In the modern era, because of the constant technology developments, our society has become used to certain commodities i.e the headphones. The most noticeable one is the freedom to carry our own music choice and music instruments wherever we want and listen to it whenever we want. Yet athletes have spent years without this benefit. Running Headphones and sports just don’t mix, the cables get in the way, the earbuds fall off, the headband moves, or irritates the ear, and simply put, they are not sturdy enough for the job.
Thanks to the continuous evolution of technology now athletes can choose from a wide variety of Bluetooth headphones, some even designed specifically to meet their needs. When the time to buy comes, though, there are several things to take into account: Can you move freely while wearing them? Are they comfortable when it comes to long periods of time? Can they withstand sweat and dirt? Are they stable? And most importantly, do they have good sound quality?
List of Best Running Headphones in 2018:
The Monster iSport Freedom are a great combination of everything you’d expect from high-end sports headphones. This headphone offer 20 hours of playtime per charge, they are water-proof and their design is light, flexible and sturdy. They will not satisfy a demanding audiophile, but still, they have good, balanced and clear sound quality, and support aptX and ACC. If you’re looking for the best of the best, get them. The drawback is that all those pros come at a cost. The price of around $100 is pretty steep, but no headphones in category come close to their performance in real life.
The headband is tight enough to keep the headphones on in all situations. You can run, lift the weight, or do an impossible yoga position without worries, these headphones will stay on.
Yes, the rubber ear pads offer a good tight fit, but they are also comfortable. The soft cushions help fight discomfort, but just like with all on-ear headphones, after a few hours you’re bound to feel some irritation.
Monster iSport Freedom are made out of flexible, rubbery plastics. If they fall on the floor or you drop them in a puddle, they are probably going to survive without issues. Also, they are sweat and waterproof; in fact, you can wash them under water when they get dirty.
The controls are positioned on the side of an ear cup, like with most Bluetooth headphones. They are big enough to control even if you have big fingers. Making calls is easy and most people won’t know you’re using headphones to talk to them.
It uses a standard Bluetooth connection that works without disconnections up to the range of 30ft. You can connect them to any Bluetooth device and connecting is as easy as pressing a button.
They don’t disappoint in their sound, either. It’s not on par with other audiophile headphones in the same price range, but it’s good compared to the sound of other headphones for exercise. It has the right balance of highs, mids, and bass.
Usually, noise isolation isn’t so good with on-ear headphones, but these Monster headphones do a surprisingly good job. There’s almost no sound leakage but at the same time, they let in some ambient noise. This allows for some situational awareness and makes them great for the gym or outside running.
For the best of the best you can get from Bluetooth on-ear sports headphones, get Monster iSport Freedom and you can stop searching for running headphones for at least a few years.
2: 66 Audio BTS+:
The 66 Audio BTS+ Headphones are very popular Bluetooth on-ear headphones that many uses for sports as well. Their price on stores they are a good example of value for money when compared to other Bluetooth headphones. However, they are not designed for sports per se, but because of their stable design and good durability, they’re more than suitable for running or working out. The sound quality is not the best out there but it’s still pretty good and they support aptX. What makes these headphones really impressive is their super long battery life. On one charge you will get up to 25 hours of playtime, which is far more than any of the premium earbuds can offer.
66 Audio BTS+ Headphones are worn behind the neck and made stable by ear hooks which are a part of the design. Because they’re so light they don’t bounce or demand to readjust all the time, unless you do fast acrobatics or move too much.
As said earlier, they don’t weigh much and because of that you barely feel them on your head. They do get a bit uncomfortable after a few hours due to the design.
66 Audio BTS+ are made out of sturdy plastics. They aren’t water or sweat-proof but don’t seem to get damaged by sweat quickly.
On the right ear-cup there are nice, big buttons with which you control the music and calls. You can change songs, volume or take calls when connected to your phone. Controls are very easy to get used to and work well. Also, the sound quality of calls is good, as it uses noise cancelling technology (CVC), and most people won’t know you’re talking with a headset.
The 66 Audio BTS+ sports Headphones are compatible with all Bluetooth devices and keep the connection up to a standard of 30ft without any walls blocking the signal.
The sound is actually pretty good. It can’t really compare to high-end audiophile headphones, but you’re getting better sound than with most Bluetooth sports headphones. The highs, mids and lows are balanced and no range overpowers others. With these headphones, you can enjoy your music in clarity and detail or listen to your audio books. The on-ear design isn’t very good at noise isolation, though, so these headphones leak sound in and out, but this allows for better environment awareness.
If you’re looking for Bluetooth on-ear headphones for running, 66 Audio BTS+ offer everything a runner needs for an affordable price, which makes them a popular choice by many.
3: Motorola S305: Best Budget Over-Ear Headphones for Running
Motorola S305 headphones are the budget version of Bluetooth on-ear headphones for running. If you’re short on cash and want a cheap solution these headphones are for you. It should be noted that these aren’t sports headphones, they are a regular Bluetooth headset intended for music and making calls. They are not the most comfortable but you can easily wear them for hours without discomfort.
The sound quality and the battery, which lasts 6.5 hours per charge, is better than what you’d expect from such tiny, low-budget Bluetooth headphones. Still, you get what you pay for, they say, and this shows in durability; they won’t be able to endure a lot of physical abuse. Compared to other Bluetooth headphones on this list these don’t sound so good, but for $20 you’ll be surprised how good they actually are.
Motorola S305 have a headband design that uses ear hooks and is pretty stable. For running they fare well, but if you intend to use them for working out and possibly moving your head in a fast manner, these will probably move or even fall off.
The headphones are comfortable to wear, they might not be the best headphones ever made, but because of their lightweight design you barely feel them on.
Build quality isn’t the best, but this isn’t surprising as Motorola S305 only cost about $20. They don’t have sweat protection so don’t expect the headphones to survive for long if you sweat a lot or use them in rain.
The controls and microphone work well and the call quality is high enough to converse in a normal fashion. The buttons are easy to remember and soon you’ll know exactly what to press to change the songs or volume.
Motorola S305 use standard Bluetooth technology so you can expect up to 30ft of wireless connectivity.
It has a rather balanced sound, though the bass is more prominent than other ranges. It’s not enough to make a bass head happy, however. While the sound isn’t anything special, it’s good enough for running. The on-ear design doesn’t offer very good noise isolation, so generally, you’ll hear other people around you and they will hear your music. This is good for running outside, but a bit annoying if you run in a gym with others around.
In any case, if you’re looking for the cheapest running headphones with Bluetooth, get Motorola S305 and enjoy some tunes on the go.
Best On-Ear Headphones for Running (Without Bluetooth)
Philips ActionFit SHQ5200 headphones look very cheap and nobody will guess they cost as much as they do, which is a setback when compared to running earbuds. Still, they are one of the rare sports on-ear headphones that do a good job at it. They have a silicone band to help and in general, they stay on well enough to exercise with them and adjust them only occasionally. The ear pads are washable and the headphones are sweat and rain-proof. They might not inspire confidence, but all in all, these are well designed for sports. These are for those of you who don’t like earbuds or can’t seem to keep them in during your runs.
The headband of Philips ActionFit SHQ5200 has an additional silicone band that makes them fare pretty well in this area. The headphones will stay on for most people unless you have a really small head.
The headphones are light to the point you’ll forget you’re wearing them, but just like all on-ear models, they’ll start to hurt after a few hours. The fabric of the on-ear pads is soft and comfortable and you can take them off and wash them if they get soaked in sweat.
The plastic isn’t top quality and the headband makes cracking noises, but they seem to do pretty well in real life. You can use them outside the gym with ease as they are sweat-proof and rain-proof. Also, the cables are reinforced with Kevlar, which combined with their light weight makes them resistant to impact.
They have no in-line controls or any microphone for making calls. They are the standard, headphones with a plug-in at the end. The cables aren’t detachable, so you can’t combine it with an in-line mic cable, but you do get an extension.
The sound is pretty good. It has nice a strong bass to give you the right rhythm while other ranges aren’t too overpowered. Also, microphonics aren’t an issue. You can easily wear these anyway you want without getting the annoying “cable noise”. Of course, the sound can’t compare to high-end over-ear headphones. In fact, noise isolation is non-existent. These headphones leak a lot of sounds and let in all the surrounding noise as well. This is good when you want to have good environment awareness, but pretty bad if you use them in gyms.
All in all, if you’re looking for good running on-ear headphones Philips ActionFit SHQ5200 are a great choice.
2: Koss Sportapro: Stylish Headphones for Running:
Koss SportaPro Headphone is the best choice if you’re looking for sports on-ear headphones on a budget and don’t mind the design or the cheap build. They have great sound quality, are pretty stable, and are truly comfortable due to their ultra-light design, making them perfect for all types of activity, especially running. They are not the most durable, but then again, when they break, you can simply buy new ones for less than $20. In fact, with such a low price, durability stops being an issue. And if the price is still too much for you, you can check Koss KSC75 which are a similar design, but even cheaper.
Because of their light weight, you will barely feel them and they won’t move on your head even during fast running. Keeping them on is very easy because they have an adjustable flexible headband, so these are suitable for working out in the gym or doing yoga.
Koss SportaPro is very comfortable headphones. The on-ear pads are soft and make sure your ears don’t come in contact with drivers. Plus, you can wear them behind the neck if you find that more comfortable.
The plastics are pretty cheap and don’t offer the best durability. This is probably the only disadvantage of Koss SportaPro. They have no sweat protection like other sports headphones but can still survive some sweat, just don’t drench them in water.
They don’t have any controls, just the regular cable with a plug at the end. Koss made a special version of these headphones with the mute button, but they are very hard to get nowadays and probably cost a lot more.
Sound quality is what makes these a great choice for sports. The highs and mids are clear and detailed, and the bass is strong, but controlled and punchy, which makes for an amazing sound that is perfect for sports. Also, the cables aren’t making any noises or distorting the sound when touching the clothes.
However, they have almost no noise-isolation and if you turn up the volume you leak quite a lot of sound. At the same time, this helps with environment awareness in case you run in urban areas where you have to watch out for the cars and pedestrians.
Overall, if you don’t mind the retro look, Koss SportaPro have stable and comfortable fit with amazing sound that will make you enjoy every ran mile.
All in all, there is a wide variety of best running headphones to consider, each with drawbacks. Not one headphone is absolutely flawless. Mainly because our scientists and engineers are always learning and discovering new ways to put their knowledge to use. But no matter how much we have advanced, the matter of combining technology, which is delicate in and of itself, with harsh conditions, sweat, rain, dust, humidity, and a high probability of falling is still in its first stages. If none of the running headphones meets your expectations, don’t be too disappointed. Just have patience, compromise for now, and keep in mind that our society is constantly growing and evolving and that new things are being created and invented every day.