8 Best Running Headphones for 2023

Last Updated on November 28, 2022 by admin

Whether you’re in the gym or outside, soundtrack your exercise with these smart earbuds.

It might not occur to everyone that choosing a pair of earphones, especially in-ear ones, is a deeply personal experience.

Our ears are all very different shapes and sizes, and there are myriad factors earbuds must succeed at to deliver the best experience; whether that’s comfort, fit, sound, convenience, or durability.

And when it comes to working out, earbuds need to deliver on all of those factors – and also not fall out of our ears while we sweat our way through that jog.

Our testers took all manner of truly wireless earbuds out for a spin (sometimes, a spin class), focusing on comfort, durability, and clarity of sound.

Every pair of earphones featured here comes with multiple bud sizes to ensure the best fit possible, which can be fiddly as they tend to be small, but it is definitely worth taking the time to find the right one.

Here are the earbuds that stood the test of HIIT, sprints, spins, and yoga.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent. 

 

1. Jabra Elite Active 75t

Battery life: 7.5 hours (earbuds), 28 hours (charging case)
Size: 0.9 x 0.76 x 0.6 inches
Sweatproof and waterproof: Yes
Do I need to download an app? Yes

By far our favorite, these perform superbly during high-impact exercises and are the most comfortable pair by far. Be prepared to run, jump, and burpee without any interruptions or feeling the need to readjust the earbuds – they fit snugly without the feeling of completely blocking your ears.

The noise-canceling capabilities are excellent, and if you’d rather be able to hear what’s going on around you, pressing the button on the left earbud once activates the “hear through” function that allows you to hear ambient sound with astonishing clarity. Too much clarity? Use the Jabra+ sound app to adjust how much ambient sound is allowed in.

You do have to download an app in order to use them, which might feel a bit inconvenient to start with. But once connected, using the earbuds is a breeze and the app allows you to set different audio profiles, adjust call volumes and update the earbuds whenever a new software version comes about.

Sale
Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds, Navy – Wireless Earbuds for Running and Sport, Charging Case Included, 24 Hour Battery, Active Noise Cancelling Sport Earbuds
12,317 Reviews
Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds, Navy – Wireless Earbuds for Running and Sport, Charging Case Included, 24 Hour Battery, Active Noise Cancelling Sport Earbuds
  • SECURE ACTIVE FIT – We scanned thousands of ears to create the best-fitting earbuds for a sport that we’ve ever...
  • ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION: With these noise cancelling earbuds, you can filter out the world and focus on your music;...
  • CRYSTAL-CLEAR CALLS – 4 microphones, the latest digital signal processing and pioneering beam form technology mean...

 

2. Beats by Dre Powerbeats

Battery life: 9 hours (earbuds), 24 hours + (charging case)
Size: 2.2 inches
Sweatproof and waterproof: Yes
Do I need to download an app? No

As much as we hate to admit it, these earbuds really do live up to their hype. Developed by Beats by Dre and owned by Apple, these earbuds come with an over-ear hook that makes sure they stay on no matter what you do.

You could hang upside down in aerial yoga with these on and they wouldn’t even budge. They’re comfortable enough to wear all day long – and with 9-hour battery life, you could definitely do that. The case is huge – measuring 3.04 square inches – so it’s not the most compact but it does look very stylish.

Each earbud has a center playback control button and volume controls that allow you to control what you’re listening to with either hand, which can be handy if you’ve got a dumbbell in one hand.

You can also activate Siri just by saying the voice command aloud to adjust your music. Beats are known for delivering rich sound with clear bass tones, and these certainly do not disappoint, especially when repping one’s way through a set of burpees to the beat of “Mi Gente”.

Sale
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds - Apple H1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth Headphones, 9 Hours of Listening Time, Sweat Resistant, Built-in Microphone - Black
66,894 Reviews
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds - Apple H1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth Headphones, 9 Hours of Listening Time, Sweat Resistant, Built-in Microphone - Black
  • Totally wireless high-performance earphones
  • Up to 9 hours of listening time (more than 24 hours with charging case)
  • Adjustable, secure-fit ear hooks for lightweight comfort and stability

 

3. Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo

Battery life: 7 hours
Size: 2 x 1.5 x 2.5 cm
Sweatproof and waterproof: Yes
​Do I need to download an app? No

The shape of Anker soundcore’s totally wireless earphones is very similar to the Jabra elite actives, but they are more prominent, and the fit is slightly less comfortable – but don’t let that put you off too much, these are a solid pair of earphones at a very reasonable price point. Once fitted snugly inside the ear, they don’t budge and even stay put during yoga inversions.

For a more personalized fit, each earphone comes with different sizes of “ear wings”, which are removable silicone bands that wrap around the body of the earphone. The bands range from smooth to varying lengths of “wings” that fit inside the ear’s contours.

Soundcore by Anker Liberty 2 Wireless Earbuds, Diamond-Inspired Drivers, 32H Playtime, HearID Personalized Sound, Bluetooth 5.0, Bluetooth Headphones, 4 Mics with Uplink Noise Cancellation
1,774 Reviews
Soundcore by Anker Liberty 2 Wireless Earbuds, Diamond-Inspired Drivers, 32H Playtime, HearID Personalized Sound, Bluetooth 5.0, Bluetooth Headphones, 4 Mics with Uplink Noise Cancellation
  • Incredible Sound Loved by 20 Million+ People
  • Diamond-Inspired Driver: Inspired by the ultra-hard structure of diamonds, Liberty 2’s driver domes maintain their...
  • Up to 32 Hours of Playtime: A single charge gives you up to 8 hours of listening, while the charging case extends it to...

 

4. JBL Reflect flow in-ear true wireless headphones

Battery life: Up to 12 hours
Size: 2.4 x 2.2 x 1.8 cm
Sweatproof and waterproof: Yes
​Do I need to download an app? No

These earbuds have the most impressive battery life of the lot – and they charge very quickly too. The buds have 10 hours of juice, plus an additional 20 hours with the case. Just 10 minutes of charging gives you an extra hour of playback, making them perfect for all-day wear. The Bluetooth connection is straightforward – no need to fiddle with any apps here, just connect and go.

JBL’s repertoire of products is well-loved for its heart-thumping bass, but these go deeper. With the right energizing playlist, our testers found that they could keep pushing themselves just a little bit further and longer with the rhythm. Neat features include the “ambient aware” and “talk thru” modes, which offer quieter sound or very low volumes to allow you to be more aware of your surroundings when you need to be.

JBL REFLECT FLOW - True Wireless Earbuds, bluetooth sport headphones with microphone, Waterproof, up to 30 hours battery, charging case and quick charge (black)
2,314 Reviews
JBL REFLECT FLOW - True Wireless Earbuds, bluetooth sport headphones with microphone, Waterproof, up to 30 hours battery, charging case and quick charge (black)
  • TRUE WIRELESS EARBUDS: Discover the freedom of true wireless earbuds for a life on the go. Workout, listen to music, and...
  • Product Note : If the size of the earbud tips does not match the size of your ear canals or the headset is not worn...
  • HANDS-FREE CALLS AND ACCESS TO VOICE ASSISTANTS: Sport Bluetooth headphones with microphone lets you manage music and...

 

5. Libratone Track Air+

Battery life: 6 hours (earbuds), 18 hours + (charging case)
Size: 
3.2 x 2.2 x 1.9 cm
Sweatproof and waterproof: 
Yes
Do I need to download an app? 
Yes

These are stylish, no-frills earphones that are easy to use, and you won’t have to learn once-twice-three times button presses for an array of functions. Libratone’s Track Air+ earbuds look similar to Apple AirPods with the stalks, but fit a lot better and didn’t budge even when our testers put them through a rigorous HIIT workout. They’re lightweight and simple in design and come in black, white, and silver.

Its simplicity does mean onboard controls are limited – double tap on each earbud to play or pause, turn on or off the noise-canceling, skip a track forward or activate a voice assistant. With the Libratone app, you can set which bud controls playing and pausing. Be aware there are no volume controls on the buds themselves, so you’d have to get your phone out to adjust those.

Libratone Track Air True Wireless Earbuds Stylish Design Great Sound,Noise Isolation Earphones, Sweat-Resistant for Workout, Ultral-Light Small, Long Battery Life White
130 Reviews
Libratone Track Air True Wireless Earbuds Stylish Design Great Sound,Noise Isolation Earphones, Sweat-Resistant for Workout, Ultral-Light Small, Long Battery Life White

  • Stylish design: Winner of Red Dot Design Award 2019. Chic, Scandinavian-style make them a new fashion in...

  • Stable Bluetooth connection: 33-feet Bluetooth Range. the high performance Bluetooth 5.0 chipset Qualcomm...

  • Snug fit and good noise-cancelling: 0.2 Oz Ultral-lightweight per earbud, six tip sizes makes them suitable for...

 

6. TOZO T6 True Wireless Earbuds

Battery life: Up to 6 hours
Connectivity Technology: Wireless
Smart Touch Control: Yes
​Special Features: Microphone, sports, and exercise, wireless

These are the only pair that are not truly wireless but we were impressed by their performance and extreme budget pricing. TOZO T6 is a popular choice for sports headphones on Amazon, and it’s easy to see why at just under $30.

Simple, no-fuss controls that don’t require much instruction, they come in a neat round case that zips up, with multiple bud sizes to get the closest fit and a charger wire that can be plugged into any USB port or plug.

These deliver impressively rich sound and clarity, and you can take calls with them but our testers did experience some interference with calls while using them, so wouldn’t recommend them for long chats on the phone. But with up to 12 hours of playback, these headphones are comfortable enough to wear all day long and stay put for the most part with over-ear hooks.

Sale
TOZO T6 True Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.3 Headphones Touch Control with Wireless Charging Case IPX8 Waterproof Stereo Earphones in-Ear Built-in Mic Headset Premium Deep Bass for Sport Black
236,035 Reviews
TOZO T6 True Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.3 Headphones Touch Control with Wireless Charging Case IPX8 Waterproof Stereo Earphones in-Ear Built-in Mic Headset Premium Deep Bass for Sport Black
  • [Smart Touch Control] Specific touch control function makes it more convenient, tap once to play/pause music and answer...
  • [BLUETOOTH 5.3] Adopt the advanced Bluetooth 5.3 technology. TOZO T6 Support HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP, which greatly...
  • [One step pairing] Pick up 2 headsets from charging case and they will connect each other automatically, then only one...

 

7. Jaybird Vista

Battery life: 6 hours (earbuds), 10 hours + (charging case)
Size: 2.4 x 2.2 x 1.8 cm
Sweatproof and waterproof: Yes
​Do I need to download an app? No, but the app is available for audio customization

These earbuds claim to meet US military standards and are, impressively, water, dust, sweat, and shock-proof. They fit very well and are comfortable, although our tester did experience some in-ear pressure while wearing them. A rubber wing tip attached to the body of each earbud fits into the upper edge of the ear to secure them in place.

Built for more athletic activities, they performed well during high-impact exercises and made it through an unintentional run in the rain without a hitch. They are highly water-resistant and can survive a dip into about a meter of water but swimming with them is probably not the greatest idea.

Sale
Jaybird Vista True Wireless Bluetooth Sport Waterproof Earbud Premium Headphones - Black
6,569 Reviews
Jaybird Vista True Wireless Bluetooth Sport Waterproof Earbud Premium Headphones - Black
  • EARTHPROOF Fully waterproof crushproof dropproof and sweatproof IPX7 construction ensures Vista can withstand any...
  • Product Note : If the size of the earbud tips does not match the size of your ear canals or the headset is not worn...
  • ALWAYS READY Vista gives you 6 hours of audio on a full charge plus 10 more in the compact charging case for 16 hours of...

 

The verdict: Wireless headphones for running

The Jabra elite active 75t is a joy to exercise with, delivering top-notch sound and comfort which are paramount when you’re trying to get through a grueling workout.

Anker soundcore liberty neo earbuds are a close runner-up, especially as they have a similar shape and fit but at a much more reasonable price point. Beats by Dre’s powerboats pro are also a strong favorite among our testers, given the excellent sound and connection they offer, but may be a bit of a stretch in terms of price.

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