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Bluetooth headphone recommendations for running?
August 25, 2014 5:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a new set of headphones to wear while running and I'm interested in trying Bluetooth. I want to still be able to hear the world around me as I do most of my running on the road. Track/volume controls would be nice to have. Can any of you recommend something you've had a good experience with?

I'm listening to an iPhone 5S housed in a Spigen Tough Armor case that has an undersized cutout for the headphone jack. My old beater iPhone earbuds fit but after steady use on the road and in the gym they're starting to short out and I'd prefer wireless to trial and error with different headphone plugs (or attacking the case with a Dremel).

A similar question was asked three years ago but without resolution. Also related: this post from May, 2014 looking for wired headphones for running.
posted by Songdog to Shopping (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man, I am SO happy with this LG set I just bought. They look weird and space-age, but are super light and comfortable, have a crazy long battery life, and with the controls right on the neck band you can control Siri, tracks, volume, and even hang up a phone call. The wireless nature means no getting tangled up in your cords, ever again.

They are inexpensive but a huge upgrade in my happiness compared with the Apple earbuds I always used before.
posted by HoteDoge at 5:33 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

The Wirecutter has you covered, as usual. The runner-up is a pair of bluetooth phones. I don't have experience with these, but I have never been let down by a Wirecutter recommendation.
posted by rensar at 5:47 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

My Motorola SD-10 has been a game changer (the game is running).
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:14 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

I just bought the jaybirds which are the wire cutters runner ups. I really like them although it took a few days to be happy with the fit. They don't fall out while walking quickly but I haven't run in them.

It has volume and track controls that are quite touchy. My head occasionally turns the volume down.

I'm not completely happy with the standard ear buds so have ordered some comply ones to try.

Overall I love the freedom that comes from being Bluetooth. They sound great and they just work.
posted by poxandplague at 7:11 PM on August 25

I too have the Motorola SD-10. The controls don't work perfectly with my Android phone but it's really, really stable on my head and quite comfortable. I wear glasses and after about an hour I get a little sore behind my ears from the pressure of it pushing on the arms of my glasses, but otherwise it's really good. Plus really good sound quality without blocking out everything.
posted by GuyZero at 7:26 PM on August 25

Seconding the pair HoteDoge recommended. I've had them for over a year and they work flawlessly, never slip. (I'm on a 5s too, integrates almost perfectly. A thing can happen where it keeps track-advancing if you change apps while pressing buttons on the headphones, but turning em off and back on fixes it.)
posted by hjo3 at 7:26 PM on August 25

I wear headphones a *lot*, and I go through a lot of pairs. When I switched to bluetooth, I tried out the ones HoteDoge linked to, but I hated them with a passion. This is probably a personal quirk, but I found them super uncomfortable and they gave me a crick in the neck. I returned them after a few days, and switched to a Plantronics Backbeat Go set. I have now gone through a couple of pairs, by which I mean they aren't bulletproof, but they are good enough to replace when they wear out.
- super comfortable in the ear
- good sound, though I'm not an audiophile
- good for wearing around most of the day without your ears or neck starting to hurt
- it's really easy to wear both earbuds or to only wear one, say for safety reasons while running
- they are good for phone calls as well (no complaints about sound quality from people I talk to)

- they mostly stay in while running, but not as well as over-the-ear clips. I sometimes have to push them back in a bit when running, if I don't have them anchored quite right
- I wear them literally hours a day, and it's a bit of a PITA to have to stop and charge them partway through the day. For a while, I confiscated the spouse's pair, and having two pairs was perfect.
posted by instamatic at 10:58 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

I've been pretty happy with my Jaybirds, though I use them more for biking then running and even then they kill my battery life so they've not made as much sense. (My phone only lasts about 2-3 hours when playing through these.

(slight tangent but I burn through earbuds a lot, my favorite and most comfortable pair of earbuds - bar none are my Sennheiser/Adidas sport ones which I still use for running.)
posted by bitdamaged at 10:44 AM on August 26

I don't have any current recommendation because my bluetooth headphone recently died when it got in contact with a bit of water. I was surprised that apparently not all headphones that are designed for running can handle rain/sweat. If you sometimes run in rain too, that may be something to consider when evaluating different models.

If you don't need a bluetooth headphone per se, but just want something wireless, also check out the Sony NWZ-W273S walkman. It's waterproof, and one feature I really like is that if the battery is empty you can charge it for three minutes to get one hour of playback time. Reviews are unclear on how well you can still hear the world around you though, some say you can, others say you can't.
posted by blub at 12:25 PM on August 26

I used kinivio headphones/headset (previous generation to the ones listed her) for working out and biking. They did the job; not excellent but a good bargain!
posted by lalochezia at 8:00 PM on August 26

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