10 Best Sports Earbuds for Runners Swimmers and Athletes

best running headphones

If you are thinking about buying new sports earbuds, we will guide you with a comparison of the best sports earbuds in the market.

Bluetooth Earbuds have now become an essential part for many runners, swimmers, cyclists, golfers or athletes. However,  if you are more of the old school and what you are looking for wired headphones to play sports, we also present some good options which will be interesting.

In our list of the best sports earbuds we provide the pros and cons of each model: its water resistance  (Waterproof), if they hold well or if they are susceptible to fall, the quality of sound , the  compatibility of Bluetooth earbuds with other devices (mobile phones, audio players …) in addition to its size, comfort or price.

The Best Sports Earbuds
  1. Bose SoundSport
  2. Bose SoundSport Pulse
  3. Plantronics BackBeat Fit
  4. Beats PowerBeats 3
  5. Phillips ActionFit SHQ3200
  6. Jaybird X3
  7. Jaybird Freedom
  8. Sony Walkman NWWS413
  9. JBL UnderArmour
  10. JBL Synchros Reflect-I

Guide to choose the best sports earbuds

To start we want to show you the fundamental aspects that you should take into account when choosing headphones.

We must consider that we will usually be sweating intensely with the headphones in our ears while we are training in the street, on an outdoor track, in a gym or on a sports field.

To make a good choice the basic variables to consider are the following:

Design:  materials must withstand the conditions of outdoor training such as resistance to sweat, water, mud or dust. On the other hand, we would like to bring some headphones that are not only functional but also elegant and why not flashy.

Sound quality: it is important that our new headphones play our favorite songs as clearly and clearly as possible. The reinforcement of bass and treble will cause pleasant sensations in the ear and will be an important motivation to keep us focused on the training. In some cases, we want to remain isolated to external noise and in others, we will be interested in perceiving it to avoid risks, in each model we tell you which ones have external isolation and which ones do not.

Battery:  in the case of wireless headphones we want the battery to reach us enough to practice our sport without worrying about the load. If, on the other hand, you do not want to be aware of charging the headphones, then the option of wired headphones is for you.

Comfort: it is essential to avoid distractions that the headphones do not detach from our ears while we are training and they are comfortable enough so that they do not cause us discomfort.

Compatibility: we need the headsets to be compatible with the main brands of mobile devices such as Apple or Android Samsung and also that all controls of the integrated control work. Additionally, we need the Bluetooth pairing for the wireless headsets to be quick and easy.

Price:  we want to receive the highest possible benefits for each euro invested in our equipment.


Best Sports Earbuds


#1 Bose SoundSport (With cables)

PROS

Good sound quality, designed to last. Waterproof, compatibility with Apple and Android. Comfortable case

CONS

They do not have external support, they are wired.

Technical characteristics:

  • Connection: Cable
  • Battery: –
  • NFC: –
  • Weight: 17 gr

Bose has earned a place of honor in the segment of sports headphones. Both in wired or wireless headphones (with Bluetooth technology). If you’re interested in buying a bombproof sports-resistant headphones, you can go for because it is built with first-class materials. You can find the Bose SoundSport (with cables) in 5 different colors.

Design:

Pretty attractive. In addition, the Bose Sound Sport has Bose Stay Hear In-Ear technology that provides a firm grip on the ear canal and the inner outline of the ear. Although they do not have external support, they are quite comfortable thanks to the soft material of silicone with which they have been manufactured. They are also comfortable to the outline of the outer ear, adapting perfectly to the shape of the ear and the ear canal.

They are provided with a protection that repels water, sweat, and dust. There are two compatible options available for Apple and Android. With both models, you can answer calls, advance or rewind songs and control the volume from its integrated control to the cable, on the right side. Bring a very eye-catching and lightweight circular case with a traditional clasp. A good choice of headphones for running.

Battery:

Extra extra! We want to remind the most clueless that headphones with cable do not require battery charging (unlike wireless). They are inserted into the 3.5mm connector and ready to go running! This is a great advantage for those who do not want to be aware of the charge of the battery as it happens with the Bluetooth headset.

Sound:

Optimum sound quality is the strength of the Bose  Sound Sport: very good bass and high-pitched treble. If you are not looking for wireless headphones this is a very good option. You may hear some people say that they do not totally isolate the ambient sound, but we think they fulfill this function well.

Comfort:

The integrated control of these sports headphones is also very well designed, the buttons are comfortable and very easy to reach, this is particularly useful if we do not want to lose the rhythm of the race while we advance a song, answer a call or ask something to Siri, Cortana or Google Now.

Conclusion:

We believe that they are the best-wired sports headphones in relation to quality and price. Maybe one of your prices may be a little high, but Bose works very well on materials and design. The brand is also paid. However, starting from the premise that the cheap is expensive, if you take care of the Bose Sound Sport, you will have headphones for a while and in the long run, you will save money.


Bose SoundSport Pulse (Bluetooth)

 

PROS

Excellent sound quality, durable and very comfortable. Resistant to water, Compatibility with Apple and Android. Good heart rate meter. NFC pairing system.

CONS

They do not have external support.

Technical characteristics:

  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 8 hours
  • NFC: Yes
  • Weight: 22 gr

The commercial claim of this model of wireless sports headset is its star feature: heart rate measurement(compatible with most of the apps aimed at the same goal). For us the Bose Sound Sports Pulse, with built-in Bluetooth technology, is the holy grail for lovers of good sound and sport; The Ferrari of Bluetooth sports headphones.

Design:

Elegant and sporty. In addition, it has a compact design that holds well to the ear. The subjection is only proposed for the internal outline of the ear. Although there are some athletes who prefer headphones that are attached to the outer edge of the ear, we have to say that for tastes the colors, the important thing is that it performs its function correctly, and these headphones certainly do. A small drawback is that it has no extension adjustment to hold the cable to the neck or head as for example PowerBeats or Jaybird.

They have Stay Hear In-Ear technology from Bose,  which gives them a good grip to practice sports that require sudden and intense movements: running, football, climbing, fitness …

Battery:

The Bose Sound Sports Pulse’s battery lasts between 6 and 8 hours of continuous playback (depending on the volume of the music). It does not come standard but it is possible to complement these sports headphones with a case with the built-in external battery that provides the extra charge that always comes good when using a device outdoors (although yes, we add some weight to the backpack). It also has a very useful auto-off function to save energy.

Sound:

We believe that the quality of sound is one of the best in these Bluetooth headphones for the sport of the Bose brand. It does not completely isolate the sound from the outside, which can be useful to be attentive to the environment if we go by bike or running down the street.

The sound is optimized for outdoor use. If we use the Bose Sound sports Pulse in closed places we could perceive that the basses are too enhanced. The Bose Connect mobile application for devices with iOS and Android operating systems allows you to make adjustments to the headset such as pairing lists Bluetooth, to automatic paid or update the firmware, among other functions.

Comfort:

Very comfortable. They are resistant to sweat and splashing water. This makes them more durable and suitable for practicing outdoor sports.

Conclusion:

The price is assumable for the qualities with which Bose works and justified if we take into account the functionalities that are incorporated.


Plantronics BackBeat Fit 305

 

PROS

Innovative and lightweight, submersible design. Good battery life and good sound quality.

CONS

It has no size adjustment and the headband can get annoying when you jump.

Technical characteristics:

  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 8 hours
  • NFC: No
  • Weight: 22 gr

These sports headphones are a diamond in the rough. The Plantronics Backbeat Fit won the prize for innovation at the CES (Consumer Electronic Show) technology festival in 2015 and since then, they have been unstoppable.

Design:

Very striking. They present interesting features such as the one-piece design in flexible nanotechnology material. They are durable, resistant to water and sweat. These sports Bluetooth headsets support a water immersion of up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, perfect for washing them under the tap and leaving them as good as new!

Battery:

Good. Similar in terms of benefits than those of the Bose brand. It has a battery that lasts up to 8 hours. It also has a fast loading function for the most anxious. With fifteen minutes of loading, it gives you one hour of reproduction. Much faster than the normal load, which can take around two and a half hours to complete.

Sound:

It is of medium-high quality. Perfect for lovers of high fidelity. It does not completely isolate the sound from the outside although we have already said that it is not a negative thing, especially for outdoor activities in which you have to be alert: crossing roads, listening to directions …

Comfort:

Comfort depends a lot on the user’s perception. However, we have found them comfortable (as long as it does not bother you to wear them over your ear). Of course: they have a somewhat large design if we compare them with other brands.  We would reaffirm ourselves by saying that Plantronics Backbeat Fit is nice. A note to keep in mind in this regard: the solid band of support, although it is a flexible material, in some cases, get to bother in the neck when we are running or jumping.

Conclusion:

Price is an advantage of these Bluetooth sports headphones. Long live the Plantronics Backbeat Fit.


Beats PowerBeats 3

 

PROS

Excellent audio quality Comfortable, with external support. Water resistant, up to 12 hours of battery life, Ultrafast charging. Compatibility with Apple and Android.

CONS

Big size.

Latest Price & User Reviews

Technical characteristics:

  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 12 hours
  • NFC: No
  • Weight: 20 gr

The company Beats by Dre bet strongly for this model.  After analyzing it carefully, we do not shake hands when saying that it is one of the best wireless sports Bluetooth headsets on the market. And is that its manufacturers have created an ‘all in one’ with a lot of basic functions such as fast charging, good battery life, water resistanceAlso, they sound like a pleasure.

Design:

They adapt well to the ear and have a tape that holds them firmly to the head. They will not fall off even if you do the triple somersault with a corkscrew and a half. And they have a design with rounded edges that accommodate the anatomy of the ears. The colors are only present in the letters and in the internal areas (combined with black). You have them in black or white. Conclusion: Beats Powerbeats 3 is a good choice to listen to music while doing sports.

Battery:

Your strong point is that they can fight for  12  consecutive hours at medium volume.  Long battery life. In addition, it has an interesting  “Fast Fuel” function that allows ultra-fast charging. With only 5 minutes you can use it for one hour.

Comfort:

If we analyze them together, the Beats Powerbeats 3 can be the best sporty Bluetooth headphones: they are comfortable, withstand intense sweating, water, and can be worn for hours without you noticing. Another of its strengths is that thanks to the native technology of Apple with its  W1 chip for bluetooth class 4 guarantees a fast and exceptional pairing.

Conclusion:

More economical than the Bose SoundSport Pulse.


Philips ActionFit SHQ 3200

 

PROS

Good audio quality for the price, comfortable and very light, waterproof. It does not require batteries.

CONS

With cabling, although for some it may be a good option if you do not want Bluetooth.

Technical characteristics:

  • Connection: Cable
  • Battery: –
  • NFC: –
  • Weight: 8  gr

When we talk about popular devices among lovers of running, we have to make special mention of the Philips Actionfit SHQ 3200. Despite not being wireless, these sports headphones have very good features.

Design:

Attractive and innovative. The Philips Actionfit SHQ 3200 are built in  Kevlar  (like the headphones of the Formula 1 drivers). This synthetic material gives them greater impermeability, durability, and resistance. They are also ultra light. Its weight is around  8 grams. You have them in gray, green, pink and orange.

Comfort:

They are quite comfortable. The SHIT 3200 Actionfit bring adapters of soft material to hold them behind the auricle of the ear. It makes them stay quite firm in the ears. Of course, the cable of these sports headphones can interfere if you need to make strong movements or sudden changes of direction of the head as it happens for example in the CrossFit.

They come equipped with three sizes of rubber for the tips: large, medium and small. The adapter for the auricle of the ears can be removed from being as well as regular headphones.

Sound:

It has an interesting bass reinforcement giving depth to the sound. The rubber seal provided by the soft terminals in the in-ear model is used very well. An acceptable sound for cheap sports headphones. 

Conclusion:

The best thing about this device is the price. They are perfect for those runners who do not mind wearing a cable while training and want to save a few bucks. And with this option, you will save some money and get some headphones to do sports resistant to sweat and water.


Jaybird X3

 

PROS

Excellent audio quality. Comfortable and resistant. Adjust to the size of the tape. Waterproof. Long duration of the battery.

CONS

They have small pieces that can get lost. The case could improve.

Technical characteristics:

  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 8 + 4 hours
  • NFC: No
  • Weight: 17 gr

This model of sport Bluetooth headphones has caught our attention. The company acquired by Logitech has produced some small and interesting devices. It is as if their designers have focused on the strengths of their competitors and have tried to imitate them.

Design:

The Jaybird X3 have a military green color that we liked for innovative (unlike the bright colors that often have other models).

The integrated remote is comfortable to use and the buttons are large enough. This does not diminish their discretion because the design is light and smaller than other models. The Jaybird X3 has a problem that is also shared by other models of this brand: the charging adapter is a small plug that if lost will no longer be able to charge the headphones. They come equipped with various sizes of terminals to achieve a comfortable fit. We like the firm grip and they are quite resistant. They come with double insulation that protects them against sweat, mud, rain, and sun. The synthetic material provides all this characteristic to be resistant to water.

Comfort:

Jaybird included a fastening tape behind the neck very similar to what the Bose SoundSport devices look like. This makes them hold very well to the head.

Sound:

The sound quality is undoubtedly very high, even over Bose and Plantronics. It has great isolation from external noise. The high-pitched sounds are especially sharp with a very characteristic bass boost.

Battery:

The battery life is close to the standard of 8 hours at medium volume. It has been granted minimalist size sacrificing battery life when compared to Powerbeats. Additionally, the fast charge is not so fast, it needs 20 minutes for a charge of 1 hour.

Its compatibility if we liked it: with the Bluetooth 4.1 it is easily matched to iPhones or Android devices like Samsung S7. For those who like to run as a couple, two pairs of headphones can be connected to the same mobile device. Pretty cool this function Jaybird developed the  MySound mobile application that allows you to equalize the sound to taste in a very intuitive and easy way although the default setting is excellent.

Conclusion:

The price of the Jaybird X3 below $ 110 approximately, much cheaper than the PowerBeats 3.  If you do not practice extreme sports or require very strong movements this can be a good alternative for sports headphones.


Jaybird Freedom

 

PROS

Very good audio quality Comfortable. Good compatibility with mobile phones Water resistant, long battery life.

CONS

They have small pieces that can get lost, the clamping could improve.

Technical characteristics:

  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 8 + 4 hours-
  • NFC: No
  • Weight: 16 gr

The Jaybird Freedom have a rather urban roll and may not look as sporting as other wireless sports headphones. Despite having a good sound quality, they are not the best (even the X3 from the same brand Jaybird exceeds them).

Design:

Some physical characteristics do not favor him so much because although he has very nice details in metallic colors, they do not seem to be so adequate to subject them to sweat and water. It is not completely waterproof, and in this sense, metal details can be observed and we suspect it will be damaged by the use of excess sweat or humidity. Definitely: we thought they were not designed to practice sports.

Battery:

Jaybird wanted to give an extra battery to the Jaybird Freedom in the integrated controller and in the charger. This makes them a bit rough due to the load connector that has the control located on the cable. Additionally, the small charger that is attached to the integrated command is a piece that can easily be lost, as in the  Jaybird X3.

Related Read: Best Earphones for Bass Lovers – Wireless and Wired

One of the negative points of Jaybird Freedom, like the model described above, is that it has several small parts that we can lose: the tips of the headphones, the small pieces attached to the ear, the charging cable, the small coupling -Loader and cable fixing clip. And of course, if something is lost … it’s time to go through the box! With  4 additional hours of battery in the charger, the designer has definitely wanted to beat the competition in this area.

Comfort:

It has a strap to hold it behind the neck. Some elegance remains, but for the colors and metallic details, it seems to have been the idea of the designer. The case opens and closes easily and is an aid to keep all the accessories, although obviously, the case is not the main thing.

In terms of compatibility, like the X3 the Bluetooth 4.1 is seamlessly matched to iPhones or Android devices such as Samsung S7. Jaybird has created the  My Sound application as a differentiating element. From here you can make personal adjustments and equalize the sound easily.

Conclusion:

The price of  Jaybird Freedom is around $ 70. It is not your strong point. We invite you to continue reading this page. We will show you other similar options but better in quality-price.


Sony Walkman NWWS 413

 

PROS

Remarkable audio quality. Submersible up to 2 meters. Good battery life. They do not require a mobile device.

CONS

Without Bluetooth connection

Technical characteristics:

  • Connection: Inbuilt storage
  • Battery: 8 hours-
  • NFC: –
  • Weight: 32 gr

So far, the waterproof devices that we have presented just stood a little under the water, just enough to wash them under the tap. However, the  Sony Walkman NWWS 413 sports earphones are great for listening to music while swimming. These swimming headphones support dives of up to two meters. It is true that they are not designed to dive, but they are more than enough for a hard swimming training.

Related Read: Best Running Bluetooth Earphones for Long Sessions

These Sony earphones are independent. That is, they are not connected to Bluetooth or to mobile or another device. They have between  4Gb and 8 Gb capacity storage, which is not bad to download more than a hundred songs. Now thanks to the miniaturization of the pieces we have all the electronic circuits of a music player in a minimum portion of space and also, we can submerge it in the water.

Design:

The design of the Sony Walkman NWWS 413 has seemed square and a little heavy ( 36 grams ). Maybe they are a bit big (do not forget that they are a music player) but their simple and monochromatic colors give an elegant touch that we love. With these sports headphones, Sony lovers will find headphones with good sound quality perfect for swimming, running or other sports.

Battery:

The duration of the battery is not bad:  8 hours of continuous music. Enter within the average duration for wireless headphones. Recommended, especially in the category of headphones for swimming.

Conclusion:

Sony is a brand that is characterized by a good value for money. For this reason, its price is around $ 100, We find it quite competitive, especially for the aquatic segment.


JBL Under Armour Wireless

 

PROS

Excellent audio quality. Model with Under Armour logo. Comfortable and very light.

CONS

They are not adjustable in size.

Technical characteristics:

  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 8 hours
  • NFC: No
  • Weight: 15 gr

JBL  has developed some sports headphones for the world famous  Under Armour brand  Advertising is having a lot of punch.

Design:

The design of these  Bluetooth sports headphones is very similar to their non-sports counterparts ( called  Everest ). These UA Wireless sports headphones come with   JBL’s exclusive ergonomic design that makes them very comfortable within the ear cavity.

Its physical structure is at first sight of durable materials, the detail of the Under Armor logo on the headphone is attractive. Sweat and water protection cannot be absent and we appreciate it. Keep in mind !: JBL has partnered to offer premium access to the  MapMyFitness mobile application. With this app, you can monitor your progress in running or on the route if you are a cyclist or practice trekking in the mountains.

Comfort:

One of the disadvantages that we see in this model is the ribbon-like cable that remains free on the neck. The cable can move a lot while we are running or if we practice some exercise that requires jumping. Of course: the headphones are fixed very well in the ear and are suitable for almost all types of exercises.

Battery:

It has an average battery life of 8 hours (similar to the other devices in its segment).

Conclusion:

The price of the JBL Under Armour is around $ 100. It is true that you pay for the brand, but they are very good headphones considering the pros and cons analyzed.


JBL Synchros Reflect-l

 

PROS

Good audio quality for its price. Comfortable and very light, Waterproof

CONS

The subject could improve.

Technical characteristics:

  • Connection: Cable
  • Battery: –
  • NFC: –
  • Weight:  7 gr

Within the sports range of JBL, we can find these sports headphones with cable.   It is an affordable option for lovers of this famous brand.

Design:

Simple, with internal support (like most sports headphones). Sports colors: green, blue, purple and the classic black color. Designed with reflective material, very useful for cyclists or night runners.

Related Read: Best PS4 Wireless Headset for Extreme Gaming

The flat cable is not usual, although it must be recognized that they took advantage of it by reflecting their colors and helps the cable does not get tangled. Like all sports headphones, it comes with basic protection to sweat and water. It has magnets on the outside of the headphones to hang around your neck when you do not use them, a detail that we found ingenious and give it a point. Premium access to the Map My Fitness mobile application. With this app, you can monitor your progress in running or on the route if you are a cyclist or practice trekking in the mountains.

Battery:

Being cabled headphones, they do not have their own autonomy.

Sound:

Pretty clear. The sound comes well equalized in electronics with an emphasis on highs and lows, with its characteristic   JBL PureBass. This gives you a good advantage over your competitors.

Leave a Comment