Gear Review: Great Headphones for Fitness Buffs

Whether you like lifting to Lady Gaga, swimming to Sting or hitting the pavement to Pavement (the band, of course), most athletes agree that music can sometimes make or break a workout. Studies show that fast-paced beats can distract you from pain and fatigue while simultaneously boosting your heart rate. It’s important to have a pair of headphones or earbuds that can effectively energize your workouts but won’t quit while you’re getting your sweat on. After putting many to the test, the DailyBurn team selected our favorites for swimming, cycling and running. BYO music! 


Underwater Audio Swimbuds Perfect Set
Comfortable while also delivering good sound quality, the Swimbuds WaterProof Headphones have an extra-short cord that “doesn’t need to be wrapped around and around your goggles strap,” noted our reviewer. If you don’t have a waterproof case for your music player, we recommend the durable and unobtrusive waterproof iPod Shuffle. ($30 for Swimbuds, $170 for Waterproof iPod Shuffle;

x-1 Surge Freestyle Feel
Waterproof when submerged up to 12-feet underwater, the x-1 Surge Mini Waterproof Sport Headphones are versatile and function well both in and out of the pool. Our tester raved about the sound quality and noted that he could hear an appropriate amount of ambient noise while outside. The headphones come with five sets of interchangeable tips so you can ensure a snug fit. ($50;

Pyle Neckband
Surround Sound
Instead of investing in both waterproof headphones and a music device fit for swimming, try this all-in-one Pyle Audio Waterproof Neckband Headphones with Built-in MP3 Player that can store up to four gigabytes of your favorite jams. Wrap the band behind your head and pop the buds into your ears. Then go ahead and dive in! ($123;

iSport Strive


Hear What’s Near
These Monster iSport Strive In-Ear Headphones sit outside the ear canal, allowing in ambient noise to help keep you attuned to your surroundings — like busy streets. Though the unique fit might take some getting used to at first, these headphones won’t slip out of your ears even on the toughest course. ($80;

Off Road Tracks
The crisp audio quality of the Sennheiser PMX 685i Sport Headset Neckband pumped up our reviewer, who put this lightweight, .67-ounce product to the test mountain biking. The band sits comfortably below a helmet, and the in-ear design ensures nothing will fall out of place on bumpy trail rides. ($80;

AfterShokz Sportz M2 Open Ear Headphones
Play It Safe
Appealing to those who prioritize situational awareness over personal concentration, the AfterShokz Sportz M2 headphones leave your ears totally uncovered, delivering tunes via bone conduction technology. Though sound quality may not be as sharp as in-ear buds, you’ll be able to hear a car sneaking up close behind you. ($80;


Inspire for Women Turn for Tunes
Simply twist the rubber tips of the Yurbuds Inspire for women into your ears for a tight fit. These buds remained in-ear even when our reviewer dropped her iPod while stretching post-run! If you’re a price-conscious workout warrior who doesn’t need the best sound quality to get your pump on, these are for you! ($30;

Skullcandy Fix In-Ear
Jog Jams
Dubbed “awesome” by one of our reviewers who used these during a 5K, the Skullcandy Fix In-Ear with Mic are ideal for those who crave isolation while running or lifting. Due to angled buds designed to mimic the ear canal, it’d take a lot of sweat for these to slide out of place. ($50;

Record Volume
Energize your workouts thanks to the the “king of the beats.” Powerbeats by Dr. Dre, flexible over-ear buds, allow you to bump the bass. Our reviewer liked that the cords didn’t tangle in his bag, and the superior audio quality. “It’s what you’d expect from a music producer and doesn’t disappoint,” he raved. ($150;

Did we miss your favorite headphones? Tell us what your picks in the comments below!