Best Running Headphones [2020]

How We Picked

Most of us need to listen to our favorite songs for extra motivation when going for a run down the hiking trail or when working out at the gym.

That being said, not all earbuds and headphones are a good choice for working out, running and other strenuous physical activities, just because not all headphones are particularly durable or can continue to offer you high quality sound even while you sweat.

To help you narrow your selection down to the best running headphones that the market has to offer, we have put together a list of the top ten best running headphones that you can buy in 2020.

Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones

Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones


  • Connection: Wireless / Bluetooth
  • Fit: Over-Ear + In-Ear
  • Sweat-Proof: Yes
  • Weight: 0.71 Ounces

Beats has made a name for themselves in the audio industry for style and quality. Initially famous for their large, over-the-ear headphones, they offer a wide range of products. The Powerbeats Pro offers some of the best features that money can buy. With a low-latency, high-connection using Bluetooth, you can go where you want, when you want, without any issues with battery life or audio quality.

Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones case

Sleek and understated, the Powerbeats Pro gives you the simplicity and look that you want while running. These look great in any environment without being too “outlandish”. They are designed to be strong and durable, adding protection from sweat and rain too. They are fairly light, weighing a paltry 0.71 ounces. Because they are so light, plus the fact that they have an ear hook integrated into the body, they stay firmly in place even during the most grueling of running sessions.

Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones charging case

Fully charged, these headphones can last up to 9 hours on a single charge. If you use the charging case, you can extend the listening time to up to 24 hours. Each earphone has its own volume and track controls so you don’t have to use both at the same time (good for hearing your environment). These headphones are also equipped with a built-in microphone for voice commands and/or voice calls. And, when they are connected, they will automatically start playing music from your device.

Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones unboxed

These were designed with athletes in mind. The Powerbeats Pro has all the functionality, durability, and style to give you a great running experience. Plus, they are waterproof, sweat-resistant, durable, and light – is there anything else you need?

Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones case and iPhone

What We Like

Beats became popular by creating iconic audio components that were visually stunning and BEAT. These are extremely loud, with plenty of bass when you want. The fact that you can use one earbud or both at the same time really help during long running sessions (i.e. marathon training).


This is a safe choice for almost any runner. The beats name brand has proven themselves in the audio industry and these headphones are the perfect example of their dedication to quality and style. If you want a pair of loud headphones that can handle any running session you can throw at them, then this is a good place to start.

  • 9-Hour Battery Life, Up To 24 Using Charging Case
  • 15-Minute Fast Charge Gives You 1.5 Hours Of Extra Listening Time
  • Class-1 Bluetooth Technology For Unparalleled Wireless Connectivity
  • Wrap-Around Ear Hooks Keep Your Earbuds In Place No Matter What

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless Running Headphones

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless Running Headphones


  • Connection: Wireless / Bluetooth
  • Fit: In-Ear
  • Sweat-Proof: Yes
  • Weight: 0.64 Ounces

There was no chance that a list with the best running headphones would not include at least one pair from Bose. Over the years, Bose has proven themselves to be pioneers in the audio industry. And the SoundSport Free Truly Wireless headphones are proof.

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless Running Headphones and case

Bose does not focus on creating flashy designs or using loud colors. Instead, they let their products speak for themselves. The SoundSport Free’s truly free you up from the world of wires. They are simple in design with a plain-black color scheme. As far as product branding goes, they have their logo imprinted on the outside of the earbuds. These are extremely light with a total weight of 0.64 ounces. This makes it easy for them to stay in place even during the most intense workouts. However, they also have a specialized earbud that utilizes the StayHear technology/design. There is no chance that these are going to accidentally pop out, no matter how much jumping and/or running you do.

Bose SoundSport Free in yellow

On a full charge, you can expect around five hours of use. This can be extended to 15 hours with the included charging case. One of the best features of these headphones is the ability to use the “Find My Buds” feature from the Bose downloadable app. If you have ever lost a pair of headphones, you know how important this feature really is. As far as wireless connections go, Bose isn’t playing. You can expect up to 30ft (9m) range.

jogger wearing the Bose SoundSport Free headphones

What We Like

The soundstage is absolutely phenomenal. In fact, it sounds like you are literally in front of the band. The StayHear tips, combined with an ergonomic design, make these stay in place no matter how hard you try to shake them loose.


If you truly want to be free from wires, then the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless headphones are perfect for you. They are expensive when compared to other options, but the soundstage is unrivaled by anyone else on this list.

  • Exceptional Sound Quality
  • 5-Hour Battery Life On A Single Charge
  • “Find My Buds” Feature Using Downloadable Bose App

Jabra Elite Active 65T Wireless Earbuds

Jabra Elite Active 65T Wireless Earbuds


  • Connection: Wireless / Bluetooth
  • Fit: In-Ear
  • Sweat-Proof: Yes
  • Weight: 0.40 Ounces

Jabra believes that you should never sacrifice quality, comfort, and portability during your workouts. And with the Jabra Elite Active 65t, you won’t have to. No matter what type of exercise/routine you are doing, your music can go with you. Readjustments are a think of the past with the Active 65t’s. And the audio quality is nearly unmatched by any of the competitors on this list.

Jabra Elite Active 65T Wireless Earbuds in case

Wireless and hookless, these in-ear buds remain comfortable and stable without falling out or continually requiring readjustments which also makes them a great choice for gaming. The ergonomic design, paired with the multi-sized earbud tips, stay comfortably in place during your whole workout. They look stylish with a bold two-tone black/gold color scheme. They will blend in without being too obnoxious and/or attention-grabbing. And, they only weigh about 0.4 ounces – they are extremely light. They won’t weigh you down during long runs and/or workouts. And since they are so light, they don’t wiggle too much, reducing the need to readjust them even more.

Jabra Elite Active 65T Wireless Earbuds and charging case

These were primarily designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Their design focuses on sweat-heavy activities such as running. As such, they have an IP56 water-resistance rating that will keep them from shutting down from a small downpour and a good sweat session. During normal use, you can easily get five hours on a single charge. If you use the included charging case, you can get up to fifteen hours out of them.

women wearing the Jabra running headphones

An added bonus of the Jabra Elite Active 65t’s is the downloadable app. Using the app, you can control a lot more than volume and track. The app gives you access to an equalizer, charge percentage, voice assistance, and even how much noise the earphones let in. You can customize and control everything to your liking with the press of a few buttons.

What We Like

Not only are these great for running, but they look great in an office environment too. You could literally use these while working, and no one would know that they are your workout headphones. They sound great, creating plenty of crisp highs and deep bass notes.


While Jabra is best known for their office components, they have stepped outside of the box a little bit and have created one of the best running headphones to date. For the price, it is really hard to compete with them. Honestly, if you need dual-purpose running headphones, then these could very well be your next pair.

  • Downloadable App Allows You To Customize The Sound Profile
  • 5-Hour Battery Life, Up To 15 Using Charging Case
  • 2-Year Limited Warranty

66 Audio BTS Pro Wireless Running Headphones

66 Audio BTS Pro Wireless Running Headphones


  • Connection: Wireless / Bluetooth
  • Fit: Over-Ear
  • Sweat-Proof: Yes
  • Weight: 2.90 Ounces

It’s time you go the audio quality you want with the comfort that you need when you exercise. If you like over-ear headphones and want a truly stylish and feature-packed pair of headphones, then the 66 Audio BTS Pro’s are perfect for you.

It’s not often you’ll find a set of over-ear headphones that end up on a running list, but these truly rest comfortably around your ears and stay in place. They connect together behind your ears and rest on your next, giving you the ability to run, jump, lift, or anything else you can think of. They have a clean, stylish look with soft rubber for the controls and a splash of color – they’ll look great on you, even when you don’t look as good. And these don’t weigh much at all, coming in at just 2.9 ounces.

working out with the 66 Audio BTS Pro

These provide studio-quality sound, even on the worst of runs. They even include a noise-canceling microphone so you can talk (if you can) when you want. For wireless connections, not many others can keep up – these can go up to 100 feet from the wireless source if needed. And the battery will last up to 40 hours of listening time on a single charge.

The one feature that separates this pair of headphones from the rest of the crows is the included downloadable app. It gives you the ability to tweak the audio settings to your exact preference. If you have an Apple device, you can even use motion controls.

66 Audio BTS Pro on desk

What We Like

These aren’t traditional headphones at all! They have a completely unique look that works. While we aren’t huge fans of over-ear headphones, these sound great and stay in place without causing too much ear sweat.


If you want to stand out in a crowd, then these will be perfect. Everyone will take notice of the unique design and style of the BTS Pro’s from 66 Audio. You’ll appreciate the quality and design, but the soundstage and battery life will blow you away!

  • 40-Hour Battery Life On A Single Charge
  • Ability To Travel 100 Feet From Audio Source
  • Over-Ear Design Provides Excellent Noise Isolation

Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite Wireless Earbuds

Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite Wireless Earbuds


  • Connection: Wireless / Bluetooth
  • Fit: In-Ear
  • Sweat-Proof: Yes
  • Weight: 0.60 Ounces

These are extremely light with a clean, simple design. They slip into your ear and almost disappear. Unless someone is looking, they won’t even notice them; their logo is color-matched too which makes it easier to hide. It is sweatproof and waterproof so you can push your workouts to the MAX whenever you want.

runner wearing the Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite Wireless Earbuds

One feature that the Liberty Lite’s have is the instant-on connection. Once you’ve paired them, they are ready to go with a single button push. While they might not make a full marathon, they’ll give you up to 3.5 hours of run time on a single charge. Using the supplied charging case, you can get up to 12 total hours of music with the Lite’s.

close up of the Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite Wireless Earbuds

Anker has consistently proven that they can provide audiophile quality at consumer prices. These use a special graphene drive that can pump out some loud, yet clear audio. No matter what your music genre or preference, these will make it sound like you are in front of the band. With plenty of bass and ultra-crisp highs, nothing will slip past you.

What We Like

These are some extremely small, extremely light earbuds that put out a lot more sound than you would expect. They are loud and clear, with a good wireless range.


If you want a pair of earbuds that truly liberate you, then it’s time to consider the Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite’s. They are designed with you in mind, giving you exceptional sound quality, portability, and simplicity.

  • 3.5-Hour Battery Life On A Single Charge
  • Sweatproof And Waterproof
  • Extremely Clear Audio

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds


  • Connection: Wireless / Bluetooth
  • Fit: In-Ear
  • Sweat-Proof: Yes
  • Weight: 0.30 Ounces

It’s time to do more than listen to your music, it’s time to live in the music with the Sony WF-1000XM3’s. It’s completely possible to immerse yourself in the music and leave everything else behind.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds and case

The WF-1000XM3’s look amazing even though they are simple and sleek. They don’t focus on standing out, but rather providing the best listening experience possible. They are extremely lightweight at only 0.3 ounces. They feel great in your ears and they don’t sag at all like some others that weigh about twice as much.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds unboxed

They are equipped with specialized detection modes that understand when you are wearing them and when you aren’t. When you put them in, your music will automatically start. When you take them out, it will pause. The built-in mic works extremely well, even though it is positioned a long way from your mouth; no one will know you are using earbuds to talk to them.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds on table

The biggest feature of the WF-1000XM3’s is the noise-cancellation technology. Sony has spent a lot of time and effort in correcting issues from the original WF-1000’s. Now, hear only what you want to hear. Plus, it works for both phone calls and music – nothing stands in your way now.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds in box

What We Like

The previous iterations of the WF-1000’s suffered tremendously from external leakage and weak noise-cancelling technology. These don’t show any signs of “old problems”. They keep external sounds out and let you truly experience the music.


If you want to do more than hear your music, it’s time to upgrade to the WF-1000XM3’s from Sony. They’ve done a great job of creating a simple pair of earbuds that look professional but work hard. If you want to hear your music and nothing else, then let the noise-cancellation technology take you away.

  • Waterproof And Sweatproof
  • 24-Hour Battery Life With Included Charging/Carrying Case
  • Improved Noise-Cancelling Technology For The Clearest Soundstage Possible

Anker Soundcore Spirit Pro Wireless Running Headphones

Anker Soundcore Spirit Pro Wireless Running Headphones


  • Connection: Wireless / Bluetooth
  • Fit: In-Ear
  • Sweat-Proof: Yes
  • Weight: 0.64 Ounces

Take your workouts to the next level with these Anker Soundcore Spirit Pro running headphones. They are built to give you the best soundstage possible, portability, control, and durability of any headphone on the market at an affordable price.

These headphones are designed to be the perfect fit – with the included ear wings and multiple ear tips, there’s no chance that they won’t stay put. While these are wireless, they do have a wire connecting the two earphones together. Even so, the magnetic ends on the earbuds themselves make it easy to wrap the wire up and go. At 0.64 ounces, these are not that heavy; they aren’t the lightest, but they are lightweight enough to remain comfortable and rest easily in your ears.

Anker Soundcore Spirit Pro Wireless Running Headphones back

One of the most impressive features of these headphones is sweat resistance. Sweat resistance is common in most running headphones, but Anker takes it to a completely new level with their IP68 rating. They focus a secure fit that doesn’t slip, offering one of the best sweat-resistant designs on the market – perfect for those who like to stay active.

Controlling your music is simple with the built-in controller and microphone. You can take calls, change the volume, and skip a song just like you were holding the phone. With ten hours of playtime, you’ll never run out of music while you are running.

For those who love music and want the best sound possible, the dual-EQ modes give you all the power/control that you crave. You can adjust the music settings to your liking, making the bass BOOM or the guitars SCREAM. The built-in EQ makes it easy to get the perfect sound for your next running session.

What We Like

It is hard to argue with a pair of headphones that come in under $50 this sound this good. The customized ear tips combined with the 6mm drivers are exceptionally loud and yet clear too. Adding to the sound profile, the Dual-EQ fixes any problems with just the push of a button.


Anker is one of those do-it-all companies that actually know what they are doing. Instead of creating basic components, they packed this with so many features that we do not understand how they got away with the price.

  • 10-Hour Battery Life
  • IP68 Water Resistance Rating
  • Dual-EQ Gives You Plenty Of Control Over The Sound Profile

Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 Wireless Running Earphones

Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 Wireless Running Earphones


  • Connection: Wireless / Bluetooth
  • Fit: In-Ear
  • Sweat-Proof: Yes
  • Weight: 0.46 Ounces

Get the most out of your everyday workout and music experience with the Optoma NuForce BE Sport4. They offer the features and quality that you crave from Bluetooth earphones while making it easy to use and enjoy. While these are not completely wireless, they work great as a hands-free option while still giving you plenty of audio control (i.e. play/pause, volume).

Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 internals

Again, these are technically wireless as they don’t connect directly to your phone and/or audio device. They connect using a Bluetooth connection, but they do have a wire connecting the two earbuds together. Even so, the design remains sleek and stylish, looking good even with the wire through in the middle. At 0.46 ounces, these are extremely lightweight and almost disappear during your running sessions.

Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 in water

One of the best features of the Optoma NuForce BE Sport4’s is their fit. They conform to your ears to offer maximum comfort and minimum outside noise interference. Comfort is a big focal point for the Sport 4’s. They are also sweat resistance, so you can run without worrying about slippage during those intense running sessions.

Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 silicone pieces

Another great feature is that you can talk anywhere at any time with these earphones. The controls and built-in mic are easy to use and give you the ability to manage music and/or voice calls whenever needed. Plus, these headphones will last for ten hours on a single charge.

Runner wearing the Optoma NuForce BE Sport4

These headphones don’t seem to sacrifice audio quality, even though they are Bluetooth connected. Some people notice a significant difference between wired headphones and Bluetooth connected headphones; that simply isn’t an issue with the Sport 4’s. The graphene-coated drivers provide audiophile quality, without being too tinny or boomy. If you want a great pair of running headphones that focus on a musician-level experience, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the Sport 4’s from Optoma.

Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 and workout gear

What We Like

Pricewise, it is amazing the sound that comes out of these. While they do not compete directly with Bose or the other high-end headphones, you will be pleasantly surprised with how crystal-clear the audio is on every one of your runs.


If you want a good pair of sweat-resistant, long-lasting running headphones, the Sport 4’s from Optoma are definitely worth a look. They have an IPX5 water-resistance rating and they’ll last for up to ten hours on a single charge.

  • IPX5 Water Resistance
  • 10-Hour Battery Life And Quick-Charging Capability
  • Graphene-Coated Audio Drivers For A Crystal-Clear Soundstage

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo Wireless Running Headphones

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo Wireless Running Headphones


  • Connection: Wireless / Bluetooth
  • Fit: In-Ear
  • Sweat-Proof: Yes
  • Weight: 0.20 Ounces

Lightweight and high quality, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo offers one of the best listening experiences on the market. You have some of the best sounding earphones you can get, and all in an incredibly small and portable package. Along with its sweat-resistant design, you have something you can take with you anywhere, no matter what you are doing.

These are extremely lightweight and small, easily fitting into your ear without any sagging associated with larger designs; they don’t want to fall out. Design-wise, they are very unimposing, utilizing a simple black color scheme with a small logo imprinted on the earbuds. They come with a large selection of ear tips and wings to give you the perfect fit, even for long running sessions; size will never be an issue with these headphones. We mentioned they were light, but did we say that they only weigh 0.2 ounces?

The Bluetooth 5.0 connection is one of the best on the market to date. Earlier Bluetooth devices suffered from spotty connections, but these don’t have any connection issues whatsoever. And since these are designed for high-intensity workouts, the waterproof and sweat-resistant design will keep them working no matter how bad it gets.

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo worn during a run

What separates Liberty Neo’s from everyone else is their sound quality. Anker builds some of the best components on the market and they’ve included 6mm graphene drivers to deliver some of the cleanest and loudest audio from a pair of inexpensive earbuds.

What We Like

Previously, wireless headphones were limited by spotty connections when using Bluetooth. These headphones utilize the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology to create one of the consistent wireless connections to date.


With the Liberty Neo’s, you’ll definitely feel liberated. Instead of having to sit within ten feet of your wireless device, now you can move around and still enjoy high-quality audio without all of the skips and staggering associated with older Bluetooth devices.

  • Up To 12-Hour Battery Life When Used With The Charging Case
  • Water-Resistant And Sweat-Proof
  • Extremely Light

Monster iSport Achieve Wireless Running Headphones

Monster iSport Achieve Wireless Running Headphones


  • Connection: Wireless / Bluetooth
  • Fit: In-Ear
  • Sweat-Proof: Yes
  • Weight: 0.96 Ounces

Monster is another one of those names that stands out in the audio industry. They have consistently created some of the most powerful audio drivers in the world. And their iSport Achieve headphones definitely hold up well when stacked against the other competitors on our list.

Monster iSport Achieve close-up

These are bold in design, using bright colors matched up against a chrome earbud. The ones we are looking at are extremely bright blue and hard to hide. The monster logo is imprinted on the side, but it is the audio quality that amazes. The design utilized by monster gives you up to 90% noise isolation, helping you to hear more of what you want to hear in any environment. To help keep them in place, these using in-ear design with specialized ear hooks to keep everything from slipping. They are waterproof and sweatproof which means you do not have to worry about how bad the workout is.

Monster iSport Achieve worn on bike

On a full charge, these will last around five hours. So, unless you are a slow runner, these will last long enough for a marathon too. These do come with a built-in microphone and volume controller, as well as a play/pause feature in case you need to stop the music for a moment. The charger is actually located on the controller, itself making it a lot easier to connect the micro-USB cable.

Monster iSport Achieve worn during a workout

What We Like

Not only do they sound good, but they look amazing! Monster has never been shy about its brand and/or style. And while style is not the most important feature of a pair of headphones, it does not hurt when everyone takes notice of what you are using.


Monster has created a great pair of wireless headphones that will easily handle all of your running sessions. With more than five hours of playtime on a single charge, there are not many marathons that will outlast you. Monster is known for loud, driving audio quality. As such, you will not be disappointed in these headphones.

  • 1-Year Limited Warranty
  • 90% Noise Isolation
  • 5-Hour Battery Life

Buyer’s Guide To Find The Best Running Headphones

There are plenty of marketing teams all vying for interest. They spend countless hours trying to figure out how to convince you that they have the best running headphones. They are not going to show you what they cannot do right, only what they can do right. We are going to show you exactly what to look for so that you can filter out all of the other marketing noise.


When you are running, you need a pair of headphones that will stay with you. And there are three types of running headphone styles:

  1. In-Ear/Earbuds
  2. Around-Ear
  3. On-Ear

In-ear headphones fit inside of your ear canal. Generally speaking, these are extremely popular for any sport. They fit well and they tend to stay in place. However, because they do not have anything to secure them, it is possible that they will fall out or need to be readjusted. Most in-ear headphones have multiple sized foam/rubber tips to help secure them better. Even so, they do tend to slip a little and heavy activities like running.

Around-ear headphones come in two different flavors: over-ear cups or around-ear hooks. Over-ear cups are large and bulky but fit completely over your ear. In most cases, they provide excellent noise isolation. But, their size can be detrimental, especially for running. Around-ear hooks are exceptional for running. They wrap around your ear and allow the headphones to sit comfortably, without falling out. They give you the benefit of in-ear headphones with a hook to keep them in place.

And finally, on-ear headphones sit on top of your ears. These are the headphones that you probably saw in the late 90s. They have made a resurgence, but these really are not that great for running. They do not have a way to secure to your ear and they tend to bounce and/or slip a lot. One good feature for on-ear headphones is that they do not totally block out all of the ambient noise, helping you to hear somebody sneaking up behind you (or a vehicle).


There are two primary types of headphone connections: wired or wireless.

Wired headphones tend to have the highest audio quality, as they are directly connected to your phone. More data is transferred without any type of compression giving you a high-quality audio experience. Wired headphones also do not require any type of battery other than whatever device you are connected to.

Wireless headphones still have good audio quality, but they do deal with compression which does affect how clear the signal is; for most, this is not noticeable, especially when running. Most wireless headphones use Bluetooth for their connections. This is the most reliable option and has a pretty good range. There are multiple variations of Bluetooth currently in use, specifically 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, and 5.0. Of course, the higher the number, the better the Bluetooth connection and audio quality will be.

Battery / Charging

If you are using a wired pair of headphones, then you can skip this section. But, if you were looking for a wireless pair of running headphones, then you need to consider the battery life and charging requirements.

For starters, some batteries only last a few hours before they are useless. But, some batteries can last up to two or three days. If you run a lot, you will want to look for a pair of running headphones that has an extremely long battery life (or an easy way to charge them).

Charging your headphones can be done in one of two ways: direct connection or wirelessly. A direct connection is where you hold a USB cable or other charging cable directly to the headphones. In most cases, you will have to pull back a flap that is used to protect the charging port when not in use. Wireless charging is done by placing the headphones on a charging pad and/or charging case. Most work through some type of connection through metal contacts; this is the easiest and preferred way to charge headphones.

Sound Quality

Even though you are running, you are still going to want headphones that sound good. Of course, not all headphones are created equal.

Generally speaking, the best sounding running headphones tend to cost a lot. Plus, the best sounding headphones tend to come from larger name brands like Bose, Monster, Beats, Skull Candy, etc. there are plenty of no-name brands that have good mid-level options, so depending on your audio quality requirements, you may be happy with a little less overall.

Remember, these are running headphones, so your primary focus will be the music so much as the path/trail. Even so, you do not want to find headphones that are too booming or too tinny; both of these are undesirable.

Sweat Resistance

If you are running, and you will sweat. Some headphones are designed with a certain amount of sweat resistance. These headphones will not slip as much as headphones without some type of sweat resistance.

Earbuds tend to focus on sweat resistance as they are touching the ear directly. Rubber tips tend to slip more than foam tips will, so look for earbuds with both options. Or you can look for earbuds with ear hooks (on-ear). Over-ear headphones tend to sweat a lot as they do not let any area whatsoever; these are not recommended for high activity sports like running.

Extra Features

Other features that you should look for in a pair of running headphones include noise cancellation, audio controls, a microphone, a heart rate monitor, and voice command. While these are required, they add to the overall experience while giving you the freedom to enjoy your run.

Noise cancellation is probably the most controversial feature for a pair of running headphones. The reason is that you might not hear approaching danger if you have it activated. Depending on your location, this can be a big thing; if you are running outside, it is probably not a recommended feature.

The microphone makes it easy to answer phone calls and/or talk with others while running; of course, if you are running hard enough, you will not really be able to talk anyway.


And finally, running headphones can range wildly from inexpensive pairs starting around $20 to over the top pairs starting at $300. Is it possible that the $300 pair is just as good as a $100 pair? Absolutely!

But, it really depends on who makes them and how well they support them. You do not want to buy an expensive pair of headphones made by a no-name company. But, there is not nearly as much risk if you buy an inexpensive pair of running headphones from a no-name company.

Bose makes some of the best running headphones on the market and they are fairly expensive. MPOW make some decent running earbuds without being nearly as expensive. Do they sound the same? Nope! Will they both work for runners? Yes!

Figure out what you are comfortable spending and then look for headphones that have all the features you want that fit in that range. If you cannot find a pair of running headphones that fit in your budget range, then you will need to figure out which features you are willing to give up or increase your budget. Make sure that you get exactly what you want so that you will not regret your purchase later.

Headphones for running on the beach

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will running headphones be loud enough for me?

A: For the most part, running headphones with in-ear and over-ear designs will be loud enough for you during your running sessions. However, there are some factors that will affect this.

For starters, if you are using a wireless pair of running headphones, then you are limited to how powerful the drivers themselves are when paired with the battery. Wireless/Bluetooth headphones tend to be a little quieter than their wired counterparts. If you need an exceptionally loud pair of headphones, then you should stick with a wired connection.

Q: How do I make my headphones louder?

A: If you just cannot get your headphones loud enough for your liking, you do have a couple of options. If you are using a wired connection, then you can get an in-line amplifier that will increase the volume of your headphones. These are not inexpensive, generally costing around $100+. Some in-line amplifiers have other features built-in such as equalization and noise cancellation.

If you are using a pair of wireless headphones, the best thing you can do to get a louder pair is to find a better fitting pair of earbuds. Otherwise, you will need to buy another pair that gets louder.

Q: The cord for my headphones is not long enough, what can I do?

A: Some brands do not have long wired connections. If you are fairly tall, this can be problematic. If you need to extend the length of your wired headphones, there are 3.5 mm audio extension cables available just about everywhere. When looking for an audio extension cable, make sure that you find one that works and stereo and uses gold plating for their connections (higher quality audio).

Q: One of my earbuds fell off, do I need to buy another pair of headphones?

A: If you are using a pair of headphones that uses the general-purpose earbuds/ear tips, then all you need to do is buy another pair of earbuds/ear tips. These can be purchased almost anywhere and they are universal in design.

If the pair of headphones you are using have a special type of earbuds/ear tip, then you will need to contact the manufacturer to see if they can give you a free replacement or sell you just ear but itself. In some instances, you will not be able to purchase the specialized ear tips on their own. In those cases, you will just be left without a working pair of headphones until you buy another pair.

Q: Will the most expensive running headphones be the best for me?

A: In a perfect world, the most expensive pair of running headphones would be the best for you. However, there are a lot of factors that go into the price of running headphones. The brand name is one of the biggest reasons for price. Bose and Sony have developed a reputation for being a premier-quality audio component maker. As such, they tend to charge a whole lot more than SkullCandy or MPOW. Some of the SkullCandy’s actually sound better than a few of the Sony offerings – take that for what it is worth.

Another reason for a higher price is the marketing team. Most headphones are fairly similar in design, but a good marketing team can convince you that they are 9mm drivers with their specialized coating are better than a competitor’s 9mm driver without that special coating (most of the time, the difference is indiscernible).

Q: Will the battery last long enough for a marathon?

A: The average time for a marathon is around 4 1/2 hours. Here is the kicker, some wireless headphones do have batteries that can exceed 4 1/2 hours. However, the ones that can tend to weigh a lot more because they need a lot more battery. Overall, most wireless headphones will last between two and three hours before needing a recharge. Make sure that you consider battery life if you need more than three hours at a time for your running sessions.

Q: I’ve heard that Bluetooth is spotty, is this true?

A: While Bluetooth has come a long way, there are times when he can become inconsistent. Bluetooth 5.0 has fixed a lot of the issues that older Bluetooth devices were plagued with such as inconsistent connections and poor battery life. Overall, it would be best to look for a pair of running headphones that uses Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX for the best audio quality and/or connections.

Q: Will my headphones mess up in the rain?

A: Even if your headphones are not waterproof, a slight drizzle and/or mist will not affect them. But if you get caught in a downpour, it could create havoc for them. If you think you might end up getting caught in a rainstorm or two, then make sure you find a pair of headphones that utilize some type of water resistance. Most running headphones are given an IP rating that certifies them for a certain level of water resistance.


Hopefully, you found a pair of running headphones that fits you perfectly. We tried to look for headphones that were budget-friendly, powerful, and portable. Of course, this was not all that we looked at, but these were some of the most important features. If you want to know the other factors we considered, then check out our buyer’s guide above to see how we compared each pair of headphones. If you had some questions while reading through this list, we also included a frequently asked questions section that hopefully addresses your question. If not, let us know so that we can help you and others as well.

Ultimately, we want you to find the best pair of running headphones for you. We believe that this list has exactly what you need. If not, we hope that you find a pair of running headphones that blows your mind soon.