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6 Most Popular Running Headphones: Quick Review

Whether you prefer some serious heavy metal, low key rock, intense rap, or lighthearted pop music while you run, one genre is bound to boost your motivation, and possibly even make you faster.

In fact, one study found athletes worked harder with faster music and actually enjoyed the music more when it was playing at a quicker tempo. Just by increasing the music’s tempo by 10 percent created a 2.1 percent increase in distance.1

Several studies reveal the positive effects of music on runners and athletes alike. Music is shown to calm the mind and the body of athletes before competitions, when they are under high-pressure. It has also shown to eliminate their distractibility.2

So it’s true music can be a major motivator for running and working out. But when you’re constantly trying to fix your running headphones or having to slow down to stick one back in your earlobe, it can be counteractive and incredibly irritating.

1. Panasonic’s RPHJE120K In-Ear “Drops”

These headphones are among the lowest priced running headphones on the market, priced from $6.94 to $9.99. They were made to match the iPod Nano 5th Generation by color. You can buy them in 8 different colors, including silver, black, pink, blue, purple, green, orange, and red. Each set of headphones comes with three different sizes of buds (small, medium, and large) to fit all ear shapes.

2. The Apple Earpads with Remote & Mic

The Apple Earpads at $24.95, are specialized to resist sweat and water damage, and have an enhanced bass response. Instead of circular ear pods, Apple made these ear phones to fit into the individual ear structure, and designed them to fit many ear types. The remote that comes with them can be used to adjust volume, answer or end iPhone calls, and control music and videos.

3. The Sony Ultra Lightweight MDR-W08L Vertical “In-The-Ear Headphones”

The Sony Ultra Headphones are $39.97, have a slim headband, and actually allow outside sound for extra safety for when you’re running down the street. Plus, they come with a warranty.

4. The Sennheiser CX 680 Earfin Sports Ear buds

The Sennheiser CX 680 Earfin Sports Ear buds are priced at $69.99. They are both sweat and water resistant, and come with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty. The headphones are designed to fit anyone’s ear, and come with a “fit kit,” to helps you adjust the buds to your ear. They work with iPhones, all iPods and MP3 players (with a 1/8 in. plug), as well as with the Adidas miCoach.

5. The Bose IE2 Audio Headphones

The Bose IE2 Audio Headphones cost $99.95 and are made with an acoustic design with a vast range of sound, to help music transfer smoother into the ears. The company has recently advanced the design to provide a better fit and lasting durability. These headphones are made specifically for listening to portable MP3 players or iPods, and laptops. The set comes with a protective carrying case with room for a portable device.

6. Klipsch Image X7i

On the higher-price end of headphones, the Klipsch Image X7i headphones are listed for $199.99, and come with a 3-button remote for music and voice control for select Apple devices. Klipsch headphones come with patented oval-shaped ear tips, instead of the typical round ones. The headphones also come with a carrying case, 5 different sizes of ear tips, a clothing clip, and a 2-year warranty.

Give one of these top-selling headphones a try and let us know how work out for you.

Do you have any favorite running headphones?

Show 2 References

  1. Waterhouse J, Hudson P, Edwards B. Effects of music tempo upon submaximal cycling performance. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010;20(4):662-9.
  2. Mesagno, C, Marchant, D, Morris, T. Alleviating Choking: The Sounds of Distraction . Applied Sport Psychology. V 21.Apr 2009.


  • Matt says:

    Great article. I work out 5x/week and listen to music all the time. I experimented with several earbud headphones and finally found these, and absolutely fell in love.

    Philips O'Neill SHO2200RD/28 The Tread In-Ear Headphones - Red

    They are pretty inexpensive, have great build quality and because the main cord is covered in fabric it doesn't tangle like other headphones.

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      Thanks for sharing, Matt.

  • David says:

    Yurbuds earphones are "locked" into your ears even during runs.

  • nidhi pookat says:

    thanks for the information,i was actually thinking of buying a good in ear headphones for myself, this has helped me.