Best Running Headphones For Every Budget

Thanks to all of the new technology available, it has never been easier to take your music with you wherever you run. Rare is the runner who doesn’t plug into their iPod or other MP3 player before heading out onto the road or climbing aboard the treadmill. With everything that is out there, it can be difficult to find the best running headphones for you. 

Runners Goal Lights

It is crucial that you pick a good set of headphones to bring the music to your ears. Listening to music is a great way to stay motivated, keep your mind engaged, and add enjoyment to the process of working through a long run. With all of the sweating and pounding that occurs during a run, you will need headphones that are up to the task of holding tight to your head and maintaining good audio quality. 

The following choices are some of the best running headphones on the market today. I've separated out the products into in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear categories. Click on the tabs for each product to see what I think about them.​

In Ear Headphones

In ear headphones, or earbuds as they are more popularly​ known, have been the athletic industry standard for some time now.

​They are small, they are convenient, and in many cases are reasonably priced. There are a TON of different options to choose from out there, each varying in price and functionality.

Check out our top 3 earbuds picks in the tabs below.​

  • Jaybird X2 Sport
  • Bose SoundSport
  • PANASONIC RPHJE120K

The Panasonic RPHJE120K earbuds are your basic wired headphones. They are, for all intents and purposes, a "generic" earbud. But don't be fooled, there is more to these little guys than meets the eye.

The biggest selling point for these is that they only cost $7. That's right. If you can scrape together 7 whole dollars, these can be yours. But inexpensive does not always mean cheap. These are a great value for what they are.

You get 3 different sized rubber ear pieces, so you should be able to get a decent fit. They actually stay in your ear while you're running and are pretty comfortable too. Coming in at a whole 1.4 ounces, you'll probably forget you're wearing them.

While sound quality isn't bad, it's certainly nothing to write home about. But if you're buying earbuds, your're probably not overly concerned with sound quality to begin with. 

For being $7 headphones, their quality is really quite good. They obviously lack certain features like Bluetooth, an inline mic/controller, and mind blowing sound quality. But as far as inexpensive headphone go, these are the tops.

On Ear Headphones

On ear headphone have started to become more and more popular in today's fitness culture. This is partly due to the fact that on ear headphones are "cool" right now.

But they also solve a common problem prevalent with In ear headphones. In ear models are often unable to block out ambient noise during physical activity. On ear systems tend be superior in this area.

Take a look at some of our top picks for on ear headphones in the tabs below.

  • Monster ISPort Freedom
  • Urbanears hellas
  • Kinivo bth240

The Kinivo BTH240’s may not look like much, but don’t brush them aside just yet. These have become extremely popular for a number of reasons. The biggest one being the price. You can commandeer a set of these off of Amazon for right around $25.

These are also the most compact headphones in our on ear group and fold up small enough to fit in a pocket. Due to their small size, they are extremely lightweight (2.5 ounces) and sit behind your head rather than on it.

They are a Bluetooth enabled headset that sport hands free calling - no cables to worry about. With it's rechargeable battery, you'll be able get up to 10 hours of listening time and 200 hours standby on a single charge.

Sound quality, while definitely not top of the line, exceeded expectations for the price of the head phones.

These may not top the charts in a lot of categories, but they definitely give you the biggest bang for your buck if you’re on a budget. For 25 smackers, you really can't go wrong here.

Over Ear Headphones

You don't see people wearing over ear headphones very often while exercising. They are bulky and just flat out look a little funny.

That being said, much like the revolution of the on ear headphones, over the ear systems have become a growing trend. Over the ear models offer unparalleled sound quality and ambient noise cancellation which is desirable for many athletes.

Check out our favorite over ear headphones for runners in the tabs below.​

  • AUsdom m04
  • Soul combat+
  • rhythmz blu hd

If you're looking for a mid-range, all-around, set of headphones, the Rhythmz Blu HD's are your babies. They feature Bluetooth connectivity, touch gesture controls, and a built-in mic to make your running experience as hands free as possible. It also comes with a cable if you prefer a wired connection.

They are also easy to pack as they are fold-able and come with a carrying case. They do not have noise reduction capabilities, but the ear-cups do pretty good job of keeping the music in and the ambient noise out. The ear pads are made of a breathable cotton so you ears won’t cook while you're out on your run.

Sound quality is about what you would expect from a pair of mid ranged over ear headphones. But where they really shine is their Bluetooth connection. You can be as far as 30 feet away from your device with no discernible compromise in connectivity.

The sleek design certainly makes them look high end. As far as price is concerned, they actually wind up in the middle of the pack around $80 a pair.

They may not be a studio recorders dream, but if you're looking for a mix of quality and affordability in a pair of over ear headphones, these are an excellent choice.

The best running headphones are the ones that fit comfortably onto your head and allow you to get the most out of your running experience. You should be able to find a pair that fits your lifestyle, your budget, and your head.

If you can, try to demo headphones before you buy them so you can ensure that they will stay snug to your head throughout the run. Make sure to try a few different models from the list above and make the choice that will fit your needs just right.

Have you tried any of the headphones above? Do you have a favorite pair ​that we didn't talk about? Let us know down in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Best Running Headphones For Every Budget”

  1. I’d also suggest taking a look at etymotic research – the mid range headphones are under $100 – they are very sound insulating though, so you have to be a bit more vigilant during runs at night or in traffic…

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