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How Do I Choose the Best Workout Headphones?

Emily Espinoza
Emily Espinoza

To choose the best workout headphones, think about what kind of workout you like to do, where you plan on doing your workout, and what kind of sound quality you want your headphones to have. Different activities require different types of fit to make sure you get the optimal mix of security and flexibility. How your headphones work will depend on where you will use them and how much noise control you need. Like most audio devices, the quality of sound from workout headphones varies and you will need to decide on what level is right for you.

One of the biggest obstacles to using workout headphones is keeping them in place while you are moving around. If you like to jog or do other cardio exercises that require a lot of moving or bouncing, you should look for headphones that have a clip to put over an ear or a band that goes around your head or chin to keep them in place. Be sure to pay attention to the length of the cord, as having one that is too long or too short can interfere with your movements. One final consideration is how much moisture will get on your headphones. Keep an eye out for waterproof models if you plan on doing any water activities and sweat-proof models if you know you will be doing a lot of sweating.

Individuals whose exercises require a lot of movement should invest in a pair of headphones that have a clip to put over the ear to keep them in place.
Individuals whose exercises require a lot of movement should invest in a pair of headphones that have a clip to put over the ear to keep them in place.

Think about where you plan to exercise most often and how much background noise you want to hear over your workout headphones. If you work out in an indoor area, especially a gym where there are a lot of other people, you might like headphones that are noise canceling so that you can block out any distractions around you. On the other hand, if you run or engage in other activities outdoors, it is safer to hear background noises. You need to hear enough to be aware of potential dangers.

Workout headphones.
Workout headphones.

Price and sound quality usually go hand in hand when it comes to audio equipment. Typically the more you spend, the better quality and sound clarity you get, so think about how much money you are comfortable spending on your headphones and how important the sound is to you. Also think about your personal preferences, such as how much bass you like to hear. Models of workout headphones may have a slightly different balance than the ones you buy, so be sure you investigate what the sound is like in the pair you actually want to buy .

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Discussion Comments


One of the best times of the day is when I slip out of the house in the early morning and go for a run. When I first started this I thought it would be great to listen to my favorite tunes while I was running.

One morning when I couldn't find my headphones I just decided to go without and found out that I enjoy my run much better without the music.

The cool, crisp air and the peace and quiet that was all around me was for more enjoyable. When I am working out inside I like to have some motivating, inspiring music playing around me.

This is when I will use my headphones and listen to my favorite songs. I don't usually have too much problem with using earbud headphones for this purpose and enjoy having the music to keep me going.


Since I live in the country and have to drive quite a few miles to get to a gym, I do most of my workouts at home.

I gave up trying to use headphones a long time ago. They never stayed in my ears very well and I just got tired of fooling around with them.

I have a TV, radio and CD player in my workout room and will usually have one of these on so I don't have to worry about any headphones.

If I go for a walk or run outside I have found that I really enjoy the sights and sounds of the nature that is all around me when I don't have headphones in my ears.


@JessicaLynn - That sounds completely annoying. I think that might have more to do with the volume than the headphones though, but I'm not completely sure.

I agree with the article about being able to hear background noise when you're jogging or biking. You need to know if a car is coming or if someone is sneaking up behind you. I actually don't listen to music at all when I jog because I like to be totally alert to my surroundings.


I think another thing to consider would be whether other people can hear your headphones. I know some of this has to do with the volume, but I imaging it has a little bit to do with the quality of the headphones too.

I was at the gym awhile ago, and I had forgotten my own mp3 player. Well, luckily (and I do say that sarcastically) the person next to me had music blaring out of their headphones that I could hear also. Too bad I didn't really like their selection.

So anyway, I think people should consider their fellow gym members and make sure you're the only one who can hear what's coming out of your headphones!


@Mae82 - I have the same problem with earbuds! I do see a lot of people working out with them and apparently not having any trouble. I can't even wear earbuds when I'm sitting still, so I guess I just have nonstandard ears! So instead of using the trendy little earbuds that came with my nice iPod, I use a pair of old-fashioned cheap black ones that I got for like four dollar! They actually work fine for my purposes; I listen to podcasts more than music, so I don't need crystal clarity.

Now that I have a child, though, my jogging stroller has MP3 speakers, so I don't need headphones at all. I know it's kind of obnoxious to go playing my music for everyone else to hear, but the course I run is fairly secluded - and besides, everyone else is wearing headphones, so they can't hear it anyway!


Never buy earbud headphones for your workouts if you don't want to be super frustrated. I made the mistake of buying a pricey pair of earbuds, only to discover that no matter what I did, they kept popping out of my ears! Apparently earbuds are only good for resting in the house and listening to tunes, not staying in place during an intense cardio session.

I have since retired my earbud headphones and I must say that the best workout headphones are the ones that clip-on to your ears. They don't budge no matter how much you shake your head, which makes it so much easier to work out.


When you are looking for the best workout headphones it is a good idea to check out some of the reviews in fitness magazines. There are so many kinds of headphones for working out that it can get a bit daunting to try and choose a pair yourself if you are serious about quality.

The pair of workout headphones that I picked are waterproof and have a very snug fit. They are shaped so that they grip my ear and then drop back into a headband around the base of my neck. I love that I feel no matter how hard I work that they aren't going to come off. Plus, being waterproof, I don't have to worry about my sweat ruining them.

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    • Individuals whose exercises require a lot of movement should invest in a pair of headphones that have a clip to put over the ear to keep them in place.
      By: AntonioDiaz
      Individuals whose exercises require a lot of movement should invest in a pair of headphones that have a clip to put over the ear to keep them in place.
    • Workout headphones.
      Workout headphones.
    • Workout headphones should stay in place during exercise.
      By: Sergejs Rahunoks
      Workout headphones should stay in place during exercise.