8 Best Over-Ear Headphones for Working Out

8 Best Over-Ear Headphones for Working Out

When it comes to exercising, music is one of the best motivators. The right tune can get you out of the door and help you reach your workout goals. That’s why it’s essential to use the proper workout headphones.

Why choose over-ear headphones? The over-ear sport headphones block the outside disturbances thanks to the noise-canceling technology, create a more balanced soundstage, and don’t fall out of your ears during an intense workout thanks to the comfortable fit of a headband. This article will introduce you to some of the best over-ear headphones for exercising and help you choose a pair to get the best out of your workout sessions.

Things to Consider When Shopping for Over-Ear Headphones for Working Out

When shopping for workout-dedicated over-ear headphones, you need to consider the following factors and features:

1. Sound Quality

Even if you’re not an audiophile, you probably still value audio quality over everything else. So if realistic sound is essential to you when listening to music, the first thing you should pay attention to when using your workout headphones is sound quality.

Because over-the-ear headphones cover both ears and have a larger size and a more significant driver, they produce more volume and deliver superior performance compared to a pair of earphones or wireless earbuds.

If audio quality is essential to you, the main specifications to look out for are the following:

2. Weight & Size

The weight and size of the headphones are important decisions if you’re looking for ergonomic headphones. One of the things to look for is a lot of padding. Soft materials like memory foam can ensure you stay comfortable even during the longest training sessions. However, the soft ear cushions aren’t the only factor you should pay attention to.

The clamping force of the headband is responsible for how tight the headphones sit on your head. If you wear glasses and/or have a big head, it’s best to avoid buying headphones with high clamping force, as they will cause too much pressure on your head. At the same time, if the clamping force is too low, the headphones may fall off your head at the slightest movement, which would make them unsuitable for working out.

Finally, the weight of the headphones is just as crucial since you’ll spend some time wearing them around your neck.

3. Should You Go Wireless?

Going wired or wireless is no longer a question of sound quality. Wireless headphones can deliver reliable audio of the same quality as their wired counterparts. If you prefer not to deal with the mess of cords, you can opt for a pair of wireless headphones without worrying that you’ll miss out on the genuine sound.

However, if you choose to go wireless, make sure to pay attention to the hours of battery life that you’ll have available and if it’s enough for your sports needs.

4. Price

Price is another crucial factor in choosing the best over-ear headphones for your workout sessions. Wireless options tend to cost a little more compared to their wired analogs. Due to brand recognition, big well-known brands such as Sony or Bose also ask for more money for their products. However, you can sometimes find deals and discounts on Amazon or Best Buy.

Ultimately, it all comes down to your budget and what you’re willing to pay extra for.

The Best Over-Ear Headphones for Working Out

Now that you know the main things to consider before buying your workout-dedicated headphones, here are our best over-ear headphones for sports.

1. Trelab Z2 – Best Overall

While finding an ideal pair of headphones to fit everyone’s needs is impossible, the Trelab Z2 comes close to it. These headphones are lightweight (weighing 0.53lb), can last up to 35 hours on a single charge, and come with the IPX4 rating, which means they’re sweatproof and water-resistant. Together, those things are a recipe for a great pair of workout headphones.

Add a great price tag and decent ANC (active noise cancellation) to it, and you’ll see why we put the Z2 in the first place on our list. However, these headphones aren’t perfect. Regarding sound quality, they won’t top more expensive premium headphones. And while the Z2 has a long battery life, this model lacks a fast charging feature, so once you drain your headphones, you’ll have to wait a few hours to charge them fully.

Price: $89.97 onwards.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 is the runner-up in our list, but you can easily change places between our first and second picks depending on your needs. If you value high-quality audio and ANC performance over certified water- and sweat-resistance, then the Sony WH-1000XM5 is the best headset for you.

The main selling point of these headphones is the customizable sound. You can tune your bass manually using Sony’s Connect app. The superb adaptive ANC allows you to silence the world around you, drown the background noise, and focus solely on working out, making the Sony WH-1000XM5 one of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market.

The headphone’s battery allows up to 30 hours of playback per charge, with an option for fast charging.

Price: $398.

Are you looking for headphones not only suitable for doing sports but a more versatile pair that you can use every day? Then check out the new Anker Soundcore Space Q45. They’re an affordable pair of headphones that gives you 50 hours of playtime (up to 60 if you don’t raise the volume and keep the ANC off), hi-res wireless sound, and they’re lightweight and comfortable.

The 50 hours of playtime in noise-canceling mode makes the Space Q45 ideal for working out and traveling. The headphones also support fast charging, with every 5 minutes bringing an extra 4 hours of playback.

Another selling point of the Space Q45 is the superb Soundcore app. It comes with a customizable equalizer with dozens of presets and different noise-canceling modes that allow you to either block out or let through the ambient noise when needed.

One downside of this model is the lack of the official IPX rating, so you should be careful when using them around water or sweating a lot.

Price: $149.99.

If you have trouble finding headphones that fit right on your head, give Plantronics Backbeat Fit 6100 a try. Even though these headphones came out in 2019, they still deserve their place on this list. The Backbeat Fit 6100 can handle some sweat, thanks to the IPX5 rating. At the same time, they’re not too rugged and will sit comfortably on your head.

The headphones have an adjustable sport-fit headband, which allows you to get a secure fit no matter the shape and size of your head. However, you’ll have to rely on this fit for passive isolation, as this model doesn’t have any ANC to block the ambient noise. This would be fine for those who work out outdoors and prefer to stay in awareness mode.

The battery life isn’t bad either, giving you up to 24 hours of playback. All that, plus an attractive price tag you can’t beat, makes the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 6100 a great option.

Price: $64.

As you can tell by the name, the Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones are all about comfort. With these headphones, you’ll never feel the uncomfortable pressure on your head or the earcups getting warm after a long time of listening. The soft ear cushions and active noise canceling provide an excellent listening experience, while the anti-noise microphone system allows for crystal-clear call quality.

These headphones have no IP rating and aren’t water-resistant, which may be a deal-breaker for some. If this isn’t important for you, you’ll be more than satisfied with this pair of Bluetooth headphones. The QuietComfort 45 headphones are lightweight and don’t look bulky. They come with a signature Bose style and capacitive touch controls on the back of each cup instead of simple physical buttons.

Price: $299.99.

These headphones are a product of a collaboration between Under Armour, JBL, and Dwayne Johnson. If you’re looking for a stylish pair of rugged fitness-oriented headphones, the Under Armour Sport over-ear headphones are the one.

The headphones have the IPX4 water-resistance rating, but you can also remove and wash the ear cushions, adding some extra layer of hygiene to your workout sessions. The signature JBL-charged sound is responsible for rich bass, which, together with the adaptive noise-canceling technology, will help you stay focused and reach your workout goals. You can even select the Rock’s EQ in the JBL headphones app to see if it fits your training style.

Thanks to hands-free voice control, you can connect to a voice assistant such as Google, Siri, or Alexa without pausing your training. You also won’t have to worry about running out of battery with the 40 hours of playback on a single charge.

Price: $279.95 onwards.

The Everyday Headphones by Raycon have many attractive features that landed them on this list. They have the IPX4 rating that makes them sweat-resistant, come with AND and ambient sound mode, and have a battery life of up to 38h on a single charge with fast charging available. For every 15 minutes of charging, you’ll get 2 hours of playback.

Those features easily make up for the lack of a companion mobile app. The Everyday Headphones are also lightweight and have a comfortable fit, which makes them a great pair of running headphones that you can use outdoors. Of course, the affordable price tag and a great stylish look also don’t hurt.

Price: $99.99.

Skullcandy Crusher Evo is the best wireless over-ear headphones for those looking for bass-boosted workouts. Skullcandy created their patented adjustable bass that you can control using the slider at the bottom of an ear cup. The two options are mellow and bone-rattling bass – mix them to increase the intensity of your workout.

Using the Skullcandy app, you can tune your headphones for your hearing by creating your Personal Sound profile to customize and optimize the sound levels. There’s no IP rating or ANC, but the battery life is an impressive 40 hours, with the ability to rapidly charge your headphones.

Worried about misplacing your Skullcandy headphones? Thanks to the built-in Tile technology, you can quickly “ring” and find them using the Tile app.

Price: $179.99 onwards.

Over-Ear Headphones vs. Wireless Earbuds

When it comes to earphones for training, many people choose earbuds instead of over-ear headphones, mainly because of their size. True wireless earbuds have a lot of advantages, like silicone ear tips or the over-ear hook design that keeps them in place and allows for comfortable use during your workout.

Some people prefer using their Apple Airpods Pro Max as their sports earbuds because of their excellent sound quality, noise cancellation, and decent battery life that the charging case can prolong.

However, if you prefer the comfort of the soft over-ear cushions or don’t like things inside your ears, one of the options from our list will make a great choice of workout-dedicated headphones for you.

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