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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.

variety of headphones laying next to shoes and an apple watch
Tucker Bowe

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.

Compatibility: What type of smartphone you have, be it an iPhone or an Android, should play a big part when buying wireless earbuds. While all wireless earbuds will technically work to connect with your smartphone via Bluetooth, you might not get all the best exclusive features, such as fast pairing and support for different technologies. This is why very few Android users get AirPods, and very few iPhone owners get Google's Pixel Buds or Samsung's Galaxy Buds.

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
    The Runner Up
    Beats Fit Pro
    Beats
    Now 25% off
    Best Custom Fit
    UE Fits
    Ultimate Ears
    Best Under $100
    Anker Soundcore Life P3
    Soundcore
    Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
    Bose Sport Earbuds
    Bose
    Now 13% off
    Best for iPhone Owners
    Apple AirPods Pro (1st generation)
    Apple
    Now 20% off
    Apple AirPods (3rd Generation)
    Apple
    Jabra Elite 7 Active
    Jabra
    Jabra
    Jabra Elite 4 Active
    Jabra
    Bose Sport Open Earbuds
    Bose
    Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sport
    Klipsch
    Beats Powerbeats Pro
    Beats
    Now 28% off
    Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport
    Master & Dynamic
    Skullcandy Push Active
    Skullcandy
    Now 12% off
    Jaybird Vista (Gen 1)
    Jaybird
    Google Pixel Buds A-Series
    Google
    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
    Now 29% off
    Beats Powerbeats
    Beats
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