What are the Best Headphones for Running 2019?

Whether you’re a hardcore runner or a casual jogger, Arena Club offer up a great all round pair of headphones for running. Their IPX7 waterproof rating makes them great for hardcore all weather running and their sleek but comfortable design is sure to stay in place no matter how rigerous your workout.

For many, it would be unthinkable to go for a run without a soundtrack powering your circuit. Given the scientific benefits that come with listening to a pumping soundtrack while running, now is as good a time as any to invest in a high quality pair of headphones for your run! Let’s take a look at some of the best headphones for running on the market.

RankNameOur RatingPrice
#1Arena ClubClick For Price
#2RunPhonesClick For Price
#3Bose SoundSport FreeClick For Price
#4Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500Click For Price
#5Phaiser BHS-530Click For Price

Music for Running

Whether you’re just dipping your toe into a healthier lifestyle or you’ve been a hardcore runner for years now, it’s no secret that music can be a huge motivating factor.

Among helping you set a steady, consistent pace, it can literally help you power through the burn. Studies show that a pumping playlist can distract you from the pains associated with exercise.

If you’re subscribed to a streaming service like Spotify or Apple music, you’ll have an array of handcrafted playlists ready to help you get in the groove. That said, if you’re keen on building your own hand curated playlist to run to, try to aim for tracks between the 120-140 BPM range for maximum performance!

Wired Vs. Wireless

One of the first decisions you’ll come across when buying any type of headphones is whether to go wireless or not.

Wired

Naturally, wired options aren’t the best fit for running. The last thing you want is to accidentally yank out the earbud and leave yourself having to fumble around and put them back in, completely ruining your groove.

That said, they do come with one small benefit. If you’d like a pair you can leave in your backpack and forget about without having to worry about frequently recharge, you shouldn’t completely rule out a wired pair.

Wireless

Naturally, wireless headphones are a perfect fit for any type of exercise. Their unparalleled freedom allows you to move around vigorously without the worry.

They do come with some small drawbacks, however. You’ll need to ensure you keep them fully charged and ready to go. That said, the majority of wireless headphones these days have a very healthy battery life, just remember to keep them topped up!

The additional benefit to going wireless is future proofing. While the war wages on between the 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C, and Apple’s Lightning connector, there’s no guarantee any device you buy will be compatible with your headphones. Fortunately, wireless Bluetooth technology doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon, so you should be set for the near future.

Truly Wireless

If you’re looking for true freedom, you can also consider investing in truly wireless earbuds. Traditional wireless headphones are still attached to one and other via a cable that goes around the back of your next.

That said, if you want that extra bit of comfort, you can opt for truly wireless earbuds that individually fit into each ear.

These do come with their drawbacks, however. Their battery life is generally much shorter due to their small form factor which means you’ll have to top them up far more frequently than regular wireless headphones. These often come at a premium too due to the added technology involved.

Water Resistence

If you’re truly hardcore and intend to head out come rain or shine, waterproofing is going to be crucial for your headphones. That said, you’ll additionally want to consider sweatproofing as well.

Whether you like it or not, it’s highly likely you’ll be breaking a sweat on your run which could affect the components inside. That said, not all waterproofing is made equal…

Splashproof/Sweatproof

Many brands will claim to be either splash proof or water resistant in some way or another. It’s always hard to tell exactly what this means, however, a safe bet would be to assume they can handle light perspiration and moderate rainfall without damage.

That said, if you’re planning on going out in heavy rainfall, there may be no guarantee against this so you’ll want to be careful that they aren’t overexposed to the elements.

IP Rating

If you’re looking for a little more security, you can look to the IP Rating. This is an externally verified waterproof rating that guarantees you a minimum level of protection.

As a minimum you’ll want to ensure that they have a rating of IPX5 – this will cover you against light rain showers and sweat. If you’re looking for a more durable solution for hardcore workouts in the rain, you’ll want either IPX7 or IPX8. This offers full waterproofing guaranteeing that they won’t become damaged.

Design

We’ve talked a little about the importance of over ear/in-ear choice for running headphones, but let’s take a deeper look at some of the designs out their and what their benefits are.

Headband

The headband style comes somewhere in between over ear and in-ear. These usually come in the form of a regular headband with headphones embedded within them.

Often made of fabric, they are prone to attracting dirt, however, the electronics can often be removed allowing for machine washing. This is a great option for people who are concerned about the headphones moving around. Unfortunately, the sound quality is often sacrificed in this design though.

In-Ear Outside Hook

For in-ear headphones, there are usually two designs to choose from when running. The outside hook or the inside hook.

The outside hook wraps around the earlobe securing the earbud in place. Without this, the earbud would be prone to slipping out from the vibrations caused by the running motion.

Unfortunately, since the outside ear is prone to sweat build up, this can cause irritation for some and you may need to wipe it down once in a while during your run.

In-Ear Inside Hook

The other option sits inside your ear. This offers an equally secure fit, however, for some can be a little intrusive. If you’re already put off by the sensation of having an earbud lodged in your ear, this may not be the most comfortable experience for you.

That said, the inner ear is far less prone to sweat and grime so you won’t have to worry about any build up.

Our Top Picks In The Best Headphones For Running Category


Our #1 Pick Arena Club

 COST


QUALITY


OUR VERDICT


PROS

✓ Wireless

✓ Over Ear Hook

✓ IPX7 Waterproof

CONS

✘ Battery Life

Arena Club’s sports headphones make the perfect companion whehter you’re a serious running or not. Their over ear hooks will ensure they stay securely in place and their IPX7 rating makes them fully waterpoof – perfect for all weathers.

Their design is built ground up with fitness enthusiasts in mind, that said, they don’t skimp on the audio department like a lot of these types of headphones do. Users say they’re extremely satisfied with the overall quality of these headphones.

One of the only downsides is their 6-hour battery life. This is slightly below average for a pair of headphones like this, however, as long as remember to keep them topped up between runs, we’re pretty confident that these won’t leave you dissatisfied.

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Our #2 Pick RunPhones

 COST


QUALITY


OUR VERDICT


PROS

✓ Headband Design

✓ Choice of Sizes

✓ Choice of Colors

CONS

✘ Wired

✘ Sound Quality

These RunPhones headband style headphones are perfect for those who are looking for something that won’t move around even during the most intense running sessions.

Their machine washable sweatband design is great for who like to get their sweat on while out for a run and their choice of designs will even allow for outfit coordination for the fashion conscious among us.

Unfortunately, these are wired meaning you’ll have to carefully place your listening device to avoid become tangled, however, since the headphone speakers themselves are embedded within the headband this does cut down on wiring. Unfortunately, the design also allows a lot of outside noises in which may not necessarily be a bad thing if you’ll be running in the city near dangerous vehicles etc.

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Our #3 Pick Bose SoundSport Free

 COST


QUALITY


OUR VERDICT


PROS

✓ Reputable Brand

✓ Truly Wireless

✓ IPX4 Rated

CONS

✘ Price

✘ Battery Life

If you’re looking for superior audio quality with complete wireless freedom, Bose may be the perfect pair for you.

Their IPX4 resistant which should just about cover you against rain showers and light sweat and their truly wireless design gives you a freedom that’s really hard to rival. As you’d expect from a big name brand like Bose, they don’t skimp on the audio quality department either.

Unfortunately, this design does come at a premium though making them somewhat of a costly investment. Their battery life is also slightly lacking due to their smaller form, although at 5 hours, they boast a pretty impressive playback time for something so small!

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Our #4 Pick Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500

 COST


QUALITY


OUR VERDICT


PROS

✓ Wireless

✓ Over Ear

✓ Comfortable Design

CONS

✘ Not IP Rated

✘ Average Sound Quality 

If you’re not keen on the headback or in ear desings, Platronics offer up one of the best in class for over ear headphones. Their sporty, durable materials won’t attract grime and sweat and can be easily wiped clean.

Users are very satisfied with the way these stay in place during rigorous activity which is unusual for over ear headphones.

Unfortunately, they aren’t IP rated, although they do come listed as sweat proof which should keep you covered in regular running environments. Users have also reported that the sound quality isn’t anything special, although if you’re busy burning a sweat, it’s highly unlikely you’ll notice.

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Our #5 Pick Phaiser BHS-530

 COST


QUALITY


OUR VERDICT


PROS

✓ Secure Design

✓ Wireless

✓ Sweatproof Guarantee

✓ Choice of Colors

CONS

✘ No IP Rating

✘ Sizing Doesn’t Fit Everyone

Phaiser offer up something which strays away from conventional wireless design. These will wrap securely around the back of your ears and your head. This is great for those who are worried about movement during your run.

While they don’t come with an IP rating to guarantee their sweatproof level, they do come with an awesome sweat damage guarantee, proving that they must have faith in their waterproofing solution.

Unfortunately, the unique design may not fit those who fall outside of the “average” head shape/size so bear this in mind if you often find this to be an issue for you.

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Conclusion

With so many different designs to choose from, this will really come down to personal preference. That said, there’s a good reason the majority of runners chose traditional ear hook style earbuds for their run.

Arena Club offers up everything you need to hit the track. Their waterproofing layer makes them great no matter what the weather and you can rest assured due to their ear hook design they won’t slip out during your circuit.