I tried AirPods Pro for running — and it was a big fail

I never thought the day would come when I would want running headphones. Not because it’s a bit frivolous to buy a headset just for running, but because a few years ago I swore by running as a regular form of exercise.

When testing the best fitness trackers or smartwatches, I prefer to get on an exercise bike, check out a Pilates studio, or take a long walk to analyze activity tracking metrics. Running reminds me of my past sports career and the memory pangs of sprinting the outfield as a punishment or collecting miles on the treadmill to stay in shape during the softball off-season.

But recently I got interested in running again. I’m not trying to learn how to train for a half marathon or anything – I just want to diversify my cardio exercise program. I also live in a city where running is a popular social activity that is often rewarded with iced lattes or green juices.

Realizing I had to do a solo workout before indulging in overpriced drinks with my pals, I went to a track last weekend. I prepared properly, wore supportive sneakers, charged electrolytes and stretched beforehand.

So it’s a shame the experience was ruined by something as trivial as headphones (and a pretty expensive pair to go with them).

AirPods Pro don’t cut it by the wayside

AirPods Pro is running

(Photo credit: future)

When I go for leisurely walks, I usually go for the AirPods Max with active noise cancellation and killer sound quality. But since these are not sweatproof, I rely on the classic Apple EarPods (from when they came with new iPhones) for the busy commute or powerwalk.

The wired, tangle-prone buds are a pain, however. And while I ditched the wireless earbuds last year, I kept my AirPods Pro for work meetings, train rides, and pretty much any occasion when I want to listen to music and not move .

So I’m not sure what I was thinking when I brought AirPods Pro for my first run. I guess I’d read about an AirPods Pro training test that kept Apple’s premium earbuds safe during intense exercise. But even though I knew my proper fit thanks to the earbud setup process, I still spent half of my time on the track retrieving fallen buds (which bounced off pretty chaotically depending on the speed).

Testing AirPods Pro alternatives for running

Despite my rocky, soundtrackless start, I’m now determined to find the best running headphones that won’t throw themselves out of my ears every second step. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring alternatives, both to find the right pair and to motivate myself to keep up with my running training.

Here are the running headphones I’ll be reviewing and why they made this list.

AfterShokz Aeropex: $ 159.99 at Best Buy
Maybe my ears are the problem. AfterShokz Aeropex are affordable bone conduction headphones that strap securely around your ears but don’t go in. It’s not the most attractive headset I’ve ever seen, but it has an active battery life of 8 hours and with its IP67 waterproof rating it can withstand runs in the rain. Show offer

Powerbeats Pro: $ 179 Amazon
I’ve used Powerbeats Pro before and wasn’t impressed with the comfort, but I’m ready to try again. Not to mention, I think they look cool. They also have nine hours of battery life, are waterproof, and feature the Apple H1 headphone chip for easy pairing

Can I find my perfect running headphones? Stay tuned for hands-on testing with all of the above models. I know I can’t be the only one who needs the right equipment to get the most out of my training.

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