I started reviewing headphones in 2016 and I've tried everything from over-ear cans to wireless earbuds.
Two years ago, I tested the Jabra Elite 7 Active and rated them as the best workout earbuds for most people. I loved them then and I still do. These earbuds are my everyday pair that I use for exercise, podcasts and phone calls.
Even with daily use the buds still look new, the case charges in less than an hour, and they still don't fall out during weightlifting sessions, high-intensity workouts, or during household chores.
Jabra Elite 7 Active |
was $179.99, now $149.99 at Amazon
The sound quality is great, the battery lasts for eight hours (with another 30 in the case), and if you use just one earbud the sound switches to mono (not all earbuds do this annoyingly). You can customize the sound using the Jabra app, and the physical button on the left side cycles through noise cancellation modes. If you want a pair of earbuds to get out of your way so you can focus on your training, I recommend these.
You can definitely find better-sounding earbuds, or some with longer battery life, but I rate these as the best all-round package. You get active noise cancellation to remove background noise, and an effective transparency mode for when you need to hear traffic and other people.
But what I liked the most while reviewing the Jabra Elite 7 Active was the fit. With most earbuds, I have to fiddle with the tips or continually adjust the placement in my ear, but these I just put in and forgot about them.
It took me a while to get used to the way the ShakeGrip material keeps them in place, though. They're small and light, so it was easy to panic and think they're about to fall out, but they never did.
Still, if you prefer the security of an over-ear hook, you have options. And, helpfully, my other favorite pair of workout earbuds are also on sale. The Skullcandy Push Active are a bit larger, but have large hooks to keep them in place, and they're currently 40% off, on sale for just $58.99 at Amazon right now.
Skullcandy Push Active |
was $79.99, now $58.99 at Amazon
If you want something more secure for your runs, the Skullcandy fit the bill. The ear hooks stopped them falling out during HIIT and cardio workouts, and I was impressed with the near 44-hour battery life. It's a shame there's no active noise cancellation, but the price and fit make them worth the money.
Unlike the Jabra set, they don't have active noise cancellation, but the fit blocks out quite a lot of noise anyway. And there is a Stay-Aware transparency mode for when you're on a run or a busy street.
But where the Elite 7 Active feel like a premium set of earbuds (they are durable, though — I've dropped them several times and they're fine), the more plastic-y Push Active seem like they'd survive most accidents and they're IP55-rated, so they'll be fine if you get caught in some light rain.
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James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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