It’s easy to see the allure of completely cable-free earphones for runners—it’s one less thing in the way, and especially on runs in hot weather, the absence of a neckband can be a blessing. But not all true wireless earbuds are made for running, and among the ones that are, some are better than others.
In such a young product category, it’s important to remember that the designs are improving at a rapid pace, but you’re still getting in early enough that some kinks are not yet totally ironed out. That said, there are already plenty of solid options we feel comfortable recommending.
Whether you’re an experienced marathon runner, or are just getting into seriously exercising, using the right earbuds can make so much difference. If you’re tired of getting tangled up in cables, then wireless Bluetooth earbuds can keep your training stress free! They’re light-weight, discreet, and won’t interfere with your activities. No matter your running style, you’re sure to find the best pair of running earbuds to suit your requirements.
With so many options on the market this year, it can be hard to know where to start. If you’re unsure what style, shape, or extra features will suit you best, then our handy guide has all the information you need. Our list of the top ten best earbuds for runners has a great selection of options to suit any audio requirement, and our useful buyer’s tips will provide you with all the right details.
5 Best Wireless Earbuds for Running of 2021:
The best wireless earbuds for running that we’ve tested are the Beats Powerbeats Pro. Thanks to their ear-hook design, these truly wireless in-ears have a very stable fit, so they shouldn’t move around during your run. They’re lightweight and breathable, so they should be comfortable on your ear even throughout your longest runs.
They have a very neutral, balanced sound profile that’s well-suited to a wide range of music genres, so you can stay motivated with your favorite tunes. They don’t block out a lot of background noise, either, which can help you stay aware of your surroundings if you’re running outdoors. With an over 11-hour battery life, they shouldn’t run out of battery during your workout, either.
Unfortunately, because they have poor noise isolation performance, they may not be the best choice to wear on the treadmill at a noisy gym. They also don’t have any sound customization features, which may be disappointing for some listeners. However, these stable in-ears are still a solid choice for runners.
- Magically seamless setup, just like with AirPods
- Lengthy battery life
- Well-balanced sound
- Comfortable, stable fit for running
- Bulky charging case
Our second pair of the best working out headphones is the Arbily Bluetooth Earbuds. They deliver rich bass and a dynamic sound signature, and even have noise isolating technology so that you can enjoy a great run distraction free.
The advanced Bluetooth 5.0 chip ensures fast pairing straight out of the case. With 30ft of range, nothing will restrict you as you run outdoors or in the gym. The great 5 hour battery life and impressive IPX7 water resistance means you won’t have to cut your run short due to weather or low charge, either.
These completely wire free earbuds mean you won’t have to worry about extra cords and cables, and soft hooks ensure a secure fit while you exercise. A built-in mic and control buttons let you take calls on the go, while stereo and mono listening modes allow you to customize your audio experience.
The addition of a handy case that gives you an extra 55 hours of power makes the Arbily headphones a really convenient pick.
- Long battery life
- Good quality calls
- Comfortable fit
- Easy to set up
- The Treble is not quite good
The Poly (formerly Plantronics) BackBeat Fit 3150 unsealed earbuds provide musical motivation without isolation, which is ideal for running outdoors. With no cable connecting the earbuds, the 3150’s true wireless design feels completely freeing to wear, especially if you’ve spent years fussing over cord management during your runs. These wireless earbuds fit securely no matter how bouncy your stride, with a rubberized hook over each ear and stabilizing wings to keep them in place. They are water- and sweat-resistant (with a rating of IP57), and they sound better than almost all other unsealed workout earbuds we’ve tested.
To safely run outside, it’s important to hear your surroundings, and the BackBeat Fit 3150’s unsealed design allows ambient sound to reach your ears while still letting you enjoy your music. You can find other true wireless headphones designed to block external noise, which is good for use in the gym, but the lack of situational awareness with those models prompted us to rule them out for this guide.
The design of the BackBeat Fit 3150 pair is simple and intuitive. While other earbuds require you to spend time swapping out tips, wings, and cable ties to get the perfect fit, these headphones go on simply—you just hook them over your ears and then pivot the stabilizing wing and earbud into each ear canal.
- Easy to use
- Sleek design
- Has an excellent battery life
- Good charging capability
- The charging case is rather big
4. AirPods Pro
AirPods were never designed for exercising, yet we’re still seeing them at every turn on our running routes. Well, Apple finally made a version that you can wear to work out: the AirPods Pro. The sweat and water resistance adds an extra layer of protection that its predecessors lacked. The included ear tips also make a big difference for comfort and sound quality, maintaining a secure, relaxed fit and improving clarity by sealing out ambient noises.
Speaking of which, the AirPods Pro welcomes active noise cancellation to the party, and it’s very good. You’ll be able to silence external sounds around you, whether in the gym or on neighborhood speed-walks. There is even a Transparency Mode for outdoor runners to hear their surroundings more clearly without pausing their music. The enhanced controls, hands-free “Siri” feature, and cool updates like spatial audio to enjoy theatrical-like audio when binging Netflix shows on the Peloton also make this one of the best sport headphones for iOS devices.
- Modern, functional design
- Great active noise cancelling
- Expanded, easy to use controls
- Comfortable semi-custom fit
- Great sound
- No companion app
- Battery life could be longer
Some of the best wireless earbuds for running with confidence are the Treblab XR800 Premium Bluetooth Sport Earphones. These earbuds feature flexible ear hooks with a stay-in-place fit to deliver high-quality HD sound with 11-mm drivers and passive noise cancellation. The IPX7 waterproof rating means you can run in any weather conditions without worrying about sweat, rain, or snow, and never lose your connection. The lightweight build is comfortable and secure, while the 30-foot range gives you the freedom to move away from your device.
Treblab XR800 earphones have a snug, comfortable fit, with sound-sealing ear tips to block out distracting ambient noise for a more immersive sound experience. Designed for sports, workouts, and running, they offer hands-free calling with a built-in microphone so you never have to break your rhythm.
These earbuds come with a handy carrying case and a USB charging cable. They include ear-tips in three sizes so you can find your perfect fit. With a fast, two-hour charge, the playback lasts for up to nine hours so you can enjoy your favorite playlist, podcast, or audiobook while running, working out, or anytime you are on-the-go. The Bluetooth 5.0 technology allows fast, secure pairing with multiple devices and voice assistance.
These are definitely on the list of the best wireless earbuds for running in comfort and security, while they also have a stylish look you’ll love.
- Waterproof for sweat and weather protection
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Built-in mic for hands-free calls
- Ear hook design for a secure fit during vigorous activity
- Built-in microphone may transfer ambient sound
- Bass-heavy sound quality
How we choose the best wireless earbuds for running
We review hundreds of products every year – and that includes plenty of headphones. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them?
We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency.
All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same price category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer, again helping to ensure consistency and avoid any personal preference.
From all of our reviews, we choose the best products to feature in our Best Buys. That’s why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended below, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you’re getting a itworld approved product.
Consider before buying running earbuds
- Sound Quality. Our staffers aren’t audiophiles, so evaluating sound quality is largely subjective. Still, we’ve all used earbuds before, and we asked our testers to compare to others they’ve tried and provide specific feedback on the way their test buds made their favorite songs and podcasts sound.
- Fit and Ambient Sound. Some runners like buds that fit deep in their ears and block all outside noise, allowing them to focus on the tunes, while others prefer lots of environmental sound from a looser fit.
- Connectivity. We also asked testers to evaluate how quickly and easily the buds connected to their phones, and how far they were able to get from their phones before the signal cut out. And we recorded any mid-run connectivity issues.
- Quality. In two weeks of testing, we encountered few quality issues, but we also asked our testers to discuss how the earbuds felt—you’d expect a $200 set of buds to feel premium compared to a $40 pair.
- Battery Life. We checked manufacturers’ claims against our testers’ experience and noted discrepancies where they occurred.
Q. Can you exercise with AirPods?
A. You can definitely exercise with Apple AirPods, and for many users, AirPods are their earbuds of choice. They’re water resistant to grade IPX4, so they have good sweat resistance and water protection. With a choice between the original AirPods and the AirPods Pro, you can decide between a harder earbud, or one with adjustable silicon caps.
Q. Are earbuds good for runners?
A. Earbuds are also very convenient for use while running. Many have built-in touch or button controls, and some even have microphones so you won’t miss a single call. They’re usually water resistant to at least grade IPX4, and often come with handy charger cases for use on the go.
Q. How can I keep my earbuds secure while running?
A. Earbuds are so compact and lightweight that they’re excellent for use while running. However, because they’re so tiny, some users may feel concerned that they’ll fall out and get lost while on the trails. Most units are designed to fit securely inside your ear canal, so they shouldn’t be able to fall out very easily. However, if you’re still unsure, there are a few things you can do to ensure the best ear fit possible.