Science has proven that music and exercise make a great pair. A decade of research has demonstrated that we tend to run further, swim faster and lift heavier when we are accompanied by our favourite tunes.
Listening to that music, on the other hand, can be an exercise in itself. Wired earphones can get tangled in our tees or interfere with our workouts. The best option is usually a pair of wireless headphones. Not all are made equal though. We lifted, ran and climbed with a few options and arrived at three that you can consider.
Plantronics BackBeat Go 3
While not exactly designed for workouts, the Plantronics BackBeat Go 3 is a great headphone for when you’re running or lifting, due to its light weight and slim form factor. The P2i protective coating also means that your sweat won’t mess with the circuits.
Sound is excellent and balanced, with the mid, treble and bass notes projecting clearly into your ears. You will forget that you’re wearing one in the heat of your run.
From $169, plantronics.com/asia
Sony MDR-XB80BS Extra Bass Sports Wireless In-Ear Headphones
The name might be quite a mouthful but this pair from the Japanese tech company is simple to operate and quite the audio stunner. If you like your music loud and bassy, this in-ear headphones are for you. The MDR-XB80BS is also water-resistant and washable – I brought it with me to the showers after a game to clean the gunk and it operated fine after that.
The only downside is that it is a tad bulky and can weigh down your ears, so if you are looking to clock your fastest 10-kilometre run, you might prefer something lighter. For everyone else though, this is a great workout companion.
Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition (Editor’s Choice)
If you’ve always needed a bit of encouragement (or the electronic equivalent of a drill sergeant shouting in your ear) then you should get the Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition.
Thanks to the motion sensor, the earphones come with automatic repetition counting, especially useful when you are doing repetitive static exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups or sit-ups. You will need to install the Jabra Sport Life app companion for the sensor to come into play. But there’s no reason for you not to. The sensors are fairly accurate at counting the amount of reps we did and only missed a couple when we tried to, well, trick it.
For any sports headphones worth their salt, it is de rigueur for them to be sweat-resistant. This pair is no different. As for the most important bit – sound – the Special Edition earphones are reliable and solid, and punches out crisp notes without any muddiness. Unfortunately battery life is a bit on the short side, lasting only about five hours or two workouts for us. Other than that, we highly recommend this pair.