Run to the Beat

As a runner, you know the power of a pumped-up playlist to energize your workout. As a techie, you covet the best gadgets. So when it comes to legging it, you naturally want top-notch gear to play your music clearly and unobtrusively. That means a pair of earphones that fit as snugly as your sneakers, deliver rich sound, and perform well in buckets of sweat. And if a flailing arm has sent your iPhone tumbling down the treadmill one too many times, you know you want something wireless as well.

But before you sprint to the store, read our tips on finding The Best Headphones. You'll want to consider which features are most important to you as an athlete. Is comfort, fit, price, sound quality, or style your priority?

Bose SoundSport Wireless

Earphones for Exercise

For the gym, you'll generally want earphones over headphones. They're lighter, more resilient, and are often built for exercise. Even if you prefer the sound headphones offer, you'll find that a good sweat can eat through most earcup pads quickly, and the extra bulk on your head is uncomfortable during a workout.

Bluetooth earphones let you listen to your music without running a wire to your smartphone. They're pricier than wired earphones, but the convenience can be worth it. However, they need power to work, so you'll want to keep an eye on battery life. Of course, if you keep your workouts to a few hours at most and charge your earphones when you get back from the gym, that won't be a problem.

Cut the Cord Completely

Wire-free earphones first popularized by the Apple AirPods have finally come into their own after a shaky first year. There are now plenty of wire-free options that are relatively affordable, reliable, rugged, and sound good. Some models have additional fitness features like heart monitoring or vocal coaches, but the most important things you need for these to work during your workout is a sweatproof design and a secure fit. Fortunately, those aspects are pretty easy to find in this category. Check out our picks for The Best True Wireless Headphones.

Related Story See How We Test Headphones

Wire-free earphones are consistently more expensive than their tethered wireless equivalents, but prices are steadily dropping. Several reliable models are well below $200, which is a big drop over last year. If that's too high, you can still get very good standard Bluetooth earphones for less than $50.

Track Those Runs

Even if you're averse to the intensity of running, walkers may reap similar benefits to runners, according to a study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, at least when it comes to blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. Regardless of your preferred activity, if you're looking to quantify your workouts, consider adding one of the Best Fitness Trackers we've tested to your routine.

And before you lace up, check out these great pairs of wireless running headphones. On your mark, get set, go!

  • 808 Audio Ear Canz Review

    MSRP: $39.99
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    Bottom Line: The 808 Audio Ear Canz is one of the first exercised-focused Bluetooth earphones we've seen with both solid performance and a truly affordable price tag.

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  • Bose SoundSport Free Review

    MSRP: $249.95
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    Bottom Line: The bass-forward Bose SoundSport Free earphones are expensive, but nail the design and operational details right better than any other pair in the growing wire-free category.

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  • Jaybird X3 Review

    MSRP: $129.99
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    Bottom Line: The gym-friendly Jaybird X3 wireless earphones deliver high-quality audio in a comfortable, secure-fitting design.

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  • JBL Reflect Mini BT Review

    MSRP: $99.95
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    Bottom Line: The JBL Reflect Mini BT headphones deliver powerful, accurate Bluetooth audio in a sweat-resistant, secure-fitting design.

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  • JLab Epic Air Review

    MSRP: $149.99
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    Bottom Line: The JLab Epic Air headphones deliver strong bass response, a gym-friendly build, and the best battery life we've seen in a truly wireless design.

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  • Bose SoundSport Wireless Review

    MSRP: $149.95
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    Bottom Line: With the SoundSport Wireless, Bose delivers the thunderous bass and the comfortable design you want in gym-focused earphones, but they're not cheap.

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  • Fitbit Flyer Review

    MSRP: $129.95
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    Bottom Line: The Fitbit Flyer is a sleek pair of wireless earphones with a fitness-focused design and powerful sound, but you won't find any special health monitoring or tracking features.

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  • Jam Comfort Buds Review

    MSRP: $49.99
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    Bottom Line: The exercise-friendly Jam Comfort Buds earphones may not be flashy, but they offer a solid Bluetooth audio experience with deep bass response.

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  • Jaybird Freedom 2 Review

    MSRP: $149.99
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    Bottom Line: The exercise-friendly JayBird Freedom 2 earphones deliver powerful Bluetooth audio laced with extra bass response.

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  • Jaybird Run Review

    MSRP: $179.99
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    Bottom Line: The Jaybird Run are comfortable, workout-friendly true wireless earphones with clear sound quality that could use just a little more bass response.

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