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By Nader Qudimat / Feb 2, 2018

The Best Buying Guide To Headphones 2018

There is no such thing as the best pair of headphones, wouldn't you agree?

Each pair comes with different features, pricing, and sound quality.

Some may prefer to have strong bass, some prefer crystal clear sound, and others may want the perfect combination and balance.

This guide will help you decide which headphone is best suited for you.

We mixed in the top 10 (list with bluetooth and wired headphones so you can decide which you'd prefer to use. 

We'll go deeper and soon reveal categories (on-ear, wired, etc) so you can choose according to your preferences like how we did with our pre workout guide.


True Wireless Earbuds

Forget wires and go completely wire free. 

Wired Over-The-Ear Headphones

Wired headphones that go over the ear.

Wireless Over-The-Ear Headphones

Check out the best wireless in-ear headphones

Budget Headphones

Jump to our final top 10 list for workout headphones.

Wired In-Ear Headphones

Wired headphones that go over the ear.

Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Check out the best wireless in-ear headphones

Final Top 10 List

Jump to our final top 10 list for workout headphones.

"Do you even lift bro?"

That's the kind of crap we don't want to hear during our workouts.

If we're going to use headphones, they better work as well as we want them to...

Wouldn't you agree?​

Everyone may face this every once in a blue moon....

Music is what saves us from the distractions and gives us the complete zen-like focus we need in the gym.

When good beats are combined with exercise, it brings us more motivation and energy than ever before.

With the right tunes you've got yourself the most exciting time of your day... Your workout.

But nothing is worse than headphones falling out of our ears, or just plain old crappy headphones that don't do isolate much background noise. 

Imagine you're about to do an intense set but your headphones slip out of your ears or your MP3 player (most likely your phone) falls out out of your pocket. 

That wouldn't happen with bluetooth headphones paired with a smartwatch (like the rugged and durable Samsung Frontier) that can play MP3's. 

The Samsung Frontier doubles as your wallet as it has Samsung Pay (enables you to use your credit card at any traditional credit card scanner).

Both rugged and advanced, the Samsung Frontier can be used as a standalone MP3 player and phone so you can go absolutely wild in the gym without anything banging around in your pockets. This is easily one of the best smartwatches for lifting and can be used for any occasion.

The right pair of headphones need to stick to your ears, hang on for dear life and not allow it to fall when performing your most intense set of the workout.

Some people prefer wired, some wireless. We'll list both...​

We'll also take it a step further and create a top 10 list of the most useful and efficient pair of music blasting ear players (aka headphones!).

These headphones are not only great for the gym but any sort of physical activity.

Of course, you'll want combine these headphones with a good program like this one.

​Best True Wireless Earbuds 

It's hard to find a decent pair of truly wireless earbuds but we've gone through the grunt work and have done the research for you. 

It is quite difficult to find the perfect pair so it comes down to your preferences and to what you listen to.​

Read on if you're looking for true wireless headphones for the gym...


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    6 hour battery life
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    secure fit and comfortable
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    passive noise cancellation 
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    foam ear tips 

With so many earbuds catering to different markets, it can be difficult picking one that suits most of your needs.

Treblab has done it differently by catering to the general market and creating a pair of earbuds that cost less than $50 while keeping the sound quality higher than average.

Sound Quality 

The bass here is strong and provide lots of punch while the mids and lows are clear and accurate.

These are best for music with lots of bass like hip hop, etc. 

Super Affordable Earbuds 

Unlike most affordable wireless buds, Treblab x11’s last for 6 hours, which is comparable to most wired Bluetooth headphones.

It isolates quite well, thanks to its passive noise cancellation so you can focus on what matters most to you (i.e. your training!).

If you do want something that has super high quality Bluetooth but don’t mind the attached wire, then we recommend you check out the XR500.

For what you get, the Treblab x11 make an excellent choice for wireless earbuds.

Treblab used to price these headphones at $200 but currently it’s a quarter of the price so it’s a great deal at the moment. 


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    Doesn't protrude outside ears 
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    6 hour battery life (charging case is not needed with these)
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    Foam ear tips for passive noise cancellation 
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    Clear sound with good bass


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    Not good for music that doesn't have plenty of bass


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    Sweat and water resistant
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    4 hour battery life
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    8 hour charging case

Over the past few years, Jaybird has earned quite a reputation in the workout earbuds category.

With impressive sound quality, punchy bass and a customizable app to adjust EQ, they are simply the go to brand for fitness headphones.

The Jaybird Run's are their answer to truly wireless headphones for the gym.

These headphones have a oval shape with secure wing tips to give that additional security that keeps the earbuds from falling out.

Perfect for when you're exercising and lifting hard.

Overall these earbuds have an excellent build and a great charging case that'll give you that quick 5 minute charge for an hours worth of playback.

A lot of reviewers complain about connection dropouts but it seems like the latest update fixes that.

Check out Jaybird Runs if you want something with strong bass and detailed sound without the hassle of wires that traditional headphones have.


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    Customizable sound with Jaybird App (iOS and Android compatible)
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    5 minute charge provides an hour of playback 
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    Punchy and hard hitting bass with detailed sound


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    Buttons are tough to press when in ear


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    4.2 Bluetooth
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    2.5 hour battery life
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    passive noise cancellation
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    one button for play/pause and answer/hang up
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    charging case charges 3 times (6 hours total)

If you’re anything like us, you want something simple but doesn’t break the bank.

Wireless headphones can get pricey and even when they are priced high, there is almost always the chance of it being one with too many issues to handle.

And the issues are usually from connectivity, whether it’d be audio dropouts or syncing between the two wireless earbuds.

The SoundPEATS Q29 come at a much cheaper price than most truly wireless headphones and they look fancy with its shiny and glossy shell.


Low priced headphones are generally not that great sounding but these tiny earbuds produce some nasty and strong bass.

The bass feels a bit overpowered though so if you’re an audiophile, you won’t like these.

However, it sounds great if you’re listening to something with deep bass like hip hop, electronic, etc.


This is where you’d really have to try them on and adjust the ear tips until you get a good fitting.

You may not get a good fitting at all, but this happens with a lot of in-ear earbuds as everyones ears are different and the ear tips can only work for so many ear canal’s.

SoundPEATS Q29

Most of what SoundPEATS put out there are not only affordable but they work quite well.

There might be some downsides but they have a decent reputation of putting out great products that are worth a bit more than what they are priced usually.

The battery life is about 2.5 hours which isn’t great but it does come with a battery case that can offer up to 12 extra hours of battery life (takes about 3 hours to fully charge).

Try out these SoundPEATS Q29 and you’ll like the thumping bass they produce as you train in the gym. 


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    Affordable and best in its price range
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    Deep bass with decent mids and lows
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    Comfortable to wear
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    One button for play and pause 
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    Charging case provides 6 hours of battery life 


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    Short battery life
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    Doesn't sound as good as the more expensive headphones (like Jabra Elite)


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    4 hour battery life
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    Sweat resistant 
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    passive noise cancellation
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    30 hour playtime with charging case

Jam makes decent audio products, but nothing has been extraordinary until these came along.

These ultra-wireless in-ear headphones by Jam is literally something you wouldn’t expect from this company as they have proven to be quite the competitor in this category.

Strong Sound Isolation

While these are not safe for running outside in the city, these are perfect if you’re looking to isolate outside noise.

Jam Ultra Wireless really dig into your ear canal so if you can get a good fit with one of the ear tips then you’ll be able to fully isolate noise quite well.

Made For Fitness

Since you won’t be able to use these safely outside where you need to be aware of your surroundings, they’ll be best used where you want to be the less distracted and that’s usually the gym… or the office (or study etc.).

At this price point, there’s no surprise that these earbuds don’t have the usual fitness features like heart rate tracking. If you’re looking for something with good sound and reliable fitting, then the Jam Ultra Wireless is your best bet.

Sound Quality

The bass is super strong for the size of these earbuds but the treble is not the greatest.

Fortunately, you can adjust these sound settings with your phone’s equalizer (Spotify has one built-in for example).

To take advantage of the sound, you’ll want to make sure these earbuds are really sealed into your ears.

Built-In Controls

There’s only one button on Jam headphones which allows you to do everything like play/pause, take a call, activate Google assistant (or Siri).

This is the downside to these headphones but it doesn’t make a big difference since these are already very comfortable, great sounding and convenient to carry around.

Battery Life

Jam claims you’ll get 3 hours of battery life but everyone seems to agree that you get much more than that.

It looks like you’ll get at least 4-5 hours and the best part is that the charging case can charge these things 10 times.

So, you’ll get at least 30 hours in total before needing to charge the carrying case.

JAM: Near Perfect Headphones with a Fair Price

These headphones might as well be bringing the brand back to life as it is getting tons of rave reviews from many places including Best Buy and Amazon.

With all of the choices of true wireless earbuds, these are at the very top so research no further. 

If you’ve been waiting for a decent pair of truly wireless but hesitated because of the many issues they are known for and the high price that the decent pairs cost, then you’ll like Jam earbuds since they are very affordable and arguably the best you can buy in its price range.


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    Resistant to sweat
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    Provides a tight seal and isolates outside noise
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    Carrying case holds 30 hours of playtime 
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    Fairly priced 
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    Strong bass with decent mids and lows


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    Only available at 2 places


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    3.5 hour battery life
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    24 hour charging case 
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    graphene Enhanced Sound
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    Blocks outside noise

You've seen Anker before but if you haven't, they are best known for their affordable but high quality tech, notably their power packs, wall adapters and charging cables. 

Zolo is a sub-brand of Anker, and they are focused on creating quality audio products. 

Zolo Liberty is their first go at truly wireless, and even though it's the first generation, it is potentially one of the best in it's price range.

You can take it to the next level with Zolo Liberty+ (Plus), which is using Bluetooth 5.0 instead of 4x, can pass through outside noise with a press of a button and uses bigger graphane drivers for superior sound quality.

Though they both have the same run time (3.5 hours), the charging case for the Liberty+ uses a 48 hour battery instead of the 24 in the regular version. 

Sound Quality

If you're wearing these for the gym, these are perfect as they have plenty of bass with clear highs and okay mids / lows. 

The mids and lows are not the best, they are lazily reproduced and if you're looking for the best sound quality, these will not impress you. 

There's also a bit of a background "hiss" noise that is barely noticeable but it is there if you listen closely enough. It probably won't bother you if you're in the gym lifting. 

Built-In Controls

There's a single button on each earbud to control everything from Siri / Google to play / pause and skip forward as well as answering calls. 

You won't be able to control volume, you'll have to either use your smartwatch or phone to do that. 

Connection Quality

Both the Liberty and Liberty+ are similar when it comes to connection quality, they are mostly great and when they do disconnect, they gain stability in connection almost immediately. 

The Liberty+ seems to have a better distance than the regular version, but since our phones only have Bluetooth 4x, we're unable to use the full potential of the plus version. 

Zolo Liberty 

These headphones are excellent for the gym and have almost no lag when it comes to video playback as far as we could tell. 

For truly wireless headphones, these are surely going to be one of the most recommended pairs.

We've noticed really no connection drop outs and if it happens, it'd happen only once every hour of playback. 

For price and quality, the Zolo Liberty are the perfect bargain pair to get. 

We liked these more than the Bose Soundsport because these are able to isolate outside noise.

Although the sound quality isn't as good as the Soundsports, we like being able to block outside noise so the Zolo Liberty are the perfect choice with great sound and a price tag that is more than fair. 


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    Customizable fit with GripFits and different eartip sizes 
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    Strong sound isolation 
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    3.5 hour battery life with 24 hour charging case 
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    One button for all controls
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    Mids and lows are not the greatest (bass is great after using EQ)
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    Charging case is a bit large for pockets


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    Comfortable fit 
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    6 hour battery life
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    Strong bass with clear mids
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    comply foam tips (one size fits all)
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    audio transparency mode (For situational awareness, can be turned on)

After a few years of hype and a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, these German made truly wireless earbuds has truly lived up to most of its promises. 

First came the Dash earbuds but these are the 2nd version and are simply called “The Headphones”.

As simple the name is, The Headphones is considered to be one of the best headphones in its category.

You won’t only get great noise isolation with these, but you’ll also have the option to turn on Transparency mode which allows outside noise to pass through, which allows you to wear these safely when you’re in the city or wherever you need to be aware of your surroundings.

Sound Quality

The first question you’d ask about any wireless earbuds is how good is the sound. 

For headphones that cost less than the premium ones like AirPods or Jabra’s, these have great bass, but sometimes it can mix into the mids but still considered to be quite good.

If you’re listening to hip hop, electronic, or something with bass, then you will be happy with these as the treble isn’t as detailed as it should be, though it does not spill into the mids.

Built-In Controls

You won’t have much trouble with the controls but if you have sensitive ears, then Bragi The Headphones may not be for you as it takes some force to push the buttons. 

There are 3 buttons, one can play/pause, another track selection and finally the last for volume control.

Connection Quality

The downside to many true wireless earbuds is the connection as it can bring annoyance to the user.

Bragi has done it well however as the connection is quite stable and rarely cuts out.

Battery Life

You’ll get a solid 6 hours of playtime which should be more than enough if you are just using these for your workouts.

To keep the price low, the carrying case does not charge the headphones.

Bragi: The Headphones

The name brings simplicity. 

The Headphones are a great pair of true wireless earbuds that not only look great (they don’t protrude) they sound excellent.

The battery life is above average from other earbuds and provide plenty of noise isolation so you can focus on your training.

You can’t go wrong with The Headphones, so hook yourself up and check them out. 

They've also got other models like the Dash and Dash Pro but these are both more expensive and have more features that we do not find necessary. 


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    Comply foam tips for good isolation 
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    Transparency mode to let outside noise go through your ears
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    Long battery life
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    4 buttons for controls 


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    Buttons take a bit of force to press 
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    No charging case


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    5 hour playback 
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    Chargeable carrying case with 10 hours of extra power
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    premium sound (with strong bass)

These are Bose’s first attempt at ultra wireless earbuds.

Like their wireless Soundsport (like these but attached with a cord), these will protrude a bit out of your ears, making it look a bit weird but performance wise it will be carrying the same quality Soundsport has. 

Using a dedicated app, you’ll be able to locate these earbuds if you misplace them by using the special “find my buds” feature. 

Like their wireless Soundsport, these won’t isolate much outside noise but the sound is so good that we couldn't leave it out of this list. So if you workout at a empty gym or don't mind the external noise, then these are for you.  

So if you’re looking for something that can isolate noise, then checkout Jabra Elite.

For the sound though, Bose will almost always win. 


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    Dedicated app to help locate earbuds if they are lost
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    Sweat resistant (IPX4)


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    Doesn't isolate outside noise
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    Protrudes outside ears (but has excellent sound)


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    noise isolation 
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    HearThrough (Situational Awareness can be enabled)
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    Great Fit
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    Particle Proof (IP6) and Waterproof (IPX7, Up To 1 Meter for 30 minutes)
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    Built-In Controls (Play/Pause, Track Selection, Volume, Calls, HearThrough)
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    4.5 Hour Battery Life (Carrying Case Holds 9 Hours Of Power) 

Finally... One of the best pair of truly wireless earbuds is here.

When it comes to true wireless headphones, the first wave of them had too many issues and they were just not taking off.

This all changed and improved with Jabra Elite Sport.

These headphones do not have any wires whatsoever so if you’re looking for the best truly wireless pair for lifting, this is it.

The Jabra Elite’s come with 3 earwings (small, medium and large), and 3 pair each of foam and gel eartips in S, M and L sizes.

The hand carrying case comes with 9 hours of power that can charge your earbuds on the go (basically a powerbank for your wireless headphones).

Fit and Noise Isolation

With these plugged in your ear, you won’t hear a thing outside as it isolates noise very well and they won’t come loose if you get the fitting right.

Jabra Elite’s have HearThrough (situational awareness) which can be turned on if you need to be aware of your surroundings.

So if you need to hear outside noise, HearThrough can be turned on and it allows sound to come through the microphone.

Whether you need to be aware of the gym rats that surround you or you’re outside running etc, then you’ll find this feature to be very useful.


The Jabra Elite’s are not only sweat and particle proof (IP6) but it’s also waterproof (IPX7) up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. 

Meaning you can swim (not scuba dive!) and listen to your music for example. 

Built-In Controls

There’s plenty of built in controls here to help you with play/pause, volume, selecting tracks, answering and making calls and enabling HearThrough, but you may not like pressing on these buttons as it takes a little bit of force to push them.

This is a minor issue compared to what most truly wireless earbuds face.

Battery Life and Connectivity

The Bluetooth is superb and connects effortlessly.

We think the battery life is plenty with 4.5 hours as these are made for workouts and unless you’re training longer than that, the battery life is plenty.

The carrying case provides 9 hours of power and only takes 20 minutes of charging to get you an hour of continuous use.

This battery life is much improved compared to the cheaper model which only had 3 hours of playtime.

Sound Quality

It doesn’t matter what you listen to, these earbuds are made for all kinds of music.

Since the sound signature is geared towards the general public, it is balanced with bass and treble without any distortion or overpowering in any way.

This has more bass and gives a better seal than Bragi earbuds. 

The sound can be adjusted with its equalizer in the Jabra Elite app (available for both iOS and Android).

If you’re an audiophile then you may not enjoy the sound to the maximum, and you’ll be better off with the Erato Apollo 7 as those have better sound (Though with Apollo 7, there may be a delay with sound when watching videos).

The Best True Wireless Earbuds For Training

We would've appreciated Jabra Elite's even if they didn’t have so many features as it is hard to find a decent pair without any syncing / sound / Bluetooth issues.

However, Jabra went the extra mile and added a heart rate monitor (optional to use) as well as the ability to do different tests with all kinds of data that could be used to improve your workouts.

Don’t rely 100% on the heartrate monitor as it can be more or less accurate and doesn’t do any better than existing devices.

Unlike most true wireless earbuds, these use NFC to sync with each other. This means you won’t be able to use in the air (nope not on the airplane) unless you plan to use just one.

If you don’t mind these stuffing in your ears for the sound isolation and don’t need to use them on the airplane (since NFC won’t work in the air), and need the best truly wireless for workouts, then the Jabra Elites are made for you. 


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    Durable particle proof (IP6) and waterproof (IPX7)
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    Decent battery life for wireless earbuds (4.5 hours, and 9 extra hours from carrying case)
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    Dedicated app (available for both iOS and Android)
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    Great sound isolation (passive noise cancellation)
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    Features HearThrough (allows outside to pass through the microphone)
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    Syncs both earbuds with NFC and Bluetooth works nearly flawlessly


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    Can't play both earbuds on airplanes (NFC doesn't work in the ear)
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    Expensive (you get what you pay for in this case)

Best Wired Over-The-Ear Headphones

Combat+ Ultimate Active Performance by Soul 

Features and highlights:

  • Memory foam compression fit
  • Strong bass with clear mids / lows
  • High quality ear pads and doesn't show much wear of use even after months
  • Light and comfortable 
  • Sweat resistant and noise cancelling
  • Microphone and inline control

When it comes to gym headphones, these are the lasting thing you'd imagine. 

However it can be uncomfortable having earbuds stuffed in your ear canals especially for long duration's.

Soul's Combat+ are the answer to comfortable and secure over the ear headphones.

These headphones are not only secure fit, but they are also customized fit since the padding is memory foam. 

The tangle-free Kevlar audio cable allows you to control your music and is sweat resistant so you can wear it safely during intense training that usually leaves you drenched in sweat. 

The comply (same as Jaybirds X3's earbuds' material) earbud tips are made out of memory foam and is heat activated, molding over your ears for a secure and noise-isolating fit.

With a balanced sound signature, Combat+ features very strong bass with clear mids and lows, leaving your head in the zone with music blasting without any outside noise interfering with your training. 

For the price and quality, you'll be getting a pair that'll last you for a long time.

The Combat+ is the perfect choice for the hardcore lifter (and joggers) looking for balanced audio and changeable / washable ear pads.

Best Wireless Over-The-Ear Headphones

Solo3 Wireless Headphones by Beats

Features and highlights:

  • W1 Wireless Chip
  • 40 hour battery life
  • Comfortable and adjustable fitting
  • Great for training and durable
  • Optional audio cable to make it wired

Going wireless is one thing but going with Beats is taking things to a whole new level. 

Solo3 has got Apple's W1 Wireless Chip, provided that this pair can go 100 feet and more in range, you're getting a massive advantage as your phone / MP3 player will not have to be anywhere near you during your workouts. 

Provided this is made by Beats, the price is a bit high but is well worth it as these should last for years to come and will not have any interuptions in connection / music quality if you don't plan to leave your phone beyond 100 feet (about 130 feet maximum).

The sound is quite clear and the bass is a bit strong but this can be lowered if you adjust your EQ sound settings

If you are using an Apple phone you can take advantage of all the features with these headphones but these still work quite well with Android. ​

The fitting is also tight and won't slide off if you're doing intense training. ​

Dr. Dre has got your training music covered as these will most likely be your favorite headphones for a good while to come.

With the battery lasting up to 40 hours, you won't be needing to charge Solo3's as often as your average pair of bluetooth headphones. 

Features and highlights:

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Water and sweat resistant
  • Optional audio cable to use as wired headphones
  • Moderate sound isolation 
  • Great mids and highs even at higher volumes
  • Bass is strong

Great for the gym and jogging, the iSport Freedoms are not only one of the more lighter headphones but they are ideal for the intense bodybuilder. 

With the bass being a little more dominant than your average pair of headphones, the power of these headphones will take your workouts to the next level.

Featuring Apt-X and AAC bluetooth technology, the quality of the sound is great with clear mids and highs even at high volumes.

If you had a choice between these and a $30 dollar pair of headphones, you won't regret these as the quality is more than what you pay for with iSport Freedoms.

The only downside is that if you listen to music with breaks of silence in them, these will automatically go into standby, leaving tiny 1 second gaps with little "pops" of noise but that shouldn't be an issue if you are using these for lifting as most workout songs are consistent.

For the sound and durability, iSport Freedoms make an excellent choice for bluetooth over the ear headphones.

Features and highlights:

  • 30 hours of playback
  • APT and AAC playback 
  • NFC pairing 
  • Sweatproof ear cups 
  • Carrying case and auto sleep for battery saving
  • Blocks out background noise

BlueAnt may be a company that you have never heard of but if you're in the market for large headphones, then you'll probably like these. 

Designed to be worn during physical activity (i.e. lifting), the BlueAnt headphones have sweatproof materials that allow you to enjoy these even during the most intense workouts. 

The cushioning are excellent and block out outside noise with ease. 

The buttons are easy to use and very large so you'll get used to the buttons fairly quickly even if you have big fingers.

Sound quality is impressive with the bass being super strong without distorting vocals and provides rich lows and mids without muffling with the highs. 

Overall for on ear headphones, these make for an excellent pair that is not only affordable but high in quality. 

Best Wireless In-Ear Earbuds 

Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones

Features and highlights:

  • In-ear fit
  • Comfortable and light
  • Bass emphasized signature sound by Bose
  • Dedicated app
  • 6 hour battery life
  • Sweat and weather resistant
  • Bluetooth 4.2

Bose makes some of the best headphones that have been popular for a long time now. 

Some even refer this to be better than Jaybirds X3's because of the build quality and customer support seems to be superior with Bose.

Now these headphones have slightly heavier bass but are perfect if you like hearing bass heavy songs during your workout. 

Bose have a great stable and secure fit with the help of the winged ear tips.

They don't go too deep in your ears but the noise isolation isn't too great.

If you find yourself listening to music outside or wherever you need to pay attention to your surroundings, then these are great.

Compared to the X3's however, they stick out a bit which can be a problem if you care about how hidden you want them to be from sight.

These are one of the most comfortable headphones to get, and the durability is good.

The bass is a too strong for an audiophile but if you're a bass head, these should satisfy you to a certain degree. ​

For a great fitting pair of headphones with great bass and comfort, Bose SoundSport Wireless are the perfect choice. ​

Features and highlights:

  • 8 hour battery life
  • Premium Comply foam tips
  • ​In-ear design
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Noise isolation
  • Dedicated app to control EQ settings
  • Can go over the ear or under

If you've ever asked what the best bluetooth headphones are, you'll probably get these as a recommendation. 

It's comes to no surprise as these earbuds are even better than the popular X2's. 

The nicely named JayBird X3's were just recently released and has some amazing features.

These are even more affordable than the X2's when they were first released. JayBird x2​ was released and sold at $180, while the X3 is just $130. 

Now between this and the X2, the X3 has many improvements, including being hat-friendly and it also has Bluetooth 4.1.

But the downside to these headphones is that you need a special charging cable, whereas the X2's allowed you to charge with a regular micro-USB cable.

It's not a big downside nor should it hold you back from trying out these headphones...​

Best Wired In-Ear Earbuds

CX 300-II by Sennheiser

Features and highlights:

  • Clear detailed sound
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
  • Long 3.6 foot cord
  • Great sound isolation
  • Various buds to customize fit
  • Strong bass and clear mids / highs

This may be priced a little higher than your average entry headphones but you get way more than what you pay for with these headphones. 

Sennheisers CX 300-II is bass enhanced so if you listen to anything that has heavy bass (hip hop, rap, etc) then you will enjoy these as it'll feel like you've got premium headphones blasting in your ears. 

The J-Wire design lets you have one bud around your neck with the other bud hanging down your side so it does not interfere with intense exercises like deadlifts and squats. 

It is very lightweight so even if you have them on for hours at a time, you will not feel them tugging on your ears or anything, unlike most headphones.

If you're going wired and need earbuds that give you the best bang for your buck then these will undoubtedly be your favorite pair for many training sessions ahead. ​

Best Budget Headphones and Earbuds

Rovking Headphones 

Features and highlights:

  • Strong sound isolation
  • Secure and tight fit
  • Remote control for music
  • Good bass

Whether you need a back up pair of headphones or just something on a budget, these Rovking headphones are good for the price. 

They are not only great at isolating noise but they are durable and should last you for some time.

While the sound may not be the best, they are okay for the price and will get you in the zone with it's moderate amount of bass that it delivers. 

The fitting is good but not the best. They go over your ears but should be fine for most people. 

Features and highlights:

  • Budget headphones
  • Great for running and lifting
  • Sound is clear with boosted bass 
  • Built in microphone
  • Y-design wiring
  • Over the ear fit
  • Remote and volume control

MEElectronics is much cheaper than most of these headphones listed here, but if you're like us and spend way too much on supplements and gym memberships, then you'll enjoy the money saved here.​

This is the much improved version of their Sport-Fi M6 model as everything has improved on them.​

The build quality is tough, the wires are tangle-free, and they are 100% sweat and water proof.​

You'll​ also get great sound isolation with the memory foam fit buds (which most expensive headphones won't even have).​

Whether you're doing back rows, bench press or squats, these will not fall out of your ears.​

They are wired though (but you can get a Bluetooth device to turn them wireless) and have great full bass and play great sound at this price.​


  • Headphones are continously improved
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
  • Made for lifting (and running)
  • Affordable and easily replaceable parts 
  • Easy to control music from wires


  • Durability has been a hit or miss (but mostly a hit.)

Features and highlights:

  • Features ErgoFit for a comfortable fit
  • Long 3.6 foot cord
  • Durable and lasts for years
  • Strong bass
  • Good sound isolation

Nothing gets better than a pair of headphones that costs about 10 bucks and still gets thousands upon thousands of praising reviews.. 

The Panasonic branded headphones (aka RP-HJE120-PPK In-Ear-Headphones are not only great for the gym but they work well for just about anything (movies, music, etc.).

With the fitting being quite secure, you can count on having these isolating noise and blocking out anything that would usually be distracting. 

If you're a fan of wired headphones but are on a budget, then these will make for a perfect pair that'll last you for years. 

Top 10 Headphones For Lifting

10. Sony MDR XB50AP Extra Bass Headset

Features and highlights:

  • 12mm Drivers
  • Extra bass
  • Mic and remote
  • Customized android control
  • Works with Sony's Smart Key app

These Sony earbuds are rich with bass, and though they aren't as powerful as the MDR-XB90EX, they are great for their price.

The isolation on these will have you wearing them airtight and they are easy to wear and put on.

They come with different ear tips so you can customize them to your liking.  

They are sort of big and uncomfortable for some people but if you don't care about the looks and bulky design, then these should be good for you. 

​Being a Sony user, you'd know that they create durable products, and these are no different. 

They won't tangle up as they are flat corded and the sound on these are great.

With a focus on bass, you will get a little less focus on treble and mids​ but that shouldn't matter if you're playing heavy metal or some of that aggressive DMX / Eminem music. 


  • Sound quality is high 
  • Powerful bass
  • Durable build, made to last
  • Great for lifting 
  • Decent sound isolation


  • Wired

Features and highlights:

  • Detailed sound
  • Strong sound isolation
  • Light weight fit
  • Comfortable
  • Affordable

For the price, these headphones will most certainly impress. 

These Sennheisers ​headphones are full of bass, crystal clear clarity that perform significantly better than most, if not all headphones in it's price range.​

If you've never heard of the company, Sennheisers mission is to create durable quality products that last. And these are definitely that.​

These CX 300 II headphones have a J wire design (one wire goes behind your neck) which is perfect for lifting as it most likely won't get in the way.​

Of course, these come with different sized ear buds you can customize them to your liking.

With a bit of music playing, background noise is almost completely removed when you have these fitted right in your ear so the isolation on these are great.

​If you have them fitting right, they won't pull out of your ears unless you tug on the cable.

The sound on these are really clean with a perfect amount of bass, clear highs and mids. ​​

You'll like these if you like bass in your music but if you're a complete bass head, you'll want to look at some of the other ones on here. ​​

You'll forget you're wearing these though and the sound is filled with detailed lows, highs and bass.​

You won't find better wired headphones, not at this price. ​​


  • Balanced bass with clear sounds
  • Wide sound range, surround sound like 
  • Durable headphones, made to last a long time
  • Isolated noise with fitting earbuds
  • Best wired headphones in its price range


  • Nothing we can find

Features and highlights:

  • IP55 certified
  • U.S. Military standard tested against strength, dirt and drops
  • Syncs with fitness apps 
  • Heart rate monitor built-in
  • Bluetooth 
  • Can measure VO2 max
  • 4.5 to 5 hours of music playback
  • Remote control for music and calls

These headphones are more than what they are categorized as... 

They not only play high quality audio, but they have an built-in heart monitor.

With the heart rate monitor, there's ​a bunch of workout tools that you can take advantage of. 

The Jabra Sport Pulse are one of the few headphones that has it's own app that it can sync it.

You'll be able to measure calories burned, heart rate zone, distance...

But the real buying factor here is...

Can it play high quality music and pump you up for your workout?

It's sound is well balanced and rich with low-end sounds with reduced mids at certain frequencies to prevent fatigue that occurs long periods of listening.  

This is especially made for bodybuilders as it's military standard construction is made to withstand virtually anything. ​

These premium headphones are weather-resistant, IP55 shock and has buttons so you can answer calls and use the phone-based app.

The battery is impressive for the range of features it has as it can last for 4.5 hours. 

You shouldn't need more battery life if you're performing beast-like workouts.​


  • Loaded with features
  • Durable (military standard)
  • Minimal profile (looks great)
  • Uses strong materials like carbon fiber and Kevlar
  • Heart rate tracker and syncs with fitness apps


  • Expensive 
  • Has features you probably don't need (heart tracker)
  • Bass is weak (avoid this if you want bass)

Features and highlights:

  • Secure fit
  • 6 hours of playback
  • IPX4 sweat and water-resistant
  • Built-in microphone
  • Bluetooth
  • Remote control for music and calls

You've probably seen this brand all over the place.​

With Beats being made by a popular producer and rapper, D​r. Dre, there's no going wrong with these Powerbeats2.​

These sweat and water resistant Bluetooth headphones can blast music through your ears with strong and deep bass.​

You may know Beats for having a strong and deep bass, well they've made sure these earbuds have them too.​

You'll lift harder with the bass thumping in your ears and be more motivated than ever.​

The price is higher than average, but that is probably because this product is being endorsed by LeBron James and Serena Williams, which would no doubt indicate a high quality product.​

The earhooks built into these will ensure that they remain in your ears, and being Bluetooth, you'll be able to leave your MP3 device out of your pocket while training.​

They did release a 3rd version of these (Powerbeats3) but really ​the biggest difference between the two is that the newer version has a longer lasting battery (12 hours vs 6 hours!).​


  • Comfortable and secure fit
  • Sweat-proof, water-resistant and impact resistant 
  • Good battery life with 6 hours of playback time
  • Powerful bass without distortion even at high volumes


  • Only great for bass-heads (sound clarity and balance isn't that good)
  • Expensive
  • A bit fragile

Features and highlights:

  • Water and sweat resistant
  • Voice activated calls
  • Washable
  • On-ear design
  • Can be used as wireless or wired
  • On ear controls

If you prefer full sized headphones that go on top of the ears, then you'll like these.

Monster iSport Freedom are not only super light but they are completely wireless (Bluetooth of course).

Made to be used with lifting weights, these may get a little uncomfortable if you're running for long periods of time. ​

The sound isolation isn't the best here but it's completely sweat proof, and you can even wash it under running water.

The bass is strong and full and the mids are pretty good though it's not worth the full retail price of $200 as most headphones at that price would perform better.

Thankfully they've dropped in price over the years but are still great to use. ​


  • Comfortable and secure fit
  • Sweat-proof, water-resistant and washable
  • Powerful bass to keep you motivated


  • Expensive
  • Sound quality isn't what you'd expect 
  • Not made for runners

Features and highlights:

  • Strong sound isolation
  • Strong bass, lows, mids and highs.
  • Water-resistant
  • Built-in microphone
  • Aluminium housing

Beats have taken the reputation of being the headphones that provides the best bass and crisp clean highs that are comparable to high end stereo systems...​

But that's only a reputation, not a fact.​

So we looked deeper and found something that is even better...​

Pump Audio V2's are the next best thing if you want something better than Beats. 

They are made for dance music, though they would work perfect with hip hop and other genres as they conquer their bass department with ease.

The company seems to have put a focus on sound quality over all other things as they sound premium and more expensive than they really are. 

It has clear lows, mids and highs which will make all kinds of songs sound fantastic, though the mids and highs can be a bit soft sometimes, I think you'd still be impressed with these.

You won't find many headphones that perform this well at this price so overall they are a great pair that will last you for many, many gym sessions ahead. 


  • Strong bass 
  • Good sound isolation
  • Designed for movements (workouts)
  • Super light weight
  • Good microphone
  • Often referred as being better than Beats headphones


  • Overall balance and clarity of the sound isn't as good as it should be
  • Expensive

Features and highlights:

  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Behind ear style
  • 8 hours of playback
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Isolates sound

This is another budget option for you here...

The Mpow Cheetahs has got a great ergonomic feel to it and the sound they produce are quite good for the price.

Now the materials and build don't exactly feel premium, but everything else about them is perfect. 

With it's Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, and custom fit ear tips, you'll be able to customize the fit and train intensely without the wires or hassle.

The 8 hour battery life on these seem to outlast most headphones we've seen yet.

While they do sound crystal clear and great, the beeping sounds from changing volume can ruin the listening experience. 

Overall though, they are full of bass, have super clear sound and are great for your lifting sessions. 


  • Light weight
  • 8 hours playback time
  • Bluetooth 4.0 for more efficient battery life and connectivity 
  • Easy controls 
  • Long range, can leave MP3 player in the same room
  • Sticks well in ears


  • Can get uncomfortable after long use 
  • Notifying beep "maximum volume" sound is very loud 
  • Average microphone

Features and highlights:

  • Secure and strong fit
  • Bluetooth (easy pairing)
  • Strong clear sound and bass
  • Simple controls
  • Good range (10-15 feet)
  • Behind the neck wire
  • Can customize size
  • Best headphones for the price
  • Built-in microphone

These headphones are literally one of the best for value out there today.​

It's not only wireless (bluetooth) but the quality on the build and sound are outstanding as it will easily last you through many years of heavy lifting. ​​

They are sweatproof and super durable, but the only downside is the tiny cover that's over the USB port to charge is a bit flimsy (in fact, my cover fell off but it didn't have any negative effective).

Note: if you do get these headphones, make sure you get these stabilizers as shown in the picture below as it will make the earbuds more secure in your ear.

Make sure you get these stabilzers as they'll make the QY7 much more secure in your ears...

With a 5-6 hour battery life on music playback, there's no doub that these QY7 will keep your ears full of motivational music through your workout.​

The sound it gives is fairly balanced throughout it's highs, mids and lows.

It also provides a bit of sound isolation so you can block out distractions and outside noise. ​​

The only downside is the range on these are less than 30 feet, but that shouldn't be a problem if you've got your phone in your pocket or play your music from your smartwatch (I use the original Moto 360 for music).​

These are budget friendly and probably the best headphones you can buy under $25 (about $30-35 for you international folks).​

If you wanted to get something better than these, you'd need to spend quite a bit more.​


  • Strong bass
  • Clear sound
  • Bluetooth and easily pairs
  • Surprisingly cheap
  • Controls are easy to access
  • Thousands of reviews (popular)
  • Sweatproof


  • They look strange (but who cares as long as they perform well)

Features and highlights:

  • In-ear fit
  • Comfortable and light
  • Bass emphasized signature sound by Bose
  • Dedicated app
  • 6 hour battery life
  • Sweat and weather resistant
  • Bluetooth 4.2

Having both clear sound and strong bass, Bose SoundSport takes music in the gym to the next level.

Sound isolate may be a little average but the build quality and fitting is still quite good and should last for many workouts to come.

The fitting is as stable as it can get with the help of the ear buds and the winged ear tips.If you don't mind the fitting sticking a little out of your ears, you'll enjoy Bose's SoundSport as they are one of the best pairs of wireless buds you can get.

The battery life, just like the JayBird X3's, lasts for 6 hours, which is more then enough for at least 2 training sessions.

The sound quality is a bit different than your average pair though as it is mainly focused on bass and not so much on balanced sounds.

If you prefer more of a balanced sound though, the X3's will better satisfy your needs.

If you don't mind the earbuds sticking out a bit and the sound being a little more geared towards the bass-head, then you'll find yourself loving Bose's SoundSport.​

Features and highlights:

  • Upgraded Bass (Compared to X2's)
  • 6 hours battery life 
  • Comfortable foam tips
  • Strong sound isolate
  • Over the ear fitting (or under)
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Secure fitting 
  • Microphone for calls

Finding the right pair of wireless earbuds is tough but Jaybird X3's make an easy decision. 

These Bluetooth headphones are meant to be used during lifting weights and with the proper fitting, they'll never fall out of your ears.​

​Whether it's the bench press or old fashioned burpee's, ​these earbuds will stay in your ears, no matter what.

They are backed with a strong battery as they can last with 8 hours of music playback.​

And being bluetooth, you can hook it up with any bluetooth enabled device (phones, smart wear, computer, tablets etc.)​​

The sound off these are fantastic, as the bass is full and they isolate noise quite well.​​

Just like the old X2's, the X3's are both sweat-proof and durable, and they also come with a lifetime warranty so you can bet these will last you for a good while. 

The only thing is you'd be paying a premium price for this, but if you think about it, you'd never have to buy another pair of headphones.

The x3's have the advantage of being able to be worn with a hat, while the X2's are not. 

But if you're on a budget, don't mind sticking to the older bluetooth 2.1, or just want to use the regular micro-USB cable to charge your headphones (instead of the special USB cable for the X3's) then you'll enjoy the older X2's. ​​


  • Strong sound isolation
  • Deep bass with clear sound
  • Foam headphone tips won't fall out
  • Smallest out of most premium headphones
  • Excellent sound (comparable to $100 Bose)
  • Made for lifters and athletes
  • Long playback time (8 hours)
  • Secure fit won't fall out
  • Remote control makes it easy to switch songs


  • Expensive
  • Left and right not labelled 
Nader Qudimat
Forged by the iron and cold steel, Nader takes his knowledge and hulk smashes it into this puny site.

Being an ex-hardgainer, he has no choice but to keep training until he has surpassed in every way imaginable.

You can follow Nader on Twitter (@DieselFitt).
  • Steve says:

    What brand of Bluetooth speaker do you like for a garage gym?

    • Hi Steve

      I like either Bose or Anker. Bose is more premium and has better overall sound but surprisingly, Anker makes decent speakers so it depends on your budget.

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