As a running enthusiast, a question I hear fairly regularly is, “what are the best earbuds for running?” I am not alone in my enjoyment of grabbing my ‘buds and heading out to pound the pavement while I run away from my troubles for a few miles, especially these days.
Running aside, plenty of people want to get some physical activity, whether it be outside or in their home gym. Setting the right soundtrack is a huge help for focus or motivation.
But, the debate continues about what makes the best pair of earphones for working out.
While opinions differ about which brand has the best sport earbuds, most people identify four key characteristics as things they look for in a potential new pair of earbuds for their favorite fitness ritual:
What Are the Best Earbuds for Working Out?
- Secure fit
- Strong Bluetooth® connectivity
1. Lightweight Earbuds
When doing a particularly strenuous workout, the last thing you want is to feel like your earphones are about to fall out of your ears. Worse, if they feel like they’re weighing down the sides of your head. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also break up a solid workout because you have to stop and adjust your earbuds. It’s damn near impossible to find a groove when you have to adjust where your sport earbuds are sitting in your ear.
Klipsch Senior Product Manager Vlad Grodzinskiy explains the T5 II True Wireless Sport earphones are purposefully designed to be smaller and lighter weight than not only its predecessors, but it’s competitors as well. “The T5 II True Wireless earphones have a battery that is 25% smaller while maintaining their long-lasting, eight-hour battery life,” he says. This is a fantastic option for long-distance runners, hikers, bicyclists, or anyone who lives for logging major mileage every weekend.
2. Solid Fit
Going hand-in-hand with being lightweight, fit is a critical component for any good pair of premium sport earphones. When doing a particularly hard workout, like Crossfit or hill sprints, you need earphones that don’t fall out.
Klipsch Engineering Program Manager Andrew Doerr says the nozzle is a big part of creating a really great fit for the user. “Other earphones with larger nozzles create pressure on the inside of the ear canal and cause discomfort,” he says.
“The T5 II True Wireless earbud nozzle is actually smaller than our first-generation and our competitors,” Doerr says. "An offset acoustic nozzle for a better fit into the ear also prevents it from sticking out too far, as well as a shorter nozzle, smaller housing, and better shape enhances overall fit and comfort."
Doerr says the Klipsch patented oval ear-tips really sets the next generation of Klipsch sport earphones apart from its competitors. “Our drivers are the smallest in the industry,” he says. “They’re built in the housing, unlike competitor’s drivers, which are built into the nozzle. Doing this allows Klipsch to keep the housing and nozzle small.”
Yes, really – Klipsch holds a patent on comfortable ear tips. Klipsch already has several speaker-technology patents, so it’s certainly not a stretch to say we innovate with the customer – and your ears – in mind. The T5 II True Wireless Sport earphones come with:
- Six pairs of patented, color-coded oval ear tips in multiple sizes
- Three pairs of snug-fit ear wings
Doerr says one of the main goals in developing the 2020 Klipsch sport earphones was to add more versatility in sizing options since many people have different-sized ear canals on the right and left sides.
In 2019, I ran the inaugural New Orleans Women’s Half-Marathon with a group of friends. Around Mile 12, my wired headphones that had seen me through many races quit working. They had been very reliable, so this came as a surprise. The difference between this race and other half-marathons I’d run in the past was the weather. It was March and New Orleans’ famous humidity had reared its ugly head. Pair that with me sweating buckets as a result of the aforementioned conditions, and those wired sport earbuds went to a semi-watery grave near City Park. I was thankful to have back-ups packed away for the flight home, but that’s another story for another time.
Being water and sweat-resistant is a major selling point for any sport headphones. The IP Rating determines the level of protection a product has against the elements, including the aforementioned sweat.
Klipsch T5 II Sport earphones and T5 II True Wireless earphones are rated IP67, meaning the earphones are dust and waterproof. This rating also extends to durability during the frostier parts of the year, when those of us who love to run outdoors add extra layers and endure the cold for a few blessed miles of peace.
4. Strong Wireless Connectivity
Near-lossless audio and a strong wireless signal are absolute musts for sport earphones. Any fitness fanatic knows mental focus is a large part of any workout. As a runner, I depend on a playlist I choose in advance to set the tone and keep my focus for longer runs. When my playlist cuts out because of a bad wireless connection, my run is generally sunk. My mental focus is done. It’s not a great feeling.
Klipsch has added a best-in-class signal-boosting external antenna to its T5 II True Wireless Series earphones. “The external antenna on T5 II is similar to the antennas on high-end mobile phones,” says Grodzinskiy. “You get a more balanced and stronger signal in the process.”
Now, the only question is, what are you waiting for?