Updated: January 13, 2017
Every great runner needs a great pair of running headphones. Often times it is the very music that courses through your veins that energizes you and propels you forward step after grueling step. There’s nothing more frustrating than reaching that runner’s high only to have your cheap headphones fall out and break your perfect rhythm or to lose power in one earphone because they couldn’t handle a little bit of sweat. At Workout Headphones PRO we’ve done our research and found the best headphones for running, period.
Best Headphones for Running
There’s 4 main type of headphones that runners typically use:
- headband (or vertical) headphones
- clip on (or ear hook) headphones
- behind the neck (or neckband) headphones
- earbud (or in-ear) headphones
Make sure to check out our post on How to Choose the Best Workout Headphones if you want a more in depth look at each style of headphone and which type is right for you.
Some people prefer one type to the other, so we’ve taken the time to choose the best from each category plus our BONUS pick.
Headband Runners Headphones
The vertical in-ear headphones were some of the first lightweight headphones designed specifically for running. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of great designs for this type of running headphones as most people have moved towards 1 of the other 3 types due to the popularity of the iPod style earbuds. However, we have found 1 pair that still work great: the Sony Ultra Lightweight MDR-W08L Vertical In-The-Ear Headphones.
As far as price goes you can’t be these vertical headband style headphones. They’re unbelievably lightweight and they’ve been some of the most popular headphones for running going on nearly 10 years.
Don’t forget to check out our runner up if you’re looking for something with a bit more flash.
Our Pick: Sony Ultra Lightweight MDR-W08L
Runner Up: Jaybird SB2MB
Neckband Runners Headphones
Instead of attaching over the top of your head like the vertical running headphones above, the neckband runners headphones are a very popular style because they attach behind the neck allowing the cord to exit down your back (if desired).
It’s hard to top the quality that Sennheiser puts out and they may have outdone themselves with the Sennheiser PMX 680 SPorts Ear-bud Headphones with Volume Control and Neckband. There isn’t a single runner we know that doesn’t rave about Sennheiser. One of the great things about these headphones is they include an in-ear style earbud, but it doesn’t fit deep in your ear canal which allows for additional comfort.
Our Pick: Sennheiser PMX 680
Runner-up: Motorola S305 Bluetooth Headphones
Clip On Runners Headphones
Clip on headphones are more popularly being called ear hook headphones these days. They were one of the first style of headphones to adapt specifically for runners and active listeners.
This won’t be the last time you hear about the Polk Audio UltraFit 3000. Polk Audio is still new to the world of sports headphones, but they made a pretty loud splash with their UltraFit series. These are some of the most popular ear hook headphones, primarily because of their comfortable fit and sturdy attachment. You definitely won’t feel these headphones bouncing around as you kick it into high gear. And don’t forget how absolutely amazing they sound.
Our Pick: Polk Audio UltraFit 3000
Runner-up: Koss KSC75 Portable Stereophone Headphones
Ear-bud Runners Headphones
Ear-bud headphones have become extremely popular, especially since most of us are running with our iPhone or iPod attached to our hip or arm. Problem is most of us are looking for a good alternative to the crappy plastic ear-buds that come standard with the iPhone or iPod. And for that we’ve chosen the Bose IE2 Audio Headphones.
The Bose IE2 use a very unique ear fin technology that secures the earbud just inside the ear and allows for superb sound quality.
Definitely check out the runner up: Yurbuds. This was a tough choice to make as the Yurbuds are quickly becoming some of hte most popular headphones in the running industry.
Our Pick: Bose IE2 Earbuds
Runner-up: Yurbuds Ironman Series Sport Headphones
BONUS Pick: Audio Bone AB10BL 1.0 Headphones
If you’re looking for a new style of headphones that utilizes bone conduction instead of air conduction then definitely check out the Audio Bone Headphones. One reason these are slowly becoming more popular is they allow the runner to hear all ambient noise while also providing quality sound via the bones surrounding your ear.
You’ll be hard pressed to go wrong with any of the running headphones on our list. Some styles may not be just right for you, but we guarantee one of the headphones on this page will make your days of running that much better.
Don’t stop running!