Best Workout Headphones for Every Budget (and Need)

There are lots of benefits to wearing headphones during a workout:

  1. You can pump up your favorite tunes on a music player to help you blast through a tough interval.
  2. You can tune out ambient noise to help you stay focused.
  3. You can avoid obnoxious conversations by pretending not to hear when someone talks to you.
  4. In some cases, you can answer your phone and talk hands-free without breaking stride.

And while it's easy to think you can get by with a $5 pair of earbuds from Walmart, there are definite advantages to seeking out higher-quality headphones designed for working out. For instance, sports headphones are more likely to stay put, regardless of activity, and they're less likely to break down when soaked regularly with sweat.

Each product included here offers features that set it apart from garden-variety earbuds, and some of these options include pretty amazing technology. While all are good in their own right, pick the one that best meets your budget and activity needs.


Jaybird Run

Jaybird Run Workout Headphones

The Jaybird Run True Wireless Sport Headphones aren't cheap. In fact, they'll set you back about a couple hundred bucks, but if you're an endurance athlete looking for a pair of truly wireless earbuds, you can't beat the quality that the Jaybird Run delivers.  These earbuds are sweatproof and water-resistant with secure-fit technology that makes them stay put. You'll get a full four hours of playback with each charge, and their handy carrying case doubles as a charger, with a five-minute quick-charge feature that adds an extra hour of playback to your buds. Plus, if you're an audiophile, you'll appreciate the company's app (available on iTunes and Google Play) that enables you to customize the sound experience, varying the treble and bass according to your personal preferences.


Phiaton BT 150 NC

Phiaton Workout Headphones

The neck-band style earphone design is becoming a more popular option for gym goers, and it's a good one for those who stick to traditional gym workouts, cycling routines, or any other exercise that doesn't involve a lot of jumping or running. The Phiaton BT 150 NC's neckband stays put without slipping, is sweat- and water-resistant, and has retractable earbuds that enable you to use one or both buds at the same time. You can control your tunes with the touch interface on the band itself, and you get roughly six hours of music playback on a single charge. Plus, the noise-cancellation on these bad boys is stellar—you'll have no problem tuning out the obnoxious lifters at your gym.

One extra feature you shouldn't ignore is that when the earbuds are retracted, you don't have to worry about them twisting up or tangling. Simply throw the neckband in your bag, and don't give it another thought. You can grab a pair for about $150.


Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

aftershokz workout headphones

Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones have some of the coolest technology on this list. Unlike a standard headphone or earbud that you slip inside or around your ear to deliver sound directly to your eardrum, the Trekz Titanium headphones use bone conduction technology to deliver sound to your eardrums through your cheekbones. The speakers actually sit outside your ear and against your cheekbones, using your bones to deliver the vibrations of sound to your inner ear.

The benefit is that there's no cancellation of ambient noise, so you can wear them, listen to your music, and still hear that car approaching you from behind—a much safer option for outdoor sports enthusiasts!

The Trekz isn't Aftershokz' first run at bone conduction technology, but the latest iteration is the best for the athletic market. In addition to bone conduction technology, the Trekz features a more flexible, lightweight, and durable titanium frame that makes them easier to wear and store. Users also enjoy six hours of battery life for music and phone calls and a hassle-free two-year warranty that helps with peace of mind given the $130 price tag.


Krankz Audio Classic On-Ear Headphones

Krankz audio workout headphones
Krankz Audio

Generally speaking, large, on-ear headphones aren't ideal for outdoor running or super-sweaty high-intensity workouts where you're doing a lot of jumping around—they're hard to keep in place. That said, there's no better way to send the "don't bug me" message at the gym than to pull a pair of these bad boys over your ears. At just under $100, Krankz Classics are more affordable than some of the other big names on the market, and they offer high-quality sound and handy on-ear navigation features that make it easy to control your tunes.

Probably the best feature Krankz has is the almost 40 hours of playback you get on a single charge, giving them the longest battery life of headphones on this list. They also have a handy folding feature that lets you collapse them onto themselves for more compact storage in your gym bag.


TRAKK Carbon Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones

TRAKK carbon workout headphones
TRAKK Technologies

Lots of headphones are water-resistant, but not too many are fully waterproof. Enter, the TRAKK Carbon Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones. These bad boys have a waterproof rating up to 3.3 feet for 30 minutes, so you can wear them in a downpour, or while playing in the ocean without a second thought, perfect if you're a standup paddleboarder or you like hanging out in the pool.

With 12-hours of playback and 175 hours of standby time, you can store them in your gym locker and count on them lasting through a full week of workouts before needing a charge. And at just $70, they're a much more affordable option than some of the other sport headphones on this list. Just keep in mind, though, your Bluetooth signal won't move through water, so they're not a good option for swimming laps if you plan to keep your head submerged.


Decibullz Custom-Fit Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

decibullz workout headphones

If you have a hard time getting the perfect earbud fit, you're not alone. No two ears are exactly alike, which makes it tough to manufacture sport headphones that will stay in place. Decibullz breaks the mold (so to speak) by offering a new way to custom-fit your earbuds to your own ears for just under $100. Based on the concept of moldable sport mouthpieces, you simply heat the Decibullz earbuds in warm water, then place them in your ears, molding them to your unique shape. And if you don't get the mold quite right the first time, just place them back in warm water and try it again. With the perfect fit, you're unlikely to ever worry about having them fall out during a series of burpees or on a bumpy mountain bike ride.


Plumsott Wireless Headphones

plumsott workout headphones

For a truly affordable pair of Bluetooth sport headphones, you can't go wrong with Plumsott. These bad boys only cost about $35, but they come with all the features you'd expect from big-name brands, including sweatproof and waterproof ratings, 30-foot wireless distance, 8-12 hours of music playback, up to 240 hours of standby time, and overall good sound quality. If you've never tried wireless headphones before and you're not quite ready to lay out the big bucks, this is the brand you should start with.


Wraps Wrist-Wearable Headphones

Wrapz Workout Headphones

Wireless headphones are certainly handy, but it's always a good idea to keep a pair of wired headphones on hand. In addition to offering a good back-up plan if the charge runs out on your wireless version, there's also something to be said for the sound quality and ease-of-use that wired headphones offer. For instance, if you love cardio machine workouts, plugging a set of wired headphones into the cardio machine to watch the integrated TV is a lot easier than trying to sync your wired headphones through Bluetooth to the machine.

Wraps wrist-wearable headphones are particularly nice because they're quite literally designed to be worn on your wrist like a wrap bracelet. They look cute, they're always at hand, and if you need them, you simply unwrap them and put them to use. The price is right, too, ranging from roughly $20 to $40, depending on style.

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