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best in ear wireless headphones for working out and running

Best In Ear Wireless Headphones for Working Out and Running – Expert Choices

If you’ve spent any amount of time looking for the best in ear headphones for working out and running, you know that there are a lot of options. There are so many features, price ranges, and factors to consider before purchasing. That’s where I come in.

After years of research into the new true wireless earbud trend, I’ve put together a list to help people with active lifestyles choose the wireless headphones that they’ve been searching for. True wireless earbuds have drawbacks (such as short battery lives), but technology is changing every day. Now there are not only comfortable wireless earbuds, but ones that last a long time and sound amazing as well.

Choosing the wrong wireless earbuds can leave you with terrible sound quality, frequent connection drops, and sometimes even lead to earbuds falling out of your ears while you’re exercising, getting lost, and even being damaged. Choosing a snug, secure earbud with good sound quality, and battery life and waterproof rating that matches your lifestyle is key.

Let’s take a look at some of the best wireless headphones for working out and running on the market right now.

1. Jabra Elite Active 75t

First on our list are the Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds. Jabra has a range of wireless earbuds, but the Elite Active 75ts are some of the best wireless headphones for gym and working out that I’ve found.

In a hurry? Here’s a quick summary of the details.

  • True wireless earbuds
  • 5-hour battery life
  • 1hr 45 min charging time
  • Sweatproof
  • Waterproof (IP57-rating)
  • App integration

Jabra’s Elite Active 75t earbuds snagged the top spot on this list for a reason. In addition to the multiple fabulous features that they offer, these true wireless headphones offer amazing sound quality, a variety of colors, and a charging case that easily fits right into your pocket.

When you’re not working out or running, these are still great headphones. When you get to the gym, they become an invaluable tool. These earbuds are waterproof and sweatproof, with an IP57-rating. That feature is what sets these earbuds apart from the standard Jabra Elite 75t model.

Need to take a call at the gym? The Elite Active 75ts have four microphones inside, perfect for isolating all of your background noise. Further, these earbuds have a ‘hear-through’ feature. When activated (with a slight tap on the surface of the earbuds when they are in use), you can be aware of your surroundings without removing the earbud.

These headphones are lightweight, fit snugly in your ear so they won’t fall out, and make your music sound great. Though they do not have active noise cancellation, they still do a pretty good job of making sure outside noise is drowned out. Jabra’s Elite Active 75t wireless headphones are a great investment for running, working out at the gym, and even listening at home!

Need more information about the features and quality of the Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds? Here is a useful and well-made video review! CNET also provides an excellent and all-encompassing review of these earbuds here.

What I Liked

  • Automatically pauses music when earbuds are removed
  • Four available colors (mint, copper black, navy, and sienna)
  • App integration for custom sound mixing
  • Smooth Bluetooth connection with no pairing delays

What I Disliked

  • Only one earbud can be used on its own
  • Strong bass may not be for everyone

2. Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Headphones

Beats are well-known for their headphones, and the Powerbeats Pro Wireless headphones surely live up to the brand’s reputation. There are a few quirks, but overall these are some of the best wireless headphones for running.

Just want the details? Here’s a quick look at the specs.

  • Wireless with ear hooks
  • 9-hour battery life
  • 5 min rapid charging when the battery is low
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Water-resistant (IPX4-rating)
  • No app

The Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless headphones may not be true wireless, but that works in their favor. The ear hooks attached to these earbuds are comfortable to wear, flexible, and make sure that the earbuds stay where they need to be. Working out and running can dislodge some earbuds, making it difficult to use them – but that isn’t the case with the Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless headphones.

On the other hand, the water resistance rating is lower than most of the other headphones on our list. They can still stand up to sweat, but I wouldn’t try to jog in the rain with these earbuds on.

The sound quality is great for earbuds that connect via Bluetooth. Don’t expect the standard Beats depth of sound to come out of these headphones, but they are some of the clearest true wireless headphones I checked out, even if they can be a bit heavy on the bass.

Another thing that the Powerbeats Pro Wireless earbuds have working for them is simplicity. Touch controls are mirrored on both earbuds, so you don’t have to remember a complicated pattern of taps to control them. However, there is no app to mix or change the sound quality or other features.

Finally, the best thing about the Powerbeats Pro Wireless headphones. In my opinion, the Fast Fuel charging system changes the game for all other wireless earbuds. At low power levels, the Powerbeats Pro Wireless earbuds only need to charge for 5 minutes to deliver an additional 1.5 hours of run time.

For more information about all that the Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Headphones offer, check out this video review!

What I Liked

  • Eight available colors (cloud pink, spring yellow, glacier blue, lava red, ivory, black, navy, and moss)
  • Includes four tip sizes for optimal fit
  • Can use either earbud by itself
  • Music automatically pauses when the earbud is removed and restarts when it is put back on
  • Rapid charging when the battery is low

What I Disliked

  • The charging case is on the larger side
  • Not fully waterproof
  • Most expensive wireless headphones on my list

3. JBL Under Armour True Wireless Flash Headphones

JBL and Under Armour teamed up to create a pair of earbuds that are optimized for activity. These may be some of the best wireless headphones for gym use for this reason alone.

If you’re in a hurry, check out this quick list of specifications.

  • True wireless earbuds
  • 5-hour battery life
  • 2 hour charging time
  • Sweatproof
  • Waterproof (IPX7-rating)
  • No app

These earbuds by JBL and Under Armour are created specifically for use while working out, running, and other fitness activities. They are completely waterproof, with an IPX7 rating. No amount of sweat will cause these earbuds to stop working. The UA STORM proof technology allows you to run in the rain if you want. That’s not an easy feature to find!

The True Wireless Flash Headphones also include features that you can activate while working out with a friend. Instead of having to remove the earbuds to hear your workout partner talking with you, TalkThru mode amplifies their voice without interrupting your music.

Running alone or in an unsafe area? JBL Under Armour Flash headphones also include AmbientAware technology, which adjusts the volume of your music or podcast so you can still hear what’s happening around you.

Overall, this is a great set of earbuds. Their battery life is relatively short compared to some of the other options on the list, and sometimes the audio quality can be lacking – especially compared to more expensive headphones. However, they sit comfortably in your ear and even include a ‘wing’ that helps secure them in place. They don’t move around while you’re in motion, so you never have to worry about them falling out.

Need more information about the features included with the JBL Under Armour Tre Wireless Flash headphones? Watch this video review!

What I Liked

  • Completely waterproof
  • Ear tips and wings come in two different sizes for the perfect fit
  • Nice universal design
  • TalkThru technology makes it easy to hear your friends over your music

What I Disliked

  • No volume adjustment on earbuds
  • Audio quality can be lacking
  • Low volume overall

4. Plantronics Backbeat FIT 3200 Headphones

Plantronics offers a competitive entry for the best wireless headphones for running with their Backbeat FIT 3200 model. These stable earbuds can withstand moisture and provide excellent audio quality while remaining snug in your ear.

Here’s a quick list of specifications before we get into all the details.

  • Wireless with ear hooks
  • 8-hour battery life
  • 2 hour charging time
  • Sweatproof
  • Waterproof (IP57-rating)
  • App integration

Plantronics may not be as well-known as some of the other brands on this list, but their wireless earbuds can be counted among the best. Though these wireless headphones are a bit bulky, they fit securely and won’t slip out of your ears while you’re running or working out at the gym. The ear hooks are comfortable and flexible as well.

One of the best features I found with the Backbeat FIT 3200s is the flexible touch control settings. There is one main earbud (the left by default) and the other only controls the volume. However, you can switch which earbud controls which settings in the app. Getting comfortable with the controls is important to most people, so this app is a great head start.

The audio quality is great as well, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice function for form when you go with the Plantronics Backbeat FIT 3200s.  There are 3 equalizer settings in the app that allow you to mix audio just the way you like it, so you don’t have to suffer through too much bass if that isn’t your thing.

While these earbuds are naturally noise-isolating, there is also an Awareness mode that allows you to hear certain ambient noise. Staying alert can be important outside of the gym, and when activated, this feature doesn’t completely block out outside noise. The ability to use either earbud on their own (or both at the same time) helps in this regard as well.

For an in-depth look at Plantronics’ Backbeat FIT 3200 wireless headphones, take a look at this video review.

What I Liked

  • Includes three different ear tip sizes for the perfect fit
  • Two color options (grey and teal)
  • Naturally noise isolating
  • High waterproof rating
  • A host of customizable features in the app

What I Disliked

  • Ear tips are large, causing the headphones to stick out from your ear
  • Very short charging cable
  • Sweat/humidity can cause volume features to activate unexpectedly

5. Jaybird Vista Wireless Headphones

Jaybird comes through with their Vista wireless earbuds. These headphones can take a beating and keep delivering great audio quality, even when you’re running.

Don’t have time for the details? Here’s a quick list of specs.

  • True Wireless
  • 6-hour battery life
  • 2 hour charging time
  • Sweatproof
  • Waterproof (IPX7-rating)
  • App integration

Jaybird’s Vista wireless headphones have a lot going for them, even if they aren’t so great with calls or ambient noise features. These earbuds are still powerful and can help elevate your workout to the next level.

Three different ear tips come with these earbuds, so there’s a perfect fit for everyone. Also, these headphones have a supporting arc to keep the headphones in place and help you feel secure while running. They fit comfortably and snugly in your ear.

And that’s a good thing because if you like to run in the rain, these are the headphones for you. The Jaybird Vistas are weatherproof and completely resistant to shock, dust, water, and sweat. Whatever’s going on outside, these earbuds have got you covered.

Hands down, one of the best things about these earbuds is the app that they integrate with. Through this app, you can customize the control scheme, disable or enable features, and more. One of the most interesting and unique parts of the app is the equalizer controls. In addition to being able to customize your EQ settings, there are downloadable presets from other users available as well. That sense of community is unique to the Jaybird Vistas!

For a more detailed exploration of the Jaybird Vista wireless headphones, check out this thorough video review.

What I Liked

  • Quick charge feature gives an additional 1 hour of playtime with a five-minute charge at low battery levels
  • EQ presets can be customized on the app
  • Small and lightweight

What I Disliked

  • Limited controls
  • No touch controls, only a button on the earbud
  • Not great for calls

6. Bose Soundsport Free Wireless Headphones

The Bose brand is synonymous with audio quality, and the Bose Soundsport Free wireless headphones live up to their name. With a snug fit, clear audio, and a great app, these earbuds won’t let you down.

In a hurry? Here’s a quick list of specifications for the Bose Soundsport Free wireless headphones.

  • True wireless earbuds
  • 5 hours of battery life
  • 2 hour charging time
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Water-resistant (IPX4-rating)
  • App integration

There is a certain quality that is expected of a Bose product. The Soundsport Free wireless headphones meet those expectations when it comes to audio fidelity. There is a discernable depth in any music you listen to with these, which can be amazing when you’re getting motivated to work out.

The IPX4 waterproof rating isn’t the best, but the Soundsport Free earbuds can withstand a bit of sweat or moisture. You can use them for up to five hours on a single charge – and when the battery is low, the charging case will rapidly charge them, providing an additional 45 minutes of use after 15 minutes.

Volume can sometimes be a problem with wireless headphones, but that isn’t the case with these. The Bose Soundsport Pro wireless headphones have decent volume and feature a unique volume-optimized equalizer. This means that the bass, treble, and other levels will adjust themselves depending on your volume.

While Bose presents a great audio experience, there are also some flaws with the technology. There are no touch or tap controls like competitors, but there are buttons to adjust volume and other features. These controls are customizable to a degree but are fairly limited when it comes down to it. While these headphones are great for audiophiles at the gym and the track, they can underperform in settings with a lot of movement.

For a deeper dive into the features of the Bose Soundsport Free wireless headphones, watch this detailed video review.

 What I Liked

  • A well-made app with decent customization options
  • Syncs with up to 7 devices
  • Amazing audio quality
  • Sturdy, sleek design
  • Four available colors (black, blue, bright orange, and ultraviolet)

What I Disliked

  • Earbuds are large and stick out quite a bit
  • No touch controls – only button controls
  • Connection often drops

7. Sony WF-SP800N Wireless Headphones

Sony’s WF-SP800N wireless headphones may be the last on the list, but it’s a great note to end on. These powerful little earbuds are created with all the features Sony implies, but they’re made for working out.

Don’t want all the details? Here’s a quick list of the specs for the Sony WF-SP800N.

  • True wireless earbuds
  • 9-13 hour battery life
  • 5 hour charging time
  • Sweatproof
  • Waterproof (IP55-rating)
  • App integration

These true wireless earbuds from Sony have an important advantage over other popular models – they’re completely waterproof. These wireless headphones are some of the best wireless headphones for the gym and working out because that’s what they are made for. They include all the features you’d want to have in your workout headphones. Check out a comprehensive look at these features on this excellent review from CNET.

There are three sizes of silicone tips and support arcs, so almost everyone can find the perfect fit. No more worrying about the earbuds feeling uncomfortable or falling out of your ear – especially when you’re running or lifting weights. In addition to fitting securely, these headphones produce great sound quality with extra bass added to motivate your workout.

Ambient Sound Mode is a great feature, and most wireless headphones in this price range have a similar feature. With the WF-SP800N earbuds, there are no features that amplify speech, but this mode allows noise from the environment to filter through to you. On the other end of the spectrum, the active noise cancellation mode in the WF-SP800N earbuds allows you to completely isolate yourself if you prefer.

Though I put Sony’s WF-SP800N wireless headphones at the bottom of the list, they do not come in in the last place. With a snug fit, intuitive touch controls (that can be customized with the use of the app), and a host of other features, the Sony WF-SP800Ns are a great choice for working out, running, and a host of other activities.

For more details about Sony’s WF-SP800N wireless headphones, check out this video review.

What I Liked

  • Arc support helps earbuds fit securely in the ear
  • Long battery life
  • Digital/Active noise canceling and transparent features
  • Customizable touch controls
  • Four colors (black, white, blue, and red)

What I Disliked

  • Earbuds can’t be used on their own
  • No volume control on earbuds

 Comparison Chart

Product Price IP Rating Listening Time Style Weight Active Noise Cancelling
Jabra Elite Active 75t $$$$ IP57 7.5 hours True wireless 5.5g each No
Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless $$$$$ IPX4 9 hours Wireless w/ ear hooks 10g each No
JBL Under Armour True Wireless Flash $$$ IPX7 5 hours True wireless 8g each Yes
Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3200 $$ IP57 8 hours Wireless w/ ear hooks 13g each Yes
JayBird Vista $$$$ IPX7 6 hours True wireless 6g each No
Bose Soundsport Free $$$$ IPX4 5 hours True wireless 14g each No
Sony WF-SP800N $$$$ IP55 9-13 hours True wireless 10g each Yes

Specifications

Let’s take a look at what each of these specifications means for you.

IP Rating

An IP rating tells you how well your earbuds can withstand water. This waterproofing rating has a simple code that can tell you how the earbuds will perform. IP stands for ‘International Protection’, and the code will tell you how well the earbud is sealed against water, dust, and other outside particles.

The first digit after the ‘IP’ tells you how well the casing protects against solid particles. An ‘X’ rating means that there is no specific solid particle protection. A number in this position (such as with the IP55 rating) means there is protection against solid particles. The higher this number the better, and ‘6’ is the highest rating that can be achieved here.

The last digit tells you how well the casing protects against water. Again, an ‘X’ rating means there is no specific water protection (so an IP5X rating wouldn’t be waterproof at all). Again, if this digit is a number, the higher the better. Waterproofing can range up to 9k, so choosing a higher number (like the IPX7 or IP57s on this list) provides the best waterproofing.

Listening Time/Battery Life

Listening time and battery life are the same measures. This simply means the amount of time the headphones can run on a single charge before they need to be charged again. In the context of this article, this is the life of the headphones outside of the charging case.

All of the wireless headphones here have a charging case, which works as a power bank to recharge headphones on the go. However, having the charging case will not extend the battery life of the headphones – they will still only play for the amount of time described here on a single charge.

Style

There are three styles of wireless headphones, though only two are represented on our list. True wireless earbuds stick right into your ear and do not have a hook. They are not wired together. Wireless headphones with an ear hook add a comfortable hook to the earbud so that they stay in place more securely.

This is entirely a personal preference. Though ear hooks are meant to make the earbuds fit better, true wireless earbuds are constantly evolving. Some of them fit very comfortable and snug inside of your ear even without the hook. Choose the style that you like best for a more comfortable experience.

Weight

Sometimes, the weight of each earbud can factor into your decision. Heavier earbuds may be prone to falling out of your ear, or they may be bulkier and not fit as comfortably. On the other hand, the additional weight may mean that you get longer battery life.

Active Noise Cancelling

Active Noise Cancelling is a feature that some wireless headphones boast. This means that there is a mode you can activate to mute the sounds around you while you’re using your headphones. Often, this feature drains the battery on the headphones, but it works better than passive noise isolation most of the time.

If you’re going to be working out in a loud gym or running along a busy street, considering choosing headphones that have an active noice cancelling mode.

Final Verdict

In recent years, many companies have stepped up to create the best in ear headphones for working out and running. There are more choices now than ever before. When you are looking for true wireless earbuds that will stay firmly in your ear during your workout, won’t be affected by your sweat, and still deliver great audio, Jabra’s Elite Active 75t earbuds still win out for me.

 

 

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Best In Ear Wireless Headphones for Working Out and Running - Expert Choices
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