These buds are durable, sweat-proof, and deliver stellar sound to power you through a tough workout.
Ben Radding and Christina Simonetti 1 / 6
There’s nothing like cranking your favorite playlist to power you through a tough workout. But your average earbuds simply can’t hold up to the sweat and abuse of ongoing heavy gym sessions, nor can they deliver quality sound over all those clanging machines. Here are five pairs of next-gen earbuds aimed right at the hardcore gym dude—built to withstand tough workouts, boost performance, and deliver audiophile-level sound quality.
Jabra has been on a mission to create the most innovative training earbuds out there. Last year’s Sport Pulse tracked your heart rate through your ears; the new Sport Coach is the next big leap forward. Jabra’s latest buds feature in-ear coaching that takes its cues from your live workout. Using the TrackFit motion sensor and Sport Life app, a proper-sounding British lady will prompt you to do things like speed up to reach your target pace. Or, if you’re in need of a quick workout idea, Jabra’s “cross-training” database has several curated—and customizable—circuits, like the four-minute “CardiCore” or six-minute “BellyBurn.” Each incorporates body-weight moves, walking you through your workout while your music plays in the background.
Around-the-neck earbuds are more stable and comfortable and finally do away with bulky earpieces. The Level U incorporates the brand’s high standards for sound quality into the latest tech in ergonomics. But the Level U rises above the rest with its ultralightweight design (it weighs about an ounce) and flexible urethane joints that allow you to adjust the unit to the size of your neck for unrivaled fit. But where Samsung really pushes workout earbud tech—and at a surprisingly affordable price—is in the sound department, by using dual-mic noise and echo reduction. Pair the buds up with Samsung’s Level app (Android only) and you can control their volume and do things like set notifications so your band vibrates and says “Inbox!” when you get an e-mail.
When it comes to training, you need a good sport earbuds to enhance your workout, not complicate it—and the Jaybird X2 does just that. This sweat-proof pair offers different sized ear tips that, when attached to the earbud and inserted into the ear for 15 seconds, will conform to the size of your ear, block outside noise, and deliver optimum sound. They also boast a clever "ear fin" design to fit the shape of your ear, so that they provide a secure fit. And while these buds are among the smallest on the market, they can hold juice for 8 hours. Plus, they come in a variety of colors, so at least one pair is virtually guaranteed to match your gym swag.
If you’re looking to ditch the wire at a budget-friendly price, go with these Bluetooth-powered buds to amp up your workout with ease. These earphones will deliver optimal sound for up to 6 hours during any sweaty workout, and they'll withstand any rough post-workout body odor thanks to the Pureclean technology infused in the soft, silicone ear gels. Control everything at your fingertips with on-ear music buttons for a personalized experience, and never worry about a bud getting loose, since they're built with Skullcandy's proprietary technologies ("FitFin," "StickyGels," and "Fix") to stay locked in place for good. They even have a microphone, if you're the type to take important calls while churning through a workout.
Beats has nailed state-of-the-art headphones once again with their newly launched line of headphones called the Active Collection—especially this TOUR2 pair, which will stay intact no matter how rigorious your training gets. These buds come with multiple ear-tip sizes as well as multiple wing tip sizes (which can be taken off) to ensure you find your fit comfortably. They'll survive a stormy run or a sweaty workout session by wicking away any moisture. And while the earphones might be small, they project crisp, powerful sound and insulate against outside noise.