When I workout, I find that listening to music helps me get in more time since it distracts me from the monotony of doing the same repetitive motions. This goes for whether I am in the gym on the treadmill or riding down by the river. Plus, science shows that listening to music while working out can help increase the effectiveness of your exercise routine.
For a long time, I had kind of a love-hate relationship with music and exercise because I could not find a comfortable pair of earbuds or headphones for workouts. I’d either have a pair that caused pain after a little while or a pair that would fall out of my ears as I was moving.
Since I enjoy getting in my daily exercise (once I actually get started), I really wanted to be able to listen to music or podcasts while doing it. I also wanted something that had some noise cancelling features to block out the wind noise while I was working out. That is something really important to me because I do not want to damage my hearing by listening to music too loud in the earbuds.
I have tried a few different models of earbuds for exercise and narrowed it down to the models that I found to be the best of the best. So, if you’re interested in the top earbuds for cycling and running, then keep reading for my picks.
Top Picks: Best Earphones for Biking and Running
Best Cheap Exercise Earbuds – Sound2 XJ5
If you’re on a budget, but want a great pair of earbuds then you cannot go wrong with the Sound2 XJ5 Sport Clip Earphones. While they have a retail price of $15, I regularly see then on sale under $10 online on Amazon.
Don’t let that under 10 bucks price fool you though, cause these are some quality earphones. The sound quality is better than the ones that came with my iPhone!
They are designed for sports enthusiasts as they have a clip to help the earbuds actually stay in your ears – even when you are sweating it out. So, that is a damn cool feature. Best of all, the clip is not uncomfortable to wear in your ear.
Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas Sports In-Ear Headphones
If you’re looking for something that is designed specifically to be work while running or doing other sports, then the Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas Sports In-Ear Headphones is a great choice.
While higher priced than the Sound2 model above, these are still fairly cheap for the high quality that you get.
What I love about these is that they were made to stay comfortable for long runs or rides – and to deal with all the sweat that comes with such intense activities.
They fit securely in your ear, without any pressure or pain. And the secure fit means you get great sound quality and noise reduction from outside noise pollution. The noise isolating feature works so well though, that you will not want to keep both sides in your ears when in an urban environment.
Bose SIE2 Sport Headphones
While a little more expensive, the Bose SIE2 Sport Headphones are a great choice if you want a higher end pair of sports ear buds that are both sweat and weather resistant.
If you do your running or biking in the rain sometimes, then you need to skip the cheaper options and go for something weather proof like this model. This is actually the best budget weather resistant sports headphones for biking and running.
The really cool thing about this set of headphones is that is comes with a free arm band pouch that is perfect for holding your phone/mp3 player as well as your keys and ID. I mean, it can get a little tight if you need to cram all of that in there, but it is still a nice feature.
Earbuds Vs Headphones For Running and Cycling
When you are ready to shop for something to listen to music while exercising, you have a choice of earbuds or headphones. The truth is that you can go with either, but I believe that earbuds are a better choice.
With earbuds, you can easily take out just one side if you need to for safety or other reasons. They are also smaller, so if you want to take them off it is not as big of a deal as a pair of headphones. You also get better noise cancelling features from earbuds since they can form a suction once in the ear to block out some of that outside noise. For instance, my gym plays music over loudspeakers (terrible music) and I can safely block it out with earbuds but not headphones (learned this the hard way one day).
Are Earbuds Safe For Running And Cycling?
There is some concern among athletes and people who exercise regularly like myself as to the safety of using earbuds or headphone while exercising. The truth is that they are safe to use, but you should still do so using basic common sense.
If you are outside (so not at the local gym), consider only keeping one earbud in your ears so that the other ear can listen for vehicles or other dangers.
You will also want to keep the volume level in check as to not cause any hearing damage.