Best Earphones for Running

The most important factor when looking for a set of earphones for running is a secure,  custom fit. Running is perhaps one of the toughest activities that puts a set of in ear headphones to the test. The continual movement and impact means that earphones that work well for general gym or commuting use may not be well suited for running. Many of the best running earphones use additional fitting methods to make the fit more secure. These include the addition of ear hooks, head band or ear tips. Ear hooks and ear tips are often removable so the earphones can be used normally as well if required.

An important factor to keep in mind with running in ear headphones is situational awareness. Many earphones intended for sport use are noise isolating, which means they block out external noise – including traffic. Earphones intended for running outdoors will allow some external sound through as well so you can still be aware of what is happening around you at all times – this is much safer!

Have a look at our recommendations to help you choose the best earphones for sports and running.

Recommended Best Earphones for Running

Beats Powerbeats

Beats Powerbeats Earphones for Sports or Running

The Powerbeats from Beats by Dre are simply stunning. Developed exclusively for sports use, they address every issue faced by a pair of earphones worn while exercising. Great emphasis has been placed on the comfort and security of the fit making them a perfect match for running. The ear hooks are made from a soft, sweat proof, UV resistant plastic that further increases comfort.

The Powerbeats earphones deliberately allow a controlled amount of background noise into your ear for safety purposes so you can still hear your surroundings, and more importantly traffic when you’re out running.

These are the only earphones that Beats currently produce with two speakers in each earpiece. This gives a fantastic detailed sound with a clear, precise top end & warm, rumbling lows. You also get a remote with microphone (mic) on the cable giving you the usual music and call answering controls with added voice control if your device supports it.

In all, the Beats Powerbeats earphones are a set of top notch earphones that are our best earphones for sports or running. If these fit your budget, you really don’t need to look anywhere else – read our full Beats Powerbeats review.

 Sennheiser MX 685

Best Earphones for Running - Sennheiser MX 685 Earphones Review

Sennheiser have developed the MX 685 earphones alongside Adidas, specifically for outdoor sports use. The eartips help keep them securely in place while running, and the more open earpiece design allows greater safety and traffic awareness. These earphones are built to be rugged for everyday exercise use and are sweat resistant.

These are built to do a specific job, there are no frills like play or call controls, just a natural sounding set of running earphones that can pump music into your ears at adrenalin fueling levels.

If you are looking for a set of earphones to use for exercising indoors, then you should also look at the closely related CX 685 earphones which are sound isolating and block out external noise.

Simply put, the Sennheiser MX 685 earphones are one of the best earphones for sports or running. If you want a set purpose built earphones that stay in place allowing you to run with pumping music – these are a fantastic choice indeed. Read the full Sennheiser MX 685 review.

 SoundMAGIC PL30

Best Earphones for Sports - SoundMAGIC PL30

As is often the case, SoundMAGIC provides us with a great value option. These are noise isolating and block out a significant amount of background noise, if you run around traffic, we would suggest considering a more open set of earphones so you can hear your surroundings.

The PL30 earphones are rugged and yet retain a balanced, accurate sound. The the cable clip combined with the over ear cable design helps to minimize cable noise transfer as you exercise making your listening experience more enjoyable.

As you’d expect, they come with 6 sets of ear adaptors, but they also come with an optional set of earhooks which makes them a great option for running enhancing both the comfort and security of fit.

The SoundMAGIC PL30 earphones really are a very good option for the money giving performance that will match many, much more expensive earphones on the market. Read our full SoundMAGIC PL30 review.

At this point we should also give the Yurbuds Inspire for women a mention. These are designed specifically for women’s ears and are smaller in size. If you are female, we would recommend these as the best earphones for running over the SoundMAGIC PL30 and the Sennheiser MX 685 as well. Although they look like noise isolating earphones, they actually do let in some external noise for situational awareness making them a great choice for running. These are a very good option that are really very hard to beat and compete with in ear headphones that are much more expensive and are some of the best earphones for sports use or running.

Top 10 Best Earphones for Sports Comparison

Model Manufacturer RRP (£) Noise Isolating Bluetooth Available Colours Rating
Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Duro Review Ironman Inspire Duro yurbuds 29.99 4.1
Yurbuds Inspire For Women Sport Earphones Review Inspire for Women Acorn Audio 29.99 4.0
Beats Powerbeats Earphones Review Powerbeats Beats 119.95 4.0
Jaybird Freedom Sprint Bluetooth Earphones Review Freedom Sprint Jaybird 129.99 3.9
Jaybird Bluebuds X Bluetooth Earphones Review Bluebuds X Jaybird 149.99 3.8
Sennheiser MX 685 Earphones Review MX 685 Sennheiser 34.99 3.8
Sennheiser CX 685 Earphones Review CX 685 Sennheiser 49.99 3.7
Plantronics Backbeat Go Bluetooth Earphones Review BackBeat GO Plantronics 69.99 3.6
Bose SIE2 Earphones Review SIE2 Bose 104.95 3.6
SoundMAGIC PL30 Review PL30 SoundMAGIC 29.99 3.6

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Running Earphones

Secure Fitting Methods

  • Ear adaptors – most earphones for running will come with at least 3 sets of adaptors to help you get a great fit within your ear. A good tight fit is very important for running purposes as this is where a lot of the security of the fit comes from. The more sets of adaptors that come with a set of earphones, generally,  the better the fit.
  • Ear hooks physically hook around the outside of your ear holding the earphones snuggly in place, as a result they can be a little tricky to fit, but once in place they stay there.
  • A head band doesn’t perform the same function as on a set of traditional headphones. Instead it is a small thin band that links the two earphones together and often runs behind your head applying sideways pressure that pushes the earphones into you ears.
  • Ear tips are a pointy extension added to the earphones themselves, they usually need to twist into place and can be a little tricky to fit, but again once in place they stay there.

Tangle Free Cable

When you look at the feature list for a set of running earphones, you will often see tangle free cable mentioned. It usually has a very soft, pliable feel & is very flexible. Sometimes the cable will have a traditional circular cross section with a special coating that prevents it from gripping against itself. On other occasions it will be a flat cable – we find that a flat cable often sits flatter against your body, moving around less when you run.

Cable Clip

In addition to the tangle free cable, some earphones suitable for running will also include a cable clip. This serves a couple of purposes.
Firstly, it helps to keep the cable where you want it, further reducing the chance of you getting an arm caught up in the cable while running. Also if you use an arm band to hold you mp3 player or smartphone, it will help you direct the cable to where it needs to go.
Secondly, the clip will help to take out some of the impact that pulls via the cable to the earphones themselves with every step or bounce that you take while running.

A clip is also a very useful addition if the earphones have a microphone (mic) with call controls or music playing controls (play/pause etc) – as this can add further momentum to the cable and if not secured can cause the earphones to pull out of your ears during use.

Finding the best running earphones isn’t as hard as it may seem – a little bit of insight helps greatly. There are plenty of great running headphones out there – our recommendations will help you find the ones that are best suited to you.


Copyright 2014-2016 Best Earphones Guide

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