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.
Best true wireless workout earbuds:
- Jabra Elite Active 75t
- Jaybird Vista
- Bose Sport Earbuds
- Beats Powerbeats Pro
- Anker SoundCore Spirit Dot 2
1. Jabra Elite Active 75t
If you’re looking for an all-around stellar pair of true wireless workout earbuds, look no further than the Jabra Elite Active 75t. These IP57 earbuds are both dust and water-resistant. They’re more than durable, though, and Jabra supplied them with a substantial firmware update which enabled active noise-cancelling.
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These use Bluetooth 5.0 firmware which increases power efficiency and connection strength. Battery life is great for true wireless ‘buds: you get just over seven hours of playback before needing to pop them back into the compact case. The case supports quick charging, a must-have for workout headphones, and 15 minutes of charging supplies one hour of playback.
Jabra Elite Active 75t microphone demo:
Additionally, autoconnect is quick and reliable; plus, removing the earbuds from your ears automatically pauses media playback. The lack of high-quality Bluetooth codec support can be forgiven, seeing as these perform consistently well and can often be found on promotion. They’re also one of few true wireless headsets that supports Bluetooth multipoint. if it’s important for you to connect to two devices at a time, get the Jabra Elite Active 75t.
2. Jaybird Vista
Jaybird has some of the most attractively designed workout earbuds on the market right now. The Vista earbuds use proprietary wing tips instead of a bolder ear hook design. The structured silicone tips work incredibly well and contribute to the earbuds’ small footprint. This makes it easy to wear them in the office, gym, or train without feeling like your earbuds scream, “I’m about to go for a jog.”
Emphasized bass response is emblematic of workout earbuds but the Jaybird Vista true wireless workout earbuds take a different approach: midrange frequencies receive the most emphasis, making vocals stand out. If this isn’t your preferred sound signature, fear not. You can easily create and apply custom EQ presets via the free Jaybird app. In fact, you can even test out other athletes’ EQ settings. This is a really neat way to make an ordinary function a social one.
Jaybird Vista microphone demo:
These IP66-rated earbuds are tough, functional, and cheap. Jaybird provides a vast assortment of ear tips, so you can create a proper seal for the best bass response and clarity. If you exercise outside, then Be Aware mode is something you’ll often use: it amplifies external noise while playing your music.
3. Bose Sport Earbuds
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.
Sound quality is very good, and 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, and this nets two hours of playtime. The case charges via USB-C but doesn’t support Qi Wireless charging.
Bose Sport Earbuds microphone demo:
The Sport Earbuds have their drawbacks too, though: connection stability is dubious outdoors, and the onboard controls are severely limited. As of November 24, 2020, there is no way to control the volume or skip back a track, even if you download the Bose Music app. Even still, these are the most comfortable exercise earbuds on the block, and they make your music sound great.
4. Beats Powerbeats Pro
These are a prime example of how true wireless earbuds should fit both in and around the ear. The dedicated nozzles are angled, making for a more comfortable fit, while the ear hooks maintain a secure hold around the ear during exercise. Just like the AirPods, the Powerbeats Pro house Apple’s H1 chip for hands-free access to Siri and operate via Bluetooth 5.0. These are some snappy earbuds. The Powerbeats Pro aren’t the most durable earbuds listed but the IPX4 rating means they can withstand nearly any workout.
Beats Powerbeats Pro microphone demo:
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.
5. Anker SoundCore Spirit Dot 2
The Anker SoundCore Spirit Dot 2 are a very good pair of cheap true wireless earbuds that boast premium features like an IPX7 build. These operate via Bluetooth 5.0, and maintain a strong, consistent connection as long as you remain within the 10-meter wireless range. You can easily achieve a comfortable fit thanks to the wing tips, which look a little bit like those found on the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.
The sound quality is good for the price, but can’t compare to something like the Bose Sport Earbuds. Even still, most of us will be perfectly happy with the audibly boosted treble notes, and modestly amplified bass notes. The microphone is perfectly fine for personal calls, but it doesn’t do a great job of cancelling background noise.
Anker SoundCore Spirit Dot 2 mic demo:
Although these aren’t the cream of the crop, they are very good for the price, and it’s hard to complain about $50 earbuds than can withstand a dunk into the pool. If you want something with a sleeker design for a similar price, consider instead the 1More PistonBuds.
These are our picks for the best true wireless workout earbuds right now. We’ll be sure to update this list as more true wireless workout earbuds hit the market.
True wireless workout earbuds: Honorable mentions
- 1More True Wireless ANC: Anyone who wants a high-value pair of earbuds that can do a bit of everything should consider these buds. They’re much cheaper than the AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM3, are among some of the best noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds around.
- 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 the longevity of its products.
- 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.
- Bose SoundSport Free: The SoundSport Free earbuds fit well, despite their comically bulky size. Sound quality is some of the best you’ll find when it comes to workout earbuds.
- Creative Outlier Gold: Creative nailed it with these true wireless workout earbuds. While they’re technically not specified for athletes, the IPX5 durability rating goes a long way. These are slightly more expensive than our bargain pick, the JLab JBuds Air, but afford more features and a slimmer design.
- Panasonic RZ-S300W: Its IPX4 rating means this headset can withstand the sweatiest of workouts, so long as it isn’t completely submerged in water. The earbuds are compact and sit comfortably even without wing tips. 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.
- RHA TrueConnect 2: These true wireless earbuds are IP55-certified and create a strong seal with the ear for enhanced bass and clarity. What’s more, connectivity is stable even in crowded environments like a gym or subway.
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and Samsung Galaxy Buds: These headphones remain some of our favorite in the bunch, specifically for Samsung users. It affords a streamlined user experience much like the AirPods do with iPhones, or the Google Pixel Buds on Android phones. Microphone quality is very good with the Plus model, and Samsung is fastidious about releasing software updates.
What you should know before buying
- A good fit can make a huge difference. If you’re using the right ear tips, you may hear excellent skull-shaking bass, but if they don’t properly fit your ears, it could result in disappointing bass and lackluster clarity.
- 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.
- All workout earbuds must be treated with a water-repellent coating if not given an official IP certification. If you’re using headphones without water-resistant features, you run the risk of short-circuiting them.
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 athletes (myself included) 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 costs just $29. 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.
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