Guidemaster: Finding good wireless headphones in a sea of compromises

November 14, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Jeff Dunn)

Even as Bluetooth headphones continue to skyrocket in popularity, the state of wireless exercise headphones remains a bit hairy. Though the benefits of Bluetooth seem perfectly suited for the gym, and while there’s no shortage of demand for an uncompromised set of wireless workout headphones, the ideal pair always appears to be just out of reach.

I say this because I’ve spent the past few weeks searching for one pair of workout headphones I could unequivocally recommend to anyone. I called in 18 separate pairs for testing. I then put each one through a variety of workouts, from jogs to burpees to basketball games, to ensure they’d stay in place and not short-circuit when I sweat all over them.

And because most people probably don’t want to buy a second pair of headphones just for working out, I tested each pair’s sound quality and battery life, cycling them through a set playlist of songs designed to evaluate how well they’d handle certain audio qualities. I used both an iPhone SE and a Galaxy S8 to do all of this.

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