You’re almost there. Your running pace is practically meditative, your heartbeat is optimal, your muscles are primed, you’re one with the beat… and then you feel your headphones dislodge. Nothing can destroy your exercise zen faster than a pair of ill-fitting headphones.
The choice between over-ear headphones and earbuds depends on the user: Ask yourself if you'd be comfortable with the fit of in-ear buds or one-size-fits-all headphones. Ideally, these should be wireless and sweat-resistant, with sufficient battery life. Some sporty earbuds have wings or hooks to keep them from dislodging, but the possibility of losing one of the pair during a high-intensity workout is still a valid concern.
"Though I'm not a fan of having anything in or on my ears when I'm exercising, Bluetooth headphones are easier to put on and put away, depending on the intensity," said Sanja Velimirovic, a personal trainer at DubaiPT Personal Trainers, with 15 years of experience. "I find Dr. Dre Beats Studio3 the best - they're comfortable and stay put during exercises that don't involve jumping. The battery life and call quality are very good, too."
Once again, the type of workout headphones boils down to your preference - let's not discount the freedom of movement that earbuds can offer, without the bulk of over-ear cans sitting on the head. Velimirovic also adds that over-ear headphones might be inconvenient for those who sweat a lot.
So, we dug through Amazon to find the best-reviewed headphones for exercise, whether you’re weight training at the gym or running outdoors. Pick them up while they're on sale. Get them as early as tomorrow with Amazon Prime, and make exercise an interruption-free endeavour.
1. Best Overall: Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones, White
- Stay on during training
- Up to 40 hours of battery life, without noise cancelling
- Compatible with Android devices, too
- Decent noise cancellation
- Music controls are on the ear can
- Can get sweaty
Compatible with both iOS and Android devices, Beats Studio3 carries Apple's W1 chip for the best Bluetooth connectivity you could get. These wireless headphones block ambient noise using pure adaptive noise-cancelling technology, and feature on-ear controls for taking calls, skipping songs and controlling volume. The over-ear cushions are soft with advanced ventilation to take some heat off during your exercises. The Studio3 has a battery life of 22 hours, but if you're running late, just plug it in for 10 minutes before working out and get three hours of playback. Reviewers who've taken these to the gym say they're light on the head and stay put during weight training and running.
Bonus: Buy with 0 per cent instalments and pay Dh112.42 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh80 and a 2-year extended warranty for Dh132.
2. Best for Outdoors: Bose Sports Earbuds
- Tap buds for playing, pausing and answering calls
- Ergonomic design with ear wings
- Excellent audio quality for music
- Charging case extends battery life to another 10 hours
- Not ideal for calls
- No noise cancellation
Another solid choice, Bose Sports Earbuds are wireless, and IPX4-rated weather- and sweat-resistant. The pair has one of the most secure and comfortable fits of any earbuds, because of its proprietary StayHear Max tips – with a unique umbrella shape and extended, flexible wing, it remains securely in place, no matter how much you move. Its touch interface is simple and effective; tapping allows you to play or pause music, and answer or reject calls. The battery life lasts for about five hours, and if you’re out of juice, a quick 15-minute charge can revive the earbuds for up to two hours. Do note that these buds don't cancel any ambient noise, but runners in the reviews say this helps them pay attention to their environment. Cyclists also chime in with the same approval, so these buds are great for outdoor workouts.
Bonus: Buy with 0 per cent instalments and pay Dh44.92 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh35 and a 2-year extended warranty for Dh57.
3. Best Fit: Jabra Elite 7 Active Earbuds
- Silicone grip is resistant to fall-outs
- Noise cancellation can be turned off
- Battery goes up to 30 hours with the case
- Only weighs 5.5 grams each
- Comes with three earbud sizes
- Design doesn't feature ear wings
With Jabra's ShakeGrip technology, the Elite 7 Active is always a top contender in the sports headphones category worldwide. They're made with a special liquid silicone rubber compound that fixes the buds inside the ear without the need for wings. The earbuds are easy to use – a single multifunction button lets you adjust volume, skip tracks and other functions. With both noise cancelling and hear-through modes, you can switch based on your activity – the latter allows you to hold conversations or keep an ear on traffic without removing the earbuds. Four microphones allow for crystal-clear phone calls, and the charging case takes the eight-hour battery life to a whopping 30 hours. With an IP57 rating, it’s resistant to sweat, water and dust. Reviewers mention how the buds sit firmly throughout sweaty workouts and that the call quality is excellent.
Warranty: Two-year warranty from the manufacturer (registration required).
4. Best Open-Ear Headphones: Shokz OpenRun Pro Sports Headphones (Swift Black)
- Bone-conduction technology
- Delivers enhanced bass
- 10-hour battery life
- Not ideal for calls
Open-ear headphones are an excellent alternative to in- and over-ear form factors. With the Shokz OpenRun Pro sitting next to your ears, there's no need for constant adjustments nor do you have to stress about the right fit. These bone-conduction headphones deliver audio to your ears via the cheekbones, not through the air; this means your fellow gym buddies won't hear a thing. You'll still experience bass, too. Since these don't come in a charging case, the battery can't be extended when out and about - however, the headphones do last for 10 hours straight. Reviewers say the OpenRun Pro put zero strain on the ears and are super compatible with outdoor activities. While you can't expect the audio quality of an in-ear pair, these headphones prioritise your safety and comfort.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh40 and a two-year extended warranty for Dh66.
5. Best Budget: Soundcore by Anker, Sport X10 Bluetooth 5.2 Headphones
- Soft ear hooks that can be rotated
- Enhanced bass on songs
- Fully waterproof at IPX7 rating
- Tactile controls
- Recharging takes time
When it comes to uninterrupted music during workouts, this pair is undefeated on our list. The Sport X10 has rotating ear hooks for tucking in the earbuds securely. It even boasts a high IPX7 waterproof rating, with the additional SweatGuard technology to protect against any corrosion. Once paired with your device, the Bluetooth connection is instant from the moment the earphones are removed from the case the next time. Anker Soundcore delivers two times the bass in real-time, so expect to be blown away by your gym playlist. They run for up to 32 hours with the case, and eight hours without. The hooks are definitely a hit with the reviewers, especially with those who have small ear canals and wear glasses. They also appreciate the button controls over touch because there's less room for accidental pauses.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.