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Best earbuds for running

Which earbuds are best for running?

When searching for the best running earbuds, it can be easy to feel bogged down with the sheer amount of options in the modern headphone market. However, knowing what you’re looking for in exercise headphones is a great first step in narrowing down your options, and sometimes all it takes is learning what the options are.

While the best running earbuds will depend on what you’re looking for, Bose’s Sport Open Wireless Earbuds offer a comfortable fit with superior audio quality, making them a great option for any serious runner.

What to know before you buy earbuds for running 

How waterproof ratings work

Not every pair of headphones has a waterproof rating, though many do. You can find waterproof ratings advertised using the IPXX system, with the final digit representing how waterproof a given electronic model is. 

IPX8 is the highest waterproof rating, and it means that the technology can be submerged in water up to 1 meter deep for over 30 minutes. IPX7-rated objects can also be submerged in water up to a meter deep, while those that are IPX4, IPX5 and IPX6 offer protection against some water exposure, though not to the extent of their higher-rated counterparts.

Earbud styles

A wide range of headphone styles exists in today’s market, and while not every headphone is suitable for running or exercise, many earbuds are. Even earbuds come in differing styles, offering practical and comfortable fits to nearly every buyer if they know what they’re looking for. 

On the simplest level, some earbuds only consist of the piece that goes in the user’s ear. If you prefer a minimal earbud style, these may be the best bet for you. On the other hand, some who use their earbuds for running may prefer headphones with an ear ridge supporter for added stability or a silicone neckband that lays behind the user’s neck.

Wired vs. wireless earbuds

If you’re looking for wireless earbuds, they are abundant in the modern market, and they make for excellent running earbuds. Alternatively, while wired earbuds have declined significantly in popularity with the growth of Bluetooth technology, you can still find them affordably, and many users still prefer them for use while working out.

What to look for in quality running earbuds

High waterproof rating

Perhaps one of the most important things to look for in a pair of running earbuds is a high waterproof rating, so you can ensure you won’t damage them by getting sweat on them. While earbuds with an IPX8 waterproof rating are the most waterproof and offer the safest possible defense against sweat, you also may be able to get away with those that are only IPX4 or IPX5 or other models that aren’t rated but are considered “moisture resistant.”

Wireless charging case

While it isn’t a necessity for running earbuds, many users prefer earbud models with a wireless charging case. Wireless charging cases can charge up the earbuds while not in use, guaranteeing that they’re as charged as possible each time you get ready for a run. In addition, cases make the earbuds easy to carry around with you when in transit, and the cases themselves only need to be charged every so often.

Built-in microphone

Most modern earbuds also include a built-in microphone, which can be especially for those running. Earbuds with microphones are easier to use to control your device using voice commands, rather than rubbing sweat all over the device when you need to change songs mid-workout.

How much you can expect to spend on earbuds for running

Running earbuds have a wide range of prices, but in general, you can find wireless earbuds at prices as low as $15 or as high as $300.

Earbuds for running FAQ

Which earbuds are best for running?

A. While running earbud preferences are entirely up to the user, many find wireless earbuds convenient for exercise since they don’t have cables to get in the way, and they don’t require the user to keep their device on their person.

Are over-ear headphones as good as wireless earbuds for running?

A. Some users may prefer over-ear headphones for running, but in general, users tend towards less invasive headphones like earbuds, since they’re simple and keep runners cooler than those that fit over a person’s ears and head.

What are the best earbuds for running to buy?

Top earbuds for running 

Bose Sport Open Sweat-Resistant True Wireless Earbuds

What you need to know: These earbuds from Bose offer superior sound quality, sweat resistance and a convenient ear ridge supporter, which can be helpful for stabilizing your earbuds while running.

What you’ll love: The excellent sound quality, 8 hours of playtime per charge and only 2 hours to fully charge make these a great option. IPX4 is the water resistance rating. The ear ridge stabilizing arc helps keep the earbuds in ears, and the built-in microphone is ideal for calls and voice commands. 

What you should consider: These earbuds do not come with a wireless charging case and instead use a USB charging cable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top running earbuds for the money

TOZO T10 Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds with Charging Case

What you need to know: These affordable earbuds offer an impressive IPX8 waterproof rating, which is why they’re an excellent choice if you’ll be running while wearing them.

What you’ll love: They are super affordable, can be submerged in water and have a built-in microphone for phone calls and voice assistance. The earbuds offer up to 30 hours of playtime per charge. The wireless charging case adds up to 30 extra hours.

What you should consider: The audio quality isn’t as strong as some earbud models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Beats Powerbeats High-Performance Wireless Earbuds with Neckband

What you need to know: For those that prefer a neckband on their earbuds for working out, this model offers the best balance of good audio quality and comfortably fitting exercise wear.

What you’ll love: You get superior audio, user-friendly Bluetooth connectivity and a comfortable neckband. It features a powerful Apple H1 headphone chip, and you get up to 15 hours of playtime per charge and a built-in microphone. 

What you should consider: Some users prefer headphone models without a neckband or ear ridge supporters.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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