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Do AirPods actually work for running? A marathon runner shares.

I put Apple Airpods through all the workout tests – running, lifting, elliptical, stair climbing, cycling, stretching, and walking. Here’s what I found.

I get asked about the Apple AirPods every time I wear them on Instagram, and I’m sharing my pros and cons in this post!

Apple Airpods Review from a Marathon Runner

earphones for runners

Similar Tank  | Leggings | Running watch (read my review here) | earrings (exact ones are sold out, but these are super similar. I wear them for all of my races!)

Apple Airpods Running Review

Can You Workout with Airpods?

Yes. I used them and loved them for lifting weights, plyometrics & HIIT (jump squats, burpees, jumping lunges), all sorts of core work, stationary indoor cycling and stretching and they did NOT fall out. I haven’t tested them with yoga going upside down. 🙂

Can You Run with Airpods?

Running is a little bit different in terms of movement than the workouts I noted above. And while it’s different, you can still run in Airpods. However, I find that they aren’t quite as great for running as they are for other workouts, which I’ll get into below. If you wear an Apple Watch to workout, you’ll love that you can be totally phone-free, as your Airpods will pair to the watch, though. You can change your music from there, mid run!

Do Airpods Stay In While Running?

Well, most of the time, they do. I get very, very sweaty when I workout – like on a scale of 1-10, I’m almost always in the 8-10 range. These have not fallen out in any workout except running.

Do Airpods Lose Battery When Not in Use?

Airpods lose battery when they’re not inside of their charging case. After I use them, I put them back in the case each time. This helps me keep up with them, as well as make sure they don’t die when I want to use them next.

How Long Do Fully Charged Airpods Last?

The case charges them while they’re in there, whether the case is plugged in or not (which I LOVE). You do need to plug the case in sporadically though; I try to remember to do it every night but I’ve definitely forgotten to for a couple days and it still has a charge. A perk of the Airpods is their wireless charging capability, so if you use a wireless charging pad, you’ll love that you don’t have to plug in the charging case.

And I haven’t noticed that the battery seems to be weakening even after having these for three years, although many of my friends have.

How Many Years Do Airpods Last?

Based on research, most Airpods should last around 2 years also depending on how you use them, etc. The reason for this is the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries looses it’s charge over time, which results in shorter listening periods. Mine still work 3+ years later, but my friends have complained that theirs are not lasting as long as they used to off of one charge. I’ve also heard of issues arising with the microphone, and that has stopped working all together after about 2 years for some friends.

apple airpods review

Airpods Apple Design

I didn’t realize just how much the cords on regular Apple earbuds bugged me until they were gone. I always had to tuck cords under my shirt and then they’d still get tugged while working out, so I love that the cord annoyance is gone. Even other non-Apple earbuds that had a cord behind the neck bugged me since it bounces. The compact case is easy to tuck away and put in my pocket or purse vs. cords that always got tangled despite my best efforts, even tying them appropriately. Plus, I hate the visual clutter of cords so the smooth case soothes my soul. I love that the Airpods themselves are contoured and lightweight, and I feel like the design is very minimalistic and sleek.

Do Airpods Have Good Sound Quality?

I can hear calls and podcasts more clearly than in regular headphones. The depth and range of music is amazing.  I’m a bit of a music junkie, so I especially appreciate the sound quality of these tiny things. All of my playlists sound significantly better compared to the corded Apple earbuds.

Are Apple AirPods Noise Cancelling?

The 2nd generation Airpods (the ones I have) do not have active noise cancellation. However, the Airpods Pro do have this feature, and you can also turn this feature off for “transparency mode”. If you’re traveling on a long flight, this might be a feature you’d enjoy, but you’d likely be more comfortable in Airpods Max headphones.

best earphones for runners

Buy them here from Amazon!

Can Airpods Be Used In The Rain?

I’ve been wearing them a few times when it started to rain on my run, but that’s it. Airpods are not waterproof, or even sweat proof, however, they are made to withstand some sweaty and a light sprinkle. It hasn’t been an issue for me so far, but I’m careful not to wear them in pouring rain.

Do Airpods Fall Out?

They fall out when running…sometimes. This can be annoying if you’re training for a marathon or trying to work on running faster. But for easy days, they’re perfectly fine. I used them today for my 5 miler.  But but I know MANY people who love the Airpods for all types of runs. I think if the corded Apple Earbuds stay in your ears while running, these will too.

They often fall out when I tap them to change the song. This reason alone is what drove me to buy Aftershokz headphones (I bought the minis). I love listening to music while running but if I wanted to skip a song, my airpod almost always fell out when I tapped to skip. If you listen to podcasts, this might not be a big deal. It ended up being a dealbreaker for me. Read my full review of Aftershokz here.

How To Keep Airpods From Falling Out:
  • TIP: I’ve found that the Airpods stay in my ears better when running if I tip the base slightly forward (towards my chin) rather than straight down. Definitely do not press the Airpods deep into your ear canal. You can also try ordering these Airpod Ear Hooks to help the tips fit a little better.

Side note: If you’re getting into running for the first time, join my online running course!

Are Airpods Worth The Price?

They’re pricey – $110 for the older version and more for the newer ones. But I use them SO much that I haven’t regretted paying that once. The convenience of using them for phone calls alone is worth the price since I’m always multitasking (walking, folding laundry, pacing) and they’re just easier than the corded ones. I have, on the other hand, regretted spending money on $80 corded bluetooth or wireless earbuds earbuds that frizzed out all the time and were uncomfortable.

I’ve also noticed that the older versions seem to be getting cheaper. I saw a pair for $110 recently.

I have a distinct fear of losing the Apple Airpods.

Two days after I got them I thought I lost them in a parking lot when I got out of my car since the case had been sitting in my lap. I was losing my mind…but then I found them on the floorboard of my car. There is a feature to find your Airpods if they’re out of the case. Your phone can look up the last location and you can have them put out a tweeting sound. This has saved me when one somehow got under my bed. If you lose one airpod, or you lose the case or the airpods, you can call Apple for a replacement. But you still have to pay about 50% of the original cost and you have to know the exact date you bought them.

apple airpods review | earphones for running

wireless earphones for running review

 

Are Airpods Really Worth It?

If you want the best earbuds ever for running, I don’t think these are your best option. My Aftershokz are MUCH better. But, if you want earbuds with great sound that work for a lot of activities AND phone calls and that quickly sync with your phone, original Airpods are a great option.

A note on Airpods Pro:. I haven’t personally tried them, but plan to order them if I ever lose my current airpods since they are sweat and water resistant (better for running) and have three sizes of silicone tips for a better fit. That would likely solve the issue of Airpods sometimes falling out when running.

I’d also love to try the spatial audio feature and Adaptive EQ features that the Airpod Pros have. The spatial audio feature that makes you feel you’re on a soundstage with a surround sound experience, and the Adaptive EQ tunes the sound in real time based on how the Airpods fit your ears.  As a music junkie, I think this would be really cool!

I’d also like to try a few other wireless headphone brands to compare. I hear great things about the Jabra Elites, and they’re generally more affordable than Airpods. If you’ve tried them, leave a note below and tell me what they’re like. I’m not a huge fan of the Powerbeats Pros, since I feel like the hooks are clunky.

Airpod workout Review

If you have them, what do you think? Love em? Hate em?

 


 

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Tracy
    at

    I absolutely LOVE them! I don’t know how I used corded earbuds before! lol. HOWEVER, they do not stay in my ears AT ALL. For anything. Like I put them in and they fall right out. Haha! I researched online and found this solution:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019BREFE4/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    It takes a little effort to put the Earbuddyz on and take them off again to charge, but it’s totally worth it because once on and in my ears, they do not budge. They might work for you for running! Very inexpensive for 3 pairs, too.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    at

    I just got on Sunday for my birthday. I love them. LOVE LOVE LOVE them. I ran with them Tuesday night. I live in Mississippi…it was HOT and I was SWEATING. I was super paranoid they would fall out. But they didn’t!

  • Reply
    Anna
    at

    I bought a case for the Airpods cas on Amazon that has a carabeaner, which I keep hooked into my purse!

  • Reply
    Heather
    at

    Hey I love mine too but also had the same issue with falling out occasionally but amazon has an accessory kit that has ear hooks and they totally fixed the problem. SOme kits come with a strap too if you are doing a certain activity and are afraid of losing them. My kit only cost $8. Completely worth it!!!!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    at

    I was trying to comment on your garmin post, but it was being weird. Sorry if this seems out of place. My Garmin Forerunner 620 is still going strong after almost 5 years, but I’m looking at either the 235 or 245. Does the 245 have anything that you wish you had on yours? I’m leaning toward the 235…the music feature on the 245 doesn’t really appeal to me because I don’t listen to music when I run…Thanks for your help!

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      I actually want the music feature so that’s what I eye the most from the 245! 🙂

      • Reply
        Danielle
        at

        Yeah, sometimes I wonder if I would like to have music on my easy runs, but I just love being able to clear my head when I run…I’m torn!

  • Reply
    Beckett @ Birchwood Pie
    at

    I adore my airpods. I’ve only knocked one out of my ears while running once, and the only time that I don’t wear them is for racing. I just figure that’s the wrong time to lose one and also in summer races I run through sprinklers and pour water over my head, and I’ve found that will cause my corded earphones to slip out of my ears.

  • Reply
    chris
    at

    I think it is okay to go with Airpods as it allows you remain connected during exercise and workout.

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