6 Pairs of Headphones Tough Enough for Any Workout

best workout headphones
6 Pairs of Headphones Tough Enough for Any WorkoutRuben Chamorro

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You don’t need research to tell you that music makes your workout better.

Still, there’s tons of it out there—studies have linked listening to tunes with greater exercise performance, better reaction times, and more motivation.

But nothing can derail your workout like earbuds that fall out, cut out, or hurt like hell.

So we ran, lifted, cycled, and even swam in dozens of models to find ones that really worked. Read on to discover our picks—and try one or two for yourself.

Related: RIPTENSITY—Fast and Intense Bodyweight Workouts From Men’s Health That Rip Away Body Fat

WHETHER YOU PREFER to listen to music, a podcast, or tune into sports while getting your sweat on, you'll need a solid pair of workout headphones to make it happen. The best workout headphones exist in earbud and over-ear headphone form—even a few on-ear headphone designs are great for working out.

Best Workout Headphones of 2024

Read more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Fitness Products

The writers and editors at Men's Health have been testing workout headphones for over 5 years now in all types of training. The key to a good pair of workout headphones is finding ones that fit your ears snug, and won't budge while you're running or repping out squat sets in the power rack. Workout headphones need to have some sort of water resistance in order to withstand plenty of sweat, and 5-mile runs in the rain. We currently recommend six different pairs of headphones for working out, but our favorite pair of workout headphones continues to be the Beats Fit Pro, which launched two years ago.

Keep scrolling to learn more about the Beats Fit Pro and our other top workout headphones to wear in 2024.

How to Find the Best Workout Headphones for You

Workout headphones have come a long way in the last few years. The best workout headphones offer easy connectivity, clear audio quality, long battery life, and durable design—sometimes all for less than $150. Whatever your personal listening style or regular fitness routine, there’s a “perfect” pair of workout headphones for you. Here’s what to look for to find the right ones.


If you go hard during your workouts, there's no doubt you sweat—probably a lot. You need a pair of headphones that can keep up. Look for headphones or earbuds that are at least water-resistant or, even better, waterproof. Really, earbuds are going to promise better sweat-resistance than over-ear headphones will. Over-ear headphones are a lot harder to find with a sweat-resistant construction, although brands like Sony and Beats still hold up well to sweat. If most of your workouts are on the moderate side, sweat resistance may not be an issue, and any pair of the workout headphones we've noted below will work for you.

Noise Cancellation

The biggest leap forward in wireless headphone design is hands down noise-canceling technology. If you work out at the gym, in the city, or anywhere where outside noise is an issue, look for Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). This means your headphones have built-in circuitry and software to actively drown out unwanted sounds around you. Some models offer a “Transparency Mode” (or something similar), allowing you to tune back into your surroundings at the push of a button—perfect for when you’re crossing a street, ordering a coffee at the airport Starbucks, or chatting up your running partner.

Battery Life

All of the workout headphones below have excellent battery life, but if you want the longest battery life you will likely want to grab a pair of over-ear headphones. The workout earbuds we've curated have good charging cases too, so if you do find yourself low on power you can tap into that reserve and get a quick charge.

Ease of Use

Your workout-friendly headphones should have simple buttons or touch-capability built in that allows you to skip music tracks, change the volume, and take phone calls—all without having to take your phone from your pocket. And it should be intuitive enough to use even when you’re in peak workout mode.


Headphones can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. We curated the best workout headphones to not go above a price point any higher than $400, because we believe there's more than enough value on the market where you don't have to pay a premium for workout headphones. We don't necessarily recommend going cheap though. Expect to pay anywhere between $100-$400 for a quality pair of workout headphones that will last.

How We Selected the Best Workout Headphones

For the past four years, we consulted with Men's Health's fitness and tech editors on the top workout headphones for men. Experts, including Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., Senior Gear and Commerce Editor John Thompson, and Fitness and Commerce Editor Talene Appleton, NASM, put countless headphones through the wringer in multiple workout settings to evaluate their fit, durability, comfort, sound quality, and price. The list above is a reflects what we believe are the best workout headphones you should know about in 2024.

Fit Pro

The Beats Fit Pro is close to workout headphone perfection, and they can be used for all types of training. The first big takeaway is in the Fit Pro's in-ear wingtip design. The wingtip is less intrusive than the big ear-hook on the Powerbeats Pro, but still just as secure and comfortable. Our Fitness Director, Ebenezer Samuel, reviewed the Fit Pros when they first released, and he noted how the headphones fell out of his ears just a single time during a week of intense training. "In one week of using them, a bud fell out exactly one time, after I’d done a series of deadlifts and gone right to a series of pull-ups, a vicious sequence that had me changing levels several times," says Samuel. "Aside from that, the Fit Pros have survived everything, from Tabata intervals on the Ski Erg to all those deadlifts."

Second takeaway: the sound of the Fit Pros is as about as advanced you will find in a pair of workout earbuds. They have Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and a Transparency Mode, as well as spatial audio support that provides immersive listening experiences for music and podcasts.

And third, features like one-touch controls for play/pause, fast pairing for iPhone and Android, and an IPX4 sweat and water resistant rating are included the Fit Pros. When you add in the solid 6 hour battery life and slim carry case—which holds up to 24 hours of charging power—the Fit Pros begin to emerge as a workout headphone that hits all its marks.

The Fit Pros clock in at $200, but they do go on sale from time-to-time. They also come in a bunch of fun colors outside of black, so if you're looking add some style points to your tech there's opportunity to do so. Truly this is a workout headphone that's going to accommodate all types of training. Start here in your search before looking elsewhere.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09JL41N9C?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.19530955%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Fit Pro</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$199.00</p><span class="copyright">ruben chamorro</span>

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Fit Pro



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OpenFit Open-Ear Headphones

Open-ear headphones can be a game changer for working out. They're the perfect solution to those who don't like the feel of silicone in their ear canal, but also don't prefer the suffocating feeling over-ear headphones can create.

The Shokz OpenFit is our current favorite open-ear headphone on the market when it comes to audio quality. They come in a compact design and are wrapped in a grippy material that holds in place even when sweating. In fact, the headphones are rated an IP54, so they're going to repel sweat, water, and dirt like a champ. (But if you want even more durability, snag one of these silicone cases to use on-the-go.)

The OpenFit provides ample bass and a clear feel. There's not much noise cancellation, and you shouldn't rely on these—or any open-ear headphone—to seal off the world around you. What you get instead is full awareness of having conversations with friends and being able to hear traffic passing by.

If you're at all interested in joining the open-ear headphone club, then you're going to want to try these.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BYSSD56Y?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.19530955%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>OpenFit Open-Ear Headphones</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$179.95</p>

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OpenFit Open-Ear Headphones



Vista 2

Many crossfitters swear by the Jaybird Vista 2s, and once you see how durable these headphones are it's easy to understand the hype. For starters, Jaybird formed the ear pieces to help stay locked into place with a wingtip earbud shape. The earbuds are IP68 waterproof, sweatproof, and dustproof; even the charging case comes with an IP54 water resistant rating.

Inside the earbud is some of Jaybird's best audio tech, with a full range of sound that helps keep you dialed in during hard workouts. Jaybird did add Active Noise Cancellation to these, and when testing we found the Vista 2s do well at keeping out noise in loud gym settings. One area where the Vista 2s fall a little short though is combatting wind. Jaybird added a Winddefense feature to help enhance call quality when exposed to wind, but there's still a significant amount of whooshing noise that can leak through on calls during activities like running and biking.

The battery life on the Vista 2 lasts an impressive 8 hours, and the charging case holds a reserve up to 24 hours. You can also pop the Vista 2s for a 5-minute quick charge and get a full hour of battery to use; and when it comes to pairing all you have to do is open up the case and your phone will recognize the headphones are ready to connect.

The Vista 2s are excellent at staying put in your ears when working out, and the fact they are resilient in all types of weather conditions makes them perfect for even the muddiest, most rugged, environments. You won't get studio quality sound on the Vista 2s, and the wind feature could use some work, but based on the toughness alone we've found ourselves grabbing these earbuds more and more when it's time to get fit.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08B3G74MY?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.19530955%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Vista 2 </p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$149.99</p>

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Vista 2



Studio Pro

Beats Studio headphones have been a lowkey favorite of gym goers for many years due to their plush fit and premium audio quality, and the Studio Pros have stepped in as the heir to the most comfortable workout headphones we've tested.

Beats tweaked the Studio Pros by inserting an updated driver that improves upon the prior Beats Studio 3 headphones. The new drivers can reduce distortion up to 80%, according to the brand, which results in a much clearer and more accurate representation of how the original sound was produced. The Studio Pros also feature immersive personalized spatial audio, Active Noise Cancellation, and Transparency Mode.

Aside from the Skullcandy Crusher Evos, the Studio Pros go way longer than all the other workout headphones on this list in battery life: a whopping 40 hours on a single full charge. The Studio Pros are like the Crusher Evos in the same way they are not water or sweat resistant, so you do have to be mindful of what workouts you wear these headphones for. Unlike the Crusher Evos though, you can find an array of replacement ear pads for Beats Studio Pros on Amazon if the material starts to crack or tear though, and replacing the cushioned ear pads is a simple process.

The Studio Pros might be marketed as a premium choice for sit-down listening, but, like their predecessors, they provide an unmatched level of comfort and audio quality in the gym. If you are ok with beating up a pair of $350 headphones, then you truly can't go wrong with these.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C8PWSW7T?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.19530955%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Studio Pro</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$199.95</p><span class="copyright">ruben chamorro</span>

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Studio Pro



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SoundGear Sense

These JBLs are solid for everyday use, especially if you like to stay aware of your surroundings. But if you're all about that bass or you want wireless charging, you might wanna check out some other options.

First off, they're comfy as heck. I barely feel them in my ears thanks to those stabilizing hooks. Plus, being open-ear, I can still hear what's going on around me on the gym floor or when running outside, which is super important to me.

Now, let's talk controls. They're easy enough to figure out, but I found myself accidentally pausing my tunes more than once when I was just trying to adjust the fit. But once you get them in place, they're snug as a bug. The battery life is decent, not the best I've seen, but not too shabby either.

But, and this is a big but, if you're a bass head like me, you might feel a bit let down. The bass is there, but it's not thumping hard like some people (myself included) crave. I tested them against some other buds, and while they hold their own, they're not winning any bass battles.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CTB8X16P?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.19530955%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>SoundGear Sense</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$149.95</p><span class="copyright">ruben chamorro</span>


The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are a relatively new kid on the block, but honestly, they're not reinventing the wheel here. They're more like the sequel to the blockbuster movie that was the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones—They're familiar, with amazing audio quality and an impeccable fit, but don't expect mind-blowing changes.

I've been rocking these for a while now, and they're as solid as it gets for those who love a serious, bass-heavy audio experience. The sound quality is top-notch, and with improved noise canceling, it's like being in your own little bubble whether you're in the gym or out in the world. They have a ton of smart features, like auto pause when you take them off and Bluetooth multipoint, which is handy if you're juggling two devices at once.

One of my main issues with the previous model was that when I'd use them to make phone calls, people couldn't hear me that well. With this new model, an upgraded microphone and added "Precise Voice Pickup" technology has significantly improved audio quality during calls.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0863TXGM3?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2139.g.19530955%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>WH-1000XM4</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$248.00</p>

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What Headphones Are Best for the Gym?

The Beats Fit Pro is our favorite pair of headphones for the gym and for all other types of workouts. They have a secure fit and long battery life that works well for everything from running to HIIT workouts, and they have a beautiful sound quality that's great at blocking noise within a loud gym setting.

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Does Sweat Ruin Over-Ear Headphones?

Sweat puts a lot of wear and tear on over-ear headphones, specifically on the ear pads. We recommend only using over-ear headphones for moderate activity like lifting and light cardio. You don't really want to wear over-ear headphones for HIIT workouts and anything high cardio, as the more sweat you create the higher the chance your headphones will start slipping and slidiing around on your head.

Over-ear headphones do provide sweet sound quality, and if you are strategic in how you workout with your over-ear headphones you likely won't see sweat being an issue until much far later down the road. In one specific case, one of our editors was a big fan of his Beats Studio 3 headphones for weight lifting. It took about 3 years for his ear pads to wear down from sweat and regular use, to which he then bought replacement ear pads for his Studio 3s.

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How to Read Dust and Water Resistance Rating (IP Rating)

You won't have any problems with sweat and water resistance on the running headphones we curated above, however, some are scored with a higher rating than others—which means they're going to be more durable.

When you see an "IP" rating what you are really reading is the Ingress Protection rating. A rating can be read by each number, the first being its dust protection and the second being its water protection. Most of the headphones above have an "X" as the first number. The X means there was no data collected on the dust protection. Sometimes it helps to know the dust protection, especially if you're running in trail environments. If you're a trail runner it's probably worth paying attention to the more rugged running headphones that have been given a dust rating too.

The second number can be read on a scale of how waterproof the headphones are. Zero is the lowest while 9K is the highest (you're unlikely to see a 9K on headphones because this level is only given to materials that can handle direct, high-temp, and high-pressure water).

So what's a good number range to look for? We recommend anything between a four and six, but seven and higher would be a premium rating and capable of withstanding full water submersion. Most of what you will see are "IPX4", which is solid, but if you're really wanting a pair of running headphones that are made to handle high activity then look for a second number of seven or above.

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Why Trust Us

The Men's Health editors and writers are continually testing and reviewing the latest over-ear headphones and earbuds. In most cases, we get first dibs on new releases, allowing us to hone in and test a product before it gets to market. Our editors and writers also participate in a wide variety of workouts, from running to HIIT, to weight lifting, and more.

Our best workout headphones combine the best qualities of durability, comfort, and performance; and so every pair you see above will hit on those three qualities. The price point on workout headphones is also a big priority for us too, as workout headphones are meant to take a beating. We paid close attention to not recommend any headphones that are $400 and over, as we believe there's better value to be had when buying headphones that are to be used for working out.

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Read More About the Best Workout Tech for Men

Best Fitness Trackers | Best Smartwatches | Best Treadmills | Best Running Headphones | Best Wireless Earbuds | Best Bluetooth Speakers | Best Compression Boots

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