Whether it’s keeping your steps per minute high, getting pace instructions from a smart app, or just tuning out, headphones are a necessity for running. With so many options out there, which do you choose? Running is a high-movement activity that leads to you being covered in sweat, and most headphones are just not up to the challenge.
We’ve rounded up the most comfortable, longest lasting, best wireless headphones for running. Try not to get one of each.
Jabra Elite 85h
When it’s earmuff kind of cold or you’re just really like a full sound, the Jabra 85h over-ear headphones are for you. The 36-hour battery can easily last through a flight, Uber ride, and workout at the hotel. The Active Noise Cancellation eliminates any unwanted noise, from babies on planes to overly chatty treadmill neighbors.
The fit is slightly more snug so they stay on well during movement. SmartSound technology can automatically detect whether you need noise cancellation, such as when in a noisy cafe, while HearThrough actively brings all the sounds when you’re running on the street. The included 3.5mm headphone cable can plug into planes when Bluetooth isn’t an option. A quick 15-minute charge gets 5 hours of listening.
Halo Sport 2
If you need to get serious about your training, it’s time to shock your brain. The Halo Sport 2 uses direct transcranial current stimulation to prime your brain to learn faster. In other words, the headphones send a very small, safe, electrical current through the neurons responsible for movement in your brain, increasing the speed with which they can talk to one another. Faster firing means faster learning.
After a 20-minute priming session, driving to the gym or warming up, you can take out the Medieval-looking primer spikes and use the Sport’s Bluetooth headphones for tunes. Increased brain activity lasts 60 minutes after priming and the benefits extend beyond running, such as playing musical instruments or any other activities that include movement.
Poly BackBeat Fit 2100
Now we switch from $350 futuristic brain-upgrade devices to your classic, around-the-neck option. The Poly BackBeat 2100 wraps around your ears and the back of your neck to keep everything secure while running or powering through an insane workout. With the Always Aware eartips, you don’t have to worry about hearing traffic or that dog that’s looking to tear your shoes off. That won’t hinder volume though. If you need it the volume can go so high it hurts. The whole set up is sweatproof and waterproof. The BackBeats get up to 7 hours on a battery charge. Use a timer or start a particular playlist with the My Tap feature, which is set up in the corresponding app.
If you’re not into the neck-wrap design, the BackBeat Fit 3100’s are the same hooked earbuds without the rail.
Sony Xperia Ear Duo
Music is great but it’s not worth a hospital visit. Today, there’s a lot of fancy technology that keeps us aware of our surroundings while listening. The Xperia Ear Duo hang in your ear with a small, comfortable loop. Music is piped into the center straight into your ear, but outside sounds can still get through, which is perfect for riding or running in the streets.
Touch controls are on the side of the Ear Duo; slide up and down for volume, and tap for play and pause. The unique design hanging under your ear takes a minute to get used to but lets you slide full-face helmets over the headphone without stabbing it in your ear. Bass is on the low side but now helmet-wearing bikers and skiers have a compatible, truly wireless earbud.
Beats Powerbeats Pro
At the other end of the bass spectrum, the Powerbeats Pro from Beats by Dre (and Apple) excel. Like, subwoofer kind of bass. The truly wireless earbud is comfortable to wear but easily stays put with the flexible ear hook. The PowerBeats pair with iPhones as soon as you open the case. With the same Apple chip as AirPods running the show inside, one tap and you’re ready to run. With the Apple pairing process, you can wear either headphone alone; use one to take a call or get into the tunes while getting things done around the house. Android users can still connect, too, but have to use the standard connection process.
Each PowerBeat earbud can last for 9 hours of play time. Charge them up with another 24 hours in the charging case with a satisfying magnetic click.
V-Moda BassFit Wireless
V-Moda might not be a household name but it’s trusted by some of the top producers and DJs in the world. The BassFit Wireless are the brand’s new entry into the sports headphone world.
The headphones come with both ear fins and hooks to customize the fit and stability (they can be worn without either). The ear fins might be enough for a regular run, but for that trail run or intense Ninja Warrior workout coming up, throw on the ear hooks as well. They’ll last 11 hours on a charge and can add another 2.5 hours on a 15-minute charge.
Jaybird Tarah Pro
Jaybird knows adventure. The brand’s athletes roam some of the toughest terrains on the planet — while listening to tunes, of course.
With that in mind, Jaybird created the Tarah Pro. Hidden somewhere in the braided cord and sleek controls are 14 hours of play time. Three different size ear tips customize fit, which is a bit on the large side. The outer section of the earbud can rotate, routing the cable above your ear instead of below. With the IPX7 rating, they can withstand 30 minutes in a meter of water, so they’re ready for the worst rain you could want to run in.
The Jaybird app is one of the best. Use preset equalizer settings for bass, mids, and treble or tweak to find your own favorite. Built-in playlists from pro runners will keep you jamming through the hardest sections of the run. When you’re done, snap the magnetic earbuds together to hang around your neck.
Sennheiser CX Sport
Fitting on the smaller side, the Sennheiser CX Sport offers a no-frills, lightweight running headphone with solid sound. The flexible ear fins keep them tucked in your ears without pulling down at all. You can adjust the fit with three different ear sleeves and fins. The 6-hour battery can cover plenty of miles but if you just need a touch more juice, a 10-minute charge gives you an extra hour listening. The whole setup weighs in at a hefty half ounce.
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