The majority of people use earbuds or in-ear headphones for their workouts. It’s true that earbuds have certain advantages, including greater breathability and a more compact design. But it can also be difficult to find the right fit. In-ear headphones can fall out during difficult workouts and quickly become frustrating. Plus, some people just prefer the feeling of over-ear headphones.
Over-ear headphones tend to be more comfortable to wear. They also have better battery life and more features. The controls tend to be easier to use, especially when you’re concentrating on physical activity. In addition, over-ear headphones have a level of versatility that in-ear headphones often can’t match.
When you’re picking headphones for your workout, you want to find options that have good battery life, good sound quality, and intuitive controls. We’ve put together a list of our top headphones based on their sound quality, comfort, durability, and other important factors. Some even have customizable sound profiles, affording you the ultimate listening experience.
Comparison Table: Best Over Ear Headphones for Working Out
|#1. Sennheiser PXC 550|
Our Best Pick
|#2. Beats Studio 3|
|#3. Skullcandy Hesh 3|
|#4. Plantronics Backbeat Go|
|#5. Mpow H5|
The Best Over-Ear Headphones for Your Workout
#1. Sennheiser PXC 550
These headphones are the top choice when looking for over-ear headphones that can accommodate your workout. They weren’t designed for athletes; they’re made for casual use and commuting. However, the stable fit is tight and comfortable enough to suit your workouts and runs.
The design is wireless and features an ideal battery life. The touch-sensitive controls are easy enough to use regardless of your technological prowess. There’s even a companion app that makes the headphones customizable. You can customize your sound profile and choose from different presets to pump you up.
Another ideal feature is the noise cancellation. If you work out in a crowded or loud gym, this might be one of the most important aspects.
The one potential drawback is that the headphones don’t have a great deal of breathability. Your ears might sweat and grow warmer during your sessions. The bulkiness of the over-ear design may also not be ideal for certain exercises.
However, the wireless engineering is definitely convenient. If your battery dies, the headphones can also be plugged into your phone or other music device.
#2. Beats Studio 3
This option is a great combination of style and comfort. If you’re not a fan of touch-sensitive controls, you’ll appreciate the physical buttons of the Studio 3. The controls tend to be easier to use during a workout. There’s also a helpful “quick charge” feature that can be used if you forget to charge them overnight.
The sound quality is decent, and the battery life is much better than with many other wireless headphones. Like the previous headphones, these can cancel noise, making them an ideal option in a crowded gym. They’re a relatively lightweight option, and the ear cups have enough padding to be comfortable.
With all that in mind, they do tend to lack low bass. In addition, the smartphone app doesn’t have customization options. There’s no passive playback, meaning that they cannot be used wired. The inability to plug them into your music player might be a deal breaker.
#3. Skullcandy Hesh 3
If you want more bass-heavy headphones at an affordable price, the Hesh 3 headphones might be perfect for you. Though they don’t cancel noise, they have a good battery life, good sound quality, and a stable fit that makes them perfect for workouts. They’re also one of the most affordable options on the list.
The headphones come with a great wireless range. There’s also a quick charge feature that lets you play music for hours after charging for only 10 minutes. The design works best with bass-heavy music genres. Like the Sennheiser, you can wire these headphones to your music device if your battery dies.
There are a few potential drawbacks, though. They aren’t great at noise isolation. Since you can’t customize the sound profile, they might be too bass-heavy for people who don’t like heavier bass.
If you want a noise-canceling variety with the same features as the Hesh 3, Skullcandy also makes Venue headphones, which cancel noise while boosting bass.
#4. Plantronics Backbeat Go 600
This option is ideal for people looking for comfortable, lightweight headphones that suit their workouts. They aren’t too tight, and they don’t apply excess pressure to your head. You can wear them during a workout without suffering fatigue. The control scheme is also easy to use thanks to the physical buttons located on the outside of the ear cups.
As sound quality goes, these headphones are best suited to bass-heavy genres. If you’re a fan of bass, the overemphasis will keep you pumped up throughout your workout. If you want even more bass, you can use the extra-bass feature to boost the power.
The battery life lasts 17 hours and only requires a 90 minute charge. There’s no quick charge feature, however. Another potential drawback is that they don’t tend to cancel noise, so they might not be ideal for people working out in loud environments.
However, you can use the headphones wired if your battery dies. And as the price goes, the sound quality is above average.
#5. Mpow H5
If you want an over-ear option that performs well, but you’re working within a constrained budget, you might want to consider the Mpow H5. These headphones are wireless and cancel noise. They’re well-built and comfortable to wear, far surpassing the quality of other headphones in their price range.
These headphones have a good audio reproduction capacity. However, the high bass might get a little cluttered and muddy. They’re made for bass-heavy music genres. You won’t get ideal performance with music centered on vocals.
The headphones allow for around 12 hours of playback on a single charge, so they can cover you through both your workday and an after-work workout. The wireless design makes them ideal for physical activity.
With that said, they lack the stability of the other options on the list. If you’re doing intense workouts that involve a lot of head movement, they may slide around. The noise canceling feature also isn’t the greatest on the market, but it does isolate some ambient sound.
These headphones can be wired to your music device if the battery dies. The control scheme is also easy to use.
The best headphones for your workout are the Sennheiser PXC 550. They’re wireless and have a great battery life, with an intuitive control scheme that makes them convenient for working out. Even though they aren’t designed for sports, they’re comfortable enough to be perfect for your workout.
The Studio 3 headphones are a good option if you want headphones with more aesthetic appeal. However, they don’t offer the same level of customization that you’ll find with the Sennheiser. The Skullcandy headphones are a good choice if you’re looking for heavy bass, although they don’t cancel noise.
For people on a budget, the best option is the Mpow H5. These headphones offer good sound quality without breaking the bank.