Image source: jabra

Five often overlooked running headphone features than matter

As a runner, whether you’re an indoor runner or an outdoor runner, you need a great pair of headphones. There’s a wealth of evidence out there that shows adding music to your workout can supercharge your run. Plus if you have a smartwatch with built-in storage for music and GPS, you can go for a run totally phone-free.

And while comfort, style, and of course, budget are important, there are a few other things to keep in mind before purchasing headphones. This is our list of the top five things that, while important, are often overlooked.

Battery life

5 often overlooked running headphone features than matter
Image source: Plantronics

When you have a pair of wireless headphones, they can provide great comfort and allow you to focus on your run since you will not have to worry about the cord becoming tangled. One major issue that is important to a lot of runners is the length of the battery life. Forgetting to charge your headphones can leave you in a spot where you are ready to go for your run, but you’re left without any music because your headphones are dead – or nearly there.

Not to mention, the hassle of having to constantly worry about charging your headphones can quickly become annoying. The best pairs of wireless headphones will have a battery life of at least 8 hours and will only require a charge every few days. Pay attention to the specs as battery life is important.

Easy to clean

5 often overlooked running headphone features than matter
Image source: Gibson

Keeping your headphones spic and span is vital for any clean freaks out there. While many people opt for using an antibacterial wipe or cloth, others prefer to rinse them clean. Some waterproof headphones allow for a complete rinse for cleaning others do not. Having a waterproof set is useful whether you actively run, sweat a lot or just like things to be nice and clean.

Easily accessible buttons

5 often overlooked running headphone features than matter
Image source: Sony

When you’ve got your phone on shuffle, it never fails that a song will come on that you’re just not in the mood for and will need to skip. You don’t want to have to stop your run just to get out your phone to skip a song or make any adjustments.

The best headphones for runners will include these controls built into the headphones themselves should they be wireless, or built into the cord if they are wired. That super easy access can keep you focused on your run.

The strength of the Bluetooth connection

5 often overlooked running headphone features than matter
Image source: Plantronics

Poor Bluetooth connection from your headphones to your phone is absolutely annoying at best. Getting headphones to pair and sync quickly can be a hassle, which deters people from buying them since they are too slow to pair up or worse, they struggle maintaining the connection.

The good news is Bluetooth headphones are getting better. If wireless headphones are important to you, make sure to read some reviews on any brands you are considering to find the pair that will function properly and quickly.

Not ‘Fully’ Waterproof

5 often overlooked running headphone features than matter
Image source: Gibson

Several brands of headphones will market them as waterproof, but sometimes this is not always the case. Many times, the headphones will say they are waterproof, but they will not be fully waterproofed in the button controls and/or mic causing them to break should they be exposed to rain, water, or even sweat.

In fact, according to there are different levels of waterproofing as a totally water-resistant wearable does not exist. The break down is as follows:

  • IPX0- no protection
  • IPX1- protection from condensation
  • IPX2- protection from vertically dripping water
  • IPX3- protection from direct sprayed water
  • IPX4- protection from splashed water
  • IPX5- protection from strong stream of water
  • IPX6- protection from temporary flow of water
  • IPX7- protection from immersion in water up to 3ft (1m)
  • IPX8- protection from longer periods of immersion

If you are considering purchasing a new pair of headphones, make sure to pay attention to all the specifications and what they mean so you are not surprised or let down should a feature not provide what you were expecting.

Have you recently purchased a pair of headphones that weren’t everything you thought they were? Let us know about your experience!

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Sarah Jones

Sarah is the Editor of Headphone Selection which helps you choose the best headphones. She loves all sound technology and firmly believes in the power of positive music.

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