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Top 10 Best Running Headphones To Buy In 2020 Reviews

Do you know what one of the best ways to boost your performance and keep your mind active while working out is?

Well, it’s getting yourself a pair of the best running headphones. Whether you like to hit the treadmill or running on trails, running headphones will help you keep up the pace.

One of the main factors that buyers consider is whether their ideal running headphones will stay in place or not. As an athlete, you need headphones that are exclusively engineered for intense workouts and runs and can endure rain and sweat. You also want something that will produce a great sound while being gentle on your ears.

Luckily there are many good running headphones on the market, some of which are affordable with premium features.

So let’s go through the best of the running headphones currently available and find the perfect ones for you…

running headphones

Why Running Headphones?

Regardless of where you exercise, you have seen many people wearing workout earbuds, which make workouts fun and stress-free.

But why?

Research shows that listening to music has a positive impact on athletic performance. This is because it temporarily increases pain tolerance and reduces anxiety levels. Also, music effectively distracts you from monotony and pain that can occur while exercising.

When you play your favorite song, your brain establishes two different stimuli which it must analyze. This, in turn, makes it harder for you to perceive pain.

So, let’s get this review started with a comparison table of the features of each headphone or earbud…

Best Running Headphones Comparison Table

ProductFitNoise CancellingFast ChargingBattery LifeRating
Fit
In-ear
Noise Cancelling
N/A
Fast Charging
Yes
Battery Life
9 hours
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Fit
In-ear
Noise Cancelling
Yes
Fast Charging
Yes
Battery Life
6 hours
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)
Fit
In-ear
Noise Cancelling
Yes
Fast Charging
Yes
Battery Life
5 hours
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
Fit
Over-the ear
Noise Cancelling
Yes
Fast Charging
Yes
Battery Life
6 hours
4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
Fit
In-ear
Noise Cancelling
Yes
Fast Charging
Yes
Battery Life
5 hours
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Fit
In-ear
Noise Cancelling
Yes
Fast Charging
Yes
Battery Life
8 hours
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
Fit
In-ear
Noise Cancelling
Yes
Fast Charging
Yes
Battery Life
6 hours
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Fit
Over-the ear
Noise Cancelling
N/A
Fast Charging
Yes
Battery Life
8 hours
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Fit
In-ear
Noise Cancelling
N/A
Fast Charging
N/A
Battery Life
18 hours
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Fit
In-ear
Noise Cancelling
N/A
Fast Charging
Yes
Battery Life
18 hours
4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Top 10 Best Running Headphones On The Market 2020 Reviews

1 Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones

The Powerbeats Pro running earphones were designed to revolutionize workout sessions for top athletes. Unlike conventional earphones, these do not have wires to hold you back. Instead, they comprise of customizable ear-hooks with a couple of ear-tip options for utmost comfort. They fit tightly in your ears and won’t move a millimeter, no matter how hard you push it.

Built for performance…

These lightweight units will take your training a notch higher because they are built for performance. And feature a body frame that is water and sweat resistant. Each Powerbeats Pro earbud generously offers nine hours of listening time and a powerful professional sound to charge up your spirit whenever you are working out.

Enhanced clarity…

Sound quality is very important to athletes, and it is among the top features they consider when shopping for the best running headphones out there. The Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones offer powerful, balanced audio, all thanks to their acoustic package that produces a pure sound with enhanced clarity.

Play one or both earbuds at the same time…

These earphones let you use either the right, left or both earbuds, whatever works for you. Each earbud comprises volume and track controls, allowing you to change songs or control volume without your mobile phone.

Another notable feature is the Auto Play/Pause sensors that automatically prompt music to play once you place the earbuds in your ear. The Powerbeats Pro earphones also have the voice-assistant capability for use with different devices.

9 hours of listening…

A combined 18 hours (9 hours for each earpiece) of listening time makes the Powerbeats Pro earphones perfect for marathons or long-hours of training. Furthermore, you get more than 24hours of combined listening time with the charging case. The earphones also boast Fast Fuel charging, so when the battery is low, a 5-minute charging session will give you an additional 1½ hours of playback.

Save on battery life…

The Auto On/Off sensors also help to conserve battery life by switching to sleep mode when the earbuds are idle. To reactivate the headphones, insert them into your ears, and they will automatically power up.

Advanced Bluetooth technology…

The Powerbeats Pro use of Class 1 Bluetooth technology that offers a broader connectivity range and fewer dropouts, so you will remain connected as you take a jog, workout, or whatever?

What’s interesting

Each earbud connects to your device independently for better freedom and connectivity for calls and music. They also feature a voice accelerometer for targeting your voice and filtering out external noise.

Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Sweat and water-resistant.
  • Long battery life.
  • Sleek design with a secure fit.

Cons

  • Massive case.

2 Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones

The Bose SoundSport Wireless in-ear headphones sport a powerful, clear sound and are designed to sit tightly and comfortably into your ears. They have been engineered with advanced technology to help you level up your workouts.

Technology-oriented design…

The manufacturer has adjusted the position of the antenna for stable Bluetooth signal strength. The circuits have also been perfectly tuned to improve the sound. What you get is a pair of headphones that play with clarity and consistency, without a wire in sight.

The Bose in-ear headphones have a unique combination of stability and comfort. This is because the manufacturer has machined the nozzle of the StayHear+ Sport tips to distribute contact evenly inside your ear. Meanwhile, the fin takes the shape of the upper ridge of the ear to ensure that the headphones sit perfectly in place and remain comfortable.

Great built for top-notch performance…

The engineering performance of world-class headphones such as the Bose SoundSport Wireless takes years of development. The combination of Bose digital signal processing and the volume-optimized equalizer ensures a balanced-sound at all volume levels. Therefore, in even a crowded gym, you will still be able to listen to your favorite workout tunes.

Irresistible but resistant…

Water damages headphones, but Bose has discovered a way to make things work. They included a water-repellent mesh in the opening holes to ensure the interior remains dry and functional. So, rain or sweat can never be an excuse not to workout.

Not just a case…

A single charge gives 5 hours of uninterrupted listening time, which should be more than enough to get you through your workout session. Once done, you can put your earbuds in their case to recharge. The case offers two extra full charges that provide up to 10 hours of usage. What’s more, a 15-minute fast charge will give you an additional 45 minutes of battery life.

Total control using one app…

The Bose Connect app gives you access to all the features of the product. Customize your settings, unlock product features, and get tips all by using the app. This gives you all the freedom to enjoy the music rather than setting it up.

With the Bose Connect app, you do not need to worry about losing your earbuds, thanks to the Find My Buds feature that lets you see where you last connected your headphones. You then only need to follow the map to find them.

Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones
Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • Compatible with Siri and Google Now.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Sounds great.
  • Sweat-resistant.

Cons

  • Expensive.

3 Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless Headphones

Despite their sporty overtones, the Bose SoundSport earphones are not only suitable for gym lovers, but are superb for casual commuters with a sense of style. For starters, they offer 5 hours of battery life, more than enough for your workout sessions.

The plastic carry case has two functions – to protect the headphones when they’re not in use and to charge them – providing an additional 10 hours of listening time. Along the bottom of the earpieces are contact patches for charging the earphones.

Secure fit…

The earphones are secured magnetically to ensure that they stay-in-place inside the case. There is a row of five LED lights on the front of the case that light up when you press the release catch, to display the amount of power left.

You can’t switch off the headphones manually. Instead, putting them in the case will cut power automatically. However, if you don’t have your case, you can switch them off by setting a timer on the Bose Connect app.

More control for you…

The right earpiece houses several controls that enable you to play songs from your mobile device. These included basic track Skipping and Play/Pause buttons, plus the ability to adjust the volume.

Another feature of the SoundSport true wireless is “Find My Buds,” which is similar to Find My iPhone by Apple. This helps you find your earbuds if you happen to misplace them. It shows you where the buds are located on a map and signals if you are near them.

World-class sound…

The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless Headphones are not noise-canceling. Hence, you will still hear your surroundings, particularly the higher frequencies. This may be a good or bad thing, depending on your requirements. Not so good for a busy gym, but great if your running across town and need to hear the traffic.

Overall, the Bose headphones offer bold-but-balanced sound with heavy bass.

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless Headphones
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Well-built charging base.
  • High-quality sound.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Comfortable and easy to use.
  • Stable connection.

Cons

  • Large and stick out of the ear.
  • Expensive.

4 Jaybird Vista True Wireless Bluetooth Sport Premium Headphones

These premium headphones sport a rounded design with wingtip sleeves to keep them in place during intense workout sessions. The angled nozzles are effective in preventing ear canal discomfort. However, the housings are quite large and can be painful after using them for some time.

Each earbud features a flat-button panel and is marked with the Jaybird logo. When compared to cheaper options such as JLab Epic Air Sport, the Jaybird Vista’s onboard controls are limited.

They have standard call and playback controls. However, the only way to change them is to use the Jaybird Mysound app to reassign the single and double-tap options. Also, be careful when pressing the buttons on the housings as they can make the earbuds jam in your ear, which can be painful.

Secure hold to your ear…

Jaybird pride themselves as a go-to workout earphone brand. The ear tip sleeves and the wing ensure a secure hold to your outer ear. So, whether you are running, biking, or climbing, the headphones will not wiggle out of place.

These earbuds are not swimmer-friendly, though. But they can survive an accidental fall into water as they are IPX7 rated.

Hours of excellent service…

The Jaybird headphones provide 6 hours of audio listening time on a single charge, with an output of 75dB.  The headphones also support fast charging. A 5-minute quick charge via the case will give you an hour of playback. A 2-hour full charge from the case provides an extra 10 hours of playback.

To pair, open the charging case, and the LED will flash on and off. If you do not see any flashing, press the internal button for two seconds. Next, open the Bluetooth menu on your smartphone and choose Jaybird Vista. Next time, the headphones will auto-connect to your phone when you open and remove the earbuds.

Extended range of wireless connectivity…

The Jaybird headphones are built with Bluetooth 5.0 firmware and do not have high-quality Bluetooth codec support. Despite this, the JBS1 chipset guarantees a faster and strong connection between your phone and the headphones.

They establish two separate connections to your mobile device. So, you can use the earbuds independently, making the earphones ideal for outdoor athletes and offer 10 meters of wireless connectivity.

As for sound, the headphones emphasize the low-end frequencies but give an overall balanced sound, which is enjoyable to listen to while on the go.

Jaybird Vista True Wireless Bluetooth Sport Premium Headphones
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Good sound with excellent bass.
  • Fit securely.
  • Earbuds can be used separately.
  • Easy to clean.
  • USB-C for charging.
  • Long battery life.

Cons

  • Heavy price tag.
  • No auto-pause.
  • No additional tips/fins.

5 Jabra Elite 65t Earbuds

The Jabra 65t earbuds are lightweight and comfy – the left unit weights 5.8g while the right one comes in at 6.5g. And fresh out the box, you are supplied with three sets of tips of different sizes, a USB cable, an instruction manual, and a carry case that doubles as a charger for the headphones.

Multifunctional earphones…

The difference in weight is because the right earbud handles the connection to the smartphone and transmits audio to the left earbud. The earphones are made of plastic, with each earbud having a protrusion with a built-in mic for calls.

The right earpiece comprises a central button for Play/Pause, answering calls, and controlling ambient noise. Meanwhile, the left earphone houses two buttons – for track and volume control.

Easy charging…

When not in use, you can place the headphones into their case to charge. A single full charge offers 5 hours of playback time. The case has enough power for two recharges. So, one fully charged set will provide 15 hours of listening time. If the batteries are low and you want to use the headphones immediately, a 15-minute quick charge will provide 90 minutes of playback.

Jabra also has its own app that you can download to your device for free. It contains several settings tabs and a full manual. The app lets you choose the amount of ambient noise you want in or out, as well as adjusting the equalizer.

Comfortable to use…

The Elite 65t earbuds will fit securely in your ears with impressive comfort. They also swiftly connect to your phone, with the instruction manual guiding you on how to go about it. Even the earphones themselves will provide the instructions, once you insert them in your ears. The connection is stable with no dropouts; therefore, the practicalities of phone calls are easily handled.

Music pauses when you take the earbuds out of your ears, insert them again, and they will play. Double pressing the right earpiece will pause music and allow external noise in. Meanwhile, the nubbins on the left earpiece let you adjust the volume. Press it for longer, and it will skip between tracks.

Decent sound…

The earbuds play music faithfully with more emphasis on the midrange than the treble and bass frequencies. However, they do feature an equalizer, which allows you to adjust the sound to exactly what you like.

Jabra Elite 65t Earbuds
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Good for making calls.
  • Stable connectivity.
  • Sweat and waterproof.

Cons

  • Fit can be loose during exercise.

6 Bluetooth Headphones, Soundcore Spirit Sports Earbuds

The Soundcore Spirit Earbuds by Anker are among the most comfortable headphones on the market. The package comes with three ear fin sizes and four earpiece sizes to fit any ear size.

Athletic performance…

These pair of earbuds are perfect for the gym or runs. The secure fit will let you enjoy any vigorous exercise without the fear of them falling out. Furthermore, the headphones will retain their comfort when you start to sweat, thanks to the IPX7 Sweat Guard Technology.

Good battery life…

The batteries for these units last for an impressive 8 hours on one charge, which is more than the majority of the competition and will get you through the longest of workout sessions.

Highly portable…

These earphones weigh 0.5 ounces and feature a cloth carrying case. With the flexible wire, you can pack them up small and insert them in your pocket.

Bluetooth Headphones, Soundcore Spirit Sports Earbuds
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Cheap.
  • Comfortable.
  • Ideal for working out.

Cons

  • Basic sound quality.

7 Upgraded, Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo True Wireless Earbuds

The upgraded Anker Liberty New True Wireless earphones will fit in your ears nicely without a wire to pull them down.

The new graphene driver takes advantage of the material’s incredible characteristics and is 100 times tougher than steel, yet lighter than conventional driver diaphragms. It is precision-engineered to give you a wider soundstage when listening to your favorite tunes. The sound is crystal clear and accurate across the frequency range.

Heavy bass…

The Anker’s BassUp technology can analyze your songs’ low frequencies in real-time and raise the bass levels by up to 43 percent, allowing you to truly feel the music rather than just listening to it.

Stable connectivity…

These earbuds include an LDS antenna with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity to create a stable link to your mobile device, which means no dropouts and no skips. Meanwhile, the SweatGuard protection provides a barrier from sweat and rain. It can even guard against water from a tap when you are rinsing away the sweat after an intense workout.

GripFit technology…

This allows the earbuds to fit perfectly and comfortably in your ears. You only need to insert and twist to lock. This makes them superb for a serious workout, knowing that your headphones will not fall out.

The Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo True Wireless Earbuds weigh only 0.6 ounces giving you a fatigue-free experience.

Commendable battery life…

Anker boasts using high-efficiency battery cells in its Liberty Neo earbuds. A single charge will give you more than 5 hours of playback, and an additional 15 hours from the charging case.

Upgraded, Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo True Wireless Earbuds
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Good value.
  • Clear, crisp sound.
  • Water and sweat-resistant.
  • Comfortable fit.

Cons

  • Bulky.
  • Lags during calls.
  • Earbuds don’t have volume control.

8 AfterShokz Air Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones

While many manufacturers are focusing on tech that focuses on noise cancellation and isolation, AfterShokz are doing the opposite. They are manufacturing products that promote situational awareness through a technology called bone conduction.

These units are not headphones but speakers, in fact, the manufacturer calls them OpenFit. They let you hear what is going on in your surroundings, and one of the bone conduction transducers has a mute button to keep things quiet.

The head-back-buds are strong and flexible, thanks to the use of titanium in the design, which enables them to be tugged and twisted. So, you can wear them around your neck, or insert them in your pocket.  They also feature an IP55-rated waterproof build.

Great performance…

The headphones are easy to setup. Once connected, a female voice by the name of Audrey will confirm that the pairing process is completed successfully. And each side has a small housing that comprises the controls and batteries, which also helps to keep the headphones on the back of your head.

The controls are simple, with the volume buttons are located on the right side.

Six hours of battery life…

Even though the Trekz Air headphones are lightweight, they still manage to offer 6 hours of playback, which is impressive considering the design. And a 15-minute fast charge will get you up to an hour of listening time.

AfterShokz Air Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Comfortable fit.

Cons

  • Low volume.

9 Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 Headphones

The BackBeat FIT 500 on-ear headphones allow you to move freely, experiencing a deep, rich sound and the lightweight design for stress-free all-day wearing.

Chargeless, listen more…

BackBeat FIT 500 offers 18 hours of playback on a single charge and includes a DeepSleep mode that will conserve your battery power when you are not using the headphones. If you are not able to recharge your headphones, you can listen wired with the 3.5mm cable.

Awaken your music…

The headphones sport P2i military-grade nano-coating for protection against moisture, sweat, and spills. Hence, they can withstand gym sessions and rainy commutes.

Awaken your music…

You will not just hear your favorite songs, but you will feel them. The combination of the advanced acoustic tech and the 40mm drivers deliver audio balance rich sound.

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 Headphones
Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros

  • Very long battery life.
  • Affordable.
  • Easy to use controls.
  • Sweatproof.
  • Lightweight.
  • Stable Bluetooth connectivity.

Cons

  • Not recommended for audiophiles.

10 Soundcore Spirit X 2019 Version Wireless Sports Earphones

The Spirit X 2019 looks beautiful with a premium feel and come with thick and flexible ear-hooks. Apart from the improved in-line remote, the earbud design is more polished than the Anker Curve.

However, the cables are thin and appear not to be durable when compared to the costlier wireless headphones. This makes the design look cheap. However, they are available in a number of different color schemes.

Designed for your comfort…

The Spirit X 2019 are comfy for in-ear units. The tips will not penetrate your ear canal as deeply as other in-ear headphones, which makes them less painful when using them for extended periods.

However, because they do not go into the ear canal completely, they are prone to sliding out of the ears, and you may need quite a bit of adjustment, which can be irritating. While this may not be a serious problem, it can interfere with your workouts.

Take Control…

This model has better control than the Anker Curve. The buttons are well spaced on the in-line remote and respond quickly. They also feature a basic three-button setup, which is a straightforward control scheme with all the standard functions – volume controls, track skipping, music/call.

We also loved the fact that the headphones are breathable. They boast an ear-hook design that has a larger surface area for contact with your ears than on standard in-ear models. However, this will not make you sweat during intense workout sessions, because they don’t cover the outer ear like on-ear and over-ear designs.

Highly portable…

These headphones are easy to carry and have a nice compact case. Being lightweight also allows you to fold them to fit into your purse, bag, or pocket. The ear-hooks make them larger than in-ear models. The case is made of hard materials to protect the headphones from falls and getting scratched.

Crystal clear…

Despite an emphasis on the bass, the Spirit X 2019 still manages to offer a rounded and harmonious sound. The trebles are consistent while the mids are more reserved. Therefore, the sound is brighter than you will find on a lot of running headphones and earbuds.

Soundcore Spirit X 2019 Version Wireless Sports Earphones
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Waterproof.
  • Affordable.
  • Good battery life.

Cons

  • Not bass heavy.

Best Running Headphones Buying Guide

Running earbuds and headphones must fit perfectly, be water-resistant, and have safety features, especially if you are running outside. While there is no problem with using wired headphones, it is much easier and safer to go wireless. And most wireless headphones will work well with your smartphone, especially when you consider that a lot of the latest smartphone models no longer feature a headphone jack.

However, overall, we all need one thing for our ideal headphones: stability.

So, here’s what to look for when shopping for a quality pair of running headphones…

Waterproofing

While standard headphones that fit nicely are alright to use for workouts, they are not designed to withstand sweat and rain when running. Sooner or later, moisture, rain, or sweat will eventually destroy them. All the headphones featured in this review are rain resistant and sweatproof, but not designed for immersion in water.

best running headphones

Decent Sound Quality

Many people like to hear or even feel their favorite tracks while they are working out. This motivates them whilst blocking out the world. So, while one or two of the headphones we reviewed sound incredible, the rest sound “OK” but when working out, that is normally more than adequate. All you usually need is a sound that emphasizes mid-range and bottom-end tones, and absolute clarity isn’t necessary.

Situational Awareness

This is crucial for people who need to keep an ear open for things such as traffic. You can hear the music, but you will also be able to easily hear a car horn. There are headphones designed with this feature in mind.

More Options

Looking for more options? If so, there are many other excellent headphones and earphones available.

Therefore, it’s worth taking a look at our reviews of the Best Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones, the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Studio Headphones for Home Recording, the Best Headphones and Earbuds for Sleeping, and the Best Headphones under 100 dollars currently available.

So, What Are The Best Running Headphones

Listening to some motivational music can make going to the gym or run an even more fun experience, but only if you have the right pair of running headphones. Otherwise, your tunes could end up being more of a distraction than a pleasure to listen to.

All the running headphones we have reviewed in this guide are incredible in their own way, they are, after all, the best of the best. However, some have better features than others.

In our opinion, the one that stole the show are the…

They come with some very impressive features, plus offer 18 hours of non-stop playback. They are easy to use, have stable Bluetooth connectivity, and, best of all, are affordable, making them our recommendation of the very best of the running headphones currently available.

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