The 6 Best Over Ear Headphones for Working Out 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Over Ear Headphones for Working Out

Listening to either music, a podcast, a YouTube video, or even a movie is the most popular way to go about your exercise. Sound motivates you and allows you to pass the time allocated to your workout a lot faster than if you had been working out in silence. 

But, listening to music while you’re working out is different from when you’re sitting comfortably. When working out, you’re building up heat and sweat, which will accumulate around your ears, especially if you’re wearing something over or in them. 

That’s why the headphones used for working out are designed to help with air circulation, stability, and have a certain degree of water/sweat resistance, making them suitable for vigorous exercise. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the six best over ear headphones for working out.

Comparison Table:

Model Wired/Wireless Transmission Range Noise Cancellation Playtime
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Both 30 ft Active 20 hrs
COWIN E7 PRO Both 49 ft Active 30 hrs
Bose SoundLink II Both 30 ft Passive 15 hrs
Skullcandy Crusher Both 33 ft Passive 40 hrs
COWIN SE7 Both 50+ ft Active 30 hrs
Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless 33 ft Adaptive 30 hrs

The 6 Best Over Ear Headphones for Working Out in 2021

Now that we’re done with the technical details concerning every model, let’s waste no time and jump right into their detailed reviews.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II – Best Overall

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is one of the ultimate models in the market today. They come with an impressive package of noise cancellation/rejection, compatibility with Alexa, the Bose Connect App, a remarkable transmission range, and a lot more. 

First of all, these wireless headphones can offer you up to 20 hours of unobstructed playtime, and if you wish to extend this playtime to unlimited, you can easily attach the provided cord as it can also operate with it. 

These headphones also allow you to multitask through their compatibility with Alexa, so you don’t have to stick to your own playlist. You can easily ask Alexa to play anything from Spotify or even YouTube while you’re working out. 

Moreover, the noise cancellation system here is quite revolutionary as it has three different levels that you can adjust, therefore, eliminating the outside noise completely. The microphone system is also no different, as it has a noise rejection mechanism that catches on even the faintest sounds. 

Therefore, if you wish to videotape your workout while explaining it, that is perfectly aligned with Bose QuietComfort 35 II’s capabilities.

The Bose Connect app also allows you to access a plethora of settings that you usually cannot reach without it, and allows for continuous updates that will improve your listening experience.

One more thing is that the transmission range here is up to 30 ft, guaranteeing you a lot of freedom. Nevertheless, just like any product, the headphones come with their disadvantages, which include its difficult connection to Siri as opposed to Alexa. 

In addition, they come with fixed batteries in lieu of replaceable ones so that you can put one to charge and work with the charged one without having to interrupt your work out.  Unfortunately, since that’s not the case here, you’ll either have to work with a wire or wait for your headphones’ battery to charge.

Pros:

  • Three levels of world-class active noise cancellation
  • 30 ft transmission range
  • 20 hours of playtime
  • Alexa compatibility 
  • Bose Connect App
  • Noise rejection system

Cons:

  • Not so compatible with Siri
  • Fixed batteries

Final Verdict

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is the ultimate set of headphones for a plethora of uses, and working out is definitely one of them. With their fantastic noise cancellation, transmission range, and Alexa compatibility, they’ll prove to be a great partner for your exercises.

Find Bose QuietComfort 35 II featured in:

2. COWIN E7 PRO – Best Budget

COWIN E7 PRO

The COWIN E7 PRO is an excellent product by COWIN, a pioneer in the world of headphones. They come with a multitude of different features for a fraction of the price tag sported by many of its peers.

First of all, these headphones enjoy professional active noise cancellation, which, although drains a lot of the battery, has had major success with its strength. Also, don’t forget that the over-ear design provides a significant level of passive noise cancellation.

Moreover, these headphones’ playtime is up to 30 hours, extendable to unlimited by using the provided cord, as the COWIN E7 PRO can work either wired or wirelessly. Besides, the transmission range here can reach up to 49 ft, which can be quite helpful.

The design of these headphones is sleek and attractive. The steel headband is completely padded in order to cushion the head and stay where it’s supposed to at all times. 

As for the ear cups, they can swivel up to 90° and are aligned with skin-like smooth ear cushions that surround your ear completely. One more thing is that the earpads themselves are very comfortable protein ones. 

Unfortunately, since they’re made mainly out of steel, they need some time to break in. As long as the stiffness is bearable, everything is fine with these headphones. But, if you make rapid movements, they might skip out for a second.

Pros:

  • Professional active noise cancellation 
  • Protein earpad
  • 90° swiveling ear cups
  • Soft, skin-like ear cushions
  • 30 hrs of playtime
  • Great microphone system
  • Attractive design 

Cons:

  • Tends to skip out 
  • Needs time to break-in

Final Verdict

The COWIN E7 PRO is the perfect choice if you want something that will perfectly do the job without costing you an arm and a leg. These headphones enjoy excellent noise cancellation, an impressive microphone system, a comfortable, sleek design, and an excellent transmission range.

3. Bose SoundLink II – Best Bluetooth Technology 

Bose SoundLink II

Our second product by Bose is the Bose SoundLink II, which focuses more on the sleek connectivity and straightforward accessibility to all the commands that you might need when exercising.

First of all, these headphones come with 15 hours of smooth playtime, and just like its peers, this playtime can be extended to unlimited if you decide to opt for using the provided wire. The transmission range is also impressive at 30 ft. 

Now, we’ve reached the juicy parts as these headphones enjoy the latest Bluetooth technologies, which allows them to switch between two different Bluetooth devices without any problem. 

The Bose SoundLink II is designed so that you don’t need to focus on anything other than your workout. For instance, when you receive a call and end it, the music will resume automatically. Moreover, the controls are easily accessible as they’re placed on the ear cups. 

Moving on to the design, it’s both comfortable and safe. Comfort comes from the sturdy plush memory-foam earpads that help with sweat. On the other hand, safety comes from Bose’s statement that these headphones were tested to endure falls and friction. Plus, they’re corrosion-resistant. 

One more thing is that these headphones come with their own protective pouch so that you can store them safely, even if they’re thrown haphazardly in your backpack. 

Lastly, we’ll speak about the drawbacks that come with this purchase. Although they’re over-ear headphones and provide a significant passive noise cancellation level, this specific model does not come with active noise cancellation. Also, the revolutionary Bluetooth technologies don’t bode well for older devices.

Pros:

  • Smooth Bluetooth switching
  • Lightweight 
  • 15 hrs of playtime
  • 30 ft transmission range 
  • Accessible controls
  • Protective pouch

Cons:

  • No active noise cancellation 
  • Bluetooth is only compatible with newer devices

Final Verdict

If you’re all about smooth transitions and lightweight headphones that are as durable as they are comfortable, then the Bose SoundLink II is the perfect choice for you.

4. Skullcandy Crusher – Best Playtime

Skullcandy Crusher

Skullcandy is also among the most famous tech companies in the world, and today, they present us with the Skullcandy Crusher headphones, which enjoys a whopping 40 hours of playtime. This is incredibly impressive as you’ll be able to go through more than a week’s worth of exercise without having to charge them once.

Nevertheless, these fantastic headphones don’t just stop there. The design here is meant to be comfortable yet highly efficient, durable, and suitable for working out. The matte black finish isn’t just for looks; it provides significant protection from scratches and friction. 

In addition, the folding hinges make them as compact and portable as possible, so that you can easily take them from one place to another without having to wear them around your neck.

Moreover, the padding is a hybrid between mesh and leather, which provides both durability and breathability for releasing all the bent up heat from around your head. The last thing that we’re going to mention regarding the design of these headphones will have to be that it comes in a variety of color combinations so that everyone can find something to their own taste.

A few more details include the fact that the Skullcandy Crusher can be connected to your virtual assistant, Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. They’re all compatible with it thanks to the built-in microphone. Additionally, the controllers are easily accessible at the ear cups.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Skullcandy Crusher must come with some cons, which include the mostly-plastic build, which can seem a bit cheap. Plus, the absence of active noise cancellation.

Pros:

  • 40 hrs of playtime 
  • Virtual assistant compatibility 
  • Comfortable 
  • Sturdy
  • 33 ft transmission range 
  • Breathable 

Cons:

  • No active noise cancellation 
  • A lot of plastic 

Final Verdict

If you’re someone who constantly forgets to charge their headphones and in-want of something that will spend more than a week with you without bothering you with the constant “out of battery” alerts, then the Skullcandy crusher is the best choice for you.

Find Skullcandy Crusher featured in:

5. COWIN SE7 – Best Transmission Range

COWIN SE7

The COWIN SE7 has the best transmission range among all the headphones on our list, as it boasts an incredible 50+ ft range, as well as 30 hours of playtime.

The headband is designed to be foldable so that you can easily store it in your travel bag or put it on your desk. Also, the earpads are Professional Protein ones that are known for both their durability and comfort. You’ll always be comfortable when wearing them, no matter how long.

Moving on, these headphones possess a microphone along with Bluetooth 5.0, which can come in real handy when you want to answer a call and don’t have free hands. This Bluetooth provides you with a stable and clear connection at all times.

The pursuit for higher sound quality is very evident with the COWIN SE7, as it comes with a 90db that makes the sounds purer, sharper, and crisper. You’ll be getting a fantastic hearing experience like none other.

The Active Noise Cancellation is off the charts. The COWIN SE7 succeeds in quelling any unwanted sound around you, such as car or plane engines, while maintaining the normal everyday sounds such as wind and trees, to input warmth and naturality into your listening experience. 

However, like any other product, it has its cons, mainly the lack of necessary headband padding, which can lead to discomfort.

Pros:

  • Active noise cancellation 
  • + 50 ft transmission range
  • 30 hrs of playtime
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Sharp, warm sound

Cons:

  • Padding isn’t as great as you’d like it to be

Final Verdict

The COWIN SE7 is an incredible set of headphones in the majority of its aspects. Playtime, transmission range, and noise cancellation all surpass expectations greatly. Yet, be prepared to deal with slight discomfort from the thinly padded headband.

6. Sennheiser PXC 550 – Best Controls

Sennheiser PXC 550

Sennheiser’s headphones are a fantastic set that is designed with NoiseGard adaptive noise cancellation, which helps eliminate unwanted sounds while still maintaining a natural tone.

One thing that truly distinguishes these headphones from their peers will have to be their controllers and the process of handling them overall. Firstly, they power up and shut down automatically as you wear/remove them. 

Additionally, all of the controls present on the ear cups are touch-operated. They make dealing with the headphones when you’re running or performing any sport that will need your hands much easier. Moreover, these headphones do not come with just one, or even two, but three microphones, which leads to unprecedented recording clarity. 

Add to that the fact that its lightweight has 33 ft of transmission range and can offer up to 30 hrs of playtime, and you’ve got yourself a superior pair of headphones, as all of these features make the Sennheiser PXC 550 quite the catch in today’s markets. 

Lastly, we’ll speak about the CapTune app, which allows you to manage the produced sounds precisely to your taste. This means that if you want to focus more on the vocals, you can do that, while if you want to focus more on those tunes, you can also do that. This app is a lot more complicated, but this is the simplest explanation possible. 

On the other hand, the disadvantages of these headphones include sound quality, which might be sub-par at times, and the fact that it does not come with an included wire. You also can’t operate the Sennheiser PXC 550 in the wired state.

Pros:

  • Touch controls 
  • Automatic On/OFF
  • Adaptive noise cancellation 
  • Lightweight 
  • CapTune App
  • 33 ft transmission range 
  • 30 hrs of playtime 

Cons:

  • Can’t operate wired 
  • Sound quality could’ve been better

Final Verdict

If you’re all about manipulating with the video, or listening to different audio files, and having super clear recordings, then the Sennheiser PXC 550 will prove to be a significant investment.

How to Pick the Best Over Ear Headphones for Working Out

We’ve talked about the technical details of our hand-picked models; then, we discussed their detailed reviews. Now, we’ll take you on a ride to see the main elements that should be taken into consideration whenever you want to purchase over-ear headphones for exercise.

Sound Quality

First of all, we’re speaking about over-ear headphones; such models are designed to encircle your ear, not allowing any waves to escape. That’s why they mostly enjoy a high degree of passive noise cancellation. 

In addition, the sounds are clear and sharp. When you combine that with the fact that the fact that the majority of the headphones we’ve discussed also enjoy advanced levels of active noise cancellation, you’ll have an unprecedented degree of sound purity. 

You’ll also find that the same aspect reflected in the microphone systems installed with these headphones. They, too, enjoy revolutionary recording systems that would catch on anything, making them studio-quality microphones.

Clutch Force

Clutch force is how strong the headphones will close on your ears, and it comes in three different levels; weak, mild, and firm. When you are working out, we’d advise you to go with something between mild and firm as you need stability when you’re exercising so that your headphones will not fall off your head. 

Still, you don’t want to get continuous headaches, so always try out the headphones and make sure that they fit you perfectly. Some headphones might need a little bit of breaking in, but not so much.

Weight

The weight of your headphones is essential as it also affects your comfort. If they’re too heavy, they’ll cause headaches, discomfort, fatigue, and they might very well fall off your head repeatedly, which can be quite annoying.

So, always know in advance the weight of your headphones, and whether or not you’ll be comfortable with it.

Transmission Range

The majority of over-ear headphones today either operate just wireless or both with and without a wire. That’s why transmission range counts as one of the most important factors that you’ll need to check. 

If you want to put your phone at one end of the room and train at the other, you should be able to do that without a problem. You’ll find transmission ranges starting from 10 ft all the way to 50+ ft, all depending on your own preference.

Stability

Stability of a set of headphones is divided between the headband and the earcups. The headband should be padded in a way that makes it soft and light on the head, but at the same time, it allows the headphones to clunch comfortably, making sure that they won’t fall off. 

On the other hand, the ear cups have to be of an oval shape and large enough to accommodate your entire year without creating pressure points or slipping off in one place.

Comfort

Comfort is an element that can make or break a set of headphones. It depends on so many different factors that we have already discussed before, such as the headband, the importance of its padding, the weight, stability, and the clutch force of the headphones.

Yet, what really matters is the end result. When you try on the headphones, are you comfortable? Now, we’ll wrap up by talking about the ear pads.

Earpads

Earpads are the points with the most contact with your skin. Therefore, when you’re purchasing headphones mainly for exercise, you need to make sure that the ear pads’ material is breathable, soft, and can quickly adapt to your ear’s contour.

Additionally, they have to be capable of providing adequate air circulation in order to vent off all of the built-heat. Another thing is that they must have a level of water resistance in order to withstand all of the produced sweat without significant damage.

Foldable

Having a foldable set of headphones enhances portability. When you can fold your headphones, and store them in a protective pouch included in the package, you can easily toss them into your backpack and forget about them. 

If the folding option is not there, you’ll mostly have to keep wearing your headphones around your neck in order to protect them from the damage that could happen to them from friction with other components of your backpack. Carrying your headphones around your neck can be quite annoying, especially if you are sweating.

Final Thoughts

Since this is the end of that article, we’ll wrap up by saying that exercise is a critical part of everyone’s daily routine. That’s why you must choose the right equipment in order to do it right, avoid self-injury, and of course, enjoy it as much as possible. The right set of headphones is definitely part of that gear, and that’s precisely the reason behind the crafting of this article. 

Now, let’s get down to some recommendations, the first being our top pick for the best over ear headphones for working out. That is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, which comes with three different levels of world-class active noise cancellation, 20 hrs of playtime, and Alexa compatibility, making everything a lot easier.

Moving on to our second recommendation, that will be our budget pick, the COWIN E7 PRO, which sports a reasonable price tag, while still managing to provide you with professional active noise cancellation, 30 hours of uninterrupted playtime, and comfortable, smooth design.

As for our last recommendation, it has to be the Skullcandy Crusher, which offers an unimaginable 40 hrs of playtime, giving you the ability to charge it once a week or even less. These headphones don’t just stop there, as they come with an attractive, protective design and compatibility with all virtual assistants, such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.

Leave a Comment