A decade or so ago, wireless headphones sounded like a crazy pipe dream. But now you can find them in a range of sizes, specs and battery lives that connect to your phone via Bluetooth.
And if any place could use a cordless situation, it's the gym, what with all the arm movements, jogging, up-and-down motions and general flailing around that make cords completely inconvenient (and dangerous if you're at all uncoordinated).
Music is a distraction that can boost your performance by 15 percent, stimulate the motor area of your brain and elevate your mood, so we think the right pair of headphones -- namely, one that doesn't interfere with your workout and still sounds good (is that too much to ask?) -- is just as important as the weights you're about to swing around.
Here, we list the best wireless headphones (and one cheap pair that isn't wireless) for taking to the gym:
Jaybird SportWe love the tiny Jaybird X2, a lightweight in-ear headphone that lasts 8 one-hour workout sessions between charges. Jaybird says they're the smallest on the market, and we're close to believing them -- they weigh less than half an ounce, come with a patented fin to fit snugly inside your ear, and just sound damn good ($179, Jaybirdsport.com).
PlantronicsPlantronics BackBeat Fit are flexible, water resistant, lightweight, and have an 8-hour in-use battery life. They fit snugly in your ear when you're running (although, they bounce a little). CNET ranks them as their Best Sports Headphones of 2016, so you know they're good. Plus, each pair comes with a phone case so you can wear your phone on your arm. ($129.99, Plantronics)
JLABBecause JLab's Epic Bluetooth Earbuds ($99.99, Jlab) are tough, lightweight, easy to fit inside your ear and not as expensive as others, The Wirecutter ranked them as the pair they're most likely to get when working out. Out of 145 sport-specific headphones they tested, "Any other headphones ... not only had lackluster sound quality, but were also lacking in comfort and stability," their review states. "At around $100, the Epic BT is on the lower end of the price range for Bluetooth water-resistant headphones, too."
AmazonOn the super duper affordable side, Business Insider puts Koss's FitClips at the top of their list, which come in under $30. Although inexpensive and not wireless, "they neither feel nor sound cheap. That sound isn’t amazing in a vacuum," their review states, adding that "there’s very little meat to it, and practically no bass -- but for the money it’s both clear and loud. It’s serviceable for a quick jog or watching some TV on the treadmill."
HellasUrbanears' line of Active Hellas headphones ($119, urbanears.com) earned them a spot on PC Magazine's list of the best headphones for running -- the only supra-aural (on-ear) headphones on their list. They have a "comfortable design with machine-washable earpads and headband padding. Functional touch controls. Solid audio performance," which makes them "a rare example of workout-friendly, machine-washable on-ear Bluetooth headphones."