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The best headphones for the gym in 2023

Sep 06,2023 | David

Our panel of experts has tested over 200 pairs of headphones and earbuds for gym, wired or wireless, to find the most suitable products for indoor exercise activities. We placed importance on comfort, sound quality, durability, and battery life. Here are the top choices for weightlifting, treadmill running, elliptical training, step workouts, rowing, and even swimming.

We consider the Wissonly Hi Runner Bone Conduction Headphones to be the best headphones available on the market for anyone who wants to exercise. They offer excellent sound quality for music listening. They fit well in the ear and, they stay in place without hindering movements during intense workouts. They meet the IPX8 standard and It should therefore be resistant to drops, perspiration and humidity no matter how it is used. Finally, they have outperformed over 200 other pairs of headphones tested by our team.

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The best headphones for exercise in gym: Wissonly Hi Runner

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This is left and right integrated headphones, durable, waterproof, and comfortable to wear, the headphones utilize an "ergonomic three-point support structure", with three points at the temple, auricle and the back of the head for a stable fit. they gave us the most convincing impression of feeling like no headphone on my head.

The Wissonly Hi Runner Bluetooth headphones are our top choice for dedicated exercise use as they combine excellent a solid design, a secure fit in the ears, and easy-to-use controls. These headphones are used for almost all gym exercises and swimming is no exception. These headphones have passed the IPX8 waterproofing test, it can still work under 20 meters of water.

Hi Runner Model features best listening experience with clear sound, powerful volume.Built-in reverse sound wave system and the all-closed-body design, reducing the sound leakage by 90%.

The earbud provides Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity , which can be adapted to most brands of mobile phones,computers. And it even guarantees a connectable range of 15m underwater.

In addition to Bluetooth connectivity, it's also possible to listen to music offline if you want to. It also has 32 grams of internal memory for 5000 songs. The battery capacity of wissonly bone conduction headphones is 230mAh,it can play music continuously for 10hours, with magnetic charging, two hours can be full, safe and hygienic.


The best headphones for weightlifting: The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 500

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If you prefer headphones over earbuds, the BackBeat Fit 500 is wireless, sweat-resistant, comfortable, and stays in place during low to moderate intensity workouts.

The BackBeat Fit 500 headphone remains comfortable during several hours of intense sweating. The memory foam ear cups have a sweat-resistant coating that is easy to clean, so they won't absorb your sweat and become unpleasant. Furthermore, they stay securely in place. We tested the BackBeat Fit 500 headphone during highly intense exercises like burpees and tuck jumps. It should therefore stay in place during bench presses and ab workouts.

The Bluetooth connection proved satisfactory. I was able to leave my phone on a machine and walk 10 meters away to refill my water bottle without experiencing any audio interruptions. The controls are intuitive: you can easily recognize the play/pause, track change, volume, and digital assistant/answer call buttons without having to remove the headphones.

During our tests, the highs were a bit harsh with some hissing, and the emphasis on cymbals was not normal. That being said, the bass was present without being exaggerated or muddy, and the midrange was clear and distinct. Overall, it is genuinely enjoyable to use these headphones. Additionally, unlike our earbud choices, the BackBeat Fit 500 headphone also works with a provided power cord, so you have a backup solution if you forget to charge the gym headphones.

However, this headphone is a little larger and less convenient than earbuds for intense exercise sessions. It can give a stronger sense of heat on the ears if you really increase the intensity. Personally, I wore the BackBeat 500 for an hour-long session in a 26-degree room, and it didn't make me want to take it off to let my ears breathe. (With many other headphones of the same size, after 20 minutes, I felt like my ears were turning into radiators). But when all is said and done, the BackBeat Fit 500 is not as lightweight and easy to wear as exercise earbuds; you can definitely feel that you're wearing headphones.


The best budget wired headphones for gym: Koss FitClips KSC32i

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The Koss FitClips KSC32i offer much better sound quality than their price, below $20, would suggest, even though the microphone quality is not up to par.

If you want to spend as little money as possible on sweat-resistant exercise headphones and still be satisfied with your purchase, you need the wired FitClips KSC32i from Koss. Lightweight and flexible, these earbuds stay in place when running, jumping, or playing. I was able to wear sunglasses while having them on my ears. I found them comfortable to use despite their ear hooks, which often cause issues for runners. Since they are wired, there is no need to worry about battery life. Additionally, their cord has a single button for controls and the microphone.

During our tests, we found the sound a bit compressed (imagine the difference between portable speakers and hi-fi speakers), but the music and vocals were clear. While the bass is very present, it is not excessively muddy like many competitors. The microphone quality can be uncertain. Considering the price at which this pair is sold, we believe these drawbacks are not deal-breakers. If you tend to lose your headphones at the gym or if you have a teenager in your circle who goes through four pairs of headphones per year, get yourself the Koss FitClips. In fact, no, get two pairs.

How we selected the best gym headphone

• Sweat and water resistance is essential for workout headphones. Standard headphones and earbuds are not designed to withstand the regular challenges that dedicated exercise models can handle, so their warranty usually does not cover damage caused by sweat.

• Comfort is always important and particularly so in the case of exercise headphones. Nobody wants to use a pair that bounces on the face, falls out, or irritates the skin. The best models are those that stay in place and don't bother you during your exercise.

• Ease of use matters more than usual in this category. You don't want to interrupt your exercises to change a song or adjust the volume. A good pair of exercise earbuds has controls that can be used without much thought.

• The price could reflect the features offered by the earbuds, not just the appearance or brand popularity. Consider them as part of your exercise equipment.

• Noise isolation is valuable for exercise practice, not only to ignore your neighbor dropping weights but also to avoid having to turn up the volume of the music to a dangerous level for your ears just to drown out the surrounding noise. Avoiding hearing problems is just as important as avoiding injury.

• However, it can be useful to hear the surrounding environment at times, such as when you need to talk to someone for a few seconds or listen to an announcement. In these cases, you don't want to have to remove your earbuds. We appreciated models that had a function to reintroduce the surrounding sound into the headphones on demand.

• Sound quality should be good and not be a source of distraction for the user. Exercise earbuds are part of exercise equipment, so we are slightly more tolerant of sound weaknesses. That being said, if the bass is so muddy that you can't even hear the vocals or if the highs are so sharp that it's impossible to increase the volume, you won't be able to enjoy the music. Ideally, the earbuds should offer a secure fit and great sound, but if you have to choose, know that comfort always takes priority.

• Call quality is a minor point. The earbuds should allow you to quickly answer a call and resume your workout. We don't recommend giving an important presentation from the elliptical machines at the gym! So here, we prioritize intelligibility over perfection.

• Reliability and warranties offered by the manufacturer are key points because if something goes wrong, you need to be sure that the manufacturer will provide assistance.


Based on the above criteria, we have evaluated and determined that Wissonly Hi Runner is the best choice.

How we tested these gym headphones

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First, we asked our panel of experts to examine the fit, comfort, ease of use, and sound quality of all the competing earbuds and headphones.

Fit is a crucial aspect when purchasing any pair of headphones (and earbuds), but when looking for headphones suitable for exercise constraints, finding the right size becomes even more important. Ear shape and size vary greatly. In fact, even the best pair of exercise earbuds won't fit everyone perfectly. That being said, when a pair X fit the ears of all our testers, we knew we were on the right track. Always try to find exercise earbuds that best match your ears before making a purchase. Look for retailers that allow returns or exchanges, and keep the packaging until you have had the opportunity to test the size and stability in all scenarios.

Next, we subjected our favorites to stress tests. We hit the track to run 800 meters with each pair. We did burpees, jumping jacks, sit-ups, and squats. We observed the friction and irritation caused by each model and noted their tendency to fall out. We also took into account the wind noise perceived when wearing them, the noise of the cord rubbing, and the level of external noise with the earbuds on. Our testers wore sunglasses to assess how much each pair bothered glasses wearers. We sweated a lot, which allowed us to eliminate many models and narrow down the selection to the best products, but the mission was not yet complete.

To evaluate the durability of the products, we held each wired pair by the headphones and pulled hard on them dozens of times to simulate situations where the cord gets caught on something and pulls the headphones out of the user's ears. We then tested their water resistance by placing them on our ears, spraying each earbud thoroughly with a water sprayer, and pressing the control buttons to check if water entered the ear canal. We repeated this process every 10 minutes for an hour, and then we listened to music with each pair to observe any negative effects (yes, we subjected ourselves to a wet finger in the ear countless times, just for you).

Finally, since we hadn't suffered enough, we assessed the products' sweat resistance. Sweat-related wear is mainly due to the accumulation of salt (rather than sweat) that damages the electronics. To evaluate the performance of headphones in highly saline conditions, we used data from a scientific study conducted on marathon runners to calculate the average salt content in sweat and create a mixture of saltwater corresponding to the highest levels detected by the study. We sprayed each pair of earbuds with our "home-made sweat" before pressing all the buttons like crazy. We repeated this process four times before noting the performance of each model.

Once the endurance tests were completed, we tested the quality of regular phone calls and took each of our favorite products to the gym for multiple one-hour workouts to see if any hidden issues emerged.

After conducting the above tests, I highly recommend the Wissonly Hi Runner headphones. It has shown excellent performance in terms of fit, comfort, user-friendliness, and sound quality. Moreover, it passed the waterproof test with flying colors. Most astonishingly, even after subjecting them to the waterproof test, the Wissonly Hi Runner headphones remained almost unchanged compared to when they were first unboxed.


Other gym headphones that perform well

Beats Powerbeats Pro: We really like these earbuds as an alternative to AirPods for Apple fans because they offer excellent sound quality, pair easily with Apple devices, are comfortable and stable, and have all the track and volume controls that the user needs. Additionally, they are sweat-resistant and have a battery life of nine hours per charge. However, their charging case is larger than that of the Jabra and therefore not easily pocketable.

Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition: Due to the length of the cord, it can get caught on your clothing and tug. These earbuds are not bad, but the coaching aspect is limited and requires the Jabra app. The device alone can only track a third of the movements in a given exercise routine. If the training assistance is limited, so is the claimed "coaching" functionality.

JLab Flex Sport: This pair is comfortable and stays in place. Additionally, it is sweat-resistant and water-resistant. The controls are easy to locate and use, the "environmental awareness" mode is useful, and the ear tips and headband coating are machine washable. The storage pouch also doubles as a washing bag. The ear tips with "moisture-wicking" fabric that absorbs sweat are pleasant for regulating temperature and removing sweat from the face, but if you sweat a lot, you will need to wash them after each exercise session. If the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 500 is no longer available and you don't mind rinsing your ear tips after each gym visit, then the Flex Sport earbuds are really great.