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When looking for the best headphones for the gym, running or other workouts, priorities are slightly different from when you're trying to hunt down headphones for casual listening.

We have plenty of buying advice in the section below our current top picks, but generally speaking, headphones for exercise need to be comfortable, secure fitting and offer some kind of resistance to sweat and rain.

Aside from this, it's all about how they sound. Since you're likely to be moving around a lot in these headphones, it doesn't hurt to have plenty of bass pumping, but each of the picks we recommend below has a unique sound profile that will suit different types of users. From testing during our runs, cycles, HIIT, or Tabata classes along with general strength training, the Pocket-lint team has extensively tested all of these headphones, and can recommend them as the most comfortable, reliable, and durable workout headphones on the market, starting with our first choice, the Beats Powerbeats Pro.

The best workout headphones: Our top picks

best headphones for workouts photo 4
Beats Powerbeats Pro
1. Best workout headphones overall

Secure fit and superb sound

$200 $250 Save $50

Covering off all the bases that exercisers need to worry about, the Powerbeats Pro are extremely tough to match.

  • Peerless secure fit
  • Great sound
  • Easy Apple integration
  • Expensive
  • Slight bulk

Beats has reinvented the earphone and got rid of the wire, resulting in an amazing pair of workout earphones.

They ensure that they fit as comfortably as is possible while they're light too, so when they're in your ears, not only do they fit very securely, but you can barely tell that they're there.

Battery life is, quite frankly, insane for a pair of wire-frees, with the Powerbeats Pro capable of lasting up to 9 hours of constant music listening outside the case. All things considered, right now, these certainly seem like the best workout headphones you can get.

Best wireless earbuds photo 23
Beats Fit Pro
2. Best compact workout headphones

Small form factor, but big sound

A superb blend of comfort and sound quality, whether you want to exercise or use them for everyday listening.

  • Small, easy to wear buds
  • Secure fit and attractive colours
  • Noise cancelling for loud environments
  • No wireless charging
  • Android users don't get all the conveniences Android users do

Beats has the workout market covered with a few great pairs of sporty buds. For those who don't want the over-ear hooks, and need something smaller, more compact and want noise cancelling, the Fit Pro is another super option. They use silicon fins inside the ear to ensure a secure, comfortable fit and they do a great job of staying in place when you're moving around.

With ANC onboard you also get noise cancelling for those times when you're working out in a loud environment, and just want to lock it all out and listen to your own jams. We're big fans of the compact buds from Beats.

Although it would be great to have wireless charging and longer Bluetooth range, there's a lot to love about the Fit Pro. They're effectively AirPods Pro for exercise, and that's not a bad thing at all.

best headphones for workouts photo 7
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport
3. Best premium workout headphones

Luxury fit and sound

Sports earphones with premium sound and materials.

  • Stunning look and high end materials
  • Really good sound quality
  • Great battery life
  • IP57 water and dust resistance
  • Expensive
  • No active noise cancellation

If you want sports earphones that don't look like sports earphones, this is where it's at. Beoplay E8 Sport is - in every sense - a premium pair of truly wireless earphones, but with design and features that suits runners and gym fiends.

You get water/sweat resistance, but also a secure fit from the rubber outer of the earbuds. With B and O, you know you're getting great-quality sound in a package made from high-end materials.

In every way, this is just as much focused on sound and premium feel like any other B and O product, but they also happen to be great for working out too. You even get the convenience of wireless charging in the case.

Master & Dynamic MW08 photo 6
Master and Dynamic MW08 Sport
4. Best sleek workout headphones

Subtle, but sleek

With superb sound, ANC and a sweat-proof design, these are a great alternative for those with the budget.

  • Supreme sound
  • Good ANC
  • Excellent design
  • Very pricey

Master and Dynamic took the sound and drivers from its awesome pair of truly wireless earphones, then put them in smaller, lighter pair of in-ears with IPX5 water resistance. The tip offers a good seal in the ear, and the fit and finish keep the pair securely in place during exercise.

If you're into long exercise sessions, the MW08 Sport has you covered. They can go up to 12 hours in a single session before needing to be placed back in their charging case. Couple that with a sound profile that's dynamic, rich and detailed, and you have one of the best-sounding and - in our opinion - most attractive pair of workout earphones out there.

best headphones for workouts photo 6
Jabra Elite Active 75t
5. Best value workout headphones

Premium features with an affordable price

With some of the best waterproofing going and a really great sound profile, Jabra knocks it out of the park again.

  • Excellent sound
  • Superb waterproofing
  • Great price
  • Mediocre battery life

We loved the standard Jabra Elite 75t, and still do - the Active version is almost exactly the same set of earbuds, just with the waterproofing dialled up to make sure that they're perfect for sporty uses.

One thing we loved about this pair is the ability to tailor the sound to suit the individual. They give a lot of control over tone through the Jabra app for iPhone/Android.

The earbuds are also really comfortable and secure, a must for working out, and while 5.5 hours of music playback isn't the best battery performance on this list, it's definitely adequate for most workout sessions or activities. The ability to switch 'HearThrough' on means you can hear traffic around you when you're running at night time.

The bottom line: What are the best workout headphones?

According to our testing, the best overall workout headphones are the Powerbeats Pro thanks to their long-lasting battery life, secure fit, and easy Apple integration. Of course, their smaller sibling the Beats Fit Pro make a wonderful compact companion while still packing great sound, and the Jabra Elite 75t make a solid value option for those looking for security and sound on a budget.

best headphones for workouts photo 4
Beats Powerbeats Pro
Editor's Choice

Secure fit and superb sound

$200 $250 Save $50

Covering off all the bases that exercisers need to worry about, the Powerbeats Pro are extremely tough to match.

How to choose workout headphones

As we've alluded to throughout this guide, you'll need certain things if you're looking to exercise with a pair of headphones. Here are some key considerations before you pull the trigger.

What style of headphones is right for you?

We've all seen people in gyms wearing huge over-ear headphones while they work out, and more power to them. There's an argument that over-ear cans isolate you more in noisy environments, but, for our money, the sweat issue becomes a real problem when you're working with ear cushions.

So, you'll have seen that our list heavily leans on in-ear choices instead, but it must be said that if you have a particular feeling about what sort of headphones you want to use, you should go with them. Whatever is most comfortable will work best for you. However, we firmly believe that for the security of fit and waterproofing, earbuds are the way to go for most people.

What does your typical workout look like?

Another big variable in which earbuds to pick comes down to what you'll be doing. Are you a solo runner who's out in the countryside? You might not need active noise cancelling to block out any noise, then, while a transparency mode could be useful for safety on quieter roads.

Equally, if you're looking to drown out a gym's obnoxious playlist, then ANC could instead become a huge selling point. It's all about making sure that your choice of headphones won't get in the way of your chosen exercise.

What price suits you?

While you might use the above questions to guide you, it's still important to have an idea of what your limit is, in terms of spending.

Knowing a budget will narrow your choices down immediately, most likely, and help you pick an option that doesn't just work perfectly, but also doesn't break the bank.