Running is a popular activity for millions of people around the world. Not only does it provide a great cardio workout and help with endurance training, but it is also known to relieve stress and help improve mental focus. Many people prefer to run while listening to music or audio books, but doing so requires the right kind of headphones. Choosing the right ones isn’t as easy as grabbing the pair you use with your laptop or tablet.
They Must Provide the Right Fit
Whether you prefer earbuds or over-the-ear headphones, it is important that they stay in place. To choose the right ones for running, first consider which type is most comfortable for you. Most people choose small designs that fit inside the ear because they are less bulky and do not make the head feel as heavy when running. If you don’t like the feeling of having something in your ear, choose over-the-ear designs that are lightweight and fit snugly in place.
Comfort is as important as fit. If you choose an in-ear design, purchase one that comes with ear tips in several sizes so you can use the one that feels most comfortable for you. If you choose over-ear headphones, choose a set that has enough padding to feel comfortable without feeling bulky.
Sound Quality Is Important
Quality sports headphones must provide just the right amount of audio. When running outdoors, you will likely come upon traffic, children playing, barking dogs, and other types of ambient noise. While you don’t want this noise to make it difficult to hear your music, not hearing any of it can be a safety issue because you may not notice traffic or other dangers that come up behind you.
Because your focus is on running, you don’t need a pair of headphones that sounds as if the music is transmitted directly into your brain. Many people choose to run with the beat of their music — in fact, entire playlists are available for this purpose — so choosing a set with good bass is probably the most important aspect when it comes to sound quality.
Running Headphones Must Be Durable
You might be able to get away with wearing cheap earbuds from the discount store at home, but they aren’t likely to get the job done when you’re running. Running headphone should be resistant to water damage. Even if you aren’t a die hard runner and don’t plan to run when it rains, you never know when you could accidentally be caught in a downpour.
You also must factor in sweat. If you run long distances or when the sun is at its highest, you can expect to sweat quite a lot. At the least, choose a pair that is water-resistant. If you can find some within your budget, look for a waterproof set. You can rinse these ones if they become too grubby from sweating.
Decide if Hi-Tech Is Important to You
One final factor to consider is whether you want extra technological features. Bluetooth headphones connect to your smartphone wirelessly so that you don’t need to worry about cords getting in the way as you try to run and listen to your music. If you don’t mind cords, you can choose headphones that also serve as a microphone and allow you to answer calls on the run. While this may not be important to everyone, someone who is on-call for a job or who has children may desire this type of connectivity.
If you do prefer to go wireless, keep in mind that battery life is important. You don’t want your headphones to run out of juice halfway through your run. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to ensure you charge them every time you come home from a workout.
Try Them Before You Buy Them
There is no hard science to finding the best running headphones. If possible, go to a brick and mortar store and check out display sets before making a purchase. Before you head out on a long run, try the headphones on a few shorter runs first to ensure they meet your needs.
Remember, you get what you pay for. If you purchase the cheapest item, you may not get the best. However, because running headphones will take a beating, you shouldn’t spend hundreds of dollars either. Keeping these things in mind will help you purchase the right sports headphones for you.