Best running headphones 2022: Our top over-ear and earbud picks for training

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If you're looking for the best running headphones around, you're in the right place.

With an array of different sizes and headphone types available, it can be hard to know what exactly it is you're looking for from a set of headphones for fitness. However, we'd argue the features to look out for are actually quite simple.

For running, you'll want something lightweight to avoid any distractions to your pace. You may also look to noise cancelation to help you focus, although there is some debate about whether noise cancelation makes you too unaware of your surroundings.

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Fortunately, we've put together a list of our top picks based on their price, reviews, and features, covering an array of different types of headphones in the process to help you select the right pair for you.

Whether you're after some of the best running headphones under 100 in these Mu6 Rings, or a pair wireless earbuds, like these Beats PowerBeats Pros, we've got you covered right here.

Stick around as well because we've answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding headphones to help you figure out which set is right for your running needs.

So, without further ado, here's our list of the best running headphones available now...

Best Running Headphones

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Best Running Headphones - Beats PowerBeats Pro

Best running headphones Beats product image of a pair of black earbuds with over-ear hooks
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Credit: Tech Radar
Weight: Unspecified | Quoted Battery Life: 9 hours | Noise Control: Sound Isolation | On-Ear Controls: Yes

Beats have been around since 2006 and have since become renowned for their high-quality headphones and earbuds.

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Its PowerBeats have been designed with running and fitness in mind as they come with secure-fit ear hooks to help keep them in place as you walk, jog, or sprint your way through a killer cardio session in your top running shoes.

Moreover, they are both sweat and water-resistant so should suit anyone who enjoys completing triathlons for example as they combine both running and swimming into one sport.

Another key feature of the PowerBeats is that they have volume and track controls on each earbud and autoplay/pause capabilities which can help as you don't have to worry about getting your phone out to change the song as you run.

Best Over-Ear Running Headphones - adidas Sport RPT-01

Best running headphones adidas product image of a pair of black over-ear headphones
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Credit: Headphone Check
Weight: 209 grams | Quoted Battery Life: 40 hours | Noise Control: Sound Isolation | On-Ear Controls: Yes

adidas is one of the top sports brands in the world, synonymous with making some of the best football boots on the market, but they also manufacture these high-quality on-ear headphones as well.

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The RPT-01's boast an impressive 40 hours of battery life which would even last if you ran multiple marathons back to back, so you shouldn't need to worry about your headphones dying on you whilst you exercise.

The headband and ear cushions are knitted which makes these headphones relatively lightweight, and they can even be removed and washed if you've completed a particularly sweaty running session.

All in all, if you enjoy running and like this particular style of headphones, then the adidas Sport RPT-01's might just be your answer.

Best Premium Running Headphones - Apple AirPods Pro

Best running headphones Apple product image of a pair of white Airpods inside their charging case
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Credit: T3
Weight: 5.4 grams | Quoted Battery Life: 24 hours | Noise Control: Active Noise Cancellation | On-Ear Controls: Yes

You have probably heard of Apple and might even own a number of their products, but what you might not know is that their AirPod Pro's make for some great running headphones thanks to a number of key features which help make them ideal for working out with.

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At just 5.4g's, they are extremely light and Apple boasts their AirPod Pro's come with a 24 battery life which should last you during both short sprints and even ultra-marathons.

Their active noise cancellation should maintain your focus on the sound as you run, helping you concentrate on your breathing and form whilst trying to smash your best 5k time.

Ultimately, the AirPod Pro's are a great bit of kit to run with and are particularly useful if you own an iPhone already and are looking for the most compatible Bluetooth earbuds to go with it.

Best Running Headphones For Audio Quality - Sennheiser CX Sport

Best running headphones Sennheiser product image of a pair of black and yellow earbuds with a cable to wrap around your neck
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Credit: Sennheiser
Weight: 15 grams | Quoted Battery Life: 6 hours | Noise Control: Sound Isolation | On-Ear Controls: Yes (on Neck Cable)

If one of the most important factors of choosing a suitable pair of running headphones is the audio quality, then these Sennheiser CX Sport's could be a great choice for you.

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Like with some of the best headsets for FIFA, Sennheiser boasts that these earbuds come with superior bass quality to help boost your running performance, particularly if you enjoy listening to lively, bass-heavy songs along the way.

Although not on the ear, these earbuds do come with volume and song controls on the cable that can be worn around the neck, designed to give you a bit more security in case they fall out whilst exercising.

With a 6-hour battery life, they should last for beginners and more serious runners looking to run for longer, but also for everyday use like commuting to and from work.

Best Smart Running Headphones - Bose SoundSport

Best running headphones Bose product image of a pair of black headphones with a cable to wrap around your neck
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Credit: RTINGS
Weight: 17.9 grams | Quoted Battery Life: 6 hours | Noise Control: Sound Isolation | On-Ear Controls: Yes (on Neck Cable)

Bose offers two SoundSport's in their range, but the ones we're focusing on are the slightly more expensive Pulse editions which come with a built-in heart rate monitor, much like a top Fitbit, to help track how hard you're working as you run.

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The SoundSport's are highly compatible with NFC-enabled smartphones and music devices, and if you download The Bose Connect app then you can share music with more than one pair of headphones, making them a great option if you regularly run with a buddy.

They also come with StayHear+ tips designed to remain secure and comfortable in your ears, even during high-intensity sprint sets.

On the whole, if your looking for a pair of running headphones that offer the signature sound quality of Bose and a secure fit to keep them safe as you exercise, then SoundSport's could be an ideal choice.

Best Open Ear Running Headphones - Mu6 Ring

Best running headphones Mu6 product image black set of open-ear headphones.
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Credit: Mu6
Weight: 35g | Quoted Battery Life: 9 hours | Noise Cancelling: No | On-Ear Controls: Yes

A unique headphone set, Mu6 Ring places small speakers directly in front of your ears, keeping your ear canals free so you can still hear the world around you when exercising.

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Simply opting for a small set of speakers stops you from feeling any kind of tickling sensation through the vibrations of a bone construction set.

Furthermore, these headphones are incredibly lightweight, which should improve the comfort levels when exercising.

Overall, these unique Mu6 Ring running headphones look to be an excellent pick if you're looking to stay in tune with the world as you exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions About Running Headphones

With so many different brands and styles to choose from, you probably have a few queries about running headphones, but we're here to clear up some of the most common questions.

Are Running Headphones Worth It?

If you are into your running then yes, they definitely should be worth it.

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Although a lot of headphones and earbuds featured on this list are designed for sports, they're all extremely versatile and should be suitable for everyday use like traveling to work or when you're just sitting back and listening to your favourite podcast.

Even though the price tags may vary, they will most likely be a good investment, especially if you plan on running more than once a week.

How Do I Know If The Headphones Will Fit?

Most headphones these days are adjustable in some form and are therefore typically marketed as a one size fits all bit of kit.

Earbuds typically come with a variety of different-sized bud inserts to fit practically every sized ear out there, so you shouldn't need to worry about whether your earbuds will fit when you buy them.

Are Wireless Headphones Easy To Connect To?

Wireless headphones tend to work via Bluetooth connectivity and can usually be paired to your device in the device settings.

It is worth noting however, not all headphones are compatible with every device out there, so you need to pay attention to what they can and can't connect to in order to avoid any disappointment after purchasing a pair of headphones.

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Do You Need To Carry Your Phone With You To Use Wireless Headphones?

Most wireless headphones or earbuds require a parent device such as your phone in order for them to play music, podcasts, or radio.

However, there are some devices available that come with built-in storage to allow you to save music, for example, onto them so you don't need to carry your phone with you whilst you exercise.

There are also some smartwatches with similar storage capabilities, so can simply connect your running headphones to your watch to listen to music instead. Check out our list of the best running watches for some inspiration.

How Long Do Wireless Headphones Take To Charge?

This varies depending on the manufacturer so there's no right answer to this question.

However, as a general guide, most modern wireless headphones can take anywhere between 1-2 hours to charge fully from being completely dead.

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Are Over-Ear Or Earbuds Better?

This will ultimately come down to personal preference.

Over-ear headphones have the advantage of having bigger speakers which should deliver better sound quality, however, they're also heavier and can result in your ears overheating.

By contrast, earbuds are lightweight, but you may find them uncomfortable to wear, especially whilst running.

We feel earbuds may be the slightly better choice for running, but it's really down to you to decide.

Is It Safe To Run With Headphones In?

It's completely acceptable to wear headphones whilst running as they can provide that extra source of entertainment you might need to keep you running for longer. However, there's an argument to be had for leaving them at home for your own safety.

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Like using the phone whilst driving, headphones provide a distraction to your surroundings, which can make it tricky at times to keep on top of all the potential hazards around you.

Therefore, we'd perhaps argue against wearing headphones if you typically run down busy roads or congested pathways. However, you won't necessarily need to worry about this as much in quiet, open spaces.

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