4 Best Earbuds for Working Out – Top Workout Earbuds

<p>If you, like me, find yourself constantly adjusting your ill-fitting earbuds while <a href=”https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/health/g32213300/best-home-workout-gear-subscriptions/” target=”_blank”>at the gym</a> or, unlike me, are <a href=”https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/g45359305/marathon-running-gear/” target=”_blank”>training for a marathon</a>, then it’s time to make the jump and get a new pair of earbuds for exercising—ones that will <em>actually</em> stay in. And, while you’re at it, you might as well get something <a href=”https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/g33338048/best-noise-cancelling-headphones/” target=”_blank”>that sounds good</a>, too.</p><p>I enlisted our <a href=”https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/cars/a45572957/the-2023-esquire-gadget-awards/” target=”_blank”>tech experts</a> here at Esquire, and together, we narrowed it down to four contenders for the best workout earbuds. Some are designed for active wear, some are not, but each one is the best pick for its respective price range. From the affordable JLab Go Air Sport buds to the top-of-the-line Sennheiser Momentum Sport Earbuds, there are workout earbud options for all budgets and styles. </p>”/>

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a pair of headphones


Best Budget Workout Headphones

JLab Go Air Sport

Go Air Sport

As a former teen, I’ve owned and ruined a bunch of earbuds in the $30 to $40 range. I don’t feel bad about it because, honestly, most of them suck. Normally, it is hard to find a comfortable earbud at all in that price range. This is why the JLab Go Air Sport surprised me so much—the ear hooks fit me just right and also accommodated the rest of our team of testers. They sound perfectly fine, too. There’s no Dolby Atmos, spatial audio support, or noise cancelling and you will get some crunch the more you crank the volume. But you get what you pay for.

The Go Air Sport earbuds are also sweat-resistant and won’t slip out or get damaged from even your most intense gym visit. If they break for some reason, JLab provides an extremely generous two year warranty. Or, you can find break open your piggy bank and snag a new pair with the change you’ve been collecting over the past two years. Or is that just me?

Battery Life 32 hours
Waterproof Rating None

Best Noise Cancelling Workout Earbuds

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
  • Best ANC earbuds we’ve tried
  • Apple is the master of touch controls
  • Battery drains quick with ANC on
  • Not great with non Apple devices

I’ve tried some very effective noise cancelling earbuds, but the best are still this popular premium option from Apple. The AirPods Pros are some of our favorite buds around and they happen to be an excellent gym companion.

I love to work out in my Airpods Pro. For starters, I don’t know why people dislike these. The AirPods Pro feel right. Personally, I never enjoyed how AirPods fit until I tried the Pros—after decades of making uncomfortable earbuds it feels like Apple finally put in some effort in that department, and I’ll give them their flowers.

Besides that, the touch controls for adjusting volume and settings work remarkably well. But sound is the kicker here. Turning the ANC on will start to drain the battery three times as fast as with it off, but you’ll be able to hear that difference immediately. Sure, you get great lows and mids out of your music. That rocks. But what really impresses us is just how good other media sounds in these AirPods. I often watch TV shows while I exercise, and now I feel like I’m getting a home theater experience on my phone every time I hit the gym.

Battery Life 30 hours with ANC off (6 hours ANC on)
Waterproof Rating IP54

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How to Choose the Right Earbuds for Working Out

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When choosing my favorite earbuds for working out, I took these handful of factors into consideration. Each one is as important as the last.

Comfort: I know that an earbud falling out mid-burpee is the single most annoying thing that can happen when you’re trying to exercise. I tested our workout earbuds for both of these deeply uncomfortable situations and only picked the ones that were truly snug. After a few minutes, you should forget there is anything in your ear at all. It’s just you, being one with the music.

Noise Cancelling: Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is a big buzzword when it comes to headphones, but what does it mean for the active listener? For us city dwellers, a loud gym floor can be an extra distraction when all we want to do is unwind for the day. Getting a pair of workout earbuds with ANC will ensure that you can focus on your movies, podcasts, or shows every time you head to the gym, without interruption.

Durability: The final factor you should take into consideration when picking workout earbuds is durability. You want something that will stand up to the sweat, or survive an inevitable fall from your ear cavity to the ground. This is where our testing process really puts these products to the test.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Are earbuds better than over-ear headphones for working out?

In my experience, yes. If you’re doing cardio-heavy movements, running or cycling, no way you are using over-ear headphones. Earbuds just aren’t as cumbersome.

Is sweat resistant the same as water resistant?

No. All four of our earbud picks are sweat resistant. Sweat can degrade and damage your headphones over time, just like exposure to any form of liquid can damage electronics. While all earbuds can claim to be sweat resistant, the same cannot be said about water resistance. If you want to be extra careful, look for waterproof earbuds that have an IP code such as IP55 or IPX8.

What is an IP code?

Essentially, IP code is a measure of how water resistant an electronic device is. Different IP ratings equate to different levels and types of resistance, but just know that if a product has an IP code it has been tested and certified to be waterproof on some level. Visit the IEC’s explainer page for more info.

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Why Trust Esquire?

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Here at Esquire, we’ve been poking, prodding, and stress-testing products for years, allowing us to recommend the best tech to spend your hard-earned money on. We know which pieces of workout gear will last you and which ones are a waste.

We compile our guides by doing heavy research and testing, ensuring that we can vouch for all the gadgets and gifts we recommend. If we wouldn’t buy it for ourselves or a loved on, we wouldn’t recommend it to you. From noise cancelling headphones to home gym equipment, we only pick the best of the best.

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