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Best Sports headphones 2023 • 8 Sports headphones Reviews
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Tested Products 8
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Hours Spent 35
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Best Sports headphones 2023 • 8 Sports headphones Reviews

Performing regular exercise is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and what better way to exercise than with great music or podcasts to keep you motivated. Whatever your choice of soundtrack is, having a good set of sports headphones is essential.

Sports headphones Leaderboard 2023

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Tested Products
Tested Products 8
Hours Spent
Hours Spent 35
Evaluated Studies
Evaluated Studies 122
Considered Reviews
Considered Reviews 323

What are sports headphones and how do they work?

Everyone knows what headphones are; however, there are a few subtle differences when it comes to sports headphones. Headphones, in general, are a device that is inserted in or placed above the ear to allow you to listen to the audio played from another device. The benefit of headphones is that other people cannot hear what you are listening to and often the music quality is higher than if played via a speaker. However, not all headphones on the market are suitable for exercise. When we talk about sports headphones, we are referring to headphones that are designed specifically for sports.

Unlike traditional headphones, sports headphones are far more rugged. The material from which they are made ensures they are able to withstand splashes of water or sweat without being damaged. They are also generally more dust or sand resistant. In addition, sports headphones allow greater mobility than normal headphones and stay fixed in your ear far more securely.

In general, sports headphones are designed to stay well fixed inside or over the ear even during the most intense physical activity. There is nothing more annoying, in our opinion, than a pair of headphones that continually fall out while you are exercising. Just as you have special clothes or shoes to exercise, it is also essential to have specific headphones for your workout which provide the best usability.

What types of sports headphones are there?

The range of sports headphones available on the market today varies considerably. Generally, it depends on how the headphones are placed on the ear to differentiate between each type. There are three main, comparable types when it comes to the placement on the ear: in-ear, which are those placed inside the ear; on-ear, which are placed on the outside of the ear (i.e., on top of it); and over-ear, which completely cover the ear. The following list should help you compare the types of sports headphones based on their use.

  • Bluetooth: For greater freedom of movement
  • Wired: To not have battery issues
  • Waterproof: If you want to swim with your headphones
  • Inbuilt MP3 player: For exercise without a smartphone

The headphones that completely cover more of the ear tend to be bulkier and, therefore, less practical for exercise. You should also not forget about the different connectivity options when it comes to headphones. There are wireless headphones, which work with Bluetooth technology and there are models that use a cable to connect to the music source.

Finally, there are also sports headphones that feature a type of hook for a better grip of the ear. The hook, used by in-ear sports headphones, keeps the earpiece securely fastened to your ear and is less likely to fall out during exercise. There are also waterproof headphones designed for aquatic sports such as swimming.

Shopping Criteria for the Best Sports Headphones

Exercising and listening to music are two activities that combine perfectly. As important as it is to have the right footwear to workout, it is equally important, in our opinion, to have good-quality sports headphones. To purchase a pair of headphones that suit you perfectly, there are a few factors to consider. Below we explain the most important aspects to consider and compare in order to the best purchase.

  • Use
  • Battery
  • Design
  • Connectivity
  • Microphone


Knowing what you will use your sports headphones for is very important for choosing the most suitable pair. This will generally depend on the type of exercise you do and how frequently. You should form an opinion first about your requirements in order to then compare suitable pairs of sports headphones. If the type of exercise you perform is intensive, you’ll need headphones with good support. Those headphones with a hook around the ear will help them stay fixed to your ear and prevent them from slipping out.

If you practice a more static exercise, such as in a gym, in-ear headphones may be what you’re looking for. Headphones without a headband over the top of your head will provide you with a more comfortable solution. If you need greater mobility, you should look for a model with Bluetooth connectivity.

It is recommended to choose headphones that are comfortable.


Battery life is an important factor when choosing a pair of sports headphones. It’s extremely annoying to run out of battery right in the middle of a training session as it is equally annoying to have to charge them every day because their battery life is so poor.

The battery life of wireless sports headphones is usually between five and twelve hours. There are some models on the market that have a longer battery life, but they are less common. Those with a shorter battery life can be impractical and will eventually become annoying to use.

Did you know that there are headphones specifically designed for water sports. These are completely waterproof so you can listen to music while swimming.


Leaving colors or looks aside, it is important that the design of your sports headphones is suited to your needs. It is essential that the headphones are comfortable, otherwise, they will hinder your training. In general, the design of the headphones comes back to the type of exercise you will be doing. Small earbuds designed for long-distance running won’t be very suitable for the gym and over-ear noise-canceling headphones would not be suitable for swimming laps in the pool.

There are sports headphones that suit every need.


As you have read earlier, there are two types of sports headphones, wired and wireless. The wired headphones almost always use a mini-jack connector. Most cellphones and music players incorporate this connection so there are no problems there. However, the newer Apple iPhones no longer use the 3.5-mm mini-jack connection and therefore cannot use wired headphones without an adapter.

Wireless headphones utilize Bluetooth connectivity. Almost every smartphone or MP3 player has this technology, so they will be compatible with the wireless headphones you purchase. Bluetooth headphones are ideal for exercise as they allow you to be free of cables that often get in the way.


Purchasing a set of sports headphones with an inbuilt microphone is a personal decision. Many sports headphones incorporate one into their design so you can use them as a hands-free way of taking phone calls. Many people prefer to ignore all calls during training and as such prefer to purchase a pair without a microphone, to not be tempted. Others, however, choose to use their workout time of day to make important calls.

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What are sports headphones with noise cancelation?

Noise cancelation, as the name implies, is a feature in some headphones that reduces or completely cuts out external sounds. It may be that the environment in which you exercise is so noisy that you need to eliminate those annoying sounds in order to enjoy your workout. There are two noise-canceling systems available: active and passive.

Passive noise cancelation is achieved by the design of the headphones. Thanks to the design and the use of insulating materials, external sounds are physically blocked from entering the ear canal. Passive noise-canceling headphones are very simple and sometimes they do not accomplish the task completely. Often this type of noise cancelation reduces the noise but does not completely cut it out.

An active noise cancelation system uses a tiny microphone on the outside of the headphones that picks up the external sound and then blocks these sounds by sending an opposite wave signal into your ear. These types of headphones are perfect for exercising in the gym when you don’t want to listen to gym music or irritating conversations between others. However, keep in mind that it can be dangerous to run down the street when using noise-canceling headphones, as they prevent you from hearing cars or other dangers.

With what devices are sports headphones compatible?

The compatibility between sports headphones and different devices depends on how they are connected to the device. As previously explained, there are two main connectivity options: via a cable or via Bluetooth. Bluetooth headsets are compatible with all devices with this technology. Simply connect them to the device you want to use.

Wired headphones, in principle, are also compatible with almost all devices. The most common system used by wired headphones is a 3.5-mm mini-jack. This is also the most common connection between smartphones and audio players.

However, the latest iPhone models that were recently launched on the market no longer have this connection. Therefore, if you have an iPhone, you should double-check that the headphones you buy are compatible with your smartphone. Otherwise, you will need to purchase a separate adapter to connect your sports headphones to your iPhone.

Are all sports headphones waterproof?

The design of modern sports headphones makes virtually all models water-resistant, but not necessarily waterproof. You have to be careful with this feature as there is nothing worse than ruining your headphones because you didn’t read the specifications carefully enough. Usually, sports headphones are resistant to splashes, whether from water, rain, or sweat.

If you are looking to enjoy your music underwater, you should look for a specific waterproof model. There are sports headphones that are specially designed for swimming or to be used in the shower.

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