Headphones for Runners

Written by

William Howell

December 14, 2022

The 5 best headphones for Runners

The best headphones you need for running

A man running wearing headphones.

There are two types of runners. Those that love nothing more than hearing the rhythmic beat of their feet pounding the pavement as they clock up some miles, and those who can’t imagine lacing up without some sort of audio dancing down their ear holes — whether it be tunes, podcasts, or even a coaching app. Whichever camp you fall into, don’t worry, we’re not here to judge what you’re listening to. No way. We’re just here to recommend our favourite earbuds. The kind that will upgrade your runs every time you step outside.

Now finding a good pair of headphones is pretty simple. But finding a good pair for running requires some specific features that have been designed with movement in mind. From fitting in your ears comfortably and securely to making sure they’re reasonably water-resistant, there’s a lot to get right with your earphones. And then there’s the fact you’ll probably want to hear what’s going on around you. Incoming traffic, that weird bleep that traffic lights make when it’s safe to cross, approaching strangers asking for directions; you’ll want to be prepared to deal with all kinds of situations.

So with all that said and heard, here are our top five wireless earbuds to pop on your wishlist so you can upgrade your runs from here on out.

A runner using headphones.

Bose Sport Earbuds

Epic all-rounder

Anyone looking for a pair of premium wireless headphones that are perfect for running and can be snapped up for a pretty decent price, the Bose Sport Earbuds are your answer. That’s because these neat little packages have everything you could want from a pair of workout earphones. The audio is excellent, the sound is impressive, the comfort-levels are exceptional and the build quality is exactly what you’d expect from Bose. But if that’s not enough to have you clicking the ‘Add To Cart’ button, our Head Coach, Ben, is willing to go on record and vouch for these, claiming they stay in place even on the fastest and bumpiest of bike descents.

A woman using headphones while running.

Shokz Open Run Pro

Best bone-conduction

Run your finger down the list of features and you’ll find your head nodding along with enthusiasm: enhanced bass, 10-hour battery life, quick-charge, comfortable fit. But what makes the Shoks Open Run Pro such an elite choice is their bone-conduction technology. Known to the pros as ‘Shokz TurboPitchTM technology’, this earbuds might sound oddly futuristic and slightly intimidating, but it’s actually an incredible alternative to more traditional options, and they work by moving the vibration of the sound into your cheekbones, leaving your ears open and able to hear what’s going on in the world around you. This is their signature situational awareness and it means you can add a soundtrack to your runs without being completely closed off to the world around you.

A woman using headphones and running.

Apple AirPods Pro

Best sound-cancelling earbuds

Every earbud needs to get one thing right and the Apple AirPods Pro has smashed it: the sound quality. These slick white earphones are packed full of behind-the-scenes tech that make sure your music is the only reaching your eardrum whether you’re running down a quiet country lane or packed city street – and it’s all down to the new Active Noise Cancellation feature. What about the other mode, though. Well, that’s called the Transparency Mode, and together they give you control over what you hear and what you don’t. Then there’s the new design, which has seen a lot more runners enjoy the better fit. And lastly, they’re rated IPX4, meaning they’ll stand up to a decent amount of mid-run sweating and rainstorms.

Running headphones on a table.

Powerbeats Pro True

Made for hardcore workouts

Get ready to revolutionise your running game with this hybrid of Beats’ capability and Apple’s technology. Built purposefully for elite athletes, these true wireless earbuds have taken the must-have features for runners and bundled them into a no wires pair of earbuds that lets you focus on your running game. For starters, they have adjustable, secure-fit earhooks that are completely customisable with different ear tip options so that you can increase the comfort levels, while the design itself has been made to stay in place no matter how hard you hit the trails. Combine that with their lightweight feel, water-resistant features and nine-hour battery life and you have everything you need to pound the pavement fully motivated. Just be warned, the audio is nothing to write home about. Instead it lacks base and excitement. Sorry.

A person using a headphone app on the phone.

Jaybird Vista 2

A great running companion

If you're an athlete and are looking for rugged earbuds that have tons of customisation options and epic features, the Jaybird Vista 2 might just be the solution for all your needs. Active Noise Cancellation for hyper-focus? Check. SurroundSense for spatial awareness and safety? Check. Earthproof durability for those technical trails? Check. Wind filtering microphones? Check. When it comes to lacing up and putting in the miles, the Vista 2 is ready to make you smile thanks to Jaybird’s focus on workout enthusiasts. Essentially, they’re secure earbuds that can survive whatever run you take them on. And with waterproofing, wing tips and intelligent sound functions, these will meet most runners' needs.

Thanks for reading our blog on the best earbuds and earphones for runners. For more running insights, inspirations, stories and techniques, follow us on Instagram -- or simply check out our No1 rated running plans at Runna.

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