Everyone wants bass-pumping jams to power their workout, but it’s difficult to find a pair of headphones that fit comfortably. When you are looking for the headphones for working out, priorities are slightly different to when you’re searching out headphones for just music. Let’s check out what you need to know to buy the best ones.
In the last decade, there were multiple studies about benefits of music on a person’s mind – it seems that music is a remedy for reducing anxiety, depression, and pain. But what about the physical benefits?
Well, the recent study that was presented at American College of Cardiology’s 67th Annual Scientific Session, states that people who listen to music as they work out are more likely to run longer and burn more calories as a result.
So, you decided to listen to studies and you brought your headphones to the gym – only to find out that they won’t stay on top of your head, the sweating of your ears is unbearable and this, what seemed like a great idea, became a really unpleasant experience.
There is a new market for manufacturers of headphones – the people who are exercising regularly and are in a need for good, sturdy headphones that won’t sell them out and ruin their workout experience.
Depending on the type of exercise, there are plenty of models that can suit your taste.
For a die-hard gymgoer, there are Monster iSport Freedom and Urbanears Hellas – two different models with their own strengths, but with a common mission – to stay on the head of the user. BOSE QC35, on the other hand, focused on the sound and comfort to attract casual workout people.
Beats Solo3 have their own fans, with their unmatchable battery performance level, a brand name widely recognized and great overall attributes.
And let’s not forget about Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 – a budget-friendly type of headphones, made for starters in exercising community that doesn’t want to spend a small fortune on the headphones.
What to consider
Everything depends on your preferences – are you workout casually or are you a little more hard-core? Do you want them to be appealing, so you will be noticed wherever you go with the headphones on?
Before you buy any of these headphones, ask yourself first:
1. What type of headphones do you need (headphones with a focus on staying firmly around your ears, headphones that are stylish and recognizable etc)?2. How much are you willing to pay?3. What kind of features would you like and what sound quality are you after?
Whatever your answer is, don’t forget that there are a couple of things that are mutual for everybody that enjoys listening to music while working out – they have to be sturdy, well-made; they must be made for some type of exercise at least, or they will probably fall off.
Also, the better noise isolation ( or noise-canceling ability) is, the more fun you will have with them.
We rounded up the best headphones for working out which sound good, fit comfortably, and stay out of your way.
Monster iSport Freedom – highly durable and captivating design
Monster iSport Freedom was released as a perfect mix of utility, style, and quality of headphones – made especially for people that love to listen to the music while working out. And with just a quick glance, you can see that Monster really put an effort in this model regarding their modern and captivating design. Let’s put them on and see what they have to offer.
Construction & Design
The build is top-notch; there’s a reason these headphones are marketed for people that exercise with headphones on – sturdy yet flexible, these highly durable cans are surprisingly lightweight. As we already said, the design is really attractive, combining neon green colors of earpads and headband with a black exterior.
Controls for power, answering calls, adjusting volume, skipping tracks and playback, are located on the right earcup, while a micro-USB charging connection and a 3.5mm connection for the included optional audio cable are located on the left one.
Their Lithium-Ion battery provides up to 24hours of wireless talking time, which is really amazing – and the battery recharge time is quite low – up to 3 hours max.
Monster iSport Freedom possesses a distinct sound signature that many people may like, or dislike. Their 40mm neodymium drivers aim to provide the booming bass, with a really mixed result. The mids and lows are decent, but the sound clarity is amazing.
Regarding the sound isolation, Monster iSport Freedom are on-ear, noise isolating headphones- meaning that they rely on their clamping force around your head and earpads to reduce the outdoor noise – while they really fit really nice on ears, you can’t reduce all the noises from sipping in.
Monster iSport Freedom is an outstanding product for people that work out while listening to music – they fit nicely on your head with good earpads and adjustable headband, but more importantly, they will stay on your head.
The wireless mode will allow you to work out freely, without the risk of tangling of the cable – and the amount of time you can use them with 1 charge of the battery is amazing. On the other hand, the sound has a distinct signature that isn’t for everyone’s taste.
All combined, these headphones really proves there are headphones on the market that are made especially for the people that love a good exercise.
- Great design
- Great battery performance
- Wired / Wireless
- Price is little high
- Sound signature is not for everybody
- Bass could be more powerful
Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 – designed and made for exercising
Plantronics BackBeat 500 are entry-level, attractive headphones, made for people that don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for the enjoyment of music while working out -they want a cheap, but a reliable product for casual use.
They won’t add anything new or revolutionary on the headphones market – but overall, this is a product that is really worth trying out if you are in a need for a reasonably priced headphones to carry to the gym.
Construction & Design
They are built rather sturdy, though the design resembles Monster iSport Freedom, but with a cheaper vibe. The earcups are smaller and the material used is mostly plastic yet this build is powerful enough to withstand an occasional drop to the ground, without breaking them.
On the bottom of the right cup, you will find the on-button, alongside a control for answering phone calls; the left cup features the 3.5mm port, Micro USB port, the volume rocker, and the skip and play/pause buttons.
Battery performance is decent, providing the user with up to 18 hours at a medium volume level.
The sound is above-average in its price-range – Bass frequencies are pushed up a little bit, giving them a somewhat bassy signature, with a lacking treble and decent mids and lows. Their 40mm drivers give a really fun and enjoyable sound.
The sound isolation is not ideal, yet good enough regarding their small earcups and lightweight construction, because of the stronger clamping force.
Plantronics BackBeat 500 FIT are budget-friendly, cool-looking headphones,that will provide you with a decent sound and above-average features.
Their biggest strong point is their great overall value compared to its price – for under 100 dollars, you will get a product that is designed and made for exercising, with similar possibilities as in much pricier models.
There are some limitations, but if you are not an audiophile and you are looking for something for casual use – these cans might be a good choice.
- Good price
- Plenty of features
- Good battery performance
- Might be unpleasant to wear for long period of time (> 1 hour)
- Smaller ear-cups won’t fit on everyone
- Average charging time
Beats Solo3 Wireless – stylish look and great comfortability
There are a couple of things that made the Beats popular – aggressive marketing with countless famous people promoting them, unique design that numerous companies tried (but failed) to copy, fun and distinctive sound signature – but Apple decided to improve their Beats Solo brand by adding a new product – Beats Solo 3 Wireless.
It’s an upgrade from a previous model, with amazing W1 chip and wireless option. And you can love them or hate them – but Beats Solo 3 is really an amazing piece of headphones, so let’s check them out.
Construction & Design
The Beats Solo 3 Wireless use squidgy rubber for the headband that sits on your head, combined with faux leather on earpads that fits nicely and is rather comfortable to use.
Design – what to say except – it is Beats – modern yet non-aggressive, stylish look that millions fell in love for.
Control buttons feel responsive and are well spaced out on the small earcup and feel very responsive.
Regarding the battery – the new W1 chip Apple implemented gave Solo 3 Wireless up to 40 hours of battery life for 2.5 hours of charging – an amazing feat indeed.
One of the signatures of Beats headphones is their sound – a clear but bassy sound, that fits modern music great. Hip-hop, rap, techno – you name it, it will sound amazing when played on Solo 3. They aren’t that amazing for other types of music, like classical or jazz – but it’s the price that had to be paid for that fun, bassy sound signature.
Like in every noise isolating type of headphones, the amount of noises absorbed by the fit on the ears is good, yet they won’t block all surrounding sounds from sipping in.
Beats Solo3 Wireless have their own strengths – nice design, amazing battery performance, and great comfortability, but they are only good for a light and a medium level of exercising i.e. running – they may not be the best headphones for high-intensity exercises that involve a lot of jumping, but they’re tight enough to not move around much while on your head.
Because of that, they are not the best choice for every type of exercise, and their price-tag may be too pricey for some, but I am sure their quality will find more fans amongst the people who work out.
- Amazing battery performance
- Excellent comfort-ability
- Great design
- Not suited for high-intensity workouts
- Signature sound not for everyone’s taste
Bose QuietComfort 35 – sturdy design and well-balanced bass
They have a unique, but widely recognized design – combine that with excellent materials that are used in making them, and you will get a product that is really made to last.
Their stability isn’t best suited for hard-intensity exercises, but if you are a casual gym-goer, you will find these headphones perfect for you.
Construction & Design
Construction of Bose QC35 is, to say at least, amazing – sturdy design and excellent materials used provides the user unparallel comfort level. The design is pretty nice and kinda serious – their focus is not on the appearance, but on the experience of the user.
The buttons deliver great tactile feedback, and the buttons are for Call/music, track-skipping, and volume up/down. Their battery life of almost 20 hours and a charge time of 2 hours is more than good.
They have an excellent, consistent, and well-balanced bass, with adequate punch and thump. They also have a very good mid-range and a very good treble, which makes them very versatile and suitable for a variety of genres.
But the thing that Boss QC35 trumps over everyone is their noise-canceling abilities, which are really worthy of praise – so no matter where you are, you can always depend on them to block outside noise from ruining your fun.
Bose QC35 have their own audience they want to please – people who casualy exercise, and who indulge themself in some sweet time while keeping their form. So, if you’re not planning to qualify for the Olimpics, and you value the slow pace exercise – Bose QC35 is a real treat for you – You will get amazing headphones that are made to sound good and to feel good while wearing them.
- Good battery performance
- Amazing noise-canceling ability
- Top-notch comfort level
- Not suited for every type of exercise
- Average sound in their price-range
- Slightly bigger price
Urbanears Hellas – built-in swipe interface and washable earpads
Urbanears Hellas are a classic type of work-out headphones – their design and style are simple, the sound is good but nothing amazing – these headphones are made for people that focus on the exercise, whether it be some light running or heavy lifting/jumping – these babies will stay on your head whatever you do.
And not only that – but earpads and headbands are removable and washable – so you won’t have a problem with a sweaty or smelly materials.
Construction & Design
Their design is really simple – nothing too fancy, just a sturdy looking plastic that comes with washable earpads and headband material.
The built-in swipe interface lets you cycle through your playlist and pick up calls with a simple swipe and tap of the ear cup.
Battery life is good, providing you 14 hours of usage time before you need to charge them again.
Urbanears Hellas have their own signature sound too, focusing on the lows and low-mids, but it’s still a solid, enjoyable sound for even die-hard music listeners.
Their ability to isolate outside noise isn’t that great, because of the spongy materials used for earcups, but if you don’t mind occasional noise while working out in a highly loud enviroment – you may find Urbanears Hellas quite interesting.
Urbanears Hellas is an exercise-friendly type of headphones with the focus on the strong build with a clever design that can assure every gym-goer that he can do every exercise without worrying they will fall off from his head.
The sound is decent to say at least, battery performance is ok-ish – nothing extraordinary, but for the mid-price range its marketed for – they are very good indeed.
Combine that with a feature of removing and washing earpads and headband after sweaty work-out and maybe these headphones can be just right for you.
- Good price
- Interesting features like removable and washable ear-pads/headband
- Good overall value
- Average sound
- Simple design
- No wired mode
Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 are affordable but overall good headphones for starters in the workout world.
Beats Solo3 Wireless is one of a kind – great brand and design, with a revolutionary W1 chip that increases battery life, distinctive sound signature and great comfort level.
On the other hand, we have Bose QuietComfort 35 that can let you into the wonderful world of noise-canceling headphones, with amazing comfort level – they won’t stay on if you do some jumping exercises, but for jogging and losing yourself in the music – there isn’t a better pick.
Urbanears Hellas are die-hard workout headphones – you will get a simple design with basic controls and features, but you can do whatever you want with them without the risk of dropping them to the ground.
And if you look at the Monster iSport Freedom you can see that these headphones really have it all.
The best ones are definitely the Monster iSport Freedom headphones – they have a sassy and bold look, their excellent stability level will let you do every type of exercise and still be firm on your head.
Their sound is great too and battery performance is above average at least. But even when they are made for heavy types of working-out – they are still comfortable, so you will rarely have the need to remove them.
Technology is always improving – just a decade ago, there weren’t plenty of choices for people that love a good work out while listening to music.
They were impatient, anxiously waiting for a new, let’s say a wireless model that won’t bother them with the cables and will stay firmly on their ears – and who can blame them? It is known that music can boost your work-out results – you feel more energetic, focused – plainly speaking, you are pumped up, willing to step up and do one more rep just because Prodigy is blasting through the earcups.
But now the manufacturers recognized the necessity for the good, workout-friendly headphones and we can see that every day new models are being designed and made just for that.
Among hundreds of models, we picked 5 different ones that can satisfy every type of a workout enthusiast – your job is to pick carefully and, of course, enjoy them a lot.