Whether you’re training for a marathon or simply enjoying a morning jog around your neighborhood, there’s nothing like listening to some pumped-up tunes or your favorite podcast to make the miles fly by.
That means you’ll need a great pair of headphones, designed to resist sweat and stay comfortably in place, whatever your intensity.
But there are so many different models on the market right now that finding the best headphones for running isn’t always easy.
So we’ve done the work for you and tested out a variety of styles to see which delivers the best sound, along with excellent battery life and a secure fit.
Read on to discover what to look for in Bluetooth headphones for running, our top ten models, and the reasons we recommend them.
What to Look for in the Best Headphones for Running
All of the best headphones for running listed below are wireless.
Gone (thankfully!) are the days of snagging your arm on a cord and ripping the earbuds out of your ears mid-run!
But there are a few other things to consider before choosing which pair will be right for you.
Bluetooth headphones for running come in all different styles, and there is no ‘best’ design to opt for.
Instead, you need to choose the type that will work best for you.
Some of my clients prefer traditional over-ear headphones, finding them more secure, whilst others find them uncomfortably warm during strenuous runs and prefer smaller, in-ear buds.
Then there is the option of earbuds with ear hooks, which still tend to be smaller in size but offer a bit more security than those that simply sit inside the ear canal.
This is a very important consideration, especially if you regularly run long distances.
The best headphones for running should offer at least 5 hours on a single charge.
All the models we’ve chosen for our top ten meet this requirement, and many of them can be recharged from their cases.
That’s why you’ll see often two different battery life figures listed in the specs for those models.
One will refer to the headphones themselves, the other to the additional number of hours available from the case before it needs recharging.
The best headphones for running should be able to withstand a shower if you happen to get caught in the rain, but should also be resistant to sweat.
In the specifications, you’ll see an IP (Ingress Protection) rating, which refers to just how much protection they offer against the elements.
Each rating has two numbers, the first of which refers to protection from dust and the second to water resistance.
Look for headphones with a water protection rating of at least 4, as this means they can withstand being splashed.
IP ratings of more than 7 mean that they can even stand being submerged in water, but only up to a certain depth and for a certain amount of time.
You’ll probably notice that the dust protection rating is often listed as ‘X’ instead of a number.
This simply means that the product hasn’t been evaluated for dust protection at all, only water.
When I’m running on a treadmill, I like to be immersed in music.
But safety comes first when I’m out on the road and I prefer to hear the sounds of people and traffic around me.
So think about the type of running you enjoy, then decide whether you need noise-canceling headphones (generally those that fit more snugly in the ear canal) or those with a looser fit that let in more sound.
Some models offer an ambient sound mode.
These often give you the best of both worlds, providing noise cancelation when you want it, but allowing you to hear the world around you when you don’t.
EarFun is a little-known but up-and-coming company building a solid reputation for producing inexpensive earbuds with great sound quality.
The Air Pro 2 earbuds – their latest offering – are no exception, with cool features like wireless charging, a thoughtful ergonomic design, and good noise cancelation for the price.
The wide selection of ear tips is handy – making these some of the best earbuds for small ears – and I also like the app, which gives you the ability to switch between different preset equalizers for a custom experience!
Using ear canal heart rate monitoring, they are able to track your running metrics and give real-time voice notifications about your progress, which is pretty cool if that sort of thing keeps you motivated and helps you push harder.
The noise activation can be initiated quickly and easily, and I like the in-ear detection that either plays or pauses the music automatically when you put them on and take them off.
Battery Life: Buds: 5 hrs, Case: 10 hrs, Noise Canceling: No, Water Resistance: IPX4
Not great for calls
Max volume may be too low for some
3 colors to choose from
It’s no surprise that Bose makes some of the best headphones for running, and whilst these don’t quite live up to the standard of their QuietComfort Earbuds in terms of sound quality, the lighter, more compact design makes them feel comfortable for longer.
They use umbrella-shaped StayHear Max tips and an extended flexible wing to keep them in place, which I found very effective – they didn’t budge an inch!
The controls are pretty easy to use, with the option to enable swipe up/swipe down volume control available via the Bose Music App.
Battery Life: Buds: 16 hrs, Case: N/A, Noise Canceling: Yes – For Voice Call Only, Water Resistance: IPX4
Powerful 16.5mm dynamic drivers for 360-degree immersive sound
Wind noise can be bothersome outdoors
Choice of 3 colors
Very low call volume
Extra-long battery life
No wireless charging
If you prefer earphones that don’t actually sit inside the ear canal, then you’ll love this pair from Oladance, winner of the Red Dot Design Award in 2022.
They fit over the structure of your ears and use a multi-point support system to disperse the weight, so they feel secure and comfortable without pinching the auricle (the visible part of your external ear).
The battery life is terrific (the best of all the earbuds I tried), the sound quality is surprisingly good, and I loved the luxe look and feel of both the earbuds and the case
These premium wireless headphones for running feature customizable spatial audio, which uses dynamic head tracking to completely immerse you in sound.
You can adjust the volume right on the stem by swiping up or down – a cool feature, although I found it can cause the earbuds to loosen mid-run.
The selection of ear tips includes an extra-small pair – putting these among the best wireless earbuds for small ears – and the ability to keep track of the AirPods with Precision Finding is handy if you have a habit of forgetting where you left them!
Battery Life: Earphones: 22 hrs, Case: N/A, Noise Canceling: Yes, Water Resistance: Not Rated
Exceptional battery life
Geared more toward iOS users
Fold to a compact size
No sound customization features
Available in six different colors, the high-performance Studio3 headphones are some of the best you can get, with great noise cancelation, simple controls in the earcups, and fast charging (a 10-minute charge gives you an extra 3 hours of play!).
They are compatible with both Android and Apple devices and produce well-balanced sound, with a lightweight design that feels incredibly comfortable.
Nevertheless, they’re prone to slipping at high intensities and are not sweat-proof, so I’d only recommend them for shorter, casual runs.
Battery Life: Headphones: 10 hrs, Case: N/A, Noise Canceling: No, Water Resistance: IP55
Open ear design is safe for outdoor runs
Bass is not as good as earbuds
Very secure fit
Some may find the vibration uncomfortable
5 min quick charge for 1.5 hours of play
Designed to send sound waves through your cheekbones instead of your eardrums, Shokz Open Run headphones are a great alternative to in-ear headphones if you like to keep your ear canal open and stay aware of your surroundings.
Available in 4 cool colors and two different sizes, this latest iteration comes with a much-improved bass, although it’s still thin compared to traditional in-ear buds.
They stay snugly in place – even during very rapid movements – with a lightweight frame that feels comfortable and doesn’t dig in, rub, or bounce.
These fantastic little buds check all the boxes when it comes to the best headphones for running, offering excellent noise cancelation; great dust and moisture resistance; and crisp sound.
But what really sets them apart is the proprietary ShakeGrip technology that uses a liquid silicone rubber compound to hold the buds more securely in the ears, no matter how sweaty things get!
As well as using the app to adjust the noise cancelation, you can also tweak the equalizer or select one of the preset audio options, which include Bass Boost and Energize modes for a little extra motivation!