This may sound dramatic, but figuring out the best workout headphones for you is a decision that is as important as deciding which gym to join. There is literally nothing worse than having your power-jam interrupted just as you've looked at your reflection in the mirror and convinced yourself that you can demand more from your body and that holding an all-out sprint for thirty seconds longer than you've ever held it won't actually kill you!
You're probably getting chills down your spine if you've ever experienced this.
So as dramatic as it may sound, deciding which earbuds are the best workout headphones for you is a critical decision that will either help and hinder your routine. When the music is interrupted, your motivation is interrupted.
How We Reviewed
This review is based on all of the factors that make a great headphone.
We compared the most recommended headphones in any price category on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and BestBuy.com.
Trust customer feedback! These are the people who have actually purchased the items and tested them in the real world.
We compared what we found to other reviews to make sure no stone was left unturned so that when we tell you these are the best workout headphones, we can say it with confidence.
Bose SoundSport Free
Anker Soundbuds Slim
SENSO Bluetooth Headphones
The Best Workout Headphones Top Five List
This list is in no particular order. Below we give you the pros and cons of each headphone, the price, and the average review across three major platforms.
Powerbeats3 Wireless in-ear Headphones is the go-to workout headphone across the industry. The ear hooks ensure that, regardless of how hard you work out, the headphones will not come out of place.
This headphone has 12 hours of battery life plus Fast Fuel technology. Five minutes of charging will give you an hour of playback. So even if you forget to charge these until right before your workout, you can get a full workout in without a long wait.
The sound quality is consistent with other Beats headphones.
Pairing is easy and the audio does not skip.
These headphones can be expensive depending on where you purchase them.
A consistent complaint across customer reviews is that the Powerbeats3 break easily. Not many people can afford to risk losing money on headphones that break before their time.
The Jaybird brand is as trusted as Beats. The Jaybird Freedom 2 is sweat resistant, has a secure fit, and offers eight hours of battery life with the charging clip. So no matter how you run, chances are, the Jaybird will outlast you.
Unlike the Beats headphones, you can adjust the sound quality of the Jaybird Freedom 2 with the MySound App.
8 hours in your pocket - you can run for hours without worrying about your battery life.
The battery clip which extends the battery life by four hours is relatively heavy. Some users complained that this makes that side of the headphone come out more than the other.
Many reviews agree that the "secure fit" isn't exactly secure. In fact, this is a consistent complaint about the headphones.
Bose SoundSport Free
These earbuds by Bose are truly wireless and carry the signature quality sound that Bose always offers. The buds are sweat and weather resistant. These earphones offer up to five hours of battery life with the possibility for up to 10 hours with charging base. The fit of the Bose headphones is consistent and holds well.
If you lose an earbud, you can easily track them with the Bose Connect App's "Find my Buds" technology.
Firmware update to improve audio video synchronization for customers.
These headphones aren't cheap. We're talking about a major financial commitment.
What's more, many customer reviews suggest that this product has several technical issues including connectivity consistency. All of the pros go out the window when you have a technical issue.
Anker Soundbuds Slim
Let's face it; the price is right with these headphones. It is rather cheap depending on where you get them. And with seven hours of battery life, chances are you'll get your money's worth before the battery ever fails you.
These headphones are sweat resistant and water resistant. So no matter how much you sweat, these headphones will keep performing. Finally, these earbuds get rave reviews for their secure fit and comfort.
Lightweight design with customizable EarTips and InEar-Hooks give anyone a strong and comfortable fit.
At this price point, you shouldn't expect Bose quality sound. Still, the sound quality is lacking.
These headphones are also known to fail after extensive use. But considering the price of the product, I'd rather risk little money for a product to fail than $200.
SENSO Bluetooth Headphones
Senso headphones are another bargain deal that goes the distance. The fit is considered to be comfortable and secure regardless of your workout scenario. Even out of the lowest rated reviews of this product, each of them spoke highly of how comfortable the headphones were.
The battery life is impressive. With eight hours of consistent play and 240 hours of standby battery life, Senso headphones may be the best workout headphones for the price.
The sound quality is described as "True HD HIGH FIDELITY SOUND" and includes noise suppression technology. Multiple negative reviews of the product also spoke highly of the sound quality.
Hands Free Calling and Easy Controls for volume, skip, pause and play.
As you may expect at this price range, connectivity seems to be a recurring theme. For all of the good features of these headphones, there is nothing more frustrating than having headphones go out on you just before or during your workout.
But, just as with the Anker earbuds, the price and quality may be worth the risk.
What Makes a Great Workout Headphone?
Beyond my personal experience of countless hours in the gym, we did a lot of research to bring to you the best workout headphones of 2018. We found the following list of important features across multiple platforms, professional reviews, and customer reviews:
Secure, comfortable fit
First and foremost, the headphones have to fit you comfortably and can't fall out under any circumstance. It doesn't matter if you're doing rolling burpees -- flipping your body into a pushup position after you've rolled your body from a seated position -- or jogging for a quick five miles, your headphones have to be as reliable as your form.
The headphones also have to be comfortable. You can't afford to interrupt your workout to adjust a nagging earbud that is irritating your ear.
So a secure and comfortable fit is the primary consideration when choosing the best workout headphone.
This one is obvious. Of course, your headphones have to last longer than your workout. But will your headphones last longer than the number of times you forget to charge them? And what happens when you're ready to go workout and your headphones are dead? How fast can you charge them before your motivation to go to the gym dwindles?
How long your battery stays charged and how quickly you can charge it is a close second to how secure your headphones fit.
Why are you even working out if you're not sweating? Your headphones can't lose their grip in your ears because of a little sweat. More importantly, you will need headphones that breathe and don't artificially increase the amount you sweat. The feeling of sweat gathering around your ears or on the back of your neck is enough to irritate you and to throw off your concentration.
In-ear buds are generally a quick fix to most problems of sweatiness because of how little they touch your skin. But even with in-ear buds, you have to take sweat-resistance in consideration.
There are a lot of headphone choices on the market -- hundreds. The biggest difference between most of them is the quality of the sound. If you're a music buff, you generally put the sound quality of a headphone much higher on your priority list. Truth-be-told, it is still important, but for some, it is not the most critical factor when determining the best workout headphone for you.
Sure you can purchase a pair of studio quality headphones and have the most pristine sound experience as you workout. But when the temperature and sweat build up around your ear, you'll quickly opt for something with a little less audio fidelity in exchange for comfort.
Thankfully, earbud technology has improved tremendously over the years. The sound quality, particularly of Bluetooth earbuds, has increased enough to make your workout session a quality jam-session too. We rated our picks for 2018 based on sound quality as well
We're all living on a budget. Money is a major issue for most of us. But, there are times when you're willing to scrape up the last $100 you have to add to your budget for a quality headphone. For this reason, we've included the best options in the affordable category as well as the top-of-the-line category. Whether you need something cheap or you're ready to invest some major coinage, we've got the best workout headphones for you.
The Verdict? What Are the Best Workout Headphones of 2018?
In a sea of choices, we hoped to help you find the best workout headphones of 2018 based on comfort and secure fit, battery life, sound quality, and price. We examined reviews from hundreds of customers who actually own the products. We sorted through the pros and cons and here is our conclusion:
Go cheap! The consistent theme for all of the products we reviewed is that you will have to replace them eventually. If you only plan to use these for your workout, go cheap. Purchase one of the two cheapest options we reviewed -- the Senso or the Anker.
We can confidently recommend either of these products based on all of the factors we reviewed plus the fact that they are the highest rated headphones out of the entire lot. They tied for 4.1 out of 5 stars.
What Do You Think?
Let us know which earbuds you think are the best workout headphones for 2018. What did you think of our review? Leave comments in the comment section about why you agree or disagree.
We couldn't possibly review every single headphone on the market, so tell us about your favorite and which ones work best for your workout.
Whatever you do, grab some headphones, turn up the volume, and let's get in the best workout we can!