If you’ve ever gotten to the gym only to discover to your horror that you’ve forgotten your headphones, you understand how ready access to music or podcasts is as vital to your exercise routine as water and sneakers. You need your hype music or soothing true crime narrative to get you through, and your headphones better be there for the long haul.
Luckily, there are a number of gym-ready options to choose from. Sweatproof, durable, and capable of delivering pulse-quickening sound, these options will get you over any workout hump.
A nice compromise in the “wired headphones” vs. “ear buds” debate, the SENSO headphones are cordless, but do connect to one another via a thin strap. That connecting piece, combined with their adjustable earhooks and sweatproof buds (they have an IPX7 waterproof rating, meaning they can withstand submersion in up to 3 feet of water), make them extremely comfortable and unlikely to pop out mid-gallop. They deliver great sound (and passive noise reduction) with deep bass, and can last for 8 hours on a single charge. They are also connectable to any Bluetooth device.
These completely wireless Bluetooth headphones come with flexible earhooks and three different earbud cover sizes, to ensure it hits your exact comfort level. The Vislla headphones allow for one-touch smartphone control (even connection with Siri), and are both sweat and rain resistant. But the best part is its “stereo mode,” which allows you to share a bud with your partner so the two of you can enjoy a synchronized workout session.
Earbuds in the strictest sense of the word—no safety net earhooks here—the TOZO headphones likely aren’t the best choice if you’re running full tilt on the treadmill or doing a vibration-heavy spin class. But for the power lifter whose head isn’t bouncing too much, these deliver premium quality sound, come with a carrying case that doubles as a charger. They are also sweatproof to a IPX8 rating, meaning it can be submerged even deeper than 3 feet. They’re powerful and comfortable, and free of any cords that could potentially tangle with free weights.
A lot of the options on this list are waterproof to a degree—at least enough to handle even the sweatiest ears—but the Swimbuds (as the name indicates) are all about taking this concept to the next level. Ideal for swimmers, they are not only waterproof and deliver great sound, but they come with 11 different earbud tips to ensure maximum comfort. They are designed to withstand the drag and corrosion of rigorous water use, and are IPX8-rated waterproof. Note: for safety reasons they don’t recommend diving below 3.05 meters—anything that creates a tight seal in your ears could cause permanent damage at deeper levels.