Before we begin, some considerations ahead of your next headphone purchase. It may have been useful at some point in our history (although it’s a struggle to think when), but in the modern era of athleticism there is nothing more pointless than sweat. Scientists will tell you it cools the body of course, but you tell us which is the more effective cooling device - our four million sweat glands, or the gym air-conditioning system? Thank you, conversation over.
The body can produce up to 14 litres of sweat per day and the last place you want that to collect is in your hot headphones while you’re running. So sweat resistance is a must. Similarly, you need to be able to hear your music. For some reason, Britain’s gyms have conspired together to play the very worst music they can find at the highest volume possible (average noise can reach 100 decibels, or roughly the same as a jet engine), meaning you’ll need a decent pair of noise cancelling headphones, unless you want to spend five hours after every workout struggling with Bieber-induced tinnitus. And should you feel that the water is the safest place to train in these confusing times, remember you need to consider battery life and depth level capabilities before you dive in for that same-amount-of-lengths-as-the-English-Channel attempt.
Here then, are three headphones for every sporting occasion.
The Road, Beats Powerbeats (2020), £129.95
Best suited to outdoor activity rather than an insanely hot and loud gym, the Beats have the old school look with some serious base running through the wires. Fifteen hours of charge time means you can easily run the London marathon on one charge, or just go out for fifteen one hour runs until marathons are back on. Available in black, red or white, the neck cable means you won’t lose them if you trip, and the fast charge puts an hour of music back after a five minute dock.
The Gym, UA Sport Wireless Train Headphones: Project Rock Edition, £200
Remember what we said about loud gym music and host sweaty headphones? The Rock has your back. Full ear covering and over-the-head grip means they don’t move and the music doesn’t leak, while the cushions are removable and hand washable. Sixteen hours of battery life is ample for any gym monkey, and again, a five minute charge secures another hour of playtime.
The Pool, Finis Duo, £94.49
There’s magic afoot here, as the Duo utilises your cheekbones to transmit sound underwater. Straps attach to your goggles to keep them in place and the seven hours of battery life should be enough for several swims. You can also take them down to 3 meters, for maximum air guitar at the deep end. Just saying.