This list of 10 best cycling headphones 2023 includes the top-tier products from different types, price ranges, and brands like Bose, Anker, Jabra, even Adidas.
Our Top Picks:
- Best for Overall – Aftershokz Aeropex
- Best For Outdoor Cycling Workouts – Jaybird Vista 2
- Best For Budget – Anker Soundcore Life P2
- Best For Convenience – Jabra Elite 85h
- Best For Long Rides – Adidas RPT-01
- Best For Sound Quality – Jabra Elite Active 65t
- Best For Snug Fit – Master & Dynamic MW07 GO
- Best For Zero Distraction – BOSE QC35
- Best For Wearing Helmets – JLab JBuds Air
- Best For Compactness – EarFun Free Pro
Cycling is fun and energizing until you realize you will be alone on a bike for many miles ahead. During long rides, the experience can be boring, which kills all the motivation you had before the ride. This is why many riders choose to listen to music when cycling as a way to motivate themselves.
Apparently, listening to music adds more fun to your ride as you have something to listen to instead of silence. Moreover, during the ride, listening to music through headphones helps you concentrate better, especially if you choose motivational and uplifting music tracks.
As cycling headphones are so important to a rider, it is advisable to ask yourself: “are the headphones you’re using good enough?”, “What are the best cycling headphones 2023 to buy?” If you are opting for a pair, read on to discover the ten best models available right now!
Listening to music makes cycling more exciting
Best Cycling Headphones 2023
#1. Aftershokz Aeropex – Best for Overall
- Dimensions: 4.89 x 3.92 x 1.74 inches
- Weight: 1.06 ounces
- Battery life: 8 hours
- Waterproof: IP67
- Features: Multifunction Button. Easy controls to play, pause, skip, activate voice assistant, and answer calls.
The first product on this list is also the best one: the Aftershokz Aeropex open-ear headphones. This set of headphones comes with impressive capabilities at a reasonable price point.
The pair weighs only 1.06 ounces, which is advantageous considering its bone conduction design. The bone conduction technology results in a signature ear design where the headphones can be hung directly on the ear.
Therefore, lightweight headphones mean less pressure on the ears, hence the model offers more comfort for cyclists. One can wear them for 12 hours and feel no pain at all.
The Aftershokz Aeropex also has a high IP rating. At IP67, nearly the highest water resistance rating, these headphones can survive water jets for up to 30 minutes without damage.
The 8-hour battery life should be enough for an entire day or multiple rides. Plus, the multifunction button allows for several controls like audio playing, pausing, skipping, voice assistant, and answering calls.
While the bone conduction headphones have no active noise canceling effect, the headphones manage to produce clear music and audio playback sounds at even speeds over 20 miles per hour. At the same time, you can still hear the ambient noise if you want to beware of the surroundings.
The Aftershokz Aeropex is the best overall cycling headphone that anyone can buy. It’s a complete package of affordability, sound quality, and durability.
- All-day comfort
- Safety by allowing for environmental sounds
- Stay firm in the ear
- Fit comfortably with helmet and glasses
- Good sound quality for the bone conduction
- Small buttons
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#2. Jaybird Vista 2 – Best For Outdoor Cycling Workouts
- Dimensions: 2.9 x 1.5 x 1 inch
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Battery life: 8 hours
- Total battery life: 24 hours, quick charge 5 minutes for 1 hour
- Waterproof: IP68
- Number of microphones: 2 per bud
The Jaybird Vistar 2 features the best water resistance rating. At the IP68 rating, these earbuds can be submerged in water up to 1 meter deep for as long as an hour.
Therefore, the earbuds are more than ready for outdoor riding; you don’t have to worry about them dropping into the water or cycling in the rain. The Vista 2 will surely remain unharmed. The Earthproof feature helps complete protection for this product.
Another outstanding feature of this pair that makes it perfect for an outdoor workout is fast charging. A 5-minute fast charge will give you another hour of use, especially helpful when you cycle outdoors and only take short breaks.
In terms of music experience, thanks to the Windefense layer, the sounds coming to your ear are much clearer. The earbuds are also well-known for producing accurate, stellar sound.
However, there’s room for active noise cancellation to improve; it can be the goal for Jaybird to achieve with its successor.
- Compact charging case
- comfortable, firm fitting
- Great ANC
- Good connectivity with other devices
- Not for long travel
#3. Anker Soundcore Life P2 – Best For Budget
- Dimensions: 3.15 x 2.05 x 1.18 inches
- Weight: 2.08 ounces
- Battery life: 7 hours
- Waterproof: IPX7
If you are looking for budget headphones with remarkable sports capabilities, the Anker Soundcore Life P2 will get your attention.
This pair of true wireless headphones come at nearly the lowest price on this list. Yet, it has a rating that neither the Aftershokz Aeropex nor Jaybird Vista 2 has: the IPX rating.
The added X here means the earbuds are protected against dust, and we all know how much dust can accumulate in the buds when we go cycling. At IPX7, the water resistance is also impressive: the buds easily survive multiple cycles in the washing machine.
Anker seems determined to make sure its earbuds fit everyone, providing five ear tip sizes while most competitors offer three only. On the one hand, a perfectly fitting size helps the buds stay in your ears; on the other hand, fitting tips block out wind better.
In turn, it has a significant impact on sound quality. Clear sound is 100% guaranteed for both audio play and phone calls. The earbuds generate clear, crisp sound without any lag or delay. Whatever you’re listening to, traffic won’t affect it.
While the Soundcore Life P2 also provides fast charging, its charging speed lags behind the Jaybird Vista 2 with 10 minutes of charging for one hour of play.
- Easy pairing
- Longer battery life than advertised
- Good value for the price
- Discomfort when pushing control buttons
- Tinny sound
#4. Jabra Elite 85h – Best For Convenience
- Dimensions: 10.75 x 9.69 x 3.5 inches
- Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Battery life: 36 hours of playtime
- Waterproof: rain resistant
- Number of microphones: 8
These are conventional over-ear headphones, so it is obvious that they are much heavier and bulkier than wireless earbuds. Other than that, you still get many useful features for exercising in general and cycling in particular.
For starters, on-ear detection automatically pauses or resumes audio playback when you remove or put on the headphones. There is also a battery status sound, so you’re aware of the remaining charge. It’s especially useful for absent-minded users; you are reminded instead of having to constantly check the battery.
With the Jabra Elite 85h, you get a range of control methods, including physical buttons, accompanying app, and Alexa virtual assistant, which you can simply switch between hand and voice control when you need to.
Plus, the app is easy to use, allowing for convenient configuration. It’s involved in the initial setup for the headphones and offers advanced controls.
A special feature of these headphones is soundscapes. Specifically, they play white noise or pleasing ambient sounds, including from waves, waterfall, case, birds, and more. The feature can work simultaneously with active noise canceling.
- Not get hot on your ears
- White noise available
#5. Adidas RPT-01 – Best For Long Rides
- Dimensions: 7.48 x 5.51 x 2.76 inches
- Weight: 7.4 ounces
- Battery life: 40 hours of power
- Waterproof: IPX4
Battery life is one of the biggest concerns when going for long rides. In such cases, The Adidas RPT-01 is the best solution that can be with you on the road.
Like the Jabra Elite 85h, this set of sports headphones are over-ear, bulky but they offer far more cycling hours than earbuds. In particular, this Adidas pair can work for 40 consecutive hours of listening time, which should be more than enough.
Moreover, these headphones feature a soft cover on the headphones and the headband to support long rides. It absorbs sweat efficiently and ensures comfort when you cycle for long hours.
The Adidas RPT-01 also puts a good clamping force on the head, preventing the set from falling off your head during rides.
Overall, these features should wave off any worries you’re having about wearing a set of headphones on long cycling rides.
On top of that, these headphones have a solid performance in real life. They have a good sound profile, a lot of deep bass and work especially well with jazz and classical music. They offer good insulation from ambient noises as well.
- Outstanding Bluetooth connection
- Intuitive control
- Battery life meets the expectation
- Earcups hurt ears
- Not for big heads
- Sound leak
#6. Jabra Elite Active 65t – Best For Sound Quality
- Dimensions: 2.7 x 3 x 2.25 cm
- Weight: 2.8 ounces
- Battery life: 5 hours
- Waterproof: IP56
- Number of microphones: 4
The Jabra Elite Active 65t is not the cheapest pair of earbuds for cycling on this list, but it surely offers the most outstanding audio performance.
Focusing on your listening experience, Jabra lets users adjust sound based on variables like bass response and equalizer as well as activities, such as studying, commuting, and more. Adjustments can be easily made through an accompanying app.
When it comes to audio quality, it’s safe to say that the earbuds generate fantastic, rich, clear audio. They also produce deep bass, distinctive vocals, balanced treble with no sharp “s” sounds, zero crackling, and zero lag. Phone call quality is also perfect, with clear voices and speech sent well.
Not only is the sound quality premium but the overall performance of this model is also consistent and reliable.
Last but not least, you will also get a nice design and all basic features like different ear tip sizes and water resistance though it’s not on par with the other names on this list.
- High-quality material
- Battery reservation (motion sensor feature)
- Stay firmly in the ear
- Earbuds not used separately
#7. Master & Dynamic MW07 GO – Best For Snug Fit
- Dimensions: 4.44 x 6.1 x 1.77 inches
- Weight: 3.17 ounces
- Battery life: 10 hours of power
- Total battery life: 22 hours
- Waterproof: IPX5
What makes the Master & Dynamic MW07 GO stand out from the rest is the fact that they won’t come off when you cycle.
In particular, these earbuds for cycling come with patented silicone fit wings that hug your ears for tight seals. The wings come in three sizes while the ear tips come in five sizes; you cannot miss the fit with this many options.
The earbuds weigh 3.17 ounces, not the most lightweight model but not so heavy that they will fall off your ears easily. The additional weight likely comes from the extra gear to help the buds stay firmly on your ears.
All in all, these earbuds do their job in sealing to your ears, ready for tougher rides on rough riding tracks.
In addition to a snug fit, the Master & Dynamic MW07 GO offers great and balanced sound, noise isolation, and good resistance to dust and water.
- Hours of battery life for earbuds
- High durability
- Unusual look, not very stylish
#8. BOSE QC35 – Best For Zero Distraction
- Dimensions: 3.2 x 6.7 x 7.1 inches
- Weight: 8.32 ounces
- Battery life: 20 hours
- Waterproof rating: IPX4
Bose has long been known as excellent headphones for cycling. However, this music device offers complete distraction prevention. If you are looking for highly concentrated cycling sessions, this one is a hard-to-pass option.
First and foremost, these headphones are equipped with three-level world-class background noise reduction. These include maximum, medium, and full transparency.
As the name suggests, maximum noise cancellation means you won’t hear anything from the outside. The product helps you focus completely on your rides and fully enjoy your favorite music.
Thanks to the high insulation the product offers, you won’t hear anything but your music when noise cancelling mode is on, even if someone’s yelling at you. Sound-sensitive users can rely on these headphones for zero distraction, too.
Meanwhile, medium lets some external sounds in, and transparency allows you to listen to everything as normal. Letting ambient sound in will help ensure safety for cycling on the street or in teams.
Back to noise cancellation, another noticeable point regarding this item is that the BOSE QC35 houses dual noise-rejecting microphones that provide clear sound and efficient voice pick-up for phone calls.
- Reliable wireless connectivity
- Good sound quality
- Case too small
- Short battery life
#9. JLab JBuds Air – Best For Wearing Helmets
- Dimensions: 5.7 x 3.8 x 2.1 inches
- Weight: 4.59 ounces
- Battery life: 6 hours
- Total battery life: 24 hours
- Waterproof rating: IP55
Helmets are always a need when you ride your bike. But when you put on a helmet, it tends to press on your headphones. As a result, either your headphones come off, or you feel discomfort throughout the ride.
This situation calls for a pair of earbuds like the JLab JBuds Air. It features humble dimensions that help the buds seal tightly and hardly stick out of your ears. Hence, you won’t have any problems wearing a helmet over these sports headphones.
Apart from the compact size, these earbuds are designed with simplicity, omitting unnecessary details to keep the device as small as possible. The result is two sleek wireless earbuds that fit perfectly within your helmet.
Also, thanks to the small size, the JLab JBuds Air is perfect for those with small ears.
These earbuds offer decent sound quality and easy volume control other than the slim build. Battery life should get you through multiple rides, maybe longer than advertised, and water protection is good against regular water jets.
- Easy setup
- Awesome and deep bass
- Water-resistance surpass advertisement
- Poor touch control
#10. EarFun Free Pro – Best For Compactness
- Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 1 inches
- Weight: 0.15 ounces
- Battery life: 7 hours
- Waterproof: IPX5
While the JLab JBuds Air offers compactness designated for wearing helmets, the EarFun Free Pro offers the ultimate compactness that you can’t find in the other names on this list.
Starting with the dimensions, at 2 x 2 x 1 inch, these earbuds are the smallest wireless headphones here. Its weight well matches its size at 0.15 ounces. If you are a fan of lightweight devices, you cannot miss out on this pair.
A compact design brings several benefits, including easy carriage and convenient storage. Wearing tiny earbuds also helps if you don’t want to draw attention to your ears.
When it comes to the audio experience, the EarFun Free Pro offers the decent sound quality, great bass, clarity, and comfort.
- Great connectivity range
- Not for bigger ears
There are many types of headphones for cycling for you to choose from. Pick the right type for your needs helps to understand each of them.
Over-ear headphones are also known as on-ear headphones. This type is signature by two large ear cups and a headband connecting them.
Headphones of this type offer unmatched noise cancellation for cyclists. They excel in blocking environmental noise, suitable for cycling in places where you can focus completely on your music without any risk of danger.
Also, their ear design makes it impossible to wear helmets. Therefore, over-ear headphones are not recommended for outdoor cycling. On the contrary, they are perfect for indoor cycling.
Bone Conducting Headphones
Bone conducting is a hearing technology that has been around for hundreds of years. Unlike over-ear headphones, bone-conducting headphones leave ear canals open.
On the bright side, you maintain awareness of the surroundings, especially if you cycle on the street. You can hear vehicles approaching to avoid them for safety.
On the downside, noise cancellation is impossible, which means you can never enjoy the sound experience as you do with over-ear headphones.
Between the bulky design of over-ear headphones and the flawed construction of bone-conducting headphones, small earphones are the best of both worlds.
This type of headphones can offer active noise canceling like what you get with over-ear headphones while maintaining a much more compact design than bone conduction headphones.
Wireless earphones are officially called wireless earbuds. These tiny devices are put in your ear canal, with a part of them sticking out depending on their dimensions.
The earbud design offers multiple levels of noise cancellation, so users can choose to block out ambient noise completely, partly, or no blocking at all. Their tiny size buds also make storing and carrying them a piece of cake.
The IP rating is an important factor to consider when shopping for the best cycling headphones 2022. It indicates how resistant a device is against water and external impacts like dust.
IP ratings range from level 1 to 6 for object protection and level 1 to 8 for water resistance. The higher the rating is, the more intact your headphones for cycling remain during bad conditions.
An IP rating often starts with IP followed by two digits, the first of which illustrates protection against foreign objects, and the other indicates protection from liquids.
For example, a device with IP68 means it’s dust-tight, dust and debris cannot get in, and it’s protected from submersion in 1 meter of water for about 30 minutes.
When considering the IP rating, think about where you cycle, how intense the rides are, and if you sweat a lot or not. If you sweat a lot or cycle a lot outdoors, go for IP56 or higher.
No matter where you cycle, knowing that you can hear your surroundings whenever you want is a relief because you may want to know what vehicles are approaching or if someone breaks into your place as you work out.
With that in mind, only choose headphones that let environmental noises in by choice. These days, almost all headphones allow for turn on or off active noise canceling by choice, but you should always pay attention.
It’s important to make sure your new headphones offer decent sound quality for your music and podcasts. To check this, you can try them on and play some sample audio pieces. If it’s not possible, you can otherwise do your research by reading reviews of other users.
High-end headphones tend to produce better sound and offer more control over how your audio comes out. You should also pay attention to the sound quality of phone calls; it should be clear and crisp, not affected by environmental noises.
The price of a pair of headphones varies vastly from as low as a few dollars to over $3,000. While the rule of thumb is higher price means higher quality, you can spot good models in all price ranges.
With that in mind, before starting browsing headphones, you should determine the budget you have. How much are you willing to pay? What’s the highest amount you can spend on cycling headphones?
Best Cycling Headphones 2022: FAQs
Do earbuds fall out while cycling?
No, they don’t. You should always go for wireless earbuds that fit perfectly in your ear canal. Fortunately, most earbuds come with multiple ear tip sizes that fit different ears. All you have to do is try them on until you find the perfect fit.
That said, earbuds don’t usually deal well with rougher terrain. If you ride your bike on rough terrain or roads with many bumps, the earbuds may fall out eventually.
How can I listen to music while cycling?
Here are some tips for listening to music when you cycle.
- Use only one headphone: There are pairs of earbuds in which the buds work independently, meaning you can leave one in the box and wear the other. Keeping an ear open will help you beware of the surroundings.
- Keep the volume low: Even when you use only one headphone, you won’t likely hear the traffic or other people around if the volume’s high. Therefore, remember to keep the volume low.
- Play the music from a device near your head: It’s all about safety. Carrying a small speaker or placing your smartphone in your jersey pocket to listen to music is a good alternative to headphones. This way, you can still enjoy music while completely aware of the surroundings.
- Mount speakers to your handlebars: Consider mounting speakers to your bike’s handlebars if you ride a lot. Portable speakers can cost a small amount but make changes to your rides. Some speakers are designed to be loud enough for outdoor use.
Which AirPods are best for cycling?
The AirPods Pro are currently Apple’s best true wireless earbuds for cycling. The biggest advantage this product offers over other AirPods lies in its ear tips.
They are made of silicone and come in three sizes, allowing them to fit users’ ear canal perfectly easily. Not just that, Apple offers an Ear Tip Fit Test aimed to help users find the most fitting pair of ear tips, ensuring sound quality and reducing risks of falling off.
Besides, cyclists choosing the AirPods Pro still benefit from its remarkable sound quality, excellent noise cancellation, and premium design.
Can cyclists wear headphones?
Yes, they can. However the ability to wear headphones while cycling depends on the region. In some US states, riding with headphones is regulated while some states ban the use of headphones completely.
What earphones are best for cycling?
The Aftershokz Aeropex is the best pair of earphones for cycling. This is a lightweight set of earphones that offers outstanding sound quality, long battery life of 8 hours, great water resistances with IP68.
Plus, it ensures safety for your rides thanks to the signature bone conduction that lets environmental noises in, which helps you stay alert of your surroundings.
That said, there are a few other top earphones you can take a look at, such as the Jaybird Vista 2 for outdoor rides, the Anker Soundcore Life P2 for affordability, and the Adidas RPT-01 for long workouts.
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Thanks to a complete package of decent design, sound quality, key features, and performance, the Aftershokz Aeropex tops our list of the best cycling headphones 2023. For an affordable price, the earbuds offer more value than their price tag suggests.
The pair is relatively lightweight, highly resistant to water, lasts long on a single charge, and is comfortable to wear on long rides.
That said, there are several other great names that you should look into. Each pair or set of headphones listed in this post has outstanding capabilities that set it apart from the others.
When shopping for cycling headphones, don’t forget to think about all the criteria you look for to meet your needs when cycling. These include the type of headphones, safety, IP rating, sound quality, and pricing.