Purchasing a set of sports headphones with an inbuilt microphone is a personal decision. Many sports headphones incorporate one into their design so you can use them as a handsfree way of taking phone calls. Many people prefer to ignore all calls during training and as such prefer to purchase a pair without a microphone, to not be tempted. Others, however, choose to use their workout time of day to make important calls.

Summary

Sports headphones are an essential accessory for every athlete, professional or amateur. It doesn’t matter what sport you practice, with a pair of good quality sports headphones you can take your music with you anywhere.

There are a few decisions that have to be made when choosing a model to best suit your needs. The first and most important decision to make is whether you want them to be wireless or wired. A Bluetooth headset will give you more freedom of movement whilst exercising. However, wired headphones guarantee that you’ll never run out of battery halfway through a workout. If you opt for a wireless model, keep the battery life of the headphones in mind as there is nothing more annoying than running out of power midway through your workout.

Now that you have found the perfect sports headphones, you can run, train and stay in shape. If this guide helped you make a decision, please share it on your social networks as your friends may find it useful too!

(Source of Featured Image: Maksym Chornii: 41263832/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Brett Holmes Technology Geek
Brett is a keen observer of the latest technology trends and knows his way around the industry because he runs an electronics store. He writes about it in his spare time and wants to help others learn more about the technology industry.