If you’re like most runners, you like to listen to some good tunes or interesting podcasts while you’re hitting the pavement. Not only does this keep you energized and entertained, it also makes the time go by faster.
And, if you’re like most other everyday people, you’re connected to your smartphone for a significant portion of the day, either listening to music while you’re working or watching videos during your free time. Because of this, headphones have become more than just something to have on hand. In fact, they’re basically an extension of yourself.
In-ear headphones are relatively common these days because they typically come free with your smartphone or portable audio player. If you find the right pair, not only can you enjoy your run without your headphones, you can also have a pair to use anywhere you go that you want to have some time to yourself.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to in-ear headphones these days. In this article, I will detail the 5 best options that are on the market today to help you decide which product will support your running the most.
But first, let’s look at some of the things you should keep in mind when shopping for in-ear headphones for running.
In this post, we’ve reviewed the five best in-ear headphones for running. These are:
- Best Overall: Wireless Earbuds, RCA Bluetooth 5.0 Headphones
- Best Sound Quality: Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbud Headset
- Best Value for Price: Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Earbud Headphones
- Best for Staying in Place: Professional Metal Headphone in Ear Wired Earphone
- Best for Noise Isolation: Betron B25 Noise Isolating in Ear Canal Headphones
Factors to Consider When Shopping for In-ear Headphones for Running
First of all, when portability is of utmost importance (as it is for running), you will probably want to find in-ear headphones rather than a more bulky option that goes over your ears. These small, lightweight models can be compactly stored. These headphones often also include a microphone and in-line controls to help you control the volume and other features easily while you’re running.
With that in mind, let’s look at some factors that are specific to in-ear headphones.
Similar to regular speakers, different headphones can accentuate different areas of the audio spectrum. If you prefer one sound to another, such as bass to treble, you will want to find a pair of headphones that caters to that preference. Check return policies for this reason to ensure that your headphones can be returned or exchanged if necessary.
Wired vs. Wireless
This may be a matter of personal preference, but often, you will get superior sound quality with wired headphones. There are certainly wireless headphones that do work well, especially the one that tops our list in this review, but there are also many out there that can’t give you the same sonic clarity that wired options can provide. With this in mind, you have to consider your own preference of convenience and usability. If you prefer a wired option, avoid getting one that has a rubber coating, as these tangle easily and are not very durable.
In-ear headphones that come with a variety of sized adapters to fit your ears can help you feel much more comfortable during your run. Some ear cup options can fold flat for easy storage, and most tips can be washed or replaced, which makes it easy to maintain your headphones.
It is helpful to have a volume control that you can conveniently access while you’re running. Sometimes the volume control is located on the earpiece, while other times it is on the cord. Some options even come with a button that allows you to answer (and disconnect) incoming phone calls without having to reach for your phone. However, some headphones will only offer all of their features when paired with specific cell phone models, so make sure the headphones that you like are compatible with your smartphone.
The driver in your headphones is what makes the sound. It’s usually made up of a magnet, diaphragm, and voice coil. While this isn’t always the case, most of the time, the larger the driver, the better the sound quality.
If you like music that has bass, then look for in-ear headphones that support more than the typical frequency response range of 20 – 20,000 Hz. The frequency response is the range of frequency that headphones can produce, with the lower limit indicating the bass, and the upper limit indicating the treble.
Everyone’s ears and preferences are different. Try to check if your headphones are comfortable for you. Human ears are certainly not all identical, and one that fits you perfectly may not be the right fit for someone else. For in-ear headphones for running, try a smaller earbud size, as this will allow it to fit in your ear and prevent it from slipping off easily.
Now that you know what you’re looking for in in-ear headphones, let’s look at 5 of the top options that are on the market today.
This is the best option overall because it provides a high value for a reasonable price. These wireless earbuds offer premium audio quality with using a Bluetooth 5.0 dual mode solution. They also feature noise reduction and echo cancellation properties to help deliver superior sound quality and clear voice calls.
These wireless RCA earbuds offer 28 hours of playtime and an LED battery display. When the case is fully charged (which takes two hours) it can charge the in-ear headphones seven full times, lasting 4 hours of play time per full charge. This allows these headphones to be charged on-the-go, so you don’t have to worry about ending up with dead earbuds when you’re away from home. The charging case has an LED display that indicates the percentage of battery life remaining in the case, so you can also be sure to know when it’s time to charge your case.
These earbuds come with an automatic power feature as well as a single step pairing process, making it easy to start listening to anything you want without having to do a large setup process. Once you’re finished, you can return the earbuds to the charging case, and as soon as you close the case, the earbuds will automatically turn off and start charging.
With a smart touch control, you only need to lightly tap these earbuds to play, pause, answer a call, or move to the next track on your playlist. They’re even safe to wear in the rain or during intense workouts when you’re sweating a lot because these earbuds are water-resistant.
These earbuds are lightweight and come with four pairs of various sized tips so you can fit them to your needs. All sizes are ergonomic, using an in-ear angle to increase their comfort and decrease their likelihood of slipping out while you’re running.
- Best overall value
- Great for travelling because you can charge them on-the-go
- These are waterproof enough that they can be worn in the shower
- When talking on the phone, your voice may sound muffled on the other end of the line
- Some users wished for a longer range of reach from the earbuds to their phone
- While the charge lasts for a long time on these, their wireless nature requires them to be charged, while options that are hardwired to your device do not need to be charged
These in-ear headphones offer optimal sound quality through an extra bass design and 12mm driver units. These specially designed drivers have high-energy neodymium magnets to give users a deep, powerful bass sound that complements many of our era’s most popular songs. The tightly-sealed design adds to the sound quality by isolating the sounds coming through the headphones to help create powerful and extended bass.
They also include a microphone and control button, making these a great option to use with your smartphone. If you have an Android, you have the additional option of using the Smart Key app to control these headphones directly from your phone.
These headphones come in three colors: black, blue, and red, so you can pick the style that suits you best. They also feature hybrid silicone earbuds, which will stay comfortable for the duration of your run while also reducing outside noise. These headphones come with extra-small, small, medium, and large earbuds so you can choose your ideal fit.
Finally, this option comes with a durable, 1.2 m flat cord that will not get tangled up like many other headphone cords do. They also come with a convenient carrying pouch to store these in when they’re not in use.
- Produce optimal sound quality
- Cord will not tangle when stored
- Great price for quality of sound
- Some users prefer wireless headphones
- The microphone picks up outside noise easily, so it is difficult to use these to talk on the phone
- Some find these to be heavy
These budget-friendly headphones allow users to enjoy listening to their music in comfort without breaking the bank. They come with soft, securely-fitting earbuds that instantly molds to the shape of your ears. With three pairs of tips included, you’re sure to find a great fit with this option and have a comfortable size for your needs that won’t slip out.
Another comfortable factor about these headphones is the 3.6 foot cord that matches the color of the earbuds. The cord provides users with the flexibility that is needed when you’re on-the-go and having an active day. Due to its length, it can easily be strung through your jacket, handbag, or backpack.
The sound quality with this option is very good, as these headphones have 9mm drivers with neodymium magnets. They also have a wide frequency response to help them offer dynamic and clear sound while blocking extraneous outside noises.
These earbud headphones come in 15 different colors, and since they’re so budget-friendly, you could buy more than one to have on hand so you can match your mood of the day.
- Great value for price
- Comes in a wide variety of color options
- Has a long cord
- Do not include a microphone
- Some have heard “rubbing” sounds when they use these to run
- Do not offer a volume control feature
If you’re looking for in-ear headphones that won’t fall out during your run, this might be the best choice for you. They are made using an oblique angled, ergonomic design to naturally match ear canals. They come with five sets of ear sleeves of various sizes so you can be sure to have the best fit available. Because these in-ear headphones are more comfortable than other options and less likely to slip out during your run, you can focus on your music and your exercise instead of holding your earbuds in place.
These also come with a cord that is both durable and flexible. The wire inside the hollow TPE cord is made using oxygen-free copper, which can stand up to extended use. They’re also made by inserting the wire by hand, which results in a more durable and reliable cord. Finally, the 3.5mm jack offers users a reliable connection to the main device.
These earbuds are made with high-quality, upgraded drivers that put out superior audio sound with deep bass, balanced highs and mids, offering a precise listening experience. They’re also convenient, offering an in-line remote control that allows you to easily adjust the volume, choose what song you want to listen to, and answer phone calls.
Offering a simple, yet modern, design, these are perfect for any user. Also, with a 1-year warranty, you can try these out risk-free and return them if they are not the right fit for you.
- Best option for staying in place
- Easy to adjust volume
- Offers great sound quality
- Not extremely durable
- The mic may offer a strong feedback through the headphones
- Some users find there is not enough separation between the bass and treble
If you typically use your headphones in noisy environments, this might be the best option for you. They offer noise-cancelling technology, allowing you to focus only on what you want to listen to. They come equipped with ear adapters in various sizes for an excellent fit in any ear canal in addition to their ambient noise attenuation.
These offer a heavy bass sound, coupled with clear mids and highs. They have a sleek appeal with an all-rounded appearance that looks much more expensive than these headphones cost. The design is both durable and flexible, and offers users a lightweight option that will fit well into your ear.
The Betron B25 headphones offer accurate base through beat response control technology that is ideal for lower-toned styles of music. Furthermore, there is an acoustic port located on the earbuds that controls air flow for the range of frequency, offering crystal clear acoustics. Finally, the movement of the diaphragm is optimized so users are able to hear a more accurate representation of the original bass.
This option offers a 9mm, high definition driver. These are perfect headphones to use for MP3, Apple and Android products, and portable media players. They come with a 1.2 meter cord and a cable clip to help prevent cord from sliding around. Finally, these come with a hard carry case so users can conveniently keeps these headphones safe while still being portable.
- Offer optimal noise cancellation
- Include a high-powered, dynamic speaker system
- Offer a sleek design
- Some find these offer a poor middle frequency response
- Not very long-lasting compared to other options
- Some users have experienced static
Final Thoughts on In-Ear Headphones for Running
While all of these options are the best pick for their category, the overall winner for value, sound quality, and design is the RCA Bluetooth 5.0 Headphones
These are very reasonably priced and will offer you a convenient option with their wireless style. Because the carrying case acts as a charger, you don’t need to worry about losing charge with these headphones throughout the day, making them both convenient and long-lasting.