10 Best Headphones for Runners

 

Looking for ways to improve the feel of your run? You could be missing a good pair of running headphones.

 

The best running headphones should have good sound quality that allows you to still hear your surroundings, a comfortable fit so that they don’t dig in or slip off, and a reasonable battery life that can withstand long training sessions/races. They should also be water-resistant so you can run with no worries, no matter the weather and wireless so they don’t snag on any surroundings or get in the way of good form.

 

Considering these essentials, here are the top 10:

  • Comfortable + secure fit
  • Water resistant (IP67)
  • Bone conduction
  • Wireless
  • 8 hours of battery

 

Shokz Openrun, formerly known as Aeropex, are wireless headphones that use bone conduction technology rather than in-ear buds to let you listen to your favourite running playlist.

Shokz are the only sports headphones brand recommended by England Athletics because they don’t compromise your situational awareness or safety for great quality sound.

For runners who primarily run outdoors and in urban environments, or who find traditional earbuds a bit irritating, these are the best option.

  • Comfortable fit
  • Water resistant (IP57)
  • In-ear
  • Wireless
  • Fast charge (1 hour of battery life from 10 minutes of charging)
  • 7 hours of battery (up to 28 hours with the case + fast charge)

 

Jabra Elite Active 4 are the newer model of the fan favourite 75t. They feature a customisable equaliser and bass boost when used with the Jabra Sound+ app. Active Noise Cancelling and Instant Hearthrough Technology allow you the flexibility of both immersive listening and situational awareness, depending on the setting of your run.

They offer the high quality of Beats and AirPods at a cheaper retail price.


  • Comfortable + secure fit
  • Water resistant (IPX4)
  • In-ear
  • Wireless
  • Fast charge (1.5 hours of battery life from 5 minutes of charging)
  • 9 hours of battery (24 hours with the case + fast charge)
  • Voice control + good call quality

 

Beats Powerbeats Pro arguably offer the best sound on the market. Designed for use with iOS, the headphones come with a host of handy features like Ask Siri which allows for hands free control, Audio Sharing which lets you and your running partner listen to the same track and Auto Play/Pause which uses motion sense technology to detect when the earbuds are in place.

The earbuds have an adjustable fit but no ANC technology.

  • Comfortable + secure fit
  • Water resistant (IPX4)
  • In-ear
  • Wireless
  • 5 hours of battery (15 hours with the case)
  • Voice control + good call quality

 

Bose Sport earbuds provide runners with seamless comfort and high quality sound, thanks to Bose sound technology and small hooks that sit against the inside of the ear for added security. They have customisable fit options included in the 3 sizes of StayHear Max tips and bluetooth lasting up to 9 metres but no ANC technology. Reviews praise the quality of calls thanks to a beamforming microphone that separates your voice from surrounding noise.

  • Comfortable + secure fit
  • Water resistant (IP68)
  • In-ear
  • Wireless
  • Fast charge (1 hour of battery life from 5 minutes of charging)
  • 6-8 hours of battery (16-24 hours with the case + fast charge)
  • Voice control

 

Jaybird Vista headphones come in two models Vista 1 and Vista 2, with the latter being pricier but providing a longer battery life as well as additional safety and durability features for the expense.

Both earbuds have Active Noise Cancelling technology for an enhanced listening experience but the Vista 2 comes with SurroundSense, which utilises a wind-guarded mic for ambient listening and is essential for outdoors running.

  • Comfortable + secure fit
  • Water resistant (IPX4)
  • On-ear
  • Wireless
  • 40 hours of battery
  • Good call quality

 

Adidas RPT-01s come with the best battery life out of all the headphones on this list and a classic headphone design. The idea of an on-ear headphone for running may seem off putting but they’re designed with removable, washable knitted ear cushions and an inner headband.

Reviews say they are tight without feeling hot and uncomfortable, but they’re definitely better suited to the winter months. Designed in collaboration with Zound Industries, they have an immersive sound quality akin to Urbanears.

There’s ANC but no transparency mode either, their snug fit cancels out a lot of surrounding noise so they’re not the best choice for running where you need greater situational awareness.

  • Comfortable + secure fit
  • Water resistant (IPX4)
  • In-ear
  • Wireless
  • 4.5 hours of battery (24 hours with the case)
  • Voice control + good call quality

 

Apple AirPods Pro are a cult classic with a sleek design that also provide a good running experience. Features include both Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode using spatial audio, as well as adaptive EQ tuning for an incredible sound. They come with three different sized silicone ear tips and an Ear Tip Test Fit that you can carry out on your connected iPhone to be told instantly which ones are the best for you.

AirPods Pro are the most expensive headphones on this list but if you’re an iPhone user looking for a pair with everyday use as well, they’re ideal.

  • Comfortable + secure fit
  • Water resistant (IP68)
  • In-ear
  • Wireless
  • Fast charge (1 hour of battery life from 10 minutes of charging)
  • 10 hours of battery (30 hours with the case + fast charge)

 

JBL Reflect Flow Pro is an upgrade on the popular Reflect Flow Model. These headphones come with an impressive three different listening modes. Active Noise Cancellation lets you get in the zone for treadmill runs, Ambient Aware lets external noise through without pausing a playlist, and TalkThru mode makes conversation crisp and easy. 

The Pro model is on the pricier side and they’re specifically designed for sport so reviews say the sound could be less bass heavy, but with 3 ear tips and 4 power fin stabilisers you’re guaranteed to find the perfect fit for you.

  • Comfortable + secure fit
  • Water resistant (IPX4)
  • In-ear
  • Wireless
  • Fast charge (1 hour of battery life from 10 minutes of charging)
  • 6 hours of battery (30 hours with the case + fast charge)

 

A great pair of sports headphones at a good price, the Sennheiser CX Sport are praised for their great audio quality and energetic sound. They have no special listening modes like ANC or ambient listening but they come with 3 fins and 4 tips to adjust the fit to your comfort level. These earbuds also allow you to pair up with 2 Bluetooth devices simultaneously.


  • Comfortable + secure fit
  • Sweat resistant
  • In-ear
  • Wireless
  • 7 hours of battery life

 

The most affordable pair of headphones on this list, the Urbanears Stadion are designed with a unique coil neckband that stretches to perfectly mold to your head, for unshakable comfort. Reviews are mixed on the control buttons being located on this band, creating a kind of love it or hate it effect but the sound is decent.

They’re a perfect choice for outdoors runners because despite their immovable fit, they offer great situational awareness.

 

 

By Amy Moretsele