You probably have a New Year's resolution to start being healthier, or if you just want to focus on getting more fit, then you probably want to take a look at getting a new pair of headphones for your upcoming workouts.
There are tons of apps that can make your workout more immersive and engaging, or you can simply listen to your favourite hits. We have put this quick and simple buying guide that you can use to find the best workout headphones, and we included 12 of the top ones out there right now that you can check out down below.
How to choose the best workout headphones.
If you like the feeling of a regular headset with a band, then you might be surprised to learn that there are a few brands that make models specifically for being used to work out.
Otherwise, it might be easier for you to look at earbuds instead of headphones; those are the kind that are small and go inside your ears. The best part is that you can find wireless and wired models in just a matter of minutes.
Nowadays, it is pretty easy for you to be able to find a pair of headphones or earbuds that are connected with a regular AUX cable and/or Bluetooth.
If you are the kind of person who gets easily irked by wires, then it is safe to say you might want to go with a Bluetooth model, but make sure whatever model you get is compatible with your phone or mp3 player.
Battery life and charging time
For the wireless models, you cannot go wrong with a pair of headphones or earbuds that have a longer battery life, especially if you only remember to charge your devices every couple of days.
On the other hand, a pair of headphones or earbuds with a quick charging time can work just as well for you if you forget about charging them at all, but you will still need at least a few minutes to hours for most of the models out there.
Size and fit
Thankfully, you can find headphones and earbuds in practically every size for comfort and a snug fit, and those are some of the most important factors when it comes to picking a model that you can use to work out.
If you are a little worried that the pair of headphones you are looking at may not fit, you could always go the safe route and see if they have exchangeable earmuffs. You will not have to worry about earbuds since finding replacements for them is cheap and easy.
Some headphones and nearly all earbuds have extra features that can make your workout a little easier by having in-call controls (volume, hanging or picking up, muting, etc.) and built-in music controls (skip, pause/play, volume, etc.).
If your phone rings a lot or you have a large cluster of songs in your playlist for your different moods, this can be a saving grace since you will not have to keep looking at your phone/mp3 every few minutes.
Some of these retro models come with canvas fronts that you can paint and personalize yourself. Others can come with fully functional knobs and even a micro SD, an SD, and even a USB port for storing your music directly into the speaker.
What are the advantages of workout headphones?
They prevent one of the biggest problems that you may have when wearing regular headphones while working out: they are almost always waterproof and sweat-resistant, meaning they will sound great for a long time and not fall out of your ears or off of them whether you have a light layer of sweat or it is raining down your face, head, and neck.
Sure, you will have to clean them more often to be sanitary and prevent them from smelling, but you do not have to worry about constantly replacing them because your workout sweat has started muffling your music or phone calls.
Things to look for that differentiate them.
Each type (headphones and earbuds) has a subtype that can affect how you wear them and how comfortable they are on you. There are over-the-ear headphones, usually completely cover the ears, and there are on-the-ear headphones, usually smaller and only cover part of the ear.
For earbuds, there are the kind that simply rests in your ears without going (or barely go) into the canal (like AirPods), and then there are those that get put into your ear canal.
What is the best way to use them?
Unless you want them to start smelling or looking like something from a horror movie threw up on them, you will always want to clean them at least once after every use; and sometimes even before.
If they are wired, you can always use a special wire protector to make them last longer, and some can be arranged to stay in a position that can be out of your way while you work out.
How to take care of them.
Even if they are waterproof and sweatproof, try to avoid getting them wet for too long or getting water in certain places when you are cleaning them. All you need for a quick and easy clean is a paper towel or microfiber cloth and either water or a cleaning solution if you want to treat them well and keep them sanitary, too.
Solutions can be found in some supermarkets (in the electronics section), but they are really easy to find online.
Precautions for using this type of product.
On a serious note, using headphones or earbuds for too long can increase the risk for ear infections or worsening other ear-related conditions that you may have. As said in this article by Stephanie Stahl from CBS Philly, regular or constant use of earbuds and cause the insides of your ears to get filled up with wax, feel clogged or irritated, and can even lead to infections.
Thankfully, as long as you spread out your use, keep your earbuds and headphones clean, and try to limit your use to less than 6 hours a day, you are more likely to have healthy and clean ears.
Top 12 workout headphones
These earbuds are truly wireless, meaning they need no wires to work or charge. You charge them through the carrying case they come in, and that is charged through a wireless charging pad.
You can get this pair in either black with a black case or midnight blue, orange, or ultraviolet with a blue case; the same blue as the one pair. They are one of the more expensive options, but it can only take you 2 hours to charge them, and a full charge can last around 15 hours with the extra power the case stores.
Despite their appearance, they can feel a little large once you put them in, and the oval shape can make it feel uncomfortable, but these are one of the few earbuds that you can lose and find within minutes because of their built-in 'find-me' setting. The sound quality is also pretty decent, too between the high and low tones.
When it comes to working out, if you use the right-sized buds, then they should stay in there even if you do a hundred jumping jacks, run for an hour, or any other insane workout.
These are one of the newer headphones that are similar to earbuds, but they rest in the ears and the headband goes over your ear and around the back of the head/neck. Because of their design, they can be a hit or miss depending on if you mind the feeling of the band in the back instead of on the top and it going over your ears.
These can come in a dark grey with either light grey or a bright blue, depending on your style. Since they do not use earbuds, you do not have to worry about replacing them, but there is also no size adjustment.
Still, these do have an above-average sound quality, and if you jog in public, they still let you hear the noise around you, meaning you do not have to worry about not hearing a car getting too close to you.
These are one of the few headphones on this list, and yes, you saw it right; they are by Adidas. Taking a first glance at them, you might think they are covered in a headphone sweater to keep your head warm, but those are actually fabric covers that act as sweatbands to protect the headphones.
You might not realize it, but they are also removable so they can be machine washable so that you do not have to hand wash the sweat out of them. The covers make them feel even more comfortable and soft, as long as they are not too tight or loose on you; they are on-ear headphones.
They only come in gray, but you will probably like the fact that they are also wireless and can last up to 40 hours on a single charge; they charge through a USB cable (type C).
These do stay on pretty well when it comes to basic workout routines and some more active workouts, but let us just say that you might not want to do gymnastics with them on if you want them to stay intact; they are a little more expensive to break.
These headphones are very similar to the second product, but their design is a little bit different between the around the earpiece and the headband thickness. The band is thinner and more round, and the earpiece is also slimmer and wider, making a little more room for those with larger ears.
These can come in black or blue, but the blue is only on the inner part of the headphones. You might notice that the controls on these are a little smaller than the other models, but these are a little bit better at noise cancellation since these are more like in-ear earbuds than headphones.
It is this reason that you will have an easier time while working out with them, especially if you are into hanging upside down while doing yoga or repeatedly bending over to pick up and lift weights.
Despite being a headphone-like model, these come with most of the regular extras that a pair of earbuds comes with, like a case and different-sized buds.
These earbuds are a little more unique when it comes to their design since they are connected through Bluetooth, but instead of being two separate pieces, they are connected to each other through a wire that is about a foot or so long. You might like this design if you prefer a Bluetooth connection but often lose one or both lone earbuds.
They only come in black, and they are one of the more affordable and popular pairs on this list, but the mic is a little more sensitive than most of the other models. So if you are in a call with someone, they will most likely hear loud sounds like a TV or radio or even quiet sounds like a door opening or closing.
You will probably like the fact that these are pretty loud, especially for noise-canceling earbuds. They do have a pretty fast and reliable connection up to around 30 feet or so, which means you can leave your phone on a table or in a cup holder and hot have it weigh you down or be awkward while you are completing your workout.
You will probably fall in love with these earbuds fairly quickly when it comes to their high-quality sound, durability, and lifespan. Like the first product, they are truly wireless and charge while they are stored within their case.
Unlike the first product, these can come in black, blue, grey, white, and khaki, and each color is glossy, not matte. They also have an LED battery life indicator built into the case, and both earbuds have lights to let you know if they are connected or not. The total battery life can be up to around 14 to 18 hours, too.
The only major downside is the actual earbud material (the rubber) which seems to not fit well despite how much you may try to shove it in (do not try too hard). Thankfully, they can easily be switched out in seconds with any that fit, and most do.
Between that and the clear and loud sounds they make, you will be rocking out in your at-home or local gym in no time, and the clearly marked pieces will help you start sooner rather than later.
These are another headphone-earbud cross-mix pair that go into the ears but are connected by a band/wire that goes around the back of the head/neck. However, these are one of the few that comes in bright colors like pink, blue, green, and red, and they can also come in gray and black.
The flat plate that has the controls on it may be a little uncomfortable and awkward to use, but these are one of the best workout headphones if you are looking for a pair that stays in your ear well, has a good mic for hands-free calling, and has a decent sound quality.
These are also one of the best options if you are on a budget and want a pair of earbuds or headphones with a bit of a kick when it comes to bass; like feeling the vibrations through your jaw when it is at the highest volumes.
If you remember what the older Bluetooth hands-free calling earbuds look and feel like, then you probably have a good idea of how these would look and feel like on you. These have the classic plastic lining that wraps around your ear, but a better version of the noise-canceling part of the earbud.
They can come in red or black, last for up to 8 hours, and they are truly wireless that comes with a form-fitting case that can charge them up to 3 extra times once they run out of juice. They also come with the regular multi-sized earbuds, too.
These can be a bit average when it comes to working out with them since the ear lining can make them a little too loose or tight depending on your ears. The earbud keeps them from falling out during most workouts, but the lining may irritate your ear after a little while if it is not a snug fit.
The only other regular headphones on this list, these are also the only over-the-ear ones that cover nearly every-sized ear out there, big or small. They are a little above the average price range but are still pretty affordable considering they can last longer than most of the other models on this list; 30 hours on a full charge.
However, if you cannot handle the leathery material that lines the earmuffs, even when you are not working out, then you may want to only use these during the winter since they can warm you up pretty quickly unless you are standing right in front of an air conditioner.
They can slip a bit with workouts involving quick movements, especially if you are sweaty, but can work pretty well if you are lifting weights or doing yoga. The sound is clear thanks to the noise cancellation and 5.0 Bluetooth connection, and they are lightweight enough that you can forget they are on your head after a while.
These are pretty similar to the eighth product, but instead of the ear lining being made of hard plastic material, these are made of a more firm rubber. And, of course, because they are one of the highest quality brands of earphones out there, you can expect to spend the big bucks on these.
You can get them in black, blue, green, or white, and they are truly wireless so they can last as long as 24 hours between their power and the extra power that is stored in the case; which is made from hard plastic for protection. Unlike the other truly wireless ones you have seen earlier, these do require a cable to charge the case, but it comes with one.
When it comes to sound quality and how they are when you are working out, these are one of the best workout headphones, but you may expect nothing less from Beats. They are one of the snuggest, comfortable, and efficient models that you can choose from that can last for years.
Another truly wireless model, these have a more oval shape that may be a bit awkward if you have smaller ears, and they can come in black or white. They are a little more affordable than the Beats, but the battery life is a bit shorter; around 16 hours.
Your favorite feature may actually be the quick charge that these have that is unlike any other on this list: 5 minutes of charging can power them for nearly an hour. Just make sure you keep the case charged, though, since it is powered through a wire like some of the other models.
Like the first pair, these also have a 'find-me' function so that you are less likely to lose a single bud or both at the same time using the Jaybird app. When you are working out, if they are not too big, then you are likely to forget about them since they are so snug and comfortable.
The last on the list, these are another pair of truly wireless earbuds that are charged through a case, but you might love because of the 50 hours of battery life that they can have on a full charge (between the earbuds and the case).
They only come in black and their ear lining is a little more unique, so you may not find it as comfortable as some of the others on this list, but these do have possibly the best noise cancellation out of all of the others on this list.
So, if you like your piece and music while working out in public, these could be the best for you, no matter how rigorous or lax the workout since they stay in. The microphone is also pretty good when it comes to hands-free calls, too.
Picking a winner for the best on this list was a little challenging since it mainly comes down to not only how good they sound but how comfortable they are. Still, out of all of these, the one that would have to be the best when it comes to sound quality would have to be the tenth product, the Powerbeats Pro Earphones.
It has possibly the best sound and microphone quality, making it great for listening to music or taking a phone call, and it is one of the most form-fitting, has a long battery life, and is more free-moving since it is truly wireless.
Although, if you are looking not to make your wallet or ears cry, then the best backup would have to be the third product, the TOZO T10 Earbuds. They are just as convenient, have a battery indicator, can come in several colors, and have a pretty decent sound.
Be warned, unless you want them falling out often because of the cheaper rubber pieces, you will want to either replace them with a pair of your older ones or get some new ones that you think will fit well. The fact that they are also the most popular on this list goes to show how truly long-lasting and reliable they are, too.