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Best 10 Headphones for Hiking

The 10 highest rated headphones for hiking offering key features like open-ear wearing, sweatproofing and lengthy battery life to safely match songs to the miles on your next big backcountry trek!

By: Aleksey Makohon Date: 02 / 15, 2024
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Hitting the trails with a good pair of headphones can transform your hiking experience. As hiking continues to skyrocket in popularity worldwide, more people are discovering the benefits of listening to music or podcasts while getting their dose of fresh air and exercise. However, not all headphones are suited for outdoor adventures. Choosing an appropriate pair is critical to enhance your hike rather than hinder it.



Best headphones for Hiking

9h play + 4 charges
Passive noise-cancelling
IPX7 water resistant
Compatible with ALL devices

Unparalleled Sound Quality

The X3 Pro wireless earbuds provide clear sound and deep bass with its 11mm drivers so you can have fun while working out.

IPX7-Rated To Endure Any Sport or Activity

The X3 Pro most durable earbuds rest securely around your ear with no-slip ear hooks when you're in motion.

Read more about TREBLAB X3 PRO

The Rising Popularity of Hiking

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Over the past decade, hiking has rapidly transitioned from a niche activity to one of the fastest growing sports globally. In the United States alone, the number of people hiking jumped from around 42 million in 2020 to over 57 million by the end of 2023. Hiking provides the perfect outlet to destress from busy modern lifestyles and reconnect with nature. The Covid-19 pandemic further fueled interest in outdoor pastimes that allow social distancing.

More varieties of trails are also being developed, from gentle walks in parks to hardcore rock scrambling routes. Modern technology like mapping apps, gear innovations, and social media have all enabled hiking to become significantly more accessible. As the health and wellness movement expands, hiking checks the box for an activity that builds strength while reducing stress.

Why Bring Headphones?

While the sights, sounds, and smells of the great outdoors are a prime reason many venture out onto trails, headphones can greatly elevate hikes. Listening to your favorite playlists or podcasts has been scientifically shown to [link to studies showing mental benefits of music while exercising]. The right audio can provide that extra boost of motivation on tough inclines, serve as a distraction from fatigue during lengthy trails, and simply create a more enjoyable experience overall.

However, headphones for regular gym sessions may not hold up well to the rigors of trail use. Factors like sweat resistance, fit, battery life, and ambient sound awareness become critical. Before hitting the trails, hikers need to prioritize finding headphones designed specifically for active and outdoor use. The wrong choice can end up being a costly annoyance rather than the experience enhancer intended.

Over the following sections, we will explore the key factors to evaluate when selecting headphones to bring along on your next hike. Choosing the best match for your needs and hiking style can create memories accompanied by the soundtrack of your choice.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Headphones for Hiking

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 When shopping for headphones suited for hiking, the options can be overwhelming.  Everyone has unique hiking styles and preferences so it is important to be an informed consumer to find the best match for your personal needs. This section outlines the main variables to consider and how different headphone types compare when tackling trails.

Types of Headphones

Determining between the three main headphone designs below ensures balance between sound quality, comfort, awareness, and practicality over long hours in unpredictable terrain and weather.

In-Ear Headphones

While ultra light, compact, and providing decent noise isolation, in-ear headphones can also:

  • Cause discomfort over long wear from in-ear pressure
  • More easily dislodge and be lost when working hard on climbs
  • Lack surrounding sound awareness, creating safety issues

Over-Ear Headphones

Enveloping the whole ear provides comfort for lengthy trails. Wider fit bands offer bounce reduction to stay put, but large ear cups and bulkier frames may catch on gear.

  • Cushioned comfort facilitates wearing for 5+ hours
  • Adjustability features like bendable ear cups customize fit
  • Heavier and larger than other designs

Bone Conduction Headphones

By transmitting audio via cheek vibrations, these unique headphones allow ambient sound and communication yet have drawbacks:

  • Permits complete environmental awareness - safe option
  • Stays put securely when jogging over rough terrain
  • Odd pressure sensation takes acclimation
  • Compromised sound quality

Wired vs. Wireless

Bluetooth technology advancements enable wireless headphones to shine for active use, with caveats:

  • No cables to hook on branches or restrict range of motion
  • Easy pairing to phones for music and call access
  • Battery depletion halts play - carry backup charge method
  • Audio cutouts still occur if body blocks antenna signal

Noise Canceling vs. Noise Isolating

Evaluating how headphones handle ambient sound plays into both preference and safety:

Noise Canceling

  • Microphones detect then cancel sound waves via inverse frequencies
  • Requires battery power - drains quicker than passive isolation
  • Can eliminate awareness necessary to hear hazards like animals, storms, or vehicles approaching

Noise Isolating

  • No power required - isolates by tightly sealing in ear canal
  • Cheaper, no microphone/circuitry
  • Permits critical environmental sound reception

Toggling between modes or considering less aggressive isolation promotes hearing surroundings when navigating remote trails.

Waterproof and Sweatproof

Hitting formidable inclines causes sweat while weather may unleash rain, needing moisture protection:

  • IPX4 - Handles splashes and sweat sufficiently for most
  • IPX7 or IPX8 - Withstands immersion for stream crossings
  • Hydrophobic coatings on electronics prevent corrosion
  • Washable parts facilitate cleaning grime that accumulates

Testing seals before purchase verifies headphones won't short out after they get wet during adventures.

Secure, Comfortable Fit

Vigorous movement taxes headphone stability and extended miles can cause ear discomfort without an ergonomic design offering customization.

Seeking out active headphones means benefiting from:

  • Sweat-wicking, flexible yet non-slip materials
  • Interchangeable ear tip sizes for ultra-secure in-ear grip
  • Over-ear models with adjustable band tension and ear cup rotation
  • Flexible frames that won't catch on other gear

Give prospects a shakedown test run to confirm they’ll stay put and remain comfy over long miles on your favorite trails.

Top 10 Headphones for Hiking


Best 10 Headphones for Hiking - TREBLAB X3 Pro


 The TREBLAB X3 Pro true wireless earbuds are designed for active use with secure ear hooks and an IPX5 waterproof rating. Key features like the long battery life and sweat resistance make them a top contender for hiking.

+ Pros:

  • 145 hours total playtime
  • IPX5 waterproof and sweatproof
  • Ergonomic and adjustable ear hooks
  • Dynamic 14.2mm drivers for immersive sound

- Cons:

  • Bulky case
  • Touch controls can be finicky
  • Not the best noise cancellation

Ideal for Hiking Because:

The X3 Pro earbuds check off the crucial boxes for headphone use on trails. Their long endurance coupled with water and sweat resistance enables them to withstand long miles in variable weather. The over-ear fit stays put while active without discomfort over hours of wear. While the sound isolation could be better, the dynamic drivers still produce quality audio to make challenging sections of hikes more enjoyable.

Why They're the Best Overall:

With their blend of ruggedness and extended battery life, the X3 Pro earbuds edge out the competition as the premier headphones specially designed for hikers needing wireless connectivity and distraction from fatigue over lengthy distances. The adjustable ear hooks promote a customized, stable fit for each user while touch controls permit easy music and call access without removing smartphones on the go.


2. Shokz OpenRun

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  The Shokz OpenRun bone conduction headphones feature an open-ear design that allows ambient sound while transmitting audio via cheek vibrations. Their lightweight build and IP67 rating make them ideal for hiking's active demands.

+ Pros:

  • IP67 fully waterproof and sweatproof
  • Extremely lightweight and comfortable
  • Situational awareness from open-ear bud-free design
  • 8 hours battery life

- Cons:

  • Not the highest fidelity sound
  • Can pick up wind noise
  • Snug but not adjustable fit

Ideal for Hiking Because:

Allowing environmental sound in is a key benefit of the OpenRun headphones that enhances safety on trails. Runners and hikers can hear approaching wildlife or people while enjoying tunes. An IP67 rating also enables them to withstand sweat and weather during rigorous treks. Their featherlight, stabilized fit stays secure no matter the mile.

Why They're a Top Pick:

The OpenRun headphones fuse comfort, stability, awareness, and resilience into a top-notch headset perfect for hikers needing durability, safety, and distraction across long miles in unpredictable conditions. Their open design philosophy epitomizes the ideal balance for hitting trails equipped with music yet alert to surroundings.


3. Plantronics BackBeat Fit 2100

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The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 2100 in-ear headphones boast a comfortable and stable design suited for active pursuits like hiking, along with sweatproofing. Their unique eartips allow environmental sounds in for safety.

+ Pros:

  • Flexible stability and IPX5 waterproof rating
  • Permit ambient awareness while listening
  • Up to 8 hours battery
  • Sweatproof and weatherproof

- Cons:

  • Battery life issues reported
  • Mediocre noise isolation
  • Snugger fit may cause discomfort

Ideal for Hiking Because:

Letting in surrounding sounds balances safety with entertainment, critical when hiking. The flexible neckband provides a customizable fit that stays put on diverse trails without budging. Their durability also enables use in any weather conditions the path may bring.

Why They're a Good Option:

The BackBeat Fit 2100s present a rugged headphone solution for hikers needing to hear nature and fellow adventurers nearby. Allowing situational awareness while enjoying tunes makes them versatile for varied terrains. Their stability and sweatproofing also equip them for long hauls in tough environments.

4. Jabra Elite Active 45e

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The Jabra Elite Active 45e feature an around-the-neck wireless design equipped with ear hooks to lock in place while active. Allowing ambient sound and an IP67 rating provides trail readiness.

+ Pros:

  • Secure fit stays put when moving
  • Hear ambient sounds for safety
  • IP67 rated sweat and dust resistance
  • Up to 9 hours battery life

- Cons:

  • Mediocre noise isolation
  • Rigid neckband can cause discomfort
  • Touch controls would be useful

Ideal for Hiking Because:

Letting in outside sounds balances safety with personalized audio, while the over-ear fit grips securely even on uneven trails. The Elite Active 45e stands up to sweat and weather well during lengthy exercise.

Why They're a Solid Option:

Jabra's rugged wireless headset presents hikers both situational awareness for remote locations alongside clear entertainment. The around-the-neck wearing style coupled with ear hooks supplies users a stable fit customizable to their needs when covering miles of unpredictable territory.

5. Beats Powerbeats

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The Beats Powerbeats true wireless earbuds feature an athletic focus, with adjustable earhooks for security and an IPX4 sweat resistance rating. Their dynamic sound keeps the momentum going on hikes.

+ Pros:

  • Secure over-ear fit stays put when active
  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Powerful sound with emphasized bass
  • Up to 9 hours battery life

- Cons:

  • Bulky charging case
  • Pricey
  • Touch controls would be useful

Ideal for Hiking Because:

The Powerbeats supply workout-ready stability for all-day wear through unpredictable trails, without buds budging. Letting sound motivate the miles while the rugged, sweatproof design holds up to harsh hiking conditions makes them well-suited for adventure.

Why They're a Leading Option:

Delivering a blend of strong audio power, customizable security, and resilience against the elements certifies the Powerbeats as prime headphones for hikers requiring pumping sound to push through grueling routes. Their athletic-centric pedigree shines through by standing up to intimidating terrain.

6. JBL Endurance Peak II

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The JBL Endurance Peak II true wireless earbuds feature an over-ear hook design to lock into place during activities, with an IPX7 waterproof construction ready for weather. Their punchy sound keeps energy high across the miles.

+ Pros:

  • 30 hours total battery life
  • IPX7 fully waterproof rating
  • Twist and lock earhooks for adjustable fit
  • Emphasized bass-driven sound

- Cons:

  • Fit takes adjustment
  • Mediocre noise isolation
  • Case is on the larger side

Ideal for Hiking Because:

The flexible yet secure earhook concept allows the Peak II earbuds to conform to each user's ears for personalized all-day comfort. Their rugged, sweatproof build holds up over long distances of variable trail conditions. Letting audio fuel motivation to push farther makes them well-suited for hikers.

Why They're a Rugged Pick:

Blending resilience, stability, audio power, and extended runtime certifies the Endurance Peak II as prime headphones for adventure seekers needing water protection across demanding miles. Letting sound inspire the journey can make hard routes feel more conquerable.

7. Sennheiser CX Sport

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The Sennheiser CX Sport feature an around-the-neck wireless design with ear fins to lock in place during activities. Their durable, sweat resistant build coupled with Sennheiser's audio pedigree makes them suitable for active hikers.

+ Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable fit
  • Customizable ear fins for security
  • Sweat and splash resistant
  • Crisp, balanced sound

- Cons:

  • Battery life could be better
  • Mediocre noise isolation
  • Not the most stable over long periods

Ideal for Hiking Because:

Letting ambient sound in provides safety awareness on remote trails. The flexible neckband conforms comfortably for hours while the fins ensure buds stay put when tackling uneven terrain. The CX Sport can withstand sweat and splashes to battle the elements.

Why They're a Solid Option:

Blending resilience, stability, renowned audio quality, and a sweatproof build makes the CX Sport a very capable headphone solution for hikers needing their tunes to help log long miles. Letting sound elevate the journey can make challenging routes feel more conquerable.

8. Sony WF-SP800N

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The Sony WF-SP800N true wireless earbuds feature secure earhooks and an IP55 sweatproof rating ready for outdoor activity. Their signature Extra Bass sound aims to energize the miles while noise canceling blocks distractions.

+ Pros:

  • 13 hours battery life
  • Crisp sound with punchy bass
  • Alexa voice control integration
  • IP55 sweat and splash proof

- Cons:

  • Bulky charging case
  • Touch controls can be finicky
  • Noise isolation could be better

Ideal for Hiking Because:

The flexible earhook design ensures the buds lock in place for active movement on diverse trails. Letting audio drive momentum with enhanced bass couples with noise canceling to stay focused over long distances in harsh conditions.

Why They're a Strong Contender:

Bridging resilience, stability, audio power and smart features makes the WF-SP800N capable headphones so hikers can safely enjoy playlists across demanding miles. Their rugged build stands up to weather while sound aims to push harder.

9. Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2

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The Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2 true wireless earbuds boast an IPX7 waterproof rating and BassUp technology for audio punch on the trails. Their wingtip design ensures a secure yet comfortable fit.

+ Pros:

  • IPX7 waterproof protection
  • Customizable fit with different sized wings
  • Punchy bass-driven sound
  • 16 hours total battery life

- Cons:

  • Touch controls can be finicky
  • Not the best noise isolation
  • Some connectivity issues reported

Ideal for Hiking Because:

The wingtip design couples with IPX7 protection to yield earbuds that can withstand outdoor activity in any weather. Letting audio fuel the journey makes tackling mileage more enjoyable, while awareness of surroundings remains.

Why They're a Capable Option:

Delivering a rugged build, customizable fit, and boosted bass certifies the Spirit Dot 2 as quality headphones for hikers needing water protection across long distances. Allowing sound to elevate the experience can make difficult routes feel more conquerable.

10. JLab JBuds Air

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The JLab JBuds Air true wireless earbuds boast customizable sound, IP55 sweat resistance, and 24 hours total battery life. Their secure in-ear fit ensures comfort for active lifestyles.

+ Pros:

  • 24 hours total battery life
  • Balanced sound with bass boost option
  • IP55 sweat and moisture protection
  • Secure fit for activity

- Cons:

  • Bulky charging case
  • Touch controls would be nice
  • Noise isolation could be better

Ideal for Hiking Because:

The snug yet comfortable fit sealed out sound fairly well while the IP55 rating tackles sweat and splashes on the trails. Allowing audio to elevate long distances makes challenging terrain more enjoyable.

Why They're a Great Value:

Fusing resilience, stability, custom audio and extended runtime certifies the JBuds Air as quality headphones so hikers can safely enjoy their playlists across tough miles without breaking the bank.

Additional Key Buying Considerations

Making well-informed headphone purchasing decisions facilitates maximizing both safety and enjoyment on the trails.

Comfort and Adjustable Fit

Since hikes may last hours over many miles, poorly fitted headphones causing ear discomfort can severely diminish the experience. Seek out:


  • Padding - synthetic protein leather or woven fabric earpads that won't absorb sweat like velour
  • Adjustability - vertically sliding ear cups, flexible headbands, and swivel points customizing angle in ears
  • Lightweight - reduces neck strain from excess weight


  • Eartips - silicon, foam, or rubber tips in assorted sizes sealing sound in ear canal
  • Earhooks/fins - bendable memory wire or silicone wings stabilizing fit
  • Compact profile - avoids fatigue and hotspots over time

Additionally, try out any prospective headphone's fit on short walks first before investing to confirm suitable comfort over longer distances.

Battery & Charging Considerations

Lengthier hikes need extended runtimes, while convenience factors prevent disruption:

  • Runtime - Plan for your hike's duration plus buffer. Streaming, gaming, or navigation eats battery faster.
  • Case charging - Protective cases double as portable banks to recharge depleted headphones.
  • Quick charge - 10 minutes can yield 1-2 more hours of play for models with fast charging.
  • Backup wired mode - If battery dies, some headphones alternatively function plugged in.

Evaluate the above factors to minimize disruption from power loss in remote locales.

Preserving Safety Awareness

When adventuring solo especially, maintaining environmental awareness is critical. Seek headphones enabling that through:

Open/Transparent Listening

  • Uncovered ear canal design allowing in ambient sounds
  • Toggle transparency mode mixing in outside noises

Volume Considerations

  • Keep levels moderate (~60%) to remain alert to activity nearby
  • Quickly reduce louder audio to focus hearing when needed

Making informed choices allows hikers to safely enjoy entertainment, never fully compromising critical sound perception.

Essential Tips for Safe Headphone Use While Hiking

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Bringing your favorite audio companions along on outdoor adventures need not mean compromising critical environmental awareness if certain best practices are followed.

Test New Gear First

Before attempting lengthy hikes, take fresh headphones on short test walks around your neighborhood first to break them in, confirming:

  • Comfort over 30-60 minutes ensures no hotspots or pain develop from fit/weight
  • Pairing reliability by briefly walking out of direct device line-of-sight tests transmission range
  • Sound quality meets needs across music genres you love
  • Any active features like noise cancellation or ambient sound toggle work as expected

Additionally, cache a backup charging source like a portable battery in your pack in case wireless batteries unexpectedly deplete at an inopportune time.

Maintain Alertness to Hazards

Situational vigilance ensures reacting promptly whether on well-marked paths or unmapped terrain.

  • Moderate headphone volume around 60% to remain able to hear alert shouts from fellow hikers or noises from approaching wildlife
  • If hiking solo, use a single earbud to keep one ear fully open for wind shifts or distant crashing indicating river level rise

Closely Monitor Weather Changes

Keeping attuned to the soundscape around you provides early warning signs of conditions warranting quick protective action.

  • Rapid wind increases or thunder echoing in the distance are clues to take storm precautions
  • Listen for rising creeks or landslide noise by routinely turning headphone volume down significantly

Avoid Losing Environmental Perspective

While music can motivate mileage, periodically removing headphones for several minutes prevents sensory deprivation where hikers lose touch with the non-auditory stimulation of the hike itself.

  • Stow headphones for ascending overlooks to fully engage the vista before you through all senses before bringing entertainment back for the next segment
  • Prevent a warped sense of timing or distance by checking clocks/maps sans audio regularly

Protect Delicate Gear

Tucking headphones inside included cases or bags safeguards against cord snags on branches when stowed yet permits quick availability when desired.

Following such tips allows for safely interspersing melodies amongst the sounds of the outdoors rather than attempting to overwhelm them outright!


What headphones are best for hiking under $100?

Great options under $100 include the Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2 for their wingtip fit and IPX7 rating or the JLab Go Air Pop for their 20 hours battery and balanced sound.

How do I choose hiking headphones for small ears?

Look for in-ear styles with silicone ear tip sizing sets covering extra small through large options to achieve a tight seal for both sound isolation and secure fit.

Is it safe to wear noise cancelling headphones while hiking?

For safety, it's best to use open-ear designs permitting ambient sound in or noise isolating as opposed to cancelling so you remain alert to environmental noises.

How do I prevent headphones from falling out while hiking?

Choose earhook or neckband styles that stabilize standard buds or equip in-ear versions with aftermarket foam tips like Comply which expand safely in the ear canal preventing dislodgement.

Can headphones withstand sweat/rain during a hike?

Yes, look for at least IPX4 water resistance rating to withstand both liquid splashes and sweat. Higher ratings like IPX7 add immersion protection for rainstorms.

How long will wireless headphones last on a full day hike?

Plan on getting wireless headphones boasting at least 10 hour battery life per charge to sufficiently last a full day's hike, with quick charge support providing backup power in a pinch from the backup case.

Final Takeaways on the Best Headphones for Hiking

When selecting the perfect audio companion for your next outdoor adventure, there are a few critical factors to evaluate. First and foremost is finding headphones with maximum situational awareness to enhance your hike safely. Comfort is equally paramount for lengthy days on trails. Resilience is also vital given the demanding conditions and finally, sufficient battery life prevents unwanted silent segments.

Models balancing these elements will transform your hikes from plodding mileage to epic, cinematic journeys regardless of how daunting the terrain. Each of the above top recommendations excels across at least some of these considerations while working within attainable budgets. Conduct your own informed trials to determine which pair is the optimal match between performance, price and hiking style. Wherever your boots take you, enjoy the journey matched with a motivating, performance-ready soundtrack!

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