Best Headphones for Cycling in 2022

by Alex.   Last Updated On September 4th, 2022.
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Cycling with headphones can be a real treat, and if you are an audiophile or podcast enthusiast, there’s no way you’ll be riding your bike (possibly for hours on end) without listening to something.

Unfortunately, you can’t do a lot of cycling with a pair of over-the-ear audiophile headphones, you need something a little more compact, comfortable and resilient, and that’s where wireless headphones and earbuds come in.

So if you are looking for a good pair of headphones for cycling, here’s where your search ends because I’ve already gone through a lot of sports Bluetooth headphones and compiled a list of some of the best cycling headphones.

Without further ado, let’s “roll” onto our product catalog.

Table of Contents
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Comparison of the Best Headphones for Cycling

Best Budget Headphones/TWS earbuds for CyclistsSee On Amazon
photo of the Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2Anker Soundcore
Spirit Dot 2
Best Value for MoneySee On Amazon
photo of the Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 SportsAnker Soundcore
Spirit X2 Sports
Best Battery Life for Cycling HeadphonesSee On Amazon
photo of the Powerbeats Pro Wireless EarbudsPowerbeats
Pro Wireless Earbuds
Best Neckband-Style Headphones for CyclingSee On Amazon
photo of the Bose SoundSport WirelessBose
SoundSport Wireless
Best Sounding Headphones for CyclistsSee On Amazon
photo of the Bose SoundSport FreeBose
SoundSport Free
Best Bone Conducting Headphones for CyclistsSee On Amazon
photo of the Haylou PurFreeHaylou
PurFree
Best Bluetooth Cycling Headphones with ANCSee On Amazon
photo of the Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless EarbudsJabra
Elite Active 75t True Wireless Earbuds
Best Headphones/Earbuds with Ambient Sound ModeSee On Amazon
photo of the Jaylab JBuds Air SportJaylab
JBuds Air Sport
Best Mid-Range Cycling HeadphonesSee On Amazon
photo of the JBL Endurance Peak IIJBL
Endurance Peak II
Best Headphones for Cycling OverallSee On Amazon
photo of the Jabra Elite 7 ActiveJabra
Elite 7 Active

Reviews of the Best Headphones for Cycling

The Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2 wireless Bluetooth earbuds are the best option for a newbie who’s only just getting their feet wet with cycling headphones. Since these wireless earbuds are ridiculously low-priced, almost everybody will be able to afford these and get started with their firsthand “cycling slash listening to the music experience.”

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: approx 5 hours
  • IP rating: IPX7
  • ANC: No
  • Ambient Mode: No
  • Carrying Case: Yes, 16 hours

The earbuds have a very stealthy look and feel to them. They don’t protrude outwards and seem to fit snugly inside your ear canal (thanks to the soft silicone ear tips and stability fins). So despite lacking bulky ear hooks or “ergonomic” wingtips, these earbuds will definitely stay in place while you’re out cycling.

The earbuds have an IPX7 rating, which basically makes them waterproof, and you can dip them in water if you need to — although I don’t recommend it.

Unfortunately, you won’t be riding for long because this cheap boi can only run for a maximum of five hours on a single charge, so don’t forget to pop them back in the case (for a quick recharge session) while you’re taking a break from all the cycling.

Since these headphones don’t offer powerful drivers, your listening experience will be somewhat dull. You might be able to listen to some podcasts or light music on the road, but don’t expect rich mids and highs.

What We Like

Comfortable and low-profile earbuds

IPX7 rating

Stable fit thanks to ergonomic ear hooks

Know Before Buying

Average sound quality

Only 5 hours of battery

Won’t offer a dual-point connection feature

See On Amazon

It’s no surprise that Anker products have a very impressive price-to-performance ratio. Apart from making some of the best noise-canceling over-ear headphones, they also excel in TWS earbuds that offer a good value for money. For our situation, the best example is the Anker Soundcore Spirit X2.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 9 hours
  • IP rating: IP68
  • ANC: No
  • Ambient Mode: No
  • Carrying Case: Yes, with 36 hours of battery life

First off, these have an over-the-ear design with ergonomic ear hooks. Although while wearing headphones such as these, you might get a comfortable and stable fit, the main compartment (which houses the battery and circuits) sits right on top of your ears. As a result, glass wearers will have a lot of trouble fitting these on.

Luckily it’s all smooth sailing from here on out since these buds are designed with exceptional quality and waterproof enclosures (IP68). The earbuds will be able to resist splashes and even complete submersion. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about jumping headfirst into a puddle or swimming pool).

In terms of controls, the earbuds have physical buttons. Unfortunately, these are not mirrored since the functions for volume control and skipping tracks are delegated to both earbuds. Consequently, you can’t run solo and expect to rely on a single earbud while cycling.

Obviously, at that price point, you can’t expect groundbreaking audio. It has good sound quality, with a lot of sound clarity in the mids and highs. Unfortunately, the bass is acting a little weird since it’s trying too hard.

What We Like

Good value for money

9 hours of continuous playback time

IP68 waterproof rating

Know Before Buying

Sorely lacking a transparency mode

Physical buttons on the controls

Lacks dual-point Bluetooth connection

See On Amazon

The PowerBeats Pro is a couple of exceptionally designed ear headphones that cater to users with an active lifestyle. Compared to most of the other options on this list, the PowerBeats Pro earphones have a long battery life that could (almost) last the entire day.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 9 hours
  • IP rating: IPX4
  • ANC: No
  • Ambient Mode: No
  • Carrying Case: Yes, a total of 24 hours

Combined with the charging case you get around 24 hours of playback time, with the earbuds sporting a battery large enough to deliver 9 hours continuously. Therefore, you can wear these earbuds throughout an entire cycling session — without ever taking them off.

Long Battery life isn’t just what’s impressive here; the earbuds themselves have a very ergonomic design with flexible ear hooks that go over your ears.

Unfortunately, the IPX4 rating for the earbuds is not enough. Although it will make do for most indoor activities, you can’t rely on a splash-resistant rating when riding a bicycle through harsh weather and terrain.

Regarding the audio quality, these Bluetooth headphones/earbuds offer somewhat balanced sound where you can hear clean audio despite having trouble maintaining the highs.

The microphone’s recording quality is decent and will filter out annoying background noises, although I cannot guarantee it will block out most wind noise.

What We Like

9 hours of battery life

Good microphone

Easy-to-use volume buttons and mirrored controls on the earbuds

Know Before Buying

Lacks ambient mode or ANC

Quite pricey

Also won’t offer the best sound quality around

See On Amazon

The Bose SoundSport Neckband headphones are the perfect compromise for users who want to wear headphones but also want to go cycling with a helmet on. Why you may ask? Well, it’s because they are worried about losing the earbuds and want something they can hang on their neck and forget about (like wireless headphones).

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 4-6 hours
  • IP rating: IPX4
  • ANC: No
  • Ambient Mode: No
  • Carrying Case: Yes

These neckband headphones aren’t the most ideal for cyclists, but they are the best neckband style alternative. The battery and IP rating aren’t what I have in mind, but the sound quality and comfort are totally worth considering.

For starters, this is Bose, so you can expect the audio to sound good, and luckily it does. There’s clear sound from the bass to the highs, everything is neutral and crisp, but unfortunately, the sound is weak and lacks much-needed bass. Noise isolation is surprisingly good since you will be able to block out most ambient noises, but the absence of ANC and transparency mode is disappointing.

The microphone recording quality is acceptable since anybody on the other end will hear your voice clearly as long as there’s not a lot of booming background noise.

What We Like

Relatively affordable

Stable fit thanks to StayHear+ Sport tips

Easy-to-use control panel

Know Before Buying

Noise handling of the microphone could be better

Not very durable

Only 4-6 hours of battery life

See On Amazon

If money isn’t an issue and you can’t live without experiencing high-quality sound wherever you go, the Bose SoundSport Free might be the one for you. It’s a pair of truly wireless earbuds that offer nothing but the best sound, even worthy of going up against Bose’s own wireless headphones and headsets.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 5 hours
  • IP rating: IPX4
  • ANC: No
  • Ambient Mode: No
  • Carrying Case: 10 hours

Let me tell you: these Bose wireless ear headphones absolutely knock it out of the park when it comes to the build quality. The earbuds and the charging case look and feel amazing and is an absolute treat to have on your ear canals.

These earbuds provide a comfortable and stable fit thanks to the proprietary StayHear+ wingtips, which secures themselves into your outer ear with the gel tips and stability fins. You can keep wearing these comfortably while you’re adventuring out in the saddle.

However, these earbuds are not that sleek-looking. They poke out (quite a lot) from your ears and could get in the way of a bicycle helmet.

Sound quality-wise these are good quality headphones/earbuds, it’s got some of the most well-balanced sound profiles ever found in TWS earbuds, and everything from the bass to the mids and highs is crisp, clear, and accurate. Noise isolation is very weak, but let’s give Bose the benefit of the doubt because, as cyclists, we need to be aware of environmental noise anyway.

The dual microphone array on the right earbud is also impressive as it does a respectable job of cutting out wind noise during phone calls — it could be better though.

Also, unfortunately, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that these earbuds provide great Bluetooth connectivity since many users have had issues with the left earbud cutting out along with video lag when streaming videos on a smartphone.

What We Like

Excellent sound quality

Dual microphone array for reducing noise during phone calls

Provides a stable and secure fit

Know Before Buying

The earbuds stand at a very premium price

Lacks an ambient mode and active noise cancellation feature

These only offer IPX4 sweat proofing, which is not enough for hardcore cyclists

See On Amazon

Haylou is a newcomer to the world of headphones, and just like Anker, their products are well-designed with the best possible value for money. So, if you’re a fan of bone conduction technology (and getting the best bang for your buck), you’ll love the Haylou PurFree.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • IP rating: IP67
  • ANC: No
  • Ambient Mode: Sort of
  • Carrying Case: No

These bone conduction headphones feature an open-ear design where the speakers sit in front of your ear’s tragus and “spit out hot fire” into your inner ears without blocking your ear canal; hence, with these, you won’t ever have to worry about earwax buildup or infections.

Like every other bone conduction headphone out there, the Haylou PurFree features a neckband design with a slim and flexible neckband. These bone conduction headphones are comfortable, but you might have trouble finding a secure fit. The speakers are enclosed in a watertight IP67-rated housing, so there are no worries about getting them wet.

Unfortunately, battery life is only 8 hours, and without a charging case, you are pretty much done until you can recharge it via the included charger (charges in 1.5 hours). Also, these have a unique charging interface with dedicated charging cables.

Despite having an average microphone with some noise reduction technologies, the sound quality on these bone conduction headphones is not that great. So if you are prioritizing sound over anything else, these are the wrong pair of headphones to side with.

What We Like

Passively hear ambient noise and keep your ears free

IP67 rated

Decent recording quality thanks to a dual-microphone setup and CVC noise reduction

Know Before Buying

Eight hours of battery life is not enough for cyclists

Utilizes a unique charging interface with special charging cables

The sound quality is disappointing

See On Amazon

Well, if you need to safely listen to a podcast (while biking to work) and drown out your boss’s complaints till lunchtime, these are the best wireless headphones/earbuds for you. I say this mostly because these offer extremely effective ANC and ambient modes along with five hours of continuous playback time.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 5.5 hours
  • IP rating: IP57
  • ANC: Yes
  • Ambient Mode: Yes
  • Carrying Case: 24 hours

There are no two ways about it, the Jabra Elite Active 75t wireless Bluetooth earbuds are not cheap, so if you’re spending almost $200 on a pair of Bluetooth cycling headphones, you might as well go for one that you can use for business and pleasure.

And thankfully, these earbuds are worth it. They come in an attractive charging case (charges via USB-C), and the earbuds are very hardy (and shower-friendly) thanks to their IP57 rating and scratchproof grip coating.

The entire case charges in just a couple of hours and provides a total battery life of 24 hours (with ANC). Also, you can fast charge the earbuds (along with the case) for 15 minutes and use these for another hour. (If you’re in a rush.)

These are quality headphones in terms of sound output, the bass is powerful (especially when you boost it up via the support software), and the mids come out organically. However, the highs can be a little weak, but if you’re someone who prefers listening to BFG division while breezing down a hill (instead of listening to classical music like any sane person), you won’t notice it.

The recording quality on these earbuds is also very impressive, with the use of a four-microphone array, this bad boy can cut out most background noise and make life easier when responding to phone calls.

What We Like

IP57 waterproof rating

Lots of freedom to customize sound and controls via the support software

A carrying case with great battery life and a form factor that (surprisingly) fits into most pockets

Know Before Buying

Because of the new earbud design, most users are having trouble finding a secure and comfortable fit

Microphone tends to pick up a lot of wind noise (despite blocking all other forms of noise)

Directional controls (non-mirrored) with track skipping and phone calls limited to the right earbud

See On Amazon

The JBuds Air Sport TWS earbuds offer something sorely lacking in most low-mid range earbuds: ambient mode without ANC. If you didn’t know, it is a novelty because most earbuds with ambient mode are upwards of $100 and are always paired up with active noise cancellation.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • IP rating: IP66
  • ANC: No
  • Ambient Mode: Yes
  • Carrying Case: 40 hours in total

Thankfully, you can tell that the folks over at JLabs understand the situation of runners and cyclists, and that’s why they’ve designed a pair of ergonomic Bluetooth earbuds with these specific features.

Speaking of which, the earbuds come with an integrated ear hook and comfortable ear tips guaranteed to keep these wireless headphones on your ears while you’re moving; hence, you won’t have to worry about the earbuds falling out while you’re going down a slope or running up that hill.

In the famous words of Lil John, the sound quality is “Okay.” So as long as you are cycling through a quiet stretch of road, you’ll be able to enjoy your music or laugh along to your podcasts. It’s not the best-sounding headphones for cycling, and you can probably do better if you’re prioritizing sound over anything else.

The microphone has a decent noise reduction system that eliminates most wind noise while you’re talking. However, it is not perfect by any means, and your listener will have trouble understanding you when the outside world is going nuts.

What We Like

BeAware Ambient Mode

Decent battery life for a pair of TWS earbuds

A good microphone with better noise isolation than most of the other options at this price.

Know Before Buying

The charging case is just too big for most pockets

Just average sound quality with good bass and weak mids

Glass wearers will have some trouble getting a secure fit

See On Amazon

The JBL Endurance Peak IIs are not the best cycling headphones around, but it isn’t the worst either. What’s good about this pair of TWS earbuds is the over-the-ear design with somewhat ergonomic ear hooks that latch onto your ears without letting go. However, what’s sad about this is that it’s difficult for glass wearers, and you won’t be able to “put it in” faster. (That’s what she said.)

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • IP rating: IPX7
  • ANC: No
  • Ambient Mode: No
  • Carrying Case: 24 hours

On other aspects, the build quality is pretty solid, and with an IPX7 rating, you won’t have to worry about wearing these during rough weather conditions. However, the controls are a teensy bit spotty since the left earbud takes control of the skipping tracks function while the right earbud handles the volume control.

Another slightly disappointing aspect is the battery life. The 4-6 hours of continuous playback time is far from what I would consider “amazing battery life.” The Bluetooth connection on these earbuds is very stable, and JBL has done a decent job setting up a dual-point connection.

Finally, another thing I would not consider: the claims to deliver “great sound quality” because the bass and highs are all over the place. (Mids are okay though, and one of its saving graces.)

What We Like

Secure Fit, thanks to ergonomic ear hooks

IPX7 waterproof rating

Relatively affordable

Know Before Buying

Middling sound quality

Less impressive battery life

Non-mirrored controls

See On Amazon

Considering all the specs in our guide, the Jabra Elite 7 Active is the one that perfectly fits the mark. It’s got enough battery life, a waterproof enclosure, transparency mode, and excellent sound quality. It is the best headphones for cycling and anything else you might want to do; indoors or outdoors.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • IP rating: IP57
  • ANC: No
  • Ambient Mode: No
  • Carrying Case: yes, for 30 hours

The Jabra Elite 7 Active in-ear headphones have a very straightforward design. They look like regular TWS earbuds but manage to grab onto your inner ear without the help of gimmicky ear hooks or wing tips.

The Earbuds and charging case are much slimmer than the Active 75t’s (almost 16% according to Jabra) but manage to make room for a more efficient battery. The charging interface is USB Type-C, but the case can also charge wirelessly and fully recharges in less than a couple of hours.

The active noise cancellation definitely scrapes off a lot of ambient noise, and it’s handy if you’re sitting in traffic or working in a busy office.

The Ambient mode is another worthwhile addition, and it’s perfect for cyclists and runners who want to let in some external noise and be more aware of their surroundings.

The sound profile is decent, with somewhat powerful bass and a little underpowered mids. Thankfully it’s nothing too major, and you won’t notice the differences while cycling.

What We Like

IP57 waterproof rating

ANC and ambient sound mode

Almost 8 hours of battery life on the buds themselves

Know Before Buying

Slightly pricier than regular TWS earbuds

Doesn’t come with ear hooks

See On Amazon

Cycling Headphones Buying Guide

Sound Quality

Of course, sound quality is important, but when riding through a busy street, or dense forest, audiophile levels of sound is going to be the least of your problems.

So, when picking out the devices for this list, I didn’t prioritize sound quality, and most of the in-ear headphones on this list are not very capable of delivering crystal clear sound. Sure, you might be able to enjoy some bass or understand a podcast, but they are in no way going to enlighten you with their Hi-Fi prowess.

That said, I have listed a couple of options that offer spectacular sound, even when compared to some wired headphones of the same brand. However, these devices have a hefty price tag and might come up short in other features such as battery life or protection.

Ambient Sound Isolation/Transparency Modes

If you’re pedaling around town in complete isolation, you are putting yourself (and others) in a difficult situation.

Therefore, I highly suggest avoiding active noise cancellation and listening at loud volumes while riding your bike. Instead, it’s better to listen to audio at a safe volume and, if possible, switch on ambient/transparency mode.

A good pair of earbuds with a well-designed ambient mode will help you be more aware of your surroundings by amplifying ambient noise without compromising on audio quality. It is a spec that I highly recommend you look for when picking out cycling headphones.

Thankfully, I’ve listed a handful of options that offer ambient mode, so you won’t need to do a lot of searching anywhere else.

IP Rating

Whenever you’re outside or working up a sweat, you need to make sure water and sweat don’t go inside the earbuds. If these on-ear headphones do not have any waterproofing or splash proofing, they will suffer from liquid damage.

You might be able to save your smartphone from liquid damage, but headphones: no way.

So if you’re ever going to be working out or riding your bicycle, you need headphones with an official IP rating. It would be better if you always had a waterproof IP67 rating, but only a select few headphones and TWS earbuds provide that amount of protection.

Instead, you might have to rely on IPX4 protection: the water-resistant and splash-resistant protection rating. IPX4 is not bad, and you can definitely wear it through sweat and light rain, but it won’t survive a drop in the pool.

Battery Life

Well, this one’s pretty obvious: we always need to look for TWS earbuds and headphones with long battery lives. Otherwise, our music session is going to get cut short.

If you’re going for plain old headphones, ensure that there’s enough battery life to last the whole day and that the charging interface is something you are familiar with. Headphones with USB-C are always preferred since USB-C cables are very common (especially among Android users). If your headphones come with a unique charging interface or Micro-USB, don’t forget to keep a spare charger cable in your bag.

When looking at TWS earbuds, I always recommend buds with more than 6 hours of continuous playback time (the earbuds themselves). Thankfully, you don’t always have to follow this rule since you can always pop them back in the charging case and let them get a quick top-up while you’re taking a 15-minute break after cycling for a couple of hours. (Which, for newbie cyclists, I highly recommend you do.)

Comfort and Stability

If you’re constantly readjusting your earbuds while riding, it will affect your riding experience and your safety; hence, finding a pair of headphones/earbuds with a comfortable and secure fit is paramount.

Practically, I don’t prefer over-ear headphones for cycling (or any other forms of physical activity) because they tend to get hot inside your ears. Besides, they are also incompatible with cycling helmets. The other alternative is helmet speakers, which I’m also not a big fan of because they limit you to the saddle and tend to be expensive investments.

Therefore, the best options are TWS earbuds, neckband headphones, and open-ear headphones with bone conduction technology.

However, with earbuds and neckband headphones, finding a comfortable fit can be inconvenient since various designs have different ear tips, ear hooks, and control setups. Finding one that fits your cycling activities can be confusing, but if you’re not a glass wearer or someone with small ears, I wholeheartedly recommend TWS earbuds with ear hooks.

Conclusion

Best Budget Headphones/TWS earbuds for Cyclists
Best Battery Life for Cycling Headphones

There are a lot of factors that define the best cycling headphones. However, for a cyclist, it primarily rests upon longer battery life, waterproof ingress protection rating, and a comfortable fit. So whenever a pair of Bluetooth headphones deliver upon these specs, you can always count on them to be a reliable pair of cycling headphones.

Hopefully, with the options on this list, and the points mentioned in the buying guide, I hope you found a pair of wireless cycling headphones that match your needs. For more guides and lineups, don’t forget to check out our website.