Looking for new headphones for the gym or outdoor exercise? There isn’t necessarily one set of headphones that will work for every exerciser. The best workout headphones for you will depend on a few different variables. Ask yourself a few key questions before you buy.
1. Do you want wired or wireless headphones? Bluetooth headphones are popular, but they are more expensive and they aren’t the best product for some people. For example, if you use exercise machines at the gym and plug in your earbuds to watch television, then Bluetooth earphones may not work. Some machines have upgraded to accommodate a wireless connection, but many have not. Also, if you tend to lose your earphones, you might want to think twice before investing in a Bluetooth pair. Many of the high-tech products cost over $100, so replacing them can be a major investment.
2. Do you want full ear coverage or small earbuds? Headphones that cover the full ear often block out more noise and provide better sound quality than earbuds. But many outdoor runners and exercisers don’t always want all sound blocked out. When you’re exercising outside it can be helpful to hear traffic and pedestrian noises.
My Picks for the Best Workout Headphones:
I’m a fan of Bluetooth headphones. I listen to music (rather than the TV) both in the gym and outdoors, so sound quality is my top priority. There are three good workout headphones that top my list.
Jabra Sport Pulse or Sport Coach Earbuds. When I head to the park for a boot camp style workout, I always wear these lightweight earbuds. The sound quality is great and the app includes a nifty coaching feature that talks you through a variety of different workouts. So, doing that extra set of sit ups, push-ups and burpees becomes a no-brainer. I just do what I’m told. The coach even counts my reps.
Urbanears Hellas. These sweat-friendly headphones are my favorites for working out in the severe cold or for inside a crowded gym because they cover my entire ear. That means that when I’m running outside in single digit temperatures my ears stay warm. And when I’m lifting weights in a busy gym, I can stay focused on my reps and not on the chatter that surrounds me. The sound quality is fantastic, they are lightweight, and the ear cushions can be removed and washed.
LG Tone Active+ Stereo Bluetooth Headset. Occasionally I go for a walk or an easy bike ride when I want music or a podcast to entertain me. For those workouts, I like the this Bluetooth headset that comes with both earbuds and an external speaker. I can use the earbuds when I am away from traffic (on a path or secluded safe area), but if I need to stay alert in my surroundings I can use the external speakers. I still wouldn’t use any headphones for riding my bike on the road or serious cycling, but for an easy ride, these do the trick.
Remember the best workout headphones for you will depend on your fit and lifestyle. So look at a few different models before you invest.