REVIEW: These are the best headphones for your workout

When I work out, I want headphones that will do a few things very well: play clear, punchy music, stay comfortably in my ears, and not tangle me up in wires. And none do that better than the Plantronics Backbeat FIT.

There’s nothing gaudy or glamorous about these $80-$90 Bluetooth headphones. Don’t expect them to turn heads with their low-key gymware design. But after years of frustration with earbuds, these are the first I’ve owned that I actually like.

The Backbeat FIT first came out in 2014, but no other company has built a solid competitor — especially in the under-$100 range. Sound quality is excellent for this class of audio device, with plenty of bass and richness. However, you shouldn’t expect studio-quality sound: these are built with outdoor runners in mind, designed to allow in street noise at even high volumes for situational awareness.

That’s an advantage in most situations, and I can always hear my music over a busy street. Just don’t expect to use these on the subway, or on a bus, or anywhere else that’s potentially loud.

I’ve found that these headphones, which Plantronics advertises as able to last 14 days on sleep mode, can typically get me through three or four days of workouts without recharging — even if I forget to turn them off.

They have built in volume controls, a play and pause button, and a call button. Call quality is shockingly good for a pair of Bluetooth earbuds without an obvious microphone attachment; I’ve spoken with older, hard-of-hearing relatives on these without incident.

Also, Plantronics calls these “water resistant,” but after wearing them more than once into the shower I can report they’re something closer to waterproof. I wouldn’t wear them to swim in, but rain, sweat, and other moisture should be absolutely fine.

If you hit the gym, run, or are otherwise active with any kind of regularity, I strongly recommend these headphones.

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