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The great outdoors. Very few experiences in life beat the feeling of a cool breeze rushing across your face, the warm sun shining down on you and generally just being in touch with nature. Whether you are out there for a trail run or a hike, there are times that you bring along some form of entertainment, especially when hiking alone and there’s no one to talk to. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the best bluetooth headphones for trail running.
It could be enjoying your favorite music playlist or listening to an audiobook Heck, most people catch up on podcasts this way. Whatever the activity, wouldn’t it be much more fun if the darn headphones didn’t keep falling off? Or hurt your ears so much? Well, getting a better pair might just work the trick for you.
WHAT ARE THE BEST HEADPHONES FOR TRAIL RUNNING?
By now, it’s rather obvious that when choosing the best headphones for trail running, picking the right fit is a no-brainer. However, just like choosing regular headphones, that’s not all you look for. You also have to consider other features like:
- The length of battery life
- Build quality (waterproofing is an added bonus)
- Sound quality
- Will they stay snug on your head when running?
- Do they provide situational awareness?
Top 3 Picks
AfterShokz Air Headphones
Boltune Wireless Earbuds
USING THESE GUIDELINES, HERE’S A LIST OF THE 5 BEST HEADPHONES FOR TRAIL RUNNING.
1. AFTERSHOKZ TREKZ AIR HEADPHONES – Best Behind the Neck
Have you ever heard of Bone conduction technology? It involves delivering sound through your cheekbones so that the ears remain open to receive ambient sound from the environment to help with situational awareness. Cool eh? This is one of AfterShokz Air’s unique features that make it rank top of our list. Not only does it make them safe to wear, but the sound quality is top notch! Compared to the previous models, the Air was improved in design to be more comfortable, be 20% lighter and have a secure fit so that they don’t fall off during extreme activities.
The Bluetooth connection is strong and simple to set up, while the 6 hours of charge available after fully charging should get you through a long run comfortably. Add this to fact that they’re sweat, water and dust-proof and you have yourself one of the best trail running headphones money can buy.
- The improved Bone conduction technology is revolutionary and helps with situational awareness.
- They’re well built and sturdy
- Amazing fit
- Bluetooth connection is great
- Solid 6-hour battery
2. Apple AirPods Premium Pick
By this point everyone is familiar with Apple AirPods, they are hugely popular everywhere. While they are small and in-ear as opposed to over the ear or behind the neck, they should stay in just fine while trail running. Now different people have different shaped ears, but for the large majority of people AirPods are too good to be true for running. They’re lightweight, have great sound quality, and you almost don’t even know they’re there while wearing them. The Hey Siri feature is really cool if you are an iPhone user.
Even in the middle of a song you can say “Hey Siri” and tell her to switch songs or playlists. That feature is not available for Android users, but the AirPods pair via bluetooth so they do work with devices other than Apple. They come with a bigger price-tag than the Boltune ones above, but many believe that these are the best in-ear headphones for trail running.
- Rich, high-quality audio and voice
- Quick access to Siri by saying “Hey Siri”
- Listen and talk all day with multiple charges from the Charging Case
- Automatically on, automatically connected
- Up to 5 hours of listening time, over 24 hours with charging case
3. Boltune Wireless Earbuds Budget Pick
If you’re a fan of true wireless headphones, then these wireless earbuds from Boltune should work great for you. Equipped with Bluetooth v5.0, these headphones seamlessly connect to your device, be it iPhone/Android, and hardly suffer from dropouts be it when listening to music or taking a call.
Boltune Wireless Earbuds are also specially designed for in-ear comfort and stability. The storage case also serves as the charging case and it is very portable. Fully charged in just 90 minutes, the earbuds are capable of lasting up to 40 hours!
- The ergonomic, customizable earpiece design makes them comfortable to wear and fit perfectly
- A portable charger and 40 hours battery life makes the earbuds ideal for long trail runs
- Sound quality and Bluetooth connection are great
- They water resistant and sweat resistant
Another entry from the rue wireless’ category, Jabra have provided numerous software updates for their earbuds making them one of the best-sounding in this list. Using your phone, you can use the equalizer in Jabra Sound+ app to customize the sound in your earbuds any way you want to. The bass levels, in particular, are pretty awesome. With built-in Alexa and housing 4 microphones that filter out background noise, using voice commands with these earbuds is a breeze.
The call quality is also really good. Just like the Boltune earbuds, the Bluetooth v5.0 feature virtually eliminates any music and call dropouts. The earbuds also have a clip-on design, with multi-sized ear gels that make them fit comfortably.
Additionally, they are IP56 rated meaning they’re resistant to water, sweat, and dust. The feature that makes these earbuds shine, however, is the integrated motion sensor. With this, you can monitor your heart rate using the companion app. Even if you decide to do some reps, the internal accelerometer monitors the number of squats and the like. Battery life measures around 5hours but can be increased to 13.5hours through the on-the-go charging case available.
- Customize the sound
- Built-in accelerometer and motion sensor helps you keep track of your fitness
- The gels hold the earbuds in place and are quite comfortable
- Improved technologies such as Bluetooth v5.0 and the built-in Alexa make wireless use easy
- The 5-hour battery life is decent and can be extended to 13.5 hours by using the on-the-go case
For the diehard over-ear headphone fans, here’s my top pick. When it comes to comfort, these headphones rank among the top in this list. I’ve owned the same pair of wired Sennheisers for almost 10 years and they are still better than any others I’ve tried, if this tells you anything about their quality. Not only are they lightweight in design, the generously padded headband and rotating earcups provide you with long use with minimal chance of fatigue.
The grip is also excellent, removing any worry of them falling and breaking. With a number of sound modes to choose from, it goes without saying that the sound quality is great when listening to music or other audio files. Also packed with Bluetooth v4.2, NFC pairing and multiple voice prompts, wireless use is quite convenient.
Call quality, as we have so often judged, is also great thanks to the in-built triple microphone array. If you’re also thinking of totally immersing yourself in music during the trail run, then you’ll be glad to hear that these have adaptive noise cancellation ensuring sound quality is stellar. Battery life is also no joke, shown to last up to 30 hours! If it does run out, however, and the charger isn’t close, you can use the audio cable provided. Probably not my top choice for an activity like trail running, but the Sennheiser sound and build quality are unmatched on this list.
- Sound and call quality is superb
- 30-hour battery life
- Sturdy and ergonomic design provides not only comfort but also a great grip
- Active noise-canceling is also available
- Overall quality from Sennheiser is excellent
WHAT IS TRAIL RUNNING?
Now that we’ve looked at some headphones for trail running, let’s get a better idea of what trail running actually is. Although the term is commonly used interchangeably with hiking, trail running involves more of off-road running while hiking is mostly a walk through natural environments, with mostly steep terrain.
By that definition, trail running tends to be more strenuous than hiking, with distances usually averaging from 10km up to 250km. The most common trails used include; coastal trails, flat forest trails, and slightly hilly terrains.
IS IT OKAY TO WEAR HEADPHONES DURING TRAIL RUNNING?
As much fun as it is to wear headphones during trail running, it does carry some amount of risks and disadvantages. As long as you stay aware of your surroundings you should be fine. Some things to keep in mind:
- The safety factor – Since most of your hearing will be focused on music or some other material, it will be quite difficult to hear activities happening around you; like the grunting of a charging bear or a large rock falling above the trail. This, in turn, could end up making the trail run less safe.
- Some may also argue that by disabling one of your senses during a trail run, you may not get to fully enjoy the outdoor experience. Some people enjoy trail running for the exercise it provides, which is fine.
It’s all not doom and gloom, though, since you get to:
- Enjoy two activities you love both at once.
- Also, since trail runs can end up being fairly long, bringing some music along could make the activity a little less boring, so to speak.
Trail running is undoubtedly fun and gives you an opportunity to keep both fit and experience the beauty of nature. Bringing the perfect headphones along, in turn, could make the experience even more enjoyable. So, why wait? Grab the AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones, the best trail running headphones you can get right now, put on your trail running shoes, and go have fun!