Like me, if you don’t prefer in-ear headphones for working out, then you’ve landed on the right page.
In this article, we’ll go over the 7 Best Over Ear Headphones for Working Out. Almost all headphones featured in the list below are water-resistant and sweatproof, and possess an IP rating.
Hence, you can use these headphones during intense workout sessions or in the gym. However, make sure to remove the headphones after a specific time interval to reduce neck strain and wipe out excess sweat and grime.
Top 3 Best Over Ear Headphones for Working Out
|Best Overall||Best Overall||Plantronics Backbeat Fit 6100||
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|Runner-Up||Runner Up||Treblab Z2||
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|Best Cable||Best Value||JBL Under Armour Sport||
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7+ Best Over Ear Headphones for Working Out in 2021
1. Plantronics Backbeat Fit 6100 – Best Overall
The Plantronics Backbeat Fit 6100 are probably the best-looking over-ear workout headphones on our list. Plantronics is an American electronics company with an extensive line of headphones and audio products for all use cases.
Design-wise, the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 6100 looks very understated and has a subdued presence. Hence, it isn’t going to get eyeballs rolling from other people around you. Although, from a closer look, one can notice all the fine details that have gone into making this the best over-ear headphones for working out.
The headphone fits very snugly and covers your entire ears with its deeper cans. The clamping force isn’t ridiculous and doesn’t make you remove the headphones now and then. Usage of lighter materials keeps the overall headphone weight low, which reduces additional strain on your neck.
The Plantronics Backbeat Fit 6100 comes with IPX5 certification, which offers an additional level of water-resistance and sweatproof compared to headphones with IPX4 certification. The IPX5 certification makes the Backbeat Fit 6100 an ideal choice for athletes or people who love doing intense workouts.
In terms of battery life, you can expect 24 hours of audio playback on a full charge. The battery life can vary depending on volume and Bluetooth connection. There’s fast charging support too, which will offer up to 6 hours charge in 15 minutes, and to fully charge the battery takes up to 2 hours. Although, you get a micro-USB charging port instead of USB-C charging, which can be a deal-breaker for some people.
Furthermore, the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 6100 features touch-sensitive buttons. Through the MyTap feature in the Backbeat app, you can set several controls like timer, stopwatch or start playing your favorite Spotify and Apple Music playlist. However, the touch controls are finicky and highly sensitive. Hence a tiny touch to adjust the headphones might result in paused music. Moreover, with sweaty hands, it gets slightly tricky to adjust onboard controls precisely.
- Lightweight body
- Minimalist design
- Several customizations through the Backbeat app
- Snug and comfortable fit
- Long battery life
- Micro-USB charging port
- Touch controls are highly sensitive
- Longer charging time
“The Plantronics Backbeat Fit 6100 is probably the best looking over-ear workout headphones. The minimalist design makes it ideal for gym and everyday usage. Moreover, the bass-forward sound output makes it a right fit for people with an active lifestyle.”
2. Treblab Z2– Runner Up
If you want the best over-ear headphones for working out without spending too much money, then the Treblab Z2 is an excellent pick.
For starters, it is a mixed-usage headphone. It means, once you’re done using it in your gym or workout sessions, you can take the same headphones and use them throughout the day.
On the design front, the Treblab Z2 resembles any DJ or Studio headphones with its complete black design and an enlarged Treblab logo on both headphone cans. The headphone is comfortable to use for longer duration daily; however, during workouts, you’ll be required to remove them after 30-45 minutes to get rid of the excess sweat.
Luckily, the Treblab Z2 is IPX4 water-resistant and sweatproof. Hence, you can use these headphones for a longer time than regular over-ear headphones.
In terms of sound quality, the Treblab Z2 has a balanced sound profile. It isn’t bass-heavy; however, there’s enough bass to keep you entertained through your workout sessions.
Hence, listening to classical rock, piano music, meditation music, and more will be a joy on these headphones.
This headphone is also equipped with Active Noise Canceling (ANC). However, I found the feature to be gimmicky. The feature doesn’t work with the same essence as we’ve seen ANC technology in other Sony, Bose and Jabra headphones.
Treblab claims the Z2 can offer up to 35 hours of battery life. Although in real-life usage, we’ve found the battery life to last up to 20 hours on a full charge. It is decent battery life and can easily last up to a week before needing to charge again.
To make things easier, you get a few control buttons on the headphone. It includes play/pause, track forward/volume up, track backward/volume down on the left can. In contrast, the right can include an ANC On/Off switch. You also get a 3.5mm jack to connect the Z2 to your mobile via an AUX cable.
Build quality-wise, the Treblab Z2 is entirely plastic-built. The headphone band is flexible, which reduces the breakability factor. Having said that, due to shallow ear cans, the headphone might fall off during high-intensity workout sessions. Although, during jogging and light exercising, the Treblab Z2 is a perfect fit.
- Ideal for all types of music and genres
- Long battery life
- Affordable price
- Low latency audio support
- It comes with a carrying case
- Poor ANC performance
- Shallow earcups
- Not ideal for phone calls due to poor microphone performance
“The Treblab Z2 is an excellent pick for budget-oriented workout headphones. They have decent style and build quality, whereas you can listen to various types of music. It supports aptx-LL audio processing technology for latency-free music hearing with up to 20 hours of real-life battery life.”
3. JBL Under Armour Sport– Best On-Ear Headphones for Working Out
JBL and Under Armour have collaborated to introduce a slew of sports headphones and earbuds for people with an active lifestyle. JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Train is one such product that is specifically meant for outdoor usage and is ideal for workouts and gym usage.
It is an on-ear headphone with breathable mesh-style ear cushioning. Compared to faux leather ear cup cushioning found on other headphones, this mesh-style cushioning provides better heat and sweat dissipation. The padding is very thick, and a good amount of clamping force from the headband provides a secure fit.
Being targeted towards people with active life, the JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Train is IPX4 certified. As mentioned above, IPX4 certification means the headphone is water-resistant and sweatproof.
You also get several control buttons and options on the headphone’s right side. There’s power On/Off and pairing button, volume up/down, and track forward/backward button. At the same time, there’s a multifunction button to receive calls, audio playback, and voice assistant activation.
The JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Train doesn’t support ANC features; however, you get transparency mode. With the help of 3 array mics, you can hear your surroundings better, which Under Armour calls TalkThru mode. You can enable this mode by tapping the Under Armour logo on the headphone’s right cup.
The package comes with a rugged carrying case, a short charging cable, and an AUX cable with an inline microphone. The headphone also sports a 3.5mm jack that allows using this headphone with the provided AUX cable.
In terms of everyday performance, the brand claims that these headphones can last up to 16 hours. The numbers are reasonably genuine but can somewhat vary depending on the volume and usage of the TalkThru feature.
On the audio quality front, the JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Train leans more towards a bass-heavy and bass-boosted sound. And it is expected from the audience both brands are trying to capture. However, the bass-heavy sound doesn’t overshadow the mids and highs. However, do expect your traditional music to have slightly more punch of bass.
- Secured fit
- Bass-heavy sound
- Rugged built quality
- TalkThru mode works brilliantly
- Poor looks
- No ANC option
- Extremely overpriced
“This JBL and Under Armour collaboration is trying to capture the audience that Beats brand once had. Hence, you’re paying more for the collaboration and marketing rather than the product itself. While the Sport Wireless Train’s main audience is sports and gym-going people, it is sold for 3x more price than it should.”
4. JLab Flex Sport– Best Lightweight Pick
From the very start, the JLab brand has been making workout and gym-friendly headphones and earphones at an affordable price. Hence, the JLab Flex Sport is no exception to the brand’s philosophy.
Priced under $80, the JLab Flex Sport offers excellent features and design that make it the best over-ear workout headphones. However, there are few downsides as well, which we’ll talk about a little later.
Being workout-focused headphones, the JLab Flex Sport is incredibly lightweight. It comes with removable headband covers, further reducing the headphone’s weight to a smaller extent.
The headband is durable and can flex a lot more than other over-ear headphones on our list. It allows far more breathing space around your head and hair. The detachable ear cup cushions are washing-friendly to remove excess sweat and dirt.
The headphone has an overall black design with a matte finish on the headband and ear cup area. You can notice a slight dash of blue with the JLab logo and the left and right channel indicator within the ear cushions.
In terms of sound quality, the JLab Flex Sport works very well and features a bass boost option to increase the headphone’s bass output. If you’re not a fan of bass-heavy music, then the JLab Flex Sport will serve you well. You can listen to modern pop, classical rock, punk rock, and similar genres that work well on this headphone. However, due to its lightweight construction, it’s accessible for the other person to hear what you’re listening to.
The sound bleed is present and is a significant limiting factor with most lightweight over-ear headphones. Moreover, the outside noise can also creep in if you prefer listening to music at a lower volume.
You get Bluetooth 5.0 connection technology, which consumes less power. The Bluetooth 5.0 technology offers a whopping 20 hours of battery life on a full charge. There’s hardly any connection drop, and you can enjoy music with great clarity.
- Extremely lightweight
- Detachable and washable headband and ear cushions
- Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
- 20 hours of battery life
- Easily foldable design
- Sound leak is present due to lightweight body
- The detachable headbands can be troublesome to carry everywhere
“For the price, the JLab Flex Sport is an excellent exercise headphone. It is a workout-first headphone; hence, all the primary features are geared towards people with an active lifestyle. Plus, the lightweight design makes it an ideal pick for longer usage.”
5. Plantronics Backbeat Fit 500– Best Price
If you want an incredibly lightweight workout headphone that costs just under $30, then the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 500 is a worthy pick. Even with low price, the headphone looks extraordinarily stylish and adheres to modern design standards.
It has an on-ear design with thick padding around the headband and ear cups. Even with an on-ear design, Plantronics has equipped this headphone with 40mm drivers, which allows for a wider soundstage and better overall sound quality. Most on-ear headphones only come with 30mm drivers and can’t match their over-ear counterparts.
The Plantronics Backbeat Fit 500 isn’t IPX certified; however, it has a military-grade nano-coating from P2i. It offers resistance against water splash and is sweatproof. Hence you can use these headphones during an intense workout without fear of damaging the headphone.
Being an on-ear headphone, it is essential to note that the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 500 is not ideal for an intense workout. The ear cushions sit onto your ears; hence, it is easy for the headphone to fall off. Although, you can use it for jogging, guided meditation, and stretching exercises.
Plantronics claims that these headphones can last up to 18 hours on a full charge. Plus, there’s a physical button on the right earcup to play/pause music, track forward/back, and volume up/down. On the design front, the headphone looks remarkably stylish, and if it were from some other premium brand, it would cost less than $70.
- Lightweight design
- P2i nano-coating
- 18 hours battery life
- Decent sound quality
- he onboard controls are hard to press
- Not ideal for intense workout sessions
“If you’re hesitant on spending a lot of money on workout headphones, then the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 500 is a superb pick. It is extremely lightweight and comes with P2i coating that is water-resistant and sweatproof.”
6. Anker Soundcore Life Q30– Best Battery
Soundcore is Anker’s sub-brand for audio products and mainly focuses on budget-friendly headphones, earbuds and speakers. Soundcore products compete with high-priced audio products from Sony and Bose, ensuring you get similar sound quality and experience at a far lower price.
This headphone is supported by a Soundcore app that allows you to toggle through various equalizer modes depending on the usage and audio you’re listening to. The headphone also comes with noise-canceling mode, which Soundcore calls Multi-mode noise canceling. You can toggle the noise canceling mode between transport, indoors and outdoors. There’s also a transparency mode that allows you to hear your surroundings better.
In terms of design and built quality, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 is prominently sturdy and well built. There’s ample padding that provides excess comfort for everyday usage. However, it also increases the headphone’s overall weight; hence, it might cause slight neck pain if used longer.
Additionally, unlike other headphones mentioned in our list, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 isn’t IPX4, or IPX5 certified. Hence, the headphones aren’t officially water-resistant and sweatproof. If you plan to do light exercises and jogging, it makes good sense to use these headphones.
For the price, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 offers excellent sound quality compared to other lifestyle-oriented headphones available in the market. Plus, you get a whopping 40 hours of battery life on a single charge. Suppose you’re in a hurry; in that case, you can get up to 4 hours of battery life with 5 minutes of charging.
- Very comfortable
- Easy-to-use and intuitive Soundcore app
- 40 hours battery life
- Multiple noise-canceling and transparency modes
- Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC support
- Poor quality inline microphone
- Heavy body
- Not water or sweat resistant
“As a lifestyle headphone, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 beats every other headphone out of the park. However, since it isn’t water-resistant or sweatproof, that’s why it sits slightly lower on our list. If you plan on doing light exercise or jogging, then this is the right pick.”
7. GOgroove BlueVIBE FXT– Best Budget
The GOgroove BlueVIBE FXT is another iteration of on-ear style Bluetooth headphones. The ear cups are flat and do not have a cavity like the other headphones mentioned in our list.
This type of headphone design is ideal for people who do not like the closed nature of regular on-ear and over-ear headphones. The GOgroove BlueVIBE FXT has an open style design that provides an airy feeling and stays in place due to the headband adjustment and clamping force.
Although, with its flat ear cushion design, you can hear a lot more ambient noise, whereas the people around you can hear what you’re listening to. Hence, this headphone is only ideal if you plan on doing home workouts or exercise in a quiet environment.
The GOgroove BlueVIBE FXT has an IPX4 certification that provides water resistance and is sweatproof. Hence, you can use these headphones for a workout without any worries.
You get onboard controls on the right earcup like play/pause, volume up/down, and track forward/backward buttons to control your music with relative ease.
In terms of sound quality, the GOgroove BlueVIBE FXT sounds decent, and don’t expect a lot. The headphone is suitable for casual music listening and favorable during light workout sessions.
- Airy on-ear design
- Long battery life
- 30 feet Bluetooth connectivity
- Average built quality
- Not sturdy
- Uses older micro-USB connection port
“The GOgroove BlueVIBE FXT is an unusual workout headphone. In comparison, there are better alternatives available. However, I’ve featured this headphone for people who don’t find regular on-ear and over-ear headphones comfortable.”
Things to Consider Before Buying Best Over-Ear Headphones for Workout
If you’re using any electronic product during your workout or gym sessions, then it’s of utmost importance for the product to be sweatproof and water-resistant. In this case, over-ear workout headphones are no exception either.
Except for the Anker Soundcore Life Q30, all other products in the above list have either IPX4 or IPX5 certification. On the other hand, the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 500 doesn’t have any IPX certification; however, it has nano-coating from P2i, which provides water resistance and sweat proof.
The biggest problem that plagues over-ear headphones is their weight. Good quality over-ear headphones mostly weigh over 5.5 ounces. Hence it can cause neck strain when used for a longer time during the workout.
If your headphone is heavy, make sure to remove it after a specific time interval and clean the ear cups thoroughly to remove any stress or dirt.
With the advancement in modern technology, Bluetooth headphones can now last anywhere between 15-60 hours on a full charge. Modern Bluetooth technology like Bluetooth 5.0 consumes less energy, which consumes less battery power.
Hence make sure your preferred headphone offers adequate battery life. Products featured in the above list last anywhere between 18-40 hours. Battery life is also dependent on the audio volume, active noise technology, and transparency mode.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are over-ear headphones good for working out?
While many people prefer earbud-style headphones for working out, however, over-ear headphones are a better pick. Compared to earbuds, you don’t have to adjust the headphones and keep them in place constantly. Moreover, in-ear headphones can cause an increase in wax production and bacteria growth in your ears.
Are over-ear or on-ear headphones better for working out?
If you plan on doing intense workouts, then over-ear headphones will be a better choice. It’s because over-ear headphones cover your entire ear and your ears sit within the earcups cavity. Comparatively, on-ear headphones just sit on your ears and can easily fall off or slide around.
Does sweat ruin over-ear headphones?
Sweating will ruin over-ear headphones if the earcups and ear cushions aren’t properly cleaned and dried off after each workout. Moreover, excess sweat becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and microbes, which isn’t good for hygiene.
I hope this article helped you choose the best over-ear headphones for working out. If you’re still confused, I’d suggest going with the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 6100 as it offers excellent features at a truly affordable price.
Suppose you want lightweight headphones. In that case, you can get the JLabs Flex Sport or Plantronics Backbeat Fit 500.
Although, make sure to do your due diligence before choosing the right workout headphone for you.