Headphones and Earbuds for Fitness Walking

Sports headphones and earbuds are designed to stay in place during vigorous activities. They also are designed so that getting wet from sweat isn't a problem.

While it's safer to unplug and walk, I like to listen to music or podcasts when I'm on the treadmill or walking alone. Walking music helps me keep up my pace during half marathons, while audiobooks and podcasts keep my mind engaged on my training walks.

  • I need a design that I can wear with a hat and sunglasses. If the earpieces are competing for space behind my ear, that can lead to aches and discomfort.
  • Many older walkers also need a design that works with their hearing aids, preferring headphones to earbuds.
  • Bluetooth wireless designs eliminate the problem of the dangling cord, but they often have heavier earbuds that need to be secured in your ear with wing-like protrusions, reducing ambient sounds.
  • A microphone and music controller can allow you to adjust volume and take voice calls (does anybody still get those?) without having to manipulate your smartphone or music player.
  • Folding headphones and storage pouches for earbuds make them more packable.

Monster iSport Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Monster iSport Wireless Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones
Monster iSport Wireless Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Monster has several designs of wireless Bluetooth headphones and earbuds. These allow you to keep your smartphone secure in a pocket or pack. You can control your music and answer calls via Bluetooth and a built-in microphone. The drawback can be that the earbuds are heavier, so you need to experiment with their different tips to get a secure fit.

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Skullcandy 2XL Wage Headphones

2XL Wage Light Weight Headphone
2XL Wage Light Weight Headphone. Courtesy of Amazon

These very inexpensive headphones are great for my walking needs. I look for foam earpieces as they let in more ambient sound for safety. Many other inexpensive headphones have faux-leather earpieces that screen out too much sound. They are compatible with wearing hearing aids. The Wage has the over-the-head design I prefer for walking (it keeps my hat in place in wind). They don't have a volume controller and they don't fold. I've broken quite a few similar plastic headphones, but for the price (around $10) I'll just buy new ones.

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Urbanears Kransen Earbuds

Urbanears Kranken Earbuds
Urbanears Kranken Earbuds. Wendy Bumgardner ©

These earbuds have a microphone and volume control built in. I rank them highly because the angled earbuds truly stay in my ears while still allowing in enough ambient sound for safety. They have two features that keep the cord tidy - the earbuds snap together and there is a cord-keeper on the main cord. They are very lightweight and I can keep them handy for use at any time. They come in a variety of colors.

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RunPhones - Headband Earphones

RunPhones. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Review: RunPhones
This sweat-wicking headband is also a headphone, with earphones positioned over each ear. I like this design because it lets in enough ambient noise for safety and it is hearing aid-friendly. I wear these in cool weather. The drawback can be that the earphones are not perfectly positioned for the best sound quality, and it has no music-controller or microphone feature. They come in both wired and wireless versions.

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Wicked Audio Helix Earbuds

Wicked Audio Helix Earphones
Wicked Audio Helix Earphones. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Earhugger designs for earbuds can help keep them secure, especially if you don't want to wear them so snugly that you can't hear what's going on around you. The problem can be comfort - I've had pain from some ​earhugger designs, especially wearing them with sunglasses. I had no problems with the Wicked Audio Helix. They are simple - no volume control or microphone.

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1 Voice Bluetooth Headband and Beanie

1 Voice Bluetooth Headband
1 Voice Bluetooth Headband. 1voicenyc.com

Review: 1 Voice Bluetooth Headband
This headband connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, so there is no dangling wire. There are two earbuds connected to the sweat-wicking headband. It has a microphone and music controller so you can take calls. I found the earbuds a bit bulkier than I like. The Beanie model instead has earphones inside you place over your ears.

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JVC Extreme Fitness Waterproof Deluxe Headphones

JVC Extreme Fitness Waterproof Deluxe Headphones
JVC Extreme Fitness Waterproof Deluxe Headphones. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Go ahead and sweat or walk in the rain. No only are these waterproof, they are also washable so you can keep them clean. They have an open-ear design so you can hear ambient sounds for safety. They have a one-button microphone/music controller that is splashproof. The earpieces pivot so you can get a good fit.

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Yatra Music Muffs

Yatra Music Muffs
Yatra Music Muffs. Courtesy of Amazon.com

These fun faux fur headphones will keep your ears warm while you listen to tunes. I prefer the over-the-head design. There is a volume/track/pause controller on the cord.

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180s Earwarmer Headphones

180s. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Review: 180s Ear Warmer Headphones
For winter walking, these cushy earwarmers come in models with built-in headphones. Some models have Bluetooth for a wireless connection to your smartphone, while others have a wire and music controller and microphone. They are a behind-the-head design, which some people prefer. But I find that it gets in the way of my hat or collar.

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