One thing that most of us rely on at the gym is a good set of earphones, whether it’s to block out the person grunting on the squat rack next to you, or just to help distract you from the torment of going for a long run, they are usually a necessity for anyone working out.
But with so many available now, how can you know which are the best type to train in? Well, wireless earphones are usually the best for any type of exercise, but still, there are literally thousands of these on the market now all promising different things, so knowing which are any good before you buy isn’t easy.
I’ve tried a bunch of the biggest brands out there right now to answer this very quandary, and here are some of the best, whether it’s for running, cycling, working out in the gym or simply chilling out after…
Jaybird Run earphones: Best for comfort
What always surprises me about completely wireless earphones is that many of them just aren’t really that comfortable. In most cases, they can be bulky, and in my experience, a chunky or heavy set of buds doesn’t bode well for active pursuits, as any kind of strong movement usually means they just fall out.
But JayBird’s latest pair of fitness buds, the JayBird Run, are quite the opposite. Not only do they have no wires connecting the two earpieces to give you more freedom, but they actually stay there. Sound quality is great, too.
Bose Sleedbuds: Best for recovery
Available from Autumn
Late last month, Bose launched its first ever “noise-masking” Sleepbuds”, a pair of freshly-designed in-ear wireless headphones that have been made for specifically for bedtime in a bid to help you sleep better. These are original because they are unlike any other earphones on the market, working in the same way as normal Bluetooth earphones but with a smaller and thus more comfortable form so they can be used while you’re in the land of Nod.
They aren’t focused on music streaming, though. So instead they are all about helping you to drift off in a more relaxed way by masking unwanted, external noise and replacing it with soothing sounds. Essentially, they’re aiming to improve people’s health, reducing sleep deprivation.
Nuraphones: Best for low-motion exercise (weight training, etc)
If you’re not really a cardio fan, and you prefer to use over-the-ear headphones for your workouts, then I have just the thing for you.
The Nuraphones by Nura are a revolutionary kind of headphones and probably the most innovative you can get your mitts on right now. They offer something no other headphones do: a personalized sound that automatically learns and adapts to your unique hearing.
The ‘phones self-learning engine automatically measures your hearing in 60 seconds by monitoring otoacoustic emissions and then uses this information to sonically mold the sound of the headphones to perfectly match your hearing and bring your music back into sharp focus. The learning process is performed using a free companion app available on both iOS and Android. Once set-up, your profile is stored on the headphones. The result is unique: a sound that personalized especially for you.
So what makes them so great for workouts? Well, they are exceptionally comfortable and have a music-activated Tesla venting system that keeps your ears cool during long usage periods. Then, there are two-layer sound isolation blocks outside noise from disturbing your exercise. If you want some cutting-edge workout tech, then look no further.
Sony Duo Ear: Best for cycling
These are probably one of the weirdest-looking set of earphones out of there right now, and as you’d expect from how they look; they’re not for everyone, but they are aimed at a specific user. These buds are all about feeding music to your ears when you need to be aware of your external environment.
The technology is designed to offer audio while still letting you hear ambient noise, a little like bone-conducting tech; so you can hear things like traffic, conversations and everything else around you in your daily life.
If you like to run outdoors and would prefer your music to sound more like background noise as opposed to taking over your entire sense of hearing because you need to be aware if there’s a car coming as you cross the road; these are great, as they also adjust to the noise around you. If they detect there’s an outside noise, they’ll lower the volume that’s fed to you so you can hear it. Ideal for cyclists, also.
Jabra Elite Sport: Best for the sweaty ones
I’ve been using the Jabra Elite Sport for months now and have found them to work perfectly when I want to work up a sweat. This is because they are waterproof (with an IP67 rating), which means they can be submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. They also stay in my ears, they are comfortable and the sound quality is actually really good with a decent bass range. I’ve also been quite impressed with the battery. And if you thought that was it, it isn’t. They have built-in heart-rate monitoring, too. These beasts literally have it all. Well, apart from a cheap RRP; the earphones’ only downside.
Aftershokz Trekz Titanium: Best for cycling
If your fitness weapon of choice is cycling, and you wish you could listen to music while riding your bike without risking your life, then you need a pair of Trekz Titanium. The wireless stereo headphones are the safest alternative to traditional sports headphones and earbuds thanks to bone conduction technology. An open ear design offers music to play and call features as you can peddle yourself fit from A to B, all while allowing you to hear perfectly what’s going on around you.
Backbeat Fit: Best for runners
The BackBeat Fit earphones are made by Plantronics, the business outfit responsible for headsets. They are specifically designed for the perspiring athletic types out there, including “sweatproof” P2i coating that protects from any potential moisture malfunctions.
Weighing just 22 grams, they are lightweight and flexible enough to go unnoticed but detailed with a reflective finish for runners’ safety in the night. They also come with a threaded case that can be strapped to your arm, holding your iPhone or smaller Android device in place, making them perfect for the avid jogger.