Music can add a boost of motivation during a run, and headphones are an essential tool for many runners. While there are plenty of wireless options to choose from, the best wired running headphones don’t require charging, so you can run without ever losing your tunes. They’re also designed to stay on, no matter how much you move.
When shopping for running headphones, look for options with features that help keep them secure, like earbud tips that come in different sizes or loop hangers that curve around your ear to hold them in place. To prevent knotted, damaged, or distracting cords, opt for headphones with a tangle-free cable design or a clip to keep the wire out of your way.
Additionally, many wired headphones are made to withstand moisture, which can be especially helpful if you tend to sweat or run in the rain. Most manufacturers will indicate if a pair of headphones is water-resistant with an IP rating. A splash-resistant option with an IPX4 rating is great for light sweat, but an even higher IP rating is better equipped to withstand rain and heavy sweat.
Sound quality can vary across models, but wired styles tend to sound better than Bluetooth headphones — and perusing the Amazon reviews can help you make sure the sound quality will be up to par. Some options have noise-isolating features to block out excess sounds. Alternatively, if you run outside and prefer to be able to hear traffic around you, a mono earbud that leaves one ear free might serve you better. I’ve also included an option with a reflective strip, which is a safety-minded perk if you ever run outdoors in low-light conditions. Finally, consider if you want the added functionality of a mic.
With all this in mind, here are the five best wired running headphones available on Amazon.
1. The Fan-Favorite Wired Running Headphones
With more than 7,400 Amazon ratings, MEE’s in-ear headphones are a fan favorite — and it’s no wonder why. They are designed to stay in place and out of your way during runs: They hook over the ears to prevent them from falling out, and thanks to the shirt clip, the cable shouldn’t swing excessively when you’re on the move. It also has an IPX5 rating, and one reviewer wrote, “Mine have been drenched in sweat, gone out for runs in the rain with me, been accidentally (and forcibly) yanked out, and dropped and stepped on numerous times. Yet, they still soldier on.”
The headphones feature noise-isolating ear tips, and many reviewers agree that the sound is good for the price. One reviewer wrote they have “clear crisp sound” and another attested that they offer “very powerful music for the gym and running.” Plus, the headphones come with six ear tip sizes that will fit most runners. These have a built-in microphone for even more convenience, but you can opt for ones without, too.
- Available colors: 3
Positive Amazon review: “Headphones stay on while running & sweaty. Like that the earpiece tips can be removed and washed. The wire appears very robust, and works well with MP3 and phone usage.”
2. These Headphones With A Sturdy Loop Hanger
These Sony in-ear headphones are reinforced with loop hangers that go all around the ears to prevent the earbuds from popping out as you jog. While they’re designed to keep your headphones right where they should be, the loop hangers are crafted out of a flexible silicone so they’re comfortable to wear, too. They feature a tangle-free cable and a shirt clip — and according to the manufacturer, they are water-resistant (although the manufacturer doesn’t indicate an IP rating). Aside from functionality, reviewers have mentioned they deliver on sound quality, too. One reviewer wrote it has “great highs” and “decent bass.” However, they don’t have a mic.
- Available colors: 3
Positive Amazon review: “They don’t hurt under earmuffs or hats. I've really enjoyed running with these. They've never fallen out and the sound quality is good. The cord is a good length, too. Not too long, not too short.”
3. The Best Wired Running Headphones With A Reflective Strip
Featuring a reflective strip around the back, Mucro’s foldable running headphones are made to move with you and keep you visible to drivers and other passersby. They’re worn behind the head and the ear-loop design keeps them in place while you run. As for the sound quality, most reviewers agree they “sound great.” They don’t tune out external noises, which is a plus for some shoppers. One reviewer wrote, “It blocks out enough sound so you can hear your music but not so much that you aren't aware of cars around you.”
The manufacturer claims they’re water-resistant (although no IP rating is provided), so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about breaking a sweat while you’re wearing these. While bulkier than the other options on the list, they fold up to a more compact size that can fit into a bag without taking up too much space. They also have a built-in microphone for answering calls. However, the cable isn’t totally tangle-free, but it’s a small price to pay for the convenience these headphones offer.
- Available colors: 2
Positive Amazon review: “I bought this as my headset for running on the treadmill, which I have ever since receiving it, but I also wore these on a marathon and they were spectacular. They’re comfortable, stay in (never once fell out or came loose), light, and all around a great set of headsets. No, it’s not a $500 headset where you get immersed in sound, but the quality is great for what they are. I never had any issues with sweat-causing problems with the electronics. They're great.”
4. These Headphones You Can Submerge In Water
If you’re not scared off by torrential downpours (or if you sweat buckets as you run), a pair of headphones that can withstand lots of water is your best bet. AGPTEX’s waterproof headphones boast an impressive IPX8 rating, which means they can be submerged in water deeper than 1 meter for upwards of 30 minutes. They come with several sets of ear bud tips: two pairs of silicone tips and three waterproof tips, in a variety of sizes.
While they don’t have a microphone, the headphones are made to isolate noise, and customers have reported being happy with the sound: “These sound just as good if not better than the $60 pair I had,” one reviewer wrote. The cable is coiled to reduce tangles, and also comes with an additional 3.5-millimeter cord that can extend the length of your cable by 1 meter.
- Available colors: 1
Positive Amazon review: “Work great, very comfortable, good sound. I like the different ear forms for either land or water.”
5. The Best Wired Mono Earbud For Running
When navigating a public space and maintaining awareness of your surroundings are critical, opt for these Sharktooth mono earbud. While you’re not going to get a surround-sound experience with one headphone, one reviewer wrote that “the sound is very rich,” and another described it as “the sound quality is pretty fantastic for the price you pay.”
The headphone comes with three ear tips (small, medium, and large), and though the manufacturer doesn’t list an IP rating, it does specify that the headphone is sweat-proof. You don’t have to worry about tangling either — this one comes with a single cable to reduce the chance of multiple cords knotting together.
- Available colors: 1
Positive Amazon review: “Quality is great. I wanted something to use to listen to music while running outside and this allows me to do that while also being aware of my surroundings.”
Also Great: A Pair of Wired Bluetooth Headphones
If the appeal of wired headphones is that the earbuds won’t get separated or go missing, Otium’s Bluetooth headphones could be a good fit. Their audio connection is wireless, but they feature a wire that connects the two earbuds. They’re equipped with soft loop hangers that hook around your ears to keep the earbuds comfortably in place. These headphones link up to your phone via Bluetooth, and though they require charging, they last up to eight hours between uses.
The headphones feature an IPX7-rated shell, which means they can be submerged in water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes at a time — perfect for those who like to run outdoors or sweat a lot. Many reviewers have agreed that this pair delivers on sound quality, and the noise-isolating design allows you to tune out distractions while you jog.
- Available colors: 4
Positive Amazon review: “Impressive volume, good battery life, much better than I expected for the price. I use these regularly while running.”