So let’s be honest here, what is one of the most important pieces of gym equipment? Shoes are important yes but I can easily workout without them. Clothes are important, but more so because it’s frowned upon if you don’t have them. What’s that one thing, that if you forget it your heart sinks and your workout is basically shot?
Working out to music is like peanut butter and jelly. They just go so well together in fact almost need each other. Between that and trying to drown out the grunts, the chatter, the plates crashing and all the other distracting noises that are going on around you. Headphones can get you in the zone, help you push harder or just have something to keep your mind off the pain. Over the years I have been training I have tried a lot of different types of headphones for the gym. I have seen the drawbacks and advantages of almost all of them. So hopefully if your in the market for some new ones, this can help.
I will start with your corded average earbuds that I’m sure everyone has. Variety is huge here, with endless designs, sizes, and colors you’re sure to find a match. They never need charging which is a bonus, and for that reason alone I always keep a backup pair of these in my gym bag. The downside here is the cord, if you have ever worked out with these you know the struggle. Putting weights down you pull on them, the cord catches on things all the time. The fact that I need to keep my phone in my pocket is also annoying when doing a lot of the movements. If you have ever been mid bench and your phone slides out yanking that damn cord pulling the music out of your ears you know the frustration. That or your phone is then hanging from your ears which also is enough to ruin your lift. That is enough of a reason for me to stay away from these except for use as a backup.
The next ones I tried were the beats by Dre. I will admit they do sound great and I love the bass they put out. The price can be a draw back though. They are wireless so that is a huge advantage, I can place my phone down and the problems of wired headphones go away with it. My problem with these is they are not made to be sweat on. My first pair I went for a run and had them around my neck because I was talking to someone. Apparently I was sweaty enough that they died from it. Now apple did replace them so I was happy with that, but yet again they just make you sweat being around your ears. I found after a couple months they started to smell and if I tried to clean them the pads would start to deteriorate. The sound may be excellent but they are not meant for people who workout and sweat while wearing them.
After these I tried the Jabra elite wireless sport earbuds. These ones were pretty neat, they were small and came in their own hard case. They have no wires at all which was ideal for the gym and they were made for sports so bring on the sweat! Also a little cheaper then the beats which is a win but didn’t put out nearly the same sound. I actually found half the time mine did not go loud enough. They were a little too large for me ears so I would recommend trying them out prior to buying them to ensure a comfortable fit. Day to day they seemed to take turns working, one day the left would work then next the right would. Needless to say slightly annoying, but maybe I got a bad batch.
Now for my current set and probably my favorite ones yet. They are not true wireless as there is a cable between them, but it’s something I can easily deal with. The jaybird x3 sport are light weight and smaller then most comparable earbuds. They come with numerous ear inserts which help you get that perfect fit. I personally like the foam ones as they are like a earplug and form to your ear. For the price you pay, the sounds quality is superb and they go loud enough for my liking without sacrificing sound. The battery life seems a little shorter then the others I have tried but if you charge them every couple days your fine. Downloading the app is worth it since it keeps me up to date with my battery life when I’m using Them and it also allows you to customize the sound through a equalizer. The only complaint I really got with these is that they stick to the back of my neck when I’m sweaty, but that’s relatively minor and come with clips to stop that.
After trying almost every type of headphone for the gym, I have been able to come to a conclusion. Wired earbuds make a great backup earbud but annoying to wear daily. Over the ear headphones sound great but are not the best for the gym environment and being sweat on. Wireless earbuds in theory are great but did not perform as I would have liked them to, the sound was not there and constant technical errors. Bluetooth earbuds may have a wire between them but never got caught on anything. The sound is great, they are comfortable, and all for 1/4 the price of the beats. They have been my favorite for the gym and for the price I really am pleased with them. Would definitely recommend these to anyone looking.