by Adam MolinaMarch 3, 2017

Few things get your heart pumping like a good song, just ask Rocky. Whether you’re an occasional jogger or a marathon runner, a good beat can help you go a long way. But with so many headphones being marketed as “sports headphones”, which ones are actually worth the money?

Of course, you don’t need to use sweatproof headphones to go for a run, but you might end up replacing your ‘buds too often for your wallet to allow. You also don’t need wireless headphones, but few things can stop you in your tracks like getting tangled in a cable. But if you can combine those two features, you’ll get a decent pair of headphones that will melt away into the background of your run.

We did plenty of research (and added some our personal favorites as well) and came up with this list of the best Bluetooth headphones for running. We have a premium pick as well as a bang for your buck pick for each category, so whatever your goal or budget you’re sure to find a pair that fits your needs.

See Also: Best Bluetooth earbuds of 2017/Best headphones of 2017


Best All-Around

Bose Soundsport Wireless

The Soundsport wired in-ears weren’t the greatest, but they got the job done which is why they were the go-to pair for plenty of people (including myself). Bose recently made them wireless, and the same holds true. They might not have the best sound, the best fit, the best features, or the best price, they are top three contenders in every one of those categories. The durable sweat resistant build makes them great for a good run but their modern design won’t look out of place in the office. They feature StayHear+ sports ear tips that keep them securely in your ears while running, and also have a small control module where you’ll find the mic and playback controls. The low end is fairly strong which is good for a pair of sports headphones, but it isn’t so overbearing that exercise becomes their sole use. Music is still enjoyable enough for everyday use, though the 6 hour battery might require you to throw them on a charger more often than you’d like.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
Sweat resistant
Battery Life
6 hours
Size/Weight
1.1 x 1 x 1.1 inches/ 0.8 ounces
Pros
Good fitBuild and design
Cons
Battery life

Plantronics Backbeat Fit

If you’re not looking to spend more than $100, then check out the Plantronics Backbeat Fit. These go around the back of your head while hooking onto your ears for a good fit (might be where they got the name form). Of course, a downside to this is that it’s basically impossible to adjust, but for the most part these seem to be one-size-fits-all. They feature an IP57 coating which protects it from sweat and rain, so if you get caught in a rainstorm on your run you won’t have to purchase a new pair. As is the case with most Bluetooth ‘buds, you’ll get about 7 hours of constant playback with these. On the bright side they do have playback controls and a built-in mic so you won’t have to reach for your source device too often.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
IP57
Battery Life
7 hours
Size/Weight
8.3 x 5.5 x 2.2 inches/0.8 ounces
Pros
Good fitIP57 coating
Cons
Below average battery


Best Comfort

Beats by Dre Powerbeats3

Beats might not have the best reputation among audiophiles, but if you’re a runner they’re worth looking into. The new Powerbeats3 add some simple connection features and an impressive range as well. Over-ear hooks help you keep them on while you move which is one of the most important aspects of any headphones when it comes to running. What good is the music you’re counting on to motivate you if they keep falling out? Naturally these are sweat and water resistant, though Beats doesn’t specify to what extent. The cable connecting to the two ‘buds is a little long, but comes with a cable clip for management and has a built-in mic and control module. You can skip between tracks, adjust the volume, answer phone calls, and access your phone’s personal assistant. Battery life is spec’d at about 12 hours you can probably get a few solid runs in before needing to charge them. In case you’re running short on time, a quick 5 minute charge gives enough juice to last an hour. Now you probably already have some idea of sound quality when it comes to Beats, and you’re getting a refined version of it with the Powerbeats3. If you need a heavy bass to keep you moving, these should do the trick.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Class 1
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
Sweat resistance
Battery Life
12 hours
Size/Weight
3 x 5.5 x 6.5 inches/12.8 ounces
Pros
ComfortableConnectionGood battery life
Cons
Really strong bass

CB3 Fit Sport

When it comes to price, it’s hard to argue with the Fit Sport by CB3 Audio. These costs about $40 and won’t fall out thanks to the same over-ear hook design featured on the Powerbeats3. These are just way less expensive. While there is also strong bass present, it doesn’t achieve it by destroying the other frequency ranges. They have an IPX4 rating against sweat and water damage and a built-in mic and playback controls for answering phone calls or adjusting your music mid-run. One downside is the 7 hour battery life battery life which is slightly below average. Still, that should be more than enough for a few solid runs.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
4.1
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
IPX4
Battery Life
7 hours
Size/Weight
7.3 x 4.9 x 1.8 inches/7 ounces
Pros
Good fitIPX4Price
Cons
Battery life


Best Sound

Jabra Elite Sport Wireless

Usually when you think of Bluetooth headphones for running, you assume sound quality is going to suffer. While that is true when compared to high-end headphones, the line is being blurred at the consumer level. The Jabra Elite Sport Wireless are a pair of truly wireless earbuds meant for fitness, but they actually sound just as good (and in some cases better) than many of the headphones on this list. The low end is there, but not super powerful so if that’s a must-have these might not be for you. Besides good sound, these also offer full playback controls, a mic for phone calls, and even a heart rate monitor to track how hard you’re working. One downside to these has to the be battery life which isn’t the greatest, as you’d expect from a pair of ‘buds so small. You’ll top off at about 3 hours of constant playback, but they do come with a small charging capsule that provides two extra charges. They also have a quick charge feature which will give you an hour of listening time on a 15 minute charge.
Fit
True wireless
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
4.1
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
IP67
Battery Life
3 hours
Pros
Good sound for truly wirelessIP67
Cons
Battery lifePrice

ADV.Sound Evo X

ADV.Sound is a company we’ve had our eyes on for a while because of how much we liked their first product, the M4 headphones. They’ve since released a Bluetooth speaker and a really good sounding pair of Bluetooth ‘buds, but now they have a pair of Bluetooth sports headphones and they don’t disappoint. The best part? They only cost $59. These have a sleek over-ear hook design with playback controls built into the housing for hands free operation and of course feature sweat resistance to avoid damage. The were tuned specifically for exercise, which in practice means there’s a slight bump to the mids and the highs which tend to be forgotten when it comes to fitness headphones. On the downside they only feature a 5 hour battery life, but if you want great sound quality on your runs these are the way to go.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
4.1
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
Sweat proof
Battery Life
5 hours
Pros
Sound qualityPrice
Cons
Battery life


Best Features

Bragi Dash

Bragi was one of the first companies to bring truly wireless headphones to market with the Dash, and they’re jam-packed with features. They have integrated sensors that track basic things like your steps and heart rate, as well as more advanced things like cadence even stroke (because yes, you can use these for swimming as well). They’re waterproof up to 3 feet in a pool so a rainstorm is almost laughable. With 4GB of onboard memory, you can leave your phone behind and play music straight off the ‘buds. They also have an “Audio Transparency” feature which will let you hear what’s going on around you with one swipe on the left Dash earbud. Useful if you run in the streets rather than in a gym. As is the case with most true wireless ‘buds, battery life isn’t too great at only 3 hours per charge. Great for short training sessions, but not so much for a marathon.
Fit
True wireless
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
Yes (up to 3 feet)
Battery Life
3 hours
Pros
Plenty of featuresCompletely waterproofAudio Transparency mode
Cons
PriceBattery life

Aftershokz Trekz titanium

The Aftershokz Trekz only have one real feature, but it makes them a very unique pick. Unlike the other Bluetooth headphones on this list, these don’t don’t even go in your ear. Instead the sit above your cheekbone and use bone conduction technology to create the vibrations that let you hear sound. Of course, sound quality is lacking so don’t expect anything amazing here, but it does have one huge benefit in that you can be completely aware of your surroundings at all times. The titanium frame also makes it durable enough to use for intense activities like running, while maintaining a lightweight build. You’ll get a decent 6 hour battery life and playback controls built into the headband, allowing you to keep your phone safe in a pocket or armband.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
IP55
Battery Life
6 hours
Size/Weight
2.6 x 5.3 x 6.5 in/2.08 ounces
Pros
You can remain awareDurableIP55
Cons
Battery life


Best Value

Jaybird X3

The Jaybird X2’s were previously on this list, but they’ve since been updated. The X3’s are the new and improved version with a brand new slimmer housing. As was true with the earlier version, the X3’s aren’t great in any one aspect. But they’re really good in all of them. Throw in a somewhat affordable price tag (compared to the earlier Jaybirds) and you can get good use out of these in any occasion. You shouldn’t have too many issues with fit since they come with plenty of ear tip and wing tip combinations, and the 8 hour battery life should last you your commute to work and a trip to the gym after. What makes the Jaybird great for is the ability to adjust and customize the sound profile to your liking via the app. So if you’re casually listening to music you can opt for a more balanced sound, while you might want a little more low end while running. Of course, it’s not perfect since it’s not a hardware change that’s taking place but it works well enough.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
Sweat-proof
Battery Life
8 hours
Size/Weight
21.5 x 0.5 x 0.9 inches/0.5 ounces
Pros
Customizable soundDecent priceGood fit
Cons
Sweatproof certification not specified

Mpow Cheeta Gen. 2

If you lose or destroy your running headphones fairly often, you might not want to pay too much on a pair of premium headphones. You might benefit instead from a bang for your buck pick instead like the second generation Mpow Cheetah Bluetooth headphones. At less than $30 they don’t break the bank, so it won’t be the end of the world if you run them into the ground. They feature a sweatproof nanocoating that protects the headphones from sweat and rain as well as a behind-the-neck form factor for a better grip. Besides the price, they automatically roll up for a more compact footprint, allowing you to easily toss them in your gym bag without taking up too much space. They also have an 8 hour battery life which is decent as long as you remember to throw them on the charger every few days.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
Sweat-proof
Battery Life
8 hours
Size/Weight
6 x 4 x 1 inches/4.8 ounces
Pros
PriceSweat-proofAutomatically folds
Cons
Comfort

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