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Last Update
31st May 2019
Update: - Removed Jaybird X4, Plantronics Backbeat Fit 3100, Jabra Elite 64t, Under Armour Sport Flex Wireless by JBL - Added Jaybird Tarah, JLab JBuds Air, Beats Powerbeats Pro, SoundPeats Engine - Added to what you should know section

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.

Read the in-depth list at SoundGuys

Best all-around: 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.

Reasons to consider the Jaybird Tarah:

  • Compared to the X4, the Tarah is more affordable and provides the same functionality.
  • Just like the company’s flagship earbuds, these are IPX7-rated.
  • The control module is easy to operate blindly.
  • You can change EQ settings via Jaybird MySound app and apply your preferred profile to other source devices.
  • Fast charging is supported: 10 minutes of charging provides an hour of playback.

Best for iPhone: Beats Powerbeats Pro

Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds on a book.

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

Reasons to consider the Beats Powerbeats Pro:

  • The Powerbeats Pro have an impeccable 10-hour battery life.
  • The H1 chip, also found in the new AirPods, supports hands-free access to Siri. 
  • An IPX4 water-resistant rating ensures durability for most strenuous workouts.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 is supported for improved efficiency and connection strength.

Best sound: 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.

Reasons to consider the Bose SoundSport Free:

  • Like the Powerbeats Pro, these have an IPX4 water-resistant rating.
  • The right earbud houses tactile controls that are easy to operate while exercising.
  • Despite the bulk, the StayHear+ ear tips provide a secure fit.
  • Battery life is solid for true wireless earbuds.

Best cheap true wireless: JLab JBuds Air

JLab JBuds Air true wireless: A close-up of the earbuds showing the JLab logo on the ear tips.

Silicone ear tips keep things comfortable, while the Cush-Fins effectively keep the ‘buds in place.

Reasons to consider the JLab JBuds Air:

  • These earbuds feature IP55 dust- and water-resistance
  • Although the housings are fairly bulky, they fit well due to the included ear and housings sleeves.
  • The shape of the earbuds combats wind noise when running outside.
  • On-board controls are comprehensive and include volume adjustment.
Editor’s note: those with a more flexible budget may like the Jabra Elite 65t.

Best value: SoundPeats Engine

SoundPeats Engine earbuds on black box with vase in left half of the image.

The SoundPeats Engine Wireless earbuds support aptX and aptX LL, and the magnetic housings are useful when not listening to the ‘buds.

Reasons to consider the SoundPeats Engine:

  • These earbuds operate via Bluetooth 5.0 and support both aptX and aptX LL, which is a rarity for sub-$40 earbuds.
  • IPX6 water-resistance makes these impervious to sweat and splashes.
  • The neckband is comfortable for daily wear, making these a versatile option.

What you should know about the best workout earbuds

The earbuds covered in water on a blue surface.

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.

Lily wearing the earbuds to show the housing size.

We at SoundGuys try and get our ears on as many products as possible for real world and objective testing so you don’t have to.

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.

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