Best Headphones For Cycling 2023: Let The Adventure Begin!

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The best cycling headphones can help you get the most out of your bike ride by providing everything from exercise beats to race instructions. And this is why you need to overview these best headphones for cycling 2023 guide. 

In addition to the obvious audio clarity needs, the best cycling headphones must be sweat-resistant (if you are looking specifically for sweat-proof headphones you can read our article on Best Sweat-Resistant Over Ear Headphones 2023) and stay put when you’re not wearing them. Selecting a pair of ideal headsets for your riding is a complicated business, with options ranging from cable to wireless, in-ear to bone-conducting technology. 

Each of the various styles has advantages and disadvantages. However, there are some essential characteristics that they must possess to be an ideal partner for life on two wheels.

Top 10 Best Headphones For Cycling 2023: Pick The Best One For Yourself

In light of extensive testing by our tech and review team, I believe the following headphones are the best for cycling. These options are based on a careful balance of functionalities, sound quality, durability, and price.

Adidas Z.N.E 01 anc

If you look at the specs for the Adidas Z.N.E. 01 ANC, it may not look so good. There are obvious missing features, such as wireless charging or support for more advanced codecs, and the battery life is shorter when compared to other options. 

On top of that, the phone app isn’t very good. But I keep coming back to these Adidas earphones since they are so comfortable in the ear. Many of the options on this list feel great at first but eventually, leave your ears sore. 

Adidas avoids this fate, and if you’re sweaty and need to reposition the earbuds, the wing design makes it simple. It’s also convenient that these headphones are frequently on sale.

Specifications

  • Battery life: 4.5 hours in earbuds/extra 15.5 hours in case (with ANC active Earbuds) 
  • IPX5/Case IPX4 water resistance rating
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • USB-C charging port 
  • The version of Bluetooth: 5.2 AAC/SBC is supported by codecs. 
  • Bluetooth Multipoint is not supported.

PROS:

  • Comfortable in-ear
  • Touch controls can be turned off
  • Either earbud work alone

CONS:

  • Short battery life
  • Bugs in the companion app

Jabra Elite 7 Active

The Jabra Elite 7 Active headsets are a prime example of how competitive the Bluetooth headphone market is. They are amazingly close to being the finest all-around option, missing out by the tiniest of margins. 

When both are covered in sweat, the Jabra option is slightly less secure than the Adidas option. If you prefer to ride outside rather than inside, these are a better option because there is less sweating and the remaining features are advantageous. 

The battery life, in particular, is sufficient for all but the most epic rides, and if you do need to charge them, you can switch between one-in and one-out charging for quick top-ups. There are also excellent indoor features such as Bluetooth multi-point, an excellent companion app, and a hear-through mode that is so loud it is comparable to a hearing aid. If you want a great all-around option, these are a must-consider, and there’s no contest if you like a fantastic hear-through mode. Your search for the Best Headphones For Cycling 2023 can come to an end with this! 

Specifications

  • Battery life: 8 hours in earbuds/22 hours in case 
  • these have an IP57 water resistance rating.
  • Active Noise Cancellation 
  • USB-C and wireless charging
  • The version of Bluetooth: 5.2 AAC/SBC is supported by codecs. 
  • Yes, Bluetooth Multipoint is supported.

PROS:

  • Long battery
  • Great companion app
  • Bluetooth multipoint

CONS:

  • Less secure when sweaty

Google Pixels Bud Pro

I didn’t include anything that isn’t compatible with Android phones, but the Google Pixel Buds Pro takes compatibility to the next level. The typical method for connecting wireless headphones is to use your phone’s Bluetooth menu and a companion app. To say the least, companion apps are a mixed bag. 

Sometimes they work perfectly, but other times they are completely infuriating. Because Google creates both Android and Pixel Buds Pro, all functionality is built directly into the operating system. Enter the Bluetooth menu to change things like how the touch controls work; no additional app is required. 

The Pixel Buds Pro will also read your notifications as they arrive, eliminating the need to wonder whether it’s worth checking what it is. The noise cancellation on these is very noteworthy but not necessarily better, which is more of a coincidence than a positive or negative. 

The ANC is so strong in a fairly quiet area that it’s almost disconcerting, but it’s not a significant improvement on a plane. In the negative column, the Pixel Buds Pro is expensive, and they don’t often receive the same discounts as some of the other options. Overall, for so many reasons, this is one of  the best contender for the Best Headphones For Cycling 2023 list. 

Specifications

  • Battery life: 7 hours in earbuds/13 hours in case (all with ANC active)
  • Earbuds IPX4/Case IPX2 water resistance rating
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • USB-C and wireless charging 
  • The version of Bluetooth: 5.0 AAC/SBC is supported by codecs. 
  • Yes, Bluetooth Multipoint is supported.

PROS:

  • Strong ANC
  • No companion app needed
  • Reads incoming notifications

CONS:

  • Expensive

Beats Powerbeat Pro

The Powerbeats Pro are exercise-specific and so good on the bike that they may be worth considering not only for IOS but for Android users also. Regardless of phone OS, everyone benefits from long battery life and a physical layout that will not come lose no matter how sweaty you get. 

All of the headphones that rely on friction with the ear to stay secure, such as the AirPods Pro, work well both outside and indoors. However, if you have a truly epic indoor ride, you run the risk of sweating and pressing capacitive buttons when repositioning. 

Even for Android users, the Powerbeats Pro is more comfortable in these situations. However, if you thought the Pixel Buds Pro were pricey, these are even more so, and they lack noise cancellation and hear-through modes.

Specifications

  • Battery life: 9 hours in earbuds/extra 15 hours in case 
  • Earbuds IPX4 water resistance rating
  • There is no noise cancellation. 
  • Lightning cable for charging 
  • The version of Bluetooth: 5.0 AAC/SBC is supported by codecs. 
  • Bluetooth Multipoint is not supported.

PROS:

  • Long battery life
  • Compatible with IOS
  • No slippage because of over-ear design

CONS:

  • Expensive 
  • Lightning instead of USB-C charging

JayBird Vista 2

One of the issues with many true wireless earbuds is that sweat can compromise the friction retention design. The Jaybird Vista 2 has no friction design. Rather, there’s a winged ‘ear gel’ that pushes into the outer ear ridges. It may cause ear pain after a while, but it will not come out. 

It’s a good fit no matter how sweaty your Zwift session is. There’s also a long battery life and a framework that alarms the headphones to help you find them. It may not help you find them in a noisy room, but it may be just what you need to know they are on your couch. 

You can find it in the app, and while you’re there, the rest of the experience is quite enjoyable. The active noise cancellation isn’t going to put up a fight with market leaders, but you do get passive isolation that’s good enough to double as earplugs. A must-thought inclusion for our Best Headphones For Cycling 2023 list! 

Specifications

  • Battery life: 8 hours in earbuds/extra 16 hours in case
  • IP68 Water Resistance Rating 
  • Noise Cancellation: Active Wireless 
  • USB-C charging 
  • Bluetooth version: 5.2 
  • Codecs supported: SBC/AAC 
  • Bluetooth Multipoint: No

PROS:

  • Long battery life
  • Amazingly secure
  • Alarm to prevent loss

CONS:

  • Ear gels can leave the ear sore

Shokz OpenRun Pro

The Shokz OpenRun Pro is my recommendation for the best headphones for riding a bike outside, though they’re also great for riding inside. Inside, you never have to worry about them becoming insecure due to sweat, and the microphone can handle fan and drivetrain noise for those who want to talk to friends while riding indoors. Outside, you can hear both the music and your surroundings. 

If you spend some of your time chatting with someone, pausing your music gives the impression that you are not wearing headphones. When it’s time to listen to music, the control scheme is simple enough that you won’t need to pull out your phone. The only reason you should consider another alternative on this list is that Shokz bone conduction headsets are not the best headphones for non-sports situations. The audio quality isn’t as good, and they’re difficult to slip into a pocket. 

There’s also the proprietary charging cable to contend with, and while 10 hours of battery life is impressive, most headphones allow you to swap back and forth to quickly add hours from the case. The Shokz OpenRun Pro headphones are the best if you want a specialized tool for riding your bike.

Specifications

  • Water Resistance Rating: IP55
  • Noise Canceling: None
  • Charging: specialized magnetic cable
  • Bluetooth version: 5.1
  • Supported Codecs: SBC
  • Bluetooth Multipoint: Yes

PROS:

  • Preserve spatial awareness
  • Amazingly secure on your head
  • Simple controls to operate

CONS:

  • Specialized charging cable

Adidas RPT-01

True wireless headphones are extremely convenient, especially when riding a bike. You can use them even with a helmet and sunglasses, and because they are small, they are easy to transport. 

One disadvantage of using them is that people may not realize you have them. If you’re working out at the gym, you might want to make it clear that you’re wearing headphones, in which case over-the-head is best. Discovering sports-specific over-the-head options is more difficult, but Adidas has the RPT-01 as the ideal solution for indoor riding. The outside of the earcups has a fabric cover that is removable for washing. 

The only drawback is that the ear cups sit on top of the ears rather than around them, which can get tiring after a while. Even though the RPT-01 has an incredible 40+ hours of battery life, a new model with even more has been added. The RPT-02 has the same layout as the 01, but the headband now has solar charging.

Specifications

  • Battery life: 40 hours or more 
  • IPX4 water resistance rating 
  • Noise Cancellation: None 
  • USB-C charging port 
  • The version of Bluetooth: 5.0 
  • SBC is a supported codec. 
  • Bluetooth Multipoint is not supported.

PROS:

  • Washable fabric cover
  • Long battery
  • Simple controls to operate

CONS:

  • Uncomfortable for some due to over-ear design

Skull Candy Dime 2

There are an infinite number of low-cost true Bluetooth earbuds available. The names are constantly changing, and you have no idea whether they are good or not. I wanted to include a low-cost option, but I also wanted to find one from a reputable brand with excellent customer service. 

The Skullcandy Dime 2 are true wireless earbuds that will provide music while you ride and do so at an affordable price. Furthermore arrive from a company whose name you can trust. I have used Skullcandy headphones for years, and any time they’ve had a problem, the brand was only an email or phone call away, and it was never a hassle. Their products are not cheap, but they are also not expensive. 

It’s perfectly adequate, and the Tile support is a great feature if you happen to lose one of the earbuds. Without that feature, the original Dime is even cheaper. There is no ANC or hear-through, but that is to be expected at this price point. I just wish it supported USB-C charging instead of micro-USB.

Specifications

  • Battery life: 3.5 hours in earbuds/extra 8.5 hours in case 
  • IPX4 water resistance rating 
  • Noise Cancellation: None 
  • Micro-USB charging 
  • The version of Bluetooth: 5.2 
  • SBC/AAC supported codecs. 
  • Bluetooth Multipoint is not supported.

PROS:

  • Multiple fun colors
  • Tile finding technology
  • Inexpensive 

CONS:

  • Micro USB charging

Senhheiser Momentum 3

I don’t discuss sound quality in these brief descriptions because it’s very similar between the choices. When it comes time to do a full review, I spend much time switching between different types of music and listening back-to-back with different headphones, but even then, it can be difficult to tell the difference. 

Nonetheless, if you’re looking for the best headphones for audio quality, Sennheiser is pushing the limits of what’s possible in a truly wireless form factor. The brand has made use of a significantly larger driver for the form factor. An over-the-head style headphone may have a 40mm driver, but when it comes to true wireless design, that can be reduced to 6mm. Sennheiser fits a 7mm driver into the Momentum 3 true wireless

The other factor that improves sound quality is not available to everyone. When music is transmitted between a device and headphones, the codec used to make that possible can compress or not compress the sound. AptX Adaptive is a Qualcomm codec that claims to deliver higher-quality audio transmission. Just keep in mind that if you want to reap the benefits, you will need a gadget with support as well as a source that provides it. Bluetooth multipoint is something I’d like to see the brand include. Not everyone requires it, but at this price point, it should be available.

Specifications

  • Battery life: 7 hours in earbuds/extra 21 hours in case 
  • IPX4 water resistance rating 
  • Noise Cancellation: None 
  • USB-C and wireless charging 
  • The version of Bluetooth: 5.2 
  • SBC/AAC/aptX/aptX adaptive are supported codecs. 
  • Yes, Bluetooth Multipoint is supported.

PROS:

  • High-quality ANC
  • Wide range of supported codecs
  • Proportionally large driver 

CONS:

  • No multipoint

Sony LinkBuds

There’s nothing like keeping your ear open if you want to hear what’s going on around you. You can try hear-through modes or remove one earbud, but having your ear open is the best option, which is why Shokz headphones are so good on the bike. If you like the concept but want something more practical for everyday use, the Sony Linkbuds fill the gap. 

The design incorporates a small circular opening directly into the earbud piece, which normally seals the ear canal. It works well, and when combined with a variety of various-sized wings, it stays put even when sweaty. The potential to have a virtual button on the side of your upper cheek makes music control easier to manage while riding. 

The downsides are that the battery life could be better, coming in a little lower than even the Adidas option, and the ability to use one earbud is dependent on how the buttons are configured. Overall, you don’t get every feature of some earbuds, but you get more than the Shokz and nearly as much spatial awareness. 

Specifications

  • Battery life: 5.5 hours in earbuds/extra 12 hours in case 
  • Earbuds IPx4 water resistance rating 
  • Noise Cancellation: None 
  • USB-C charging port 
  • A version of Bluetooth: 5.2 
  • SBC/AAC has supported codecs. 
  • Bluetooth Multipoint is not supported.

PROS:

  • Unique design
  • Sweat-proof
  • Lots of sizing options

CONS:

  • Quirkiness around buttons
  • Single earbud use

How Do I Test Headphones For Cycling?

If you ride a bike, you probably listen to music. I, like you, listen to music while I ride. I tested each option inside on long rides, as well as inside during high-intensity workouts and Zwift races. I called people and asked how easy it was to hear me while cruising hard with the fan on high. 

Then I went outside and spent hours riding and listening to music to pass the time. After assembling a high-quality set of options, I spent time with each product while working, preparing meals, watching YouTube, and generally going about my daily business. After much testing and research, I’ve put together a variety of options for people with varying needs.

How To Select The Best Headphones For Cycling

Music listening while biking has been shown to improve performance by increasing endurance and decreasing perceived effort. While being on long solo rides, music can also help keep the mind active. For those who enjoy podcasts, a set of cycling headsets may be all you need to make your cycling experience more fruitful. 

To choose the best cycling headphones, you must first understand what functionalities to look for. For example, you don’t want to buy a pair of heavily wired headphones that will slow you down and constantly get in your way. Instead, take your time and consider which features will profit your lifestyle choice.

Conclusion

For the answer to conclude ‘Best Headphones For Cycling 2023,’ I can say these are those that provide high-quality sound, comfort, and safety. The above-mentioned headphones are some of the best options available on the market, with a range of features suitable for cycling.

The Pixel Buds Pro headphones are a great option for cyclists who want excellent sound quality and comfort. The earbuds are designed to stay in place during intense physical activity, and they are sweat and water-resistant. The Jaybird Vista 2 headphones are another great option, with a compact and lightweight design that is perfect for cycling. They are also sweat and waterproof, making them a durable choice for outdoor activities.

For cyclists who prioritize safety, the Momentum 3 true wireless headphones are a great choice. Their design allows you to hear your surroundings while still enjoying your music, making them an ideal choice for cycling on busy roads. They are also lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Finally, the Sony Linkbuds are a unique and innovative option for cyclists who want an all-in-one solution. Ultimately, the best headphones for cycling will depend on your personal preferences and needs. However, these options provide a great starting point for anyone looking for headphones that are suitable for cycling.

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