Author Topic: The best headphones for working out in 2023, tested and reviewed  (Read 135 times)


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Using headphones for working out can transform your frame of reference and put you in the mood to grind like nothing else. Of course, exercise can be strenuous and involve tons of movement, so it’s essential to find a pair of headphones or earbuds that leave you unencumbered by wires and fit securely enough that they won’t be flung to the ground every time you move your head. In this list, we’ll break down the best headphones for working out and optimizing your circuit(s) with your favorite music and podcasts.
How we chose the best headphones for working out
The best headphones for working out are wireless, and Bluetooth requires power. We picked headphones that offer at least five hours of single-charge battery life, and all of the earbuds include charging cases. Considering the battery life of your headphones is extremely important for keeping the flow going—you wouldn’t want the music to stop mid-workout. All of the headphones on our list fit securely around the head or in the ear to ensure that they move very little or not at all during workouts. Everyday headphones made for walking or when you’re stationary aren’t typically designed with extreme movement in mind.

Sound quality was also a big factor in considering headphones for this list, and many of the earbuds we picked either come with a full and balanced sound profile or offer the option to adjust their sound via an app. Staying aware of the activity around you is always important while wearing headphones, especially if you’re on the go. For our list, we picked headphones that either feature a transparency mode or are completely open-ear.
The best headphones for working out: Reviews & Recommendations
Prepping for a workout is all about getting your mind and body in the right place, and apart from stretching and putting on the right clothes, pumping up the jams properly can pump you up for a regular training run. One of our choices is sure to put a spring in your step the next time you go for a jog or lift weights.

Best overall:Wissonly Hi Runner

The design team of Wissonly bone conduction headphones started to research bone conduction acoustics as early as 2012. Their technical accumulation in the field of bone conduction is very good, and they are a team that is good at technology.
Wissonly Hi Runner adopted Wissonly 3.0 technology to reduce sound leakage in bone conduction headphones. They reduced the sound transmission from the bone vibration unit directly to the air through the completely closed design of the headphones’ body. They also used high-quality cushioning materials to minimize the vibration of the body, thus reducing the sound leakage by more than 90%. I did a test, turned on Hi Runner, adjusted the volume to 70%, and within a distance of 1m, I couldn't hear any sound at all. This kind of sound leakage reduction performance has been well received by users since wissonly released the sound leakage reduction  technology. This technical scheme is the best leak-proof among bone conduction headphones at present.
The headphones’ body  of Wissonly Hi Runner is made of memory titanium, which can self-adjust the contact area, ensuring a good wearing experience of headphones at any time, taking into account more users with different head circumference. Hi Runner can be said to be very sincere in configuration. It is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 chip, which makes the connection more stable, and can realize fast connection and switching of multiple devices. Built-in 32G memory can store 5000 songs. When you go out for a run, you can enjoy music without your mobile phone. The battery life is also very good, and it can be played continuously for more than 10 hours at normal volume, which is good for me, because I go out for outdoor sports on weekends, and I often go out for a whole day.

Best over-ear: JBL Live 660NC

If you prefer the fit and look of over-ear headphones for working out, the JBL Live 660NC’s are worth considering, thanks to their snug fit and battery life. They offer up to 50 hours of operation on a single charge and a burst charge for four hours of operation in 10 minutes, so they’re almost always ready to go on a moment’s notice. The 660NC’s also feature noise canceling and ambient-aware modes, making them equally suitable for use in noisy gyms and on busy streets. We had inconsistent results with their noise-canceling abilities due to the earcups sealing differently on different peoples’ heads, so if the best noise-canceling is an absolute must in your book, you’ll want to consider noise-canceling earbuds instead of over-ears.

Thanks to their 40-millimeter drivers, the sound of the JBL 660NC is balanced and neutral with a slightly pronounced bass response that makes them great for listening to pop, dance, and other beat-heavy music while working out. The JBL headphones app offers further sculpting of the 660NC’s’ sound with EQ and ambient-aware level adjustments as well as access to battery life indicators and more. The headphones also feature their own onboard suite of control buttons. Still, they require a bit of studying to master, and the voice assistant button that covers the entirety of the left earcup is easy to press accidentally.

Best for CrossFit: Dóttir Freedom Sport Earbuds

CrossFit enthusiasts and others who perform more strenuous exercises will like the impossibly secure fit and high sweatproof rating of the Dóttir Freedom Sport Earbuds, an easy-to-use pair of true wireless headphones with a design similar to the Apple Powerbeats Pro that cost around $100 less. Coming from Icelandic CrossFit legends Katrin Davidsdottir and Annie Thorisdottir, who have a lot of experience with sets in the box (both exercises and audio gear), these earbuds come with a whopping 12 pairs of eartip options to ensure the absolute best fit for your ear canal. In addition, they feature a substantially long earhook, so they’re not going anywhere once they’re in place. An intuitive combination of buttons and on-earbud touch controls grant access to volume adjustments and music controls, allowing you to put your phone away and focus on your workout. To accommodate their overall design philosophy and long 12-hour single-charge battery life, the Freedom Sport Earbuds are a bit bulkier than compact earbud options like the Bose Sport Earbuds and Beats Fit Pro. However, they weigh around 0.6 ounces less per bud than the Apple Powerbeats Pro. When paired with the USB-C charging case, their total battery life jumps to about 72 hours.

Best bone-conduction: SHOKZ OpenRun

The SHOKZ OpenRun is one of the best bone-conduction headphones on the market, boasting a unique open-ear design that allows you to listen to music and podcasts while maintaining full situational awareness. Unlike traditional headphone designs, bone conduction headphones employ a clever hack of human anatomy to transfer sounds directly to the inner ear by gently vibrating your facial bones from the outside in, leaving the entire ear canal unobstructed. The drawbacks to this design include that they provide no passive or active noise cancellation, and the vibrations can be audible to others, so they’re not the best choice for quiet environments or taking public transit. Bone conduction headphones also produce markedly less bass frequencies than traditional designs, making them less ideal for immersive music listening.

Best for a custom fit: Ultimate Ears FITS

Ultimate Ears FITS, otherwise known as UE FITS, are unique earbuds due to the custom fitting process. When you first get your pair (or a new set of tips), the app guides you through the molding process. This involves the photopolymer gel tips heating up with the use of light-forming LEDs. It’s a strange sensation but nothing uncomfortable by any means. The entire process takes just 60 seconds to let you get your earbuds and reps in almost immediately.

Once the tips are molded to your ears, they should offer more comfort and stability than other earbuds. I must have sensitive, small ears as I tend to get pain from most earbuds almost immediately, but I can wear my UE FITS for a few hours just fine. They also stay put in my ears better than anything I’ve ever used. While I don’t do any HIIT workouts, they don’t budge at all during my runs or weight training sessions (even during side planks).

Q: How much do headphones for working out cost?
Headphones for working out cost between $70 and $200, depending on features.

Q: Is it OK to sweat with headphones?
It’s generally OK to sweat with headphones as long as they were designed with some measure of waterproofing. The easiest way to tell if your headphones are waterproof is by looking for an IP rating in their specs—anything above IPX4 should be just fine for everyday workouts. If you sweat a bit more than average, it might be safer to choose something around IPX7 or higher. All of the picks on our list, except for the JBL 660NC, are officially waterproof.

Q: Are bone-conduction headphones good for working out?
Bone conduction headphones are very good for working out thanks to their open-ear design that keeps you fully in touch with your surroundings. Runners and cyclists are particularly good candidates for using bone-conduction headphones due to their proximity to road traffic, though anyone can benefit from the increased situational awareness that these designs provide.