Best Wireless Headphones For Walking 2021

There have never been so many wireless earbud options for walking, and now true wireless earbuds are the best choice for fitness fanatics. Great battery timing with lightweight is its edge over annoying cables during walking.

But there is a lot more to look for. The type and comfort of the fit are paramount, as are items such as in-line controls for volume control and music, calls and volume, as well as other considerations such as water and sweat resistance.

We have reviewed and tested all of these pairs of walking headphones for the past few months, and this is our final verdict.

Best Wireless Headphones For Walking

1. Jaybird Vista Wireless Headphones

best wireless headphones for walking

If you like the idea of ​​cutting the wires completely, then the Jaybird Vista is hands down the best true wireless headphones you can buy right now. With the upgrade to the already solid RUN and RUN XT, the Vista are smaller, lighter (only 6g per shoot), and more comfortable.

Wireless, the Vistas have a small charging case that is easy to slip into your pocket. The buds snap together magnetically with some force, with a reassuring build quality that is combined with the smooth silicone finish and IPX7 water resistance, which is more than enough to combat sweat and rain.

Once paired, they connect as soon as you put them in your ears, along with a quick message to remind you of the battery level. We had a couple of annoying connection interruptions when one of the earbuds was packed mid-way and needed to be put back into the charging case for repair.

We had to downsize the tips of the Jaybird Vista to fit our ear, which is unusual, or it felt incredibly large. But once this was done, the Jaybird was one of the most comfortable in the test. The tips provide decent insulation and are light enough to wear for extended periods.

Despite the small size of the charging case, the Vistas are one of the longest-lasting buds in the test, with 6 hours of battery life, buttressed by another 10 hours in the case. That means a marathon is well within your limits, as is a week’s commute for most people.

You can take calls in Views and start/stop music or reject calls from the big button on any of the buttons. And a double tap lets you skip tracks, though there’s no volume control. However, you can customize the button and adjust the equalizer in the partner app, if you can bother to install it.

So how do they sound? Solid but unspectacular. To their advantage, the Views are louder than most tests. They don’t pack a huge punch anywhere near the Beats Powerbeats Pro, but when you’re hitting the pavement on a run or hitting the weight section, they do more than work.

Key features: Custom equalizer, music, and calls

Waterproof Rating: IPX7

Battery Life: 6 hours + 10 hours

Charging Cable: USB-C

best wireless headphones for walking

2. Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Headphones

best wireless headphones for walking

Unsurprisingly, the Powerbeats Pro sounds better in testing, with richer sound and deeper bass than any of their rivals. And that’s not surprising, given the added bulk – Powerbeats, while smaller and more manageable than the previous generation, use a hook-and-loop design, which is more cumbersome than plain buds.

For runners and HIIT practitioners, this makes the fit more secure, and we’ve found that some earbuds, namely the Jabra, can start to lose their in-ear safety when sweat starts to flow.

The larger design also means more audio controls. One button on the side will pause/start the music, two presses will advance you and three will rewind. There is also a volume control positioned on the top of each unit.

Ideal for iOS users, Beats connect like AirPods – just open the case and your phone does the rest. Don’t miss the Bluetooth menu. However, Android users will need to open the case and search for the device in its Bluetooth menu. These were the most reliable to match in the test.

The bigger design means a bigger charging case though, and the Powerbeats Pro is huge. Yes, it fits in your pocket, but it seriously shows. If portability is key, you may want to consider the Jaybird Vista.

However, the advantage is better battery life and you get an additional 9 hours of listening and 24 hours from the case. That’s awesome, especially given the sound quality. The downside is the lack of an obvious indicator for battery levels, so remember to put your USB-C cable in the case to keep things charged.

Another downside is that Powerbeats Pro has a lower water resistance rating than any other. At IPX4, it will still repel a lot of sweat and a little rain, but they are unlikely to survive washing.

And then there is the price. At $ 219.99, the Powerbeats Pro is the most expensive option in the test. But they sound great, they work well for long runs and workouts, and especially for iOS users, they’re highly recommended.

Key Features: music and calls, fast connection to iPhone

Waterproof Rating: IPX4 “sweat-resistant”

Battery Life: 9 hours. + 15 hours

Charging Cable: Lightning

best wireless headphones for walking

3. Jabra Sport Elite Headphones

best wireless headphones for walking

Possibly the least comfortable in testing, the Jabra Sport Elites always felt large and uncomfortable in our ears, even though everyone’s ears are different. They filled our ears, limiting wear time, and felt a bit heavy when walking, and sometimes needed to be pushed back in sweaty runs.

However, the pairing was perfect and the sound quality was exceptionally detailed, especially at higher frequencies. Jabra’s technology seeps from its earbuds, so it gets a good pedigree.

The case itself is also much larger than the Jaybird Vista (though not quite as big as the Beats), and the buds don’t fit magnetically, which means we had an issue where a single bud didn’t charge.

There are a good number of controls, although they are a bit more difficult to master. Each bud has an up / down button. On the left, the volume or track skip is held down. On the right play/pause and answer/cancel calls. The only thing we found is that the up / down buttons are very small and stiff to press, degraded by a small grain, making control difficult.

It lists a built-in heart rate monitor among its specs, though you’ll need to use the old Jabra app to get the most out of it, which we wouldn’t recommend.

While it may seem like a gimmick, the ear is a fantastic place to take a heart rate reading, and our tests of the old Jabra Sport Pulse, which uses the technology, showed that it is just as accurate as of and even more sensitive than the optical device based on the wrist monitors.

Key Features: Custom equalizer, music, and calls, a heart rate detection

Waterproof Rating: IP67 – 1m for 30 minutes

Battery Life: 4.5 hours + 9 hours

Charging Cable: USB-C

best wireless headphones for walking

4. JBL Reflect Flow

best wireless headphones for walking

JBL’s latest True Wireless headphones have a spec sheet, build quality, and sound performance well above their under $ “150” price tag.

Reflect Flow buds are a bit bulky and seem a bit overwhelming at first. However, the lack of buttons that stick out around the edges and the earmuff adapters (JBL calls them “Freebie enhancers”) means they’re incredibly snug and comfortable.

Of course, you will get different-sized buds and fins in the box, and be sure to try all of them to get your fit right. The Reflect Flow’s sound is big and deep and you’ll want a near-tight fit to make sure you don’t let that rumbling sound escape.

Audiophiles should be careful though, there is no EQ adjustment with Reflect Flow and you might find the bass-enhanced JBL Signature Sound a bit too punchy for your taste. There’s also no physical volume adjuster on the buttons themselves, so you’ll have to make use of the volume controls on your paired smartphone.

The 30-hour battery life you’ll hear JBL scream doesn’t tell the whole story, though you’ll get a 10-hour life, backed up by a couple of more than 10-hour charges from the battery box. However, with the volume turned up, you can expect the battery life to drop to around 7 hours. The good news, however, is a 10-minute charge in the event you get another hour to live.

Speaking of the cargo box, it’s good; robust, and compact. It is reassuringly solid and is not part that will take care of it getting crushed or damaged to the bottom of your gym bag. However, it is Micro USB to connect to power, rather than USB-C.

All your physical controls are done through several taps on any of the headphones; it’s easy once you memorize them. It’s as simple as a quick tap on one of the buttons to access Ambient Aware and TalkThru modes; the first lets in the sound from outside and the second lower the volume of the music and increases the voice, using the built-in microphone, of who is talking to you.

Siri and the Google Assistant are at hand, or rather in the ear, depending on the operating system of the smartphone you are using, and making a call is better than on some wireless headphones since the voice of your interlocutor comes through both ears.

Key Features: Calls and music, Ambient Aware and TalkThru

Waterproof Rating: IPX7

Battery Life: 10 hours + 20 hours

Charging Cable: Micro-USB

best wireless headphones for walking

5. Beats Powerbeats

best wireless headphones for walking

The new “Powerbeats” as they are known, don’t notice any numbered version controls on these, they have a lot in common with the Powerbeats Pro.

The biggest difference, along with the significantly cheaper price tag, is the addition of the cable connector that sits between the two earbuds. In a world of fast-moving true wireless headphones, launching a semi-wireless option can be seen as a step backward. However, there are several benefits to a patch cord when using headphones.

First, you get a 15-hour battery life without the need to recharge it using a case. Although true wireless earbuds are getting close to that kind of battery life in earbuds alone, we haven’t gotten to that point yet and 15 hours in earbuds (which is pretty accurate when it comes to Powerbeats) is an impressive value for endurance runners – or those who always forget to put them back in the charging case.

There is also the added advantage that there are no issues between having two separate connections to your phone. By that, we mean those annoying dropouts when one headset is working and the other doesn’t seem to play. The same happens when one bud has not been loaded at the same level as the other.

The other factor that brokers often claim as a key benefit of corded options is the added sense of security. That feeling when you can find one bud at the bottom of your pocket and the other is nowhere to be found, you don’t get it with these.

Comparisons to the Powerbeats 3 are inevitable, but in reality, these are not an obvious progression and the design has advanced significantly. In addition to better sound and a higher level of waterproofing than IPX4, which offers protection against sweat and water, but not water immersion like many of the options on this list, there is a new circular cable design, something that helps to solve friction and entrapment problems with flat wires.

However, a patch cord is not everyone’s bag and for us Powerbeats caused problems when we ran in something other than a T-shirt, often snagging when we quickly moved our heads to the side. It’s not a deal-breaker, but occasionally we find ourselves wishing it wasn’t there.

In terms of fit, the Powerbeats and Pro have the same hooked ear design, which is a great way to keep them in your ears when walking. Even with the wrong size rubber tips on for our first run, they stayed tight and caused minimal problems.

If you love Apple and Beats but don’t want to spend money on Powerbeats Pro, they are a great option.

Key Features: Music and calls, fast connection to iPhone

Waterproof Rating: IPX4 “sweat-resistant”

Battery Life: 15 hours.

Charging Cable: Lightning

best wireless headphones for walking

6. AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Headphones

best wireless headphones for walking

The AfterShokz range of open-ear bone conduction headphones has become a cult hit in the walking world. The new Aeropex starts with that already popular formula of a lightweight headset that allows for good situational awareness and takes it further.

At 26g, they are 12% lighter than previous models and 30% smaller, making them much more comfortable to wear overall on the run, as well as with hats and sunglasses. They have also targeted one of the biggest bone conduction errors; have fewer leaks and have managed for me to enhance the bass and make it sound louder.

You get 8 hours of battery life on a single charge, enough for a marathon but less than most true wireless headphones that you can increase with a carrying case.

They are also IP67 rated, meaning a step beyond the IP55 rated AfterShokz Air, so they will survive in the water down to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes.

Introducing a proprietary charging cable is a step back, but if you are looking for bone conductors, these should be first on your list.

Key Features: Approved for use under the UK Athletics Competition Regulations.

Waterproof Rating: IP67

Battery Life: 8 hours of playback

Charging Cable: Proprietary cable

best wireless headphones for walking

7. Bose Soundsport Wireless Headphones

best wireless headphones for walking

When the Bose audio gods jump on the truly wireless train, you’ll know you’ve come to stay. The company’s first wireless headphones often sound great, are reassuring, and expensive.

The buds themselves are slightly larger and stick out more than the ear than some rivals, but the design is colorful and attractive. Despite the added bulk, the Soundsport buttons will stay in place because the tips spread the contact evenly over the surface of the ear.

The wireless charging case is also a bit bulkier than the Jabra and Jaybird options but offers two additional full recharges for 15 hours of total playtime. There is no full waterproofing, but there is IP4X, which makes them resistant to sweat, rain, and splashes. And there’s a handy Find My Buds feature in case the SoundSport earbuds miss it.

Key Features: StayHear + Sport tips, volume-optimized equalized sound

Waterproof Rating: IPX4

Battery Life: 5 hours + 10 hours

Charging Cable: Micro USB

best wireless headphones for walking

8. Jabra Elite 65t Wireless Headphones

best wireless headphones for walking

When stacked against the other headphones available right now, the Elite 65t, they offer some of the most impressive specs you’ll find, covering everything from size and weight to sound quality, features, and battery life. What is the most important?

At just under 7g per bud, they are an impressively tiny kit and we found that they fit in the ears right away without using the supplied additional selection of EarGels. That snug fit also paid off when we tried multiple runs and visits to the gym, never once feeling like any of the buds were going to slip away.

The case is also small enough to fit in a pocket when you go for a run; however, like the Jabra Elite Sport, there are still no magnetic connectors to help guide the buttons into the case. To be honest, they are not as difficult to navigate as Elite Sports, but it is still annoying when the feature is so common against the competitors.

The other area where the Elite 65ts falls a bit short is the IP water and dust rating of 55. Although that means it’s covered against sweat and dust, you won’t be able to accidentally drop them into water. It’s not an essential feature, but many other headphones do come standard.

We found absolutely no problems pairing the Elite 65s. Once we connected them via Bluetooth, they worked consistently every time we took them out of the case. We had no drop or connection problems in over 30 hours of testing.

Battery life is by no means the most impressive on this list, but it’s pretty good considering the diminutive size of the case and buttons. It has 5 hours of battery timing in buds while 10 in the case. Most runners should have enough battery in these without having to carry the case, but if it took more than 5 hours to charge, it’s still small enough to slip on a belt.

There are also several additional features on the Elite 65ts, including one-touch access to Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, HearThrough functionality to allow ambient sound to be heard, and the ability to modify the sound quality through the app. Jabra Sound +.

That app is a relatively detailed piece of technology that allows users to play games. Going through button EQ settings, updating firmware, modifying voice control settings, and using the handy Find my Buds feature. Ultimately, its main feature is tweaking sound settings, and it’s pretty good at it. It doesn’t have the customization options you’ll get in Jaybird Vistas, but it’s more than enough to get a great sound.

Which finally brings us to sound quality. The Elite 65t is one of the more impressive options on the list if that’s your main focus. They offer one of the loudest and clearest experiences and with the use of the app, there are many possibilities for customization. Again, they are not as good as the Beats Powerbeats Pro, but they are up there, if not better than the Jaybird Vistas.

It’s also worth noting that the Elite 65ts has now been replaced by the Jabra Elite 75t, so you’re likely to find some great deals on them.

Key Features: HearThrough, EarGels, Jabra Sound + App

Waterproof Rating: IP-55

Battery Life: 5 hours + 10 hours

Charging Cable: Micro USB

best wireless headphones for walking

9. Athens Urbanist Wireless Headphones

best wireless headphones for walking

If you’re looking for a truly wireless pair of headphones but don’t want to spend a lot of money, you should seriously consider the Urbanista Athens. They are one of the cheapest headphones on this list. But that doesn’t mean they don’t include a lot of features.

By far the strongest selling point is its stamina in the battery life department. They’ll last up to 8 hours on a single charge, but you’ll also get another 24 hours of charge from the charging case. That’s a total of 32 hours of playback. That should help you get through even the most demanding endurance events. The charging case itself is conveniently small, so it fits easily in a pocket and securely holds the earbuds with magnets. Use USB-C to recharge the internal battery in the charging case.

The headphones themselves are rated as IP67 waterproof, which means it’s safe to sweat, but you can even swim to a depth of 1m for 30 minutes or shower with them still on. Three various silicone wingtips are provided to give safety to the ears. We found the fit to be excellent and the earbuds never came off during walking or explosive Olympic lifting movements. You get a respectable amount of isolation from outside noise, which might not be what you want if you’re walking outside.

The sound quality is somewhat serious. They don’t sound as firm and punchy as some of the other pricier rivals on this list, but the sound certainly isn’t a disappointment. There is enough presence here to be able to do training safely.

Other useful features include a microphone and for hands-free calls, compatibility with the Google Assistant and Siri, and multipurpose buttons on each earbud. However, the controls are somewhat complicated and it will take you some time to memorize button presses for different functions.

Key Features: Music and Calls, 3 GoFit Tips

Waterproof Rating: IP-67

Battery Life: 8 hours + 24 hours

Charging Cable: USB-C

best wireless headphones for walking

10. Jabra Elite Active 75t Wireless Headphones

best wireless headphones for walking

Jabra has had an impressive career with headphones in recent years and the Elite Active 75t is no exception. Its range of truly wireless headphones has continued to evolve over the past few iterations, with each evolution taking what was good about the predecessor and moving it at least one step further.

Those new developments here are largely focused on the active market, with minimal differences when it comes to practicalities when it comes to sound and features, which is not bad considering the Elite 75t are a pair of exceptionally good headphones with some of the best audio capabilities we’ve seen through true wireless technology

The main difference here comes in the form of durability. Where the Elite 75t offered an IP55 rating, the Elite Active 75ts up to IP57, which means you’re covered in sweat, dropping them into a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It’s not essential for everyone, but it’s a feature that has become a standard in active headphones.

Like the Elite 75ts, the battery life is 7.5 hours in the headphones and another 20.5 in the case. We have found it to be quite accurate through constant use, although we have found that the caseload may decrease if you leave the headphones unused for a few days. So it’s worth making sure you’ve recharged before any major use.

Speaking of the case, Elite Active 75ts offers one of the smallest case options you’ll find in the truly wireless options out there. Considering the battery life, it’s an impressive feat of technology and falls short of the Jaybird Vista for being compact.

As with most headphones that fit the ear only via the rubber tips, there is a certain level of manipulation with the different size options to get it right. Three different size ear gel options are included and you have to get the right ones otherwise you will know in the middle of a run.

After an initial period of testing the options, we found the right combination of bud size and a slight screw in the ear. We’ve found that they can loosen up a bit on longer runs when you break a sweat. It is not a deal-breaker and we have talked to many other users who claim they offer one of the most favorable settings.

When we tested it at the gym during weight training sessions, we found that the buds fell off frequently when we grimaced and contorted facial expressions when lifting weights. It’s an issue we’ve had with many different buttons and one we’ve only really seen resolved when there’s some kind of off-ear grip, like the one seen on the Beat Powerbeats Pro.

Elite Active 75ts has the best sound quality. The associated app allows for EQ customization and means you can make some noticeable changes to the already impressive sound quality. You can also use the MySound tool to test your hearing and adapt the settings accordingly.

Other features include HearThough technology that allows you to tap the button buttons to allow ambient sound through external microphones, compatibility with Alexi, Siri, and Google, and multiple color scheme options.

Key Features: Music and calls, HearThrough functionality

Waterproof Rating: IP-57

Battery Life: 7.5 hours + 20.5 hours

Charging Cable: USB-C

best wireless headphones for walking

11. Adidas RPD-01 Sports In-Ear Headphones

best wireless headphones for walking

The RPD-01 headphones are the third addition to the Adidas fitness range, offering a lightweight option that offers a host of benefits at a surprisingly palpable price.

The most notable design aspect of the RPD-01s is the addition of a supportive neckband that rests on the shoulders. Unlike traditional semi-wired Bluetooth options, this feature ensures that nothing moves while you move.

There is enough weight on the neckband to stay in position without being uncomfortable, which means that the cable for each earbud remains relaxed enough that you can turn your head without snagging. At an easy or moderate pace, it offers a stable and comfortable experience, although we found that in windy conditions, especially when accelerating, the band can fall off. Not great if you plan on wearing elm for race day.

The RPD-01s come with a choice of three additional wingtips and three earpieces. After spending fifteen minutes fiddling with the various options, you can get one of the most secure settings we’ve experienced in a pair of headphones. Once we set them to the optimal size for their lug holes, we found they were perfect for staying in.

Considering the price, it’s no surprise that the sound quality isn’t as impressive as some of the more premium products on this list, and if you’re an audiophile, you might want to invest in something that offers more. There is an app that works with headphones that offer a degree of audio customization, but overall, the sound can appear to lack the range and depth that you’ll get with slightly more expensive options.

One of our favorite features of the RPD-01s is the addition of a customizable button to the left of the neckband. This offers the ability to choose from a limited selection of commands that can be executed with a single click; from accessing a voice assistant to automatically playing a playlist section of Spotify.

Overall, the RPD-01 headphones offer a great mid-priced option if comfort is your primary goal when training. The battery is very good and the fit is flawless. However, if you are looking for perfect sound quality, you may need to consider spending a bit more.

Key Features: Music and calls, support neckband

Waterproof Rating: IPX4

Battery Life: 12 hours.

Charging Cable: USB-C

best wireless headphones for walking

12. AfterShokz OpenMove Headphones

best wireless headphones for walking

If you’re looking for a pair of bone conduction headphones but don’t want to part with the cost of the Aeropex, the OpenMove is a great option.

Like AfterShokz’s premium offering, OpenMove headphones transmit sound through the bone in front of the ear, rather than directly into the ear canal. The main benefit of that is the fact that you can still hear ambient sounds when you’re walking. It also means that you can still wear them to many organized events where conventional headphones are banned for safety reasons.

OpenMove works almost identically to Aeropex. The multi-functional button lets you pause music, skip tracks, and answer calls, while the two left buttons control the power and volume. There are some extra features available on taps like the selection of the equalizer preference.

Those equalizer options cover three formats: standard mode, for general music playback, voice reinforcement mode, for clearer sound when listening to audiobooks or podcasts, and earplug mode, which is used to block out sound. external with supplied earplugs.

The sound difference between Vocal Booster mode and Standard mode is noticeable in quieter environments, however, we felt that the OpenMove did not have the volume capability of the Aeropex, which means that we often had difficulty hearing music when it was lit a busy street. However, it still offers a solid experience in most cases, especially considering the price difference.

In addition to an IP55 rating, which will cover you from rain and sweat, there are six hours of music and calls on battery. Bluetooth 5.0 technology also offers a good connection with a range of up to 33 feet from your device.

Key Features: Approved for use under the UK Athletics Competition Regulations.

Waterproof Rating: IP55

Battery Life: 6 hours of playback

Charging Cable: USB-C

Leave a Comment