Walking is fun, but can quickly become boring if you constantly have to listen to the cadence of your feet. According to London’s Brunel University, music can improve your athletic performance by up to 15 percent. Which best wireless earbuds for working out? And how do you know if they are sweat and water-resistant? Our tech expert gives tips and selects the best five best wireless earbuds of the moment.
The choice between earbuds is huge. There are in-ear headphones, open-ear headphones, models with hooks behind the ears, a neckband… How the hell do you know where to start?
The price is, of course, an important factor in making an initial selection. Within each category, you have different models that differ in shape. For example, there are still devices that you connect to your smartphone via a cable, such as the Sennheiser IE300.
Still, people are increasingly opting for wireless earbuds, especially now that devices rarely have a port to connect headphones. When you walk, there is a good chance that your earphones are accidentally pulled out with a cable, so it is best to choose the wireless version. To get the latest stories, install our app here.
How the earbuds sit in your ear also has an impact on how quickly they can fall out during exercise. Some models, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, are like classic earbuds that slide into your ear cup.
Producers continue to experiment in their search for a shape that is as optimal as possible: some caps resemble beans, others are oval… There is a lid for every jar, but vice versa, not every earplug stays in your auricle as comfortably as possible.
Other models, such as Apple’s AirPods, sit in your ear canal and have a ‘stick’ that rests on your ear. These devices often have ear cushions in multiple sizes, so you can choose which one fits best. Some have a rubber tip, others are harder. As with the bean-shaped earplugs, in terms of comfort, a lot depends on the shape of your ear.
And then there are the earplugs that are specifically designed for sports. These have, for example, an ear hook, so that they stay in place while walking. There are even devices that are not in your ear but on your cheekbones. To get the latest stories, install our app here.
In addition to the price and shape, the technology is also decisive when making a choice. The battery life, for example, quickly varies from three to thirteen hours. Fortunately, most earbuds these days come with a case that charges the gems while they’re in the box.
Be sure to check whether your earplugs are water and sweat resistant. Previous generations of AirPods have suffered damage — not just from sweat, but also from rain. The IPX standard is a score that indicates how well a device can withstand water. IPX3 means your earbuds can withstand splashes of water, IPX8 is completely waterproof.
And then there’s the sound quality. That’s where shape comes into play — how well is your ear covered? — but there are a lot of additional technical gadgets. From active noise reduction to a transparency mode that still allows outside noises to pass through: every device has certain techniques to play your music or podcast as optimally as possible.
What are the best five earbuds for walking?
Apple AirPods Pro
These Apple earbuds have active noise cancellation and come with three soft silicone tips, so you can select the right size. That noise canceling is quite special: it is adapted to the shape of your ears and the fit of the tips. By holding the pressure sensor on the stem, you can suddenly hear what is happening around you. The AirPods Pro lasts 4.5 hours, but in the accompanying case, they charge automatically, giving them a lifespan of no less than 24 hours. Note: AirPods often work less well with Android smartphones than with iPhones.
The WF-1000XM4 from Sony also has decent noise canceling. These earbuds have an IPX4 waterproof rating and bone conduction technology that provides better call quality when using the earbuds in a call. As with other Sony headphones, you can connect these earbuds to the Headphones Connect app, which allows you to personalize them down to the last detail. After a single charge, they last eight hours, the case is good for an extra sixteen hours.
The first thing you notice about the Aftershokz Aeropex is the design. The semi-circular shape fits around your head and, surprisingly, doesn’t cover your ears. This device rests on your cheekbones and sends the sound to your ears via vibrations. This way you can always hear the traffic while you are walking. This special shape makes it more difficult to combine them with (sun) glasses. The battery lasts eight hours, charging is done via a cable.
Jabra Elite Active 75t
The Elite Active 75t from Jabra has not stolen its name: judging by the wearing comfort of the earplugs, you notice that they are ideal for those who walk or jump a lot. The earplugs can withstand water and sweat perfectly, and thanks to the ambient sound function, you can adjust how much you want to hear from the outside world. Ideal for outdoor runs, so you can even amplify ambient sounds such as an approaching car. Jabra is fully extending the concept of ‘wireless’, because even the accompanying holder can be charged wirelessly. Without a case, these earbuds last for 5.5 hours, with that, it is 24 hours.
Beats Fit Pro
These earbuds have it all: active noise cancellation, a transparency mode, an IPX4 rating, and three different soft silicone ear cushions. A so-called “wingtip” hangs on the caps, which clamps itself in your auricle. So you can exercise without losing your Beats Fit Pro! When you listen to music via Apple Music, these earbuds even support spatial audio. The battery life is 6 hours without and 18 hours with the case.
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