What Wireless Headphones Are Suitable for Running?
Sep 04,2023 | David
Exercise is something that you can easily do anytime, anywhere, but it's important to address the issue of lacking motivation while exercising. Music can play a significant role in this regard: apart from enhancing focus and motivation, the rhythm of the music can also help you maintain a consistent running pace.
Among the headphones commonly used by frequent runners, wireless headphones are generally more popular. This is mainly because wireless connectivity liberates you from the hassle of cables, allowing for a more comfortable and unrestricted running experience. Additionally, there is a growing number of wireless headphone models that offer excellent waterproof, sweat-resistant, and durable features.
Furthermore, since running often takes place outdoors, there are models equipped with the capability to capture external sounds. There are also open-ear bone conduction headphones designed specifically for running, which work by vibrating against your head bones and transmitting sound directly to your auditory nerves, enabling you to enjoy music. In other words, as headphones do not make contact with or block your ears, a notable advantage is that you can hear environmental sounds directly, making them one of the safest options.
When choosing wireless running headphones, it's essential to consider their bass reproduction capabilities. During outdoor running or while driving, the ambient noise and your own breathing may make it challenging to hear the deep bass from the headphones clearly. Additionally, if the headphones are prone to shifting due to body movement, it can be difficult to perceive the deep bass properly. Ensuring an adequate amount of powerful and deep bass even during running is crucial.
Therefore, in this article, we have selected five wireless connected running headphones as our recommended models for a comprehensive analysis. The focus is on aspects such as comfort, water resistance, safety, battery life, and bass performance, among others.
Many headphones marketed as sports models are designed to be waterproof. This feature allows them to withstand sweat and rain during your running sessions, protecting the delicate electronics from malfunctions or short-circuits. With waterproof headphones, you can confidently touch them even with wet hands, making them easy to use.
Recently, waterproof headphones designed for swimming and diving are expected to make a splash in outdoor and leisure scenarios. Furthermore, the emergence of washable headphones presents an enticing advantage, allowing users to keep their headphones clean without worrying about sweat and grime.
Many people might have experienced this feeling while using headphones, like "my headphones keep falling off during my run" or "I can't focus on my workout because they seem to keep slipping out of my ears." This is where the importance of headphones specifically designed for running becomes evident. Apart from those with earbuds designed for running, many of them come with ear hooks, ensuring they stay securely in your ears and won't easily slip off.
We also recommend opting for running headphones with ear hook-style earbuds. They snugly fit the shape of your ears, so you don't have to worry about them gradually coming loose as you run.
The design of running headphones always prioritizes providing comfort because, after all, bulky headphones can easily become burdensome. Therefore, running headphones are generally made as lightweight as possible, and their fit is also ergonomically designed for optimal comfort.
While many of us use regular headphones to listen to music, it must be acknowledged that several scientific reports indicate potential hearing damage from prolonged headphone usage. When running outdoors, it's essential not only to block out external noise but also to avoid excessive noise isolation to prevent unexpected incidents from occurring.
"So, typically, running headphones come with both noise-canceling mode and ambient mode (allowing you to hear the surrounding sounds). Alternatively, there are open-ear designs like bone conduction running headphones that keep your ears completely open, enabling you to be aware of your surroundings and avoid potential dangers while running outdoors. Moreover, due to this open-ear design, you can use them for extended periods without causing any harm to your ears."
Beats by Dr. Dre is a brand of headphones developed under Apple, distinct from the "AirPods" series. Among them, the "Powerbeats Pro" is a dedicated wireless headphone designed specifically for exercise running, featuring ear hooks for a secure fit.
It boasts sweat and splash resistance, with an IPX4 rating.
Once you put them on, the ear hooks tightly secure around your ears. However, if you're not used to wearing them, you might find it a bit confusing to fit the ear hooks properly at first, and it may take some time to get accustomed to putting them on with one hand.
The headphones use physical buttons to control power and volume, making them very convenient to operate. Even while running or driving, there are no signs of operational issues. The "B" button, located on the edge of the headphones, is used for play/pause functions, while the volume can be adjusted using a separate button on the top of the device. This ease of use is definitely one of its advantages.
In terms of sound quality, the audio comes through just behind your ears, with the bass not being too overpowering but the mid and high frequencies are crystal clear.
One downside is the bulky charging case, measuring 77 (width) x 40 (height) x 77 (length) millimeters, which makes it impractical for carrying around. Without the charging case, it provides approximately 9 hours of continuous playback time. However, for daily training sessions, this should be sufficient without the need for the charging case.
It comes equipped with the familiar "Fast Fuel" feature from the Beats brand by Dr. Dre, enabling approximately 1.5 hours of playback with just a 5-minute charge.
The WF-SP900 is one of Sony's true wireless headphones with a strong emphasis on running. Besides its IP65/IP68 waterproof and dustproof capabilities, it also comes equipped with an Ambient Sound mode, allowing you to hear external sounds like ambient noise and voices.
Its standout feature is the built-in memory and music player. If you connect it to a PC and transfer music files (MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC) to the device, you can use it without carrying a smartphone or another music player.
When you actually put it on, the "arc supporters" (called conchas) fit snugly around your ears. Even with frequent movements during running, the headphones stay securely in place.
In terms of controls, you can play/pause or switch modes based on the number of times you press the physical button on the bottom of the headphones. You can also adjust the volume by double-tapping the "touch sensor" located next to the brand logo on each earbud. However, the physical buttons are more user-friendly, as you simply press the headphone like pinching it with your fingers, while the "touch sensor" requires you to touch specific spots, which might take some time to get used to, especially during running.
The sound quality is decent, but the bass is somewhat weak in the standard settings. In such cases, you can use the smartphone app "Headphone Connect" to adjust the equalizer. In the "Bass Boost" mode, you can enhance the intensity of deep bass. By the way, you can choose from 8 types of presets, including "Bass Boost," or customize the settings individually.
Under the "headphone mode" connected to a smartphone, the battery lasts for less than 3 hours, which is sufficient for training sessions. However, if you want to use it for an extended period, like a marathon, you can switch to "player mode." This mode utilizes the built-in storage and player, allowing the headphones to play music continuously for up to 6 hours.
The size of its rechargeable case is 70mm (width) × 46mm (height) × 70mm (length), and it's quite bulky. It might be a bit large for pockets in running attire and can be somewhat challenging to carry around.
Introducing the Jabra Elite Active 75t, a product from the American audio equipment brand, Jabra. These are mid-sized true wireless earbuds designed specifically for exercising, boasting an impressive IP57 dust and water resistance rating.
At first glance, the earbuds sport a sleek and minimalist design to enhance durability. However, the ear tips are made of silicone with unique specifications, offering three different sizes to cater to individual preferences.
Operating the earbuds can be done through the external buttons on the main unit or via touch controls. The touch-sensitive surface provides ample room for easy handling, making it convenient even during intense exercises, ensuring the earbuds stay securely in place.
The headphones also feature the "Hear Through" function, which allows them to capture external sounds. You can turn it on or off by pressing the button on the left ear. When it's activated, it picks up surrounding sounds with a slight clarity.
In terms of sound quality, if you set the preset "bass boost" mode, the sound in the headphones resonates with your body, producing a satisfying deep bass sensation while you're running. You can adjust the sound quality using the smartphone app "Jabra Sound+."
The battery life lasts up to 7.5 hours, which is acceptable for a full marathon. The charging case has a compact design, measuring 62.4mm in width, 27.0mm in height, and 36.6mm in length. This means you can easily carry the charging case in your running apparel pocket without any disturbance.
The headphones can be used independently for up to 7.5 hours, and with the charging case, you can extend the continuous usage time to 28 hours.
The charging cable used is USB-C.
Experience the unique "clip-ear" design, just like wearing earrings. These are wireless bone conduction headphones featuring a distinctive "clip-on ear" structure, simply clip them onto your earlobe like earrings, and they will fit most ears without concerns about head circumference.
With its lightweight build, wearing them feels almost like wearing earrings; there's no sense of heaviness, yet they stay securely in place during activities like running or walking, ensuring they won't fall off.
Boasting an impressive waterproof rating of IPX7, they can handle sweat and rain with ease, allowing you to use them worry-free in various weather conditions. They are even washable in case they get dirty, and you can use them while swimming, but they are not suitable for diving.
Their sound quality is commendable as well, thanks to the support for the aptX Adaptive codec, delivering low-latency and high-fidelity sound. The headphones also come equipped with call noise reduction, ensuring an excellent calling experience.
With its fast charging capability, just 10 minutes of charging provides approximately 4 hours of continuous playback, eliminating any worries about running out of battery.
And the best part is that they are priced at less than $80, offering great value for money.
Wissonly is the leading brand when it comes to the best bone conduction headphones. It excels in sound quality, wearing comfort, and product specifications, making it outstanding in both product quality and hearing protection.
The Hi Runner sports bone conduction headphones are designed to be open-ear, worn directly on the temples, allowing your ear canals to remain fully open. This enables you to easily hear outdoor sounds like car noises and traffic signals while running or walking, ensuring a safer experience.
In terms of fit and comfort, Wissonly Hi Runner features an adjustable aerospace-grade titanium frame, catering to different head sizes and ensuring a stable fit. The headphone surface is made of high-tech, low-sensitive silicone material, free from any chemical components, thus preventing allergic reactions. The overall feel of the headphones is as smooth as baby's skin, avoiding any discomfort during prolonged wear. Moreover, with a weight of less than 30g, it feels incredibly lightweight on your ears. As the flagship outdoor running model by Wissonly, it is currently the most comfortable and cost-effective bone conduction headphone on the market.
When you're running or engaging in other physical activities and find yourself drenched in sweat or caught in a sudden downpour during an outdoor run, the waterproof performance of your running headphones becomes crucial. As Wissonly's flagship model, the Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones boast an impressive IPX8 waterproof rating, surpassing industry standards. With this level of waterproofing, you can confidently wear them while swimming, diving, not to mention ordinary sweatproof and waterproof.
Equipped with 32GB of internal memory, the Wissonly Hi Runner can store up to 5000 songs and supports both Bluetooth and MP3 playback modes. This means you can use it as a Bluetooth MP3 player, perfect for underwater running or scenarios where carrying a phone is inconvenient.
Bone conduction headphones present unique challenges when it comes to enhancing sound quality. However, the Wissonly Hi Runner has revolutionized the traditional audio approach by incorporating large diaphragm vibrating units. Through structural optimization, it maximizes the effective vibrating area, resulting in excellent performance across both high and low frequencies. Moreover, its sound leakage prevention technology is remarkably advanced, outperforming most conventional bone conduction headphones designed for sports.
With an impressive battery life, the Wissonly Hi Runner can provide continuous music playback for up to 10 hours, effectively compensating for the typical drawback of wireless headphones.
In terms of price, the Wissonly Hi Runner is incredibly cost-effective at just $99.99, considering that other brands offering similar performance would typically charge $150 or more.
In wireless running headphones, when it comes to comfort and safety, bone conduction headphones are the most suitable for use during exercising. Bone conduction headphones transmit sound by vibrating the bones around the ears, delivering audio through bone and cartilage instead of the eardrums. Consequently, you can hear the sound without blocking the ear canal. This unique sound transmission principle brings many benefits, making it a popular choice due to its healthiness, safety, and hygiene.
You can choose the right running headphones based on your needs and budget. If you have a limited budget but still require good sound quality, noise reduction, and waterproof capabilities, we recommend the Wissonly Hi Runner. It offers excellent performance and has a high cost-effectiveness.