This article was originally published on Make the Sound Better. I have edited this content, updating the recommendations to be more relevant for 2023.
While some might say running is sometimes boring, you can make it a lot better with a pair of good headphones for running.
We’re talking about a comfortable pair of headphones that will stay in your ear when you’re active and moving around, and will allow you to listen to your favourite song or podcast while out on a run.
With that in mind, there are a lot of headphones out there that might seem like a good choice for the best headphones for running, so which ones do you go for? To help you with that, we’re looking at a few options, so let’s go.
I have included as different models here as I could, so that you can pick one according to your style.
Best Running Headphones 2023
1) Jabra Elite 4 Active: Check Price On Amazon
Best Running Headphones 2023
I was going to recommend the Jabra Elite 5 as I have reviewed these, and that’s what I personally wear for running. I think the fit is essential for running earbuds, no one wants to be adjusting earbuds mid-run, and I even had one earbud fall out on a 10K race, so I just disguised it as I refuse to stop in events.
For me, the Jabra Elite 5 fit the best out of all the earbuds I own. However, the Jabra Elite 4 Active have the same design and better reviews on Amazon, and the active rating means that these are IP57 rated which is one of the best IP ratings for any earbud on the market. This is then backed by a superb 2-year warranty (Against failure from dust and water with Jabra Sound+ app registration).
The Jabra Elite 4 Active is a solid choice for individuals who prioritize audio quality and durability during workouts and outdoor activities. The sound quality is impressive, providing a balanced and enjoyable listening experience.
Battery life is respectable, allowing for extended use without frequent recharging. The charging case provides additional power on the go, ensuring that you won’t run out of battery during your workouts or travels.
2) Sony LinkBuds S: Check Price On Amazon
I am recommending the Sony LinkBuds S for the same reasons I recommended the Jabra. While I don’t own them, I have reviewed the Sony LinkBuds S and loved them. They are smaller than the Jabra and the eartips fit a bit deeper into my ear for a more secure fit.
The Sony LinkBuds S delivers impressive sound quality, offering a clear and balanced audio experience. The bass response is notable, providing a satisfying depth without overwhelming the other aspects of the audio. Whether you’re listening to music, podcasts, or watching videos, the LinkBuds S deliver an enjoyable and immersive sound experience.
The LinkBuds S offers a respectable battery life, providing up to 8.5 hours of continuous playback on a single charge with ANC off.
The ANC performance is superb, they may not be market-leading but I don’t really think you need that on a pair of running earbuds.
3) Shokz OpenRun Pro: Check Price On Amazon
Shokz headphones are a compulsory recommendation on any headphone/earbud recommendation list for outdoor sports. These bone-conduction headphones give you superior environmental awareness than my previous two recommendations. Bone conduction also doesn’t get drown out by wind quite as easily as other open-fit style headphones. Bone-conduction headphones are also the only allowed headphones by the England Athletics Association.
The Shokz OpenRun Pro are the best bone conduction headphones on the market and these are the closest you will get to in-ear sound quality. I was particularly impressed with the amount of bass they were able to produce while also minimising the vibration sensation from the bone conduction.
These are also IP55 rated, which is significantly better than the IP54 on most earbuds and the battery lasts up to 10 hours, which will see you through everything other than ultra marathons.
4) Beats Fit Pro: Check Price On Amazon
I have not personally used the Beats Fit Pro, but they seem to get recommended by many sports and gym enthusiasts.
With Beats being owned by Apple nowadays, these have the H1 chip built inside and will have all the convenient features you get with AirPods.
Due to the H1 chip integration, you get Spatial Audio, Apple’s version of virtual three-dimensional sound.
They will work perfectly well with Android, and the dedicated Beats app gives Android users many of the functions your’d get with Apple.
Officially, the Beats Fit Pro can last up to 6 hours with ANC on. I’d normally say this is a bit short for my liking when it comes to running earbuds, but apparently they actually get 6 hours or more, which should be good for anyone running up to marathon distance.
The Beats Fit Pro is designed with a focus on bass notes, but it strikes a balance that remains enjoyable. These workout earbuds provide a generous emphasis on bass, a common characteristic in this category. Fortunately, Beats ensures that the treble remains consumer-friendly, allowing you to still appreciate the finer details of instruments like flutes, violins, and hi-hats even during bass-heavy segments. This frequency response is particularly well-suited for genres such as pop, hip-hop, and rap, which happen to be among the most popular choices for workout music.
5) Beats PowerBeats Pro: Check Price On Amazon
Beats used to be a brand that nobody would recommend, but ever since Apple bought them, they’ve had some really nice products out there. The PowerBeats Pro are a best seller for various reasons, and even though they’re expensive, they could still be a great choice for some people.
To begin with, they’re a pair of true wireless earbuds that have an over-ear hook design. This means that while heavy, they won’t fall out of your ear. Honestly, this is an underrated feature, and we would have loved to see it on more headphones.
The sound is great, and unlike the typical Beats sound signature, it isn’t too bass heavy. It’s pretty balanced, and once you have the right fit with the ear tips, they sound really good. Each earbud also comes with volume and track controls, so you don’t have to reach for your phone when you want to change the track.
Another thing that you won’t find with any other earbuds is the Apple H1 chip, which extends the connectivity range, and gives you a quick pairing feature with your iOS devices like an iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much if you use these with an Android device, so you might want to think twice about that.
Overall, the PowerBeats Pro are a great choice for any iOS user, because they offer a lot of great functionalities and an overall great sound and experience.
The fit is great, the guarantee that they won’t fall out is great, and you even get sweat resistance so you don’t damage them when you’re running. However, the price must be mentioned – they’re extremely expensive for a pair of true wireless earbuds, and we found it hard to justify the price.
6) Shokz OpenFit: Check Price On Amazon
The OpenFit is a brand-new product from Shokz. As you can probably tell from the design, these ditch bone conduction in favour of what Shokz calls DirectPitch Air Conduction Technology.
With the open-ear design, OpenFit wireless headphones allow you to hear ambient sounds, making it perfect for use in the office, at home, or during outdoor activities.
The ear hooks and lack of in-ear pieces mean that these should stay on your ears without any issues the fit is a little unusual because the main earpiece should sit slightly inside your concha slightly for the best audio. This may mean some adjustments are necessary mid-run, but you won’t need to panic about them falling out.
The battery life is not as good as the OpenRun headphones at 7 hours per charge, and the sweat resistance is reduced from IP55 to IP54.
The general consensus for these earbuds is that they sound better than the bone conduction models but the overall sound quality isn’t as good as in-ear earbuds. This is true for pretty much all earbuds that don’t use silicon tips for a secure seal.
Things To Look For In Running Headphones
Not every pair of headphones is suitable for running, so how do you determine which pair of headphones you should actually buy?
The first thing that’s key with running headphones is comfort, and more specifically, how well they stay in your ears.
For this, your best bet is a pair of in-ear earbuds with rubber, or foam tips. Foam tips will adapt to your ear’s shape, and won’t fall out once you pick the right ear tips size. Rubber tips are also good, and for some people, even a bit more comfortable.
The headphones’ weight is also a major factor here, because lighter headphones will stay in your ear better. Or, you could even go for an over-ear pair, or one that has ear hooks. Whatever is most comfortable for you.
Next, you’ll want to take note of the build quality. A pair of headphones that you’ll use for running should be a bit more rugged than a regular pair, and at the very least, have some kind of sweat resistance protection.
This will ensure that you won’t get any issues from sweat getting inside the headphones and potentially destroying them. To add to this, you wouldn’t be the first person to drop a pair of headphones during running, and a more rugged design will ensure that they don’t get damaged too easily.
Even though we’re talking about headphones, sound quality obviously does take a bit of a back seat in this one.
But it is important after all. Most of the headphones you’ll come across tend to come with a sound signature that emphasizes the low end of the spectrum, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
And to add to this, some of them will even come with an app that has a built-in equalizer, so you can adjust the sound as you like it. And don’t worry, all of the headphones we’ll talk about have great sound.
Next up, if looking at a pair of wireless headphones, battery life is important. You don’t want your headphones dying mid-run, do you? In this regard, most of the headphones will offer at least 6 to 8 hours of battery life, and some over ear models will easily extend that to 15 or even 20 hours.
In any case, unless you’re using them for 24 hour marathons, you should be covered with just about any pair. Some true wireless options will also charge when you put them in your case, so that’s one less thing to worry about, too.
Last but not least, you should consider the price.
Even though a higher end pair is oftentimes worth it in terms of sound quality and durability, if you’re a person who isn’t too careful with their headphones, you should actually get a cheaper pair – it’s going to be less costly to replace if you damage them. It’s all a matter of what you can afford, though.
I am James, a UK-based tech enthusiast and the creative mind behind Mighty Gadget, which I’ve proudly run since 2007. Passionate about all things technology, my expertise spans from computers and networking, to mobile, wearables, and smart home devices.
As a fitness fanatic who loves running and cycling, I also have a keen interest in fitness-related technology, and I take every opportunity to cover this niche on my blog. My diverse interests allow me to bring a unique perspective to tech blogging, merging lifestyle, fitness, and the latest tech trends.
In my academic pursuits, I earned a BSc in Information Systems Design from UCLAN, before advancing my learning with a Master’s Degree in Computing. This advanced study also included Cisco CCNA accreditation, further demonstrating my commitment to understanding and staying ahead of the technology curve.
I’m proud to share that Vuelio has consistently ranked Mighty Gadget as one of the top technology blogs in the UK. With my dedication to technology and drive to share my insights, I aim to continue providing my readers with engaging and informative content.