Activate BX Wireless Waterproof Bluetooth Earbuds $39.99 at endive
It’s a rare value play that also makes tops in our list based on performance. The Activate brand has come a long way since it’s start almost 3 years ago. Their latest Activate BX sports line includes all the standard functions wrapped in a super rugged, ear gripping package that we love to use on runs, in the gym, or during commutes.
The Activate BX sports earbuds are a value you can’t ignore. If you are in the market for earbuds that offer best in class sound in a grippy, sports package at a sub-$50 price point there are no alternatives to consider. Here’s why they made our Editor’s Pick list:
- High quality sports design. The Activate BX punch far above their weight when it comes to design. Rugged, durable, rubberized flat cables with secured connections. Included ear tip and fin options for that perfect and comfortable fit no matter your ear size and shape. Solid, metal magnetic ear pieces that link together around the neck when needed. A remote with large, rubberized buttons for easy adjustment on the go. It’s all there in the same package, and at a ridiculously low price considering similarly designed products are in the $100 range.
- No nonsense audio and call clarity. While we place the Activate BX in the “bargain” category, they don’t sound like it. High ranges are crisp and sharp, while bass is deep and pleasing. Wireless earbuds by their nature cannot offer the same big sound as over ear headphones, but in this case the tiny package works as hard as possible to deliver driver hardware that sounds fantastic and gets our wholehearted endorsement.
- Subtle, fun color options. While it isn’t a total game changer, the fact that Activate produced 3 subtle color accents means you can personalize without looking like a neon festival goer. While the accent colors show through, the primary unit and cables remain a flat, pleasant dark grey no matter the accent color choice.
Editor’s Pick: Activate BX Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds $39.99 at endive.com
Mifo Bluetooth 5.0 True Wireless Sports Earbuds 99.99 at endive
- Absolutely blasting sound for true wireless. While this article is about earbuds that stay in your ears, you definitely wouldn’t want to skimp on sound. The Mifo earbuds deserve a place at the table with the likes of Bose, Sennheiser, and anybody else you can think of. The sound is loud with crisp highs and the best bass we’ve heard in a TWS earbud configuration.
- Specially designed ear tips grip like no other. The ear tip component can make a huge difference in sticking power. The Mifo Bluetooth 5 earbuds have a wonderfully ergonomic base shape that sits in the bottom of your ear, cradled gently without being obtrusive. But the real magic is in the specially designed ear tips, which form a nice seal no matter your ear size, providing a second point of contact to grip.
- Total waterproof protection and durable metal components. IPX 7 waterproofing means you can essentially drop these earbuds in a bucket of water and leave them there for 30 minutes without a problem. For those paranoid about getting wet, these are the earbuds that will put your mind at ease.
- Exceptional battery life with automated pairing. Around 7 hours of battery life from one charge and the ability to recharge on the go 3 times means you could use these earbuds almost every hour of a day without sleeping. Why you would want to do that we have no idea, but it’s great to know that Mifo is thinking of you. When you do take the earbuds out of the charging case, you’ll enjoy an automatic pairing action with your device, and that’s pretty nice too.
Plantronics BackBeat FIT Boost Edition Sport Earbuds Out of stock on Amazon.com
- Earbuds that stay in place no matter what. The great thing about the BackBeat FIT is their ability to stay firmly in place when running. Thanks to a rigid, rubberized head strap these earbuds aren’t going anywhere.
- Waterproof and sweatproof for long use. These earbuds feature a nano-coating that repels water and sweat.
- Bluetooth enabled device needs to stay close. You’ll need to keep your iPod or smartphone on your person when running. That can cause some consternation for people that don’t like to carry a device. There are a few great sports bands that make this a non-issue if you are willing to spend a bit more.
- Reverse headband may be uncomfortable for some users. The unique reverse headband works well, but could annoy runners that aren’t used to this style.
Jaybird X3 In-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Sports Headphones $78.00 on Amazon.com
- Includes multiple sizes of silicon ear tips and fins. Everybody’s ears are unique, and Jaybird didn’t cut corners by leaving things up to chance. The included ear tip and fin kit has enough shapes and sizes to fit anyone, ensuring the X3 stays put during long runs.
- Cool color schemes. Jaybird offers 7 different color schemes that are some of the most unique in the earbuds game. Check out the camouflage edition!
- Ear fins only go so far. While the ear fins offer plenty of stabilization, extreme runs may require a better solution. If you’re at all concerned about secure fit, the Plantronics BackBeat FIT Boost Edition Sport earbuds are the best candidate. We also cover similar products in our list of wireless earbuds with long battery life.
ENACFIRE E19 True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds $39.99 on Amazon.com
If you want to go fully wireless, which means no connecting headband or lanyard, the ENACFIRE E19 True Wireless Bluetooth earbuds are the way to go. These true wireless earbuds are tiny, but stay firmly in your ear thanks to grippy ear tips. It’s a fairly ingenious design that adds a new dimension to your lift. While the price is low, we wish the materials were a little more durable and premium to the touch. Sound is good, but could also be improved.
- True wireless earbuds that stay snug in your ears. Lifting involves moving from lateral to standing positions. You’re stacking weights, doing sets, and moving to the next setup. The ENACFIRE E19’s won’t budge.
- Earbuds with loud sound that doesn’t spill over. Have you ever been bothered by the sound of someone else’s headphones? Sometimes people play music at such a loud volume that it spills over. The E19’s produce a surprisingly loud volume without that same effect, sparing fellow gym members. This may be a turnoff to people who need full blast music to keep the party going.
- True wireless earbuds need regular recharging. You’ll have to recharge the E19’s often, depending on how long you lift. The average user gets about 4 hours of use out of the E19’s before charging, so expect to charge every day.
Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless Earbuds $199.00 on Amazon.com
- Big, beautiful Bose sound quality. There’s no denying Bose delivers unforgettable sound. Even in a smaller earbud format, Bose is able to achieve a rich, full sounding experience that can go as loud as you can stand.
- Comfortable fit when moving vertical to horizontal. The tight lanyard and snug fit of the ear tips helps keep things stabilized when moving from bench to squat to incline. These are truly earbuds that don’t fall out when lifting. The included microphone and controller also sits snugly without being uncomfortable.
- The lanyard can still get caught on benches and bars. While the SoundSport Pulse Wireless are a great pair of earbuds, we still see potential for the lanyard that connects the two earbuds to get caught on a bench or bar. It’s the most annoying thing about lifting with headphones, and as long as that cord exists the opportunity for it to get snagged does too.
Treblab X5 – Advanced Bluetooth Headphones at Amazon.com
- Unique and discreet design. The X5’s aren’t as garish as other true wireless earbuds. They’re a bit more discreet for commute time, when you don’t necessarily want strangers staring at your floating earbuds. The design is functional as well, with controls that are easy to use without making a scene or using voice commands.
- Excellent value. Treblab created some really high quality, durable, and good looking true wireless earbuds without skimping on cheap parts. The sound is crystal clear when listening to music or making calls. At the same time, they cost half many other products in the category. They may not be the best for workouts or audiophiles, but they are good enough for the money.
- Battery could be better. The X5’s feature a very thin design, but part of that micro size is a reduced battery life. When compared to other products in our lineup, the X5’s active use time is at the bottom of the list, with about 4 hours covered before a charge.
Apple AirPods Wireless Bluetooth Headset $147.00 at Amazon.com
- Works out of the box with little troubleshooting. Other true wireless earbuds require individual synchronization to work properly. In true Apple fashion the AirPods are simple to set up in the first 5 minutes.
- Sounds great at all ranges, and has enough power to drown out the sounds of the commute. Even though you’re wearing tiny, white earbuds with no cord, AirPods sound big. The robust sound can drown out even the loudest of subway commutes. Maybe that’s why you see so many people wearing them every day.
- Not the most stable in our lineup. While AirPods seem to stay firmly planted, they may not be right for those who commute more aggressively. The solid design also means there are no ear tips to adjust, which may cause some users to have a painful earbuds experience. Bike commuters may take note, it’s not incredibly difficult to lose one of these rather expensive earbuds.