Picture this: You’ve finally found some time for a quick pump at the gym after a hectic week. But as you’re doing some warm-up stretches, the generic playlist blaring from the speakers are starting to be a mood killer. Sure, there are occasional moments of beat-dropping that get your heart racing, but wouldn’t you like that in perpetuity – or at least for the duration of your workout?
That’s where the quintessential gym accessory comes into play. No, it’s not a Rogue lifting belt or your limited-edition HydroFlask bottle: It’s a pair of noise-cancelling wireless earphones that get you into the zone.
“Oh, but the wireless earbuds I have now get me by just fine!” Sure, they do, but what distinguishes a good pair of earphones from a great pair are just a few things: Can they withstand all the sweat you put out? Will it stay in place even as you’re doing complex movements? Does it block out the clanking of plates and the grunts of your fellow weightlifters?
To help you make the selection, here is our pick of the 5 best wireless earphones you can wear to the gym (and beyond).
The latest edition of the Powerbeats from Beats is a beast, to say the least. Having just entered the wireless earphones market quite recently, it has already cemented itself as one of the best gadgets for the gym. Its signature earhook design ensures it stays on even in the most rigorous of treadmill intervals, with four additional ear tip sizes to stay snug in your ears. The fit takes a while to get used to, especially if you’re used to AirPods, but it’ll soon be an afterthought.
Its the sound, however, that makes it such a powerhouse. Unless you’re working out next to a construction site, all sounds around you are kept out, perfect for you to really focus and get that last rep done. The battery life also stands at an impressive nine hours with an additional 15 hours available in the bulky case which you can just leave at home if you’re just out for a quick pump.
The Powerbeats Pro comes in four colours – black, ivory, moss, and navy – and retails at S$328.
If you’re after a fuss-free pair of earphones for all your sports needs, Bose’s SoundSport Free will check all those boxes. The wireless earbuds are designed to be lightweight at nine grams each, but won’t be flung around by any vigorous head movement with the StayHear+ Sport Tips that fit comfortably in your ears. However, this is also the bane of the SoundSport Free, as it’s not completely noise-cancelling. Some sounds might be let in, but if you’re not too bothered (you’ll also be slightly safer in traffic) then you should be good to go. After all, these are from Bose, and their sound engineering is top-notch.
The SoundSport Free also sports five hours of battery life with the case holding another 10 hours. If you’re low on juice, a 15-minute quick charge will give you 45 minutes of playback, just enough for a HIIT session.
The Bose SoundSport Free comes in four colours – black, midnight blue, bright orange, and ultraviolet – and retails at S$319.
Not all of us enjoy working under the glare of the sun, preferring instead the cool breeze that comes in the night. But with the multitude of safety concerns that come along with working out at night, you can kill two birds with one stone with JBL’s UA Sport Wireless Flex. The pair of neckband-styled wireless earphones have a bigger profile than the other earphones on this list, but that’s for good reason. The neckband has a LED strip that acts as a safety light, alerting others to your presence if you’re out on the roads cycling in the dead of night.
It also has one of the best battery lives in the market at a whopping 12 hours, and the Speed Charge feature means you only need five minutes for one hour of playback for a last-minute pick me up.
The UA Sport Wireless Flex retails for S$199.
For the gym rat who is constantly being hounded by business calls, the Jabra Elite Active 65t will get you the best of both worlds. There are a bunch of features packed into the small, compact wireless earbuds that would make an AirPods user green with envy. The biggest is Hearthrough, a switch that lets in a bit of ambient audio in.
And as any typical Jabra headphone goes, the microphone is what enables you to take conference calls while you’re on the treadmill. Two microphones are on each earbud, and they’re angled towards your mouth to pick up your voice even as your surrounding gets noisy. It also has five hours of battery life with 10 additional hours in the charging case.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t comes in three colours – titanium black, copper black, copper blue – and retails at S$268.
There are those among us that take fitness to the extremes, and Jaybird’s Tarah Pro is made just for that crowd. During the design phase, each prototype is put through the Jaybird Endurance Test which includes underwater immersion, freezing temperatures, plus dirt and mud contamination. The rugged build also boasts IPX7 waterproofing and a moisture-repelling exterior that keeps sweat at bay. More aesthetically, the cable connecting the two earbuds also pays homage to the woven cables and ropes used by climbers.
The audio engineering for the Tarah Pro’s are also top notch, and you can use the accompanying iOS or Android app to customise your own audio profile in a personalised test. Plus, with a 14-hour playback time, you can get plenty done before you have to charge it again. There’s no case, but it’ll automatically switch off after 15 minutes of inactivity to conserve battery life.
The Jaybird Tarah Pro retails at S$225.