The best running headphones in the UK 2023

Using headphones has become a habit for the 16 million French running enthusiasts. Music, podcasts and audio books help to get in the mood for running. But you still need the right headphones for the job. For you, we have searched for the best running headphones on the market.

Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro 1

Best value for money

Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro

The best running headphones in 2021

The Apple AirPods Pro live up to their reputation. Offering perfect sound, these headphones are made for running and sports enthusiasts in general. You won't find better ones on the market.

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With upto 24 hours of continuous use, the Apple AirPods Pro have one of the longest battery lives of any wireless running headphones. In addition to this exceptional battery life, they're able to block out ambient noise for better listening. They also work in transparent mode so you can hear outside sounds clearly.

Apple AirPods Pro are designed for devices running iOS. However, you can also use them on smartphones running Android. Either way, the sound quality is still very good.

Sennheiser CX 686G Sports 2

Best low cost

Sennheiser CX 686G Sports

The best entry-level running headphones

Treat yourself to this high-quality pair of headphones to listen to music during your workouts. Plus, the Sennheiser CX 686G Sports will save you tens of dollars.

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The Sennheiser CX 686G Sports are a brilliant combination of quality and affordability. This pair of running headphones sells for about 100 euros. Yet it is a very high quality model. The cables have been reinforced with para-aramid so that they can adapt to your sometimes difficult training conditions.

You'll enjoy great sound with the Sennheiser CX 686G Sports. In fact, these running headphones are designed to eliminate external noise through an in-ear design. They are also compatible with most Android-based smartphones.

Powerbeats Pro 3

Best high end

Powerbeats Pro

The best high-end running headphones

Featuring Apple's H1 chip, the Powerbeats Pro are a very practical headset. Thanks to this, you can listen to your favorite tracks without ever interrupting your workouts, no matter what the weather.

79,19 £ on Cdiscount

More than just wireless headphones, Powerbeats Pro are a musical companion for your workouts. These headphones are sweat-proof and voice-activated. You can work out while selecting tracks, adjusting volume and taking calls.

Powerbeats Pro offer 9 hours of listening time. If your battery runs out, a 15-minute quick charge keeps you listening for 1 hour. Looking for high-end running headphones? This is the model for you.

Jabra Elite Active 75t 4


Jabra Elite Active 75t

Better active noise reduction

Thanks to their active noise reduction and waterproofing, the Jabra Elite Active 75t headphones are specially designed for running. You can listen to music while you practice your favorite sport.

135 £ on Amazon

The Jabra Elite Active 75t are among the best running headphones you can find on the market today. They are wireless, so you don't have to worry about wires during your workouts. They fit perfectly in all ear shapes and are sweat-proof with its IP57 certification.

This pair of headphones ensures a clear and very good quality sound. You could customize the sound endlessly with the MyControl and Mysound features. You will be getting a great deal when you buy the Jabra Elite Active 75t at a very good price.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best running headphones

Any specific needs?

The best running headphones in 2021

The best entry-level running headphones

The best high-end running headphones

Better active noise reduction

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best running headphones

Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro 5
Sennheiser CX 686G Sports 6
Powerbeats Pro 7
Jabra Elite Active 75t 8
Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro
Sennheiser CX 686G Sports
Powerbeats Pro
Jabra Elite Active 75t
The Apple AirPods Pro live up to their reputation. Offering perfect sound, these headphones are made for running and sports enthusiasts in general. You won't find better ones on the market.
Treat yourself to this high-quality pair of headphones to listen to music during your workouts. Plus, the Sennheiser CX 686G Sports will save you tens of dollars.
Featuring Apple's H1 chip, the Powerbeats Pro are a very practical headset. Thanks to this, you can listen to your favorite tracks without ever interrupting your workouts, no matter what the weather.
Thanks to their active noise reduction and waterproofing, the Jabra Elite Active 75t headphones are specially designed for running. You can listen to music while you practice your favorite sport.
Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC
Bluetooth class 1
Bluetooth 5.0 - Range: up to 10 m
Battery life
4.5 hrs listening. 24 hrs with charging case
9 hrs listening and 24 hrs with charging case
5.5 hrs listening and talking. 24 h with charging case
Sweat resistant
Yes with IP57 certification
Compatible smartphones
Android and iOS
Android and iOS

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Buying guide - running headphones

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How to choose your running headphones

Choosing headphones is hard enough. The choice is even more complex when it comes to running headphones. The model you buy must be comfortable during your workouts. It should also be able to withstand certain conditions such as exposure to sweat. Find out how to choose the right running headphones below.

#1 - Wired or wireless?

Wireless running headphones are all the rage. It's much more comfortable to run without getting caught in the headphone cables. That's not to say that wired models are out of style. These wired headphones are generally more affordable in terms of price. All you need to do is find a model with a reinforced cable.

#2 - Battery life

If you opt for wireless headphones, battery life is a criterion you need to consider with the utmost care. It would be a shame if the battery runs out in the middle of a workout. Good wireless headphones should have an average battery life of 4 hours. The longer the battery life, the better. Also consider the battery life with the charger box and the battery life offered by fast charging.

#3 - Waterproofing

When you work out, you're bound to sweat. If your headphones are not waterproof, they may get damaged very quickly. When buying, always check if the model you're interested in is moisture and sweat resistant. IP certification defines the level of resistance of electrical devices to water splashes. IP-certified models are therefore to be preferred especially if you sweat a lot during your workouts.

#4 - The orders

Running headphones should allow you to keep running while changing title, adjusting the volume or even taking your calls. So the controls must be easily accessible. Some models now incorporate powerful processors that provide a variety of controls. These controls are tuned to features like blanking out external noise or automatically selecting

your favorite songs.

#5 - Sound quality

Beyond all of the above criteria, sound quality remains one of the main factors to consider when buying running headphones. They should offer clear sound that will help you fully enjoy listening to music while running. Nowadays, running headphones can be offered with applications that allow you to customize the sound effects according to your taste and the kind of music you listen to.

How do I care for my running headphones?

Running headphones need regular maintenance. This will prolong the life of the earphones and keep the sound quality up. After each workout, be sure to wipe them down with a tissue or cloth and dry them before putting them back in the case.

To maintain the battery, be sure to charge it before using the headphones. By following the charging cycles, you'll optimize the battery's performance. Also, avoid leaving them completely flat for extended periods of time. This will directly affect the life of the battery.

Use a cotton swab and absorbent cotton to clean your headphones. Scrub each part of the earpiece and remove embedded dirt and small debris. Even if your earphones are IP-rated, you should avoid immersing them in water to clean them.

The different types of running headphones

There are two main categories of running headphones. On the one hand, there are the wired headphones that were legion even a decade ago. More recently, Bluetooth headphones have come to compete with them. Each type of earbuds has its advantages and disadvantages.

Wired running headphones

Wired running headphones are not as fragile as they once were. Today, manufacturers have developed reinforcements that make these headphones truly durable accessories.

You don't need much fiddling. Just plug the headphones in and you're done. When choosing this type of running headset, make sure the cables are reinforced and have a clip to attach them to your shirt. Wired headphones are also very affordable in terms of price. So they'll work for you if you're on a budget.


  • Better performance
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Very good quality/price ratio
  • Ambient noise reduction


  • Limited movement
  • Fragility of the wire
  • Design a bit simple

Who is it for?

The manufacturers of wired running headphones are specifically targeting all athletes, amateur or professional, training inside a gym. Also, if your workouts don't require much movement, this type of equipment will suit you perfectly.

Bluetooth running headphones

Bluetooth running headphones are becoming more and more popular. Wireless, they are much more convenient especially during workouts that require a lot of arm movement. They are also more discreet and offer many features.

When choosing Bluetooth headphones, you should check their autonomy. This one is generally satisfactory. However, some entry-level models have a very short autonomy. Also note that Bluetooth running headphones are generally more expensive than wired models.


  • Comfortable and functional
  • Offer more freedom of movement
  • Reliable and intuitive
  • Good sound quality


  • Limited time of use
  • Possibility of picking up different channels at the same time
  • Not designed to take calls, except for a certain number of models

Who's it for?

Bluetooth running headphones are perfect for those who are looking for equipment that is suitable for intense exercise. They're especially good if you don't want to deal with a lot of wires during your sessions.

Running headset or running helmet?

Running headset

Running headphones are discreet. Their in-ear design can even make them almost invisible. Whether wired or Bluetooth, the headphones take up little space and allow you to move around without too much strain. The risk of detachment is also limited. They are nevertheless capable of ensuring good sound quality and are offered at more or less affordable prices depending on the model and range.

Running helmet

Running headphones are much larger. Like headphones, they are designed to fit the training conditions of athletes. Their size and attachment are not always a real problem, although the risk of dropping the helmet is very real. The models dedicated to the practice of sport are generally equipped with Bluetooth connectivity. Moreover, they can function without being coupled to a smartphone by integrating a slot for micro SD. The sound quality is better with a headset. In terms of price, you'll need to budget more if you want to buy a top-of-the-range running headset.


The choice between headphones and running headphones is totally subjective. The most demanding in terms of sound will prefer headphones. Those who prefer discretion and comfort will prefer to wear small headphones. Budget is also an important factor that can influence your choice. In the same range, Bluetooth headphones are generally more expensive than wireless headphones.

The benefits of running with music

Improves your mood

Physical exertion can often have a negative effect on your mood (if it hurts, you get cranky!) So listening to music can make you happier and even before you start a sports session, it makes you completely in a good mood. Besides, there are often disturbing noises that can come and disturb you during your jogging time like barking dogs or car horns, listening to music is also a way to detach yourself from them.


During low to moderate intensity exercise, music can distract you from feelings of exertion and fatigue. This allows you to be more motivated and even to excel. And while it's nice to run and enjoy the scenery, sometimes you want to distract yourself a bit. Music is there for that, because it's a good way to escape and enjoy your outings in a different way.


Music can alter your emotional and physiological excitement. That's why so many athletes use music as part of their pre-performance routine for that "psyche".

Rhythmic response.

There is strong evidence to suggest that synchronizing movement with music leads to greater endurance and movement efficiency. Music enhances performance and rhythm reduces feelings of fatigue and perceived effort. In all, music helps to be more efficient during sports sessions.

Triggers positive emotions

So, what music is best and how do you choose a performance playlist? According to experts, there are five factors that you should consider: tempo, genre, lyrics, the memories that the music can trigger and the compilation of tracks. In general, tracks that are at tempo with motivating lyrics that trigger positive emotions are the best.


Connect your running headphones.

Connecting running headphones to your smartphone is simple. Pairing is the same as with other Bluetooth-connected devices. Be sure to disconnect other devices linked to your Bluetooth to facilitate pairing with your headphones.

Pay attention to the sound pressure.

In-ear headphones can put a lot of sound pressure on your ears. So when buying your in-ear running headphones, make sure the sound pressure it causes is not too high.

Activate the external noise suppression function.


isolating outside noise, you'll be able to hear the music playing in your earphones better. This prevents you from turning up the volume at the risk of assaulting your eardrums. Note that this feature is not always present on all running headphones.

Use the equalizer on your smartphone.


sound equalizer is integrated into your smartphone or the application compatible with the headphones. Using this equalizer helps you tailor the sound to your taste, but also to the type of music you're listening to. It can also limit the negative effects of using headphones on your ears.

Observe the volume limits.


important to know that exposure to too much noise can be harmful to your ears. To avoid both short- and long-term effects, consider sticking to your smartphone's recommended volume limits. If possible, don't play your songs at maximum volume.


What is the best running headset?

The best running headset depends on your needs and budget. Read our buying guide to find out which products are the best.

What role does music play in your running?

Listening to music while running can be very beneficial. It can make the workout much more enjoyable. Music can also set the pace or put you in the mood depending on the intensity of the workout. According to a study, music is also able to increase sports performance. The increase is around 5% to 7%. It is therefore an excellent way to stay motivated while performing better.

Why choose headphones specifically for sports?

During your sports sessions, the headphones will be subjected to more difficult conditions. Your body will be moving a lot. This means that simple headphones can easily fall out. Running headphones have been specially designed to stay in place during your workouts, no matter how often and intensely you move. They are also designed to withstand sweat as you will be sweating a lot while exercising.

Is the use of the armband important?

The armband is very useful if you have wired running headphones. The cable won't have to run across your body and interfere with your arm movements. It is also convenient to wear your smartphone on an armband rather than placing it in your pocket.

Are there headphones for professional athletes?

Yes, some high-end models have been manufactured to meet the needs of high-level athletes. However, they are intended for training purposes. Indeed, it is generally forbidden to wear headphones during professional sports competitions.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro 9
Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro
Sennheiser CX 686G Sports 10
Sennheiser CX 686G Sports
Powerbeats Pro 11
Powerbeats Pro
Jabra Elite Active 75t 12
Jabra Elite Active 75t


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