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The best running headphones are easy to use, stay in your ears when running and give you a long running battery life. 

“A good song can help with rhythm – helping to set your pace, especially if you choose a playlist with a BPM that suits your workout type.” Sara Clarke, personal trainer. 

However, we’re all looking for different types of running headphones – whether you prefer earbuds that effortlessly go into the ears or you want something that feels more secure as you take your daily or weekly run. To help you choose the right pair for you, we’ve taken a look at some of the best running headphones currently available.

If you’re new to listening to music or a podcast as you run, how can they help to motivate us while we’re running? Sara Clarke, personal trainer and founder of Fitting in Fitness told Live Science, “certain lyrics have the power of pumping you up if they’re applicable in the moment – helping to push you faster, celexa weaning chill you out or motivate you to do more.”

Meanwhile, an informative podcast also gives you time to zone out, says Sara: “They’re a great distraction to help you zone out of any discomfort and find your forever pace by focusing on breathing correctly.”

We’ve listed the best running headphones below, but make sure to check out the latest running headphone deals as well if you’re looking for a pair at a great price. Reviews are still in progress for the models below, but we’ve analyzed the specs and features of each pair of headphones and scoured the internet to bring you a summary of user reviews to help you make an informed decision. 

• Related: How to breathe while running

Best running headphones on a budget

JBL Reflect Flow

Best for battery life

These earbuds slip easily into the ear and feature ergonomic silicone tips for more comfort. 

These earbuds score slightly less than other models, with a 4 out of 5 on Amazon and a 3.3 out of 5 on BestBuy. Positive reviews write about the great sound quality and battery life, while others comment on how easy and quick the connection to their devices is. Negative reviews focus on the buttons, which instead of touch control, have to be pressed in. Other cons which reviewers noted was the comfort, despite having three earbud sizes.   

Available in three sizes, they also feature patented Freebit™ enhancers that allow for customization. When it comes to sound these earphones feature 5.8mm drivers – a signature sound for JBL headphones that’s designed to give you high-quality audio when you’re running. 

With up to 30 hours of battery life, including 20 hours when using the portable case, you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of sound when you’re out and about, or you’ve forgotten to charge them. 

Available in four attractive colors, these wireless earbuds also come equipped with Ambient Aware – a feature that means they adapt to your surroundings when you’re running.

Adidas FWD-01 Sport In-Ear headphones

Best for no fuss

A wireless earbud design that comes complete with a knitted tangle free cord to connect the buds together, these headphones from Adidas are both supportive and stylish. 

The Adidas FWD-01 has a 4.4 score rating on Amazon, with the top positive comments on battery life and comfort. Other positive comments focus on how comfortable they are and also how great they are for active sports such as running, being able to stay in place for over an hour. Negative reviews reflect on how they come up smaller for bigger heads and the sound quality, which can sometimes not be as balanced as other models. 

Available in three colors, including coral, they have up to 16 hours of battery life after charging. The headphones lack a chargeable case, and instead charge via USB, however they come with a stylish pouch and three sets of interchangeable tips and wings to help you get the best fit.

With an IPX4 waterproof rating these earbuds will get you through a sweaty workout, but aren’t waterproof enough for being submerged underwater. A lightweight pair of headphones, you can store them easily in your bag or at home, and the easy to use controls are also part of the knitted cable, making it easy to switch between songs when you’re running or pause your podcast. 

Passive transparency means the noise of the world won’t be blocked out so you can be aware of your surroundings as you run.

Anker Soundbuds slim

Best for affordability

If you’re concerned about the fit, the Anker Soundbuds slim come with different sized tips in small, medium and large, meaning they can be a snug fit for all ears. 

The Anker Soundbuds Slim have an impressive 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with over half giving them 5 star reviews. Positive reviews saw customers commenting on their affordability in comparison to their competitors and the impressive battery life and sound. Negative reviews concentrated on unimpressive microphones for calls, and no warning beeps for low battery life. 

Meanwhile, the 6mm sound drivers means that you’ll also have quality music playing in your ears. Plus, its IPX7 waterproof rating means they are sweat–proof and waterproof when immersed in up to 3ft of water – so perfect for swimming too.

The affordable and light earphones sit like earbuds, but also have a ear–hook and a wire to keep both earpieces connected – allowing for more stability as you run. The controls sit on the wire, allowing you to change volume and skip tracks easily. 

With up to 10 hours of battery life, they’re perfect for anything from running a marathon to just keeping you motivated in the gym.

Best running headphones for enthusiasts

Mifo O5 Plus Gen 2

Best for triathletes

One of the most stylish pairs of earbuds on the market, the Mifo O5 Plus Gen 2 headphones come with a small charging case, which they sit in to charge. 

Amazon’s average rating for the Mifo 05 Plus Gen 2 is 4.2, with many reviewers giving battery life the top score. Positive reviews love how affordable the earbuds are, with great quality sound and long battery life. Negative reviews concentrate on the bass sound being poor quality and how pairing them with your device can sometimes be difficult. 

Once charged, the buds can continuously play music for 9 hours, while the charging case provides an impressive 150 hours of energy without needing to be plugged in. The buds use carbon nanotube diaphragm dynamic speaker drivers, which help to give your music stereo sound. 

If you want to concentrate on your workout and block out the world around you, the Mifo headphones have Qualcomm CVC 8.0 intelligent noise reduction integrated into them. Meanwhile, if you’re using them for calls this function also helps your voice sound clearer. 

Triathletes will love these, as with an IP67 dust and waterproof rating it means you can transition from running to the pool without worrying about damaging them.

Bose SoundSport

Best for bluetooth connection

With a unique shape, these silicon earbuds are designed with Stay Hear plus, meaning they’ll feel stable and comfortable in your ears. 

Amazon has an impressive 36,000 reviews for the Bose Soundsport headphones, with an equally impressive average score of 4.5, with the top score for sound quality. Positive reviews focus on the quality audio performance and its very quick bluetooth connection time. Negative reviews concentrate on the bulky look and lack of noise cancellation, while some would prefer a charging case rather than a USB cable. 

Although wireless, its neckband means that it’s different to the other buds on the market and could get caught up in your hair when you’re running. However, its rubber hooks mean you can also hook them around the back of the ears, which can help ensure complete stability when you run.

The battery time is up to six hours on a two hour charge time, which isn’t as long as some of its competitors – and the case also doesn’t provide any extra charge time either. The neckband also houses a small volume and track control. However, this can also be changed via the Bose app. 

Bluetooth connectivity is at 30 feet and the headphones are sweat–proof and waterproof at IPX4 level. This means that you can’t go swimming with them, but if you’re caught in the rain they’ll carry on working.

Amazfit Powerbuds Pro

Best for health monitoring

These wireless buds have a similar design to the Apple earbuds. However, they go a little further with some impressive health monitoring. 

The Amazfit Powerbuds Pro fared well on Amazon – with a 4.1 rating out of 5 and many reviewers rating the battery life and sound quality as their pros. Reviewers call the battery life, of up to 9 hours on charge and 30 with the portable case, ‘fantastic’. Negative reviews cited the hard to use touch controls and how the colour options are limited. 

With a heart rate sensor built into the buds, they’re designed to give you an alert if your heart rate is too high. These headphones can even sync your data to health apps on your phone. 

The earphones can also track your movement and provide you real time feedback on data such as calories burnt and speed while you walk, run or cycle. Other health notifications include alerts if you’ve been sitting for too long and detection of slouching at your desk.

The Powerbuds Pro provides noise cancellation up to 40db, at the tap of a button, in four different types of settings, such as if you’re at the gym or you’re in a noisy environment, such as an office. Thru mode is also integrated in the earbuds to help keep you safe in busy environments. Three microphones also sit on each earbud, enabling clearer conversation when you use them for calls.

Best premium running headphones

Beats Powerbeats Pro

Best for high quality sound

These hook–around–the–ear running headphones are adjustable and are designed to move as you do. 

Beats powerbeats pro headphones have an average score of 4.5 on Best Buy, with over 13,000 five star reviews. Many reviewers left positive comments about the sound quality of these headphones, while others commented on the long battery life. Other positive comments focused on how easy they are to set up and how well they fit in the ear. Negative comments discuss the fact that there is no adjoining app for the headphones, while others mention how big and bulky the charging case is. 

Some wireless headphones struggle to pair quickly with your phone, but these have built in class 1 Bluetooth via an Apple H1 chip, meaning that the connection should be almost instantaneous. On each headphone you’ll also find a handy volume and track control.

The worst feeling when you’re running is your headphones slipping out of your ear, but these are sweat proof and even water resistant, which is the perfect protection against getting caught in an unexpected downpour when you’re out and about. 

This model comes with a large portable charging case, which gives your running headphones up to 24 hours of battery life. However, the case is quite bulky and won’t easily slip into your bag like other charging cases.

Jaybird Vista

Best for treadmill running

These incredibly light earphones are programmed with JBS1 technology, which should give you perfect sound as you run. 

The average scoring, out of five, for the Jaybird Vista headphones, is 4.5, while the highest scores were for sound quality. Positive reviews note how comfortable the earbuds are to wear and how well they stay in your ears when running. Many reviewers mentioned the sweat proof and waterproof element, with some even wearing them to swim and afterwards in the steam room. Negative reviews focus on the buttons which turn the volume up, as some think they can be a little sticky, while some are concerned that there is no ‘hear through’ element for the noise cancellation. 

They come with three different sized ear gels, meaning they will fit any ear and give you a secure and comfortable fit. Meanwhile, its noise cancelling features means that you should be able block anything out around you and concentrate on your workout. However, as there’s no option for changing this in busy surroundings, these particular headphones may be best for treadmill work. 

If you’re a little more accident-prone than you’d like, you don’t need to worry. These headphones are not only crush–proof and drop–proof, they’re also waterproof and sweat–proof too. 

The battery life is 6 hours, which isn’t as long as some of their competitors. However, the portable case the headphones come in is small enough to pop in your bag and gives you an extra 10 hours of charge. The adjoining Jaybird App enables you to adjust the audio for your ears and your surroundings.

Aftershokz Aeropex

Best for city running

If you run around busy roads and lots of traffic these earphones could be ideal for you. 

The Aftershokz Aeropex has a brilliant 4.6 rating, out of 5, on Amazon, with quality of material and battery life getting an even higher score of 4.7. Positive reviews mention how good the sound quality is and how long the battery life is – in some instances it can go for up to nine hours. Negative reviews cite the loud beep the headphones emit when you use the multifunction button, while others mention how the microphone doesn’t hold up in bad weather situations when on calls.  

Aftershokz specializes in bone conduction headphones, and this open ear design vibrates the sound through your cheekbones, meaning you won’t damage your ears, and you’ll also be able to hear passing traffic or pick up other noises around you. 

While these aren’t as sleek as some of the other earphones or earbuds on the market, they are lightweight and attach into the ears as earbuds would. Meanwhile, it’s easy to reach the multifunction button to play your music, activate voice assistant and answer calls, so you don’t have to miss out on your life as you run. 

These running headphones come with an eight hour battery life, are water resistant and they’re available in four different colors, including red and blue.

Jabra Elite Active 75t

Best for Comfort

Released in February 2020, the Jabra Elite Active 75tA is the upgraded version of the 65tA model. 

The Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds scores an average of 4.3 out of 5 on Amazon with reviews mentioning their sleek design, the new and improved magnetic charging case and also clearer sound, which has been improved from the last version. Positive reviews note that the battery lasts above 7 hours and they also praise the ‘hear through’ mode – especially for runners. Negative reviews mention just how small the earbuds are, which can get stuck in the ear, plus the bass sounds, which can sometimes be too high pitched. 

These comfortable magnetic earphones have a secure fit thanks to their special grip coating, which is designed to keep the buds in place as you run. If you want to immerse yourself in your music as you’re running, these headphones also have active noise cancellation (ANC). Meanwhile, you can also use the Jabra Sound app to flip between noise cancellation and ‘hear through’ mode, depending on what situation you’re in – i.e running near traffic. 

The battery life sits at 5.5 hours, which isn’t as long as some other models. However, the small portable case means that you’ll have up to 24 hours of battery life altogether. 

Compatible with Siri, Alexa and Google, the earbuds have four microphones embedded, which are designed to enable you to take high quality calls and avoid the annoyance of not being able to hear the person on the other end.

How to choose the best running headphones for you

Being able to run properly isn’t just a case of understanding gait analysis or learning how to run for longer without getting tired, it’s also about knowing how to enjoy yourself as you exercise. After all, not only does running burn fat, but it’s also a great way to relieve stress as well. 

Running headphones have had a massive upgrade in the last few years – no longer do you have to deal with constrictive wires or buds that fall out as you run. Wireless headphones and quick connectivity to your devices means that your workout won’t be interrupted and you can concentrate on your miles rather than sorting out your music. Personal trainer Sara believes a good connection is vital for runners: “The speed they take to connect will help you take advantage of that window of motivation.” 

Sound quality is of course an important factor too, especially when you start running – check the bass sounds don’t go too high and whether you want noise cancellation and hear–through features for when you’re running near busy roads.

When you’re running, the last thing you want is your earphone falling out, and while some buds use materials or magnets to stay in their ears, some other models have hooks that go around the ear or wires to keep your headphones in place. Sara agrees that a “good personalized fit” will help them to “stay in when jumping or bounding”. 

If you love swimming or running in the rain then you’ll also need to make sure that your headphones are sweat–proof or waterproof. Look for the IP rating – the higher the rating, the more waterproof the earphones will be. Anything under a rating of IP5 will be fine with splashes of rain, while a rating of over IP6 means that you can go swimming with them.

Battery life is important for your headphones, with the average being around six to ten hours. However, some headphones give you extended battery life with their battery pods, which are portable and don’t have to be charged as regularly. 

The benefits of using the best running headphones

Creating classic playlists for your weekly runs or listening to your favourite podcasts can be inspiring when you’re out on the road and wearing the best running headphones. However, if you’re lacking motivation some apps can push you that little bit further to run faster or for longer.  

• Related: What to eat before a run

The Peloton app, normally associated with their bike or treadmill, also has outdoor audio runs that start with basic 20 minute beginner runs and go up to one hour marathon training sessions. They talk you through your run, telling you how to change your form, how to breathe and will even motivate you to keep going – all with music in the background. Meanwhile, the Beachbody on Demand app also has a 30 day breakaway running course, which again uses audio to turn non-runners into runners and experienced runners into stronger and faster ones. 

If you’re a complete newbie to running and want advice on how to start running then the Couch to 5K app from the NHS is a great way to motivate you. They use great trainers and graphics to show you what your targets are and how you’re progressing – all while talking you through your running as you put one foot in front of the other.

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance writer – writing across titles including Woman&Home, Fit&Well, The Independent, LiveScience, and the BBC in the UK. She covers a variety of subjects, including trends in beauty, business, and wellness – but her biggest passions are health and fitness. She can normally be found trying out the trendiest fitness class or interviewing an expert about the latest health trends. 

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