Top 10 Best Headphones and Earbuds To Use While Exercising 2021

To many people, a good pair of headphones or earbuds is a vital piece of equipment. Whether you’re traveling, commuting, or just looking to listen to your favorite songs with the best possible sound quality, a good pair of headphones will make all the difference. Most of us also prefer to listen to music when exercising, finding it useful for getting pumped and going that extra distance. Below we take a look at the ten best headphones and earbuds to use when you’re working out.

Earbuds vs headphones

 Both earbuds and headphones have their pros and cons and deciding which one is best is dependent on your preferences and how you’ll be using them. Headphones, which rest on or over your ears, typically offer better sound quality, especially bass tones. They’re also effective at blocking outside noises. However, they can be bulky and lack the portability of earbuds, which is why runners and those working out tend to favor the smaller option. Furthermore, headphones can make your ears warmer, which might make you sweat more.

However, some see it as a tradeoff as headphones can be more comfortable, offer better battery life, and come packed with more features.

Top Headphones and Earbuds – Comparison Table

Model nameBest qualitySound qualityPrice
Sennheiser PXC 550 WirelessBattery lifeExcellentNo products found.

Beats Studio3 Wireless

Quick chargeDecentNo products found.

Plantronics BackBeat Go 810

Great for podcasts and audiobooks tooGreatNo products found.

Skullcandy Hesh 3

Supports passive playbackQuite bass-heavyNo products found.

Plantronics Backbeat Go 600

LightweightExcellentNo products found.

66 Audio BTS Pro Wireless Headphones

40-hour battery lifeGreatNo products found.

AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones

Great for situational awarenessGoodNo products found.


Very affordableGoodNo products found.

Jabra Elite Active 65t

Completely wirelessGoodNo products found.

Bose SoundSport Wireless

Great build qualityExcellentNo products found.

1. Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

 No products found.No products found.

If you’d prefer to workout with a pair of over-ear headphones, the PXC 550 Wireless by Sennheiser is one of the best. While they are geared more towards everyday use, like for commuting, they have a tight, but comfortable fit ensuring they’ll remain stable while running or exercising. They also feature active noise canceling and a touch-sensitive control scheme that makes them quite versatile.

While they sound great out of the box, if you’d like to fiddle with the sound to suit your needs, you’re in luck, thanks to the companion app. This allows you to easily adjust the equalization to suit your preferences. The headphones also have 3a fantastic 27.5-hour battery life and an adjustable auto-off timer to help save battery.

However, their noise-canceling could be better and they do have a tendency to leak quite a bit of sound, which may bother those around you. That shouldn’t put you off as the headphone’s secure and comfortable fit coupled with their long-lasting battery ensure they’re a solid option for those on their way to work or working out.

        Pros        Cons
Tight, comfortable fit
27.5-hour battery life
Leaks sound
Noise-canceling could be better

2. Beats Studio3 Wireless

No products found.No products found.

Beats offer a variety of stylish finishes for their headphones, offering a more snazzy over-ear option for those looking to work out in style. They’re also a little more comfortable than the Sennheiser PXC 550 and have physical buttons instead of a touchpad. Many find physical buttons a lot easier to use when working out.

As far as sound quality goes, the Beats are a little heavy on the base but overall are pretty decent. They also include an awesome 23-hour battery life and active noise-canceling technology. This means they block a fair amount of outside noise, allowing you to focus entirely on your workout. They also have a quick-charge feature, so you don’t need to worry if you forgot to plug them in overnight.

With that being said, the Beats don’t offer as good sound quality as some of its competition, and its iOS integrated interface doesn’t provide an easy option for you to customize the way your headphones sound. Another rather large downside is the lack of passive playback, meaning you can’t use them with a wired connection if the battery dies. This could be a major let down for some. However, their snug and comfortable fit, good looks and easy-to-use design make the Beats Studio3 a respectable choice for use while exercising.

        Pros        Cons
Stylish finish
23-hour battery life
Quick-charge capabilities
Sound quality could be better
Can’t customize the sound
No passive playback

3. Plantronics BackBeat Go 810

 No products found.No products found.

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 is a perfect set of headphones for anyone who prefers a physical control scheme with a well-rounded sound. They offer good noise cancellation, a sturdy fit with a great control layout. Additionally, they have a stylish matte finish with copper metallic accents, giving them a classy look.

They are also admirably neutral in their audio reproduction, ensuring they’re a great match for people who enjoy working out to a wide variety of music genres. This neutrality also makes them ideal for listening to podcasts or audiobooks. They also feature a fantastic 24.5-hour battery life and a standby mode, so you don’t have to charge them every day.

While these headphones excel in many areas, they don’t feel quite as comfortable as the Beats Studio3 or the Sennheiser PXC 550. Their earcups tend to be a bit too shallow and a little too tight, especially for those of us who have larger heads. This, of course, won’t affect everybody and many will still find the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 one of the best set of headphones for working out.

        Pros        Cons
Versatile sound quality
Good noise cancelation
Great control scheme
Not as comfortable as competitors

4. Skullcandy Hesh 3

 No products found.No products found.

If you’re someone who likes a lot of bass to get pumped for your workout but don’t want to shell out the money for the Beats, the Skullcandy Hesh 3 is a great alternative. They do lack active noise canceling, but you still get pretty good sound quality with solid bass, a decent battery life, and a tight, comfortable fit. All of this comes at a very reasonable price, making these a solid contender for workout headphones.

It’s important to note that these headphones are designed to play bass-heavy music, yet they don’t completely frown out the other instruments or vocals. They come packed with a battery that supports 19 hours of use, and you can even use them with a cable in case you forget to charge them. If you do forget, the nifty quick-charge feature will give you hours of playback on just a ten-minute charge.

Their bass-heavy sound could be an issue for some, especially since it’s a bit of a mission to adjust the equalizer with the companion app. They also don’t have the classiest finish, giving a plasticky and cheap feel. With that said, these headphones are still a great option for anyone looking for good sound quality without spending too much money.

        Pros        Cons
Very affordable
Quick-charge capabilities
Comfortable fit
Has a cheap finish
Bass-heavy sound could be a downside for some

5. Plantronics Backbeat Go 600

No products found.No products found.

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 provides those looking for a lightweight, over-ears headphone for their workouts with an easy solution. The lightweight design ensures less pressure is applied on your head, but at the cost of a super secure fit. However, they do come with a very easy to use control scheme with physical buttons on the outside of the ear cups. This positioning makes it easy to reach while jogging or exercising.

The headphones come with a v-shaped sound signature to deliver high-quality bass. But, if that’s not enough for you, you can add more with the extra-bass feature to ensure you’re as pumped as you can be for your workout. They also come with a 17-hour battery life which can be fully charged in around an hour and a half.

One of the few downsides associated with these headphones is the inability to isolate outside noise. The build quality isn’t great either, making  them look flimsy and cheap. There are also inconsistencies in the sound quality among users, especially when it comes to the bass. However, they can be used with a wire which is pretty nifty.

        Pros        Cons
Great sound quality
Fully charged in 90 minutes
Easy to use control scheme
Doesn’t fit as securely as its competitors
Finish looks cheap

6. 66 Audio BTS Pro Wireless Headphones

 No products found.No products found.

The somewhat unknown 66 Audio sets the benchmark in battery life with over 40 hours of continuous playback from a single charge. The headphones also boast an impressive wireless range of 100 feet, with most Bluetooth headphones giving you about 30 feet of leeway.

The headphones also boast memory foam cushions with a thin silicone band sitting behind your neck. This not only makes the 66 Audio BTS Pro comfortable but also keeps things out of the way while you exercise. If you have a tendency to misplace things, the companion app’s ‘find my headphone’ feature could be a blessing. Sound quality is also excellent considering its relatively low price.

As far as downsides go, the BTS Pro is heavier than a lot of its competition, weighing in at 83 grams. It also doesn’t have a heart rate monitor, which some exercise enthusiasts might be disappointed by. However, considering its price, these are one of the best sets of headphones to use while you workout for less than $100.

        Pros        Cons
40+ hour battery life
Long wireless range
Great sound quality
Quite heavy

7. AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones

No products found.No products found.

AfterShockz specializes in making headphones that suit the needs of urban runners, and it shows with the Trekz Air. Sound is delivered through your cheekbones thanks to its bone-conducting technology which leaves your ears open to hear the traffic around you. You’ll also be able to hear people speak with relative ease.

Another bonus of these headphones is that they’re one of the few that are ‘race legal’ in some countries because you can clearly hear the marshalls and traffic on open-road courses. If you’re looking to run races with music, this is pretty much your only option. The Air is also sweatproof, has a secure and comfortable fit around your head ensuring they won’t fall out when you’re jogging.

However, the Air isn’t without its downsides. It only has a six-hour battery life, so you’ll find yourself charging them quite often. They also don’t have the loudest volume, which can be an issue for those who like to listen to their music loud. The sound quality is decent, but lacking when compared to a regular pair of headphones or earphones. Despite these drawbacks, these durable headphones  shine when used in a gym.

        Pros        Cons
Comfortable and secure fit
Great for situational awareness
Very flexible and lightweight
Short battery life
Low volume
Sound quality isn’t great

8. JBL E45BT

No products found.No products found.

 An affordable alternative to in-ear headphones, the JBL E45BT does not overheat and sits on your ear comfortably. They come in a wide variety of colors and with simple, physical controls so you can easily adjust the volume or skip through your playlist without having to use your phone.

The JBL E45BT also features decent sound quality and fantastic battery life. The sound is well-rounded and deep with heavy-hitting bass, making them great for bass-heavy genres. The bass is at just the right level so you are still able to clearly hear the other instruments and vocals. Its battery will give you about 26 hours of constant playback on just a two-hour charge. If they do manage to go flat, you can still use them with the included audio cable.

The on-ear design, however, isn’t great. It doesn’t isolate a lot of noise and users have been reporting different bass delivery. While the JBL E45BT isn’t perfect, they provide good overall value for those looking for a good pair of gym headphones.

        Pros        Cons
Very affordable
Fantastic battery life
Good sound quality
Aren’t noise-canceling
Bass can vary among users

Top Earbuds to Help You Workout

9. Jabra Elite Active 65t

No products found.No products found.

If in-ear headphones are more your thing, you should definitely get the Jabra Elite Active 65t. They are superb for running and working out. Given that they have no wires at all, they’re also extremely portable. They come in an awesome matte finish and are rated IP56 for advanced water and dust resistance. Additionally, they’re well-built and have a very nice control scheme comprising of physical buttons.

Even though it doesn’t have active noise-canceling, these headphones still manage to block a decent amount of noise passively, helping you stay laser-focused on your workout routine. They have good audio production, but you’re free to tweak the sound to your liking with the Jabra Sound+ app. The battery life supports five hours of continuous playback and you can recharge them twice with the carrying case, providing a total of about 15 hours of battery life.

However, some people don’t find them as comfortable given their rather bulky design. Also, if you’re someone who likes to watch videos while on the cardio machines, you might be disappointed as there is a bit of latency. With that said, these are still some of the best headphones for working out given their great sound quality, awesome craftsmanship, and  exercise-orientated features.

        Pros        Cons
Completely wireless
Great build quality
Good sound quality
Uncomfortable on some people
Latency when watching videos

10. Bose SoundSport Wireless

No products found.No products found.

 If sound quality is your main priority, regardless of where you are, then the Bose SoundSport Wireless Workout Earbuds will be right up your alley. The earbuds have a deep base, excellent mid-range, and a well-rounded treble, meaning, no matter what your genre, it’ll sound good. The SoundSport Wireless comes with a decent six-hour battery life and an auto-off timer that can be adjusted in the Bose Connect app. They also support multi-device pairing and NFC, which are nifty little additions.

Despite their rather bulky design, they sit firmly in your ear ensuring they won’t fall out while you’re killing it at the gym. They’re also some of the most durable headphones and, thanks to their soft earbud tips, they have a comfortable fit. Additionally, they come in a variety of colors so you’re sure to find one that suits your style.

However, the control scheme lets these earbuds down somewhat. The heavily rubberized buttons, the volume controls in particular are quite hard to press. They’re also not ideal for use in crowded places given their semi-open design, meaning they don’t have great noise isolation. They also aren’t as sweatproof as you might expect. The SoundSport Wireless is still a solid choice for those looking for great sound quality at a reasonable price.

        Pros        Cons
Fantastic sound quality
Durable and comfortable
Supports multi-device pairing
Very portable
The control scheme isn’t great
Not very sweat-proof
Poor noise isolation


1. Are earbuds or headphones better for working out?

If you’re someone who enjoys listening to music while you work out, then one of the most important criteria to consider before you invest in a pair of headphones or earbuds is how well they fit. Generally, earbuds are better at staying put, making them ideal if you’re planning playing sports or running. This doesn’t mean that on-ear headphones won’t work, but they are more likely to move around given their extra size and weight. That said, you can buy sports headphones which attach much more securely to your head and are good enough for use in the gym or while jogging.

2. Do over-ear headphones sound better?

Generally, over-ear headphones have a greater potential for improved sound quality given their larger size. This means that larger drivers can be installed, allowing the headphones to pump out deeper and clearer bass. But this isn’t always the case. Another important factor is the price. A cheap pair of over-ear headphones will probably sound worse than an expensive pair of earbuds, for example.

3. What are the best true wireless earbuds for working out?

If you’re looking for a great pair of completely wireless earbuds, there are several good options. The Bose SoundSport Wireless, for example, has excellent sound quality, is very durable and comfortable, and even supports multi-device pairing. An alternative is the Beats Powerbeats Pro, solid contender that offers sharp sound and  a nine-hour battery life. Bear in mind that these are a bit more expensive.

4. Are Beats headphones good for working out?

 Yes, they are. Beats actually offer a number of very good headphones and earbuds designed to be used while working out. The Beats Studio3 Wireless is an excellent pair of headphones designed to be used while exercising. Boasting 22 hours of battery life and Fast-Fuel which grants three hours of battery from a 10-minute charge. They’re also robust and comfortable.

A suitable alternative would be the Beats Solo3 which also features fast-fuel and an impressive 40-hour battery life. You can take calls, talk to Siri and control your music all from the headphones themselves. The only thing to note with the Solo3 is that it doesn’t support active noise canceling technology which could be a deal-breaker for some.


Given the rising popularity of listening to music while working out, choosing the correct pair of headphones or earbuds can prove to be a challenge. Hopefully, this compilation helped narrow down your search and answered a few questions. All of the products on the list have their pros and cons, but the 66 Audio BTS Pro offers some awesome features for a very reasonable price. If sound quality is your biggest concern, the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless is the way to go.


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Last update on 2024-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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