The best AirPods and Beats for Exercise

AirPods and Beats are great for many things, but not all of them are great for exercise. Here are our picks.

Staff Writer
Staff Writer
 min read
December 28, 2022

If you’ve got an iPhone, it’d be fair to say you’ve probably considered buying some AirPods or Beats at some point. Apple’s purchase of Dr Dre’s headphone brand formed the basis for Apple Music, but also meant that the tech giant’s innovations, like its power-efficient chips, capable of instantly pairing to your chosen device, can now be found in Beats, too.

The benefit for anyone exercising regularly is that Beats are arguably more suited to working out or running than their pristine white counterparts. We’ve checked out the entire range, and put together this list of the best AirPods and Beats for working out, as well as added a suggestion for how you can make them fit easier.

Beats Fit Pro 

The Beats Fit Pro are, for all intents and purposes, just like the AirPods Pro. They offer a small charging case (much smaller than the Powerbeats Pro that they succeeded), but it has a USB-C connector and comes in a variety of colors.

The best part, though, is that its series of inner ear-tips pairs nicely with a small “fin” that makes it hard to dislodge them. We’ve tested them while running, cycling, lifting weights, and more, and they stay in the ears for ages, and the noise cancellation is an amazing way to block out gym noise.

Powerbeats Pro 

It’s worth noting that as good as the Beats Fit Pro are, they can be a little uncomfortable after a couple of hours thanks to that “fin”. That may make you look to the alternatives, and the Powerbeats Pro are certainly up there.

They offer a variety of ear tip sizes and the instant pairing of AirPods, but the key addition here is a pair of built-in ear hooks that are much more comfortable to wear for long periods. They don’t offer noise cancellation, though, and the case is pretty bulky.

AirPods Pro (Second Generation) 

Apple’s entry on what is arguably its own list is certainly a blockbuster option. The second generation of AirPods Pro offers better sound, more consistent noise cancelling, and improved battery life. So, why are they third on the list?

That’s because as great as the fit is for some, even with four tips in the box there’s just no guarantee that they’ll sit right for you. They can also get a little slippery after a tough workout, too, and while they’re sweat resistant, they’re not sweatproof (we’ll explain why at the end of this page).

Beats Studio Buds 

The Beats Studio Buds are great, but fall into a similar conundrum to Apple’s AirPods Pro – there’s just no knowing whether they’ll sit nicely in your ears or not, regardless of which of the three tips you use. 

They support Apple’s excellent Spatial Audio tech, too, but we’d still opt for the Beats Fit Pro if we had to choose.

Are AirPods and Beats waterproof?

AirPods and Beats are durable if you look after them, but are they waterproof or sweatproof? Sadly, no, they aren’t.

While AirPods and Beats are what Apple calls “sweat resistant,” the effects of sweat, water, and other liquid damage can increase with prolonged usage.

For more, we’d recommend checking out Apple’s support page, but if your earbuds do get wet ensure you don’t try to charge them until they’re dry.

How to keep AirPods and Beats in your ear while running 

While some may suggest clipping a “cable” to keep your AirPods attached to each other, and then put it over the back of your neck, it doesn’t quite keep them in your ears – it instead just prevents them from falling and hitting the floor.

Thankfully there are a variety of third-party hooks for AirPods and Beats that can attach to your earbuds to stop them taking a tumble mid-workout. These AirPods Ear Hooks are great for AirPods, and these silicone ear hooks pair well with the Beats Studio Buds. They’re reasonably priced, and work great if you struggle to keep your earbuds in your ears during workouts. 

The only downside is the hooks don’t fit in the charging case, so you’ll need to remove them each time you charge your earbuds, which can become a little annoying. 

Overall, these AirPods and Beats options all have their pros and cons, but we’d recommend holding onto your receipt just in case.

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