What's a good headset for running?
August 7, 2017 1:26 PM   Subscribe

Similar questions have been previously asked, and I read those answers, but technology speeds along, so I'm bringing it up again. I want to be able to call my friends while walking in the woods. I know, I want to be that person. The cell phone connection can be spotty (trees, hills), and static bothers me. I'd like to keep it under $200, but that's not a hard line. What headset would you recommend?

I have an Android Galaxy S7, and I'll probably eventually get an S8.

These looked promising, but they are only for iPhone.

Do these sound staticy and awful? I don't know!
posted by Alex Haist to Shopping (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
For wired, over-ear "open" headphones, I love Koss KSC75s.
- Sound great
- Doesn't squish ears
- Open design, so you can hear the world around you
- Inexpensive (still under $15, at least on Amazon, linked above)

- Open design means that you might have to turn them up if you want to really hear your music in loud situations
- Don't clip on your ears too hard, so they could be jostled loose

- Wired
posted by filthy light thief at 1:39 PM on August 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Would you prefer Bluetooth, or wired?

Do you want something with some degree of sound insulation, or something that lets all the ambient noise around you in?

How much money do you want to spend?

I have a pair of Jaybird Bluetooth earbuds that I like a lot, though they block out more background noise than I would prefer. Bose Soundsports are another option that's probably worth considering.
posted by box at 1:56 PM on August 7, 2017

I hate running with headsets with microphones because they always pick up wind noise no matter what I do even when not actively using the microphone. It's a pain because it is damn near impossible to get headphones with inline remotes without them.
posted by srboisvert at 2:01 PM on August 7, 2017

I like the LG Tone series these days. Before that, I had a stereo Plantronics Voyager 855(?) that I very much liked, though it had much worse battery life than around the neck models. (4ish hours of active music listening, IIRC) The few extra grams of mass shaved off compared to the Tone Pro I currently use was nice, and there was an adjustment period to having something around my neck, but overall the extra battery life is worth the extra mass. The other advantage is having an easy place to stash the buds real quick if you suddenly need to talk to someone.

No matter what you go with, make sure the gels actually fit your ear canal well. All earbuds sound better and are more comfortable when you don't try to do something like use large gels in small ear canals or vice versa. (Either way they sound bad and fall out easily)
posted by wierdo at 2:58 PM on August 7, 2017

These plantronics backbeat fit are the greatest headphones for running I've ever had.

They have survived my horrifying sweat for nearly a year, they're not staticky and they give you pretty good surrounding noise for being aware of your surroundings while letting you hear your music. The battery life is phenomenal.

I love them.
posted by winna at 6:53 PM on August 7, 2017

I've tried many and like these the Bose Soundsport Wireless ones the best:


They are not very inexpensive but mine have lasted 10 months with nary an issue
posted by n9 at 12:07 PM on August 8, 2017

I have a couple of pairs that are my go-to running headphones:

1. PowerBeats 3 These are light and comfortable and the hooks that go over the ear make them very secure without hurting my ears (which is a problem I've had with other ear-hook headphones.) They do block outside sound quite a bit, so they're not ideal for running in places where you want to be able to hear things like cars/approaching muggers/bears etc.

2. Aftershokz Titanium These are bone-conduction headphones, so they don't actually cover your ears; instead they rest against your head just above and in front of your ears. I was pretty skeptical about this until I got a chance to try a pair in a store and I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality. They sound as good as any other headphones I've used and the fact that they leave your ears unblocked means that you can still hear surrounding sounds. They fit securely enough that they don't bounce around or feel loose when running but a twisting or bending your neck too much can cause them to pull loose from where they rest above your ears so they're not good for yoga or similar exercises.
posted by aaebig at 1:13 PM on August 9, 2017

I'm a little confused by some answers for headphones--I'm looking for a headset, something I can make phonecalls on without holding my phone to my mouth, not just something for receiving sound. Do headphones do that, and I'm just misunderstanding here?

I'd definitely prefer Bluetooth!
posted by Alex Haist at 4:54 PM on August 18, 2017

Some "headphones" do have microphones of some sort or another, whether it be a crappy condenser mic like you get with pack in earbuds with a cell phone or bone conduction deals like some of the high end Bluetooth in ear monitor style buds. LG Tone has no obvious microphone, yet people can hear me even out on a noisy street with the wind blowing. Wind noise was always a problem with the Plantronics set, although the impression I got from people I spoke with was that the overall quality was better as long as the Plantronics set was used indoors.

It seems like the majority of Bluetooth earbuds/headphones also have a mic of some description, but it's been a couple of years since I've looked extensively. Amazon's return policy can be very helpful with items like this whose fit is very personal.
posted by wierdo at 12:16 AM on August 21, 2017

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