Which headphones are best for running 2022?

Running is an excellent way to get into shape. It can help you lose weight, combat some health issues and even improve your mental well-being. 

Of course, you need several things for a running session, from the right shoes, clothes, and music, but it’s also essential to consider which headphones will best suit your needs.

Many different styles of headphones are available on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages in terms of sound quality, price range, comfort, etc.

So this article aims to give you a better understanding of what options are out there for people who like to go running or to jog regularly.

The first question we need to ask ourselves when choosing which type of headphone will be best suited for running is whether we want an over-the-ear or in-the-ear headphone. 

Of course, which you choose will depend on various factors, including your budget, personal preference, and how much outside noise is wanted or needed to be blocked out.

Let’s start with over-the-ear headphones, often referred to as full-size headphones. These headphones are worn entirely over the ears and typically offer excellent sound quality while blocking any external noise that might distract you mid-run.

best headphones for running

One advantage of this type of headphone is that they don’t need to be held in place by your body, so there is no chance of them falling off during a less vigorous jog.

The downside of these headphones is that they are a little more challenging to carry around while running because they tend to be slightly bulkier than in-ear headphones. 

They can also get uncomfortable if worn for long periods as the band manages to pull on your skull when worn over extended periods.

This brings us nicely onto our next option, the IEM or In-Ear Monitor headphone, which is much smaller and lighter than full-size headphones but can’t match their sound quality.

These in-ear monitor headphones often have either rubber or foam tips that fit into your ears and help keep everything in place, so there’s no fear of them being pushed out while you’re jogging.

This type of headphones also has the advantage of listening to your surroundings a little easier than over-the-ear headphones because they allow more ambient noise, which is essential for maintaining your safety when running.

Also, because this type of headphone fits into your ears, there is always a chance that they may not be comfortable after long periods. However, comfort levels can vary significantly between different brands and models.

When considering which headphones are best for running, think about: 

  • Which style of headphone do you prefer (over the ear or in the ear)
  • Which features are more important to you, such as having a built-in microphone, heart rate monitoring, etc.
  • What is your budget for these headphones?

With so many different options available at various price points, hopefully, this article has helped provide some clarity on what style of headphones might be best suited to your needs.

Find the right headphones for you:

So, you’ve decided it’s time to get a pair of headphones. But, which ones should you buy? As with all things in the headphone world, there are many options for everyone. 

So, no matter what your preference is, there will be something out there for you.

Find the best headphone for running

Headphones are not a one shoe fits all type of deal; each person has different tastes and preferences that cater to their lifestyle and budgets.

How long have you been running? What kind of music do you like to listen to while running? Are you not much into listening to music but need headphones so that you can hear your surroundings while out on runs? 

These are questions that only YOU can answer, but we can help point you in the right direction.

Here I’ve compiled a list of headphones that I recommend to people who ask what they should look for in a pair of running headphones.

For those of you that would rather watch than reading:

When it comes to knowing which style of headphone is best for you, there are three main styles: 

  1.  Earbuds – Which sit inside your ear canal & create a seal to keep out ambient noise
  2. On-Ear – Which rest on top of your ears and do not form a complete seal around your ears
  3. Full Size – Which completely cover the outside of your ears and create a complete seal to block out surrounding noise.

How long have you been running?

If you are starting and new to cardio, I recommend going with earbuds. Now do not jump up and down about buying full-size headphones because from what I’ve experienced with new runners, they are prone to tripping over their own feet during runs or walking.

which headphone is best for running clickamazo e1630786761802

So being able to hear everything around you will help keep you aware of your surroundings if something happens where you need to react quickly, like avoiding an oncoming car or sidestepping a person wearing headphones that are blasting music.

 The only downfall of earbuds is that they will not block out surrounding noise. This brings me to my next point.

What kind of music do you like to listen to while running?

If you are new to cardio or enjoy listening to the latest top 40, hip-hop, or anything with a good beat, then earbuds are your best bet.

Do you not care about surrounding noise and want complete immersion into your music playlist?

Then go for full-size headphones. You will be able to block out all distractions from what’s going on around you and immerse yourself into whatever it is that makes you run – whether it be the lyrics in your favorite song or the fast-paced beat of a techno track.

When using full-size headphones on my runs, I noticed that I feel like there is more “space” between each moment of the music, which helps me stay on pace with my run and makes the time go by much faster.

Which, if you tend to have a hard time staying motivated when going for an early morning run, then full-size headphones may be your saving grace.

The best brands for running:

Earbuds are one of the most popular types of headphones, whether you’re a runner or not. They are lightweight and easy to store, are typically affordable, and have excellent sound quality for their size, making them perfect for any active music lover.

71Ep59Zb48L. AC SL1500

If you’re looking for a great pair of earbuds to enhance your next run, check out the ten top-rated and most affordable earbuds for runners.

Stay safe while running with music:

Have you ever wanted to listen to your favorite tunes while out for a run but find your headphones are constantly getting in the way?

Running with music is one of the most popular things people do, and it has become a huge trend, especially among joggers. With so many benefits when running with music, it’s no wonder that more people are trying this activity.

However, it can be dangerous if not done correctly and in an appropriate location. Music can distract you from what is happening around you, which can lead to accidents or injuries. 

There may also be other runners or bikers on the road who don’t notice you because they listen to their tunes through headphones.

Choose headphones that are comfortable and secure:

There are a ton of different headphones available for runners. So which headphones are best for running?

When shopping for running headphones, you want to find something that’s compact and fits securely. In addition, it should be comfortable enough that it won’t fall out when you’re on the go. 

For this reason, in-ear buds are usually better than over-the-ear or earbuds since they fit snugly in your ear (which is why some people have a hard time with standard earbuds their ears just aren’t suited for them).

There are a few things to consider before buying running headphones, and each one impacts how you’ll use the product. 

For example, some earbuds can be connected with an extension cable, so they’re easier to keep in place. 

If you plan on using your running headphones for other activities like jogging on trails or cleaning out the garage, get a pair that has an extension cord.

When it comes down to it, there is no right or wrong choice when shopping around for quality earphones that won’t fall out during workouts. 

You have to find something that works well for you! And remember: don’t buy expensive workout earphones unless you plan on keeping them around after your sweaty runs.

Some of the most expensive ones out there aren’t meant to survive through long runs and workouts.

Consider noise-canceling or sound-isolating earbuds:

We’re often asked which earphones are for runners, and we answer by saying in-ear headphones. 

The fact is that many people don’t like sticking something into their ears, but there’s a solution for those who can’t stand outside noise: Noise-canceling or sound-isolating earbuds.

long time work out

The first thing to understand is that noise-canceling does not actually eliminate all noise; it’s not an on/off switch. 

When you listen to music with them, they play sounds at a frequency (often bass tones) that “cancel” out other background noises. If you wanted to go further, you could turn off your MP3 player and only use these.

Bose has a few styles of noise-cancelling around-ear headphones. They are often pricier than standard earphones, but it’ll depend on which model you go with. We like the sound quality and comfort level.

Isolation style earbuds were designed to block out external noises while still sitting outside your ear instead of being inserted into the canal itself. 

These types generally cost less money than noise-canceling versions in the same category (over-or around-ears), but they tend to sacrifice some sound quality for their noise cancellation features.

Decide on an in-ear, on-ear, or over-the-ear design:

So you want to buy some headphones for working out, but aren’t sure which design will be most suitable? Which of the three types should you choose? 

In-ear earphones, on-ear headphones, and over-the-ear headphones can all provide good quality sound and support while you work out. 

What kind of headphones you need depends heavily on your specific needs – different designs are more suitable for various applications.

In-Ear Headphones

In-ear earphones (also known as ‘canal phones or just ‘in-ears) fit inside the ear canal itself; some even go partly down into it. 

This type has tiny speakers that sit in your ears to deliver audio directly into your ears. 

Because they are ear-fitting, in-ear headphones usually have a sealed back and will not let much noise out.

in ear headphones


In-ears are good at canceling outside noise and provide an excellent bass response. In addition, they are very compact and lightweight, making them suitable for situations where you need to be aware of your surroundings (i.e., running).

They also typically come with multiple earpieces of different sizes so that you can find the one that fits best inside your ears. 

These types of headphones sometimes also feature an in-line remote control conveniently placed on the wire near to where it connects to your media device; this means you won’t have to fumble around with tiny buttons while running or to exercise.

Finally, people who like hip-hop, dance, or other bass-heavy genres will appreciate how these headphones can put out the sound.


While in-ear headphones are compact and lightweight, they generally have poor noise isolation you can expect to hear a lot of outside noise when listening to music with them on. 

In addition, because they fit inside the ear itself, many people find it uncomfortable for extended use (i.e., hours at a time).

Combined with the fact that some people find in-ear headphones painful to insert into their ears in the first place, this type may not be suitable if you need long listening sessions; instead, look towards over-the-ear headphones or on-ears.

On-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphones are similar to in-ears in that they sit on the ear (rather than around it) and go partially over it. They are bigger, though, with a design more like regular over-the-head types of headphones. 

In addition, the outside is typically sealed so that some sound isolation is achieved.

Which headphones are best for running


The noise isolation capabilities of this style allow you to listen comfortably for extended periods (unlike in-ears). 

Their larger size makes them suitable for use when exercising; the cushioning between your ear and the speaker will prevent pain or irritation even after extended usage.

Some people find on-ears more comfortable than closed types of on-ear headphones because the pads do not touch their skin directly – this is useful if you need to wear them for many hours at a time.

Some on-ear headphones are also collapsible, making them easier to transport and store compared to over-the-heads (which can be bulky).

on ear headphones


On-ears have sound leakage; others around you may hear some of the audio you’re listening to. 

In addition, because they do not seal fully over your ear, outside noise is also heard by those using this type of headphone.

This means that on-ears will not cancel out noise like in-ear or closed types of headphones would. 

The design is also typically bulkier and heavier than other styles (although some models address this issue), which is unsuitable for exercising.

Over The Ear Headphones

These are the most common type of headphones and also typically the largest. They fully enclose your ear, with the speakers placed over them to deliver sound into your ear canals.

over the ear best headphones 2021


This type has good noise isolation properties (better than on-ears and in-ears) as they usually have a closed-back design that seals against the outside environment.

Because of their larger size, they generally offer better bass response for electronic music genres, although in-ears and on-ears might be just as capable in this respect. 

They are excellent at canceling external noise, so you won’t have to blast your music too loudly if you use it while exercising or commuting (at the expense of audio quality).

The weight is also a positive as they are comfortable on top of your head for long durations.


Their large size makes them unsuitable for use when exercising. In addition, over-the-heads can be uncomfortable to wear after prolonged periods due to the pressure against your ears their extensive cushioning and ear cups might get too warm as well.

Furthermore, they tend to be very bulky, which means it is impossible to store them in a small bag or purse, possibly even less portable than on-ears. 

Finally, some people do not like how they look with the band around their heads, so this style may not suit everyone’s tastes.

Make sure they stay put during your workout:

When looking for a pair of headphones that will stay put during your workout, you need to find the right fit. 

Most earbud-style headphones will not work for working out because they fall from the ear. An in-ear headphone would be better for your workout.

These types of headphones, which have the shape of a cone, generally provide superior noise isolation, which is essential when you’re trying to block out the world so you can focus on your workout.

There are many different in-ear headphones, such as those that plug into your ear canal and those that sit just outside it. 

Those that place their drivers directly against the ear and those that use a tube or other passive design element as an intermediary and each has its benefits and drawbacks.

You can find in-ear headphones for less than $10 or as much as several thousand dollars.

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