8 Best Headphones for Cycling with Quality Sound in 2020
We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you when you buy through links on our website. Learn more
Are you looking for the best headphones for cycling? Then your search is about to come to an end.
We’ve done the groundwork to bring you a comprehensive guide on how to find headphones that are designed specifically for biking because not all of them are made equal.
Once you find the best headphones for biking, you’ll be able to listen to music, audiobooks, and podcasts that get you pumped to ride harder for longer.
Best Headphones for Bike Riding
While it can be argued that wearing headphones can disrupt your focus while riding your bicycle, it can also be a source of motivation, especially if this is a form of exercise for you.
Without further ado, here’s our selection of the best headphones you can wear while riding your flat bar road bicycle.
1. PowerBeats Pro Wireless Earphones
First on our list of the best headphones for cycling we have the PowerBeats. What makes these earphones unique is the fact that they’re effective as a pair and on their own.
Both sides have track and volume control, making them very valuable for those who live in states that require you to only wear one earbud. They also come with a hook that goes over your ears for a secure fit. They really do stay in place even for long rides.
What makes the PowerBeats Pro the best Bluetooth headset for cycling is their H1 Apple Bluetooth chip feature. It’s designed to guarantee a solid connection every time. You’ll also be glad to know that they come with both Android and iOS compatibility.
The battery can last for up to 9 hours on a single one-hour charge, using a micro USB. You can also make use of the quick charge feature which would give you 1.5 hours of battery life for that final stretch.
2. Apple AirPods Pro
A review of the best headphones for biking wouldn’t be complete without a pair of AirPods. As many of you know, the original AirPods didn’t fare well among cyclists. This is because, first of all, they weren’t even waterproof. Secondly, they had no noise-canceling abilities, especially in the outdoors.
With AirPods Pro, Apple went back to the drawing board to solve both problems, and the result is a pair of IPX4 rated earbuds that are resistant to water and fit even more snugly into your ear with silicone ear tips to cancel out external noise.
Although there’s still some wind transference when riding these outside at full speed, they performed much better than the previous model.
However, you really get to feel the effects of the noise-canceling technology when you’re off the bike. Overall, we’re happy customers with this one.
3. Master & Dynamic MW07 GO True Wireless Earphones
Known as some of the best Bluetooth headphones for mountain biking, these low-profile beauties from Master & Dynamic are as tiny as they are powerful. Although small, they can go for as long as 10 hours of continuous playback. This makes them ideal for those long trail rides.
In addition to being lightweight, these earbuds feature an impressive in-ear design that ensures a snug fit which helps to cancel out external noise.
They’re so good at this that you could end up getting into an accident if you wear both of these while cycling outside, so we would recommend that you wear them only on one side, unless you’re doing indoor cycling.
Otherwise, they’re easy to operate, as the play/pause/volume buttons are all on the sides. Although convenient, this feature can lead to some mishaps while fiddling with the earbuds, especially if you have nimble fingers. Sound-wise, they definitely deserve to be on this list of the best headphones for bike riding.
4. Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 Wireless Headphones
Known as some of the best headphones for bike riding, the Plantronics BackBeat headphones offer a snug and comfy fit. They weigh very little and feature a sports weave cable which is coated in flexible plastic from the top of the outer ear.
This makes them comfortable to wear over long periods of time and under different conditions, while the cable clip on the sports weave is there to offer additional security. We really appreciate this feature because you rarely see it in modern headphone models.
There’s also a low-profile remote control on the right side of the sports cable which you can use to take calls, playback music, and select tracks, as well as to control the volume. There’s also a USB recharging slot.
The only issue we have with these wireless headphones is the fact that they don’t have the most powerful or reliable Bluetooth connection. But, while it’s not PowerBeat Pro in quality, it’s pretty decent considering the sound quality you get overall.
5. AUKEY Wireless Headphones
This is yet another great budget-friendly option when it comes to the best earphones for cycling. These comfy earbuds come with memory foam to keep them in place and they’re available in three different sizes.
You’ll be glad to know that they come with an IPX6 rating which means that they’re resistant to sweat, rain, and dust.
The control module is where you’ll find all of the controls, including the microphone. You can use it to access music tracks, skip, play, pause, take calls and control the volume from the same spot.
These earbuds are powered by a USB-rechargeable battery that can last for up to 8 hours on a full 2-hour charge. But, you can always do a quick 10-minute charge as well. This will give you 80 minutes of playback time.
6. Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
If you’re looking for the best Bluetooth headphones for cycling, look no further than these beauties from Jabra.
Known as the Elite Active 75t, these wireless buds sport an angular build that allows them to fit snugly into the outer ear canal so that you can enjoy an all-encompassing sound experience that’s similar to that of the Apple Airpods Pro.
We were particularly impressed with their lasting power, as they can play for up to 90 minutes straight on a single charge. They also come with an IP57 rating. This means that they’re resistant to water and dust, whether it’s coming from rain, a dust storm, or just your sweaty ears.
When it comes to sound quality, it doesn’t get better than the Jabra Elite Earbuds. They’re so good that they rival top hitters like Jaybird, Bose, and Apple.
7. Anker Soundcore Wireless Earbuds
Anker’s Soundcore Spirit Dot 2 are the best wireless headphones for cycling because they come in the form of wireless earbuds with silicone ear tips that fit snugly and comfortably into the ear.
This is in addition to a second silicon layer and wingtip that’s designed to cover the upper part of the ear. It’s to create an almost surround sound like sensation. This is what makes these earbuds so comfortable to wear over long periods of time.
But, what makes the Spirit Dot 2 the ultimate fitness earbuds is the fact that they’re completely waterproof. They won’t slip through your fingers when your hands get sweaty. They’re powered by a strong battery that can last for up to an hour of continuous playback while requiring only a 10-minute recharge.
Now, while you won’t get a Bose or Jabra type sound quality from these wireless earbuds, they offer great value for money and you get a lot of your buck.
8. Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds
Jabra is a great brand that makes some of the best cycling headphones and they’ve thrown all that experience into this pair, which was even featured on Runner’s World!
Testing shows that these earbuds fit securely and offer a crisp and clear sound while connecting effortlessly through wireless Bluetooth technology.
The Jabra app is very useful. It allows you to switch between different modes such as HearThrough which offers ambient sound quality.
However, we also found that these earbuds aren’t able to cancel out the sound of the wind, especially when you’re going at high speeds. But, they haven’t let us down in any other condition.
How to Find the Best Headphones for Cycling
When determining what are the best headphones for biking are, it’s best to look at all the different features that get a product at the top of the food chain, so to say.
For instance, each pair of headphones has to block out external noises, be sweat resistant, offer high-quality sound reproduction and it has to be durable and well-made.
Your earphones also shouldn’t mess with your ability to stay safe and aware on the road.
Here are some of the most important considerations to make to ensure that your earphones meet the criteria.
Sound quality is arguably the feature that most people look out for when shopping for headphones, regardless of why they’re looking for them.
It doesn’t matter how stylish or comfortable your headphones are if they don’t do the main job that they were created for, which is to reproduce sound like a boss.
Luckily, you have models out there that offer excellent sound reproduction and decent bass.
Technology has come a long way and while most models still don’t offer decent instrument separation, they’re still pretty decent considering that they’re able to deliver sound reproduction with very little ambient noise interruption.
Headphones that come with an app are even better because they make it possible for you to manage things like changing tracks, controlling the volume, and customize various settings from one nexus center.
You want comfortable headphones that offer a snug fit.
They could be bone conduction, earbuds, or on-ear headphones, it doesn’t matter. You shouldn’t feel as if you’re wearing them, which is why weight matters.
That’s also why cyclists and other types of athletes prefer wireless headphones. This allows for effortless movement, and they shouldn’t restrict you from wearing your cycling helmet either.
As you may have noticed, most of the headphones on our list use Bluetooth connectivity while others even feature NFC options.
Wireless technology is the way to go and Bluetooth is by far the most accessible and convenient version if you want to connect them to a portable player or smartphone.
Just keep in mind that the longer your headphones stay connected via Bluetooth the more battery life they require. However, Bluetooth is a reliable connection point granted it’s utilized in conjunction with a Bluetooth certified device.
Hopefully, we’ll have Bluetooth Low Energy technology in the future to take care of the battery drain.
The great thing about Bluetooth technology is that you can control it using voice commands. It’ll even answer the phone for you without you having to use your hands. It’s a really great feature that’s worth considering.
The whole point of wearing headphones with an earbud design isn’t only so you can enjoy their weightless design but also so you can enjoy your music while staying aware of your surroundings, especially when biking outdoors.
A lot of the good quality models offer superb sound canceling properties that help to eliminate whistling from the wind.
You’re able to enjoy the immersive sound of whatever it is that you’re listening to, without losing awareness of the traffic or any other hazards that might come your way while cycling.
These headphones are the most effective because they actually use your check instead of your ear while eliminating wind noise interference.
This leaves you to enjoy both the pleasant sound of whatever it is that you’re listening to and retain awareness of your surroundings.
You should also make sure that your headphones are resistant to sweat and water, especially if you’re prone to sweating because everyone is different in that regard.
Even if you’re a light sweater, you’ll still want water-resistant headphones that come with some form of moisture protection. This will give you peace of mind even when cycling through wet terrain or weather conditions.
Look out for your headphones’ IP rating, which stands for Ingress Protection. This will give you a good idea of the level of protection that they provide.
Battery life could either be the source of freedom allowing you to enjoy hours of endless playtime, or it could be a limitation, requiring you to recharge after only a couple of hours.
We made sure to only feature headphones with a long playtime, with some having the ability to go for up to 12 hours straight, as is the case with the PowerBeats Pro model.
Rechargeable headphones are your best bet, especially those that have a USB recharging port because you can recharge them on the go.
You can easily put the USB cable in your biking shorts pocket if you have one, and you’ll thank yourself for buying headphones that allow you to power them up on the road so that you can stretch playtime even longer.
This is a form of audio conduction that allows the headphones to sit either on your skull or right in your ear.
That way, you’re still aware of your surroundings and can focus on your environment without sacrificing the audio coming through the headphones.
This eliminates sweat discomfort, soreness, chafing, and rubbing of the ear canal. Thanks to the open ear design of bone conduction headphones, you’re able to enjoy seamless audio wave transmission through the bone as opposed to using the eardrum.
It works similarly to in-ear headphones with the main difference being that it keeps you aware of your environment. It’s the best of both worlds!
Most headphones come with a 1 or 2-year warranty.
You want your headphones to have some kind of warranty that shows the manufacturer believes in the quality of headphones.
However, the warranty doesn’t usually cover accessories or silicone covers that come with the headphones.
Headphone Styles for Cyclists
Biking headphones typically come in the following styles:
True Wireless Earbuds
True wireless earbuds feature an in-ear design that allows you to connect them to your phone or any other audio device without the use of cables.
Perhaps as a result of this design, they offer superb sound isolation qualities. They’re really good at reducing ambient sound.
You want a little bit of ambient sound to still come through though, especially if you plan on rocking your headphones outdoors. This is because you still need to hear a bit of the sounds around you.
Bone Conduction Headphones
Bone conduction headphones use the same type of technology that’s utilized to make cutting-edge hearing aids.
You wear them on your cheekbone instead of your ear canal so that the sound goes past the eardrum into the cochlea or inner ear.
This translates to a clear perception of whatever audio you’re playing whether it’s music or an audiobook.
Because of their design, bone conduction headphones are perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities, including riding your bike.
Frequently Asked Questions
A lot of modern style headphones are designed for sports lovers.
That’s because they feature advanced Bluetooth wireless technology that makes it possible to enjoy music on the go without the inconvenience of wires and cables.
However, it’s important for wearers to pay attention to features such as battery life, noise isolation, sound quality, water-resistance, and fit if you’re to get the most out of your headphones.
It’s possible to enjoy your favorite music while cycling by keeping the volume at a decent level so that you’re still aware of the environment around you.
The best headphones for cycling often feature helpful apps that enable you to customize noise invasion and sound profile levels.
Well, it depends. It can be dangerous to wear headphones while cycling if they’re the noise-canceling variety.
That’s because you won’t be able to hear oncoming traffic or hazards in the wilderness when you’re going through nature trails.
Keep in mind that cycling requires some amount of situational awareness so it’s best to have headphones that offer partial instead of complete isolation.
Thankfully, manufacturers know this and made cycling headphones with the ability to let in some of the ambient sound around you.
Yes, you can find comfortable headphones that are suitable for outdoor cycling because they fit securely. As such, many models come with an adjustable band, ear tips, and ear hooks.
The best headphones for cycling often feature accessories that help to improve fit and cater to people’s different preferences and needs.
So, what’s the final say? What are the best headphones for cycling? In our opinion, the PowerBeats Pro Wireless Earphones tick all the boxes of what you should look for in quality wireless headphones.
They have long-lasting battery life, an IPX4 rating to ensure durability, and you can use them on both earbuds. They can last for up to 9 hours per charge and they’re quick to recharge.
The earphones have superb Bluetooth connectivity for seamless listening, no need to wait for songs to load, and you’ll enjoy a seamless listening experience.
Most importantly, these fit nice and snug without disrupting your situational awareness.