Whether you’re a professional or amateur athlete, sports earphones are the essential accessory for keeping up with your training and concentrating before an event. Their design, specially adapted to sporting activities, guarantees an optimal sound experience while offering enhanced water resistance. IP-certified, these sports IEMs can withstand rain and perspiration during all of your training sessions.
Moreover, some models feature Ambient modes or leave the ear canals free to allow you to remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying music. Some in-ear monitors also feature active noise cancelling to isolate the user from ambient noise in the gym, for example. If you’re looking for new, effective earbuds for sports, now’s the time to check out this comparison of the best references!
Which IP rating?
It’s important to choose IP-certified earphones for sports, as they offer extra protection against external elements such as water, dust and perspiration. The protection index indicates the degree of resistance to these elements. By choosing IP-certified earphones, sports enthusiasts can train in complete peace of mind, knowing that their earbuds are protected against perspiration or rain.
A true benchmark in their field, the Shokz Open Swim bone conduction earphones can even be used underwater, thanks to an IP68-certified design. This means that they are completely protected against dust and can be submerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. This makes them ideal for aquatic activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, paddling and more.
What level of noise cancelling should you choose?
To remain aware of your surroundings
When choosing sports IEMs, it’s essential to consider the level of sound isolation that best suits your needs. Bone conduction earphones differentiate themselves by transmitting vibrations through the bones of the skull to the inner ear. This method allows the earphones to diffuse music without obstructing the ear canals. As a result, the listener is always aware of their surroundings.
Leaving the ears free, bone conduction earphones such as the Shokz Open Run Pro and Shokz Open Move can detect ambient noises such as cars, pedestrians or audible warnings, making them particularly suitable for city running or street workouts. In this category, we must mention the Philips TAA7607 bone conduction earphones, which also incorporate an LED headband for visibility in all circumstances, especially when crossing roads.
In-ear monitors naturally block out most outside noise. To bypass this passive isolation, some models like Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport and Jabra Elite 3 earbuds feature a Transparency mode (or Ambient mode). The latter uses microphones to pick up external noise, then amplifies and integrates it into the music. This makes it possible to exercise safely in the city!
Isolate yourself from the outside world
Active noise cancelling is a feature much appreciated by athletes, especially in crowded gyms. This feature is a real asset if you want to stay focused on your workout rather than surrounding noise or the conversations of other sports gym-goers.
Found at the heart of the Jabra Elite 7 Pro WLC and Fairphone True Wireless, IEMs, this advanced technology uses microphones to detect ambient noise, then generates reverse sound waves to cancel it out. The result is total immersion in your music, with the background sound considerably attenuated. This allows optimal concentration during exercise, helps establish a rhythm, and makes it easier to meet your goals with complete peace of mind.
For greater freedom of movement, sports earbuds often feature a Bluetooth module for wireless connection to a smartphone, tablet or DAP. This technology allows you to move freely without being hindered by tangled wires.
Some models, like Sony’s WF-C700 earphones, feature multipoint connectivity. This allows them to be connected to several devices simultaneously. This is particularly useful when you need to switch quickly from music on a tablet or computer to calls on a smartphone.
Comfort and fit
For everyday use, any pair of True Wireless earbuds will do. When it comes to sports, on the other hand, earphones need a design that fits snugly in the ear and can withstand even the most intensive movements. Some models, such as the Yamaha TW-ES5A and Philips TAA7306, feature fins or ear hooks.
Intuitive controls and voice assistants
To keep you focused on your physical effort, sport earphones are very intuitive. The earbuds can integrate touch-sensitive or physical controls for fingertip playback control. This is an important asset, as it means you don’t have to take out your phone during a session.
Some models, like the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless earbuds, are compatible with voice assistants. They offer even greater freedom of movement. Simply ask Google Assistant or Siri to change the track, pause playback or call a friend, and your smartphone will carry out the command.
Some voice assistants are equipped with coaching and motivational features. They can provide encouragement, training tips and reminders to keep athletes motivated and help them achieve their goals. This creates a personalized, interactive experience for users, helping them to stay focused and engaged during their sports sessions.
Battery life for every sport session
Autonomy is also an important aspect. Among the best sports earphones are the JBL Tour Pro 2, offering up to 10 hours of continuous playback. In addition to incorporating a touchscreen for access to the app’s various features, the charging case extends the battery life to 40 hours. This way, you can enjoy music during both short sports sessions and long hikes!
What are the best sports earphones of 2023?
We’ve taken a look at the essential criteria for choosing a pair of earphones dedicated to sports. Based on these elements, we have compiled a non-exhaustive list of the best earbuds for sports activities, suitable for different budgets:
The best sports earphones for under €100
- Jabra Elite 3: aptX, IP55, 28h battery life, transparency mode
- JVC HA-ET45T: SBC, IP55, 10h battery life, fins and ear hooks
- Shokz Open Move : SBC/Multipoint, IP55, 6h battery life, bone conduction
- Fairphone True Wireless : SBC/AAC, IPX4, 5h battery life, ANC*, transparency mode
The best sports earphones from €100 to €150
- Sony WF-C700: SBC/AAC, IPX4, 20h battery life, ANC, transparency mode
- Sennheiser Sport True Wireless: aptX, IP54, fins, open/closed tips, 27h battery life
- Philips TAA7306: SBC, IP57, 24h battery life, ear hooks, transparency mode
The best sports earphones from €150 to €200
- Shokz Open Swim: bone conduction, built-in MP3, IP68, 8h battery life
- Shokz Open Run Pro: bone conduction, SBC/Multipoint, IP55, 10h battery life
- Philips TAA7607: bone conduction, SBC, IP66, LED headband, 9h battery life
- Yamaha TW-ES5A: aptX Adaptive, IPX7, fins, 34h battery life
The best sports earphones for over €200
- Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport: aptX, IP57, 30h battery life
- Jabra Elite 7 Pro WLC: AAC/SBC, IP57, 30h battery life, ANC, transparency mode
- JBL Tour Pro 2: AAC/SBC, IPX5, 40h battery life, ANC, transparency mode, touchscreen
* ANC: Active Noise Cancelling.
Want to go a step further with a pair of True Wireless earbuds? Need a solution for listening to music during your group sports sessions? Take a look at our various comparative guides:
- Comparison of the best True Wireless Bluetooth earbuds
- Comparison of the best Bluetooth speakers for sports
Finally, to inspire you to push yourself to the limit with every stride, lift and stretch, check out Son-Vidéo.com’s “Sport” playlist!