We’re looking at the best cheap wireless headphones for running, and we’re talking headphones that are sub-£100 (or $125 US). Our list includes in-earphones and on-ear headphones. You might be surprised to read that people wear headphones when they go running, but almost any on-ear and over-ear headphone can be made sweat-proof by adding covers to the cushions.
Wireless headphones can be a runner’s best friend. You don’t get tangled in the cords, they’re easy to store and to wear. Bluetooth headphones have dropped in price in recent years so now even those on smaller budgets can take advantage of exercising wirelessly.
These lightweight in-earphones are splash and sweatproof with a Bluetooth range of 10 metres. Battery life is around 6-hours and recharging via USB gives you a full charge in about 90-minutes. There’s a quick-charge function, too, where 10 minutes gives around an hours playback which is perfect for people who forget to charge up before hitting the gym.
There’s a range of ear fins and ear adapters (from small to extra-large) included in the box so there’s every chance you’ll find a good fit.
A three-button remote helps manage calls and control playback for whatever device you're listening to.
We were impressed with both the Jabra Move and the Jabra Move Style Wireless headphones when we wrote about them earlier this year. They’re attractive to wear and they make it easy to take calls during a run. As you’d expect from Jabra, the sound quality of calls is high. The headband is adjustable and they’re lightweight so they’re not going to weigh you down when you’re mid-run. There’s 8 hours battery for the Move Wireless and 14 for the Move Style Wireless.
The Move Wireless is easy to carry, although it doesn’t fold down which is frustrating if you’re having to take them to the gym. Pairing the headphones to your device is really easy, and you can control the functions from the left earcup. These headphones aren’t sweat-resistant, though. We’d recommend adding moisture-proof headphone covers to protect the cushions.
We were pleasantly surprised by the Skullcandy Hesh 3 when we wrote about it earlier in 2019. Skullcandy are known for making brash and colourful headphones for teenagers, and its headphones have always been bass-heavy, but the Hesh feels a little different. It’s a wireless headphone with a battery life of 22-hours for a start. There’s a rapid-charge function that will give 90-minutes playback from a 5-minute charge. 10-minutes will give you 4-hours (ideal for runners who might have forgotten to plug-in before lacing up). The Hesh 3 collapses down easily, making transporting these to and from a gym handy. It’s worth knowing, however, that as on-ear headphones, some users have noted that the ‘clamping’ effect is harder or these. Clamping is something that happens with most on-ear headphones but it could be a dealbreaker if you’re planning on wearing the Hesh 3s for extended runs. There are a few things you can do to make on-ear headphones more comfortable and these include stretching them out a little.
With the addition of Jabra’s COMPLY foam ear tips, these in-earphones give you improved passive noise-cancellation and less sound leakage. For runners in a gym environment, then these are ideal. If you’re running outside, however, it’s worth thinking about whether earphones with noise-cancellation is a good idea. Situational awareness can be vital when running outdoors. These have a heart monitor, too, that can measure your heart rate from your inner ear. Water, shock and dust resistant, you can wear these outdoors. There’s a range of wingtips and silicone tips in the box to help you enjoy the best fit, too.
Anker SoundBuds Slim
These aren’t the greatest headphones on this list but they are the cheapest and they do represent good value for money. They’re lightweight and they come with additional ear tips and hooks to give a comfortable and secure fit. A full charge of between 1.5 to 2 hours will give you around 7-hours of playback. The earpieces are made of metal and so should be more hardwearing than other brands. This could be useful if you’re running outside. They’re water-resistant, too, which is, again, handy for outdoor runners. Sound quality seems reasonable -- not the greatest but then these are retailing at less than £20.
There’s a huge range of cheap wireless headphones for running. What’s best for you will depend on what’s important to you when you exercise. For some people, it’s clear sound quality, for others it might be sweat-proof cushions or weight or noise-cancellation.
Some of us have probably purchased cheap headphones or earphones in the past because we expect to damage them during exercise. All that running, sweating and moving can make us nervous about wearing our best headphones - our Bose, our Sennheiser and Beats. Wearing cheap wireless headphones for running, however, doesn’t have to mean sweating it out and then expecting to keep replacing them.
EarHugz are sweat-proof headphone covers that protect cushions from moisture damage, sweat and make-up stains. They fit a huge range of headphones include Beats, Bose, Sennheiser, Philips, Sony, Skullcandy, Jabra… Available in a range of awesome designs, they’re affordable, hypoallergenic and easy to machine-wash. Not feeling the colours? Each design is fully-reversible to black, too.
Do you like to wear cheap headphones for running? Or do you take a premium pair out with you? Drop us a message below and let us know.