When it’s time to work out, you need to have a pair of headphones you can rely on. It’s important that they are comfortable, don’t fall off of your ears, and can be worn while you’re sweating. What makes the best gym headphones? We’ve ranked them below for every workout.
What Workouts Can You Do with Headphones?
You can do many different types of workouts with headphones, but some headphones are best for certain activities. For example, there are over-the-ear headphones or in-ear buds. They also make some headphones for true audiophiles that aren’t great for working out at all. Check out our lists below to see what is best for runners, what is most comfortable, and more.
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Is It Better to Work Out with Over-the-Ear Headphones or Earbuds?
It depends on what you prefer when it comes to working out. If you are doing cardio and are running on a treadmill, we suggest wearing earbuds because they will not jiggle too much on your head and remain secure. Over-the-ear headphones are great for a lot of other forms of working out like weight lifting or rowing.
|-Provide better stability when working out and won’t fall off easily|
-Offer better sound quality
-Tend to be more comfortable
-Designed to be worn for longer periods of time
-Can be inconvenient to carry around
-Hard to run or jump in
-Seal around the ear to keep headphones in place
-Can use lower volume since in-ear
|-More likely to fall out|
-Smaller and easier to lose
Does Listening to Music Help My Workout?
Listening to music is proven to help you exercise harder. Studies show that improves your performance because music is a huge motivator. It might not have so much to do with how your heart rate reacts to music, but more so your brain. It distracts you while working out, elevates your mood, and increases your stamina. When peopled selected their own music during their workouts, scientists found that this had an even more significant effect on motivation. Clearly, it can boost you up and make time fly by.
Should I Get Wired or Wireless Headphones?
When it comes to working out, wireless headphones are best at the gym or on a run. Not only can you move more easily, but wired headphones can get caught on a machine and hurt you. Wireless headphones are often more expensive and require you to charge them periodically, but it is worth it because they fall out less and give you a truly hands and phone-free workout.
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The Benefits of Wearing Headphones During a Workout
- Boosts your motivation level
- Enhances productivity
- Blocks out the background noise
- Minimize the pain and fatigue that comes with exercising
- Increases your endurance power
Most Comfortable Over-Ear Headphones for Working Out
If you think you’d like to go with over-ear headphones at the gym, here are the three most comfortable options out there.
1. Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless, $100
The Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless headphones have an extremely high audio quality. You will hear every beat and tune into every song. The charge lasts a solid twenty-two hours and they have an app you can download to keep track of your headphones in case you accidentally miss place them. This is great if you go to the gym a lot because this happens more than you realize.
Reviewers have stated that it is an excellent pair of over-the-ear headphones because of the quality and ease of use. Setting them up is straightforward and doesn’t take very long. Once they are connected, you won’t have to worry about setting them up again.
2. JBL Live 660NC Wireless, $170
The JBL Live 660NC Wireless headphones are wireless and noise-canceling. You can jam out to music for up to fifty hours, so you won’t have to worry about it stopping in the middle of a workout at the gym.
Reviewers have stated that they enjoy these headphones because of their extra-long battery life and super comfy fit. They do not hurt your ears over time, which is important to look for when purchasing over-the-ear headphones for working out.
3. Sennheiser PXC II Wireless, $330
The Sennheiser PXC II Wireless are the best over-the-ear headphones for working out. They have a sleek design and breathable fit, so your ears are unaffected if you are a sweaty mess. They have excellent battery performance for up to thirty hours. You can use the voice assistant feature with just one touch whether it is hey Siri or hey google. This is great to skip songs or time your planks while at the gym.
Reviewers have stated that the quality of these headphones is excellent. Every song is crystal clear and their comfort is unparalleled.
Best Budget Over-Ear Headphones for Working Out
If you are looking for budget-friendly over-the-ear headphones, we have picked the best options for the cost.
1. Soundcore by Anker Life, $80
The Soundcore by Anker Life has three different noise cancellations that you can pick from. Transport will minimize airplane engine noises, outdoors reduce traffic and wind noises and indoors will decrease the sounds of people talking or working out around you at the gym. It’s great that they could be used for many purposes in addition to working out.
Reviewers have stated that they enjoy having easy access to answering calls or changing their music from the headphones without actually needing their phones. These are a great pair if you want a convenient, budget-friendly pair of headphones.
2. Core ANC, $89
The Core ANC has a charge that is good for thirty hours of continuous music. You won’t have to worry about it dying on you on a run or at the gym. You will be able to control your music right from your headphones with the buttons that are on the sides. This is great if you like to store away your phone either in a locker or in your pocket while working out.
Reviewers have stated that the sound quality is remarkable for the price. It is defiantly a great pair of headphones if you are looking for something affordable, but don’t want to invest in the more expensive brands like Beast or Apple.
3. Jabra Elite, $120
The Jabra Elite has enough battery power for fifty hours of non-stop music listening. You will have direct access to Siri or Google Assistant while you’re working out with just one touch of a button. You can personalize your sound with the headphones, so it will always reset to your sound level when you turn them on to work out.
Reviewers have stated they love the compact design as it is made to fold up and can be easily stored. It is also very lightweight to carry around or keep around your neck if you aren’t using them.
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Best Upper Mid-Range Over-Ear Headphones for Working Out
These three options qualify as upper mid-range. In the world of audiophiles, that means that you can hear higher pitch instruments like, for example, electric guitar. These three options are particularly good for this type of sound.
1. Trelab Z2, $90
The Trelab Z2 will block out the annoying music at the gym or that one person who always grunts too loud during a set. You can do your workout to the music you have downloaded and these headphones have up to thirty-five hours of playtime. They provide the ultimate comfort by giving you soft material on the ears and they won’t put too much pressure on you.
Reviewers have stated that they are impressed with the battery life of these headphones. One person said they worked out for two hours five days in a row and the battery still said it was at sixty percent. This is a game changer. People also love that you can hear certain instruments and vocals playing beyond that of regular headphones.
2. Soundcore by Anker Space Q45, $150
The Soundcore by Anker Space Q45 can last up to fifty hours when playing music. These headphones are ideal for gym-goers who forget to charge their headphones. Don’t be ashamed, it happens to all of us. A charge for just five minutes can give you four hours’ worth of playtime. This way, if you forget, you can plug in for five minutes right before you head to your gym and you’ll be covered.
Reviewers have stated that they barely notice the headphones on their ears. They give you the best mid-range you can get in an expensive pair of headphones, but the added features make them well worth the investment.
3. Sony WH-1000XM5, $400
The Sony WH-1000XM5 has thirty hours of battery life that can last you almost two weeks. They are sleek and lightweight and give you that classy look while providing a comfortable fit for your ears. They aren’t heavy around your neck or in your workout bag.
Reviewers have stated that they have replaced their AirPods Max with this pair because it has a better microphone, long-term comfort, touch controls, and an app full of features you can use. This is the perfect pair for sound quality as well as style since the AirPods Max would cost more money for similar features.
Best Headphones for Runners
If you are a runner looking for the best headphones that you can count while getting in your mileage, we have gathered the two best options for you.
1. Shokz OpenRun Pro, $154
The Shokz OpenRun Pro has up to ten hours of playback or calls if you answer the phone while running. These wrap around your ear and also sit right behind your head, so you don’t have to deal with anything falling off while you run. It doesn’t go directly in your ear, which a lot of runners enjoy because you can hear your surroundings and stay safe on the treadmill.
Reviewers like these headphones for both indoor running at the gym and even outdoor running. It’s also very comfortable in terms of fit, so your ears won’t get tired with this lightweight pair resting on your head.
2. Powerbeats Pro Wireless, $180
The Powerbeats Pro Wireless wrap around your ear as well as have in-ear buds. This is perfect for security. We’ve personally tried out this pair for 2-3 hour long runs, and they literally do not move. They wouldn’t budge even if you were to fall down (hopefully not). While everyone’s preferences are different, especially for running, the in-ear piece is adjustable for the perfect fit. With the charging case, you will get twenty-four hours and when the beats are in your ears, they last 9 hours with no charge.
Reviewers have stated that these headphones can handle intense sweating. They are highly durable, which is great for running. Not only that, but the sound quality is great for the cost and security.
Best Headphones for Cyclists
If you are an indoor cyclist looking for a pair of headphones, we have rounded up the three best options for you while biking fast.
1. Jabra Elite Active, $68
The Jabra Elite Active allows you to personalize your sound and adjust to a comfortable level you like to hear. You will get fifteen hours of use once you charge entirely. It has a built-in motion sensor and will track your workout for you, which is a pretty cool feature. At the end of your training, you can see your stats on the app.
Reviewers have stated that they are comfortable to wear and stay in place when biking. They love the sound quality and feel like they can hear the music clearly even when biking.
2. Jaybird X4 Wireless, $90
The Jaybird X4 Wireless is so easy to wear because they go around your head and have easy button access when you want to change the volume or song. They are designed to be sweat and waterproof, which is perfect for cyclists. You never have to worry about them getting ruined by a sweaty ride.
Reviewers have stated that they love the price based on everything that is provided with these earbuds. From excellent sound quality to having up to eight hours of playtime, there is little to be desired. It comes with an app to download, too, so you can customize the sound wavelength depending on how loud or soft you like to play your music.
3. Bose SoundSport Wireless Earbuds, $154
The Bose SoundSport Wireless Earbuds should fit perfectly in your ear canal. If they don’t, you might have to change out the earbud tip, but they offer options. Battery life for these earbuds lasts up to six hours, which is perfect for a longer cycling route. They have tips on the earbuds that provide the support you need to ensure they stay in your ear.
Reviewers have stated that these are perfect to wear during an active workout. They can pair easily with any phone you have, whether that be apple or android. They provide the comfort you need in headphones that are lightweight and easy-to-use.
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Best Gym Headphones
If you prefer to workout on the main floor of a gym, these are the best two options for you. They’re especially good for weight lifting, the stair master, or rower.
1. Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear, $130
The Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear headphones can adjust depending on how you like to wear your headphones when they are on top of your head. They give you forty hours of listening time and are compatible with both apple and android.
These headphones are said to be comfortable to wear thanks to the cushioning on the ear. Reviewers have said that it feels like you have soft pillows over your ears while you work out. You can leave your phone in one room and walk across the gym without losing your Bluetooth connection. Having a large distance range is great for gym-goers.
2. Beats Fit Pro True, $200
If you’re not a fan of over-the-ear headphones, you can always try the Beats Fit Pro instead. These headphones allow you to customize the acoustic platform, which helps you achieve a balanced sound. You will have six hours of listening time and twenty-four extra hours when you put them back in the charging case. They give you that surround sound you want in the gym, so you aren’t hearing other people or workout machines.
Reviewers have stated that when they put these Beats in at the gym, it feels like they are closing off the world. The sound quality is so good that it’s like you’re in a movie theater, but in your ears. Some people like it loud while others might like their music soft, so the adjustable feature is also a fan favorite.
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Best Workout Headphones for Swimmers
If you are a swimmer and need headphones that can support your motivation under the water, we have the best waterproof headphones for you.
1. Swimbuds Sport, $60
Swimbuds Sport headphones offer great comfort and do not weigh you down while you are swimming. When you purchase the headphones, they include eleven earbud tips so you can find the right size for your ears. Having earbuds that do not move is probably more important in swimming than in any other sport. They are designed to be tucked into your goggle strap right above your ear, so they are out of the way.
Reviewers have stated that they are incredibly awesome to wear during kick drills and don’t move much once you place them in your ear. Even when you completely submerge in the water, they work great and don’t budge.
2. H2O Audio Sonar IPX8, $100
The H2O Audio Sonar IPX8 is designed for easy use when swimming. You actually drag and drop your music choices into the eight GB memory that can hold over sixty hours of playback. You can use your mac, pc, or smartwatch to add the songs onto the headphones since they are Bluetooth.
Reviewers have stated that they are enjoyable to use when swimming. Getting the music onto the headphones can take time, but it’s worth it and you won’t have to worry about a playlist while you get your laps in. Once you have it set up, it is smooth sailing from there.
3. SHOKZ OpenSwim, $150
The SHOKZ OpenSwim headphones are designed to be for open-ear comfort. They lay right in front of your ear and wrap behind your head. These headphones act like an MP3 player where you load music onto it periodically. The library can hold up to a thousand and two hundred songs, which is a lot. When they are fully charged, you will get eight hours of music. That’s lots of time to swim.
Reviewers have stated that the sound when you are underwater actually carries well. You would think that you wouldn’t be able to hear as much since they don’t go in your ear, but that’s not the case. Reviewers have said they can even hear the bass while doing laps in the pool.
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Best Brand for Workout Headphones?
The best brand of workout headphones that we could find is Beats. Their headphones made three of our entries on this list for a reason. They are unrivaled in their offerings and sound quality. Whether you want wireless, in-ear, over-ear, they have several options to choose from and often come in an affordable price range. Beats has great reviews for customer service and longevity of their products, so you know that you are getting a good investment that you can sweat in without worry. Based on your workout and headphone preferences, check out all of our Beats offerings in this article.
In conclusion, your workouts at the gym will definitely improve when you have a good pair of headphones and listen to motivating music. It’s worth the investment in yourself and your workouts, so be sure to check out all of our top picks for running, cycling, and more. Comfort and sound quality are both important when making your next purchase. We hope you can find the best gym headphones to work out with this year.