At GymDJ one of the questions that we often get from our readers is what are the best headphones for working out?

While this seems like an easy answer, the real answer is it depends on the needs of the person working out and their preferred style of headphones.   Let’s take a look into this a little further and look into several options based on the needs of the individual.

Below we will go into detail with all of our favorite headphones based on type and activity, but we would like to offer an easy to read interactive chart for those who would like to look at the headphones first.

PictureNameLowest PriceUses
best on ear headphones for runningBeats Mixr Wireless[maxbutton id="1" cache_table_output=false]
best over the ear wirless headphones for runningSenso Bluetooth[maxbutton id="2" cache_table_output=false]
best earbuds for runningBose Soundsport[maxbutton id="3" cache_table_output=false]
best on-ear headphones for lifting weightsBeats Solo3[maxbutton id="4" cache_table_output=false]
best over the ear wireless headphones for lifting weightsTrelab XR500[maxbutton id="5" cache_table_output=false]
best earbuds for lifting weightsShure SE 215M[maxbutton id="6" cache_table_output=false]

How Beats By Dre Changed the Workout Industry

While expensive “DJ Style” headphones have been around for years,  many of these headphones were only used by professionals in the music industry,  artists who were recording and those who shopped at special music stores.   Things all changed in 2008 when Beats By Dre were introduced to the general headphones for lifting

Rap legend Dr. Dre along with music executive Jimmy Iovine teamed up to create the Beats line of headphones.   Lining up perfectly with the smart phone generation,  these headphones were high quality and also priced very high compared to traditional headphones.

With great marketing from celebrities and professional athletes and working close with the explosion of IPods &  smart phones,  “Beats By Dre” became a billion dollar business and have become the most popular headphones on the planet.

Since this time Beats has created several other models that fit various activities and have also had plenty of competition in the headphone industry.

In 2014 Beats was sold to Apple and the Beats has expanded to making better quality headphones each year.

As of 2017 we are in the best period ever for headphones and there are thousands to fit the needs of the user.   Our goal is to try and narrow these down to find the best headphones for your activity.  Let’s take a look below into some of our favorites.


How to Find the Best Headphones for Your Needs

The three most popular styles of headphones for working out are the large DJ style headphones , over the ear wireless headphones and ear buds.  Each of these styles their pros and cons so let’s look at what we need to look at before investing in each.

best over the ear wireless headphoneSound Quality:   First and foremost we like to look at sound quality.  You can pretty much tell about 90% of what you need to know about a pair of headphones during the first 20 seconds that you put them on.  Unfortunately, when shopping online or at a retail store  it is hard to make this comparison without all the products available for trial.

Noise Reduction:   A very good set of headphones should encompass your full attention and this means that with the volume on a high level, you wouldn’t be able to hear an airplane that was 50 feet over your head.    With the ability to block outside noises and focus purely on what is playing, this is something that only the best headphones offer.

Reviews:  Some of the worst products in the world have become massive sellers due to great marketing and sales pages.   We think one great way to avoid that problem is to read online reviews from buyers of the headphone that you are interested in purchasing.   We like to use Amazon for our reviews, as this is one of the few sites that verify the people who purchased the item and also has a large variety of people who will give honest reviews.

Talk to Users:  Besides Amazon,  read through reviews of places that  fit your niche.  If you want to know the best headphones for running,  talk with your fellow runners or visit a trusted running website.   If you want to know the best headphones for lifting,  talk to some of the people in your gym to see how they like their headphones.   Outside of a few people,  most people are happy to converse in the gym.

Price:   Price plays a huge role in not only the type of headphone you can afford, but what you should research.  We like to choose a variety of headphones in different price ranges so that almost anyone looking to purchase these items can get quality reviews.   With that being said, we do not recommend any of the real cheap models online or at your local retailers, as these tend to be very low quality.

Purpose:  Our purpose with this article is to help you find the best headphones for working out, whatever your workout may be.   GymDJ not only provides quality music, but we want to provide quality information for our users.

Which Style of Headphones Should I Use?

Finding the style of headphone to use should be your first step choosing the best type of headphones question.    We will focus on the three most popular styles   and give a brief overview of each.

Large DJ Style Headphone: The Large DJ Style headphones,  like the original Beats By Dre, is typically used by younger people, but has also become a favorite for others who enjoy them while they are working out.    More and more serious lifters and runners have gone to the DJ style headphone as they simply offer the loudest music and the best noise cancellation of the three styles.what headphones should I choose

While these headphones can be used for just about anything,   two main types of activities stand out the most for these headphones, these are lifting and pre-game activities.

Those who are big into weight lifting and those warming up tend to love the DJ style headphones as they give them full concentration for their activity.  These headphones are typically best for noise cancellation and allow the user to focus on their activity whether it be benching 300 lbs or warming up  before a big basketball game.

Over the Ear Wireless Headphones: Over the ear wireless headphones, have become very popular over the last few years due to their lightweight and the comfort on the head.   Some people simply don’t like the feel of a headphone that covers their head and they enjoy these style of headphones more.

The best uses for the over the ear headphones are those are doing cardio activities such as running, yoga,  sprints,  tennis, etc.

The over the ear headphones allow freedom of movement and are lightweight.    While they don’t offer the full ear coverage as the DJ style headphones,  many of the best over the ear headphones offer great sound quality and noise cancellation.

Many people that are serious into fitness will often have a large set of DJ style headphones along with an over the ear wireless headphones that they take with them wherever they go.  These style of headphones are not only great for working out, but they can be used for just about anything and are easy to transport wherever you go.

Earbuds: Earbuds,  like the type you get with your Apple products are the 3rd type of headphones that are preferred by those working out.

Wired earbuds are typically the cheapest type of headphones that you can find and offer an alternative for those who don’t want to spend big bucks on their headphones.    Others like the feel of earbuds as they have the least amount of ear coverage of the three headphones.

Recently several companies have created high end earbuds that have the same sound quality as the large DJ style headphones.

Earbuds are often the choice for those who want to use headphones for almost any activity.   Earbuds can be used when walking to class and can also work while lifting at the gym.   Best of all you can get a real good pair of earbuds for a much lower cost than the other two types of headphones, which is great for students and younger users.


Finding the Best Headphones for Working Out

We have picked  different headphones based on use.  Within this section we have picked a few that fit each style.   While we broke them up into running and lifting only,  all of these headphones can be used for a variety of physical activities.

Best headphones for running

The following are our choices for the best headphones for running and other cardio related activities.  These can include headphones for yoga, sprints, tennis, or any other active physical activity.  We tried to pick the headphones that fit the following criteria:  comfortable during activity, great sound quality, fair priced compared to others.

Best On Ear headphones for running-   Beats Mixr Wireless On-Ear Headphone

Review:  The Beats Mixr Wireless On-Ear headphone is our choice for the #1 on ear headphones for running.  While we usually run with over the ear best on ear headphones for runningheadphones, we feel that the Beats Mixr Wired on-ear headphones are the best choice for wired over the ear headphones for running.

Lightweight:  While these are heavier than earbuds and over the ear headphones, they are lightweight in comparison to other on ear headphones.   Easy on the head and neck prevents injuries and make running for long distances much easier.

Low Priced:  Compared to the larger style Beats headphones, the Mixr Wired are much lower priced with current prices around $125.

Loud:   What separates these headphones from other over the ear style headphones is the sound quality.  Not only do these work great with your smart phone, but they are loud and help you focus during a long run.

Trusted Brand: With help from Apple, the Beats collection has not only gotten better but it has become a more trusted brand.  Apple’s customer support is among the best in the world and new and emerging trends will keep this product at the highest quality possible.

Best Over the Ear wireless headphones for running–   Senso Bluetooth Headphones Wireless Earphones

Review:   Great quality combined with a great price is the reason we picked the Senso Bluetooth Wireless headphones as our favorite over the ear best over the ear wirless headphones for runningheadphones.

Lightweight:  Extremely lightweight, these are our pick for best overall running headphones as they you can do almost any physical activity without even noticing these on your ears.

Good Quality Sound:  Not quite the loud sounds that the Beats Mixr delivers, but these Senso wireless headphones do have a good sound.  If we based the Beats on a 10/10 scale, the Senso would be about a 7.5 compared to other lesser headphones.

Low Priced:  Probably the best reason to buy these wireless over the ear headphones is that they are the best bang for your buck.  At just about $40, these are a great investment and can be a great compliment to higher priced headphones that you can use in a pinch.

Useful for Many Activities:  Versatility is the best word to describe the Senso Bluetooth wireless earphones.  Besides running, these headphones can be used for just about any physical activity with no problem.  These headphones are lightweight and virtually impossible to remove when put on correctly.

Best earbuds for running– Bose Soundsport in-ear headphones

Review:  A heavyweight in the sound industry,  the Bose Soundsport is our pick for the best earbuds for running.   The sound quality is what separatesbest earbuds for running these earbuds from the others as they are head and shoulders above the competition.

Sound Quality:  Excellent sound quality, these earbuds have close to the same sound quality as many of the on the ear headphones, without the bulky headphone.   Bose is known for their quality sound and this earbud is no different.

Inline Microphone/Remote:  One of the cool things that we like the best about this product is that it has an inline microphone so that one can switch between listening and talking if they choose.  Many business owners we work with seem to like to get many of their conference calls and other things done while they are riding their stationary bike or jogging.  We feel that this inline microphone is an awesome perk to these earbuds.

Super Comfortable:  These are easily the most comfortable of the three highest rated running headphones that we looked at.   The earbud of these headphones conforms to your ears and it is very comfortable, feeling as you have almost nothing at all in your ears.

Bose Sound:  As an owner of several Bose indoor speaker systems over the years I am a huge fan of this company.   Unlike other companies who mass produce speakers, Bose provides quality with each and every speaker it makes.   Bose is a trusted name and these earbuds are quality earbuds.

Best headphones for lifting weights

When choosing the best headphones for weight lifters, we like to choose something that stresses minimal noise reduction for focus.  Unlike running, where it is important to have some leeway when it comes to noise cancellation, lifting weights is something that stresses more focus.

With that being said,  many of the headphones we choose can be great for both,  but we are trying to pick both the best running and the #1 headphone for lifting weights.   Here are our picks.

Best On-Ear headphones for lifting weights– Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones

Review:  If you have been to gym anytime in the last few years, especially a serious one, you have probably seen several people with the Beats Solo3best on-ear headphones for lifting weights Wireless headphones on while they were lifting.   Arguably the best headphones on our list,  the Beats Solo3 are the latest in the line of great headphones made my Beats.

Comfortable:   The Beats Solo3 is easily the most comfortable on-ear headphones that we have tried and this makes them our pick for the best  headphones for working out.  Soft on the ears and lightweight on the head are two of the most common things you hear when these are reviewed  online.

Noise Cancellation:  The noise cancellation of these headphones will put you in another world away from everything else in the workout room.   While some of other headphones on the list offer great noise cancellation, the Beats Solo3 are head and shoulders above the bunch.

Solid Price:  These Beats have actually come down in price compared to previous Beats and with much better quality then before.   If you shop around you can get these headphones for under $250 with tax included.

The Apple Touch:   The original Beats were truly revolutionary but the ones that have been built since Apple has bought Beats in 2014 are a true upgrade.   Combining Apple’s engineering team with input from music legends has made this device the best workout headphones for 2017.

Best Over the Ear headphones for lifting weights–  Trelab XR500 Wireless Headphones

Review:  At a very affordable price, we give the nod to the Trelab XR500 as our pick for the best over the ear headphones for lifting weights.  Let’s takebest over the ear wireless headphones for lifting weights a look at why we chose this over the others.

Best pound for pound:  While several of the more expensive wireless headphones may sound better, it isn’t by much and the price of this model (around $40) compared to the others  ($100 +)  makes this an easy choice as the best wireless headphones for lifting weights.

Great Reviews:  While Trelab isn’t a household name like Bose or Beats,  Amazon reviews tell a different tale of popularity.  With over 3,300 reviews and getting 4.2 out of 5,  those who gave 4 or 5 stars to the Trelab headphones all say the same  thing-  great price, great sound, great for workouts.

Comfortable:  Light and very comfortable around the ears, the Trelab over the ear headphones are made to conform to the ears and weight only a few ounces.  These headphones are barely noticeable, yet they provide great sound.

Loud:   While not quite on the same level as the Beats DJ style headphones, the Trelab headphones do their job and provide loud music that provides for great concentration for the lifter.

Best earbuds for lifting weights–  Shure SE215m  Earbuds

Review:   There were several earbuds on our original list but the Shure SE215m was the pick for the best earbud for lifting earbuds for lifting weights

Noise Cancellation:   The difference maker between the Shure earbuds and several other models was the noise cancellation that these earbuds offered.   Quite simple the Shure SE215m offers the best noise cancellation earbud when compared to other earbuds and it isn’t close.

Excellent Sound Quality:   Bass, Treble, Instrumentals and everything that goes into a music piece can be heard loud and clear with these earbuds.  While many earbuds offer OK sound, these earbuds match up with just about any headphone on this page when it comes to sound quality.

Comfortable:  Some earbuds simply aren’t comfortable, but the Shure earbuds are made to feel comfortable in the ear no matter what activity you are doing.  Lightweight, soft and easy on the ear are the three best qualities of these earbuds.

Line Up with the Big Boys:  While not a household name like Apple and Bose, these Shure SE215m earbuds line up fine with the big boys of the headphone industry.  With quality sound and a fair price, the Shure is our pick for the best earbuds.