If you are looking for the top rated running earbuds that can take a beating and still provide you with some amazing sound quality, there are many things that you must consider before you make your purchase. Whether you’re a competitive track athlete, or just shooting some hoops in the backyard, using the wrong pair of earphones while exercising can quickly turn some respectable products and brands into a worthless hunk of trash. If you know what to look for, you can find the best sports earbuds to suit your lifestyle. It does not matter if you are a jogger, sprinter, triathlon, or marathon runner – there is a quality pair of running earbuds for you.
You need to know what features are ideal for your new earbuds to have. Listening to music can help you run faster and more efficiently, which will overall help boost your performance. Unfortunately if you have the wrong pair you will find yourself wasting time fixing and fiddling with your earbuds, which will often result in an unenjoyable running experience. Picking out some new earbuds to kick off your next running routine may seem complicated or overwhelming, which is why we wrote this easy-to-read guide. This guide of the Top 10 Best Earbuds for Running is designed to be a one-stop-shop to aid you in your purchase.
You will thank us later.
Top Rated Running Earbuds Complete Guide
Our Fave 5
What Do We Look At In The Best Running Earbuds?
Secure and Stable Fit: Whilst everyone would like their earbuds to be comfortable it is especially important that any pair you are going to use for running are designed to stay on or in your ears (this can be achieved through a number of designs, ex: a wire wrapping around your ear). The ideal pair of sports earbuds will have strong, yet flexible cables, and will have supportive materials at the point of attachment. Additionally, they need to be comfortable enough to use for long periods of time, ideally to the point that you forget they are even there.
Bluetooth vs Wired: Wired or Bluetooth wireless – a very important question. For running purposes, Bluetooth is arguably the best, but only providing you get a pair that is secure and strong! A wireless pair of Bluetooth earbuds will prevent you from having to stop and untangle wires – also you will never have to deal with the problem of excessive movement straining and pulling at the wires causing eventual wear and tear. Owning a pair of Bluetooth earbuds does not automatically equate to a higher quality product – there are many Bluetooth earbuds out there that are not at all designed with the runner in mind and will be unable to take the constant movement and sweat exposure. Feel free to also read our Best Bluetooth Headphones for Running guide.
Durability and Sweat Resistance: You want a durable pair of earbuds, which will last for a long time even after many running and exercise sessions, and quite possibly after having been dropped a few times (just a part of listening to music while running I am afraid!). Sweat resistant materials are a must – heat and humidity is another important factor. Sweat may very well be running down and over your earbuds during your runs (think about how nasty your foam-tipped earphones would be after a couple weeks of use!) – The best earbuds for working out should sit comfortably in your ears at all times, despite sweat running down the side of your head after that 2 hour run!
Sound quality: Perhaps the most common (and sometimes the only) thing that people consider when buying a new pair of earbuds, sound quality. Deep bass and precision in treble is something everyone desires in their earbuds. A benefit of sports earbuds over regular/other types are that they are usually made to last, are built with higher-quality materials, and the sound quality will be consistent over time. This means that the drivers and the speakers themselves will not fall apart, and that the exceptional sound quality you experienced upon first use lasts. Safety is even more important than being able to boost the bass on your favorite song. If you are outside/in public you may not want something which blocks out all outside noise (you may need to need to hear cars, people, sirens, etc.), however if you are running inside a gym for example, or don’t plan to run in areas with heavy traffic, then this shouldn’t be much of an issue. Most top rated earbuds and earphones are great at isolating external noise, while still allowing a small amount of ambient noise to leak through.
Best Earbuds For Running Reviews
1. Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 Review
For those looking to treat yourself with some high-quality earbuds for running, the Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 in-ear monitors are one of your best options. These are the only in-ear headphones currently made by Bowers & Wilkins – and their reputation for class continues with these earphones, which are built with a sophisticated blend of metal and plastic materials.
“Sound quality is nothing short of being great. We were surprised with how powerful the bass can be…”
The back of the earbuds is textured with steel, and looks pretty dapper when being used. The adjustable plastic loops are used to wrap over and around your ears, and ensure a comfortable and secure fit throughout your run. The loop is stiff but at the same time flexible, and is durable enough to take a bit of manhandling. The C5 Series 2’s aren’t advertised as being sweat resistant, but the materials that make up these earphones seem to repel sweat without any problems.
The inline remote is designed to blend right into the cable – it may take a few times before you actually figure out where the buttons are without having to think too much. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, any extra weight or bulk on the cable will begin to gain momentum as you bounce up and down as your feet hit the concrete – something you won’t have to worry about with the Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 in-ear monitors.
Sound quality is nothing short of being great. We were surprised with how powerful the bass can be with the volume turned up. The mids and highs are very in-your-face, but never overstay their welcome. These earphones follow the equal-loudness contour more so than other headsets within this price range. In other words, certain subsonic and supersonic notes, which the human ear naturally has a more difficult time hearing, seem to be boosted slightly, resulting in a three-dimensional feel to the music that is rare to find in IEM’s. Even at high volumes, distortion is just simply not there – it is easy to go a little bit too loud with these. Noise isolation capabilities are slightly above average, though most runners prefer to allow some external noise to leak through to hear cars or other sounds.
2. Phasier BHS-750 Review
If you’re looking for the best wireless headset around to get you through your most grueling run, your search is over. Jaybird’s Bluebuds X Sports earbuds have been getting great reviews and for all the right reasons.
“Pure, clean sound with high trebles and some deep bass – you’ll think you’re wearing a studio quality headset…”
One common problem with earbuds is that they tend to come out when you move a lot, and you do that when you run. Jaybird solved this dilemma with by using patented ear cushions designed for sports activities. The patent pending X-Fit design also allows wearing over and under the ear – this design ensures a comfortable, secure fit.
Sweat and rain destroy even the most high-end headphones out there, but not Bluebuds X. Constructed with lightweight but durable materials and imbued with Liquipel Sweat Repellant Nano Technology, you can take this pair wherever you want to go and whatever you want to do.
Studies say that a good training outfit inspires, and Bluebuds X addresses that with a minimalist but attractive style. Available in either Midnight Black or Storm White, these earbuds are designed not to contrast your running apparel but to complement it. Bluebuds X shows that you mean business.
You need to hear those high trebles and low bass. That’s why you buy headphones in the first place. And Bluebuds X’s Shift technology won’t disappoint. Pure, clean sound with high trebles and some deep bass – you’ll think you’re wearing a studio quality headset. It trumps many of the leading brands, hands down.
Rewriting the Bluetooth native codec through Shift was the first step in improving sound on wireless connection. Bluebuds X also ensures skip-free listening through its patented SignalPlus technology. You can now put your music device anywhere within signal limits – on your body or inside your gym bag and still get excellent sound without the pauses and stops that many other products are notorious for.
This same review can also be found in our Best Sport Headphones list.
3. Bose SoundSport Review
Bose is a giant in the audio industry, producing products ranging from all sorts of speakers, noise isolating headphones and specialized audio equipment. Innovation is the key to the success and longevity of Bose and it is summarized by their motto, “better sound through research”. With this in mind, Bose presents another great product of innovation in the Bose SoundSport earbuds.
“..full and balanced sound with an uncanny smoothness and clarity that contributes greatly to the overall consumer experience…”
The design of the Soundsport has the comfort of the users in mind. The recurring theme of innovation is again evident, but this time with the design. The earbuds have acoustic ports to prevent sweat from entering. This is clearly important when exercising and for the user’s comfort. The sweat preventing capability is due to a hydrophobic cloth which does two important things. First, the hydrophobic quality prevents any moisture from building up. Second, the overall quality of the sound is not compromised by sweat and the moisture, thus making it more comfortable for the users.
The audio quality of the SpoundSport earbud is designed to provide excellent noise isolation. This makes it a useful product for running because it helps remove distractions from surrounding noise. The key lies in the silicon cover which directs the sound to the ear canal without having to have the ear plugs completely jammed into the ear. Furthermore, there is a good range of sound with palpable bass quality. This is again made possible by another functional feature by Bose – the so called “Triport technology”. It delivers a full and balanced sound with an uncanny smoothness and clarity that contributes greatly to the overall consumer experience.
The Bose Soundsport earbuds are great earphones for running because of the combination of noise-isolating quality of the Triport technology, and the hydrophobic quality. This prevents sweat and moisture from building up while running and therefore maintaining the great sound quality. These are clearly some of the best earbuds for running currently being sold on Amazon.
4. Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 Review
Plantronics is a major player in the audio industry and it first started with the design of aviation headsets. Plantronics now offers products covering different industries and users — astronauts, mobile professionals, and casual users. The key to Plantronic’s success is overcoming barriers through innovation and cutting-edge designs. The results are pioneered products such as lightweight headsets and noise-cancelling technology.
“..equipped with a 6-mm speaker driver along with an enhanced bass to cover all aspects of sound…”
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 Earbuds is an example of a product that has innovative qualities, not only in audio, but also in the overall design. The style of Backbeat Go 2 is summarized by simply being “small and light” without compromising durability. It is small and light because of the wireless capability which is made possible with the use of Bluetooth technology. The compact design makes it easier to slip into your pockets without any tangles and hassles.
Furthermore, Backbeat Go 2 also targets consumers who love to run because of two important qualities. First, the wireless aspect allows for little complications when it is used while running. Secondly, Plantronics’ P2i military-grade nano-coating protects the earbuds against sweat without sacrificing the quality of the audio and the user’s comfort.
The design of Backbeat Go 2 is based on an imbedded philosophy that Plantronics holds. It is the challenge of balancing sound innovation with personal fashion and comfort. Backbeat Go 2 has a super lightweight design with a flat cord to connect the buds. What’s more, there is a voice that informs the user when the earbuds are turned on. The design is also backed by comfort. The user is offered a choice of three sizes of cushioned eartips and stabilizers for comfort.
All of these features do not compromise the audio quality. Backbeat Go 2 is equipped with a 6-mm speaker driver along with enhanced bass, to cover all aspects of sound to make your running experience even more awesome.
5. Flexion Kinetic Series Review
Working out can be enjoyable especially when listening to music. It gives a sudden lift in one’s mood and helps retain focus in the workout process. Yet, some people struggle with tangled wires and uncomfortable products that are very much annoying and inconvenient. The Flexion Kinetic Series Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds are a one-of-a-kind set of headphones that provide comfort and quality music when running, driving, and working out.
“..the audio has a wide range and well-balanced depth, and the bass is quite satisfying…”
The Flexion Kinetic Series Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds are lightweight and secure firmly in one’s ears to prevent them from falling out when doing activities such as jumping and running. There are two colors available: black and lime green, which are both stylish and elegant. Its size is small enough to keep in one’s bag and its flexible behind-the-neck wire prevent the cables from tangling. The earbuds use Bluetooth 4.0 + EDL technology which have a 10-meter working distance — effective for working out, regardless of where one is inside the gym. The universal device compatibility means that it can be used by most devices with Bluetooth connection. At the same time, one can control the volume, music, and phone calls just by tapping the button on the earbuds. The control placement makes it easier for wearers to enjoy music with ease.
Some of its properties include noise-cancellation technology which helps block much of external sounds to ensure better sound quality. The wireless earphone also provides clear and smooth phone conversations. As for the sound quality, the audio has a wide range and well-balanced depth, and the bass is quite satisfying. The mild low frequency produces a crisp and smooth, yet three-dimensional, sound quality.
The Flexion Kinetic Series Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds are therefore ideal for on-the-go individuals. In addition, the materials used are of high quality and are sweat-proof. With its conservative price tag, it is very much affordable and gives plenty of value for your money, given its features and qualities.
One can now listen to quality music without interruptions and hassles from external noises and tangled wires. Its Bluetooth properties make it easier to stay connected while keeping your phone safe in your bag or locker. Truly, this awesome set of headphones will greatly benefit people who work out or just want to keep their hands free as they go for a run.
6. Jabra Rox Review
Running is indeed a great form of exercise, and running while listening to music makes it even better. However, ordinary earbuds will not suffice for one’s daily jogs as sweat corrosion and cable tangling will be perennial annoyances. A great pair of running earbuds like the Jabra Rox earbuds is a good option.
“The bass will make you want to step up the pace as you run, the mids are crystal clear, while the highs are equally magnificent…”
The Jabra Rox earbuds are ideal for runners because of their design, which is absolutely stunning to look at. The discreet look of the Rox make it a great choice to pair with one’s favorite jogging attire. Black dominates the design of the Rox with hints of red near and on the eartips. The matte black plastic used on the Jabra Rox earbuds feel great to the touch.
The build quality of the Rox is fantastic with no creaking parts when pressed and no rattling noises when shaken. The build screams “Perfect!” for rugged use and the earbuds feel sturdy and strong. The silicone eartips of the Jabra Rox earbuds provide a secure seal once worn and do not easily fall off even at the fastest of head movements. The single-cable setup of the Rox goes around the back of the head, making the earbuds unobtrusive and hassle-free while worn during runs. The cables are flat as well for tangle-free convenience.
Sound quality is a highlight of the Jabra Rox earbuds, and the sound its drivers put out gives them a competitive edge over other brands of earphones and headphones. Featuring an outstanding, wide sound stage and clear, precise audio, the Rox can go head-to-head with some of the best wired earbuds in the market right now and come out victorious. And thanks to its Bluetooth capability, you can easily take calls while running. Distortion is minimal even at the highest of volumes and is completely absent at normal levels. The bass will make you want to step up the pace as you run, the mids are crystal clear, while the highs are equally magnificent.
The Jabra Rox earbuds are pretty tough to beat. Their excellent, discreet design, great build, relatively low price tag, and terrific sound output make it one of the best running earbuds available.
7. Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas Sports Review
The Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas Sports earbuds are designed specifically for sports enthusiasts, making it the perfect companion for people who like to run, whether it be a couple of miles on a treadmill, or a full outdoor marathon.
The solid and balanced sound quality is pretty good for a pair of sports earphones, being noticeably better than other low-end earphones. The mid to high ranges sound clear and the bass is good enough to give you a crisp and full sound. It also does an excellent job of blocking outside noise so that you will be able to focus on your tunes, and you can even turn up the volume without the sound getting distorted. The audio quality makes it great for both inside or outside of the gym.
Compact and lightweight, these are some of the best running earbuds, and they sit safe and secure in your ears no matter how intense your workout may be. These earbuds ensure that you will be able to finish any physical activity without feeling uncomfortable because of the nice fit, even if you tend to sweat a lot. It also has a clip that you can attach to your shirt to make sure that it won’t bounce up and down while you run, therefore dislodging the buds.
These earphones also have height-adjustable fins and an in-ear design to make the fit even more secure and comfortable. It comes with three ear adapters in the sizes small, medium and large to make sure that you can choose the one the fits you the best.
These earbuds are designed to endure rigorous exercise routines, so you don’t have to worry about them randomly breaking during the first few months. Plus, it comes with a 2-year warranty. Also, you don’t have to worry about washing them accidentally because they’re perspiration and water-resistant. Whether you’re planning to walk, run, exercise, or drive, the Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas Sports earbuds are the perfect mix of durability, comfort and quality.
This same review can also be found in our Best Earbuds for Working Out list.
8. JBL Reflect BT Review
Simply put, the sound quality of JBL brands is exceptional for the price. The lowest frequency the JBL Reflect BT earbuds can produce is around 10Hz while its highest frequency is around 22kHz. This is good enough for runners, athletes, and people who just want to kill time by listening to music, but it is not recommended for people who are meticulous when it comes to audio quality – Bluetooth tends to negatively affect audio quality.
Because the product operates with Bluetooth technology, it makes runners and athletes comfortable in moving around without having to worry about long wires disrupting their activities. What makes the product more ideal for workouts is that the earbuds are sweat-proof and shockproof. Users don’t have to worry anymore about sweat ruining their earbuds. It also grips well around your ear which guarantees that it won’t fall off, or accidentally drop it when doing vigorous activities. The product also only weighs around 0.8 ounces.
The design of this earbud is simple but efficient. It has a magnetic flat cord which connects whenever you want to hang it around your neck, thus preventing loose cables. The flat cord also ensures that it won’t get tangled as much as ordinary cords do. It has a reflective band, which reflects headlights and makes you visible to drivers at night. In addition, it has a retractable cord where users can adjust the length of the cord.
Users don’t have to worry anymore about carrying their smartphones around during workouts. These Bluetooth headphones continue to work as much as 40 feet away from the audio device. Also, these earbuds will only last for a maximum of 5 hours, depending on usage and volume – this should be plenty of time even for the most intense runners.
Overall, the JBL Reflect BT’s are some of the best cheap earbuds – this product is excellent for people who regularly work out, run, and do vigorous activities.
9. Skullcandy Method Review
Today, there are a lot of available choices one can make when it comes to buying a pair of earbuds. Each manufacturer tries to inject a gimmick into every product so that it stands out from the sea of competition. Skullcandy has always been about design and the Skullcandy Method earbuds are exactly that — and more. So what makes them some of the best earbuds for running?
“..produces great, undistorted sounds and crystal clear highs. The bass is still prominent but has been toned down a bit to accommodate the mids and the highs which are very present…”
Each dual tone earbud of the Method is split into three segments: the ear tip, a bridge, and the body itself that connects to the cables. Coming in a host of vibrant colors, the Skullcandy Method earbuds feature either an understated, monolithic look or a flashy, animated appearance depending on the color combination.
The ear tips provide a secure, comfortable seal on the ears while the lightweight body of the Method keeps it from being obtrusive if worn while running. Though the cables are surprisingly not flat and tangle-free like some of the more expensive headsets we reviewed above, they are mostly knot-free when taken out of pockets. The build quality is, as expected from Skullcandy, solid and worry-free as well.
The Skullcandy Method earbuds come with a sweat-resistant feature so they can be worn during running sessions. No rattling noises can be heard when the Method is shaken or jarred and the plastics used are of excellent quality.
The sound quality of the Skullcandy Method earbuds is particularly noteworthy. Skullcandy has been known to produce headphones and earbuds with a distinct focus on the bass, which tends to leave the audio quality a muffled, garbled mess if you’ve experienced using other brands and kinds of earbuds. That is not the case with the Method, which produces great, undistorted sounds and crystal clear highs. The bass is still prominent but has been toned down a bit to accommodate the mids and the highs which are very present. The sound stage of the Skullcandy Method earbuds is amazing and the different instruments featured in a track can be distinctively heard.
With an eye-catching design, solid build quality, and a surprisingly awesome sound output, the Skullcandy Method earbuds are definitely one of the best earbuds for running.
This same review can also be found in our Best Earbuds for Working Out list.
10. JLab FIT 2.0 Review
Getting a high quality Bluetooth headset for your running activities can burn a hole in your pocket, with some rivaling the cost of your shoes. But not JLab FIT 2.0 – These Bluetooth earbuds make you feel you get more than what you pay for.
“..heart thumping bass, clear and full mids, and pure and crisp trebles…”
What good is a pair of the best in ear headphones if you can’t wear them for more than a few minutes? FIT’s ergonomic design addresses that concern with 45-degree cords, and soft silicone cushions available in seven pairs. This ensures the perfect fit whatever your ear size is. You can also wear it short or long according to your liking with the Dual Cable System.
The same material used for bulletproof vests also protects the lightweight cables of FIT, ensuring durability. They are flexible but tough. Sweating out hard or working it out in the rain? FIT has got that covered with its IP6 rating which means it is 100% splash and sweat proof. It’s so tough against water that you can even wash it before your next grueling round. Try doing that with your other high-end buds.
Although designed with the active person in mind, FIT does not compromise when it comes to style. With over the ear comfortable hooks and silver accents on stylish black color, FIT will complement whatever workout clothes you have on. Wear your music device on your arm or waist. The Dual Cable System makes sure you don’t have extra cable lengths jiggling around as you run.
You’ll want to hear Jay Z with all that heart thumping bass, clear and full mids, and pure and crisp trebles as your feet continuously hit the pavement. FIT delivers that and more with the titanium micro-drivers that were designed to give you glorious sound in all audible frequencies. Play it mellow or rock on. The choice is yours and FIT 2.0 will obey.