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Best Workout Headphones for 2022: Apple, Beats, Sony, Bose and More Compared



For plenty of individuals, music is a vital a part of any exercise. It may assist maintain you motivated and tune out the world round you that can assist you concentrate on what’s necessary. And except you propose on lugging a Bluetooth speaker round on the gymnasium or in your runs, you are going to desire a correct pair of exercise headphones. With options like sweat resistance, noise cancellation and open-ear designs, some headphones are actually higher fitted to figuring out than others. However with so many alternative fashions in the marketplace, it may be intimidating attempting to determine which pair is greatest for you.

The most effective exercise headphones are wi-fi — and ideally, true wireless — so there is no cable that may get caught or prohibit your motion. They will want to suit your ears snugly sufficient they will not fall off throughout a exercise, however not so tightly that they are uncomfortable to put on over an prolonged interval. Sound high quality is clearly an necessary issue as effectively, however you will additionally want to contemplate sturdiness and sweat or water resistance. And when you’re choosing a pair with noise-canceling capabilities, you will need some kind of transparency mode that permits some sound in so you’ll be able to hear the world round you for security causes.  

I’ve included every kind of headphones on this checklist, together with sport buds with wing suggestions or ear hooks, open buds just like the third-gen AirPods and bone-conduction headphones that depart your ears uncovered. I will replace this checklist as new fashions are launched.

David Carnoy/CNET

WaterproofSure (IPX4 score — splash-proof).

Scorching on the heels of the third-generation AirPods, Apple has one other new set of earbuds, this time from its subsidiary audio firm, Beats. Technically, the brand new Beats Match Professional ($200) aren’t AirPods, however they’re constructed on the identical tech platform because the AirPods Professional. In contrast to Beats’ earlier and cheaper Studio Buds, the Beats Match Professional embrace Apple’s H1 chip and have many of the AirPods Pro’s options, together with lively noise canceling, spatial audio and Adaptive EQ. I would enterprise to name them the sports activities AirPods you’ve got all the time needed. And for some individuals, they may simply be higher than the AirPods Professional.

Read our Beats Fit Pro review.


David Carnoy/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IPX4 score — splash-proof)

Each Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds and Sport Earbuds make good exercise headphones, due to their StayHear Max suggestions and safe match, however the Sport Earbuds are extra compact and lighter and likewise extra reasonably priced (the QuietComfort Earbuds do have wonderful lively noise canceling, nonetheless).

They’ve the identical IPX4 splash-resistant rating because the QuietComfort Earbuds, are geared up with Bluetooth 5.1 (my connection was rock-solid) and share an identical design aesthetic, with three colour choices out there. In contrast to their step-up sibling, they haven’t any lively noise canceling and an hour much less of battery life — 5 hours as an alternative of 6 — they usually haven’t got wi-fi charging. Whereas they do stand out from your ears, they’re noticeably smaller and lighter than the QuietComfort Earbuds and their case is about 30% to 40% smaller. The case nonetheless is not as small because the circumstances for such opponents because the AirPods Professional, Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and Jabra Elite Lively 75t, nevertheless it feels fairly compact.

Read our Bose Sport Earbuds review.


David Carnoy/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IPX68 score — dust-proof and totally waterproof)

Recognized for his or her safe match, first rate sound and sturdiness, Jaybird’s Vista sport earbuds ($150) have been on our lists of best workout headphones and best running headphones since 2019. Now the Vista 2, an upgraded model that contains a related design and better price ticket ($200), has arrived with a few key upgrades lacking from the unique: lively noise canceling and a transparency mode known as SurroundSense, which lets you hear the skin world, an necessary security characteristic for runners and bikers. 

The up to date earbuds basically have the identical design because the originals. Nonetheless, Jaybird has added some material to the skin of the buds, which helps minimize down on wind noise (consider the material as a dampener). There’s additionally an ear-detection sensor, so your music mechanically pauses if you take the buds out of your ears.

The Vista 2 buds have an IPX68 water resistance score, which implies they’re each dust-proof and totally waterproof. Jaybird says they’re additionally sweat-proof, crush-proof and drop-proof. And the compact case is now splash-proof and dust-resistant, with an IP54 score.

They sound fairly good when you tweak the EQ settings to your liking, however their sound high quality is not fairly as much as the extent of another premium earbuds within the $200 worth vary. Their noise canceling, transparency mode and voice-calling are first rate although unspectacular (the AirPods carry out higher in all departments). However when you’re shopping for these, you are shopping for them for the safe match and sturdiness.

David Carnoy/CNET

WaterproofSure (IP55 splash-proof)

With so many new wi-fi earbuds and headphones being launched on what appears doubtless a weekly foundation, it is not straightforward for corporations to distinguish their merchandise within the market. Skullcandy hopes its new voice-driven platform, Cranium-iQ Good Function Expertise, will just do that. Just like the Apple AirPods’ “Hey Siri” characteristic, Skullcandy’s model lets you say “Hey, Skullcandy” to challenge hands-free voice instructions with out touching a button. Cranium-iQ debuts on the sports-oriented Push Lively (and $100 Grind Gasoline), which will probably be firmware updatable by way of the Skullcandy App.

With their ear-hook design, they’re basically a extra reasonably priced model of the Beats Powerbeats Professional they usually really match my ears barely higher than the Powerbeats Professional (I am not normally a fan of ear-hook model buds, however this is among the higher ones). 

The Push Lively True earbuds are geared up with Bluetooth 5.2, are IP55 splashproof, have built-in Tile Discovering Expertise and are rated for as much as 10 hours of battery life on a single cost at reasonable quantity ranges. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IPX4 score — splash-proof)

Whereas they are not marketed as sports activities earbuds, the AirPods Professional are excellent true-wireless headphones for working. That is largely resulting from their successful light-weight design and match, improved bass efficiency, efficient noise cancellation and wonderful name high quality. Whereas I can not run with the usual AirPods as a result of they do not match my ears securely, I had no bother working with the AirPods Professional, which have a noise-isolating design with a silicone tip that sits snugly in your ear. That mentioned, I acquired an much more safe match through the use of a pair of Comply foam ear tips ($25).

For runners, it is value noting that there is a transparency mode that permits sound to leak in. You will nonetheless should decrease the quantity of your music to listen to the sound of site visitors noise. These noise-canceling headphones are additionally formally rated sweat-resistant.

David Carnoy/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IPX5 score — can stand up to heavy sprays of water)

Should you just like the model of the Beats Powerbeats Professional (see under) however do not wish to spend $150 or so on them, there are many price range alternate options on the market. I just like the Tranya T40, which usually lists for $50 however is commonly discounted to $40 or much less. They sound fairly good for the cash, match comfortably and securely and have good battery life (as much as 8 hours). I additionally like that they’ve bodily buttons for controlling playback and quantity moderately than contact controls.

Their charging case, which costs by way of USB-C, does not really feel terribly sturdy and is considerably cumbersome, however these are a great worth.   

David Carnoy/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IPX4 score — splash-proof)

The Beats Studio Buds look lots just like the rumored stemless AirPods we have been ready for. Geared towards each iOS and Android customers, they’re lacking just a few key options on the Apple facet of issues (there is no H1 or W1 chip), however they’re small, light-weight buds which can be comfy to put on and provide good sound. Whereas their noise canceling is not nearly as good because the AirPods Professional’s or the step-up Beats Match Professional’s (see above), they do have a transparency mode they usually’re first rate for making calls. 

They match my ears securely (I ran with them with out a downside), however you may get some slippage when you sweat lots. In that case, it might be a good suggestion to put money into some foam ear suggestions, which enhance grip somewhat (I take advantage of them with the AirPods Professional). Read our Beats Studio Buds review.


WaterproofSure (IP55 score — can stand up to sustained sprays of water and is dust-resistant).

AfterShokz modified its identify to Shokz and launched new ninth-generation bone-conduction headphones that supply barely improved bass efficiency in comparison with the corporate’s earlier flagship mannequin, the Aeropex (now known as the Shokz OpenRun). That makes the OpenRun Professional the perfect bone-conduction headphones you may get proper now, though they nonetheless cannot match the sound high quality of conventional headphones.

Bone conduction wi-fi headphones do not go in your ears — they really ship sound to your ear by your cheekbones. The massive advantage of this expertise as a security characteristic for working is that, due to its open design, you’ll be able to hear what is going on on round you — site visitors noise particularly — whereas listening to music or having a cellphone dialog (sure, they carry out effectively for voice calls). Plus, some race coordinators do not permit runners to put on something of their ears, which is the place headphones like this turn out to be useful.

Just like the Aeropex, the OpenRun Professional have a light-weight, wraparound titanium body and are rated for as much as 10 hours of music playback and you may get 1.5 hours of battery life from a 5-minute cost (they’ve a proprietary charging cable as an alternative of USB-C, which is unlucky). I discovered them comfy to put on however it’s possible you’ll often have to regulate them in your head to alleviate potential strain factors. Whereas they do provide a bit fuller sound with extra bass — it is an incremental enchancment, not an enormous leap ahead — like different bone-conduction headphones these are strongest within the midrange the place voices stay in order that they’re excellent for podcasts, discuss radio, newscasts and audiobooks. A tough carrying case is included. 

Notice that Shokz makes different, extra reasonably priced bone-conduction headphones, together with the OpenRun, when you do not wish to drop $180 on its present flagship mannequin.

David Carnoy/CNET

WaterproofSure (IPX4 splash-proof)

I appreciated Shure’s authentic Aonic 215 true-wireless earbuds, however they had been buggy and Shure pulled them off the market. From a design standpoint, this Gen 2 model is actually similar however not all of the efficiency kinks have been smoothed out. 

Weirdly, they’re type of the audiophile equal of the Beats Powerbeats Pro. They’ve a hook that wraps across the prime of your ear they usually stayed in my ears very securely (much more securely than the Powerbeats Professional earbuds). And like that Beats mannequin, they’ve a jumbo charging case. Regardless that it is technically larger than the Powerbeats Professional’s case, it does not really feel larger, maybe as a result of it is barely thinner.

What’s fascinating about them is that the Bluetooth module is removable (they’ve a bodily management button versus contact controls, which I appreciated). As its identify implies, the Aonic 215 True Wi-fi Noise-Isolating Earphones incorporates Shure’s SE215 buds, the $99 entry-level mannequin in its line of earbuds which have removable cables. However the modules, which will be purchased individually for $230, are designed to drive any Shure earbuds which have a removable cable, together with the $1,000 SE846.

Headset efficiency has improved (they’re now not mono however stereo for calls) they usually now have an IPX4 splashproof water-resistance score. They’ve clear, well-balanced sound with properly outlined bass — however they simply haven’t got a ton of bass. I would wish to see them price about $50 much less, however they do make for good sports activities earbuds that you do not have to fret about falling out of your ears.

David Carnoy/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IP55 score — can stand up to heavy sprays of water)

AfterShokz’ new entry-level OpenMove bone-conduction headphone lists for $80, although we have often seen it drop under $70. It replaces the older Titanium mannequin, which continues to be on sale (it additionally prices $80), and options some small design upgrades. I discovered it comfy to put on and whereas it does not sound nice, it sounds comparatively good for a bone-conduction headphone — once more, maintain your sound high quality expectations in examine otherwise you’ll be upset. It is excellent for listening to podcasts, audiobooks and information broadcasts whilst you run. 

This mannequin costs by way of USB-C and features a easy carrying pouch. Battery life is rated at as much as 6 hours.

David Carnoy/CNET

WaterproofSure (IPX4 score — splash-proof).

Take one have a look at the brand new design of the third-gen AirPods ($179), and the very first thing you will in all probability assume is: “These seem like the AirPods Pro with out ear suggestions.” You would not be unsuitable. Whereas they’re extra fraternal than similar twins, the AirPods 3 are formed just like the AirPods Professional, with the identical shorter stems and identical pinch controls as these of the Professional. Except for the design change, which ought to match most ears higher than the AirPods 2nd Era (although not very small ears), the largest change is to the sound high quality. It is a lot improved. Additionally, battery life is healthier, and the AirPods 3 are formally water resistant.

If these suit your ears securely, they make for excellent exercise headphones. Since they’re open buds, they permit some sound to leak in from the skin world, which will be good for security causes. Read our AirPods 3rd Generation review.

David Carnoy/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IPX4 score — splash-proof)

Google’s Pixel Buds A-Collection are type of uncommon, in that they are new however not precisely an improve. They give the impression of being and sound similar to 2020’s Pixel Buds 2, which debuted at $179 however are actually selling for less. Nonetheless, as an alternative of getting new options — like lively noise canceling — they’ve really misplaced just a few. Why? The “A” stands for affordability: They solely price $100. That new cheaper price is the true story right here, making these a bona fide true-wireless worth, significantly for Android customers. And the built-in stabilizer arcs (aka sport fins) assist maintain the buds securely in your ears throughout sporting actions. Read our Pixel Buds A-Series review.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Earfun Air Professional 2 not solely options strong lively noise cancellation however their sound can also be spectacular for his or her comparatively modest worth, with total well-balanced sound, first rate readability and strong bass efficiency. A few of Earfun’s buds have had a bit an excessive amount of treble push — generally known as “presence enhance” — however these largely handle to keep away from that. They do sound higher than the unique Air Professional.

The earbuds have some additional options, like an ear-detection sensor (your music pauses if you take the buds out of your ears) and a case that has USB-C and wi-fi charging, that you do not usually discover at this worth. Geared up with Bluetooth 5.2, they’re splash-proof with an IPX5 score and provide as much as seven hours of battery life on a single cost at reasonable quantity ranges, although you will in all probability get nearer to 6 hours with noise canceling on.

There’s additionally a transparency mode that lets ambient sound in. It really sounds fairly pure and is nearer than I believed it might to the AirPods Professional’s wonderful transparency mode. Alas, there is no companion app that lets you tweak the sound or improve the firmware.

Earfun talks up the Air Professional 2’s voice calling capabilities — the buds have three microphones in every earbud — and I believed name efficiency was good however these did not scale back background noise as a lot the brand new Soundpeats T3, that are additionally good for the cash ($40). Nonetheless, whereas the Soundpeats T3 are higher for calls, the Earfun Air Professional 2’s noise-canceling and transparency modes are superior and the Soundpeats haven’t got the ear-detection sensor. Lively noise cancellation is the secret with these earbuds. Additionally, the Earfun Air Professional 2 buds sound higher, with richer, extra dynamic sound.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IPX7 score — totally waterproof and sweat-proof)

Whereas the newer Vista 2 earbuds had been launched with added options, together with noise canceling and a transparency mode, the unique Jaybird Vista ‘buds stay on sale and are sometimes discounted from their new checklist worth of $150 (search for the worth to dip to $99). They’re nonetheless a great set of true-wireless sports activities earbuds that lock in your ears and are totally waterproof.

Read our Jaybird Vista review.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IPX4 score — splash-proof)

Sure, the Beats Powerbeats Professional’s jumbo charging case is a notable disadvantage. However the mixture of incorporating all of the options that make Apple’s AirPods nice whereas delivering richer sound high quality and higher battery life in a wi-fi workout-earbuds design that will not fall out of your ear (critically, ear hooks for the win!) finally is a successful proposition for earbuds for working. Simply be sure you purchase these working earbuds someplace that has a great return coverage in case you are within the small minority that has ears that are not fairly a match for the buds. Notice that these earbuds are regularly decreased from $250 to $170 (and generally much less for sure colours) — do not pay greater than that when you’re shopping for them.

Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro review.


David Carnoy/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IPX5 score — can stand up to heavy sprays of water)

I used to be a fan of Earfun’s earlier Free Professional earbuds, which provide good sound for round $50 and have little sport fins that assist maintain them in your ears securely. Now Earfun has launched the Earfun Professional 2 buds with aluminum alloy caps, improved noise canceling and a few additional microphones that assist enhance voice-calling efficiency.

The Free Professional 2 ship good sound for his or her modest worth, with first rate readability and deep however well-defined bass. They produce comparatively huge, open sound. They do not have such additional options as an ear-detection sensor so your music mechanically pauses if you take one or each buds out of your ears or an app that lets you replace their firmware. However they’re light-weight, ought to match most ears effectively and have first rate noise canceling together with a transparency mode (it is not so good as the AirPods Professional’s transparency mode, which is tough to beat).

I discovered the voice-calling efficiency good however not nice. They did a suitable job lowering background noise and choosing up my voice in noisy environments however they are not essentially top-notch on this division. Battery life is rated at as much as 6 hours, they’re IPX5 splash-proof, and their elongated case (it costs wirelessly) is compact and light-weight. It is higher designed than the Free Professional’s case. 

They’re at present priced at $80 on Amazon, however you’ll be able to shave that down by $20 if you activate the moment coupon.

Waterproof: Sure (IPX2 score — sweat-resistant and protects in opposition to gentle splashes)

Like the usual AirPods, the bean-shaped Samsung Galaxy Buds Stay have an open design — you do not jam an ear tip into your ear. These wi-fi buds are discreet and mainly sit flush along with your ear, which reduces wind noise whereas biking. I commonly use them for working and biking, they usually’re nice for sporting actions in the event that they suit your ears effectively, however one warning: Some individuals will not get a safe match, so purchase them from a retailer that has a great return coverage.

They ship good sound and work effectively as a headset for making calls, with good background noise discount so callers can hear you clearly even if you’re in noisier environments. Whereas they characteristic lively noise canceling, it is gentle in contrast with the noise canceling in earbuds which have a noise-isolating design. In different phrases, purchase them for his or her design and sound, not their noise-canceling options.

Read our Galaxy Buds Live review.



Waterproof: Sure (IPX4 score — splash-proof)

The Bose Frames are a kind of merchandise you must attempt to totally respect — or dismiss. The idea is you are getting a good pair of sun shades with a pair of headphones that do not really go in your ears. Somewhat, built-in micro audio system in every arm direct a beam of sound to your ears. That design may very well be interesting to individuals who don’t love having headphones in or on their ears and it gives a level of security for runners and bikers who need their ears open to the world.

Bose has up to date its line of audio sun shades with three new fashions, together with the Tempo sports activities mannequin, which gives higher sound and battery life than the extra traditional-looking Tenor and Soprano. The Tempo has higher specs throughout, with USB-C charging and bigger 22mm drivers. It delivers as much as 8 hours of battery life.

Their sound is unquestionably improved from the unique Frames. Bose says the Tempo sun shades play “deeper and louder — loud sufficient for biking at 25 mph — whereas [you’re] nonetheless capable of hear site visitors and your coaching companions.” They’re sweat-, weather-, scratch- and shatter-resistant, based on Bose and match below most protecting helmets. (I had no downside utilizing them with a few bike helmets.) Additionally they work rather well for making calls, due to a brand new dual-microphone system. Elective lenses can be found for $39 and you’ll order prescription lenses by Lensabl.

Read our Bose Frames review.


David Carnoy/CNET

WaterproofSure (IP5X5 splash-proof)

The usual Grasp & Dynamic MW08 are on our best sounding true-wireless earbuds and best wireless earbuds lists. That mannequin prices $300. This $350 MW08 Sport model sounds basically the identical and appears very related however the exterior of the MW08 Sport buds are manufactured from shatter-resistant sapphire glass (the MW08 makes use of ceramic). The case can also be manufactured from Kevlar fiber, making it sturdy and light-weight (the usual MW08’s is noticeably heavier). Lastly, along with the 5 sizes of silicone suggestions that include the MW08, the Sport has two sizes of reminiscence foam earphones that add some extra grip and assist maintain the buds in your ears (you do have to get a good seal or sound high quality will endure).

They’ve lively noise canceling (it is good), a transparency mode so you’ll be able to hear the skin world and a complete of 6 microphones for noise canceling and voice calling. They’re costly however they do sound wonderful. The MW08 Sport can be found in 4 colour choices. The case gives wi-fi charging and can also be splash-proof, with an IPX4 score. 

David Carnoy/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IPX4 score — splash-proof) 

So far as headphones go, Bose’s Sport Open Earbuds are fairly funky. To not be confused with the corporate’s extra conventional in-ear Sport Earbuds (talked about earlier on this roundup) and QuietComfort Earbuds, they characteristic an open design with out a tip, which means the earpiece sits on prime of your ear and does not penetrate your ear canal. 

Geared towards runners and bikers who need their ears open to the world for security causes — or to individuals who do not wish to have any kind of bud of their ears — they sound surprisingly good. I ended up liking them, however their design is not for everyone, and the way comfy you discover them will decide how a lot you want them.

Read our Bose Sport Open Earbuds review.


Sarah Tew/CNET

WaterproofSure (IPX5 score — can stand up to heavy sprays of water)

Some individuals, significantly weightlifters, wish to work out sporting full-size headphones, and the BackBeat Match 6100 over-the-ear wi-fi headphones are a strong selection for each the gymnasium and on a regular basis use. The adjustable sport-fit headband has an IPX5-rated water resistant and sweat-proof design, 40mm angled drivers and noise-isolating ear cups with an Consciousness mode. Battery life is rated at 24 hours. They sound fairly good and actually keep in your head securely; you’ll be able to regulate the stress within the headband, which is revolutionary and excellent for train headphones.

Alas, Plantronics has discontinued all its BackBeat headphones, however the excellent news is you may get them at a reduction as they’re being phased out.

They checklist for $180, however Amazon at present has them for as little as $60 in sure colours. They’re out there in black, camo and grey.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Waterproof: Sure (IPX4 score — splash-proof)

Corporations like Below Armour (with the assistance of JBL) have launched sporty on-ear models designed for individuals who need that kind of secure-fit exercise headphone that covers their ears. I personally favor the over-ear Plantronics BackBeat Match 6100 and this Adidas RPT-01 mannequin, which I feel seems and suits higher than the Below Armour headphones. 

I discovered them comfy for on-ear headphones, which have a tendency to not be as comfy as over-ear headphones, however these with bigger heads might really feel they clamp down somewhat too snugly on each your head and your ears. This set of headphones is sweat-resistant with an IPX4 certification. Additionally, the ear cushions and interior headband are detachable and washable (there are instructions for the way to do that, however Adidas ought to do a how-to video). So far as I am involved, in relation to train headphones, the extra methods to fight sweat smells, the higher.

These had been designed by the identical Swedish firm that makes Urbanears headphones, they usually sound fairly first rate, with well-balanced sound that does not push the bass an excessive amount of. Though the UA headphones price the identical or extra, they’re costly at $170. Nonetheless, they have been on sale for as little as $100, so search for them at a reduction.

Additional studying for earbud and headphone fanatics

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