Top 3 Bluetooth Headphones for Athletes

If you are the athletic type, then you already know that music can really enhance a work out and provide a healthy dose of motivation and encouragement. These days there are many great options for in-ear training headphones, with the trend moving toward Bluetooth wireless primarily for the theoretical convenience of being able to be as active as you like without the encumbrance of wires going between your head and your audio source. I say theoretically because even though each of the following headphones are geared toward active lifestyles the way each pair holds on to your ears is vastly different and will appeal to different users and for different case scenarios.

In terms of sound, all three of these headphones compared favorably. There wasn't a huge difference in sound quality; in fact they all delivered some of the best audio in a device this size that I've ever heard. Additionally, each of these headphones is at least water resistant if not submersible. They also all have similar playback times (about 7 to 8 hours) from a full charge.

What really distinguishes each of the following headphones in this roundup is the way they fit on your ear, relative to your personal comfort, and how well they hold on when you're engaging in physical activity.

Jaybird X2  ($179.95)

What I liked most about the Jaybird X2 was their original design and the versatility they offered in terms of how you can wear them. The X2 have lots of tiny accessories to help you find the ideal fitting, just for you. Along with a selection of three pairs of passive noise-canceling silicon ear plugs and three pairs of similar foam ear plugs, they also come with three pairs of fin-shaped "anchors" that effectively hook into the folds of your ear lobe. Depending on whether you prefer to wear your headphones over and behind your ear or dangling straight down from your ear, the soft rubber fins can be positioned accordingly to effectively hold onto your lobe and stay put even while you're active.

Of the headphones included here, the Jaybird had the least reliable traction in my ear. The fin, while effective, didn't stand up to rigors of swinging my head back and forth a lot, as when climbing, or bouncing a lot, as when running. They are however the only pair featured here that don't by default, have a piece that wraps over and behind your ear lobe and in terms of comfort it may not be preferable to have that wrap-around feeling.

 What's The Best Pair of Bluetooth Headphones for Athletes?


Blue Ant PUMP HD Sportbuds  $99.95

Not only do the Blue Ant have a water and dust resistance rating of IP67, they are also a beast when it comes to the tenacity of their grip on your ears! Of the headphones reviewed here these are the ones I'd recommend for someone who wants to make sure their headphones stay put, even when engaging in strenuous physical activity. It's worth noting, no Bluetooth headphone, no matter how waterproof, can actually receive a signal while underwater. If you need something that can play music while underwater, you'll need to look at a non-Bluetooth solution.

If you're going to be around the water often, or if you think your headphones stand a good chance of getting dunked every now and then, then these are worth taking a closer look at. As trade off for their powerful grip, the Pumps are also the largest of the pairs featured here which could be considered a drawback by some, especially those with smaller heads or smaller ears. 

 What's The Best Pair of Bluetooth Headphones for Athletes?

Scosche SportclipAIR  $99.99

Last but not least, are the SportclipAIR from Scosche. These are some of the best all-around sports headphones and they get my vote for best on this list. I'd consider them the complete package, with simple-to-use features, a tenacious grip and the most compact, form-fitting design. The headphones feature a short, thin, semi-rigid length of tubing that extends out from the actual earphones and wraps up and over your ear lobe, at which point the form-fitting tubing ends and regular audio cable takes over, connecting the left and right earphones.

I loved the way these headphones could be customized to fit my own unique ears perfectly. I felt like the  SportclipAIRs maintained the best hold on my ear and were easiest to readjust during activity to get them to fit snugly, even with gloves on. The  SportclipAIRs also ship with the smallest earbud cushions that I've seen, meaning they can accommodate even the smallest of ear sizes. These are my favorite training headphones since they are most likely to fit the most ears and heads.

 What's The Best Pair of Bluetooth Headphones for Athletes?


Top image credit: Florin Stana /

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Author Details

Dig Om's picture

Author Details

Dig Om

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech