Let’s face it, running may be a great way to get in shape and shed those extra pounds, but it can get really boring at times. That’s why most of us bring a smartphone or dedicated MP3 player with us when setting out on a longer workout, because listening to music, audiobooks, and podcasts can help the long miles pass a bit easier.
But many runners struggle to find a good pair of earphones to wear while exercising, as most of the options available are cheap, easily broken, and offer subpar sound quality. Since you’ll be moving at a fast pace and sweating a lot, you’ll naturally put more stress on any set of earbuds you buy, and not everything is up to the task of handling those challenges. That said, there are some high-quality options specifically designed with the needs of runners in mind. Here are some of the very best.
Yurbuds has been making earphones for runners for a number of years now, and that heritage shows in the refinement of their designs. Not only are these earphones sweat-proof and durable, they feature a fit that’s designed to hold them in place even when you’re exercising very vigorously. Sound quality is good, but they are built to allow in ambient outside noises as well, which is important for staying safe out on the road. At just $29.99, they’re very affordable too. They even come with a full money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.
For a pair of earbuds that offer a bit more bass in their sound, step up to the Relays Sport from Sol Republic. These earphones are small and discreet but offer a good fit that makes them a solid choice for any workout. They even come with a nice inline remote that allows you to pause your music, adjust volume, or skip tracks without having to touch your smartphone. That’s the kind of convenience runners need while out on the road.
JBL is well known for making headphones that offer good overall sound, and this can clearly be heard in their Synchros Reflect earbuds. The audio quality of these earphones is top notch, but it is the little details that make them a good choice for runners. For instance, they derive their name from the fact that the cables are highly reflective, which allows them to glow when struck by light in a dark environment. They are also sweat proof, feature an inline remote and mic for taking phone calls, and have a magnetic cable management system to keep them from getting tangled. Best of all, they are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, which should make them popular with distance runners.
A lot of runners prefer to use wireless Bluetooth headphones because they have no cables to deal with while working out. There are a number of options to choose from in this category, with the new earbuds from Under Armour particularly standing out. For wireless earphones, they offer excellent sound and a surprisingly comfortable fit. They also have impressive battery life, providing 8 hours of playback between charges. You’ll even find a complimentary 12-month membership to MapMyFitness in the box.
The Jabra Sport Pulse is another great option for anyone looking for the freedom that comes from wireless headphones. These earbuds will not only allow you to cut the cord, but they also offer some other nice features. For instance, the Sport Pulse comes with a built-in heart rate monitor that can replace the bulky ones that runners often wear around their chest. This cardio sensor can provide audio cues of your performance mid-run and track your workout via a custom smartphone app too. They are very durable, provide surprisingly good sound, and feature a highly customizable fit as well. Battery life is about 5 hours, though, so be sure to charge them regularly.
These are just a few of the numerous earphone options that are available for runners, and in my opinion, they are among the very best. I have used each of these earbuds at one time or another and was very pleased with their performance. Of course, sound quality and fit often come down to personal preference, so if possible, it is always good to try your earphones out before buying them. When you find the right pair, they’ll feel light and natural in your ears, with sound that can help you run for miles on end.