Music has the power to change a mood, change a pace, and even increase productivity. It should come as no surprise that the right music can make or break an effective workout. It may not change how many calories are burned or how long the workout goes directly, but the inherent effects can increase the motivation to keep going.
In fact, research shows that listening to music on headphones during a workout can reduce fatigue and even increase performance. From weightlifters to cardio fanatics, anyone can use headphones to get into their workout mode with the right song, and headphones can maximize the listening experience and all the benefits that come with it.
Our top ten list for headphones in 2020 considers a number of factors to provide consumers with a comprehensive guide to the best headphones they can use to maximize their commitment to workouts and their access to the benefits associated with effective exercise. Additionally, we have compiled an extensive section of frequently asked questions to help readers address the most important concerns surrounding headphones and their many uses.
Top 10 Best Workout Headphones for Fitness in 2020
Our list of the top workout headphones in 2020 consolidates research to provide consumers with a comprehensive guide to the top headphones to use during workouts. Here’s what we have ranked as the top headphones to use for a workout.
- 1 Top 10 Best Workout Headphones for Fitness in 2020
- 1.1 Kew Labs Wireless Earbuds with Charging Case
- 1.2 Senso Wireless Bluetooth Sports Headphones
- 1.3 VM Palace Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones with Microphone
- 1.4 Bose Sound Sport Free Truly Wireless Headphones
- 1.5 Logitech Sweat and Waterproof Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless Sport Headphones
- 1.6 JBL Endurance Sprint Waterproof Wireless In-Ear Sport Headphones with Touch Controls
- 1.7 Visilla Wireless Earbuds
- 1.8 Levin Small Bluetooth Behind the Head Sports Wireless Headset
- 1.9 Pacsun Waterproof Over-Ear Headphones
- 1.10 Anbes Wireless Earbuds
- 2 How We Choose Our Rankings
- 3 Benefits of Wearing Headphones During a Workout
- 4 Risks of Wearing Headphones During a Workout
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Wearing Headphones During Workouts
- 5.1 Q: Is it safe to work out with headphones on?
- 5.2 Q: What is the best music to play while running?
- 5.3 Q: Can headphones hurt your ears during a workout?
- 5.4 Q: Can music during workouts increase effectiveness?
- 5.5 Q: Can headphones damage the ears?
- 5.6 Q: Can workout headphones cause tinnitus?
- 5.7 Q: What factors are important in workout headphones?
- 5.8 Q: What workout headphones are best?
- 5.9 Q: What makes workout headphones different?
- 5.10 Q: How do you choose workout headphones?
- 6 Final Thoughts
Kew Labs Wireless Earbuds with Charging Case
The Kew Labs Wireless Earbuds are the top choice on this list for a number of reasons. With IPX 4 technology, they are able to withstand perspiration and exposure to water effortlessly, which makes them great for those intense workouts that keep the user sweating. Bluetooth capability allows users to link up with their smartphone, mp3 player, or tablet to stream their music wirelessly. However, they also give the opportunity to boost up the bass for more intense audio. With a full charge, the battery has a six-hour life, making it perfect for the most avid marathon runners and gym-goers.
Along with the functionality of these headphones, the earbuds headphones have access to two volume buttons, which change the volume by 10% at a time, and buttons to manually go up and down the user’s playlist. The fifth button on the headphones can pause or play a song, or it can pick up a call.
While typically available on Amazon, consumers will have to wait for it to come back in stock for now.
Senso Wireless Bluetooth Sports Headphones
The Senso Wireless Bluetooth Sports Headphones also are waterproof, offering impressive bass and Bluetooth capability of up to 30 feet away from the source. To ensure that the headphones offer great sound quality, they also are noise-cancelling, which means that users can just zone in and listen to their motivating music. The battery only takes about two hours or less to charge, and it will last for up to 8 hours when they are turned on. Though they have a cord to keep the headphones around the neck, their functionality is as wireless headphones.
Available on Amazon, consumers can purchase these headphones for $17.97 with Free Two-Day Shipping for Prime members. Presently, the website offers a 5% discount with a digital coupon, though it may only be available for a limited time.
VM Palace Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones with Microphone
The VM Palace Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones feature the same type of sound quality that its predecessor on the list has, keeping outside noises from interfering with the audio being played. It features an IPX 7 rating for its waterproof structure, and they can connect to any device via Bluetooth. With the lightweight headphones, consumers can easily keep them in their ear through any workout, including running and weightlifting, as the corded design keeps them from being lost.
After being charged, these headphones can last for up to eight hours, though it doesn’t take long to reach 100% power. Consumers can be up to 10 meters away while maintaining the Bluetooth connection, which they can hold with two devices at the same time for workouts with a friend.
Presently, the VM Palace Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones can be purchased on Amazon for $24.99, though there’s a promotional digital coupon for 10% off for a limited time.
Bose Sound Sport Free Truly Wireless Headphones
The Bose Sound Sport Free Truly Wireless Headphones are sweat resistant, but they also feature a weather-resistant design with an IPX 4 rating, making them ideal for summer or winter runs. Consumers can get an exact fit for their ear with this design, choosing between three different tips to ensure that the fit is comfortable and stable. This set stands out with its built-in tracking system, in the event that the user ever loses them. Plus, they sync up to the user’s device with Bluetooth technology and offer a dual-microphone integration.
With a two-hour charge, consumers get back about five hours of playback before needing to charge again, giving the headphones a shorter life than some of the other options on the list. However, the name brand and the fully wireless design may make up for this loss of playback time for some consumers.
This pair is one of the more expensive options on the list at $199.00 (on Amazon), but consumers have the option of four different colors – black, blue, orange, and purple.
Logitech Sweat and Waterproof Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless Sport Headphones
The Logitech Sweat and Waterproof Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless Sport Headphones offer an IPX 7 rating with their waterproof design, which allows consumers to take them into any weather condition. To ensure comfort, the earbuds are covered with a silicone ear gel, and the design can be rotated for fit above, under, or behind the ears.
The playback time of these headphones is one of the longest on this list at 14 hours from a single charge. Unlike other products on the list, the audio quality of the headphone can be adjusted with the Jaybird app, and these setting can be saved for the exact same quality when the user puts them in again.
Consumers can find the Logitech headphones on Amazon for $159.99, primarily available in the Titanium/Glacier color option. However, the only downside about this product is that it is only available for pre-order, and it will not be released for purchase until December 31st, 2021.
Get Logitech Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless Headphones on Amazon
JBL Endurance Sprint Waterproof Wireless In-Ear Sport Headphones with Touch Controls
The JBL Endurance Sprint Waterproof Wireless In-Ear Sport Headphones offers a waterproof and wireless structure, which makes them perfect for a morning (or nighttime) job. With the twistable and flexible material, the ergonomic design offers plenty of comfort to the user without feeling weighted and heavy.
The IPX 7 rating allows consumers to wear these headphones in any weather, even with the touch controls for volume. Consumers can purchase the headphones in either black or blue for $49.95 on Amazon.
Visilla Wireless Earbuds
The Visilla Wireless Earbuds offer a sweatproof design that can handle the most intense of workouts, whether the user is running a marathon, lifting weights, or playing sports. The headphones have the capacity to bring in big bass for the music being played, considering that users get a total of eight hours of playback, giving it one of the longer-lasting batteries on the list.
On Amazon, consumers can purchase these headphones for $33.99 in either red or black.
Levin Small Bluetooth Behind the Head Sports Wireless Headset
The Levin Small Bluetooth Behind the Head Sports Wireless Headset offers a little more security and stability than small earbuds do with their rigid structure. The headphones are applauded for their clarity, and they can fold up to carry along in a pocket or gym bag while not in use. The buttons on the outside of the headphones allow users to control volume, change tracks, pick up calls, and start/stop the music. The full-size headphones offer noise-cancelling while the music is playing, and they offer a 12-hour battery life with every charge.
Available for $29.99 on Amazon, consumers can choose from red, white, or blue designs.
Pacsun Waterproof Over-Ear Headphones
The Pacsun Waterproof Over-Ear Headphones are full-size headphones, like the set above, making them ideal for consumers that don’t like the feel of small earbuds. Featuring a waterproof and sweatproof design, consumers won’t have to worry about ruining the audio with any type of workout. Consumers will likely be enticed by the 9-hour battery life, though the HD stereo sound is nothing to scoff at either.
On Amazon, these classic black headphones can be found for $19.99, and they are one of Amazon’s top choices for wireless waterproof headphones.
Anbes Wireless Earbuds
Despite being the last set on the list, the Anbes Wireless Earbuds are actually quite popular amongst consumers for sports and workouts. The IPX 7 rating shows that they are both sweatproof and waterproof, allowing consumers to take along this compact set wherever they go for physical activity. With up to a 33-foot Bluetooth range, consumers will likely be able to reach their smartphone from even the locker room without losing their favorite tracks for their workout routine. Plus, they offer 8 hours of playback before they need to charge again.
The Anbes Wireless Earbuds are currently out of stock on Amazon, though users can typically choose from blue, blue/black, green/black, pink/black, purple/pink, red/black, and yellow/black.
How We Choose Our Rankings
When it comes to choosing the products on the top 10 list, the trait that got the most attention was the type of connection. When it comes to working out, wires can be rather hazardous, as they can become tangled in equipment or even on the user’s body. For that reason, this list doesn’t include any set of headphones that has a wire.
The next qualifier was being both sweatproof and waterproof. Considering how much users can sweat during a workout, its impractical to use headphones that don’t have some kind of resistance to water. Even though the Beats By Dre headphones are a favorite amongst customers, many reports show that they malfunction when they come in contact with sweat. However, the JBL Endurance Sprint Waterproof Wireless In-Ear Sport Headphones (for example) can even be worn in the rain without the risk of damage.
Bluetooth range was another factor, considering that none of the headphone chosen have a physical connector to their audio source. Having a short range didn’t necessarily disqualify any of the models, but a smaller range earned the corresponding headphones a lower spot on the list.
Rapid charging speed and a long battery life were other considerations.
Benefits of Wearing Headphones During a Workout
When consumers are wearing headphones, the typical reason is to keep their brain focused and motivated during a workout, which is a clear advantage to their use. However, researchers have found that the use of headphones for music in a workout can serve as a way to reduce the awareness of pain and fatigue, as the mind is otherwise engaged. A study on the mechanisms connecting pain relief to music discovered that the use of this type of entertainment can even help pain associated with a surgical procedure, which inherently suggests that pain of a lesser degree (i.e. from physical activity in a workout) can be soothed.
Running can be easier with the use of headphones as well, as it helps to keep a certain beat while engaging in repetitive motions. The body naturally acclimates to the beat being set by the external source, which helps users to keep up their speed and even monitor the time that they are engaging in their workout. Weightlifters can also benefit, as some research shows increase in power and performance by 15% while listening to up-tempo music, which is also true of improving stamina.
With the lift that music can give to someone’s mood, it shouldn’t be surprising that working out with headphones on can make a workout more enjoyable. One of the hard parts about repetitive workouts is that the participant can become bored, making it harder to focus and even complete a workout routine when your brain wants to check out. With headphones, the user is entertained, and the workout is easy to continue, suggesting that the use of this accessory can improve productivity as well. By the time the user completes their workout, the distraction may make them feel like hardly any time has passed at all.
Risks of Wearing Headphones During a Workout
As helpful as headphones may be, there are still some risks associated with their use. The biggest risk is becoming tangled in machinery or clothing with their wires, but our list eliminates that risk by not including any wired headphones in the lineup.
The ears are at the biggest risk when using headphones in a workout. Loud music for a long duration of time can be damaging to the ear drums, and many consumers will turn up the volume to drown out the sound around them to focus. Plus, if they want to change a track, they may not be aware of their surrounding while they are shuffling through their phone’s playlist for their routine. If the user takes out their headphones frequently to speak with someone or to take a break from the audio, their hearing may be preserved, but the headphones become prone to dirt and bacteria exposure. Few people clean their headphones during these brief breaks, but reinserting earbuds can expose the user to a potential ear infection.
Luckily, there are ways to keep these risks at bay by choosing wireless headphones, creating an automatic playlist with no volume changes, and keeping headphones clean between uses.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wearing Headphones During Workouts
There is an extensive market surrounding headphones. Consumers likely have a long list of questions brewing about how headphones can help them on their path to using headphones to improve their own lives. This section will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about headphones and their use in exercise and workouts.
Q: Is it safe to work out with headphones on?
A: Technically, yes. However, consumers should take precautions to avoid injury and distraction during their workout while their headphones are in. If you're running outside, for example, it is always necessary to turn headphone volume down that you're aware of surrounding threats, such as cars or other runners.
Q: What is the best music to play while running?
A: While everyone has their own preference of genre and style of music, the tempo of the music should reach at least 130 beats per minute to keep up with the natural motion of running. Generally, runners should develop their own tastes as they get more used to the natural motion of their running and what songs work or don't work for them.
Q: Can headphones hurt your ears during a workout?
A: Both sound and design of the headphones can cause the ears to hurt. However, being mindful of the volume levels and choosing over-ear headphones may help to reduce this risk. Finding headphones with sufficient padding can also help to minimize the amount of pain potentially experienced during workouts with headphones.
Q: Can music during workouts increase effectiveness?
A: Yes, research indicates that power output may increase by up to 15% by listening to music before or during a workout. Of course, actual effects are going to depend heavily on the initial effectiveness of exercisers, as well as a number of other personal factors.
Q: Can headphones damage the ears?
A: The risk of damage depends on both the length of time that the sound is heard and the volume of the sound. As a rule of thumb, keep volume at 60% for 60 minutes or less a day. Consumers should consult their physician to make sure that they're not using their headphones for too long and damaging their ears.
Q: Can workout headphones cause tinnitus?
A: With enough exposure to high volume, it is possible to cause ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. But this typically requires extensive listening to very high volumes, so most consumers are generally safe from tinnitus.
Q: What factors are important in workout headphones?
A: While general headphone qualities, including comfort and volume control, are always important, consumers looking for workout headphones should ensure that their headphones are sweat and waterproof. Additionally, workout headphones should have a good Bluetooth range.
Q: What workout headphones are best?
A: This answer depends on a number of factors. For the most part, users should look for workout headphones made specifically for their favored form of workout, whether this be heavy weightlifting or cardio work.
Q: What makes workout headphones different?
A: Workout headphones need to be waterproof to avoid the effects of sweat. They should also be comfortable to wear and have optimal volume control. Absent any of these aspects, headphones used for workouts might not be helpful, and might even cause adverse effects on consumers.
Q: How do you choose workout headphones?
A: Choose your workout headphones based on a number of personal factors. Preference on appearance, Bluetooth capabilities, and waterproofing technologies are all important aspects of effective workout headphones. Ultimately, the decision is a highly personal one, as consumers need to choose headphones that will work well and last for a long time.
Workout headphones are one of the most popular accessories to include in any workout. Research shows that it is possible to improve stamina, power, performance, pace, focus, and mood with the use of the right song and the right tempo. They can even reduce pain and fatigue. With the right safety measures, consumers can choose one of these headphones to listen to their favorite workout playlist on their next trip to the gym.