The 10 Best Workout Earbuds in 2023, Tested by Gear Experts - Men's Health Magazine Australia

The 10 Best Workout Earbuds in 2023, Tested by Gear Experts

Noise-cancelling cans get all the attention, but you wear earbuds way more. We tested the best and rated them on comfort, connectivity and overall audio awesomeness.

There are two types of people: First, those who hate to listen to music while working out. They prefer to hear their surroundings and breathing, or relish the silence as a time to think and ponder. The second? Those who can’t workout without their music. No tunes means no workout. Whichever camp you fall into, we’re not going to judge. 

Whether you prefer to listen to music, a podcast, or tune into sports while getting your sweat on, you’ll need a solid pair of workout earbuds to make it happen. So investing in the ones that are truly built for working out.

1. The Budget Bangers: JLab Go Air Sport

PROS: They’ve got the same features as pricier earbuds – noise blocking, voice assistance, EQ controls – but you won’t be as financially devastated if you lose them. The battery also runs for a holy-whoa 32-plus hours with its charging case.

CONS: The bass can boom too hard, which can lower sound quality overall. So it’s great for Kendrick, but only so-so for Bruce. 

BOTTOM LINE: With a water-resistant, tough-as-nails build, these buds are amazing
if you tend to beat up your tech. 

Our Rating: 4/5


2. The Constant Companions: Sony LinkBuds 

PROS: Their odd yet clever open-ring design lets you listen while the buds auto-adjust to ambient noise. That’s great for taking calls on the go or playing podcasts while running errands, so you can tune in anytime without dropping out of your surroundings.

CONS: While ambient sound is clutch in certain situations, the LinkBuds’ noise-cancelling mode is more noise-limiting.

BOTTOM LINE: They’re small, comfortable and practical. You could very well wear these all day, every day. 

Our Rating: 4.5/5


3. The Workout Wingmen: Amazon Echo Buds

PROS: This second-gen model is lighter and stronger, with better noise cancellation and overall audio quality. A suite of ear tips and stays prevents pop-outs during even the sweatiest workouts. 

CONS: You’d expect a longer battery life given the hardware upgrades. And though manual control is easy, Alexa commands can glitch.

BOTTOM LINE: The sound quality whips – and you can customise the fit, making them hardly noticeable during a tough set or gruelling run.

Our Rating: 4/5


4. The Ultimate Upgrade: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

PROS: Apple’s new model raises the bar without raising the price. An enhanced tech chip delivers bright and booming sound quality, hush-hush noise cancellation and potent battery life. The volume control sits on the stems of the buds, so adjusting is a cinch.

CONS: No stabilising clips means these could fall off during exercise.  

BOTTOM LINE: Apple’s best-sounding earbuds are worth it for iOS users. 

Our Rating: 4.5/5  


Plus, six more…

5. Beats by Dre Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds

The flashiest name in audio doesn’t sit on the sidelines at the gym. The greatest from Beats are the PowerBeats Pro, which are the company’s first true wireless headphones and the only earphone outside the AirPods to feature Apple’s H1 chip for seamless smartphone connection on iOS and Android. Add a sweat-resistant design, long-lasting battery, and MH fitness director Ebenezer Samuel’s rating of “Superman pushup proof”and you might just have the perfect gym companion. These come in multiple colorways, too, and will be your best headphones for sweating in. 

The most surprising part might be the price. At around $379, they’re actually reasonable—especially considering the brand-name Beats moniker—and roughly $20 less than Apple’s flagship AirPods Pro. With more than 65,000 overwhelmingly positive ratings on Amazon alone, these might be the best-selling, workout-friendly earbuds you can buy in 2023.


6. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds II pack a superior level of noise cancellation that rivals or beats any other headphone on the market. The only other headphones that come close are Apple’s latest AirPods Pro (2nd gen). However, we still find the QuietComfort to drown out noise like no other—whether it be on a plane, the subway, or next to the meathead that’s yelling way too loud during his reps at the gym. Bottom line: If noise-cancellation is your primary buying decision, these are the way to go.

It’s hard to find much to dislike about these other than the price. At around $400, they’re among the most expensive ear buds on the market right now. But, if only the best workout headphones will do and you’ve got a little holiday spending money to burn, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better pair.


7. 1MORE Aero Wireless Earbuds

1MORE proves that you don’t have to spend $200 (or more) to land a great pair of wireless earbuds. The Aero Wireless Earbuds offer many of the same great features as earbuds and headphones that cost twice as much. We’re talking: rich, spatial audio, six mics for crystal-clear calls at the gym, wireless charging, and a solid 28-hour battery life (with the included carry case). Plus, the adaptive active noise cancellation is among the best we’ve seen at this price.

At just over $150, there’s little about these that we don’t like. The fit isn’t quite as a snug as other models we’ve tested, and the companion app (for customizing the EQ) is a bit too finnicky. But, overall, these are a solid midrange pair of earbuds with the chops to compete with much bigger (and pricier) brand-name models. For most workouts, these are damn-near-perfect.


8. JBL Tune 225TWS True Wireless Earbud Headphones

Over 11,000 five-star reviews are attributed to the JBL Tune. They carry 25 hours of battery life (including the charging case) and a respectable level of bass when you consider their price point. What these headphones deliver is honest performance at a solid price. They retail for around $180, but you’ll often find them on sale for as much as 50% off. The sleek design is simple and modern, and we like that they’re available in half-a-dozen bold colors, too.

On the downside, some reviewers not that they don’t last as long as more premium options. But, honestly, if they get worn down too quick you can replace a new pair without feeling it in your wallet (especially when they go on sale). Our advice is to designate these for the gym and save your nicer headphones for everyday use. You won’t regret this budget-friendly buy.


9. Jabra Elite 5 Wireless Earbuds

The Elite 5 are the Jabra’s latest and greatest true wireless headphones that live up to their name and have become some of our new favorite workout headphones. In these compact earbuds, you’ll find everything you need in a gym-ready pair of headphones. They feature 6MM speakers, six microphones for phone calls, and Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation that drowns out unwanted noise.


10. Google Pixel Buds A-Series

With a $99 price tag, these Google Pixel Buds A-Series are a great deal. One of the coolest features is Google’s Adaptive Sound feature, which automatically adjusts the volume to suit your surroundings, so you don’t have to juggle making changes if your hands are full. And of course, they’re Google Assistant compatible. All you need to do is say, “Hey Google,” or press and hold the earbud to talk to Google for anything from the weather, sports stats, or to play your music.


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