We enjoy running, as a lot of people do. It can be invigorating, and in some people’s cases, life changing.
But no one can argue that listening to your favorite music gets you going that little bit further. But, running around with cables can be frustrating and not to mention the sweat that can damage earbuds mile after mile.
So, we have put together a review of earbuds that are perfectly suited, and in some cases specifically made for running.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Best Earbuds for Running and find the perfect pair for you…
Top 8 Best Earbuds for Running in 2021
1 Jabra Elite Active 75T TWS Earbuds – Longest Lasting Earbuds for Running
The Jabra Elite Active 75T earbuds are the follow up to the 65T, which aimed at the fitness-oriented market.
The main design change, though is the fact that it’s all been made more compact. Not only have the earbuds been reduced in size, but the case has also been shrunk. The 75T boasts an angled earbud design for a super comfy, yet firm fit that never feels like it might fall out whilst on a run.
Rugged and comfortable…
This angled design also seals really well, improving not only comfort, but audio quality. These are workout earbuds, so naturally, they will be sweat and dust resistant with an IP-57 rating.
Out of the box, the Jabra 75T favors a bass-heavy sound. It sounds great when you go out for a run or lifting weights at the gym. The thick and punchy bass makes genres like EDM come alive. Perfect for that extra boost on your last set.
Once out of the gym, though, you might prefer a less bass-heavy profile to not only avoid auditory masking but strain your ears less as well. Some of this can be fixed by adjusting the EQ, if your device supports it.
Great for iOS, not so good for Android…
There is support for AAC, so iOS users can rejoice. Unfortunately, there is no aptX support for Android users.
Jabra uses their telecommunication knowhow to once again offer a stellar microphone. It’s clear and crisp, with great voice isolation.
Long Battery Life…
The earbuds last up to seven hours, which is a great performance from TWS earbuds. The small case is also able to re-charge your earbuds a further three times before it needs to be re-charged.
The Jabra Elite Active 75T is perfect for any athlete or people with active lifestyles in general.
To find out more, check out our in-depth Jabra Elite Active 75T review.
- Firm fit and great design.
- Excellent battery life.
- AAC support for iOS.
- No aptX for android users.
- Sound profile is too bass-heavy.
2 Jaybird Vista True Wireless Earbuds – Best Mid Range Earbuds for Running
The Jaybird Vista True Wireless Earbuds should be on any list of workout earbuds. They are on the cheaper side of premium and offer great value. They have an eye-catching design, that unfortunately, proves to look better than they actually fit.
The rounded block like earbuds have angled tips to fit securely into your ear canal. The wing-tip design adds some extra support to the already solid fit. They are also IPX-7 rated for all weather conditions.
The earbuds are a bit deceptive, though. After an hour of use, our ears did feel some discomfort due to the fact that the earbuds are slightly too big.
The saving grace of these earbuds is the great sound…
The earbuds provide a much less bass-heavy profile than most workout earbuds. It’s a shame that these earbuds are marketed as workout earbuds, because of their great sound quality.
With a more balanced sound profile, you won’t experience any auditory masking, which is when a specific sound or instrument sounds much louder than the rest, due to a frequency that’s boosted too much. This means all genres of music will sound great on the earbuds.
However, there are no high-quality Bluetooth codecs supported, which is a letdown considering the great sound on offer.
Not the best of microphones…
The microphone, unfortunately, takes a hit. It’s not great, and we would not recommend using it to make phone calls. There is a sharp de-emphasis on the low-end frequencies. This means most male voices will sound very unnatural and not loud enough. It also picks up way too much environmental noise, so it’s unusable outside.
The battery life is good at five and a half hours of playback on a full charge. There is quick charging through the USB-C charger that provides an hour of playback with a five-minute charge.
Find out more by taking a look at our comprehensive Jaybird Vista review.
- Well balanced sound.
- Quick-charge support.
- No high-quality audio codecs.
- Causes discomfort when used for long periods.
- Poor microphone quality.
3 Bose SoundSport Free – Most Comfortable Earbuds for Running
Unboxing the Bose SoundSport Free is quite the experience. From the minute you lay eyes on the earbuds, it’s apparent that a lot of money has gone into the design.
The charging case is quite large and tube-shaped. Inside, you find two comically large earbuds that go against any modern design.
Bose is clearly, purposefully going against the grain with these earbuds…
The outer housing of the earbud protrudes out the ear a lot, looking more like a fashion accessory found in Wakanda than modern-day workout earbuds found in the gym.
That said, the earbuds fit quite firmly thanks to the StayHear+ ear tips provided. The wing-tips grip well, are flexible enough for any ear type, and also remain comfortable throughout the whole workout. Its IPX-4 rating provides ease of mind against sweat.
Let in the ambiance…
The design does allow in some ambient noise, which is recommended when you go jogging outside for safety reasons. It isn’t as great inside the gym, though, where you might want to block out the same tedious playlist the gym plays every day.
Bose offers more than enough low end on these earbuds. The rest of the mix gets boosted as well, making them quite loud, but not as much as the low end.
Great for bass lovers…
This will suit most fitness gurus who prefer working out to EDM, but might not satisfy average listeners who prefer a clearer representation of the music.
There no aptX support for Android users, so expect some lag. For iOS users, there is AAC, so iPhone users benefit from high-quality audio streaming.
The biggest upset is the fact that Bose charges a premium fee, but does not provide USB-C charging. The battery life on offer is five hours on a full charge, with two more full charges available from the case.
If you’re intrigued and want to find out more, take a look at our in-depth Bose Soundsport Free review.
- Good fit.
- IPX-4 rating.
- AAC support.
- No AptX support.
- Outlandish design.
4 Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones – Best Premium Earbuds for Running
Next on our reviews of the Best Earbuds for Running, we have the Powerbeats Pro, which are the AirPod killers. And they go out of their way to fix some of the most common issues that true wireless earbuds suffer from.
First, is the ear hook…
A lot of TWS earbuds are hit and miss when it comes to actually fitting in your ear canal and forming a decent seal. This can be even more bothersome when you go running or exercise at the gym.
To combat this, the Powerbeats use an ear hook that’s comfortable to wear and easy to put on. Not only do they keep the earbuds secure, but they also take the pressure off of your ear canal.
Modern and premium…
The sleek design and black color palette look modern and feels premium to the touch. It should be, though, that these are almost a $100 more than Airpods. They are water and sweat resistant with IPX-4 protection.
The Powerbeats sound like most products from Beats. There is a significant bass boost, with some mid- and high range frequencies also getting a bit of a boost. There is a lack of low-mid frequencies, which is where a lot of vocals tend to be. This made it difficult to hear what the singer was singing during loud and bass-heavy choruses.
The microphone is good. It has a fairly neutral range of sound. All voices will sound clear, and the vocal isolation is decent.
These earbuds were designed for people with Apple products specifically, considering the AAC codec support and included lightning cable. However, it’s frustrating that they opted for the lightning cable that is outdated at this point.
Amazing Battery Life…
The battery is amazing, with almost 10 hours of playback on a single charge with 24 hours of charging from the case.
To find out more, take a look at our Powerbeats Pro review.
- Good sound.
- AAC support.
- Amazing battery life.
- Comfortable and secure fit.
- Noise isolation is not good.
- Premium price.
5 RHA Trueconnect
The RHA Trueconnect is perfect for people who don’t want to buy into the Apple ecosystem but appreciate the design of the Airpods. It’s also a big plus that these are always cheaper than the Airpods.
A stronger seal…
The design takes a lot from the Airpods but makes some improvements as well. The earbuds are all plastic, but the matte black finish gives them a premium feel. Another major departure is the angled ear tip nozzles. This makes the earbuds fit firmer in your ear, creating a strong seal.
The case has the same matte black finish, and the large number of different ear tips is a welcome addition.
Thick and punchy bass…
The sound is very much consumer-friendly, which is to be expected when you are trying to compete with the big brands.
The earbuds emphasize the low frequencies over the rest of the mix. The bass is thick and punchy, giving your music some extra energy. It never feels too much, though, although there were some instances of audio masking, it never bothered us. However, if you are a true music aficionado who appreciates a flat frequency range, you might want to stay clear of these.
There is no AptX or AAC, which doesn’t bode well for the earbuds. At this price point, there are many alternatives that do provide them. The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 provides AAC codec at a lower price, if you want an alternative to the Airpods for your iOS device.
On a full charge, you can expect four and a half hours of playback, which isn’t great. It’s half a workday at most. It’s fine if you want to use these earbuds for exercising, considering the IPX-5 rating, but aren’t suited for work or long flights.
50% in 15 minutes…
The case can charge the earbuds up to four times and charges with USB-C. It’s fast charging capabilities allow it to charge the earbuds up to 50% in 15 minutes.
- IPX-5 rating.
- Good isolation.
- Comfortable fit.
- Great design.
- No high-quality audio codecs.
- Battery life is sub-par.
6 AfterShokz Aeropex – Best Bone Conducting Headphones for Running
Even though we are reviewing the Best Earbuds for Running, we had to include these babies which are, in fact, not earbuds. Nor are they over-ear headphones. The AfterShokz Aeropex is a bone-conducting headphone.
They work by sending vibrations from your cheekbones towards your ear canal.
The reasoning behind this is mostly safety…
It can be dangerous exercising outside, for example, a brisk morning jog. There are cars swooping by, unfriendly street dogs or other pedestrians. Thus, keeping your ears open to hear your surroundings is actually pretty important.
The Aeropex is the third iteration from AfterShokz, and they have come a long way.
Slim and light…
The unit hangs on your neck, with the speakers sitting against your cheekbones on both sides. Some of these designs can be uncomfortably heavy or a little too loose for comfort, but these are surprisingly slim and light. There is some cause for concern when it comes to durability, but we didn’t run into any problems.
The Aeropex is fully waterproof and can be emerged in water 1-meter water for up to 30-minutes. Its IP-67 rating means it won’t have any issues if you are caught in a rainstorm or drop it in a puddle.
Leading the way…
There is still a long way to go for bone conduction technology, but the Aeropex is definitely at the forefront of the pack. They have made significant leaps in the amount of bass that is passed through to your ears, and the clarity is much better.
The larger device allows for great battery life as well. You will get eight hours of battery life before you need to use the proprietary charger. They swapped out the micro-USB for a proprietary charger to get the IP-67 rating, which in our opinion, is a great idea.
Great for marathon runners…
These bone conducting headsets are also a superb option for athletes who run marathons. This is because a lot of marathons have banned the use of any in-ear and over-ear headphones due to safety concerns. This makes them the Best Earbuds for Marathon Runners on the market.
- Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Great battery life.
- Lightweight and comfy.
- The only option for marathon runners.
- Sound quality isn’t quite there yet.
- Sound leakage is still a concern.
7 SoundPEATS True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds – Best Budget Earbuds for Running
SoundPEATS is our budget earbuds option. These are great for anyone on a very tight budget, or already own an expensive pair of headphones that they don’t want to take out jogging.
These earbuds look nice, albeit a bit boring. There is a large number of budget options online to choose from, most of which have the same design. All black, sometimes gloss, sometimes matte-black. These are the latter, and they do feel nice. They look a bit more expensive than they are.
The design is a little bigger than some earbuds but doesn’t feel uncomfortable when worn at all. The ear tips are slightly angled and form a nice seal if you use the right size. They won’t fall out during a morning jog or bicycle ride, but during vigorous activities like a fast sprint, they might fall out.
But what about the sound?
The biggest reason people look past the budget earbud options is sound quality. It’s true that these earbuds won’t satisfy even the most forgiving audiophile, but the average consumer won’t mind it at all, considering the price.
Like most budget option earbuds, the bass seems to have been boosted the most. Great for that consumer-friendly “extra bass” sound. The high frequencies are also boosted and can get harsh at higher volume levels. This can cause a lot of discomfort and makes it hard to enjoy the music at all.
You get what you pay for…
The battery life also isn’t great. You can expect just over three hours of audio playback before you’d need to re-charge.
However, if you’re running or doing a strenuous workout, the issues with these headphones probably won’t bother you that much. As long as the volume is reasonable, the harsh higher frequencies should be fine, and as long as your run or workout session is less than three hours, they are well worth considering for anyone on a tight budget or is prone to break earbuds during exercise.
- Comfortable design.
- Harsh high frequencies at higher volumes.
- Battery life.
8 EarFun Free Wireless Earbuds
The Earfun Free is another budget option, albeit a bit more expensive than the SoundPEATS.
So, how do they compare?
The biggest draw is the Bluetooth version 5 and a USB-C charger. The latter is a feature some of the premium earbuds on this list don’t even have, and it’s a shame! The earbuds are also waterproof with an IPX7 rating.
The design is almost identical to the SoundPEATS, although this time it’s more of a gloss finish. The earbuds look nice and don’t feel cheap, although they are still plastic. The earbuds fit nicely in your ears and form a decent seal, which is important for sound quality.
Speaking of sound quality…
The earbuds don’t sound dull at all. They have the signature budget-friendly earbud bass profile. That means a consumer-friendly warmer, boosted low and low mid frequencies sound profile.
You don’t get the same clarity that you get from much more expensive earbuds, but at the price point, they sound much better than the SoundPEATS for just a little more.
Two hours on a 10-minute charge…
The battery also lasts much longer with six hours of playback, and the quick charging USB-C can get you two hours on a 10-minute charge.
In our opinion, these are the better buy for those looking for a more disposable second pair of earbuds or are on a budget.
- Great battery life.
- USB-C charging.
- No controls on the earbuds.
- A little big for people with small ears.
Looking for more specific superb Earbud Options?
If so, check out our reviews of the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Best Airpods Alternative, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Best Earbuds Under 100 Dollars, the Best Wireless Earbuds For Small Ears, and the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones on the market.
So, what are the Best Earbuds for Running?
So, we’ve come to the end of our review, and it’s time to find out which are our top picks for the best running earbuds?
Well, if you are looking for a budget-friendly option, we recommend the…
Earfun Free TWS earbuds
They are waterproof, sound good, and have excellent battery life.
But if you’re looking for the very best and are willing to pay for them, the…
Jaybird Vista TWS
…are by far the best all-round option. They have the best sound on the list and provide the most secure fit as well.