10 Best Exercise Headphones in 2020

Listening to music is one of the best ways to motivate yourself and get that little bit extra out of your workout. Whether you're a gym fiend chasing that endorphin high, or a couch potato trying shed some holiday weight, having a good set of workout headphones can help you focus.

Making sure you find the right headphones is essential, as there's nothing more infuriating than a pair of earbuds that keep falling out. You need some headphones that can keep up with you and sound out every beat of your music with perfect clarity.

We've taken a look at some of the best wireless headphones available so you can find the right pair for you. Be sure to check out our buyer's guide for more information about IP ratings and how to know if your headphones can withstand your fierce workout, whatever their price.

1.Mpow Flame

Mpow Flame

If you’re more of a cardio workout type, then the Mpow Flame headphones could be the best for you. Most workout headphones come with some form of ear hook to stop them from falling out, but the Mpow is one of the best adjustable and tight-fitting sets available with its ergonomic design. Its memory foam ear tips rest entirely into your ears, so you get the best-isolated sound from the HD Richer Bass. It features the latest CVC 6.0 noise-canceling microphone, so you can take calls seamlessly while you run, lift, or chase chickens Rocky II style.

The battery life clocks in at 7-9 hours, meaning you get a full week of workouts from a two hour charging time. It also comes with an IPX7 waterproof rating and nano-coating sweat-proof protection.

Pros:
+ IOS display shows the remaining battery life on your connected device.
+ Adjustable ear hooks and wire clamp for the tightest hold.
+ Excellent sound quality for music and calls.

Why We Liked It - The ergonomic design means these are some of the best headphones for running or exercising in general, as they won't fall out. Pair that with the excellent sound quality, and you might have a winner with these wireless earphones.

2. Anker Soundbuds Curve

Anker Soundbuds Curve

These wireless buds have the best battery life on our list. Just a 10-minute charge can provide up to three hours of playtime, but a full charge will keep them going for an incredible 18 hours.

The IPX7 waterproof rating makes them ideal if you’re taking long hiking trips, or battling against the elements. They're also perfect if you’re someone who always forgets to charge their headphones.

The Anker Soundbuds Curve features a 5.0 Bluetooth capability, which ensures you never lose sound connection from your paired device, even on low battery. These headphones come with a range of hook and bud sizes. The lightweight design of just 0.8 ounces makes for a comfortable fit so that you can wear them for long periods.

Pros:
+ The BASSUP technology provides an analysis of frequencies for a deeper bass-heavy sound.
+ Durable in wet and rough conditions.
+ Incredible battery life.

Why We Liked It - The battery life that comes with this set is simply outstanding, making them a good choice of workout headphones if you often forget to charge them before you head off to the gym. Paired with the quality of sound, these are excellent headphones for the price.

3. SENSO Bluetooth Headphones

SENSO Bluetooth Headphones

The SENSOs are so light with True HD and acoustic earpiece components for a crisp and wholesome sound. These sports headphones are the best for runners who are sick of earphones becoming dislodged through rigorous movement. With their flexible and adjustable ear hooks, and how lightweight they are, it's almost as if they float effortlessly alongside your ears, rather than sit in them.

The passive noise reduction ensures excellent sound quality, and the CVC 6.0 microphone means you get clear voice calls in any situation. These earphones come with a battery life of up to eight hours continuous play from 1.5 hours of charging and an IPX7 waterproof rating.

Pros:
+ Noise suppression technology gives fantastic ambient sound.
+ Adjustable and flexible hooks for excellent comfort.
+ Ultra-lightweight.

Why We Liked It - One of the best features of these headphones is how lightweight they are - you'll hardly feel like you're wearing them.

4. Anker Soundcore Spirit X

Anker Soundcore Spirit X

The Spirit X takes the standard IPX7 rating a step further. Its hydro-seal design gives extra protection to the headphone's internal components. This adds not only protection against rain and sweat, but also seawater. If you’re a surfer, then these sports headphones are worth taking a look at. At 5.4 ounces, they are the heaviest earphones on our list.

This doesn't make the Spirit X any less comforting to wear, though. With a range of flexible hooks and bud sizes, you can find your ideal fit. The added weight gives a feeling of sturdiness and reliability, unmatched by any other exercise headphones.

Pros:
+ Hydro seal gives superior waterproofing.
+ Excellent charge to battery life ratio.
+ The shirt and neck clamps ensure there's no bouncing or loose cable.

Why We Liked It - Anker’s BASSUP technology brings a rich thumping bass frequency, matched with a sharp treble for a great sound in the harshest of environments. Battery life clocks in at up to 12 hours from a 1.5-hour charge.

5. Phaiser BHS-530

Phaiser BHS-530

What sets the Phaiser BHS-530 aside from the other headphones on this list is the behind-head grip. Rather than relying solely on ear hooks, the Phasier features T-400 memory foam earbuds that help grip your head for zero movements during your workout. The memory foam also creates superb noise isolation for the HD audio to resonate within your ear canals, so you can focus on performing to your very best.

This is one of the best earphones for weight lifters. They come with an IPX4 waterproof rating, which is the lowest on our list and, therefore, not quite as resilient against rainy conditions. But don't let that deter you.

The Phaiser makes up for it in audio quality and safety, as the head grip eliminates any risk of wires catching on weights during those brutal overhead lifts. It has a Liquipel nano-coating to guard against sweat corrosion, and it features up to 11 hours of battery life.

Pros:
+ Head grip design is very secure.
+ Memory foam tips add to great isolation and sound.
+ Dual device pairing.

Why We Liked It - The safety of this pair is second to none, as the head grip ensures they will stay in during intense sessions, making these some of the best wireless workout headphones.

6. Otium Bluetooth Headphones

Otium Bluetooth Headphones

These headphones are an excellent all-rounder in terms of sound, comfort, and battery life. They come with an IPX7 waterproof rating, HD Richer Bass audio, and 8 hours of battery life. What sets the Otium aside from other wireless headphones is the incoming call notifications. Some users may find this off-putting, as they may want to push through their workout uninterrupted.

But for those who never stop working, Otium will ensure you never miss an important call. With the 4.1 Bluetooth tech and CSR chip features, you get brilliant clarity for both communication and music alike. These are, undoubtedly, some of the best headphones for running, especially for the price.

Pros:
+ Remaining battery display on IOS.
+ Voice prompting commands.
+ Dual device pairing.

Why We Liked It - Although the incoming call notifications may be off-putting for some, this is a feature we love. These are some of the best headphones running wise.

7. LETSCOM Bluetooth Headphones

LETSCOM Bluetooth Headphones

The LETSCOM sport headphones are similar to the Otium in that they're another great all-rounder. Where they differ is that while the Otium caters more to communication, the LETSCOM focuses more on giving you music and sound quality and a range of stylish color options. If the Otium is all about work, then the LETSCOM is all about play.

They come with IPX7 protection against heavy rain, and they also include a sweatproof nano-coating. The Hi-Fi Bass supports an 11mm vibrating diaphragm, making it perfect for those who like their music mixes on the heavier side. The battery life gives up to 8 hours from a 2-hour charge.

Pros:
+ Range of colors to suit your style.
+ Total track, volume, and call control.
+ Remaining battery displayed on IOS.

Why We Liked It - With their high sound and music quality, and range of color options, LETSCOM ensures that you can complete your wireless workout in style.

8. Pop Wireless Headphones

Pop Wireless Headphones

These headphones are some of the sleekest and streamlined available. Pop prides itself on being made by athletes, for athletes - this comes through in the lightweight and minimal design. With fully adjustable ear hooks and a range of earbud sizes, they'll never come loose. Rest assured that they'll deliver Hi-Fi stereo sound to keep you motivated. The elegant, simplistic design features outstanding audio performance and reliable hold.

This pair is ideal for the more dexterous workouts, such as boxing, martial arts, or yoga. With that said, they’re still great for runners and lovers of the outdoors, as they come with an IPX7 sweat and waterproof rating, CVC 6.0 noise cancelling mic and eight hours battery life. They can also quick-charge for two hours of play in just 20 minutes.

Pros:
+ Fully adjustable for a comfortable and secure fit.
+ Small and lightweight.
+ Gorgeous minimalist design.
+ Features noise isolation and cancellation

Why We Liked It - We love these headphones because they're suitable for a wide range of activities, from running to yoga. That, combined with the noise cancellation and excellent sound, makes these fit for anyone.

9. SoundPBEATS Bluetooth earphones

 SoundPBEATS Bluetooth earphones

The SoundPbeats are the only pair on our list that uses an ATPX-HD codec to deliver incredible sound quality. They also use Bluetooth 5.0 to ensure a perfect connection to your device, so you never miss a single beat of your music. They are one of the few models in our list that don't have ear hooks, which makes them less suitable for running or other bounce-heavy activities.

They feature, however, some of the best quality audio and are highly suited to activities such as yoga and weight lifting. The Magnetic tips allow for a necklace hold when not in use, and the battery life can last for up to 13 hours. This makes the SoundPBEATS one of the most versatile models - they double as both an exercising and day to day pair of headphones.

Pros:
+ Magnetic necklace lock for safe storage.
+ Unrivaled sound quality.
+ Versatile.

Why We Liked It - The thing we love most about these is that they double as workout headphones and a day to day pair.

10. Phasier BHS-750

Phasier BHS-750

The combination of the T-400 memory foam earbuds and winged attachments make the Phasier BHS-750 a remarkably comfortable set of earphones. Like many other memory foam headphones, the noise cancellation provides an immersive and rich sound.

The Phasier BHS-750 combines these features with a powerful HD bass with tones so resonant that you could believe your favorite artists were providing the soundtrack to your workout in person. With an IPX6 rating and hydrophobic nano-coating, they can withstand heavy rain and sweat. The manufacturer even offers lifetime coverage against sweat corrosion.

This pair features magnetic tips, much like the SoundPEATS, to ensure safe storage when not in use. However, the BHS-750 has a better grip and is more suited for running and rigorous workouts. The battery maxes out after eight hours of continuous playtime.

Pros:
+ Winged ear grips provide a firm hold for those who dislike ear hook designs.
+ T-400 memory foam for superior isolation and sound.
+ Wide range of earbud and wingtips for a perfect fit.

Why We Liked It - We love the attention to detail in the design of this pair. Unlike other pairs, Phasier provides wingtips for a fit that's comfortable.

Exercise Headphones Buyers Guide

Before you invest in a pair of exercise headphones, you need to consider what they will be expected to endure. If you're running, you will need a pair that can withstand the constant movement without becoming dislodged.

If you like to push your limits, then you'll need headphones with waterproofing and sweat protection to ensure they stick with you and your hardcore routine. Not to mention, you'll also have to consider the price. Understanding these factors is essential to getting the most out of your headphones and workout.

IP: Ingress Protection.

Something that almost all sporting headphones advertise is their IP or Ingress Protection rating. This determines how waterproof or dust-proof they are. Many manufacturers will claim their product is waterproof when, in fact, they are only water resistant or protected for a limited amount of time. An IP rating is usually written like this: IPX5.

Take note of the number at the end. It ranges from IPX0 to IPX8. Each end number correlates to a scale of how much moisture an item can withstand, IPX0 is an item that is completely unprotected by water, while IPX8 is almost entirely waterproof.

I write "almost" because an IPX7 rating is defined as a product that can withstand no more than one meter of water submersion for 30 minutes. After that, the product will likely be damaged. IPX8 is a grade only given to items that surpass the resilience of IPX7 products, but even they are rarely 100% waterproof.

Make sure to check the IP rating of your headphones if you plan to use them for running in heavy rain or other moist conditions. You should also consider sweating as a possible source of moisture damage. Many manufacturers do offer nano-coating protection against the corrosive properties of sweat, but be sure that it meets the requirements for your workout routine.

Earphone Drivers

An earphone driver is what converts the electrical signals from your device into an audible sound. It's made up of a magnet, a diaphragm, and a coil. Drivers come in a wide range of sizes, with the in-ear average at around 10mm. They function like a small speaker that plays sound directly into your ear.

The size of your driver is not a direct measurement of how loud or clear your sound is. There are many varying factors that contribute to the overall quality of a good set of headphones. Larger drivers that reach up to 15mm may have the potential for a heavier bass range, but it ultimately depends on the quality of other internal components.

Our advice is not to get too caught up in the advertisement and specifications of the driver size (and the higher price that might come with it). It’s much better to focus on factors such as comfort and general sound quality, as these will better determine whether the headphones are right for you.

COMFORT

Perhaps the most important question when buying headphones is, “are they comfortable?” Exercising takes motivation and determination to push through the pain and come out stronger on the other side. It's going to be harder to do so if you feel discomfort, or you keep having to push your earphones back in because they don’t fit properly.

There's a certain amount of fitting leniency for most people who can swap out earbud sizes and ear hooks to get a comfortable fit, but you should be aware that some of the cheaper headphone models adhere to a “one size will fit all” mentality. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, and different sized buds fit different sized ears.

Again, you should consider what kind of workout you'll be using your headphones for. Runners should invest in adjustable ear hooks to ensure a tight and firm fit. Weight lifters should use a set of headphones that will not restrict their movement in any way, in order to avoid possible injury. A pair of true wireless headphones might be best there.

Furthermore, finding a comfortable and secure fitting pair of headphones will mean you get the best possible sound out of them. This means you can stay focused and go for that extra mile or rep.

BATTERY

Most battery life ratings are taken under certain conditions, so it’s usually a good idea to adjust your expectations if you’re the type of user who enjoys their music at full blast. Increased volume requires slightly more power, as the drivers are working harder to keep you pumped and moving.

It’s a good idea to read the full specs and fine print of your prospective workout headphones. Some manufacturers may promise a battery life of 16 hours, but only if your music is played at 70% volume or a similar condition. This may be fine if you're practicing yoga or other indoor activities, but this may not be suitable for those who are running outdoors.

Another thing to consider with the battery life is how often you're able to charge your workout headphones. For someone who leads a busy lifestyle, you may want to go for a pair of sports headphones that will not require regular recharging or that feature quick-charging.

Questions

Can I wear IPX7 Headphones in the shower?

Short answer; yes. Long answer; yes, but remember that IPX7 is defined as protection against water rather than being specifically designed for it. You may end up shaving off some of the lifespan of your wireless earphones with continual use, but this can vary from brand to brand.

Can I use over-ear or on-ear headphones for my wireless workout?

You can, but very few over-ear and on-ear headphones are built to accommodate it. The added pressure over your ears can cause additional heat and sweat build-up, which can lead to irritation and even mild sweat rashes in some cases.

They're also more at risk of being caught during rigorous movement, which could be dangerous to you and your headphones. We highly recommend purchasing a pair of wireless in-ear buds that will pose no risk or impede your workout.

How do I secure my running headphones?

If your headphones are adjustable, the best way to position them is to place them into your ear and ensure that the size of earbud and hooks are a good fit and comfortable. It’s easy enough to switch the sizes out. So once you are happy with your fit, hold one bud steady while you use your other hand to slide the earpiece up or down until the over-ear hook rests comfortably on top.

Make sure not to overtighten the earbud, as this can lead to painful rubbing with prolonged use. Do the same for your other ear. If your wireless buds come with a cable clamp, secure that last and tie up the excess behind your head to eliminate any distracting bouncing.

What about the warranty?

Almost all of the sports headphones on our list come with some kind of coverage or warranty. Make sure to read the fine print as to what conditions are covered, and consider whether this is applicable to the risks posed by your workout. Many manufacturers offer coverage of water and sweat damage as standard.

Conclusion

While you may be tempted to look at true wireless headphones for your workout, nothing quite provides the security and reliability of a Bluetooth set connected by a cable. Particularly with running headphones, they provide a better hold and don’t risk being lost like coins in cushions.

Other examples of workout headphones you could think about include the Jaybird Vista, the Plantronics Backbeat Fit, the Bose Soundsport Wireless, and the Jabra Elite Active 65T. But we're more than sure that this list has helped you choose your next pair of workout headphones. Now it's up to you to get out there and start smashing that workout.

If you've enjoyed this review by Music Critic, please leave a positive rating:

  • 5/5
  • 2 ratings
2 ratingsX
Very bad!BadHmmmOkeGood!
0%0%0%0%100%