Whether it’s for isolation, motivation or relaxation, it’s often with headphones on your head that allows you to indulge in the joys of sport, whether hiking, swimming, cycling… According to a recent study, you are even likely to improve your performance by 5 to 7% by practicing to music!
For years now, manufacturers have been turning this market into their little laboratory, testing streamlined shapes, more compact devices or more intuitive controls. Even when you’re lifting weights, you can do it at the sound of your favorite music thanks to wireless earbuds and headphones.
Among the main criteria that should guide your choice, you must above all privilege the comfort of use. Consider your needs, depending on the sport you’re involved in.
For example, are you subject to regular head movements that can cause the earphones to fall out? In this case, you should opt for conventional headphones with hoops or headphones with a neck strap.
Do you prefer better insulation from outside noise? Consider buying an active noise reduction model that incorporates a series of microphones to attenuate all surrounding sounds.
Here are the top choices considering earbuds that will follow you for your daily workout.
Jabra Elite Active 65t Workout Bluetooth Headphones
From a purely aesthetic point of view, the Jabra Elite Sport doesn’t necessarily stand out from other true-wireless models. The devices fit snugly in the ear without protruding too far and remain discreet.
The manufacturer offers many pairs of eartips, in silicone or foam, and we appreciate the number of options available to personalize the experience according to your morphology. As such, the fit is excellent and the earphones do not move, even if they are subjected to many shocks. Perfect for gym-addicts!
Once connected to the smartphone, the Jabra Elite Sport can finally deliver its full potential. First impression: like many of its competitors, Jabra insisted on the omnipresent low frequencies. The sound is very vibrant, perfectly suited to the musical hits of the moment, but is massive and without great nuances. Fans will appreciate it, while purists will be more circumspect about the overall sound of the Elite Sport.
Fortunately, the midrange and treble are still perceptible and are not drowned out. The voices are correctly restored and understandable. The scene is also faithful on the tested tracks, with a beautiful stereo. Jabra has particularly worked on the distortion, non-existent even at full power.
The microphones present make it possible to make or receive calls without your caller being disturbed by the noise around you. Jabra has also included technology that can reproduce some of the surrounding sounds to keep your attention focused on what’s happening around you and avoid an accident.
The battery life is reduced. Count only 3 hours of use on a single charge and about 10 in total with the charging cradle but the headset compensates with a full recharge in just 50 minutes.
Aukey Latitude EP-B40 Wireless Headphones
Aukey’s Latitude EP-B40 is the only pair of Bluetooth earphones offered for less than 50 euros that we have tried and that delivers a relatively good sound, fits well in the ear, and withstands the harsh conditions imposed by weightlifting or other sports practice.
This pair is not as water or dust resistant as the Jabra Elite Active 65t, but its IPX4 rating allows it to withstand a little perspiration. Silicone wings and tips give a stable fit, and magnets inserted into the earphones offer the option of attaching them around the neck when not in use.
Note, however, that the long cord connecting the earphones sometimes bounces annoyingly or snags when you turn your head. With a battery life of over eight hours, you can train for one hour at a time for up to a week before recharging it. Finally, a two-year warranty protects you against manufacturing defects.
Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 On-Ear Sport Headphones
In the weight rooms, it is common to ask others for access to the machines or to borrow discs here and there. It can be uncomfortable to constantly remove your headphones, so many weightlifters appreciate the convenience of wireless headphones. The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 500 provides a comfortable and stable fit, while being sweat resistant and easy to clean.
Easy-to-use controls allow you to change tracks, adjust volume, take calls and access your phone‘s PDA without removing the headset. This model also has good bass sound and an 18-hour battery life. If headphones aren’t your cup of tea, this may be the best headset for sports.
Koss FitClips KSC32i Headphones
Looking for a pair of cheap earphones to slip into your gym bag? Choose the FitClips KSC32i from Koss at a very affordable price. Their ear-mounted ear hoops offer flexibility and comfort, the sound is much better than their modest price might suggest, and the pair has a single button that handles both controls and microphone.
Since they’re wired, there’s no need to worry about charging a battery, although you may need a special jack adapter depending on the smartphone you’re using. Note, however, that the microphone is not great for conversations.
Bose SoundSport Free Sport Wireless Headphones
Bose hasn’t gone for sobriety or minimalism with his headphones. Both headphones are thick, flashy but, paradoxically, never unpleasant when in use. They fit perfectly in the ear, and the brand offers a total of three pairs of StayHear tips. The fit is remarkable, the earphones don’t move an inch during a sports session.
This broad design has allowed Bose to optimize the battery life of these accessories. Enjoy five hours of headphone life and an additional 10 hours from the recharge box, which takes nearly 4 hours to fully charge.
On the audio side, Bose didn’t do things by halves and couldn’t afford to make a mistake with the headphones, which had been expected for several months now. The bass is very present, perhaps a little too much depending on individual tastes, while the midrange is very clearly distinguishable in the different songs. The sound is very warm and the voices perfectly intelligible. As for the trebles, they are a little backward and lack presence. The stereo is excellent, the scene is perfectly transcribed and no distortion has been noted, even at full power.
Connectivity was also very carefully worked out by Bose, and we didn’t notice any loss of connection or any particular problem during our tests. The mobile application allows you to pair two devices and switch between them by pressing one of the buttons on the top of the headset. Simple and very effective.
Jaybird Vista True Wireless Sport Earbud
The manufacturer did not see fit to start from scratch with this new product. The design is almost the same as the Jaybird Run, except for the grey ring that gives way to a very sober black colour.
In the ears, the headset fits perfectly and you can run, jump, lift weights or do any activity without the risk of seeing one of the earphones fall to the ground in full action. However, despite the different pairs of ear tips provided in the box, you will regret a slight feeling of discomfort after a few hours, as the earphones are quite bulky and put pressure in the ear canal.
The loading box is very compact and fits easily into a pocket or sports bag. The autonomy of the headset is about 4H30 for a charge and combined with the box count nearly 12 hours in total, a figure in the average of the sector.
Unlike some of the brand’s older products, the Jaybird Run Xt does not abuse the low frequencies, even though they are well present and very rich, and focuses on the mid and high frequencies. The voices are intelligible and the lead instruments are still a little off and the stereo is good, even if it could have been expanded further. Jaybird has chosen to create a sound profile that fits the highly charged bass tracks that are often popular with sportsmen and women to help motivate them.
The passive isolation of the headphones is very good and allows you to use it without pushing the volume all the way up and without being disturbed by outside noise.
In our opinion, this is the big black spot of these Jaybird Run Xt compared to some of its competitors. The brand has chosen to include only two buttons to control volume, track order and call pickup. It takes a certain amount of time to learn how to master the different pressures to access the simplest features.
The mobile application allows you to configure the various controls but also to modify some audio settings, such as an equalizer to calibrate the headphones to your taste. The interface is simple enough but clear enough to be used by everyone.
Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Headphones
Powerbeats have become a benchmark in the sports headphone industry. For this first true wireless model, Beats chose to build on a design he knows inside out, adding the connectivity needed to operate without any wires.
The fit in the ear is excellent. The headband is slightly less open than in previous versions, but the headphones fit better in the ear canal. Beats provides another pair of ear tips in total to fit all users’ ears and the whole package feels very solid.
Apple and Beats worked very closely together in the design of these headphones and AirPod owners will feel it almost immediately. The Powerbeats Pro Beats have a sound similar to the headphones produced by Apple, i.e. more bass-driven, surprisingly powerful for a product of this caliber, and neutral enough over the rest of the spectrum to adapt to the full range of musical genres played during practice.
Beats has been working on new speakers specifically designed for these headphones to reduce distortion and produce a richer sound than that found on the AirPods. The isolation is average, reducing ambient noise a little but not isolating the wearer from the rest of the world, which is highly recommended for jogging in the middle of the city.
The connection to the iPhone is absolutely confusing of speed. Thanks to the H1 chip, the headset is immediately located and paired to the smartphone, without having to go to the smartphone settings. It is also immediately recognized by the Apple Watch, for the best-equipped Apple fans.
Android phone owners will be able to connect their devices thanks to the Bluetooth chip in the helmet, but we feel that the iPhone is privileged over its competitors.
The latter will also be able to take advantage of Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, with the “Say Siri” voice command and answer their messages or command several actions without taking their smartphone out of their pocket.
Beats has also integrated two buttons on the top of the earpiece to control the volume and a central button, located at the brand logo, to accept or reject a call or activate voice control. A very appreciable minimalism that does not detract from the number of features offered.
The autonomy is also exemplary, with more than 9 hours of listening possible with a simple recharge. Only 5 minutes of recharging in their transport box offer 1H30 of additional listening and the total autonomy of the product exceeds 24H. It is without a doubt the most enduring headset we have seen for sportsmen and women.
Aukey EP-T16 Bluetooth Sport Headphones
The Aukey EP-T16 earphones are accessories with a completely satisfactory manufacturing quality for an inside price of 100€. Rather sober, they still have a personality thanks to the use of shiny materials that distinguish them from many models, wiser and more discreet.
The earphones fit into the ear canal without exerting any pressure and are very pleasant to wear over long sessions of use. Aukey provides only 3 pairs of ear tips to suit all ear pairs. The sound isolation is quite good and the headphones manage to block some of the surrounding sounds, but show their limits in a particularly noisy environment.
Connection is very simple, just take the earphones out of the box and pair them with your smartphone. The connection is made in a few seconds and no interruption is to be reported during use.
Concerning the audio part, Aukey is finally doing better than the price of its product would suggest. The headphones insist on low frequencies, to the detriment of the midrange. Voices and instruments are relegated to the background, especially on tracks with strong bass lines.
The EP-T16 features a Bluetooth 5.0 chip and the aptX codec for CD-quality, high-resolution song playback. The willingness to offer such compatibility is underlined, but the sound quality, which is only just right, will not be up to the level of the most demanding titles in your library. The headphones will be reserved exclusively for sports use, where audio performance is less important than comfort during use.
The EP-T16 also features a good quality microphone for taking or making calls wirelessly. Unfortunately, only the left earpiece is used for audio return, an incomprehensible limitation that affects the quality of the calls.
The autonomy is 3H, extendable to 9H with the charging box. Again nothing transcendent but enough for most joggers or sportsmen training on short sessions every day. The box is recharged by USB-C.
How to Choose your In-Ear Headphones for Lifting Weights?
Fit and Comfort
This is the most important criteria when choosing your in-ear workout headphones. They will be constantly subjected to shocks and vibrations during your training sessions and must be correctly placed in your ear canal to provide you with quality sound and also to isolate you from outside noise.
Comfort throughout the day is ensured both by the design of the device and if the manufacturer provides one or more pairs of earmolds to fit different ear shapes.
The true wireless work with batteries and can not be recharged other than with a case supplied with the earphones.
To allow you to train as much as you want without having to do without your favourite playlists, make sure that your future headphones have several hours of autonomy between recharges.
The in-ear earphones are specially designed to block out some of the surrounding sounds and allow you to immerse yourself more deeply in your music without being disturbed by traffic or other sources of noise pollution.
The shape of the nozzle, as well as the overall design of the device and the quality of the materials used in its manufacture, are decisive for good passive isolation.
The True Wireless
Wireless in-ear monitors for sports are nowadays divided into two categories: neckband, where the earphones are connected to each other by a wire, and true wireless, more advanced models that have no wire and allow maximum comfort of use for sportsmen and women. The latter are also a little more expensive to purchase.
To play your songs in Bluetooth, the vast majority of headsets on the market use the AAC codec, allowing you to play most of the files published on streaming platforms or in your MP3 library. Some can also use the SBC, a standard allowing only low quality broadcasting.
The most music-lovers will rather turn to models integrating the aptX codec. Qualcomm’s standard allows for the delivery of songs in high resolution or CD-quality, so music lovers can enjoy every note and nuance of their favourite tunes. And remember: Don’t listen to music at high volume!
Image by skeeze from Pixabay
Last update on 2020-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API