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Best headphones for running and working out

Power your workouts with music

In this article: Our 5 best headphones for running and working out...

  1. Jaybird Vista
  2. JBL UA Flash
  3. Beats by Dre® Powerbeats Pro
  4. Jaybird Tarah Pro
  5. Bose Soundsport

... plus, some advice on the features to look for in sports headphones. 

Research shows that music can motivate you to power through tough workouts. With music moving you along, you're less likely to focus on the physical strain. You’ll push yourself harder and exercise longer.

I burned a lot of calories testing headphones for this article. Below you'll find my thoughts about our five best picks. 

Benn with the Jaybird Tarah Pro

Whether I am on a run or lifting weights, I always have a playlist or podcast going.

Best true wireless models

True wireless headphones play music via Bluetooth with absolutely no wires involved, not even to connect the earbuds.

Each pair comes with its own charging case, which banks power and recharges your earbuds each time you place them inside.

Read our resident headphone expert Jeff Miller’s choices for the best true wireless headphones for more information.

Jaybird Vista — by runners, for runners

The Jaybird Vista true wireless headphones were designed with athletes in mind, and it shows.

The best thing about these sport headphones is just how comfortable they are. It felt like I was wearing nothing. And despite shaking my head like a maniac, I could not budge them in the slightest. Right out of the box it was a perfect fit.

Jaybird Vista true wireless sports headphones

The Jaybird Vista has one of the most compact true wireless cases I have seen. Easy to bring along with you for an emergency charge if needed.

The sound is impressive. The soundstage is wide and immersive. I was feeling the music as much as I was hearing it. Especially with deep, colorful bass powering the 140 beats per minute EDM playlist I use to help pace my running.

Details

  • 6mm dynamic drivers
  • proprietary Bluetooth 5.0 chip for a stronger, more stable connection
  • 6 hours of listening per charge
  • carrying case banks up to 10 hours of power
  • IPX7-rated waterproof for running in the rain

What our customers say

Last updated 11/27/2019

Please share your thoughts below.

  • Steve Stevenson from Aurora

    Posted on 4/13/2018

    I agree with Chuck--a runner should not interfere with his own ability to hear threats. Plus, when I used to run all the time, if I even got distracted by random thoughts, forget music, I would slow down and not maintain my target speed.

  • Deb Gilbert from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/11/2018

    As a runner and a former race director, I see both sides of the headphone discussion. Safety is a huge concern when running outside, but many people use the motivation and pacing of music to help get them through the run. You need to hear traffic, race instructions, animals, and other people around you. That's why the headphones with an open design are listed prominently. I've been to many a group run where someone didn't notice traffic or didn't hear someone coming up behind them to pass. Open design is the best suggestion for people who still want to wear headphones. I personally only use headphones when I'm running on a treadmill. It really helps break the monotony of the indoor run, and makes it a bit more enjoyable.

  • Chuck from Morehead City

    Posted on 10/28/2016

    I have been running/jogging/walking for over 40 years. I suggest that a runner not use earphones or anything that interferes with their senses. A person constantly needs to be aware of cars, predators etc. and you can't do that with your ears plugged up! For example, I can see a car coming at me from the front but also can hear one coming from behind and will pass each other right where I am at. Need to know information for obvious reasons.

  • chris

    Posted on 7/30/2016

    Safty is important. A tragic moment happened near my home when a jogger was killed by a falling tree. I wonder if the jogger would have heard the tree falling or notticed something was wrong if it were not for the headphones. Same thing can happen with traffic, we need our hearing not just for entertainment but also to keep us alive.