10 Best Over Ear Headphones For Working Out

Top 10 earphones for working out that have specific features which contribute to better comfort and listening experience for the fitness enthusiast

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Music is an integral part of an active lifestyle. It keeps you fighting, pushes you harder and is a constant companion through the struggle. Headphones are the first thing you reach for when heading out for your daily run. But not all the audio gear on the market is suitable for a healthy and productive work out. So after extensive research, we rated the very best over ear headphones for working out in the gym, home or outdoors. We selected them for sound signatures that are geared towards working out and the comfort of wearing for long hours in public. These are only over-ear headphones, we have covered other portable types of sports headphones here.

1Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones BEST OVERALL

Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones

Available on Amazon

Bose headphones are known for their comfort and safe sound signature that plays well with every genre. But what makes their SoundLink AEW II headphones truly workout-friendly is their fit and ability to become physically inconspicuous once worn. It also helps that they have the best Bluetooth audio quality for the price. The cool looks and durable build earn it top honors on the best over-ear headphones for working out list.

BEST OVERALL


 Pros


Extremely lightweight and comfortable
Bluetooth- and NFC-enabled
Full and smooth audio
Flatters all genres
Adaptive mic and EQ
 Cons Expensive


Design Features

Bose SoundLink Around-ear Wireless headphones II (AEW II) look like a futuristic and more athletic version of the serious QC35s. But the form factor is similar and comfortable. The earcups are racetrack oval and sit around moderately large ears without pressure. The headband is slim and lightly padded along the arch. They weigh only 7 ounces, so the headband can be optimized at this size to distribute the weight evenly. The earpads are made of plush memory foam and sheathed in leather. The earcups fold flat to be hung easily around the neck. Bose claims they have been tested for impact and are pretty durable based on long-term usage feedback.

The SoundLink over-ear headphones have an adaptive microphone integrated into the design. This automatically modulates the voice and volume according to the ambient noise. The result is the ability to make crystal clear calls even in urban traffic. The person on the other end can pick up the vocals clearly. These work on Bluetooth 4.0 and connect to multiple devices at a time. They will play based on priority, i.e. calls over music. They are also NFC-enabled so you simply tap them with an NFC-enabled phone to pair. Once powered on, they re-pair with previously connected devices instantly. These come with a flat carry case that can pack the USB charging cable and the audio cable.

Sound

Bose is known for its smooth audio signature that flatters all genres of music. That being said, the audio is class-leading in this price range. This is in spite of not being AptX-enabled. These are powered by strong but relatively controlled bass. So the lower frequencies are rich but not overwhelming. They are perfect for joggers who like quality sound. These are not bass-heavy cans, so while they won’t blast your ears, they are impactful enough. They are equipped with volume-optimized EQ. When the volume on a headphone is lowered the audio loses bass, but with SoundLink, the bass is automatically boosted a bit in this situation. So, the audio keeps sounding full even when the volume is low.

These headphones have a clean midrange. It is supported by a slight bump in midbass and sounds rich. The advantage of this Bose signature is that it doesn’t emphasize the imperfections in the recordings. So they get along well with MP3 quality records as well. The treble is smooth and contributes a laid-back sound. Bose has tried to minimize the DSP taboo that comes with being Bluetooth headphones. This keeps them sounding relatively more accurate than other Bluetooth headphones in this price range. They sound almost the same in their wired mode albeit a little louder than the wireless mode.

2V-Moda Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphones SECOND BEST OVERALL 

V-Moda Crossfade Wireless Headphones

Available on Amazon

V-Moda combines both the clear sound of music with the rugged strength of metal design in their headphones. The Crossfade wireless headphones are the epitome of this with the ability to outdo their popular M100s. The stylish design is bound to turn some heads when you run. These are not just jogging headphones, they are gaming headphones too. Although an unconventional choice, they fit the all-purpose workout criteria.

SECOND BEST OVERALL


 Pros

Metal frame, stylish looking
Bluetooth-enabled
Powerful bass
Clean midrange audio
 Cons Larger ear size need XL earpads


Design Features

The V-Moda Crossfade wireless headphones are a stylish and sporty pick. As with most of the V-Moda headphones, these are sport hexagonal earcups. If you have small or medium ears, you will find the deep foamy earcups very comfortable. But for larger ears, there’s the option of switching to the roomy XL earpads that have to be bought separately. The headband is moderately broad, lightly padded and has a mesh layer on the underside for better ventilation. The earcups can swing forward and hug the ears snugly. This time on, the headphone look less grungy and slightly curvier than the previous V-Moda headphones. These fit in a way that they remain low-profile on the head.

The earcups of these work out headphones fold flat for hanging off the neck. The design is peppered with metal. V-Moda claims that these meet military standards of durability. The headband can also be completely flattened without damage. The steel frame adds a bit to the weight but V-Moda still keeps it down to 10.3 ounces. The internal battery can provide 12 hours of life. When it runs out of battery, it can be plugged in for wired performance. As will other headphones from this company, these are compatible with all gamers’ accessories. The Crossfade wireless is also outfitted with a mic to make calls hands-free.

Another trademark V-Moda feature is a metal backplate on the earcups. These can be replaced or laser-engraved to customize. These over—ear headphones comes with an exoskeleton case too, it’s larger than that of the M100s because these do not fold inward.

Sound

The V-Moda Crossfade wireless headphones follow the audio signature of the popular M100. These have forward bass and treble and clear, natural midtones. When looking for bassy headphones, M100 is our best choice in this price range. And Crossfade wireless becomes our best Bluetooth choice. It lacks only slightly in resolution than the wired M100s. In fact, in the wired mode, the Crossfade is tuned better than the M100 with better detail. The bass is aplenty and beats with great authority. It has the bass slam to get the EDM and techno tracks going.

The treble is spiked but not so much that its sounds sibilant. In fact, the Crossfade wireless has an energetic presentation but it doesn’t cause sonic fatigue like bright headphones do. The midrange is clean and airy. These also sound slightly more open than usual closed-back headphones so that lends some transparency to the audio.

3Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear THIRD BEST OVERALL

Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones

Available on Amazon

The Mpow 059 Bluetooth headphones are a budget option for running. Their specs look great on paper for the price and they deliver on their reasonable promises. Unlike the other affordable options, these are quite sturdy and can take the rigors of workouts. These look stylish and have the dependable sound quality with options for improvement. These take a straight dive into the best over-ear headphones for working out.

THIRD BEST OVERALL



 Pros


Bluetooth-enabled
Foldable
20-hour battery life
Energetic audio
Clear sound
 Cons Bass could be clearer


Design Features

The Mpow 059 headphones are stylish. They go for glossy black with red highlights in the design. There are tamer or brighter options as well.  They come in a total of 7 color combinations. The frame and the back of the earcups are strengthened by metal at key points. The headband extension on both sides has metal core. The headband is optimally padded along the arch on the top. The earcups are large and racetrack oval. They are topped with moderately deep memory foam cushions that and sheathed in protein leather. The arms of the headband fold to reduce them to a compact package.

These over-ear headphones are Bluetooth–enabled. They connect wirelessly over a 33 feet range. The battery lasts through 20 hours of playback in the newer version of these cans. They take around 4 hours to fully charge. They also connect in the wired mode when the battery runs out. They also have a built-in mic to make hands-free calls.

The fitment is just right for working out and running. They fit a little snug so you don’t have to worry about them sliding off the head. The headband does stick out on the sides on smaller heads. So they end up looking a tad dorky on such people.

Sound

The Mpow 059 headphones stayed strong with their Bluetooth connection throughout the 30-feet range. This is usually not the case with affordable Bluetooth gear. They also sounded pretty decent backed by the SBC protocol. There’s plenty of bass with a slight boost in the 60-250Hz region. This can be EQ’d out easily too.  The midrange is clean and supported by the big bass.

The treble has a slight peak in high frequencies that keeps them as interesting as the bass. The result is an energetic audio signature that pushes you to sweat more. It enhances the dance and bass-heavy genres.

4Avantree Audition 40 hr Wireless/Wired Bluetooth 4.0 Over Ear Headphones with Mic

Avantree Audition Headphones

Available on Amazon

Avantree Audition Pro AptX LL is a lightweight multipurpose wireless headphones. Its specific feature set and design that helps runners stay on the track of fitness. The Bluetooth connectivity helps shed the wires and run without a care in the world. They perform admirably for the price, both in terms of audio quality and Bluetooth connectivity. They met all the criteria for our best over-ear headphones for working out.

AVANTREE AUDITION



 Pros


Bluetooth and NFC-enabled
Foldable
40-hour battery life
Quality audio
AptX Low Latency
 Cons Not the most stylish headphones


Design Features

The Avantree Audition Pro AptX LL headphones have tried to ramp up the looks without being ridiculously glossy. They go for a simple matte black finish black stitching for highlight. They use mostly faux black leather and plastic for the finishing but this is quality fare. The headphones do not feel like they’ll break with normal handling. However, we are concerned that the thread used in stitching might fray. They weigh a measly 6.4 ounces so they require very less clamp pressure to stay put on the head. The earcups are mounted with racetrack oval earpads. The cushions are plush and seat the ears deeply. They can be replaced by the user in case you want something bigger.

The headband is adjustable for size. The only design flaw with the Mpow 059 is that the headband and earcups stick out a somewhat from the head. So you have a smaller oval head, they can look odd. The yokes of the earcups fold inwards to pack them in a smaller size. A carry case accompanies them for portability.

The headphones offer 40-hour battery life on a single charge. This is on moderate volume. If they run out of battery, they can also be used in the wired mode with the audio cable that’s included.  The Bluetooth is multipoint, so you can connect to multiple devices at a time and play based on priority. It also supports NFC, so you can connect with devices through a single tap. These headphones are available in a number of other variants, including cheaper models and ANC-equipped ones.

Sound

The Avantree headphones have been widely lauded by the users for their strong Bluetooth connectivity. The hold stayed strong within the specified 30-feet range without dropping or exhibiting any static. The Bluetooth also repaired automatically upon discovering an older device.

These are AptX low-latency headphones. The latter term means that there will be no lag between the playback and the sound coming out of headphones. The sound signature is balanced. There’s a good quantity of bass which gives the audio a full body. The midrange is clean and crisp. It has decent detailing in spite of the Bluetooth connection. The treble is smooth and laidback.

5Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones

Available on Amazon

Bose is the master of comfort and noise-cancelling. The QC35 II headphones combine both. Although pricey, these can be your ideal gym headphones. These are lightweight and comfortable. They carry a versatile feature list for the people who like their gadgets high-tech. The ANC can be switched on while running so that you can hear voices and high-pitched noises.

BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 35



 Pros


Bluetooth-enabled
Foldable
40-hour battery life
Quality audio
AptX Low Latency
 Cons Not the most stylish headphones


Design Features

The Bose QC35 II over-ear headphones look much like their older version, simple and clean. In spite of the host of features, it manages to weigh only 8.34 ounces. The design is neutral for sports and corporate. They differ from the previous version with a Google Assistant button. This activates the Google Assistant on your connected playback device directly and you can speak your voice commands directly into it. You can also access Siri on iPhones. The headband is padded with microfiber along the arch. The earcups are oval and padded with plush cushions. The clamp is perfect as with most Bose headphones.

These headphones are ANC-enabled. You can customize the level of ANC between low, medium and high. This Toggle can be assigned to the reprogrammable Google Assistant button. The earcups fold flat around the neck and also inwards for easy storage. These Bluetooth-enabled and connect quickly with the playback devices. They can produce 20 hours of playback and ANC on a single charge. When they run out of battery, they can be used passively in wired mode. They are available in black or silver.

Sound

The Bose QC35 II lives up to the legacy of the Bose ANC. They have the eerily quiet background that makes even 20-hour flights something to look forward to. That being said, we wouldn’t recommend using them for working out in noisy places. Sony WH1000MX2 is the only other headphone that has ANC as strong as the QC35s.

The audio response is flattering to all music genres. The QC35 II have one of the most pleasant audio signature in this price range if not the best.  They sound natural and smooth. Bose trades off some of the detailing so that bad quality recordings do not sound so harsh. They have plenty of bass without the lower frequencies over powering the midtones. The midrange is clean and natural. Bose tones down the treble so that it sounds a tad laidback. The Sony headphones are slightly livelier and open due to the sparkle in treble. But many audiophiles also prefer the darker sound signature of The QC35 II.

6Sony XB950B1 Extra Bass Wireless Headphones with App Control

Sony XB950B1 Extra Bass Wireless Headphones

Available on Amazon

The Sony XB950B1 scream “work out” headphones in every way. They are sporty, stylish, wireless and have the extra bass for a basshead. Though I always prefer balanced headphones and EQ bass, these headphones are a good investment who always want their music to rattle their heads. The technology and the design are trademark Sony so they take a well-deserved spot on this list.

SONY XB950B1 EXTRA BASS



 Pros


Suave design
Bluetooth-enabled
Powerful bass
Bass Boost option
18-hour battery life
 Cons

Can be bassy in Bass Boost mode
Not very durable


Design Features

The Sony XB950B1 over-ear headphones are exceptionally good-looking. For a runner, these would be conversation magnet. The metallic finish takes advantage of some gorgeous colors like royal blue, wine red and black. The headband is broad and only lightly padded. The earcups are large and round. They are mounted with lavish padding where the ears can nestle deep. The earcups can swing forward a few degrees on their yoke to hug your ears. Most importantly, the design is low-profile so they never look awkward in public. The earpads are color-matched with the headphones.

The earcups of these headphones fold flat. This enables you to hang them around the neck when not in use. These have a Bass Boost button on the right earcup along with some status indicators. These chug out 18 hours on a single charge. When they are out of charge, they can be connected to the playback source via the audio cable. The 9.9-ounce body feels solid. Handling them with care. They have been known to break with major impact.

Sound

Sony usually goes for balance in their audio. For the past few years, they have regularly churned out their extra-bass headphones. With the XB950B1 headphones, the original sound signature itself has plenty of bass. The lower frequencies get a decent push. Audiophiles will find the bass pushy but it’s right down the hardcore basshead’s alley. The midrange is slightly over-powered by the bass. The vocals are clear and rich. They don’t have the transparency of balanced headphones though. The treble response is inconsistent since bass is the star here.

There’s a Bass Boost mode in these headphones which further bolsters the lower registers. Things can get real muddy here for our taste. But we are aware that this sound signature is dear to some folks especially those who work out and need that bass slam.

7Mpow H1 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear

Mpow H1 Bluetooth Headphones

Available on Amazon

The Mpow H1 over-ear headphones are a budget-oriented set for the regular joggers who want the basic features. Their wireless connectivity is strong and they offer good audio. They fit the design criteria we set for the best over-ear headphones too. They double as hands-free headsets too.

MPOW H1



 Pros


Bluetooth-enabled
Foldable
40-hour battery life
Quality audio
AptX Low Latency
 Cons Not the most stylish headphones


Design Features

The Mpow H1 headphones are popular in this price range. The build is lightweight but reported durability issues. It’s mostly high grade plastic with some metal along the arms. The headband is moderately wide and padded from ear to ear. The earcups are large and racetrack oval. They can house large ears. They are mounted with deep cushions and sheathed in faux leather. They weigh only 8.1 ounces and fit without a strong clamp. As with most lower priced headphones on this list, the ear pieces are slightly bulky.

These headphones connect wirelessly via Bluetooth v4.1. The range extends to 33 feet. They can play for 15 hours per charge and more if the volume is only moderate. They can be used in wired mode too. They take 3.5 hours to charge fully. The earcups fold inwards to reduce the storage footprint of the headphones. They come with a drawstring pouch and are available in three color combinations. The headphones also integrate a mic to make calls with buttons located on the right earcup, which include volume change and playback control buttons.

Sound

The Mpow H1 headphones go for a traditional audio response. They seek balance rather than bass-boost. The audio has plenty of low-end richness though. They play full and rich even when the volume is low. The bass has surprisingly good definition for the price. It’s faster and tighter than we expected. If it’s slightly boosted, it’s a calculated spike rather than a blatant assault on the midrange. The midtones are clean and crisp. There’s a decent amount of detailing that makes the vocals and guitars sound natural. The treble is smooth and lends more energy to the audio.

The Bluetooth performed admirably. We did not experience any static or dropouts. They are also excellent at isolating noise passively. We preferred them for working out because they cut out exactly the right amount of ambient noise and let the voices inside.

8August Over Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

August Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Available on Amazon

August over-ear headphones are an affordable pair.  They have a very different design that looks unique compared to your other headphones. Being wireless, these are easy to carry around while working out. These are available in a number of interesting colors.

AUGUST BLUETOOTH WIRELESS



 Pros


Bluetooth-enabled
Balanced audio
Good bass
Foldable
Durable
 Cons None


Design Features

The August headphones art stylish. The earcups are rounded rectangular. They are mounted with very deep earpads. These can nestle even the largest ears. The headband is slim and broad. It is padded at the arch. The arms of the headband fold inwards. This reduces them into a very compact design that’s easily portable. The keypad is very well-though out. There’s a multifunctional button at the center with Play/pause and call answer/reject. These are flanked by volume buttons and track navigation buttons.

These headphones connect via Bluetooth V4.2 with AptX capability. These can also connect via NFC through a single tap. When these are out of charge, they can also be used in wired mode. These are powered by a battery that can play music for 15 hours per charge. These are available in six different colors. All are finished in a brushed metallic finish.

Sound 

The August headphones have an excellent bass response.  The lower frequencies are meaty and powerful. The bass beats are strong and resonant. Sound is clean without interfering with the midrange. The midtones are crisp and supported by bass, but not overpowered by it.  The treble is smooth and well-extended. So the vocals and strings are played nicely. These headphones are not as vibrant or detailed as the higher-end headphones, but they do well for the price.

The Bluetooth connectivity is strong and stays true within the entire range of 33 feet. The headphones pair automatically when the devices are discoverable by Bluetooth. This is multipoint Bluetooth that connects to two devices at once and plays based on priority.

9Sennheiser HD 4.40 Around Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Sennheiser HD 4.40 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Available on Amazon

The Sennheiser HD 4.40BT wireless headphones are a surprisingly affordable buy considering it has the typical Sennheiser sound signature. The simple yet elegant design is comfortable for use around the house and also for working out. These get a well-deserved mention in the best over-ear headphones for working out.

SENNHEISER BLUETOOTH WIRELESS



 Pros


Bluetooth and NFC-enabled
Warm,  rich sound
Clarity and sub-bass extension
25-hour battery life
Multifunctional control button
 Cons None


Design Features

The Sennheiser HD 4.40BT headphones are reminiscent of the Bose QC headphones. The earcups are large enough for all ear sizes. These are racetrack oval and sit around the ears. These can swing forward to hug the ears. The earcups are mounted with plush pads and sheathed in vinyl. The ears sit deeply within these without edging too close to the driver.

These headphones have an interesting control panel. There’s switch that acts as a multifunctional button. Upon pressing, it manages Play/Pause/Call Answer/Reject. It can be slid back and forth to change tracks. There’s a volume control flanking it. We like the dedicated control for track navigation. These headphones connect wirelessly to the playback sources through Bluetooth. They can also connect via Near Field Communication or NFC by simple bumping this and the device together.  These can also be used in the wired mode using the included 3.5mm audio cable.

The 4.40 BT are outfitted with a mic to make calls hand-free. This is a fairly clearly omnidirectional mic that picks up voices well. They can chug out 25 hours of playback per charge. These have a companion app called the CapTune which has a number of EQ presets.

Sound

The Sennheiser HD 4.40BT shine with the clear and energetic signature that we like this brand for. The sound is fairly balanced with just a hint of More importantly they achieve this over Bluetooth. They favor a warm and slightly bass-forward sound which sits well with both audiophiles and runners. The bass extends deep and has excellent definition. The sub bass region has a bit of boost which empowers the audio. The spike is well-calculated and it exists without muddying the midtones.

The bass lends richness and an enthusiastic flavor to the midrange. The vocals sound natural and bold. The strings and guitars sound bright and clear. The treble partners well with bass and midtones for clarity and sparkle.

10Edifer H840 Audiophile Over-the-ear Headphones

Edifer H840 Audiophile Headphones

Available on Amazon

Edifier H840 are the only wired headphones on this list. At lower budgets, you might not get the best Bluetooth connectivity and sound out of a pair of headphones. Wired headphones with low cable noise are a much better option here.

EDIFER H840

 Pros

Wired
Affordable
Durable
Balances sound
 Cons None


Design Features

The Edifier H840 headphones look unassuming at first. They have stuck to a matte black design that blends in with every situation. The only highlight is the logo printed on the earcups in small font. The arms of the headphones are marked R and L very discretely. The headband has a steel frame and plenty of padding. It can be extended on both sides to fit larger heads. The earcups are racetrack oval and topped with soft foam pads. These are sheathed in leather even at this price point. The earcups can fold flat and hang comfortably off the neck when not in use.

These headphones are wired. The cable extends to both earcups. This is a cylindrical cable that handles tangles well. It terminates in a standard 3.5mm jack. There are no extra accessories. But we recommend using a cable clip whilst working out to ensure that the cord stays put. The cord runs only 6 feet so it’s easier to manage. These are available in 4 different color combos including a white/tan one that we found very attractive.

Sound

One thing you immediately notice with the audio of Edifier H840 headphones is that it has excellent noise isolation. The large earcup cut down a significant amount of ambient noise. These go for a warm and balanced signature. The audio sounds very natural and immersive especially because of the noise isolation. The bass is punchy and fast. It can handle some pretty complicated music without distorting or dissolving the details.

The midtones are clear and clean. They have a smooth quality which goes easy on both bad and good recording formats. The treble is smooth and lends energy to the sound. They sound rich eve at low volumes and especially while working out or running when ambient noise can otherwise drown out the details.

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