Your choice of on-ear gym headphones is pretty limited. Manufacturers tend to focus their sports-centric research and development on in-earphones and earbuds rather than on bigger headphones.
Genuinely sweat-proof headphones are few and far between.
In 2018, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson collaborated with Under Armor and JBL on the Project Rock Edition gym headphone.
As far as celebrity endorsements go, it was a great move: The Rock wore the headphones during his infamously brutal workouts proving that they were both sweat-proof and gym-ready.
The headphones weren’t cheap but reviews were pretty positive.
Project Rock Edition Gym Headphones had sweat-proof earpads and a tighter fit but they couldn’t match the specifications of other (non-sweat proof) models at the same price point.
The UA Project Rock Edition headphone was too expensive for some people but you can buy the exact same headphones (just without the Project Rock branding) for less money.
UA Sport Wireless Train headphones by JBL are sweat-proof, gym-ready and cheaper. All that’s missing is the Brahma bull insignia.
But is it a good headphone or should we all be buying sweat-proof headphone covers instead?
UA Sport Wireless Train by JBL
The breathable lightweight fabric is hand-washable and grips the head nicely. It offers 16-hours of battery and has a speed-charge function where you get a 1-hour charge in just 10 minutes. Talk-thru tech allows you to reduce noise and have a conversation without taking the headphones off your head. The oversized buttons make it easy to operate during a workout
They’re wireless and offer good Bluetooth range. As you’d expect from a sports headphone, they are bass-heavy and come in a hard-shell case to protect them when not in use. You can also buy replacement earpads.
They don’t have an attractive design and do seem rather bulky. Even without the Rock’s branding (and inflated price tag), they’re still not cheap. The sound quality isn’t brilliant. This is the frustrating thing about sports headphones: the emphasis on something other than the quality of sound. There’s always going to be some compromise between the sweat-proof element and the sound but it shouldn’t be this noticeable.
The UA Sport Wireless only offers passive noise-cancellation and the clamping pressure against the head and ears means they’re uncomfortable even after a short while. If you’re planning on wearing headphones for other activities, too, such as on your commute to work or for listening to music, then you’re probably going to have to fork out on a more suitable second pair. Whilst these might be good for the gym, they’ll fall short of most people’s expectations outside of a workout.
EarHugz Headphone Covers
Covers mean that you can make almost any headphone sweat-proof and gym-ready. It means you can choose your headphone on your own terms and by what’s most important to you. It might be sound quality, wireless range, noise-cancellation, earpad size, price or colour. Any one of these factors might be more important to you than purely sweat-protection alone. Pick your own headphones first and then make them sweat-proof.
Sweat-proof covers are more affordable than buying a new set of headphones. You simply add them to your current pair.
Covers will give your headphones a fresh new look, too. This might be a pop of colour or a pattern. They’re easy to add and remove and you can mix-and-match designs dependent on your mood. If you prefer to keep things simple, then you can always reverse EarHugz to black. So many sweat-proof headphones have a functional (and sometimes ugly design), but covers offer a non-permanent option for accenting or even disguising the appearance of your current ones.
Covers help to protect your headphones from stains. Sweat along with other naturally occurring oils on the skin can leave earpads looking aged and dirty. If you exercise in makeup, covers will also keep foundation and blusher stains off the headphone cushions. It is possible to remove the earpads on the UA Sport Wireless Train but it’s far easier to simply take off a cover and put it in the washing machine than it is to clean a removable earpad.
Covers also mean you can share headphones more hygienically. This is useful if you have a gym-buddy who regularly forgets to pack their own headphones. Helpful, too, if you need to borrow a pair of someone else’s headphones. EarHugz are machine washable so they’re really easy to clean and you can have them back on your own headphones in no time at all.
Headphones are sold separately to the covers. You can’t enjoy the covers without something to put them on.
You have to remember to put EarHugz onto your headphone cushions. You only have to put the UA Sport Wireless Train on your ears and you’re good to go.
Whilst the headphone covers are sweat-proof and will help protect against stains, they can’t magically improve any other problems with your headphones like the sound quality, comfort or fit.
The UA Sports Wireless Train by JBL has been relatively well received. It’s good to see a sweat-proof headphone that’s been designed with bodybuilding in mind and then thoroughly tested.
For us, however, sweatproof headphone covers are the easy winner.
Covers allow you to choose your headphone on your own terms: on price, on comfort, on Bluetooth and noise-cancellation, on design and sound quality. Your headphones should be more than just sweat-proof.
Whilst the UA Sports Wireless Train is a good sports headphone by putting its sweat-proof design first it means you’ll always have to compromise on sound quality.
Sweat-proof headphone covers could transform the way you work out to music.
You can also visit EarHugz on Instagram to see the designs in action.