Engaging in sports to music is a source of motivation and it helps to improve performance. Here is a selection of the best sports headphones and connected devices for both indoor and outdoor activities, as well as tips for choosing the right ones for the activity you are doing.
How should you choose the right headphones for playing sports?
Whether you prefer over-ear headphones or sports headphones, there are many possible solutions, from ultra-discreet wireless headphones to headphones that provide you with stunning audio quality. Recent models are often connected devices that can be paired with a smartphone, a smart TV or a computer.
Over-ear headphones or sports headphones, how do you choose?
Both over-ear headphones and sports headphones must:
Be firmly attached to your ears, regardless of the intensity of your effort.
Accompany your movements without ever getting in the way.
Be comfortable so that you don’t become distracted.
Offer excellent sound quality and isolate you from localised noise inside while allowing you to hear the sounds of your surroundings sufficiently if you are playing sports outside.
Be able to withstand perspiration and variable weather conditions if you wear them outdoors.
Be easy to store and sturdy enough to take with you everywhere.
The right criteria for choosing your sports headphones
To choose your new pair of sports headphones, make a list of criteria:
The sport you do: This criterion includes both indoor and outdoor contexts, the degree of movement involved, the range offered by the connected device if you will need to move away from the sound source, or the specifics of your activity, for example, if you are a swimmer or diver.
The price: The budget you want to allocate to your sports headphones is decisive. For occasional training and when aiming for wired headphones, you can easily find reasonably priced models.
Ergonomics: Headphones or earphones, bone conduction or in-ear, each athlete has their own preferences. The important thing is that your equipment is not noticeable during the session. Also, think about accessories you might wear at the same time, such as a cap or glasses.
Wired or wireless: Sports headphones are often wireless to provide optimal freedom of movement. Bluetooth systems offer longer-lasting
batteries, and those operating by radio or infrared waves must be recharged more regularly and are generally the preserve of indoor sports.
Your smartphone’s operating system: Connected devices are sometimes dedicated to Android or iOS smartphones, so be sure to choose compatible headphones.
The 3 best headphones for indoor sports
The aim of indoor sports headphones is to offer excellent sound quality as the goal is to block out ambient noise to help focus on the exercises. They can be used in the gym and also at home, with the possibility of connecting to a computer or a television and so on.
For building muscle SoundSport Free – Bose
The Bose SoundSport Free wireless in-ear headphones are particularly suited to weight training or cross-training. Powerful and balanced sound is offered with every movement you make. Comfortable and with a moisture-resistant coating, these headphones stay in place without getting in the way. You can adjust the antenna to get the best possible Bluetooth signal, depending on the location of your smartphone. The rechargeable lithium battery promises around 6 hours of battery life.
For fitness, dance or yoga: Freedom 2 – Jaybird
Popular with dancers and runners alike, Jaybird’s Freedom 2 in-ear headphones allow for the fine-tuning of sound quality and they isolate ambient noise well. Their wings hold the tips in place and they come in several sizes to suit every body type. The two headphones are connected by a wire with a volume control located at the back of the head.
For total immersion: WF-1000XM3 – Sony
Do you want to immerse yourself in your home fitness session while completely cutting out the sounds of the house? The Sony WF-1000XM3 set of wireless headphones include two microphones, each of which will detect environmental noise and suppress it with an intelligent system.
The 3 best headphones for outdoor sports
Water resistance, robustness and the ability to deal with outside sounds are the 3 main criteria to consider for any outdoor sports headphones.
Swimming and water sports: Xtrainerz – AfterShokz
Very light and with a battery life of 8 hours, the AfterShokz bone conduction swimming helmet, Xtrainerz, is specially designed for water sports. IP68 certified, it can be submerged to a depth of 2 metres. This MP3 headset charges on a USB-powered cradle and it can hold up to 4 GB of data. It is placed between the ears and the temples.
Extreme sports: X3 – Jaybird
The Jaybird X3 sports headphones are among the most robust on the market, resistant to sweat and bad weather. They also offer very appreciable sound quality. Even when increasing the volume, the sound does not become distorted. Thin and light, these Bluetooth headphones have a battery life of 8 hours.
Running: Trekz Titanium headset – AfterShokz
Staying aware of your surroundings is essential to enjoy outdoor running in complete safety. Although headphones are not always the first choice of runners, the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium powered by bone conduction are a very comfortable way of allowing you to perceive ambient noise without compromising sound quality.
Check out our Fitness equipment & Coaching page for more advice.