5 Top Rated Headphones for the Gym
You like listening to music and you like working out, right? Whether you’re in the gym lifting, jogging, spinning or squatting, a good playlist can help you workout harder.
In-ear OR on-ear OR over-ear headphones?
Whichever you choose is down to personal choice but outside the gym, it’s often the latter -- the over-ear headphone -- that’s most popular with audiophiles. Its superior sound, comfort and noise-cancelling technology would probably make it the first choice for most gym bunnies, too, if it wasn’t for the fact that sweaty ears can ruin a pair of headphones in a matter of months. Nobody wants to throw a £250 pair of Beats away in the first year.
So the answer has to be to use earbuds, right?
If you’re bringing your A-game to your workout, then you should bring your best headphones, too. Our top-five are all over-ear or on-ear headphones thanks to a genius piece of kit: EarHugz. These affordable, reusable sweat-proof headphone covers let you go hard in your workout without going hard on your headphones.
Pop a pair of these bad boys onto your cans and start enjoying superb audio quality without the worry of sweat damage.
Beats Solo 3 Wireless, £249.95
There’s no denying that Beats are popular but even before Apple acquired the company for a cool US $3 billion back in 2014, there was criticism that the headphones were bought for style, not substance. Simply put, if you like looking good when you workout, then this is probably the brand for you. And the Beats Solo 3 Wireless is as gorgeous as the company’s previous incarnations but now, thanks to the addition of Apple’s impressive W1 chip, it now has a few features that make it worth considering.
The Beats Solo 3 Wireless rock a super-impressive 50 hours of play between charges. What’s even better is that you can do a three-hour charge in five-minutes; perfect for those last-minute gym sessions.
Apple’s W1 chip (responsible for that impressive battery capacity) also allows easy and seamless connectivity across multiple iOS devices.
The rubber headband keeps the cans steady against your ears no matter how much you move around.
If you’re using Android or any other operating system, then you’ll miss out on all that cool iOS functionality.
These come in a soft-shell case, so it may be worth investing in something a little more robust if you’re used to throwing your headphones into your gym bag after a session.
Beats headphones look fantastic, and they’re fashionable and they come in a splash of different colours, but it’s no secret that other headphones will offer you better sound quality and active noise cancellation for around the same price point. Most audiophiles will tell you: there are better headphones on the market.
Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2.0, £169.99
Sennheiser has been around since 1945, and in 1968 they made the world’s first open headphones. The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2.0 was released in 2015, and these on-ear headphones provide clean, sharp audio in an attractive black leather design.
With the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0, it’s all about its active noise cancelling technology. NoiseGard cuts out low-frequency background noise making it perfect for when your workout demands complete isolation from the ambient noise around you. They’re ideal for travelling to and from the gym, too, whether that’s on public transport or 36,000 feet in the air.
You can tap the right ear cup to change tracks, adjust the volume or use the call settings without having to break your stride.
With fourteen hours between charges, you’ll be set for any session.
Their collapsible frame makes them easy to pack in your kit.
These aren’t cheap. If you’re hitting the gym, don’t forget your EarHugz.
You can’t turn NoiseGard off, so there’s no way to conserve battery other than switching them off completely.
Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II, £329.95
Bose is synonymous with noise-cancelling technology and if that’s what’s most important to you then you’ve found your headphones. Now with the addition of Google Assistant, it’s easy to check messages, make calls or ask about the weather without having to pause your workout.
These are really comfortable, so they’re perfect for longer workouts (or if you want to wear them home from the gym).
For wireless, you’ll get around 20 hours of battery from a full charge and 40 hours wired.
The cups are thickly padded, so you’ll cut a lot of ambient noise out even when the noise-cancellation is turned off: perfect when you need to save battery.
Whilst the plastic build makes them lighter, it doesn’t make these feel like a quality piece of kit.
There are more attractive designs on the market, too, if that’s your thing.
They aren't cheap.
Bowers-Wilkins PX, £329
Winners in the category for Best Wireless Headphone over £300 at the What HiFi Awards 2017, the Bowers-Wilkins PX are stylish AF in navy blue with gold accents, but unlike Beats, these pack a punch in the sound quality stakes, too.
The PX is an intuitive headphone making it ideal for the gym: put a pair over your ears and they’ll switch on, lift a can up, take them off entirely and the music will pause. Put them down for a few minutes, they’ll go into standby mode to save power.
The PX comes with a number of useful noise-cancelling modes including the option to block out specific types of ambient noise including voices and aircraft.
You’re looking at about 22 hours of battery life with noise-cancellation and bluetooth switched on. Turn off the bells and whistles, however, and you’ll get an impressive fifty hours of wired listening.
You can’t fold these down, only swivel the cups. They come in a carry pouch but that’s not always ideal if you plan to hit the gym light.
Because of their material, these headphones are heavier than others.
Sony MDR 1000 MX2, £330
When the first iteration of these headphones was released a few years back, they had everyone talking, impressed at what Sony had done to close the gap on Bose. The MDR 1000 MX2, released a year later, has built on this popularity with an impressive set of headphones that are ideal for life both inside and outside the gym.
(And all the more reason to bang on your Ear Hugz and add a pair of high-quality cans to your workout.)
Thanks to Sony’s auto-setting, these headphones use accelerometers to detect motion; they can tell whether you’re walking, sitting still or on moving transport. They’ll then either dial up or dial down the ambient noise cancelling function accordingly.
You can control the settings via the app, too, choosing stable connections over sound quality if there’s something interfering with your WiFi or if there’s poor signal.
The battery is impressive, too. You’ll get 30 hours for using wireless and around 40 if you’re wired.
Similar to Beats there’s a useful quick charge function: 10 minute’s juice can give you an hour of battery.
There have been a few reports that they can feel loose around the head, so it’s probably worth trying a pair before you buy.
You may have read this post thinking - taking expensive headphones to the gym! With the amount that I sweat!? Are they completely mad!?
EarHugz is the answer to you gym-induced sweat related prayers. Designed to stop sweat damage, Earhugz are re-usable, sweat-proof headphone covers that come in a variety of colours and fit a wide range of the most popular headphones on the market. Check the sizing guide to make sure they'll fit yours, and try them on your headphones.