Our Favorite Gym-Ready Headphones

We’re a month into the new year, hopefully you’re still sticking to your new or existing fitness routines and you’re getting the most out of every minute of pain. There’s no doubt that the proper soundtrack can push you to the next level but what’s the use when you’re still dealing with those inferior white earbuds? A rock-solid pair of gym-specific headphones can change the way you approach going to the gym. Not only can they help get your heart rate up, but a good pair will tune the distractions and tune in the motivation. We racked up some test reps on some of the leading workout headphones and narrowed down our three go-to pairs. A warning though, just having a sick pair of headphones isn’t enough, you still have to do the workout yourself. Now look sharp and grab that kettlebell, yoga class is letting out.

The Jaybird X2
Every earbud user knows the struggle is real in terms of getting the right fit and finding a set that stays nice and snug, especially if you’re a runner, do high-impact interval training or are a Vulcan. The Bluetooth-enabled X2 headphones were developed to eliminate that problem for good. They come with six pairs of eartips, three sizes of silicone and three sizes of memory foam, plus three sizes of ear fins. Of course, you have to figure out the right combo for yourself, which will require some trial-and-error, but nothing will beat a customized fit. To make sure you have one less excuse for not making it to the gym, the battery lasts eight hours, so you can go a few workouts without recharging. These headphones have also gotten rave reviews for sound quality and don’t sweat it if you suffer from diaphoresis (aka - sweat like Chris Christie). Jaybird offers a lifetime warranty for any perspiration-related damage. The X2 will set you back about around $180.

The Skullcandy Method
If you assume that a low price automatically means a shoddy product, you probably haven’t given the Skullcandy brand a single glance. Look past the unsightly, slightly teeny bopper bright colors and take note that the company has rolled out a model specifically for working out that is worth a look. A lot of tech went into making sure the Method can lure non-aficionados away from the pricier, trendier, big-boy brands. The hook shape of the buds resist downward tugs. They’re made of proprietary “StickyGels” material to keep them in place and comfortable when you’re getting your sweat on. The earbuds will stay germ-free too. The Method has gotten good reviews, but people seem split on whether they stay in place any better than similarly-priced competitors. All about that bass? Then you’ll have even more reason to love these headphones; they’re designed to enhance low ranges in music and at $30 a pop, they’re not a bad deal, especially if you aren’t going to use them beyond the gym.

Sol Republic Relays
On sight, the Relays don’t seem like anything special. They actually look kind of look cheap. Even with the simplicity in design, they’ve gained quite a rabid following for excelling at sound quality and comfort, without too much sticker shock (they retail for $80 or less). The Relays have what Sol Republic calls “FreeFlex” to help them stay in your ears while you’re burning calories. Sports headphones tend to have a snugger fit than those built for everyday use, but the company markets these as a crossover model, meaning that the fit won’t drive you crazy when you’re doing other things. They’re also sweat resistant. Bonus: if you register your Relays with Sol Republic, you get free ear-tip replacement for life, so you can lose them on purpose at least once.

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