*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
One of the complaints I hear most often from runners that like to listen to music is that their headphones are constantly being pulled, snagged, or the cable happens to get in the way, messing up their stride. As a runner myself, I can understand this frustration. I like to get in the zone, turn up the music, and forget I’m even wearing headphones; I don’t want to be dealing with my headphones falling out, or having to constantly be tucking my cable back into my shirt.
If you are serious about running, one of the best investments you can make is in a decent set of Bluetooth headphones. Bluetooth technology is great for anyone who would rather not deal with a cable flopping around and getting in the way. A decent pair of Bluetooth headphones can now be purchased without breaking the bank, you just need to know what to look for, and we happen to know exactly that. Over the years, we have reviewed thousands of headphones, headsets, gaming headphones, earbuds, and in-ear headphones, and a great many of them utilize Bluetooth technology and maintain great sound quality. This article reviews some of the best Bluetooth headphones and earbuds.
We put together a list below of our top picks to aid you in making a decision as to which Bluetooth headphones will be best for running. No need to look any further, as these are the best headphones for running that you can buy.
You will thank us later.
Our Top 5
Obviously, the way your headphones sound is an important factor in deciding which product to purchase. If they don’t sound good, there is no need to continue with considering the other factors that we have outlined below. It is important to choose the best quality pair of Bluetooth headphones that your money can buy. Clarity, and the preferred balance of bass, mids, and highs, should all be considered.
Not all headphones provide the same musical experience. Whether you prefer a more well rounded range of sounds, or you want that extra boost with some skull-rattling bass, be sure to choose a product that suits your needs. We have included a wide variety of high-quality Bluetooth headphones, perfect for running, in our top picks.
- How do the headphones feel?
- Do they stay in place?
- Are they comfortable?
Many of the best cheap Bluetooth headphones that we have tested are unfortunately not suitable for runners. The best pair of Bluetooth headphones you can buy should not be sliding off or bouncing around every time you take a step. Some headphones are just too heavy to remain stable while running, and so overall weight of the product is an important feature to consider.
Your new running headphones should not irritate the ears after a long run; any sign of irritation during our testing stage and those headphones were immediately excluded from our top picks.
- How long can the headphones go between charge, both in use, and not in use?
The more play time that your headphones can provide, the better. When looking at this factor, it is important to decide how often you run, or plan to run, and the duration of each run. If you run daily, for many hours at a time, it is a good idea to find a pair of headphones that will fit this lifestyle. If on the other hand you do not run as frequently, you could probably save some money and grab a pair of headphones with a lower battery life as it would not necessarily be needed.
As a general rule, the more play time your new Bluetooth headphones can provide you with, the better.
As all runners know, headphones must be able to withstand a variety of outdoor runs in various weather conditions, the bouncing up and down as your feet hit the pavement or treadmill, and the sweat that comes with a decent workout. In other words, your headphones shouldn’t melt from a little bit of sweat; in fact, they should be manufactured with the expectation that buyers will be active and probably sweating quite a bit. There are many quality Bluetooth headphones available, but the majority of them are not built with runners in mind. Our top 10 Bluetooth headphones for running are all durable, and built with materials that have some-degree of sweat resistance.
1. 66 Audio BTS Pro Review
You might remember the 66 Audio BTS Pro were also our top pick for Best Workout Headphones. These have stood the test of time, and continue to receive great reviews from users, and headphones experts. Although they happen to be a bit larger than many of the other Bluetooth headphones that we considered for running purposes, they are quite surprisingly very light once you put them on. When first testing these out, the extra bulk that comes with the circumaural design threw us off a little bit, but we were very pleased once we tried them on.
The headphones stay firmly in place, with the headband design that wraps around the back of your neck. We took these for a run and the first that that was noticed was – well – we didn’t even notice they were on! The lightweight, durable design did not irritate our ears at all, even after being covered in a layer of sweat. The comfortable materials felt snug and secure throughout the run, and there was no doubt in my mind that these would be perfect for running.
Although the manufacturer claims a battery life on 20 hours play time, we clocked out just under that, about 19.5 – which is great, and close enough. Depending on how often you run, these could easily last many weeks on a single charge. A microphone is built in to the design; volume, call, and track-change buttons are conveniently located on the ear cups. We had no issues changing our station or messing with the volume on our run, and it was actually a little bit too easy.
So the 66 Audio BTS+ Bluetooth headphones are lightweight, comfortable, stay securely fit during a run, with a well-built durable design, and have great battery life – but how do they sound?
The sound quality of these headphones easily competes with other products that can be purchased for double the price. The design of the ear cups provides some degree of noise cancellation, and is a nice feature. What we found most appealing was what seemed like a huge soundstage, even coming from such a small design. The mids and highs are crystal clear, and nicely compliment the delicious bass. If you’re looking for a pair of Bluetooth headphones that provide higher-end audio quality without the higher-end price tag, the 66 Audio BTS+ headphones are a great pick.
2. Alterola IE600 Review
- Very lightweight
- Sweat resistant
- Secure fit
- Bluetooth pairing is easy
- Built in microphone, volume, and call buttons
- High-end audio quality
These Bluetooth earbuds are lightweight, with a portable design, and are built with high quality materials that also happen to be sweat resistant. As we talked about earlier, the ideal set of headphones or earbuds for running should be able to withstand a variety of high impact conditions, such as when you are bouncing up and down for miles at a time. The lightweight, small design of the JayBird BlueBuds X earphones is perfect for your running needs. The silicone inserts ensure your headphones will stay snug and secure throughout a long distance run. If you prefer earbuds to the standard headphone design, these are your best choice.
The only thing holding these in-ear headphones from taking first place is that they are a bit more expensive than most consumers are willing to spend, and we often see the majority go for the more inexpensive alternatives. If you do have a few extra bucks to spend on some very high quality Bluetooth earbuds for running, you cannot go wrong with the JayBird BlueBuds X’s.
It is more common than not to try a pair of headphones and find they either end up being way too bass-heavy, don’t provide enough bass, or produce piercing mids and highs with increased volume; this is not the case with these earbuds. The Jaybird BlueBuds X headphones are exceptionally clear, and come with some nicely placed, heavy bass that can bring a little bit of thump with it.
The manufacturer claims 8 hours of battery life with active use, and we clocked in at over 8 hours and 7 minutes – very nice. Although the battery life of these earbuds is less than half that of the 66 Audio BTS+ headphones we reviewed above, this is expected with such a small design. Bluetooth pairing comes is very simple and comes with a voice prompt that lets you know when you are connected, and gives updates regarding battery usage.
If you prefer earbuds or in-ear headphones to standard headphones, the Jaybird BlueBuds X Bluetooth earbuds are a great pick. They are comfortable, lightweight, and deliver an exceptional musical experience that will surely withstand the tests of time.
3. Jaybird X2 Sport Review
If you are looking for a good pair of Bluetooth earbuds under $50, the iKross A2DP Sport earbuds are your best option. For the price, they provide some high quality, well-rounded sound, and do not become muddied or distorted with increased volume, which happens to be one of the most common complaints we’ve heard when using a cheaper set of headphones or earbuds.
If you can spare the few extra bucks for the 66 Audio BTS+ Bluetooth headphones we reviewed above, and don’t mind the circumaural design, the step up in music quality that they will provide is definitely worth it if you are a music buff like me.
The iKross A2DP Sport earbuds do not have any active noise cancellation capabilities, but they still do a pretty good job at blocking out most external noise. In a busy city you could easily drown out the ambient noise with these earbuds; if you happen to be in traffic or a variety of other situations in which you need to be able to hear what is going on around you, that is not a problem either, and can be accomplished by slightly lowering the volume.
- Sweat Resistant
- Designed with the athlete in mind
- Bluetooth pairing is easy
- Built in microphone
- Best audio-quality you can find under $40
Included in the design is a microphone, enabling you to take calls if you happen to be interrupted during a run. If you’re looking for some high quality Bluetooth headphones for running or working out on a budget of under $40, the iKross A2DP Sport earbuds are your best option.
This same review can also be found in our Best Sport Headphones guide.
4. Monster iSport Freedom Review
If you’re looking for some over-ear Bluetooth headphones that are clear, precise, and of high-quality, the Monster iSport Freedom wireless Bluetooth headphones may be just for you. Not only are the mids and highs both detailed and complex, but the bass response is quite powerful – the combination between the two makes for some excellent sounding music in a variety of genres. This is important to note, because if you are looking for headphones or earbuds that are not so bass heavy, the iSport Freedom’s may not be your first choice. Another added benefit is the excellent strength we have seen when testing the wireless signal. We never once lost connection or had to re-pair our connection mid-run. As you may be well aware, this is a frequent problem with some of the low end Bluetooth products.
The headband is flexible and is made of highly durable materials. Additionally, the water-resistant coating ensures you will have no problems when it comes to sweating. This is one characteristic all of the best Bluetooth headphones must possess. This is important for a pair of good Bluetooth headphones that will be used for running – lack of sweat resistance is a deal breaker. If you are a night-runner, the vivid colors are another added benefit, and these headphones have some reflective properties of their own. The iSport’s are advertised to have over 30 hours of playtime through battery alone (we tested out at just above this actually), but if you happen to be a hardcore long distance runner and need more time than that, the included cable allows you to plug them into your music player and continue enjoying your music. The only downside we’ve noticed is that over long periods of use, the clamping power of the headphones seems to be a little bit to strong and may make for some sore ears. If you plan to have these on over 4+ hours consistently, you would probably be better off going with another one of our top picks.
5. SIRI Sport BMHNOONE Review
Our next pick is a stylish, comfortable, and compact pair of stereo Bluetooth earphones. The one characteristic that stands out most when compared to other headsets is the incredibly light-weight design (only 18g to be exact!). These earphones were built specifically with the runner in mind. They are splash proof, sweat resistant, and are extremely easy to pair with. On top of all of this, they sound pretty great as well, both when playing music and when making a call.
The ear inserts are quite comfortable and coupled with the lightweight design, it was hard to notice they were even there at all. The battery life is considerably shorter than the other larger headsets above, but that is expected with such a small design. We clocked in at just over 5 hours play time before they zonked out on us, which isn’t bad. The typical run rarely exceeds 5 hours anyway. Charging the battery was quite fast as well, a little over an hour and the LED light turned off, indicating it reached a full charge. Figuring out how to put these Bluetooth earphones in our ears was a bit tricky at first (they don’t just get placed into your ear like regular earbuds), but once we had it, it was simple. Once you do get them in, you can be confident that they will not budge, even when walking, running, or cutting corners quickly.
If you enjoy a powerful bass response in your earphones, the Avantree Sacool’s may not be for you. They tend to lack when it comes to bass actually (I’m a bass head myself, so this was a mark down on my own subjective ratings). Other than that, they sound pretty good. If you prefer some more higher-quality, and well-rounded music, you would probably be better off going with one of our other top picks above.
6. Phaiser BHS-790 Review
The Jaybird Freedom Sprint Bluetooth headphones were also designed specifically with the runner in mind (even the name!). These earphones are simple in design, comfortable, durable, and they provide a secure fit just for our running needs. Pairing up with our Bluetooth devices was very simple. In terms of audio quality, well – they aren’t as great as the JayBird Bluebuds X Sports earphones we reviewed above, but they aren’t at all bad. The mids and highs are clear, and the bass response is decent. At high volumes, they become a little bit distorted, especially when it comes to bass heavy music (think hip-hop, reggae, dubstep, heavy metal).
With over 4 hours of battery life in active use, the built in microphone for placing calls, and the on-ear controls for music playback, it is hard to pass up on this great deal. These earphones are cheaper than some of the others, but come pretty darn close when it comes to sound quality, comfort, and battery life. Just to reiterate, if you are an audiophile and want to hear every pinprick in your music, you will be better off going with one of the other Bluetooth headphones above. If you like the light-weight sleek design, go for the JayBird BlueBuds – one of our personal favorites when it comes to Bluetooth earphones.
7. Jabra Sport Coach Review
The Alpatronix HX200 Active Bluetooth Headset is next up on our list. These in-ear headphones are designed to mold to the shape of your ears and head. They are quite comfortable and stay secure while working out or running. They are light-weight and have been designed with portability in mind. Whenever you aren’t using them, you simply snap together the two ear pieces making it easy to carry or store in your bag.
Changing songs, answering calls, or messing with the volume is easy – there are buttons built into this Bluetooth headset in easy-to-reach spots. Although these earphones do not have active noise-cancellation technology, they do succeed in blocking out a great deal of ambient noise with their noise-isolation capabilities. The battery life is sufficient for just about any runner – you will get roughly 5 hours of use before the battery runs out of juice. Additionally, we found it to take less than an hour to reach full charge, which is nice.
The sound quality is nothing to go crazy for, but it is decent, and still an upgrade from the stock white Apple earbuds that came with your iPhone. If you’re looking for some Bluetooth running headphones that can take a beating when it comes to rain or sweat, you may want to look at of some of our other top picks, as these will be a little bit more susceptible to water damage.
8. Plantronics Backbeat 903+ Review
An improvement from the original, the Plantronics Backbeat Go 2 Bluetooth in-ear headphones is still one of the most light-weight Bluetooth earphones on the market. After the first time you pair up with your Bluetooth device, these headphones will remember it and automatically pair with it the next time you go to use them. One of the big changes in this new model is the third-generation speakers that are now used (6mm). These headphones do not distort or muddle at higher volumes, and once you figure out the proper ear-insert fit, will deliver a powerful bass response.
The battery life is average, but sufficient for just about any runner – we tested it in at under 5 hours of constant use. The earphones are quite comfortable, and the entire headset weighs next to nothing, which is great. The cable is flat instead of the traditional round shape, which we found helps prevent tangling. The cord also has a built in microphone, call/answer/end/redial buttons, and other controls to increase or decrease volume. Another neat feature is the “DeepSleep hibernation” mode, which allows you to store your Bluetooth headphones for a couple of months while maintaining their charge – not a necessary feature but definitely a nice addition.
9. Jabra Sport+Phasier BHS-780 Review
Jabra designed their Bluetooth earphones with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. The materials used to construct these headphones will take whatever you can throw at them, whether it be some nasty falls, pouring rain, or just a simple phone call. The Jabra Sport+ Bluetooth headset utilizes an around-the-ear design, which allows the battery to rest gently against the back of your ear. If you often wear visors or sunglasses with wide frames, this behind-the-ear design may become troublesome. While not impossible, we found it tricky to get a comfortable fit with certain pairs of glasses – this is not necessarily the best thing to have to deal with, especially when shopping for Bluetooth headsets that will specifically be for running (many times outdoors in the sun).
Kelly (one of our headphone testers) says, “Anyone with small ears like me should probably avoid these”. She found that even the smallest ear-insert was still too big for her. Granted she has a small frame but this is the reason for multiple sizes – so people of all sizes can comfortable use them. With an IP54 certification, these earphones are guaranteed to last in up to 10 liters of water exposure per minute – with these impressive stats, you should pretty much have no problems running in pouring rain if you wanted (well, your headphones will be okay at least!)
The button controls allow you to do everything from answer phone calls, switch tracks, increase and decrease volume, and if your phone utilizes voice command features (many smart phones do), you will also be able to give verbal commands. Overall, the sound quality was above average but not the best I’ve heard. It seems as if these earbuds don’t completely seal the ear canal with their silicon inserts, and so sound tends to leak – this may force you to turn up the volume (not the best for your eardrums). If you want some durable Bluetooth earphones, which are above average in sound quality, the Jabra Sport+ stereo Bluetooth headset may be just for you.
10. Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 Review
If you’re looking for some high-quality earphones that are easy to pair with your music device, have simple controls for music navigation, and will stay secure on your runs, the Outdoor Technology OT1003 Bluetooth Tags should definitely be considered. The plastic ear-clips that these use are great for all athletes, regardless of your chosen sport. Unfortunately, the music quality slacks a little bit when compared to some of our other top picks, but they make up for it with the added benefit of the ear-clips.
Three sizes of rubber ear tips come in the box, which ensures a comfortable fit. The only way to charge these headphones is with the included Mini-USB cable, so you need a computer with a USB port, or will have to go out and buy an adapter. The Outdoor Technology Bluetooth Tags last about 5 hours per charge, which is decent for any jog.
Sound quality is decent, but nothing special. They are an upgrade from your stock earbuds that come with your music devices, but for those looking for the best quality audio, I would suggest going for the 66 Audio BTS+ or the JayBird BlueBuds we reviewed above. Overall, the sound is pretty balanced. The bass doesn’t have much power, and the mids and highs sometimes crackle at high volumes, especially with bass heavy music. We also found it difficult at times to differentiate between each individual instrument or rhythm depending on the complexity of the track. Unless you consider yourself an audiophile, you probably will not even be able to recognize what it is we mean by this. If you like how these Bluetooth earphones look, want a performance upgrade from your standard earbuds, and want the extra secure fit that the ear-clips design provides, you can’t go wrong with the OT1003 Bluetooth Tags.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]