What Are The Best Bluetooth Earbuds For Running?
You’ve tied your laces. You’ve holstered your water bottle. You’re almost pumped up and ready to go, except, you’re missing one thing. Music! I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t fathom heading out for an evening run without a motivational soundtrack to kick me into overdrive. A good playlist is scientifically proven to boost your mood when exercising and nothing quite beats the freedom of a pair of Bluetooth earbuds for running. (Source)
Today, we’re going to take a look at some of best options on the market and dissect some of the key things to consider when making this investment. Considering you’ll be placing these earbuds into your ears multiple times a week while working up a sweat, making sure you get the right pair is very important.
|#1||JBL Endurance JUMP||Click For Price|
|#2||Bose SoundSport Free||Click For Price|
|#3||Sony SP600N||Click For Price|
|#4||Jaybird X3||Click For Price|
|#5||Powerbeats3 Wireless||Click For Price|
What To Look For When Purchasing Bluetooth Earbuds For Running
There are a couple of important things to factor in when deciding on which earbuds are best for your run. Firstly, wires. There are currently only a handful of truly “wireless” solutions on the market right now and these often come at a premium. For some, you may even feel that the lack of wire to hold things in place around your neck is just too unnatural as if they could fall out at any time. Many headphones address this issue by offering “hooks” which can be placed around your ears for extra security and ensure they stay in place, especially as you hit the asphalt.
You should also consider whether they are waterproof or not. You’re up against two things here, sweat, and if you are a particularly hardcore runner, rain. Most manufacturers use a benchmark called IP or “International Protection Marking” to determine how resistant they are to things like water or dust. To carry this certification, manufacturers need to have their products independently tested which ensures that you are guaranteed the level of protection displayed in the description While there are many nuances to this scale and it would require a somewhat in-depth explanation to fully understand, for simplicity, we’ll be looking for “IPX6”, their “6th” most water resistant certification in layman’s terms, as a minimum to cover average all-weather usage.
Finally, audio quality. Many standard headphones are designed to be used within reasonably quiet or controlled confines. Add to this, that small earbuds are usually far more exposed than clunky over-ear headphones and you may find your groove being rudely interrupted by the whooshing of the wind past your ears if you don’t pay for quality. A few options in this list do, however, feature active noise canceling, so you if you really want to block out the outside world during your run, keep an eye out for this feature!
Earbuds simply offer the freedom that more traditional over-ear headphones don’t. Among other things, they are particularly resistant to sweat build up and allow you to continue with your run without having to stop and adjust them or wipe away excess sweat. Ergonomic design has also come a long way since its first inception. These days, a lot more thought has gone into how the bud shapes around your ear and stays there comfortably rather than just wedging something into your ear and hoping it stays there.
Is Bluetooth The Right Option?
Before we get into specifics I want to lay something out on the table that has been a misconception for a long time now. Bluetooth is not the battery guzzling menace that it once was. Advances in technology mean we are now at a level where the impact on battery is negligible and will not ravage your battery life like it once did.
Bluetooth has very much become the norm for audio transmission in recent years. It’s consistently proven to give the longest battery life in exchange for a minimal loss of audio quality for the cheapest cost.
While there is still a future for wired options, the market landscape is becoming increasingly complicated, with the phone industry being particularly indecisive in regards to connection type. While a handful of major players such as Samsung still stand by 3.5mm jacks in their flagship phones, other major players such as Google’s Pixel 2 have decided to rely on USB-C for their main connection.
The important takeaway from this is that Bluetooth, for now, is future proof. No matter what device you connect your earbuds to in the next 2-3 years, you can almost guarantee that they will have a Bluetooth receiver ready to use out of the box. Sadly, the same can’t be said for our trusty old friend the 3.5mm jack.
Battery life should rarely be a concern for the average runner. A good pair of Bluetooth earbuds for running will last you around at least 8 hours. Unless you are traveling a long distance without a power outlet or you intend to partake in long distance running events such as a marathon then its highly unlikely this will ever come close to running low in one sitting. In most cases, you’ll probably find your phone or media player running out of juice before the headphones do. Most options come with convenient USB charging and generally get you fully charged within a few hours.
Our Top Picks In The Best Bluetooth Earbuds For Running Category
✓ IPX7 Waterproof
✓ 8 hour battery life
✓ Touch controls
✓ 10 minute Charge = 1 Hour Playback
✓ Stays on firmly
✘ Slightly bulky design
The JBL Endurance JUMP heaphones offer great functionality for runners. They were designed for the most comfortable fit while you are out moving. Their unique deisgn will securely fasten itself to your ear ensuring there’s no irritating movement.
You can expect great sound quality. JBL is a long established name in the audio world having just been purchased by Samsung.
They have 8 hours of playtime with a single charge, it takes about 2 hours to fully charge them with the included micro USB cable, but they have a quick charge feature where 10 minutes of charging gets you around an hour of battery life when you need some music ASAP.
Don’t look for the control buttons on this pair, you won’t find them. They instead have some very intuitive touch controls. Tap on the earpiece once to play or answer calls, twice for next song or decline calls, and swipe up or down for volume control. They also automatically start playing as you put them in your ear and stop playing once get them out. Snazzy, right!?
They have an IPX7 rating which meaning they are guaranteed to be fully waterproof even in the torrential rain. You can even swim in them if you fancy taking things off the asphalt and into the water.
In my opinion, they look very cool and if you are not the fan of the traditional black color they also come in other 4 vibrant colors so you can find the one that matches your style. The best part? All this comes at a very reasonable price. The only downside is that their design is slightly bulky in order to fit in all this awesome technology so if you don’t like the idea of something too obtrusive around your earlobes then this may be something to consider.
✓ Truly Wireless
✓ Charging Case – additional 10 hour of playtime
✓ IPX4 – Sweatproof
✓ Fun sporty design with color options
✘ 5 Hour battery life
✘ Not waterproof
At first look, you might wonder how these made the list since they look like they might fall off into the dirt or the bushes with the slightest vibration. But in fact, customers seem to agree they stay in place remarkably well thanks to their thoughtful design, fitting into the contors of your ear perefectly while also providing maximum freedom with their truly wireless design.
Again, as another well-established player in the audio world, you can expect nothing short of amazing audio quality with punchy bass and high treble – all the hallmarks of a Bose design.
They have the IPX4 rating which means they are sweatproof. This may cause issues if you are a hardcore runner who doesn’t let mother nature get in the way of your running schedule. They should be fine in light showers but you’ll need to keep them away from any heavy downpours.
The battery life is 5 hours with a single charge which is somewhat below average, although considering their compact design its a fair trade-off. That said, Bose hopes to address this shortcoming with their carry case which also doubles up as a portable charging dock. With this, you can charge them up twice without the need for a power outlet all in one tidy package.
You can control the music with the buttons placed on the right earbud. The buttons are a bit hard to press given the size, but again that is to be expected. Microphones are located on both earbuds so you can make calls, without any issues while wearing them.
If you’re still not convinced these will stay in place the team at Bose have a pretty awesome solution. They offer an app that helps you relocate them by saving the location of where they were last connected, you just need to follow the map.
If you are looking for the best sound quality and it can make you overlook the higher than average price this pair was made for you.
✓ Noise Canceling
✓ Lots of colors to pick from
✓ IPX4 – sweatproof
✓ 8 hour battery life
✘ Some people find controls too complex
✘ Not waterpoof
Sony’s entry into this category also brings another well thought out design. Much effort has been put into creating something that won’t fall out while running but also providing exceptional comfort. They provide great sound. Sony’s extra bass feature for is sure to please any bass lovers. The IPX4 rating provides protection against sweat and the light rain but again, beware if you intend to use this
You can easily handle calls with the built-in microphone, and and the inline buttons, that also controls the volume and the playback of music. Digital noise canceling blocks out ambient noise when you go for a run in a noisy environment. Don’t expect miracles, but they’ll do a great job of canceling low-level noises. They also feature “voice mode” which allows you to hear people around you like your personal trainer or just a workout buddy while still listening to music.
The noise canceling does come at a price though, namely battery life. The average battery life of these headphones is only 6 hours, a little less than usual. Charging is provided via a USB cable. There have been a few reports that the controls can be a little hard to work out at first so if you’re a technophobe then these may not be the best option.
✓ Made by runners for runners
✓ Hydrophobic coating
✓ App for customizing sound
✘ Somewhat uninspired design
✘ Not IP rated
Jaybird is a company making headphones specifically for people who live a more active an usual lifestyle. These earbuds follow that mantra. Designed by runners for runners. They are lightweight and sweat and water resistant thanks to the hydrophobic nano-coating – water will literally drip right off them. The silicon ear fins secure them in your ears while still being comfortable over long periods of time.
The inline mic and buttons make it easy to receive calls and control the music without distraction. The built-in battery provides 8 hours of play time with one charge which is a decent amount.
Sound quality is great and you can even customize the sound preset of the earbuds with the free JayBird app.
✓ 12 hour battery life
✓ Many colors to choose from
✓ Trendy Brand
✓ Good choice for Apple users
✘ Some people had quality issues
✘ Branding comes at a premium
While the sounds is definitely not bad, in there are certainly better sounding headphones ones in this price category. The real talking point of these, however, is their pure style. You certainly pay for the brand when it comes to Beats, but it’s certainly worth it. None of the headphones in this list come close to the style these offer up in my opinion.
The ear hooks help them stay on safely while running, they are sweat and water resistant although not IP rated. The battery life is great. 12 hours is outstanding in the category, they also have a 5-minute quick charge for 1 hour of play time.
With the inline mic and controls, you can take calls or adjust the volume and tracks, or even activate Siri on an Apple device (not surprising since Beats are now owned by Apple). They have the Apple W1 chip that makes communication with Apple devices super easy, too. If cool-factor is the most important for you, this pair is your best choice.
JBL Endurance JUMP offer up incredible functionality at a great price. These headphones are crammed full of technology which is quite impressive considering their small form factor. They provide a secure fit and maximum protection against the elements. The great sound and decent battery life altogether make it our top pick.