Listening to your favorite music can make your workouts more engaging. Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of choices when it comes to headphones for working out, running, exercising and other physical activities. In this article, we list the best over-ear and in-ear headphones, as well as their budget alternatives. If you are looking to buy a pair, look no further than these top of the line headphones.
Best Workout Headphones Comparison Chart
Sennheiser PXC 550-II
Best over-ear workout headphones
Over-ear headphones are not really the best choice for working out, but if you have to use one, the Sennheiser PXC 500-II are our top pick. There are a lot of better headphones than the PXC 550-II out there, but this pair combines excellent sound, breathability, fit and they also have ANC for blocking out unwanted noise.
The Sennheiser PXC 550-II are comfortable, they have the right amount of clamping force so that they don’t move around while you’re working out. Battery life is at 21+ hours, which is excellent. As for the sound, they have a bright sound profile, but you can go into their companion app and there are EQ presets that you can choose from.
Jabra Elite 7 Active
Best in-ear workout headphones
TWS earbuds are recommended for working out, and our top pick in this category are the Jabra Elite 7 Active. These earbuds have all the features that you’ll want in a pair of wireless earbuds. First, they have an IP57 rating, so these are almost waterproof. The Jabra Elite 7 Active won’t get damaged even when drenched in sweat. They also have adjustable active noise cancellation if you don’t want to be bothered by background noise in the gym.
In addition to those, these earbuds are designed for active people with the Jabra ShakeGrip technology. These will comfortably stay in place no matter how much you move. When it comes to sound, these earbuds are from Jabra, so you can expect excellent audio out of the box. If you aren’t satisfied with how they sound, you can always go into the Sound+ app to customize the EQ or choose from the EQ presets.
Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100
Best over-ear workout headphones under $100
For the best over-ear headphones under $100, the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100 are our top pick. These headphones are made for active people with their breathable headband with hexagonal patterns for better grip, various sound modes, long battery life and sweatproof and water resistant design.
The Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100’s battery life is exceptional, lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge. You can also quick charge it for 15 minutes for an hour long battery life. When it comes to sound quality, there are three modes that you can choose from—Balanced, Bright and Bass. There’s also a Sound Mix feature that amplifies your surroundings so that you are aware when you are out and about, or if you just want to chat with your gym mates in-between sets.
Jabra Elite Active 65t
Best in-ear workout headphones under $100
For those looking for a pair of in-ear headphones under $100, there’s nothing better than the
The buds are well-built and comfortable, as long as you get the right fit. You’ll get access to the Jabra Sound+ app, which is an excellent software that provides different hearing modes and custom presets. Even though these are older models, their 15+ hours of battery life, excellent sound and good fit, these earbuds are a steal under $100.
Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2
Best in-ear workout headphones under $50
If budget is tight, the best in-ear headphones for working out that we can recommend are the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2. These earbuds are priced under $50, and they offer excellent value. They have a water-resistant design, so these won’t get damaged even when drenched in sweat, so these are ideal for active people. Also, they have exceptional battery life. The charging case holds over 12 additional charges, for a total of over 100 hours of battery life. The buds themselves can last up to 7 hours.
Since these are budget in-ear earbuds, you won’t get features such as active noise cancelling. However, due to their in-ear design, you’ll still get passive noise cancelling, and if you get a good fit, these are quite effective. They have a slightly bass-heavy sound profile, but unfortunately, they don’t come with a companion app with EQ settings.
The Sennheiser PXC 550-II and the Jabra Elite 7 Active are our top recommendations for over-ear and in-ear headphones for working out.
Sennheiser PXC 550-II
Best on-ear headphones
Jabra Elite 7 Active
Best in-ear headphones
The Sennheiser PXC 550-II are the best over-ear headphones that we can recommend. They have an excellent breathable design, and the sound quality is as you’d expect from Sennheiser. A good budget alternative, and in some ways, better than the Sennheiser PXC 550-II are the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100. They are cheaper, and they are better when it comes to water resistance due to their IPX5 rating. However, they fall short in the sound quality department when compared to the Sennheiser cans.
For in-ear headphones, the Jabra Elite 7 Active combine all the features that you’ll want in a pair of true wireless earbuds. They have an excellent design with an IP57 rating, they have a great fit, they have ANC and their sound quality is top notch. The
The Sennheiser PXC 550-II are our top recommendation for over-ear headphones and for in-ear headphones, the Jabra Elite 7 Active are the best.
Earbuds are better for working out since they are lighter and they won’t move around as much as over-ear headphones. Also, their more compact builds are less obtrusive.
Yes, water or sweat can damage headphones.
If you don’t want to be bothered while working out, ANC headphones are great. However, in most cases, headphones with passive noise cancellation are good enough in the gym.