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These are the best Bluetooth headphones for working out

Publish Date:

Monday, April 25, 2016 1:26 pm PDT


News Organization:

Business Insider

Source URL:

Compared to a standard pair, self-proclaimed "sports" headphones are almost always compromised in some way. Manufacturers put a premium on things like Bluetooth, built-in controls, and sweat resistance, so you usually end up paying more for something lesser sounding. The idea is to prioritize convenience, since you’ll probably be too busy huffing and puffing to focus on much else.

Keeping those guidelines in mind, if you need a new pair of headphones for your next run, hike, or general workout, we like the Plantronics Backbeat Fit.

They tick all the boxes you want these things to tick: They’re wireless, sweatproof, lightweight, sturdy, nice-feeling, and secure-fitting, with functional on-device controls, decent battery life (7-8 hours), and better sound than what’s typical of earbuds like these. They even come with a nice armband case.

They don’t go straight in your ear canal, but rather rest on top of them, which, in turn, allows ambient noises to seep their way into your globe of sound. They leak noise, too. Whether or not this is good is up to you — maybe you like to hear the cars pass you by on your neighborhood jog, maybe hearing the occasional grunt at your gym is too much to bear. We think going unsealed is fine, but only when you’re working out.

One side effect of letting in more air is a reduction in bass response. So the Backbeat Fit are not the kind of thing you’d buy if you lean on club bangers to pump yourself up. That said, there’s at least some low-end presence, and the rest of the profile is clean, balanced, and free of distortion. They’re still sub-$100 Bluetooth headphones, so there’s a ceiling here, but they’re more pleasing than most of what you’ll find elsewhere.

The Backbeat Fit have been around for a couple years now, and in that time more than a few recommendations like this have rolled in. We have them in our best exercise headphones guide, our friends at Tech Insider love them, and reviews from CNET, The Wirecutter, PCMag, iLounge, and others have been positive. On Amazon, they have a 4.2 rating after more than 3,200 user reviews.

Again, we wouldn’t jump for these for your day-to-day, and alternatives like the Jaybird X2 and Koss Fitclips offer better sound and a much lower price, respectively. Still, if you’re particularly active, the Backbeat Fit are a solid choice.

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