Wireless earphones are the right choice for running or exercise, and finding the best wireless running headphones can be challenging as each renowned brand is introducing new earphones every day. So to make it easy for you, I'm going to mention the top six headphones for running.
Quick Answer: Top-Rated Best Wireless Headphones for Running in 2021
- TOP OVERALL: Samsung Galaxy Buds – Best Lightweight Earbuds for Gym
- BEST CHOICE: Powerbeats Pro – Comfortable Wireless Headphones for Running
- BEST BUDGET: BTS Pro by 66 Audio – On-Ear Wireless Running Headphones
- Jabra Elite Active 65t – No Fall Out
- Sennheiser CX SPORT – Wireless Running Headphones
- Jaybird X4 – Wireless Headphones Dedicated for Running
What are the best wireless headphones to buy in 2021?
Samsung Galaxy Buds are considered as the best wireless headphones for running. They are lightweight, stay in place, and have the right battery timing. With similar properties, Sennheiser CX SPORT can be considered as the best for Sports and BTS Pro for their on-ear style. However, all the following options are the best to buy in 2021.
1. Samsung Galaxy Buds - Best Lightweight Earbuds for Gym
Ratings: 4.1 | Type: Bluetooth
Samsung Galaxy buds are famous for being light-weight, which is one of the primary demands of a runner. If earbuds have no significant weight, you will forget them that they are in your ears, even when no music is playing.
Earbuds and Case Design
It has one of the most generic-looking earbud cases. Although, there's a variety of different case covers available on Amazon to choose from, in case you want to give it a little bit of character. However, for the most part, it has a simple shimmery coating with subtle Samsung branding in the center. It does look slippery, but it's not that slippery to grip. So, you would not have to worry about having this slip out of your hand. If the white color reminds you too much of the Earpods, then you can choose the black color.
The LED battery indicator, right in the center of the case lights up green or red depending on the status of the earbuds themselves. When closed again, a second LED on the outside indicates the state of the case itself. It's all pretty straightforward, but one thing you need to know is that the red LED inside of the case can either mean actively charging or low battery.
There are two things that you would always gladly pay for, convenience and peace of mind. Both are present in Galaxy Buds as you can set it down for charging and forget it, mainly when used together with the Galaxy S10's wireless power-sharing feature that allows it to charge other devices wirelessly.
On the front of the case, there's a ridge that makes it incredibly easy to pop open. When you first open the case, you may find that the lid appears to be a little bit lost. It almost doesn't feel right, but if you push it a little bit further, it snaps and stays in place. It's using one of those resistant hinges that snap close as supposed to be a magnetic one. Surprisingly, it shuts tight enough that it won't bust open in your bag or pocket, which is always a good thing.
The earbuds sit magnetically secured inside the case, but the magnets are not that strong. It doesn't take that much force to shake them out of the case. It tells that if this case takes even the slightest fall, those earbuds are going to flying right out. So, just a little bit of a precaution is necessary. You get three earbud tips in the box. The biggest one works best as it gives a better seal, which makes a huge difference when it comes to sound.
As soon as the galaxy buds are out of the case, your galaxy device shows a prompt to connect, just like the EarPods do. When you put earbuds in your ears, it greets you with two audio beeps. These beeps let you know that you're good to go, and you're connected. As as far as the initial process is concerned, it is rapid. You can expect nothing less when it comes to Bluetooth 5.0. The galaxy buds are very comfortable to wear. You don't feel any pressure of any kind. They're super lightweight, and the wingtips don't irritate your ears over prolonged use like some other earbuds tend to do.
Sound and Battery Performance
They sound great, but you would mostly characterize them as bass-heavy, which is not a bad thing but more clean and balanced. As long as you're wearing the right sized ear tips (mentioned earlier above), that seal is going to help keep all of that music inside, allowing you to hear more of the instruments. Overall, the Galaxy buds are the best wireless headphones for running or day-to-day listening.
It has a USB-C port for charging, which would be a perfect match for all of your existing gadgets. There is also a wireless charging coil underneath for wireless charging. The case itself provides charge to the earbuds whenever they're inside, which is standard for all truly wild earbuds. Whether charging wired or Wireless, both the case and earbuds are charged simultaneously.
Batteries of these earbuds also perform great. They're rated for about 6 hours of playback and live up to the expectations. In conclusion, the only minor drawback is that the case only holds one charge. Most other earbuds usually carry at least two recharge cycles on the case. It's not that big of a deal because they last pretty long. The upside to that is that it doesn't take that long to recharge.
|Frequency Response:||15 - 28,000 Hz|
|Product Dimensions:||1.6 x 3.7 x 3.4 in|
2. Powerbeats Pro - Comfortable Wireless Headphones for Running
Ratings: 4.1 | Type: Bluetooth
Having the old school look of Bluetooth headphones, Powerbeats Pro is still one of the most comfortable earbuds. Because of the hooks, you will feel completely secure the entire time wearing them. You definitely won't have to worry about them falling off, so they are perfect for running.
Earbuds and Case Design
Starting with the case, this is the bulkiest case, among others, on this list. It's not exactly portable or pocket-friendly at all. It does fit in the pocket, but it's not comfortable. You could leave the house without the case if you wanted to because its built-in motion accelerometer can detect whenever the earbuds are idle and not moving. Then it enters into the sleep mode, which slows down the battery drain losing only 2.5% per hour.
When it came to the opening and closing of the case, it's not exactly a one-handed opener. Due to its size, it requires two hands. The magnets on the lid keep the case nice and tight when it's shut. When you first open it up, the process of pairing it is identical to the EarPod's setup. You hold it close to your iPhone, and the PowerBeats Pro animation shows up. Then you just hit connect, and that's it.
The earbuds sit inside the case differently from what we usually see. You have to align the earbud tips in the center gap, which causes the metal contacts to align with each other inside the case. The magnets will snatch them in place, and that's how they begin charging. It's a simple, straightforward design. You can't just casually rock these for the style like you can with the EarPods, but still, they look cool. Earbuds themselves are water and sweat resistant. Hooks are made of flexible rubber, while the rest of the body is plastic.
Performance and Battery Charging
For charging, it has a standard lighting port. The biggest downfall in these earbuds is that the case features no wireless charging, which is kind of a bummer considering it's an Apple product, and it came out right after the Earpods 2, which do have wireless charging.
Hands-down, it has the best battery life of any earbuds that you can use on a single charge. You can get a whopping 9 hours of playback time and 6 hours of Talk-time, which is about 3 to 4 hours of more listening time than the current competition. What's even better is that the case supports fast fuel charging where only 5 minutes of charging will give you an hour and a half of listening time. So, that's freaking fantastic, and the case itself provides an additional one-and-a-half charge, giving you a combined 24 hours of listening time when both of them are fully charged.
These are water-resistant, not waterproof, so sweat and rain would be just fine, but don't go swimming with these; otherwise, you're going to have to buy another pair of earbuds. Also, if you want to try the best waterproof headphones you can checkout the linked guide. One minor complaint about this wireless headphone for running is that it only supports Siri. So, when paired up to an Android device, you can't even use any other digital voice assistant like Bixby, Google, or Alexa. As far as the sound quality is concerned, it stays true to what Beats are historically known for strength in the Bass Department and that smooth Bass. It's not overpowering or muddy, vocals are clear, and the highs complement the low end very well.
You might have to raise the volume just a little bit to appreciate that fully balanced sound. They do get loud, but that kicks in at around 80 to 85 percent, which you can say as the sweet spot. You wouldn't hear any distortion when listening to high volumes and hip-hop and R&B; works best for these kinds of earbuds. The only downside in sound quality is that there's no noise-canceling support. Even though the silicone tips do block out some outside noise, it's still not immune to the outside world.
3. Jabra Elite Active 65t - No Fall Out
Ratings: 3.6 | Type: Bluetooth
Although many smartphone companies are making headphones yet Jabra especially makes audio devices, and Jabra Elite Active 65t is one of their best wireless headphones for running, which has secure fit and doesn't fall out.
Earbuds and Case Design
The LED inside the case indicates the remaining charge for the earbuds while the LED outside tells you the remaining battery status for the case itself. When earbuds are removed from the case, each earbud will flash with green, yellow, and red light corresponding to high, medium, and low charge, respectively.
In a glance, both the earbuds are identical in looks, but they behave very differently. First off, the buttons the right earbud lets you manually power on and off, and it also doubles as your multi-function button to access certain features. The left earbud’s button acts as your volume and skips tracks as well as its re-connection button by pressing and holding volume down. However, either button can be used to check the battery status only when nothing is being played. Secondly, these earbuds have a master-slave setup. Right earbud being the master, so you can only use this one by itself for mono listening.
They have built-in support for all major voice assistants, depending on which one is native to your phone. So, talking about Siri, Google Assistant, and yes, advertised with these earbuds is built-in support for Alexa as well. These have an IPX6 rating, so they aren't submergible like our smartphones, but you will have no problem getting caught in the rain. It also came with a micro USB cable along with three ear tips, small, medium, and large. These are the most comfortable wireless earbuds that stay in place without the need for wingtips. You slide them in, and the microphones are naturally aligned to your mouth so, you're good to go.
These earbuds have four-way microphones. Two on each of the earbud with the smaller set of microphones on the tips designed to pick up the voice while the larger outer ones are meant to cancel outside noise, and they all work together very well. A syndication test proved that these earbuds were on point with each other. Audio syncing between the two earbuds is nearly uninterrupted. They're in perfect sync at all times. A lot of that is thanks to the fact that they feature Bluetooth 5.0, ensuring a much faster and improved connection. You are also getting almost double the bandwidth as the previous generation Bluetooth 4.2.
One of the fantastic features is Auto Pausing in these earbuds. When you remove one of the earbuds, it pauses whatever you're listening to. So, these are similar to Apple's EarPods, but unlike the EarPods that use the latest infrared technology to do the whole pausing thing, these headphones use a proximity sensor. So, when they're a certain distance apart, it automatically pauses. When they come back close, they resume playback, and it works like a charm. It is one of those features that not a lot of truly wireless earbuds have, and Jabra has done a great job at implementing that technology.
These also have built-in accelerometers, which is excellent. So, if you like to monitor your exercise activity, you can do so through the SoundPlus App. They took into consideration the practicality of these earbuds, and that's something that I give any manufacturer points for. It takes anywhere between 1.5 hours and two hours to charge the case with the earbuds inside to go from red to a fully green status.
4. BTS Pro by 66 Audio - On-Ear Wireless Running Headphones
Ratings: 3.4 | Type: Bluetooth
BTS Pro by 66 Audio is all about quality, excellent battery life, and a perfect grip. Inside the box, you have your headphones, a travel pouch with an included USB-C charging cable, a Quick Start Guide, and additional product information.
Design and Style
The headphones themselves are collapsible, so you do have the ability to store them compactly. They also fit nicely in the travel pouch. They're pretty much stress-free because of the design and the way they rest on top of your ears. Moreover, the hands-free design enables us to take phone calls, and you'll be able to enjoy precise voice technology at the same time. Echo and noise cancellation while using hands-free calling are all included in this compact package. They're also water-resistant, so you don't have to worry about sweat.
The plastic material of the headband is comfortable to wear. It doesn't feel heavy, but I will warn those of you who don't like anything bouncing in the back of your neck. If you are that type of person, you may not want these because this does go behind your neck. As you're running or working out that they may move some, so that's just one thing to note. Also, If you're not the type of person that likes it over-ear then type, you may want to consider a different set of headphones or because these are going to rest on your ear.
Performance and Connectivity
First of all, their software is upgradeable by an included app that is available for both iOS and Android. You can install it, and then you can update these headphones with firmware changes to improve your overall experience. There's also a lot of tuning that you can do in the app that's going to give you a tailored experience when it comes to what your audio wants and needs are. The audio quality is outstanding. As you listen to the playback, you will notice that it's bass-heavy but not too much. It's also well balanced. When it comes to mids and highs, vocals are very clear, and it gives an enjoyable audio experience.
They run on Bluetooth 4.2 and have a fantastic range of a hundred feet. The other thing is in addition to having a fantastic range; they also have an incredible battery life of 40 hours with 40 hours of playtime and even 40 hours of standby time, which is pretty amazing, especially since it has only a 500 milliamp-hour battery. So, you will able to use these with multiple workouts and not have to worry about recharging them. On the side of the headphones, you'll notice that you have all your controls. These are multi-function controls, and you can do everything from the headphones. That is the complete review of BTS Pro by 66 Audio.
5. Sennheiser CX SPORT - Wireless Running Headphones
Ratings: 3.1 | Type: Bluetooth
Sennheiser CX SPORTS headphones are for those of you out there who need a solution that is moisture resistant as well as meet the convenience of wireless connectivity to your smartphone. In the box, you will get the headphone set itself, a cute carrying pouch, a clip so you can manage your microphone speaker and a control module. You also get a small micro USB cable to USB A, as well.
Design and Size
In the set of fins and ear inserts, you will get small, medium, and large sizes. Not only can you make the adjustments to the inserts, but you can also make adjustments to the fins. So, if you have a small ear canal and have a large ear fin need, these will suit that perfectly. These headphones are moisture-resistant but not waterproof, so don't take them in the water. They will resist your sweat well, and they stay pretty clean. The material holds off dirt and grime and all that type of stuff if you wipe them off quick.
These headphones stay in your ear due to the little fins which work like magic, and a lot of headphones have kind of adopted this for sports headphones. They have an in-ear, ear-fin wearing style that is around the neck or in front of the neck design. The control module has everything in it to play, pause, answer your phone calls, and all that type of stuff. Then you got a micro USB port for charging. It's tight in there, so that's a good thing as you will not any moisture in there.
Performance and Connectivity
The battery lasts roughly five hours on use. Anyways, you can get an hour-and-a-half full of charge in about ten minutes, so it has quick charge capabilities. Additionally, they have an excellent response to pretty much any kind of music that you would like to listen to. Also, they are Bluetooth 4.2 connectable headphones, so the data transfer rate will also be speedy. Moreover, the frequency response range is represented on the stat sheet from 17 Hertz to up to 21k Hertz. So, you're not going to get a nice representation of any of the low-end bass frequencies in these headphones. The highs and the mids are represented well, and you can hear the clear separation of sound between all those.
In their app called CapTune, you can select different types of Equalization. With this app, it is to navigate the actual interface. You can even listen to your music from the CapTune App. So, as far as sound is concerned, these sound great. In short, the only thing problem I noticed was that the omnidirectional microphone. It doesn't pick up very well when I have this headset drawn behind my neck. In front of my neck, I didn't have any problem, but when it's behind my neck, the sound on the other end is muffled, and the person that I'm speaking to has a difficult time hearing me.
6. Jaybird X4 - Wireless Headphones Dedicated for Running
Ratings: 3.0 | Type: Bluetooth
X4 is the upgrade from Jaybird's X3 and are much better from them in grades. Following is the detailed review on Jaybird X4.
In the box, you get four sets of ear tips, medium and large for both silicon and the comply foam ear tips. Three sets of ear wings, proprietary charging dongle (make sure you don't lose that), shirt clip, and the protective carrying case. Everything is quality-built here, the earphones are plastic. The cord is tangle-free, and from daily use of tossing this into the bag, it untangles every time. The cord itself is also very grippy with that rubber texture. Last several generations, more specifically, the X3s, Jaybird proclaimed they were water and sweat proof even offering at one point a lifetime warranty against said damages. It's now only a one-year warranty.
The new X4 is now IPX7 certified. This IPX7 certification means that these products can be submerged into water. From the instruction manual from Jaybird, the X4s are designed to handle rain, mud, and it says outdoor adventures. They're not designed for swimming, showering, or exposure to the pool or ocean water. Taking a closer look, there are no buttons on the earphones themselves, but everything is housed in the controller. Pause, play, skipping, and going back on songs, adjusting volume, and answering phone calls are all done on the controller.
The biggest concern while running is, does this controller slaps you across the face? Thankfully, it doesn't. The controller is far back enough, and there is also a new cord adjustment option in the X4s. It works fantastic by making the cable small. This prevents a lot of that wire from bouncing around on the back of your neck and also, in turn, keeps the controller from bouncing around as well. Moreover, the jaybird logo is now part of the paint job instead of imprinted on a cheap metallic sticker. The wingtips are also different now, not sure how much that matters. The nozzle on the all-gray x4 model here is painted blue, and I'm all for it.
The fit is pretty great, especially when you swap out the silicone ear tips for the memory foam ones. Although the memory foam tips do help with isolation, yet they were surprisingly uncomfortable. So, if you're going to be wearing these for an extended period that, might be something to keep in mind. They fit snug in the ear canal and also provide excellent passive noise isolation, so it does block out the world, and the most important of all, they don't hurt. Something you might miss while running, there isn't much wire chatter from the wire rubbing against your clothing or possibly bouncing. There's also minimal amounts of wind noise when running, depending on how loud you have your music that shouldn't be an issue. However, if you want to go for the top active noise cancelling headphones check out my another guide.
Connectivity and Performance
For Bluetooth, Jaybird said that their Bluetooth is rated at 4.1, that's the version number. I would have preferred to at least Bluetooth 4.2 with Bluetooth 5 being the best in not only distance for audio transmission but also power efficiency. The x4s are loud. Listening at around 60% for casual listening to 70% for songs you love would be the best. The Bass that this thing offers is very punchy, just deep enough for your listening experience with zero distortion. The Jaybirds have that bass-boosted sound signature that is perfect for EDM, Pop and is just basic enough to make hip-hop songs very much enjoyable.
The control module is super slim. It's almost the same as the module on X3, which is excellent considering how slim that was. The only other real difference I could find is more in terms of design than in build quality. As far as playback controls go, you can adjust the volume by tapping the plus or minus buttons and skip between tracks by holding them down. Then there's the multi-function button in the middle, which acts as a player pause button or an answer an end call button when tapped and gives you access to Siri or the Google assistant when you hold it down.
I love the amount of depth the Jaybirds have. Not only does it hit quite deep compared to many of the other competitors in his price range, but the audio separation from low to the mid-range is quite impressive. You can experience bass, but then vocals, instruments, and such sounded higher, almost like it has vertical height. The mid-range is distinguished with detail and fidelity. I like mine slightly more forward and bright as I noticed the upper mid-range and into the high frequencies needed a little bit more boost even at times towards the upper ranges, it sounded a bit jumbled for some reason.
That's where the app comes. The app experience in Jaybirds is one of the best here. Very easy to use and very streamlined. The earphones themselves are reasonably responsive to the adjustments.
Wired vs. Wireless Headphones, which is better for running?
Well, they don't have wires, and that's helpful though because you won't have to deal with things like tangled wires or loose cables that have to be held just right to work.
Are wireless headphones good for running?
Having wireless headphones provides you with a sense of freedom and movement that you really wouldn't value too much until you've used them. That comes from things like moving around your room if you want to get water, for example, or just walking around the entire house when you're in a Skype call. The range on these are usually pretty good, so it gives you a lot of flexibility when you're just moving around the house, and in comparison, wired headphones feel very bulky. They limit your freedom of movement because of those wire. Thus, wireless headphones are suitable for running.
Wireless Can be Expensive
The good aside, though, it's not all glory for wireless headphones. They can go very expensive, and if you're looking at the audio quality, you'll probably be paying something around double the price of their wired counterpart. Still, a good quality wireless headphone for running would worth every penny. Enough of the review, let us answer some frequently asked questions about running wireless headphones.
Are headphones or earphones better for running?
Both serve the purpose very well for running. However, earphones are usually lightweight and compact. So, it's better if you go for earphones when it comes to running.
- 1 Quick Answer: Top-Rated Best Wireless Headphones for Running in 2021
- 2 What are the best wireless headphones to buy in 2021?
- 3 1. Samsung Galaxy Buds - Best Lightweight Earbuds for Gym
- 4 2. Powerbeats Pro - Comfortable Wireless Headphones for Running
- 5 3. Jabra Elite Active 65t - No Fall Out
- 6 4. BTS Pro by 66 Audio - On-Ear Wireless Running Headphones
- 7 5. Sennheiser CX SPORT - Wireless Running Headphones
- 8 6. Jaybird X4 - Wireless Headphones Dedicated for Running