Best Workout Headphones for iPhone and Apple Watch iMore 2019

The Jaybird X4 is the best pair of wireless workout headphones you can buy right now. It features good sound that can be made great with the in-app equalizer, and its customizable fit is superb. It may be a bit pricey, but it's worth it.

Our pick

Jaybird X4

Exceptional battery life and a solid overall experience

The Jaybird X4 regularly lasts me through two weeks of workouts, and the in-line playback/call controls along with the Jaybird app make for an exceptional, intuitive experience.

Who should buy these headphones?

These really are the best headphones for most people, though cost may certainly be the inhibitor here. If you're not a devout audiophile, the sound is more than great, and the wireless design helps keep you mobile without getting caught up with your headphone cord running through your shirt.

Is it a good time to buy these headphones?

Since Jaybird just released the X4 wireless sport earbuds in September 2018, it's the perfect time to buy them. They're the best Jaybird has to offer right now, and you're right at the beginning of the their life cycle.

Reasons to buy

  • Phenomenal battery life
  • Cordless design
  • Great sound
  • Excellent companion app
  • Comfortable fit

Reasons not to buy

  • Expensive
  • You dislike earbuds

Jaybird X4 are meant for an active lifestyle

Admittedly, the Jaybird X4 earbuds are not perfect, but they're certainly the best wireless workout headphones you can buy right now. When you combine their feature set and sound quality, it's pretty hard to consider any other pair of workout earbuds.

They come with a few sizes of ear tips, as well as three fin sizes, so you can mix and match to find what works best for you. Some people may not like the rubber, sort of suction cup-ish ear tips, which is justifiable, since if you don't find the perfect fit, they can feel like they've completely dammed up your ears.

When you combine feature set and overall audio quality, it's pretty hard to consider any other pair of workout earbuds.

That being said, once you find a comfortable fit, the X4s aren't going anywhere. I've been working out with them for almost a month now, and they haven't even shifted in my ears while lifting weights or running. The wire connecting the earbuds can be a bit cumbersome — I got it caught between me and the bar while squatting once — but it's negligible.

I consider myself to be a pseudo-audiophile, so I'm a bit of a stickler, and while I'm not thrilled about the Jaybird X4 audio quality, I don't hate it. The in-app EQ certainly helps a ton, and then you crank them up, they sound quite good, but at the lower volume, I keep during workouts, they're about a 7/10, which still makes them the best wireless workout earbuds I've tested.

The icing on the cake for these 'buds is how quickly they connect and the great playback controls. I turn them on, and they connect instantly, and immediately give you the remaining battery percentage, which is just dynamite. And I love the the control sounds to let you know you're skipping a track, going back, or turning them off. It all comes together perfectly.

Alternatives to the Jaybird X4

If the Jaybird X4s just don't seem like the earbuds for you, then you can go cheaper but stay in the Jaybird lineup with the Tarah 'buds, or you can get awesome headphones for under $30 with the Aukey Latitudes. If you want the crème de la crème, however, you want the Jabra Elite Active 65t.


Jaybird Tarah

Basically, Jaybird X4 lite

For $30 less, you get the same great app experience and connectivity, with only minor compromises in audio quality and battery life.

Jaybird's latest, the Tarah wireless earbuds, are essentially the X4 lite. Their cable isn't as durable, and they don't sound as great out of the box, but the in-app EQ helps them sound almost as good as the X4, and they still have excellent playback/call controls, and connect in a flash.

Value pick

Aukey Latitude

The Aukey Latitude earbuds have a price that massively belies their quality.

For under $25, the Aukey Latitude earbuds are surprisingly great. They're wireless, have great battery life, and have surprisingly good sound.

If you want to go wireless in the gym (and there's no reason why you shouldn't at this point), but you don't want to spend more than $50, then these are the earbuds for you. 1.5 hours of charge gives you 8 hours of playback, and Aukey has a two-year warranty should anything go wrong. These are an excellent value.

Upgrade pick

Jabra Elite Active 65t

If money is no object, these are the 'buds to beat.

If you have nearly $200 to spend on workout headphones, get the Jabra Elite Active 65t. They're truly wireless, have decent battery life, great sound, and really are the workout earbuds of the future.

The Elite Active 65t earbuds feature onboard playback/call/Siri controls, and there's no annoying wires to get in your way while you work out. These are made to stay in your ears, no matter what, and with 5 hours of battery life and an extra 10 hours from the included charging case, they should last you through a good week of workouts.

Bottom line

If you want the best of what's around for wireless workout earbuds, you want the Jaybird X4, which combine a great, durable design with great sound, an excellent app, and an intuitive experience that works exactly the way you need it to in the gym.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Luke Filipowicz is an iMore staff writer who also frequents the gym and writes a ton about headphones, speakers, and all other things audio-related.

Mick Symons has been searching for the best headphones for every situation for years, and has tested many a pair. He now spends his days untangling the cables of every pair he once kept in his pockets.

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