Best Bluetooth Headphones for Running

If you're a runner then you know how great of a feeling it is to just get away from life for a little bit to where it's just you, your favorite songs, and the road ahead.

Unfortunately there's one thing that always seems to ruin that runner's high: cords.

How many times have you been out running, hit your peak with your favorite up beat song on and then moments later you accidentally tug on your headphone cable ripping your earbuds out and completely killing your pace. Well, I'm hoping I can help put an end to all of that. I'm a bit of a tech junkie and you're fortunate enough to take advantage of my knowledge.

Below I've listed the absolute best Bluetooth headphones for running with a short review and my own input from experience. You'll also find a few features to look for if you're unsure which headphones are right for you along with some of the new Bluetooth sports headphones that you can expect to see in the near future.

Qualities to Look for in Bluetooth Running Headphones

Start Here!

If this isn’t your first pair of Bluetooth headphones then you may just want to skip to the Top 10 List below.

However, if this is your first time looking for a pair of Bluetooth headphones, earbuds, or headsets for running then there are a few things you’ll want to know before you dive in.

General Bluetooth Information

Bluetooth technology is amazing. However, it is not perfect. Bluetooth devices are essentially establishing a connection between the headphones and your (Bluetooth enabled) device. Bluetooth utilizes a wireless connection, and like any wireless connection there can be connection problems. So, don’t get frustrated because no device will be perfect. There will be times that your connection will be weak or it may just drop altogether. This is completely normal, but you always want to ensure the device you are choosing is known for quality Bluetooth components.

What to Look for in Bluetooth Running Headphones

Charging Time. Typically charging time will be somewhere between 2-4 hours. Obviously the less the better.

Operating Time. This is sometimes referred to “talk time” or “music time”. You should have no problem finding a pair of Bluetooth headphones that can last through multiple workouts. I recommend a pair that get at least 6 hours of operating time, that should last 1 week of workouts without having to charge.

Compatibility. Technology is always changing, so make sure the headphones you choose are compatible with the device you want to use. This is rarely a problem unless you are pairing an old device with new headphones or vice versa. Just be careful of buying headphones that haven’t been released in the past 1-3 years.

Sweat Resistance. Not every pair of running headphones are sweat resistant. If you sweat a lot then you are likely to damage your headphones (especially the Bluetooth) permanently. Try to find sweat resistant pair, and perhaps a pair that have a warranty on sweat or water damage.

Size. While all technology seems to be shrinking, some of the Bluetooth components are still rather large, otherwise we’d be paying thousands of dollars for wireless technology similar to what is used in hearing aids. Just be aware that Bluetooth headphones are typically slightly larger and a little heavier (we’re talking maybe a few ounces heavier, not much).

Now that you know what to look for, check out the Top 10 list below!

Top 10 Bluetooth Headphones For Running

The Future of Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth Headphones to Look for in 2014

If you’re always looking for the next best thing, then you’ll definitely want to check out these headphones that are coming in 2014.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery after this list

Beats Powerbeats 2

Additional Resources

Still Need Some Help Deciding?

So, you’ve read through this entire page, but you still need some more help deciding exactly which Bluetooth headphones will be most suited for your running workout?

Well, don’t worry, here’s a pretty good list of some awesome resources where you can find additional reviews and input. In no particular order:

1. Head-FI.org – check out the forums here, you are bound to find a ton of questions you’re likely asking.
2. CNET Reviews – one of the most comprehensive review sites around
3. Head Room – website devoted to selling headphones
4. WorkoutHeadphonesPro.com – website devoted to reviewing workout headphones
5. Gizmodo article – decent article by Gizmodo, a trusted tech giant
6. Runner’s World – another good site with a great forum answering a lot of questions on running gear

Don’t forget to leave a comment below if you’ve got a question and I’ll be sure to answer based on my experience with these headphones. If I don’t know the answer or it’s about a new pair of headphones feel free to ask anyways and I’ll find the answer for you!

Leave a Comment

What are you favorite headphones for running?

  • Follow
    Share to:
    Alert message
  • eric2014 Aug 20, 2014 @ 5:35 pm
    I have a pair of Motorola S9 bluetooth headphones. When I sweat, they don't stay in the ear making them sound terrible no matter what earbud size I try. They do sound OK when I hold them in my ears. But the worst part is they are unusable outdoors. The bluetooth just cuts in and out constantly. Indoors (say at the gym) they work fine. Bluetooth should have a range of at least 20-25 feet, so I don't understand how they can't keep a connection from the iPhone in my pocket (or even when I hold the phone right up next to them helps a little but not a lot) and what is different when I'm outside vs being inside. Does this happen with the bluetooth models reviewed here? This makes me very leary to try any more bluetooth headsets.
  • onepace Aug 24, 2014 @ 3:17 pm
    Eric, unfortunately what you're describing isn't uncommon. Some of the user manuals will actually tell you not to keep your iPhone or Bluetooth device in your left or right pocket. HOWEVER, if you test both sides (left and right pockets or left and right armbands), then you should find one side that works perfectly. This isn't the case for ALL Bluetooth headphones, some of them don't have a problem with connectivity on either side of the body. I'll try to add some of these notes to the reviews. As far as connectivity goes Plantronics is almost always the best. Hope that helps.
  • yuvalbm Aug 17, 2014 @ 5:40 am
    I've been searching for quite a while for a good Bluetooth headphones to use while running and this all was a great reading and valuable info for me - thanks for that!
    One important factor, that is typically missing from most of the reviews, is referring to how such headphones fit when wearing glasses. Earhooks and neckbands design offers great comfort and stability however when wearing glasses they 'compete' for the same space above the ear impacting the comfort factor. It would it would be great to add that into the review parameters.
  • onepace Aug 18, 2014 @ 9:35 pm
    I appreciate the feedback yuvalbm. I will definitely try to add that in the future. Earbuds like the Yurbuds Inspire, Jaybirds Freedom, or Jaybird Bluebuds are probably the way to go if you wear glasses when you run.
  • SamanthaHaupt Jun 25, 2014 @ 10:33 pm
    Very helpful lens! Thanks for sharing.
  • halvmarathon_Jesper Jan 21, 2014 @ 4:33 pm
    Great lens.
  • hbruhn Jan 17, 2014 @ 6:57 pm
    Great list! Very helpful!
  • taraztec Jan 16, 2014 @ 1:36 pm
    I have to say, I tried 5 out of the list. None of them have last me for more than 5 months, sweat resistant, that isn't true at all. Companies need to hire me to try them frist, I work out every day and I sweat a lot. I am going to try the Motorola SF 600 Bluetooth Headset, if this don't work. I will stick to my wired phillips. Peace!
  • onepace Jul 26, 2014 @ 6:58 pm
    taraztec, sorry for the late reply and sorry to hear you've had trouble with some of the headphones. In the future make sure you look at the IPX rating, it goes from IPX0 to IPX8, typically a 4 is where you want to be for sweat resistance (if you sweat a lot). Also, one pair you may want to try is the BlueAnt Pumps, which released recently. They claim to be water resistant, and we're testing those soon. Might make it on the list!
  • KaticesBowtique Dec 31, 2013 @ 9:32 pm
    Just what I needed to know as I just started running. Thank you!
  • kehsiberry Dec 11, 2013 @ 3:59 pm
    oh love this lens! great lists here.
  • onepace Jun 28, 2014 @ 12:20 am
    Glad you liked it!
  • Oct 15, 2013 @ 10:11 pm
    Got any advise for a waterproof one?
  • onepace Jun 14, 2014 @ 12:02 am
    Sony has a new waterproof "walkman" called the W273 (I think). You should check those out.
  • Sudhi Sep 16, 2013 @ 12:59 pm
    Motorola SF600 is an worst headphone. I bought it 4 months back and now its not damaged. The mics have stopped working, the LED doesn't glow. I feel Pathetic after spending nearly 60 USD and I have not used so extensively at all, once in 15 days.
  • wiredears Sep 04, 2013 @ 7:20 am
    Out of that list I only tried the jaybird freedom, but I must say that I like the Plantronic Blackbeat GO a little bit more
  • PatrickHayes76 Aug 24, 2013 @ 1:58 pm
    I just use the Apple headphones that came with my phone however there are some pretty neat headphones that you highlighted above. Might need to make a change.
  • onepace Jun 14, 2014 @ 12:03 am
    As much as I love Apple products I don't think they'll ever match up with premium wireless sports headphones.
  • Jul 30, 2013 @ 8:55 am
    I had no clue most of these existed. Thanks!
  • SusanAston Jul 28, 2013 @ 6:28 am
    I didn't know about these before - thank you.
  • jonathan-barrington-50 Jul 03, 2013 @ 11:44 am
    What a great resource! Thanks.
  • nicolekato Jun 13, 2013 @ 10:28 pm
    As an avid runner, I love this. Excellent lens.
  • Elis173 Jun 13, 2013 @ 8:48 pm
    Great lens!
  • Greathaul2013 Jun 12, 2013 @ 8:15 pm
    Nice idea to put a lens together about this subject. I bought two sets of uncomfortable headphones for jogging before finally getting a good set on my third attempt - the Motorola SF600. From my experience I highly recommend getting a pair with a soft cord connecting the two sides, not hard plastic. The hard plastic ones bounce too much and are uncomfortable imo.
  • May 17, 2013 @ 1:27 am
    I think I would like these for when I mow the yard.
  • onepace Jun 14, 2013 @ 10:02 pm
    Ya, I have several pairs and tend to LOVE the ones that block out ambient noise, especially when I'm mowing my large 6 acre property!
  • imagelist May 05, 2013 @ 12:07 pm
    A really helpful lens...
  • ConvenientCalendar May 03, 2013 @ 11:40 pm
    Great information here! I know which one to get now!
  • MarkRobinson537 May 02, 2013 @ 2:34 pm
    Awesome lense! HUGE lens too i might add :) hehe. I'd have to say for me personally, I'd need something that would wrap around my ears so i wouldn't need to adjust them every few minutes. I'm a person that sweats quite a bit, no matter the exercise so just plain earbuds would start slipping out, over the head band type ones would just feel weird and get all wet from my sweaty head. So, that leaves something akin to the Jabra Sport :) thanks for the info here, I'd looked into buying some a while ago, but gave up when trying to find some useful info. :) cheers
  • annayjo Apr 25, 2013 @ 12:43 pm
    Some of these are really cool looking! I've been trying to find a good bluetooth headphone and this lens is very helpful, thank you!!
  • mykeepon Apr 16, 2013 @ 3:16 pm
    I do my share of running and having music is essential. The best one's to use are those that actually wrap around the ears. You just put them on and you're set. With ear buds you're sometimes having to push them in every 30 seconds.
  • onepace Apr 22, 2013 @ 2:00 pm
    I agree, with the exception of the Jaybird Freedoms. They have no ear hook, but they are an amazing pair of headphones for running or working out.

    I also think a headset (or vertical headphones) can fit just as well as ear hook or neckband.
  • h2ofs1 Apr 06, 2013 @ 9:13 am
    Agree with some of the comments below, the Jaybird Freedoms are a brilliant piece of kit! Fit extremely well and epic sound. Great Lens BTW really informative.
  • GatorD Apr 02, 2013 @ 10:11 am
    I stumbled across this lens accidentally but am very happy I did. I have much frustration trying to keep my wired earbuds in my ears as I jog and I didn't even know wireless ones existed (I guess I am out of touch). Thanks for sharing I will get me some now!
  • Mario Padilla Mar 26, 2013 @ 9:26 pm
    The Jaybird freedoms I tried these and found that they fit so snug that all ambient sounds are locked out and that talking or running resounded through and made it feel like you could hear your own movements. like putting your fingers in your ears and talking to yourself. Did anyone else notice this. For such an expensive set for sports it should let ambient sounds through for traffic safety.
  • onepace Apr 22, 2013 @ 2:02 pm
    That's a really good point. You definitely have to be careful when choosing a pair of "in ear" headphones versus "earbuds". Earbuds will allow some ambient sound, but when you get a pair of headphones that fit in your ear canal, you typically get a better sound but a higher safety risk. Great for the gym and running on the treadmill, not so great for running outdoors (unless you're secluded).
  • Joshua Mar 26, 2013 @ 8:49 am
    I had the Jaybird Sportband. After receiving my 8 replacement pair they decided to tell me my warranty was no longer valid but would give me a $50 credit if I sent the pair back. Each previous pair was replaced due to sweat damage and I'm not an excessive sweater. I really liked the headphones for fit and sound but can't recommend them to anyone for anything other than sitting at a desk.
  • kelly bushing Mar 01, 2013 @ 1:39 am
    nice collection of different types of headphones..
  • racingdatabase Feb 20, 2013 @ 5:01 am
    Great lens! I've got the GoGroove AudioActive headphones and love them!
  • kevinjy Feb 17, 2013 @ 3:52 pm
    What about bluebuds x by jaybird? It looks nice
  • onepace Apr 03, 2013 @ 9:22 pm
    See my response below to "jessemellon".
  • cargoliftken Feb 17, 2013 @ 2:21 am
    I like this lens! Excellent review.
  • jessemellon Feb 15, 2013 @ 5:24 pm
    How do the Jaybird Bluebuds X rank against the rest of these?
  • onepace Apr 03, 2013 @ 9:22 pm
    I haven't used the Jaybird Bluebuds X yet, mainly because of the cost. But, from everything I've read they are probably going to be superior to every pair on this list.
  • iriebra Feb 13, 2013 @ 12:28 pm
    Went through 3 pair of the Jabra Sport in 1 year. They dont take any type of sweat, wear/ tear, and take a delicate touch or damage will occur to the charging processes. Jabra now wants to keep sending me another pair; I want my money back instead of continuously using an inferior product. IMO - DO NOT BUY Jabra products!
  • Steve Jun 25, 2013 @ 5:05 pm
    I have had the same problem. Gone through 5 pairs and my last pair just died but now I am outside of the 1 year purchase date and they are refusing to replace. DON'T BUY.
  • Crystal Feb 07, 2013 @ 5:32 am
    I'm literally hunting for good Bluetooth headsets, but I'm torn between leaving earbuds behind and going back to the old school over ear kind. I've gone the earbud route for so long, but my ears really hurt now. They're like being raped by all these randomly shaped buds! Which did you feel the most comfort with on the buds and which of the over ears had clearer sound?
  • onepace Apr 03, 2013 @ 9:20 pm
    I'm definitely a bigger fan of earbuds than headsets. I think the Jaybird headset is pretty nice, but the problem with headsets is they tend to fall off sometimes if you want to use them for other workouts.
  • GeeDeeArr Feb 06, 2013 @ 4:20 pm
    I have the Jabra Sports and am still impressed with everything they can do along with how comfortable and secure they stay around my ears. Bluetooth headphones are definitely starting to becoming popular www.bluetoothsports.com has a couple of other ones not listed here that are worth checking out.
  • iriebra Feb 13, 2013 @ 12:29 pm
    Do u work for them or just not sweat when u run...Jabra sports are inferior and poorly designed product. DO NOT BUY!
  • Jimw Jul 23, 2013 @ 8:48 am
    Thanks! I won't buy. What are you using?
  • chonkqa Feb 04, 2013 @ 7:52 pm
    This lens is complete and very informative
  • Jermaine Feb 04, 2013 @ 1:17 pm
    This was very informative. I am looking to get a set of wireless earbuds for my wife. She is an avid runner and complains about the cords getting in the way! I think I'm going to go with the Motorola SF600.
  • Anthony Jan 30, 2013 @ 7:46 am
    Had my Jaybird freedoms for 13 months and the right ear went out. They didnt replace and something tells me their sweat warranty check will come back denied...
  • onepace Apr 03, 2013 @ 9:19 pm
    Unfortunately I've heard a lot of similar stories about Jaybird Freedoms lately. They're still great headphones thogh.
  • JohnBoo Jan 29, 2013 @ 8:26 am
    Wow i like the Jaybird Sportsband, "Squid Liked"your Lens ;-) awesome!
  • abouthealthtips Jan 08, 2013 @ 1:39 pm
    This is actually a great idea and like you mentioned, how many times do the cords from the headphone get yanked out while running? Well, its happened to me.

    Cheers
  • Ed Jan 02, 2013 @ 6:16 pm
    If you can find them, the BlueAnt X5i is probably the most comfortable pair I've used.
    Leather(ette) ear pads, so sweat was not a problem.
  • onepace Jan 03, 2013 @ 4:56 pm
    Wow, I actually hadn't heard of the BlueAnt brand. They actually look similar to some of the older Motorola models, but with "cushier" ear pads. Thanks for the heads up on these.
  • James Dec 31, 2012 @ 9:17 am
    Has anyone tried out the new Denon's exercise Freak?
  • onepace Jan 01, 2013 @ 3:20 pm
    Hey James, I haven't reviewed the Denon Exercise Freak...yet. I'm hoping to soon though and we'll see if they get added to the list. Here is a link to a pretty in depth review though: http://www.workoutheadphones.org/denon-ah-w150-exercise-freak-headphones-review/

    They look pretty sweet in my opinion, though maybe a little pricey.
  • Jstatouch Dec 27, 2012 @ 10:37 pm
    Hello,
    Can anyone tell me about the battery life on these? I'd like something that's going to stick with me on a long run.
  • Jason Jan 03, 2013 @ 12:41 pm
    I can tell you that i have had several pairs of the Rockfish, and they are awesome headphones though they are a bit flimsy. If you drop them, the plastic inside might break. The battery lasts easily for like 8 plus hours continuous use. Sounds is good, though using for phone use is a bit of a challenge. People i have talked to tell me they cannot hear me..
  • onepace Jan 03, 2013 @ 5:07 pm
    Jstatouch, that's a good question. I should have added that info. Here is the info for you real quick, and in the next week or so I'll try to add it to the site above, thanks!

    Battery Life (music time):
    1. Jaybird Freedom - 6 hours
    2. Jabra Sport - 3 hours
    3. Jaybird Sportsband - 8 to 11 hours
    4. Motorola SF600 - 5 to 6 hours
    5. Jabra Halo 2 - 8 hours
    6. Motorola S305 - 6 to 7 hours
    7. Plantronics Backbeat 903+ - 7 hours
    8. GOGroove AudioActive - 7 hours
    9. Motorola S10 HD - 8 hours
    10. GOGroove Airband - 8 hours
    11. Rocketfish - 8 hours
  • Timbo Jun 13, 2013 @ 3:02 am
    Jaybird have rubbish batteries. Mine refused to charge after 14months. No chance of warranty. The distributor told me to get lost. Jaybird didn't even reply. Don't go with Jaybird.
  • greentiger11 Dec 20, 2012 @ 5:39 pm
    The Motorola s10's are pretty nice. I have tried those out!
  • eddiea27604 Mar 06, 2013 @ 11:43 pm
    I've used the S10s. Great except for when you run with your phone on your waist... Bluetooth keeps cutting out...
  • Loganor Nov 30, 2012 @ 1:33 pm
    These are great bluetooth headphones for runners. Thanks for selecting and reviewing the best.
  • BookMama Nov 30, 2012 @ 7:36 am
    I've been hinting about wanting a set of these for a couple years now. I think if Santa and his helpers don't figure it out this year, that come first week in January I'm going to be buying a set.
  • Fred Nov 29, 2012 @ 3:41 pm
    Most of these headphones seem pretty crappy for someone who runs. 90% are foam headphones which will get disgustingly sweaty and the other ones have bad connectivity!
  • onepace Nov 29, 2012 @ 8:16 pm
    Fred thanks for the comment, but actually 6 of the above headphones DON'T utilize foam ear pads. Also keep in mind that a lot of people don't sweat profusely and foam ear pads are typically more comfortable. In addition the headsets by Jabra and Jaybird utilize a type of foam that doesn't "soak", meaning if you sweat the pads will feel damp but are designed to wick as much as possible.

    As for connectivity, Bluetooth isn't perfect, but as long as your keep your device clipped to your waist or arm then you're not likely to experience too many problems. In addition, the S305 by Motorola and the Plantronics have exceptional connectivity.

    Hope that helps some and happy running!
  • whats4dinner Nov 23, 2012 @ 9:03 am
    i'm not familiar with the jabra model for bluetooth headphones. but nice selections o headphones are featured in this lens! this goes in my xmas list :)
  • Heiferhopper Nov 05, 2012 @ 7:28 pm
    Another thing to consider: I have used the in-ear type (some have the bluetooth "dogtag") for a while and have had moderate success, though they have failed mostly because I forget that I have them on and end up drenched because of rain. The good thing about the "dogtag" style is that you can replace the earphones; the bad is that you have wires hanging, which defeats the purpose of bluetooth headphones. A company that claims they have some decent weather resistant head phone tech is Outdoor Technology. Google them or find them on Amazon. They seem to get good reviews and are decently priced.
  • JBO Oct 13, 2012 @ 11:12 pm
    Rocketfish set lasted 3 years before the power button failed. I run on a mountain trail in the desert southwest. I think it was a rain that caught me by surprise that did them in about 2 weeks later. I knew it was too wet but was caught with no way to shelter them, it was not a mist. They took Sweat, heat and impact well at a low price. Not for the audiophile but they paced me well from U2 to Metallica to 2pac! NOTE: Worked best with paired player on your left waist or higher.
  • G.R. Aug 13, 2012 @ 6:43 am
    Very disappointed with motorolas s10hd wireless blue tooth head phones. I bought them because I got the iPhone and I run every day and need go music and take important call. They only lasted for 4 months. If you sweet a lot when you work out do not use these,
  • Cross Trainer/Runner Sep 03, 2012 @ 5:59 pm
    I agree. It may seem funny but I went through three pairs. If I had to guess I'd say that mine probably broke due to sweat. To note, I only bought them once and best buy replaced them for free, twice. I'm still looking for a sweat proof pair(probably don't exist)
  • Dee Sep 18, 2012 @ 8:17 am
    Jaybird Freedom was good while working out BUTTTT the power button stopped working...same thing with Backbeat 903, I had them both. So it sucks when it stops working because you can no longer push in the power button
  • Cross Trainer/Runner Sep 03, 2012 @ 5:59 pm
    I agree. It may seem funny but I went through three pairs. If I had to guess I'd say that mine probably broke due to sweat. To note, I only bought them once and best buy replaced them for free, twice. I'm still looking for a sweat proof pair(probably don't exist)
  • Mar 06, 2013 @ 8:12 pm
    Same here. Not too much use and it is broken. Each earpiece has kind of a cover and the right ear one just lost part of it, with no evident reason.
  • LaughingMan Jul 06, 2012 @ 6:31 pm
    This was informative, and exactly the type of review I was looking for. I hope you continue, and add these: http://ikross.com/IKBT14-Water-Resistant-Bluetooth-Sport-Stereo-Handsfree-Headset#
Advertisement

You may also like...

Lens of the Day

Labor Day in Pioche, Nevada

Celebrating Labor Day in Pioche, (pronounced Pee-oatch) Nevada is a unique experience. It's a small town...

Advertisement

Make your page on Squidoo!

Get started