Five of the best headphones and earphones for runners

While many people enjoy the detachment running offers, some find it boring and need music or a podcast to motivate them, especially on longer training runs.

While wireless technology has almost made untangling your headphones a thing of the past, and improved designs, Bluetooth connectivity and battery life making running to your favourite tunes a more enjoyable experience.

The most important feature runners look for in headphones is comfort and fit – in other words, they don't need constant readjustment and don't fall out of your ears when exercising. After this, sound quality rates highly, followed by wireless technology, sweat and waterproof materials, easy to use controls and long battery life.

Phone a friend

Increased popularity means there are many products to choose from, and buying the right pair of headphones is like finding the right pair of running shoes – you've got to do your homework.

There are two categories to consider: headphones and earphones.

Headphones tend to offer superior sound quality than earphones or earbuds.Headphones rest on your outer ear while earphones sit inside the ear canal.

Aftershokz Trekz Air Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones

One of the most annoying things about running with headphones is missing out on listening to the sounds of nature. So if you want to listen to music, a podcast or audiobook while running, and still want to hear ambient sounds like traffic or nature, then the Aftershokz Trekz Air Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones are a great option.

AfterShokz headphones suit city runners because they use bone conduction technology to deliver music directly through your cheekbones, leaving your ears totally free to hear what's going on around you such as traffic. Using titanium wherever possible, these secure-fit headphones are lightweight and feature premium audio and multipoint pairing.

Plantronics Backbeat FIT 3100

These wireless sport earbuds are ultra-stable, sweatproof and waterproof. While they don't use the same technology as AfterShokz, the BackBeat FIT 3100 earbuds Always Aware™ eartips don't fully block the ear canal, allowing you to hear your surroundings for safer running in any environment.


The soft, flexible, secure-fit ear loops and comfortable stabilisers, help these earbuds stay put during your hardest reps and allow you to experience wireless freedom without fidgeting with the fit. They have good wireless battery life – five hours.

Jaybird RUN XT True Wireless Sport Headphones

These second generation all-terrain true wireless earbuds are fully water and sweat proof and have four  hours playtime, and if you're running low on battery – just five minutes of charging will give you another hour of playtime.

The lightweight and streamlined Sport Fit design features comfortable interchangeable silicone ear gels to ensure a snug fit. Enhanced bluetooth performance makes connecting with your smartphone or watch a breeze and the One Touch Voice Control allows you to manage calls, music and your phone's Siri or Google Assistant with the push of a button when you're on the move.

If you don't need completely wireless running headphones, try Jaybird's Tarah Pro, a corded pair with lengthy battery life.

AirPods with Wireless Charging Case

The second generation AirPods feature the Apple-designed H1 headphone chip for more talk time, faster connect times, and hands-free "Hey Siri." Going for a run with these earphones is a breeze. Just take the AirPods out 
of their case and they're ready to use with all your Apple devices, such as the Apple Watch Series 4.

Optical sensors and motion accelerometers work together to sense when they're in your ears and pause when you take them out. While comfortable, these earphones are best-suited for shorter runs because they don't feature silicone sport earbuds, but they do offer five hours listening time.

Powerbeats Pro

Promising a faster and more stable wireless connection to your device for extended range and fewer dropouts, the Powerbeats Pro wireless earbuds delivers powerful, balanced sound with dynamic range and noise isolation for a premium listening experience.

The high-performance earphones are the result of a deep integration between Beats and Apple engineering, and feature secure-fit ear hooks for added comfort and stability. With up to nine hours of listening time, these sweat and water resistant earphones have some of the true wireless best battery life available on the market.

The high of crossing the finish line inspires running fanatic Laura Hill to clock up the kilometres each week. Whether you're a newbie to the running scene or a seasoned athlete, Laura brings the latest running trends and gear to readers across Australia. With a day job in the corporate world and a busy toddler, Laura loves nothing more than lacing up her runners and hitting the pavement to sharpen her mind and challenge her body.

Follow Laura Hill on Twitter

Check out the gallery above to see what you should stick in your ears.