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Get Hooked on the 13 Best Hook Earbuds for Running

Listen up! Ear envy is real. Some fellas are able to do an entire workout — jog the track, complete several sets of burpees, and smash an entire round of abs — all without having their earbuds fall out. However, some of us just aren’t as hashtag blessed when it comes to the anatomy of our ears. That means your basic earbuds, as great as they may be, just won’t cut it. That’s right, we’re talking about men afflicted with AirPod envy.

Fortunately, earbuds with hooks are the perfect solution because they provide just the right amount of fitted security without sacrificing ease and comfort. You’ll never have to worry about your earbuds falling out ever again.

Aside from the fact that the best hook earbuds enable you to work out like a Hemsworth without losing your buds midway through your sweat session, wireless earbuds should also boast at least a few of the following key features:

  • Waterproof/sweatproof
  • Portable charging cases
  • Speaker/microphone capabilities
  • Hours of wireless power
  • Customizable settings

In short, the best hook earbuds won’t make you envious of premium earbuds like AirPods or Jabra Elite 75t. We live busy lives, so whether you’re working out at home, commuting to work or running errands around town, it’s important that you be able to listen to your favorite podcast or take a phone call on your earbuds without worrying that your earpiece investment is going to fly off your ear. So get yourself hooked on our picks for the best wireless earbuds with hooks.

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1. Apple Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds

BEST OVERALL

If this product category had a logo, it would be the original Powerbeats silhouette. That’s how synonymous Beats’ design is with hook earbuds. Since being acquired by Apple, the iconic headphone brand has transitioned into the true wireless space and immediately made an impact with the Powerbeats Pro. This modernized version maintains the look of its predecessors, retaining the secure-fit hooks that wrap around the ear for optimal fit, while introducing IPX4 sweat/water resistance.

These buds come with a charging case for 24 hours of wireless juice — on their own, they last nine hours. That means you can rock them for numerous workouts throughout the week. Beats also refined their sound profile to keep bass controlled but still impactful. Believe us when we say $179 is well worth the investment to own the market’s best hook earbuds.

Why They’re The Best: These are some of the first true wireless earbuds to adopt the earhook design and no other competitor has done it better. Apple’s design is pliable, sturdy, and wraps tightly around the ear to keep the buds locked in, no matter the exercise. The buds never needed adjusting during lateral-heavy workouts, and they have an impressive battery life.

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Courtesy of Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

  

2. Apple Beats Fit Pro

RUNNER-UP

The Beats Fit Pro is the next best thing to the Powerbeats Pro. It shares the same sporty aesthetics, similar features to the AirPods Pro and has a concealed hook that is just as reliable as any traditional hook design. The oval shape is perfectly sized to sit in the auricle, and stuffing the hook into the cymba ensures stability. Build quality is sturdy across the board, so you won’t need to worry about the buds breaking after several uses. Apple’s H1 processor also grants access to awesome iOS perks like automatic switching, “Hey Siri’ voice activation and increased battery life. Active noise cancellation (ANC) and Spatial Audio for 3D listening aren’t features to scoff at either. 

We found that the Powerbeats Pro provided a more secure fit, but the Fit Pro’s ergonomic design was more pleasant on the ears. Fatigue only came into play when wearing the buds longer than 4 hours straight.

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Courtesy of Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

  

3. JLab Go Air Sport

BEST BUDGET HOOK EARBUDS

Given the wallet-friendly price, you would expect the JLab Go Air Sport to have poor craftsmanship and a relatively low list of features. Guess again. The combination of sturdy plastic and IP55 sweat/water resistance makes these hook earbuds a well-protected package. Three EQs are programmed into the buds to personalize what is already a boom-filled soundstage while enjoying 40 hours of playback time between the earbud batteries (8 hours) and the charging case (32 hours). On top of that, these earbuds let you quickly answer calls with a quick tap of the earbud, making them super convenient when on the move.

These aren’t the most comfortable earbuds we’ve tested, but we did find that you could wear them for up to two hours without experiencing any ear fatigue. Unless you’re a long-distance runner, then we believe they’re some of the best hook earbuds for running.

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Courtesy of Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

  

4. Shokz OpenRun Pro

BEST BONE CONDUCTION

Bone-conduction is a category that is just taking off, and if future releases are as good as the Shokz Open Pro, then there’s much to be excited about. A hook design is vital for how these headphones work; they’re designed to rest the speakers between the temple and ear and transmit audio through your cheekbones. The OpenRun Pro produces all-encompassing sound, thanks to a pair of vibration drivers that come built into the ends of each hook.

In terms of comfort, they’re surprisingly comfy, especially considering the additional hardware attached to both ends. The one-ounce weight makes these buds incredibly light. You won’t have to worry about the sound ports pressing up against the canal since the speaker units are flat and project sound to your ears. We enjoyed wearing the OpenRun Pro for several hours at a time.

Read More: The Best Bone-Conduction Headphones

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Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

  

5. JBL Reflect Mini NC

BESTUNDER $100

The JBL Reflect Mini NC is an underappreciated release that got lost in the mid-range shuffle and became one of the best hook earbuds under $100. Let’s start with the craftsmanship, highlighted by the durable plastic frame covered in IPX7-coating for sweat and waterproof protection. The integrated hooks come in different sizes and conform to the cymba for proper stabilization during runs. ANC can block low and mid frequencies at a high level, which is great for the gym.

Up to seven hours per charge is sufficient for a week’s worth of workouts, just make sure to properly adjust them before hitting the track. So long as you take the time to ensure a proper fit, these are some of the best hook earbuds for running. JBL has also improved its soundstage to pump out emphatic bass and compelling highs, but we wouldn’t recommend them for more casual use.

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Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

  

6. Apple Powerbeats Wireless Earphones (Powerbeats 4)

BEST HIGH-PERFORMANCE

If you want most of the features that Apple’s Powerbeats Pro possesses but at a slightly cheaper cost, then the Powerbeats 4 is the way to go. The adjustable ear hooks provide security while you move, and the buds can last up to 15 hours between charges. That’s not as much as the 24 hours of wireless power generated by the Powerbeats Pro, but still more than some other wireless earphones out there. To make up for this, Beats’ Fast Fuel technology was added to generate an hour of use from a five-minute charge. Having bass-forward sound and several of the software perks tied to Apple’s H1 chip (e.g., automatic switching, audio sharing, “Hey Siri” voice activation) sweetens the deal.

The Powerbeats 4 hook earbuds are no longer being produced, but you can still find them for sale on sites like Amazon while supplies last.

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7. Sony WF-SP800N

BEST NOISE-CANCELLING HOOK EARBUDS

Sony is dominating the noise-cancelling earbuds category right now. Nothing beats the WF-1000XM4 in overall performance, and the WF-SP800N is a sporty noise-canceller to be reckoned with. You would think the bulgy design would create slippage issues, but that’s far from the case. Sony’s silicone concealed hooks keep the buds anchored in place. IP55 water resistance protects the buds from moisture damage. ANC playtime is some of the highest in the category: 9 hours. Then comes the dynamic sound profile that feeds your ears vivacious bass and can be customized in the Sony Headphones Connect app, which hosts several other features to enhance the user experience.

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8. JBL Endurance Peak II

BEST FITTING HOOK EARBUDS

Not all earbuds are designed for a universal fit. This can present a challenge for listeners with differently sized ears. The JBL Endurance Peak II emphasizes wearability, featuring bendable hooks that can be adjusted to fit your ears and not feel stiff against the skin. JBL’s Pure Bass Sound technology dishes deep, punchy lows that bounce off your eardrums. On top of that, these earbuds come with IPX7 waterproofing, Google Assistant and Alexa Support and 30 hours of playback time between the buds (6 hours) and the case (24 hours).

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Alex Bracetti | SPY.com
  

9. Shure Aonic 215 (Gen 2)

BEST-SOUNDING HOOK EARBUDS

A stable, secure fit can make all the difference in sound quality. That couldn’t be more true for the second-gen Shure Aonic 215. The bundled foam tips completely seal off the canal to prevent surrounding sounds from entering the soundscape, allowing listeners to enjoy sound more naturally. Shure even included a cleaning tool for removing earwax build-up out of the nozzle, which clears the lane for songs to be heard fully. What about the hooks? They’re detachable, meaning you have the option to pair them with the earpieces and fasten them snugly around the ears or to use the earpieces wirelessly. Adjusting the buds properly will also reward you with excellent sonics and neutral frequency range.

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10. JLAB Epic Air Sport ANC

BEST BARGAIN

Anyone not looking to spend a lot on their next pair of workout headphones will get their money’s worth out of the Epic Air Sport ANC. These sporty in-ears replicate Beat’s hook design very well, and JBL made the hooks more flexible and thinner to avoid unwanted pressure. ANC is better than average and muffles common distractions (e.g., loud TVs, talkative co-workers). The lively sound performance can be personalized using the EQ in JLab’s app. One would think that the price ($79) is the product’s biggest feature, but that accolade goes to battery life. We’re talking 70 hours of total playback time shared between the buds (11 to 15 hours) and charging case (55 hours).

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Courtesy of Amazon

  

11. Bose SoundSport Earbuds

BEST BOSE HOOK EARBUDS

The best feature about the Bose SoundSport Earbuds is the StayHear+ technology, which does a fantastic job of keeping the buds in your ears during the most rigorous workouts. Bose’s athletic tips hook on the inside of the ear and won’t get in the way of you wearing glasses or shades. Battery life lasts up to six hours per charge and pairing is seamless with any compatible Bluetooth device. Plus, with the audio power of Bose, you’re getting loud, thumpy bass performance to keep you focused on high-energy beats when working out.

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12. JBL UA Project Rock True Wireless X

MOST DURABLE HOOK EARBUDS

The Project Rock True Wireless X is one of the hottest wireless earbuds collaborations ever created. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson teamed up with Under Armour and JBL to make these bad boys. The buds are practically damage-proof with IPX7 waterproofing and insanely sturdy aesthetics. JBL’s concealed hooks maintain a secure fit and the tips offer tight grip control around the concha. Bold and rich bass blast through the 5.8mm drivers, along with clean mids and highs. The ambient listening modes (Bionic Hearing, TalkThru) are also clutch for when you want to increase awareness in busy surroundings or communicate clearly with people without removing the buds.

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Courtesy of JBL

  

13. NuraLoop

BEST CUSTOMIZABLE EARBUDS

The market for hook earbuds with personalized sound might be small, but if you look hard enough, the NuraLoop should fall somewhere in your search results. Its long list of well-implemented features speaks loudly. Adaptive sound with customizable listening profiles: check. Capable ANC, weatherproof, wrap-around-the-ear design with malleable hooks and up to 16 hours per charge? Check check and check. That’s an impressive set of hallmarks. Nura even included a headphone jack-tipped aux cable to appease those who still appreciate listening to music in wired mode.

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Courtesy of Nuraloop
  

Nothing Hooks You? Try These Earbuds Instead

If hooks aren’t your style of earbud, then seek out a model that can offer the same level of fit, comfort, and performance, minus the obtrusive design. Here are five high-quality wireless earbuds that SPY also recommends.

1. AirPods Pro

Apple’s finest wireless earbuds to date are a no-brainer for iDevice (iPhone, iPad) and MacBook owners. What makes the AirPods Pro such a fantastic audio product is not just its seamless interconnectivity with iOS/macOS, nor is it the addition of ANC or Spatial Audio for 360-degree sound. Simply put, it’s the installed eartips that lock these porcelain danglers in tight, something Apple fans have clamored for since the AirPods’ inception. You can even customize fit through third-party accessories like the Proof Labs Concealed Ear Hooks, if hooks mean that much to you.

Pros

  • Installed tips
  • Effective noise cancelling
  • Ear Tip Fit Test
  • Spatial Audio

Cons

  • Still pricey
  • Dangling design isn’t for everyone
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2. UE Fits

For the most customizable fit available, go with the Ultimate Ears UE Fits. These self-molding in-ear monitors top our list of the Most Comfortable Earbuds, using bright purple LEDs to heat up the bundled gel tips and harden them once fitted to your ear shape. They also generate deep bass response and up to eight hours of use per charge.

Pros

  • Innovative mold-fit technology
  • Customizable sound
  • Strong battery life

Cons

  • Limited controls
  • No extra accessories

Read More: The 12 Most Comfortable Earbuds You Can Wear All Day, Every Day

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3. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

Samsung’s latest wireless earbuds are a mid-range favorite that harnesses much of the Galaxy Buds Pro’s functionality into a smaller and less expensive design. Users on all platforms (e.g. Android, iOS, Windows) will get strong ANC and energetic sound that can be tweaked in the companion app. Current Galaxy smartphone owners gain access to exclusive features like Gaming Mode and Wireless PowerShare to power up the buds by placing the charging case on the back of a compatible Galaxy device.

Pros

  • Innovative features
  • Personalized sound
  • Unbeatable price

Cons

  • Missing advanced Samsung features
  • Middling battery life
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Courtesy of Amazon
  

4. Jabra Elite Active 75t

No hooks? No sweat. The Jabra Elite Active 75t blends fashion, function and form like no other pair of sporty wireless earbuds. The tiny design hides discreetly on the ear, while the EarGels produce a tight seal to stabilize the buds and passively block out ambient noise. Speaking of which, Jabra managed to add ANC through an over-the-air firmware update, along with other features that boost sound performance.

Pros

  • Active and passive noise cancellation
  • In-app audio customization
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Gets extremely loud at max volume
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5. Shure Aonic Free

Despite its long, bulky appearance, the Shure Aonic Free is an incredible noise isolator that stays latched onto your ears via Comply Foam tips. The viscoelastic memory foam feels pleasant against skin and helps with upgrading fit, comfort and sound. However, audio is the Aonic Free’s hallmark feature, delivering phenomenal frequency range that is up there with some of the market’s other top-sounding models.

Pros

  • Memory-foam-like ear tips for a customized fit
  • Superior noise isolation
  • Versatile sound

Cons

  • Buggy companion app
  • No wireless charging
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Courtesy of Amazon
  
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A selection of the best hook earbuds being tested for this review. Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

How We Chose the Best Hook Earbuds

When reviewing audio products like headphones, we have a defined process. First, we establish the most important review criteria for that product category. When selecting the best hook earbuds for running and other activities, we evaluated products according to the following criteria:

  • Battery Life
  • Noise-Cancellation
  • Water/Sweat Resistance
  • Sound Quality
  • Connectivity
  • Controls
  • Athletic Use
  • Comfort

We had our product testers give each of these earbuds a score for each of these categories, which allowed us to rank and compare the best hook earbuds of 2022. Once we had our final scores for each product, we also considered the product’s price, as we always want to make sure SPY readers are getting a good value for their money.

All of the hook earbuds in this piece were tested over a period of several weeks. In addition, because hook earbuds are most often used by athletes, we tested their ability to stand up to sweat and movement.

  

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