Updated: January 11, 2017
You may have once been told it’s the legs that feed the wolf. Well, it’s the music that feeds the legs.
There is nothing more sublime than hitting that runner’s high and there is nothing more motivating than doing it while your favorite jam courses through your body propelling you to run at levels you’ve never even imagined.
That’s why we spent a lot of time to find The Best Earbuds for Running.
We’re picky when it comes to our running earbuds, so we had some pretty stringent criteria:
- They had to be sweat proof (that’s a given)
- They had to be comfortable; the last thing you want is to have to finish your run carrying uncomfortable earbuds in your hands
- They had to be secure; you can’t be adjusting your buds while you run
- And of course, they absolutely must sound good. Who wants to listen to your favorite tunes if they sound like garbage? No one.
- We didn’t consider price because the best is the best, period. Luckily all but one pair of headphones on our list come in under $100.
The first thing we did was just plug these earbuds in and wear them around the house giving them a little bit of burn in.
Next, we took the test straight to the streets and went for a run. Actually we ran with each pair of earbuds for a total of 10 miles over 5 days. Looking back on this it’s hard to believe we ran over 150 miles just to test earbuds. But we did it just for you!
Last, we wore them throughout the week using them for pretty much anything and everything. There’s no point in dropping $50 or $100 on a pair of earbuds for running if the only thing you can do is run with them. It would be nice to get a pair that you can travel with or take to work, and so on.
We tested 15 different earbuds, some old, some new. It was extremely difficult to narrow it down to just 5 because honestly we liked a lot of them.
Here’s Out Top 5 Earbuds for Running
5th Place: Aftershokz
The Aftershokz are by far the newest pair of headphones on this list. We may have bumped them off the list, but they bring something to the table none of the other earbuds do: bone conduction.
Normal headphones transmit sound via air conduction and the ear buds fit in your ear or ear canal. The Aftershokz are completely different. These earbuds do not go in your ear. In fact they transmit sound via vibrations through the bones surrounding your ear. Pretty neat, huh?
They do lack a little bit in sound quality, and are quite loud when sitting next to the person using them, but other than that they were comfortable and allowed us to be aware of our surroundings at all times since the ear was left exposed.
4th Place: Monster iSport
The Monster iSport are the only pair of earbuds on this list that are over $100, but for good reason. Monster first became popular in the world of headphones when they teamed up with Beats by Dre a couple years ago, and they hit a home run again with the iSport.
They use an ear fin combined with in-ear canal buds to hold a secure fit and you absolutely will not be disappointed with their sound quality. Did we mention they are 100% waterproof?
3rd Place: Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Pro
Yurbuds are quickly become very popular sport earbuds with their Twist Lock technology. A lot of runners refuse to wear earbuds if they don’t have some type of additional support (i.e. ear fin, neckband, ear hook, etc.), but the Yurbuds are probably the most secure earbuds you’ll find.
It takes a few minutes to get the fit just right, but once you figure out how to twist them in place they are absolutely not going anywhere.
2nd Place: Bose MIE2
If we’re being 100% honest then the Bose IE2 are probably in a head for head tie with the PMX 680i for the best running earbuds. So, why didn’t we rank these number 1? Only one reason, the PMX 680 have been around longer.
The Bose have it all, and next year this time we imagine they would probably top our list. One of our favorite features about the IE2 are the fact that they are not in-ear buds. So far all you runners who can’t stand jamming ear buds in your ear then these are for you (of course either are the PMX 680!).
1st Place: Sennheiser PMX 680i
The king is still king. Ever since Sennheiser created their sport earbuds series they’ve been hard to beat. Their recent upgrade to the Sennheiser PMX 680, making their in-line controls compatible with iPhone helped keep them on top. Of course it helps that they are the most secure, comfortable and offer bass response that will literally blow you away.