Best Headphones for Running – The Complete Guide
If you’re like most athletes and fitness enthusiasts, then you know that putting your headphones on during your morning jog can really put a pep in your step. Music gives you a beat and a pace that you can consistently follow, and the endorphin released from your raw, positive emotions can really be good for your heart.
You might notice how you seem to run a little bit faster or go a little bit further whenever you listen to your tunes. This is because the music takes your attention away from the pain or exhaustion that you might be feeling, if only for a little while.
But when you listen to music while you run, you can’t just use any regular pair of headphones. You need a pair that can withstand the rigors of your physical activities. Here are a few key characteristics of the best headphones for running.
The key characteristics of the Best Headphones for Running
- Great Audio Quality – What good are a pair of headphones for running if you can’t hear the music that you are trying to listen to very well? Any decent pair of running headphones should have some degree of noise cancellation that allows you to listen without having to turn the volume up so loud. You need a pair of headphones that are capable of delivering excellent sound quality because the better the music sounds in your ear, the more pleasurable your run could turn out to be. Just be careful not to close your eyes while rocking out to your favorite songs while running. You still need to see where you’re going, or who you might be running into.
- Secure & stable ear fit: Unless low quality headphones, one of the key characteristics of the best headphones for running is that they don’t slide off when you run, which allows you to enjoy your music and running more.
- Water and Sweat Resistance – When you run, you sweat, and normally, sweat and electronics are a terrible combination. Regular headphones can short out and stop working after getting exposed to water or sweat. You will need a pair of sweat and water resistant headphones that can continue playing your songs longer than you are able to run. You can even take things a bit further and go for waterproof headphones. These allow you to listen to your tunes while swimming.
- Durability – You know that a pair of headphones are no good if you have to keep replacing them every few months. Find a pair that has a rugged design, something that fits you perfectly and feels sturdy enough to take a beating. Remember that you will most likely be using the best headphones for running while engaging in physical activities, and not just while sitting at the coffee shop. Besides, whether you actually run or not, when it comes to headphones you will definitely want a pair that lasts.
- Additional Features – While not strictly necessary, extra features such as Bluetooth connectivity and heart rate monitoring are a definite plus. Some of the pricier pair of headphones offer more than just the basics, but ultimately, the decision on whether you need those extras or if you can do without them falls on you.
- Comfort – If ill-fitting headphones are downright irritating when you’re standing still, imagine how they would feel on your ears when you’re running. Your headphones should fit the contours of your ears perfectly, and stay in place even after breaking a sweat during exercise. A comfortable pair of headphones can make a difference, especially since you don’t have to keep putting them back on whenever they fall off.
Best Headphones for Running – the Complete List
Lightweight, highly durable, and designed specifically for an active lifestyle, the Bose SoundSport offers remarkable audio quality that is characterized by crisp highs and deep low tones. It is equipped with a hydrophobic material that makes it resistant to sweat or water, and its intelligent form factor ensures that the SoundSport stays in place even during long runs or strenuous workouts. It even has an inline mic and remote that lets you answer calls while running, without having to stop just so you can pull your phone out of your pocket or your waistband. Like some of the audio equipment company’s other products, the SoundSport has the trademark sharksfin tips, which if nothing else, makes for an interesting conversation starter. It also comes with additional ear tips that fit ears of just about any size or shape. Find tips that help create a snug fit so that they don’t fall off easily. Tips that create a tight seal in your ear can also block background noise, allowing you to enjoy your music without having to turn the volume up so loud. A bit pricier than some of the other in-ear headphones in its category, but its superb sound quality and comfortable design makes the Bose SoundSport well worth its price tag.
- Tonally balanced audio with crisp highs and deep low notes
- Sweat- and weather-resistance using hydrophobic acoustic cloth for workouts indoors and out
- StayHear tips remain in place even during strenuous workouts
- Lightweight, durable carrying case stores and protects headphones, plus holds cash and keys during workouts
- Take calls and control music with the inline mic/remote
If you can’t stand those audio wires dangling from your ears while you’re jogging, then you might want to consider going Bluetooth. They don’t have to be expensive; there are a number of wireless Bluetooth headphones out there, such as the BackBeat Fit from Plantronics that costs less than wired headphones. Offering fairly decent sound quality and a comfortable wireless fit, the BackBeat Fit is one of the more budget-friendly Bluetooth headphones in the market today. It doubles as a handsfree device for your mobile phone. Its simple design offers very little noise reduction, giving you a more natural sound while also keeping you connected to the sounds from the outside world. The BackBeat Fit comes with a reversible and reflective armband that secures your phone for easy access. For its price, the BackBeat Fit from Plantronics is definitely a good option to consider if you are looking for low cost, wireless Bluetooth headphones that you can use for your next run.
In a nutshell, the Plantronics BackFit feature the following:
- Flexible design fits comfortably and stays stable across all levels of exercise
- 100% Sweat / water proof design and P2i coating
- On-ear controls for calls and music
- Neoprene armband secures your smartphone
- Powerful speakers deliver outstanding audio quality
- Up to 6 hours of talk time, up to 8 hours of listening time, up to 14 days of standby time
- DeepSleep mode puts earbuds into hibernation when away from phone in order to extend battery life
- It comes with a Free app which keeps headphones updated with latest firmware
Though not as mainstream or as popular as some of the other manufacturers on this list, MEElectronics does offer one of the best and more affordable pair of headsets for running in the Sport-Fi M6. The M6 gives the budding audiophile in you a good option should you decide to take up running as a hobby. The M6 features an over-the-ear design with memory wire that takes the shape that best fits the contours of your ears. This is important because you don’t want the best headphones for running falling off and getting tangled up in your gear while running. Sound quality on the M6 is fairly decent with its noise isolating in-ear design. Lows and mids are sufficiently represented, with the M6 covering the entire frequency spectrum. It also has an inline mic and remote hands-free calling, and is IPX5 certified to be sweat and water resistant. If you are in the market for a pair of budget-friendly headphones, then the Sport-Fi M6 is worth seriously considering.
The key features of the MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6P are as follows:
- Secure over-the-ear fit with memory wire never falls out
- Noise isolating in-ear design with energetic sound and enhanced bass
- Inline microphone, remote, and universal volume control for headset use
- Certified IPX5 sweat- and water-resistant for increased durability
- Includes carrying case and 6 sets of eartips for the best fit and comfort; 1-Year manufacturer’s warranty
Despite being an older model, the MDR-J10 from global multi-industry leader Sony is still one of the more popular pairs of running headphones today. Its innovative look and ergonomic non-slip design effectively creates a stable fit that keeps it secure even during long runs. The sound quality is remarkably better than what some of the other headphones in its price range is capable of reproducing, thanks to Sony’s proprietary Twin Turbo Circuit technology. Noise cancellation leaves something to be desired, although it does make for a more natural sound without cutting you off from the outside world completely. The Sony MDR-J10 is not exactly the most affordable pair of the headphones for running in its category, but its sound quality, as well as its comfortable non-slip design, makes worth a serious look.
The key specs of the Sony MDR-J10 are:
- Vertical In-The-Ear Design
- Clip Style Headphone, Cord Length – 4 feet
- Non-Slip, Stable Design, Cord Length – 4 feet
- Minimized Sound Leakage
Another wireless Bluetooth option that athletes and fitness enthusiasts can look into is the BTS+ Sport Headset from 66 Audio. The BTS+ offers great audio quality and comfort that is bound to bring out the athlete in you. It offers good noise isolation, better than most in-ear types in fact, because the BTS+ uses a closed, supra-aural design that limits the amount of ambient noise that leaks in. It also has onboard multifunction controls that let you select tracks, adjust the volume, or even take calls hands-free. Power is supplied by a rechargeable battery that can run for 30 hours of continuous music playback, or 500 hours of standby. Its superb sound quality and incredible battery life makes the 66 Audio BTS+ Sport Headset one of the best buys that you can possibly make.
- Outstanding Stereo Sound compatible with virtually all Bluetooth music players – including iPhone, iPod, Android devices , PC and Mac
- Both a Wireless Stereo Headphone and Bluetooth Phone Headset for hands-free calling with Clear Voice Capture (CVC) noise cancellation technology
- More than 30 hours of continuous music playback on a single charge and 500 hours standby
- Bluetooth 4.0 +EDR technology with Multipoint pairing and real-time battery indicator on-board iOS devices
- Includes premium micro-fiber pouch, Micro-USB charging cable, user guide and 1-year warranty
Conclusion on the best headphones for running
All 5 models above are great headphones for running, it’s up to you to pick the one in line with your requirements and budget. If you are looking for top-notch quality then the Bose SoundSport would be the best choice. On the other hand, if you are looking for value for money, the 66 Audio BTS+ Bluetooth would be the best option for you.