Best workout headphones

by Jacinta Koelewyn on Wednesday 22 January 2020

5 min read

When you’re working up a sweat in the gym, nothing beats a killer playlist pumping from your headphones to soundtrack your workout.

Headphones have come a long way over the years, since the tangled wires and low sound quality plaguing fitness fanatics everywhere. Whether you prefer over-ear headphones or wireless earphones, there’s plenty of excellent options to choose from. And with features like sweat-resistant coating and collapsible designs for better portability, your workout will run smoother than ever. Discover why a good set of headphones can make a difference to your workout and discover our top picks.

Why having good headphones matters 

Headphones and earphones can be a great addition to any workout – particularly when you’re doing it solo. It can help you stay in the zone and push harder through your session.

Music is motivational

When you haven’t sprung out of bed bursting with motivation to hit the gym, music is a quick and effective way to get in the zone and feel driven to push yourself. Some tunes can help put you in a better mood and improve the quality of your workout. 

Block out distractions

Headphones can help us block out the noise of the outside world and empower us to hone in on our workout. While some people love soaking up the electric atmosphere in our gym, others prefer to do their own thing – and that’s OK. It’s all about what works best for you.

What makes headphones good?

Tastes in what makes headphones good can be pretty subjective, but it really just comes down to how comfortable they are and how well they work for you.

Comfort level

When finding a high-quality pair of headphones, it’s all about comfort. The last thing you want to deal with is headphones constantly falling out of your ears to ruin your workout. 

Look for headphones or earphones that are well fitted, suitable for sports and made with materials that are light, breathable and sweat-resistant.

Sound quality

The sound quality of your headphones or earphones is paramount to feeling motivated and ready to give your all in your next workout. Consider checking out the sound quality of headphones or earphones in-store, so you can try before you buy. Your music taste may also make a difference. For example, if you’re into electronic or hip hop, you may want headphones with more bass. Prefer guitars and rock music to get you going? You may need a pair that nails their mids and highs.


Sports headphones should be durable and unafraid of a bit of sweat. After all, you want to be able to toss them in your bag on the go. Look for earphones or headphones that are tough or can be stored in compact cases.

Our top 5 sports headphones

In no particular order, here are our top picks for sports headphones and earphones that you can pick up in Australia.

1. Bose Sport Earbuds

These headphones serve up excellent audio quality, durability and are a comfortable fit, giving you the motivation to go one more mile or do one more rep for up to 5 hours.

The Bose Sport Earbuds comes in three sizes of StayHear™ Max tips - so you can find the right fit and create a tight seal within your ear canal for optimal sound quality and comfort. Meanwhile, the unique umbrella-shaped tip and the extended flexible wing keep them securely in place. 

They’re also rated IPX4, which means the electronics inside each earbud are protected against splashing water in case you get caught in the rain on a run. They strike a balance between sound isolation and the ability to be aware of your surroundings in the gym, or rugged outdoors. 

2. Beats Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones

Beats is known for its powerful audio quality, and the Powerbeats Pro are no different. These true wireless earphones can adjust securely and comfortably to your ears and are made to stay in place no matter what. 

These lightweight earphones are sweat and water resistant, with 9 hours of listening time in each earbud. They can also connect automatically with your Apple watch, Mac or iPad.

3. Sony Sports Wireless WF-SP900 Headphones

Most sports earphones are great for sweat resistance but aren’t waterproof. Sony’s Sports Wireless WF-SP900 on the other hand is ideal for swimmers. It can be used in 2-metre deep fresh or salt water.  

Bluetooth signals don’t work underwater, so this model counteracts this with 4GB of memory and a player in the earphones, so you can load music without a phone. Enjoy up to three hours of music with a Bluetooth connection or up to six hours with the on-board storage system.

4. JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Train Headphones

With JBL sound and Under Armour’s fast-drying, washable fabric technology, rugged design and IPX4 rating – these are tried and tested by athletes.

These JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Train headphones boasts a 16-hour speed battery charge, wireless connection and bionic hearing with TalkThru tech that helps you easily talk between sets without removing your headphones.

5. Jabra Elite 75t Earbuds

Four-microphone technology that delivers active noise cancellation for clearer calls and that extra boost to keep you in the zone. They’re also IP57 water and dust resistant and have up to 5.5 hours continuous use with Active Noise-Cancellation (ANC) turned on or up to 24 hours with the charging case.

Jabra’s Elite 75t earbuds allows two devices to be connected at once and you can personalise your experience via the Jabra Sound+ app. 

Pump the beats with us 

At Virgin Active, you’ll find motivational music throughout our health club, so headphones are totally optional. Many of our members choose to wear headphones during their workout, so it comes down to what feels best for you.

If you aren’t sure which headphones are right for you, be sure to ask a friendly staff member. Book a free, no obligation tour today!

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