Top 10 Best Wireless Earbuds for Running 2018

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(Jaybird)

If you listen to music while you run, workout, or play sports, you’re probably familiar with the feeling of accidentally ripping out your headphone cables in the heat of action.

Or worse, you might have tried exercising with over-ear headphones, only to ruin the ear cups the first time you dripped sweat on them.

The best option for someone who is always moving is a good pair of Bluetooth earbuds.

Wireless earbuds free you from the burden of the audio cable without compromising audio quality.

Many earbuds are even specifically designed for fitness use, boasting sweat-proofing, rugged casings, and internal batteries that outlast even the most insane workouts.

That said, finding the right pair of headphones to meet your needs and budget can be tedious, so we’ve simplified things by laying out the best available wireless earbuds for fitness freaks.

Check out our favorite earbuds below, and cut the cable before you rip them out of your ears one more time.


1. JayBird BlueBuds X3

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(Amazon)

The JayBird BlueBuds X3 are considered one of the top sets of Bluetooth earbuds for running, and most users will find that their higher price is absolutely worth it for their comfort and custom-tailored sound.

The earbuds themselves come with several interchangeable tips and optional wing-shaped ear cushions ensure that the buds stay in place while you’re moving about. As with most Bluetooth earbuds, the cable that wraps behind your neck is flat and tangle-free.

These earbuds can last through a week of runs with its 8 hour battery life. One downside of this set is that is has a proprietary charging cable, which wasn’t the case for the X2s that came before.

The X3 does see the return of the X2’s hydrophobic Liquipel coating coating, though. It repels sweat so well that JayBird offers a lifetime warranty against sweat damage. The inline controls that handle volume, calls, and track controls are nice, but the beeping you get as feedback for changing the volume is somewhat of an annoyance. Bluetooth 4.1 connection is painless and yields an above-average range.

Aside from its beeps, all the other sounds out of the BlueBuds X3 are phenomenal. Bluetooth transmission does set an upward limit for sound quality, but these headphones approach it with a rounded low-end, with downsized mids and a crisp mid-high frequency.

While their sound is not as flat or true as an over-ear pair of headphones might get, these balanced EQ tweaks help reduce listener fatigue for extended listening. Their fidelity is still a big strong point, offering <5% total harmonic distortion even at max volume.

Their fairly robust passive noise isolation could be hazardous around workout equipment, but makes for improved bass response, so this is a mixed bag. If sound quality is the most important feature for your workout headphones, the BlueBuds X2 will be an easy pick.

Price: $99.99 (23 percent off MSRP)

Buy the JayBird BlueBuds X3 here.


Pros:

  • 8 hour battery life
  • Great audio mix for extended listening
  • Lifetime sweat warranty

Cons:

  • Inline mic is so-so quality
  • Proprietary charging cable
  • High price tag

Find more JayBird BlueBuds X3 information and reviews here.



2. Jabra Sport Pulse

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(Amazon)

The Jabra Sport Pulse is unique for combining quality portable audio with a powerful suite of app-powered workout tools based on its built-in heart rate monitor.

The left earbud of these stylish speakers has a button that syncs with Jabra’s Sport Life app to help you set and meet goals based on heart rate zones, calories burned, distance, etc.

After you set a goal in the app, pressing the button on the left earbud reads out your progress toward that goal, helping you get that extra drive for greatness.

But while the app has a thorough feature set for cardio workouts, it has limited incorporation of music streaming features, meaning you have to close out of it to get to apps like Spotify, Pandora, or iHeartRadio.

On top of this, these headphones sound great, offering a balanced sound with a solid low-end sound. Mids are reduced at select frequencies to prevent fatigue from long-term listening, and this is done without negatively affecting the balance of the sound.

The high-end, however, is a little bright, and can overpower the low-end if you don’t get a proper seal out of the earbuds. The Sport Life app does offer EQ settings as well for those who like to dial in their sound.

These headphones also offer a number of other great benefits, including a durable kevlar casing that is IP55 shock and weather-resistant, congruent with military standards. Phone calls sound great, as can be expected from Jabra products, and calls can be answered via inline controls for seamless use.

The headphones get a decent 4.5 hours of battery life, but this is significantly less than what other wireless earbuds offer for battery life. Unless you do some beastly workouts this should not be an issue.

However, if you are looking for a pair of cans that can bring your workout to the next level, these are the perfect pair.

Price: $99.00 (38 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Jabra Sport Pulse here.


Pros:

  • Built-in heart rate monitor
  • Great audio mix for extended listening
  • IP55 rating withstands dust, rain, and sweat

Cons:

  • Sound app has limited music playback integration
  • 4.5 hour battery life could be better
  • High price tag

Find more Jabra Sport Pulse information and reviews here.



3. Jabra Sport Coach

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(Amazon)

The Sport Coach is another excellent option from Jabra, which, as the name suggests, also has the benefit of intelligent audio coaching via an integrated app. Like Jabra’s Pulse model, these earbuds come with a wide selection of eartips and wings, though the sample unit I reviewed fit my average-sized ears right out of the box.

They also share the same IP55 shock and weather resistance, ensuring protection from sweat, rain, and drops, making them great for even the toughest workouts. These two units differ in how they track your fitness, though, as the Sport Coach uses its TrackFit motion-tracking accelerometer rather than a heart rate monitor to measure your workout.

While runners and cyclists might miss the heart rate for cardio workouts, those doing cross training will benefit from the in-depth workout planning, which uses the charming female coach voice to guide you through sets of reps.

I used mine for both running and cross training, and the readouts from the Sport Life app were useful and motivating, especially getting your pace in the moment with the sport button on the left earbud.

The built-in accelerometer gets much more use when you are running, as it does not have the accuracy to count individual workout reps for you, but there have been hints that this functionality is forthcoming.

As for sound on the Sport Coach, audio quality is fairly impressive for something that puts so much emphasis on being a workout tool. Bluetooth A2DP brings a nice boost in clarity and dynamics for wireless listening, and the Jabra Sound app’s full EQ customization allow you to accurately dial in your preferred sound.

The overall low-end sound that the speakers are capable of will not blow you away, but they will still provide plenty of volume and pumping sound at high volumes. Otherwise highs are clear and mids are distinct, which makes these headphones good enough to listen to at home or at the gym.

But while the Sport Life app easily pairs with other workout apps, the Sound app has limited incorporation of music streaming features, meaning you have to close out of it to get to apps like Spotify, Pandora, or iHeartRadio.

The Sport Coach’s 5.5 hour battery life is a slight upgrade over that of the Pulse earbuds, but still sits somewhere in the middle of the battery life spectrum. Bluetooth connection is solid and is supported with NFC connection as well.

Though the price is still a little high, this model is cheaper than the Jabra Pulse, and both headphones offer an amazing value, especially if you have the discipline needed to make the Sport Coach your own personal trainer.

Price: $79.99 (33 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Jabra Sport Coach here.


Pros:

  • Motion-tracking accelerometer
  • Fully adjustible EQ for dialed A2DP sound
  • IP55 rating withstands dust, rain, and sweat

Cons:

  • High price tag
  • Accelerometer should integrate into workouts more
  • Sound app has limited music playback integration

Find more Jabra Sport Coach information and reviews here.



4. SoundPEATS Qy7

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(Amazon)

The SoundPEATS Qy7 is a go-to pair of budget Bluetooth earbuds which offer durability and performance for a price that is hard to beat. The distinct color of its flat cable is matched by the onboard controls, which are fairly manageable.

The build quality is fairly durable and sweat-proof as well, except the plastic cover over the Micro USB charger is rather flimsy. Its 5 hour battery life is average, and good enough for a few days of activity until you have to recharge.

Bluetooth connecting is straightforward, but these headphones get fairly poor Bluetooth range, and would probably cut off at around 30 feet.

Considering the price, the Qy7 sounds fairly rich and full across its highs, mids, and lows. Like other speakers that aim for long-term use, these headphones have a V-shaped sound curve, with punchy and present lows against crisp highs.

The sound is balanced but does not stand out as uncharacteristically good. The speakers do not get loud, but this is not needed if you use the right ear tips for a proper fit. Doing so greatly improves the isolation of the sound, especially on phone calls.

Phone calls are so-so anyway, as the mic is placed too far from your mouth to give good outgoing sound. Overall, the Qy7s are a great budget pair of Bluetooth earbuds, and you would have to spend quite a bit more to find a significant upgrade.

Price: $19.99 (50 percent off MSRP)

Buy the SoundPEATS Qy7 here.


Pros:

  • Solid audio performance
  • Compact, durable, and sweat-proof
  • Low price tag

Cons:

  • Awkward mic placement
  • Subpar Bluetooth range
  • Included Micro USB charging cable is very short

Find more Soundpeats Qy7 information and reviews here.



5. JBL Reflect Mini

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(Amazon)

JBL’s Reflect Mini is a lightweight and low price alternative to more popular sports earbuds like the Jaybird X3s, yet they have lots of the same features.

The Reflect Minis are a well thought out pair of headphones, offering a lightweight casing and a reflective wire that helps improve visibility when you are running at night.

These earbuds are also water and sweat resistant, right down to the three different ear tips they include for a proper fit.

Despite the Reflect Mini’s extra mini 5.8mm drivers, these headphones put out a fairly present sound with a high max volume. Their sound signature is balanced, but still fun to listen to. Highs are crisp, while the mids and low-end are prominent and clear.

The bass is tight, though weaker than larger headphones. It still rounds the sound out without adding any muddiness to the mix.

These headphones have inline volume controls and a built-in mic for answering phone calls. Their battery life is eight hours, which is decent, but could be better.

For their price, though, these easily compete with higher-end sports headphones, and stand out as a great budget pick for any active user.

Price: $72.00

Buy the JBL Reflect Mini Bluetooth In-Ear Sport Headphones here.


Pros:

  • Reflective cable and water-resistant casing
  • Clean, balanced sound
  • Lightweight and durable

Cons:

  • Battery life could be better
  • Somewhat subdued low-end

Find more JBL Reflect Mini Bluetooth In-Ear Sport Headphones information and reviews here.



6. Plantronics BackBeat Go 2

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(Amazon)

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 is a compact and lightweight pair of wireless headphones that stands out among other midrange price options. In addition to being small and lightweight, the BackBeat Go 2 earbuds are P2i nano-coated for sweat and water resistance.

They are comfortable to wear, but despite the fact that they come with three different sizes of ear tips, some users still reported a challenging fit.

While the battery itself holds enough charge for 4.5 hours of playtime, these headphones come with a charging case that, when plugged in via Micro USB, offers an additional 10 hours of playtime.

This feature might only get fringe use, but offers convenience in a pinch, as it can offer an additional hour of playtime from just 20 minutes of charging. Note that these headphones are available for about $10 cheaper without the charging case as well.

Overall, the BackBeat Go 2 earbuds sound solid but do not offer the same top-quality sound you get from headphones twice the price. The bass falls a little short, which is excusable considering the size of these speakers.

The lower mids and mids offer more punch and round out the sound, while highs are mostly clear. Incoming voice in phone calls sounds fine, but the microphone for the outgoing voice lacks noise canceling, and easily picks up ambient sounds.

For what it is, the BackBeat Go 2 is a great pick for the impulse runner, who would greatly benefit from having a charging case on the go.

Price: $49.99 (23 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 here.


Pros:

  • Charging case offers an additional 10 hours battery life
  • Durable, sweat-resistant design
  • Compact and comfortable

Cons:

  • Slightly weaker low-end sound
  • Mic for phone calls picks up excess noise
  • Do not stay in the ear as well as top models

Find more Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 information and reviews here.



7. Mpow Cheetah

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(Amazon)

The Mpow Cheetah is one last budget option for Bluetooth headphones, and it is one that provides an ergonomic feel and quality sound that makes it seem like a more expensive pair of cans. The plastic materials used to make the compact earpiece are not high quality, but they are durable comfortable to wear.

The included ear tips won’t work for everyone, but provided you can find a universal ear tip with a good seal, these will be great headphones for anyone. Bluetooth 4.1 connection is fast and easy too, and these earbuds also offer aptX support for listening to higher quality audio.

The 8 hour battery life is very impressive, and adds a lot of value to these headphones. The controls included are accessible and decent as well.

The sound on these speakers is surprisingly clear, and not at all tinny. The bass and mids are fairly rich, and the highs are crisp without agitating the ear in longer listening periods.

Unfortunately, the rest of the sounds you’ll encounter using the Cheetahs are not as pleasant as the audio. The feedback beeps from changing volume, as well as the constantly repeating warning when your battery is low will interfere with your listening experience because of how loud they are.

And likewise, the built-in microphone for phone calls is included as somewhat of a gimmick, as it works for taking quick calls, but is not of good enough quality for daily use. Incoming calls do sound fine though.

Despite being relatively inexpensive, the Mpow Cheetahs are a well-rounded pair of headphones that you won’t regret bringing on your next run.

Price: $25.69 (17 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Mpow Cheetah here.


Pros:

  • 8 hour battery
  • Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX
  • Low price tag

Cons:

  • Volume change beep is annoying
  • Low quality microphone
  • Does not come with a way to manage cable length

Find more Mpow Cheetah information and reviews here.



8. Photive PH-BTE70

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(Amazon)

Photive’s PH-BTE70 is another popular midrange option for wireless listening while you run, especially since they offer useful ear hooks to keep the buds in place while you are on the move.

Their silky rubber finish is treated with hydrophobic Liquipel coating, which means there is no need to worry about rain or sweat either, even around the onboard controls.

The Bluetooth 4.0 connection is easy to set up, and if connected to an aptX-compatible device it can deliver quality beyond that of an average Bluetooth connection. With a 6 hour battery life, these cans can last through the most brutal workout sessions as well.

Considering the limitations on audio that Bluetooth places, the PH-BTE70s sound exceptional, especially when using the aptX codec. Bass levels are deep considering the physical limitations of the speaker, and both mids and highs are clear at any volume level.

Phone calls are possible, but really nothing special on this headset. Instead, it is best for listening to the music that you love without having to deal with earbuds falling out every 10 minutes.

Price: $29.95 (63 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Photive PH-BTE70 here.


Pros:

  • Ear hooks help keep earbuds in place
  • 6 hour battery life
  • Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX for higher quality listening

Cons:

  • So-so build quality
  • Volume change beep is annoying
  • Non-flat cable tangles easier

Find more Photive PH-BTE70 information and reviews here.



9. BÖHM S10

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(Amazon)

The S10 headphones from BÖHM are, oddly enough, the only headphones on this list that are truly wireless. These earbuds are two independent speakers, not connected by anything other than Bluetooth.

Each earbud has its own power button on top, and the two will automatically pair with each other when turned on. They also have controls for volume and tracking, plus a built-in mic for phone calls. This is all covered in a sweatproof coating that makes them great for long runs.

The BÖHM earbuds come with three different sets of ear hooks and tips, which help stabilize the buds in your ear canal. Once you choose the ear hooks for a proper fit, the earbuds provide an excellent seal, which greatly enhances the overall sound.

In the sound department, the S10s score fairly high marks with respect to their price range. The midrange is clear and detailed, even though the very high end can be a little harsh.

The low-end is balanced and not overpowering, so lead vocals and bass blend without issue. Music of all genres sounds quite nice through these earbuds, but because of the somewhat weakened highs, are not the best choice for detailed listening.

Nonetheless, their compact form factor makes them a major convenience when working out. And those who are usually bothered by cords running along their necks will not have to worry about the S10s.

These earbuds also come with a magnetic charging case that helps you keep them in one place when not using them, and allows you to charge the battery of each earpiece at the same time.

This charging case also serves as a backup charging solution, and has an internal battery that can recharge your earbuds for nine hours of listening time up to four additional times.

Ultimately, this truly wireless form factor is only just starting to catch on. BÖHM’s S10s might soon see a new version, but until they do, this pair is hard to contest.

Price: $81.98

Buy the BÖHM S10 here.


Pros:

  • Full wireless design with a convenient charging case
  • 9 hour battery life
  • Excellent and secure seal from sweatproof eartips

Cons:

  • Non-tethered earbuds can be easily lost
  • Can be difficult to remove from charging case
  • High-end can be somewhat harsh

Find more BÖHM S10 information and reviews here.



10. Bose SoundSport Wireless

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(Amazon)

The new SoundSports wireless earbuds are the second sports headphone from Bose, and they deliver the Bose signature sound in a much more workout-friendly manner than their 1.0 version.

Comparative to other headphones, the Soundsports are a bit bulky, and they protrude from your ears. However, they are thoroughly sweat and water resistant, and fit decently into your ear via three different ear hook and ear tip combos.

The eartips do not go fully into your ear canal, but this allows a necessary amount of external noise to bleed in. This keeps you alert of your surroundings while you run, but can mean a bit more wind noise on a gusty day.

This hardly affects the sound though, as these headphones offer accurate and enjoyable listening. Unlike other Bose products, the SoundSports are neutral and balanced instead of boomy and bass-boosted.

The bass is still well-defined, but it gives way to a present and faithful midrange. The highs are just right, and don’t distort at high volumes.

These cans have volume-optimized EQ, which helps prevent listener fatigue by cutting certain frequencies as you raise the volume. The Bose Connect app loosely controls this but does not offer listener profiles or other fancier features.

These fast-charging headphones deliver about six hours of play time on one charge, and have inline controls for volume and tracking, plus an integrated mic.

All in all, the Bose SoundSport a great sounding set of headphones. They are a worthwhile purchase, as long as you don’t accidentally order the first generation product, which is not at all sweat-resistant.

Price: $134.00 (10 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Bose SoundSport Wireless here.


Pros:

  • Volume-optimized EQ for reduced listener fatigue
  • Clear and balanced sound
  • Durable and water resistant

Cons:

  • Bulky form factor
  • High price tag
  • Could be easily confused for the v1.0 product, which is not sweat-resistant

Find more Bose SoundSport information and reviews here.



Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

2 Comments

2 Comments

Elijah Erwin

Check out the Rowkin earbud’s reviews. I’m just so impressed by its features and price that I think I’m gonna get one for me soon!

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