Buying running and workout earbuds

Buying running and workout earbuds and headphones

Three things to consider

Whether you love to hit the open trail or push your potential on the treadmill, most runners have one thing in common: music is a must-have. Here are three important things to think about before you decide which running earbuds to buy—wired vs. wireless, fit and battery life.

SoundSport wireless headphones on a towel next to a boxing glove

Wired earbuds vs. true wireless earbuds

There are a couple of reasons to love wired earbuds. First, you’ll never need to charge them. Just plug them into your device and go. And for the forgetful among us, not having to worry about losing a bud is a welcomed relief.

Then again, if you’ve ever accidentally yanked a bud out of your ear when your arm hit the wire, you understand the appeal of going wireless. Thanks to Bluetooth®, you can keep your music playing and keep your phone in your pocket. And with today’s innovations, you won’t lose sound quality when you lose the wires.

You might wonder why some headphones are called wireless despite the fact that there are clearly wires connecting the earbuds. In this case, “wireless” means the headphones rely on a Bluetooth connection—instead of a traditional cable—to transmit the sound signals from your device to the speakers in your ears.

Truly wireless in-ear headphones, on the other hand, are simply two earbuds, connected by nothing more than a strong and reliable Bluetooth connection. Over the past couple of years, the truly wireless category has become a wildly popular choice with all kinds of music lovers. SoundSport Free, our first truly wireless in-ear headphones, were released in 2017. This year, we offer two more true wireless earbuds for running: Bose Sport Earbuds are Engineered for Exercise and Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds offer noise cancelling that’s every bit as effective as our banded headphones.


When you’re out for a run, comfortable earbuds are as important as comfortable shoes. After all, nothing saps adrenaline faster than when you have to slow down to adjust an earbud. Fit varies widely across running headphones, and our introduction of Bose Sport Open Earbuds gives you even more options.

Many runners opt for in-ear headphones. Comfortable, compact and lightweight, they seemingly offer everything you need in a wireless earbud for exercise. But by nature, they seal off your ear, providing some degree of passive noise reduction. Which is great when you want to focus. But what about when you’re looking for greater awareness?

Bose Sport Open Earbuds are the first running headphones of their kind that don’t go in your ears. Instead, they rest on top of your ears, while exclusive Bose OpenAudio™ technology directs high-quality sound toward you and away from everyone else. The result is a truly new workout experience that leaves your ears totally open to hear your music and your surroundings at the same time.

If you’re more a traditionalist, we still have you covered. Years of researching the variation in the size of people’s inner ears led us to develop tips that provide a comfortable, stable fit. They’re made from soft silicone and feature an umbrella-shaped tip that slips snugly into the ridges of your ear. Its job is to hold the bud in place, no matter how much you jump, twist or bounce while working out. Then the nozzle creates a gentle seal in your ear, which keeps it in place and provides that passive seal we mentioned earlier.

All Bose running earbuds come with our proprietary tips, but there’s another reason Bose Sport Earbuds feel so secure in your ears: their compact design. They sit 40% closer to the ear than our previous true wireless earbuds, making the bud appear sleeker on your head and feel more secure in your ear. After all, the further an earbud sticks out, the more pressure it puts on the attaching wing, and the less stable it will feel in your ear—even when you’re wearing it correctly.

Battery life

Your music needs to last longer than your workout. If your music is giving you that extra boost you need to push past your limits, you can’t have your headphones quit before you do. So pay attention to how long they last per charge when you’re using them, and how easy they are to charge when you’re not.

Bose Sport Open Earbuds play for up to 8 hours—the most battery life of any of our workout headphones. And charging is a snap with the included magnetic base. The earbuds charge in about 2 hours, but if you’re in a hurry a quick 30-minute charge gives you up to 3 hours of play time.

SoundSport wireless offer up to 6 hours and Bose Sport Earbuds provide up to 5 hours of battery life per charge—both are enough time for the average person to run a marathon. And just like you recover after a run, you can give Bose Sport Earbuds a breather in the included charging case. When fully charged, the case provides two full charges for up to 10 more hours. SoundSport wireless charges via USB.

Janay Harding wearing Bose Sport Earbuds while training
Man working out wearing Bose Sport Open Earbuds

Different workout routines call for different kinds of earbuds

It’s easier to stick to any workout routine when you have a great companion pushing you. And no workout companion is more reliable than a pair of headphones.

Product availability may vary by country.

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