The Best Workout Headphones
We reviewed the creme de la creme in fitness earbuds. Find your ideal match.
The frustration is over—finally, fitness-minded headphones that can withstand the most exhilarating, intense workouts. We sampled the best of the best, and frankly, you can’t go wrong with any of these (paired with a celebrity playlist of course). Guaranteed one of these sets will become your favorite workout companion. Without further ado, our (mostly rave) reviews:
Monster iSport Intensity
The High Note: Stayed perfectly in place during a fast-paced 10k race
The Monster iSport Intensity, one of three members of the iSport family, has by far the ultimate fit for comfort and fast-paced activity. Quality sound is produced with moderate noise-isolation for awareness of what's happening around you (read: running on busy city streets). These are definitely for the low-maintenance, low-frills exerciser: Plug them in and go.
The High Note: Sound quality that satisfied a gear snob
Bose did not fail to maintain their reputation for clear, rich, flawless sound when creating the SIE2i headphones. And they perform, too: These sweat-resistant, lightweight, snugly-fitting headphones won’t budge during your workout, and the extension cord allows the user to control the length, whether it’s plugged into a treadmill or attached to an iPod in the provided Reebok arm band. Our gearhead tester fell in love.
Powerbeats by Dre
The High Note: A strong bass, and (ear) hooks
Dr. Dre (teaming up with now two-time NBA champ LeBron James) executed exactly what the most intense athletes need for the ultimate workout: some thumping bass. A behind-the-ear hook makes them secure yet comfortable, even for vigorous activity. One tester refused to sample any other headphones after giving these a whirl.
Yurbuds Signature Series ITE 100
The High Note: Get-and-stay-in-the-zone focus
If you achieve your best workout by tuning out everything and everyone around you, the Yurbud Signature Series will accomplish just that. The TwistLock technology is designed to fit deeply into the ear canal and solidly maintain fit, which our tester reports feels a little funky at first, but after a few workouts becomes second nature.
Sony Waterproof Walkman Sports MP3 Player
The High Note: The extra gear your swim session has been missing
The Sony Waterproof Walkman Sports MP3 Player allows swimmers to log their laps with a bit more rhythm. Here's how: Music is uploaded to and stored in the headset itself. However, even though this Mac- and PC-compatible Walkman charges Ryan Lochte-fast (about 3 minutes of charging powers an hour of use), the functionality isn't perfect. Our tester had to stop mid-lap (more than once) to tap out water that had seeped in and blocked the sound.
Jaybird BlueBuds X
The High Note: A wireless workout
These Bluetooth headphones allow users to wear them over the ear or under the ear, depending on preference, without the bother of a cord. In-ear white noise reduction keeps the music quality pure, however, these high-maintenance headphones do take a significant amount of prep-time to charge and identify the ideal fit. Our tester loved cranking through an indoor cycling session, hands-free. Just be sure to hold any calls while in the club. That's still not okay.