Whether it is to isolate, motivate or relax, it is very often a helmet on the head that we devote ourselves to the joys of sport. In a recent study, you are even likely toimprove your performance by 5 to 7% by practicing music ! For years, manufacturers have made this market their small laboratory, testing profiled shapes, more compact devices or more intuitive controls.
Among the main criteria which must guide your choice, you must above all privilege the comfort of use. study your needs, depending on the sport you practice: are you particularly subject to regular head movements, likely to knock down the headphones? In this case, you have a privileged interest classic helmets with poles or headphones with a collar size. Do you prefer better insulation from outside noise? Consider purchasing a model active noise reduction, which embeds a series of microphones to mute all the surrounding sounds.
And trendy, most of the headphones intended for the sport borrow today the furrow of the AirPods of Apple, by adopting the format of in-ear wireless Bluetooth. All the models we have selected come with a series of different tips, to best push the flag of your ears. And do not think that their compact format distorts the sound: these headphones are capable of distilling powerful bass and natural sound, without making you lose outside noise. Accompany them with a watch dedicated to running for a modern sport practice, completely wireless!
Jaybird Run – The best quality / price ratio
Type : Wireless in-ear | Weight : 6.83 g x 2 | Bluetooth : 4.1 | Knobs buttons : yes | Handsfree : yes | MFI / Android : yes / yes | Water resistance : yes | End caps : 4 x silicone, 4 x fins | Application : EQ, Playlist, social sharing | Maximum autonomy : 4 hours
Verdict:A sports specialist, Jaybird brings its Full Wireless intras up to date with the Runs, two lightweight and solid headphones. Compact, they offer great comfort, with numerous tips to adapt to the roof of your ear, while presenting good general insulation. The cutters distill a powerful and natural sound, and the pairing is done in a few moments. A sure value, for a sport practice varies and supported.
Bose SoundSport Free – The most complete
Type : Wireless in-ear | Weight : 9 g x 2 | Bluetooth : 4 | Knobs buttons : yes | Handsfree : yes | MFI / Android : yes / yes | Water resistance : yes | End caps : 3 x silicone | Application : location of the costers | Maximum autonomy : 5 hours
Verdict:With their impeccable comfort and support, the SoundSport Free resist perspiration and rain, and can be forgotten. Pairing is instantaneous and the controls are easily accessible on the cutters. The audio quality is really impeccable and the official application is full of features.
Jabra Elite Active 65t – The best audio quality
Type : Wireless in-ear | Weight : 6.5 g x 2 | Bluetooth : 5.0 | Knobs buttons : yes | Handsfree : yes | MFI / Android : yes / yes | Water resistance : yes | End caps : silicone | Application : EQ, voice assistant, voice calls | Maximum autonomy : 5 hours
Verdict:With great care, the Jabra Elite Active 65t are among the best Bluetooth in-ear headphones on the market. They offer perfect insulation and fit comfortably in the ear, even for an extended cost. The audio quality is extremely convincing for such a compact design and the official application offers many unique features. Ideal for athletes.
B&O Beoplay E8 – The most elegant
Type : Wireless in-ear | Weight : 6.5 g x 2 | Bluetooth : 4.2 | Knobs buttons : yes | Handsfree : yes | MFI / Android : yes / yes | Water resistance : yes | End caps : 5 x silicone | Application : EQ | Maximum autonomy : 4 hours
Verdict:We expected no less from the legendary Danish manufacturer: the B&O Beoplay E8 offer one of the best audio quality on the market for in-ear headphones. 100% wireless, they immerse you in a powerful and particularly precise sound, which you can largely customize through the application. The ergonomics are at the top and we control all the commands of the phone using touch panels.
Jaybird Tarah Pro – Ideal for regular athletes
Type : Wireless in-ear | Weight : 20 g | Bluetooth : 5.0 | Knobs buttons : yes | Handsfree : yes | MFI / Android : yes / yes | Water resistance : yes | End caps : 6 x silicone | Application : EQ, playlist | Maximum autonomy : 14 hours
Verdict:With their profile and discreet look, the two in-ear headphones of the Tarah Pro offer great comfort. Reread by a cord, they are magnets, you will not be able to park them. Perfectly waterproof, they resist perspiration and intense efforts. The audio quality is not to be outdone, with bass present and a wide margin of customization. But their great asset is the prodigious autonomy, more than 14 hours, a record for frequent athletes. An excellent quality / price ratio.
Sony Walkman NW-WS413 – The best for the pool
Type : in-ear | Weight : 32 g | Bluetooth : 4.0 | Knobs buttons : yes | Handsfree : yes | MFI / Android : yes / yes | Water resistance : yes | End caps : – | Application : integrated player | Maximum autonomy : 12 hours
Verdict:More than just a pair of headphones dedicated to sport, the WS413 from Sony is a full-fledged Walkman, which has 4 GB of memory to store your music. This is a definite advantage, since it is completely waterproof and capable of operating underwater, which allows you to take it with you to the pool while leaving your smartphone well sheltered.
Beats Powerbeats Pro – The most technical
Type : in-ear | Weight : 7 g x 2 | Bluetooth : 5.0 | Knobs buttons : yes | Handsfree : yes | MFI / Android : yes / yes | Water resistance : yes | End caps : 5 x silicone | Application : Siri voice control | Maximum autonomy : 9 hours
Verdict:Equipped with Apple's H1 chip, the Powerbeats Pro are among the most efficient and powerful in-ear earphones for sports. The cutters offer great comfort of use, with excellent support and an exemplary finish. They perfectly resist water and perspiration, a real asset for sports use. Apple's patronage obliges, the Powerbeats Pro are particularly good for iOS and it is possible to interact directly with the voice assistant by saying Dis, Siri. The audio quality is very high, with deep bass and excellent overall balance. A certain investment, for a high fidelity and practical helmet in sports use.
Libratone Track Air + – The right compromise
Type : in-ear | Weight : 5.6 g x 2 | Bluetooth : 5.0 | Knobs buttons : yes | Handsfree : yes | MFI / Android : yes / yes | Water resistance : yes | End caps : 4 x silicone | Application : active noise reduction, button customization | Maximum autonomy : 6 hours (wireless charging)
Verdict:With their original and streamlined look, the Track Air + are among the most versatile True Wireless earphones at the moment. They offer excellent support, with four pairs of silicone tips in the box, and resist perspiration or splashing water with an IPX4 certification. on their surface, two tactile zones give access to the main functionalities, with audible indications helping you to find your way without getting them out of your ear. The mobile application, clear and well done, allows you to assign a specific functionality to the main button of each cutter. Convenient ! On the audio side, the rendering is really energetic, with a good balance between bass and treble. Even better, the Track Air + incorporates active noise reduction which in no way detracts from the warm sound. A real good choice, with an autonomy of six hours, which will suit the practice of many sports.
Why choose headphones dedicated to sport
Any smartphone comes with a pair of wired headphones. On paper, these can also be used to go in for sports. This may be true for occasional use with an indoor bike for example. But if you plan on going for a music run, you may be quickly overwhelmed.
First of all, by the comfort offered by these standard headphones which will have been slipped from your ear from the first crowds. Worse, assuming they hold in place, sweat will finish them off after a few intensive sessions. These two remarks prove how far the costumers developed for a sporting activity are far from being a simple marketing argument. Though.
Beware of opportunistic builders who go shamelessly, content themselves with changing packaging or opting for flashy colors in order to pass off a pair of classic earphones for a model dedicated to sport.
On-ear headphones or in-ear headphones?
In this regard, you have the choice between on-ear headphones or in-ear headphones. The first comes to rest on the ears while the second inserts into the ear canal.
Advantage of the on-ear headphones, it generally has larger drivers which deliver better sound in theory. However, this type of helmet is heavier and not always suitable for racing. Indeed, the hoop that rests on the top of the skull can become uncomfortable during a prolonged effort. Not to mention the heating felt in the ears. Heating which is naturally accompanied by increased sweating. And things can get worse. The pads sooner or later salter on contact with sweat. our sense is therefore not lidal for those who wish to run to music. On the other hand, we can be satisfied in the dining room.
More suitable, in-ear headphones are lighter and more discreet. They are also more comfortable, however, opt for a model that fits well in the ear. Because it is generally on this point that the baby hurts even if great progress has been made in this area. We paid particular attention to this with the models we tested for this guide. The dedicated cutters are also more solid. Their silicone tips resist sweat well and above all they are interchangeable easily and cheaply. In the same way, the cables are reinforced to support possible friction on the clothes. We will come back to this a little later.
Question of comfort
In-ear headphones are also available in different models. Next to the classic headphone that you insert into the ear, the manufacturers offer more or less practical variations. You can opt for a model that rests on the neck like the LG Tone Ultra. Advantage, all the electronics are gathered in the small case in order to confer a weight as reduced as possible to the costumers. Reverse of the medal, having this plastic element that rubs on the neck can be annoying in the long run, especially for running.
The tips are of paramount importance in the comfort of the cutters. In order to keep them in place, a double implantation is generally used. First with the silicone ear buds. Several are supplied with different sizes to fit most body shapes, and thus guarantee optimal comfort. To this are added small fins called ear wings which are also available in several sizes. These are placed behind the cartilage in order to keep the earpiece in the ear. Special mention Yurbuds which offers a whole range of earphones with a patent tip. It fits into the ear canal then just twist it slightly to lock it. The system is efficient and despite all our efforts, we have not succeeded in dropping the costers.
Another proven solution, a plastic contour is integrated into the earpiece which ensures a second point of attachment on the ear in order to prevent falling. This is the option chosen by Beats and Sennheiser. In terms of comfort, Sound sport de Bose are among our favorites. Once in place, we forget about them completely with an irreproachable audio quality. They are now available in a Free version, in Bluetooth, which particularly appealed to us. Finally, also take a look at Jaybird Run which are delivered with numerous tips to fit all ears. Ms. recommendation from the side of B&O Beoplay E8, which come with five silicone tips. In addition to the certainty of finding an accessory that fits perfectly in the roof of your ears, you will also have more opportunity to share the headphones with a loved one if you do not practice your sports sessions at the same time.
Qualities and shortcomings of True Wireless headphones
You will have noticed through our selection of headphones dedicated to sport: today it is difficult to overcome a Bluetooth model. All manufacturers are committed to the path opened by Apple with its AirPods, and it must be admitted that this solution offers great comfort on a daily basis. We are talking about headphones True Wireless to denote this type of product – literally, the only truly cordless headphones. There is therefore no risk of getting tangled in the cables or feeling uncomfortable during exercise.
In terms of ergonomics, these headphones generally integrate buttons or a tactile zone on their surface, in order to control reading or to pair them with your smartphone. The connection is generally very stable and the comfort of use is real. Reverse side of the medal, you will have one more device to charge before going to run. In the event of a discharged battery, you will be able to forget about music – almost all True Wireless models do not have a connector allowing them to switch to wired mode. If you are like the head in the air, we recommend the PowerBeats 2 Wireless who take advantage of fast charging technology. Plug them in for 15 minutes to enjoy an hour of use.
Most models come with a charging case. It is a very practical solution to store and prepare them before your next outing. The Libratone Track Air + take advantage of three full charges, wireless. You just need to connect the USB Type-C port of the case for the first time to a power source to recharge its internal battery. Thereafter, you will simply insert the two in-ear headphones inside to give them more juice.
Another advantage of this type of storage case: you don't risk losing your True Wireless headphones. Nothing worse than putting them, without thinking, on a shelf and spending hours finding them during your next outing! Another occasional annoyance which you have to prepare: without cable, it is not easy to remove True Wireless headphones during a sports session. Engaging in an impromptu conversation with someone, two ear-plugged earphones, can be confusing.
As for the wired headphones, you won't have to worry about charging any battery since there isn't one. Cheaper than the Bluetooth models, they also have a remote control which we feel is more practical during training. Ideally placed on the cable, there is no need to grope to find it. In addition, the risk of moving the earpiece in the ear is lower because the remote control is generally integrated lower on the cable, near the chin. If you opt for a wired model and your budget allows, Bose Sound Sport have our preference both in terms of comfort and audio quality. They are also available in Bluetooth, but if your budget does not exceed 70 euros, we recommend the Divacore Blueskull, which benefit from an excellent quality / price ratio.
Dust, water, what level of resistance can we claim?
It is said above, sweat is the enemy of swearers. It is the same with the rain for who does not hesitate to brave the elements when going to run. You have probably heard of the IPXX certification which is used in particular in the world of mobile telephony. It is a protection index which indicates the degree of resistance to dust and water from an appliance. We also use it in the context of sports headphones.
The two digits XX are interpreted independently. The first provides information on dust protection on a scale of 0 6. An IP6X rating therefore means that the device is fully protected, including against microscopic dust. The second digit indicates the water resistance on a scale of 0 9. In consumer electronics, the maximum is generally 8. Clearly if a device is IP68 for example, it is supposed to resist dust on the one hand, and immersion in more of a meter of water for 30 minutes on the other hand.
Regarding sports headphones, you will encounter an IPX4 index most of the time. This simply means that they have not been tested for dust but that they resist splashing water, and therefore rain. To be completely complete, you may wonder why no headphones / headphones are IP67 certified, or even IP68, as is the case for certain smartphones for example? Simply because the higher the IP, the more impact the sound has on isolating the membranes. So you have to find a happy medium between resistance and audio experience. If you intend to put your headers rough proof, for example during a Mud Day (races in the mud), the Jabra Sport Coach and Sport Pulse are IP55 certified. We can even wash them after the event.
Compatible with iPhone or Android, what does that change?
You may have already noticed that some headsets / earphones are iPhone compatible while others are intended for Android smartphones. It is also valid for the models dedicated to sport that interest us here. Know first that this does not mean that you will no longer be able to use them if you change a dairy day. The advantage of this compatibility lies mainly in the remote control and its advanced functionalities.
An MFI (Made For iPhone) certified headset will have access to all music controls in addition to the volume. Next or previous song, pause, play or answer calls, everything is accessible via the three buttons on the remote control. In the case of a Bluetooth model, you can also check the battery level directly on the iPhone screen. The principle is the same for Works With Android certification but integration is sometimes less advanced than on iOS, even if real efforts begin to appear.
At Beats, all helmets and headphones are MFI certified, which was not surprising after Apple bought the brand. The same goes for Bose and Jabra who chose the same camp. Conversely, Sennheiser leaves you the choice between Android and iOS.
What about applications?
Sports helmets and headphones are of course compatible with dedicated applications in this area. Whether it's Endomondo or Runstastic to name a few, we have voice announcements to find out the distance traveled, the elapsed time and the passage times. Jabra stands out once again by offering its own application Jabra Sport Life for his helmets Sport Pulse and Sport Coach. This allows you to follow your progress and access a voice coach. Thanks to the Jabra Sport Pulse heart rate monitor, the application is even able to calculate the VO2 Max and plan a interval training or series without touching the smartphone.
As a sign of the times, in-ear headphones are not synonymous with limiting audio performance: manufacturers' applications often make it possible to refine the profile. Jaybird excels in this matter, with a very intuitive system to give a personal signature to your listener. The Jabra Elite 65t also don't blush, with an app Jabra Sound + which allows you to define the level of exterior insulation.
And why not play sports with noise-canceling headphones?
External insulation, the word is loose. This is one of the big debates around helmets dedicated to sports, and probably the most personal choice. Do you want to hear the world around you clearly, especially for your own safety, or do you prefer to isolate yourself in music? It also depends on the sport you practice: you don't necessarily have the same needs on a congested road and on an apartment bike.
Obviously heavier and immersive than the in-ear headphones put forward so far, some wireless headphones preserve a streamlined silhouette and are accompanied by many advanced features that make them attractive. There is already the quality of the sound, necessarily more enveloping and massive. But there are also more intuitive touch controls and very comprehensive applications. That of Sony WH-1000XM3, for example, allows you to fine-tune the level of noise reduction with a mode that detects announcements particularly, so as not to miss information on a train or plane. Interesting complements, for a helmet that gains in versatility. A choice to consider if your sports practice is more limited or if you are looking to multiply activities in music.