Best Gym Headphones: Active Sport Earbuds

Women in Gym with Over Head Headphones on Treadmill

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Best Over-Ear Headphones for the Gym

Music and headphones have become an integral part of workout routines worldwide. The right music will inspire you to give 110% at the gym, make the experience more pleasant, and help you focus.

Editor’s Pick
Treblab Z2 Headphones for Working Out

The Treblab Z2 includes a case and ANC and comes under $100, a great price point for a set of over-ear gym headphones. The thing that kills headphones is moisture, so wearing your $500 Apple Airpod Max probably isn’t worth it, no matter how cool you think you look.
For this price, you get sound, motivation, and a carefree workout.

If you truly strive to give your best, it’s crucial you get the right set of headphones for that extra boost. Users usually opt for one of two types, over-ear headphones or earbuds. If you fall in the first category, you’re in the right place!

In my pursuit of the best over-ear workout headphones, I kept my eyes peeled for products that are:

  • Waterproof – because you can’t have excess sweat ruin your cans
  • Wireless – because cables can cause discomfort at best and injuries at worst
  • Comfortable – because you need it to focus
  • Rich and low- and mid-range frequencies – to get you pumped up

Although sound quality is important, I can say from first-hand experience that extra comfort can benefit your workout routine much more than a boost in sonic delivery. With that said, let’s check out the goods!

1. Premium Option – Jabra Elite 85h

jabra elite

If you’re up for spending a few extra dollars to enter the premium domain, check out the Jabra Elite 85h.

This set offers everything I look for in a set of workout headphones. The key stand-out feature compared to the Treblab model is the build quality. While Treblab truly delivered everything they could in their price range, the quality of materials on the Jabra Elite is superior.

We are looking at a set of noise-canceling headphones, so some ear fatigue is unavoidable since your ears are clamped. But the cups are surprisingly soft and comfortable and the headband sticks firmly to your head without pushing too much to cause discomfort.

This set will follow you through a solid two-hour session without a single hitch!

In the water resistance category, the Elite again stands out, offering rain resistance. Not only can you sweat to the max while working out, but you can also take these out for a jog in the rain.

Even if you’re not into jogging in the rain, it’s good to know nothing will happen to your headphones if rain catches you outside!

36 hours of operation is more than alright in my book, and I have to single out the SmartSound Audio feature. Not only will this set deliver exceptional sonic performance across the board, with booming basses, punchy mids, and clear trebles, but the audio output is also adaptable to your environment.

This means the onboard tech analyzes your surroundings and adjusts the sonic output accordingly. 

These are by no means cheap headphones, but considering what you get, I have to say it’s great value for money. If you can afford these beast cans, I say go for it!


What’s in the Box?

  • Jabra Elite 85h headphones
  • Carrying case
  • 3.5 mm audio cable
  • USB-C cable
  • User manual


  • Exceptional comfort
  • Amazing sonic spectrum with the built-in SmartSound Audio feature
  • Rain-resistant
  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Top value for money


  • Expensive

2. Treblab Z2 Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones

Treblab Z2 Headphones for Working Out

The biggest selling point of the Treblab Z2 headphones is the company’s approach to this product. They took a specific niche – workout headphones – and perfected a set of cans that delivers premium performance in all areas critical for the target domain.

In short, the Z2 has everything that makes the best set of workout headphones at an amazing price.

You might notice a sign saying “IPX4 certified” or something along those lines. This means the cans are waterproof and can take water splashes. In practical terms, I can confirm you can sweat hard while wearing these. As long as it’s not out in pouring rain, you’re good.

When it comes to construction, it impressed once more. The company did its homework, that’s for sure! Yes, the ear pads are comfortable and don’t cause excessive sweating. That’s great, but what I love is the flexibility. Z2 is not rigid at all and not flimsy either.

I love the way they adapt to my head and ears, whether I’m running or lifting weights – one of the reasons why this set is the Editor’s Pick.

It offers Bluetooth connectivity. You can count on up to 35 hours of continuous operation, more than enough for all workout sessions.

View at Treblab

What’s in the Box?

  • Treblab Z2 headphones
  • Carrying case
  • 3.5 mm audio cable
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • User manual


  • 100% workout optimized
  • Great battery life
  • High-quality sound with Active Noise Cancellation
  • IPX4 waterproof certified
  • Exceptional comfort
  • Modern looks


  • Ear cup material could be slightly better.

3. Budget Pick – PowerLocus Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones

Screen Shot 2022 01 21 at 19.49.37

If you want to spend the least possible amount of money and still get a solid product, the answer is PowerLocus Bluetooth.

The No. 1 thing I liked here is the comfort. I already said comfort is crucial with workout headphones, and this model is as comfy as significantly pricier cans. The PowerLocus sports protein leather memory foam both on the headband and the earcups.

The material is soft, but it’s not the only thing affecting the comfort factor. Another key point is the stretchable, foldable headband. So the headphones can adapt to any head and then grip it comfortably.

This is a wireless set with a solid battery, delivering around 15 hours of continuous operation. In the sonic department, PowerLocus is decent. These are not audiophile headphones, but the sound quality is still above the listed price range if you ask me.

The basses are strong; when combined with the comfort we just talked about, you’re looking at a surprisingly top-notch workout experience. And to top it off, its look is pretty cool, and you get a sweet carrying case. Thumbs up!


What’s in the Box?

  • PowerLocus headphones
  • Carrying case
  • 3.5 mm audio cable
  • Charging cable
  • User manual


  • Amazing quality for such an affordable price tag
  • Surprisingly comfortable
  • Solid sound quality
  • Cool looks


  • Not the greatest controls placement

4. Best for Running – JBL Live 660NC

Screen Shot 2022 01 21 at 19.52.06

“Workout” is a bit of a broad term, and I like to draw a clear distinction between gym workouts and outdoor running. If your routine mostly involves running outside, you need to approach your headphone choice a bit differently.

We’re still looking for comfort and sound quality, but we’re also looking for a specific type of noise cancelation and, of course, a higher waterproof rating.

This Bluetooth model sports Adaptive Noise Canceling technology. The tech focuses on cutting out the noise but still keeping the user attuned to their environment. You can rest assured that you can safely walk the streets or run in the park.

Since running sessions often last longer than regular gym workouts, I wanted to highlight a set of cans with top-notch battery power. And indeed, these puppies deliver 50 hours of continuous operation – just wow!

You can manage calls via an onboard set of control buttons. The sound is rich and detailed, and the build quality is high-end. You can easily wear this set for many hours without discomfort.

View at JBL

What’s in the Box?

  • JBL Live 660NC headphones
  • Audio cable
  • Charging cable
  • User manual


  • Perfect noise canceling for outdoor running
  • Highly comfortable
  • Rich and textured sound
  • Amazing 50 hours of operation


  • Not the best pick if you want full noise cancelation

5. Best Value – Anker Soundcore Life Q30

Screen Shot 2022 01 21 at 20.22.49 1

Another option that I think deserves your attention is the Anker Soundcore Life Q30. If you want something affordable but above the low-budget range, this is the one.

What makes this model stand out in my book is its versatility. Once again, we’re looking at a wireless set with Active Noise Cancelation, but not just any ANC. The Advanced ANC this set offers presents users with three different modes of noise cancelation: Transport, Outdoor, and Indoor.

The Transport mode cuts out noises like engine sounds, be it airplanes or any other means of transportation. In Outdoor mode, the headphones cut out wind and traffic, while Indoor mode reduces the noise you normally hear in work offices – people talking, for example.

In the sonic department, these cans rock a set of 40mm drivers. The audio output is fairly even, with no frequency overlapping and an equal punch on all fronts. The headphones adapt well to all music genres, including the more gym-friendly tunes. For the listed price, it’s hard to bead this one.


What’s in the Box?

  • Anker Soundcore Life Q30 headphones
  • 3.5 mm audio cable
  • USB-C cable
  • Travel case
  • User manual


  • Top value for money
  • Noise cancelation versatility
  • Clear sound
  • A40 hours of playtime


  • Minor microphone issues

6. Also Consider – Beats Studio3

Screen Shot 2022 01 21 at 20.26.45

I’ll wrap things up with a little something from Beats, the Studio3 model. Falling into the high-end domain, this is one fine set of headphones.

As you might have expected, I have to say the sound quality is amazing. The basses are just booming across the board, the mids are punchy yet pleasant, and the treble section is loud and clear, rounding up a well-defined sonic attack.

The noise cancelation is exceptional, and 22 hours of battery operation on a single charge is more than enough to cover your workout needs. The headphones are driven by Apple’s W1 chip, and the connectivity is top-notch.

In terms of comfort, this is one of the best options. The company made no cuts in getting premium materials, and the result is a set of soft and comfy earcups and a durable yet flexible headband that easily fits users of all types and shapes.


What’s in the Box?

  • Beats Studio3 headphones
  • Travel case
  • 3.5mm RemoteTalk cable
  • USB charging cable
  • Quick Start Guide + Beats Warranty Card


  • Exceptional sound quality
  • High durability and comfort
  • Premium build
  • Killer looks and design


  • Higher price tag


I believe that music makes you work out harder at the gym. It motivates and helps you focus. These over-ear headphones for the gym (also called Circumaural) are perfect to keep the beats pumping and the calories burning.

Any questions, let me know in the comments below!

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A musician with over 2 decades of experience in studio recording. Audiophile, always in pursuit of the perfect set of headphones. King Crimson fan.

This post was last updated on 2024-02-19 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.

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