Your guide

Beats Powerbeats Pro in a man's' hand.

Source: SoundGuys

Exercise is exhausting but finding the right workout earbuds shouldn’t be. Today we’re looking at the best workout earbuds to keep you sweating through your circuit routine. Regardless of what kind of athlete you are, there’s something here for you.

This list of the best workout earbuds comes from the audio experts at our sister site SoundGuys. Check out their in-depth take here.
Show More

Best workout earbuds:

Editor’s note: We will update this list of the best workout earbuds regularly as new devices launch.

1. Jaybird X4

The Jaybird X4 and Jaybird Tarah being held to show the nozzle angles.

The Jaybird Tarah (right) sports a more aggressively angled nozzle than the X4 workout earbuds.

The Jaybird Tarah are the best all-around wireless workout earbuds. Jaybird provides listeners with most of the benefits afforded by the X4 earbuds for significantly less. These earbuds are IPX7 water-resistant. If you accidentally drop them in a pool, they’re no worse for the wear. The control module is slightly larger than the company’s flagship earbuds, which makes the buttons easier to operate while mid-workout. The angled nozzles and hybrid wing tips yield a secure fit during most vigorous activity. Regardless of what your sport of choice is, the Jaybird Tarah earbuds are an excellent gym companion.

2. Beats Powerbeats Pro

Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds on a book.

Source: SoundGuys
The Powerbeats Pro have the same over-ear hook design as the standard Powerbeats, but they ditch the wire connecting them.

Beats hit the nail on the head with the Powerbeats Pro, a more premium version of its Powerbeats earphones. The ear hook design allows for a snug, yet comfortable fit. Plus, you can sweat to your heart’s desire since these meet IPX4 certification criteria. Like the AirPods, these use Apple’s H1 chip for hands-free access to Siri. They also use Bluetooth 5.0 firmware and are especially power-efficient when paired with an iOS device.

Battery life is great, too. You’re allotted almost 11 hours of constant playback before the earbuds need to be recharged via the USB-C case. If you don’t have much time to spare, you can quick charge them: five minutes in the case provides 1.5 hours of battery life. Said case holds an extra 1.5 charges, so you should rarely find yourself in a pickle. If you’re an iPhone user, these are hands down the best workout earbuds available.

3. Bose SoundSport Free

The Bose SoundSport Free in the case with the extra StayHear+ ear tips on a pink comforter.

If you still want high quality sound while working out, the Bose SoundSport Free true wireless earbuds are an excellent option.

These were one of the first noteworthy true wireless sport earbuds. The SoundSport Free made headlines for their bulky size, but behind the bulk is a pair of top-tier earbuds. The StayHear+ wing tips ensure a secure fit despite the housings’ size. These are IPX4 certified are made from a high-quality plastic, similar to the standard wireless SoundSport model. If you download Bose’s free app, you’re afforded extra features like “Find my earbuds” and installing firmware updates. It’s a nice touch, but not necessary unless you’re particularly forgetful.

Sound reproduction emphasizes low and high notes more than midrange frequencies. This can be both good and bad: it leads to a fun, motivating sound but if you’re listening to these outside of the gym, you may notice some auditory masking happening to vocals.

4. JLab JBuds Air Icon

An aerial picture of the JLab JBuds Air Icon true wireless earbuds in the charging case.

The charging case provides up to 18 additional hours of battery life.

True wireless earbuds are extremely popular among athletes due to their lack of cables. You’re able to move about freely without worrying about getting snagged on someone. The downside to this new technology is that it’s usually more expensive than standard wireless alternatives. JLab successfully marries function and affordability in the JLab JBuds Air Icon. These retail for $59 and feature an IP55 rating, denoting dust and water-resistance. Admittedly, sound quality isn’t the best, but it doesn’t need to be for workout earbuds. Connection strength is reliable with these Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds, which is arguably more important than sound quality with Bluetooth earbuds anyway. Athletes on a budget need to get these, and if you can afford more flexible spending, the Jabra Elite Active 75t are an excellent pick.

5. Jabra Elite 45e

The Jabra Elite Active 45e earbuds hanging on a road bike tire.

Source: SoundGuys
The earbuds are great for outdoor activities because they keep users aware of their surroundings.

Speaking of Jabra, the Elite 45e is a fabulous unit. Proprietary ear tips allow you to remain aware of your surroundings, which is particularly important for outdoor athletes. Connection strength is great in part due to the Bluetooth 5.0 firmware. What’s more, just like some of the other earbuds mentioned here, the Jabra Elite 45e support quick charging. Plugging them in via microUSB cable for 15 minutes grants one hour of listening.

These wireless earbuds are IP67 dust and water-resistant. In fact, you can submerge these to depths of one meter for up to 30 minutes. They aren’t for swimming though. If you want to listen to music while in the pool, you’ll need designated earbuds with onboard storage. If you tend to exercise outside, these are a safe choice.

These are our picks for the best workout earbuds you can sweat in. This category is constantly being updated with new options, so we’ll be sure to keep you informed as more options become available.

What you should know about the best workout earbuds

The earbuds covered in water on a blue surface.

Source: SoundGuys
Due to the IP67 rating, the earbuds can be fully submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

  • A proper fit can make all the difference in comfort and sound quality. If you’re having trouble with the default ear tips, experiment with the other sizes or invest in third-party options.
  • Water and sweat-resistance is imperative. At the very least, keep an eye out for an IPX4 rating.
  • A bass-heavy frequency response sound, as opposed to a neutral, is often preferred by athletes.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

Not only is the SoundGuys site Adam‘s, Chris‘, and my nine-to-five, but each of us have multiple years of reviewing consumer audio products. We’ve kept tabs on the ever-changing world of audio, giving us the ability to parse apart the gimmicks from the gems in creating this list of the best workout earbuds.

We want you to be happy with your purchase —none of our writers see a dime from partnership deals or referral purchases — and nobody here is allowed to benefit from steering you towards one product or another. To get a more in-depth understanding of the inner workings, feel free to visit the SoundGuys ethics policy page.