Best headphones for running

Lobers ear muff headphones

How awesome are these earmuff headphones?

I’m fortunate to have tiny ears. As a runner, I never really have to worry about finding the right headphones for running. I’ve had the same tiny pink Sony earbuds for years and they stick in my ear without issue while I run. In fact, they’re so old, I can’t even find them online.

But for many runners, finding the right earbuds can be a challenge. I know many distance runners claim that you should run without music to focus on the sounds around you. But some people, like me, need the pulse of some awesome tunes to keep me going and power me through the tough parts of my run. It certainly beats the sound of my own laboured breathing.

While I’ve been fortunate to find a decent pair of earbuds, I’ve realized that they’re not all created equal. My fiancé has a hard time finding anything that stays in his ears while running and has tried several different pairs and styles without success. Some fall out. Some have terrible sound quality and others just feel awful.

To help you out, I’ve put together a list of top earbuds for running based on feedback from other runners, internet research and my own personal experience. Thanks to fellow blogger Shameen for suggesting this post.

Sennheiser PMX 680i Sports

A recent Gizmodo post put five different earbuds to the test. To be considered for the test, they had to be earbuds, not headphones and they had to be tough, sweat-proof and water resistant. The winner: the Sennheiser PMX 680i Sports earbuds. According to the tests, these earbuds knocked it out of the park when it came to sound quality. They also didn’t budge while the tester ran or did jumping jacks. And for a very reasonable $53, these were the overall winner according to this article. There are 4 other decent options in the full post here.

Sony Active Style Headphones

When searching for my old earbuds on Sony’s site, I found these ones that look like a great option for runners. These loop-style earbuds basically guarantee they won’t fall out while running or working out, and you can trust that Sony’s sound quality will be top-notch. There’s no reviews for the product online, but for a measly $24.99, you can probably afford to take a chance.

Sennheiser CX 680 Sports

Similar to Gizmodo’s #1 pick, this option came highly recommended from @ Meldon_Lobo on Twitter. “I love my Sennheiser CX680s,” he said. “I’ve never owned a pair of headphones for this long.” These earbuds are sweat  and water resistant and come with a different sized ear adaptors so you can customize your fit. The site claims they’ve been specially designed and tested for heavy movement so they’re sure to stay put no matter how intensely you’re running. Of all the options I looked at, these are the most expensive at $129.95 but if they’re as awesome as they sound, it might be worth the investment.

Lobers Earmuff headphones

OK, OK. I realize this isn’t everyone’s thing, but I absolutely LOVE these earmuff headphones from Lobers. I bought a white pair last year and they are my go-to accessory for winter running. I mean, what’s not to love? They keep your ears warm, they play music and they look awesome. If you’re an audiophile (or a guy!), these probably aren’t what you’re looking for. The sound quality is about average but they deliver exactly what you’d expect. With the holidays coming up, I think this could make a superb gift for the runners in your life. And at only $35, it’s a bargain.

Yurbuds Sport earphones

These earbuds come highly recommended on a number of websites. They boast a superior sport earphone that “never falls out.” They have a specially designed silicon head that twists into your ear so they don’t fall out. There are several different style options: earbuds, ear hooks or over-the-head so you can get the style that suits you best. These ones range in price from $29 – $59.

Do you have a favourite pair of earbuds or headphones for running?


  1. Tim October 25, 2012 / 9:44 pm

    I have tried them all – Yurbuds are by far the best earphones for runners! Bar none.

    • Miranda October 25, 2012 / 9:53 pm

      Thanks Tim! I’m thinking these might make a good Christmas gift!

  2. Shameen Miller October 25, 2012 / 11:59 pm

    Great post Miranda! I am definitely going to try one of these headphones. I am leaning towards Meldon’s pick of the Sennheiser CX 680 Sports. They are definitely on the high end, but if they last for so long, it’s definitely worth it! Thanks again for writing this 🙂

  3. balancerhythmmotion October 26, 2012 / 1:42 am

    I see the Yurbuds EVERYWHERE now! I think I need them…I have yet to find an earbud to stay in my ear…especially once sweaty!!

  4. TheRunner1981 October 26, 2012 / 2:31 pm

    yurbuds, yurbuds, yurbuds…can’t beat them

  5. atalanta3 November 5, 2012 / 12:19 pm

    Yourbuds – they stay put! but be careful cos if you lose one of the silicone ear thingies, it is difficult to get replacements
    🙁 also loving the white ear-muff headphones – how cool is that?!

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