The 10 Best Exercise Headphones to Buy in 2019

Shop for the best headphones for swimming, running and more

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

  • Best Overall: SENSO Bluetooth at Amazon, "Offering state of the art acoustic components for rich, full sound quality with deep bass and clear treble."
  • Runner-Up, Best Overall: Bose SoundSport at Amazon, "Equipped with StayHear+ eartips with soft silicon fins for a fit that's comfortably loose but also secure and snug."
  • Best for Comfort: Jaybird X3 at Amazon, In the box, you’ll get a wide array of earbud attachments in different sizes to fit you no matter your ear shape.”
  • Runner-Up, Best for Comfort: Bose SoundSport Pulse at Amazon, With a built-in heart rate sensor, these headphones are capable of providing you detailed information about your run.”
  • Best Budget: AUKEY Latitude at Amazon,"Delivers rich, pure wireless sound with aptX technology."
  • Runner-Up, Best Budget: Anker SoundBuds Slim at Amazon, "Giving you features that are slashed on most other budget headphones."
  • Best Battery Life: Jaybird Tarah Pros at Best Buy, "Just two hours of charging gives you up to 14 hours of music."
  • Best Wired: Sennheiser OCX 686G at Amazon, "Sweat and water-resistant, boasting some pretty solid sound quality."
  • Best for Running: Jaybird X4 at Amazon, “Eight hours of battery life will power you through a quick jog around the block or the marathon you’ve committed to finishing.”
  • Best for Swimming: Stream by H20 Audio at Amazon, "Featuring an IPX8 rating, which means the headphones are 100-percent waterproof."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: SENSO Bluetooth Headphones

3.4

SENSO Bluetooth Headphones are a No. 1 best seller on Amazon and for good reason; over 20,000 reviews ranked them 4.2 out of 5 stars due to their price point, eight-hour long battery life, Bluetooth 4.1 CSR tech and IPX-7 waterproof rating.

The SENSO Bluetooth Headphones offer state of the art acoustic components for rich, full sound quality with deep bass and clear treble. Their lithium polymer batteries charge in under 1.5 hours and offer 240 hours of standby. With its Bluetooth 4.1 wireless technology, you can connect your mobile devices up to 30 feet away. Its CVC 6.0 noise suppression means you can enjoy your music without any outside interference. The headphones come with a one-year warranty.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Bose SoundSport

4.6

The best exercise headphones should be comfortable to wear and have a secure fit. The sweat-proof Bose SoundSport wireless headphones are both. They come with small, medium and large earbuds that are each equipped with StayHear+ eartips with soft silicon fins. This offers a fit that’s comfortably loose, but also secure and snug. As a runner or biker, it’s especially important that you’re aware of your surroundings while out on the road, and the SoundSport let ambient sound filter in for safety.

As far as sound goes, the Bose SoundSport headphones deliver booming bass that will keep your blood pumping all workout long. And with a six-hour battery life, you should be able to squeeze in about a week’s worth of workouts before re-charging.

Best for Comfort: Jaybird X3

4.2

Craving comfort, but don’t want to sacrifice sound quality? The Jaybird X3 headphones are your best bet. Though categorized as sports headphones, thanks to a hydrophobic nano-coating to wick away moisture, the X3’s comfort make them perfect for everyday listening. Plus, with a promising eight hours of battery life, you won’t need to charge up mid-music session.

Silicone ear fins attach to your ear to keep them secure, which makes them a practical choice if you’re on the go. In the box, you’ll also get a wide array of earbud attachments in different sizes to fit you no matter your ear shape. Powered by 6mm drivers, you’ll be pleased with booming bass. But if the sound doesn’t quite match your preferences, you can download Jaybird’s MySound App to customize your sound.

Runner-Up, Best for Comfort: Bose SoundSport Pulse

Not to be confused with the original Bose SoundSport, the Wireless Pulse adds an entirely new feature to distinguish itself. With a built-in heart rate sensor, these headphones are capable of providing you detailed information about your run. Connecting to the smartphone app, Pulse owners can see heart rate performance in real time. For serious runners, this will help guide them to step up the run or pull back.

Managing your heart rate isn’t the only highlight of the Pulse. When you move, twist, or turn during running, the last thing you want are headphones that move. Bose’s StayHear+ headphone tips stay in your ears no matter what. The gentle seal that’s created is not only comfortable but also serves to block out ambient noise. The extended wing above the tip also works to keep the headphone in place.

Unfortunately, every run can’t completely remove the world around you. If a call comes in, the inline microphone can answer and end calls. Along with the mic, the inline remote doubles as a way to adjust volume or pause/play music. Five hours of battery life are available with every charge.

Best Budget: AUKEY Latitude Wireless Headphones

Aukey Latitude’s simple design won’t turn any heads, but when it comes to audio quality, these headphones bring their A-game. Enjoy the rich, pure wireless sound of their aptX technology and choose from three EQ settings to enhance your personal listening experience.

The earbuds feature a two-part design, with a slim in-ear tip and an ear-hook, both made from a sturdy, comfortable silicone material that isolates sound without causing strain. The headphones boast an IPX4 water-resistance rating to guard against sweat and rain, along with magnetic tips that fasten around your neck for hands-free convenience. The battery life lasts is about eight hours — that's 120 songs — and the headphones take just 90 minutes to fully recharge. Aukey also offers a 45-day money back guarantee and a 24-month product replacement warranty should the wireless earbuds not live up to your expectations. 

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Anker SoundBuds Slim

For less than $30, the Anker SoundBuds Slim gives you features slashed on most other budget headphones, including wireless audio, a solid microphone and an intuitive remote.

The SoundBuds are made of rubber that make them water-resistant rated at IPX4 and they house 6mm drivers that will deliver a solid bass. The battery will last you about seven hours, which is impressive in this price range, and they come with an extensive array of customizable earbud and ear fin options to ensure the perfect fit for your ear. Best yet: If you’re uncertain about buying budget headphones, you can rest easy because Anker offers an 18-month warranty.

Best Battery Life: Jaybird Tarah Pros

Jaybird Tarah Pro

Best Buy

These Tarah Pro headphones are one of the more premium offerings from Jaybird’s lineup of exercise headphones, and they offer a few features you won’t find in the more affordable X series. They earn this spot on our list because of the amount of playtime you get on a single charge. Just two hours of charging gives you up to 14 hours of music (almost double the play time of the brand’s other headphones). On top of that, you can plug in the Tarah Pros for just five minutes and get a full two hours of music time, which is great if you’re pressed for time. There’s a waterproof rating of IPX7, which means they’ll work well in inclement weather and you won’t have to worry if they’re exposed to sweat for a long period of time.

The sturdy, braided cable seems is also pretty premium, and they’ve built the earbuds themselves on a swivel, so you can wear them both under or over your ears depending on what’s most comfortable. There are also three sizes of wing-shaped silicone tips included in the box for extra comfort and a more customizable fit. Fire up the accompanying Jaybird app to customize the EQ and sound settings, and these earbuds will support you through any run or workout routine.

Best Wired: Sennheiser OCX 686G

Sennheiser OCX 686G
Courtesy of Amazon.com

If you truly don’t mind a pair of wires dangling from your earbuds, then the Sennheiser OCX 686G is the best set of exercise headphones you can buy. These cans are sweat and water resistant, and boast some pretty solid sound quality. If you’re looking for some deep, thumping bass then they’re probably not for you (but then again, in-ear headphones have never exactly been earth-shattering in the bass department). They do, however, over a crisp, high-intensity mid- to high-end range. Sennheiser is one of the top brands in sound technology, so you can expect a certain degree of quality there alone.

Sound aside, the OCX 686G also offers an in-line remote and microphone, allowing you to pause music or takes calls at the push of a button. The earbud design extends into the ear canal, allowing for reduced ambient noise infiltration, and the ergonomically designed ear clips ensure a comfortable fit for most people. (It includes three ear cushion size options.) Oval-shaped, para-aramid cables help prevent tangling, and the anti-bacterial ear adapters add a level of hygiene to your workout routine.

Best for Running: Jaybird X4

With thousands of options on the market, finding the best headphones for running is no easy task. But thanks to the Jaybird X4s — which hit all the right notes when it comes to comfort, sound, and battery — you can call off your search. Each of the ultra-foam tips is designed to conform to individual ear canals. Add in thermo-reactive technology for enhanced sound and the Jaybird X4 already appears to be a winner.

It’s not just the thermo-technology that helps the Jaybird sound good, though. A custom equalizer (EQ) is available on the company’s smartphone app. From there, you can save your own personal settings for the best sound.

Every good running headset should be able to withstand the constant drip of sweat. The Jaybird meets this requirement and then some with an IPX7 rating that ensures you can run rain or shine. No matter the outside conditions, eight hours of battery life will power you through a quick jog around the block or the marathon you’ve committed to finishing. A ten-minute quick recharge will get you 60 minutes of battery life in a pinch. 

Best for Swimming: Stream Waterproof Bluetooth Player by H20 Audio

When it comes to top-notch underwater performance, nothing compares to the Stream Waterproof Bluetooth player and Headphones by H20 Audio. The water-friendly gadget features an IPX8 rating, which means the headphones are 100-percent waterproof, impervious to perspiration, rain and even submersion up to 12 feet in water. Competitive athletes will be impressed by the product’s hydrodynamic design, which H20 Audio boasts as being “designed by swimmers, for swimmers.” The headphones are tailored to promote proper alignment in the ears and come with eight different sized earbuds, practically ensuring maximum comfort and security.

In terms of audio quality, these headphones sound as good as they feel, with premium underwater sound performance and a punchy bass. The MP3 player has 10 hours of battery life and an 8 GB memory to fit all your favorite music (that's up to 2,000 tunes). The Stream also offers Bluetooth connectivity, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work underwater. Still, with a 30-foot range, Bluetooth works perfectly for jogging and other on-land workouts.

Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 126 hours testing three of the most popular pairs of exercise headphones on the market. To get the most thorough results possible, they tried them in all types of scenarios, from running outdoors to lifting at the gym. We asked them to consider the most important features when using these headphones and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Pair of Exercise Headphones

Comfort - It’s possible you’ll be using your exercise headphones for up to a couple of hours a day. If you go for an in-ear style, make sure they are comfortable and the ear tips fit securely in your ears. For other styles, ensure that they will stay put, even during vigorous activity.

Waterproof - One important factor in which pair of headphones you’ll buy is the kind of workout you’ll be doing. If you’re a runner, you may want waterproof headphones that will last through a rain shower. Or you may just want a water-resistant pair that can stand up to sweat.

Price - Like any other piece of technology, you can spend a lot of money on headphones, so make sure you know what features are important to you. If you’re an audiophile, you may be willing to pay more for better sound quality. Alternatively, having fully waterproof headphones for swimming might be worth a splurge.

Test Results: SENSO Bluetooth Headphones (Best Overall)

3.4

What We Like

  • Great noise-cancelation

  • Decent sound quality

  • Good battery

What We Don’t Like

  • Awkward fit

  • Hard to open charging port

Senso
SENSO Bluetooth Headphones
SENSO Bluetooth
SENSO Headphones
SENSO Bluetooth Headphones

Our testers thought that the noise-canceling feature of these headphones worked well — perfect for tuning out the world during a workout — and that the Bluetooth easily connected with other devices. Our reviewers also found that these headphones’ promised battery life of seven hours was accurate. One tester was disappointed that the headphones fit her ears a bit awkwardly and tended to fall out.

Test Results: Bose SoundSport (Runner-Up, Best Overall)

4.6

What We Like

  • High-quality sound

  • Solid battery life

  • Comfortable fit

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive

  • Small, tough-to-find power button

Bose SoundSport
Bose SoundSport
Bose SoundSport
Bose SoundSport
Bose SoundSport

For our reviewers, the best feature of these headphones was their superior sound quality. “Bose has a great reputation for sound quality,” one said, “and these earbuds live up to the reputation.” Our testers found that this pair was also quite comfortable, and had better-quality bass sound than other earbuds. In terms of drawbacks, one reviewer thought that the power button was small and difficult to find.

Test Results: Jaybird X3 (Best for Comfort)

4.2

What We Like

  • Multiple bud and wing options to ensure a comfortable fit

  • Great sound quality

  • Strong battery life

What We Don’t Like

  • Cumbersome charger

  • Could be louder

Jaybird X3
Jaybird X3
Jaybird X3
Jaybird X3

This comfortable pair of headphones “fits securely and doesn’t fall out during workouts,” wrote one of our reviewers. Plus, with its app and strong Bluetooth connection, our testers never had any of the connectivity issues that plague some wireless headphones. Their eight-hour battery life also helped one of our reviewers avoid having to recharge throughout the day — which included a trip to the gym. However, on the flip side, one tester wished these earbuds were a bit louder.