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Best Headphones for Working Out in 2024 According to Personal Trainers

Best Headphones for Working Out
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updated: June 4, 2024

If your New Year’s resolution was to get in more movement by way of working out, you may find purchasing a new pair of headphones will help to keep you motivated and distraction-free. “The only thing worse than forgetting your headphones at home is a pair that doesn’t suit your workout!” says Sydney Sherman, a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)-certified personal trainer (CPT) and Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC). “Finding the perfect headphones that will give you great sound quality and stay put during your session will help you make sure that music helps you hit your PR, not distract you from it.”

To find the best headphones for working out on the market, we chatted with Sherman and other fitness experts, including Maggi Gao, NASM CPT, and Chloe Bardos, CFSC and CPT, about what shoppers should consider before adding their next pair to their cart, along with their expert recommendations. Furthermore, we considered headphones we regularly wear when working out.

Our picks for the best headphones for working out

Best wireless earbuds for working out: Beats Powerbeats PRO Wireless Earbuds

Best wireless earbuds for working out
Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats Pro Bluetooth True Wireless Earbuds with Charging Case Navy MY592LL/A

Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats Pro Bluetooth True Wireless Earbuds with Charging Case Navy MY592LL/A

If you’re looking for wireless earbuds that won’t slip out of your ears during your workouts, Sherman recommends the Powerbeats PRO Wireless Earbuds from Beats (which also made our list of the best earbuds for running). “These are my all-time favorite gym headphones,” she says. “They hook over your ear, so they're the perfect blend of a headphone and an earbud. They are super secure, offer great sound quality, and enough noise cancellation to keep out some of the crazy gym background noise.” They also offer up to nine hours of battery life (per earbud) and will stay secure even if you’re someone who sweats a lot, thanks to their water-resistant IPX4 rating.

Specifications:

  • Headphone type: Earbuds
  • Battery life: Up to nine hours (per earbud)
  • Water-resistant: Yes (IPX4)
  • Noise-canceling: No
  • Return policy: Free in unused and new condition within 30 days (Amazon) and within 30 days (Target)
  • Warranty: Warranty card
  • Price on publish: $199.95

What we like:

  • Batteries can last up to nine hours (per earbud)
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Secure
  • Adjustable ear hooks

What we don’t like:

  • Bulky charging case

The bottom line:

Although their charging case is bulky, Sherman recommends these wireless earbuds as they offer high-quality sound and support, thanks to their adjustable hooks.

Best budget headphones for working out: KVIDIO Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones

Best budget headphones for working out
KVIDIO Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, 65 Hours Playtime Wireless Headphones with Microphone,Foldable Lightweight Headset with Bass and Stereo Sound

KVIDIO Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, 65 Hours Playtime Wireless Headphones with Microphone,Foldable Lightweight Headset with Bass and Stereo Sound

The Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones from KVIDIO are my go-to pair of headphones for when I work out, which is three times weekly. In addition to their affordable price point, I like how I only have to charge them once every week or two. Though they’re lightweight at .44 pounds, they’ve never fallen off of my head without forcefully turning my head or neck. Although they don’t completely block out external noise, they do provide crisp audio quality and do so without hurting my ears, as a result of the memory foam muffs that can be folded inward when not in use, and placed in my gym bag without taking up much space.

Specifications:

  • Headphone type: Over-ear headphones
  • Battery life: Up to 65 hours
  • Water-resistant: Not listed
  • Noise-canceling: Yes (blocks out ambient noise/made with noise isolation technology)
  • Return policy: Free returns 30 days after purchase (Amazon)
  • Warranty: Not listed
  • Price on publish: $27.99

What we like:

  • Quick charge time
  • Available in various colors
  • Lightweight
  • Foldable

What we don’t like:

  • May take a minute to connect

The bottom line:

Despite their lower price point, these headphones are a solid pick for gym-goers as they’re lightweight and can be folded up when not in use.

Best headphones for all kinds of workouts: Senso Bluetooth Wireless Sports Earbuds

Best headphones for all kinds of workouts
Senso Bluetooth Headphones, Best Wireless Sports Earbuds w/Mic IPX7 Waterproof HD Stereo Sweatproof Earphones for Gym Running Workout Noise Cancelling Earphones Earbuds Noise Cancelling Headsets

Senso Bluetooth Headphones, Best Wireless Sports Earbuds w/Mic IPX7 Waterproof HD Stereo Sweatproof Earphones for Gym Running Workout Noise Cancelling Earphones Earbuds Noise Cancelling Headsets

As far as the best headphones for all kinds of workouts go, the Senso Bluetooth Wireless Sports Earbuds are my favorite. I’ve used these earbuds when doing cardio and strength training workouts and have yet to encounter something I didn’t like, aside from the longer time it may take for them to connect to my phone via Bluetooth. If noise cancellation is what you’re looking for in a new pair of headphones for working out, you’ll get that with these: They’re made with CVC 6.0 noise-suppression technology. I don’t typically talk on the phone when I’m working out, but this technology makes it easy for me to answer calls through their microphone without having to toggle between settings. I also like that the two earbuds are connected via a cable, as it makes it easier for me to keep track of both of them.

Specifications:

  • Headphone type: Earbuds
  • Battery life: Up to eight hours
  • Water-resistant: Yes (IPX7)
  • Noise-canceling: Yes (CVC 6.0 noise suppression technology)
  • Return policy: Free returns 30 days after purchase (Amazon)
  • Warranty: One-year manufacturer's warranty
  • Price on publish: $24.96

What we like:

  • High waterproof rating
  • Comes with a carry case
  • Soft gel tips
  • Easy to turn on and off

What we don’t like:

  • May take longer to connect via Bluetooth

The bottom line:

These earbuds will keep your music pumping for up to eight hours during any kind of workout. You’ll be able to keep track of both pieces, as they’re connected with a cable.

Best noise canceling over-ear headphones for working out: JBL Tour One M2 Wireless Over-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones

Best noise canceling over-ear headphones for working out
JBL Tour One M2 Noise-Canceling Wireless Over-Ear Headphones (Black) JBLTOURONEM2BAM

JBL Tour One M2 Noise-Canceling Wireless Over-Ear Headphones (Black) JBLTOURONEM2BAM

If you require complete silence or like to listen to music when making your way through your sets or out on your runs, you’ll appreciate these over-ear noise canceling headphones from JBL. “The noise canceling feature on these is unreal,” says Sherman. “You can't hear anything but your music in these, so if I'm trying to PR and I need to be completely in the zone, these are my go-to.” With up to 50 hours of playtime, rest assured unwanted distractions won’t infiltrate your workout.

Specifications:

  • Headphone type: Over-ear headphones
  • Battery life: Up to 50 hours of playtime
  • Water-resistant: No
  • Noise-canceling: Yes
  • Return policy: 30 days
  • Warranty: Limited hardware warranty
  • Price on publish: $299.95

What we like:

  • Comes with a carrying case
  • Four microphones
  • Adaptive noise-cancellation

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive

The bottom line:

These over-ear headphones are perfect for those who like to work out in silence, as they offer adaptive noise canceling.

Best bone conduction headphones for working out: SHOKZ OpenRun Open-Ear Bluetooth Bone Conduction Sport Headphones

Best bone conduction headphones for working out
Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones for Sports with Cooling Wristband (Formerly Aeropex) Grey

Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones for Sports with Cooling Wristband (Formerly Aeropex) Grey

Bone conduction headphones like these from SHOKZ are a solid pick. Since they’re made with an open-ear design as opposed to those that cover or go in the ears, they’re beneficial for working out outside or in an area where you want to be alert and aware of your surroundings. “They’re low-profile, comfortable, and I feel like the music comes through very clearly,” says Gao. “I like wearing them on runs or bike rides through the city so I can still be aware of my surroundings!” Although you shouldn’t participate in swimming workouts while wearing these headphones, they do have an IP67 rating, so they can withstand sweat and some rain.

Specifications:

  • Headphone type: Bone conduction
  • Battery life: 8 hours
  • Water-resistant: Yes (IP67)
  • Noise-canceling: Yes
  • Return policy: Free return within 30 days (Walmart), 15 days (Best Buy), and free (if unused and new condition within 30 days (Amazon)
  • Warranty: Manufacturer’s two-year warranty (parts)
  • Price on publish: $129.95

What we like:

  • Built-in microphone
  • IP67 rating
  • Moisture detection alert (when charging)
  • Includes charging cable

What we don’t like:

  • Can only pair from 33 or fewer feet away

The bottom line:

Although they have a shorter battery life, Gao recommends these bone conduction headphones as they promote awareness while working out thanks to their open-ear design.

Best headphones for the gym: Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones

Best headphones for the gym
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones with Google Assistant - Black

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones with Google Assistant - Black

These over-ear headphones (which made our list of the best headphones of 2024) are made to last up to 30 hours to get you through any length of workout. In addition to their comfortable feel, Gao recommends these for their impressive noise-canceling capabilities, due to their Dual Noise Sensor technology. They’re also compatible with Alexa voice control if you want to change your song or send a message without having to use your hands.

Specifications:

  • Headphone type: Over-ear headphones
  • Battery life: Up to 30 hours
  • Water-resistant: No
  • Noise-canceling: Yes (with a dual noise sensor)
  • Return policy: Free return in unused and new condition within 30 days (Amazon) and within 14 days (Best Buy)
  • Warranty: One-year warranty (Walmart and Best Buy)
  • Price on publish: $278.00

What we like:

  • Compatible with Alexa voice control
  • Made with Dual Noise Sensor technology
  • Touch controls

What we don’t like:

  • Higher price tag

The bottom line:

These over-ear headphones are worth the investment for their noise-canceling technology and comfort alone.

Best headphones for running: JBL Reflect Aero TWS Earbuds

Best headphones for running
JBL Reflect Aero Noise-Canceling True Wireless In-Ear Headphones (Black) JBLREFLECTAEROBAM

JBL Reflect Aero Noise-Canceling True Wireless In-Ear Headphones (Black) JBLREFLECTAEROBAM

Looking to buy some new headphones for your upcoming runs? Bardos recommends the JBL Reflect Aero TWS Earbuds, as you can turn on their active noise-canceling setting as needed. “You don’t want to have too much noise cancellation when doing outdoor sports because you want to be able to hear your surroundings, so the option of taking off the noise cancellation is important,” says Bardos. Each earbud is equipped with three microphones, which is beneficial if you receive any calls when on your run and would like to answer them without having to hold your phone up to your ear. Although these earbuds do not have ear hooks, they can stay in place as they’re made with oval tubes. They’re also dust- and waterproof for runs in inclement weather.

Specifications:

  • Headphone type: Earbuds
  • Battery life: 8 hours, or 7 hours with active noise canceling on
  • Water-resistant: Yes (IP68)
  • Noise-canceling: Yes
  • Return policy: Within 30 days (B&H) and free in unused and new condition within 30 days (Amazon)
  • Warranty: Limited one-year manufacturer warranty
  • Price on publish: $149.95

What we like:

  • Active noise canceling can be turned on and off
  • Can receive four hours of battery with only 15 minutes of charging
  • Three microphones in each earpiece

What we don’t like:

  • Does not have ear hooks

The bottom line:

Runners will appreciate these earbuds from JBL as they’re water resistant with an IP68 rating and an active noise canceling feature that can be turned on and off as needed.

Best over-ear headphones for working out: Raycon Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

Best over-ear headphones for working out
Raycon Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

Raycon Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

If you’re looking for a pair of over-ear headphones to wear while maintaining alertness, consider adding Raycon’s Wireless Over-Ear Headphones to your cart. Although they are made with advanced noise-cancellation technology, these are equipped with an “Awareness” mode that will allow you to hear what’s going on around you, so you can stay safe.

Specifications:

  • Headphone type: Over-ear headphones
  • Battery life: Up to 45 hours
  • Water-resistant: Yes (IPX4)
  • Noise-canceling: Yes (active noise canceling)
  • Return policy: Free returns within 30 days after purchase (Amazon) and within 30 days after purchase (Raycon)
  • Warranty: One-year limited warranty
  • Price on publish: $119.99

What we like:

  • “Awareness” mode
  • Cushions are interchangeable
  • Can connect to two devices simultaneously

What we don’t like:

  • Have to manually turn them off via a side button

The bottom line:

Since these headphones have an “Awareness” mode, these over-ear headphones are perfect for athletes who want to stay both focused on their workout and aware of their surroundings.

Best headphones for working out for Apple users: Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation

Best headphones for working out for Apple users
Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation

Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation

Gao recommends the Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation headphones for Apple users. “The connectivity is great, they include different size earbuds for better fit, and I think the sound quality is great,” explains Gao. “You can toggle the noise canceling and surround sound settings.” I can attest to their superior sound quality, as these earbuds are my go-to for my workouts, especially those focusing on strength training.

Specifications:

  • Headphone type: Earbuds
  • Battery life: Up to six hours (without case) and up to 30 hours (with case)
  • Water-resistant: Yes (1P54)
  • Noise-canceling: Yes
  • Return policy: 14 days (Best Buy), free in unused and new condition within 30 days (Amazon), and within 14 days (Apple)
  • Warranty: One-year limited warranty
  • Price on publish: $239.99

What we like:

  • Come with different earbud sizes
  • AirPods and case have an IP54 rating
  • Good sound quality

What we don’t like:

  • Shorter battery life

The bottom line:

Gao recommends these earphones as they offer stellar sound quality and multiple settings to best fit a variety of environments.

Best budget wireless earbuds for working out: JLab Go Air Sport Wireless Workout Earbuds

Best budget wireless earbuds for working out
Jlab Audio Go Air Sport True Wireless Earbuds

Jlab Audio Go Air Sport True Wireless Earbuds

If you want to buy a pair of wireless earbuds for working out that won’t break the bank, the JLab Go Air Sport Wireless Earbuds may be just what you’re looking for. With a $24 price tag, these earbuds can provide up to 32 hours of play time and are water-resistant, with an IP55 rating. Unlike some picks on this list, these earbuds come with extra sets of gel tips if they get dirty or you want to swap them out.

Specifications:

  • Headphone type: Earbuds
  • Battery life: 32 hours of playtime
  • Water-resistant: Yes (IP55)
  • Noise-canceling: No
  • Return policy: Free in unused and new condition within 30 days (Amazon) and free returns within 30 days (JLab)
  • Warranty: Two year warranty
  • Price on publish: $29.88

What we like:

  • Affordable
  • Comes with three sets of gel tips
  • Comes with a charging case
  • Wireless

What we don’t like:

  • Don’t have an active noise cancellation feature

The bottom line:

For under $30, these earbuds are a great choice for those looking for headphones for working out without the sticker shock.

What to consider when choosing headphones for working out

Features

Pay attention to the features of the pair of headphones you plan on purchasing for your upcoming workouts. Water- and sweat-resistance is one of the most important to keep in mind, as you don’t want your headphones slipping off of your head or earbuds out of your ears. You may even risk damaging your new headphones if they don’t have this feature. Notice the IP (Ingress Protection) rating when reviewing product specs: If you plan on working out in rainy conditions or sweat a lot, look for IP ratings where the last digit is closest to eight–that means they’re able to withstand more water/liquids than those with lower ending digits.

Another key feature is a long battery life and, ideally, a short charge time. The battery life or play time on some headphones may vary depending on the settings used, but the average battery life for the best headphones for working out ranges from six hours to 50 hours. Some headphones even come with a charging case that allows for the headphones to be used for even longer without a charge in between.

Sound quality

Whether you prefer wired or wireless headphones for working out, one thing is non-negotiable–sound quality. High-quality sound is more pleasant to listen to than sound that is muffled or muted, and it’ll allow you to focus more on your workout instead of the lyrics. Many headphones for working out (such as the Lab Go Air Sport Wireless Workout Earbuds) have multiple sound settings, some of which enhance certain sounds, including the bass.

Some of the best headphones for working out are equipped with features including multiple microphones on each earpiece, which will allow you to seamlessly answer calls and send messages without having to pick up your phone.

Design

When considering the design of your headphones, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind, since, obviously, choosing headphones for a workout is going to be very different from, say, choosing headphones for sleeping. If you’re looking to buy earbuds, those with adjustable hooks tend to be more favorable, so you can fasten them to your ear to prevent them from slipping or falling out, especially when running or doing exercise that requires bouncing.

Their design will also impact how well they can be cleaned. “Consider how easy they are to clean, which is important if you’re going to be taking them in and out at the gym and with how much you sweat,” explains Gao. Some headphones come with interchangeable muffs or tips, but if they don’t, we’d recommend buying extra ones to maintain proper hygiene. This is also something to think about if you’re weighing the pros and cons of earbuds vs headphones.

If you plan on traveling with your headphones, especially the over-ear kind, consider their weight and whether they can be folded down and/or come with a carrying case.

How we selected the best headphones for working out

To create our list of the best headphones for working out, we spoke with fitness trainers about what factors to consider when shopping for them, including their features, sound quality, and design. In addition, we conducted online research, reviewing product specification information and examining customer reviews.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is it better to work out with headphones or earbuds?

Whether to work out with headphones or earbuds depends on your preference. You may find one headphone type to be more comfortable, depending on your workout. “You may want to opt for headphones when you'll be especially sweaty (like cardio sessions) when earbuds would normally slip,” says Sherman. “But if you're lifting, earbuds may be the better, more secure choice as you move through and between exercises.”

Are wired or wireless earphones better for the gym?

There’s no one right answer to whether wired or wireless earphones are better for the gym, as this is based on personal preference. Many people (myself included) find using wireless headphones leads to more pleasant workouts, as they don’t have to detangle the wire or fear that it’ll accidentally come out of a device or catch onto a machine. If you opt to use wired earphones, Sherman recommends purchasing an armband to better conceal your phone earphone wire so they don’t get in your way.

Which headphones are good for sweat?

Headphones that are sweat- and water-resistant are particularly good for this. You can typically find this information when reviewing product specifications or by contacting the brand or retailer directly. “If you're opting for headphones, consider removable, washable covers to protect your headphones and keep your skin clean and clear!” suggests Sherman.

Is it safe to wear earbuds while running?

It can be safe to wear earbuds while running, but it may depend on where you are, in addition to the safety features of a particular pair of earbuds. We recommend purchasing a pair (like the Raycon Wireless Over-Ear Headphones) that has an “Awareness” mode so you can be alert while still being able to listen to your music, podcast, or whatever content through your headphones.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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