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The best workout headphones in 2022

Best workout headphones: The Jabra Elite 4 Active's noise cancellation being tested outside
(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

You’ll want the best workout headphones in your ears when you hit the gym — everyone knows the motivational benefits of listening to music while you exercise, but these headphones and earbuds meet all the design and feature needs to make them particularly suitable for those with active lifestyles.

For example, all of the best wireless earbuds and best wireless headphones sound great, but few have such a strong fit in your ears that you can run, jump, squat and crunch without working them loose. We’ve tested all the headphones in this list to see how resistant they are to falling out while running and working out, and several models that perform well in these conditions aren't specifically designed for exercise. As you read through our top picks of the best workout headphones, all models are water resistant to some degree and can handle sweaty outbreaks during exercise at the very least.

Don't forget to take a look at our pick of the best running headphones overall and save with the best cheap running headphones.

What are the best workout headphones?

Based on our comprehensive testing, the top spot in our best workout headphones hoes to Jabra's Elite Active 75t. The model provides amazing comfort and outperforms most competitors in several key categories, including battery life, durability, sound, and special features. 

The Beats Fit Pro comes a close second, packaging most of the AirPods Pro’s features into an updated, yet familiar design. Improvements to audio quality are welcomed, backed by a new proprietary transducer that balances sound, while maintaining a bass-forward presence. Additions like Spatial Audio are huge for exercisers that want more immersive sound during workouts. Most importantly, the integrated wingtips keep the buds securely in place while you're working out or on a run.

Budget-conscious fitness fans who want quality performance at a low cost should check out the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro, a model that somehow manages to cram a heart rate sensor and tons of other features into a relatively affordable set of wireless earbuds. The lower-priced Amazfit PowerBuds is another solid option if you’re looking for similar features at a lower price.

iPhone owners should check out the Beats Powerbeats Pro, which is an excellent sporty alternative to the AirPods Pro, another model that can serve well for iOS users.

The best workout headphones you can buy today (updated May 5)

The Editor's Choice Jabra Elite Active 75t held in hand

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)
The best totally wireless workout earbuds

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.8 x 0.7 x 0.6 inches, 0.2 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 7.5 hours; 28 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)
Water resistant: Yes
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Secure fit even on a run
+
In-app audio customization
+
Effective ANC performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Max volume is very loud

An all-around performer that hits every mark, the Elite Active 75t currently stands as the best workout headphones. Jabra somehow managed to scale down the design, while increasing battery life (7.5 hours per charge, 28 hours with charging case) and the IPX rating (IP57), making these buds waterproof, dust- and sweat-resistant. Jabra also sells the buds in a variety of striking colorways, including copper black, grey, mint, navy, sienna, and titanium black.

Even with its smaller form, the Elite Active 75t affords great comfort and on-ear stability. Seriously, the buds didn't move at all while we were working out. You’ll also enjoy the same vibrant audio associated with the Elite series, only this time the bass has been fine-tuned to achieve full, detailed sound. You can further customize the audio through Jabra's app, and there's also active noise cancellation to block out ambient noise when exercising in rowdy environments.

See our full Jabra Elite Active 75t review.

The Beats Fit Pro propped atop its charging case

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

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)
Water resistant: Yes
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Dynamic soundstage
+
Strong ANC and transparency
+
Comfy, secure design
+
Spatial Audio support

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.

Our reviewer holding the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro charging case in hand

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)
Wireless workout headphones loaded with fitness features

Specifications

Size and weight: 1.3 x 0.7 x 0.9 inches, 0.2 ounces
Battery life (rated): 9 hours (ANC off); 30 hours (with charging case and ANC off)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)
Water resistant: Yes
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Bass-rich sound 
+
Doubles as a fitness tracker
+
Stacked with features

Reasons to avoid

-
Loose fit
-
Fitness tracking can be inaccurate

While the original PowerBuds are a fantastic offering for budget-conscious exercisers who want wireless earbuds with smart fitness features, the PowerBuds Pro is a more enticing upgrade that throws adaptive noise cancellation into the mix. Four modes are available — Adaptive, Travel, Workout, and Indoor — each one effective enough to minimize distractions at the gym or outdoors. Sound is bass-rich to energize your workouts, though you can personalize it in the companion app by selecting from 10 different presets. However, you’ll want these buds for their extra features, many of which come in handy for exercising such as built-in heart rate monitoring, Cervical Protection for analyzing and calibrating posture, and Motion Beat to automatically raise bass for a livelier presence.

You’ll want to be mindful of the activity tracking recorded by the buds since not all performance stats are as accurate as what the Apple Watch or Fitbit delivers. Furthermore, be sure to adjust the buds before use since the tips aren't the most secure and have a tendency to work loose.

Read our full Amazfit Power Buds Pro review.

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)
Water resistant: Yes
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

The Beats Powerbeats Pro is the closest thing to sporty AirPods that you’re going to get from Apple, at least for the time being. 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.

The AirPods Pro displayed on a bed of wood chips

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)
The only true workout-friendly AirPods

Specifications

Size and weight: 2.4 x 1.7 x 0.9 inches, 0.2 ounces (per bud)
Batttery life (rated): 4.5 hours; 24 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)
Water resistant: Yes
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Modern, functional design
+
Great active noise cancelling
+
Comfortable semi-custom fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life could be longer

The AirPods Pro is one of the best workout headphones, especially if you own an iPhone. The sweat and water resistance adds an extra layer of protection that the regular AirPdos lack. The included ear tips also make a big difference for comfort and sound quality, maintaining a secure, relaxed fit and improving clarity by sealing out ambient noise. 

Speaking of which, the AirPods Pro welcomes active noise cancellation to the party, and it’s very good. You’ll be able to silence distracting external sounds around you, whether in the gym or on neighborhood speed-walks. There is even a Transparency Mode for outdoor runners to hear their surroundings more clearly without pausing their music. The enhanced controls, hands-free “Siri” feature, and cool updates like Spatial Audio to enjoy theatrical-like audio when bingeing Netflix shows on the Peloton also make this one of the best workout headphones for iOS devices.

See our full AirPods Pro review.

The Jaybird Tarah Pro hanging around our reviewer's neck

(Image credit: Jaybird)
Best workout headphones with wires

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.8 x 0.9 x 0.8 inches, 0.7 ounces
Battery life (rated): 14 hours
Bluetooth range: 33 feet (10 meters)
Water resistant: Yes
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Personalized audio profile
+
High-level comfort
+
Auto power off mode
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No transparency mode
-
No multipoint pairing

Many of today's earbuds have true wireless connectivity with nothing linking the earbuds together, but Jaybird's Tarah Pro buds has the earbuds are connected by a wire, which helps them achieve some excellent endurance numbers. Better yet: Jaybird put an accelerometer in the headset, so the Tarah Pro will power down when you haven't moved in 15 minutes, which helps extend battery life further.

We especially liked that the cord was fabric-covered, which made them more comfortable while working out. The Tarah Pros are IPX7-rated, so they're resistant to sweat. Music sounded great out of the box, and a customized audio profile setting in the Jaybird app fine-tunes the sound, so it's perfectly tailored to your ears. 

Read our full Jaybird Tarah Pro review.

The Jabra Elite 4 Active carried in hand

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)
Best earbuds with ANC and great sound for sports fans on a budget

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.82 x 0.81 x 1.07 inches (per bud), 1.12 x 1.53 x 2.52 inches (charging case) 0.17 ounces (earbud), 1.32 ounces (charging case)
Battery life (rated): 7 hours; 28 hours (charging case)
Bluetooth range : 33 feet (10 meters)
Water resistance: Yes
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Well-balanced sound
+
Stellar call quality
+
Effective ANC
+
Jabra Sound+ app support

Reasons to avoid

-
Missing auto play detection
-
No multipoint pairing
-
No wireless charging

The recently introduced Elite 4 Actives are an impressively good mid-range model with effective ANC, excellent call quality, rich sound, strong connectivity, and waterproof protection. Access to the Sound+ app for audio customization sweetens the deal even further.

Jabra's HearThrough technology is handy for runners who want to maintain awareness of their surroundings while out and about. The mics capture enough ambient noise to keep listeners alert of oncoming traffic. I felt safe hearing bicycle bells and garbage trucks from a block away, along with police sirens and whistles. 

The proprietary EarGels provide a tight seal and keep the buds in place — not once did I feel them slipping out when running outside.

The lower price tag means that the Elite 4 Actives do cut back on features like multipoint technology and wireless charging, but with strong noise cancelling they're a great purchase for active lifestyle and fitness types on a budget.

Read our full Jabra Elite 4 Active review.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro displayed in all colors

(Image credit: Samsung)

8. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

The best Samsung headphones for working out

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.8 x 0.7 x 0.8 inches, 0.2 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 8 hours; 28 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)
Water resistant: Yes
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound quality 
+
High call quality
+
360 Audio support

Reasons to avoid

-
Need Galaxy phone for some features
-
AirPods Pro has better ANC

The Galaxy Buds Pro are the first in Samsung’s wireless earbud series to have an IPX7 rating for waterproofing. That’s a major upgrade on the IPX2 rating of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, and provides a high level of protection from water and sweat, meaning the buds are much better suited to handle any workout perspiration or sudden downpours while out running.

The high price is justified further by high audio quality, adjustable ANC with a transparency mode and, crucially, a secure fit. This is another major point of improvement on the Galaxy Buds Live, which fell out too easily. Anyone who owns a Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphone can also use the 360 Audio surround sound feature, too.

See our full Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review.

The Amazfit Powerbuds connected to the companion app

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)
Smart, cheap workout earbuds with tons of functionality

Specifications

Size and weight: 3.2 x 2 x 1.2 inches, 0.2 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 8 hours; 24 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)
Water resistant: Yes
ANC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Bass-forward sound
+
Adjustable EQ
+
Long battery life
+
Heart rate monitoring

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky design may not suit all
-
Amazfit app has limited support

It’s remarkable to see the amount of functionality jammed into these Amazfit PowerBuds, especially for under $100. They have a PPG heart rate sensor that collects biometric data, which can be saved on the companion app. Speaking of which, the Zepp app has a lot of activity tracking fields (e.g. calories burned, BMI, step count) and personalized settings, from a customizable EQ with multiple presets to workout modes. Then there’s the generous playtime (8 hours) you get on a full charge, along with impactful bass response to keep adrenaline levels high.

Comfort may be an issue with some users, as the buds are on the bulky side, and the sensor, which nestles against the ear for a stabilized fit, presses against the skin. It would have also been nice if the app worked with other popular running apps; Strava and Relive seem to be the only ones compatible right now. Still, it’s impossible to overlook the level of performance you’re given for such a low price.

Read our full Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

The Bose Sport Earbuds placed on a Yoga mat

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)
Bose's best workout earbuds

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.74 x 1.05 x 0.83 inches; 0.24 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 5 hours, 15 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)
Water resistant: Yes
ANC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Clear and balanced sound
+
Secure, personalized fit
+
Compact design

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life less than rivals
-
No EQ or Transparency Mode

The Bose Sport Earbuds is a more workout-friendly version of the popular QuietComfort Earbuds, minus the listening modes and massive design. It's lighter and smaller, features with IPX4 water resistance and comes with a variety of ear-tips to accommodate different ear shapes.

The low end has been toned down from the SoundSport Free, which can be a positive or negative, depending on your sonic preference. However, music lovers will appreciate the punchy bass and nice detail these buds deliver. Connectivity is also a highlight with Bluetooth 5.1 at the forefront; pairing is seamless, and wireless range is higher than advertised (est. 40 feet).

Fitness fanatics looking to use the Sport Earbuds daily will just need to keep their eyes on the battery levels since the buds and charging case do not hold the longest playtimes.

Read our full Bose Sport Earbuds review.

The Beats Powerbeats 4 and carrying pouch

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)
Reasonably affordable, high-performance workout headphones

Specifications

Size and weight: 2.2 inches tall, 0.9 ounces
Battery life (rated): 15 hours
Bluetooth range: 100 feet (9 meters)
Water resistant: Yes
ANC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Highly secure fit
+
Impressive sound and call quality
+
Usefully long battery life 

Reasons to avoid

-
Semi-wired design could be impractical
-
Long term comfort may be an issue for some

The Powerbeats 4 is similar to the more expensive Powerbeats Pro, minus one or two features, different colors, and the true wireless design. Does that make it inferior? Not at all. It still, for instance, makes the most of the H1 processor to give iPhone users terrific wireless performance across the board. Connectivity is instant with all major Apple products, and the Beats app makes it easier to pair the earphones with Android devices, too.

But what really makes the Powerbeats 4 a superior upgrade from the Powerbeats 3 are the sturdier aesthetics and improved sound and call quality. The latter is to be expected since Beats uses the same drivers and beamforming mics as the Powerbeats Pro. Comfort could be a little better and the wire connecting the two earpieces becomes annoying after a while, but all is forgiven when considering the low price of entry.

See our full Beats Powerbeats 4 review.

The Jabra Elite Active 65t propped up against a book

(Image credit: Future)
Wireless workout earbuds with amazing performance

Specifications

Size and weight: 1.2. x 1.1 x 0.9 x inches, 0.2 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 5 hours, 15 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 33 feet (10 meters)
Water resistant: Yes
ANC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Superb sound
+
Usefully long battery life
+
Accelerometer for run tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
Charging case difficult to open
-
HearThrough can't be disabled while tracking runs

The Jabra Elite Active 65t blends advanced features and superb sound into a compact, water-resistant package. Granted, it’s an older model, but it still performs well in all major categories. We found that the buds stayed in place even during the most strenuous exercises and hold up well against sweat without slipping out. We also appreciate how Jabra managed to stuff an accelerometer inside the buds for run tracking, meaning the Elite Active 65t can double as an activity tracker.

The fact its sound just as good as its successor, the Elite 75t Active, also speaks to its quality. You get access to the Jabra Sound+ app to customize audio and enable different modes like HearThrough for ambient listening. With an excellent fit and 15-hour battery life, you’re getting superior performance at excellent value.

See our full Jabra Elite Active 65t review.

The Sony WF-SP800N resting on a marble surface

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)
Versatile workout buds with noise cancelation

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.8 x 0.7 x 0.6 inches, 0.33 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 9 hours; 18 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 40 feet (12 meters)
Water resistant: Yes
ANC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Bassy sound
+
Customizable EQ
+
Impressive battery life
+
Tons of features via Sony Headphones app

Reasons to avoid

-
Better noise reduction can be found elsewhere

It’s taken Sony several attempts to create a noteworthy pair of sport noise-cancelling wireless earbuds, but the WF-SP800N is a huge step in the right direction. This durable, water-resistant model carries over Sony’s popular bass-forward profile. The lively audio can be personalized through the Sony Headphones Connect app by tweaking the frequency levels via built-in EQ or selecting from nine different presets that lend themselves well to specific genres. Battery life is 9 hours on a single charge, and holds strong with noise cancelling on.

Speaking of ANC, the earbuds do a much better job of minimizing ambient noise than its predecessor, though the lack of Sony’s QN1e processor doesn’t provide it the powerful noise reduction or hi-res audio performance found on the WF-1000xM3. It’s still serviceable for those who want to enjoy distraction-free workouts at the gym, but keep in mind that the digital assistant and pairing can occasionally act finicky.

See our full Sony WF-SP800N review.

How to choose the best workout headphones for you

The best workout headphones offer some form of water or sweat-resistant protection. Some might say they can withstand water and sweat, and some are IP-certified. If you want the best protection, look for headphones with at least an IPX4 rating. IPX7 denotes full waterproofing, including against shallow submersion.

You'll also want to look at the design of the headphones and consider how you want to wear them while working out. They should not only be easy to wear, but also stay on your head without the need for constant readjustment. For earbuds, look at how many ear inserts and wings the pair comes with, to give you the best fit option. Some people may prefer over-ear or on-ear headphones because they tend to do a better job of blocking noise, but earbuds are often preferable for their secure fit and practical portability thanks to their size and low weight.

For headphones with cables, make sure to check for an inline remote, which will let you easily control your music without pulling out your smartphone. Completely wireless fitness earbuds allow you to control your music with physical buttons or tap gestures on the earpiece rather than a remote. Some headphones are device-specific, so make sure you get a pair that are fully compatible with your Android or iOS music player. 

For wireless workout headphones, make sure they have the endurance you need. Some people need headphones with only 6 to 8 hours of battery life to last through a week of workouts, while others might want a device with extended battery life to get through long runs, bike rides or hikes, for example.

How we test the best workout headphones

Each of the headphones listed here are tested to see how well they stand up to vigorous workouts, evaluating both how securely they fit and stay in place as well as how effective they are at preventing noise from intruding into your listening experience. Our reviewers also test every feature for app-enabled headphones, along with ease of setup.

During the testing phase, each pair of headphones is worn for 2 hours at a time throughout the course of a week. On occasion, we’ll perform further testing when comparing top-rated and popular models for our Face-Off features.

We evaluate sound quality for clarity and sonic balance and listen to different tracks across all types of music genres, including hip-hop, rock, jazz, classical and electronic, while assessing volume levels and how easy the earbuds are to drive. Movies, podcasts and video games are also used where necessary.

Try out our Spotify and Tidal playlists for yourself and evaluate the sound quality of your own headphones.

Once testing is completed, we rate the best workout headphones based on our five-point system (1 = worst, 5 = best). Products that hit nearly every mark are awarded an Editor's Choice badge.

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.

With contributions from
  • Ctsamct1
    There are not headphone. They are earphones and ear buds. A headphone goes over your head.
    Reply
  • shinyhappyhead
    The one con for the Jabra Elite Active 75t made me lolz:

    Can be extremely loud at max volume
    Psst. Turn down the volume. :p

    Being someone with some hearing loss I kinda like a LOT of volume and bass.

    Are you all going to review the Liberty 3 Pros and JBL Reflect Flow Pros? I had the L3P's for a couple of weeks and thought they were great - except for the intermittent audio dropouts. It pained me to return them because the sound is loud and boomy, the app is phenomenal, and the fit is fairly good if you found the right wing and eartip.

    I'm still searching for the Goldilocks of earbuds. Perfect fit, loud and bassy, intuitive controls, good ANC/Transparency, and a great app with a custom EQ.
    Reply
  • GuntherBkk
    I am sorry, but as mentioned before by Ctsamct1 these are not headphones and the article name is misleading. People who actually prefer to get information about headphones get to read this pointless (for them) article. Best you change the name so it shows it is about earbuds
    Reply