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.
Bose Soundsport WirelessFull Review
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.
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.
Jabra Elite Sport WirelessFull Review
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.
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.
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.
Disclosure: CB3 Audio is a partner brand of SoundGuys.com