AudioHighlights

Best True Wireless Sports Earbuds Review

In this best true wireless sports earbuds review, we have the important design features for running. It is advised not to assume that any earbud is good for sports based on the price tag. If you can find a perfectly fitting, non-sports earbud that can last a marathon without falling off, then good for you.

Quiz: What is the difference between wireless and true wireless?

All true wireless sports earbuds must have the following critical design specs:

  • It must have ear wings or fins for optimal fit for all possible ear sizes to prevent falling off.
  • IP Rating of at least IP57 for dust protection and waterproof up to 1 meter deep.

The above are minimum and if they are not met, I would recommend trying another model or you can try your luck.

Even if the name of the product comes with the word “sports”, it does not imply that they are suitable for your type of sport. For example, I have been told by Oakley that their “sports” sunglasses cannot endure the sun and sweat, which makes us wonder what kind of “sports” are they referring to. Do they mean indoor ice skating so there is no sun and sweat?

Secondly, if you use sports earbuds for running and jogging only, then the quality of sound is not very important because there will be other noises during the exercise. Regardless of the noise cancellation, you will hear pounding from your feet when you run due to sound conduction through the bones. Personally, I keep a separate high-quality earbuds for routine, non-sports activities.

JBL Reflect Flow Pro

JBL Reflect Flow Pro Earbuds
JBL Reflect Flow ProKey Specs
Release DateSeptember 2021
IP RatingIP68
Ear Wings4 sizes
Battery Life Earbud (Music)8 hours (ANC on)
Battery Life w/Charging Case24 hours (ANC on)
Mono Mode (Single Bud)Either side
Initial Rating5/5

So far, we opine the new JBL Reflect Flow Pro has the best specifications for a sports earbud in this review. It has the highest IP68 rating and 8 hours of battery life with ANC on. There are four sizes of ear wings, so we are confident that we should be able to find a good fit for running.

Having said that, it is still recommended to perform two tests in the store regardless of what you hear from us, YouTube or any sites with a long page of review.

Firstly, we recommend that you try out a sample before buying, especially if you plan to use it for sports. None of those reviews knows the size of your ear concha or canal whether they will fit the earbud.

Secondly, it is important to test the charging case like this:

  • Place the earbud into the charging case and close it tight.
  • Shake it hard for 10 seconds.
  • Open and check if the earbuds are still charging, i.e. in contact with the electrodes in the charging case.

As the JBL Reflect Flow is just launched, there is no user feedback about charging or any other issues at this time.

Read also: JBL Reflect Flow Pro vs Jabra Elite 7 Active

Jabra Elite 7 Active

Jabra Elite 7 Active
Jabra Elite 7 Active
Jabra Elite Active 75tKey Specs
Release DateFebruary 2020
IP RatingIP57
Ear WingsNo, use shake grip coating.
Battery Life Earbud (Music)88 hours (ANC on)
Battery Life w/Charging Case30 hours (ANC on)
Mono Mode (Single Bud)TBC
Initial Rating2.5/5 (borderline)

The Jabra Elite 7 Active is the successor to the Jabra Elite Active 75t, which we are using for almost a year now. The Jabra Elite 7 Active is going to be released soon so there is no user feedback yet. We do not have any issue with the Jabra Elite Active 75t for running, so we are expecting the same for the Elite 7 Active.

The IP57 is the bare minimum we would expect from sports earbuds these days, and the Jabra Elite 7 Active just made the mark. The main problem is that it does not come with any ear wings, which mean they failed our criteria for sports earbuds.

Unless you have tried Jabra before, we still recommend looking for earbuds with ear wings for running or jogging. If you really insist on buying the Jabra 7 Active, then please try them out in the stores when they are released. There are users who bought the Jabra Elite 7 Pro for running, only to find that they keep falling off during a run. If an earbud drops out during a run, you might lose it (or $100) forever.

Sony WF-SP800N

Sony WF-SP800N
Sony WF-SP800N
Sony WF-SP800NKey Specs
Release DateMay 2020
IP RatingIP57
Ear Wings2 sizes
Battery Life Earbud (Music)9 hours (ANC on)
Battery Life w/Charging Case18 hours (ANC on)
Mono Mode (Single Bud)Yes
Initial Rating4/5

The Sony WF-SP800N is beautiful based on the specifications with solid 9 hours battery life proven by some Amazon user feedback. It passed all our criteria, or rather, it passed marginally with an IP57 and 2 ear wings, which we hope there could be more.

Sure enough, there are users who complained of ear fitting issues (see link below) even with the two 2 earwings and several ear gels to swap around. Moreover, we found some users who have issues with the charging case like so:

Sony WF-SP800N Not Charging Properly
Sony WF-SP800N Not Charging Properly

This is the problem with the electrical contacts not being aligned properly between the earbuds and charging case, which is why we recommended this test:

  • Place the earbud into the charging case and close it tight.
  • Shake it hard for 10 seconds.
  • Open and check if the earbuds are still charging, i.e. in contact with the electrodes in the charging case.

After reading the user’s feedback, our final rating for the earbud dropped to 3/5.

Read also: Compare JBL Reflect Flow Pro Vs Sony WF-SP800N Sports Earbuds

Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sports

Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sports
 Klipsch T5 II True Wireless SportsKey Specs
Release DateJuly 2020
IP RatingIP67 (buds and case)
Ear Wings3 sizes
Battery Life Earbud (Music)8 hours (no ANC)
Battery Life w/Charging Case24 hours (no ANC)
Mono Mode (Single Bud)Yes
Initial Rating54/5

We have used this earbud for almost a year now. The sound is definitely great, and the earbuds never fell out of our ears after thousands of kilometres jogged on the road. There is no question that the Klipsch T5 II TW Sports is a good jogging earbud with IP67 and a secure fitting with up to 3 ear wings and 5 sets of ear gels for a custom fit.

However, there are always points for improvement as covered in our Klipsch T5 II TW Sports Earbuds Review After One Year.

Among the minor issues, we find the charging problem most irritating as it prevents us from using the charging case to its fullest potential. Basically, we have to charge the earbuds with an open case, because whenever we close the lid, the earbuds might get misaligned and not charged properly.

The photo below shows the same issue as the Sony WF-SP800N above.

Klipsch T5 II Charging Problem

Conclusion

We foresee that the future sports earbuds will have at least the following design specification as a basic requirement:

  • IP68 for dust-tight and waterproof beyond 1meter depth.
  • At least 4 sizes of ear wings and 5 sizes of ear gel for the best custom fit.

For future sports earbuds, we are looking forward to military-grade MIL-STD 810F certifications, including:

  • Drop test certification.
    True Wireless Earbuds tend to drop on the floor, regardless of how good is the ear wings.
  • Salt and mud water test.
    Assuming that you can recover your earbuds from the sea or muddy water, they should be working perfectly.

There is always so much room for improvements.

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