If you are a cyclist that enjoys 50-mile rides or you are looking to improve your distance. Then you’re probably going to need a pair of headphones to rely on for those long periods of training. That’s why today we are bringing you the top 10 headphones for cycling. So that you can focus on riding and not have to spend your time searching for the best pair of headphones.
Somethings to keep in mind before making a decision.
Safety is important
One of the things to keep in mind is that you probably don’t want to wear both headphones at the same time for safety reasons.
You want to be able to pay attention to the road you are on. Sometimes wearing both headphones can affect your awareness to the cars around you. Riding is a lot like driving and you need to constantly be aware of your surroundings.
Another thing to consider is volume.
Make sure to keep the volume low on your headphones while riding because this is also going to affect your awareness on the road. The last thing we want is for anyone to get into an accident while cycling. You also need to watch out for noise canceling headphones that will block out a good portion of the surrounding sound. Again not being able to hear your surroundings while riding can be dangerous.
Confort is key
In this list, we have selected only headphones that are wireless. This will help ensure that you get only the most comfortable headphones while riding.
Although a lot of people just use the pair of headphones that came stock with their phone, there are much better alternatives. Headphones that are not wireless tend to be uncomfortable as well as insecure. They are not meant to stay on your ears during exercise and that’s why we have sports headphones. The last thing you want is to adjust your headphones during your whole ride. Keep this in mind when choosing your headphones.
Alright, enough of that let’s get into the list.
1. Jabra Elite Sport
Ther Jabra Elite sport are some of the best headphones around no matter your sport.
They were created especially for athletes.
They stay in your ears like magnets. You never have to adjust them because they come with rubber wings that help them stay perfectly inside of your ears. The foam ear tips make it so the headphones conform to your ear making them even more secure. They are also incredibly light which means that they are perfect for long rides. They will not tire your ears as much as other heavier earbuds do.
You get a full 3 hours of battery life with or without the activity tracker turned on. The activity tracker is just a plus, measuring things like heart rate, speed, and calories burned. Their app has many workout options one of which is dedicated just for cycling. This is great if you don’t already have devices that measure this on your bike. Definitely a big plus for Jabra.
Let’s get to the good stuff…
The sound quality of the Jabra Elite is pretty great. They produce a nice punchy bass, which can is great depending on your kind of music you like. They are not bass boosted so don’t expect any ear-shaking bass. The midrange on these headphones is great. They produce a clean and clear sound experience. In the higher frequencies, these headphones are not much better than most but still deliver a great sound.
Overall these headphones are on the more premium side but you get what you pay for. They are amazing at staying on your ears which is a must in any sports headphones. They have great sound quality and a good amount of bass. If you like data then the activity tracker is something that you will most definitely enjoy.
2. Bose SoundSport
If what you are looking for is something with amazing sound quality, then the Bose SoundSport are the headphones for you.
Here is what you need to know about these headphones.
Right off the bat, you should know that these headphones are not waterproof. They are rated IPX4, which means that they are splash proof. This is something to consider if you are someone who sweats a lot during your workout.
One of the best things about these headphones is their level of comfort. With the Bose designed stay here plus ear tips, there will be little fatigue. These ear tips don’t actually go into your ear canal, which is great for people with sensitive ears. This ear tips also prevent the headphones from isolating noise. This is a big safety factor that makes them great for cyclists.
The fit in the ear is pretty good. They held to my ears with no problems. They are however heavier than most headphones of their kind. This is something that could bother some people. Overall the weight did not affect their hold on my ear. While the weight did not bother me, One thing that did was how much they stick out of the ear. To me, this just looks a little funny but this is also completely subjective.
They come equipt with plenty of control buttons which include volume, pause, play, and a multi-purpose button that can skip and fast-forward songs or bring up Siri or your google assistant. With all these functions you can still expect up to 5 hours of battery life.
Let’s move on to sound quality.
The only thing we can say about these Bose headphones is that they sound amazing. They have the best balance and clarity. They have the ability to get really loud while maintaining a very high-resolution sound. The bass is really great and punchy without sounding bass boosted. You will never experience any distortion with the bose SoundSport headphones. This leads us to the mid-range where the Bose headphones really shine. On the mid-range is where instruments and vocals sound their best. Bose was able to make the mid-range very crisp and precise.
Overall the Bose SoundSport headphones are a must-have. If you care about sound quality then these are the headphones for you. They have a slick design and their comfort level is one of the best we have ever experienced. Bose always seems to deliver high-quality headphones.
3. Jaybird RUN
The Jaybird Runs were a little late to the game when it comes to truly wireless headphones.
So does this make them better?
One of the first things that popped out to me was their design. With their plastic shell and matte finish around the logo, they look really nice.
When it comes to fit these headphones, in my opinion, are not the best. Although they managed to stay on my ears just fine. They felt looser than the Jabra Elite Sport and the Bose SoundSport. The Jaybirds do come equipt with different size ear tips and ear fins., which makes this subjective to every person.
Another thing to notice about this headphones is that they only come with one button on each side. This means that all most of your controls are only accessible through their app. Not having all the features easily accessible is one of the things that really let me down, because I found it harder to change things once I had started my workout. This being said it appears that Jaybird is going for a minimalistic pair of headphones. They have undercut any kind of activity tracker and onboard music storage.
Water resistance is not a problem for the Jaybird Runs because they are splash and sweat resistant. You can also expect no problems with the battery which lasts around 4 hours per charge.
Moving on to the audio quality…
These headphones sound amazing. This is mostly due to the fact that you can easily change the sound settings within the app. The soundstage is one of the best we have heard for workout headphones. The base is nice and punchy. There is a wide sense of instruments, presence, and spatial directional sound.
The audio remains crisp and the vocals stand out even on higher volume. Making these headphones perfect for any genre of music.
Overall these headphones sound amazing and are perfect if you are looking for a pair of headphones that you can just throw on and go. They do lack some of the nice features like activity tracking. I also wish that they had more controls on the headphones themselves. All of this reflects the price making them cheaper than the Bose and Jabra headphones.
4. JBL Free
The JBL Free are definitely some of the cheaper of the bunch. When compared to the Jabra and Bose headphones, these JBL headphones are much cheaper.
Let’s see if their price affects their performance.
One of the things that you will notice about these headphones right off the bat is that they don’t come equipt with ear fins. Ear fins seem to be standard in most sports headphones, but JBL decided to ditch them. With no fins, they have created a pair of headphones that are much lighter than their competition. However, no fins mean a less secure fit around the ear.
Something that I truly did like about these headphones is that they don’t stick out of the ear as much as other truly wireless headphones.
These headphones are rated IPX5, which means that they are sweat and water resistant. This makes them great for those hot summer days.
JBL has also chosen to go with the single control button. The multi-function buttons allow you to take calls, pause/play, access Siri and pair the headphones. Once again we have a pair of headphones that don’t have the volume control integrated into them. This is something that I don’t personally like, but it doesn’t bother everyone.
These headphones offer a good battery life of around 3.5-4 hours of continues use. This is pretty good but not as good as the Bose and jaybird headphones.
Let’s see how good these headphones sound.
The audio quality is decent, definitely nowhere near as good as the bose and jaybird headphones. That being said a lot of people don’t seem to pay attention to audio quality when training. On my test, I notice that the headphones don’t get very loud which is not a bad thing when riding, but not as great when using them around the house. The bass is not as punchy as I would like it to be and the highs are not the clearest.
Overall the JBL Free headphones are pretty good for cycling. The audio quality is not the best, but it works just fine when you are focused on training. One of the best things about these headphones is that they are light and do not strain the ears. The fact that they are not the most secure didn’t bother me while testing them in a 20-mile ride.
5. Powerbeats 2
Now that we have seen some truly wireless options it is time for some headphones that are basically wireless.
Let’s start off by looking at the Powerbeats 2.
Beats always seem to design some good looking headphones and the power beats are not an exception. They come with a matte finish and nicely made rubber ear hooks. They have a really good build quality.
While the ear hook is nice it does not provide the kind of stability you can get from an ear fin. That being said the headphones held on pretty well when I took them out to the track. You should expect these headphones to shift quite a bit, but the hook prevents them from falling out.
As many of the headphones featured here, the powerbeats are water and sweat resistant which is important for athletes.
The controls are pretty limited, with only a volume control and speech button that can access Siri or google. You can also click the volume up and down 2 times to skip and replay songs. These functions worked out just fine when I took these headphones for a quick ride test.
Something that I really liked about the powerbeats is that they have a battery life of six hours which is great for long training sessions.
Enough of that, let’s get into the sound quality.
The powerbeats sound great. They have a nice punchy bass and mids are very clear. You can expect some clear and crisp vocals and instruments. Even though these headphones do not isolate any noise, which is good for safety, they still manage to produce and great audio experience. If you can’t get a good seal between your ears and the headphones then the sound becomes a little less enjoyable.
Overall the powerbeats 2 have a great design that just looks really good. There are some problems with the fit. The hooks just do not seem to provide enough support for my ears. However, they never fell off my ears during testing. Where these headphones really shine is in their sound quality which is exceptional. They also offer more battery life than most truly wireless headphones.
6. Bose SoundSport
Bose makes it’s way back on the list with another great pair of headphones. This time it is the soundsport(not free) headphones.
Right off the bat, we notice their great design. They feature ear fins, which as we commented before are great if you are a competitive cyclist or like to go for long rides. They are also water and sweat resistant. Good for those of us who tend to sweat a lot or if you like riding in the rain. The ear tips themselves are very comfortable. Something that we are used to with Bose headphones by now. With their fins and super comfortable ear tips, they managed to stick to my ears really well.
You can expect up to 6 hours of battery life from the soundsport headphones. This is more battery life than the truly wireless pair.
These headphones also feature pretty basic controls. With the volume up and down, pause/play, and song skip buttons. In regards to the buttons, I noticed that they were a little hard to press. I could fill them shift from side to side whenever I pressed them.
Now the sound quality test.
Bose makes some of the best sounding headphones and the soundsports are no exception. The bass is nice and punchy and is not super deep. The mid-range is clear and crisp. Bose also managed to keep the highs very clean and free of distortions. When I turned the volume up, the sound seemed unaltered. Providing me with a great audio experience.
Overall the Bose soundsports are perfect for any cyclists. They are very secure and comfortable. Water and sweat resistance is also an important feature of these headphones. Finally, the sound is really great. Which doesn’t surprise me from a pair of Bose headphones.
7. AfterShokz Trekz Titanium
Now we are taking a turn to take a look at a different type of headphones. These are the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium. What makes them so different is that they use bone conducting technology to transmit sound.
The first thing that we should talk about is the fact that these headphones don’t go into your ears. They actually sit just in front of them. Meaning that while playing music you can hear everything that is going on around you.
Another thing that is affected by the way these headphones work is the comfort. Since these headphones do not go into your ears and are also pretty light, they are very comfortable. I tried them for a few hours while riding and noticed that they never shifted or moved.
We should also note that these headphones were created for cyclists in mind. This is why they use bone transmit technology so that you can be safe on the road. There might also be some states that don’t allow you to ride with headphones in your ears, which the aftershocks solve very cleverly. They are also water and sweat resistant which is important for any cyclist.
These headphones feature a multi-function button which allows you to play/pause, skip songs, and take calls. There is also a control for volume up and down.
The sound is really good if you can ignore all of the outside noise. When I first put them on I noticed that the headphones were not that loud. So after turning up the volume considerably, I got some pretty good bass and a surrounding soundstage. That being said you really need to turn up the volume a lot to get a really good listening experience. This is great for riding, but if you use them anywhere else you will notice that there is a lot of sound liking. Which seem to bother people around me.
Overall these are great headphones for any cyclist. I personally don’t like how much sound leaks out, but I will admit that these headphones work really great on my 50-mile rides. The fit is great on around the ear not bothering me at all. I will definitely say that these headphones are not for everyone, however, they are worth a try.
8. JLab Audio Epic2
Back to a normal pair of headphones, we have the JLab Audio Epic2. These headphones form JLab are quite good. They have a very slick design that just looks good and is not too flashy.
Les’t jump right into the comfort level. One of the things that I wished these headphones had is ear fins. They instead come with ear hooks that just not seem to get me that snug fit that I am always looking for. That being said they do manage to stay in the ear really well. The box comes with 6 different ear tips so you are sure to find one that fits you. Fit seemed to be extremely important when It came to sound quality.
The JLabs epics are IPX 5 rated which means that they are water and sweat resistant.
For controls, these headphones provide you with volume up and down, song skipping, and pause/play. To skip songs you have to hold the volume up button for a few seconds.
One thing that I really love about these headphones is their battery life. They last up to 10 hours from one single charge. This is great because I sometimes forget to charge my headphones after a long ride.
When it comes to sound quality the epics performed really well.
They are not as good as some of the headphones on this list but they do provide you with some good quality. The bass was present throughout. It has very good mids that are very clear. When I raised to higher volumes I didn’t notice a lot of distortion in the sound. One thing to keep in mind though is that you need to make sure you have a good fit in order to get the best sound from these headphones.
Overall these headphones are great. They have enough controls for convenience. The sound quality is actually really good for the price. One thing that it could improve in would be the fit. The fit is not the best, Although it works just fine when riding.
9. Bluephonic Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
Now is time to review the Bluephonic Wireless Headphones. I should start off by saying that these headphones wouldn’t be my first choice but after testing them I have realized that they actually work really well.
First off let’s look at the design and comfort level.
These headphones were created very minimalist. They only come equipped with 2 buttons which allow you control volume, skips, and pause/play. They do feel really well made so durability is not a concern. They use the hook design to around your ears to prevent falling. As I have said before, I personally don’t like the hook design very much because it does not hold the earbud in. That being said the headphones managed to stay in my ears through my whole test.
These headphones are rated IPX7 meaning that they are water and sweat proof. Making these headphones great if you like riding on rainy days.
The average life battery is about 8 hours which is really good for a pair of wireless headphones.
The sound quality is actually really good even when compared to some of the more expensive headphones in this list. The bass is very present and punchy. Although it sounds somewhat boosted which I just don’t like. Other than that it produces some nice mids and highs. The sound was clear and crips. The vocals sounded very clean which really made me happy.
Overall if you are planning on buying headphones that are not too expensive. Then I would definitely give them a try. The fits are good is good and the sound quality is even better. For me, I like headphones that can just offer me more in terms of functionality.
10. TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones
Now it’s time to look at some budget headphones. These are the TaoTronics headphones and you are sure to find these a lot cheaper than the other headphones on this list.
They have other great features other than the price.
After wearing these headphones for a couple of hours I noticed that they are really comfortable. Comfort should be very important for any cyclist. You don’t want a pair of headphones to ruin your performance on your bike. Another thing that I love about these headphones is that they head ear fins which fit me really well and heald the headphones in place.
I did not find an IPX rating for these headphones, but I sweat a lot and these didn’t affect them what so ever. I think it is pretty safe to say the can withstand some water.
When it comes to sound quality these headphones are not anything amazing. Being on the lower end I found that the bass is average. The minds where not as clear as I like them. When I turned up the sound I did notice a little distortion, but not enough to ruin the music.
Overall these are pretty good budget headphones. They have a great fit with a minimalist design. The sound is average, but the price is great.
Also published on Medium.