9 Best Headphones for Every Kind of Workout

You know that feeling when you get to the gym and realize you forgot your headphones? You might as well just turn right around, because it's pretty much impossible to motivate yourself without the right jams.

“Music is like is a legal drug for athletes,” Dr. Costas Karageorghis, one of the world’s leading authorities on music and exercise, has said. According to Karageorghis, music is a crucial element of exercising because it increases desire to move, motivates us to stick to a rhythm, and distracts us from exercise-related discomfort.

But, in order to maximize your tunes and your gym time, you need the right gear — headphones designed to work with your workout. Not to mention, you need ones that also protect your hearing, since more than six million of us already suffer from hearing loss. Read on to find out which ear gear you should be wearing for whatever workout you're most into. Then, pump up the volume.

BlueAnt PUMP HD Sportbuds

Best For: CrossFit

These wireless BlueAnt earbuds can handle any high-octane workout, but work best for something like CrossFit, where you’re switching from sit-ups to jumping jacks to rowing in a span of minutes. Because of the Superfit System, those special behind-the-ear hooks keep the headphones in place no matter how hard you’re going.

Plus, there’s no dangling cord to get in the way of your moves, and the Teflon coating and Kevlar shield keep dust, water, and salt from busting up those little speakers. These headphones are as hardcore as you.

Momentum Ultra-Light Headphones

Best For: Biking

The retro-reflective cord on Momentum earbuds is key — if you’re on the road after dark, it illuminates under light for extra visibility and safety. Oh, and it’s tangle-free, too, because the last thing you need is to be dealing with knots while on wheels. Each pair of headphones comes with three ear tip sizes, so you can find a comfortable fit even under a helmet. And, last but not least, they’re weather-resistant — so that downpour won’t short out your speakers.

Transform Superior Active Performance On-Ear Headphones

Best for: Running

These babies were tested by none other than Usain Bolt — otherwise known as the fastest man alive — so, if they’re good enough for his runs, they can definitely handle yours. The over-the-ear style is super-lightweight, so it won’t slow you down, and the band is made from breathable polyurethane, which keeps you cool despite the bulky look. And, those ear pads? They’re moisture-wicking, to keep you dry during even your hottest runs.

Surge Mini Waterproof In-Ear Sport Headphones

Best For: Swimming

Hurrah, earbuds that can take your music underwater with you! Hey, swimmers need tunes, too. Technology from H2O Audio means you can completely submerge these headphones in up to 12 feet of water (obviously, that means they can also handle copious amounts of sweat). And the ergonomic sheared shape is designed to create the perfect fit, keeping water out and allowing for less drag in the pool.

Powerbeats 2 Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Best for: Court Sports

Inspired by LeBron James, these earbuds can withstand any amount of jumping. Dodging all over the tennis court? Dunking basketballs? Trying one of those crazy new trampoline workouts? A flexible earhook keeps these guys in place and they’re wireless to help you avoid any cord mishaps. They’re also sweat- and water-resistant, with over-molding on the wraparound cable so your fingers won’t slip when changing volume or switching tracks.

Monster iSport Strive In-Ear Headphones

Best for: Skiing or Snowboarding

When you’re barreling down a mountain, you want to know your gear is in place for good. And, for that, the patented in-ear SportClip on the iSport truly delivers. The snug fit also isolates noise without leaving you completely unaware of what’s going on around you (pretty important when other people are barreling down that mountain right behind you). And, lastly, the buds fit nicely under a helmet. What more convincing could you need?

S11-Flex HD Wireless Stereo Headphones

Best for: Weight-Lifting

The S11-Flex’s wireless capabilities keep your hands free, so you can focus on the pounds you’re hoisting. A special protective coating and moisture-repellant mesh make this ear gear not only sweat-proof, but totally durable in case a weight goes awry. But the best part about these isn’t necessarily gym-specific: Motorola’s quick-charge technology gives you an hour of listening with just a five-minute charge. Win.

Polk UltraFit 3000

Best for: Extreme Sports

Polk Audio bills these as “the most extreme high performance sports headphone system ever.” So, if scaling mountains, motocross, or anything else you’d see on the X-Games is your kind of thing, these are the buds for you.

The SecureFit Support design keeps them super stable, custom eartips keeps them snug, moisture shield technology resists sweat, and a Kevlar core makes them durable. Bring on your wildest adventures.

Yurbuds Inspire 300 Noise Isolating In-Ear Headphones

Best for: Marathon Training

Sometimes, size does matter — and, when it comes to long distance running, smaller is better. These Yurbuds are made with FlexSoft medical-grade silicone and are ergonomically designed to avoid the sensitive nerves in your ears for the ultimate fit in comfort (they won’t budge, either, thanks to TwistLock technology). You’ll barely notice they’re there, which is exactly what you need when everything else is hurting at mile 19.