4 Best Over-Ear Head­phones for Work­ing Out

Namrata Gogoi

Music and workouts go hand in hand. There's nothing like a good upbeat song matching your beat while running at your top speed. While over-ear headphones are a bit bulkier than wireless earbuds, they let you enjoy your favorite music in all their glory. At the same time, most of them have good passive noise cancellation. So, if you are not comfortable wearing wireless earbuds while at the gym, we have compiled a list of the best over-ear headphones for working out.

4 Best Over Ear Headphones for Working Out

These earphones stay put in your ears, and provided you have fitted them well, they remain anchored throughout your workout routines. However, you must note that over-ear earphones are a tad less comfortable compared to in-ear headphones or smaller earbuds since the earpads make your ears warm and sweaty.

Nevertheless, if you are willing to go ahead, here are a few of our best recommendations for the best over-ear headphones for the gym. But before that,

1. Beats Studio3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

Beats Studio3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

The Beats Studio3 bundles Apple's W1 chip and brings home an improved sound performance. They bundle Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), which means you can block out the outside world while working on yourself. At the same time, the sound performance is dynamic, and the bass-heavy audio output is a plus. They are lightweight and comfortable and have stable holding even when you move around a lot.

The latter is made possible by the adjustable headband. The best part is that the W1 chip brings home an extended range, and you'll be able to move around the gym without the music cutting off.

As we noted earlier, the Beat Studio3 delivers bass-heavy music. The audio delivery is dynamic, and you will love the punch in the music. But, these are premium headphones and bring home some interesting features. For example, the ANC can be tweaked as per the environment and the ambient sound.

With these headphones, you get a pretty long battery life. On a single charge and with ANC on, you will get up to 22 hours. With ANC off, you will get around 40 hours.

With these headphones, you get pretty long battery life. On a single charge and with ANC on, you will get up to 22 hours. With ANC off, you will get around 40 hours.

Like all over-ear headphones, they have some limitations. For one, if you tend to work out for longs sessions, your ears may end up warm and become sweaty. That said, these headphones are also excellent for flights, traveling, or when you want to block out any distractions while you work.

If you do not mind taking premium headphones to your gym, you can also check out the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Jabra Elite 85h. Both of these headphones provide long battery life and noise cancellation to the foyer. However, if you want the best of the lot, then the Sony WH-1000XM4 proves to be the better buy.

2. Bose Soundlink Wireless Headphones II

Bose Soundlink Wireless Headphones II

The Bose Soundlink Wireless Headphones II has been in the market for quite a long time, but they still prove to be a clever pick. They sound excellent, and more importantly, they are very comfortable to wear-be it outdoors or indoors. Unlike the one above, the Soundlink headphones do not have ANC. However, the memory foam earpads do a pretty good job of cutting out the ambient noise.

Looks-wise, they look like the QuietComfort 25. They are lightweight which makes them incredibly comfortable to wear in the long run. The battery life is fairly decent and gives you around 15 hours of playback on a single charge. This means you will get through a week of music if you plan to use these headphones only in the gym.

Interestingly, the Soundlink Wireless Headphones II comes with fast charging that gives you 2 hours' worth of battery life on charging for merely 15 minutes.

However, unlike the one above, you won't get dynamic music or booming bass. The audio delivery is clean and balanced and the odds are that you will like the clear audio delivery.

These Soundlink II headphones also prove to be apt for calls as well. Plus, the Bluetooth multipoint ensures that you do not have to spend time pairing and re-pairing these headphones to your phone.

Long story short, if you don't care much about bass-heavy music, the Soundlink II won't disappoint.

3. JLab Flex Sport Gym Workout Headphones

JLab Flex Sport Gym Workout Headphones

The JLab Flex Sports headphones are priced way less than their counterparts above and bring a decent audio performance to the table. More importantly, they are IPX4 rated and are lightweight. If we talk numbers, they weigh around 6.3 ounces. The highlight of these sports headphones is their highly flexible headband (hence the name) and washable earpads.

So if you are someone who sweats excessively during their cardio routines, then these headphones are the one for you. On top of that, the IPX4 rating protects to from water splashes and sweat damage.

However, the low price point means you will have to give up on some features, and here, it's the audio delivery. While the audio is balanced, you won't get the nuanced audio. You seldom want to hear the intricate details of some random workout mix when you are furiously peddling on your cycle. If you care about the beats, and the Bass Boost mode of the JLab headphones does that well enough.

On top of that, it sports a sound transparency mode that lets in ambient noise. This feature comes to the picture if you often go out to run or walk outdoors.

Again, you get long battery life. On paper, these JLabs headphones are expected to run for around 20 hours. They come with USB-C charging. The bottom line is if you are looking for over-ear headphones purely for the gym, then the affordable JLab Flex Sports headphones are a good pick.

4. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100

Other affordable headphones that you can use in the gym are the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100. Like the one above, these are water-resistant headphones and carry an IPX5 rating. Furthermore, they are lightweight, and the clamping design ensures that they do not slide off your head even when you are running on the treadmill at top speed. They are super affordable and costs less than $80.

However, the primary highlight of these headphones is the fit. There's an adjustable latch on the headband, which lets you adjust the tension on the headband. The good thing is that once you are done with your workout, you can opt for a more comfortable fit. And like the JLabs Flex Sports, there's a built-in sound transparency mode which you can tweak as per your preference.

The BackBeat FIT 6100 leans towards a bass-heavy audio tone. However, the earpads do a good job of passively reducing the ambient noise. At the same time, Bluetooth 5.0 means you get a wider range, and several users on their review have backed the same.

Plantronics advertises a battery life of 24 hours, though the folks at Sound Guys were able to squeeze 26 hours of playback time on a single charge. It's worth mentioning that the BackBeat FIT 6100 also supports wired listening and Bluetooth multipoint. Bluetooth multipoint means that the headphones can be connected to two devices. And when the time comes, you can easily switch between them.

The BackBeat FIT 6100 sports touch-sensitive panels.

Alternatively, you can check out the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless. They are tight over the head and are versatile.

Sweat it Out

There are a bunch of premium over-ear headphones out there. But when it comes to using them in the gym or for your workouts, we are sure you wouldn't want your sweat to damage the leather or the delicate memory form pads.

Hence, it's wise to invest in a pair of headphones that deliver decent music but have a great fit. After all, you wouldn't want your headphones slipping down your head when lifting weights, right? At the same time, you'd want something that can be easily folded and put and stuffed in your gym bag.


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Namrata loves writing about products and gadgets. She has been working for Guiding Tech since 2017 and has around three years of experience writing features, how-tos, buying guides, and explainers. Previously she worked as an IT Analyst at TCS, but she found her calling elsewhere.