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True Wireless Earbuds for Fitness Enthusiasts

When you’re out on a cardio session, doing muscular at the gym (or at home) and even mixing in cycling, swimming or climbing then the right equipment can be as important as the right mindset. Some people are bottlenecked by their current physical ability, some by their outlook, and some by their gear.

It’s vital you invest in some solid audio for your workouts so you can focus on the session, hear your music or your rep counters, and not have to worry about disturbing others.

Are True Wireless Earphones Good for Sports?

True Wireless Earbuds are in-ear headphones that are completely independent, and come with a charging case. The earbuds themselves are similar to what you’d expect with the added benefit of being completely detached from each other or your source of audio.

The charging case is the real defining factor, with some cases holding up to 5 recharges for the earbuds without needing to go near any mains outlet or bring a power bank everywhere. By charging on the go, wherever you are, you can keep the earbuds charged at all times with minimum down-time.

These features make them the perfect sporting companion, for any kind of exercise at anytime, anywhere!

Key Features to Look for in Earbuds for Exercise

When looking at True Wireless Earbuds specifically for sports, there are some key areas to consider:

Battery Life

Charging Case Capacity

Noise Cancellation

Sound Quality and Range

Weight and Fit

Sweat and Water Resistance

Wireless Earphones Battery Life

The last thing you want when you’re setting up a workout routine, arriving at the gym, starting a run or in the pool changing rooms is to hear your music / timers suddenly stop. Not only have you lost some important contextualising audio, but you might also not be able to keep track of pace and time as well without your audio alerts.

Long Battery life is thankfully something true wireless earbuds commit to, seeing as they can only be used wirelessly. The minimum you want to be aiming for is around 5 hours per charge, then the charging case will offer more.

This is a good baseline because it covers a few hours of morning / day use and, even if you haven’t managed to charge up, the earbuds will still have enough for your workout. Ideally, you’ll have your earbuds docked whenever they aren’t in use, but anything under a few hours of charge invalidates that benefit with constant down-time for recharging.

Spending 2 hours charging for barely more than that in use is going to make your gear slow you down, hold you back, and bend you to a schedule that you should be in control of.

Charging Storage Case Capacity

The charging case that comes with your earbuds needs to be small, light and, most importantly, quick. To limit the amount of down-time your earbuds have, you should look for a case that charges your earbuds in under 2 hours and gives them over 4 hours of charge. This will increase the chance of always having charge ready, and make even partial recharging worth it.

Try and make sure your earbuds are on charge for at least the half an hour before you start just to avoid being cut-off mid warmup. Over a full set of recharges, you should be able to reach over 20 hours of battery life with completely wireless charging.

Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Noise cancellation and specifically ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) is more commonly thought of as an Over-Ear or Headset quality. Wireless headphones have the benefit of padding, fit and extra space. Headsets do imply a greater ability to cancel out noise and immerse you.

However, a modern pair of wireless earbuds rises to the challenge and you should consider a pair that includes at the very least ENC (So you can take calls and use voice assistants clearly even while working out, exhausted or in public) and potentially even more.

Being able to isolate your body and mind into the session is a great skill, and music from noise-cancelling earphones can help. By contextualising time (via song length) as well as giving you a beat to workout to, music through these earphones completely changes a cardio sesh.

How to tell if Wireless Earbuds are Good Sound Quality?

When you’re after sports earbuds they need to be loud, bass-filled and have sound rich enough that the thudding of feet and howling of wind doesn’t stop them. It can be hard to ascertain exactly how a pair will sound, so be on the lookout for these qualities:

  • True Wireless Stereo (TWS) is a feature that splits the audio between your earphones, even without needing a stereo cable. Having left and right channel audio can help stay grounded and immersed.
  • Virtual Surround Sound (5.1, 8.1 etc.) can add to this effect, giving even more directionality. This isn’t needed for exercise specifically but if you want to make sure your earbuds are robust enough to use for games and TV too, this is a great feature to look for.
  • Bass-Enhanced earbuds have driver units embedded to enhance the bass of the audio. While you’ll never get a full subwoofer or bass tube in there, they can go some way to adding depth to wireless audio.
  • Driver Units are what earphones and headphones use to actually propel the music outwards. A driver unit can be worth knowing the size and wattage of, as a measure of the expected power (Volume and clarity) of the speaker.

Lightest Wireless Earbuds Weight and Fit

If size is your primary metric (And that’s a valid decision) then the EP800’s are our best-selling True Wireless buds for a reason. They have the smallest size, snuggest fit and that’s ensured by 3 different sizes of replaceable ear tips.

True Wireless Earbuds range anywhere from 3.5g to 6g (And if there are pairs higher than that, from all the testing I have to do here, I can say now that they’d be too heavy). The lighter, the better when it comes to sports use. Hearing the music as if it’s right in your ear without feeling like it’s right in your ear is the balance this tech needs to strike, and light weight with soft materials is the way to achieve that.

Always check your earbuds can actually have the tips removed, replaced or changed entirely to ensure you can find a fit for any workout.

Sweat and Water Resistance

Earbuds, Headphones and more will be advertised as “IPXX Rated” as a measure of their liquid and physical ingress protection. We have a full article explaining IP ratings here, but overall, you should be aiming for at least IPX4 water resistance when using Earbuds for sports and exercise. You want protection from mist and sweat from all angles, and if you’re caught out in the rain a higher IP rating will guarantee you can power through, staying focused and safe even in the bad weather.

For those of you swimming, only IPX7 + water resistant earbuds are suitable and, even then, you must separately account for the pressure and temperature of the water. If you’re taking a pair to the beach or dusty trails you will also want some protection from physical dust and dirt and sand. This is the first number of the IP rating.

For an all-purpose pair of sports earbuds that are safe to use for any workout, aim for IP67 or above. This ensures no nasty sand or dust damage, as well as no leaking sweat or raindrop damage.

Explore Our Range

Armed with the knowledge of these features you can explore a wide range of sports-grade earphones and earbuds, making the decision that’s best for you and your workout. True Wireless Stereo Earbuds have been such a boost to motivation and performance in my sessions by removing unnecessary worry and prep, and I hope you find the same success in streamlining your workout.

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