The Best Running Headphones, According to People Who Run a Crapton

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From earbuds to behind-the-neck options, run coaches and marathoners recommend the best wireless headphones for running.

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The Best Running Headphones

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AMAZON

Runners tend to fall into two camps: Those who run with music, and those who run without. Those who run without may prefer to take in their surroundings, but those who run with music know that the most important piece of gear after your sneakers is your headphones.

The best running headphones IMO are the Beats by Dre Powerbeats Wireless (Buy It, $119 $150, amazon.com): I ran my first three marathons (and all the training miles leading up to them) in an earlier iteration until they literally disintegrated in the middle of a 20-mile long run; the next day, I replaced them with the updated version and I've run three more marathons in those. I'll run shorter distances in my Apple AirPods, but I would never leave my house on race day without my Beats in hand.

But just like every runner's feet are different, so are their ears. The last thing you want when you're logging serious miles is headphones that chafe, a wire that tangles, earbuds that constantly fall out, or a pair that dies mid-race. It's hard to know how a pair is going to fit before you hit the road with them, though; unlike running shoes, headphones aren't exactly something you want to test in a store (gross).

What you need is a recommendation from someone you can trust — and who better than run coaches and marathoners, who put their favorite headphones to the test mile after mile after mile? Ahead, the best wireless headphones for running from Beats, UrbanEars, Apple, Aftershokz, and more.

02 of 12

Boltune Wireless Headphones

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"My current favorite running headphones are the Boltune Wireless Headphones (Buy It, $20 $24, amazon.com) — they're simple, practical, and comfortable," says Thomas Watson, a UESCA-certified running coach, ultra-runner, and founder of Marathon Handbook. "Their Bluetooth has been faultless with no connectivity issues, and the battery life seems to last forever; when they do eventually die. They take five minutes to charge enough for me to squeeze a 10K in. I run a lot in humid environments and have wrecked a couple of pairs of headphones by flooding them with sweat, but these are totally waterproof and still sound great after months of sweaty runs!" (

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Apple AirPods

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Apple

"I'm a huge fan of Apple AirPods (Buy It, $129, $159, amazon.com)," says Corinne Fitzgerald, a triathlete, certified personal trainer, and head coach at Mile High Run Club treadmill studio in New York City. "Not only are they wireless, but you can run with only one in at a time, which is particularly useful for safety reasons if you're running alone or at night. You can also customize them for different functions, like programming them to skip to the next song if you double tap the left side and pausing the music if you double tap the right, which keeps your hands free on the run. I know they don't fit everyone, but if regular Apple headphones fit in your ears and don't fall out, you won't have any issues with these slipping out, either." (Also, they finally have enough battery to last through a full marathon!)

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Powerbeats Pro True Wireless In-Ear Headphones

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"My go-to headphones are the Powerbeats Pro True Wireless In-Ear Headphones (Buy It, $200, amazon.com)," says Michael Keeney, a Daily Burn running coach. "They're sweat-resistant, so they won't fall out when sweat starts dropping into your ears. The shape and structure really keep them in place, even without a wire, and I find them to be super comfortable."

Allison Felsenthal, UESCA certified running coach, also considers this pair the best running headphones. "The battery life also lasts forever, so I never have to worry about these headphones not being fully charged on my long run days, and the sound quality is excellent," she adds.

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UrbanEars Stadion

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"I've been using UrbanEars Stadion Headphones (Buy It, $82, amazon.com), and I'm literally obsessed," says Lindsey Clayton, a marathoner, RRCA-certified run coach, and trainer at Barry's Bootcamp in New York. "They don't budge on the run, there's no cord getting tangled in front of my face or behind my head, and there are buttons on the back that let me skip and repeat songs, adjust the volume, etc. But I think the best feature is how comfortable they are — they fit so perfectly around my head and in my ears, I almost forget they're there sometimes! It's one less thing to worry about on a long run." (Clayton is also a co-founder of the Brave Body Project, and is on a mission to shut-up body-shamers.)

06 of 12

Aftershokz Aeropex Wireless Headphones

aftershokz-bone-conduction-best-running-headphones
Amazon

"No matter what type of run I'm doing, the Aftershokz Aeropex wireless headphones (Buy It, $160, amazon.com) always stay in place," says Amanda Nurse, a Boston-based run coach, elite runner, and Olympic Marathon Trials competitor. "The fit is perfect; they go around my ears, not inside them so I don't have to worry about them slipping out when I get sweaty. And I love the bone conduction technology, not just because they produce great quality sound, but because I still feel safe while running (I can hear bikes passing by and car horns despite having the volume up). Also, the battery life is amazing — eight full hours! — so I'm never worried about them dying during 22-mile long runs!" (

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Jaybird Sport Vista

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"The Jaybird Sport Vista headphones (Buy It, $150 $180, amazon.com) are the only wireless headphones that actually stay in my ear," says Jes Woods, a Nike Run Club coach in New York City, ultrarunner, and the creator of this guide to How to Train for a Half Marathon for Beginners. "They come with three different rubber sizes, so hopefully everyone can find the perfect fit and have the same 'never falls out' experience that I do (through rain and sweat)."

David Siik, Precision Run creator and Equinox+ instructor, also swears by this pair. "They are the most stable, low profile, comfortable well-fitting buds I've ever run in," he adds. "I can use them for everything. I'm an active guy and on weekends I'll go from a hard run to using power tools (I'm a habitual renovator). I get them dirty, wet, you name it — they have never failed me."

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Sony Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones for Sports

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Amazon

"These Sony Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones (Buy It, $80 $180, amazon.com) quickly became a favorite in our house because of the noise-canceling feature," says Amanda Brooks, a running coach, certified personal trainer, and creator of Run to the Finish. "At the gym, they help to block things out so I can focus on my podcast or following a strength workout on my phone, and outside, I can turn that feature off while running to stay aware of my surroundings."

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Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

best running headphones
Amazon

For a pair of wireless earbuds that stays put during her runs, SLT tread instructor Pamela Trujillo loves the Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds (Buy It, $141 $200, amazon.com). "They have a special grip coating, which keeps them securely in your ears while running," she says. "They have amazing sound quality with a ton of bass, and offer active noise cancellation for when you want to zone out to the music." They're also sweat-proof and offer 7.5 hours of listening time, so you can rest assured they'll stick with you through long runs. Trujillo is also a fan of Jabra's Sound+ app, which makes it possible to customize the audio of the headphones further using the audio equalizer.

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Bose Frames Tempo

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Amazon

The Bose Frames Tempo (Buy It, $249, amazon.com) may be the most unconventional pair of headphones on this list, but they're great for several reasons. "Nothing goes into your actual ear, so you can still hear what's going on around you, which is key for safety," explains Frankie Ruiz, chief running officer at Life Time and co-founder of the Miami Marathon. "Yet the sound quality is incredible." Plus, if you regularly run in the sun, these mean your shades and headphones don't need to battle for ear space.

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Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro
Amazon

For some runners, Apple AirPods Pro (Buy It, $214 $249, amazon.com) are well worth the upgrade. "With their transparency mode that lets you hear your surroundings, they're great for running indoors or outdoors," says Jerry Housey, certified trainer, runner, and founder of Strong House Fitness. "But if I'm truly zoning out, the noise cancellation option is by far my favorite feature for my daily meditative run. They fit comfortably in my ears, and I usually forget they're there until I get a call."

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JBL Reflect Mini 2.0 In-Ear Wireless Sport Headphones

best running headphones
Amazon

A lot of great running headphones come with a steep price tag — but that doesn't mean there aren't more affordable options. "I love the JBL Reflect Mini 2.0 earbuds (Buy It, $34, amazon.com) and recommend them to patients that run a lot or do HIIT because they form a tight seal in your ears and stay in place no matter the movement," says Sandra Frayna, sports physical therapist at Hudson Premier PT. Plus they're great for running at night, since "these earbuds have light reflective cables for nighttime visibility, are water- and sweat-resistant, and have full-day's worth of battery life."

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