Best Workout Headphones – 2020 at reasonable cost. Here are same of the best workout headphones.
This guide will give everything you need to know about exercise headphones with all the pros and cons.
After more than 90 hours of research and testing 29 headphones over the past 3 months, we have compiled a list of best headphones for working out.
Best Workout Headphones
|Jaybird X3 Sports Headphones||8h||Bluetooth||9/10||Check Price|
|Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones
|Plantronics BackBeat Fit Bluetooth Headphones||8h||Bluetooth||8/10||Check Price|
|SENSO ActivBuds S-250
|SoundPEATS Wireless Earbuds||6h||Bluetooth||8/10||Check Price|
|Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones||–||Wired||8/10||Check Price|
|Jabra Elite Sport
- Jaybird X3 – Simply the Best headphones for working out
Jaybird X3 is an excellent choice for people looking for headphones for the gym or other sports.
It’s our top pick because it offers the best balance of price, features, and functions.
Jaybird X3 offers extremely versatile and Secure fit and has a great build quality.
It also features a useful companion app to adjust the equalizer so you are in more in control while listening to music or podcasts.
(watch the in-depth video review below)
- 8 hours of Battery life. 15 mins of charging will give you 60 mins of playback time!
- Great for running, and long gym sessions
- Features Excellent adaptable sound
- Compact & Durable design
- Comes with a Useful App (Called MySound app) to personalize your experience. The software works with Android and iOS.
- Excellent noise isolation
- Proprietary charging accessory. So if you lose the charging dock, you have to purchase a new one.
- Average call quality (but not a dealbreaker)
Full In-depth Review of the Jaybird X3
The X3 is the third generation workout and sports headset from Jaybird. It is the successor to the critically acclaimed X2, released in 2015. The Bluetooth-powered X-series headphones are known for their high-quality sound and customization options.
And the X3 doesn’t disappoint, with top notch sound quality, deep booming bass, and excellent clarity. After all, Jaybird has been ranked among premium brands like Beats, Bose, and Sennheiser in the past.
On the design front, the X3 is a Bluetooth wireless headset, with a cable joining the two earbuds. The cable also houses a small three-button remote.
Jaybird has added a lot of customization options with the earbuds to help us find the right fit. The memory foam and silicone tips are a mixed bag really. The foam offers the most secure fit, while the silicone may have a tendency to slip, especially after excessive sweating.
The patented silicone fins are entirely optional, and that is a good thing. Some might find it extremely useful to anchor the buds inside their ears. While for others, they may just be a needless distraction.
Regarding size, the X3 is a good deal smaller than the X2. But with the batteries inside the earbuds, they are still quite large and slightly heavy. But the extra weight was not a major issue for us.
Battery performance is not too shabby, with a total running time of close to 8 hours on a full charge. The charging is not lightning fast, but you can easily get an hours worth of juice in within 15 minutes of charging if you are in a hurry.
The Bad: Phone call reception quality is only average
If you need to answer a lot of calls while working out, you might have some issue with the X3. Don’t get us wrong, the call quality is quite acceptable, but there is some static involved. The whole experience is average. If you want to get a headphone with a better call quality, check out the Bose SoundSport Headphones.
The software features worked quite well. The app has some nifty features involving playlists. And the Android and iOS compatibility is excellent.
The cable is flat and quite tangle free. You get a cord shortening clip mechanism along with it to adjust the length. It doesn’t get in your way when you are running at all.
The earphones are almost waterproof, and we mean almost. They can survive rivers of sweat and the odd accidental splash of water. But they cannot handle showers or actual swimming.
JayBird X3 is this year’s best bluetooth workout earbuds. The manufacturer specializes in producing premium quality sports earphones, and it shows in the way the X3 is designed. If you want to listen to music while breaking into as sweat, either in the gym or outdoors, the X3 is a great choice. https://coolviewers.com
Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones – Our 2nd Best Bluetooth Headphones for Gym.
We are pretty sure that Bose does not need any introduction. And yes, quite unsurprisingly the SoundSport also finds a spot on our Editor’s Choice list.
The Bose Soundsport wireless headphones are our runner-up pick. They are the most comfortable in-ear wireless headphones right now.
They are sweat-resistant & offer excellent sound quality with a little bass emphasized sound compared to the X3 reviewed at #1.
According to out test results, the Bose Soundsports has one of the Strongest wireless performance when compared to other earbuds in this price range.
- Great Sound
- Good call quality
- Extremely comfortable to wear
- Excellent Wireless Performance
- Secure fit due to winged tips
- Sweat resistant, ideal for running/jogging
- 6 hours of battery life which is relatively less than our top pick
- Slightly bulkier than other on this list.
Full In-depth Review:
Perfection is a word that one commonly associates with the Bose brand. And they almost managed to pull it off again, with the SoundSport headphones. And we say almost, only because this is the first ever wireless sports headset designed by the company!
Like most of its competition, the SoundSport also features two earbuds connected by a cord. You also get an inline mic and volume controls on the cord. Incidentally, though, there is no cord shortening feature, just a clip on system to keep the cable from moving around.
There is nothing shocking or surprising about the sound quality. This is, after all, a Bose product. It delivers everything you expect from the brand regarding sound quality, period.
But you will be seriously taken aback when you see the earbuds. They are huge, positively massive, and do stick out a fair bit from inside your ears.
But once you get over the initial surprise, the earbuds do feel well designed. The set comes with silicone ear plugs in three different sizes. At least one of them should fit well enough for most people.
Plus, there is also the proprietary StayHear+ design technology that securely anchors these buds in your ear. They work well for the most part. The huge ear buds stay in place surprisingly well, even when one is running full tilt.
There is no noise cancellation option, so be prepared to catch quite a bit of background noise. If your gym music is loud, you might have some trouble with these headsets. But on the whole, they are perfect for the runners and joggers, as you need to be able to hear traffic sounds and all
The call quality is pretty decent, even if the person on the other end will get a lot of background sounds from the inline mic. Overall, the SoundSport can easily handle frequent phone calls when you are on the go.
Those earbuds are massive because of two Li-ion batteries inside, capable of delivering six hours of running time. Charging can be completed within two hours. And you can charge directly from the earbuds, which is a handy feature.
Battery life is decent, not decidedly the best. But Bose provides a way to get around that with a very useful accessory case, available for purchase. The case has a built-in charger that can be used for charging on the go.
SoundSport shines on the connectivity and software front, with NFC, Bluetooth, and the dedicated Bose app. Connecting to, and switching between devices is an absolute breeze. And the Bose app is packed with features like heart rate monitor.
The Bose SoundSport are one of the best bluetooth in-ear workout headphones that very comfortable, sounds great and you can purchase it at a very reasonable price. it does have some chinks in its armor, but they are only minor gripes. Bose has managed to get their fundamentals spot on.
- Plantronics BackBeat Fit – Best Waterproof Sports Headphones
Did you know that Neil Armstrong was speaking through a Plantronics headset while on the moon? The brand sure has a long and storied history, with experience in both commercial and consumer audio products. The BackBeat Fit is one of the best workout earbuds ever from the Plantronics stable.
BackBeat Fit does not have any messy cable connecting the earbuds. Instead, they have opted for a flexible wire that stays behind your head when you wear the headset. This wire/cord doesn’t touch your neck, which is great.
But on the whole, the fit and finish are quite satisfactory. The entire device is coated with a very soft and malleable rubber finish. The material is sweat and water resistant, which is to be expected from a sports headset.
The earbuds do not plug into the ear canal, so there is no noise cancellation on offer. This makes the BackBeat Fit a good option if you are on a bike, or running outdoors. The ear hooks loop over the top of your ear to keep the buds securely in place.
The design overall is quite comfortable and suited to constant movement. Some people might be bothered by the way the wire/cord keeps bobbing around behind their neck/head.
Buttons are placed on the external surface of the earbuds, controlling volume, calls, connectivity and play/pause. The setup is quite intuitive and easy to master. As long as you don’t mind reaching for your ears to do everything, they work fine.
The Bluetooth range is quite phenomenal at over 100 feet, so you don’t have to carry your phone around. If you must, you can also use the pouch provided, which doubles as an armband with a holster for your cell phone.
When the headset is placed outside the range of any connecting device, it is programmed to enter a battery saving mode automatically. And the battery capacity is also above average, stretching out to nearly eight hours of playback time. Charging can take up to 2 hours, which is quite acceptable.
You may have noticed that we have not mentioned audio quality yet, despite being deep in our review. To be frank, the BackBeat Fit does not have the chops to duke it out with the likes of Bose or JayBird. But it certainly is not the worst out there either.
If you are an audiophile, you may be disappointed by this headset. But for the normal user, Plantronics offers a more than decent listening experience. Sound levels might be too low for those who want high-intensity music to get into the “zone.”
Check Out the Video Review by RIZKNOWS:
The BackBeat Fit is a good product, with enough features to entice outdoor workout enthusiasts more than the gym freaks. The sound quality is acceptable, the build quality is excellent, and the battery life is just outstanding. It has a few flaws, but they are not deal-killers.
- Excellent durability and build quality.
- Above average battery life
- The wireless range is impressive
- Ideal for biking and running
- Disappointing bass and volume
- The cord has an irksome tendency to keep bobbing
- SENSO ActivBuds S-250 – Bestseller Earbuds for Working Out
It takes a special mix for a product to be popular to a wide section of the populace. Cheap alone does not cut it; you need a balance between affordability and quality. And that is what Senso seems to have nailed on the head, with their Amazon Best Seller sports headphones.
So what makes the Senso one of the best wireless headphones for working out? Yes, it is a budget product, but there is more to it than that. This headphone has a bevy of useful features that make it a worthwhile investment for fitness oriented users.
For starters, the design is quite compact and understated. The two earphones are connected by a tangle free fire that doesn’t get in the way while you are working out. The earpieces have a hook design that securely anchors them in place while you workout.
- Amazon’s Best Seller
- Good Wireless Performance
- 8 hours of battery life and upto 240 hrs of standby time.
- Excellent customer support
- Lots of freebies
- Mic quality is average during calls
The ClipSize ConfigurationBluetoothBattery
That hook or clip is made of soft silicone substance. It cannot be molded into shape, but it stays comfortable even without that feature.
Sure, they may not handle the more high-intensity routines, but they are good enough for biking, jogging, and other gym routines.
The earbuds are available in three different size configurations. That is not much compared to some other headphones, but they offer enough customization for the average user. The soft silicone clips offer good comfort and noise cancellation.
The Bluetooth feature works almost flawlessly. The Bluetooth is rated 4.1 and has a range more than 30 feet. There is a slight delay in finding your phone when you turn them on, but that is only a minor issue.
The battery life is better than average and is capable of powering the earphones for almost 8 hours. Recharge times are also very much acceptable, clocking in at around 2 hours.
As for the sound quality, this is one of the highlights of the Senso. Sure, you cannot expect audiophile quality, but that would be madness for a budget sports earphone. Still, the Senso can offer some fight to higher priced brands like Beats in this category.
The bass is high enough for a good workout session. And the sound output is also very loud. The vocals are on the lower end of the spectrum, but you cannot anything more than that.
What truly seals the deal is the number of freebies provided as part of the package. You get two charging cords, including a car charger and a Lightning/micro USB, as well as a carrying case, and replacement buds. This is one of the best gym headphones out there.
The popularity of Senso stems from what it offers on the whole, as a complete package. The earphones punch above their weight regarding audio quality, the manufacturer offers a bunch of useful freebies, and the wireless works fine. If you want a budget all-rounder for your medium intensity workout routines, this is a solid product.
- Mpow V4.1 – Bluetooth Headphones Wireless Sport Earphones
Not everyone wants audiophile quality sound output from their workout headphones. If “budget” or “best bang for the buck” is what you are looking for, Mpow may have some affordable options with acceptable quality for you. And the V4.1 Sports earphones are just that.
The V4.1 are wireless sports earphones connected by a cable. The design is nothing revolutionary, but what is available is quite functional. The cable also hosts the volume control buttons and a mic for answering phone calls.
Let’s get audio quality out of the way as quickly as possible. You get average quality output that is quite acceptable at a budget price point. The bass is quite loud and adequate for gym settings, but everything else is mediocre.
And there is noise cancellation feature either. But that shouldn’t be too much of a concern since most sport model earphones leave that feature out for extra safety when you are outdoors.
The overall customizability and fit of the earbuds can be a hit or miss situation. The Mpow V4.1 does come with three ear tips of different sizes, as well as six different ear hooks, three for indoor use and three for outdoors.
You will have to spend some time experimenting with the combination of ear tips and hooks to get the best possible combination. Even then, the experience is not likely to be free of hiccups. The earbuds do have a tendency to fall off now and then, both in the gym and outdoors.
The individual earbuds have a metallic exterior, and they can feel quite bulky. The batteries inside offer average to acceptable performance, lasting around 5 hours.
Overall the build quality is quite decent, and the device is rated as sweat-proof and waterproof. But that is not entirely true, as, in some instances, excessive sweating can take out the volume control buttons.
The controls can take some time to get used to, but they are quite easy to learn. The Bluetooth pairing feature works well, and there is no trouble at all in finding the signals. The software end is not the best out there, but that is to be expected for this class of sports earphones.
Longevity is a serious concern for these earphones though. If you want a device that lasts for several years, you may very well have to look elsewhere. The customer care though is top notch, and they do deliver replacements quite quickly.
The Mpow V4.1 exists for a very specific reason, and that can be explained in just a single word: budget. It offers everything you can expect from a budget product, including the flaws. If you can suffer those, this earphone is well worth a look.
- Acceptable sound quality
- Uses Bluetooth 4.1
- Robust metal and rubber construction
- Excellent customer service
- Great budget optional
- Earbuds have a tendency to fall off
- Not completely sweat-proof
- SoundPEATS Wireless Earbuds
Not everyone likes the cables that connect our earphones and headsets. Even wireless earphones usually have a connecting wire between the two earbuds. If you want to go the Apple Air Pod route on a budget, the SoundPeats earbuds are a tantalizing option.
As already mentioned, these are just like Air Pods. They are truly wireless and have nothing linking the two earpieces. But in the looks department, they are nothing like the Apple pods.
The two earpieces have ear hooks to hold them securely in place over your ears. All the controls are placed on the side of the devices, which also feature a USB charging port. The on-board batteries can keep them alive for nearly six hours, which is quite good.
The individual pieces can work separately even at a distance of 10 feet. So if you want to share some music with your gym partner or better half while running, this is a good option.
There are quite a lot of control buttons on these SoundPEATS earphones when compared to some other options in our list. And getting a grip on them all can be a chore, especially since the manual seems to rather poorly written.
The pieces fit quite comfortably in ears. But it has to be said that they do seem to go in deeper than other earbuds. It might feel a bit awkward initially, but that should pass with time. As such, it was not a major inconvenience for us
Those who need some tinkering can try changing the size of the earbuds. The package comes with soft ear buds in three different sizes. You also get a much-needed carrying case when you purchase this set.
The hooks help keep the earpieces in place during workouts and sprints. They may fall off with very rigorous or strenuous workouts involving a lot of movement, but otherwise, they hold on pretty well.
They are rated sweat-proof and work as expected in that regard. Since there is no connecting cable hugging your body, there is no risk of the controls getting wet and malfunctioning.
Since these are two independent pieces, you can use them in single or stereo mode. But the right piece is the main one, and if you lose it, the other one becomes pretty much useless. And it is quite easy to misplace one of these since they are not connected.
The overall sound quality places SoundPeats firmly in the cheap budget segment. It is acceptable for workouts, but do not expect awesome bass or treble levels. If you are an audiophile, this is not the best workout headphones for you, period.
Bluetooth connectivity is not a major issue, but connecting both pieces can be quite confusing. This is especially true for users who are new to wireless headphones.
The SoundPEATS earphones are ideal for those who want a true wireless experience on a budget. They offer decent if not stellar sound quality, and stay firmly in your ears. The battery life is also acceptable, with no major issues elsewhere.
- True wireless listening experience
- Uses Bluetooth 4.2
- Comfortable to use, and stays in ear most of the time
- Decent battery life
- Can be used separately
- Sound quality is not the best.
- The individual earpieces occasionally cut out.
- Shure SE215-K – Best Sound Isolating Earphones
- Superb sound quality
- Detachable cable, and modular design
- Durable build quality
- Fits comfortably in the ear
- Not a dedicated sports design, might be unsuitable for jogging and running outdoors for some ears.
For audiophiles on a budget, there are some neat options in the market these days. The Shure SE215-K is one of the best among the lot, coming from a known brand steeped in history. Using a unique design, they offer something different from what you see around.
Okay, these are not wireless earphones. Instead, they are wired earphones with a neat twist: removable cable. This means that they will keep working for a lot longer since in most wired earphones, it is the cable that dies first.
While all the earphones we have reviewed so far have been specially designed for sports use, the Shure SE215-K does not have this distinction. It is a high-quality earphone designed for audiophiles who cannot afford the big name brands. It just so happens that you can easily use this at the gym or while running.
The FitThe SoundThe CableBeware!
Fit should not be a major issue since the package comes with six different of soft buds to try out. Once you find the one that fits, you will get an almost perfect noise canceled sound reproduction.
The sound quality is top notch, surprisingly for such a mid-range product. This earphone is not for those who love bass heavy earphones. But if you want high fidelity sound reproduction, and like listening to a wide variety of genres of music, the Shure is a fantastic choice.
The cable is extremely tough and durable and should last a long time. Since this is not a dedicated sports earphone, it has not been rated sweat-proof or waterproof. But as long as you don’t mind the cables connecting the earphones to your phone, this is a more than capable device for use during workouts.
Coming to the sports-oriented features, the earphones are secured by a loop of over the ear cables. This should help them stay in place for all moderately strenuous exercises and runs. But they might fall off during the more strenuous fitness routines.
Beware while using these earphones out on the street. They can shut out external sounds, which is a hazardous thing to do when you are near traffic. From that perspective, these may be better suited for use indoors in your gym, where they can put you in the zone.
The most amazing thing about these Shure earphones is the mind-boggling audio quality you get. Yes, it is not a sports oriented device, and yes it has cables. But the sheer value you get from the whole package does make up for these glaring inadequacies somewhat.
- Koss KSC32L – Best Lightweight Workout Headphones.
- Very comfortable on your ears
- Stays in place securely even while running
- Sweat proof design
- Excellent sound quality
- Good choice of colors
- Not wireless
- No mic provided
It is often gratifying when a manufacturer takes out the time and effort to design and market a product for a demographic that is often overlooked: women. The Koss FitClips were designed for and by women. And it is not just a regular headphone given a pastel paint job!
Women tend to have smaller ears when compared to men, and Koss factored in things like this when designing the FitClip. But that doesn’t mean that this product can be used only by women! Far from it, this is, in fact, a unisex product that should suit men and women equally well.
While these are dedicated sports earphones, they are not wireless. So if you need a wire-free music experience during your workouts, these may not be the best choice out there.
The two earpieces fit snugly into your ear and offer decent noise cancellation. If you want to use them in your gym, they are excellent at blocking out the noise. But when you are out on the streets, you may want to reduce the volume levels, so that you are not entirely cut off from the world.
The DesignThe SoundSwear & Water ResistantLack of Mic!
The overall design is quite simple and elegant. And yes, these headphones do come in five different pastel colors for that extra “feminine” touch!
The earpieces are held securely in place by a soft and flexible ear hook that gently rest around your upper ear. The earbuds are quite small and snugly fit inside. You also get soft cushions in other sizes along with the package, for a better fit.
While this can work for both men and women, it is, after all, a very compact headphone design. If you are a man with larger ears, these may not fit you at all.
The sound quality of the FitClips deserves at least four stars. The bass is great, and the overall quality of sound reproduction is excellent. Everything crystal clear, and loud as well.
This his is a dedicated sports headphone, they have been designed to be resistant to sweat and some water as well. You cannot take a shower or go swimming while wearing these, of course!
And the lack of a mic means that you have to take out your phone to answer any calls. Workaholic types who like attending calls during workouts will, unfortunately, have to steer clear of this headphone, unfortunately.
The compact design does not exactly result in a very durable product though. While it is not extremely fragile, the FitClips cables parts do have a tendency to break with time. But you can always get a replacement, thanks to excellent customer care.
If you can look beyond the overt marketing for women, and if you don’t have really large ears, the Koss FitClips is well worth a look. They offer excellent sound quality and a comfortable fit and are ideal for both men and women.
- Jabra Elite Sport– Wireless Waterproof Fitness and Running Earbuds.
- Best in class for a secure fit
- Excellent sound quality
- Feature rich fitness tracking
- Fully waterproof design
- HearThrough mode for better situational awareness
- Average battery life
- Earphones are rather bulky
This is the second truly wireless sports earphone on our list, with a beefy feature list and formidable reputation. The Elite Sport is a direct rival to the Air Pod and fits into the same premium category. If you want sports earbuds for intense physical activity, the Jabra might be one of the best workout earbuds out there.
Jabra Elite Sport has two independent earbuds that are powered by Bluetooth. They have the capability to work independently of each other.
The buds are rather bulky, but it can be forgiven due to the number of features they hide inside. You get a precision heart monitor and accelerometer to track various health stats. And these stats can be used in either the Jabra app or other major fitness tracker apps.
The bulky earpieces may not work for everybody, but Jabra has provided three foam buds of different sizes to help people find a better fit. There are also three pairs of silicon buds, with fins called “EarWings” by Jabra. Getting the right combination for the perfect fit can take some time, but it is well worth the effort.
When properly fitted, Jabra offers one of the most secure earphone wearing experiences we have ever felt. This device can handle anything you throw it, from fast sprints to high-intensity workouts.
WaterproofSound QualityCall QualityBattery
And needless to say, it has robust protection against sweat and is also totally waterproof. This is one of the best-protected devices we have reviewed so far when it comes to liquids and fluids. The earphones will survive a splash or a shower with ease.
The sound quality is quite decent, for a fitness oriented earphone. The bass effects are very well controlled, and the sound quality is quite rich. This is a pair of earphones that can handle all kinds of music genres with ease.
The call quality is also above average. The mics in the earbuds can deliver excellent voice clarity, because there are two each in each ear bud. Another interesting feature is a setting which allows you to use these mics to capture your ambient noise while running.
The battery life is one of the few weak links in this strong package. It lasts only for 3 hours, which is quite low.
This setting makes the Jabra a great option for runners and joggers since it enhances your situational awareness. For improved situational awareness, you can also use the silicone tips. The foam tips offer improved noise cancellation.
If you are a fitness enthusiast, the Jabra Elite Sport is simply one of the best headphones for working out. Its fitness tracking features are amazing, and it also has got all the fundamentals like comfort and sound quality spot on. If you can afford it and harness all its features, this is a solid earphone to buy.
- Swimbuds Sports – Best Waterproof headphones for Swimming
- Best music output underwater
- Fits perfects in the ears
- Quite comfortable to wear
- Durable and sturdy build quality
- Does not work very well out of the water
- Only useful for regular swimmers
Not many sports earphones are designed to work with one beloved physical activity: swimming. As the name amply suggests, Swimbuds SPORT is one of the few devices that we have reviewed that can handle itself underwater. This is probably the best headphones for swimming out there.
Many other earphones are mainly designed for land-based activities and come with limited protection against water. Swimbuds SPORT was designed from a different perspective. First and foremost, it is an earphone for use while swimming.
When you want an earphone to work while swimming, the fit is of paramount importance. Swimbuds arrives with four different styles of earbuds to help you choose the one that fits your ears the best. These earbuds all sport a patented waterproof design, ranging from regular round tips to tree tips, fin tips and ergo tips.
These are wired headphones, with a 1.3-foot long cord to connect to your phone or music device. You can opt for an extension cord if you need more length when out of the water.
If you are a swimmer, these are what you need to add music to your swimming experience. They work well, even with long and strenuous swimming sessions. The earbuds stay put and do not fall off, like at all.
Listening to music underwater is different than overland. The Swimbuds offer excellent performance underwater, cutting through other competing sounds with ease. But on dry land, the story is not so good.
The earbuds are designed with smaller than normal openings at their tips. This works wonders underwater. But on dry land, there is very little punch, and the sound just feels very muted and weak. It actually sounds worse than the cheap earphones your cell phone comes bundled with.
So there is no point looking at the merits of the Swimbud SPORT like regular sports earphones. The SPORT is probably the best you can expect for an underwater music experience, period. If you are a keen swimmer, you will enjoy it immensely during all those hours spent in the water. But outside, you are better off with another headphone.