best list running headphones

Welcome to Trusted Reviews’ list of the best running headphones. Whether you’re looking to do free weights, jogging or advance up your existing workout, a reliable pair of sports headphones is a must-have purchase.

We’re here to help you make the right decision, we’ve detailed all the best running and gym headphones we’ve tested for your perusal.

With so many different types of headphones available it can be difficult to sort out what’s best for you. We’ve tested the headphones by taking them on runs and putting them through their paces, as well as just generally listening to them to get a sense of their tone and characteristics.

From using the noise cancellation and transparency modes to see how effective they are, to judging these headphones durability and water resistance, these are all aspects that we review to ensure the headphones that make it on this are worthy of your time and investment.

This list is filled with a variety of headphones, from wireless in-ears to over-ears and bone conduction efforts, we’ve made there’s something to cater to everyone. We regularly review new running headphones, and we’ll be adding more headphones to this list if they pass the muster. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, or aren’t after a pair of the best running headphones, then peruse our list of the best headphones, best wireless headphones, best wireless earbuds and best noise cancelling headphones.

Best running headphones at a glance

  • Best affordable true wireless: Back Bay Tempo 30 – check price
  • Best over-ears: UA Project Rock Over-Ear – check price
  • Best true wireless: Jaybird Vista 2 – check price
  • Best bone conduction option: Aftershockz Aeropex – check price
  • Best for runners: Adidas FWD-02 Sport – check price

How we test

Learn more about how we test running headphones

The best test of a pair of running headphones is, of course, running.

Our reviewers  have amassed marathons’ worth of miles, pounding the park surfaces and hitting the treadmill to put these running headphones through their paces.

We make sure they’re not going to fall out of your ears, and that they can survive sweaty conditions without ending up in a sad heap (even that’s exactly what we do sometimes).

We’re also conscious you might want to use your running headphones for other exercise, such as the gym. We wear them under different scenarios, from an explosive Olympic weightlifting session to a spin class, and we also test running headphones away from the track or gym to see how they cope with regular listening.

We also take into account factors such as how securely they fit, their durability, sound quality and battery life.

Back Bay Tempo 30

Best affordable sports true wireless


  • Inexpensive
  • Energetic, rich sound
  • Good fit and seal
  • Long battery life


  • Appear to be restricted to SBC playback
  • Bass can overwhelm

The Back Bay Tempo 30 are true wireless made for the sporty among us, featuring a tough IPX7 water resistance, making these buds fully sweatproof and waterproof. You won’t be able to take them swimming, but on solid ground Tempo 30 are protected against inclement weather.

We found the Tempo 30’s battery life of 32 hours in total to be excellent, especially for the $39.99 / £29 price. That’s double the endurance of the more expensive Bose Sport Earbuds, although don’t expect fast charging or wireless charging support at this low price.

We liked the design of the Tempo 30 with its attractive, marble-like, glossy finish that’s a step up on the likes of the Jlab Go Air Sport. The charging case is pocketable, though over use we found it susceptible to scratches and scuff marks. We found the to be snug when using the earphones, and they didn’t fall out once, offering excellent noise isolation that’s as good as some running headphones with noise cancellation.

Several ear-tips are provided to keep the earphones tucked in, and they also affect how the Tempo 30 sound, adding or reducing bass. The default ear-tip produced a crisp and sharp tone that didn’t offer much bass. The ear-tip we settled on offered more weight, turning its strained performance into a more energetic one with a stronger bass output. The soundstage is wide, and while the definition of instruments is not be as good as more expensive buds, the overall sound quality makes the Tempo 30 a steal for the price.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Back Bay Tempo 30

UA Project Rock Over-Ear Training Headphones

Best sports over-ears


  • Sturdy, gym-ready build
  • Thick, breathable ear cushions
  • Great overall sound
  • Outstanding battery life


  • Some disappointing equalizer features
  • Vocals aren’t always as sharp as they could be

Design with input by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, the UA Project Rock Over-Ear Training are built to be a rugged and comfortable pair of fitness headphones. The IPX4 rating protects them from splashes of water or any build-up of sweat, while JBL has added plenty of breathable padding that proved to be very comfortable when our reviewer used them for gym work. Conveniently the earpads can be removed and hand-washed.

JBL’s hands are all over the feature set with the noise cancellation, with two presets in Everyday and Active to customise the strength of the ANC. Everyday is casual, everyday use while Active is designed for exercise, letting in ambient noise for more awareness. We didn’t find the cancellation to be up to the standards of the WH-1000XM4, but the headphones did a good job at keeping unwanted noise at bay, reducing gym radio noise to a nearly inaudible hum.

The battery life is excellent with a 45 hours that’s better than more ‘hi-fi’ headphones in the WH-1000XM5 and Px7 S2. They take two hours to charge from zero to full which is decent for a headphone with its battery.

The Project Rock headphones offer an energetic performance, although they prioritise instruments over vocals. A run of Eminem’s Godzilla also revealed the weighty low end on offer, although vocal separation isn’t these cans’ forte. Tracks where vocals take more of a centre stage such as The Beach Boys’ Kokomo, we found worked a little better and made for an entertaining listen.

Reviewer: Tom Deehan
Full Review: UA Project Rock Over-ears

Jaybird Vista 2

Best sports true wireless


  • Excellent, gym-ready fit and seal
  • Solid audio quality for a sports set
  • Reliable battery life
  • Rugged, sweatproof design


  • ANC isn’t best in class

Traditionally, running headphones haven’t always excelled at audio quality, and the Jaybird Vista 2 offer a more detailed and dynamic performance than their predecessors, alongside a deeper bass with more extension. We found the top end to be sparkly in nature, which sounded excellent during testing.

The Vista 2 are the first set of Jaybird earbuds to feature noise cancellation, a feature not necessarily found on many true wireless earphones. While we didn’t feel the ANC were best in class compared to premium efforts from Bose and Sony, they did a good job of blocking out background noise, although when faced wind noise or the sound of children in a nearby park they weren’t as strong. We found the ambient mode here to work well, although it did pick up some distracting wind noise.

There’s support for wireless charging, and the battery life is decent with 24 hours in total (ANC off) that’s similar to the Adidas FWD-02. We did find during our time that there were connectivity issues that required a factory reset for the earphones. It did only happen a few times and might have been specific to our sample, but its something to be aware of.

The design is similar to the original Vista with a few aesthetic tweaks to the case (rounded edges) and a fabric finish over the physical buttons. The fit and seal we found to be secure, and the Jaybird come with an array of ear- and wing-tip options to find the best fit. Jaybird has also upped the dust and water resistance rating from the original, pushing the earphones to IP68 with the case holding an IP54 rating from the original’s IPX7. That offers more confidence than these wireless earbuds can take on tougher assignments hen you’re exercising.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full Review: Jaybird Vista 2

Aftershokz Aeropex

Best sports bone conduction headphones


  • One of the best headphones for runners
  • Clean and clear audio quality
  • Plenty of battery life


  • Basslines are lacking on the Aeropex
  • The connecting band juts out a fair bit

If you’re not interested in either on- or in-ear options for exercise and want a pair that doesn’t completely isolate you from the outside world the bone conduction headphones are growing in popularity and the Aftershokz Aeropex are one of the best of their kind we’ve tested.

They don’t look like a typical pair of headphones as the Aeropex are designed to rest on your head to fire audio towards your ears. With a weight of just 26g, our reviewer found to be light to wear and, for the most part, comfortable although having a one size fits all frame means they’re not the best for all types of workout.

We found the control interface to be okay, given there’s only a handful of physical controls to interact with, we would have preferred more buttons, as opposed to having three buttons controlling multiple functions each.

These headphones don’t have as many features as more wireless in-earphones like the Vista 2, their open air design will appeal most to runners as it grants greater awareness. There is smart assistant support through pressing a button, and call quality is entirely serviceable. The IP67 resistance means they are good against dust and water, though for swimming you’ll want to consider the Naenka Runner Diver instead. With eight hours of battery life, we found bas on our activities that this was a conservative estimate, with six hours of use leaving at least 75% battery in the tank.

The Aeropex offer a clean sound with good separation between vocals and the mid-range. With the open air design we didn’t notice any particular sound leakage when out on a run. Bass, however, lacks any form of power that’s par for the course with bone conduction headphones like the OpenRun Pro. Otherwise, the Aeropex offer up some good sound quality, and are worth consideration as an alternative to more traditional headphones.

Reviewer: Tom Deehan
Full Review: Aftershokz Aeropex

Adidas FWD-02 Sport

 Best sports true wireless for runners


  • Plenty of options for getting the right fit
  • Comfy fit
  • Rich, punchy and weighty bass
  • Natural-sounding awareness mode


  • Not particularly dynamic or subtle sounding
  • Earbud can move about with energetic exercise
  • Average IP resistance for a gym-ready pair

Adidas is best known for its sportswear than its audio devices, but they have dipped their toes into the world of audio before, and the Adidas FWD-02 Sport are our favourite of their true wireless efforts so far.

They have a different design to the Z.N.E 01 with the FWD-02 opting for a circular shape that fits well in the ear, a fit that’s complemented by a strong selection of winged ear tips to help keep them secure. Our only issue was that the FWD-02 still moved about when running, which meant we had to regularly nudge them back in. Your mileage (quite literally) may vary with different ear-tip sizes.

The IP rating is IPX5, which makes the FWD-02 resistant to low pressure and sustained jets of water. This is fine, though we half-expected a tougher rating given these buds were designed in consultation with Adidas Runners group. There isn’t no ANC with the FWD-02s like you’d find with the Jaybird Vista 2, with their design aiming to reduce external noise, which we found to be good enough.

Battery life matches the Z.N.E 01 ANC with 25 hours in total, which is absolutely fine for several gym/running sessions. The Adidas headphones offers the ability to check on those battery levels, as well customise touch controls, and EQ settings to change the sound.

These headphones are made by Zound Industries who also work on Marshall and Urbanears headphones, and they’ve produce decent sounding headphones with the FWD-02. They sound similar to the Z.N.E. 01 ANC filled with lots of energy, a weighty low end and smooth delivery that works well for high-intensity workouts. The soundstage has some width to it, and while there aren’t the detailed or most dynamic sounding headphones, the bass is punchy and rich.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Adidas FWD-02

We also considered…

We’ve reviewed

See all reviews


What are the best over-ear running headphones?

We’ve not tested as many fitness-focussed over-ears but the UA Project Rock Training headphones are a good shout, especially for the comfort they offer.

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Comparison specs

IP rating
Battery Hours
Wirless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Audio Resolution
Driver (s)
Noise Cancellation?
Frequency Range
Headphone Type
Voice Assistant

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