10 Best Workout Headphones of 2019 - Outeraudio

The 10 Best Workout Headphones of 2019

Working out while listening to music definitely helps to motivate you and pass the time quicker. Most find urban or dance music genres great to work out to, while others like a motivational audio-book or podcast. Whatever your audio preference is, you want to make sure you have the best workout headphones your money can buy. In this article, we take a look at the best workout headphones of 2019 with choices based on price, application, waterproof rating and even a couple of unique products you may not have heard of.

Be sure to check out our buyer’s guide at the end of this article to help narrow down your choice for the best workout headphones for you. Most of the headphones options in this article are wireless which means you’re sure to find the best wireless workout headphones if that’s your preference.

Waterproof Ratings for Workout Headphones

Many workout headphones include some form of waterproofing. This is to limit any damage from sweat or moisture. If you are prone to sweating a lot or train in all weather conditions, including in the rain, then you must make sure your workout headphones have some sort of IP rating. For workout headphones, you only really need splashproof protection so, don’t let a higher waterproof rating influence your decision. Higher ratings come at a higher cost.

IP stands for Ingress Protection and is the international standard for waterproof ratings in electrical products and equipment. IP codes are formed of two digits. Here is a quick table which will help you read IP ratings for workout headphones or any electronics product you wish to purchase.

First IP Digit

Looking at the first digit, you want the highest protection with regards to waterproofing your products. American IP codes will display either the 5 or 6 for this while the international standard will display an X as the first digit is watertight and therefore irrelevant.

See Chart
DigitEffective AgainstDescription
X-X means there is no data available to specify a protection rating with
regard to one of the criteria.
0-No protection against contact and ingress of objects.
1>50 mmAny large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no
protection against deliberate contact with a body part
2>12.5 mmFingers or similar objects
3>2.5 mmTools, thick wires, etc.
4>1 mmMost wires, slender screws, large ants etc.
5Dust protectedIngress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in
sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation
of the equipment.
6Dust-tightNo ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight).
A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based
on air flow.

 

Second IP Digit

For the second digit, you want a rating of no less than 4 to protect effectively against any sweat. If you plan to use your workout headphones in the rain or other wet conditions, you want a rating of 5 or 6. Obviously, a 7 rating is going to offer the best protection while an 8 rating is only necessary for swimming headphones.

See Chart
DigitProtection
against
Effective against
0None-
1Dripping waterDripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have
no harmful effect on the specimen when mounted in
an upright position onto a turntable and rotated at 1
RPM.
2Dripping water
when tilted at 15°
Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect
when the enclosure is tilted at an angle of 15° from its
normal position. A total of four positions are tested
within two axes.
3Spraying waterFingers or water falling as a spray at any angle up to
60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect,
utilizing either:
a) an oscillating fixture, or
b) A spray nozzle with a counterbalanced shield.
Test a) is conducted for 5 minutes, then repeated
with the specimen rotated horizontally by 90° for
the second 5-minute test.
Test b) is conducted (with shield in place) for
5 minutes minimum.
4Splashing of waterWater splashing against the enclosure from any
direction shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either:
a) an oscillating fixture, or
b) A spray nozzle with no shield.
Test a) is conducted for 10 minutes.
Test b) is conducted (without shield) for 5 minutes
minimum.
5Water jetsWater projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against
enclosure from any direction shall have no
harmful effects.
6Dust / Powerful
water jets
Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle)
against the enclosure from any direction shall have
no harmful effects.
7Immersion
up to 1 m depth
Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be
possible when the enclosure is immersed in water
under defined conditions of pressure and time
(up to 1 m of submersion).
8Immersion
1 m or more depth
The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion
in water under conditions which shall be specified by
the manufacturer. However, with certain types of
equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only
in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects.
The test depth and duration is expected to be greater
than the requirements for IPx7, and other
environmental effects may be added, such as
temperature cycling before immersion.

 

What is a Workout Headphone?

As wireless technology has evolved, workout headphones have grown in popularity. There are so many choices with new features coming out all the time, it can be a little overwhelming. A typical workout headphone is earbud/in-ear style, wireless, features a short cable and usually has some sort of waterproof rating to protect against sweat and moisture. There are exceptions to these rules but, generally speaking, these are the features you’ll find in the majority of workout headphones. Ultimately, you’re looking for the best headphones for working out, which is why we’ve put together this article.

What is cVc Noise Cancellation Technology?

Throughout this article, you’ll come across cVc Noise Cancellation Technology. But what is cVc and what does it actually do? Unlike active noise-cancellation, cVc is better described as a noise isolating technology.

cVc is also great for headsets with a built-in microphone for hands-free calling. The technology works to limit the amount of environmental noise which the microphone tends to pick up around you. This improves the call quality making it easier for both you and the caller to converse without interruption from background noise.

1. AfterShokz Trekz Air Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones

AfterShokz Trekz Air Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones


IP:
IP55
Battery Life:
6 Hours
Weight:
1.27 oz
Colors:
4
More Specifications
  • Headphone Type: Bone conduction (off ear headphones)
  • Cable/Wireless: Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: None
  • Primary Build Material: Silicone covered titanium
  • Color Options: Red, green, blue, grey

Bone conduction headphones are fast becoming popular for runners and cyclists, especially those working out in busy towns, cities or environments where they need to be aware of their surroundings. Unlike conventional headphones, bone conduction works by transmitting audio through your cheekbone as opposed to on or in your ears. There are positives and negatives to this technology which we’ll cover in this review of the AfterShokz Trekz Air wireless bone conduction headphones.

The AfterShokz Trekz Air is the updated version of the Trekz Titanium which was well received by runners and cyclists alike. The newer model is 20% lighter, upgraded to Bluetooth 4.2 with improvements in fit and audio quality.

The Trekz Air is a headset style headphone which sits on the cheekbone with a band going around the back of the neck connecting the left and right drivers. The fit is comfortable and stays in place without any issues no matter if you’re running, cycling, climbing or hiking. With no earbuds or headphones blocking your ears, you have ultimate situational awareness, as if you were not wearing any headphones at all. If you’re navigating your way through a busy city or want to enjoy the sounds of nature but still listen to some background music or a podcast, then using the Trekz Air allows you to do just that.

There is however a downside, the vastly different audio experience. At least, it could be a downside, just depends on what you want from a workout headphone. You have to accept the fact that because the headphones are not directly in your ears, the sound experience is completely different. For one, there is almost no bass. The audio is very clear but you don’t have a low-end response like regular headphones. The experience is best described as background music in a coffee shop. It’s there and you can hear it clearly but it’s not in your ears like normal headphones. It’s more of a spatial listening experience. Which is essentially what AfterShokz have intended the experience to sound like.

Aside from the listening experience, the Trekz Air operate like a normal workout headphone. You have a multi-function button on the left ear which allows you to play/pause, skip tracks and manage incoming calls.

On the right side headband, you have a power/volume up button and volume down button. The power button is multi-function for muting, changing EQ settings and checking the battery status. All settings incorporate voice prompts so you know exactly what’s being adjusted and what mode you’re in. A very useful feature which a lot of manufacturers leave out.

What’s in the Box?

Included with the AfterShokz Trekz Air Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones:

  • AfterShokz Trekz Air
  • Drawstring pouch
  • Charging cable
  • Foam earplugs

AfterShokz Trekz Air Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones Conclusion

Situational awareness for runners and cyclists is extremely important. Regular headphones just don’t offer this sort of safety. If you regularly compete in running or cycling races, you’ll know there are many events which ban the use of headphones for safety reasons. A lot of these races allow you to use bone conduction headphones as they do not block the ears. So, from a safety point of view, the Trekz Air certainly make sense.

Safety is not the only benefit the Trekz Air has to offer. Because the Trekz Air does not sit on or in your ear, there is no risk of damaging your hearing. Something a lot of people don’t consider when using headphones.

For regular workouts in the gym where you might prefer more isolation and thumbing bass to drive and motivate you, the Trekz Air might not be what you’re looking for. The Trekz Air is a very niche headphone, primarily for runners and cyclists.

At $150 the Trekz Air is quite a bit more than your regular workout headphone but the technology and build quality is a lot more advanced making them one of the best wireless headphones for working out.

2. SENSO ActivBuds S-250 Bluetooth Headphones.

SENSO ActivBuds S-250 Bluetooth Headphones


IP
IPX7
Battery Life:
8 Hours
Weight:
0.16oz
Colors:
2
More Specifications
  • Headphone Type: In-ear
  • Cable/Wireless: Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: CVC 6.0 Noise Suppression Technology
  • Primary Build Material: Plastic
  • Color Options: black/grey; black/red

One of the most popular workout headphones on Amazon is the SENSO ActivBuds S-250 Bluetooth Headphones with close on 30,000 reviews and a solid 4-star rating. The ActivBuds S-250 is available in a black with either a red or grey trim option. At a mere 0.16oz, the ActivBuds S-250 was built to be lightweight so as not to interfere with your regular workout regime. The ActivBuds S-250 carries an IPX7 waterproof rating so you don’t have to worry about sweat or water damage.

The ActivBuds S-250 are fully wireless with the two earbuds connected via a short cable. The short cable sits neatly behind the neck so you’re free to continue your workout unimpeded by getting caught up in cables or tangles. Additionally, SENSO supplies you with a cable clip so you can wrap up any excess.

The ear tips fit deep inside the ear canal with silicone ear tips which fit over and behind the ears to keep the ActivBuds S-250 in place while you’re working out. No matter what sort of workout you’re doing, the ActivBuds S-250 do a great job of staying put without any movement or pulling on the ear.

On the right ear, you have the volume control and multi-function button. The multi-function button allows you to play/pause tracks and manage incoming calls by either answering, ending or rejecting.

The built-in microphone for hands-free calling works really well with good audio quality. This is in part due to the CVC 6.0 Noise Suppression Technology which helps cancel extraneous noise around you.

The ActivBuds S-250 features a built-in battery with 8-hour continuous battery life and standby time of 240 hours. This means you can work out 6 days a week (an hour a day) and use the ActivBuds S-250 as a hands-free kit in the car and only charge the headphones once a week. From flat, the ActivBuds S-250 will fully charge in under 1.5 hours.

The ActivBuds S-250 comes with a set of silicone ear tips in small, medium and large so you’re bound to find a pair that fit. The ear tips are a generic fit so you can purchase other ear tip brands if you prefer memory foam, tree tips or other ear tip types.
In addition, the ActivBuds S-250 also comes with a pouch and hard shell carry case which fit the headphones, charging cable and ear tips.

When it comes to sound quality, the ActivBuds S-250 sound great for a budget pair of in-ear headphones. There isn’t a lot of bass but enough to keep you going while working out. The overall clarity is decent with no issues listening to both music and dialogue-heavy content like podcasts or audiobooks.

What’s in the Box?

Included with the SENSO ActivBuds S-250 Bluetooth Headphones:

  • SENSO ActivBuds S-250
  • 3 x pairs of ear tips (small, medium, large)
  • Cable management clip
  • Charging cable
  • Carry pouch
  • Hard shell carry case

SENSO ActivBuds S-250 Bluetooth Headphones Conclusion

The SENSO ActivBuds S-250 is an excellent workout headphone. These workout headphones are popular for a reason, they’re well priced, work as advertised and sound good. If you are someone who’s always on the road meeting clients or traveling, the ActivBuds S-250 can also be used while traveling and as a hands-free device. At under $30, the ActivBuds S-250 is well priced and versatile which means you get a lot for the money you pay.

3. Phaiser Tecton BHS-730 Bluetooth Headphones

Phaiser Tecton BHS-730 Bluetooth Headphones


IP
IPX6
Battery Life:
8 Hours
Weight:
0.61oz
Colors:
6
More Specifications
  • Headphone Type: In-ear
  • Cable/Wireless: Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Noise isolating
  • Primary Build Material: Plastic
  • Color Options: Black, purple, lime green, blue, red

The Phaiser Tecton BHS-730 is a pair of Bluetooth workout headphones which come with a ton of extra accessories for every fit and training scenario. The Tecton BHS-730 is available in five trendy colors so you’re sure to find a pair to match your favorite workout attire. These workout headphones come with an IPX6 waterproof rating which protects against sweat and splashes but not submersion. In addition, the Tecton BHS-730 employs a nano-coating which further protects the headphones from sweat and moisture.

The Tecton BHS-730 is a wireless headphone with a short cord connecting the two earbuds. The cable sits neatly behind the neck and out of the way of your limbs, clothing or training equipment. Phaiser also supplies you with cable management and collar clips to keep any excess cable completely out of the way. The cable is a flat cord which prevents any knots or tangles forming. The Tecton BHS-730 also features an incline remote which can bounce around. The collar clips help keep the remote pinned to your clothing free from any annoyance.

The inline remote is conveniently located so you can easily reach and operate the 3-button control. All three buttons are multi-function allowing you to control an array of features on your Bluetooth device or smartphone. The volume up and down buttons also enable you to skip and seek tracks which the center button activates play/pause and call management features. The Tecton BHS-730 is also compatible with Siri and Google with a double tap to the play pause button activating voice prompts. The remote also houses the Tecton BHS-730 built-in microphone for hands-free calling and voice commands.

The Tecton BHS-730 comes with three styles and a total of seven pairs of ear tips. The first being the standard silicone ear tips in small, medium and large. These are also three pairs of wingtips in small medium and large. The wingtips are great for vigorous workouts as the wing prevents the ear tip from moving around keep them securely in place. Lastly, you have a pair of medium sized Comply T-400 memory foam tips. The memory foam tips offer the best noise isolation and great for traveling or activities where you want to block out as much of the surrounding environment as possible. All of the supplied ear tips are really comfortable making the Tecton BHS-730 great for working out, traveling or general listening applications. The Tecton BHS-730 comes with a hard shell carry case to store and transport the headphones and all the accessories.

The Tecton BHS-730 perform surprisingly well when it comes to audio quality. There isn’t very much bass with the Tecton BHS-730 however, the mid-range and highs are upfront and clear. The Tecton BHS-730 is capable of producing some serious volume without distorting or breaking up. The built-in microphone works well with a decent call quality to hold a conversation.

The Tecton BHS-730 built-in battery lasts up to 8 hours of continuous play with 250-hour standby time. From flat, the Tecton BHS-730 will fully recharge in under 2 hours.

What’s in the Box?

Included with the Phaiser Tecton BHS-730 Bluetooth Headphones:

  • Phaiser Tecton BHS-730
  • Carrying Case
  • 3 x Pairs silicone tips (small, medium, large)
  • 1 x Pair Comply T-400 memory foam tips (medium)
  • 3 x Pairs wing attachments (small, medium, large)
  • 2 x Cable management clips
  • 2 x Collar clips
  • 1 x Charging cable

Phaiser Tecton BHS-730 Bluetooth Headphones Conclusion

The Tecton BHS-730 is a versatile headphone for working out, traveling or just general use. The audio quality is perfect for working out and general use. The included memory foam tips are great for travel as they block out a significant amount of the surrounding environment. The built-in microphone is great for making calls and using voice commands for Siri or Google. For a little over $35, you get the Tecton BHS-730 workout headphones and a tonne of extra accessories.

4. Mpow 059 Bluetooth HeadphonesMpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones


IP
None
Battery Life:
N/A
Weight:
10.97oz
Colors:
7
More Specifications
  • Headphone Type: Over-ear
  • Cable/Wireless: Cable and Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Passive noise isolation
  • Primary Build Material: Plastic, pleather
  • Color Options: Red, blue, black, green, grey, silver, pink

For those who prefer an over-ear fit, the Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones is one to consider. The Mpow 059 is an affordable, hugely popular, versatile headphone which can be used for workouts, general listening or travel.

The Mpow 059 is an over-ear headphone with a 40mm driver in each ear. Even though this is a budget headphone, the Mpow 059 delivers surprisingly good audio quality, competing with many of the big name brands. The Mpow 059 has a good, solid bass response which isn’t loose and wooly like you’d expect from a cheap headphone. The mid-range is good but not as clear and upfront as premium headphones. Highs are clean and clear with a nice crisp sound to make music and vocals upfront and present.

The Mpow 059 can be used as wireless or cable headphones which means you can still use them with the supplied cable when the battery runs out. The built-in battery lasts up to 20 hours, which is a 75% improvement to the previous version of the Mpow 059. While you can still listen to audio with the cable, the microphone won’t work therefore hands-free calling is not possible. The great thing about having the cable is you can use the Mpow 059 on planes. Provided you have an in-flight adapter of course. Mpow doesn’t supply an in-flight adapter so you’ll need to purchase this separately.

On the right ear cup are your controls for the Mpow 059. The control panel is nicely hidden within the ear cup design so doesn’t distract from the aesthetics of the headphones. There is a volume control and track skip button, and then a multi-function button in the center. The multi-function button is used for play/pause, Bluetooth pairing and call management for incoming calls. On the left ear cup, you have a microphone for hands-free calling and the micro USB for charging.

What’s in the Box?

Included with the Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones:

  • Mpow 059
  • ⅛-inch audio cable
  • USB charging cable
  • Drawstring carry pouch

Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Conclusion

For over-ear headphone fans, the Mpow 059 is a great alternative to the in-ear design of many workout headphones. The Mpow 059 offers a secure fit which is great for most training activities. If you’re into lighting weights and don’t need in-ear headphones, then the Mpow 059 is the best wireless headphones for the gym. The one downside to the Mpow 059 is the headphones are not waterproof. So, if you are someone who sweats a lot, you might want to look at a headphone with waterproof protection. The Mpow 059 sound good, are great for workouts, traveling and even include a hands-free feature. At under $40, the Mpow 059 comes with all the features of a premium headphone at a fraction of the cost.

5. Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones

Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones


IP
IPX7
Battery Life:
9 Hours
Weight:
2.82 oz
Colors:
2
More Specifications
  • Headphone Type: In-ear
  • Cable/Wireless: Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction
  • Primary Build Material: Plastic, silicone
  • Color Options: Black and red; black and grey

The Mpow Flame is another very popular headphone for training enthusiasts. These workout headphones are lightweight, comfortable and trendy. The in-ear design includes an over-ear hook which keeps the headphones securely in place no matter what workout or training you’re doing. The headphones feature an IPX7 waterproof rating which is perfect for working out. This offers protection of up to 1m submersion for around 30 minutes. This means even if you completely sweat your headphones out, you can rinse and wash them in water.

The Mpow Flame is completely wireless with only a short cable connecting the two earbuds. The cable is a flat cord which prevents any the headphones from getting tangled. The Flame cable sits neatly behind the head and Mpow even provides a cable clip to wrap up any slack and keep it out of the way.

With the Mpow Flame, you get two different styles of ear tips in various sizes. There are the standard silicone ear tips which come in small, medium and large as well as a single pair of memory foam tips. The Mpow Flame is a standard fitting ear tip attachment so you can use a generic ear tip brand of your choice.

When it comes to sound quality, the Mpow Flame really perform. Obviously, the audio quality is not as good as premium headphones like Bose, JBL, and Sony but, for $20, you won’t find anything better. In fact, the Mpow Flame even competes with workout headphones double the price.

The Mpow Flame incorporates CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction technology which helps with passive noise isolation and improves call quality. The hands-free call quality on the Mpow Flame is excellent with no issues hearing or being heard.

The Mpow Flame features three buttons on the right ear. The Mpow logo on the outside is a multi-function button while there is a volume up and volume down button on top of the earpiece. The multi-function button allows you to play/pause, pair Bluetooth, power on/off and manage incoming calls.

What’s in the Box?

Included with the Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones:

  • Mpow Flame
  • 3 x Pairs of silicone ear tips (small, medium, large)
  • Pair of memory foam ear tips
  • Cable management clip
  • Hard shell carry case
  • Micro USB charging cable

Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones Conclusion

If you’re looking for an affordable pair of workout headphones, you won’t get cheaper than the Mpow Flame. Even though these are cheap headphones, they don’t sound cheap offering you good sound quality for the money. In terms of features, the Mpow Flame has everything the more expensive models have, hands-free calling, IPX7 waterproof rating, interchangeable ear tips, and good sound. At a little over $20, the Mpow Flame is a steal!

6. Plantronics BackBeat FIT Wireless Sport Headphones

Plantronics BackBeat FIT Wireless Sport Headphones


IP
IP57
Battery Life:
6-8 Hours
Weight:
0.85 oz
Colors:
5
More Specifications
  • Headphone Type: In-ear
  • Cable/Wireless: Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Passive
  • Primary Build Material: Plastic, silicone
  • Color Options: Black, gray, green, pink, blue

The Plantronics BackBeat FIT wireless sport headphones are possibly one of the lightest workout headphones on the market. The BackBeat FIT weight less than an ounce which is true to the phrase, “lighter than a feather”. The headphones are made of a silicone plastic with nano-coating with an IP57 waterproof rating. The lightweight design is really malleable so the headphones conform to the shape of your head nicely without any pressure or discomfort.

The BackBeat FIT is an in-ear headphone with an over-ear hook keeping the headphones securely in place. The headphones are a constructed of a single piece of silicone which connects to the two earbuds. This makes the headphones both durable and comfortable. With the headband being so lightweight, the piece behind the neck doesn’t move or bounce around while you work out. This is especially great for running where some headphones bounce around and tuck on your ears. With the BackBeat FIT, you barely notice they’re there.

The BackBeat FIT includes two buttons, one on each ear, which fit in with the design of the headphones. Both buttons offer multi-function controls which are pretty extensive. These aren’t your regular one push buttons so you will need to consult the manual to get the hang of how the BackBeat FIT work. But, once you learn how to use the button system, you’ll find you can do a lot more than your regular workout headphones. The BackBeat FIT does include a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and the multi-function buttons allow you to control call management.

The BackBeat FIT also comes with its own app. Using the app you can change certain audio settings, change the language of the voice alerts (US English, UK English, French, German, Swedish, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese) and switch between your paired devices. The BackBeat FIT allows you to pair up to 8 Bluetooth devices which is more than anyone should ever need.

When it comes to sound quality, the BackBeat FIT perform really well. While the bass isn’t as good as an over-ear headphone the BackBeat FIT has a good low-end response for an in-ear. Mids and highs are clear with a really good overall sound quality. For a workout headphone, the sound is more than adequate with the headphones offering good isolation to hear the audio clearly.

The BackBeat FIT features a built-in battery with a life of up to 8 hours, depending on the features you are using. The headphones incorporate a fast charge technology with just a 15-minute charge will give you 1-hour of playing time. From completely flat, the BackBeat FIT will recharge in under 2 hours.
Additionally, the BackBeat FIT features a standby and sleep mode. In standby mode, the BackBeat FIT will last 14 days without charge while in sleep mode the headphones will stay charged for up to 180 days. That’s 6 months!

What’s in the Box?

Included with the Plantronics BackBeat FIT Wireless Sport Headphones:

  • BackBeat FIT
  • Charging cable

Plantronics BackBeat FIT Wireless Sport Headphones Conclusion

The Plantronics BackBeat FIT wireless sport headphones are, in my opinion, the dark horse of workout headphones. Not many people know about these and they’re heavily underrated. The BackBeat FIT is an excellent workout headphone offering excellent sound, exceptional durability, and unique features. The BackBeat FIT is available in black for under $70 while you pay slightly more for other color options.

7. ELZU.US Workout Headphones

ELZU.US Workout Headphones


IP
IPX7
Battery Life:
12 Hours
Weight:
0.48 oz
Colors:
1
More Specifications
  • Headphone Type: In-ear
  • Cable/Wireless: Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction
  • Primary Build Material: Plastic
  • Color Options: Black

The ELZU.US workout headphone is another product not many know about and yet it performs exceptionally well. These unassuming headphones feature CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction Technology, IPX7 waterproof rated with an impressive 12-hour battery life. Everything you need for great workout headphone.

The ELZU.US is an in-ear style with soft over-ear hooks to keep the headphones securely in place. What’s great about the over-ear hooks is the cable fixes to the end of the hook which means the cable is completely out of the way behind the head. Unlike other brands, the ELZU.US cable is a regular round cord as opposed to a flat cord which is better for its resistance to getting kinked and tangled. This, however, doesn’t take away from the quality of the product.

Audio quality on the ELZU.US is good when you consider these headphones come in at under $35. You’re not going to enjoy the same detail and clarity as Bose or Sony, but then the ELZU.US are less than a third of the price. That said, for the general consumer looking for a workout headphone, the ELZU.US will perform and sound just fine.
The ELZU.US has a built-in microphone for hands-free calling. Here the audio quality is also really good which is in large part to the incorporation of CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction Technology. The microphone on the ELZU.US is fairly large and aims directly at the mouth from the earpiece which is obviously beneficial to audio quality and clarity.

Most impressive is the ELZU.US built-in battery which is said to last between 12-14 hours of continuous playing time. This is impressive since most in-ear headphones don’t quite hit the 10-hour mark for battery life.

The ELZU.US also features a 3-button control panel with volume up/next track, volume down/previous track and a multifunction button. With the multi-function operates play/pause, Bluetooth pairing, and call management for incoming calls.

What’s in the Box?

Included with the ELZU.US Workout Headphones:

  • ELZU.US Workout Headphones
  • Charging cable
  • 3 x Pairs of ear tips (small, medium, large)

ELZU.US Workout Headphones Conclusion

The ELZU.US is definitely a workout headphone to consider. The in-ear fit and over-ear hooks make the ELZU.US one of the best wireless earbuds for working out. The only downside to the ELZU.US is the rounded cable, which as I said, isn’t a major issue and certainly no reason not to buy them. For under $35 you get good sound, a comfortable fit and all the features you’d find on a premium set of workout headphones.

8. Anker Soundcore Spirit X Wireless Headphones

Anker Soundcore Spirit X Wireless Headphones


IP
IPX7
Battery Life:
12 Hours
Weight:
0.8 oz
Colors:
1
More Specifications
  • Headphone Type: In-ear
  • Cable/Wireless: Wireless (Bluetooth V5)
  • Noise Cancelling: CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction
  • Primary Build Material: Plastic
  • Color Options: Black

Anker is well known for their range of Bluetooth speakers, but what many people don’t know is Anker make some pretty awesome headphones too. The Soundcore Spirit X is the upgrade to the popular Anker SoundBuds Curve which continues to sell well. The Spirit X is a wireless workout headphone with an IPX7 rating and Anker’s sweat guard technology. The headphones also feature the very latest Bluetooth version 5.

The Spirit X is an in-ear style headphone with ear hooks to keep the headphones securely in place. The headphones come with the most extensive range of ear tips we have ever seen which means you’ll definitely find a pair to fit your ears. There are also three sizes of wings to keep the ear tips securely in place. In addition, you get two cable clips and a shirt clip to keep the cable in place and secure.
The earbuds on the Spirit X are magnetic so, when you pull them out of your ears they connect together forming a loop around your neck. This means you can carry on running or working out and the Spirit X won’t fall off your neck.

The Spirit X produce an impressive amount of bass for an in-ear headphone. The low-end is punchy and tight which is great for adding that bit of motivation when working out. The mids and highs are present and clear with no issues there. The Spirit X features a built-in microphone for hands-free calling with CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction Technology for superior call quality. For under $40, you definitely get more value in sound quality than you usually do at this price point.

The Spirit X has a very impressive 12-hour battery life with a fast charge technology which allows the headphones to get 1-hour of playing time from a 5-minute charge! This is possibly the quickest fast charge we have seen on any headphone to date.

The Spirit X features a 3-button inline remote with volume up/next track, volume down/previous track and a multi-function button. With the multi-function button, you can power on/off, pair Bluetooth devices, play/pause and manage incoming calls. In addition to hands-free calling, you can also use the multi-function button to activate voice commands from Siri or Google Now.

What’s in the Box?

Included with the Anker Soundcore Spirit X Wireless Headphones:

  • Soundcore Spirit X
  • 4 x Pairs of ear tips (small, medium, large, x-large)
  • 3 x Pairs of ear wings (small, medium, large)
  • 2 x Cable clips
  • 1 x Shirt clip
  • Micro USB charging cable
  • Travel pouch

Anker Soundcore Spirit X Wireless Headphones Conclusion

If you owned a pair of the Anker SoundBuds Curve, then you’ll love the Spirit X. The Spirit X leave the Curve, and a lot of the competition, in the dust with improvements to sound, comfort and of course, the latest version of Bluetooth. The Spirit X is also one of the best sounding workout headphones on the market today, even competing with some of the premium brands. At under $40, the Spirit X is extremely well priced offering exceptional value for money.

9. VAVA MOOV 28 Wireless Sports Earphones

VAVA MOOV 28 Wireless Sports Earphones


IP
IPX6
Battery Life:
9 Hours
Weight:
0.6 oz
Colors:
1
More Specifications
  • Headphone Type: In-ear
  • Cable/Wireless: Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction
  • Primary Build Material: Aluminium, plastic
  • Color Options: Black

The VAVA MOOV 28 is another workout headphone not many have heard about and yet, they are very popular with a good rating from consumers. The headphones come with an IPX6 waterproof rating which protects against water and sweat. While the IPX6 rating doesn’t protect against submersion, it does protect against water sprayed from all angles which means you can rinse them off after your training session.

The VAVA MOOV 28 is an in-ear headphone with wing tips to keep the earbuds securely in place. Each VAVA MOOV 28 earbud is magnetic, which means you can take them out of your ears and connect the magnets so the headphones remain around your neck.

The headphones feature a 3-button inline remote to control your Bluetooth device. Buttons include volume up/next track, volume down/previous track, and a multi-function button. Using the multi-function button you can play/pause, pair Bluetooth, and manage incoming calls. The inline remote also houses the VAVA MOOV 28 microphone for hands-free calling. Often these inline remotes bounce around a bit during workouts, especially running. For this, you get both a cable clip and shirt clip so you can take up any slack on the cable and attach it to your clothing.

The most impressive part of the VAVA MOOV 28 is the sound quality. These workout headphones produce a surprising amount of bass which is always appreciated when working out. The overall audio quality is clean with the mids and highs sounding upfront and clear. Call quality on the VAVA MOOV 28 is also really good. Voice can sound slightly distant on some calls but still clear and intelligible to hold a conversation. The VAVA MOOV 28 features CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction Technology which certainly helps with call quality while adding to the passive noise isolation.

The VAVA MOOV 28 features a built-in battery with 9-hour battery life. The headphones will fully recharge from flat in under 2 hours.

What’s in the Box?

Included with the VAVA MOOV 28 Wireless Sports Earphones:

  • VAVA MOOV 28
  • Micro USB charging cable
  • 3 x Pairs of wing tips (small, medium, large)
  • 3 x Pairs of silicone ear tips (small, medium, large)
  • Carry pouch

VAVA MOOV 28 Wireless Sports Earphones Conclusion

If you like the wing tip in-ear fit, then you should definitely check out the VAVA MOOV 28. Not only do these headphones have a cool name, but they also have a cool sound. The VAVA MOOV 28 is also constructed mostly of aluminum which makes them less susceptible to damage. At under $35, the VAVA MOOV 28 offer great sound and design quality.

10. TaoTronics TT-BH07 Bluetooth Earbuds

TaoTronics TT-BH07 Bluetooth Earbuds


IP
IPX6
Battery Life:
6-8 Hours
Weight:
0.53 oz
Colors:
5
More Specifications
  • Headphone Type: In-ear
  • Cable/Wireless: Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: CVC 6.0 Noise Reduction
  • Primary Build Material: Aluminium, plastic
  • Color Options: Black, blue, green, pink, red

TaoTronics is best known for their range of soundbars and speakers, some of which we have reviewed here on Outer Audio. TaoTronics products are generally on the budget end, however, we’ve found their build and sound quality to be surprisingly good considering their competitive pricing. The TT-BH07 Bluetooth Earbuds is one of several earbud headphones available from TaoTronics and, in our opinion, the best workout earbuds they make.

The TT-BH07 is an in-ear headphone with wing tips to keep the earbuds in place. The fit is snug and secure which is perfect for runners and other vigorous training regimes. The headphones also carry an IPX6 waterproof rating which protects against sweat and sprays of water but not submersion. The two earbuds are connected via a short, anti-tangle cord which sits neatly behind the neck. In addition, the back of the earbuds are magnetized so, you can keep the headphones around your neck, even when they are out of the ears. So all the features you want for a pair of workout headphones.

When it comes to sound quality, the TT-BH07 does lack a little bass when compared to other workout earbuds. Aside from the slight lack of bass, the TT-BH07 sound clean and clear with no issues listening to music or dialogue heavy content like podcasts or the radio. The TT-BH07 also features a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and here too the sound quality is good enough to hold a conversation.

The inline remote on the TT-BH07 features a 3-button control and also houses the built-in microphone. The 3-button remote includes volume up/next track, volume down/previous track and a multi-function button. The multi-function button allows you to play/pause, pair Bluetooth, manage incoming calls and activate voice commands to Siri or Google Now.
The TT-BH07 built-in battery lasts between 6-8 hours depending on the features you use and how loud you operate the headphones.

What’s in the Box?

Included with the TaoTronics TT-BH07 Bluetooth Earbuds:

  • TaoTronics TT-BH07
  • 3 x Pairs of ear tips (small, medium, large)
  • 3 x Pairs of ear hooks (small, medium, large)

TaoTronics TT-BH07 Bluetooth Earbuds Conclusion

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on workout headphones, you might want to consider the affordable TaoTronics TT-BH07 Bluetooth Earbuds. While the TT-BH07 does lack bass when compared to the other workout headphones we reviewed, the overall sound quality and call quality is good. At just under $26, the TaoTronics TT-BH07 is a great choice if you’re on a tight budget and need a decent pair of workout headphones.

Buyer’s Guide

We’ve put together this helpful buyer’s guide in case you’re still not sure which workout headphones are best for you.

The Cheapest Workout Headphones

If you’re looking for the cheapest pair of workout headphones, then at under $20, the Mpow Flame is going to be your cheapest option. Even though these headphones are cheap, they are certainly not cheap sounding and come with most of the same features found on the more expensive premium brands.

Here are all the workout headphones listed from cheapest to most expensive:

Under $20Mpow Flame
Under $30
TaoTronics TT-BH07
SENSO ActivBuds S-250
Phaiser BHS-730
Under $50VAVA MOOV 28
ELZU.US
Anker Soundcore Spirit X
Mpow 059
Under $100Plantronics BackBeat FIT
AfterShokz Trekz Air

Best Workout Headphones for Gym

If you’re working in the gym on machines and lifting weights, then because you’re not moving around too vigorously, you don’t need an in-ear workout headphone. In this case, an over-ear headphone will be better suited. The Mpow 059 is an over-ear headphone with passive noise-isolation technology to block out much of the surrounding environment. Great for the noisy gym or even traveling.

Best Workout Headphones for Your Ears

If you’re concerned about the potential damage headphones can cause, then the AfterShokz Trekz Air is a good alternative to the traditional headphone. Rather than sitting on or in the ear, the AfterShokz Trekz Air is a ‘bone conduction headphone’ which sits on the bone in front of the earlobe where audio is transferred through the bone rather than directly to the eardrum. Not only does this completely eliminate any risk of damaging your hearing, but you also enjoy good spacial awareness which means you can hear what’s going on around you. This means if you’re running or cycling on a busy street, for example, you can still be aware of potential dangers like vehicles and other pedestrians.

The AfterShokz Trekz Air is also great for hiking and listening to audio in nature. Because you don’t completely block out the surrounding environment, you’re able to enjoy both listening to audio and the great outdoors at the same time.

Best Workout Headphones for Running

While the AfterShokz Trekz Air is great for running where you need to be aware of your surroundings, they might not be good if you want more isolation and bigger sound. The Plantronics BackBeat FIT, in this case, is perfectly suited for runners and even cyclists. The Plantronics BackBeat FIT is ultra lightweight and comfortable with the headset staying in place. In fact, if not for the audio playing in your ears, after a few minutes you barely notice the Plantronics BackBeat FIT is even on your head.

Headphones and Hearing Loss

While we don’t want to put a downer on the party, it is important that people are aware of the risks involved in using headphones. Most importantly, the potential damage you could be doing to your hearing as a result of overuse and excessive volume levels. Here are some tips to use your headphones responsibly. Please note, none of the below is medical advice. Always consult your doctor for professional advice on your health.

Headphone Volume

The most obvious cause of damage to your hearing is the volume you choose to listen to your headphones. Volume is measured in decibels or dB. An acceptable listening volume is 80dB which is roughly 60% volume on a pair of classic iPhone headphones. The volume will vary from headphone to headphone so read the user manual where the manufacturer will note an acceptable listening level.

It is especially important to note that kids and adolescents are at a higher risk as their hearing is still underdeveloped. A study carried out on US Adolescents (12 to 19 years) in 2005-2006 compared the results to a similar study carried out between 1988-1994. The results show that “The prevalence of any hearing loss increased significantly…” and went further to say “…loud sound exposure from music listening, may be of particular importance to adolescents as well.” So, if you’re a parent, be extra vigilant of your child’s headphone use.

Limit Listening Time

Aside from the volume, you also need to limit the amount of time you spend listening to your headphones. Listening to headphones for hours on end is not good for your hearing and may lead to permanent damage.

There is what’s known as the 60/60 rule which states you should limit your listening to 60 minutes a day at 60% volume (80-85dB). At lower volumes, you can obviously increase the amount of time you can spend using your headphones. It’s always best to consult your headphone user manual for recommendations.

Use Noise-Canceling Headphones

One of the main reasons people turn their headphones up too loud is due to the noisy environment they are in. Airplanes, gyms, shopping malls, and public transport are often places we use headphones but they’re also very noisy making it difficult to listen to headphones at an acceptable listening level. If you use headphones in these noisy environments often, it’s probably a good idea to consider purchasing a pair of noise-canceling over-ear headphones or earbuds.

 

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Matt Hallowes

Matt Hallowes

Matt has worked as a sound engineer and tour manager since 2003. His work as a sound engineer includes both live production and venue installations. With a passion for the industry, Matt shares his knowledge and expertise with us.

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