15 Best Earbuds for Working Out 2017 – The Definitive Guide

For many of us, the only way to dedicate 110% of our attention to a workout routine – be it a muscle-building gym session or intense cycling session to burn some fat – is with our favorite tunes leading the way.

Music has such a powerful impact on our lives, and studies show that listening to it can make us more productive, improve our mood and even make us smarter!

Combining music and working out is much easier today thanks to the advancements in headphone technology, and earbuds seem to be the go-to choice when it comes to the fitness world.

Join us as we explore (and review) 15 of the best earbuds for working out that are currently available on today’s market.

Top 15 Best Workout Earbuds Complete Table

PictureNameTypeMoisture ProtectionRating (1-5)
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1. Jaybird X3 Sport Bluetooth HeadsetIn-Ear WirelessMedium (Nano Coating)4.6
2. Sennheiser CX 686G Sports Ear-Canal Headset In-Ear WiredMedium/High4.5
3. Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones In-Ear WiredMedium4.4
4. Skullcandy S2CDJY-358 Method In-Ear Sport In-Ear WiredLow4.2
5. JLab Audio Epic2 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sport Earbuds In-Ear WiredMedium (IPX5)4.2
6. Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear HeadphonesIn-Ear (with hook) WirelessMedium4.0
7. SENSO Bluetooth Headphones Wireless Sports In-Ear (with hook) WirelessHigh (IPX7)3.9
8. CB3 Fit Sport Wireless EarbudsIn-Ear (with hook) WirelessMedium (IPX4)3.7
9. Phaiser BHS-750 Bluetooth Headphones Runner Headset SportIn-Ear WirelessMedium (Nano Coating)3.6
10. Phaiser BHS-530 Bluetooth HeadphonesIn-Ear WirelessMedium (Nano Coating)3.6
11. SoundPEATS Bluetooth Earbuds Wireless 4.1 MagneticIn-Ear WirelessLow/Medium (IPX4)3.6
12. TaoTronics Bluetooth Wireless EarbudsIn-Ear WirelessMedium (IPX5)3.6
13. Mpow V4.1 Bluetooth Wireless Sport EarbudsIn-Ear (with hook) WirelessLow3.5
14. Anker SoundBuds NB10 Bluetooth Earbuds SweatproofIn-Ear (with hook) WirelessMedium (IPX5)3.5
15. Swimbuds SPORT Waterproof HeadphonesIn-Ear WiredHigh3.5

Earbuds vs. In-Ear Headphones: What’s the Difference?

If you didn’t already know that there was a difference between these two listening devices, you will certainly do now.

Earbuds and in-ear headphones are, in fact, two very distinct gadgets, but due to the massive array of information floating around on the internet, the terms are often used interchangeably.

Here is the difference:

Earbuds

In-Ear Headphones

These cover the entrance to the ear canal but DO NOT rest inside of it.

Sony’s MDRE9LP Earbuds are a classic example of true earbuds.

The tip of these headphones is designed to be inserted gently into the opening of the ear canal.

Philips ActionFit Sports insert slightly into the ear canal.

In fact, the best earbuds for working out are not even earbuds at all: they are in-ear headphones.

We wanted to point this out before you begin delving further into our guide since it is such a common misconception and we didn’t want you to feel disappointed by our choices.

Most of the products we included are actually in-ear headphones (also known as “canal phones”) simply because these are less likely to fall out during a workout than regular earbuds are. In fact, you probably won’t find any decent earbuds for working out precisely because they will fall out of your ears.

The Yurbuds Inspire Duro model is a type of hybrid that is similar to the earbud with a slight taper that rests at the entrance of the ear canal. The manufacturer labeled them as “sport earphones,” but they fit the earbud category.

So many terms, one simple job: to stay in your ears as you work out.

Now that we have cleared that up for you let’s take a closer look at the main things you should pay attention to as you’re searching for the ideal pair of… earbuds, in-ear headphones, earphones, etc.

Do You Prefer Wired or Wireless Headphones?

There are quite a few details you need to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a great pair of workout earbuds, and if you are not sure which style to choose, make yourself a checklist to narrow down the options.

We’ll start by highlighting the pros and cons of both wired and wireless earbuds.

  • Wired – The main reason why people love using wired earbuds for a workout is that they offer a solid, reliable connection to the music source. You don’t have to worry about weak or faulty signals since they plug directly into your device.

Another reason why they’re great is that you don’t have to worry about the battery dying: they rely on your device’s battery, which has a much longer lifespan than wireless headphone batteries do.

Now, on the other end of the argument, the wire can be rather inconvenient for certain types of workout routines. Moving from machine to machine at the gym, for example, may result in tangled wires and the earbuds being ripped from your ears, which is both distracting and annoying.

You could just fish the wire down your shirt or through a headset hole in your jacket to solve the issue, but if that doesn’t sound like the right fit for your workout, then you might want to consider going wireless.

  • Wireless – Unlike wired earbuds, the wireless models do require a battery and a Bluetooth signal that will transmit the music from your device into the earpiece.

If you are all about convenience, then we can see these being a great fit for you since you don’t have to worry about any wires getting in the way.

The bad news is that you have a limited listening time. It’s a real disappointment to head out on a run or hit the CrossFit studio only to realize that your batteries are almost out of juice.

Wireless signals might also mean a compromise of sound quality, so if you really want to make sure that you have a solid connection and don’t want to risk having a dull workout due to dead batteries, then wired headphone might be more up your alley.

What You Need to Know About IPX Rating – Sweatproof Versus Waterproof

How do you need your earbuds to perform when it comes to moisture? Some can handle light splashes of water and sweat while others can be rinsed off and washed between uses. Number 15 on our list can even go in the pool with you!

There is a big difference between sweatproof and waterproof, and if you see products that list the IPX rating – which means “Ingress Protection Rating” – this will give you an idea of just how resistant to water they are.

IPX0, for example, offers no water protection, and IPX7 means that a product can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes at depths of up to one meter.

Other manufacturers will mention that their product has a Nano Coating, which is a special material that offers it the same level of protection as an IPX4 or IPX5 rating.

Waterproof earbuds are designed to handle any precipitation that Mother Nature throws your way when you’re running, walking, cycling, rollerblading, and everything in between (outdoors). That means they are sweatproof, too.

Check the IPX rating (if the product lists it) to get an idea of just how much moisture it can handle.

If it doesn’t mention the IPX rating, then assume that the earbuds are Sweatproof only, meaning that they can withstand sweat or the occasional splash, but not prolonged exposure to moisture.

Some manufacturers end up labeling their product as “sweatproof,” and then go on to explain that they are suitable for outdoor use and can be exposed to rain.

What does that teach us?

That there are exceptions to every label. Just read the fine print to find out just how moisture-resistant the earbuds are.

Ear Tips and Comfort

Earbuds are so small, yet every single detail is critical to their overall success. From the ear tip material and tip size to hooks and fins, you need to decide what works best for your ear shape and comfort level so you can focus more on your workout and less on the technology attached to your body.

  • Ear Tips: Size and Material – Thankfully, most manufacturers include a wide array of ear tip sizes so that you can find the right fit without having to purchase them separately. If you don’t like the ones they include, then you certainly can buy new ones, but just make sure they fit the earbud connector before you purchase.

When it comes to size, you want the tip to seal the ear canal comfortably. If it is too tight, you’ll feel uncomfortable for the entire duration of the workout; too loose, and they’ll fall out. Aim for Goldilocks’ “just right” feel, and you will not only hear the sound better but also prevent the earbuds from flying out of your ear canals as you burn those calories.

If you have small ears, then you should choose earbuds that offer you a wide range of tip choices so that you aren’t stuck with one that is too large for your ear canal.

The ear tip materials also vary, from soft foam to silicone and rubber, so you have quite a few choices.

    • Foam helps seal in the sound quite well, and you will hear a wider range of frequencies than other tip materials. If you want to block out the surrounding noise and focus more on your music, then foam is the way to go.
    • Rubber and silicone are nice since you can wash them, which is important when you are getting sweat and earwax on them with every use. You can’t wash foam tips, which gives rubber and silicon an advantage in the hygienic category.

The main issue with these tips is that they tend to leak in more sound, but the amount of sound leakage varies from brand to brand.

  • Ear Fins – What is that funky thing sticking up on the Jaybird X3 earbuds?

Some earbuds come with fins, and others don’t. These fin-like hooks are designed to sit in the concha of the outer ear, and if you don’t know where the concha is, Google can show you in a few microseconds if you type it in the search bar.

Fins help hold the earbud (or in-ear headphone) firmly in place, and it is less likely that they’ll fall out during high-impact activities.

Some fins are attached to the earbuds while others are optional, so double check this before you purchase if you don’t want to be stuck with the wrong kind.

  • Ear Hook – If you want to secure the earbuds in place and have the cord sit back further behind your ear, then hooks are ideal.

As we mentioned earlier, cords can sometimes get in the way of your workout, so ear hooks kill two birds with one stone: they keep the buds on your ears, and they allow you to place the cord in a more convenient location.

Sound Quality – Find Earbuds That Match Your Expectations and Budget

You are going to so much trouble to find great earbuds because you want to have your favorite music playing as you immerse yourself in your workout, right?

Regarding sound quality, the products at the top of our list are superior, and their higher price tags reflect that. The technology is more advanced, and so is the design, so if you really care about your listening experience, they are worth the splurge.

As we work our way down the list, the sound quality may not be as professional as some of the top models, but then again, some of them may surprise you. When comparing the technology to the price tag, a few earbuds are actually quite a steal.

So, which are the best earbuds for working out?

You be the judge of that after you read our detailed product reviews next.

15 Best Earbuds for Working Out Reviews

1. Jaybird X3 Sport Bluetooth Headset

If you know a little bit about earbuds, then you probably aren’t surprised to see the Jaybird X3s at the top of our list, and if you don’t know much about them at all, then allow us to introduce them.

Overview

This is the third generation of these earbuds and Jaybird has made plenty of updates from the previous model: the X2. One of the most noticeable differences is on the fin, which now has a slight curve that conforms to your ear better; this results in a more secure fit and keeps them in place during high-impact workouts.

Do you have small ears? Not a problem: the X3 has a smaller output head, which means that the smallest tip size will allow it to fit in your ear comfortably. Some of our testers struggle to find earbuds because of their smaller ear size, but they had no issues with the X3s.

These little changes make a huge difference in the overall performance, so whether you pound the pavement on a daily run or jump rope in the gym, these stay in place very well. The accessories included allow everyone to find the perfect fit.

Details

It’s time to take a closer look at these little earbuds. What do they have to offer you?

  • 8 hours of play time
  • Foam tips are truly noise isolating, offering you a superb bass experience
  • Nano Coating offers good sweat and water protection
  • Can personalize your sound experience with accompanying MySound App
  • Bluetooth 4.1 technology allows you to connect to two devices simultaneously
  • 6mm drivers offer a balance between the lows and the highs

The 8-hour play time is fairly accurate – even at higher volumes – but the custom charger that they include is a bit of a pain. You can only recharge the earbuds with this specific charger, which means that if you lose it, you’ll be music-less until a replacement arrives. On a positive note, this particular charging system does prevent moisture and debris from getting into the USB charging port, so we have to give them credit for thinking ahead.

What about the App? Did we like it?

We liked the theory of it and found it to be useful, but the connection seems to create problems for some users. It ends up being more frustrating than useful sometimes, and not everyone wants to tweak his or her workout tunes that closely.

If you do happen to be really picky about your sound experience, then the App is a powerful listening aide.

Final Thoughts About the Jaybird X3 Earbuds

We love that the numerous fin and tip sizes allow everyone to find the right fit for his or her comfort level and workout needs.

Overall, these are some of the most popular workout earbuds across the globe, and it was easy for us to see why: the sound quality is great for the price point these will perform well for a wide variety of workouts.

Pros
  • Size and tips make it easy for everyone to find a perfect fit
  • Inline remote and mic allow you to wirelessly handles calls and music
  • Can connect to two devices simultaneously
  • The App provides you with total control of your listening experience
  • Great audio quality
Cons
  • Custom charging accessory is inconvenient and easy to lose

2. Sennheiser CX 686G Sports Ear-Canal Headset

Moving from wireless to wired, we have the CX 686G earbuds from Sennheiser. These are a great choice for those who prioritize comfort, cleanliness, sound quality and price since these earbuds have desirable features in each of those categories.

Let’s take a closer look.

Overview

These earbuds were definitely designed with workouts in mind.

The fact that the ear tips have a special antibacterial coating and that you can wash them between uses makes them some of the most hygienic earbuds out there. Sennheiser provides you with three different ear tip sizes (small, medium and large), which is not quite as many as the Jaybird X3s, but most find that the ones provided sizes fit just fine. The adjustable ear fin makes it easy to adjust the height so that you can hook them behind the crus of the helix (this is a part of your ear; check it out on Google).

We have to say that these were pretty comfortable, and they stayed where we wanted them to throughout the run (we like running, so that is how we often test our earbuds).  No matter which way you turn your head or how you end up moving your face, these don’t slip out of the ear canal while you move; this provides you with a superior sound experience and it means that you won’t have to spend time constantly re-adjusting them.

Call quality proved to be much better on these than it was on the Jaybird X3s. We had no problem talking to people as we wore them, and that was even outdoors when there was a bit of a breeze. The nice thing is that when you put the cable inside of your clothing, the fabric acts as a muffler and helps reduce noise interference.

Details

  • Remote and Mic are compatible with most smartphones
  • SteriTouch ear tips are antimicrobial and can be washed
  • Adjustable ear fin pulls out and retracts to fit any ear size
  • Oval-shaped cable prevents tangling and clip allows you to lock it in place on clothing
  • Comes with storage pouch

Final Thoughts About the Sennheiser CX 686G Earbuds

Comfortable, affordable, and durable, the Sennheiser CX 686G earbuds display an excellent range of features at this price point.

While it is a pity that iOS users won’t be able to benefit from the inline remote (it is only compatible with Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile devices), those of you with a smartphone will enjoy using it for high-impact, fast-paced workout routines. It’s just as effective on leisurely strolls through the park, too.

Pros
  • Sound quality and bass are great
  • Comfortable fit with minimal adjustment needed
  • Microphone provides excellent call quality
  • Water resistance level is excellent
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • Inline remote not compatible with iOS devices
  • Sound could be crisper
  • Only one color option

3. Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones

Many of you will be pleased to know that the Bose SoundSport earbuds come in both a wired and a wireless version.

We decided to focus our efforts on the wired version for this article, but just know that the wireless version has many of the same great features as this one does.

The Bose SoundSports offer stiff competition to the Sennheisers and the Jaybirds, so if neither of them impressed you, then these might be the next best choice for your comfort and workout needs.

Overview

One of the first things you’ll notice about the tips of these earbuds is that they are tapered. While most earbud tips are round and fit snuggly into the ear canal, these have a looser fit that is a bit more comfortable. Some of you may be thinking that a looser fit means that you’ll have problems with the earbuds falling out, but that’s what the fins are there for. Unlike the Jaybird X3s, the fin and tip are one single unit. We can see how this might be annoying to those who want the option of removing the fins, which might be a reason to go for the Jaybirds.

The only thing that we (and many others) don’t like about the fit is the fact that so much ambient sound leaks in. There’s no doubt that Bose is a leader in the headphone industry and that their sound quality is excellent, but some of that quality is lost due to the looser fit.

This may be a con to some, but not to others; if you run or exercise outdoors and prefer to hear a little background noise for safety purposes, these are some pretty awesome earbuds.

When you can hear the music, it comes through crisp and clear with just a slightly weak bass, so if you don’t want to be overwhelmed by the pounding of your feet as you workout and the thumping of the bass in your eardrums, then you’ll like these earbuds.

These have held up rather well with regular use and in a variety of weather conditions, and we liked the fact that Bose threw in a carrying case and clothing clip with the headphone: a few useful accessories that other brands don’t include!

Details

  • Inline mic and remote
  • Clothing clip and carrying case included
  • Flexible ear fin conforms to your ear shape
  • Sound quality meets Bose standards when you don’t have background noise
  • Provide decent moisture protection

Final Thoughts About the Bose SoundSport Earbuds

In spite of ambient noise interference, these are still some of the best earbuds for working out on our list since the gentle fit appeals to many users and the design of the actual earbud is excellent.

If you want versatile earbuds that you can use at the gym after school, on your lunch break, or when there isn’t a lot of background noise around you, these fit the bill perfectly. Remember, you can always opt for the wireless version if you prefer minimal cord length.

Pros
  • Gentle, secure fit
  • Inline remote work well and call quality is better than other earbud models
  • Crisp, clear sound quality
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Not great in gyms since background noise leaks in
  • Inline mic only compatible with select Apple devices

4. Skullcandy S2CDJY-358 Method In-Ear

Not interested in dropping a large chunk of change on your workout earbuds? That’s OK because you don’t have to.

Not everyone is a sound junkie who knows all of the technical details about headphones. (Ohms? Isn’t that a meditation chant?)

If you’re simply looking for an affordable listening device that won’t fall out of your ears as you pound the treadmill belt, then the Skullcandy Method Sports earbuds are the perfect fit.

Overview

Don’t be fooled by the friendly price tag: these earbuds may be cheaper than the ones we have looked at so far, but that doesn’t mean that are cheap in quality.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the off-axis design of the earpiece. What that means is that the output knob of doesn’t sit exactly in the middle of the bud but rather off to one side. This off-center location provides you with a more secure fit and prevents the buds from falling out or moving as you work out.

The music quality is OK: you can’t expect them to be comparable to the Jaybirds or the Bose earbuds we looked at earlier, but they get the job done when you’re working out. These do leak in a little noise, so if you’re at a loud gym, your music will have to compete with theirs.

In spite of the negatives, we were still pleased with these little earbuds and think that they would be a great match for anyone who participates in high-impact workouts or sports. At these prices, you also won’t lose any sleep if you end up losing them in some gym locker somewhere.

Details

  • Inline remote and mic
  • Cable clip included so you can secure it to your clothing
  • Ear tips are coated with PurecleanTM to keep the germs at bay
  • StikygelsTM technology prevents earbuds from slipping when sweaty

Final Thoughts About the Skullcandy Method Sports Earbuds

For a clean, secure fit when you’re hitting your workout hard, the Skullcandy Methods are an excellent choice.

Would we recommend them for outdoor use in wet weather? No, but they are still sweat-resistant and they will stay securely in your ears.

For average music quality and a good pair of “beater” headphones, we would say that these are a great match.

Pros
  • Secure fit
  • Hygienic
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for high-impact workouts
Cons
  • Low moisture resistance makes them unsuitable for outdoor use
  • Not as durable as other earbuds

5. JLab Audio Epic2 Wireless Sport Earbuds

If you’re all about the bass, then the JLab Audio Epic 2 earbuds aren’t going to overwhelm you with the treble.

Whether you work out indoors and want something that you can rinse off when you’re done or if you plan to do some marathon training in the rain, these can handle the moisture and we love how pumped up the bass on these little earbuds makes you feel as you workout.

Overview

With great bass, excellent battery life and plenty of ear tips to choose from, the JLab Audio Epic 2s are a force to be reckoned with.

Battery life is pretty impressive at around 12 hours – making it one of the longest-lasting earbuds on our list. We found this rather surprising considering since these have 4.0 Bluetooth connectivity rather than 4.1 (the latter is supposedly better at power management than the 4.0). Hey, we aren’t complaining! We didn’t experience any skipping issues due to the Bluetooth signal, which was a huge bonus.

These headphones worked great for intense workout sessions (sprinting, rotating stations around the gym, cardio, etc.) thanks to the fact that the bass really got us into what we were doing. The hooks also keep them in place quite well, and they have a sticky substance on the tips much like the Skullcandy earbuds that keep them from slipping when you get sweaty.

The 8mm driver was pretty impressive, considering that most use 6mm drivers. The larger the driver, the more powerful the sound output is. The quality of the driver also has a lot to do with overall performance, so bigger doesn’t always mean better. In the case of the JLab Audio Epic 2s, we would say that bigger is better.

Details

  • 3-button remote and mic
  • 8 ear tips
  • 8mm driver
  • Easy to clean
  • Powerful bass

Final Thoughts about the JLab Audio Epic 2 Earbuds

The bass is great, so is the battery life, but after using them for a few months, small problems seem to creep up, and this appears to be a common complaint out there (not just ours.)

JLab Audio’s biggest selling points for these earbuds seem to be on the battery life and the bass. The Bose SoundSports cost about the same as these JLab Audio Epic 2s these days, and having something in the same price point makes it easier to weigh out the pros and cons if one doesn’t have the features you’re looking for.

Pros
  • Plenty of ear tip sizes
  • 12-hour play time
  • Hidden USB charge port on earpiece
  • Plenty of bass for those who prefer it
Cons
  • Mic could be better
  • Product build quality is mediocre

6. Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Some of you may be surprised to see the Powerbeats3 earbuds so far down on our list, but we felt that this was the proper place for them since better products have become available since they were first released.

Here’s the scoop on these little earbuds.

Overview

You will notice that the battery life is the same as the JLab Audio Epic 2s we just looked at with up to 12 hours of play time. These have one advantage to the Epic 2s, however, which would be the fact that you can charge the battery in just five short minutes to get one hour of listening time. If you get to the gym and realize they are out of juice, you can plug them in as you change and get enough juice back in to get you through your workout.

We also mentioned off-axis design back when we were looking at the Skullcandy Methods, and you’ll notice that the Powerbeats3 have the same design feature. It provides you with a more comfortable, secure fit, and pair this with the ear hooks and you’re set to handle both high and low-impact workouts.

Now, when it comes to sound quality, we can say that these weren’t the most balanced earbuds that we have used. The fit is great (that depends on the ears wearing them, though) and they were secure, but as experienced headphone users, we know that there are other earbuds out there that offer a more authentic sound experience. If you aren’t a fan of bass-heavy earbuds, then these might not be the best match for you.

Details

  • Short cord
  • Has Apple W1 chip
  • Remote Talk call function and compatible with Siri
  • Cinch on cable helps you keep them out of the way
  • Dual driver

Final Thoughts About the Powerbeats3 Earbuds

The main defect with the Powerbeats3 are their price tag. You can find similar models for much less money, but if you want something that you can use from the start of your day until you hit the hay, the battery life and the fact that they charge so quickly still makes them appealing to many users.
Pros
  • 12-hour battery life
  • Only needs to be charged 5 minutes for an hour of play time
  • Short cord makes them great for cycling
  • Buttons accurate and easy to use
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No moisture rating provided
  • Bass is heavy (this is a con for some and a pro for others)

7. SENSO Wireless Sports Earphones (ActivBuds S250)

Any of you out there looking for something that has a high water-resistance level? If so, then Senso ActivBuds have an impressive IPX rating that will keep them safe no matter how much water they’re exposed to.

Overview

These are some of the most popular workout earbuds on our list thanks to the balanced sound quality you get along with the friendly price tag.

Some of the features that we loved about the other earbuds we tried are present here: you have the decent battery life (up to 9 hours), quick charge time (1 ½ hours), excellent Bluetooth signal strength, and great noise cancellation for those of you who work out in noisy locations.

We found the sound quality to be quite smooth and authentic when listening to our favorite workout tunes. The treble was clear, and the bass was smooth; it didn’t feel muddy or murky at all. Did we really pay so little for these because the sound quality was impressive!

If you’re a tad on the clumsy side when it comes to electronics and water (your smartphone has taken a dive into the toilet, perhaps), then you’ll be happy to know that the IPX7 rating of these earbuds has you covered. It protects you from the accidental drop in the rain puddle as you tie your shoe and means that washing away the germs and bacteria is not a problem.

Once you read our next review about the CB3 Fit Sport earbuds, you’ll notice that the price point is similar yet these provide you with noise cancellation and a much more dependable wireless signal.

Details

  • Quick charge time (1-2 hours)
  • Bluetooth 4.1+EDR
  • Signal strength great up to 30 feet away
  • 3 ear tip sizes available
  • Comes with Wire Tie, Carrying Case and 3-foot Dual Port Charging Cable

Final Thoughts About the Senso ActivBuds S250 Earbuds

If you were hoping to find a decent pair of wireless earbuds with ear hooks, then it’s hard to beat the Senso ActivBuds S250.

Sound quality: great. Accessories: plentiful. Price: hard to beat.

Pros
  • IPX7 rating
  • 8-hour battery life
  • Noise cancelling
  • Impressive sound quality at price point
  • Carrying case is handy
Cons
  • Earbud tip sizes might be an issue for some

8. CB3 Fit Sport Wireless Earbuds

Next we have the CB3 Fit Sport earbuds with ear hook, which look much like the Powerbeats3 earbuds in terms of design and style. Both are appropriate for bouncy workout routines, but there is a huge difference in price here: if the Powerbeats3 were too expensive for you, then meet a more affordable alternative: the CB3 Fit Sport.

Overview

The CB3s are pretty straightforward in terms of design and technology. They stay in place quite well, they have the same off-axis design as the Skullcandy Methods and the Powerbeat3s, and they offer relatively good sound quality.

The Bluetooth V 4.1 chip had us thinking that the wireless signal would be great (e.g., no skipping), but we must say that we were rather disappointed when we actually used them. It seems to depend a lot on where you stow the device because they seem to have a better signal outside of a pocket or bag than they do inside. We expected a strong signal in both instances, but that wasn’t the case. We know that this isn’t a universal problem with the product, but a few others had the same experience as us so we thought we’d mention it.

The IPX4 rating isn’t as good as some of the other earbuds on our list, but at least they bothered to get their earbuds certified at all. These are sweatproof and splash proof, but don’t plan on wearing them in a downpour or you probably won’t be using them for very much longer.

We feel like these would be a great investment for anyone who doesn’t know much about headphones and just wants something that won’t fly off their head during a workout. The price is right, and so is the sound quality considering the fact that it is a mid-range product.

Details

  • Bluetooth 4.1 technology
  • Microphone
  • Ear hooks
  • IPX4 rating
  • 3 ear tip sizes available

Final Thoughts About the CB3 Fit Sport Earbuds

If you’re a serious sound junkie, then these probably aren’t going to pack enough punch for you, but for those simply looking for something to throw over their ears while working out, the price point and quality are just right.

They’re backed by excellent customer service, which is comforting to know if you ever do experience any problems with these.

Pros
  • Crisp sound quality
  • Good customer service
  • Secure fit
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Mic isn’t that great
  • Wireless signal sometimes weak

9. Phaiser BHS-750 Sport Earphones

Finally, we get to talk about a product that is a little different than the rest!

Phaiser may not be the most popular option on our list, but if you wanted a great alternative to the Jaybird X3s, then we encourage you to continue reading.

Overview

How are these earbuds different, anyways?

For starters, you have magnets on the back of each bud that allow you to snap them closed and secure them around your neck when not in use. They can’t fall out of your pocket if they’re riding safely around your neck!

We also like the fact that they offer you memory foam tips rather than silicone, which means these are especially handy if you work out in noisy locations like the gym. You can block out the background noise to focus more on your music and, subsequently, your workout.

These can really pump out the sound thanks to the 8mm drivers and the phone call clarity was great when we tested them outdoors.

They were generous with the bass and lighter in the treble department, but the bass wasn’t too overwhelming for those of you who are worried about it.

Last, but not least, we should mention that the moisture resistance level is pretty good on these earbuds thanks to the Nano Coating; this is similar to an IPX5 rating, just to give you an idea.

Details

  • 8mm driver
  • Ceramic antenna improves wireless range
  • Magnetic buds allow you to wear them around the neck
  • LifeStateTM technology allows you to keep track of battery life on your phone
  • Comes with travel pouch
  • Bluetooth 4.1

Final Thoughts About the Phaiser BHS-750 Earbuds

There are many reasons to love the Phaiser BHS-750 earbuds, and the flaws basically boil down to the overall lifespan of the product.

Like us, many have a positive experience with these earbuds, but for the number of good earbuds that make it off the assembly line, the number of bad ones made their rating drop slightly.

Keep your eyes and ears opens for any little technical difficulties and contact the company right away if you feel you’ve received a bad apple from the bunch. They’ll help you out!

Pros
  • High water resistance level
  • Durable – made from Aviation-grade aluminum
  • Memory foam tips
  • Great noise isolation
Cons
  • Fins are straight (don’t stay in as well as the Jaybird X3s)
  • Battery life isn’t that impressive

10. Phaiser BHS-530 Wireless Earbuds

Cyclists, Phaiser has something for you, too!

These wireless earbuds feature a short cord that won’t get tangled up in your helmet or clothing as you ride and their Liquipel coating will help protect them from even the harshest climates.

Even if you don’t cycle and want something minimal that won’t get in your way as you walk the dog, there are plenty of reasons why these are worth your money.

Overview

While the design of these headphones is quite different from the pair of Phaiser earbuds we just looked at, these definitely share some of the same great features with them.

The HD sound quality, the ability to keep track of the battery level on your phone, the HD microphone, ceramic antenna and noise-isolating tips are present in this model just as they were on the BHS-750s.

The driver is a bit more powerful on these earbuds – 10mm as opposed to the 6mm or 8mm that most earbuds use – and this allows them to produce sound quality that packs a punch. It’s nice that Phaiser provides you with both silicone tips and foam tips so you can choose when you want a more isolated sound experience or let more background noise in (as is the case with outdoor runners).

We like the fit and the sound quality, but it is a bit difficult to deal with the buttons on these earbuds.

On a happy note, we were quite impressed with Phaiser’s level of professionalism and customer service: if you ever have a problem with them, there is someone on the other end to help you.

Details

  • 10mm driver
  • Ceramic antenna improves wireless range
  • LifeStateTM technology allows you to keep track of battery life on your phone
  • Comes with travel pouch
  • Bluetooth 4.1

Final Thoughts About the Phaiser BHS-530 Earbuds

The further down the list we go, the more budget-friendly the options become, but as we reminded you earlier in this article, some of the models are still quite impressive in their price range, and the Phaiser BHS-530s are a good example of that.

If you cycle and you need a pair of earbuds that produce decent sound without breaking the bank, then try these.

Pros
  • Both silicone and foam ear tips included
  • Powerful driver = loud volume
  • Great for outdoor use
  • Work well for those who wear glasses
Cons
  • Hard to find the “sweet spot” for listening when you insert them in your ears
  • Difficult to adjust volume

11. SoundPEATS Wireless 4.1 Magnetic (Q12)

Here we have another pair of magnetic earphones for those of you who like keeping them within easy reach when you’re not plugged into your workout tunes.

These affordable earphones feature excellent noise canceling technology that allows you to shut out the world around you and focus more on your workout.

Overview

The SoundPEATS Q12s would be a great alternative to the Phaiser BHS-750s we looked at earlier. Both have the magnets, and both have the ear fins, yet this is about half the cost of the Phaiser’s if you prefer to spend a little less.

What do you get for your money, then?

In terms of sound quality, these offer a crisper listening experience in the mids and highs for those of you who aren’t too fond of a heavy bass (and if you do enjoy the bass, then these might not be what you need). The mic works pretty well for phone call pickup and so does the wireless Bluetooth signal range. Quite honestly, we were surprised at how well they worked considering the price!

The battery life isn’t the best we’ve seen (up to 6 hours of play time), but it’s enough for a few workouts.

The carrying case is always a huge bonus since you don’t have to worry about losing all of the extra tips and accessories.

If you need a pair of earbuds that you plan to use in the gym or for working out only (not for regular use throughout the day, too), then these will offer you everything you need.

Their great price does, unfortunately, mean that the lifespan of the product isn’t as reliable as some of the top earbuds on our list, but as long as you take care of them and don’t use them outdoors (IPX4 rating isn’t that reliable), they’ll work great.

Details

  • Bluetooth 4.1 with CSR 8645 chip
  • CVC 6.0 Noise Cancelling technology
  • Inline remote and mic
  • Up to 6 hours play time
  • 3 ear tip sizes, 3 ear fin sizes
  • 2 line buckles and cable clip included
  • Comes with carrying case

Final Thoughts About the SoundPEATS Q12 Earbuds

SoundPEATS: these little guys impressed us! We liked the crisp sound and light bass (that’s just our preference), and we’re sure that those with similar tastes would agree.

Based on the price, the performance and everything that you get with your purchase, we would say that they are definitely worth a try.

Pros
  • Noise cancellation is good
  • Sound quality is impressive at this price point
  • Mic picks up calls well
  • Accessories are useful
Cons
  • Lack of bass could be a con if you prefer more of a music thumping experience
  • Not so sure that these will withstand the test of time and regular use

12. TaoTronics Bluetooth In Ear Headphones

Uh oh. The SoundPEATS Q12 earbuds have some competition!

Same price range, same earbud design, same magnetic closure system. Which should you choose?

We will let you be the judge of that once you read all of the details of these earbuds.

Overview

TaoTronics seems to be a brand preferred by those who aren’t super picky about their listening experience and who also don’t want to fork over a ton of cash for some workout earbuds. You won’t find many tech gurus dedicating entire articles or videos to them, but they’re a popular choice among shoppers who want something that can perform well under particularly sweaty workout sessions.

The IPX rating is slightly higher than the SoundPEATS (IPX5), which makes them a little more resistant to sweat and the occasional splash of water. We wouldn’t have trusted the SoundPEATS outdoors, but TaoTronics we would.

Sound quality: how is it compared to the last earbuds?

We thought that these were a bit more balanced when it came to highs, mids, lows and bass. Thanks to the fact that they’ve used aptX coding, the Bluetooth technology is greatly improved and that results in stereo-quality audio that is reproduced at full audio bandwidth. Put quite simply, you get more accurate sound!

This does have an hour more of play time than the SoundPEATS (7 hours rather than 6), but these don’t have nearly as many accessories as the SoundPEATS do.

It’s a tough call, so weigh out the pros and cons of both to see which one better suits your needs.

Details

  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Stable calling
  • Up to 7 hours play time
  • aptX coding allows more accurate sound quality
  • IPX5 rating

Final Thoughts About the TaoTronics TT BH-16 Earbuds

TaoTronics or SoundPEATS: who should you choose? Both are similar and each one has different pros and cons, so you’ll have to weigh out the options to choose the right one for your workout needs. If you’re looking for something with magnets, longer battery life, more balanced sound and good call quality and that you can use outdoors, then these are your best bet.

The rest of you who prefer crisper sound and like the idea of the accessories will probably be better off with the SoundPEATS.

Pros
  • Balanced sound quality
  • Picks up calls well
  • Good for both indoor and outdoor workouts
  • Good battery life for the price
Cons
  • Few accessories

13. Mpow V4.1 Wireless Sport Earbuds

If you haven’t yet settled on a pair of earbuds for your workout sessions, then that is OK. We still have three more to look at with you.

The MpowV 4.1 headphones may not have stellar ratings across the board, but they are still a worthy choice for those who like the ear hooks and want accurate sound quality, then here are your new headphones (er – earbuds)!

Let’s take a closer look.

Overview

These earbuds are slightly reminiscent of the previous ones thanks to the accurate sound quality (gotta love that aptX coding technology) and a decent microphone that allows the person on the other end of your phone call to hear you loud and clear.

The main difference here is the fact that these have the hook that goes behind the ear rather than fins, and we can’t really shout any praises about the water resistance level since it is so low.

At best, we would say these are lightly sweatproof, but the manufacturer seemed to invest more in sound quality than they did to protect their product from moisture; this is a big deal, too, since you will be wearing them as you work out.

How about the sound quality?

We were just as pleased with it as we were with the previous earbuds thanks to the accurate sound output and we were glad to see that the Bluetooth signal was strong even when we were near the maximum distance away from our device.

Comfort levels are different for everyone, and while we cannot say that the tips were the best in our ears, we did like that the ear clip kept them firmly in place during high-impact runs and cardio workouts.

The Bluetooth range was also great on these earbuds, so whether you need to take an important phone call during your lunch break run or if you’re on the other side of the gym rotating stations during your circuit workout, these will pick up the tunes.

Details

  • aptX coding
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Up to 6 hours play time (up to 7 of talk time)
  • Bluetooth signal range good up to 33 feet away
  • No inline remote or mic (this is a pro to some and con to others)
  • Secure fit

Final Thoughts About the Mpow Cheetah Headphones

If you know that you will only be working out indoors or in dry weather conditions, then these earbuds have a lot of the same qualities as the other buds that we have looked at on the lower half of our list.

They are inexpensive and sound great, but the water resistance level could be a deal breaker for some of you.

Pros
  • Fit is secure and comfortable
  • Sound quality just as good as the TaoTronics
  • Bluetooth signal range is good
Cons
  • Low water resistance level limits how (and where) you use them
  • Only 3 ear tip sizes included

14. Anker SoundBuds NB10 Earbuds Sweatproof

Jumping back up in the price department a bit, we have our second to last suggestion of the day for you: the Anker SoundBuds NB10 model.

For cycling or running, indoor workouts or outdoor workouts, these are versatile earbuds that can handle a wide range of activities.

Overview

Some people just like having earbuds like these: the ones that hook over your ear and then loop back around your head.

Anker gives you a handy little FitClip on the cable that allows you to adjust it snuggly on your head, so if you have a particularly bouncy workout session or some rough trails to hit as you’re biking, these will stay in place.

Using the earbuds is fairly easy if you’re used to inline remotes and mics, but we did not like the fact that you can only go forward on your playlist. If you accidentally skip a song, you’re going to have to head over to your device to change it manually, which is a pain when you are in the middle of a workout.

Were they comfortable to wear? Yes, that is mostly thanks to the fact that they are so lightweight, but the ear tips might be a problem for those who have an “in between” ear canal size.

The fact that the ear tips are silicon also means that you’ll have more sound leakage, and when rating them based on their sound quality performance, we would give them a solid 6 out of 10. We’ve tried other Anker headphones and been more impressed with them, but these workout buds just didn’t do it for us.

The Bluetooth range says that it is stable up to 33 feet away, but there seems to be a bit of debate as to how accurate this really is. We didn’t get quite up to that distance, but then again, it could have been due to the fact that we had a wall partially in the way. Based on our previous Bluetooth signal experience, we would say this is decent, but that it could be better.

Details

  • Up to 6 hours play time
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 12mm drivers
  • Travel pouch included
  • Adjustable FitClip
  • IPX5 rating

Final Thoughts About the Anker SoundBuds

The sound quality of these buds was a bit of a disappointment, but overall, they are still a good investment.

The larger 12mm drivers provide you with powerful volume and the lightweight fit makes them comfortable. These are some of few earbuds that have the FitClip on the cable for you to customize the fit, too, which make them appealing to users who don’t like the cable flapping around during their workout.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Great for indoor and outdoor use
  • Volume is powerful for those who like it
Cons
  • Sound quality isn’t impressive for the price
  • We’ve experienced better Bluetooth quality than this provides

15. Swimbuds SPORT Waterproof Headphones

So many people end up asking whether a particular pair of earbuds are safe to use while swimming or not.

Most of them aren’t, which is exactly why we wanted to round off our list of workout earbuds with something for those of you who love doing laps in your favorite local water hole.

The Swimbuds are water-friendly, and if you want to enjoy your favorite tunes as you butterfly your way across the pool or while you’re showering off all that chlorine, you need these earbuds.

Overview

These are one of very few earbuds that you can safely use in water and the only pair of their kind on our list.

We’ll be honest: the sound quality isn’t that great and that is why they are the last suggestion we have for you on our list.

If you are willing to lower your sound quality standards a bit and come to terms with the fact that swimming earbuds are not going to produce Bose sound quality, then you and the Swimbuds will get along just fine.

Let’s move on to the good things, shall we?

We love the fact that these come with so many ear tip styles. They give you tree tips that help provide you with a water-tight seal and excellent noise isolation, regular round tips when you’re wearing the for everyday activities, Ergos for a comfortable fit when playing land sports and fin tips that work great for playing water sports.

You also don’t have to worry about getting tangled up in the cord since it is quite short.

Overall, we were still really impressed by these earbuds since we have tried other brands that claim to perform well but just can’t hack it once you hit the water.

The Swimbuds are the only earbuds of their kind on this list, so if you’re in need of something that is safe for water use, don’t consider any other brands.

Details

  • 100% waterproof
  • Comes with 4 different earbud styles
  • Includes carrying case

Final Thoughts About the Swimbuds

We realize that these are the only earbuds on the list for swimmers, and since not all of you swim, these might not be the right choice.

If you do need something that is safe to submerge in water, then you won’t find any better swimming earbuds out there on the market.

These might be a little expensive, but it’s worth it since competitor brands at lower price points are known to disappoint. Get these if you swim!

Pros
  • Safe for swimming and water sports
  • 100% waterproof
  • Numerous tip sizes and shapes available
Cons
  • Sound quality isn’t that impressive

Now It’s Your Turn

We’ve given you the lowdown on 15 of the best workout earbuds, so now it’s your turn to choose some!

There are a few things to look at when scrutinizing this type of technology, sound quality, the fit and price being three of the most important.

We all have different expectations when it comes to our workout earbuds: some need noise isolation while others need to be able to hear background noise for safety reasons. Which do you prefer?

What about ear hooks, fins and the shape of the ear tips? There is much to consider when comparing and contrasting the options.

If there is one thing we can encourage you to do, it is to make a list of the things you don’t like about your current earbuds so you can avoid them in your new earbuds.

The rest is just a process of elimination, and with all of the information we have provided you with in this guide, we know you will find something that meets all of your listening expectations.

Comments(4)
  1. SamLen May 27, 2017
    • Mark May 27, 2017
      • SamLen May 27, 2017
  2. Henry Frank May 22, 2017

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