Ask Gizmodo: What Bluetooth Earphones Should I Buy For Running And Other Exercise?

Hi Gizmodo, I'm looking for a pair of Bluetooth earphones (I can't stand buds), specifically for running. Do you have any recommendations? What should I be looking for when purchasing a pair? And is it possible to buy a pair that are reliable and don't cost the earth? Thanks, Wynn.

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Hi Wynn,

When you're exercising, especially when you're running, you want two things, and two things that are rarely compatible. You want earphones that will stay in your ears, and earphones without any wires to catch on your flailing arms. Bluetooth headphones are usually relatively bulky, because of the extra internal batteries and electronics inside their earcups, and that means they're usually big and prone to falling off your head during fast movement.

You can buy a pair of Bluetooth headphones that will stay on your head during sustained exercise. Any pair of headphones with a strong clamping force, and especially those headphones that are supra-aural — that sit on your ears, rather than around them — that is also lightweight will be a good choice during exercise. Really, that's any pair of Bluetooth headphones like the Sony ZX330BT, as long as your head is the right size. However, I'm going to suggest you go in an entirely different direction.

Now, hear me out. I'm going to recommend you three different Bluetooth earbuds that you should try, and that I'd actually recommend you buy over a set of larger headphones — the reason for this being that they're so much lighter, and that means they'll move around so much less during exercise. I'd be remiss to suggest a pair of larger Bluetooth headphones, even those with strong clamping force, if you're going to be running, even if it's on a treadmill.

You should take a look at the Jaybirds X2, the Beats Powerbeats 2 Wireless and the Sol Republic Shadow. I have used all three, and as a relatively discerning reformed audiophile, as Bluetooth headphones go, they stack up pretty well. They'll give you what you want. I've also heard, but not experienced, good things about the Sony AS600BT wireless earbuds.

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