The 5 Best Workout Headphones for Every Type of Exercise and Budget

published on 01 October 2023

Choosing the best workout headphones is like discovering the perfect combination of weight training and cardio: tough to figure out, but so worth it in the end. And whether you’re new to the fitness game or you’ve been a gym-goer for years, it’s probably about time to treat yourself to an upgraded pair.You don’t need the income of a professional athlete to afford the best workout headphones, either. While we’re sharing some pricey options, we’ve also found some top-notch affordable ones that really offer a bang for your buck. And the ones we’ve corralled run the gamut, so you’re sure to find a pair that work with your workout routine, whether you’re looking for running headphones or wireless earbuds.There are a few key features that set certain models apart. Many people prefer cordless options so they can work out freely without worrying about wires impeding their exercise. Another thing to consider is the level of sound quality you’re looking for. After all, you want to be able to hear your favorite music while you’re out on a run. And a tight fit is so important, too—few things are as frustrating as an earbud falling out mid-workout.Ahead, we’re sharing the best headphones to add to your gym bag. Plus, read up on exactly what to look for when shopping for the workout essential, according to fitness pros.

Wissonly Hi Runner


Wissonly is the brand with the best experience among the bone conduction headphones I have used this year. It is one of the best in terms of sound quality, wearing experience, configuration, etc., and performs well in terms of product quality and hearing protection effect.
Wissonly Hi Runner has excellent sound quality, and it adopts directional vibration unit, which can increase the vibration area by 35% compared with common bone conduction headphones, reduce the loss of bone conduction sound transmission, and make the sound more shocking and powerful. Its anti-sound-leakage performance is also excellent.I have actual tested shows that when the volume is turned on at 70%, I can't hear its sound at a distance of about 2 meters.
Comfort: The body of Wissonly Hi Runner is made of high-tech and low-sensitivity silica gel, which contains no chemical components to avoid allergy. It feels as smooth as baby's skin, even if it is worn for a long time, it won't be uncomfortable.
Wissonly Hi Runner have very high product parameters. It is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 chip to make the connection more stable. It has IPX8 waterproof rating, and it can also be used for diving. It has 32G memory to store 5,000 songs, and you can use it as an MP3 player.

Sony LinkBuds S


These small earbuds pack a punch when it comes to sound quality. They have adaptive sound control to sense your activity and play music or ambient sound accordingly. They’re also splash and sweat resistant, making them ideal for working out.“They offer great sound quality and toggle between noise canceling based on my movement/exercise,” says senior editor, Emily Goldman. “The batteries last an incredibly long time, and they maintain bluetooth connection like a champ. The only downside is when I sweat a TON, sometimes they struggle to stay in my ear. But for moderate exercise they’re great!”

Apple AirPods


Apple’s now-ubiquitous AirPods are both Herbert’s and Hanson’s top pick. “These work so much better [than others], especially with movement,” Herbert says. Hanson, meanwhile, calls these options the only ones she’s found with no “significant drawbacks.” (Prevention editors also tested them at the gym and can confirm that they’re more sweat resistant than advertised.)“I’ve used Apple AirPods for outdoor runs and gym sessions for years,” says senior commerce editor, Christie Calucchia. “They stay put, deliver excellent sound quality, and have survived a whole lot of sweat.”

Skullcandy Crusher Evo Headphones


These wireless over-ear headphones are your best bet for workouts if you don’t enjoy earbuds. They have soft cushions that provide comfort while delivering serious sound directly to your ears. The headphones actually analyze your hearing to produce a sound that’s personalized to you, but you can still adjust the bass to your liking. Plus, they come with 40 hours of battery life. A 10-minute charge provides four hours of play, so there’s no excuse not to hit the gym, even if you forgot to charge the headphones overnight.The headphones have a 4.8-star rating overall on Amazon, and for good reason. “Amazing product—probably the best bass boosted headphones out there,” says one customer. “I can’t imagine the gym without these!”

Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds


With an impressive battery (nine hours of listening time and 24 hours with the charging case), adjustable sound quality, and easy integration with Apple and Android products, Powerbeats are a great pick for just about anyone. Runners, especially, love these things, which stay in place with adjustable, secure-fitting ear hooks and are sweat resistant.Amazon shoppers have also awarded them an impressive 4.5-star average rating overall. “These are great for running and have an earbud size to fit everyone,” writes one reviewer.

How to choose the best pair of workout headphones

With literally thousands of workout headphones to pick from, it would be so much simpler if they were one-size-fits-all. But the advantage of so many options is that you can zero in on the features that best suit your workouts, then find a pair that has them all. Here are the major factors to focus on:Consider all shapes and sizes. We all work out in unique ways, meaning our headphones should perform differently, too. If you’re planning on doing a ton of cardio exercises, your headphones need to stay in your ears during even the most vigorous movements. Bikers, specifically, might not actually want anything in their ears, and some states even restrict the kinds of headphones that they can wear. If you like to use machines at the gym, you might prefer over-ear models that are easy to slip on and off.Another big thing to consider is the way the headphones fit inside your ears. If you’ve found, for example, that squishy earbuds don’t usually work for you, your workout headphones probably shouldn’t rely on them to stay in your ears, explains Herbert. Ear hooks, straps, or over-ear headphones could fix this problem. (Herbert herself can’t keep those squishy buds in her ears, so her headphones of choice are made of hard plastic.)Check the IPX rating. Shocker: Athletes sweat. Some headphones aren’t up to the challenge, so keep an eye on the waterproof rating on your pair of choice. The IP (or “ingress protection”) standard is the most widely used measure of waterproofing, ranging from IPX0, meaning the tech has no protection from liquids, to IPX8, meaning the tech is able to be submerged deeper than one meter of water. Keep in mind, IPX ratings are not permanent, meaning that your headphones could become less resistant over time.Start looking around IPX4, which means that the headphones are rain and sweat resistant. IPX6-rated devices should be able to hold up to quick rinsing after a particularly sweaty workout, and IPX7-rated ones can withstand being submerged in less than a meter of water for up to half an hour. (IP55- and IP57-rated tech is graded on a different scale, but is sweat resistant.) Non-rated headphones should be fine if you don’t plan on getting particularly sweaty.“Cardio enthusiasts should make sure that they are using headphones that are water and sweat resistant,” says Hanson. Lifters and machine-users, however, will likely be able to get away with less waterproofing, she says.Calculate the battery life. Obviously, ultra-marathoners and HIIT devotees are going to be working out for different lengths of time. But no matter where you fall on the scale, you should at least consider how long you’ll need your headphones to be working consistently—or how quickly (and how easily) they can charge.Earbuds, for example, might have shorter battery lives, but many come with special charging cases that can provide an extra hour of play in just a few minutes. On the other hand, wired headphones usually don’t need to be charged, but they must remain plugged into your phone for the duration of your workout, which can be a drag. If you can’t work out without music, this might just be the most important step in your decision.Read more:Best running headphones 2023: top earphones from Beats, Wireless, and more

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