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The Best Wireless Earbuds for Running and Working Out

It’s time to swap out your basic buds for a pair that goes the extra mile.

jaybird vista 2
Jaybird

Not all headphones can take a beating. If you have a pair that isn’t sweatproof, there’s a good chance they’ll die on you if halfway through a run or workout. And if they don’t fit your ears, well, they’re probably not going to stay in, either.

Sport headphones add a new dimension to your workout. They’re light, comfortable and designed to stay securely in your ears during high-intensity intervals. So if you often find yourself lifting weights, running on the roads or trails or doing a total body workout, it’s time to swap out your basic buds for a pair that goes the extra mile.

What to Look for

Fit: The most important thing when it comes to wireless earbuds is fit. Because if they don't fit in your ears super securely, it won't matter how good they sound or what other speaker features they have — you won't be able to wear them while you exercise. Most of today's wireless earbuds that are designed for working out have special earhooks or earwings (the latter of which grip the inside of your ears rather than the outside), so they stay in your ears better.

Sweat resistance: You can technically workout with any wireless earbuds, but if they don't have an IPX4 rating (or better) then there's a good chance your sweat will kill them very prematurely. The best wireless earbuds have a high IP rating — around IPX7 is the best — so they won't be affected by the excess sweat that are in your ears.

Sound quality: These are still wireless earbuds, after all, and sound quality is undoubtedly important. If you value higher-quality audio while you work out, the good news is that many high-end audio companies (such as Klipsch, Master & Dynamic and Apple) have released their own wireless earbuds that are primed for workouts. The catch is that you'll have to pay in the $250-to-$300 range to get them.

Special features: There are many other factors that you should consider before buying wireless earbuds. Apple's and Beats's wireless earbuds have special chips that allow them to work better with iPhones. Some wireless earbuds have premium features such as active noise-canceling and transparency modes, as well as support wireless charging. The most you're prepared to spend, the most features you'll generally get. But you can still get a solid pair of wireless earbuds for less than $100, even if they aren't as feature-packed.

Other Earbud/Headphone Guides

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    How We Tested
    tech roundup
    Tucker Bowe

    We test a lot of different wireless earbuds — because there are a lot of them out there. The thing to note is that when testing wireless earbuds, especially for running and working out, the most important factor is how they fit in your ears. And because everybody's ears are a little bit different, some wireless earbuds that fit somebody else great might not fit you as well. So we always preface that, before buying a pair of wireless earbuds, you should have an idea if they are going to fit in your ears or not. If not, don't get them.

    To test these wireless earbuds, we've logged in the miles. We've worn pretty much all the below wireless earbuds, with the few exceptions being made by brands we trust. We test each wireless earbuds for fit, sound quality, durability and other special features.

    Best All-Around
    Jaybird Vista 2
    Jaybird

    • Extremely rugged
    • Excellent and secure fit
    • Support for premium features like active noise-cancellation and wireless charging

    • Sound quality and noise-cancellation isn't on par with other pricer competition
    • Fairly expensive

    Just released in June 2021, the Vista 2 are the next generation of the Vista, which were our previous pick for "best overall" wireless earbuds for running. The Vista 2 look basically identical to their predecessors, but Jaybird made them better in just about every way. They have noise-cancellation and transparency modes, improved battery life and they're even more rugged; the Vista 2 have an IP68 rather (instead of IPX7), making them fully dustproof and fully waterproof. Jaybird made the charging case more durable (IP54 rated), too. Like before, the Vista 2 are compatible with a companion app that allows you to change the EQ settings.

    Water resistance: IPX7
    Noise-cancellation: Yes
    Wireless charging: Yes

    The Runner Up
    Beats Fit Pro
    Beats

    • Excellent and secure fit
    • Sound and work very similar to AirPods Pro
    • Available in several different fun colors

    • Fairly expensive
    • No wireless charging
    • Don't work well with non-iPhones

    Released in late 2021, the Beats Fit Pro are the company's sport-focused wireless earbuds – and they actually have a lot in common with Apple's AirPods Pro. They are powered by the same H1 chip (which helps them quickly pair to any iPhone), have the same active-noise-cancellation and transparency modes, and support spatial audio with dynamic head tracking. And they sound almost as good. The big difference from AirPods Pro is that the Fit Pro have an all-new flexible earwing tip design to help them better stay in your ears. The only real downside is that they don't have a case that wirelessly charges.

    Water resistance: IPX4
    Noise-cancellation: Yes
    Wireless charging: No

    Best Custom Fit
    UE Fits
    Ultimate Ears

    • Excellent and secure fit
    • Solid sound quality

    • Not a lot of premium features other than custom fit
    • Fairly expensive

    The UE Fits are different from all other wireless earbuds because they give you a completely custom fit. They use what Ultimate Ears calls its Lightform technology where each earbud has built-in LED lights and a big gel-filled eartip. You place the earbuds in your ears, connect them to your smartphone and then you trigger a custom molding process via a companion app. The LED lights heat up the gel and, after 60 seconds, the earbuds are perfectly molded to fit in your ears and cannot be unmolded. The UE Fits don't have a ton of other features, but if you're looking for wireless earbuds that will absolutely fit in your ears, this is them.

    Water resistance: IPX4
    Noise-cancellation:
    No
    Wireless charging:
    No

    Best Under $100
    Anker Soundcore Life P3
    Soundcore

    • Affordable
    • Very rugged

    • Sound quality isn't the best
    • Lack premium features

    The Soundcore Life P3 is our pick for the best budget wireless earbuds for running. They cost less than $100, which is cheap for wireless earbuds in general, but they deliver significantly more. They have an IPX7 water-resistance rating, which is pretty much the best you're going to get, and they have excellent battery life. They also charge via USB-C.

    Water resistance: IPX7
    Noise-cancellation:
    No
    Wireless charging:
    No

    Read our review of the UE Fits, here.

    Best for iPhone Owners
    Apple AirPods Pro
    Apple

    • Excellent fit
    • Superior sound quality
    • Very good noise-cancellation and transparency modes
    • Wireless charging case

    • Fairly expensive
    • Don't work well with non-iPhones

    These “pro-level” AirPods are sweat-resistant (IPX4 rated), unlike the entry-level AirPods, making them a solid choice for runners. They have a silicone ear tip so they fit tighter than Apple’s regular AirPods. Additionally, they are packed with premium features such as modes for noise-cancellation and transparency, a wireless charging case, and support for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos. Normally $249, however, they are often discounted on third-party sites like Walmart or Amazon.

    Water resistance: IPX4
    Noise-cancellation: Yes
    Wireless charging: Yes

    Read our review of the AirPods Pro, here.

    Apple AirPods (3rd Generation)
    Apple

    • Works very well with iPhones
    • Solid sound quality and features
    • Wireless charging case

    • Fit isn't as secure as AirPods Pro
    • No active noise-cancellation
    • Don't work well with non-iPhones

    Released in late 2021, the newest AirPods — aka AirPods 3 — are Apple's mid-tier wireless earbuds. They have a similar design to the AirPods Pro, but lack the silicon eartips so they don't fit in your ears quite as well. And they do not have active noise-cancellation and transparency modes. However, they do have support spatial audio (with Dolby Atmos) and have a wireless charging case. Unlike the entry-level AirPods, these new models also have an IPX4 water- and sweat-resistant rating, making them good to go for runs and workouts. The only real downside is that the AirPods Pro are still the better option for most people and, because they're usually discounted, they're actually not that much more expensive.

    Water resistance: IPX4
    Noise-cancellation: No
    Wireless charging: Yes

    Read our review of the AirPods 3, here.

    Bose Sport Earbuds
    Bose
    Now 17% off

    • Excellent and secure fit
    • Solid sound quality
    • Available in several different fun colors

    • No active noise-cancellation
    • No wireless charging

    Released in late 2020, Bose's new Sport Earbuds are smaller and sleeker versions of the company's previous SoundSport Free earbuds. Each earbud has up to five hours of battery life, with a charging case that provides up to 10 extra hours. They are available in three different colors: Triple Black, Baltic Blue, and Glacier White.

    Water resistance: IPX4
    Noise-cancellation: No
    Wireless charging: No

    Jabra Elite 7 Active
    Jabra

    • Excellent sound quality
    • Solid noise-cancellation and transparency modes
    • Support for wireless charging
    • Available in several different fun colors

    • Fit could be more secure

    Released in fall 2021, the Elite 7 Active are Jabra's newest high-end pair of workout wireless earbuds. They are packed with features, including active noise-canceling and transparency modes, a wireless charging case with fast-charging abilities, and support for an app that allows you to tweak a variety of things (including EQ). While their noise-cancellation could be a little more powerful and we'd love them to have an earwing design for improved fit, these are definitely one of the best wireless earbuds for running.

    Water resistance: IP57
    Noise-cancellation: Yes
    Wireless charging: Yes

    Jabra Elite 4 Active
    Jabra
    Jabra
    Now 17% off

    • Fairly affordable
    • Available in several different fun colors
    • Noise-cancellation and transparency modes

    • Sound quality and features aren't as good as Elite 7 Active
    • No wireless charging
    • No multi-point Bluetooth

    The Jabra 4 Active are a more budget alternative to the company's higher-end Elite 7 Active wireless earbuds. The "4s" have a similar design and sound quality, and they have similar features including active noise-cancellation. However, the 4s lack a lot of the more premium features. They don't support wireless charging and don't have in-ear proximity sensors that automatically start and pause your music. They don't support multi-point Bluetooth and have slightly worse battery life.

    Water resistance: IP57
    Noise-cancellation: Yes
    Wireless charging: No

    Bose Sport Open Earbuds
    Bose

    • Excellent and secure over-ear fit
    • Open-ear design acts as a natural transparency mode

    • Fairly expensive
    • Open-ear design won't be for everybody

    These are a different kind of wireless earbuds than the company's more mainstream Sport Earbuds. They have an earhook design that wraps around your ear to secure a better fit, but they also lack the StayHear silicone tips that Bose's earbuds are well-known for. This new design ensures that the wireless earbuds don't go all the way in your ears or completely cover them, meaning you can better hear ambient sounds around you, which is ideal for runners or cyclists who are training on busy roads.

    Water resistance: IPX4
    Noise-cancellation: No
    Wireless charging: No

    Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sport
    Klipsch
    Now 20% off

    • Extremely rugged design
    • Secure fit thanks to earwing design
    • Unique charging case that dries out earbuds
    • Effective transparency mode

    • No noise-cancellation
    • Charging case is quite bulky

    The Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sport still are some of the best-sound wireless earbuds you can buy, but these "Sport" versions have been designed with a new earpiece and come with a number of new eartips and earwings to better fit in your ears. Maybe the most striking feature is its charging case; it's water-tight and basically drop-proof, but more importantly it's integrated with little gel beads to soak up moisture; you can place your earbuds right back in the case after your workout and they'll dry themselves out.

    Water resistance: IP67
    Noise-cancellation: No
    Wireless charging: Yes

    Beats Powerbeats Pro
    Beats
    Now 20% off

    • Excellent and secure over-ear fit
    • Works very similar to AirPods
    • Available in several different fun colors

    • Charging case is huge
    • No noise-cancellation or transparency modes

    The Powerbeats Pro are similar to the AirPods Pro because they’re both made by Apple and have the same H1 chip that makes it easy to pair with an iPhone. Runners, in particular, will appreciate the large ear hooks that grip and hold the earbuds in place. The nine-hour battery life — with up to 20 extra hours from the carrying case — is unmatched, though said carrying case is huge, making these less than ideal for everyday wear. That said, they've been around for a hot second and you can typically snag a pair for around $150 (or less). Also, Beats has released a new pair or wireless earbuds, the Beats Fits Pro ($200), which have a new design and newer features.

    Water resistance: IPX4
    Noise-cancellation: No
    Wireless charging: No

    Read our review of the Beats Powerbeats Pro, here.

    Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport
    Master & Dynamic

    • Made of super quality materials
    • Excellent sound quality
    • Packed with premium features like noise-cancellation and wireless charging

    • Very expensive
    • Fit isn't as secure as other options

    Released in mid-2021, the MW08 Sport are slightly higher-end versions of Master & Dynamic's MW08 wireless earbuds. The "sport" versions look, fit and work mostly the same — yes, they still have active noise-cancellation — but they add a couple of improvements to justify the $50 price bump. They support wireless charging (a first for M&D). The earbuds are made out of more scratch-resistance sapphire glass (rather than ceramic). And the charging case has a Kevlar finish. The only other difference is that they come with foam tips (as well as silicone tips) to provide more fit options. Funny enough, the "sport" versions have the same sweat-resistance rating (IPX5) as the regular MW08. They also don't come with silicone earwings, like the company's previous sport-focused wireless earbuds, the MW07 Go (below), for an even more secure fit.

    Water resistance: IPX4
    Noise-cancellation: Yes
    Wireless charging: Yes

    Skullcandy Push Active
    Skullcandy

    • Comfortable and secure fit
    • Rugged design
    • Very affordable

    • Sound quality isn't elite
    • Lacks premium features like noise-cancellation or wireless charging

    Released in mid-2021, Skullcandy's Push Active are a solid affordable wireless earbud option for runners. They have an IP55 water-resistance rating and their earhook design means that they'll fit in more people's ears. If you're a Spotify subscriber, the Push Active support Spotify Tap which allows you to tap the earbuds and your Spotify playlist will quickly start playing right where you last left off.

    Water resistance: IP55
    Noise-cancellation: No
    Wireless charging: No

    Jaybird Vista (Gen 1)
    Jaybird

    • Extremely rugged
    • Excellent and secure fit
    • Fairly affordable

    • Not as good or as feature-packed as Jaybird's Vista 2

    The Jaybird Vistas are the predecessors to the 2021-released Vista 2s — and Jaybird still sells them as affordable alternatives. They're IPX7 rated, meaning they are very resistant to water and sweat. Their lightweight design makes them feel like they’re not even in your ears, and the carrying case is slimmer than that of the competition. And they are compatible with a companion app that allows you to change the EQ settings.

    Water resistance: IPX7
    Noise-cancellation: No
    Wireless charging: No

    Google Pixel Buds A-Series
    Google

    • Very affordable
    • Excellent fit thanks to earwing silicone tips
    • Works really well with Pixel smartphones

    • No wireless charging
    • No noise-cancellation

    Google released the Pixel Buds A-Series in mid-2021 and subsequently discontinued the more expensive Pixel Buds (second-generation). The newer models look and fit exactly the same, but strip away some of the premium features (like wireless charging and swipe controls) to bring down the price. These are excellent wireless earbuds for working out thanks to their small size, earwing design and water-resistance rating (IPX4). (You can use them with your iPhone, but they are best suited for Pixel owners because of their Google Assistant integration.)

    Water resistance: IPX4
    Noise-cancellation: No
    Wireless charging: No

    Affordable Alternatives that Aren't "True" Wireless
    mos

    You don't have to go truly wireless in 2021. There are a number of "neckbud" style earbuds — they're still wireless, but the two earbuds are wired together — that are often more affordable.

    Beats Flex
    Beats

    • Very affordable
    • Works very similar to AirPods

    • These are not true wireless earbuds
    • Don't work great with non-iPhones

    Released in late 2020, the Beats Flex are the next generation of the BeatsX wireless earphones that were first released in 2017 — but they're significantly cheaper. They also charge via USB-C and have been integrated with Apple's W1 chip, which helps them fast-pair with your iPhone or iPad. However, it's not Apple's newer H1 chip that has been integrated into the newest AirPods and AirPods Pro, meaning the Beats Flex do not support hands-free Siri.

    Water resistance: IPX4
    Noise-cancellation: No
    Wireless charging: No

    Beats Powerbeats
    Beats

    • Works very similar to AirPods
    • Secure fit thanks to over-ear design

    • Don't work great with non-iPhones
    • These are not true wireless earbuds

    The Powerbeats are the next generation of the company’s Powerbeats3 Wireless that were released in 2016. The new Powerbeats have been integrated with Apple’s H1 chip for fast pairing with your iPhone, just like AirPods and AirPods Pro, but it also enables them to charge faster and get significantly better battery life. As far as design, fit and sound, the Powerbeats are essentially more affordable, neckbud versions of the truly wireless Powerbeats Pro.

    Water resistance: IPX4
    Noise-cancellation: No
    Wireless charging: No

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