BEST HEADPHONES FOR WORKING OUT: beats vs airpods | Product Review

A good playlist can make or break your workout. Similarly, a good pair of headphones can help you stay focused or they can be a nuisance: tangled cords, headphones falling off, etc. Today, I am sharing a full product review on what I think are the BEST headphones for working out. It’s a showdown between Beats by Dre and Apple Airpods, which I would say are two of the more popular picks right now. AND, I am sharing one of my workout playlists that completely encourages a focused, feel-good workout!


To give you a brief summary of the headphones I’ve used over the past decade…
2009-2011: Apple corded headphones (the free ones you get with your iPhone)
2011-2015: Beats Solo (with a cord)
2015-2017: Beats Solo Wireless
2018: Apple airpods

Product Review: Beats by Dre

You can see that I’ve worn Beats by Dre for the vast majority of my workouts. I got my first pair as a Christmas present. One of the top things I can say about them is that I was blown away by how long that first pair lasted, especially considering I sweat in them. 

  • Sound Quality: that’s what initially attracted me to the Beats; they feel like you’re at a concert and I love that energy
  • Pairs Well: I get so irritated by bluetooth pairing issues but with my Beats the pairing process was nearly flawless every time
  • Somewhat Sweat Proof: this is probably not a claim they put out but I get moderately sweaty during a workout and that was never an issue with affecting the function of these headphones


  • Bulky: plain and simple- these headphones are large and bulky
  • Fall Off: as soon as I do movements like a bent over row where I lean over, I can feel these headphones start to wiggle off my head. If I do a burpee, forget it… they’re falling off.
  • They’re not noise cancelling (I believe the more expensive Studio version is) but this is something that bothers my husband when we are on airplanes… he wishes that for the price you pay for these that was an included feature
  • Ear pads are susceptible to tearing (and smelling lol): what actually caused me to get new headphones at the beginning of this year is that the ear pads on these headphones tore. Also, my husband started using these (he gets way sweatier than I do) and the ear pads hold the icky smell.

OVERALL REVIEW: I love these for over the ear headphones. The sound quality is amazing! Obviously, I used these for so many years and I found value in how loudly I could blast my music while working out. The wireless features is amazing… I could never go back to working out with a cord lol. However, if you do workouts that involve any jumping or quick movements, these likely aren’t for you. I used to just take these off for a set of burpees or any movement when my head wasn’t in its normal position. 

Product Review: Apple AirPods

I never even considered these as an option for workout headphones when they first came out. When my Beats ripped and started getting smelly, I was looking for something “different” and came across these… I’m so glad I did!

  • Lightweight & sleek: my second most favorite feature is how lightweight and sleek these are. You feel like you’re not wearing anything.
  • They NEVER fall out: my absolute favorite feature. In the almost 10 months I’ve been wearing these, I honestly cannot remember a single time they’ve fallen out during my workouts. I can run, bend over, squat jump, burpee, honestly probably even do a handstand and these stay put! It’s by far the best part about them!
  • Sound quality: this surprised me for such little headphones… the sound is awesome. Quality is great. They get loud! It definitely compares to the quality of Beats (I wouldn’t notice any difference)
  • Functionality: I feel like Apple almost always nails it with functionality. If you have an iPhone, these sync so easily. Also there are cool functions like when you take the headphone out of your ear, your song pauses and when you put it back in it plays again. You can double tap the headphone to get Siri. Stuff like that.
  • Battery life: it’s great… I rarely charge these. So you actually charge the “holder” which then charges the headphones each time you put them back. You holder/charger can be 40% but your headphones are fully charged, which is cool. 


  • Small: the small size is a pro and a con. It’s great while using but it kind of scares me because I feel like I could easily lose them

^that’s really the only con I can think of. I would say about 4x I’ve had problems with 1 headphone that didn’t pair and the other worked but I googled and you just put it back in the charger/holder and hit reset and then it was perfect. Normally, they pair perfectly!
OVERALL REVIEW: get them! If you’re in the market for new headphones and okay with splurging a bit… these are for you. I can’t say enough good things about them! 10/10 – I wish I would have gotten them sooner.
I wanted to share this $10 cover I found on Amazon. Like I mentioned in the “cons” – I was worried about the small size of the AirPods and losing the charging case. I bought this silicone protective cover that wraps on to make it more durable and I attach the carabiner to my keys!


Now that you have a full review on my 2 favorite headphones and the ones I absolutely love now, I guess I will share with you one of my workout playlists. You always ask for this and my reply is the same each time: “I would be too embarrassed to share my inappropriate songs with you.” I play songs with lyrics that if I said out loud at a dinner party, I would be humiliated lol. Why are songs so dirty these days?! Maybe to help us have good workouts haha. 
*listen at your own risk; I do not assume responsibility for distasteful language ;):)
best workout playlist music for exercise

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