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Best Wireless Headphones for Working Out

The Best Wireless Headphones for Working Out at the Gym

Lots of people listen to music at the gym.

So many that lots of gyms broadcast music over the radio.

Not everyone likes the public music though, so they bring their own beats.

However, last time I was at the gym, there was a guy who listened to music on his phone without a headset.

Loudly.

Bad music, too.

Don’t be that guy.

Wear headphones.

And if you don’t listen to music while working out, consider starting the habit.

Why Listen to Music While Working Out?

The simple answer is “distraction.”Bluetooth connection smartphone stream music while running

No, not getting distracted so you don’t finish the workout.

Music has been shown to distract you from some of the perceived effort of the exercise.

You’re still putting out that effort but since you don’t focus on it as much, the exercise goes by in a breeze.

Potentially, that can let you exercise harder with less stress!

It’s also good for keeping you moving at a constant pace.

Beats are good at that.

Thinking of plugging your headphones into your phone, though? Hold on one moment.

Why Wear Wireless Headphones While Working Out?

Any sort of headphone is better than blasting your music choices toward ears that don’t want to hear it.

A piece of advice: even if you think you only listen to the best music, they don’t want to hear it.

If they did, they’d already be listening to it!

Anyway, I would recommend using wireless headphones instead of wired headphones.

There are two main reasons why:

Distance and tangling.

Distance

Armband cell smartphone holder for running waterproof

These may work for you, but they don’t work for me

With wireless headphones, you are not tied physically to your phone or music player.

I don’t like carrying gear on me when I’m exercising most of the time.

It weighs me down and can get in the way.

Sure, wearing an armband is less obtrusive, but still isn’t my style.

Except for when I’m running, but every rule has an exception.

Wireless headphones let you leave your phone next to the bench, where it’s safe and out of the way.

Tangling

Speaking of safety, I have a story for you.

I didn’t use to be a believer in wireless headphones.

But I knew that the cord could get tangled if I wasn’t careful.

So, one day, I had the cord squirreled away. It went from my headphones into my shirt, through some belt loops, then into the phone in my back pocket.

Secure, right?

Well, most of the routine went without incident (I was working on my triceps that day).

However, on the very last lift, the cord had come out just enough to catch on the bar.

I lifted and the phone flew out of my pocket and fell, screen-first, onto a piece of metal.

Wireless headphones are cheaper than a new phone.

Don’t let a long cord tangle you up!

The Importance of Good Headphones

Not everyone is an audiophile and that’s okay.

However, you still want good headphones when working out.Wireless headphones for working out distraction less effort

Audio quality is the most obvious feature to watch out for, but it’s not the only one.

Battery life lets you get more workouts done before you need to charge the headphones.

A microphone can let you answer and make phone calls without dropping a weighted bar and scrambling for your phone.

Noise blocking or cancellation is a mixed bag.

In a crowded gym, blocking out noise can be a good thing.

But when running, you may want to keep your ears open, to stay safe.

Water resistance is also a great feature, especially for those long, sweaty workouts or if you get caught in the rain.

There are two basic headphone styles: in-ear and on-ear.

In-ear headphones are smaller, lighter, and often have a short cord that wraps around the back of your head.

On-ear or over-ear headphones do not go into your ears and sit on top of them. They most often have a band over your head.

The choice is mostly personal comfort.

Best Over-Ear Wireless Headphones

ModelBattery LifeSweat Resistant?RatingPrice
66 Audio BTS Pro40 hoursYes3.8$$$

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Beats Solo340 hoursNo4.1$$$$

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Beats Studio340 hoursNo4.3$$$$$

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Monster iSport Freedom30 hoursYes3.7$$$$

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66 AUDIO BTS Pro66 AUDIO BTS Pro wireless over-ear headphone review sport workout sweat resistant

  • Battery Life: 40 hours
  • Interface: On-ear buttons
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Noise Blocking: Some
  • Sweat Resistance: Yes
  • Misc: MotionControl App

See full specs

Features

Lots of over-ear headphones have a band that goes over the head.

Those can slip while you’re moving or get in the way.

66 Audio’s BTS Pro fixes this issue by moving the band behind your head, out of the way.

The battery lasts for 40 hours of playback. Charging takes just 90 minutes!

You can control the equalizer through the MotionControl app, which works on iOS, Android, and the Apple Watch.

If you are prone to losing your headphones, there’s a feature to find them!

What I Liked

The audio quality was better than expected and the app worked pretty well.

The BTS Pro is also very comfortable and durable, thanks to the silicone used in its construction.

What I Didn’t Like

The comfort factor is really subjective with these. You either feel they are very comfortable or they are very uncomfortable.

There’s not a lot of customization to fit them to everyone’s head.

Recommendation

66 Audio’s BTS Pro is a great headset, provided it fits your head.

Beats Solo3Beats by Dre Solo3 wireless Apple headphone review

  • Battery Life: 40 hours
  • Interface: On-ear buttons
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Noise Blocking: Yes
  • Sweat Resistance: No
  • Misc: Apple W1 chip

See full specs

Features

Beats by Dre have been around for a while. The current generations, such as the Beats Solo3, are better than when Beats were new, for sure.

These are not dedicated sport headphones but can still be used while working out.

These headphones are aimed at Apple users. The W1 chip offers great connectivity and features with iPhones and Apple Watches but isn’t much use to Android users.

A feature called Fast Fuel gets you 3 hours of playback from but 5 minutes of charging.

Or, if you let the headphones die, you can use the included cord to turn them into wired headphones.

What I Liked

Early Beats headphones pumped up the bass without much consideration for the mids and highs. These are much more balanced.

What I Didn’t Like

The band clamps down strongly enough to keep the headphones secure during exercise but this felt uncomfortable on my ears.

Also, the construction is plastic, without much water resistance. Go gentle on these!

Recommendation

Some people love Beats, but I feel as if a good part of the price is in the name, not the quality.

Beats Studio3Beats by Dre Studio3 Workout Wireless Headphones Apple Review

  • Battery Life: 40 hours
  • Interface: On-ear buttons
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Noise Blocking: Yes
  • Sweat Resistance: No
  • Misc: Apple W1 chip

See full specs

Features

Beats Studio3 are basically the Beats Solo3, except a little bit better.

The build quality is slightly improved and the ear cups are more comfortable.

The biggest difference is that the Studio3 headphones offer active noise canceling. This halves the battery life but blocks out ambient noise very well.

What I Liked

The audio quality was good and they were more comfortable than the Solo3 headphones.

What I Didn’t Like

The noise cancellation works but is mediocre.

Also, there’s still no waterproofing, so be careful about rain!

Recommendation

Beats Studio3 headphones are better than the Solo3 headphones, and perhaps a bit better value too.

Monster iSport FreedomMonster iSport Freedom review waterproof cleanable sport gym on-ear headphones

  • Battery Life: 30 hours
  • Interface: Side-mounted buttons
  • Microphone: No
  • Noise Blocking: Yes
  • Sweat Resistance: Yes
  • Misc: Reflective safety trim

See full specs

Features

Monster iSport Freedom headphones let you feel free from the worry of dirtying your gear.

It’s so waterproof that it’s washable. Your sweat has no chance.

The controls are on one side and are easy to learn quickly. However, you cannot take calls with this one.

The color is dominated by safety green and reflective trim, which can help runners and joggers stay safe even in the rain.

What I Liked

This thing is very easy to clean. Just spray it and wipe it down!

It also keeps you visible. You don’t want to get run over while running!

What I Didn’t Like

The audio quality is not the best, especially at low levels. Not everyone notices this but I do.

Also, the on-ear design can pinch some people’s ears when worn for a long period of time.

Recommendations

The Monster iSport Freedom has more of a focus on safety than on audio quality, but it is durable and easy to clean.

Best In-Ear Wireless Headphones

ModelBattery LifeSweat Resistant?RatingPrice
Apple AirPods5 hoursYes4.4$$$$

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Beats PowerBeats312 hoursYes3.0$$$

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Bose SoundSport Pulse5 hoursYes3.9$$$$

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Jaybird X38 hoursYes3.3$$$$

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SENSO ActivBuds8 hoursYes4.1$

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Apple AirPodsApple AirPods wireless bluetooth iPhone iPod watch in-ear headphones

  • Battery Life: 5 hours
  • Interface: Double tap for Siri
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Noise Blocking: No
  • Sweat Resistance: Yes
  • Misc: Apple W1 chip, auto-off, charging case

See full specs

Features

Apple has gone as wireless as possible with the AirPods.

They’re not even connected together!

The battery life is 5 hour, however, they automatically recharge when put in their case.

Thanks to the W1 chip, AirPods integrate well with Apple phones and watches.

You better have an Apple device though, because you have to use Siri for even basic controls.

You can use them with Android devices, but then you have to use the phone to change the volume or skip a song!

What I Liked

AirPods are so small and light that they practically disappear when worn.

Also, they automatically pause when you take them out of your ears, which is a surprisingly useful feature.

What I Didn’t Like

AirPods, being so minimalist, don’t stay in my ears very well during vigorous exercise.

Part of that is because they use hard plastic tips instead of silicone or memory foam, so you can’t customize the fit.

Perhaps because of that, the sound quality didn’t sound that great. Though I have heard that the sound quality is good when they fit properly in your ear.

Recommendation

Airpods are nifty little earbuds, but the lack of fitment options renders them unusable to some people. Plus, you need an Apple device.

Beats PowerBeats3Beats by Dre PowerBeats3 Sweatproof Apple W1 Chip connection review headphones

  • Battery Life: 12 hours
  • Interface: Inline buttons
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Noise Blocking: Yes
  • Sweat Resistance: Yes
  • Misc: Apple W1 chip

See full specs

Features

Beats Powerbeats3 are basically Beats headphones shrunk into earbuds.

The Powerbeats3 come with an Apple W1 chip. This lets them interface with iPads, iPhones, Apple Watches, and even Mac computers.

With a full charge, you can expect 12 hours of play time.

If you let the battery die, Fast Fuel gets you an hour’s worth of charge in 5 minutes.

The controls not only let you change the volume and control the music but you can activate Siri as well.

What I Liked

Beats are full of bass. I like that, though not everyone does.

If you don’t, you can easily change equalizer settings on your Apple device.

In fact, these headphones are brilliant in how well they work with other Apple products.

What I Didn’t Like

Don’t have an iWhatever? These may work but you’ll spend quite a bit of money for features you can’t use.

Also, the build quality is surprisingly lacking for how expensive they are.

There are one of the few products where I’d recommend to get the extended warranty.

Recommendation

If you have an Apple phone and get the extended warranty, Beats Powerbeats3 headphones are a good choice.

Bose SoundSport Pulse EarbudsBose SoundSport Pulse review heart rate monitor in-line controls

  • Battery Life: 5 hours
  • Interface: Inline buttons
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Noise Blocking: No
  • Sweat Resistance: Yes
  • Misc: Heart rate monitor, NFC pairing, Stay Hear+ tips

See full specs

Features

Don’t let the low battery life of the Bose SoundSport Pulse get you down.

You get a lot that’s worth the more-often charging.

For one thing, these in-ear headphones monitor your heart rate through PerformTek sensors!

I don’t know of any other headphone that has that type of feature.

Heart rate monitors help you get the best out of your workout, especially HIIT workouts.

It also can pair to your phone through NFC, which can be easier than Bluetooth.

The tips are designed to help hold the earbuds in while remaining comfortable.

It comes with a charging cord by default. If you want, you can buy it bundled with a car charger, wall charger, or even a charging case!

What I Liked

Dat heart rate monitor. There’s no need to buy one separate!

Also, Bose is one of the best in the game for sound quality. The SoundSport line is no different.

Plus, you don’t have to use Bose’s app to use the heart rate monitor. It works with third-party fitness apps!

What I Didn’t Like

5 hours of battery life is not very long. In fact, it’s the shortest on this list. Gotta remember to charge it!

Also, Bose products tend to be on the expensive side.

Lastly, the buttons feel sub-par.

Recommendation

Despite the short battery life, Bose’s SoundSport Pulse is perhaps my favorite workout headphone.

There is a cheaper version if you don’t want the heart rate monitor.

Jaybird X3 EarbudsJaybird X3 wireless in-ear headphone review silicone gym music

  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • Interface: Inline buttons
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Noise Blocking: Yes
  • Sweat Resistance: Yes
  • Misc: Silicone fins

See full specs

Features

Jaybird X3 in-ear headphones are very well designed earbuds. They are the third iteration, and each one has been an improvement.

The X3s are small and light, which makes them very comfortable.

They use silicone fins to stay secured to your ears.

There are both silicone and Comply memory foam ear tips to fit your ear canal best.

Jaybird also has an app for there headphones. Called MySound, it lets you create equalizer profiles, connect to multiple devices, and even share music!

What I Liked

The silicone fins are more comfortable than the ear hooks used by many companies.

The sound quality is good and they are very comfortable to wear, even for extended periods of time.

What I Didn’t Like

The app can be hit or miss. Sometimes it’s easier to connect without it.

Also, the waterproof coating is not the best and can wear away faster than other earbuds.

Recommendation

Jaybirds win in the comfort category, but if you need the waterproofing, it may fail you eventually.

SENSO ActivBuds Wireless HeadphonesSENSO ActivBuds over ear hook review workout earbuds

  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • Interface: On-ear buttons
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Noise Blocking: Yes
  • Sweat Resistance: Yes
  • Misc: Silicone ear hooks

See full specs

Features

SENSO may not have the brand recognition of some of the headphones on this list but that means that you aren’t paying for branding.

The ActivBuds are waterproof so you can run in the rain.

They have silicone ear hooks to keep them secure and come with three different sizes of ear tips.

There’s also a bonus magnetic car vent mount for your cell phone, for some reason!

What I Liked

SENSO ActivBuds are surprisingly comfortable for in-ear headphones. I can leave them in for hours.

Also, the sound quality is much better than expected for the price.

What I Didn’t Like

Connecting them to your device can be fiddly and the Bluetooth range is not very far.

Recommendation

You can buy a pair of SENSO ActivBuds, lose them, buy another, and still come out ahead in value compared with other in-ear headphones.

Top Picks

All of the headphones on this list are good, but which ones do I think are the best?

Over-Ear Headphones

My favorite over-ear headphone is the 66 AUDIO BTS Pro. I feel it has the best quality of sound and build, and it has the best value.

In-Ear Headphones

Bose SoundSport Pulse best quality durable value in-ear headphones

In fact, the Bose SoundSport Pulse is my favorite headphone on the list, period!

My favorite in-ear headphone choice is the Bose SoundSport Pulse.

It has the best sound quality and has the best features, such as a heart rate monitor.

However, if you are on a budget, SENSO headphones are a good choice for very little money.

Conclusion

Keep the music in your ears and your phone out of danger while you sprint (or do any other exercise) with these headphones.

There are choices for both audiophiles and the poorest of college students.

So get that music playing and distract yourself from some of the effort of your workouts!