Big lifts, big runs, and big tunes.
People love to hate working out, but nothing feels better than hitting a PR with your favorite music blasting, sorry. All the self-improvement shit, the "seeing what you're made of," it's all fine. But nothing beats the dopamine hit of combining physical exertion and good music. It's like dancing. Real main character shit.
And one of the keys to that beloved combo: great headphones. You're regular wireless headphones will work in a pinch. And maybe, you've got a workout mirror or a killer home gym setup, in which case you can just use a bluetooth speaker. But most people will benefit from a pair of workout headphones. And what makes a pair of headphones workout headphones, you ask? The ability to get loud (big bass helps), water resistance, and good battery life. A lot of people prefer noise cancelling, but if you are a road runner, you should skip it.
Other than that it's simple. Snag a pair of these workout-ready headphones, throw on your jams, and run towards the grind.
Beats Fit Pro are a beacon of fitness technology innovation. The noise-cancelling buds are designed to stay put and and sound clear as you move. They do this with the help of dynamic head-tracking technology and flexible wingtips that bend to sit neatly inside of your ear.
Fitness people love Jabra's but the Elite 7 Active earbuds are the latest and greatest from the brand. They're our pick for running and jumping or any other kind of high-impact movement because of the built-in ShakeGrip technology. ShakeGrip feels soft to the touch but gets the bud to fit and stay right where you put it throughout your workout.
First things first, these headphones are powered fully by light. Solar light does the best job, but they also get a significant charge from man-made lights at home, office, or on the subway. In theory, you'll never have to actively charge them. But to do so, place them in direct sunlight. (Or use a USB-C cable.)
And noise cancelling is great for the gym—you can focus on you, not the dude deadlifting 500. Out in the world? It can be a bit dangerous, especially for road runners or park trainers. Selective noise cancelling is one solution, but Adidas has a much simpler one: No noise cancelling.
In this case, we think of it as a plus. The headphones block out plenty of noise as is, and additional noise cancelling would border on dangerous. And with removable knitted ear cushions, these are the easiest option to keep clean too.
For under $50, we're not gonna find much wrong with a pair of headphones. Sure these from Philips won't sound like a pair of Bose or look as good as a pair of AirPods. But neither of those brands will commit to putting out a budget product as good as these. So for that, we salute Philips.
Plus, with six hours of battery life, and a full 24 hours worth of battery if you have the case, these Phillips headphones are in it for the long haul. The noise cancelling isn't half bad. And again... at $50 it's never too difficult to snag a replacement pair.
Jaybird's Vista 2 Sport Headphones are for people who workout hard and use their stuff hard, too. These are built to be virtually indestructible. They're IP68 rated, which gives them the best protection out of anything on this list. They also have freeze, shock, and impact resistance.
Beats Studio Buds are a little smaller and low-key than our other picks from the brand but they perform just as well. There are two modes of listening: Active noise cancelling and transparency mode. You can turn on the first for a noisy gym workout and the transparency mode for your at-home sessions when you still need to hear if one of your kids starts yelling.
Sometimes your best bet is what you already have—or what you have been putting off getting. AirPods are ergonomically designed and are meant to sit securely in your ear without pinching or slipping. They are water-resistant, too.
Beats Studio3 headphones are the best noise-cancelling, over-ear headphones you can get. Because your ear is completely covered, the headphones' noise-cancelling capabilities really shine through—you really cannot hear anything else besides your music. A lot of heavy lifters prefer this kind of set-up because it helps you get into and stay locked in the zone.
But where do these come up short? For anyone that's not lifting big or hitting the machines, really. If your workout incorporates any explosive movement—burpees, box jumps, kettlebell swings, etc.—these aren't going to be incredibly comfy.
As far as earbuds that really are designed to stay absolutely secure inside of your ear, there's no better option than buds that are custom fit. The key is in the photopolymer gel tips, which fit and mold to your specific ear canal. These are great for people with canals that are too big or too narrow for standard sizing—and for people whose ear canals are two different sizes.
For a great pair of do-it-all earbuds, we like Samsung's Galaxy Buds2 Pro. A great IPx7 rating and snug fit make them great for workouts. Then, active noise cancelling makes them ideal for the daily commute, or even a road run.