The 11 Best Running Headphones, According to a Running Coach

Our running coach says the Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones are the best

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Listening to your favorite song, audiobook, or podcast can be a huge motivator and the perfect boredom-buster while you’re running. However, if you don’t have the right headphones, it can turn into an annoying and stress-producing experience as you fidget with your device to get the right fit and sound. The best running headphones are comfortable, durable, and will fit within your budget.

Reviewed & Approved

Our top pick is the Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones because they're lightweight, comfortable, and water-resistant. We also love the EarFun Wireless Earbuds for their affordability.

Fortunately, there’s a wide range of comfortable and quality running headphones and earbuds out there. You can choose corded or wireless options in many different colors and styles. You should also consider the sound quality and battery life.

And while you may want to consider noise cancellation if you plan to use the headphones beyond running, keep in mind that there are safety concerns when running with headphones. It's important that you can hear sounds near you like traffic, pedestrians, and animals to stay safe on the road. We researched popular options from trusted brands with these features in mind.

Here are the best running headphones on the market.

Best Overall: Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds

Beats Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones

Courtesy of Beats

Designed with athletes in mind, these totally wireless and lightweight earphones from Beats are ideal for all types of training, from sweaty sprints to epic long runs. They come in six different color options, and while they're on the pricier side, their comfort and durability make them well worth the investment. The adjustable ear hooks are customizable with multiple eartip options for extended comfort and are made to stay put no matter how hard you’re running.

They produce powerful, balanced sound and also have a reinforced design for sweat and water resistance. With volume and track controls on each earbud and voice capability, you won’t have to slow down if you need to make adjustments. The battery life is also impressive, allowing for up to nine hours of listening time from a single charge.

Best Budget: EarFun Wireless Earbuds

EarFun Wireless Earbuds

Courtesy of Amazon

With many of the features of higher-priced, quality headphones, these wireless, waterproof earbuds from EarFun are one of the best pairs for the money. They’re powered by Bluetooth 5.0, which allows for exceptional stability and connectivity, and provide incredible sound quality with deep bass.

They also feature an ergonomic, lightweight design and come with three sizes of ear tips, so they fit comfortably and securely in your ear. Each charge lasts for six hours, and you can get an additional 24 hours using the compact charging case, which is impressive for such an affordable set of headphones.

Best In-Ear: Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Earbuds

The Jabra Elite Active 75t

With a sleek and durable design, the Jabra Elite Active 75t wireless earbuds keep performing through even the toughest runs. They’re fully waterproof, sweatproof, and come with a two-year extended warranty against sweat and dust.

With three different sizes of EarGels, you get a customizable fit, and a special dry film grip coating keeps the earbuds firmly in your ear. The case has a magnetic lid that shuts tightly, as well as magnetic connectors on the inside to keep the buds secure, so you don’t have to worry about them rolling across the floor if you drop the case.

Unlike some other in-ear headphones, they have volume control on the buds, so it’s easy to adjust the sound on your run.

Best Noise-Canceling: Apple AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro


Apple AirPods Pro’s noise-canceling technology is just what runners need to zone out during their treadmill runs at the gym. For running outside safely, they can switch to transparency mode, which allows sounds to leak in.

With top-notch audio performance, a flawless design, customizable fit, and excellent call quality, there’s so much to love about the AirPods. While the price is a bit steep, you’ll definitely get a lot for your money.

Best Wireless: JLab Audio JBuds Air Sport Wireless In-Ear Headphones

JLab Audio - JBuds Air Sport Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Courtesy of Best Buy

If comfort and sound are equally important in your wireless headphones, these sweat-resistant JLab Audio JBuds Air Sport earbuds are a high-quality, affordable choice. The over-ear hooks keep your buds securely and comfortably in place. The controls are very simple and easy-to-use, even when you’re trying to adjust your tunes in the middle of your run.

You can also take clear, hands-free calls during runs using the built-in microphone. The earbuds have a six-hour battery life and charge extremely fast– just 15 minutes of charging gives you another hour of playtime.

Best for Smaller Ears: Sony Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones

Sony Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones

Courtesy of Amazon

If you’ve had trouble with earbuds falling out of your ears, you may want to give these headphones from Sony a try. They come with four different sized earbuds to fit various ear sizes, so you’re sure to find a fit that works for you. The built-in microphone allows for hands-free calling, while the 8.5-hour battery life is perfect for long runs.

They’re also sweat- and water-resistant so they’ll keep working no matter how much you sweat or what kind of running conditions you face. Despite the high-quality features and superb design, these headphones are budget-friendly, so you get an excellent bang for your buck.

Best Over Ear: Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II

SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless II
Courtesy of

While some runners prefer sleek, in-ear Bluetooth headphones to the sometimes cumbersome over-the-ear ones, these Bose SoundLink Around-Ear wireless headphones are actually light and compact enough to wear during runs and are perfect for runners who really dislike earbuds. The cord-free, lightweight headphones really stay put during exercise and feature excellent sound quality, with crisp, strong sound at any volume.

The convenient earcup controls let you easily switch between calls and music on your smartphone, or adjust your volume and other functions. Distance runners also appreciate the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which provides up to 15 hours of listening time on a full charge.

Best for Battery Life: Senso Bluetooth Headphones

SENSO Bluetooth Headphones


SENSO Bluetooth Headphones deliver all the bells and whistles that runners want in a high-quality pair of running headphones, but at an affordable price. The lithium-polymer battery provides for continuous listening for up to eight hours and 240 hours stand-by with a quick charge of only 1.5 hours. The Bluetooth 4.1 CSR technology allows you to connect seamlessly with all Bluetooth-enabled devices up to 30 feet away.

These headphones also feature flexible, ergonomically-designed ear hooks with gel flex silicone earbuds, so they stay comfortably and securely in place, even during sprints or faster runs. Despite the affordable price tag, these headphones feature state of the art acoustic components and get high marks for their incredible sound quality.

Best Water-Resistant: Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 In-Ear Headphones

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 In-Ear Headphones


If AirPods aren’t quite the right fit for your ears or budget, the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 is an affordable alternative with many of the same features. These sweat- and water-resistant headphones come with five pairs of different-size ear tips for customizable comfort.

They also feature a rechargeable battery that offers up to seven hours of use when fully charged. They deliver a crisp, powerful sound and feature full touch control, so you can use either earbud to adjust music, take calls, or power them on or off. 

Best Bone Conduction: Aftershokz Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium

Courtesy of Best Buy

These sweat-resistant, bone conduction headphones are ideal for runners in urban areas, since the open-ear design allows them to hear what’s going on around them. They also have a six-hour battery life, an easy-to-use pause button, and a lightweight, but very durable, titanium frame.

The noise-canceling mics also let you take calls on the run.

Best Wired: JBL Endurance RUN Wired In-Ear Headphones

JBL Endurance RUN Wired In-Ear Headphones

Courtesy of Amazon

If ​you’re not in the market for wireless headphones, but want a more comfortable, secure pair, these wired headphones from JBL may be the ones for you. They feature a FlipHook design, so they can be worn in-ear or behind-the-ear, as well as twist-lock technology to keep them in place.

With IPX5 sweat-proofing, they’re made to handle high-intensity runs in any weather conditions. The convenient in-line microphone and remote let you take calls and make adjustments without having to take out your phone. 

What to Look for in Running Headphones


If you’re someone who frequently loses your earbuds, runs just once in a while, or are on a budget, you might not want to shell out big bucks for headphones. And you don’t have to. There are some solid sets with quality sound that won’t break the bank.


The last thing you want while you’re running is to have to deal with annoying headphones. You want to make sure the pair you choose fits securely and comfortably in place. Some are ergonomically designed, but largely it will be a matter of preference as to which style—cordless, over-the-ear, or in-ear—is most comfortable for you.


Runners can be tough on earphones, with various unpredictable outdoor elements and all of that bouncing, so you want a pair that can go the distance. Many are waterproof, and some even tout their washer-proof capability, which is great for those of us who constantly find our earphones in the pockets of our running shorts after they’ve been through the wash.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the benefits of listening to music or podcasts while working out?

    Listening to music or podcasts while performing some types of workouts can help keep you moving longer. Low-intensity cardiovascular activity in particular may be best performed while listening to music. Music may increase the duration of your exercise session. Just remember to keep one ear open to sound if you are exercising outdoors for safety.

  • How often should you clean your headphones?

    Cleaning your headphones frequently can help prevent bacteria and oils from building up. Ideally, wipe down your headphones after each workout session to remove sweat and oil. Otherwise, cleaning them once a week is recommended at a minimum.

  • How do you keep your headphones in place while working out?

    Properly fitting headphones will stay in place better, so choose the size that is right for your head or one that can be adjusted. If you have trouble keeping your current pair in place, try wearing a headband over your ears. You can also try threading the wire under your shirt to prevent it from catching or pulling and removing your headphones from your ears.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Avid runner and marathon coach Christine Luff loves listening to audiobooks and podcasts on the run. She’s used and tested numerous headphones through the years, and her current favorite is Apple's AirPods.

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2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Thakare AE, Mehrotra R, Singh A. Effect of music tempo on exercise performance and heart rate among young adultsInt J Physiol Pathophysiol Pharmacol. 2017;9(2):35-39.