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There are many great duos: peanut butter and jelly, campfires and s’mores, exercise and music.

Whether you’re a marathon runner or a casual gym-goer, working out with music can motivate you to lift more, run faster, or achieve a personal best.

However, with all the technological advancements in recent years, it’s challenging to stay on top of the best headphone options available.

We’ve searched the market to bring you a list of the best workout headphones.

What’s an IPX rating?

You’ll find the IPX rating listed for each of the headphones below. This tells you how waterproof (or not!) each pair is. The IPX scale ranges from IPX0 (not waterproof) to IPX8 (completely waterproof).

Two headphones on our list are IP55 rated, which means they’re water- and dust-resistant, but not waterproof.

When researching products, we considered the following criteria:

  • Fit: Some people prefer earbuds, while others enjoy headphones that go over the ears. We included options for a variety of fits.
  • Special features: Do they come with amazing clarity? Are they waterproof? Can you shuffle your music without needing your phone? While these may not be deal breakers, we know that features are important when making your final decision.
  • Price: We included workout headphones at a variety of price points to fit multiple budgets.
  • Customer reviews: You can only learn some things about a pair of headphones by trying them yourself. The next best thing? The advice of people who already own them. We looked for headphones with mostly positive reviews and got feedback from our editorial team who have tested some of them personally.
  • Vetting: The headphones included on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

Here are the 13 best workout headphones.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($ to $$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $49.99–$249.95, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$150
  • $$$ = over $150

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

  • Price: $$
  • Type: earbuds
  • Battery life: up to 8 hours
  • Waterproof: IPX2

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are the best overall workout headphones, as they’re sweat- and splash-resistant while also offering a studio quality sound.

They come equipped with active noise cancellation and always-on voice assistance, which can do everything from ordering your coffee to changing a song. Plus, these earbuds come in five colors for those who are interested in style as well as function.

Kristin Currin-Sheehan — an editor for Psych Central, Healthline’s sister site — says she really enjoys these earbuds. And, as an Android user, she’s glad for earbuds that work with her phone.

Best high end

Apple AirPods Pro

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: earbuds
  • Battery life: up to 4.5 hours
  • Waterproof: IPX4

While not advertised as exercise headphones, the Apple AirPods Pro have many of the features that athletes look for.

Specifically, the Bluetooth technology is top notch, and the double-tap feature allows you to shuffle your music without touching your smartphone.

What’s more, the AirPods have three tip sizes and a water-resistance rating that’s high enough to withstand sweat and wet weather conditions.

They also sync well with other Apple gear like an iPhone, MacBook, or Apple watch.

Healthline Senior Nutrition Editor, Lisa Valente, MS, RD, said that in over a year, she’s only had one syncing issue switching between her computer and her phone.

While they come with noise canceling capabilities, these headphones can also be used in transparency mode to keep you aware of your surroundings, which is especially important if you’re exercising outdoors.

The main complaint from customers is the battery life, as the AirPods Pro only last for up to 4.5 hours before needing to be recharged. Additionally, like many earbuds, you may run across some technical issues. One of Healthline’s SEO team members noted that the microphone on hers stopped working after a few months.

Jabra Elite 85t

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: earbuds
  • Battery life: up to 5.5 hours
  • Waterproof: IPX4

If you’re looking for something that can both deliver and block a lot of sound, the high end features of the Jabra Elite 85t earbuds stand out.

Although they’re compact, they provide high quality sound. (They have 12 mm speakers!) They also feature six microphones with wind protection in case you need to take a call while you’re out.

Like many of the headphones on this list, they’re designed to withstand wind, rain, and snow. These headphones also have adjustable noise-canceling levels, and one charge offers 5.5 hours of music when noise cancelation is on.

Best for runners

Bose Sport EarBuds

  • Price: $$
  • Type: earbuds
  • Battery life: up to 5 hours
  • Waterproof: IPX4

The Bose Sport EarBuds are perfect for runners, as they’re compact, lightweight, and come with three tip sizes, so you can be assured that they’ll stay put while you run.

These earbuds are also waterproof for running in the rain and feature microphone technology that helps block out environmental noise when you’re on a call.

They have a 30 foot (9 meters) Bluetooth range, and custom-designed antennas inside each earbud ensure that dropouts don’t happen frequently.

Some potential downsides include their 5-hour battery life and lack of active noise canceling, although this may not be a deal breaker from a safety perspective.

Best for outdoor workouts

Jaybird Vista Earbuds

  • Price: $
  • Type: earbuds
  • Battery life: up to 6 hours
  • Waterproof: IPX7

If you regularly exercise outside, you’ll want to consider the Jaybird Vista Earbuds.

These durable headphones are constructed to survive sweat, rain, and snow. They can even withstand being submerged in 3.3 feet (1 meter) of water for up to 30 minutes.

The Jaybird Vista Earbuds also get good customer reviews for their 6-hour battery life, lightweight design, and snug fit, so you don’t have to worry about them falling out.

As an added bonus, if you’re constantly losing your earbuds while you’re out and about, you can keep track of them using the Jaybird App.

Best ear hook

Beats Powerbeats Pro

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: earbuds (ear hook design)
  • Battery life: up to 9 hours
  • Waterproof: IPX4

The Beats Powerbeats Pro headphones are a great option if you like the quality and features of the Apple AirPods Pro but prefer an ear hook design. Plus, they include Apple’s H1 chip for seamless streaming to your smartphone.

These Beats headphones come in a variety of colors and offer up to 9 hours of music on one charge. They’re also sweat- and water-resistant for high intensity workouts.

If you’re wondering how well these doing staying in place during movement filled workouts, Alice Porter — an editor at Healthline’s sister site, Medical News Today — has even been able to keep them in place when inverted during cartwheels and various yoga poses.

While Porter enjoys how sturdy the charging case feels, one downside some customers found is that the charging case is too bulky to fit in your pocket. (The bigger size may make it easier to find in your gym bag though!)

Best for swimming

H2O Audio Surge S+

  • Price: $
  • Type: in-ear headphones
  • Battery life: N/A
  • Waterproof: IPX8

If you want to listen to music while swimming laps, you’ll want to check out the Surge S+ headphones from H2O Audio.

H2O Audio specializes in swimming headphones, with the Surge S+ being one of the company’s more affordable options. (They are designed specifically for head-mounted MP3 players that you’ll need to buy separately if you don’t already have one though, so you’ll want to factor that into the cost.)

In addition to the low price tag, swimmers appreciate the multiple styles and tip lengths, making it easy to find your perfect fit. These headphones also have a short cord, so you don’t have to worry about them getting in the way of your stroke.

The Surge S+ can be submerged in up to 12 feet (3.6 meters) of water and comes with a 1-year warranty.

While they’re great in the pool, you may need a separate pair of headphones for everyday use, as the Surge S+ lacks additional features, such as a microphone for making phone calls.

Best battery life

Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: over-ear headphones
  • Battery life: up to 15 hours
  • Waterproof: no

These over-ear headphones from Bose provide an immersive sound experience that’s crisp and clear at any volume.

The headphones feature top notch Bluetooth technology, which allows you to stay connected to two devices simultaneously. They also have an advanced microphone system with HD voice to ensure that your calls are clear no matter the environment.

Plus, with 15 hours of battery life, you don’t have to worry about your music stopping halfway through your workout.

Best bone conduction

Shokz OpenRun Pro

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: open ear
  • Battery life: 10 hours
  • Waterproof: IP55

Bone-conduction headphones deliver audio through your cheekbones, leaving your ear canal open to hear sounds from your surroundings.

As a result, headphones like these from Shokz are ideal for exercising outside. They have two noise-canceling microphones to allow for clear calls regardless of environmental noise.

In fact, if you like to run, the Shokz OpenRun Pro headphones can be used for racing events that don’t allow in- or over-ear headphones.

These headphones are also incredibly lightweight, weighing only 1 ounce (28.3 grams), and they offer up to 10 hours of battery life. If that’s not enough for you, they have a 5-minute quick charge that can offer up to an hour and a half of battery.

However, some customers note that the sound quality isn’t quite as good as other workout headphones on the market.

Best noise canceling

Sony WF-1000XM4

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: earbuds
  • Battery life: up to 8 hours
  • Waterproof: IPX4

These headphones from Sony have an ergonomic surface design to provide a fit that will help with noise cancelation.

Reviews rave about how well these cancel noise, and the company claims that the noise cancellation with these headphones is “industry leading.”

Thanks to their wireless Bluetooth technology, you’re free to move around the gym as you wish without worrying about getting tangled up with cords. You also won’t need to cut your workout short, because these headphones can last up to 8 hours on one charge even when noise canceling is enabled.

Best inexpensive

Sony MDR-XB50BS Wireless In-Ear Headphones

  • Price: $
  • Type: in-ear headphones
  • Battery life: up to 8.5 hours
  • Waterproof: IPX4

You don’t always have to pay a ton to get the headphone features you want. These headphones by Sony have IPX4 waterproofing, a microphone to make calls, and come with a few different sized ear tips so you can find ones that fit your ears. They also have a cord connecting the two earbuds, so if they do fall out during a run, you won’t lose them.

Available in red, blue, and black, these headphones have up to 8.5 hours of battery life.

Chelsea Logan, a Senior Editor at Healthline, said that hers lasted for several years with daily use. She liked them so much that when they wore out she got another pair.

Best for fitness tracking

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro

  • Price: $$
  • Type: earbuds
  • Battery life: up to 9 hours
  • Waterproof: IP55

Who said that headphones need to just be for music and phone calls? These earbuds can track your speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. You can even receive real time updates every kilometer.

They will play an alert if an abnormally high heart beat is detected. You can also sync these headphones with a variety of popular tracking apps to further track your data.

These headphones also have four noise-canceling modes to adapt to your needs. All you need to do is give a long press on the side button. Additionally, they have six mics across both headphones to ensure your communication is clear if you want to talk to others.

Best-fitting buds

Ultimate Ears Fits

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: earbuds
  • Battery life: up to 8 hours
  • Waterproof: IPX3

If you struggle with getting earbuds to fit in your ear, you know the pain of a poor fit. These are molded to your ears, so you won’t have to experience that and they’re more likely to stay in place during running workouts.

You won’t have to sacrifice on some of your favorite headphone features either. These have dual microphones in each ear, so you’ll have crystal clear voice pick-up even on windy days. They also have a battery life of up to 8 hours, and the personalized fit means that they can naturally block distracting outside noises.

One downside? The waterproof rating on these earbuds is super low, so you’ll need to be careful with them and any moisture.

PriceTypeBattery lifeWaterproof rating
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live$$earbudsup to 8 hoursIPX2
Apple AirPods Pro$$$earbudsup to 4.5 hoursIPX4
Jabra Elite 85t$$$earbudsup to 5.5 hoursIPX4
Bose Sport EarBuds$$earbudsup to 5 hoursIPX4
Jaybird Vista Earbuds$earbudsup to 6 hoursIPX7
Beats Powerbeats Pro$$$earbuds (ear hook design)up to 9 hoursIPX4
H2O Audio Surge S+$in-ear headphonesN/AIPX8
Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II$$$over-ear headphonesup to 15 hoursIPX0
Shokz OpenRun Pro$$$open earup to 10 hoursIP55
Sony WF-1000XM4$$$earbudsup to 8 hoursIPX4
Sony MDR-XB50BS$in-ear headphonesup to 8.5 hoursIPX4
Amazfit PowerBuds Pro$$earbudsup to 9 hoursIP55
Ultimate Ears Fits$$$earbudsup to 8 hoursIPX3

Trying to find the perfect headphones for your workout? Here are some tips to keep in mind as you shop:

  • Consider your workout needs: Do you need waterproof headphones for possible rainy days? Or do you plan on using them at the gym while lifting weights?
  • Decide how you want to wear them: Do you prefer earbuds or over-ear headphones? Figuring out the style that you want will greatly narrow down your search.
  • Shop around: Take some time to compare the prices at various locations, as many retailers offer discounts throughout the year.
  • Read customer reviews: If you plan on purchasing your headphones online, customer reviews can provide valuable insight into the value of the product.
  • Double-check the return policy options: This is important information to know just in case you buy a pair that isn’t the best fit for your needs.

Are AirPods good for exercise?

AirPods Pro can work well for exercising because they have 3 different tip sizes. That will help you get a good fit that will stay in place while you work out. They also have an IPX4 water-resistance rating, so you don’t have to worry about sweat and an occasional water splash. The transparency mode option can even help keep you safe if you choose to run outside.

Are Beats or AirPods better for working out?

Whether you prefer Beats or AirPods for working out will depend on your exercise style and sound preferences.

Beats Powerbeats Pro has ear hooks that may help them to stay more stable if you’re doing a lot of movement in your workouts.

On the other hand, AirPods Pro offer a special transparency mode option if you want to listen to music, but also be aware of your surroundings.

Are earbuds or headphones better for the gym?

If you’re planning to run, swim, or engage in high movement activity, a pair of lightweight, properly fitting earbuds may be your best fit as they’re more likely to stay put.

However, if you’re planning to do some weightlifting, headphones will typically offer better battery life and superior sound quality.

There are many factors to consider when shopping for workout headphones, including the fit, style, battery life, price, and special features.

As they’re generally not cheap, there’s no need to rush your decision! You can use this list as a starting guide to find a pair of headphones that works best for your exercise needs.