Best workout headphones in 2024

Best workout headphones: quick menu

Our best workout headphones buying guide brings together the top ranking headphones that provide strong performance, comfort and durability for rigorous workout routines. Many will know the motivational benefits listening to music can bring, and these wireless headphones and earbuds are particularly suitable for anyone with an active lifestyle.

All models on our list are assessed to see how secure they are while running and working out, plus how well they handle sweaty outbreaks during exercise. 

Don't forget, you'll find lots more info in our full standalone reviews, covering design and comfort, features, ANC performance (where applicable), battery life, and sound quality across all kinds of media, as well as how well they handle calls. Just follow the link at the end of each product summary or tap the product name next to the star rating to discover everything you need to know about the best wireless earbuds available to buy today.

Read on to discover which are the best workout headphones to undergo our rigorous workout routines, ranked and rated for active lifestyles.

The quick list

The best workout headphones you can buy today

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Best workout over-ear headphones overall

Bose 700 worn by reviewer testing ANC outsideEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best lightweight design with stellar noise cancelling

Specifications

Size and weight: 8 x 6.5 x 2 inches; 9 ounces
Battery life (rated) : 20 hours (ANC on)
Bluetooth range: >30 feet
Durability: IPX4-rated
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Adjustable active noise cancelation
+
Svelte, attractive design
+
Precise, balanced audio
+
Fantastic noise cancelling on calls 

Reasons to avoid

-
Shorter battery life than newer rivals
-
Sound tuning may be a bit bass light for some

If you're looking for lightweight and sleek pair of over-ear headphones with strong noise-cancelling and sweat protection, then the Bose 700 continue to be the best around. No longer the company's flagship model (they were superseded by the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones in late 2023), they boast 10 levels of ANC and work flawlessly to silence the majority of external sounds from fellow workout members. 

Comfort levels are high. The strong build and IPX4-rated water resistance makes them durable enough for sweaty workouts, and even the occasional splash of rain during outside workouts. The earpad cushions can be replaced.

Most importantly, the 700s achieve all this without compromising sound quality, allowing listeners to enjoy clean, well-balanced sound reproduction, although the slightly deficient lower frequencies may leave bass fiends feeling short changed. Bose’s companion app lets you adjust the EQ for personalized audio, though.

We love the ultramodern design, and the slim, sexy silhouette is as much of an engineering feat as the ANC performance. The short battery life is the only downside compared to newer rivals.

Read our full Bose 700 review

Best for elite sound

Sony XM5 headphones in ecru (off white) placed outdoors on a garden table

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Elite sound and strong noise-cancelling in a lightweight headphone

Specifications

Size and weight: Not specified; 8.8 ounces
Battery life (rated): 30 hours (ANC on); 40 hours (ANC off)
Bluetooth range: >33 feet
Durability: IPX4-rated
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Articulate and engaging sound
+
Great control options
+
Impressive noise-cancelation

Reasons to avoid

-
Redesign and eco credentials ups the price
-
Gets hot around the ears during long workouts

Sony's WH-1000XM5 headphones have a secure yet lightweight fit that doesn't move around during workouts. With an IPX4 rating making them usefully sweat resistant and replaceable earpads, they're an effective alternative to the Bose 700. In terms of its ANC performance, they performed spectacularly well at blocking out the sounds from enthusiastic gymgoers over on the free weights, as well as the sound of the gym's public address system routinely putting out calls to team members.

During our testing we found that sound quality is superb, the 30-hour battery life (with ANC) is excellent and everything from the touch controls to the ability to tweak the EQ via the Sony Headphones Connect app is well thought out and seamlessly integrated. Call quality has also been improved greatly and there's really nothing to criticize here beyond the slightly bland styling and the $50 price increase over the XM4.

Read our full Sony WH-1000XM5 review.

Best value

Bose QuietComfort 45 reviewbest value awards badge

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)
Best value Bose headphones with better battery life for training

Specifications

Size and weight: 7.25 x 6 x 3 inches; 8.5 ounces
Battery life (rated): 24 hours (ANC on)
Bluetooth range: >30 feet
Durability: Not specified
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Elite active noise cancellation
+
Refined sound signature
+
Good battery life
+
Fantastic comfort and connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Always-on ANC
-
Lacks several features found on previous Bose headphones

Despite not mentioning a water resistance rating for protection from sweat, the QC45 offer strong sound in a lightweight and comfortable over-ear pair of headphones. ANC is as effective as it is on the 700, blocking out nearly 90% of ambient sound at a high rate. Bose’s ambient-listening mode (Aware) does a fantastic job of piping in external sounds for increased awareness. 

The combination of proprietary TriPort acoustic architecture and a volume-optimized Active EQ gives these headphones a refined, well-balanced sound signature to enjoy whatever music you play to help you power through your workouts. Having 24 hours of ANC playtime is a big plus and despite being superseded by the Bose QuietComfort Headphones, these continue to be a popular choice with plenty of gym goers.

Read our full Bose QuietComfort 45 review.

Best in-ears for secure fit

The Beats Fit Pro propped atop its charging caseEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)
The best noise-cancelling wireless sport earbuds for iOS

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.75 x 1.18 x 0.94 inches, 0.2 ounces
Battery life (rated): 7 hours (ANC off); 30 hours (ANC off with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 40 feet (12 meters)
Durability: IPX4-rated
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Dynamic soundstage
+
Strong ANC and transparency
+
Comfy, secure design

Reasons to avoid

-
Android app offers few extras
-
Eartip Fit Test unreliable compared to AirPod Pro

We wondered what Beats would do for an encore after releasing two critically acclaimed true wireless models in the Powerbeats Pro and Studio Buds. The answer: launch its best workout headphones to date. Enter the Fit Pro.

This sporty variation of the Studio Buds maintains the Beats aesthetic with a clean, water-resistant design, and welcomes much of the same functionality found on the AirPods Pro. You get strong active noise cancellation and Spatial Audio to enjoy 3D-like sound when vibing out to compatible tracks on Apple Music. Adding wingtips was a simple and effective upgrade that benefits exercisers, producing a secure fit that won’t have the buds falling out when running or performing floor exercises. Battery life is also respectable at 6 hours with ANC on.

As with all Apple products, iOS users gain access to more functionality since the Fit Pro runs on the proprietary H1 chip. We also found the Eartip Fit Test to be unreliable and not nearly as good as when using the same tech on the AirPods Pro, but the universal wingtips and multiple tips complement all ear sizes.

Read our full Beats Fit Pro review.

Best for iPhones

Our reviewer running with AirPods Pro 2

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best for Apple iPhone features

Specifications

Size: 1.22 x 0.86 x 0.94 inches (per bud); 1.78 x 2.39 x 0.85 inches (charging case)
Weight: 0.19 ounces (per bud); 1.8 ounces (charging case)
Battery life (rated): 6 hours; 30 hours (charging case)
Bluetooth range: Not specified
Durability: IPX4-rated
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
World-class noise cancellation
+
Volume controls right on the stem
+
Improved battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Audio performance needs finessing
-
Lackluster call quality

Still working out with a pair of the original AirPods? It's time to upgrade – the AirPods Pro 2 are wildly comfortable by comparison. The difference is that the silicon tips gently conform to the ear canal rather than force it to open wider for the hard plastic casing. In practice that means you can wear the earbuds a lot longer without having to take them out — allowing for all-day wear without issues. 

So why aren't they higher? They may not feel quite as secure in your ear when you’re doing more intense athletic activities — we certainly wouldn’t wear them while playing sports, for example — however they are safe to be taken to the gym and are among some of the best running earbuds and best workout headphones.

Read the full Apple AirPods Pro 2 review.  

Best ear-hook design

The Beats Powerbeats Pro sitting next to an Apple Watch

(Image credit: Future)
The best workout headphones for iOS users

Specifications

Size and weight: 2.2 x 2.2 inches, 0.7 ounces
Battery life (rated): 9 hours; 24 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 100 feet (30 meters)
Durability: IPX4-rated
ANC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Seamless integration with Apple devices
+
Lengthy battery life
+
Well-balanced sound
+
Comfortable, stable fit for running

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky charging case

With the PowerBeats Pro, many series hallmarks remain intact, including the secure ear-hook design, energetic sound, which is more balanced this time around, and the signature B logo that doubles as a multifunctional button. Speaking of buttons, this was one of the first models in the category to introduce on-board volume controls via rockers atop each bud. You’re also receiving some of the same performance perks as the AirPods Pro, thanks to the H1 chip, which gives you 50% more talk time, audio sharing capabilities with other Apple/Beats headphones, “Hey Siri” wake-word activation, and much more. IPX4 certification for water resistance comes part of the package as well. 

If there’s any real complaint, it is the large and heavy charging case. Will it completely throw you off track or weigh you down while you're on a run? No. Is it uncomfortable to carry around? At times, yes.

Read our full Beats Powerbeats Pro review.

Best for durability

Jabra Elite 8 Active in black held in hand of reviewer

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Most durable workout earbuds with great sound and stacks of features

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.8 x 0.8 x 1.1 inches (per bud); 0.2 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 8 hours (ANC on); 14 hours (ANC off); 32 hours (ANC on w/charging case), 56 hours (ANC off w/charging case)
Bluetooth range : > 33 feet (10 meters)
Durability: IP68-rated (earbuds), IP54-rated (charging case)
ANC: Yes