Best Running Earbuds Reviewed
We know from personal experience that the best workouts are always the ones that are paired with that perfect playlist. Using the earbuds that came with your phone may be the simple solution to deliver that sweet playlist right to your brain, but this option may be less than ideal for a few reasons. There are tons of models out there on the market that are specifically designed for pretty intense workouts, which are going to be better catered to your needs. What makes them different is that they are water resistant, they are typically wireless (or have smartly placed wires) and hook to your ear to ensure that they are going to stay put. In this guide, we have picked out some of our favorite running earbuds to motivate you to pump up the volume and intensity!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 5 hrs of research
Long battery life
10 Best Bluetooth and Wired Earbuds for Running
1. Pasonomi IPX7
Long battery life
No volume control
What makes these ones of the best wireless earbuds for running is that you won’t have to worry about dealing with any wires with this option. They fit into each ear the same way your traditional pair would fit, but it just doesn’t have the wires to get tangled. It holds a charge for quite some time, so your gear isn't going to run out of juice before you do.
One full charge will offer users up to 3-4 hours of playback, and when you need to give them a quick charge you can place them in the carrying case that is also a portable battery that can hold up to 60 hours with one full charge. When it is time to charge the portable battery, simply plug it into any USB power source.
The size of these running earbuds are very small, and it comes with a series of rubber grips so that you can find the right size for your ear to provide a comfortable fit. With wireless options, finding the right fit is even more important because it is going to determine if they are going to stay in place.
If you are looking for something that is going to free your hands so that you have a full range of motion while you are working out, this option from Pasonomi is going to be one of your best options in our opinion.
2. LETSCOM Sweatproof
Long battery life
What we liked most about these earbuds for running is that it is made to keep up with you, even for those intense workouts where you are bopping all over the gym. It has a wire the connect the two devices together (that is tucked behind your neck), and it connects to your phone via Bluetooth.
One thing that we noticed about wireless earbuds for running is that even though it is small, it is really able to deliver some superior sound. A built-in CSR chip is going to deliver crisp and clear high fidelity sound while also blocking out exterior noise as well. These styles typically don’t offer a high level of bass, but this design has some pretty rich bass according to previous users.
One full charge of Bluetooth earbuds for running is going to offer you an impressive 8 hours of continuous use before you need to pop it back onto the charger. One thing users really liked is that once you pop it onto the charger, it is only going to take about 2 hours to get a full charge.
If you are a bit of an audiophile and you don’t want to sacrifice sound for performance and durability, this is going to be one of your better options. The only downside to this option is that for some, they can be a little too big.
3. TOZO T10
Limited battery life
For those that are pretty hardcore about their workouts, this wireless design is completely waterproof so that a little torrential downpour isn’t going to slow you down. Based on previous users, the sound quality is pretty great, and they offer a good level of noise cancellation as well.
The battery life for these running earbuds is just a tad more limited than some of the others out there on the market. It can offer about 3.5 continuous hours of use, and then an additional 9 hours if you give it a quick charge on the portable battery pack that also serves as a carrying case.
Sure, the battery life may be a little limited, but these little devices can really pack a sound punch. It comes equipped with an 8 mm size speaker per ear, which is going to be able to deliver a more natural sound, and this speaker is almost two times bigger than many of the standard size options out there on the market.
If you are looking for something that is going to be able to take quite a beating without skipping a note, and that can really deliver a high-quality sound without the use of wires, this option from TOZO is going to be a great choice.
4. ROVKING Wired
No charging needed
Easy to use
These wired earbuds for running from ROVKING has a classic old school design, but there are subtle changes in the way that it is worn on your ear as well as how durable it will be when working out that makes it stand out from your standard options.
Instead of hanging down from your ears, these running earbuds stick up, and the wires then run along the backside of your head. What users like about this are that it feels comfortable and natural on their head, and the wires are just slightly more out of the way than those that hang down. Plus, the over the ear loops are going to help them stay in place better, and you aren’t going to accidentally pop them out if you pull down on the wire.
The entire exterior shell of this option is sweatproof, which means that you can wear them during some of your most intense workouts and your hard work isn’t going to do any damage the hardware. It may be a little more cumbersome with its wires, but it means that you won’t need to worry about charging them. You just plug them into your phone and you are ready to go!
If you are in the market for something that you can just plug into your phone as you do you older options that came with your phone, this is going to be one of your better options. While it has the convenience of a simple wired pair, it has a few features that are made specifically for your workouts.
5. Senso Bluetooth
Micro USB charger
If you are hitting the sidewalk for a short jog or heading to the gym for a full afternoon of sweat and tears, this design from Senso is made to keep up with you. These earbuds for running have a frame that is just a little bit different than some of the other options that we have seen, but this design is made so that it stays in place no matter how active you are.
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is the frames that wrap around the ears. The rubber grips loop around the backside of your ear so that if the runner grip happens to shimmy loose, the entire unit is not going to fall off of your head. Users found that this design was not only smart but incredibly comfortable as well.
According to previous users, the sound quality of this option is quite good. Most of the in-the-ear designs often don’t have a bass that is very rich, but from what we have read from previous users the bass is able to get quite deep. Plus, a single charge will last you up to 8 hours, and it will only take about 2 minutes to charge them up if they are completely dead.
If you are looking for something that is designed to be used for those that get really active on the trails or in the gym, we feel that this design from Senso is going to be a really great choice.
6. Villain Workout
Long battery life
This option from VILLAIN are another great wired running earbuds design that is made to stay put no matter what type of activity you find yourself getting into. The speaker sits inside of the ear, and a plastic loops run up and around the back of the ear so that it will stay firmly in place while you are active.
The one thing that we noticed that this design had that not a lot of brands offered was the option to change the volume, switch to the next song, or turn it off directing on the side of the device. Many other options require that you make all of these adjustments on your phone, which can be hard if you are in the middle of jogging.
One full charge will provide users with about 10 hours of running time- which is quite impressive when you compare it to other similar models out there on the market. Plus, it is only going to take you about two hours to charge it up from completely dead to charged.
From what we have read from previous users, the sound quality of this option is quite impressive, and they were especially impressed with the depth of the bass. If you are looking for something to amp up your workouts, and that won’t fall out of your ears, this is going to be one of your best bets.
7. Bose SoundSport
Great sound quality
Doesn’t stay put
It wouldn’t be a party if Bose didn’t make an appearance at least once. Of course, you know you are going to get exceptional sound quality from a Bose product, but this design also comes with a few things that joggers may really appreciate.
These are not wireless earbuds, which means that you won’t have to deal with charging it before you hit the trails. It does, however, mean that you are going to have to mess with hanging wires. What we noticed about this design is that comes in a sleek carrying case to prevent the wires from tangling while in transit, and the wires are incredibly long so that are easier to work within a wide variety of scenarios.
Bose uses proprietary ear grips that will conform to the shape of your ear to not only create a comfortable fit but to also aid a little bit in noise cancellation (however it is important to note that this design doesn’t support active noise cancellation). This design is also sweat and weather resistant, so you can afford to be a little bit rougher on them than you would with higher end bose products.
If you want the high sound quality that can only come from Bose, but you also want something that you can feel comfortable with taking out on the trails on a sweaty, humid afternoon, these are the best running earbuds for you.
8. Mucro Over Ear
Difficult putting on
The first thing that we noticed about these wired running earbuds from mucro is that they come in bright and fun sporty colors that are sure to get you noticed when out at the gym. It is going to offer pretty great sound while offering additional features that all joggers and athletes will really appreciate.
These earbuds for running are one of those designs that have the rubber grips that stick to the inside of your ear, and then it has a plastic frame that runs over and behind your ear to ensure that it stays securely in place no matter how active you get. Plus, it comes in two fun and unique colors that include neon green and light blue.
As far as the sound is concerned, we found that many users were quite pleased with how these performed. The sound was crisp and clear without being tinny, and the bass was able to get pretty low to create a high fidelity sound.
If you are looking for the best earbuds for running that able to really deliver on sound as well as durability for those long runs without the need to be charged up before you go - this is a great choice.
9. Letsfit True Wireless
Limited battery life
We liked Letsfit wireless running earbuds because they offer users a wireless experience while providing superior sound and battery life. Plus, it comes in a sleek white design with a compact carrying case that also works as a portable charger.
One of the very first things that we noticed about these wireless earbuds for running is that they are incredibly small. It isn’t going to weigh down your ear too much, and it also will stay firmly in place while you workout. Plus, users really like the quality of sound that is put off by this design.
The only downside to this sleek model is that the battery life is just a little less than ideal compared to other wireless options. It is able to give you about 3 hours of continuous playback, and the charging case can only hold about 13.5 hours work of charge (when many of the other options we have seen have a case that can hold up to 60 hours).
For those that want something that is going to be sleek and compact to take with them anywhere, while still offering some pretty impressive sound quality, this design from is going to be one of your better options.
10. AMORNO Foldable
Great battery life
Bluetooth drops out
Taking a break from the more traditional designs is something that we feel is a great marriage between wireless earbuds and wired options. It still syncs to your phone via Bluetooth, but the buds sit in a cradle around your neck so that you can pop them in and out when you need them and you will always have them ready to stream some of your favorite music!
To equip this option, you will need to pair it to your smartphone, and then drape it around your neck like a necklace that is open at the front. When you are ready to listen to some tunes, the buds simply pop out of their mount and you can place them in your ears. This allows you to take them out of your ears while still keeping them close at hand.
The battery life on this option is also pretty impressive. It can provide up to 10 hours of continuous playback (and 180 hours of standby time) off of a single charge. When the battery dies, simply plug it into a USB power source to charge it back up.
If you are looking for something that gives you all of the convenience of wireless options but allows you to take them out of your ears without worrying of them becoming lost, this is an excellent option that will be able to keep up with you on all of your adventures.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Of course, the quality of sound that is put off by the speakers was one of the more important things that we considered.
For these style of devices, i.e. running earbuds the sound isn’t going to be rich and deep as you may find with other designs that slip over the ears instead of inside of them. The reason for this is because the sound isn’t going to have the same amount of room to create the proper vibrations before hitting your eardrum. This doesn’t mean that these devices aren’t going to be able to create a great sound, but it is important that you temper your expectations a little be to not be disappointed. Here were some of the things that we looked at when making our selections.
Bass: Bass tones are going to give you those warm and rich rhythms from a drum kick or a bass guitar. The bad news here is that these options that fit inside of your ear just aren’t going to give you the same richness you would find with something that fits over your ear. However, we did find that some models were able to create a pretty decent sound while still working with very limited space. Designs that have a slightly larger speaker were better at creating richer sounds, which is something that you want to look out for. Of course, we always listened to what past users had to say about the quality of sound that was put out by each and every device that we selected.
Treble: The treble tones are going to be the star if you are listening to an audiobook or a podcast. Treble sounds are much easier to craft in tighter areas because they require far less room and smaller vibrations than bass tones. If a treble sound is slightly off, it is going to give you that terrible tinny sound where it feels like everyone is talking or singing into a tin can. We made sure to look at what previous users had to say to ensure that the sound was high quality and it didn’t have the same audio quality as the inside of a trash can.
Style is something that all users look for because it is going to be something that is going to be mounted directly onto your head!
There were quite a few different styles out there to select from, and each option has very distinct pros and cons. Some of the designs that we selected for our list included
Wireless: If you are someone that really get into your workouts and you are moving your entire body, the last thing that you want is to be held back by wires. We made sure to try and stick to wireless options that had a smaller frame that didn’t stick out of your head too much. Wireless is great because it means that you are going to get tangled up in wires, but the downside to this design is that it typically has a battery life that will last you anywhere from 2-4 hours.
Semi-wireless: We say these are semi-wireless because while there are wires that connect the left and right unit together, it still hooks up to your phone via Bluetooth and will also need to be charged up. The great thing about this design is that the battery life is going to be a lot longer. Plus, the wires typically run along the backside of your head, so you won’t even really realize that they are there. If you are reluctant to take the plunge on a wireless option because you are afraid you are going to lose one of them- this may be a great stepping stone to help you make the transition.
Wired: Sure, you are literally tethered to your phone via a wire- but you don’t have to worry about the battery dying or it spontaneously dropping the Bluetooth connection. Some people are tech purists, and we appreciate that. That’s why we wanted to make sure that we selected a few old school wired designs for runners that don’t want to bother with charging cables or syncing it via Bluetooth. There is a downside to selecting wired running earbuds, however, and it is that they are becoming a thing of the past. Many of the newer smartphones out there on the market don’t even have a jack that you can plug them into, which means that if you select a wired design, you might want to wait until they wear out until you upgrade your phone!
If you are primed and ready for a long day on the trails with your favorite sneakers and a fresh audiobook- comfort is something that is going to be important.
Discomfort with these designs often starts where the rubber grips meet your ears- because everyone’s ear is not shaped the same way. Another place where people often find some discomfort is in designs the reach up and run behind the back of your ears. These designs may be mounted securely on your head so they won't move, but some designs can get a little uncomfortable. Below are some of the things that we looked at in each model to ensure that it would be comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.
Rubber grips: This is the flexible rubber part that fits right inside of your ear. If you are wearing a pair that came standard with your phone, you are probably wearing something that would be considered too big or too small for your head. We were drawn to designs that gave users the option to pick from a few different sizes (generally small, medium, and large) that would allow them to pop on their right size for their head. Ensuring that you have the right size rubber grip in your head is not only going to help promote a higher level of comfort, but it is also going to help keep them securely in place and offer a better sound quality.
Plastic frame: Depending on where the plastic frame runs, it can be a little bit uncomfortable the same way the back stem of your sunglasses can sometimes seem like it’s trying to slowly burrow into your brain. To ensure that we selected styles that we're going to feel comfortable all day long, we made sure to check to see what previous users had to say. If we found that there were an overwhelming number of users that felt that the frames were too tight or uncomfortable, we would move on to the next product.
For wireless options, they are all going to run off of an external battery source.
How long you can workout before giving these units a good charge is going to depend on the style of unit that you selected, and it is also going to depend on how loud you like to listen to your music. We have broken down the battery life of all of the different designs as follows.
Wireless: Completely wireless models are going to give you the most limited battery life of any of the other designs out there on the market. One full charge will last you anywhere from 2-4 hours, which just a little more life if you like to listen to your tunes at softer volumes. The good news, however, is that most of the designs that we saw out there on the market come with a carrying case that also is a portable battery that can charge up your device up to 10 times in some cases! So, when you pop your device into its case, it is going to make sure that it is going to be fully charged and ready to go the next time that you lace up your sneakers.
Semi-wireless: The designs that wire the left and right together but still need to be synced to your phone have really impressive battery life for the most part. All of the different designs that we found generally had a battery life that would last users about 8-10 hours off of a single charge. While they don’t usually come with a portable battery pack for on the go charging, they can typically be charged via USB or micro USB in just under 2 hours in most cases.
Wired: You are freed from the chore of charging a device whenever you need to use it! However, you are still tethered to your phone via a wire, and these styles are going to eventually go the way of the dinosaur if all smartphone manufacturers ditch the audio jack on the hardware of their phones.
Being able to make adjustments to the device itself so that it is comfortable is great, but we also looked at features that would allow you to make adjustments to your music as well.
With wired options, you don’t really get a lot of extra features that can interact with your phone very well, but there are a lot of great options with wireless features. Here are some of the features that we considered.
Volume control: If you have tucked your phone into an armband of in the pocket of your pants and you want to crank up the volume when Eye of the Tiger shows up on your playlist, a volume feature along the side of the device will allow you to do so without disturbing your phone in the pocket of your pants.
Power on/off: This feature is going to allow you to turn it off and on by just reaching up and pressing a button along the side. This means that whenever miss chatty Cathy on the treadmill next to you decides to talk to you about her cats, you can simply reach up and turn your device off. Or, you can just leave your device on and pretend that you can’t hear her!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
To get crisp treble and rich bass, vibrations are going to need room to send vibrations. This means that due to the fact that the rubber grips are placed inside of your ears, they aren't going to have the same amount of room to create the vibrations before hitting your eardrum, and the sound is just going to be a little less than ideal.
One may assume that the earbud that we have all come to know and love since the Apple popularized them with their first iPod back in the early 2000s, but these little gadgets were actually invented back in the 1920s!
If you don't like the idea of ditching the wire, it may be something that you need to get used to. As time marches on, phone manufacturers (starting with Apple) have been starting to remove the traditional audio jack on their phones and now requires users to sync Bluetooth connected devices for their audio needs!
Other Factors to Consider
When you are working out on the trails or at the gym, you want to select products that are designed to help make your workouts more enjoyable so that you can focus more on the task at hand rather than fiddling with difficult gear. When you are looking for earbuds made especially for running, there are a few design features that you want to ensure come equipped with most models. These features include:
Waterproof or water resistant (for all of that sweat)
Long battery life and easy charging
A frame that is designed to stay put in your ears
Adjustable volume from device
Equipping yourself with the right gear that is designed to take a beating no matter what you throw at it will be the key to success. That, and listening to Eye of the Tiger on your final lap!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why do I need them?
If you are currently using the design that came for free with your phone, you are missing in of a few key features that are really going to help you out when you hit the trials next.
The first key feature that is going to help you out is the waterproof feature. Many of these options advertise as being water resistant, and others are actually 100 percent waterproof! When you’re tired and sweaty, that sweat can seep into the speaker on your device, and this can negatively impact the overall sound quality of your device. Ensuring that you select something that is water resistant or waterproof is going to greatly improve life (and quality of life) of your product.
Also, the placement and stability of the device in your ear is another thing that you want to consider. The free option that came with your phone is made to be worn while studying in a quiet room, not for a 2 hours plyometrics workout, or racking up the miles on the trails!
q: Should I select wired or wireless options?
There isn’t a clear cut reason to which option is better, it is going to simply boil down to a matter of personal preference. Each option has it’s very distinct advantages and disadvantages that you may want to consider before making a final decision.
Wireless options are going to provide you a sense of freedom that you can’t get with wired options, but that is only if you remember to charge them. If you are someone that seems to only have 5 percent left on your phone battery because you forget to charge it- wireless options may not be ideal. Once that battery level hits zero, you will have to wait up to 2 hours before it charges back up to be able to use it.
Wired options are simple and easy to use- all you need to do is plug the audio jack into your phone and you are ready to go. The downside to these options is that you are going to have two long wires hanging from your head to your phone, and if you are making a lot of exaggerated movements, you run the risk of snagging the wired and ripping it out of your ear. There are few things on this planet that is as frustrating as one of these devices being ripped out of your ear!
q: Will they work with my phone?
Yes, these designs are going to be able to work with almost all phones, with a few exceptions. For wired units, there is going to be a few limitations when it comes to some of the newer styles of phones that do not have the headphone jack built into the hardware. For those that are purchasing wireless options, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting these options to pair to any and all current and past smartphones.
q: How do the wireless options actually stay on my head?
We know, it seems a little strange to opt for wireless options for times when you are being incredibly active and moving around a lot. Logic tells you that they are just going to flop right out of your ears the first time you jump up on your plyo box, but they surprisingly stay put. The reason that they don’t go anywhere is that they have specialized rubber grips that are placed inside of your ears, and almost all designs have a range of sizes that you can swap out if your ears are a little bit larger or smaller than the norm. These rubber grips coupled with a very lightweight frame is the reason that they are going to stay put so you won’t be searching on the floor of the gym for your device like a missing contact lens.
q: Do they deliver a good sound?
We aren’t going to sugar coat anything there- these aren’t going to be able to deliver you the same rich quality sound like you would find in bigger and bulkier headband designed models. The reason for this is not because of the quality of materials that are used, but the actual design of the product. When sound is delivered straight into your head, it needs room to create vibrations. Bass tones, in particular, are going to need a lot more room to breathe, which is why you may have noticed that these designs often fall a little short when it comes to the bass.
Another place where these styles fall a little short is in noise cancellation. For higher-end models, they offer active noise cancellation, which basically means that there is a low-frequency vibration that is delivered through the speaker that will help neutralize outside noise. For the most part, active noise cancellation is something that we didn’t find in every option in these designs, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t shut out noise to some degree. Due to the fact that they are placed directly into your ears, they are going to a fairly good job of allowing you to ignore the chatty Cathy next to you on the treadmill.