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Need to upgrade your running headphones? These 7 pairs are the best

Ready to jam? The best running headphones resist sweat, dust, and tough weather conditions and provide great audio, too. See our top picks now.

Published Jul 25, 2023
6 min. reading time
three of the best headphones for running including beats by Dr. Dre, Jabra, Sony

Whether you’re a new jogger or a seasoned ultramarathoner, getting the right running headphones can make or break your workout. During a workout, nobody wants to run out of battery, fiddle with sweaty earbuds or worry about rain destroying their pricey headphones.

The very best running headphones resist sweat, works well in all temperatures and weather conditions and offer great battery life. And with the right pair of headphones, it’s also easy to skip songs, answer calls and control sound levels mid-run. 

What’s the best pick for you? Check out our list below and find the best running headphones that’ll provide great performance during your next training session.

Read more: See our editor's picks of the best men's deodorants

See the best running headphones here

Jabra Elite 7 wireless noise cancelling headphones in black
Our top pick overall
Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless Noise Canceling In-Ear Headphones
$174.99 at Best Buy
Sony LinkBuds True Wireless Open-Ear Earbuds in dark gray
Best for jogging
Sony LinkBuds True Wireless Open-Ear Earbuds
$179.99 at Best Buy
Beats by Dr. Dre Wireless Earbuds in black
Best option from Beats by Dr. Dre
Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earbuds
$199.99 at Best Buy
Sony Float Run Open-Ear Wireless Headphones in black and white
Best running headset
Sony Float Run Open-Ear Wireless Headphones
$99.99 at Sony

Our top pick overall

Pros & Cons
  • Sweat-resistant

  • Noise cancellation

  • Long battery life

  • No volume controls on the headphones

  • Requires you to download the Jabra app for some features

Our top pick for the best running headphones is this set from Jabra. They feature a truly wireless earbud design and have a battery life of up to 8 hours. The included charging case allows you to boost this to 30 hours with a quick recharge. They’re small and comfortable, and come with multiple tips for a perfect fit that won’t wiggle loose while you run.

The audio quality is amazing, powered by 6mm drivers. Active Noise Cancellation and HearThrough technology allow you to choose your level of noise cancellation depending on the environment. Plus, its IP57 rating means that these earbuds can handle plenty of sweat, as well as the occasional downpour.

Pros & Cons
  • Waterproof

  • Secure during runs

  • Open design keeps you aware of the environment

  • Sounds lacks bass

  • Battery life is fairly limited

If you often jog in crowded environments, the LinkBuds from Sony may be right for you. They use a unique open-ear design that nestles comfortably into your ear. 

This allows audio playback without blocking out environmental sounds so you can always be aware of your surroundings. It takes some practice to get these earbuds nestled in your ear properly though, but they feel great once they’re in place.

These earbuds are also waterproof, so sweat and rain are no biggie. While the battery life is a bit behind the competition, the included charging case makes it easy to top up your battery on the go.

Best option from Beats by Dr. Dre

Pros & Cons
  • Great integrated playback controls

  • Highly secure fit

  • Solid sound production

  • Not very durable

Beats by Dre is well-known for its prominent headphones like Beats Solo but if you’re looking for one to run with, this Powerbeats Pro is definitely your best option. The Powerbeats Pro are truly wireless, and have rubber ear hooks that help them stay securely in place. Battery life clocks in at nine hours, which is longer than lots of competitors.

With volume and track controls on each earbud, you can easily adjust the volume, skip tracks and pause or play your music. Setup is a total breeze, especially for Mac and iPhone users. Its IPX4 waterproofing means that they aren’t ideal for total downpours, but sweat and rain won’t be an issue.

Best running headset

Sony Float Run Open-Ear Wireless Headphones in black and white
Photo: Sony

Sony Float Run Open-Ear Wireless Headphones

You save $30.00 (23.08%)
Pros & Cons
  • Unique, open-ear design

  • Up to 10 hours battery life

  • Solid sound quality

  • Audio can get drowned out in loud environments

  • Can be uncomfortable with glasses/sunglasses

In our opinion, the best headset for running is this product from Sony. This unique design uses a flexible neckband that supports two headphones that rest just outside of your ears. If you don’t like the feeling of earbuds being stuck inside your ears, these are a viable alternative.

With 16mm drivers, the music quality is good, and the open design means you can stay aware of your environment, which is great when running in secluded park or on trails. Plus, the IPX4 rating protects against splashes and sweat. The large battery offers up to 10 hours of playtime means this running headset can go the distance on the longest runs.

Top wireless pair for running

Pros & Cons
  • Sleek design with multiple colors available

  • Great sound reproduction for the price point

  • Fits perfectly into most ears with swappable tips

  • Sound quality is affected when wet

  • Susceptible to occasional Bluetooth syncing issues

If you just want a simple pair of wireless earbuds for running and for everyday use, The Everyday Earbuds from Raycon are a good option. They feature a compact and lightweight design, and swappable eartips mean you can get the perfect fit. The integrated Awareness mode lets you hear your surroundings at the touch when needed, too.

Its high-fidelity audio means that you can turn up the tunes and start cranking out the miles on your run. Battery life clocks in at 8 hours, with the included charger boasting up to 24 hours of additional juice. The Everyday Earbuds are also IPX6 rated, which means that sweat is no problem and they can even hold up in driving rain.

Best Bluetooth running headphones

 JBL Endurance Race TWS in black
Photo: JBL

JBL Endurance Race TWS

You save $20 (25.02%)
Pros & Cons
  • Reasonable price point

  • Dust and water protection

  • Smart design stays put in all conditions

  • No active noise cancellation feature

  • Lacks integrated playback controls

If you ask us, these are the best headphones for runners on a budget. These wireless earbuds from JBL pack tons of features that are often found in much pricier models. 

This includes audio passthrough with their Ambient Aware and TalkThru features, IP67 dust and water protection and 10 hours of battery life. Plus, the 6mm dynamic driver delivers great sound and crunchy bass. 

These earbuds are also lightweight, and the integrated rubber loops provide another point of support to keep them in place even on the toughest runs and workouts. Pretty much the only feature it’s missing is noise cancellation, but that’s not really a priority for most runners.

Best over-ear option

Pros & Cons
  • Up to 80 hours battery life with unique solar charging feature

  • Splashproof and sweatproof

  • Easy to wipe down and clean after workouts

  • Tight fit keeps them in place, but can be uncomfortable for some

  • No noise cancellation feature

For most runners, in-ear earphones are the best earphones to run with. But if you hate wearing earbuds or just would prefer an over-ear model for your runs, these headphones from Adidas are a good alternative. They’re lightweight, comfortable and have removable ear cups that are easy to clean after your run or workout. An IPX4 rating means they’re splashproof and sweatproof, so they can hold up to rigorous physical activity.

This pair of over-ear headphones also packs a big battery that provides up to 80 hours of playback time. It also integrates a “Powerfoyle” band into the design, which charges the headset using solar energy. Basically, you’ll never have to worry about running without your favorite tunes again.

Need help picking the right running headphones? Here’s what to consider

When choosing the best headphones to run with, there are lots of things to consider. Here’s a quick run-down of what you may want to keep in mind while choosing the best running headphones for your unique needs.

In-ear (earbuds) vs. over-the-ear headphones

In our opinion, in-ear headphones are better for most runners. Over-ear headphones offer better sound quality, but they’re really bulky, can cause your ears to sweat more and are hard to clean. 

They also interfere more with accessories like hats and sunglasses, which are usually a must-have on longer runs. Still, if you don’t like the feeling of earbuds in your ears, over-ear headphones are definitely a viable option.

Water and dust resistance

Most of the best running headphones are both sweat and dust-resistant so you’ll want to invest in headphones that are at least IPX4 water-resistant. This means that they can fully resist sweat, as well as splashes of water from any direction.

Ear retention

Running is sweaty work! That’s why the best running headphones and earbuds don’t just sit inside your ear. They usually also feature some other kind of ear retention system, like hooks that loop around your ears. If you sweat a lot, you’ll definitely want to choose earbuds that include some type of sport-focused ear retention design.

Wired vs. wireless

Wired headphones are not very convenient for runners. The wires are hard to manage, bounce everywhere when you run and are just downright annoying. Lots of phones no longer have 3.5mm jacks, either, so wired Bluetooth headphones are usually going to be a better choice for most runners.

Environmental awareness

Noise-canceling headphones may be great if you only run in secluded areas without much traffic. However, since they block out so much noise, they can make you less aware of your environment, which can sometimes lead to dangerous situations. If you run on busy streets or trails, you may want to invest in a pair of headphones that allow for more environmental awareness.

Some running earbuds may have “pass-through” software features that let outside audio in by using the microphone to pick up environmental sounds. Bone conduction headphones are also an option, since they send sound through your cheekbones and leave your ears open.

Which running headphones get our vote?

On this list, we’ve put together the best runner headphones for fitness enthusiasts of all types, and all of our picks are solid options. But if we had to narrow it down, we’d choose the following products as the best running earbuds in 2023.

  • Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless Noise Canceling In-Ear Headphones: These running earbuds from Jabra boast incredible sound quality, an 8-hour battery life and an IP57 rating, which means they’re water-resistant and dustproof. Quad mics also mean you’ll get amazing voice quality on phone calls.

  • JBL Endurance Race TWS: These earbuds from JBL are also a great pick. Despite being budget-priced, they have tons of great features for runners. These include IP67 waterproofing and dustproofing, the Ambient Aware feature to keep you aware of your surroundings and great sound quality, to name just a few.

Prices updated on 07/25/2023. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

Written by
Eric Liston

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Eric Liston is a freelance writer focusing on consumer product reviews, digital technology — and helping readers find the right items at the right price. When he’s not writing, you’ll find him gaming, cooking or disc golfing.

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