Top Recommended Sports Headphones for 2023
Sep 04,2023 | David
Sport headphones are incredibly useful when it comes to running or working out, as listening to music during exercise can help you stay focused and motivated. If you use headphones while working out, you may be concerned about them slipping off your ears at the gym or getting soaked and damaged by sweat. Moreover, when you’re exercising outdoors, having headphones that isolate you from your surroundings can prevent you from hearing important sounds like car engines or approaching bicycles, posing a safety issue.
Therefore, factors to consider when choosing sport headphones include a secure ear-hook design that stays in place, a durable wired connection that won’t easily break, and a waterproof rating that can withstand sweat and rain while allowing for external sound capture to ensure safety.
In this article, we’ll present our top recommended running headphones. There are various options available, including waterproof models and securely fitting designs.It’s common to feel confused about which one to choose,so, we’ll introduce the best sport headphones and explain the unique features of each type. If you’re considering purchasing running headphones, this article will be your ultimate guide.
How to choose sports headphones
Recommended manufacturers and brands
Recommended 5 sports headphones
How to choose sports headphones
Nowadays, the number of people engaging in sports is increasing due to the growing awareness of health, prolonged periods of staying at home, and the lack of exercise caused by remote work. Here are some key points to keep in mind when selecting running headphones:
1. Prioritize Wireless Options
It can’t be emphasized enough how wireless headphones provide much more freedom of movement during exercise, as there are no worries about the restrictions of wires. If you use specialized gym equipment for muscle training or perform complex stretching exercises, it’s essential to consider this basic requirement of using wireless headphones during your workouts.
If you’re concerned about headphones falling off during running or when exerting force during muscle training, we recommend using either fully integrated wireless earbuds or neckband-style wireless headphones. The advantage of these options is that the power cable and neckband are connected to the earbuds’ casing, making them less prone to getting lost. If you opt for fully integrated earbuds, securing the clip to your clothing can be safer to prevent them from falling off right from the start. On the other hand, if you choose a neckband-style, it’s more secure to have it hanging around your neck.
Running itself requires perseverance, and if your running headphones are uncomfortable, it can significantly diminish your enjoyment of the workout. During exercise, it’s crucial to minimize any physical burdens, and the comfort of your headphones plays a significant role in the overall sports experience.
The comfort of headphones is influenced by factors such as weight, design, and materials. However, the most crucial aspect is the actual sensation while wearing them.
When it comes to excellent wear ability, bone conduction headphones stand out as the best option for running. These headphones do not require insertion into the ears, so they don’t feel stuffy or block the ears. It’s safe to say that they offer the most comfortable wearing experience among all headphone types, which is why they have gained immense popularity within the sports community. Since bone conduction headphones are designed to be open-ear, there’s no risk of ear canal swelling even during prolonged use. On the other hand, in-ear and semi-in-ear headphones are more likely to accumulate earwax and increase the chances of developing otitis media if worn for extended periods. Hence, I personally recommend opting for bone conduction headphones to enjoy both open-ear wearing comfort and reduced risk of ear infections.
Stability is a fundamental requirement for sports headphones. During exercise, the body undergoes significant movements, making it crucial for the headphones to remain stably in place. Whether engaging in intense workouts or more moderate activities, it is essential to ensure that the headphones won’t fall off. If a pair of headphones cannot handle even the slightest motion during exercise and keeps falling off, it is of no help for the workout routine.
Many regular headphones rely on friction between the ears and the earpieces for stability, such as the semi-in-ear headphones. However, such design cannot withstand vigorous physical activities and is inadequate for sports. On the other hand, most sports headphones incorporate specific features to enhance stability, such as support points, earlobe clips, and ear hooks. Therefore, when choosing running headphones, the first thing to consider is whether they come with dedicated reinforcement designs.
In this regard, bone conduction headphones offer excellent stability due to their unique body structure, allowing them to stay securely positioned on the ears.
When driving on roads with cars and bicycles or jogging while wearing headphones to listen to music, it is essential to take certain safety precautions. To consider traffic conditions while being aware of the surroundings, such as pedestrians’ footsteps, car horns, and signs of approaching bicycles, it is crucial to ensure a level of safety when wearing headphones.
In such cases, we recommend using high-quality headphones equipped with external sound capture features (ambient mode). Even while wearing the headphones, the microphone can pick up external sounds like footsteps and conversations, which is highly useful for staying aware of the environment.
For optimal safety during sports activities, we highly recommend using bone conduction headphones for running. Unlike regular headphones that deliver sound through air vibrations to the eardrums, bone conduction headphones transmit sound by vibrating against the bones of the head and then propagate it to the auditory nerves for music enjoyment. In other words, as these headphones do not come into direct contact with the ears and do not block them, a significant advantage is the ability to hear ambient sounds directly from the ears. It can be considered the safest type of headphones.
When using headphones for running, as electronic devices, they must be able to withstand sweat or rain during outdoor activities. This is referred to as the waterproof standard, and each level specifies its resistance to water. The “IPX” on the product page or packaging indicates the waterproof rating, with “0” meaning not waterproof and “8” representing the highest waterproof level. In other words, the higher the number, the better the waterproof performance.
If you use sports headphones for activities like running or cycling, we recommend opting for an IPX4 or IPX5 rating, as they can handle most sweat and rain exposure. However, if you enjoy swimming or diving, it is advisable to purchase sports headphones with an IPX8 rating.
Wireless headphones are powered by built-in batteries, so when the battery runs out, they will stop working. This is an inevitable drawback of using wireless headphones.
Therefore, it is crucial to choose headphones with a longer continuous playback time, so that they don’t suddenly stop working while you are still in the midst of your workout, whether it be running, jogging, or any other activity. This way, you can maintain your exercise rhythm without any disruptions.
7.Easy to Operate
When using headphones while running, you typically place your smartphone (the audio source) in your pocket. Therefore, when you want to stop the music, change the volume, or answer a call, we recommend using headphones with buttons for easy control on the side of the headphones.
Headphones with buttons come in two types: physical buttons and touch-screen buttons. Physical buttons can be operated by pressing them with your fingertips, providing a tactile sensation that makes them easy to use while on the move. However, in the case of touch-screen buttons, they require touch-based interaction, which can be a drawback as you may wonder if they will respond accurately in many situations.
Furthermore, the functions that can be controlled on the button’s side vary depending on the headphone model. Some models may allow you to play and pause music using the button but do not have volume adjustment capabilities, so be sure to choose carefully.
Recommended sports headphones manufacturers and brands
Everyone knows Apple, the creator of AirPods Pro with IPX4 sweat and noise-canceling features, and Sony, a brand with a long history of producing high-quality headphones for the world.
In recent years, emerging small-scale manufacturers like Anker and SOUNDPEATS have also gained significant support.
Another brand to mention is Wissonly, a specialized manufacturer of bone conduction headphones for sports enthusiasts. Wissonly has experienced tremendous growth in the past six months and has been frequently recommended by prominent YouTube channels, making it a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts. Their team consists of technical experts in the field of bone conduction headphones, having started the development of ear-friendly bone conduction technology a decade ago. Their products boast excellent sound quality, minimal sound leakage, high water resistance ratings, exceptional comfort, and great value for money, earning them the loyal support of sports enthusiasts.
Recommended 5 sports headphones
TOP 5. Anker Soundcore Sport X10
The Anker Soundcore Sport X10 is an in-ear true wireless earbud with ear hooks designed to secure them comfortably behind your ears, preventing them from falling out. Additionally, the use of soft silicone ensures a gentle fit against your skin, minimizing friction and discomfort during your running sessions.
It boasts a high level of waterproofing with an IPX7 rating. The added Sweat Guard technology protects the earbuds from moisture damage, even during intense workouts when you’re sweating.
The earbuds themselves pack impressive specifications, featuring 10mm drivers that deliver resonant and non-piercing bass. Moreover, they come with noise-canceling and ambient sound mode, allowing you to customize your listening experience according to your preferences.
Fast charging support is also a great feature. With just a 10-minute charge, you can enjoy up to 2 hours of playback. Even if the battery runs low, you can effortlessly charge and use them on the go, just like you’re running. The earbuds charge by connecting to the casing via a USB-C cable, and the casing serves as a charging hub. However, the casing can be a bit bulky and inconvenient to carry around.
TOP 4. Boco EarsOpen Peace SS-1 — Sports Bone Conduction headphones
Boco Earsopen “Peace SS-1” is an clip-ear type wireless bone conduction headphone. The distinctive wearing style allows you to simply clip it onto your ear, just like an elegant earring. Once securely attached, you’ll barely feel its presence as it’s remarkably lightweight, devoid of any burden.
Though some might be concerned about its stability during use, I personally put it to the test and found that with gentle head movements, it remained steadfast. The portion in contact with the skin is crafted from rubber material, treated specially to strike a balance between comfort and preventing accidental detachment.
Regarding sound quality, it performs adequately, with a relatively average bass performance. The bass becomes noticeable only when the volume is increased, at which point the lower frequencies come to life.
An added advantage is its impressive IPX7 waterproof rating, ensuring it functions flawlessly in most wet environments, excluding swimming. However, it should be noted that the device lacks internal storage and operates solely in Bluetooth mode.
TOP 3. SoundPEATS Mini
This pair of headphones is incredibly small, approximately just a bit larger than a soybean. When you open the case and catch a glimpse of the headphones, you might be surprised by their petite size — they’re so tiny that they completely hide within the first joint of your finger.
Once you put them on, they fit perfectly snug into your ear canal, without any discomfort, to the point where you forget you’re even wearing them. The key is their secure fit deep in the ear without causing any pressure, so you can shake your head or move vigorously without them budging. They are also an ideal choice for activities like running or any intense physical workouts.
They don’t come with noise-canceling capabilities, but since they are in-ear style, they provide fairly good sound isolation.
Both the charging case and headphones are made of matte material, giving them a smooth texture. Even if you sweat, they won’t become sticky and reduce any discomfort.
The design includes a fingerprint-resistant feature, making them less prone to getting dirty during daily use.
However, the audio quality lacks the punch of bass; it’s merely sufficient for regular music listening. At best, you can hear every sound in a balanced and smooth manner, allowing you to focus on your workout. They are more suited for people who want to listen to background music while working.
TOP 2. Jabra Elite 7
The hallmark of Jabra in-ear headphones is their pursuit of superior sound quality and comfortable fit. The ergonomically designed earbuds ensure that you experience comfort even during extended workout sessions.
They also come equipped with “Active Noise Cancellation” technology, which reduces environmental noise and eliminates distractions, allowing you to focus on your training in a dedicated environment.
Jabra’s Elite 7 completely wireless earbuds feature “ShakeGrip technology,” providing a secure fit and a comfortable feel. Coated with a special liquid silicone rubber, they conform to your ears even without wings. The part that touches your ears is soft to the touch, minimizing the burden of wearing them.
The Jabra Elite 7 can reproduce sound with clarity, from deep bass to crisp highs, thanks to its custom-designed 6mm speakers, delivering high-quality audio even during intense workouts.
Moreover, when you pair them with the dedicated “Jabra Sound+” app, you can link them to your smartphone and customize the sound quality using an equalizer.
A fast charge of 5 minutes can play continuously for up to 1 hour. Even if the battery power is low, charging with the shell can extend the service time of headphones to more than 8 hours.
They are rated IP57 for dust, water, and sweat resistance but are not suitable for swimming.
TOP 1. Wissonly Hi Runner Sports Bone Conduction headphones
Wissonly is the leading brand for bone conduction headphones in terms of exceptional user experience. It excels in sound quality, comfort, and product specifications, delivering remarkable results in both product quality and hearing protection.
The Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones are designed in an open-ear style, worn directly on the temples, allowing your ear canal to remain fully open. This enables you to hear outdoor sounds like cars and traffic lights clearly while engaging in activities such as running or walking, ensuring a safer experience.
In terms of fit and comfort, the overall frame of the Wissonly Hi Runner adopts adjustable aerospace-grade titanium steel, accommodating different head sizes to ensure stability during use. The headphone surface utilizes high-tech, hypoallergenic silicone material, free of any chemical components, effectively preventing allergic reactions. The headphones feel as smooth as baby skin, avoiding discomfort during extended wear. Moreover, they weigh less than 30g, making them exceptionally lightweight and comfortable. As Wissonly’s flagship model for outdoor sports, it is currently the most comfortable and cost-effective bone conduction headphone on the market.
When you are sweating profusely during running or other activities, or if you unexpectedly encounter rain during outdoor workouts, the waterproof performance of sports headphones becomes crucial. As Wissonly’s flagship model, the Hi Runner bone conduction headphones boast an IPX8 waterproof rating, surpassing industry standards. They can function normally even while swimming or diving, let alone with ordinary sweat-proof or waterproof.
Equipped with 32GB of internal memory, these headphones can store up to 5000 songs and support Bluetooth and MP3 modes. You can use them as Bluetooth MP3 players for underwater sports or in scenarios where you don’t have access to your phone.
Bone conduction headphones have unique challenges in sound quality improvement due to their technical principles. However, the Wissonly Hi Runner breaks away from traditional sound solutions by adopting a groundbreaking large diaphragm vibrating unit. This structural optimization increases the effective vibrating area, resulting in excellent performance in both high and low frequencies. Furthermore, its sound leakage prevention technology is quite mature, outperforming standard bone conduction headphones in sound leakage reduction.
With a strong battery life, the Wissonly Hi Runner headphones provide up to 10 hours of continuous music playback, effectively compensating for the shortcomings of wireless headphones.
As for the price, the Wissonly Hi Runner is priced at just $99.99, offering outstanding value for money compared to other brands with similar performance, which typically cost $150 or more.
This article introduces headphones designed specifically for running. It emphasizes the importance of focusing on stability during intense physical activity rather than audio quality when selecting sports headphones. Essential features for sports headphones include Bluetooth connectivity for enhanced mobility, a secure fit to prevent falling off, water and sweat resistance for protection against the elements, and user-friendly controls for easy operation during exercise.
Considering the overall performance, the Wissonly Hi Runner Bone Conduction Running Headphones stand out as the best value for money, most recommended, and ideal choice for sports enthusiasts.