While having perfect earbuds for working out and exercise are a real problem as the cheap ones may fall off your ear if you move around too much. However, the new models of high quality wired and wireless on-ear earbuds for gym and exercise have solved this problem. There are earbuds made specifically for sports and gym that are more stable and designed to stay on even if you’re doing a handstand in your yoga exercise class. The problem is, how to know which the best are for you? Which will stay on no matter what? Which are the best earbuds for workout? And, most important, which fitness earbud has the best sound quality?
Here is a review of the best workout earbuds analyzed by their stability, comfort, Bluetooth and battery life (when pertinent), controls, and sound quality.
List of Earbuds for Workout and Exercise:
|Earbud Name||Wireless||Our Rating||Check Price|
The Best Choice
|Yes||Outstanding for Gym|
|Bose SoundSport||No||Best Quality|
|Bose SoundSport Wireless||Yes||Excellent Design & Fit|
|Jaybird X3||Yes||Powerful and Sweat proof|
|Matone Qy8||Yes||Most Affordable|
|MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6||No||Perfect for Long-Use|
|Mpow Wolverine||Yes||Best Fit|
|Plantronics BackBeat Fit||Yes||Professionals' Choice|
|Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas||No||Best for Sports|
|Shure SE215||No||Music and Gym|
1: Beats Powerbeats 3 Wireless:
Beats’ Powerbeats 3 might be pricey but you’ll get premium earbuds for gym. The ear hooks make them best for sports and very comfortable. If the ear tips start to bother and none of the other sizes they come with fit you, you can just replace them. You can buy some Comply ones that tend to fit better, whichever you want. They are wireless and you can listen to music continuously for 12 hours, but if you just use them to work out you can easily avoid charging them for a few weeks. Finding the power-on button might be a problem because it’s on the earbud instead of being the same button to play/pause songs. After you work it out this stops being an issue, though. A more serious drawback is that their in-line controls can be intermittent or even stop working due to moisture.
These have an ear hook design that keeps them in place even if you get sweaty or move around. Plus, they have four ear tip sizes to choose from and make the fit more stable.
These are so light that initially they’ll be pretty comfortable. However, the ear tips can get uncomfortable after a while. This really isn’t a problem as you can buy Comply ear tips or wear them with any other that fits you better.
The build quality is pretty decent: both the cable and ear hooks are made of good materials. The in-line controls are their weak point as the seal isn’t that great and let’s in moisture. Their range is pretty good and connecting them is easy, even more for Apple devices since they’re part of the same ecosystem. Also the built-in microphone does its job and has decent quality.
At 12 hours of playtime it has one of the longest battery lives for wireless earbuds. Plus they charge fairly quickly, after they die you’ll get 1 hour of usage if you charge them for 5 minutes. The remote has the normal three buttons plus a separate power-on button on top of the ear bud, which can be confusing at first. As said before, the housing doesn’t resist sweat very well and they’ll start working intermittently.
They have the classic bass sound signature that’s so common with Beats, yet the highs and mids are balanced and clearly present, not overshadowed. Plus these won’t distort your music if you turn up the volume. See Powerbeats 3 Wireless Review
2: Bose SoundSport In-Ear:
While the price might be a little high for some, you should keep in mind that Bose’s SoundSport in-ear earbuds are one of the best fitness earbuds on the market. They have a slightly different design that along with their lightweight structure makes them extremely comfortable to wear. With these you definitely won’t feel like the ear tips are abusing your ears.
They’re sweat-proof, but in general the build-quality is not the best. If you carry them in their protective case and take mild care of them they’ll live a while. Plus, you’ll get Bose’s above average sound quality, with a strong bass that’s sure to give power to your songs. They’re not for audiophiles, but you get plenty of things to make up for that.
These have the newer wing design instead of ear hooks and are a little different from in-ear headphones. They don’t go that deep into your ear but still use ear tips that help keep them in place even while doing fast, sweat exercise.
Because of the above-mentioned design and their lightness these headphones are super comfortable. You can wear these for long periods of time and even go to sleep with them, no worries.
The build is made of good plastics, but sadly not top-notch. They’re sweat and moisture resistant which helps matters but the cables are rather thin. Still, with a little love these should last you a long time.
You can get them without controls or for a little more money, a model that has a remote and a pretty decent microphone. You’ll need to be careful as there are different in-line-controls models for apple and android devices.
Bose is known for their sound quality and its present in the SoundSport. They’re midway between basshead and audiophile headphones. The bass isn’t that boosted, and the mids and highs are still present are not overpowered. It’s the typical Bose sound signature, which might not be the balanced audiophile sound but it’s still better than the average earbuds.
They’re the perfect earphones for the average user that’s looking for a bass punchy enough to make music fun to listen to and to mark the beat while they work out. The only drawback is that the noise isolation isn’t very good, but this makes them perfect to use while you exercise outside the gym. Click Here for Detailed Review of Bose SoundSport.
3: Bose SoundSport Wireless:
This is the Best Earbud for Exercise With Great Design and Quality. The Bose SoundSport Wireless earbud is very similar to their wired brethren analyzed before. They have the same slightly different design that make them super comfy to wear and stable enough for any sports activity, but that doesn’t isolate noise well. The sound signature is also classical Bose, with a slightly emphasized bass that won’t be enough for bassheads to be happy, but that will be a bother for audiophiles.
The cables are thicker and hence they’re a little more durable, but still for the price they could be better. The biggest difference here is the Bluetooth, but it’s also a drawback as it makes them considerably more expensive but the battery only lasts around 6 hours depending on the volume you play your music at. Still they are one of the best choices to consider when looking for sports earbuds.
The fit is stable and very similar to the wired model, with the ear wing design and the earbuds that don’t go that deep into your ear. The biggest difference is the casing that contains the battery, which is pretty big and can be a problem for some users.
Since the ear tips don’t go too far into your ear canal and they’re very light, you will be able to wear these for hours. Plus, you have three ear tips to choose from.
Since they’re plastic durability is pretty good, but not tank-like. They are protected against moisture and the cables are thick and flexible, extending their lifespan. Just don’t abuse them too much and carry them in their zipper case, this should keep them in good shape for a while.
The range is about standard and the connection is pretty stable and compatible with any device that has Bluetooth. The battery life is around 6 hours, which is a little less than other headphones on this list, but still good enough for working out. Again the power button is separate from the in-line controls and placed in the earbud. Other than that they have the standard three buttons to control everything else.
In general, if you like balanced sound signatures these are not for you. All Bose models lean towards the bass, but the mids and highs are still clear and present enough. These will still make music fun and dynamic enough for you to get that last bit of energy for your last rep. Click Here for Detailed Review of Bose Soundsport Wireless Earbuds
4: Jaybird X3:
Jaybird’s X3 Sports earbuds are the best wireless earbuds for heavy workout and exercise. These have ear fins and Comply ear tips that come in different sizes to offer the ultimate stable fit. They’ll stay on, no matter what you do. While early releases had durability issues, they seem to have been fixed, so on top of having a very good protection against rain the plastics are very sturdy. The biggest drawback could be the proprietary clip needed to charge them. Just don’t lose it and this won’t be an issue. Also a possible drawback is their price, however you get a lot of nice features, accessories, and technology for a little more than $100.
These are slightly different with ear fins instead of hooks or wings that make them pretty stable. Plus they come with multiple ear tips and ear fins so you can find the one that best suits you.
They are smaller and lighter than the normal earbud, in fact, they fit under a helmet without problems. They can be worn with or without the ear fins, and with the cable under or over the ear, however you prefer it.
They have a nano coating and are pretty compact, which make them resistant to water and sweat. The problem is that the ear tips could unglued or break with the early release version. These issues seem to have been solved with later releases, though.
They support the latest 4.1 Bluetooth version and the range is above the standard 33 feet.
They have an 8-hour battery life, which is pretty standard among Bluetooth headphones, but it’s not charged directly through a Micro-USB port. Instead it’s charged through a proprietary adapter, which connects with the charger and then connects with the remote. If you lose this clip, you’ll have to buy an accessory pack to get a new one.
They have the normal three-button-remote to control everything (no separate power on button this time). Plus, voice prompts will tell you how much battery you have left when the headphones are on.
The immersive sound signature is one of the best features of these headphones. The bass is powerful and punchy, but the mids and highs match it without being unbearable. You can also use the app MySound to refine the sound and save profiles. While there’s no noise cancelling tech, the Comply tips isolate music pretty well. Read Detailed Review of Jaybird X3
5: Matone Qy8:
If you’re looking for something that’s pretty good and pretty affordable earbuds Matone Qy8 earbuds are the way to go. For a little more than $20 you’ll get plenty of nice features, among which is that they’re wireless. They’re pretty light and comfortable because of a plastic build but they aren’t very durable. Once you put them on, they won’t cause much trouble or interfere with your workout.
If you are having problems with comfort or stability, then you might want to try on the different ear tips and ear wings that come with them and see which fit you better. Also they have pretty good battery life at 7 hours. Of course, they don’t come close to the high-end models, but they’re still pretty good workout earbuds for a budget model.
With these the fit is a matter of customization as you have various sizes of ear tips and ear wings. And if the earbuds still fall of, you can just buy some that do fit and replace the ones they come with.
Their lightweight and ergonomic design make them comfortable enough. They don’t bother even while running or doing fast movements. It needs to be noted that the comfort depends greatly on wearing the right ear tip size.
They are made of plastic, which doesn’t inspire much confidence but makes them super light and water-resistant. In any case, if they break you can easily buy a new pair.
They have a multifunction button that controls everything and that’s easier to use than the older versions’. They also have a microphone that’s decent enough, you’ll be heard clearly and understood.
The connection is pretty good but nothing other worldly. They are compatible to all Bluetooth-enabled devices especially Android and iPhone and have a range of about 25ft.
The battery life is around 7 hours of playtime per full charge and it takes 2 hours to charge them completely. In general, they’re not the best but come close to other more expensive headphones.
The sound signature is pretty balanced, the sound quality is clear and detailed, and they’re pretty good at keeping the music in and the noisy gym out, a nice surprise taking into account their price. One of the reasons is that they support the aptX codec for sound compression. Definitely not basshead or audiophile headphones, but they’ll make the Average Joe pretty happy.
6: MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6:
Just like Qy8, The MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6 are probably the best workout earbuds in this price range. They might not look like much but they are pretty good. They’re light but don’t think they’re cheap. They’re made of good, sturdy, rain-resistant plastics. In comfort they also pass with flying marks.
The ear hooks are made of memory wire so you can easily adjust them to your ear size and come with 6 different ear tips. Plus, the sound is pretty detailed and clear; the bass is emphasized but the other ranges aren’t overshadowed. It’s good for those that like to keep their rhythm with bass heavy songs, but not for audiophiles. Since they’re a budget model, they can’t compare to the high-end more expensive ones, but these still have pretty good value for a very affordable price.
As is the norm, these too have ear hooks. But the ear hooks are made of memory wire so you can mold them to your liking and make them stay on once you’ve put them on. Plus you have 6 different ear tip sizes to try on, you’re bound to find the perfect fit among them.
While the memory wire helps with comfort and stability it does take a bit of getting used to. After that, you’ll find them pretty comfy, light, and nice to use, no matter for how long.
Do not let their simple looks fool you, these are made of durable plastics. As they have IPX5 sweat and water protection therefore they are most suitable for working out and sweating. The plug has no stress relief but that’s pretty common among the headphones of this price range.
While the regular model has none, you can get another model that does have in-line controls and a microphone, for a few more dollars.
The sound quality is pretty good for a budget model. The treble is a little strong but nothing unbearable, the mids are clear and rich in detail, and the bass is enhanced but detailed that doesn’t overpower the other ranges. If you’re looking for pretty good sound but not-audiophile quality then these are one of the best options.
7: Mpow Wolverine:
The Mpow Wolverine are one of the most popular affordable Bluetooth headphones for gym and exercise. If you compare these to other models on their price range you’ll find that they have no weak point. They are light and comfortable enough for most users, with different ear tips and ear wings so you can find the best fit for you.
The sound quality is pretty good and balanced, so not basshead material. They are protected against sweat and durable, not indestructible but then again you’ll get an 18 month warranty, so you can change them if they break. Also, if you buy them and don’t like them for whatever reason you have a 45-day period to return them and get your money back. You can also check the Magneto model that has the added feature of a magnetic control for a little more money.
These have the ear wing design that’s pretty stable. They might fall off and need some adjusting every now and again but they have different sizes of ear tips and two different types of wings that should solve the problem.
They are very light and comfortable so long as you don’t have small ears, and you’ll be able to use them for hours without problem.
The cords are tangle free and the headphones are made of plastic and aluminum that can withstand sweat. Don’t expect miracles, though, if you’re too rough on them, they’ll break.
They have the normal in-line controls that allow you to change the volume and songs, and pause/play music or take/end calls.
Connection is pretty fast as they support 4.1 Bluetooth and the range is around 30ft. The microphone is supposed to be noise cancelling, but there isn’t much difference when it comes to recording quality or music.
The battery life is pretty good at around 8 hours, but it depends on how loudly you listen to your music, and charging takes around 2 hours.
The sound is accurate and clean, and even though it’s not the richest, it’s still pretty good for the price you’re paying. The sound signature is pretty balanced, but still fun to listen to. If you find the right ear tip size and get an airtight seal the noise, quality will also improve, but noise isolation might be a problem if you want to use these outside of the gym.
8: Plantronics BackBeat Fit:
The Plantronics BackBeat Fit were designed with athletes in mind and are pretty good earbuds at all with the most important features. They won’t move even if you’re playing basketball or doing your parkour routine. They are pretty durable and moisture resistant, so you can take them with you when you go skateboarding. Without ear tips to worry about these are easily the most comfortable earbuds out there. Plus they’re Bluetooth and not only are very compatible and stable exercise earbuds, they also have a good battery life. All for less than you’d expect. The only drawback is that while the sound quality is pretty good, it’s nothing to write home about.
These are one of the most stable headphones out there, not only do they have ear hooks that go behind the ear but also a slight ear wing to help matters along. No matter what you do, they won’t fall off.
They have no ear tips to abuse your ear and are very light, so in this area they pass with flying marks. You’ll only need to get used to the neckband if it’s your first time using them.
They’re rain-proof, so sweating won’t damage them. Plus, they’re made of good, sturdy, and flexible plastics that will easily endure rough treatment.
They have 3.0 Bluetooth so connection is pretty stable and easy to establish once you’ve figured out the controls. The range depends on the device you’re using, but you can expect around 20ft.
These have a pretty standard battery life at around 8 hours. The good news is that it doesn’t change with the pass of time.
The controls are on the earbuds, and since these are very small, so are the buttons. This might present a problem for some user and in general might take some getting used to. The microphone is pretty good to make calls but it’s not studio quality.
The quality is pretty good but nothing note-worthy. The highs and mids aren’t the most rich or detailed and the bass isn’t the strongest or densest. They can’t compare to high-end models, but it’s still pretty good for a pair of Bluetooth sport headphones that cost less than $100. Go to this link for Plantronics BackBeat Fit Review
9: Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas:
The CX 685 Adidas earbuds are definitely one of the most versatile workout earbuds, for a more than affordable price. While they were built with sports in mind as their water-proof design will testify they also have pretty good sound quality, making them good to use outside the gym. It’s still not comparable to high-end models, though.
Their design might take some getting adjusting to, but since they have no battery to protect they’re discreet enough that you can use them in the subway or work without looking like a dork, a serious problem with some of the other models. They’d be perfect if they had in-line controls and were Bluetooth, but you can’t have everything in life.
The design slide to fit ear wing design is different from the ones we’ve seen so far and very stable but it might take some getting used to initially, afterwards they’ll be easy to adjust and will stay on through your workout.
They are pretty comfy since the ear wings are adjustable instead of interchangeable, and they have three different ear tip sizes for you to choose from. Once you find the perfect fit for you, you’ll be able to wear these for hours on end and even forget about them.
The design is pretty solid and durable as well as sweat-proof and shock absorbing. The cord is really thin and prone to tangling, though. All in all, with a bit of care, these will last you long enough.
They have no in-line controls, so you’ll have to take out your device to control your music or take calls.
These headphones have pretty good sound quality for a budget model. The ranges are balanced, the mids and highs are very detailed and rich, and the bass while still punchy is also detailed and does not overshadow. The bass will still keep you in rhythm, it just won’t be stealing the spotlight in your songs. You can use them in your everyday life, too, since the quality is still pretty good no matter the genre. Plus, they’re pretty good at keeping the noisy gym or street out (might be a problem if you exercise outside) and there is no sound distortion, even at higher volumes.
10: Shure SE215:
The Shure SE215 earbuds are here to give us a lesson on not judging a book by its cover. They’re pretty small, made of plastic, and the cables are the normal rubber-coated kind, but these headphones are actually very durable. With detachable wires, you don’t need to buy a new pair if they cable tears, you just replace them and… Viola! As good as new. The sound quality is also far above average. For their price, it’s probably one of the best on the market.
The only drawback is their unique Shure design. Not only are the “ear hooks” different as they’re made of memory wire, but also the ear tips, called Shure sleeves, are made only by them. You’ll need to try them all to find the one that best fits your ears and needs. Other than that, these offer great value for an affordable price.
These might need some getting used to since they have memory wires instead of a firm design, but overall, they’re pretty stable and will stay on through your work out.
Some users have problems with them, but in general they’re pretty comfortable. The key to comfort with these headphones is finding the right ear tip size. They come with multiple options, all made my Shure, which might also need some getting used to, but you’ll probably find the ones for you among them.
They don’t look like much, but are actually one of the most durable headphones out there. The wires are quite thick, reinforced with Kevlar, and detachable, and the earbuds are made of sturdy plastics. Plus, they won’t get damaged by sweat even though they have no protection against it.
Since the wires are detachable, if you want a remote and a mic you can just buy them for little more money.
This, along with their noise isolation, is one of their best features. The sound is pretty balanced, with clear mids and high, and a slight emphasized bass to give your music some life and power. The sound quality is great, but they’re not audiophile headphones since they lean a little towards the bass, nor basshead material either. The average Joe will be pretty happy with them, even more considering that you’re getting high sound quality for less than $100.
Without a doubt, best workout earbuds are suited for sports activity. They have the most stable designs, are the most comfortable (not just for working out but to listen to music too), and in general are probably the most durable as they resist moisture better. However, they don’t always have the best sound quality. In this area the on-ear and over-ear models fare better. If you have eyed this list and still haven’t found something to your liking you might want to try out the fitness headphone designs.
You should keep in mind the limitations of each, workout earbuds and headphones, and be prepared to compromise. It might not be possible to find all you’re looking for in just one earbud for gym and exercise, in which case you can buy a set for each of your needs: music, sports, gaming, workout, etc. It might be pricier, but it’s probably the only way to get everything you want.