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.

AfterShokz Aeropex Bluetooth Headset 1

Editor's Choice

AfterShokz Aeropex Bluetooth Headset

The best running headphones in 2021

AfterShokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones are a combination of attractive design and innovative audio performance with PremiumPitch 2+. Athletes will be able to listen to music with their ears free for at least 8 hours.

136 £ on Amazon

The AfterShokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones are specially designed for athletes. You'll enjoy an amazing audio experience with PremiumPitch 2+, which offers an expanded bass range, as well as clearer call quality. The latter is due to its dual noise-canceling microphone. AfterShokz Aeropex also offers comfort and a good fit, even during sudden movements, making it the ideal headset for sports.

In addition, IP67 certified, this open-ear helmet is resistant to sweat and moisture. However, it is not recommended for swimming. Bluetooth 5.0 ensures a stable connection. This model is also considered to be the lightest so far. And for a full charge, you will have to enjoy a continuous use for 8 hours.

TOZO T12 2

Best cheapest


The best entry-level running headphones

These Bluetooth headphones were specially designed for listening to music or making calls while playing sports. The tactile control of the features allows for fast transmission. They also feature long battery life and an attractive design.

23,99 £ on Amazon
Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro 3

Best high end

Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro

The best high-end running headphones

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.

See price

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.

Bose Soundsport 4

Excellent quality

Bose Soundsport

Better active noise reduction

The Sound Sport in-ear headphones from Bose weigh in at just 23g. Blue in color, they work via Bluetooth and deliver a well-balanced sound while staying alert to outside noise.

89,60 £ on Amazon

These headphones incorporate a Bose active equalization system to deliver balanced sound at any volume. For extended listening, the recommended charging time is 2 hours for 6 hours of listening time. Wireless technology makes Bluetooth and CCP pairing more convenient and easier.

The Bose Sound Sport Bluetooth headphones have StayHear tips for a better fit in the ears during sports workouts. Beyond that, they're highly resistant to weather and perspiration, so they'll last longer. Finally, you won't have to worry about them falling out even when you're exercising.

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

AfterShokz Aeropex Bluetooth Headset 5
TOZO T12 6
Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro 7
Bose Soundsport 8
AfterShokz Aeropex Bluetooth Headset
Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro
Bose Soundsport
AfterShokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones are a combination of attractive design and innovative audio performance with PremiumPitch 2+. Athletes will be able to listen to music with their ears free for at least 8 hours.
These Bluetooth headphones were specially designed for listening to music or making calls while playing sports. The tactile control of the features allows for fast transmission. They also feature long battery life and an attractive design.
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.
The Sound Sport in-ear headphones from Bose weigh in at just 23g. Blue in color, they work via Bluetooth and deliver a well-balanced sound while staying alert to outside noise.
Sound quality
Battery life
8 h
6 hours
4.5 hours
5 hours
Bluetooth 5.0 technology and easy pairing
Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC
Waterproof certification
IP 67

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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 to wear during your workouts. It also has to be able to handle 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 - Controls

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 nearly invisible. Whether wired or Bluetooth, the headphones take up little space and let you move around without too much strain. The risk of detachment is also limited. They are nevertheless able to ensure a good quality of sound and are proposed at more or less affordable prices according to the model and the 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 real. The models dedicated to sports are generally equipped with Bluetooth connectivity. Moreover, they can operate 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 afford a high-end running headset.


The choice between headphones and running headphones is totally subjective. The most demanding in terms of sound will prefer the 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 generally cost more 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 workout, it makes you completely in a good mood. Besides, there are often disturbing noises that can come and disturb you in your jogging moment like barking dogs or car horns, listening to music is also a way to detach from them.


During low to moderate intensity exercise, music can distract you from the feelings of effort 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 get away from it all 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 increases performance and rhythm reduces the feeling of fatigue and the perception of 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 should be considered: tempo, genre, lyrics, the memories that 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.

Be aware of 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.

Enable the external noise cancellation 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.

Respect 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's the best running headset?

The best running headset depends on your needs and budget. Read our buying guide for the best products out there.

What role does music play during your runs?

Listening to

music while running can be very beneficial. It helps make the workout much more enjoyable. Music can also set the pace or get 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 a great way to stay motivated while performing better.

Why choose headphones specifically for sports?


your sports sessions, the headphones will be subjected to more difficult conditions. Your body will be moving a lot. So simple earbuds can fall out easily. Running headphones are specifically designed to stay in place during your workouts, no matter how often or how hard you move. They are also designed to withstand sweat since you will be sweating a lot while exercising.

Is the use of the armband important?


armband is very useful if you have wired running headphones. The cable will then not have to cross your body at the risk of hindering your arm movements. It's also convenient to wear your smartphone on an armband rather than placing it in your pocket.

Are there headphones for professional athletes?


some high-end models have been made to meet the needs of very high-level athletes. They are, however, 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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See more


March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
AfterShokz Aeropex Bluetooth Headset 9
AfterShokz Aeropex Bluetooth Headset
TOZO T12 10
Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro 11
Running headphones - Apple AirPods Pro
Bose Soundsport 12
Bose Soundsport


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