Best Headphones for Cycling

I love having some music on when I hit the cycle trails. It does not have to be too loud. There is always a good balance between the music and my surroundings. That way, I can enjoy the outdoors, some great music and cycle safely. All of this hinges on having a good pair of headphones. Several things ought to be considered when one has this in mind. The perfect cycling headphones are first and foremost ones that do not interfere with the core activity. 

I don’t want to see cables dangling in front of me as I cycle. An earbud falling out in the middle of the road is another no-no. Sounds familiar? Well, this is all from my own experience. Getting the right headphones for cycling can be a matter of trial and error. Not only does it take a while to get right, but I cannot tell you how many headphones I have had to get through before arriving on a good pair. What if satisfactory is not the standard that you have set for this?

Fortunately, we have managed to create a list of some amazing headphones for cycling through some research and product testing. We have not solely leaned on my experience. Other cyclists have contributed their experiences as well.  

In a hurry?

A common mistake that we usually make when shopping for headphones is forming tunnel vision around certain brands. That makes it difficult to keep an open mind and find products that are worth our while. It is one of the things that we sought to avoid this time around. Be sure to read and consider every product review on its merit. Doing so will introduce you to some amazing brands with equally amazing products.

Top Pick

This was a difficult option, but I will have to go with the Jabra Elite earbuds given the amount of durability and battery life. These Are for the modern cyclist who cycles for fun and not professionally. These are perfect for taking calls and having uninterrupted conversations whilst you cycle. They come with over 15 hours of battery life which is almost double any of the other products on this list. This means that you won’t have to worry about charging them every day but rather if you cycle 2 hours a day you will only charge them once a week. The 3rd generation Bluetooth device will help you maintain a stable connection as you go around cycling even through the woods. It is one of the lightest products that exist on the list. The only disadvantage is that they may not secure very well on everyone’s ears. This is because they haven’t added memory foam that would provide your ears with a unique fit preventing them from falling out. 

OUR TOP PICK

Bose SoundSport, Wireless Earbuds, (Sweatproof Bluetooth Headphones for Running and Sports), Black

Bose is well known for making quality headphones, although they are expensive. These are a good option for cycling because they are both sweat and weather resistant. This means that you can feel free to use them while cycling, even in the rain. They come with up to 6 hours of battery life per charge and are wireless. They have the technology to keep them securely placed in your ear.

Pros

  • Wireless
  • 6 Hours battery
  • Sweat-resistant

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

Best Headphones for Cycling

OUR TOP PICK

Bose SoundSport, Wireless Earbuds, (Sweatproof Bluetooth Headphones for Running and Sports), Black

Bose is well known for making quality headphones, although they are expensive. These are a good option for cycling because they are both sweat and weather resistant. This means that you can feel free to use them while cycling, even in the rain. They come with up to 6 hours of battery life per charge and are wireless. They have the technology to keep them securely placed in your ear.

Pros

  • Wireless
  • 6 Hours battery
  • Sweat-resistant

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

EDITORS CHOICE

AfterShokz Titanium Bone Conduction Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Black

These headphones use bone conduction technology. This is a great safety feature that will allow you to hear what’s happening around you even whilst listening to music through the headphones. This is important for a cyclist, especially cycling in both traffic and natural conditions. They have titanium wraparounds that will work to ensure that the headphones are light and durable. They are sweat and moisture repellent so you can use them in damp conditions without worrying they will breakdown.

Pros

  • Bone conduction technology
  • Titanium finish
  • IPS certified

Cons

  • Not so flexible

BEST VALUE

Bone Conduction Headphones Bluetooth V5.0 - Vidonn F1 Sports Open Ear Wireless Headset Sweatproof w/Mic - for Cycling Running Driving Gym - Yellow

These are wireless headphones with a battery life of about 6 hours. This is a decent amount and will last you a full cycle in most cases. It only requires 2 hours to charge, which means you won’t have to wait long to listen. They have bone conduction technology meaning you can still maintain awareness of your surroundings. The headphones are sweatproof meaning they won’t slip out even if you being to slip. It comes with a 12-month warranty.

Pros

  • Bone conduction technology
  • Sweatproof
  • 12-month warranty

Cons

  • Not a comfortable fit

RUNNER UP

Open-Ear Bone Conduction Headphones Microphone Noise Reduction IP56 Sweatproof Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Sports Headset Lightweight 1.2 oz (Grey)

These headphones come with V5.0 Bluetooth technology which can connect to devices almost 33ft away, which is impressive. The battery will take 2 hours to fully charge and last you about 5 hours which is lower than other headphones on the list. The sound is emitted through your cheekbones which means that you can hear your surroundings. It is sweatproof and durable as it is made from titanium alloy.

Pros

  • V5.0 Bluetooth Technology
  • Bone conduction technology
  • 60 Days return policy 

Cons

  • Lower battery life 

RUNNER UP

Bone Conduction Headphones Bluetooth 5.0 Open-Ear Wireless Sports Headsets w/Mic for Jogging Running Driving Cycling, Lightweight-1.2 oz

These headphones have been engineered for sports. They are sweatproof but unfortunately can’t withstand heavy rain. They use true wireless technology connecting through its advanced v5.0 technology. They use bone conduction technology to allow you to feel safer whilst you cycle. To achieve a full battery, you will need to charge the product for 2 hours which is the standard time. This battery will last you just around 5 hours which is substantial but not the best.

Pros

  • True wireless Bluetooth V5.0 Technology
  • Bone conduction technology
  • Titanium alloy finish

Cons

  • Cannot withstand heavy rain

RUNNER UP

IYY Bone Conduction Headphones Wireless Bluetooth Earphones IP55 Waterproof Sports Open-Ear Headsets for Running Driving Cycling Meeting (Green)

These are one of the lighter options on the list. The weight of headphones is very important for comfortability which is why these headphones stand out quite well. They have easily reachable controls meaning you can change the music on the go safely. You won’t have to reach the device playing music. They come with the advanced v5.0 Bluetooth technology. This can match with devices up to 33ft away. They also have bone conduction technology meaning they are cycle safely. With a full charge that will take you 2 hours, this product can run continuously for 6 hours which is good. The standby time is over 10 hours, so you do not have to charge them constantly.

Pros

  • V5.0 Bluetooth Technology
  • 6 hours bitterly life
  • Bone conduction technology

Cons

  • Can only resist light rain 

RUNNER UP

Open-Ear Bone Conduction Headphones Microphone Noise Reduction Magnetic Charging IP56 Sweatproof Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Sports Headset for Working Running Cycling, Lightweight 1.0 oz (Black)

These headphones come with a premium quality sound system that guarantees you will enjoy the music you listen to. It comes with CVC microphone noise cancellation that will allow you to take calls whilst you cycle. You will also have access to a voice-activated assistant. You can, therefore access Google or Siri if you like. The battery will last you around 6 hours which is decent. The headphones also have bone conduction to protect you as you cycle.

Pros

  • Voice-activated control
  • Noise cancellation
  • Bone conduction

Cons

  • Not the most durable material

RUNNER UP

Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones V5.0 IPX7 Waterproof Wireless headphones, Bass+ HD Stereo Wireless Sport Earbuds, 7-9Hrs Playtime, cVc6.0 Noise Cancelling Mic for Home Workout, Running, Gym Red

If you are looking for bass in your headphones this is one of the best options, you can consider. They come with an immersive sound that comes as a result of 11 drivers in the headphones. They are one of the few headphones that can comfortably withstand heavy rain as you cycle, meaning they are all-weather headphones. They will give you between 7-9 hours playback, which is the highest on the list by far. To get this amount of playback you will need to charge it for 2 hours. They use the latest V5.0 Bluetooth that also supports two device connectivity. 

Pros

  • Heavy rain resistant
  • 9 hours playback
  • Immersive bass

Cons

  • Come with wires

RUNNER UP

Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones – Apple H1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, 9 Hours of Listening Time, Sweat-Resistant Earbuds – Spring Yellow

This is one of the best products on this list by some distance. If you are looking for the top option, then it must be this one. It comes with a battery that can last you up to 9 hours. The headphones are totally wireless meaning they are more like earbuds. These mean they are secure and fit comfortably well in your ear. They come reinforced for a greater protection against sweat and rain. They come with the H1 Apple headphone chip that means you have a greater range when cycling is positive.

Pros

  • Wireless
  • 9-hour battery
  • Greater range

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

RUNNER UP

EarFun Air True Wireless Earbuds with 4 Mics, Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds Touch Control, USB-C Quick Charge with Wireless Charging, Deep Bass, in-Ear Detection Headphones, 35H Playtime (Black)

These are great for professionals who wish to do casual cycling. The crystal-clear drivers allow the headphones to block out over 80% of background noise, making your voice sound crisper on a call. They come with fidelity dynamic drivers that will provide you with deep, resonant bass. You can use these with just one side, meaning you can listen to your surroundings. They have touch control so you can change songs on the go.

Pros

  • Touch control
  • Fidelity dynamic drivers
  • Crystal clear recording for calls

Cons

  • Not very secure 

RUNNER UP

Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds – True Wireless Earbuds with Charging Case, Copper Black – Bluetooth Earbuds with a Secure Fit and Superior Sound, Long Battery Life and More

These come with 15 hours of battery life which is by far the most of any you can get on this list. They allow you to have conversations while you cycle without any background noise bothering the call. These products use Jabra’s 3rd gen true wireless Bluetooth, which provides fewer disconnections when you cycle. This will be very effective for people who cycle long distances and go on trips where they cannot charge, they earbuds as easily. You won’t be easily taken off calls because they won’t drop as easily. 

Pros

  • 15-hour battery
  • Light design
  • Noise cancellation

Cons

  • No charging covers

RUNNER UP

SONXTRONIC Xdr-8000 Vertical in Ear Ultralight Sport Running Headband Headphones

These headphones are very comfortable and sit lightly on the back of your neck. They have a smooth and sleek feel to them, allowing the user to glide through the air as if they weren’t wearing anything. They have a decent amount of breathability that will protect your ear from sweating as you cycle. They come with Syntonic magnetic drivers that work to deliver you a very high-quality sound. They are unfortunately wired meaning that could get in the way as you cycle. However, it will save you from running out of battery and not being able to listen to anything.

Pros

  • Fit comfortable
  • Ear breathability is good
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not wireless

Buyer's Guide

Getting headphones that you like is only the tip of the iceberg. Some questions would help you make an informed decision. You will find some answers in the buyer’s guide.

Can you wear earphones while cycling in the UK?

No legislation in the UK forbids cyclists from wearing earphones. You are advised to keep the volume low enough for you to hear other road users. It is important to follow this advice for your safety. Lower volume will mean that you can still use your ears to detect danger, and to remain aware of other road users. 

What should I listen to while cycling?

There is no prescriptive playlist that one must listen to when cycling. It is a decision that should be made by the individual based on what they like. Once you have zeroed in on the music you want to listen to, you would also want to make sure it does not distract you. That could be the case for music that requires excessively loud volume. If we were to go with music categories, it would have to be pumped up, serene and casual styles of music. Pumped up music would be ideal for those rides that need you to go the extra mile. You want the kind of music that will draw that out of you. 

Serene music would be the sort of music that you may choose to listen to when you are out on the seaside with your cruiser. Casual music comes in fairly close to serene music. You would listen to it when you want something that does not require your mind to be engaged. 

With platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music, there is no shortage of suggestions. Here is one from Spotify and one from Apple Music.

They include songs such as:

  • Is This Love by Bob Marley and the Wailers
  • Wheels by Foo Fighters
  • Golden Years by David Bowie
  • Beautiful Day by U2

There are many other songs on each playlist.

How do you wear headphones with a bike helmet?

Wearing headphones with a helmet starts with purchasing the right headphones for the helmet you have or the right helmet for your headphones. What you are looking for is the ease of access to the ears. Most cyclist headphones come around the ears from the back of the head. That usually means that they don’t make any contact with the helmet. You can take the same approach with any kind of headphones that you want to use. Run them from the back. 

There is no reason for your headphones to be wired in this day and age. It just gives you an unnecessary issue to deal with. One most common issue with headphones is having them fall off while you cycle. The consequences can be dire when you are on a road that you share with vehicles. You want to get headphones that are securely pinned to your ears. The challenge is for you to be comfortable at the same time. Check that there is sufficient padding provided on the earpieces. 

Why can it be dangerous to listen to music through earphones while riding your bicycle?

Safety for cyclists, just like drivers, depends on identifying danger and responding to it in time to mitigate it. This depends on what you see and hear. The areas that your eyes cannot or are yet to cover tend to be covered by your ears. It can be the sound of a car’s honk, a bicycle’s bell or a person shouting. Whatever the sound is, it may come from a blind spot. It may also come from an area that you have yet to check for safety. That is one of the reasons why driving instructors in the UK place great emphasis on the presence of cyclists and motorcyclists on the road. They are easy to miss. 

When you have your earphones on while riding, you are giving one of the core senses something else to focus on. If the music is loud enough, you may not be able to hear anything else. That is not to say it can not be done safely. Most cyclists are responsible enough to use their headphones while cycling, without endangering themselves or other road users. 

Conclusion

I have been on too many long bike rides. There is no way I can imagine having done them without my headphones. They play an important part in keeping me motivated or indeed concentrated while cycling. Most cyclists will have playlists that are specific to the routes and challenges that they are taking on. None of this will matter if you do not get the right headphones. We have given detailed accounts on each set that is on our shortlist. That should give you sufficient information to make an informed decision. We have also tackled some important questions within our buyer’s guide. Combining these answers with the reviews goes a long way.

We fully stand behind our top pick, the Jabra Elite earbuds. They place slightly ahead of several fierce contenders that would serve you well. The Elite earbuds offer great wireless connectivity and equally impressive battery life.

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