There is no better way to improve your running experience than with some good music or an interesting podcast, but finding the right headphones can be an ordeal. Basic headphones will pop out of your ears with every step and managing wires can be annoying.
Both wireless Bluetooth headphones and regular headphones have their pros and cons for runners. Wireless headphones keep you free from any extra baggage, which can be great on a run, but you do have to remember to charge them every few days. Most have a battery life of between five and 10 hours. Bluetooth headphones can also be great if you’re going use them for other gym activities pre- or post-run, too, like lifting weights or jumping rope, because there’s just less in the way. But, they definitely run more expensive than a more traditional, wired pair. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a pair that runs you less than $100, but if wires hitting your chest while you run drives you crazy, it’s worth the splurge.
Regular headphones are easier on the wallet—plus, you also don’t ever have to worry about remembering to charge a regular pair of headphones. You can throw them in the gym bag and forget about them until you need them again.
All of the headphones we picked are in-ear, so you don’t have to worry about them popping out while you’re running, but none of them are fully noise-cancelling. This means you’ll get a great sound experience without losing a sense of your surroundings, which is super important, especially when you’re running outside.
Of course, no matter what headphones you pick, you’ve got to tote your phone or MP3 player along, and holding it in your hand gets old quick. Insignia makes an armband that will do the job (but, if you want to know a secret, ladies, a bra does the job just as well).
So, start making your playlist, grab one of these pairs of headphones, and you’ll be ready to pound the pavement. These are the best headphones for runners.