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The best true wireless workout earbuds you can buy
Working out without wires is preferred by most athletes, and with the increasing popularity of true wireless earbuds, there exists a slew of great choices to accompany you on your next workout. We’ve broken down our list of best true wireless workout earbuds into a few categories to satisfy nearly any type of athlete.
Update, May 2022: This best true wireless workout earbuds list was edited to address changes in pricing, promote the Jabra Elite 7 Active to the overall pick instead of the older Jabra Elite Active 75t, replace the Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2 with the Anker Soundcore Life A1, add the Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen), Jabra Elite Active 75t, and Elite 85t as highlight picks, add a FAQ, and update the honorable mentions.
Buying the right true wireless workout earbuds for your needs
No matter what flavor of exercise you prefer, all workout earbuds should be treated with some kind of water-repellent coating or merit an official IP certification. If you’re using headphones without water-resistant features, you run the risk of short-circuiting them, which leaves you with a very small paperweight.
Another thing to take into account is fit. This is hard to get right since you can’t just walk into a store and try on the earbuds: that would be unsanitary. Fortunately, most earbuds include a variety of wing and ear tips that you can experiment with to find the proper fit. Not only does this keep the earbuds in place during all sorts of movement, but it can also improve sound quality and isolation.
If you’re an indoor cardio enthusiast and like to stream videos while exercising, look out for wireless options with high-quality Bluetooth codec support, which includes AAC, aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC, to name the most popular.
Best true wireless workout earbuds:
- The Jabra Elite 7 Active is a great pick for anyone in need of versatile, comfortable earbuds that can withstand a drop in the pond.
- The Jaybird Vista 2 feature active noise-cancelling earbuds and USB-C case, both of which merit a dust and water-resistant rating.
- The Bose Sport Earbuds sound great and are comfortable for hours of listening.
- The Beats Powerbeats Pro are the best workout earbuds for anyone who carries an iPhone.
- The Anker Soundcore Life A1 are affordable workout earbuds with some premium features.
Jabra Elite 7 Active: The best for most people
We like the Jabra Elite 7 Active because they’re a jack-of-all-trades pair of earphones with great features for a reasonable price. The earbuds don’t use wingtips and instead rely on ShakeGrip (a rubberized coating that covers each earbud) to keep the buds in place.
The earbuds sound very good by default, but if you want to make some tweaks, you’re free to do so in the Jabra Sound+ app (iOS and Android). From the app, you can adjust the active noise-cancelling (ANC) intensity, toggle HearThrough mode, get battery readouts, and more. If you don’t want to create a custom EQ, Jabra will do the heavy lifting with its MySound hearing test. After testing your hearing, the app will create a custom sound profile specifically for you.
You might like: Jabra Elite 85t review: Catching up to the best
Bluetooth 5.2 connects the Elite 7 Active to your smartphone, and you get your choice of SBC or AAC Bluetooth codecs. AAC provides reliable high-quality playback to iPhones but can be inconsistent across some Android hardware. However, these earbuds may one day support Bluetooth LE audio and the LC3 codec when it becomes the default, because it uses Bluetooth 5.2 — no word on when that’ll be, though.
The battery life is quite good, lasting just over seven hours with ANC on. You get great fast charging too. Five minutes in the case gives you 150 minutes of playback. Plus, the case charges wirelessly or via USB-C cable.
Check out our full review to learn more about the Jabra Elite 7 Active.
Jaybird Vista 2: The best durability
Jaybird improved the durability of both its case and earbuds, the former of which sports an IP54 rating which complements the earphones IP68 rating and MIL-STD-810G certifications.
The newest feature that Jaybird brings to the table with its latest flagship: active noise-cancelling (ANC), making them a great pick for commuters and athletes alike. Outdoor athletes who need to remain aware of their surroundings can either enable ambient sound mode, which amplifies background noise through the earbuds, or opt for mono listening with either ‘bud.
Check out our full review to learn more about the Jaybird Vista 2.
Bose Sport Earbuds: The best sound quality
The Bose Sport Earbuds are by far and away the most comfortable workout earbuds around, thanks to Bose’s StayHear Max ear tips. The attached wing tips keep the earbuds in place without putting excess pressure against the ear. These are IPX4-rated, so they can withstand just about any workout you put them through.
The sound quality is excellent, and the vocals are accurately reproduced. If you’re a basshead, you may find the frequency response underwhelming, but there’s a modest bass boost, which is sure to please most consumers. The four-mic system effectively cancels out background noise like the hum of a microwave or A/C unit.
Battery life isn’t going to blow you away at just over five hours on a single charge, but the case can fast charge the earbuds. All you have to do is place them in the case for 15 minutes, which nets two hours of playtime. The case charges via USB-C but doesn’t support Qi Wireless charging. If you like the Bose Sport Earbuds but want ANC, check out the equally durable Bose QuietComfort Earbuds.
Check out our full review to learn more about the Bose Sport Earbuds.
Beats Powerbeats Pro: Best for iPhone owners
Battery life is fantastic. You get nearly 11 hours of playback from these, and just five minutes in the case allows for 1.5 hours of listening. Plus, the case holds an additional 1.5 charges. If you can afford them, the Powerbeats Pro are the best workout earbuds for iPhone users. For listeners who like the idea of the Beats Powerbeats Pro but can’t afford them, the standard Beats Powerbeats are a more affordable option. These don’t use true wireless tech but offer nearly the same functionality as the Pro version with even better battery life.
Check out our full review to learn more about the Beats Powerbeats Pro.
Anker Soundcore Life A1: The best budget pick
True wireless workout earbuds tend to be more expensive than traditional wireless options. Fortunately for those of us restricted to stringent budgets, the Anker Soundcore Life A1 exist. The IPX7 earbuds have several sets of ear tips and wing tips so you’ll definitely find a stable fit.
The case charges via USB-C, with above average battery life — eight hours and 23 minutes on a single charge. You get excellent Bluetooth connection strength, though with only SBC and AAC support.
For not much scratch the A1 have decent sound quality. If you like bass-heavy music, you’ll enjoy the exaggerated low-end heard here. With additional onboard control buttons you don’t even need to look at your phone. If you’re someone who only cares that your wireless workout earbuds work and don’t care much for frills, these are the smartest, most economical choice.
Check out our sister site SoundGuys’ full review to learn more about the Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot.
Should you get the Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)?
Amazon prioritized a good fit with the Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) active noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds. The Echo Buds (Gen 2) come with a selection of silicone ear tips and rubber ear stays that really help keep the buds in your ears. They also have an Ear Tip Fit Test in the accompanying Alexa app that helps with the buds’ stability and sound quality.
Plus, the Echo Buds are IPX4-rated and have comprehensive Alexa integration. So, if your hands are too sweaty from exercising you can still access the smart assistant.
What about the Jabra Elite Active 75t and Elite 85t?
Listeners who want a pair of true wireless workout earbuds that perform well in every measurable category should get the Jabra Elite Active 75t. Yes, they’re a few years old, and Jabra has since updated its Elite line of earphones, but the Elite Active 75t are still great. The earbuds merit an IP57 rating, which means you can take these for a run on the beach without worry. Heck, you can even drop them in the water and they’ll be damage-free.
The Jabra Elite 75t series received a free noise-cancelling firmware update through the Jabra Sound+ app. This is one of the most noteworthy firmware updates we’ve seen and is on par with the features iOS 14 provides to the Apple AirPods Pro and AirPods. Pre-existing Elite 75t series owners can update the firmware for ANC, and the price remains unchanged for new Elite 75t buyers.
The Jabra Elite 85t are a solid set of ANC earbuds, and they’re often on sale thanks to the advent of the newer Jabra Elite 7 Pro. The Elite 85t have more effective ANC than the Elite 75t series earbuds as well as HearThrough functionality. Similar to the Elite 75t series, the Elite 85t have an IPX4 rating and Bluetooth multipoint.
True wireless workout earbuds: Honorable mentions
- Apple AirPods Pro: Apple iPhone owners should get these for the best user experience. Unlike the original AirPods, the Pro model is IPX4-rated. Microphone quality is some of the best around, and the company releases useful software updates to extend its products’ longevity.
- Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2: If you’re looking for a solid pair of AirPods alternatives that feature an IPX5 certification, stellar microphone quality, and solid battery life, these buds are a great option for less than $100.
- Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2: If for some reason you can’t find the Soundcore Life A1, these are your next best bet. They have IPX7, slightly shorter battery life and are also comfortable.
- Bose Sport Open Earbuds: If the Bose Sport Earbuds intrigue you but you’re interested in bone conduction earbuds, check these out. They’re safer to use when exercising because they allow you to remain aware of your surroundings, and they still have that IPX4 rating.
- JBL Reflect Flow Pro: Ignore the ANC, because it’s not very good. Do notice the good fit, IP rating, in-app EQ options, and awareness mode. Find these on sale and you’ll feel good going for a run with them.
- Google Pixel Buds A-Series: Though the included wings are one-size-fits-most, this budget headset has an IPX4 rating and is nice and lightweight. Their Android integration also makes it easy to quickly connect to before starting out on a run. Also, while the fact that they don’t isolate sound very well may be considered a drawback to many, it can be a good thing for exercising in public so you can remain aware of your surroundings.
- Panasonic RZ-S300W: Their IPX4 rating means this headset can withstand the sweatiest of workouts, so long as it they aren’t completely submerged in water. The earbuds are compact and sit comfortably even without wingtips. For essentially the same package but with top-notch noise-canceling, get the Panasonic RZ-S500W.
- Plantronics BackBeat FIT 3200: Much like the BackBeat FIT 3100, this headset is made explicitly for exercise. It’s more expensive, but that affords you better battery life and ear tips that completely seal to the ear. The BackBeat app is feature-packed and functional, which can’t be said for all headphone applications.
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus: These headphones remain some of our favorite in the bunch, specifically for Samsung users. You get a streamlined user experience much like the AirPods do with iPhones or the Google Pixel Buds on Android phones. Microphone quality is very good, and Samsung is fastidious about releasing software updates.
- Sony WF-C500: This set of buds have an IPX4 rating and comfortable ear tips. We like how small and lightweight the WF-C500 are, from the case to the buds, and the price doesn’t hurt either.
What makes true wireless earbuds better than traditional wireless headsets?
True wireless earbuds are extremely convenient due to the complete lack of wires. Sure, you could just get a pair of standard wireless earbuds like the Jaybird X4 or Tarah, but some people still feel encumbered by the cable joining the buds. Not only that, but the carrying cases included with all totally wireless earbuds double as charging cases. This means you’re always supplied with an extra charge or two when out and about.
But aren’t true wireless earbuds expensive?
True wireless earbuds aren’t necessarily more expensive than their wireless counterparts. The technology has advanced rapidly over just a few short years, so we’re able to enjoy cheap, functional options like the JLab Go Air, which cost around just $25. In fact, there are so many great options; we’re able to compile a full list of true wireless earbuds under $100.
Of course, the greater your budget, the more features you’re afforded. These perks range from advanced audio engineering, and thus better sound quality, software features with regular, substantial updates, hardware accessories, and more. It’s important to understand your specific needs before diving into the world of true wireless products.
Why you should trust SoundGuys
SoundGuys is our sister site that focuses solely on all things audio. The team has a diversified understanding of audio and respects that certain aspects are objective and quantifiable without disregarding the importance of subjective enjoyment. SoundGuys strives to cut through the muck when it comes to consumer audio, granting readers more time to enjoy their music. Ultimately, the team hopes to educate readers with each post and pique fellow audio geeks’ interest.
Frequently asked questions about true wireless workout earbuds
The reason we did not include the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds is because they do not fulfill some of our criteria, namely affordability, for workout earbuds as well as some of the earbuds on this list.
When working out, it’s unlikely that someone is going to prioritize the most accurate sound quality, but accurate sound quality is one of the things that makes these earbuds very expensive. That being said, if you want to use them for workouts as well as daily life, they are a fine companion if you’re willing to foot the bill. In addition, though they do not have any significant issues with fit, they don’t offer any mechanisms for securing themselves in your ears, such as wing tips or ear hooks. Lastly, they only have an IPX4 rating, which makes them sweat resistant, but not as waterproof as some other options.