The 7 Most Durable Headphones Of 2021

by Jarrett Ziemer on November 25th, 2021 in Best Picks

Remember that morning a few years ago you decided to start jogging again. You laced up your shoes, threw on your headphones, got the 90’s r&b playlist queued, and started out the door. Your blood was pumping for about a minute, and then it happened.

Before you could get to the first stop sign, one earbud began cutting out. With each step, the cut worsened until you had to almost glide and hold your head perfectly still to keep it going. And then there was a crackling sound, and then it was gone. Eventually, you took the one earbud out, dangling it on your shoulder, the vibe completely killed.

The bottom line is, If you’ve ever used a pair of headphones, you’ve experienced something like this. You’ve had them break. That’s because the nature of the headphones and small technology once meant making them durable was a chore. I’m here to tell you, though, there’s a new way, and there are now new, more durable headphones than ever.

By taking your time and selecting the right pair for your needs (check this article if you need headphones for mowing the lawn), you can make a headphone purchase that will stand the test of time. Even if your music choices don’t.

Maybe you are also here cause your son or daughter who is a teenager broke his or her headphones again, why not buy something that suits their needs? We have an article about headphones for teens here too.

Table of Contents
+

The V-MODA Crossfade 2's are the first and last stop on the road to premium durable headphones. Featuring award-winning sounds in both wired and wireless Bluetooth mode and unparalleled durability and comfort, these are headphones you won't want to or ever need to take off.

Check Latest Price

The Crossfade 2 from V- Moda offers award-winning enhanced sound, absolute comfort, and wired and wireless capabilities, all encased in premium crafted lightweight materials.

Sound and durability are at the forefront of these premium headphones.

These things integrate powerful 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers with CCAW voice coils. That means you’ll get a clean sound, deep bass, upfront mids, and a wide 3d soundstage.

That all comes in a package that looks great and is made to use. The Crossfade 2’s feature a flexible metal-core headband and memory foam ear cushions in a build that puts quality first. These things are built like a tank.

Keep in mind when purchasing these headphones that the build quality is premium, but the sound quality may barely miss the mark for true audiophiles. Although the sound quality is “award winning,” the codecs in these are a bit outdated, and the latency is only acceptable. And if you plan on using these in a wireless form, they sound good but much worse than wired.

What We Like
Looks - These things look sharp and come in a host of colors and materials to choose from.
Durability - V-Moda has strict testing guidelines for durability. These headphones are built like a tank.
Wireless & Wired Capability - Although you'll get better sound from a wired setup, the ability to remove the wire when on the go adds to the durability and comfort for sure.
Know Before Buying
Tech - These have award-winning sounds but outdated codecs. True audiophiles may want to look for headphones with the newest technology.
Wireless - Keep in mind that you lose a bit of sound quality when you pull that wire.
Check Latest Price

If you're looking for durable headphones that come at a great value, these ones are for you. With Bluetooth 5.0 to give you effortless connectivity, a 30-hour battery life so you can listen all day, and a high-quality minimalist construction, these are headphones built to use and to last.

Check Latest Price

The Sennheiser HD 350BT (see also Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT) are Bluetooth headphones for the consumer-ready to listen all day. With a 30-hour battery life and easy Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, these things are your set and forget over-the-ear options.

The HD 350BTs are constructed of a durable, lightweight plastic material. The headphone’s foldability and lack of a wire add to their durability. These headphones are for listeners on the move. They take up little space when not in use and are made to be thrown in a bag.

Beyond the affordable durability, these things just sound good. Sennheiser is a trusted name when it comes to refined complex sounds. They won’t blow you out of the water with their warmth and body, but for the price, these offer an unbeatable rich sound with uniquely tuned mids.

Keep in mind when buying these headphones that although fairly durable and stylishly minimal, users looking for a more premium feel may not love the finish.

What We Like
Battery Life - At 30 hours of battery life, these things should be able to go days without a charge.
Durability - A foldable, wireless, high-quality minimalist construction will have these headphones standing the test of time.
Sound Quality - Sennheiser knows sound, and for the price, you can't be the sound of these.
Know Before Buying
Finish - Although durable for the price, the value headphones lack a premium finish.
Check Latest Price

The MW65 are technically sophisticated lightweight over-the-ear headphones with excellent sound quality and a premium build designed to withstand everyday use. The reviews are in, and the MW65's deliver.

Check Latest Price

Master & Dynamics MW65 are technically sophisticated, masterfully crafted noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones. With excellent sound quality and an optionable audio cable for even better audio quality, an advanced Bluetooth range 3x farther than its competitors, and active noise canceling, these headphones come with everything you need for the perfect wireless and wired experience.

And thanks to its quality materials and durability forward design, those features will last. That’s because Master & Dynamic crafted these headphones from long-lasting, lightweight anodized aluminum, finished in fine durable leather. And below the aluminum, you’ll find replaceable lambskin wrapped memory foam earcups.

When purchasing these headphones, keep in mind that the Active noise canceling is there, but not as good as the ANC you’ll find on comparable Bose or Sony products.

What We Like
Looks - These things are wrapped in fine leather and lambskin. They will look and feel premium in your hand.
Durability - Anodized aluminum and leather are materials that not only look great but last.
Great Sound Quality - Generally, wireless headphones have reduced sound quality, but these things hit all the right notes.
Battery Life - A 24-hour battery life has these headphones literally lasting all day. And when they do die, you can always plug in the audio cord.
Know Before Buying
Noise Cancelling - The active noise canceling on these headphones is very good but may not be up to the standards set by Bose and Sony's high-end products.
Check Latest Price

The Jaybird Vista 2 True Wireless Sport Headphones are wireless earbuds with the features you're looking for in a package that will last. Thanks to earthproof durability in the form of IP68 waterproofing, sweatproofing, and dustproofing, and MIl-STD 810G freeze, shock, and impact resistance, these are premium earbuds you can use and abuse with confidence.

Check Latest Price

When searching for a premium earbud, you’re looking for something that has it all in a form factor you can take on the go. The Jaybird Vista 2’s bring it all in the small package you’re looking for, with active noise canceling, SurroundSense, 6mm drivers offering incredible sound, and an 8-hour battery life.

To protect all of the features, Jaybird has spared no expense in the build of these headphones. When charging and not in use, they come in an IP54 protective case. Out of the case, premium features need a premium finish, and with an Ip68 waterproof, sweatproof, and dustproof rating, and Mil-STD 81-G freeze, shock, and impact resistance, you get it.

An added feature we think you’ll love is active tracking. Durability is only essential for the buds you never lose. With active tracking, you’ll be able to find the last location the earbuds were connected and play a tone to help locate them.

What We Like
Durability - These things are tough. An IP68 and MIl-STD 81G rating means they'll stand up to whatever you throw down.
Battery Life - Finding a full day of battery in true wireless earbuds is hard to do. Look no further.
Active Noise Cancellation - Lose all the background noise and focus on what matters.
Surroundsense - We think you'll appreciate this one. SurroundSense monitors ambient noise, keeping you connected and aware of your surroundings.
Tracking - Losing your earbuds has just become a thing of the past! 
Know Before Buying
Price - Although significantly less than many over-the-ear headphones, these are definitely on the pricey side for earbuds.
Check Latest Price

Durability and audio quality mean nothing if you lose your earbuds. Thanks to a sturdy neckband holding together all the tech you'd expect from Apple and Beats, these headphones are the first choice for users looking for earbuds you never have to worry about losing.

Check Latest Price

The Powerbeats are high-performance headphones for the consumer who wants durability and the best technology on the market on the go.

With an IPX4 sweat and water resistance, sturdy silicon wrapped ear holds, and a sleek thick, and durable neckband, these headphones look great and are built to take a beating.

Apple and Beats are technology forward. The Apple H1 chip in these headphones and class 1 Bluetooth rating make connecting to these headphones a breeze. You can expect an extended range and fewer dropouts, and when you need to make a call, thanks to a speech detection accelerometer, and dual-beam forming microphones, you can enjoy hands-free calls with crystal clarity.

Keep in mind when purchasing there that because they are an apple product, some of the more advanced features will only be available when used with compatible products.

What We Like
Charging - These small headphones have up to 15 hours of listening time, and with "Fast Fuel," you'll receive 1 hour of playback time with a 5-minute charge.
Durability - These sleek headphones pack robust durability.
Looks - Apple products have a look. If you love that look, you'll love these.
Know Before Buying
Apple Based Product - These headphones work with all Bluetooth-enabled devices, but some features will only work with other Apple products.
Check Latest Price

GOgroove AudiOHM RNFs features a metal driver housing, extra joint protection, a 3mm audio cable, and ballistic-grade materials construction. All this means you can expect these affordable wired earbuds to last.

Check Latest Price

The GOgroove AudiOHM RNFs are budget headphones built with premium durability in mind. In every wired headphone, the cable is the weak point. Gogroove has used a cable reinforced with aramid fibers and wrapped in 3mm cable housing, ensuring heavy-duty protection where it counts. They’ve also housed the drivers in metal alloy, and if that’s not enough protection for you, they developed a two-stage injection-molded y-connector, protecting another obvious weak point.

GOgroove has included a zippered EVA carrying case with a belt loop to protect these headphones when you’re ready to set them down.

These headphones were designed with durability in mind, and GOgroove stands by that, offering a lifetime warranty with every purchase.

Keep in mind when purchasing these that the durable cable plug may be difficult to fit into some phone cases. Also, they may be a little heavier on the head than some comparable earbuds because of that durability throughout.

What We Like
Cable - The reinforced cord on these will give you a confidence you rarely get with affordable wired earbuds.
Warranty - These come with a lifetime warranty! Enough said.
Carrying Case - The carrying case means you won't need to shove these in your pocket.
Know Before Buying
Weight - These may be a little heavier than similar priced earbuds...but that's sort of the point of durable earbuds right?
Plug - The durable plug on these may not fit in some phone case ports.
Wind Noise - These small buds might not isolate sound as much as more expensive options.
Check Latest Price

Durability is the name of the game when it comes to headphones for children. Thanks to durable earpads, a twistable durable headband, and a durable braided cord, you can rest assured the Brenthaven will hold up to the most… active of children out there.

Check Latest Price

The Brenthaven Edge Rugged headphones were designed with children k-12 in mind. With looks that even older kids will like and durability meant to stand up to the wildest young ones, you can rest assured that these headphones will suit all of your child’s needs.

With a flexible breakaway cord tip, a reinforced braided cord, twistable non-break headband, easily cleanable durable earpads, and a drop rating tested for falls up to six feet; the Brenthaven features durability at every corner.

With a 3.5mm headphone jack and no installation necessary, these headphones are compatible with most devices.

Buying headphones over and over can be expensive. Keep in mind that this pair comes with a two-year warranty.

What We Like
Durability - Every inch of these was designed with durability in mind.  
Grows With Your Kids - Children are constantly growing. These things look great, and adjust their size, ensuring they never grow out of them.
Warranty - The two-year warranty on these headphones will put your mind at ease. 
Know Before Buying
Headphone Jack - The durable rubber around the headphone jack may make it too large to fit into a small percentage of devices
Check Latest Price

How To Choose Durable Headphones and Earbuds

There are a few things you’ll want to pay attention to when purchasing any headphones and a few particular things to look for when choosing the most durable headphones you can find.

Style

When looking at durability in headphones, for manufacturers, style plays a considerable part. That is mainly because style is often influenced by or included in the consideration of things like size, cable versus no cable, removable aux cable versus fixed, Bluetooth versus wired. Possibly the most significant factor is the all-encompassing choice of earbuds versus over the ear, or on the ear headphones. These things all affect headphone durability.

Now, for the earbud crowd, the truth is that even basic over the ear or on the ear headphones up to working-class over the ear headphones (think gaming-specific, dual driver, studio, DJ, and more premium on or over the ear headphones) are generally going to be more durable than their in-ear counterparts. The size of an over-the-ear headphone affords manufacturers the ability to work with a broader range of materials and also reinforce problematic areas. Some over-the-ear headphones even have extra parts like drivers available for when the originals go out.

The obvious downside to over-the-ear headphones is their large size and sometimes isolating effects. And they can be hot. Although there are many over-the-ear headphones specifically made for working out, many people on the go prefer earbuds. If you’re someone who is looking for a durable earbud, don’t fret. There are also plenty of in-ear options out there for you.

Material

Whether opting for in-ear or over-the-ear headphones, the material is something you’ll undoubtedly want to look at.

If choosing over or on the ear, consider headphones with a stainless steel headband. Many less durable over-the-ear headphones come with plastic headbands that are sure to give out with heavy use.

You’ll also want to consider the material over that band. Leather may be a bit on the hot side if you plan on working out in your headphones, but it’s a material well known for its durability.

The material over the ear cups is another area to focus on. Again, you’ll want to look for leather or a durable synthetic covered ear cup to hold up to the continued motion of placing and removing your headphones. And speaking of the ear cup itself, a memory foam interior will hold its shape longer than a lesser quality shaped foam.

Finally, when choosing earbuds or in-ear headphones, although there are premium metal options, you’re mostly looking at a plastic or silicone-covered outer with a tip of either foam, plastic, or silicone. Foam isolates sound a bit better than silicone, but if you’re looking for durability and affordability, silicone is the way to go.

Wired Versus Wireless

Any audiophile will tell you, without blinking an eye, that wired headphones deliver better sound than their wireless counterparts. Ironically, wired headphones even cost less. The problem, though, with wired headphones is the wire itself.

Headphones cable are weak points in the durability of wired headphones. The solders on headphones are small, and the wires are thin. As a result, even a little too much bend can leave you with no sound in one ear or both. Add to that the fact that by their nature, the cord is hanging from your ears, making them always in the way, and you have a recipe for durability disaster.

If you choose your headphone durability based on the wire or cable, the clear durability winner is the wireless headphone.

Cable quality

If you’re looking for great sound or longer battery life or the need for no batteries at all, you’re probably looking at wired headphones. Wired headphones can be over the ear, on the ear, earbuds, and even wireless but connected. The key to these headphones and their strengths and weaknesses are found in their wires.

Whether high-end cables make a difference in sound quality is up for debate, but a high-end cable is a no-brainer when considering durability. Wires are weak. If you prefer the wired headphone and you’re on a budget, try and find one with a removable cable that you can change when it wears out. If you’re choosing a headphone with a wired cable and looking for the cream of the crop, choose ones with the most robust cable build and a quality design.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t wind the cable into knots if you want it to last. And when you unplug your headphones, pull the plug, not the cord.

Battery Life

Durability is all about your headphones’ lasting. To keep it simple, batteries don’t. From the moment you first use and charge a battery, it grows weaker for the rest of its life. If you want a pair of wired headphones to last, opt for a wired set with the best quality cable you can find.

If you want a pair of wireless headphones to last, choose the ones with the largest battery or longest battery life. Even if the battery wears down over time, you shouldn’t notice much with a long life.

Waterproofing

If you plan on using your headphones while working out or outside, consider using a sweat and waterproof pair. At minimum, you’ll want something water-resistant. Every water-resistant pair of headphones and most, in general, will come with an IP rating. The second number in the IP rating lets you know how water-resistant the headphones are. A rating of IPX0 means not at all. A rating of IPX8 means they can be continuously submerged. If you’re looking for a pair of headphones to swim with, look for an 8.

Warranty

At the end of the day, even the highest quality headphones can only take so much. If you’re as tough on your headphones as I am and a company offers a warranty, it’s an absolute no-brainer to get one.

Price

As with most things, often, you get what you pay for. Although, if properly cared for, there are budget headphones that will last, usually a higher price means more r and d behind the headphones. That r and d leads to more features and ultimately to a greater durability to protect those features.

In Summary

When it comes to audio, the perfect playlist for the right activity is the easy part. However, choosing the right headphones, whether they’re in-ear, on-ear, over-the-ear, gamer headphones, studio-quality, or a whole host of styles, can be a little more complicated.

Whatever style you choose, the one thing you should consider above all other features is durability. A durable pair of headphones will be the ones that last and the ones you use and love the most.