The best workout headphones should have other benefits beyond just durability. They should be cordless, making headphones while exercising a lot more practical. You don’t have a cord bouncing around (potentially pulling on the earpieces) or getting in the way of your workout. On the other hand, if a Bluetooth workout headphone design isn’t well-thought-out, it could be more trouble than it’s worth.
Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the top Bluetooth headphones built for working out. A lot needs to be considered in sporty wireless headphone, such as ergonomics, weight, battery life, and sound quality. Let’s check out which offerings today do it the best.
- 1 Best Bluetooth Headphone Built for Working Out 2019
- 2 #1 Pick Jaybird X2 – Editor’s Choice/Best Running Headphones
- 3 #2 Pick Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless
- 4 #3 Pick Bragi Dash
- 5 #4 Pick Photive PH-BTE70
- 6 #5 Pick Plantronics BackBeat Fit
- 7 #6 Pick LG Tone Active
- 8 What to look for in the Best Headphones Built for Exercise
- 9 Mistakes to Avoid
- 10 Most Important Features
- 11 Which Sporty Wireless Headphones are Right For You?
Best Bluetooth Headphone Built for Working Out 2019
|Jaybird X2||Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless||Bragi Dash||Photive PH-BTE70||Plantronics BackBeat Fit|
|Rank||#1 - Editor's Choice/Best Running Headphones||#2||#3||#4||#5|
|Frequency Range||20 - 20,000Hz||20 - 20,000Hz||20 - 20,000Hz||Unknown||50 - 20,000Hz|
|Playback time||8 hours||5 hours||3 hours||6 hours||8 hours|
|Bluetooth range||30 feet||33 feet||16 feet||33 feet||33 feet|
|Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now|
#1 Pick Jaybird X2 – Editor’s Choice/Best Running Headphones
Price: $113.64 | Battery Life: 8 hours
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The X2 nails it on all fronts: design, fit, battery life, and sound quality.
While Jaybird (bought by Logitech for $50 million April 2016) isn’t a huge audio manufacturer, the company has been exceptionally successful in the wireless headphone scene. The originals, Jaybird Bluebuds X, did so many things right. The fit was great, they were compact (for a wireless earphone), and the sound was well done. So when it came time for a sequel, Jaybird’s approach was of refinement to its proven formula.
The X2 (sans the “BlueBuds” moniker) look a lot like its predecessor. But gander closely and you’ll see that the build was updated. It now has a matte finish (instead of the cheaper-looking glossy plastic) and is sweat-proof. There are also a numerous colors to choose from.
The fit and lightweight design is still impeccable. The signature earfins help X2’s earpieces stay in the ear while exercising and the compact cord stays out of your way (without being annoying around your neck). Playback has a healthy battery life rating of around 8 hours.
The X2 continues Jaybird’s excellent sound quality. Treble takes center-stage while the mid-range is right behind with a natural reproduction. The bass has a nice presence, but it’s not hard-hitting, so bassheads may want to look elsewhere.
#2 Pick Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless
Price: $143.99 | Battery Life: 5 hours
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Probably the most robust and functional wireless earphone on the market.
Jabra may be more associated with its wireless headsets made for business, but the company also has a compelling sporty headphone line, probably some of the most robust ones out there. If your workouts are intense, then you’ll definitely want to consider the Sport Pulse Wireless. The earphone design is not unlike the Jaybird X2 we have just talked about, but Jabra takes it a step further with shock, sand, weather, and dust quality standards. They are also claimed to stay in your ear “no matter what you do”.
Jabra also developed a Sport Life app to complement the headphone’s usage with your activity (available on both iOS and Android). The Sport Pulse Wireless has a heart rate monitor, tracked within the app. You’ll also get a multitude of other fitness data, like distance, duration, speed, and calories burnt. The thin cable has an in-line remote for controlling playback and a mic for taking calls.
Battery life unfortunately isn’t a strong suit of the Sport Pulse Wireless, with a 5 hour playback rating. Also, the sound quality won’t blow away audiophiles, but it gets the job done. You’ll get good details in the highs and a solid bass response and we feel these are one of the best headphones for
#3 Pick Bragi Dash
Price: $349.95 | Battery Life: 3-4 hours
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The true wireless earphone, which has absolutely no wires and is sport-ready.
Bragi is a newcomer to the audio scene, and actually only has one product – the Dash. So why should we care then? Because it’s one of the most awesome and ambitious earphones ever developed. Although today’s Bluetooth earphones are “wireless”, they still have cords between the earpieces. However, Bragi set out to make the first true wireless earphone. The unit is merely two earpieces, with all the wireless electronics are stuffed within.
The Dash promises a lot. It captures fitness data (heart rate, steps, activity duration), has a secure/comfortable fit, and is waterproof. Aside from the wireless-enabling technology, the earpieces have a 100mAh rechargeable battery, 4GB of internal memory (for storing music), and a microphone to handle calls. The surfaces of the earpieces are touch-enabled, letting the user quickly play/pause, switch tracks, or answer/end phone calls.
The audio is delivered by tiny balanced amateur drivers. Bragi knew that there wouldn’t be a point to the Dash if it didn’t sound good. It delivers crisp highs, a balanced sound signature, and solid bass. Although, the noise floor is something that Bragi will have to work on in the future (you can hear a slight hiss), as well as the short Bluetooth range. Still, the trade-off is acceptable considering that the design is thought-out, cutting-edge, sporty, and truly wireless.
The Bragi Dash is available in either black or white and starts at $299. We feel they are one of the best waterproof headphones for exercise.
#4 Pick Photive PH-BTE70
Price: $32.90 | Battery Life: 6 hours
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The best valued wireless sport earphone for tight budgets.
Consumers who have a tighter budget can still find a good, sporty wireless headphone, but you’ll just have to dig past the name brands. We have one such recommendation – the Photive PH-BTE70. You’ll find great user reception for this simple but effective pair of wireless in-ears, especially since they only run $32.90 on Amazon.
That said, don’t expect the materials to be the most premium. The PH-BTE70 has a rubbery plastic construction, but fortunately, still with robustness in mind. It’s sweatproof and promises a secure fit through your rigorous workout due to a thought-out earhook design. It’s also lightweight and relatively compact for a wireless headphone. The PH-BTE70 won’t break any battery records, with a playing time of 6 hours, but it can be forgivable given the price.
At $32.90, it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect audiophile-grade fidelity, but the overall reproduction will satisfy most users. The bass, in particular, is given a slight emphasis and punch. Playback controls are planted on the left earpiece for quick access.
#5 Pick Plantronics BackBeat Fit
Price: $78.75 | Battery Life: 8 hours
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: An all-around top performer from a company that knows wireless.
Plantronics is another audio manufacturer known for producing some stellar wireless headsets, like Jabra. The company has taken advantage of its skill and molded an active headphone called the BackBeat Fit. There’s a lot going for it, like a water/sweat-proof build, secure and comfortable fit, and lengthy battery life (8 hours of playback).
The BackBeat Fit is made out of a flexible, liquid resistant band that routes around your ears and behind your neck, as opposed to a cord that just falls down. That helps keep it in place while exercising. Like other wireless offerings, it has playback controls and a microphone (for calls) on the earpieces.
Sound quality was a big area of focus, across the entire spectrum. The bass is rich but not overdone, and the mid to high-range frequencies are clear and detailed. Plantronics goes a step further and addresses safety by designing the eartip fit to let in some ambient sound. You don’t want to be completely obvious to your surroundings when you’re jogging/biking in the streets.
The Plantronics BackBeat Fit is available in black, green, or blue colors. The full retail price runs at $78.75.
#6 Pick LG Tone Active
Price: $94.99 | Battery Life: 9.5 hours
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A thought-out design boosted by long-lasting battery and LG’s great sounding QuadBeat technology.
LG is probably more known for appliances and smartphones, but the manufacturer also produces accessories. It has its own competitive wireless headphone built for working out, called the Tone Active. The design is different from the other headphones we’ve discussed, but it still works well. The unit is a circular, flexible band that goes around your neck. These best earbuds for working out extend/retract from the ends via super thin cords (so that they’re not disruptive during your workout).
Because the unit wraps around your neck, it’s secure as ever. The build is durable, sweatproof, and comfortable. The Tone Active also has the best battery life out of our list, at 9.5 hours of playback. You’ll find playback controls, a microphone, and answer/end call button along the band. A built in vibration motor (like on smartphones) alerts you when a phone call comes in.
The earbuds utilize LG’s QuadBeat 3 acoustic technology (quad-layered driver), so it performs superbly across the entire spectrum. The treble comes through detailed and rich and the mid-range is prominent and full. There’s a slight emphasis on bass, which can sometimes be boomy, but it’s composed for the most part.
The LG Tone Active is available in blue, orange, pink, and lime green colors. The full retail price runs at $94.99.
What to look for in the Best Headphones Built for Exercise
Style and Design: Wireless headphones come in a wide range of styles. This is especially true in those designed for working out, because exercising involves a lot of movement. Some manufacturers take the lightweight approach and make sure that the earpieces remain super snug, while others utilize earhooks or a band that wraps around your neck. Think about which design would be most comfortable for you.
Battery life: Wireless technology means that there must be a battery built into the headphone. With limited space, manufacturers must figure out a good balance between design and battery capacity. Some manage it better than others, so make sure to check out that battery rating.
Durability: Chances are that you’re buying a sporty headphone because you’re going to use it while exercising. Therefore, it must be able to take abuse and withstand the elements. You can’t control your sweat or if it starts raining on your run.
Additional Features: The best wireless headphones for working out can offer more than just wireless technology. They can track fitness data, like heart rate, steps, distance, etc. Some manufacturers develop an app to complement their headphone experience. Think about if extra features are valuable to you or if a simply playback remote/mic is all you need.
Mistakes to Avoid
Don’t go too cheap: Wireless headphones have more in the design than standard headphones. Manufacturers need to deliver good acoustics as well as house all the wireless-enabling electronics (Bluetooth module, battery, microphone, etc.). Therefore, if you go too cheap, chances are that the headphone will give something valuable up, like battery life or sound quality.
Poor Fit: Make sure to consider the headphone’s wear before you buy. Sport wireless headphones come in lots of different shapes and styles (and prices!). For instance, a band that wraps around the neck may be bothersome to some folks, or the earpieces may be inadequately large. Fit and comfort is always a concern as well. Make sure that the manufacturer designed the earpieces to stay in place.
Wrong Inline Remote: An easy mistake to make is buying a headphone with the wrong in-line remote. Wireless headphones almost always have a playback remote somewhere on the unit. However, because the two most popular mobile operating systems function differently, manufacturers have to create two versions of the remote. Make sure you buy the appropriate iOS or Android headphone model.
Most Important Features
- There’s no point to a wireless headphone meant for working out if it falls off during activity. Make sure that the manufacturer has a design that securely stay in place.
- Sporty wireless headphones are all designed differently. They can have around-the-neck bands, compact cables, or no cables at all. Think about which type of wear would most suit you and your workout so you can find the best headphones for working out and running.
- Active lifestyles often mean that our electronics will be vulnerable to mishap. This is why it’s important that manufacturers think about durability. When you’re buying a sporty headphone, make sure that the unit isn’t flimsy and has adequate protection against impacts.
- The best headphones will naturally be confronted with sweat, making the design pointless if it doesn’t have water resistance. While many claim this, some are built more robust than others, protecting against dust, sand, and water submersion.
- We’re talking about headphones, so despite all the features, it’s important that they sound good. With wireless headphones, the fact that manufacturers struggle to fit all the components in a reasonably-sized space could lead to compromised acoustics.
- When researching headphone choices, make sure the the manufacturer doesn’t just talk up features and leave out audio performance as a selling point. It’s also important to check what users say about the sound.
- Wireless headphones have to stuff a lot of electronics in a tiny space, so battery capacity can sometimes be put on the sidelines. It’s not nice when a wireless headphone cuts in the middle of a workout.
- Manufacturers list the battery life rating in the headphone’s spec sheet, so make sure that you check it before buying.
Which Sporty Wireless Headphones are Right For You?
There are a bunch of wireless headphones out there that are made for working out, which is great, but can make for a difficult buying decision. Consider which features are most important to you. Some folks may put battery life over sound quality and vice versa. However, certainly get a pair that promises a secure fit, battery life and sound quality (our #1 pick) are a safe choice.