The 9 Best Earbuds for Running in 2023

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There’s nothing like listening to an interesting podcast or your favorite playlist to break up the monotony of a long run.

And when you’re struggling to find a little extra fuel in the tank, those pumped-up tunes can be just what you need for the motivation to go the extra distance!

That means a good pair of earbuds could be considered a pretty essential part of your running gear – and there are plenty on the market to choose from!

To help you find the perfect pair for your needs and budget, we’ve put together this simple guide.

First, we’ve outlined the features to look for in running headphones.

Then we’ve listed the best earbuds for running available right now and the reasons we recommend them.

So let’s get started!

Click to jump straight to products.

Best Earbuds for Running

Features to Look For in the Best Earbuds for Running

There are three main types of earbuds:

  • Truly wireless – these have no hooks for your ears and no wires connecting them
  • Truly wireless with ear hooks – these have hooks that fit over your ears to hold them securely in place
  • Neckbands – the buds themselves are connected by a wire, although there is no wire connecting them to your phone.

The type you choose will come largely down to personal preference.

Truly wireless buds will be smaller and lighter, but some people prefer the extra security of ear hooks.

Other things to think about include:

Woman with earbud

Water Resistance

The best earbuds for running will be waterproof to some degree, protecting them from sweat or passing showers.

In this guide, you’ll notice that each pair has an IP (Ingress Protection) rating. This refers to how well-protected it is against dust and water.

The first number is a measure of dust protection (this is often ‘X’, which means there’s no data available).

The second number is the important one in terms of waterproofing.

Ideally, you’ll want a pair rated 4 or above, as this means it can easily stand up to being splashed.

A rating of more than 7 means that it can be immersed in a certain depth of water for a certain period of time without damage.

Man with earbud next to water

Comfort and Noise Canceling

The best earbuds for running need to feel comfortable and secure when you’re resting AND when you’re moving fast, so it’s important to find a good fit.

How well your buds fit will also influence the amount of background noise you can hear.

Some runners prefer to hear nothing besides their music, in which case a snug fit and/or noise-canceling features are important. However, a looser fit may be safer as it lets in a little noise from the environment around you.

Alternatively, you can opt for earbuds with an ambient sound mode which allows you to hear outside noise regardless of fit.

Asian woman with earbud

Battery Life

The best earbuds for running are designed to last for some time and – depending on their design – can often be recharged from their cases.

For each model, we’ve listed the amount of battery life available for the buds themselves, along with the additional number of hours available from the case before it needs recharging.

So now that you know what features to look for – here are our favorite earbuds for runners:

Man jogging in city with earbuds

The 9 Best Ear Buds for Running

#1. Best Premium Earbuds – Sony WF-1000XM4

Battery Life: Buds: 8 hrs, Case: 16 hrs, Noise Canceling: Yes, Water Resistance: IPX4

Sony WF-1000XM4 Earbuds
Optimized for Alexa and Google AssistantTouch controls can be fiddly to use
ComfortableOnly 3 sets of ear tips
Superb sound quality No multi-point pairing

Winners of the UK’s ‘What Hi-Fi’ award for the best wireless earbuds in their price range, the WF-1000XM4 buds pack a ton of great features.

The integrated V1 HD processor and the innovative ear tips provide superior noise cancelation, and we love the ‘Speak-to-Chat’ feature that cuts the music automatically when you talk.

There’s also an Adaptive Sound Control feature that senses where you are, then adjusts the ambient sound to suit your location.

The sound is rich and well-balanced – with the bass adjustable via the app – but we found the multiple tapping required to control the earbuds quite frustrating.

#2. Best Earbuds for Running Long Distances – Beats Powerbeats Pro

Battery Life: Buds: 9 hrs, Case: 13 hrs, Noise Canceling: No, Water Resistance: IPX4

Beats Powerbeats Pro Earbuds
Clear, balanced soundThe case is bulky
Intuitive controlsPricey
Earbuds connect to phone independently

Featuring spatial audio to provide a surround sound experience, the Powerbeats Pro earbuds give you up to 9 hours of listening time, so they’re ideal for those longer runs.

They are comfortable enough to last the distance, too, with the secure ear hooks fully adjustable for a perfect fit.

Compatible with both Apple and Android, these earbuds are powered by the Apple H1 headphone chip, which allows for rapid pairing with iPhones (Android users will need to download the Beats app).

The included tips block out some (but not all) sounds and there is no noise canceling, so these may not be your best choice if that’s an important feature for you.

#3. Best Value for Money – EarFun Free Pro 2 Wireless Earbuds

Battery Life: Buds: 6 hrs, Case: 24 hrs Noise Canceling: Yes, Water Resistance: IPX5

The 9 Best Earbuds for Running in 2023 1
Very lightweightNo companion app for your phone
Wireless chargingThe sound is better with ANC on (which shortens the battery life)
3 mics for voice calls

If you’re looking for compact earbuds with noise-canceling at an unbeatable price, then these tiny but mighty buds from Earfun are the ones for you!

Weighing just 0.14 ounces per bud, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing them, no matter how much distance you cover, plus you get a choice of ear tips for a comfortable fit.

The sound they deliver is great – not up to the standards of the likes of Bose, of course – but still offering rich bass and excellent clarity.

The battery life is sufficient to see you through even longer runs, although it drops from 6 hours to 4 on a single charge once you switch on the ANC.

#4. Best Budget Earbuds – JLab Go Air Sport

Battery Life: Buds: 8 hrs, Case: 24 hrs, Noise Canceling: No, Water Resistance: IP55

JLab Go Air Sport Earbuds
Great battery lifeThe ear hooks can be uncomfortable when worn with glasses
Good sweat resistance Touch controls are tricky to use
Available in 6 different colorsCase is a little bulky

You don’t have to break the bank to find the best earbuds for running and this very affordable pair from JLab delivers surprisingly decent sound considering the price!

They are a real improvement on the original JLab Go earbuds which had a tendency to fall out during exercise – instead, they fit snugly, seal well, and are held in place by the flexible ear hooks.

We found the pairing via Bluetooth to be immediate and the connection stable, and whilst there’s no noise-canceling feature, the snug fit helps block a lot of outside sounds.

Our main gripe was with the fiddly touch controls – but this can be an issue with far pricier models, too!

#5. Best for Trail Running – JBL Endurance Peak 3

Battery Life: Buds: 10 hrs, Case: 40 hrs, Noise Canceling: No, Water Resistance: IP68

JBL Endurance Peak 3 Earbuds
App is easy to useCase is bulky
Clear voice calls, even in windy conditionsTouch controls can be unresponsive

With tons of battery life and excellent resistance to dust and water, these are the best earbuds for running in all types of terrain and in all kinds of weather!

They are available in black or white and come with an Ambient Aware feature which keeps you alert to your surroundings and is important for your safety on the trail.

We also like the Talk Thru mode which lowers your music’s volume and amplifies your speech, so you can easily chat without removing the earbuds.

They stay firmly in place while you’re running and the sound quality is good, making these a great pair of durable earbuds at an affordable price.

#6. Best for iPhone Users – Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Earbuds

Battery Life: Buds: 6 hrs, Case: 24 hrs, Noise Canceling: Yes, Water Resistance: IPX4

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Earbuds
Volume controls on the stemNo multi-point pairing
Clear sound with deep bassNo tips designed for bigger ears
Customizable spatial audioLimited features for non-iOS devices

A nice step up from the original version, these have better sound, up to twice the noise cancelation, and adaptive transparency that allows you to comfortably hear the world around you.

The ability to personalize the spatial audio is neat and gives a natural feel (just turn your head, and the sound shifts, too!).

You get 4 pairs of silicone tips for a custom fit, designed to create an acoustic seal that will keep out noise and ensure they stay securely in place.

And we love the speaker in the case that tells you where your AirPods are if they go missing (although this uses the Find My app, which is only available on iPhone).

#7. Best For Noise Cancelation – Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

Battery Life: Buds: 6 hrs, Case: 18 hrs Noise Canceling: Yes, Water Resistance: IPX4

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
Exceptional sound qualityNo multi-point pairing
Single earbud listening feature (right bud only)No wireless charging
Useful Bose Music companion appExpensive

The second generation of the QuietComfort Earbuds from Bose is ideal for runners, with a smaller case and buds, plus touch-sensitive stalks for playback, noise canceling, and swipe volume controls.

The Fit Kit system provided comes with three pairs of ear tips and three pairs of soft silicone stability bands, so the earbuds stay in place and feel comfortable.

The noise-cancelation feature is second to none, calibrating for your ears every time they are used and customizable, so you can choose to block all sounds or be fully aware.

The audio quality is great too – although a little bass-heavy at the default settings – but you can easily adjust these in the app.

#8. The Best Earbuds for Running with Over-Ear Hooks- Soundcore by Anker Sport X10 True Wireless Earbuds

Battery Life: Buds: 8 hrs, Case: 24 hrs Noise Canceling: Yes, Water Resistance: IPX7

 Soundcore by Anker Sport X10 True Wireless Earbuds
AffordableControls are tiny
Bass boost optionNo multi-point pairing
Great protection against sweat and rainNoise-canceling could be better

These may be on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of price, but they’re among our favorites when it comes to comfort!

That’s thanks to the very flexible, swiveling ear hooks which are so soft you literally cannot feel them when you run!

The case is smaller than you usually get with these types of earbuds so it’s easy to slip into your running shorts, and we like the physical buttons which we find easier to use than touch sensors.

These earbuds sound good, too – delivering a deep, rich bass – and with an equalizer that you can control from the app.

#9. Best Earbuds for Running Overall – Beats Fit Pro

Battery Life: Buds: 6 hrs, Case: 18 hrs Noise Canceling: Yes, Water Resistance: IPX4

Best Earbuds for Running Overall - Beats Fit Pro
Won’t budge an inch when you runSome users may find pressure from the wing tips uncomfortable
Smooth case is easy to storeCase scratches easily
10 color choicesNo wireless charging

Compatible with both Apple and Android, the Beats Fit Pro earbuds are our top pick for runners, offering superb spatial audio and flexible wing tips for a secure fit.

The sound quality is excellent and the on-device controls are easy to use, allowing you to manage your music, toggle the listening modes, and take calls.

We also found the noise cancelation mode effective – although not quite on par with Bose – but be sure to experiment with the ear tips, as a perfect fit creates a better seal.

If you’re an Android user, you’ll be prompted to download the Beats app on setup, which is user-friendly and streamlines the pairing process.

The Best Earbuds for Running: Key Takeaways

Offering a combination of sweat resistance, great sound, and good battery life, all of these earbuds are convenient to use and comfortable to wear when running.

We hope this guide has made it easier to pick the right pair for your needs and that they help you enjoy the benefits of running with music even more!

Female runner with clouds in background
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Christine Albury is a dedicated runner and fitness nerd: when she's not working out she is studying the latest fitness science publications, and testing out the latest running gear!

1 thought on “The 9 Best Earbuds for Running in 2023”

  1. I had a pair of the Sony which were fantastic buds, but I can’t imagine running with them.

    I sent them back because no matter what I did they just fell out of my ears.

    For running I can’t imagine feeling confident unless they wrapped around my ear after all the buds I’ve tried.

    I’ve got the jabras now, which don’t feel that comfortable, but they aren’t going to fall off.


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