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5 Best Wireless Headphones for Trail Running in 2019

Welcome to our Best Wireless Headphones for Running guide which features 5 of the top running headphones for trail running, ultrarunning and hiking. Wireless headphones are much more affordable than they used to be and the Bluetooth connection is so much more stable, so all headphones in this list are wireless.

The most important features to be aware of when choosing which wireless headphones to buy for running are (these are also the criteria for them making it onto this list):

  1. Fit – They must feel comfortable, and fit securely so they don’t fall out while running fast.
  2. Weight – If they are lightweight then they won’t become a burden when running for long periods of time. Marathon runners and Ultrarunners, you know what I’m talking about.
  3. Sound Quality – The better the sound quality, the more you’ll enjoy the overall experience.
  4. Battery Life – Ultrarunners, hikers, and fastpackers need a long battery life. Don’t get left without music when it’s needed the most, in the pain cave.
  5. Durability – Trail runners and hikers need headphones to be as weatherproof as possible, to protect them from sweat, dust and preferably rain too!

Why do so many people enjoy running with headphones?

  • You can listen to your favorite music to help you through challenging moments in your workout.
  • If you use a Virtual Trainer like the fantastic Vi Trainer for example, then you need headphones to get your real-time coaching as you run.
  • You can listen to your favorite Podcasts or Audio Books that you may not be able to find time for in the rest of your day.
  • If absolutely necessary, you can answer phone calls without requiring access to your phone. I don’t recommend talking on the phone during a run though, that time should be yours and only yours, so don’t let yourself get distracted.
  • Inadvertently let people know that you don’t want to be disturbed/asked for directions to the local tourist attraction.

Now you know what constitutes great running headphones and why people enjoy running with music, read our list below to see what headphones are best for running, and which ones you should buy. This guide is regularly updated so remember to check back before buying your next pair of running headphones.

Key of water protection ratings:

IPX4: Is resistant to water splashes from any direction.
IPX5: Can resist a sustained, low-pressure water jet spray.
IPX6: Can resist high-pressure, heavy sprays of water.
IPX7: Can be submerged up to 1 meter in water for 30 minutes.

1. Jaybird VISTA

jaybird vista product image best true wireless headphones trail and kaleThere’s a reason you won’t see many true wireless headphones on this list because up until now most would come with drawbacks including connectivity issues, excessive weight, and short battery life. This has all changed with the release of the Jaybird VISTA true wireless headphones, which I have had the pleasure of early release testing. Jaybird VISTA wireless headphones have an extended battery life of 32 hours, are IPX7 waterproof, sweatproof, crushproof, and are the lightest, most comfortable true wireless headphones we have ever tested.

Jaybird VISTA has other unique design features that improve their usability far beyond the RUN XT, (their last true wireless earbuds) which I talk in detail about in my full Jaybird VISTA review.

The Jaybird VISTA now sits in the number 1 spot of this best wireless headphones for running, and ultrarunning list. I have also given them an Editor’s Choice Award.

FULL REVIEW: Jaybird VISTA Review 2019: Editor’s Choice Award Winner

2. Jaybird Tarah Pro

Jaybird Tarah Pro gifts for trail runners trail and kale

The Jaybird Tarah Pro wireless buds are extremely durable and weatherproof (IPX7) with an industry-leading battery life of 14 hours! If you hadn’t realized already, these headphones have been inspired by the demands of ultra races and out-there adventures, so it stands to reason that they need to be extra durable with a long battery life. A 5-minute quick charge will give you 2 hours of playback which is handy if you forget to charge them fully the day before a run. Just pop them on charge while you get dressed for your run and you’ll be set for 2 hours. The Tarah Pro has a crisp and clear soundtrack for your adventures, with fully adjustable EQ in the Jaybird app.

Because the earbuds are rotatable, you can wear the wires over your ears and use the cinch at the rear to fasten them to the back of your head, creating a secure fit that really feels as though you’re not wearing them at all. I also love how the magnetic snap lock earbuds automatically pause your music when the earbuds are snapped together and also secures them around your neck. The music will then automatically restart where you left off when you put the buds back in your ear, preserving battery life! So clever. The Jaybird Tarah Pro buds are for me, the best wireless headphones for running.

FULL REVIEW: Jaybird Tarah Pro Review 2019Jaybird Tarah Review 2019

Sound Quality: ExcellentBattery Life: 14hrsWeight: 20g/0.7oz

3. Aftershokz Trekz Air

Aftershokz Trekz Air best wireless headphones for running trail and kale 2The Aftershokz Trekz Air wireless headphones use the clever bone conduction technology designed for open ear headphones.

Are over the ear headphones good for running?

One of the things in particular that we love about Aftershokz and bone conduction technology is that you can listen to music but still be aware of ambient sounds from the world around you. This includes sounds from people trying to get your attention, potential hazards, like cars or bikes, but also the wonderful sounds of nature while on the trails. Having the luxury of being able to listen to music and ambient surrounding sound, does however mean that the sound quality will never be quite as immersive as wireless headphones that use in-ear buds. “Horses for courses” as they say, and many people will love these for the safety benefits while running.

The Trekz Air is inspired by the demands of elite and aspiring athletes motivated by their music and their world. These headphones are rated at IP55 meaning they are sweatproof.

Sound Quality: GoodBattery Life: 6hrsWeight: 30g/1.06oz

4. Vi Sense Headphones

Vi Trainer with Vi Sense review trail and kale 4

Vi Sense headphones are sweat resistant and come with a built-in Heart Rate sensor on the left earbud. The sound quality from them is superb too because they are powered by Harman/Kardon.

Training via heart-rate is one of the best ways to train because your heart never lies and its an excellent indicator for your fitness level. Although not necessary, If you choose to use these with Vi Trainer, then Vi will use heart-rate data to further personalize your training sessions.

You can also tap the right bud while running and ask Vi questions like “What’s my heart rate?” or “How am I doing Vi?” and she’ll respond with real-time insights on your heart rate, calories, distance, pace, and more. Vi Sense also comes with extra fins and ear gels to make sure they fit your ears securely.

FULL REVIEW: Vi Trainer + Vi Sense Headphones Review 2019: The Future of Run Coaching?

Vi Sense headphones + Vi Virtual Trainer (1 year) – RRP $248 $99

Sound Quality: ExcellentBattery Life: 8hrsWeight: 36.8g/1.3oz

5. Beats Powerbeats Pro

Beats Powerbeats Pro best running headphones trail and kale

The Powerbeats Pro has a pretty impressive battery life of 9 hours on a single charge, which is enough for many trail runners and even many mid-distance ultrarunners. A 5-minute quick charge delivers 90 minutes of playback. They’re rated IPX4 which protects them from sweat and light rain but not submersion.

The over-the-ear design is slim enough for if you wear a cap/hat whilst running but if you wear sunglasses too then these may get in the way.

Are true wireless earbuds good for running?

I personally prefer wireless headphones where each earbud is connected via a wire, The Bluetooth connection tends to be more stable and they feel less like they may fall out while running, resulting in a damaged earbud.  These are great wireless headphones for the gym too.

Sound Quality: ExcellentBattery Life: 9hrsWeight: 22g/0.78oz

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Zungle Viper Audio Sunglasses (*BONUS*)

Zungle Viper best wireless headphones for running trail and kale

The Zungle Viper bone conduction audio sunglasses are a really innovative product. They’re a great option for those who like to have everything in one package. Similarly to the Aftershockz Trekz Air, these use bone conduction tech which allows you to remain aware of ambient sounds around you whilst listening to music. If you want a new look, you can swap out the polarized lenses too.

They offer access to Siri or Google Assistant for voice control and you can even have a phone call with them. One downside, you can’t listen to music unless you’ve got the sunglasses on, which of course limits being able to listen to music in bright conditions. Still, the Zungle Vipers give you wireless good quality audio in a very convenient package, while allowing you to hear ambient noise, which is good for the safety conscious. Rated IPX4.

Sound Quality: GoodBattery Life: 4hrsWeight: 50g/1.7oz

FULL REVIEW: ZUNGLE Viper V2 2019 Review



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Alastair Dixon
Alastair Dixonhttps://www.trailandkale.com
Hey, I'm Alastair. 5 years ago I started Trail & Kale as a way to share the mental & physical benefits that trail running and nature had given me. Since then Trail & Kale has grown to become a thriving blog and community that inspires people to trail run, hike, adventure more, and live a healthy plant-based lifestyle.

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