Best Over Ear Headphones for the Gym – 2018July 22, 2018
A lot of you don’t know this, one of my favorite things to do besides this website, is going to the Gym. I was a Personal Trainer full time for 4 years. I love everything about the gym and the motivation it gives me to keep pushing myself daily.
One of the main questions I got asked as a PT was “What are the best over ear headphones for the gym?”, I was the go-to because I always seemed to be working out with a new pair of headphones, I was forever breaking them and trying out new makes and models.
Today I have created a little list of the best over ear headphones for the gym. 99% of gym goers prefer wireless headphones, that will be a factor in this list and I will list each headphone by price range.
Skullcandy Hesh 3
If you’re like me, you would have heard of Skullcandy before but not really taken them seriously. In all honesty, their earlier stuff looked cheap and had average performance, that has changed. Over the last few years, Skullcandy has really stepped up their game. These headphones seem very refined and plain in design and compared to Skullcandys earlier stuff they don’t even look like they are made by the same Brand.
You can get the Hesh 3 in a matte Grey, Blue, Red and Black. They are a plastic construction but are surprisingly well-made and solid. These cans come with a Micro USB Cable and Inline Aux cable but no inline mic, you will get 22 hours out of a charge! You have memory foam cups that provide a comfortable listening experience that is tailored to you.
These headphones pair without much issue at all and when it comes to performance it really depends on what type of music you play through these. During bass heavy songs these come alive with hard punchy bass, if you play a more balanced track the mids and highs shine. With a sub $100 price tag, the Skullcandy Hesh 3 is hard to go past if you are looking to get into Bluetooth Over-ear Headphones.
- 22 Hours of Battery
- Sleek Design
- Strong Bluetooth Connection
- No accessories
- No inline mic
Price – $78.99 USD
Where to buy – Buy Here
$100 – $200
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
The best wireless noise-canceling headphones historically have come from the likes of Bose, Sony and Sennheiser. Plantronics want to position themselves as the more affordable option with a premium feel and comparable noise canceling to it’s more expensive peers.
The first thing that stands out with the BackBeat Pro 2 is it looks, it looks and feels way more expensive than it is. It has a heft to it at 290 grams even though it’s 35% Smaller and 15% lighter than the first BackBeat. The look of these stands out and won’t be for everyone. They come with a handy and rigid carry case as well, which is a nice bonus. You also get a claimed 24hrs of battery life and a backup Aux cable.
You have a few party tricks with these, Auto play and pause when you take the headphones off your head and you can pair instantly with any NFC equipped device.
When it comes to Audio Performance you will be getting a balance, clean and dynamic sound profile that rivals it’s higher-priced peers. The Active Noise Canceling you get on these is impressive, it’s not as good as the golden standard that Bose presents but for this price point you can’t fault it.
- 24 Hour Battery
- Active Noise Canceling
- Aesthetic isn’t for everyone
Price – $129.99 USD
Where to buy – Buy Here
$200 – $300
Beats Studio3 Wireless
Beats are known for producing overpriced headphones that are pumped out through the marketing machine that is Beats stable of sponsored/partnered athletes and pop culture talent. The 3rd version of Beats most popular wireless headphone looks exactly like the 2nd version but does sport a number of improvements.
You still get the same design as the previous version but almost double the battery life of its predecessor at 22 hours with Active Noise Cancelling turned on, if you do run out of power, there is the inclusion of fast fuel so a 10-min charge gives you 3 hrs. New is the inclusion of the W1 chip, if you have an Apple device you will be able to reap the benefits of being able to pair the headphones to one of your devices in your Apple ecosystem and it will be recognized across all devices.
The Studio3 comes in Black, gloss black, matte black, white, white gloss, blue, red, titanium, gold, porcelain rose and Defiant Black-Red. These are also foldable and come with a handy carry case.
Beats of old had very muddy bass and the audio quality was sub-par, these, on the other hand, are fantastic. Obviously, still Hip Hop and R&B tuned so you get punch base but the mids and highs are balanced. The Beats Pure ANC is a proprietary method of active noise canceling and is phenomenal on these. Usually, Beats are overpriced and underperforming, these Beats are well priced with performance to match. If you own an iPhone and are an Apple enthusiast, these are for you.
- New W1 Chip
- Impressive Sound
- Same design as the last model
Price – $249.99 USD
Where to buy – Buy Here
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series 2)
The Bose QuietComfort 35 is an industry leader when it comes to Noise Canceling and Comfort. Besides the addition of a dedicated Google Assistant button not much has changed since the series 1 and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Comfort is in its name and comfort is its game, these are seriously some of the most comfortable headphones you can buy today. Plush ear cups and the light build of these, make for hours of long listening. You get 20 hours of wireless listening and 40 hours of wired listening. You can only get these in black and silver, to be honest, those are the only color options you need. These are some of the best looking headphones on the market at the moment and can match most peoples style.
To be honest the new dedicated Google Assistant button isn’t really as useful as you may think. Until Google Duplex is released I don’t see many people using this button effectively. Luckily you can remap this button to any other function via the connected App.
Where the QuietComfort 35 excels is its impressive noise canceling, you will read reviews on top of reviews that will praise the ANC on these headphones. It’s not going to 100% block out the outside world like some people say but it will make you realize how loud the actual world is. Whether you’re in an office, train, plane or busy city, when you put these on you can focus on your music or media of choice. The App and the headphones will automatically equalize to the type of music that is playing through them until you hear it for yourself you won’t really understand how cool and convenient this is.
If you have the funds for it, the Bose QuietComfort 35 is truly one of the best headphones you can buy for the money.
- Impressive Noise Canceling
- Battey Life
- Google Assistant button
Price – $349 USD
Midway through writing this article I noticed that I hadn’t been addressing the main topic of this article, “What are the best over ear headphones for the gym?”. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that unless you sweat profusely, you aren’t really limited to “Gym Specific” headphones. All you need is decent noise canceling to drown out the junk they play in gyms and decent audio quality, the effectiveness and quality of each of those is determined by the price tag.
With headphones, you really do get what you pay for. If money is no object, go with the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series 2, If you just need a new set of headphones that get the job done, go with Skullcandy Hesh 3.
What kind of Headphone do you use at the gym? Comment below and let me know