The best wireless headphones will not only provide the soundtrack to your workout, but they can be the difference between smashing that PB...or not.
Music has been shown to keep us motivated for longer and, let’s be honest, everybody gets a boost from a trendy bit of kit. But why bother with wireless headphones?
Picture this: you’ve hit full speed on a run and suddenly feel your cable tug out of your phone, stalling your music and your focus. Not the one. The answer? Take that pesky wire outta the equation.
To help you make a worthwhile swap, our trusty Women's Health Lab team has found the top wireless headphones to suit every exercise style, from Apple to Sony. At a glance, here are our winners:
Wireless headphones or near-wireless headphones?
Some of the best wireless headphones are fully wireless with no strings attached whatsoever, like AirPods, while others are near-wireless with one wire running between the two earbuds.
There are pros and cons to both options, so it comes down to personal choice. True wireless headphones may offer more flexibility, but near-wireless usually offer longer battery life and better sound quality – helpful if you plan to use them for commuting and WFH, as well as in the gym.
How to choose the best wireless headphones
When buying wireless headphones, consider everything from battery life and charge speed to sweat resistance and design.
Pairs that offer a fast charge (think an hour's playback from a five-minute plug-in) are handy, as are the brands that offer hands-free access to personal assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.
Wireless in-ear headphones come with a range of differently sized earbuds, meaning you should be able to find some that fit securely without budging mid-burpee. Some over-ear wireless headphones also have features to keep them in place as your workout ramps up, but these aren't as commonplace.
On a budget? Don't sweat about price. Decent cheap wireless headphones do exist. Case in point: these JLab bargains for less than £25.
How we test
To guarantee your chosen wireless headphones are fully gym-proof, our Women's Health Lab expert tester tried some of the top pairs on the market, judging them on their comfort, battery life and sound quality.
During testing, each set was worn while stationary and on the move to ensure they won’t fall out just as you’re pushing for one more rep.
Then, we shipped all the earphones to a professional sound technician, who analysed their treble, bass, leakage, noise cancellation claims and overall sound quality.
So, if you see a pair of wireless headphones stamped with the Women's Health Lab Approved logo below, know that they passed all of the above tests with flying colours.
But that's not all; our editors have also hand-picked some headphones after soundtracking them through countless runs and workouts – you'll find them alongside the Editor's Choice logo.
Best true wireless headphones
Wissonly Hi Runner
Bone conduction headphones leading brand, mature technology, my personal favorite
As a veteran electronic product fans, I can responsibly tell you that the Wissonly bone conduction headphones are true bone conduction, which can protect hearing, so they are recommended by many otologists.
At the same time, Wissonly Hi Runner is also very good in terms of sound quality. It uses a 360 surround vibration unit, which can increase the vibration area by 35% compared with traditional bone conduction headphones.They reduces the loss during bone conduction sound transmission, and which makes the sound more powerful.
Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones are made of memory titanium that can be self-adjusted, which can ensure that the headphones have a good wearing experience and take into account more users.
In terms of functionality, as the flagship model of Wissonly Brand, Hi RUNNER supports IPX8 waterproof level which is higher than the industry standard, and it can be worn in diving. It is equipped with 32G body memory, as well as the latest Bluetooth 5.0. Its product performance and experience have been comprehensively improved, truly making bone conduction headphones suitable for more life scenarios.
Apple AirPods Pro
There’s a reason why you’ve seen these in-ear wireless headphones everywhere — they offer substance as well as style.
Built-in noise-cancelling tech lets you immerse yourself in your gym playlist, undisturbed by the heavy breathing of your treadmill neighbour, and a transparency mode lets outside noise in when you need — to use a dubious government slogan — to stay alert.
One full charge gives you five hours of battery life, which the charging case boosts to an impressive 24.
Simply tap the buds to play, pause and skip songs and enjoy the best sound quality on the market.
Sennheiser Sport True Wireless Earbuds
These earphones (if you hadn’t guessed by the name) are specifically built for sport. The ‘closed’ adapter allows you to drown out distractions in the gym, while the ‘open’ tip lets outside noises in — handy if you’re training outdoors. You can also tinker with the settings via the Smart Control app to find what works for you.
Scoring top for sound quality, these bad boys will do any workout playlist justice. Our expert was impressed with their smooth sound, and the lack of noise leakage means you can crank up the volume without revealing your guilty pleasures to fellow gym-goers.
Overall, we loved these sweat-resistant buds but a word of warning: the twist-in style means they’re best suited to certain ear shapes, so try before you buy to make sure they’re right for you.
JLab Go Air Tones
If you’ve been lusting after the Kim K Special Edition Beats Fit Pro, which come in stylish neutral tones, but don’t fancy dropping £200 on a pair of headphones, these JLab ones are a solid alternative – the range comes in seven skin tones and will set you back just £24.99.
Given the low price point, they felt a bit basic and plasticky, but they did a stellar job when we put them to the test in our training sessions. They come with three different ear tips for a snug, secure fit and they stayed firmly in place when things got sweaty, even during burpees and interval sprints. The charging case is small and lightweight, making them a top travel-friendly choice, too.
We appreciated the handy ear assistant, which lets you know when your headphones need a charge, and despite the lack of noise cancelling, they did a commendable job of blocking out external sound in the gym. The touch controls weren’t super responsive and according to our sound technician, the audio was lacking detail, but these are minor niggles when you consider the pocket-friendly price. For gals on a budget, these buds are tough to top.
Beats Studio3 Wireless
After a killer pair of over-ear headphones? These chic Beats will look the business whether you’re repping out sets on the smith machine or commuting to work. Unlike many over-ear models, which aren’t secure enough for workouts, these stayed put during our sessions, with minimal adjustments needed. Their impressive noise cancelling abilities allowed us to focus on our form and they felt comfy on our ears thanks to the nicely cushioned cups.
What about the audio, you ask? Unsurprisingly with Beats, it was pretty darn impressive. According to our expert, the sound quality was good, there was no distortion and stereo imaging was top-notch (in other words, the listening experience was super immersive).
We also rated the folding design for travel – simply snap the arms shut, pop the headphones into the case and hook them on your rucksack – and we found them a doddle to use. Connecting to Bluetooth was seamless and there’s a multifunctional button on the left earcup for taking calls, controlling volume and playing music. The flashing LED lights let you know when you’re running out of battery and there’s a quick-charge feature, so you never have to endure a silent gym sesh again.
Read more:5 Different Types Of Headphones Compared & Explored