How to select the best sport headphones?

Sport headphones are great and here to stay. But what are the requirements when it comes to selecting a good pair of sport headphones?

There is nothing better than listening to music to help motivate you when working out, exercising outdoors, or going for a run / walk. Half an hour on the treadmill can feel like it flew past if you’re able to focus on something other than the physical task at hand. Listing to music as you workout is definitely a great way to take your mind off of the physical activity you’re hard at work on. As an audiophile I own many sets of headphones, from the cheap iPod earbuds to very high, excellent quality headphones that are designed for studio listening.

The problem is that these regular headphones are not suitable for vigorous activities; unlike sport headphones, they don’t last long under strenuous conditions, can be distracting and, depending on the sport, potentially dangerous for you. Why waste your time and money when you can have sport headphones specifically designed by the best headphone and sporting goods companies in the world?

Here is a series of requirements for good sport headphones:

  • Strong headphones: durable and flexible material that’s able to handle the stress you’ll put your sport headphones through.
  • Water resistant headphones: sweat and rain are very common when exercising or running/cycling outdoors, you’ll want to ensure your sport headphones are able to handle coming into contact with such substances.
  • Hooked headphones: over-the-ear headphones, neckband headphones or (rigid) over-the-head style headphones are a must. When exercising, the average earphones will move around and pop out of your ears way too often.
  • Avoid noise cancelling headphones: For outdoor sports avoid noise cancelling headphones. You need to be aware of the environment around you for your safety. If all you need is gym headphones, then go ahead and by all means get noise canceling sport headphones.
  • Lightweight headphones: Your ears don’t need exercise, you do. With bulky headphones you’ll also look ridiculous (I’ve seen people at my gym actually using DJ headphones). This is particularly important if you are looking for running headphones, jogging headphones, or even just walking outdoor headphones.
  • Comfortable headphones: You shouldn’t even notice that you are wearing sport headphones while doing sports.
  • Reflective headphones: Ideally, for outdoor runners and cyclists, it’s important to be visible in low light/night conditions.
  • Short cord headphones: You don’t want to trip on your sport headphones’ cord when exercising.
  • Stylish headphones: Let’s face it, you don’t want to look like the DJ guys mentioned above. Thankfully, there are very nice looking sport headphones on the market.

Awesome, now that you know what to look for in a pair of sport headphones, let me tell you that countless companies have been trying to capitalize on the huge number of people who love running, cycling, and even swimming, while listening to music. Sadly, most of the sport headphones out there suck. Thankfully for you though, I’ve done the dirty work, and come up with a list of great sport headphones for active people like you and me.

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