Best Workout Headphones for iPhone and Apple Watch iMore 2021
A workout isn't complete without music that pumps you up. You need headphones that move with you. Whether you like pop, heavy metal, or dance music in your ears when you pump iron, a good pair of iPhone workout headphones you can trust in the gym is essential. The Jaybird Tarah Pro features a fantastic sound that can be made great with the in-app equalizer, and its customizable fit is superb. While a great pair of iPhone workout headphones aren't designed to compete with the best noise-canceling headphones, that doesn't mean you can't have a great listening experience when you're sweating at the gym.
- Best Overall: Jaybird Tarah Pro
- Best Value: Anker SoundCore Spirit Dot 2
- Best Low-Budget Option: AUKEY Wireless Headphones
- Best Luxury Pick: Jabra Elite 75t
- Best for Apple Lovers: Powerbeats Pro
Best Overall: Jaybird Tarah Pro
Great workout headphones need to be durable, sound great, and be comfortable — the Jaybird Tarah Pro checks all the boxes.
With 14 hours of battery life, you can get multiple workouts in before you need to stick the Jaybird Tarah Pro in its charger. Plus, when you do charge, a mere five minutes will give you about two hours of playback.
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.
The icing on the cake for these 'buds is how quickly they connect and the great playback controls. As soon as I turn them on, they connect instantly and immediately give you the remaining battery percentage, which is just dynamite. I also love the control sounds that let you know when you're skipping a track, going back, or turning them off. It all comes together perfectly.
Lastly, rain or shine, sweat or not, the Jaybird Tarah Pro has an IPX7 rating, meaning you don't have to worry about getting them wet. The neck cord that connects the earbuds is very durable, so you don't need to worry about the cord fraying or getting damaged even when you put them through the paces.
- Phenomenal battery life
- Great sound
- Excellent companion app
- Comfortable fit
- A bit pricey
- Proprietary charging cable
Best Value: Anker SoundCore Spirit Dot 2
The Anker SoundCore Spirit Dot 2 focuses on being a pair of earbuds that you can take to the gym, but Anker included some other great features that help the Spirit Dot 2 excel at being an everyday set of earbuds too, making it one of the best value options for iPhone workout headphones.
The IPX7 rating means the Anker SoundCore Spirit Dot 2 can handle the toughest workouts, as it can handle both sweat and rain. I wouldn't take them into the shower or pool with you, but splashes of water haven't stopped my pair from working.
Bluetooth 5.0 means that the Spirit Dot 2 are equipped with the latest Bluetooth technology, offering sound and battery improvements over its predecessor. It has two microphones that allow you to take phone calls or video calls with ease, which I tested in my Anker SoundCore Spirit Dot 2 review, and was pleasantly surprised with.
Each earbud has touch controls, allowing you to play or pause music with the right earbud and skip tracks with the left. The controls can also activate Siri (or other voice assistants) and answer calls.
- IPX7 rating
- Solid audio quality
- Truly Wireless
- Good microphones
- Only 5.5-hour battery life
- Touch controls are mediocre
Best Low-Budget Option: Aukey Wireless Earbuds
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 a ton, then these are the earbuds for you. The Aukey wireless headphones may skip out on a lot of fancy features, but they have a whopping 15-hour battery life, making them the best iPhone workout headphones for extra-long training sessions.
Out of the box, the earbuds are a tad bass-heavy. At max volume, the sound will clip a little bit if you're listening to something that features a lot of low-end noise. There are three EQ presets to choose from that do help you mitigate these issues a little bit, but you're stuck with just those three options. Overall, they sound more than good enough for how much they cost.
They still charge via microUSB, and in 2021, that's a big drag. The good news is they do charge decently quickly, being able to go from dead to 100% battery in about 90 minutes. Plus, their IPX5 rating means they can definitely handle your sweat and a little drizzle if you get caught outside.
- 15-hour battery life
- IPX5 resistance rating
- microUSB charging
Best Luxury Pick: Jabra Elite 75t
The Jabra Elite 75t earbuds feature onboard playback/call/Siri controls, and there are 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 7.5 hours of battery life in each earbud, which isn't the longest battery life, but the charging case has an extra 21 hours of battery. Plus, it has a fast-charge feature, which gives you an hour of battery after charging for just 15 minutes, so it's easy to top up when you need.
The Jabra Sound+ app is one of the best companion apps I have ever used with any headphones and the ability to used Jabra's Hear Through feature (basically Transparency mode) to let some of the sounds from around you penetrate through your music is fantastic for commuting!
It's important to note that there's a newer version of these headphones — the Jabra Elite 85t — but in our opinion, the 75t is the better version for a pair of workout headphones. A big part of that is because the 75t has a better IP rating and longer battery life than the newer model, so when it comes to the Jabra Elite 85t vs. Jabra Elite 75t, we think it's worth it to save the money.
Lastly, the sound quality is superb. The bass performance is far better than you might think a pair of earbuds can offer, but it's not too powerful that it drowns out the mids and highs. Plus, the build quality and design allow you to get a very good seal in your ears, which helps with sound-quality immensely.
- Truly wireless
- Amazing app
- USB-C charging
- Transparency mode is excellent
- Battery life of the earbuds could be better
- Bulky charging case
Best for Apple Lovers: Powerbeats Pro
Powerbeats Pro is Apple's newest set of Beats-branded earphones. They're the first of their kind from the Beats line in that they are the first truly wireless headphones from the department.
They're incredibly comfortable (though for some, canal buds are painful), have rich and well-balanced EQ for a fantastic listening experience, and stay put in your ears.
Their only real flaw is in the charging case, which is bigger than it needs to be and isn't particularly convenient. There is also no way, at this time, to purchase a second charging case, so you can't have one at home and an extra sitting at work.
- Truly wireless
- Great battery life
- Voice-activated Siri support
- A bit bass-heavy
- Bulky charging case
Nothing kills a workout faster than not having the perfect earbuds for the job. If you want the best of what's around for wireless workout earbuds, you want the Jaybird X4, which combines a great, durable design with exceptional sound, an excellent app, and an intuitive experience that works exactly the way you need it to in the gym. They're the perfect pair for any workout session.
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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