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Best over-ear headphones for running in 2024


Finding suitable headphones for a workout can be a daunting task. You will need a pair that won't fall out during your runs, provides excellent music quality, and is tough enough to withstand weather elements. This guide will help you understand the world of over-ear headphones and find the best pair in 2024.

Whether you’re looking for crystal-clear audio, sweat-proof durability, or noise canceling technology to eliminate distractions — this list contains something for everyone. Therefore, put on your running shoes, run your playlist, and be prepared to cover those miles with motivating beats in your running headphones.

Top 5 over-the-ear headphones for running – shortlist

How to choose the best over-ear running headphones

With many options available, selecting the perfect over-ear headphones for running requires considering several vital features, such as:

  • Comfort and fit. A secure yet comfortable fit should prevent the ear cups from bouncing, slipping, or causing any irritation throughout the run. Check if the headphones are made of lightweight materials, have adjustable headbands, and have soft ear cups for additional comfort. Also, if you have smaller ears, on-ear headphones might be a better option for you than earbuds.
  • Sound quality. Choose headphones that cater to your listening preferences. Some headphones offer a balanced sound signature, while others provide powerful bass.
  • Durability. During a run, your headphones are often exposed to sweat and humidity. Therefore, we suggest going for headphones with water-resistant properties to ensure their durability during exercise or running.
  • Wireless connectivity. Forget the inconvenience of cables with wireless connectivity. A Bluetooth connection gives us the ability of unlimited movement and freedom. Ensure the headphones offer a reliable and stable wireless connection to avoid frustrating audio dropouts during your runs.
  • Battery life. Choose headphones with sufficient battery life to cover your typical running duration. Opt for headphones offering at least 6–8 hours of playback to avoid running out of battery mid-stride.
  • Noise cancellation. ANC technology is a valuable feature for blocking out external distractions like traffic noise. However, some runners prefer to stay aware of their surroundings for safety reasons. Consider your running environment and personal preference when deciding if noise cancellation is essential to you.

7 Best headphones for running – our detailed list

We've reviewed and rated the most popular over-ear headphones for running on the market to find the best 7 to suit your needs in 2024. We’ve looked into features like comfort and sound quality as well as durability, wireless connectivity, battery life, noise cancellation, and value.

1. Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless – unmatched noise-canceling performance

Noise cancellationExcellent
Sound qualityExcellent
DurabilityGreat
Battery life30 hours

The Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones offer premium sound quality as well as industry-leading noise canceling technology.

Comfort and durability. A lightweight design with plush ear cups ensures a secure fit for various head shapes and sizes. With good quality material and a water-resistant rating, these headphones are built to withstand water and sweat during workout sessions.

Sound quality. These headphones deliver a rich and balanced sound signature with a powerful bass. They also feature speak-to-chat technology for more convenience.

Wireless connectivity. Bluetooth connectivity with sensor controls play and pause the music, allowing you to keep your running pace without any interruptions.

Battery life. Up to 30 hours of battery life with ANC turned off allows you to power through even the longest runs.

Noise cancellation. Equipped with dual noise sensor microphones, adaptive sound control, and personal NC optimization, these headphones let you run without any distractions. The XM4 effectively blocks out unwanted background noise.

2. Bose QuietComfort Headphones Wireless – legendary comfort for effortless runs

Noise cancellationGreat
Sound qualityExcellent
DurabilityExcellent
Battery life24 hours

Bose QuietComfort Headphones live up to their name, delivering exceptional comfort during your runs.

Comfort and durability. Comfortable and lightweight design with plush ear cups and an adjustable headband for a secure, irritation-free fit. Durable construction with sweatproof materials ensures these headphones can handle demanding workouts.

Sound quality. Bose signature sound offers clear and balanced audio with adjustable EQ settings to personalize your listening experience.

Wireless connectivity. A reliable Bluetooth connection provides freedom of movement, while the wire cord lets you enjoy music even when out of battery.

Battery life. Offers up to 24 hours of battery life on a single charge with enough power for extended runs.

Noise cancellation. Effective noise cancellation technology offers better focus while running, while Quiet and Aware Modes keep you aware of your surroundings.

3. Beats Studio Pro Wireless – stylish design with powerful bass

Noise cancellationGreat
Sound qualityExcellent
DurabilityGreat
Battery life40 hours

The Beats Studio Pro Wireless headphones combine premium sound quality, stylish design, and effective noise cancellation. That makes them a compelling choice for fashion-conscious runners.

Comfort and durability. Utilizes memory foam ear cups and head tracking for amazing 360-degree listening during runs. It is also built with premium materials and boasts a sweat-resistant design.

Sound quality. It delivers a powerful and dynamic sound experience that keeps you energized on your runs.

Wireless connectivity. Class 1 Bluetooth with extended range and one-touch pairing for convenience. Also, fewer dropouts ensure a reliable connection.

Battery life. It features an amazing 40-hour battery, offering enough power for most runs.

Noise cancellation. Active noise cancellation effectively blocks out external noise and lets you hear what you wish to with the touch of a button.

4. Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless – an affordable option with impressive battery life

Noise cancellationGood
Sound qualityAmazing
DurabilityExcellent
Battery life40 to 60 hours

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless headphones offer a compelling combination of affordability, good features, and a long battery life, making them a great choice for budget-conscious runners.

Comfort and durability. Utilizes memory foam ear cups and an adjustable headband for a comfortable fit that stays secure during runs. Also, with lightweight materials and an IPX4 water-resistant rating, these headphones can withstand light rain and sweat.

Sound quality. Delivers a balanced and detailed sound signature with customizable EQ. At the same time, the powerful bass and other settings can be tailored to your listening experience.

Wireless connectivity. Bluetooth 5 technology ensures a stable and reliable connection.

Battery life. An impressive 40 hours of playback on a single charge with ANC enabled. While listening to music without ANC, you can enjoy it for up to 60 hours.

Noise cancellation. While not industry-leading, the ANC technology offers a decent level of noise reduction on a budget.

5. Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless – lightweight and durable choice

Noise cancellationNot available
Sound qualityGreat
DurabilityAmazing
Battery life36 hours

The Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless headphones are good for runners who want a durable design and quality sound at an affordable rate.

Comfort and durability. The snug over-ear fit with padded ear cups and an adjustable headband offers a secure fit. Also, the military-grade durability rating and an IP55 water-resistant rating make it great for runners who tackle challenging terrains or unpredictable weather.

Sound quality. With 40 mm drivers and acoustics, it offers clear audio, which is ideal for workout motivation and adding energy to your runs.

Wireless connectivity. Bluetooth 5.0 technology offers a simple connection with multiple devices for ease.

Battery life. Features up to 36 hours of playback on a single charge. And it offers enough power for most runs without needing to recharge.

Noise cancellation. While not present, the snug fit and closed-back design offers some passive noise isolation.

6. TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless – enhanced sound quality for running

Noise cancellationExcellent
Sound qualityExcellent
DurabilityGreat
Battery life45 hours

The TREBLAB Z7 Pro wireless headphones offer a budget-friendly package with a long battery life and a unique feature: Tile integration for finding misplaced headphones.

Comfort and durability. Feature memory foam ear cups with protein leather for better comfort during runs. Also made of lightweight materials with an IPX4 water-resistant rating.

Sound quality. AptX-HD sound delivers a high-definition sound signature with customizable EQ settings for a stereo-quality sound experience.

Wireless connectivity. Great connectivity with touch-enabled controls offers easy connection with multiple devices.

Battery life. An impressive 45 hours of playback on a single charge allows you to power through multiple long runs without needing to recharge.

Noise cancellation. Indulge in serenity with the Z7 Pro hybrid noise canceling technology and six environmental sensors that seamlessly transition to transparency mode.

7. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless – premium sound quality and elegant design

Noise cancellationTop-notch
Sound qualityExcellent
DurabilityGreat
Battery life60 hours

The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless headphones are comfortable with a unique transparency mode. That makes them ideal for safety-conscious runners who value both premium sound and awareness of their surroundings.

Comfort and durability. The Sennheiser Momentum offers a great fit with leather ear cups and adjustable headbands. It is made of good quality materials and boasts a water-resistant design. These headphones can handle sweat and light rain.

Sound quality. Enjoy superior sound and exceptional clarity with the aptX Adaptive and 42 mm transducer.

Wireless connectivity. Bluetooth 5.2 offers a dependable connection and no lag for streaming music and podcasts.

Battery life. You can even run marathons with its 60 hours of playback on a single charge.

Noise cancellation. Adaptive ANC technology effectively blocks out external noise while offering a transparent hearing mode that allows you to stay aware of your surroundings for safety reasons.

Comparison of top 3 over-ear running headphones

ModelSony WH-1000XM4 WirelessBose QuietComfort Headphones WirelessBeats Studio Pro Wireless
Noise cancellationExcellentGreatGreat
Sound qualityExcellentExcellentExcellent
DurabilityGreatExcellentGreat
Battery life30 hours24 hours40 hours
Main features
  • Dual Noise Sensor technology
  • WH-1000XM4 Touch Sensor controls
  • Wearing detection
  • Speak-to-chat technology
  • Plush ear cup cushions
  • High-fidelity audio
  • Adjustable EQ
  • Wired and wireless options
  • 360-degree listening
  • 3 built-in sound profiles
  • 40 hours of battery life
  • Voice targeting mics

How we selected these over-ear headsets for running

Choosing the perfect over-ear headphones for running can be overwhelming, so we've carefully curated this list based on several critical criteria that directly impact your experience on the road:

  • Comfort while running. Headphones with a lightweight design, plush ear cups, and adjustable headbands with a secure fit are used to avoid bounce, slipping, or irritation during runs. At present, these are the brands that provide good comfort: Sony WH-1000XM4, Bose QuietComfort HeadPHones, and Anker Soundcore Life Q20.
  • Sound quality. Enjoy superior sound and exceptional clarity with the aptX Adaptive and 42 mm transducer.
  • Sweat and water resistance. When it comes to running, the headphones should be sweat-proof and water-resistant. To make sure the headphones last long, we checked the IPX rating of each headset and its material, ensuring the headsets could tolerate body sweat and light rain. The TREBLAB Z7 Pro and Sony WH-1000XM4 survived the test of durability.
  • Controls and ease of use. Usability was an important factor in our reviews, and consumer rights belong to people of all skill levels. So, we checked out a variety of products from brands such as Sennheiser, Bose, and Skullcandy.

In-ear vs. on-ear: which headphones are better for running?

For runners, both in-ear and on-ear headphones have special benefits. In-ear headphones are generally smaller and lighter than other types of headphones. Hence, they have a lower propensity to slip or bounce around as you exercise. High-intensity workouts also frequently provide a more stable fit. Because they fit snugly in the ear canal, in-ear alternatives can offer superior passive noise isolation.

However, because they don't press against the ear canal directly, on-ear headphones may be more comfortable for longer runs. Some have more significant drivers and better sound quality than in-ear models. But not every running style will benefit from their looser fit, and they usually offer less passive noise isolation.

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