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Best running headphones and wireless earbuds including Beats, Bose and Jaybird, tried and tested

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Wireless headphones are all the rage but they don’t automatically translate into being good running headphones. Often regular earbuds fall out, react badly to sweat or run out of charge too quickly. The best running headphones are more specialist, and whether you’re a casual jogger or a marathon runner it’s worth investing in a good pair. 

Performance Coach at Performance Physique  Arj Thiruchelvam recommends going into shops when it comes to buying running headphones, rather than buying online. “It’s pretty difficult to test every aspect when shopping online but, if you can get your hands on the headphones, pop them in and jump around a bit. Running is basically a series of jumps, so have a quick bounce around the store,” he says.

I took that one step further in my testing, running on a treadmill, pavements, and countryside to find the best. Scroll down for my full reviews as well as answers to frequently-asked questions, such as how to stop headphones falling out and whether sweat will cause damage. If you’re in a rush, here’s a quick look at my top five:

The best running headphones of 2024, at a glance 

What type of headphones are best for running?

“Beats, Bose, Airpods, Jaybirds and Shokz all have their claims to the top position,” says Thiruchelvam. He favours the Shokz Air bone conduction headphones, but has clients from his personal trainer business who swear by Jaybirds, claiming they boost their exercise performance. The Beats Fit Pros topped our list.

What should I look for in a running headphone?

You want a secure fit, waterproof or sweatproof capability, and assurance they won’t bounce out of your ear, says Thiruchelvam. He also looks for Bluetooth 5, which provides the best connection to wireless devices, ensuring a run isn’t interrupted by music or a podcast dropping out. Having a decent microphone to take calls is a bonus.


How I tested the best running headphones

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