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How to choose the right wireless headphones for you

Having a set of over-the-skull headphones can feel like the most secure way to listen to music or your favorite podcast. But when you’re working out or feeling active, you might want to consider a pair of durable, sweat-resistant, wireless in-ear buds. Otherwise, when the sweat starts pouring, you’re likely to spend more time pushing your earphones back in place over your head than you will exercising.

We’ve researched the best wireless headphones for working out and the best wireless workout headphones and came up with a pretty comprehensive list of options at all price points depending on your individual budget. Keep in mind that a lot of it comes down to personal preference because comfort is key, which can feel different for everyone.

workout earbuds
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Our personal favorites are the Beats Powerbeats if you’re looking to get a sweat on while wearing headphones. They have the same sound quality you’re used to from Beats, but they’re wired for better battery life and more security because they have a band that can fasten around your ear. They also come with a rubbery exterior, an IPX4 waterproof rating, and boast up to 15 hours of listening time. You can buy them on Amazon now for $169 (prices vary with sales).

If having anything touching your outer ear sounds like too much to handle while your exercise, the Jaybird Vista fits comfortably in your ear and, according to the description, is “fully waterproof, crushproof, drop-proof” and made of “sweatproof IPX7 construction,” so it can withstand any workout or weather conditions. These earbuds are among the smallest and lightest premium headphones on the market and even come with a Find My Buds app if you’re prone to losing them around the house or in your car. You can buy them on Amazon for $180.

woman wearing earbuds


A slightly lower-priced option for in-ears buds is the JBL True Wireless Flash X coming in at $130 on the JBL site. The earfins are large and soft, which means better noise-cancellation and more grip while you exercise. With features like Ambient Aware, you can still hear your surroundings while running outside. They also come with dual mics for clearer calls.

JBL True Wireless Flash X

If you’re an Apple-only buyer, the Apple AirPods Pro have an IPX4 rating, which means they’re sweat-resistant. The sound quality and noise-canceling features are also hard to beat, but with a $219 price tag, you really want to be sure before you buy (again, prices may vary with sales).

If traditional over-the-ear buds or in-ear buds just don’t cut it for your workouts, try the Bose Frames Tempo. These are also $249 but may be worth the investment if you spend hours outside on a bike or hitting the trail for a long run. The audio sunglasses have a small Bose speaker below each temple, and the sound quality is what you’d expect from Bose. The frames are comfortable, and they kill two birds with one stone by keeping the sun out of your eyes while listening to your favorite album.


For a slightly lesser price tag, you can also snag the Bose Sport True Wireless earbuds at Target and several other retailers for $160. With simple buttons and commands, these were named the Women’s Health 2021 Fitness Award winner and come in three colors, so you can pair style with fitness.

If you’re new to wearing earbuds and aren’t exactly sure which ones you prefer, these Jlab Audio Epic Sport2 over-the-ear buds are a great, low-cost option while you figure out your preference. For just $50 on Amazon, you won’t break the bank, and they come with a case and Memory Wire, which you mold around the tops of your ears. The sound quality isn’t the best on the market, but it will provide hours of your favorite playlists while you get your exercise on. An added bonus: A 10-minute quick charge will get you one hour’s worth of battery life in a bind.

In conclusion

The bottom line: You’ll want to prioritize comfort over anything else. If you don’t, you’ll spend the precious energy you have thinking about discomfort while you workout or stopping to adjust them as necessary. Comfort is nearly as important as finding ones with decent sound quality, which most of the above have in spades. If you’re motivated by music or listening to someone read you the latest book in your book club, you want to actually be able to hear it.

Consider also the headphone’s durability, sweat resistance, performance, battery life, and noise-cancellation features on any pair before you buy. This is an investment, and you want to make sure your headphones stand the test of time and can keep up with your active lifestyle. If you do your research, you’ll be sweating to your favorite beats in no time and won’t have your headphones slowing you down.

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