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The best running headphones

The best running headphonesAfter comparing dozens of models, we believe the Jabra Elite Sport are the best running headphones.  These fully wireless earbuds go way beyond simply offering you music to-go. With onboard fitness tracking, robust resistance to water and sweat, and a shape that is guaranteed to stay put no matter how hard you like to pound the pavement, they’re everything a runner could ask for in a set of headphones.

Our team went the distance on this roundup, merging the expert opinions of our combined 50-plus years of audio industry experience, with our serious fitness bench depth, to finally land on our winning headphones. We’re extremely confident that the Jabra Elite Sport are the best running headphone for most people, but we’ve also assembled a list of five alternatives in case they’re not right for you. Each of these options has specific strengths, so consider your needs, and decide accordingly. The selections below are the best headphones for running but also kick ass for general fitness, too.

At a glance

Product Category Rating
Jabra Elite Sport Best running headphones overall 4 out of 5
Anker SoundBuds Sport Best no-frills pick Not yet rated
V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless Best for both running and everyday use 4.5 out of 5
JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash Best for those who like to get wet 3.5 out of 5

The best

The best running headphones Ted Kritsonis/Digital Trends

Why you should buy them: Between fitness tracking, sound quality, battery life, and full wireless design, the Elite Sport is decked out with every feature serious athletes would want.

Who they’re for: Runners who want the best mix of sound, features, and durability

Why we picked the Elite Sport:

When looking for headphones you can wear while running — or engaging in any exercise — you’re likely looking for the lightest and least cumbersome option that also sounds great and has excellent battery life. Jabra’s fully wireless Elite Sport headphones are all the above and are some of the best fully wireless headphones we’ve had the pleasure of testing. They are waterproof, offer great performance, and have a flexible-yet-secure– fit that puts them a cut above most other true wireless earbuds on the market.

In terms of performance, not only do the Elite Sport sound great, the lack of a wire eliminates that annoying jostling sound you get when wearing a pair of wired headphones that tend to ruin your listening experience. The lack of wire actually allows them to stay firmly in place in your ears too, as there isn’t an annoying cable pulling on them while you run.

Jabra went an extra step in making them great for runners by putting a heart rate monitor in the right earpiece and when paired with Jabra’s Sport Life app, the headphones provide heart-rate readings during workouts — you can even add and track specific workouts for more in-depth statistics.

The 4.5-hour battery life should be plenty to get you through your runs or gym workouts but the inclusion of a charging case makes powering them up while on-the-go a cinch. To top it off, these buds are IP67 waterproof, so rainy runs are a go.

Read our full Jabra Elite Sport review

Anker SoundBuds Sport

The best no-frills pick

The best running headphones

Why you should buy them: If you’re on a budget and don’t need a suite of features, Anker’s SoundBuds Sport is the perfect, straightforward option.

Who they’re for:Runners on a budget who still want wireless connectivity.

Why we picked SoundBuds Sport: 

These headphones offer wireless connectivity, eight hours of battery life, and are sweat-proof, making them well suited for use at the gym or an outdoor run. They offer three sizes of silicone tips to help find the right fit capable of keeping them stable in your ears and they’re even equipped with noise-canceling technology.

Best of all, however, is the fact the Anker SoundBuds Sports are incredibly easy on the wallet, selling for just $30. That makes them the perfect choice for runners who aren’t looking for a lot of fancy features or simply don’t want to spend a lot on a pair of headphones — after all, with as much beating as these are going to take, it doesn’t hurt to pinch pennies when you can.

V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless

The best for both running and everyday use

The best running headphones

Why you should buy them: The Forza Metallo Wireless stays put regardless of what activity you’re engaged in while wearing them.

Who they’re for: Those who want a single pair of headphones for use during any activity.

Why we picked the V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless:

The water-resistant V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless are a straightforward pair of earbuds that put excellent sound quality at the forefront, with a round and warm sound signature that pairs well with virtually all genres. However, sound quality alone isn’t enough to make them a good pick for your workouts. To keep them in your ears, a wide assortment of sport fins and tips are included. Almost any listener will find a perfect seal and they’re made from a soft rubber compound that ranks them among the most comfortable in-ears we’ve ever encountered.

These earbuds have also been built to survive rain and sweat and are a perfect companion for workouts, rainy commutes, or any other outdoor activities that beg for a crisp and clear soundtrack. Even the rainy climate our Portland, Oregon, office is located in was no match for these durable headphones.

Read our full V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless review

JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash

The best for noisy runs

The best running headphones

Why you should buy them: The JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash can handle your sweatiest workouts and are comfortable enough for long listening sessions.

Who it’s for: Those who want a set of fully wireless earbuds that can survive the most intense workout routine.

Why we chose the True Wireless Flash:

With no awkward cables to get in the way, truly wireless earbuds seem like they were designed specifically for runners, and everyone else with a super active workout routine. But if you’ve looked around, you probably noticed a lot of models — specifically Apple’s super popular AirPods — just aren’t built for sports. They can’t handle much sweat and they aren’t designed to stay securely in your ears no matter how much you pound the pavement. That is where the JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash shine. With a five-hour battery life that can be extended to 20 hours via the charging case, they offer a good amount of playtime. But it’s their IPX7 rating and ultra-secure, yet comfortable, ear fins that earns them a spot in this list.

Though similar to the excellent Jabra Elite Active 65t, the True Wireless Flash has the edge when it comes to running and other workouts thanks to its superior fit and comfort.

Read our full JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash review

Editors' Recommendations

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