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Best bluetooth earphones for running Headphones for Running 2021 Wireless Running Headphones
Best bluetooth earphones for running Headphones for Running 2021 Wireless Running Headphones
Amazon WF-1000XM4 Sony amazon.com $278.00 SHOP NOW IPX42 water-resistance 8 hours single charge Connection sometimes spotty The WF-1000XM4 has foam tips that stay secure and sound that pumps in deep and clear. There’s also automatic mode detection and you can tweak the audio settings using the app. Because these buds are quite sensitive, there were rare occasions when the buds switched to “noise-canceling off” mode, due to a sudden downpour of rain. We found the connection was also sometimes spotty, requiring a quick touch on the right bud to turn-off/turn-on for a sound reset. Bose SoundSport Free amazon.com $297.99 SHOP NOW 5-hour battery life Best-in-class sound Bigger than other truly wireless buds, requires more adjusting If you’re going to pay $200 or more for anything Bose, it should first sound very good. The SoundSport Free delivers. “The sound quality is amazing,” said video producer Pat Heine. “Deep bass and crisp high tones. I mean, it’s Bose, not just a bass boost.” At 60 percent of his device’s highest volume setting, he could still hear nearby cars, so there’s a decent amount of ambient sound as long as you’re not blasting your tunes. However, the buds required continuous adjustment during runs, and the biggest gripe was connectivity. Heine said the earbuds would cut out when he moved his hand between his iPhone 6 and his ears, even with his phone in a pocket on his chest. Dengate had no problems, however, when using a pair with his newer iPhone XS. Amazon Studio Buds Beats amazon.com $149.95 SHOP NOW 8 hours single charge; 24 with case IPX4 water-resistant Tactile buttons No in-ear detection Go Air JLab amazon.com $24.01 SHOP NOW Fast and easy pairing IPX4 water-resistance rating 5-hour battery life No noise-canceling mode Lower sound quality Associate test director Will Egensteiner said these buds’ lack of ear wings initially made them feel insecure, but they stayed put nicely during runs without generating a noticeable “thud” at each foot strike. However, working up a sweat caused a slight rubbing noise where the silicone tip sealed in the ear. That seal wasn’t so tight as to prevent Egensteiner from hearing his surroundings—a plus for outdoor running. But because of that, the sound wasn’t as immersive, and the battery life wasn’t on par with the other models. But, it’s tough to argue with $30 truly wireless earbuds that offer modest water-resistance, quick and easy pairing, a charging case, a built-in microphone to take phone calls—and a full two-year warranty. JBL Reflect Mini 2 Sport Headphones Clear sound and a secure fit for less than competitors’ buds Elite Active 75t Jabra $179.99 SHOP NOW IP57 full waterproof and sweatproof 7.5-hour battery life Excellent sound quality HearThrough mode allows you to adjust ambient sound HearThrough ineffective in high wind Jabra nailed the shape on the Elite Active 75t. Credit that to the angular build that nests snugly in the outer ear canal, without giving you that tightly sealed, high-pressure “thud” with each foot strike. The sound quality is crisp, dynamic, and full—rivaling Apple’s AirPods Pro —but these Jabras will cost you less and offer about 90 more minutes of battery on a single charge. For dust and water protection, they’re rated IP57, meaning they should withstand a sandstorm or a monsoon. Competing earbuds from Apple, Bose, Jaybird, and others may offer even better sound, superior comfort, or exceptional ambient-awareness modes; but, no brand does all of those things better than the 75t. These compact buds are more durable than ever “The rubbery sport hooks give the most secure fit I’ve had of any wireless buds, without any uncomfortable suction causing that annoying high-pressure thump with each footstrike,” said test editor Morgan Petruny. “Plus, when my ears need a breather after a run, I’ll use those support wings to let the buds dangle off the top of my ear while my sweat dries, until I’m ready to switch to noise-cancelling mode for writing back at my desk.” The battery life holds more than enough juice for marathon distance—even if you were to walk it. We were also impressed with the sound quality; the bass comes in full and robust—not weak or tinny—and you can tune it to your specific preferences in JLab’s companion mobile app. Just switch off the hear-through mode while running, since it does amplify wind noise. High-end sound in a small package that stays put Amazon UE Fits Ultimate Ears amazon.com $249.00 SHOP NOW 8 hours single charge; 20 with case Dual microphones in each bud Pocketable-sized case Molded one-time fit Must run with phone Amid the list of household names on this list—Jaybird, JBL, Sony, and Bose—you may be surprised Ultimate Ear has a heritage spanning over a quarter of a century. The brand has developed custom-fit earbuds to rival competitors’ ergonomic tips and hooks that “fit most ears.” Using the app, the UE Fits buds mold into your ear during a one-time 60-second process. Customization isn’t limited to ear fit only on the app; you can also change controls and sound preferences . No ANC feature is built-in, which makes sense since the molded fit seals out most surrounding noise. The buds are also sweatproof—but not waterproof. Amazon X3-Pro Treblab amazon.com $69.97 SHOP NOW 9 hours music single charge; 45 hours with case Water-resistant Curved shape may not fit/hold secure over some ears The X3-Pro has ergonomic over-the-ear hooks, which initially seemed loose during the first few wears, but we felt more confident with them after a couple runs. We experienced no bounce and there was no friction against our skin after long stretches listening to tunes. The sound quality is clear and consistent—not too harsh or muddled at higher volumes—and you can answer calls hands-free, thanks to the built-in microphone. You also can’t beat the low price. For an even cheaper option with the same nine hours of playtime , opt for the brand’s wire-connected XR700 Pro model. Superb fit and comfort, but subpar noise-canceling Trevor Raab Over-ear hooks take some pressure off the ear canal to hold these buds steady. Adding a hook can improve an earbud’s fit, too, since there’s a second point of contact to hold it in place. The hook can also store antennae or a battery, helping these buds play longer than their truly wireless counterparts. They’re generally marginally cheaper than truly wireless models, but some will cost more than $200 anyway. Exceptional sound but inconsistent connectivity A safe balance of ambient noise and great sound Beats Powerbeats Pro amazon.com $199.95 SHOP NOW 9-hour single-charge battery life Expansive sound Ear hooks ensure secure fit Amazon JBL Endurance Peak amazon.com SHOP NOW IPX7 waterproof rating Smart ear hooks switch buds off when not in use Minimal ambient sound After six runs and some in-office use, one tester said she’d buy JBL’s Endurance Peak with her own money. Music sounded clear and balanced. Using the smallest ear tips, the buds stayed in her ears and the hooks didn’t ruin the fit of her sunglasses, remaining comfortable after hours of wear. Ambient sound was minimal, except when listening to podcasts at a very low volume. But, despite being larger than many similar headphones— and bearing the “Endurance” moniker—the JBL Peak delivered just four hours of battery life. The ultimate headphones for urban running awareness Flexible hooks and terrific ambient sound Amazon Push Ultra Skullcandy amazon.com $92.99 SHOP NOW 6 hours single charge; 40 with case Moldable, flexible hooks IP67 sweat and waterproof Tile feature helps locate buds Large case Skullcandy can even make hook earbuds look trendy. The hooks are a little big and can interfere with sunglasses if you wear shades on your run, but they’re flexible and moldable around the ear to ensure a snug fit during a workout. It helps that the buds have an IP67 rating, too. There are a few small compromises that are run-of-mill with hook earbuds. For example, one drawback is the Push Ultra’s massive case, which was a pain for ultrarunners on the trail for over six hours who needed to pocket the charging case for extra juice. Another is that the hook-style doesn’t seal out external sound. “You can actually hear birds chirp,” said Dengate. “But the sound quality is fine for running. Even podcasts are fully audible.” The Studio Buds are insanely small. “Each bud has a flat profile that you can grab, kinda like the tip of a Phillips head screwdriver,” said Runner-in-Chief Jeff Dengate. This makes them slightly difficult to handle if your hands are greasy with sunscreen or drenched with sweat. Fortunately, moisture won’t affect sound quality, function, or fit. “No slipping during a sweaty 5-miler on an 85-degree day,” Dengate added. The tactile buttons require a one light press to play/pause, two presses to skip, three to go back, and a long press to activate ANC/transparency mode or Siri. You’ll save a $100 opting for these instead of the brand’s Powerbeats Pro. But, the latter Pro model’s sound is “punchier and richer” and all-around better for running, according to Dengate. Wireless earbuds are now smaller and more affordable than ever, yet it’s tough to know what kind of sound you can expect from these tiny devices before you buy. To keep the playing field level, we asked for feedback in the same categories from all of our testers. Their testing and impressions focused on the qualities of wireless earphones that are especially important to runners. Here’s what we considered: Epic Air Sport ANC JLab amazon.com $79.99 SHOP NOW Good fit, sound quality, and durability for under $100 Fits comfortably with sunglasses Poor noise-canceling mode How an earbud fits affects how much outside sound it lets in, and there’s no ideal balance for everyone. Some runners like buds that fit deep in their ears and block all outside noise, allowing them to focus on the tunes, while others prefer lots of environmental sound from a looser fit. So although we didn’t rank the earbuds by ambient sound, we did rank them based on whether they stayed in our testers’ ears. Amazon Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless amazon.com $198.00 SHOP NOW IP55 water-resistant 9 hours battery life Wind noise interrupts listening with ambient sound on A Jaybird Vista tester praised the sound quality of these Sony buds, after putting them to the test on a run through Queens, bluetooth earphones for running NY. “Best sound quality of any earbuds I’ve tried,” he said. “I didn’t have to turn up the volume as loud to hear my audiobook.” The sweat-resistant buds have a three-dimensional curved design for a fit that won’t slip or fall out. Pressed for time? A quick 10-minute charge gives you a full hour of listening. Best for podcasts and audiobook listening None of our testers had issues with water or sweat ruining their buds, but in a longer test scenario, moisture can and will destroy earbuds that aren’t capable of repelling it. So, we factored in each device’s IP, or Ingress Protection , rating. The rating consists of two numbers. The Powerbeats Pro is the complete package: both well-rounded as wireless sport headphones and literally a large box that contains the earbuds and an additional 15 hours of juice. Not that you’re likely to need it; the buds last for nine hours on a single charge. “The sound you get from the Powerbeats Pro is really expansive,” said Dengate in his full review . “Every song sounds like you’re listening in a larger room, with speakers positioned away from you.” Ambient noise starts out minimal but increases as sweat causes the earbuds to lose some of their seal. The music gets a little hollower, but the awareness means you’ll pick up loud environmental noises like sirens and horns. Bluetooth pairing is immediate with an iPhone, and a five-minute quick charge delivers 90 minutes of playback. The Powerbeats are rated IPX4 so they’ll withstand a rainstorm , and despite their large size, the buds keep a low enough profile to be comfortable with a hat and sunglasses. Sound Quality: Our staffers aren’t audiophiles, so evaluating sound quality is largely subjective. Testers compared their test buds to other headphones they’ve tried and provided specific feedback on the depth and clarity of their favorite songs and podcasts. Trevor Raab Because isolating you from the outside world should lend a clearer sound, we expected better sound quality from earbuds that fit snug in the ear than we did from earbuds that let in a lot of noise. For the best of both worlds, some of the pricier models offer an ambient sound mode, which uses the device’s microphone to bring in outside noise while maintaining a tight fit. Plantronics Backbeat Fit 3100 $64.00 SHOP NOW Enough ambient sound for urban running 5-hour battery life Bluetooth interference Features director Matt Allyn used the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 in midtown Manhattan traffic and on a serene Pennsylvania rail trail. He found that the 3100’s overall sound quality and ambient-noise awareness feature performed well in both environments. “On the rail trail, I could still make out the sounds of birds flapping nearby,” he said. Allyn also felt aware enough to Citi Bike around New York City wearing these buds, although they struggled with some interference from other electronic devices. The buds hover over the ear canal, rather than fitting within it, and use the hooks to stay in place. While the hooks didn’t require any adjustments once running, they did feel less comfortable if worn with sunglasses. Subscribe Sign In My Account Sign Out Type keyword to search Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. How we test gear. Amazon JBL Under Armour Flash amazon.com $169.95 SHOP NOW IPX7 waterproof 5 hours battery life Sport Flex Fit ear tips AmbientAware tech to hear surroundings This collab with Under Armour has a comfy, secure fit thanks to Sport Flex Fit tips that curve into your ear. The tips do a stellar job at blocking out sound, which is why the AmbientAware option is ideal for bionic hearing. On a single charge, the buds last for five hours. However, our tester found she didn’t have to plug in the charger for two weeks at a time, despite running for over an hour per day, six days a week. Plus, you can leave your phone at home if you have a smartwatch with music storage. Our tester didn’t miss a beat running with the Flash and her Garmin Forerunner 245 Music GPS watch. Trevor Raab These earbuds are still untethered from your phone, but they use a wire or band to connect the buds and store batteries, microphones, or an antenna. If you can get past the connecting wire, you’ll enjoy better battery life and a significantly lower price. These buds are typically smaller , and less weight can mean less fiddling with the fit. Amazon Plantronics Backbeat Fit 2100 amazon.com $99.99 SHOP NOW 7 hours battery life Lightweight Lackluster sound quality At 26 grams, the BackBeat Fit 2100 is among the lightest weight models we’ve tested, and it uses a rigid rubberized connecting wire that helps reduce bouncing against your neck. The ear tips sit just outside your ear canal—this boosts ambient sound and lets you hear traffic, but prevents the overall sound quality from being as good as it could be. We haven’t had any issues with our test pair, although a worrisome number of Amazon reviews chronicle a hissing noise that develops after a couple of months. Check out the top five performers below, and keep scrolling for our full list of best picks. You’ll also find additional info on each type of earbud, tips from our gear experts, and the scoop on how we tested. The best truly wireless buds you’ll find for $30 Amazon Bose SoundSport amazon.com $129.00 SHOP NOW Excellent sound quality Secure, comfortable fit 6-hour battery life Little ambient sound The Bose SoundSport is among the best in this test because of its superior fit and impressive sound quality. Test editor Bobby Lea quickly dialed in the comfort so the buds didn’t pop out mid-workout, despite the big speaker housing. And the sound quality was as crisp and dynamic as you’d expect from Bose. The earbuds quickly connected to Lea’s iPhone 7 and stayed tethered more than 100 feet away from it. Alas, the buds don’t let in much ambient sound. “They make you largely oblivious to the world around you, even at half volume,” Lea said. The SoundSport will give you a quality audio experience—just don’t let it impede your awareness in high-traffic areas. For the sake of making useful comparisons, we segmented our test pool into three categories: Truly wireless, truly wireless with ear hooks, and wire-connected. Wire-connected means that while there’s no wire to plug the earbuds into your cellphone, there is a wire or band that joins the two earbuds to each other. We also added a fourth subcategory of cheap earbuds—models that cost under $70 . Big battery, expansive sound, stays put—near perfect Best bluetooth earphones for running Headphones for Running 2021 Wireless Running Headphones
Best bluetooth earphones for running Headphones for Running 2021 Wireless Running Headphones
Trevor Raab These buds have neither connecting wires nor hooks that extend around your ear; you just push them in and go. This design tends to fit snug in the ear canal to stop it from loosening mid-run. The compact style makes them lightweight, and their small batteries can mean shorter runtimes. However, all of our test models came with charging cases that allow you to juice them up on the go. Truly wireless earbuds also tend to be the most expensive. Amazon AfterShokz Trekz Air amazon.com $119.95 SHOP NOW Most ambient sound of any workout headphones 6-hour battery life Thinner, quieter sound than in-ear buds For road runners who aren’t comfortable jamming an earbud in as cars whiz past, there’s the Trekz Air. These headphones use bone conduction technology to transfer sound through your cheekbones, leaving your ears open to hear potential hazards before they sneak up on you. Compared to in-ear designs from Jaybird and Bose, the sound is “admittedly thinner and quieter, but I find it totally suitable for running,” said Dengate in his full review . The headband is lighter and slimmer than the previous model, which allows you to comfortably wear sunglasses with the headphones. A six-hour battery life and a sweat-resistant IP55 rating puts the Trekz Air right on par with truly wireless buds of a similar price—you’re losing an in-ear headphone’s full sound, but gaining total awareness. We’ll continually update this roundup with our test impressions of the latest wireless earbuds for runners. Tell us what you think about your buds in the comments. Vista 2 Jaybird amazon.com $199.99 SHOP NOW 8 hours single charge; 24 hours with case IP68 waterproof Better sound compared to previous model Lots of wind noise with pass thru The Vista 2 lasts eight hours on a single charge—long enough to get you to the finish line of your next 26.2—and two hours longer than the original Vista. Plus, you’ll get an additional 16 hours with the charging case. This update preserved the same earbud shape, with a secure fit that seals out dust and moisture. Speaking of moisture, the sweat- and waterproof 2 improves to a rating of IP68 from the first version’s IP67. Double-tap to change between Active Noise Canceling and SurroundSense modes. In two weeks of testing, we encountered few quality issues, but we also asked our testers to discuss how the earbuds felt—you’d expect a $200 set of buds to feel premium compared to a $40 pair. For long-term quality assessment, we checked user reviews from Amazon and other retailers to identify any persistent issues. We’ll update our findings if any issues crop up as we continue to run with these models. Comfortable with quality sound, but don’t expect to hear much else Amazon Jabra Elite Active 65t amazon.com $99.99 $80.80 SHOP NOW Secure fit Balanced, dynamic sound 5-hour battery life HearThrough mode is mostly wind noise The Elite Active 65t is no longer Jabra’s top sport earbud, but it’s almost as good as its successor. Both of our testers found a secure fit with the three included sizes of silicone inserts, and a regular AirPods user said the Jabras had the best sound quality of any wireless headphones he’d tried. The bass isn’t as impressive as offerings from Bose and Sennheiser, but the buds still thump when you’ve established a tight seal and deliver a balanced sound across hip-hop, rock, folk, and podcasts . The lightweight buds didn’t move once our runs began, and the HearThrough mode brings in ambient sound when necessary. However, the ambient sound quality still isn’t great when they’re sealed properly in your ears. Our second tester said he went down an insert size, losing some of the in-ear sound quality to gain ambient noise for outdoor running. The five-hour battery life is enough for most runs, and the small charging case packs an additional 10 hours. Sound investment: Jabra’s warranty covers the earbuds for two years of dust and sweat damage. Deep sound with customized audio, via app Most earbuds in this test have an IP rating, and most ratings were IPX4 or above. Lakota Gambill Connectivity and Battery Life We also asked testers to evaluate how quickly and easily the buds connected to their phones, and how far they were able to get from their phones before the signal cut out. In addition, we recorded any mid-run connectivity issues. To assess battery life, we checked manufacturers’ claims against our testers’ experiences and noted discrepancies where they occurred. Amazon JBL Reflect Mini 2 amazon.com $89.99 $49.95 SHOP NOW Snug, secure in-ear fit 10-hour battery life Very little ambient sound The JBL Reflect Mini 2 isn’t the newest pair of headphones, but a price drop to $40 makes them an attractive value proposition. The buds form a tight seal in your ears and don’t move after you’ve started to trot. The downside for outdoor runners is the lack of ambient sound, which also isolates your tunes from the outside world. Video production manager Jimmy Cavalieri also used them while mowing his lawn. bluetooth earphones amazon uk