It is well-known that music has the capacity to provide athletes with the additional drive needed to surpass their own limitations. New heights of physical achievement are often reached with the aid of song. Whether for transportation, leisure, exercise or competition, cycling is an activity that requires sustained focus. Athletic science has demonstrated the efficacy of music as a tool in accomplishing such focus.
To access this tool, headphones are an essential component of the cyclist’s travel kit. To help you choose the best headphone for cycling, we decided to write this article on best cycling headphones for 2018.
#1. Aftershokz AS600SG Trekz – Our Pick
The Aftershokz AS600SG Trekz uses an innovative way to send sound vibrations through your cheek bones rather than through your ear canals. This uses bone conduction technology to deliver the sound.
This technology is most loved my cycling and sports enthusiasts!
The headphones like this are very helpful while traveling, riding, and in some of the scenarios where you want to listen to the music and as well be aware of the things that are going outside.
These headphones enable you to listen to music clearly as well as be aware of the fast car overtaking your Cycle from behind.
See user reviews on Amazon
Due to the technology used, the headphones are very tough and durability is great. The Aftershokz Trekz have 3 buttons – the volume buttons and the multifunction button.
These buttons let you control the playback without having to pull up your smartphone while riding.
The headphones are also wireless, so you need not mess up with wires tangling while riding. You just need to connect these headphones to your smartphone with Bluetooth, wear it, and forget it.
The Bluetooth range is about 30 ft so that you can have your smartphone in the backpack and wear these on without any loss in quality.
As you’ll not be putting these headphones in your ear canal, they are indeed very comfortable for a longer time.
These headphones also feature a behind-the-neck fit so that it won’t cause you any discomfort due to your Cycling helmet. For some people with extra large heads, these headphones seem a little tight.
The PremiumPitch+ feature of these headphones deliver great sound quality and good bass, that too being a bone conduction headphone.
These headphones also come with a mic, the sound quality of the mic is ok while riding, nothing exceptional.
These are bone conduction headphones. The sound quality will be decent but nothing audiophiliac. This is our top-pick as the bone conduction headphones do not completely isolate noise and are safe for cycling outdoors.
They are also water and sweat proof. These are also Bluetooth headphones, BTW.
#2. Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless Headphones
These Plantronics BackBeat Fit headphones are most loved by fitness and cycling enthusiasts for a reason. Because they are the best wireless headphones for your active lifestyle.
The design of the headphone is rugged and waterproof. Similar to the previous BackBeat Go 2, the BackBeat Fit comes with P2i coating that offers good resistance against the moisture to the headphones.
See user reviews on Amazon
They let you hear the things that are going on the road to ensure safety. They won’t cause any discomfort as they just sit over your ear canal and won’t dig deeper.
The bike helmet strap won’t interfere with the headphones behind the neck.
As like that of AS600SG I’ve reviewed above, these headphones also come with three buttons for volume up, down, and a multifunctional button. These are also wireless headphones and desired by most of the cyclists for comfort.
The headphones also come with a mic, but the quality is not up to the mark. The quality is quite great in silent environments but not during cycling.
The sound quality is great without any noticeable downsides. It’s great for casual listening.
These are also Bluetooth headphones, that come with rugged moisture resistant design. If you won’t prefer Bone Conduction headphones for any reason, this headphone might be your bet.
#3. TaoTronics Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones – Value for money
TaoTronics is one of the most overlooked unhyped brands for headphones. It is the best-selling earbuds on Amazon for a reason.
It offers great value for the money you’ve spent.
These earbuds boast IPX5 splash proof resistance. You need not worry about the sweat and rain to decrease the longevity of these earbuds.
These are Bluetooth wireless headphones, that come with AptX support. That means the sound quality is comparable to that of wired earbuds although these are wireless.
The sound is encoded and transmitted via wireless medium losslessly due to the AptX technology used.
See user reviews on Amazon
When it comes to sound quality, these earbuds are tuned to perform great in bass and mids frequency range.
The earbuds struggle a bit to perform to its fullest in the treble range and has some muddiness in the higher end.
These won’t block out much noise. Although they do isolate some sounds, the isolation is not complete even at high volumes. This is good for safety purposes while cycling.
The comfort is good and won’t cause soreness like the previous version of TaoTronics earbuds. You can wear these on without any discomfort.
The battery life in these earbuds is quite low, the battery runs out every 3-4 hours of good playback.
The mic is also not that great. You need to hold the mic closer to get a good sound quality.
#4. SENSO Bluetooth Headphones
These SENSO headphones are IPX7 rated waterproof headphones designed especially for an active lifestyle like working out, running, and cycling.
These are wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
The headphones do a great job of keeping out low-frequency wind noise while cycling. The sounds like vehicle horns can be easily heard at low volumes.
These are not the safest headphones for cycling, as you cannot hear the ambient noise while playing loud music.
See user reviews on Amazon
The ActivBuds offer good comfort for you to wear these on while riding. They are ergonomically designed to stay in place no matter what shape your ears are. The ear tips come with three sizes S, M, and L. So secure fit won’t be a problem.
The earbuds offer a good battery life of 8 hours and feature a quick charge feature to get the juice back up within 1.5 hours which is quite great.
The sound quality is good without any distortions for the price. The bass is pretty decent, as these do offer good sound isolation.
These are not the safest headphones for cycling as they do cancel the ambient noise.
#5. Photive PH-BTE70 Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
These are wireless headphones that are designed for good comfort while working out, cycling, and running.
There’s nothing to complain regarding the comfort of these headphones. But headphones do not seem to be ideal for small ears.
The headphones are designed so that they stay inside your ears no matter what activity you are doing.
Along with this, the headphones are also sweat-proof which enable you to use the headphones without worrying about the durability.
See user reviews on Amazon
The bass is great and the mids are very clear. If you are an audiophile, you may feel that treble part has some room for improvement.
The treble part distorts a bit at high volumes. The bass part also appears muddy at high volumes.
The battery life of these wireless headphones is 6 hours. That’s decent.
These Photive PH-BTE70 headphones have a good amount of noise isolation. But the wind noise will be an issue with these while cycling.
You can clearly hear the sounds around you at lower volumes but not at louder volumes. If you listen to loud music while cycling, the safety would be an issue.
6. Aftershokz Trekz Titanium
The Aftershokz Trekz Titanium are the most popular bone conduction headphones on the market, and their popularity is well deserved. Instead of relying on standard headphone drivers, the Aftershokz, as this particular model is often affectionately called, deliver music through the cheekbones, leaving your ears completely open and allowing you to enjoy ambient sounds and notice hazards on the road before it’s too late.
Despite being packed with modern technology, the Aftershokz are remarkably lightweight and highly comfortable. The wraparound headband is both flexible and durable, and it will conform to the shape of your head regardless of whether you’re a big-boned strongman competitor or someone who still gets ID’ed in bars despite being closer to 30 than 20.
The Aftershokz are IP55-certified, which means they can survive sweat, dust, and moisture, and they feature something called PremiumPitch+ technology for audiophile-grade audio experience, wide dynamic range, and rich bass. The headphones can last up to six hours of continuous playback on a charge, and that’s even when calling using the pair of noise canceling microphones that intelligently exclude surrounding noise and effectively enhance speech.
All of this for $129.95. If you’re not scared to try something new, give the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium a chance; we promise you’ll not regret it.
7. Plantronics BackBeat FIT
The Plantronics BackBeat FIT are highly recommended behind-the-neck Bluetooth headphones for all active people who don’t want to give up high-end sound quality when squatting heavy weights or conquering some impossible climb on a fixie.
The BackBeat FIT provide superior stability and listening comfort thanks to the unique, ergonomic eartips, which are just as comfortable as foam eartips, but last much longer and are water and dust resistant. Speaking of which, the entire headphones are IP57-certified, ensuring protection from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth and from limited dust ingress.
The sound of these headphones is tuned for voice, but even bass-heavy music doesn’t sound bad at all. Highs can sometimes be too harsh, but this issue occurs only with poorly mixed songs. Best of all, the BackBeat FIT block just the right amount of outside noise for you to enjoy whatever you’re currently listening to while always knowing exactly what’s happening around you.
Depending on how loud or quiet you like your music to be, the BackBeat FIT can last up to 8 hours on a charge thanks to the Deep Sleep hibernation mode, which activates when you’re out of range of your mobile device. You can usually find the headphones for $84.99.
8. Urbanears Hellas
The Urbanears Hellas are not afraid of sweat because they feature meshy, washable ear cushions and headband, both of which can be easily removed, cleaned, and clipped back in. Besides their sweat-friendly design, they also feature a convenient touch interface that completely eliminates hunting for the right button just to increase the volume or skip a song.
The meshy ear cushions don’t isolate too much noise, making the headphones perfect for biking and other activities that can be safely performed only when one is sufficiently aware of his or her surroundings. Even though you’ll definitely be able to tell exactly what’s going on around you, the surprisingly refined sound coming from the two large drives inside the well-ventilated earcups will take the central stage and motivate you to push yourself towards your goal.
Some owners of the Urbanears Hellas have reported connectivity issues, but that’s something that matters more on the device the headphones are connected to than on the headphones themselves. If you purchase from Amazon, you have nothing to worry about anyway because Amazon’s customer support will always take your side and do anything to help you solve your issues, even if it means giving you a full refund and allowing you to keep the headphones, which is great news considering the Urbanears Hellas costs $119.
9. Jaybird X3
There’s a lot to like about the Jaybird X3, which is they are among the most popular Bluetooth headphones for biking. Jaybird designed the X3 to be as compact as possible without sacrificing performance and looks. The headphones are sweat-proof thanks to their hydrophobic nano-coating, which keeps moisture away from the sensitive components inside, and they have a long battery life of up to 8 hours.
The Jaybird X3 can be paired with the MySound app (available for iOS and Android). The app allows you to customize your EQ settings to your unique preferences. The settings are saved directly on the headphones, which means your customizations will carry across different playback devices. Apart from creating your own sound profiles, you can also download customized sound profiles from athletes or artists and experience how they like to listen to their favorite music.
At $129.95, the Jaybird X3 have surprised us with how many accessories come included in the box, and we were also surprised by their excellent build quality.
10. Aukey Latitude
The Aukey Latitude are our bonus recommendation. Costing just $29.99, they are much less expensive than all other headphones on this list, yet their sound quality, comfort, and build quality are all excellent. The Aukey Latitude connect wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.1, they are IPX4-certified, and they last up to 8 hours on a charge.
What’s the catch? Compared to other headphones on this list, the Aukey Latitude block slightly too much outside noise for our liking. If you keep the volume down, you won’t run into any problems, but you might not be able to hear a honking car or a shouting pedestrian if you like to listen to your music at an ear-piercing volume level.