by Adam MolinaMarch 1, 2016

Music is without a doubt a key factor when it comes to staying motivated while exercising. In the same way that people listen to different kinds of music to stay motivated, not everyone likes to use the same kinds of headphones while working out. Some prefer wireless ‘buds and some wired, some prefer in-ears and some with ear clips.

Still, whichever category you fall under most people wouldn’t deny that a workout just isn’t the same without headphones. That is why we decided to make this list for the best workout earbuds you can get.

Like to run? Checkout our Best bluetooth earbuds for running.

The Best

Jaybird X2

Of course the Jaybird X2s are on here, why wouldn’t they be? They’re without a doubt one of the best wireless earbuds you can get, period. It just so happens that they’re also the perfect companion for anyone looking to workout wire-free. The X2s are the next generation of the beloved Jaybird Bluebirds X and are worthy of replacing them for this list. Of course, the newer Jaybird Freedoms are out but we werent big fans of them in our review so we figured itd be best to not fix what isnt broken and leave the X2s here. Jaybird decided to stay with the familiar look and design for the X2s, but added a bunch of different color options to choose from. Now you can choose from white, black, red, blue, neon green, and a darker green. They also kept the lifetime guarantee for sweat-related which is great news since this is a workout earbuds list and chances are you’re going to be sweating while using them. The two earbuds are still connected via a thin cable that features an in-line remote and mic. The buttons allow you to pause and play music as well as a number of other controls depending on how many times you click and how long you hold down the button. If you tend to skip through songs while exercising these might be the ones for you simply because of the level of control they provide you with. Besides that these do a great job at staying put in your ears as well. They come with three different sizes wing tips and six different ear tips, three made of silicone and three made of comply memory foam. This gives you a ton of freedom when trying to find the perfect fit and once you do, the X2s aren’t going anywhere unless you want them to. Jaybird also threw in something they call SignalPlus which, along with Bluetooth version 2.1 (Jaybird says that higher versions of Bluetooth do nothing for audio quality), allow for skip free playback. Nothing is perfect, and in the case of the Jaybird X2s the only downside to mention is the battery life. At roughly 8 hours of constant playback, it’s not the longest lasting pair of headphones. That said, it’d be hard to increase battery life without beefing up the size of the ‘buds so we’re okay with the compromise. These have a rating of 3.4 out of 5 on Amazon and scored a solid 9.0 in our full review so if you want one of the best wireless earbuds on the market for working out, read no further (just kidding, keep reading). If youre curious as to whether or not you should get these or the older Bluebuds X, we put them head-to-head gladiator style so make sure to check that out too.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Battery Life
8 Hours
Pros
FitGood sound
Cons
Average battery life

 

Best Fit

UA Headphones Wireless

A newcomer to fitness audio, the UA Headphones Wireless are the result of a partnership between JBL and Under Armour. They have a similar design to some other headphones we’ve seen in that they’re basically just two earbuds connected by a thin wire. They have 5.8mm drivers in each earbud and an IPX5 certification to protect against sweat. We weren’t overly impressed with the sound quality in all honesty, but what it was lacking in that department it makes up for with JBL’s new Twistlock technology. These are only going to fall out if you want them to. The shape of the earbuds are a little different than what we’re used to, and that helps to keep them snugly in your ear better than most other in-ears on the market. Placing them in your ear at an angle and then twisting them in wedges them in your ears so that no amount of running or jumping can get them to fall out on their own. If you have a problem with your earbuds falling out, these might be for you. The Bluetooth connection is strong and reliable and the in-line mic and remote works with both Android and iOS, allowing for a smoother experience. You can play/pause music, skip tracks, and also raise or lower the volume. One thing to be aware of is that there is no Siri or Google Now functionality on these so if you use that feature a lot then you might have to keep looking. The call quality is also really clear and it has a fairly average built-in battery that allows for up to 8 hours of constant playback on a single charge. Workout headphones aren’t meant to be used at a desk, so these come with a small plastic carry case that lets you carry them around effortlessly.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
IPX5
Battery Life
8 Hours
Voice Controls
No
Pros
Good fitSweatproofGood battery life
Cons
Not comfortable for long periods of time
Best Wired

Sennheiser CX 686G

Looking for good ol wired earbuds? Check out the CX 686G in-ears by Sennheiser. These are for the folks that prefer their headphones hardwired to a device in order to completely rid themselves of the possibility that their music might skip and stutter. They come in a neon green color that might not be too stylish for everyday use, but fits right in with the bold colors of most sports gear. If getting earbuds to stay put is an issue you find yourself dealing with more often than you’d like to, then the adjustable hooks on the earbuds could be your perfect workout companion. These help to keep the earbuds firmly in place while working out and are antimicrobial as well, something that Sennheiser calls Steritouch. The audio cable is also oval-shaped and durable so that you won’t have to worry about it getting tangled up while you’re trying to stay in the zone. It also ends in a 90 degree jack which also helps to increase durability so they’ll last you that much longer and a few inches down from the earbuds is where you’ll find the three button remote and mic. If you have an Android device you’ll get full functionality out of the these buttons but if you have an iOS device only the pause/play button will work. Like most workout earbuds, the CX 686Gs are sweatproof so the even the most strenuous workouts won’t cause them any damage. Needless to say that feature doesn’t extend to them being fully waterproof so we wouldn’t recommend jumping in a pool with them, even if your phone is in a waterproof case. Overall these are a solid pair of in-ears for anyone who wants good quality, doesn’t want to go wireless, and also doesn’t want to break the bank. They come with a small storage pouch and also a cable clip for added convenience. They have a 3.9 out of 5 star rating on Amazon with almost 60% of the votes being 4 or 5 stars. If these sound like the ones for you make sure to check out our full review and get all the details.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
No
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
Sweatproof
Pros
PriceComfortable
Cons
Not much bass

 

Best Bass

Beats Powerbeats2

If you’re not a fan of in-ears or simply don’t have faith that the wing tips can actually keep the ‘buds from falling out then the next best thing are the Powerbeats2. Beats products have a bad rep in the audio community, but the Powerbeats2 fit the niche their aimed for almost too perfectly. They’re wireless, sweat resistant, and even though Beats has a reputation for being overpriced these arent so expensive that theyre not worth consideration. The Powerbeats2 are good at what they do. Unlike the other options on this list, the Powerbeats ditch the wing tips altogether in favor of an over-ear hook that clips on to the ear in order to keep them from falling out. In typical Beats fashion these also have a very powerful low-end and definitely prioritize bass over the other frequencies. That said, there are tons of people who would prefer a thumping bass to a neutral sound when it comes to a pair of workout headphones. The headphones have a standard range of about 30 feet and are IPX4 certified, meaning that they’re water and sweat resistant. On the wire connecting the two ‘buds is the in-line remote and mic that allows you to answer and end phone calls without having to reach for your phone. It also lets you raise and lower the volume but if you’re looking for more control such as skipping tracks, you might have to look elsewhere as that’s not an option here. The Powerbeats2 come in a variety of different colors including black, pink, red, white, and cobalt blue so you have a couple of options to choose from. In our full review it scored an 8.4 and has a 3.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon so if you wanted a clip-on option to take to the gym, this is the one to get.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
IPX4
Pros
Good fitBassSweatproof
Cons
Battery life
Bang for your Buck

CB3 Audio Fit

Whether you work out in the gym or outside, you need headphones that stay put. That’s one of the main reasons why so many people enjoy the Powerbeats2 we mentioned above. Say what you want about their price and sound, but they stay on your ears. If that kind of fit sounds appealing to you but you’re not looking to drop a lot of cash, check out the CB3 Fit Sport headphones. Just like the Powerbeats2, these headphones have plastic ear hooks that keep the ‘bud in place. Simply wrap them over your ear and you’re good to go. They have a strong connection up to 30 feet and a solid sound as well. The Fit also have an IPX4 sweat proof rating, so whether it’s rest day or leg day or won’t have to worry about a little sweat destroying your investment. Unless you’re Dwayne Johnson, you’re probably not working out for hours at a time every day. The Fit have a 7-hour battery life which should be enough for a few days of exercise before needing to be charged up, depending on your schedule. One thing you’ll notice is the suspicious lack of a control module on the wire that connects to two earbuds. That’s because CB3 built the playback controls onto the right ear piece. On the top you’ll find a small mic for answering phone calls, and on the bottom two volume buttons. For pausing and skipping between tracks you’ll have to use the thin button conveniently located on the side. These are fairly new and don’t have a lot of reviews, but they’ve still managed to get a solid 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Noise Cancelling
No
Water-Resistance
IPX4
Battery Life
7 Hours
Pros
Good fitSweatproofGood sound
Cons
Average battery life

 


We’ll be keeping this list updated as new options come out so feel free to let us know what your favorite headphones are to take with you to the gym. If we missed a couple of good ones let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to add them in the future.

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