There’s nothing like riding your bike whilst listening to your favorite music. It’s, of course, also great to be able to take calls and stay in touch when you’re out on your rides. Happily, today the choice of great quality earbuds and headphones for cycling has never been better.
Furthermore, some of the best quality headphones for cycling don’t necessarily need to break the bank. Our list contains some excellent options to cover every pocket and need. Hopefully, there’ll be something suitable for you and your riding.
So, let’s get this review underway and find the best headphones for cycling for you…
- Top 10 Best Headphones For Cycling 2021 Reviews
- 1 Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones – Apple H1 Headphone Chip
- 2 Jaybird X4 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones For Sport Fitness
- 3 AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
- 4 Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds – True Wireless
- 5 AUKEY Wireless Headphones, Key Series B80 Bluetooth 5 Earbuds
- 6 Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 Wireless Headphones
- 7 Wireless Earbuds, AUKEY Bluetooth Headphones With Deep Bass
- 8 Bose SoundSport Free, True Wireless Earbuds
- 9 iTeknic Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0 Headphones in-Ear Stereo Wireless Earphones
- 10 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Soundcore Spirit X Sports Earphones
- Best Headphones For Cycling Buying Guide
- More Headphone Options
- So, What Are The Best Headphones For Cycling?
Top 10 Best Headphones For Cycling 2021 Reviews
1 Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones – Apple H1 Headphone Chip
These are wireless earphones, and the pair we’re reviewing is black. If that’s not your thing, they also come in Ivory, Navy, and Moss. Moss is a kind of army green, the look cool, possibly our favorite pick.
The Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones have a strong reinforced design and are water-resistant. They have an IPX 4 rating, so if you get sweaty on your ride, or get caught in a rainstorm, you’ll be OK.
One of the nice features of these earphones is that can be used either individually or as a pair. They have full volume and track controls on both earbuds, so this is definitely no problem. Since some states, and countries, by law, allow you to use just one earbud, but not two, this could prove very useful.
The earbuds fit with a hook over your ears. They feel secure and comfortable. We had no problems with them coming loose or feeling irritable, even over long rides.
One great feature of these earbuds is the use of the H1 Apple Bluetooth chip. The H1 chip ensures rock-solid connection and stability for your Bluetooth device – guaranteed. The earbuds are fully compatible with both IOS and Android devices.
The earbuds can be fully charged in just one hour. Once charged, they’re good to go for up to 9 hours in normal conditions. They are charged by micro USB and can be charged via the rather nice carrying case. For fast charging, they can be charged from flat to 1.5 hours of battery life in five minutes.
When it comes to sound, since this is a Beats product, you should already know what to expect. Unsurprisingly, the Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones have the typical Beats sound signature. They have plenty of bass and scooped out mids.
There’s no doubt about it, Powerbeats create an exciting and involving listening experience. If you’re into Hip-Hop and other kinds of bass-driven music, these will be ideal. If you prefer your bass truer to the original recording, with more detail in the mids, you should probably give them a miss.
- IPX 4 rating.
- You can use one or both earbuds.
- Excellent Bluetooth connectivity.
- They are comfortable and secure.
- Fast charging.
- Bass-heavy sound, not for everyone.
2 Jaybird X4 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones For Sport Fitness
These Bluetooth headphones come in a choice of either Black Metallic/Flash or Storm Metallic/Glacier. This is basically black or gray, hardly inspiring choices; we think they could have done better.
On a more positive note, the level of fit in and around the ears is excellent. The silicone ear fins and the tips that sit right in the ear feel snug. What’s more, they adhere nicely to the ear without feeling too tight and uncomfortable.
The tips come in two different sizes. For us cyclists, this can be quite useful as a smaller tip can let in more external sound. If you’re riding in an urban environment, it may be useful in keeping you more aware of traffic.
Another thing we like about their design is the tangle-free cable connecting the two earbuds. There’s no doubt that this significantly reduces the chance of losing one or both earbuds. They might not look as neat as a pair of Airpods, but at least we won’t be losing a set every other week.
The connecting cable has the remote on the right side. You can play, pause, and skip tracks as well as change the volume. The remote also houses the mic so you can easily take calls on the move.
These are waterproof and have an IPX 7 rating. This means that they can be immersed in one meter of water for 30 minutes and will still work. It doesn’t mean that you can go swimming in them. What is does mean, is as sweaty and rainy as it gets; these will keep on playing.
Once connected and fully charged, you can expect a battery life of 8 hours. The charge time is two hours. The fast charge will give you an extra hour of play for 10 minutes of charge time. This is fairly standard for this kind od device.
The Jaybird X4 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones deliver high quality, clear and well-balanced sound. They produce some tight, punchy lows with some detailed, crisp mids and trebles. It’s great to hear the middle and higher frequencies come across so clearly without getting overwhelmed in the mix by the bass.
If you really can’t live without a more prominent bass presence, don’t worry. Jaybird X4 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones have an App that can help you fine-tune the EQ and dial in your preferred tone.
If you still want more saturated bass, you need to buy something else. Something like the Powerbeats we’ve just reviewed might be more your style. No shortage of bass there.
- IPX 7 rating.
- Fit beautifully in the ears.
- High-quality sound.
- Jaybird App for custom EQ
- Poor color choice.
- Flimsy carrying case.
3 AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
These both look and perform a little differently to a normal pair of fitness earbuds. They look a little futuristic. The design cues have a touch of space travel to them.
The AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless headphones might not be able to beam you up to wherever you’re going. However, they can undoubtedly offer a different way to listen to music and take your calls.
AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless headphones work by processing the audio signal through your cheekbones. This patented bone conduction transferring of the audio signal means there is nothing in your inner ear. There’s also nothing over your ear, either.
It’s a genius idea, and it’s as if they had us, cyclists, in mind. Being able to listen to your tunes but still freely hear the environment around you is exactly what we need — what a great safety feature.
More good news is that they are made from some heavyweight plastic and are hard-wearing. They’re IP67 rated, so you’ll have no problems during a normal ride. Since they’re super comfortable and only weigh 26gms, you’ll also not tire of wearing them.
These are Bluetooth headphones and operate using 4.2 connectivity. The signal remains steady and doesn’t drop out. They are good in normal operation for eight hours on a full charge. A 10 minutes charge will give you a further 10 hours. They can fully charge in two hours.
So, how do they sound, and what’s it like listening to music through your cheek?
Firstly, they deliver good quality audio performance. The latest version has been re-engineered using their latest proprietary Premium Pitch technology to deliver. The mids and trebles are clear, and the bass is deep with little distortion at the lower frequencies.
They have a modern bass prominent sound signature that a lot of younger music lovers are going to like.
Listening through your cheek surprisingly doesn’t feel much different from listening to music through your ears. It’s something you almost immediately adjust to. If you don’t want to block out other sounds around you, these are a great option.
We love them!
- Bone conduction technology.
- Premium Pitch high audio quality.
- They don’t block out environmental sounds.
- Comfortable and light.
- Noise-canceling microphone is not the best.
4 Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds – True Wireless
These are a stylish and inexpensive pair of wireless earbuds. They can be used with either Apple or Android and sit firmly in your inner ear. They’re comfortable, lightweight at only 12gms for the pair, plus they’re nice and grippy. They feel like they’ll stay in place even on the bumpiest ride. Unfortunately, there is a ‘however.’
The fact is that this kind of earbud is always more liable to get lost. If for whatever reason, one does come out on a ride, there’s a good chance you’ll not be able to find it. We prefer a more traditional cable or band to keep them together, securely as a pair, to minimize the chance of losing one.
These are only IP56 rated, which means they’re protected against dust and sweat. Think twice before going out on a rainy or potentially rainy ride. If it does start to rain on your ride, be prepared to put them in your pocket in a dry place.
A nice feature of the Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds is that they will work with digital assistants. They work with Alexa, Siri, and Google Now. For cyclists, this is great for checking out the weather. More particularly for wind speeds and directions, if you fancy an easy ride or a cheeky crack at a Strava PR or KOM.
The battery life is not great. It’s just five hours fully charged. You can get another couple of full charges from the case. However, that’s not a great deal of use to you when you’re on a ride. In reality, you’re hardly likely to take out the case unless you’re on a long tour.
The problem here is that the battery life is pegged at a maximum of five hours. If you’re on a long ride, maybe take a few calls and have the volume cranked for the rest of the ride, you risk the batteries dying.
On the plus side, it might motivate you to ride even faster before they die!
The Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds deliver a well-balanced sound. The bass might sound a little thin to some. If this is the case, the Jabra App can be used to alter the EQ and add in some lower frequency presence.
The Jabra Elite app can also be used to customize how much of the outside world you want to block.
If you want to wear just one earphone, you can wear the right one only. The right earphone works as a slave speaker, so it can’t be worn on its own.
- On line assistant.
- Look cool.
- Short battery life.
- The microphone is not the best quality.
5 AUKEY Wireless Headphones, Key Series B80 Bluetooth 5 Earbuds
These are a great budget option for Bluetooth cycling headphones. They are nice and comfortable. They have earbuds, with memory foam tips, that fit snugly in the inner ear. The AUKEY Wireless Headphones come with three different sizes of memory foam ear tips. The cable, between the two earbuds, hooks neatly over the top of the ear.
These are IPX6 rated, so you’ll have no problem in the rain or when you build up a sweat.
All the controls and microphone are found on the control module. This is the usual design sitting down from the right ear on the cable. The control module can take calls and pause, play, and skip tracks from our music collection. It can change the volume too.
The earbuds can be charged via USB. You get up to eight hours of listening time out of a full charge. It’s not spectacular, but it should be fine to suit most cyclists’ needs.
A full charge can be achieved in two hours. A 10-minute quick charge will leave you good to go for another 80 minutes. Again, not spectacular, but perfectly fine for this kind of device.
The AUKEY Wireless Headphones have dual drivers. These help to deliver a wide range of frequencies, between 20Hz to 22,000Hz, and some good quality audio.
For an inexpensive pair of earbuds, the sound quality is very good. They have plenty of warm and deep low end. The highs are clear, and the mids are well detailed. These sound much better than their price would suggest.
- Great value.
- Good quality audio.
- IPX6 rating.
- Block out a lot of external noise.
6 Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 Wireless Headphones
These are a pair of comfortable and nicely designed headphones. They are ultra-lightweight and fit nicely. They use a sports weave cable for the majority of the cable. Over the top of the outer ear, the cable is sheathed in a flexible plastic.
The result is a snug and secure fit that doesn’t feel irritating over a long ride. We like this kind of design as the headphones are less liable to work free over rough terrain. Additionally, the sports weave cable has a cable clip. So useful in keeping everything secure and nice and tidy. Something also so sadly missing off the majority of earbuds these days.
The right side of the sports cable houses the slim remote for music selection/playback and a microphone for calls. The remote also has volume control and a slot for USB charging.
The Bluetooth connection, on the whole, works well. However, on occasions, it does drop out. It’s not as good as the connection in Powerbeats Pro earphones, which have superior and more expensive, Bluetooth technology.
The Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 Wireless Headphones have a battery life of up to six hours. We think that the best headphones for cycling should ideally have a minimum of eight hours on full charge, six hours just isn’t quite enough for us.
You can get an extra full hour out of a 15-minute quick charge. Again, this is not great. What’s more, there’s no hard case with these, so no other ways to charge other than through the USB connection.
Considering their price-point, The Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 Wireless Headphones deliver some rich and full sound. The bass is quite prominent and would suit anyone preferring to listen to more modern bass-driven genres.
These are noise-canceling headphones and are quite effective in cutting out a lot of external noise. If this is an issue for you, when for instance, cycling in urban areas, you could always leave the left earbud out.
- Secure fitting.
- High-quality woven sports cable.
- Good sound quality.
- Short battery life.
- Bluetooth connection is a little shaky.
7 Wireless Earbuds, AUKEY Bluetooth Headphones With Deep Bass
These are another great set of budget headphones from Aukey.
There’s plenty to like about these headphones other than the price. They fit deep into the ear and fit over the ear with ear hooks, they feel comfortable and fit firmly. They come in a choice of three colors. If light or dark grey isn’t your thing, they have a rather vibrant bright red color variant.
The two earbuds are joined together by a tangle-free cable. The inline remote for music and the built-in microphone is on the right of the cable.
The cool thing about these earbuds is the button free automatic on/off system. The ends of the earbuds are magnets. One they’re together, they power off. Pull them apart and they power-up. A simple and effective idea. We like it.
These are IPX6 certified, so they will stand up to sweat and rain.
The battery life gives you a standard eight hours of playback time. You can get a further 80 minutes with a quick 10 minutes charge. This is very much standard, and we think very fair for the price.
These use Bluetooth 5.0, and we were very happy with the reliability of the audio signal. We had no signal dropouts at all. Either on a call or playing music, the audio signal remained solid. For this price, that’s pretty impressive.
The sound is also pretty impressive for the price-point.
Some of the earbuds can be a little thin in the lower range. Not so with the AUKEY Bluetooth Headphones with Deep Bass. These are advertised as having deep bass, and there’s no doubt that the lower frequencies are highly prominent. Much more so than a lot of earbuds we’ve reviewed.
If you’re into bass, you’re going to love these.
- Automatic on/off magnetic system.
- IPX6 certified.
- Deep bass.
- Poor quality case.
- Only two sizes of silicone pads included.
8 Bose SoundSport Free, True Wireless Earbuds
These are a beautifully made pair of premium earbuds from Bose.
These are wireless Bluetooth earbuds. It’s always nice not to have wires, don’t you think?
The fact is, though, that these kinds of earbuds are always prone to getting lost. Well, not to worry. Bose has come up with the perfect solution. The Bose SoundSport Free earbuds have an in-built tacker. Once you connect to the Bose app, you can quickly and easily locate any lost earbud. It’s a great idea and a lot of peace of mind when you’re on a long ride.
They have three different sized ear stays, they’re comfortable and don’t irritate your ears or skin during extended use. And have an IPX4 rating so you’ll also have no problems in wet weather or when things get hot and sweaty.
All the controls for music and the dual microphone are on the right earbud. They’re easy to use, and the Bluetooth connection is consistently solid for either Apple or Android users.
This is the only area where we think Bose might have done better. They will give you just a 5-hour life when fully charged. We’ve already commented that five hours is a little short. For a product at this kind of price-point, it’s is even more so.
The nice quality carrying case will give you an extra two 5-hour charges, but it’s not a great deal of use to cyclists out on a typical ride.
The sound is first class. They have a beautiful, well-balanced sound signature. The bass is deep and punchy. The mids are clear and well-detailed even for the lower mids. The trebles are clean and precise.
These are the best sounding headphones for cycling as far as audio quality is concerned. Bose has a great reputation for speaker quality, and they haven’t disappointed with the Bose SoundSport Free earbuds.
We think the premium audio quality goes a long way to justify their premium price.
- Lost earbud tracker App.
- Impeccable Bluetooth connection.
- High audio quality.
- Good microphone.
- Short battery life.
9 iTeknic Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0 Headphones in-Ear Stereo Wireless Earphones
We can’t believe the price of these. They’re undoubtedly in the super-budget category. Frankly, for the price, the iTeknic Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0 Headphones are a bit of a spec monster!
These are Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds with no connecting cable. They come in one color, and the styling is a little plain but not offensive.
They’re comfortable, to wear they only weigh 4.5gms each, and sit nicely and securely in the ear. Additionally, once they’re in place, you won’t need to worry about damaging them with sweat or water. They are IPX7 certified, which means they could even be dropped in water, for a short time, or rinsed under the tap to give them a clean.
The iTeknic Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0 Headphones are easily paired, and the connection is stable. They use a Qualcomm QCC3020 Chip to keep things working efficiently. All the controls for music and the mic are on the right earbud as you’d expect.
Battery life is just five hours, but given the price, we can forgive iTeknic for a less than optimum battery performance. The iTeknic Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0 Headphones does, however, come with a neat, nice quality hard case that can supply four further charges.
That will give you a total of 25 hours of playing time using the initial charge and the case. Now, we know that a carrying case is not exactly the best accessory to take out when you’re on your bike. However, this case is pretty small, so at a push, it might be possible to carry on longer rides.
The iTeknic Wireless Earbuds also punch well above their weight when it comes to sound. They have a pair of 8mm drivers and can produce some convincing punchy bass. The trebles come through nice and clear with plenty of detail. The mids are a little scooped out but not completely lost to the bass.
These sound much better than their price and don’t feel tiring to listen to over long periods. They’re possibly a little better-suited to bass-heavy listening but are versatile to use with any kind of music.
These are, without a doubt, the best budget headphones for cycling.
- Four recharges are possible from the case.
- Quick recharge time.
- IPX7 rating.
- Excellent value for money.
- Solid Bluetooth connection.
- Short battery life.
- Plain styling.
10 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Soundcore Spirit X Sports Earphones
We’re rounding off our reviews with another inexpensive headphones option from Anker. These are in-ear headphones that are connected by a wire cable. They fit with a hook around the ear. The hook is pliable and feels soft, and the ear tips come in three different sizes. So, whatever your ear size and shape, you should find it easy to get a good fit.
The Anker earphones have an IPX7 rating. They’re coated with a high-grade sweat-resistant nano-coating, so you should easily deal with whatever you can throw at them. Since sweat is far more corrosive than water, it’s always worth paying attention to a headphone’s ability to repel sweat.
There’s no hard case with these earphones. They have a soft travel pouch, and that’s it. We can’t help but feel that this does leave them a little vulnerable to damage in transit.
These have the longest battery life of any headphones we’ve reviewed. They’re able to play for 12 hours on a single charge. We’re sure you’ll agree that’s excellent. When you compare it to a pair of the altogether more expensive Bose earbuds that had just five hours of playing time, it’s even more impressive.
A full recharge can be achieved in 1.5 hours. Since there’s no hard case, you’ll have to use the USB cable for all your charging. Considering the price of these earbuds, and their amazing battery life, we can forgive this.
The Soundcore Spirit X Sports Earphones have 10mm drivers, and this helps in producing some hard-hitting and powerful bass. When you’re on a long ride and looking for some motivation, these could be just the thing.
The mids are nice and warm, though a little overpowered by the bass. The trebles come through nicely and clearly in the mix. They’re clear and nicely detailed.
- Excellent battery life.
- IPX7 rating.
- Powerful bass.
- No hard case.
Best Headphones For Cycling Buying Guide
Safety first and foremost, guys and girls. Cycling has the potential to be dangerous. You need to take care, and we absolutely don’t want to lose one of our cycling brothers or sisters to a preventable accident.
The truth is no one really knows. There have been no extensive studies, and there is no strong evidence either way.
Some studies suggest wearing headphones reduces your awareness of the traffic around you. Other studies suggest that wearing earphones can drown out a lot of unnecessary environmental noise and make you more alert to real danger.
Since there’s no definitive answer either way, just make sure you feel confident, and you feel aware of the traffic and dangers around you. If you start wearing headphones whilst cycling for the first time, you should start using them at lower volumes. Where possible, you should also consider wearing just one earbud.
Regardless, you should also be aware that it’s illegal in some US states and various countries around the world, to use headphones when cycling. Some US states or countries will allow you to use one but not two earbuds.
Make sure you comply with the law wherever you are. We don’t want you to get an avoidable fine.
Sweat on long rides is a real killer for electronic devices. The best cycling headphones will have high-level nano sweat protection, like the Soundcore Spirit X Sports Earphones. Good quality headphones and earbuds will also have a high IPX rating.
IPX7 is the highest rating you’d expect. This rating will give plenty of resistance to both sweat and rain on those ling winter rides. An IPX7 rating also means you can easily wash your earbuds or headphones under the tap.
All of the headphones we’ve reviewed have Bluetooth. The quality and stability of the connection is, therefore, something you should pay attention to. There’s nothing worse than having an electronic device whose signal keeps dropping out.
Technology is moving fast, and now even some of the cheaper earbuds have great Bluetooth connectivity. But on this subject, we feel the Powerbeats deserve a special mention as having an absolute bulletproof Bluetooth connection.
The H1 chip they have utilized from their hook up with Apple works like a dream.
An 8-hour battery life is pretty standard and perfectly acceptable for a pair of earbuds or headphones you intend to use for cycling. Anything over this is unlikely to be needed unless you’re doing a long tour or a bike packing adventure.
A lot of the earphones we’ve reviewed offer the option of recharging the earbuds via the case once the batteries go flat. It’s a useful feature in general, but we believe it has limited use for cyclists as most of us are unlikely to want to take out anything other than the bare essentials when we’re out on our rides.
Surprisingly, the best cycling headphones in terms of battery life were the Soundcore Spirit X Sports Earphones. These gave 12 hours of use for a single charge. A great achievement when the low price of these earphones is considered.
Sound quality is highly subjective. Some of the earphones and headphones have excellent audio quality, but the sound signature can be all wrong for the listener. Most commonly, the mix can have too much or too little bass.
If you need a prominent bass signature, there are plenty of modern headphones to cater for this. If you need something more well-balanced, you’ll need to search a little harder to ensure you get headphones with a flatter response.
More Headphone Options
You may need headphones for other duties apart from your bike rides? If so, check out our reviews of the Best Headphones and earbuds for Sleeping, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Headphones under 100 dollars, the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, and the Best Bluetooth Headphones for under 100 dollars currently available.
Our reviews of the Best Bone Conduction Headphones may also be particularly useful if you want to be aware of everything that is happening around you.
So, What Are The Best Headphones For Cycling?
So, there you have it.
We hope you found something suitable for your cycling needs.
It’s great to have some motivational music to listen to whilst you’re cycling. It’s, of course, also great to be able to stay in touch and take calls your long rides. Just be careful in the process.
If you’re still a little unsure as to what headphones to choose, we’d recommend giving the…
…a try. These have solid Bluetooth connectivity, they’re durable, comfortable, and have a quick recharging time. But best of all, they’re a great budget option and are the least expensive of all the headphones we’ve reviewed.
Enjoy your bike, and enjoy your rides.