The best open earbuds for exercising

We’ve found some of the best options for listening to music or podcasts when exercising, while staying safe on the streets.

Being able to hear your surroundings is vital for some forms of exercising such as cycling. Open ear headphones are a great and safe options for those that want to listen to their favourite music, podcast or directions, while being able to hear passing cars, bikes, runners etc.

Top priorities for listening to audio while exercising are comfort, fit and volume. Headphones that don’t go directly in your ears won’t produce the best sound quality, but can be good if you listen to a lot of spoken word content like podcasts or audiobooks.

The style of headphones you should consider is dependant on the type of exercise as well as personal comfort of course. This will vary from user to user.

Open Earbuds
Bose Sport Open Earbuds – $199

These open earbuds hook to the top of your ear, firing music down towards your ears. While many of the options below suffer with audio quality, the Bose Sport Open Earbuds sound surprising good, however the fit may not be for everyone, the price is significant and there are some glaring missing features such as multi-device support.


Audio Sunglasses
Bose Frames Tempo – $249

Bose’s audio sunglasses range ‘Frames’ come in a variety of shapes and sizes. ‘Tempo’ are their sport version. Having audio without anything additional in or on your ears may seem like a nice ideas however there are a number of obvious flaws. As soon as you need to go indoors or you’re faced with a cloudy day and the glasses come off, there goes your audio. Not to mention the statement piece that the style gives off and hefty price tag. If you always exercise in the sun, this may be the audio solution for you.

Alternative options

Audio Bike Helmet
Sena R1 – $129

This bicycle helmet may look like regular head protection, but the speakers built-in to the bottom of the helmet aim music down towards your ears. Audio comes from either a Bluetooth connected phone or the built-in FM receiver. There’s also a mesh intercom feature that allows you to comfortably speak to fellow helmet wearers within half a mile, without needing to shout. Physical buttons on the side of the helmet let you manage functions. Unfortunately the speakers are a little too far away and quiet for loud environments.


Bone Conduction Headphones
Aftershokz Aeropex – $159.95

These bone conduction headphones wrap around the back of your head, with each speaker gripping your skull in front of your ears. Rather than firing music towards your ears, bone conduction sends the speaker vibration into your head via your bones. Bone conduction can feel a little off putting for new wearers. This particular pair suffer with poor sound quality and can hold your head a little too hard.


Transparency Mode
The true wireless earbuds you already own

If all else fails, you can always throw in a single bud of the earbuds you already own, set them to transparency mode (if available) and you can have audio playing directly into your ear. We recommend AirPods Pro, Galaxy Buds Pro or any of these other true wireless earbuds at every price point.

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