Great Workout Headphones For
Less Than $100
Working out can be tough on headphones. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a lot to find ones with solid sound — and that won’t fall out of your ears.
By Ryan Kameen
Whether you’re getting strong like bull or running to maintain your boyish figure, music can make the gym a lot more enjoyable … or at least somewhat less miserable. But if your workout headphones sound lousy or constantly tumble out of your ears, you’ll be too annoyed to care about what you’re listening to.
You don’t want to bring high-priced headphones to the gym, where they’ll just get sweated on and jostled — or have a dumbbell destroy them after you lose control of the 70 lb. set you’re benching. So we found several different kinds of workout headphones that won’t break the bank, but that’ll still offer up great sound and features.
RHA MA-350 Aluminum Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones ($35)
There aren’t generally a whole lot of bargains when it comes to personal electronics, but the RHA MA-350s are the exception to the rule. For starters, their enclosed aluminum body keeps sound in, so those C&C Music Factory jams you’re bumping through the 10mm Mylar drivers will be your little secret, even if you’re in a relatively silent room. The silicone tips come in three sizes, so whether your ears are elfish, Dumbo-esque, or somewhere in between, finding a fit won’t be an issue. Another plus: The three-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Polk Audio UltraFit 2000 Sport Headphones ($53)
Not a fan of jamming stuff into your ear canals? The Polk UltraFit 2000s are worth a look. Designed to gently wrap around the head while staying snug to the ear, the unit provides good sound and light noise reduction, so the outside world won’t be completely shut out. (That’s a bonus when you’re running outside.) The flexible and tangle-free cables keep the line clear of knots, and a three-button controller allows for track navigation and volume control for iPhone or iPod users.
YurBuds Ironman Driven ($50)
While YurBuds come in a variety of styles, some people continue to cling to the adjustable old-school over-the-head look of the 1990s. Thing is, these are only vintage in appearance; the TwistLock Technology and ergonomic design keeps them in place no matter how violently you twist, turn, jump, or shake during a CrossFit class. The cozy and ergonomic buds are also snug enough to keep water and moisture from reaching the 14.2mm neodymium drivers.
Plantronics BackBeat Go ($80)
Whether you’re taking business calls, LOLing at YouTube vids, or listening to music on the treadmill, the wireless and compact BackBeat Gos cover all of your bases. With Bluetooth compatibility that synchs to most smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players, there’s no plug-in necessary. You can even control volume and playback options while your device is up to 33 feet away. One full charge gives you about 4.5 hours of play with 10 days of standby.
Sennheiser CX 680 EarFin Sports Earbuds ($70)
It’s every gym rat’s dream — headphones that block ambient noise (up to 20 db) and don’t pop out of your ears after each biceps curl. The EarFin design (that little hook popping off of the bud) is what keeps them stable when you wobble. They’re sweat-proof, waterproof, and pair especially well with Apple products (you’ll have access to the three-button control with mic that lets you manage playlists and take calls). But even if you’re not an iGuy, the sound quality is great, and the Kevlar-reinforced cables keep the wiring secure and tangle-free.