The Best Cycling Headphones [Review and Buying Guide]

Best Headphones for Cycling

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Wearing headphones when riding is a great way to stay motivated and make your workouts more fun. However, not all headphones are cycling headphones – they can fall out, aren’t sweatproof, and don’t feature any touch controls.

Fortunately, we’ve discovered the best headphones and true wireless earbuds for cycling. If you’re in a rush, we declare the Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds as the best overall option. They last for 28 hours at a time, plus they’re IP57-rated, so you can get them wet without worrying about their durability. In addition, you can create a music profile to adjust the sound levels to suit your preferences.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  rating price
Best OverallJabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
  • Water Protection: IP57-rated
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 7.5 hours
10
Best For MAC userApple AirPods Pro Apple AirPods Pro
  • Water Protection: IPX4-rated
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 4.7 hours
9.5
Best on a BudgetJaybird X4 Wireless Bluetooth Jaybird X4 Wireless Bluetooth
  • Water Protection: IPX7-rated
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 8 hours
9.5
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones
  • Water Protection: IPX4-rated
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 9 hours
9
AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
  • Water Protection: IP67-rated
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 8 hours
9
AUKEY Wireless Headphones AUKEY Wireless Headphones
  • Water Protection: IPX6-rated
  • Connection: Wired
  • Battery: 8 hours
9
Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 Wireless Headphones Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 Wireless Headphones
  • Water Protection: IPX5-rated
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 6 hours
9
JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless Signature Bluetooth Earbuds JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless Signature Bluetooth Earbuds
  • Water Protection: IP55-rated
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 12 hours
8
Bose SoundSport, In-Ear Sports Headphones for Apple devices Bose SoundSport, In-Ear Sports Headphones for Apple devices
  • Water Protection: IP55-rated
  • Connection: Wired
  • Battery: 6 hours
9.5
Soundcore Spirit Sports Earbuds by Anker Soundcore Spirit Sports Earbuds by Anker
  • Water Protection: IPX7-rated
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Battery: 8 hours
8.5

The Best Headphones for Cycling in 2020

If you cycle while listening to music, you will need a pair of cycling headphones which won’t let you down and will actually improve your workouts. We’ve researched the market to find the best models 2020 has to offer. 

Our findings are based on quality, comfort, reliability, and price. We also appreciate that you may want additional features, such as protection against water and sweat, as well as control features to answer phone calls and adjust your music while cycling.

Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds — Best Overall

These are the best headphones for cycling for a number of reasons. Jabra designed these true wireless earbuds to feel comfortable in your ears. As they feature a special grip coating, they will remain in place let you enjoy ambient noises while you’re on the move. Also, they’re waterproof and sweatproof with IP57-rated protection which promises that they won’t become damaged in such conditions.

These earbuds are safe to wear for cycling too, because they allow ambient noise in. This allows you to choose how much external noise you want to hear. As a result, you can remain aware of your surroundings.

You’ll experience up to 28 hours of playtime with each charge, which is the perfect amount of time for listening to music when cycling and performing other activities. When the battery is running low, simply insert the wireless sport earbuds into the charging case for an instant boost. 

You can customize your sound to get more personal with your music with these true wireless earbuds. You can create a music profile and use the customizable equalizer to adjust the bass and treble, or you can create your own bespoke audio profile to provide the perfect and balanced sound for you.

Pros

  • 28 hours of playtime
  • Allows ambient noise in
  • IP67-rated protection

Cons

  • No noise-canceling feature 

Apple AirPods Pro — Best for Mac Users

These are the best cycling headphones 2020 has to offer if you love Apple products. The AirPods Pro feature internally tapered tips which conform to your ear shape for a comfortable experience, which allows you to wear them for long periods of time.

They come with active noise cancellation, so you can concentrate on your work and reduce any outside noise This is a feature which many people look for when getting some time to themselves. 

You can use these cycling headphones to make or receive important phone calls while you’re cycling. The outward-facing microphone picks up sound easily, so people on the other end of the phone will hear you clearly. The AirPods Pro then counter it with equal anti-noise to cancel any external sound or environmental noise before you hear it, which helps to improve the overall sound quality.

These earbuds are water-resistant with an IPX4 rating, which enables them to tolerate splashes of water, no matter from which direction. As a result, they’re safe to wear when cycling in the rain or when exposed to sweat, although they shouldn’t intentionally be submerged in water.

Pros

  • Noise-cancellation feature
  • Tapered tips which conform to your ear shape
  • Available in three sizes for a comfortable fit

Cons

  • More expensive than most earbuds

Jaybird X4 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones — Best on a Budget

Jaybird has designed one of the best wireless headphones or wireless earbuds for cycling if you’re on a budget. These exceptionally-priced cycling headphones are designed for vigorous sports, as they won’t fall out of your ears when you’re cycling. In fact, the versatile design runs over your ears for a secure, sport-specific fit. Alternatively, you can switch to an under-ear fit if you prefer a more relaxed approach.

They’re IPX7-rated, which means they’ll continue to work in rain or snow, or when exposed to sweat. This is perfect if you intend to cycle in an array of weather conditions and don’t want to feel limited by your cycling headphones.

Most importantly, the Jaybird wireless headphones create a premium sound with the custom equalizer and the best quality ear tips. As a result, your music will sound clear without any compromise on audio quality. Crank up the bass or treble via the Jaybird app to create the balanced sound you want.

You can even answer phone calls via these cycling headphones. The touch control allows you to accept a call, so you won’t need to look at your phone when cycling. This same feature also enables you to skip tracks, mute the microphone, and control the volume.

Pros

  • Sweatproof and waterproof
  • Two different ways to wear them
  • Touch controls 

Cons

  • Battery life isn’t as long as others on this list

Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones — Best for Extended Range

The Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones are ideal for all cyclists. They are over ear headphones that feature a snug fit which won’t fall out of your ears, allowing you to focus on your route rather than needing to adjust your earphones every few seconds.

There are many handy controls on these earphones, which are accessible via the Beats system button. This allows you to answer calls, play and pause music, and fast forward or rewind a track, all the while providing the best sound quality. With so many controls, you won’t need to stop cycling and take out your phone to adjust your music or answer calls.

Our favorite feature of the Powerbeats Wireless Earbuds is the Bluetooth range, which is farther than any other best cycling headphones on this list. Consequently, you can listen to music far away from your phone, which makes these earbuds great for walking around your home without the need to take your phone everywhere with you.

Similar to other best cycling headphones on this list, they’re also sweat and water-resistant, which enables you to endure tough workouts or cycle in the rain without damaging the earbud’s design.

Pros

  • A snug fit which won’t fall out of your ears
  • Controls can do more than most earphones
  • Extended Bluetooth range

Cons

  • Bass lacks punch

AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones — Best for Ambient Sound

These bone conduction headphones are perfect for wearing when you’re cycling, they won’t feel irritating in your ears, and they offer the best sound quality. They don’t send sound through the ear canals like most traditional headphones, which can damage your ears. Instead, they feature a patented bone conduction technology which delivers optimal audio quality through the cheekbones. This improves your awareness and overall comfort when you’re listening to music.  

They’re engineered for optimal sound delivery. As a result, you can enjoy louder volume, with 50 percent less sound leakage compared to most of the other headphones for cycling. This is perfect for listening to music in a quiet setting where you don’t want to disturb anyone. Also, the wide dynamic stereo sound improves the overall sound quality.

These bone conduction headphones won’t hold you back as they’re both sweat- and waterproof, meaning they can be exposed to extreme weather conditions and worn during tough workouts. In addition, they feature moisture detention technology which offers safe charging. The battery life, however, can be improved on this quality product.

We love the fact that these headphones are lightweight and compact, so you can conveniently store them in your backpack or pocket when they’re not in use. Also, as these bone conduction headphones lightweight, they won’t feel heavy in your ears, which reduces the chance of them falling out during use.

Pros

  • Premium sound quality
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Sweat- and waterproof

Cons

  • The battery life isn’t as impressive as some others on this list

AUKEY Headphones — Best for Quick Charging

These cycling headphones come with powerful dynamic drivers and feature precisely tuned balanced armature drivers to create a rich and pure and excellent sound quality. These Aukey headphones have a wide frequency range of 10Hz-22kHz. As a result, they create full, warm lows and middles combined with clear and natural highs for high-quality audio.

They’re also quick to recharge. For example, for just 10 minutes of charging, you receive an additional 80 minutes of playtime or battery life. Alternatively, you can fully charge them to receive a full eight hours of battery life.

Aukey designed these cycling headphones to provide a secure and comfortable fit. The stable over-ear ear hooks provide a comfortable fit. Also, they’re available in three sizes with memory foam to keep them comfortable in your ears for long periods. 

The soft, lightweight silicone case is great for storing the headphones when they’re not in use. They’re active noise canceling headphones but still allows you to listen to your surroundings to keep you safe on your bike.

Pros

  • Quick-charge feature in 10 minutes
  • Stylish storage case
  • Secure and comfortable fit

Cons

  • Headphones aren’t wireless

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 Wireless Headphones — Best Lightweight Option

These are another of the best Bluetooth earphones for cyclists who are looking for stability, comfort and the best sound quality. The secure-fit earloops, patent-pending ear tips design and stabilizers make these ergonomic to wear for long periods of time. They also have a two-in-one cable clip, which you can fasten to your shirt or a pocket to keep them secure and safe while cycling.

These Bluetooth headphones are lightweight, and provide all-day comfort while you’re cycling. They also won’t cause your ears to ache during long periods of use.

We’re impressed by the noise-canceling feature which allows you to remain in your zone and fully focused when cycling. The 6mm drivers and ear tips provide a deep, rich sound which blocks out noise. As a result, they’ll suit you perfectly when you’re on the go. 

They provide up to six hours of battery life with one single charge, and you can receive a full hour of use from a 15-minute charge. These bluetooth headphones are great for people who sometimes forget to charge their headphones.

Pros

  • Secure-fit earloops
  • Lightweight design
  • Noise-canceling feature

Cons

  • The secure fastening clip can sometimes come loose

JLab Audio JBuds Air True Wireless Signature Bluetooth Earbuds — Best for Battery Life

These are among the best headphones for cycling and are convenient for cyclists to operate. Specifically, these true wireless earbuds automatically turn on and connect to your device once you remove them from their charging case. This makes them hassle-free and quick and easy to operate.

Impressively, these Bluetooth earbuds offer 12 hours of playtime before the battery runs out. Also, the charging case offers 18 hours of charge, which is great if you’re taking the headphones with you on a trip and don’t want to bother with charging your case. You can also enjoy long bike rides without having to worry about the battery running out as these bluetooth headphones have the best battery life.

The headphones include a custom EQ3 sound, so you can control and personalize your sound. Simply tune the JBuds to customize the bass modes, without the need to use an app.

Finally, these true wireless earbuds are sweat resistant, which enables the earbuds to hold up against moisture and dirt. This makes them reliable for wearing during vigorous cycling routes and during your everyday duties. Also, the charging case is lightweight and convenient, so it’ll easily fit in your pocket when you’re on the go.

Pros

  • Instantly connect once removed from the case
  • Long battery life
  • Can customize the sound easily

Cons

  • Microphone quality isn’t great

Bose SoundSport, In-Ear Sports Headphones — Best for Comfort

These Bose SoundSport headphones are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. They’re available in three sizes, all of which conform to your ear’s shape so they will remain comfortably in place when you’re cycling.

Although they don’t come with a noise-canceling feature, they’re convenient for answering calls with selected iPhone models. The inline microphone and remote makes it easy to switch between making calls and listening to music when you’re on the go.

They’re built for people on the go who are looking for a durable, sweat- and weather-resistant design. Also, these headphones are designed to endure the rigors of daily life, which enables them to be long-lasting in all weather conditions and environments. Your purchase also includes a lightweight case for storing your headphones when they’re not in use.

These in-ear headphones offer a deep, clear sound, which makes them an excellent choice if you love listening to music during your workouts. Alternatively, these headphones make an excellent purchase for a fitness enthusiast, and they’re available in an array of colors.

Pros

  • Comfortable, ergonomic design
  • Convenient for switching between calls and music
  • Sweat- and weather-resistant

Cons

  • No noise-canceling feature

Soundcore Spirit Sports Earbuds by Anker — Best for Audio Quality

These are the best headphones for a bike helmet, thanks to their slimline design which won’t press the helmet against your headphones. They’re available with four different earpiece sizes and three different ear fin sizes, which offers a comfortable and secure fit for all with good sound quality.

These headphones deliver great sound quality with well-rounded and full-bodied audio which provides an excellent punch for keeping you motivated during your workouts. Soundcore also makes it convenient to make and accept calls using the headphones, thanks to the impressive audio. There may be some static in the background, but they deliver a clear tone. Also, even though the battery life is superb, it’s give no notification for low battery.

If you’re looking for headphones which you can wear while you’re exercising, the Soundcore earbuds are a great choice. These bluetooth headphones made with sweatproof technology and are designed to resist corrosion caused by sweat. As a result, they’re long-lasting and perfect for long, sweaty bike rides.

Pros

  • Three different sizes for comfort
  • Resistant to corrosion caused by sweat
  • Excellent deep bass

Cons

  • No notification for battery level

Buying Guide for Discovering the Best Headphones for Cycling

Whether you’re looking for the best headphones for cycling with noise-canceling features, or an ergonomic design, you need to know the main features to look for.

Fit and Comfort

If you intend to wear headphones for long periods of time or regularly, the comfort level is important. If you’ve ever purchased earbuds which irritate your ears and cause soreness, or are ill-fitting or poorly made, you’ll know how important this is. 

For optimum comfort, you should look for headphones which come with different sized tips so you can adapt them to comfortably fit your ears. Fortunately, many of the above selections come with this feature, so you won’t end up with sore or irritated ears every time you listen to music.

We suggest earbuds which nestle into your ear canal for the best comfort. Also, you should opt for rubber tips which are softer and more comfortable than plastic versions. You can also choose foam tips or even custom-molded tips to contour to your ear’s shape.

For further comfort, we suggest wireless headphones as they’re less restrictive, as well as much safer, because they won’t get caught on your handlebars or limit your movement.

More: Maxxis Ardent Review

Sound Quality

Of course, you want headphones with excellent sound quality and this is determined by several features. 

One particular feature to research is the frequency range the headphones offer, which is measured in hertz (Hz). knowing the frequency response your headphones offer can help you to listen to your favorite music at excellent quality. If you love listening to music with lots of bass, you should opt for earbuds with a low bass frequency.

The headphone’s drivers also play an important part in the overall sound quality. The drivers are responsive to the sound within your device. The larger the driver, the better the sound quality. Drivers can also enhance bass, mids, and trebles, which will improve your overall listening experience.

More: The Best Bike Seats for Overweight Cyclists

Ambient Sound

Ambient sound means you can listen to your favorite music through headphones while still being aware of your surroundings. This is where most cyclists find it difficult, as they want to become completely immersed in their music for motivation, but also need to hear cars for safety reasons. 

Headphones with ambient sound quality doesn’t mean you’ll hear everything around you, but it allows some background noise to be heard. 

Some of the above headphones feature a noise-canceling feature, which is great for zoning out and reducing environmental noise for distractions, but this isn’t safe when you’re cycling on a road. Therefore, if you opt for headphones with this feature, make sure that you can turn it off too, in order to allow some background noise to be heard for safety reasons.

Adjust the settings on your headphones via your smartphone – there should be an app for this feature. You can then adjust the amount of ambient noise you want to hear. If you’re riding on a road, it’s important that you can hear cars approaching you without having to turn around to see them.

More: The Best Bike Water Bottle On the Market 

Battery Life

The battery life of wireless headphones isn’t always generous, and many users prefer wireless headphones over wired versions. However, the last thing you want on a lengthy bike ride is for your headphones to run out of battery and be left with no musical motivation. 

The headphones we’ve selected above have a range which spans from 4.5 to 12 hours, with the average being around 8 hours. But how many hours do you need the headphones to last for? To make this calculation, determine if you’ll only be using the headphones for listening to music or if there will be phone calls too. If it’s for both, you’ll need headphones which are long-lasting. 

If a generous battery life is the most important feature for your earbuds, we’ve discovered that most wired options offer the best battery life. This is because they don’t need to use any power for a Bluetooth connection.  

You may also want to take the charge time into consideration. Some of the best headphones for cycling feature a fast-charging feature which allows you to boost their battery life by one hour with a quick 15-minute charge. 

We also suggest looking into the average time cycle for completely recharging your headphones from zero to 100 percent.

More: The Best Commuter Bike Helmet 

Connectivity Options

Most of the headphones above have a Bluetooth connection. This is the preferred connectivity option for most cyclists as it allows you to connect your headphones to your phone without wires.

There are some considerations to make with this type of connection though. For example, you should bear in mind the Bluetooth range which is offered. If the range is too small, your headphones could disconnect from your device, stopping your music completely. Bluetooth can also drain your device’s battery, so ensure you aren’t going on a long journey, or that you at least have a portable power bank with you.

On the positive side, Bluetooth is a reliable connection source which is easy to connect to your smartphone. Also, you can answer and make phone calls while riding your bike without needing to touch your phone. If you often found yourself in a situation where your phone is ringing but you can’t answer because your hands are on the handlebars, this is an essential feature.

More: Check our Selle Royal Respiro Moderate Bicycle Saddle Review Here

Water- and Sweat-Resistant

All of the above headphones, bone conduction headphones or true wireless earbuds, etc., are water- and sweat-resistant, which allows you to wear them in the rain and during vigorous workouts where you’ll become sweaty. However, this feature isn’t necessary for everyone, as it depends on how much you sweat when cycling. 

If you sweat a lot on your bike, look for the best headphones with protection, measured in IP, which stands for Ingress Protection. This measurement goes from 1 to 9 and the higher the number, the more water protection the headphones will offer. 

Below is an outline of what the numbers mean when you’re looking for headphones with water protection. You should bear in mind that the more water- and sweat-resistant the headphones are, the more they will cost, so only look for this feature if it’s absolutely necessary.

  • 1: protection against raindrops which fall vertically
  • 2: protection against vertical droplets up to a 15-degree angle
  • 3: protection against vertical droplets up to a 60-degree angle
  • 4: protection against splashes of water from all directions
  • 5: protection against low pressure of water jets
  • 6: protection against high pressure of water jets
  • 7: protection against immersion in water between 15cm and 1m for 30 minutes
  • 8: protection against immersion in water for longer time periods
  • 9: protection from close-range, powerful, high-temperature water jets
  • X: no protection yet tested 

Bone Conduction

Bone conduction is probably the most neglected feature when people look into buying headphones for cycling. This is purely because it’s a relatively new process for listening to music. 

Most headphones sit on or inside your ear, but this can cause earache and, in some situations, lead to hearing problems. Headphones with bone conduction technology sit on your cheek or skull. As a result, they’re more comfortable when listening to music, which makes them ideal if you have sensitive ears. 

Also, by not directing the sound directly into your ear, it leaves your ears free to listen to the world around you, which helps you stay aware of your surroundings for safety. In addition, there’s no rubbing or chafing to your ear canal, and you won’t experience soreness after prolonged use.

These headphones have an open ear design and transmit audio waves through your bones, rather than sending it directly to your eardrum. The audio is just as high-quality and effective as with in-ear headphones and the headphones offer all of the above benefits.

More: Best Bike Trailers for Kids

The Best Runners-Up

We confidently declare Apple AirPods Pro as the second-best headphones for cycling. They conform to your ear shape, which results in a comfortable experience, so you won’t need to constantly adjust the fit. 

These headphones also feature touch controls, so you can adjust your music via the headphones. Also, you can accept and end calls conveniently, or ask Siri to make a phone call, so family members know you’re safe.

Alternatively, the Jaybird X4 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are perfect if you’re on a budget. They won’t fall out of your ears and they feature two versatile designs, so you can tailor the headphones to suit your comfort levels.

You can conveniently wear them in rain, snow, or when sweating, and you can listen to music through these headphones no matter what the weather is like outside. Similar to the AirPods, you can adjust your music and answer calls via a touch-control feature on these headphones. This is perfect for keeping you safe when cycling.