If you’re a runner, you know that music plays a big role in motivating your daily practice. That’s why it’s so important to find the right tech and earphones to make your exercise routine as exciting and fun as possible.
So how do you choose the right earphones for you? First and foremost, you want a high-quality sound with good noise cancellation (or not, if you run near cars or machinery). Running earphones also need to be able to withstand the elements, from hard drops to water damage, and offer reliable performance on the move. For obvious reasons, sweat resistance and breathing room are also important. Lastly you need to look at the battery life, seeing as running earphones are ideally wireless to prevent them impeding your flying limbs.
With this in mind, these are the top picks for running headphones in 2021.
Bose Sport Earbuds
If you’re looking for the best quality sound, combined with the most secure fitting earphones, these are the ones for you. Like Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds which are one step up on the market, these sport buds feature StayHear Max tips which help them sit securely in the ear. They sacrifice the latter’s active sound cancellation for a lighter, more compact design, as well as a lower price tag.
They are splash resistant, with a rating of IPX4 and are equipped with Bluetooth 5.1, so their connection is flawless. The battery will last you a good 5 hours of use, though they don’t support Bluetooth charging.
Earfun Free Pro
These earphones are of excellent quality for the runner on a budget. For around $50 you get active noise-cancellation with 6 hours of battery life (7 hours with noise cancellation switched off) and wireless charging. They are loaded with Bluetooth 5.2 and are rated IPX5 so they can withstand a consistent spray of water.
The sound quality is impressive for the price range, with solid bass and good balance. They’re relatively small and discreet, lightweight and sit cozily in the ear.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
The unique bean-shaped design of the Galaxy Buds Live makes them some of the most innovative over-ear earphones on the market this year. They have an open design, meaning they don’t have tips you have to stick into your ear. They sit pretty much flush with your ear, so there won’t be any wind noise when you’re biking. Unfortunately, they won’t fit securely for everyone, so make sure the retailer you buy from has a good return policy.
They feature mild noise cancellation (though it doesn’t compare with in-ear buds), as well as background noise reduction for calls. An IPX2 rating means they’re sweat resistant and protected against light splashes – nothing heavy duty – but this will still help you reach your goals.
Inarguably the most interesting option in sports sound is the Aeroplex. These are top of the line bone-conduction headphones, meaning they don’t go in your ears at all. You get to hear all the sounds of your environment which is an important safety feature for both runners and cyclists.
At $160, this technology is relatively new, just like what you’ll find when you sign up now, so while the sound quality is decent and they are a relatively comfortable fit, it still won’t match up to that of traditional earphones.