A Buying Guide To Workout Headphones: Pros, Cons, and Features (2021)

Summer is right at the door, and it is high time that you started working on getting that fit summer body. So bring out your yoga mats and put those trainers on.

But before you get started, make sure that you don’t forget a very important exercise essential, which is a good pair of workout earphones. Exercising is no fun without music. Your favorite tunes not only make the experience more fun but also keep you energized throughout the whole routine.

But good workout headphones aren’t that easy to buy. These gadgets need to be able to keep up with you while you exercise, and shouldn’t be a drawback, but rather a helping hand.

In this article, we’re telling you how you can buy the best over ear headphones for working out. Keep reading to know more.

Pros and Cons of Over-The-Ear Headphones

Over-the-ear headphones are some of the most popular kinds of gadgets used. Millions of people buy and use them religiously, and with good reason, because they’re some of the most convenient as well as versatile things out there. But with the good comes the bad as well, and there are a few drawbacks. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of headphones that you’d like to keep in mind.


  1. One of the best things about over-ear headphones is that they offer excellent noise cancellation and manage to block out a lot of outside noise, which can be great when you’re working out in gyms. It can effectively block out gym noise, and help you focus on your exercise routine and work better. It’s also great when you’re traveling on airplanes, or even in workspaces.
  2. Another great thing about such headphones is that they sit well on your head and very rarely is there the danger of them falling off your face. They have designs that are much more stable and conducive to activities that will require you to move around. So if you’re going to be working out, over-ear headphones are very reliable and they will stick with you throughout your workout.
  3. Speaking of design, because of the way headphones are created, the sound quality is clearer and more accurate. You will be able to hear every note and tune clearly, with very little muffling. On top of that, over-ear headphones also tend to be louder, other than providing noise-cancellation, which is great when you’re in a public place and you want to be in your own world.


  1. A major problem that you might face with wearing over-ear-headphones in the gym is having to deal with the lush, cushion-like design while sweating. While it might be comfortable in other cases when you’re exercising it can be very uncomfortable and can be itchy, and irritating. On top of that, wearing them for extended periods can hurt your ears. The sweat might also get soaked into the headphones, causing them to stink up over time. And as anyone will tell you, cleaning them isn’t easy.
  2. They are also not as compact as you would think, and they can be quite frustrating to lug around. Even if they’re easy to fold down, they take up quite a lot of space, and if you don’t want them hanging around on your neck, you have to either carry them in your hand or a bag. They also tend to be quite heavy, and inconvenient when compared to earphones. However, there are newer models like magnetic headphones, which are much smaller and more compact when you fold them down.
  3. A comparatively less common, but still existent problem that quite a few people face with such devices is that over-ear headphones tend to leak sound. This can be pretty inconvenient when you’re in a public place and you have to be aware not to disturb those around you. While such an issue is applicable primarily for devices that are not noise-canceling, some headphones which offer noise cancellation and blocking also tend to have this problem.
  4. Water-Resistant – Working out means that you’re going to be profusely sweating the whole time. Not only that but you may also pour water on yourself to cool down. So your headphones need to be as water-resistant as possible. It should be able to withhold constant exposure to sweat and corrosive body oils, without the material getting patchy or the internal mechanisms getting ruined. Compared to other types of listening devices, over-the-ear headphones are more at risk kf water damage since they tend to be more exposed.
  5. Stable Fit – Another important thing to look for here is a stable fit. Your headphones should stay balanced and stable on your head, as you move through the various exercises of your routine. They shouldn’t be falling off or slipping off your ears, regardless of how hard you’re working out. Think of it this way. They should fit you like how a glove fits a pitcher, or how a pair of trainers fits a runner. If a headphone comes with earmolds, a stable fit is more guaranteed.
  6. Comfort – Other than a good fit, the headphones should also be comfortable. Since you’ll be wearing them for hours on end, they shouldn’t hurt or squeeze your ears, which is a major problem for most headphones and a leading reason behind why people gravitate towards in-ear headphones. They should be spacious, without being loose and at the risk of falling down. The design of the headphone should be ergonomic and such that it sits well on the top of your head and cups your ears well.
  7. Portability – A good pair of workout headphones should be easy to carry and store. They should be lightweight, but not flimsy, and should comfortably sit inside your workout bag. If you’re looking for something that combines power with portable size, then magnetic headphones are a great option as they can fold into small sizes very easily, and take up comparatively little space. However, it is important to note that some headphones which offer features like long battery life, might be heavier due to the presence of a bigger battery.
  8. Great Sound Features – Of course, regardless of everything else, a good workout headphone must have great sound features. It should have a clear, rich sound quality and should offer great bass. On top of that, it should offer good sound blockage, which will allow you to block surrounding noise and work out in your space. The constant movement shouldn’t minimize loudness or jeopardize sound quality, and it should also offer stable sound even with all the movement as you engage in your workout routine, whether that’s running or weights.
  9. Efficient Usage Features – Features that ensure ease of use are crucial in new models. While you’re in the gym, I’m sure you don’t want to wait around for your headphones to turn on. Nowadays, many headphones come with advanced features that allow the headphone to switch on and off, by detecting when you put them on or take them off. Similarly, a built-in AI is another great feature. So that you can change playlists or requests for specific songs without ever having to stop and physically press buttons. A good mic feature is also necessary because if you’re paying good money, you’d want your headphone to be as multipurpose as possible.
  10. Good Battery Life – A proper workout routine in the gym easily takes a couple of hours, and in that time, you don’t want your earphones running out of battery now, do you? So good battery life is crucial for a pair of workout headphones. Nowadays, most branded headphones come with 8-12 hours of battery continuous usage, which is quite good. But some higher-priced models have even better battery life. One important thing to keep in mind here is that headphones with larger battery life tend to be heavier. So if you want longer battery life, you probably have to sacrifice portability.
  11. Price – Of course, you can never forget the price. A good pair of headphones should be reasonably priced, and you should walk away from the purchase knowing you have value for money. Before you set out to buy a headphone, sort out a budget for yourself, and then choose models that fit the budget. Branded headphones do tend to be more expensive, but spending a bit extra isn’t a bad thing since you’ll be getting a better warranty as well as the guarantee of advanced features.
  12. Safety – While other features are important, safety is also crucial to keep in mind because when you’re working out, you are at risk of physical danger, and on the off chance, there is an emergency, you don’t want to be caught in a mess. For instance, the headphones shouldn’t be totally noise-canceling or they should have a setting that allows a certain amount of outer noise to leak in so that you are still aware of your surroundings. They should also be easy to remove in case of an emergency when you need to remove all distractions and gain cognizance of your environment.

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