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Using headphones for working out can transform your frame of reference and put you in the mood to grind like nothing else. Of course, exercise can be strenuous and involve tons of movement, so it’s essential to find a pair of headphones or earbuds that leave you unencumbered by wires and fit securely enough that they won’t be flung to the ground every time you move your head. In this list, we’ll break down the best headphones for working out and optimizing your circuit(s) with your favorite music and podcasts.

How we chose the best headphones for working out

The best headphones for working out are wireless, and Bluetooth requires power. We picked headphones that offer at least five hours of single-charge battery life, and all of the earbuds include charging cases. Considering the battery life of your headphones is extremely important for keeping the flow going—you wouldn’t want the music to stop mid-workout. All of the headphones on our list fit securely around the head or in the ear to ensure that they move very little or not at all during workouts. Everyday headphones made for walking or when you’re stationary aren’t typically designed with extreme movement in mind.

Sound quality was also a big factor in considering headphones for this list, and many of the earbuds we picked either come with a full and balanced sound profile or offer the option to adjust their sound via an app. Staying aware of the activity around you is always important while wearing headphones, especially if you’re on the go. For our list, we picked headphones that either feature a transparency mode or are completely open-ear.

The best headphones for working out: Reviews & Recommendations

Prepping for a workout is all about getting your mind and body in the right place, and apart from stretching and putting on the right clothes, pumping up the jams properly can pump you up for a regular training run. One of our choices is sure to put a spring in your step the next time you go for a jog or lift weights.

Best overall: Apple Beats Fit Pro

Stan Horaczek


Why it made the cut: The Apple Beats Fit Pro features a snug fit, balanced sound, and seamless iOS connectivity that make them easy to add to any workout routine.


  • Weight: 0.2 ounces/earbud; 2.3 ounces with case
  • IP rating: IPX4 (splash-resistant)
  • Battery life: 6 hours single-charge; 24 hours with case


  • High-performance active noise canceling in a compact earbud design
  • Secure design stays in ear when running or working out
  • Compatible with dynamic head tracking on iOS devices
  • Includes pocket-sized travel case and three eartip options


  • No wireless charging
  • iOS device required for full functionality
  • Not protected against water immersion
  • No multipoint pairing

We’ve thoroughly reviewed the Apple Beats Fit Pro, and they take the best overall award on this list thanks to their sound quality, workout-friendly design, and fantastic iOS compatibility. They contain the same proprietary H1 chip found in Apple’s AirPods, which enables near-instantaneous pairing and steady, reliable connections to iOS devices along with battery life optimization. Like AirPods, the Beats Fit Pro earbuds are also fully compatible with iOS head-tracking and spatial audio features for simulated surround sound and immersive media listening. Their inclusion of active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency modes make them equally useful on the road and at the gym. We also love the range of colors these buds come in, particularly their unique skin tone range.

The Beats Fit Pro earbuds are designed to sit securely in your ears using small rubber wings that rest comfortably against your outer ear along with three sets of variously sized ear tips. A quick optional setup step uses the earbuds’ onboard microphones to test your fit for sound leaks. Once your optimal fit is achieved, the Beats Fit Pro can endure almost every exercise imaginable—from running to rowing—without budging. The earbuds’ conveniently pocked-sized charging case brings their total battery life to around 24 hours. While it would be nice to see wireless charging in a product with this price tag, we appreciate that the case is chargeable via USB-C rather than Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector.

While the Beats Fit Pro earbuds are unmistakably great for iPhone users, it’s unfortunate that the instant pairing and steady connectivity of the earbuds’ H1 chip aren’t extended to Android users. For their price, it would also be nice to see features like multipoint pairing and more robust weatherproofing rather than the same IPX4 rating found in standard AirPods. Still, if you work out regularly and are an iPhone user, you’d be seriously hard-pressed to find a better in-ear option. If you’re sold on the Beats features but are looking for an option with earhooks, the Powerbeats Pro earbuds are also a solid choice.

Best over-ear: JBL Live 660NC



Why it made the cut: The JBL Live 660NC boasts full bass, and balanced sound with a 50-hour battery life, making them perfect for spur-of-the-moment workouts.


  • Weight: 9.3 ounces
  • IP rating: N/A
  • Battery life: 50 hours


  • Long-lasting 50-hour battery life
  • Quick charge gives 4 hours operation in 10 minutes
  • JBL app offers EQ and other advanced features


  • Variable fit affects noise cancellation performance
  • Integrated voice assistant button is easy to press accidentally
  • Multi-button design is complicated to use and set up
  • No IP rating

If you prefer the fit and look of over-ear headphones for working out, the JBL Live 660NC’s are worth considering, thanks to their snug fit and battery life. They offer up to 50 hours of operation on a single charge and a burst charge for four hours of operation in 10 minutes, so they’re almost always ready to go on a moment’s notice. The 660NC’s also feature noise canceling and ambient-aware modes, making them equally suitable for use in noisy gyms and on busy streets. We had inconsistent results with their noise-canceling abilities due to the earcups sealing differently on different peoples’ heads, so if the best noise-canceling is an absolute must in your book, you’ll want to consider noise-canceling earbuds instead of over-ears.

Thanks to their 40-millimeter drivers, the sound of the JBL 660NC is balanced and neutral with a slightly pronounced bass response that makes them great for listening to pop, dance, and other beat-heavy music while working out. The JBL headphones app offers further sculpting of the 660NC’s’ sound with EQ and ambient-aware level adjustments as well as access to battery life indicators and more. The headphones also feature their own onboard suite of control buttons. Still, they require a bit of studying to master, and the voice assistant button that covers the entirety of the left earcup is easy to press accidentally.

Lastly, the 660NCs have no official IP rating, and while we didn’t experience any technical issues from getting them a little sweaty, you’ll still want to be mindful of using them in heavy rain or other settings where they might get doused. If you absolutely need to work out with waterproof over-ear headphones, the Jabra 85h is a satisfactory alternative that features great ANC but has a slightly less secure fit.

Best for CrossFit: Dóttir Freedom Sport Earbuds

Amanda Reed


Why it made the cut: The Dóttir Freedom Sport Earbuds simply won’t budge during high-intensity workouts thanks to their substantial ear hooks and wide range of silicone ear tips.


  • Weight: 0.33 ounces/earbud; 9.5 ounces with case
  • IP rating: IPX7 (waterproof for 30 minutes, not dustproof)
  • Battery life: 12 hours single-charge; 72 hours with case


  • Incredibly secure fit
  • Built-in touch controls
  • Long single-charge battery life, extended further with case


  • ANC performance is spotty
  • On the bulkier and heavier side for earbuds
  • Max volume is lower than comparable earbuds

CrossFit enthusiasts and others who perform more strenuous exercises will like the impossibly secure fit and high sweatproof rating of the Dóttir Freedom Sport Earbuds, an easy-to-use pair of true wireless headphones with a design similar to the Apple Powerbeats Pro that cost around $100 less. Coming from Icelandic CrossFit legends Katrin Davidsdottir and Annie Thorisdottir, who have a lot of experience with sets in the box (both exercises and audio gear), these earbuds come with a whopping 12 pairs of eartip options to ensure the absolute best fit for your ear canal. In addition, they feature a substantially long earhook, so they’re not going anywhere once they’re in place. An intuitive combination of buttons and on-earbud touch controls grant access to volume adjustments and music controls, allowing you to put your phone away and focus on your workout. To accommodate their overall design philosophy and long 12-hour single-charge battery life, the Freedom Sport Earbuds are a bit bulkier than compact earbud options like the Bose Sport Earbuds and Beats Fit Pro. However, they weigh around 0.6 ounces less per bud than the Apple Powerbeats Pro. When paired with the USB-C charging case, their total battery life jumps to about 72 hours.

While the Dóttir Freedom are advertised as active noise cancelation earbuds, their ANC performance isn’t able to filter out nearly as much background noise as some other brands that specialize in noise-canceling earbuds—the official spec is 35 dB of reduction. Some chatter, traffic, and other ambient noise may come through in normal workout settings. This isn’t a huge dealbreaker, considering that it’s good to have some measure of situational awareness anytime you’re working out. Still, if you need near-silent levels of ANC performance from your earbuds, you might look elsewhere. We also noticed that the Dóttir Freedom sounded a bit quieter than the Beats Fit Pro and other earbuds on this list at max volume, but we didn’t have the equipment necessary to test their max SPL, and it’s unfortunately not published. We were always able to feel the bass so we could keep the pace, however, and did like the performance for the price. And, with an IPX7 rating, the Dóttir Freedom won’t break a sweat no matter how hard you do.

Best bone-conduction: SHOKZ OpenRun



Why it made the cut: The unique design of the SHOKZ OpenRun keeps your ears fully open, so you can stay aware of your surroundings while running and cycling.


  • Weight: 0.92 ounces
  • IP rating: IP67 (dustproof, waterproof for 30 minutes)
  • Battery life: 8 hours


  • Fully sweatproof and weatherproof for high-impact workouts
  • Open-ear bone conduction design for improved situational awareness
  • Long battery life with quick charge function


  • Lacks bass response
  • Proprietary magnetic charger isn’t interchangeable
  • Not silent—others can hear what you’re listening to

The SHOKZ OpenRun is one of the best bone-conduction headphones on the market, boasting a unique open-ear design that allows you to listen to music and podcasts while maintaining full situational awareness. Unlike traditional headphone designs, bone conduction headphones employ a clever hack of human anatomy to transfer sounds directly to the inner ear by gently vibrating your facial bones from the outside in, leaving the entire ear canal unobstructed. The drawbacks to this design include that they provide no passive or active noise cancellation, and the vibrations can be audible to others, so they’re not the best choice for quiet environments or taking public transit. Bone conduction headphones also produce markedly less bass frequencies than traditional designs, making them less ideal for immersive music listening.

On the functionality side of things, the SHOKZ OpenRun packs about eight hours of battery life on a single charge and boasts a substantial IP67 rating, making them completely impervious to dust ingress and fully waterproof for up to 30 minutes. They have a comfy and lightweight headband design with easy-to-use control buttons that makes them particularly suited for running and cycling on roads and trails. While there’s no way to adjust the headband’s fit, the OpenRun does come in two different sizes. Another minor design gripe is that the OpenRun uses a proprietary magnetic charger instead of USB-C, making it more of a hassle to replace if it breaks or goes missing.

Best for a custom fit: Ultimate Ears FITS

Abigail Ferguson


Why it made the cut: These earbuds include tips that mold to your ears when first using them, creating a custom and comfortable fit. Plus, they provide up to eight hours of continuous playback. 


  • Earpiece weight: 0.4 ounces
  • Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 5.0
  • IP rating: IPX3
  • Battery life: 8 hours on the earbuds, 20 hours with the case


  • Tips are molded to your ear shape
  • They stay put even during exercise
  • Lengthy battery life
  • Built-in mic lets you take calls


  • Switching between Bluetooth devices can be a bit finicky
  • No active noise cancelation

Ultimate Ears FITS, otherwise known as UE FITS, are unique earbuds due to the custom fitting process. When you first get your pair (or a new set of tips), the app guides you through the molding process. This involves the photopolymer gel tips heating up with the use of light-forming LEDs. It’s a strange sensation but nothing uncomfortable by any means. The entire process takes just 60 seconds to let you get your earbuds and reps in almost immediately.

Once the tips are molded to your ears, they should offer more comfort and stability than other earbuds. I must have sensitive, small ears as I tend to get pain from most earbuds almost immediately, but I can wear my UE FITS for a few hours just fine. They also stay put in my ears better than anything I’ve ever used. While I don’t do any HIIT workouts, they don’t budge at all during my runs or weight training sessions (even during side planks).

Beyond fit, the UE FITS also sound good. They are slightly lacking in bass by default, but you can customize EQ settings to your liking in the easy-to-use app. Unfortunately, there is no active noise cancellation, but thanks to the snug fit, they provide a nice amount of noise isolation. And the earbuds offer eight hours of battery life on their own, with 20 hours of battery life for the case. 

Less athletically inclined but still like the idea of custom-fit earbud comfort for running errands (or the occasional power walk)? UE offers the DROPS, which have a more involved, more handcrafted process resulting in bespoke acrylic housings tailored to your personal specifications and aesthetic.

Best for Spotify: Bose Sport Earbuds



Why it made the cut: Take your entire music library for a spin with these small-but-mighty workout earbuds that boast Bose’s signature balanced sound quality.


  • Weight: 0.24 ounces/earbud; 2.15 ounces with case
  • IP rating: IPX4 (splash-resistant)
  • Battery life: 5 hours single-charge; 15 hours with case


  • Comfortable and secure fit with interchangeable ear tips
  • Well-rounded sound profile with full-bodied bass and present mids
  • Easy-to-use capacitive touch controls on each bud


  • Smartphone app required
  • Relatively short single-charge battery life
  • No active noise canceling

If you’re a stickler for sound quality, the Bose Sport Earbuds deliver a fantastic music listening experience in a compact, workout-friendly package that makes it enjoyable to dive into your music collection anywhere you go. They feature a very balanced and well-rounded sound profile with full, clear bass and detailed midrange frequency performance that’s suitable for a wide range of music styles and podcasts alike. Like any good pair of workout headphones, the Bose Sport Earbuds are IPX4 splash-resistant and feature a super secure fit aided by three sets of interchangeable ear tips. Their battery life isn’t as great as some of their competitors, clocking in at up to about five hours of use on a single charge, but this is mitigated somewhat by the 10 extra hours stored in their charging case.

Controlling the Bose Sport Earbuds is fairly straightforward thanks to their built-in capacitive touch controls, allowing users to swipe and tap their way through their music libraries, take calls, and more. Setting up the earbuds is a little less elegant, however, and relies heavily upon the Bose Connect app for everything, including device pairing and volume adjustments. Despite being a bit of a hoop to jump through, once set up, the app does offer access to EQ adjustment features and over-the-air firmware updates. One additional feature we’d like to see added is active noise cancellation, but that would likely drain the battery even quicker, and the Sport Earbuds perform reasonably well in the passive canceling department.

Best battery life: Jabra Elite 7 Active

Andrew Waite


Why it made the cut: The Jabra Elite 7 Active earbuds are highly resistant to dust and water and feature the best combination of ANC performance and battery life we’ve encountered in a pair of workout headphones.


  • Weight: 0.19 ounces/earbud; 1.9 ounces with case
  • IP rating: IP57 (dust-resistant, waterproof up to 1 meter)
  • Battery life: 8 hours single-charge; 30 hours with case


  • Very long battery life for frequent use without charging
  • Snug and secure fit with three eartip sizes
  • Balanced sound profile with customizable EQ via app
  • Multipoint pairing


  • Case can be tough to open
  • Low-frequency noise cancellation could be improved
  • Hit-and-miss phone call quality in loud environments

If you often find yourself in situations where you forget to charge your headphones—maybe you’re an endurance athlete, parent, or every overworked person in the modern world—the Jabra Elite 7 Active is a great-sounding and reliable option to add to your workout routine. At first glance, the low-profile design of the Elite 7 Active is reminiscent of a slightly less rugged Jaybird Vista 2 (which we’ve also reviewed in the past) with better battery life; despite weighing only 0.19 ounces per bud, the Elite 7 Active can run for eight hours on a single charge and up to 30 hours when used with their charging case, making them great for infrequent charging and ideal for stowing in a gym bag or glove compartment.

The Elite 7 Active’s noise cancellation performance is also very good in the midrange and high-frequency ranges where human conversation and music from speakers live. However, we found that they performed a little worse when dealing with car engines, noise from inside an airplane, and other very loud low-frequency information. This can be mitigated somewhat by selecting the best-fitting ear tips from the three pairs included with the buds. Still, if you’re using them for a workout, or to listen to podcasts while your kid burns through some energy (as shown above), you’ll probably want to stay aware of your surroundings and use the earbuds’ HearThrough mode anyway.

Music sounds great on the Elite 7 Active earbuds thanks to their flat and balanced sound profile, which you can sculpt further using the EQ settings in the Jabra Sound+ app. The app also offers battery life indicators, pairing options, and firmware updates, and we find it to be more user-friendly overall than the Bose Connect app. Call quality through the buds is fairly decent, although their built-in mics sometimes struggle to discern your own voice from ambient chatter when taking public transit or in other loud environments. The sleek charging case is also a great size and shape for keeping in a pocket during your workouts, but if you’ve worked up a sweat, its shape and smooth finish can make it difficult to open.

Best budget: soundcore by Anker Sport X10

Jen McCaffery


Why it made the cut: The Anker Soundcore Sport X10 offers an incredibly secure fit and long battery life for runners on a budget.


  • Weight: 0.2 ounces/earbud; 1.9 ounces with case
  • IP rating: IPX7 (waterproof for 30 minutes, not dustproof)
  • Battery life: 8 hours single-charge; 32 hours with case


  • Very secure swiveling ear hook design
  • Controls customizable via a smartphone app
  • Transparency mode enhances situational awareness


  • No multipoint connection
  • ANC performance is lacking in loud environments
  • Multi-press controls are confusing and uncomfortable

If you’re less concerned about noise cancellation performance, the Anker Soundcore Sport X10s are a great budget option for working out thanks to their secure fit and long battery life. They have a unique swiveling ear hook design that folds into a compact shape for storage in their charging case and unfolds to loop securely around the front of your earlobe, keeping them snug during even the most vigorous exercise routines. The Sport X10s also features a six-microphone array that provides relatively good phone call quality and an effective transparency mode. Still, their ANC performance falls short of quieting most common midrange sounds like speech, engines, and other urban noise.

The Sport X10’s sound profile is a bit muddy and heavy in the low-mids, but this can be adjusted using the EQ settings within the Soundcore app, which includes several presets to choose from. The app also allows you to rebind custom functions to the earbuds’ onboard control buttons, which are clicky and provide some nice feedback but tend to shift the earbud around with minor discomfort. You also don’t get multipoint pairing with the Sport X10, but at their price point, that’s understandable.

What to consider before buying the best headphones for working out

You could take the best headphones to the gym, but you would probably have very sweaty ears and potentially ruin your precious investment. Heck, even some of the best Bluetooth earbuds might not be suited for more than a brisk stroll. So here is what to think about before clicking “add to cart” on the best headphones for working out and going all in on that next set:

Sweat level

Sweating is a normal part of any workout, but if you tend to sweat more than the average person while you exercise, you should consider a pair of headphones with an Ingress Protection rating of at least IPX7. Most of the headphones on our list are designed with that level of waterproofing, including the Jabra Elite 7 Active, Dóttir Freedom Sport Earbuds, and SHOKZ OpenRun. If you sweat a lot, you’ll probably also want to steer clear of over-ear designs, which can heat up your ears and exacerbate the problem.

Workout intensity

If you do CrossFit or other forms of intense workouts, choose earbuds that use an ear hook or another type of external fastener to ensure that they don’t go flying. We like the Dóttir Freedom Sport Earbuds for heavy exertion, while the Powerbeats Pro earbuds are a good alternative with a similar design.

Charging capacity

If you use your headphones frequently, have limited access to charging capabilities, or just find yourself constantly running devices on low battery, picking a set of headphones with a high battery capacity can increase the likelihood that they’ll be ready come workout time. The 8-hour single charge and 30-hour charging case with the Jabra Elite 7 Active are the best we’ve tested in the battery life department, though our budget pick, the Soundcore by Anker Sport X10, also performs well.

Situational awareness

If you spend lots of time exercising near traffic or in busy locations, it’s important to maintain a good level of situational awareness for your own safety. Many headphones include a transparency mode that allows you to hear your surroundings in addition to your music, including the Apple Beats Fit Pro and the Jabra Elite 7 Active. For maximum situational awareness, nothing beats the open-ear design of bone-conduction headphones, and we prefer the SHOKZ OpenRun.


Q: How much do headphones for working out cost?

Headphones for working out cost between $70 and $200, depending on features.

Q: Is it OK to sweat with headphones?

It’s generally OK to sweat with headphones as long as they were designed with some measure of waterproofing. The easiest way to tell if your headphones are waterproof is by looking for an IP rating in their specs—anything above IPX4 should be just fine for everyday workouts. If you sweat a bit more than average, it might be safer to choose something around IPX7 or higher. All of the picks on our list, except for the JBL 660NC, are officially waterproof.

Q: Are bone-conduction headphones good for working out?

Bone conduction headphones are very good for working out thanks to their open-ear design that keeps you fully in touch with your surroundings. Runners and cyclists are particularly good candidates for using bone-conduction headphones due to their proximity to road traffic, though anyone can benefit from the increased situational awareness that these designs provide.

Q: Do noise-canceling headphones work in the gym?

Noise-canceling headphones work in the gym to an extent, but not every pair of ANC headphones is created equal. The best headphones for canceling out human conversation and ambient music that we’ve tested include the Apple Beats Fit Pro and the Jabra Elite Active 7, both of which are aided by their secure earplug designs to deliver passive and active noise canceling at the same time.

Final thoughts on the best headphones for working out

The best headphones for working out will fit securely in your ears or on your head while delivering great sound and a good level of situational awareness. We love the Apple Beats Fit Pro for its overall sound quality and secure fit, as well as the elevated audiophile performance of the similarly designed Bose Sport Earbuds. If you need the longest and most reliable battery performance, the Jabra Elite 7 Active and JBL 660NC are the best earbuds and over-ears for working out, respectively. The Ultimate Ears Fits mold to the shape of your ear canal for a secure fit. For high-impact workouts, the secure fit of the Dóttir Freedom Sport Earbuds is fantastic. And if you want the best situational awareness possible while cycling and running, the SHOKZ OpenRun bone conduction headphones have our vote.

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Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.