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LeBron James loves his Beats. Whether it’s walking to the arena before a big game, or posting his intense workout videos on Instagram, the Lakers star is always wearing the brand. And he’s not the only athlete or celebrity to endorse athletic headphones. Connor McGregor had his own line. Serena Williams often sports Beats, too.
It’s no surprise that celebrities are all in on the athletic headphone game — there are tons of great options out there. In recent years, running headphones have only improved. Whether it be noise-cancellation technology, or specifically engineered sweatproof ability, it’s easier than ever to get in a good workout with some reliable tunes going. Here are six of the best headphones to do just that, from well-known brands like Beats and Bose to more niche companies like Jabra, plus a collaboration with Under Armour. Though most fit in the ears, one great option fits over them.
1. Powerbeats Pro
Since Apple bought beats in 2014, the headphones have been hard to beat for compatibility with an Apple device. With the Powerbeats Pro, that compatibility extends to excellent performance. They’re entirely wireless, but have volume, pause/play, and connect controls on the headset.
Furthermore, the earhooks ensure that the Powerbeats don’t wiggle around during workouts, no matter how rugged your terrain might be. Beats also includes different ear inserts to adjust for various sizes or age. And, crucially, they’re entirely waterproof and sweatproof, perfect an intense workout.
2. Jabra Elite Active 75t
Jabra might not be as well known in the world of mainstream headphones; they don’t have the name recognition of a Sony or Bose. However, in the niche sphere of running headphones, the Active 75t is perhaps the most meticulously designed out there.
Jabra put tons of effort into designing its in-ear runners, using an algorithmic simulator to engineer the best fit. And the performance matches the sturdiness. As well as being sweat and dust proof, the 75t’s have proven to be workable underwater, too, lasting for up to 30 minutes at a meter below the surface. The battery life stacks up as well, with 5.5 hours of continuous use with Advanced Noise Cancelling technology in use — and even longer without.
Also worth noting is the “HearThrough” mode, a slider on your device that allows you to manually adjust how much sound from the outside world you want to let in. And, finally, different sound modes — increased bass, treble, among others — mean that you can perfectly tailor your running experience.
3. JBL Under Armour Flash
Whenever a well-known sports brand collaborates with a headphone, the resulting product is bound to be equipped for high performance. The Flash delivers on that expectation, combining the well-known sound quality of JBL with the perks of a major sports-equipment company.
Featuring an entirely wireless setup, as well as a damage-proof aluminum case, the headphones are sturdily set up for a workout. But, true to the JBL name, it’s the sound that stands out. Featuring two audio modes, “TalkThru” and “Ambient Aware”, the Flash is set up for either talking with a running buddy, or increasing various noises in the real world — all while maintaining deep bass for motivation. Waterproof and sweatproof capability round out what is the most versatile product on the market.
4. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
Sennheiser has been a major player in the headphone game for a while now, and while they’re not always the flashiest, the German maker always delivers on sound quality. They seem to have combined that substance with a bit of style for their Momentum buds.
Available in a sleek white and grey combo, the headphones certainly look the part with a functionality to match the aesthetics. Touch control means that you won’t have to mess with your phone mid-run — and it’s been tailored to make sure it won’t be over-responsive, so there will be very few unintentional skips or wrong pauses when you’re in a rhythm.
A handy app also allows you to customize what various taps on the set mean, allowing Siri activation, for accepting calls, or even switching between different sound modes — noise cancellation included. 28 hours of full charge battery life round out a great headphone, one that’s currently running for $50 below its usual price.
5. Ultimate Ears Fits
Ultimate Ears has established itself as a good brand in the wireless speaker game, with its quality and trendy “Boom” range selling out fast. And one of the company’s entries into the headphone game is worth checking out.
Fit is always a concern for runners, and Ultimate Ears has opted for a less-used lightform technology, with squishy tips over the speakers that mold to your ears in 60 seconds. The Fits model also has customizable sound to go with its already solid bass, as well as two microphones in either ear, so phone calls — or zooms — are easy. A nifty case, smaller than that of a few others on this list, make the Fits a convenient and reliable pair.
6. Bose Sport Open
Bose’s Sport Open fits differently — and in a good way. While most of the headphones on this list sit in the ear, they sit just above it. But that doesn’t mean the sound quality drops; the headphones still sound great.
In fact, everything about the Opens is solid. From the way the Opens fit snugly into their sleek case, to the various sizes of in-ear “StayHear Max” tips, the sound system has been precisely put together for a good run.
There are other features that set the Sport Open model apart. 30 feet of connectivity means you can move around fairly freely without losing connection, and two hours of charge from just 15 minutes of plug-in time ensure that they can be ready to go from scratch — and quickly, too.
Furthermore, an app allows for a slew of customizations, including naming the buds and setting controls. And, as a final incentive, the Opens are currently 10% off on Amazon.
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