Best Beats Headphones and Earbuds for Running

Last updated: September 4, 2021

Running Headphones / Best Beats Headphones and Earbuds for Running

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When you hear Beats, you remember Dr. Dre and and the premium headphones and earbuds they’ve been producing.

They have also been producing some of the best wireless earbuds that people have of course been using for exercising and running. Just how do they match up to competitors like Bose, Jabra, Jaybird and so on?

Best Overall
Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds
Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds
Not Truly Wireless
Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds
Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds
Older Value
BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones
BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones
AirPod Competitor
Beats Studio Buds
Beats Studio Buds
Best Battery
Beats Powerbeats 4
Beats Powerbeats 4

Reviews of the Best Beats Headphones and Earbuds for Running

Below we’ve run through individual reviews of some of the best beats headphones and earbuds that can be used for running and exercising in general, we’ve reviewed them against purpose, battery life, feature, comfort and more. Read on.

1. Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds

Key Features

  • Wireless
  • Rechargeable
  • Open ear hook design
  • Comfortable and adjustable frame
  • Moisture resistant

Reasons to buy

  • Water and sweat resistance
  • Comfortable, securely, and sleek design
  • Deep rich sound and bass from a cordless/wireless audio device
  • 9-hour battery life for a single charge, 24-hour storage with the case
  • iOS and Siri integration

Reasons to avoid

  • Poor treble quality
  • Extremely pricey
  • Large case, not ideal

Kicking things off, we have the Beats Powerbeats Pros, the bigger cousin of the AirPods. Powerbeats Pro features a sleek and minimalist design in both shape and style. The audio component of the earphones is joined with a flexible ear hook that hooks around over the back of your ears, which ensures the earphones do not come loose or fall off, giving you some peace of mind during a run.

The release of the Pro was the brand’s return to form following a long period of inactivity following its acquisition by Apple. The new model quickly became one of the brand’s most popular items, outselling every other product across their headphone and earphone ranges. Due to the acquisition by Apple, the Powerbeats have great iOS and Siri integration.

The earphones are water and sweat-resistant and offer up to 9-hour playtime, both of which are perfect for strenuous activities and active people. What’s more, their charging case will provide you with up to 24-hours of listing time. The ear hook design also sports a more refined design from those of previous models, offering more flexibility and allowing it to be adjusted to your preference. You can expect Beat’s penchant for deep sounds and lots of bass from the Powerbeats as well as noise isolation.

However, while the Powerbeats Pros are a great pair of earphones, they are not without some problems. The main issue is the hefty price tag for such a small device and the brand’s lackluster treble quality, an issue that other competitors could outdo at far lower prices. The other problem is the size of the charger, which is quite bulky.

2. Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds

Key Features

  • Rechargeable
  • Bluetooth and wireless
  • Neck cord/band
  • Weighs 18.6 g
  • Silicone band and earbuds

Reasons to buy

  • Good quality sound at this price
  • 12-hour battery life
  • Security cord/band
  • Phoneless control buttons
  • Affordable
  • W1 chip Bluetooth connectivity

Reasons to avoid

  • Not moisture resistant
  • Security cord/band
  • Non-replaceable or repairable parts

As for a far more budget-friendly option from Beats, we have the Beats Flex earphones. The Beats Flex is a solid option for runners looking for something cheaper but still want some quality sound. 

Beats Flex is available in four different colors and sports a Flex-Form cable. The cable does not plug into your phone; instead, it is just attached to both earbuds offering some security in case one falls out. The earphones also come with four different ear tips sizes to accommodate most shapes and are relatively easy to replace. Do keep in mind that this model is not moisture or water-resistant.

As for important stuff, the Flex offers around 12-hours of battery life and can be recharged using a classic USB-C connector. The Flex favors strong and deep bass sounds while still providing decent all-around sound, especially at this price point. Its earphone cord or band also features the charging port, a wind reduction microphone, and a phoneless control component for controlling music and answering calls.

The buds connect to your phone using Apple’s W1 chip via Bluetooth, a decent enough chip that doesn’t interrupt your music but does not offer the capabilities as the H1 chip found in their more expensive products.

It is important to keep in mind that the Flex really is the more budget option of the brand’s selection, meaning they lack the same quality and durability as other pricey items. The battery is not replaceable, nor are the buds repairable, meaning if something breaks, it breaks.

3. BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Key Features

  • No longer being manufactured
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Rechargeable
  • Wireless and Bluetooth
  • Silicone earbuds and neckband

Reasons to buy

  • Sweat-resistant
  • Decent 8-hour battery life
  • Lightning bolt charger
  • Relatively cheap
  • Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

  • Security neckband; can be too long
  • Non-repairable
  • Lackluster treble quality

The BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones were the predecessor of the Beats Flex, featuring many of the same features just a bit more outdated than what the Flex can offer. Unfortunately, the introduction of the Flex has replaced BeatsX, meaning they are no longer being manufactured. That said, there are still many copies out there that can still be bought, most at quite the steal. 

The BeatsX came in with four different colors, although you have less freedom of choice now. Like the Flex, the BeatsX features a neck cord/band that connects both earbuds and wraps around the back of your neck. Phone-free controls can also be found on the band, and the actual earbuds are also sweat-resistant, both handle and useful for runners. The batteries also ran for around 8-hours and were quick to charge thanks to the lightning bolt USB charger.

These models offered a lightweight and comfortable pair of earbuds that still housed and provided a very decent music range, especially when it came to the bass. Fit and sound quality aside, the earphones are also very simple to pair; just turn them on and tap once on the notification on your phone to pair them. Simple as that. The only issues regarding the BeatsX were the length of the neckband which seemed a bit too long (feels annoying during running), problems with treble audio quality, and the fact that they are non-repairable.

4. Beats Studio Buds

Key Features

  • Not water-resistant
  • Small, weighing 53g in total
  • Cross-device and one-touch pairing
  • Wireless

Reasons to buy

  • Great sound and noise cancelation
  • Pricey, but not the worst
  • Reasonable battery life
  • Small case and buds
  • Comfortable
  • One-touch pairing

Reasons to avoid

  • No on-device volume control
  • Non-repairable
  • Works better for Apple products

Dubbed the “Airpod killers”, the Beats Studio Buds are the next hot item that should not be overlooked. The Studio Buds are the cheaper alternative to the Powerbeats Pros and even AirPods.

These true wireless earbuds come in three different colors and weigh about 5 g, with the actual case only weighing 48 g and are much smaller than Powerbeats’ case. The Studio also comes with three different sized ear tips made from silicone, which should hopefully accommodate most users. 

Experience uninterrupted calls or listening whilst jogging thanks to the buds’ Class 1 Bluetooth technology that seamlessly pairs with your device. Once connected, iOS users can enable hands-free Siri via voice command, which is just great when you are out for a run. Android users can access many of the same features but will need to install a separate Beats app. Both users will be able to pair effortlessly, thanks to its one-touch pairing technology.

The Studio Beats features ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) technology to block out unwanted noises while still allowing you to unblock noises around you using the Transparency mode. Do note that the buds will have 8-hours of battery life on Transparency mode and only 5-hours on ANC mode. These tiny little buds can pack quite a punch with their premium engineered audio quality, providing some deep and rich sounds and the ability to customize the equalizer. 

That said, the buds also suffer from poor treble projection and treatment and do not feature an on-device volume button even though previous models have featured it. The Studio Buds are also not water-resistant or repairable, which is worrisome given the price and the potential risk of damaging them during a run.

5. Beats Powerbeats 4

Key Features

  • Weigh around 26.3 g
  • Moisture resistant
  • Open ear hook band design
  • Wireless
  • Voice assistant for iOS

Reasons to buy

  • Lightning bolt charger
  • Security neckband
  • H1 chip and Class 1 Bluetooth
  • 15-hour battery life
  • Great sound quality
  • Moisture resistant

Reasons to avoid

  • Security neckband
  • Diminished audio quality with loose fits
  • Aggressive, heavy, and bad treble quality

Last up is the Beats Powerbeats 4, the cheaper and little (even though they are physically bigger) brother of the Powerbeats Pros. So, how well do they compare to Pros?

Powerbeats 4 are available in three different colors and feature the same open ear hook design as the Pros. The only difference is that the hooks form into a long neckband like the one seen on the Beats Flex, giving them some added security while still not getting in your way. 

The Powerbeats are water and sweat-resistant and offer 15-hours of listening, allowing you to finally take that easy 15-hour straight run. Thanks to the lightning bolt USB-A cable that comes with the buds, you also won’t have to wait for long when charging. Quickly connect and pair your devices with the Apple H1 chips and Class 1 Bluetooth technology, enabling you to effortlessly activate the Siri assistant via voice commands on iOS devices. 

The earbuds, like Powerbeats Pros, feature headset controls on each of the earbuds, such as volume, calling, and power buttons. Also, like the Pros, the Powerbeats 4 can produce a lot of bass and good sound all-around (except for treble audio, again), which makes them especially well-suited for electric, hip-hop, and Trap music. 

This does make them a bit more aggressive and, in your face, perfect for getting into a runner’s trance, not so much for when you want to relax on the cooldown. Unfortunately, the sound quality is dependent on you creating a good, locked fit; even a slightly loose fit will diminish the sound quality.

How to Choose the Best Beats Headphones and Earbuds

Beats earphones and headphones have cemented themselves into modern society, becoming a fashion icon and staple of the casual music scene. However, a consequence of this is that a sizable percentage of the price tag is just for the brand name. Price is certainly one of the main things to think about when purchasing Beats products, as they do not come cheap. 

It is important to set yourself a budget before looking to purchase, with your focus being to look for an affordable pair of earphones that can provide everything you are looking for. As running is the central aspect of your life, you need to look for a pair that offers durability and sweat resistance, with a design that suits your preferences.

The next thing you need to ask yourself is how important the sound quality is to you. Most Beats’ earphones offer great sound and depth in most of their products, so it becomes less about comparing bad quality to good quality, and more about good quality to increasingly good quality. How much of an audiophile you are will influence whether you should go for the cheaper or more expensive models available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Wireless Earphones and Headphones Have Worse Quality Than Cabled Options?

This is always a tough one to answer, which has caused much debate and fighting amongst audiophiles and music listeners. In short, yes, wireless earphones or headphones will always fare worse (by varying degrees from a lot to just a bit) when compared to the quality offered by their corded counterparts. The reason is due to technological limitations, mainly that Bluetooth just does not have the bandwidth or capacities that wired devices can support and offer.
 
Although this should not be taken as a grand statement, as there are wireless headphones that perform better than some wired versions, it is only that wireless devices of the highest quality will not be able to match wired devices of the same level of quality.

What are the advantages of using wireless earphones and headphones for running?

The main advantage that wireless devices offer is that they are simply less in your way, leaving your body freed up and not having to deal with cables slapping against you as you run. 

Do Wireless Earphones Have Microphones?

Yes, wireless devices do feature microphones. These microphones are either placed into the neckband (if they have one) or within the actual earbud itself. Most of the microphones, such as Beats’, are very clear and audible when listening and speaking.

Are Wireless Devices More Expensive?

Unfortunately, yes. There is no real clear answer for why wireless is more expensive than wired, but they are generally quite a bit more expensive. Especially the ones that use actual batteries for power.

Conclusion

Beats have only been around since 2006 but they’ve hit the market hard with some amazing quality audio products, including wireless headphones and earbuds for running.

If you’re willing to pay the premium, they’re definitely one of the more popular options for athletes.

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