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Don’t Get Hit While Jogging: Stay Alert With the Best Open-Ear Headphones

For constant commuters, wilderness wanderers, and anyone looking for a less obtrusive headphone design, open-ear headphones are an excellent alternative to a traditional set of cans. When we say “open ear,” we’re mainly referring to the fact that these headphones will hook onto or near parts of your ear, while leaving your canals relatively unobstructed.

This provides a unique type of sound that allows for more ambient noise to filter in, which is especially convenient for hearing car horns, sirens, and cocaine bear growling 20 feet away from you. Distractions can be costly if you’re jogging or biking outdoors, but you’ll remain alert when you strap on a pair of open-ear headphones.

You’ll find open-ear headphones from some of the top audio companies in the business, as well as some lesser-known but equally reputable developers. But when it comes to singing the praises of the brands that deserve the strongest songs, that’s where we come in. We’ve put together this roundup of the best open-ear headphones you can buy right now, with some extra intel thrown in to give you as much information as possible for when it comes time to lay down the dough.

Things You Should Know About Open-Ear Headphones

  • Allow you to hear your surroundings while listening to music
  • Some leverage bone conduction technology to transmit audio
  • You won’t find active noise cancellation in them
  • Most offer water-resistant designs
  • Less fatigue for your ears

The Best Open-Ear Headphones: At a Glance

best overall

Oladance Open Ear Headphones

Buy Now On Amazon $149.99 Jump to Details
best bone conduction

Shokz OpenRun

Buy Now On Amazon $129.95 Jump to Details
best for fitness

Panadia Bone Conduction Headphones

Buy Now On Amazon $45.95 Jump to Details
best design

Sony LinkBuds WFL900

Buy Now On Amazon $148.00 Jump to Details
best charging

PureRina Bone Conduction Headphones

Buy Now On Amazon $39.99 Jump to Details
best overall

Best For: Those that want to take the dive into open-ear audio and want the best that money can buy.
Read More: The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Key Specs: 

  • 6.54 x 3.11 x 1.46-inches
  • IPX4 rated
  • Available in four colors
  • Lithium ion batteries required

Why We Chose It: Renowned for design, comfort and performance, the Oladance Open Ear Headphones will deliver top-notch sound for up to 16 hours of playtime.

When it comes to open-ear headphones, it’s a little scary to take the risk. After all, aren’t headphones supposed to enclose your ear for the best sound? In the case of products like the Oladance Open Ear Headphones, the answer is a resounding “no.” One of the most comfortable wears on the market, the Oladance Headphones are designed to hook onto the the parts of your ear that won’t cause discomfort over time. That’s on top of a phenomenal multi-point support system, which evenly distributes the weight of the headphones. 

And when it comes to sound quality, the dual 16mm drivers and bio-cellulose diaphragm are engineered to produce top-shelf audio, minus the hard-hitting prices of flagship closed-design headphones (not saying there’s anything wrong with an expensive pair of Sony XM5s). Then when you consider the 16 hour battery life (at 50% volume) and IPX4 rating, it becomes clear why Oladance is a constant chart-topper in the world of open-ear headphones. 


  • Excellent sound quality
  • Up to 16 hours of battery life
  • Uses Bluetooth 5.2
  • Comfortable fit
  • Fair price


  • No dust protection
  • Can randomly disconnect from paired devices

$57.02 $79.95 29% off

Buy Now On Amazon

Best For: Fans of JVC’s long line of stellar audio products who want to go all-in on the open-ear concept.
Read More: The Best Wireless Earbuds

Key specs:

  • 1.85 x 3.5 x 7.2-inches
  • Works with iOS and Android devices
  • IPX4 rated

Why We Chose It: The JVC Nearphones are unobtrusive, comfortable, and a solid two thumbs-up in the sound quality department.

For many years now, JVC has had its hands in all things audio, and whether you’re looking for an awesome pair of car speakers or a powerful set of open-ear headphones, the company has got you covered. We’re going to focus on the latter though, shining a light on the impressive JVC Nearphones. 

Right off the bat, one of our favorite things about these puppies is the price. For around $70, you’ll be treated to one of the best-in-class open-ear listening experiences on the market. Outfitted with two 16mm drivers and a duct design that prioritizes bass response, not only will the Nearphones sound great for calls and podcasts, but they’ll be pretty amazing for music, too. You’ll also get up to 17 hours of battery life and some good ole IPX4 protection against sweat and other liquid malcontents.


  • Great sound quality
  • Comfortable fit
  • Up to 17 hours of battery life
  • Features independent (L/R) earbud use
  • Solid price


  • Can only be paired to one device at a time
  • Not very articulate at lower volume levels
Courtesy of Amazon
best bone conduction

Best For: Those of us looking to ditch traditional headphone drivers in favor of a product that works with our cheekbones to produce amazing sound.
Review: Shokz OpenRun Are Perfectr for Working Out

Key Specs: 

  • 6.77 x 5.28 x 2.8-inches
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life
  • Uses Bluetooth 5.1
  • IP67 rated

Why We Chose It: Shokz is one of best brands in the bone conduction sector, and the OpenRun is one of the most comfortable and best-sounding options. 

Originally sold as the AfterShokz Aeropex, the rebranded Shokz OpenRun is all about bone conduction, a type of wearable tech that utilizes our human-being cheekbones to transmit vibrations directly into our inner ear. The end result: An open-ear design that places a premium on comfort. And in the case of the OpenRun, Shokz has equipped its headphones with a lightweight wrap-around frame that allows for a firm but comfortable fit.

Keep in mind that bone conduction isn’t the type of headphone-sound that most folks are used to. In our own testing of the product, we found it a bit alarming how much bass and volume is ripped from the mix, but when you’re dealing with a design that puts fit, feel and safety at the top of the list, there’s going to be a sacrifice or two along the way. Rest assured though that if you’re thinking of investing in bone conduction, the Shokz OpenRun is one of the best ways to go.


  • Lightweight fit
  • Protects against dirt, dust and water
  • Recharges quickly
  • Decent price


  • Not the best for music-listening
  • Bone conduction may feel weird to some
  • A little pricey
best for fitness

Best for: Whatever types of exercise you’re into.
Read More: The Best Bone Conduction Headphones

Key specs:

  • 5.1 x 3.7 x 0.7-inches
  • IPX7 rated
  • Batteries included
  • Available in four colors

Why We Chose It: Panadia may not be one of the best-known brands in the world of wearable audio, but its strong IPX7 rating and firm but comfy frame ensures these bone conduction headphones will be great for whatever you want to do at the gym.

Another solid bone conduction option is this fantastic set from the folks at Panadia. But what makes these stand out from all the other bone conductor sets on the market, you may be asking? Fair question, and our immediate answer is the fact that these bad boys are designed to be your go-to open-ear headphones for trail-running, gym workouts, and any other fitness activities you pack into a day.

With its lightweight titanium frame and IPX7 rating, these headphones are effectively waterproof against any kind of sweat or precipitation you may encounter. We’re also big fans of the built-in CVC 8.0 microphone that actively cuts down on environmental noise during phone calls, making for a much easier conversation between you and yours. And forget the hassle of those sensitive sensor-taps you’ll find on other headphones, because the Panadia team opted for physical buttons for all your controls — a much simpler means of playing and pausing your favorite tunes and podcasts.


  • Great price
  • Easy controls
  • Great sound quality
  • Amazing battery life


  • Uses a custom charging cable
  • Not the best for bigger heads
best fit

Best For: Those of us that have extremely picky ears when it comes to wearing headphones of any kind.
Read More: The Most Comfortable Earbuds for All-Day Wear

Key specs:

  • 2.52 x 1.18 x 1.61 inches
  • IPX7 rating
  • Uses Bluetooth 5.2
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life

Why We Chose It: Soundcore is a strong name in the audio marketplace, and the X10 is an awesome choice for personalized comfort and bass-heavy tunes. 

The Soundcore X10 is a pretty tremendous set of open-ear headphones for many reasons, but one of our favorite accolades is the fact that you’re able to rotate the over-ear hooks up to 210 degrees, making for one of the only customizable hook designs on the market. This feature ensures you’ll be able to find the absolute best fit for your ears and activity level.

The X10 is also great when it comes to bass reproduction, thanks to a dynamic acoustic system that prioritizes lower frequencies and Soundcore’s super-cool BassUp tech. We’re also big fans of the Soundcore app (for iOS and Android devices) which lets you build a sound profile to your liking with Soundcore’s custom EQ. Admittedly, sound quality may not be as strong as some users may be expecting, but think of it this way: You’re getting a custom-fit set of open-ear headphones, with top-notch bass performance, for only $70! 


  • Customizable fit
  • Excellent sound
  • Up to 32 hours of listening with charging case
  • 10 minute charge grants two hours of extra listening
  • Includes SweatGuard Technology


  • Can have a hard time pairing with certain devices
  • Can be difficult to hook onto your ears
best design

$148.00 $179.99 18% off

Buy Now On Amazon

Best For: Audio devotees who want to own one of the most cutting-edge sets of open-ear headphones one can currently get their hands on.
Read More: These Gaming Headsets Will Sharpen Your Competitive Senses

Key Specs: 

  • 3.5 x 2.4 x 3.5-inches
  • IPX4 rated 
  • Available in three colors
  • Built-in Alexa

Why We Chose It: Sony is often ahead of the game when it comes to prolific audio and video products, and the rock-solid LinkBuds boasts one of the most impressive designs we’ve seen.

When it comes to consumer tech by Sony, you’re pretty much always in good hands. And when it comes to Sony-exclusive audio, there’s simply no need to seek out an alternative (unless you’re strapped for cash). Such is the case with the industry-leading Sony LinkBuds WFL900, one of the coolest open-ear concepts we’ve seen yet. Just look at it! We can’t get over the intricacy of that inner-ear chassis, with the open-ring portion that hangs out over your ear canal, ensuring you’ll get plenty of powerful Sony sound, as well as open ambience from the environment around you. 

We’re also really into the fact that you can have LinkBuds paired to two different devices at once, and that the Wide Area Tap function lets you double- or triple-tap the area in front of your ears for playback controls. And sure, $150 may be a lot to ask for a pair of headphones that can’t muster more than 5.5 hours of battery on a single charge, but considering the charge case will get you up to 17.5 hours, the semi-lackluster lithium ion cells are certainly forgivable.


  • Incredible open-ring design
  • Top-notch sound
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with 5 different supporter sizes
  • Integrated voice assistant


  • Not the best battery life
  • Expensive
best charging

Best for: USB-C charging (trust us, that’s a big deal). 
Read More: Spoil Your Ears with the 12 Most Expensive Headphones for Sale in 2023

Key Specs: 

  • 5.47 x 4.45 x 2.13-inches
  • IP55 rated
  • Uses Bluetooth 5.0

Why We Chose It: IP55 rated and featuring USB-C charging for fast re-juicing, the PureRina Bone Conduction Headphones have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with some of the biggest names in bone conduction listening.

No, this isn’t a Walmart-friendly bag of dog or cat food (that’s Purina). The PureRina Bone Conduction Headphones are another addition to the popular bone conduction/open-ear category, and what sets these guys apart from the rest is the inclusion of a USB-C port and charging cable. That’s huge! Especially when you consider that most open-ear headphones either use some kind of proprietary port/wire, or just plain ole’ Micro-USB to USB-A. There’s no topping the fast charge times of USB-C, which is particularly convenient when you factor in the six hours of playtime you’re going to get off one charge. 

But there’s certainly more to love about the PureRina. It rocks an IP55 rating, which adds strong dirt and dust protection to the list of laurels, along with a strong titanium frame, silicone pads for your cheekbones, and the built-in mic for making phone calls delivers crystal-clear communication between you and the person on the other end of the line. 


  • Great price
  • Features USB-C charging
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable fit


  • Battery life could be better

How We Chose the Best Open-Ear Headphones

These are the core criteria we focused on when researching and testing all of the open-ear headphones of this roundup:

  • Sound quality: Let us be frank. There’s simply no way a set of open-ear headphones is going to sound as good as headphones with a closed-off design. That being said, most folks aren’t buying open-ear sets for the type of flagship sound you’ll find with traditional cans that are $500 or more — but that doesn’t mean your open-ear headphones shouldn’t sound great. When vetting and testing these open-ear headphones, one of the most important criteria for us was sound quality. Music should sound rich and full, phone calls should be close to crystal-clear, and voice assistant interaction (when applicable) should be articulate and easy to understand.
  • Design: Throughout our roundup, you’ll notice that we tend to highlight open-ear headphones that sport some kind of unique feature or two, or just a really cool look, feel, or onboard customization. While many open-ear sets are relatively primitive when compared to the types of things that traditional cans and wireless buds can do, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wowed in some regard. Whether it’s rotatable hook supports, an enhanced IP rating, or USB-C charging, we did our best to highlight open-ear headphones that went a step ahead of the competition in some way, shape or form.
  • Price: A quick scan of our roundup will show you that open-ear headphones are, for the most part, not too expensive. But in the world of consumer tech, premium features often come at premium prices. And while the Sony LinkBuds are right around $150, they’re priced this high for multiple reasons we can stand behind, including a unique open-ring design and Bluetooth multipoint. With many open-ear sets coming in around the $70 price mark, we did our best to showcase products that are a bit more affordable for budget shoppers, as well as those that are a little more expensive (like the LinkBuds) that throw in some must-have features for the above-average price.

What’s the Difference Between Open-Ear and Open-Back Headphones?

While this roundup will exclusively cover a few different types of open-ear headphones, there’s a similarly named genre of wearable audio known as open-back headphones. Now here’s the one real difference between the two: 

Open-back headphones look and feel much like a traditional set of cans, with the one exception being that the cups themselves (the part that goes over your ear) is missing the typical plastic covering that you’ll find on most regular sets of headphones. Instead, the part of the cups that face away from your ears will feature some kind of open-mesh material (whether fabric or plastic) that allows for audio to leak out of the actual drivers, while allowing ambient sound to reach your ear.

A pair of open-back headphones. Image Courtesy of Amazon

Most open-ear headphones don’t really look like traditional headphones at all. A majority of these models will hook onto certain parts of your ears, while leaving the majority of the ear canal open. In some cases, you’ll find sets that have wraparound frames (such as bone conduction headphones), but in terms of the O.G. headphone look, this is about as close as it gets for the open-ear design. 

Are Open-Ear Headphones Expensive?

Depending on the brand and features, open-ear headphones are actually a little less expensive than traditional headphones and earbuds. With many models available between $50 and $70, open-ear headphones tend to have more going for them in the fit and comfort departments than they do when it comes to next-level audiophile performance. 

Thus, when it comes time to price open-ear sets, you’ll more than likely be able to find a pair that aligns with your wants, needs, and most importantly, your budget.

Do Open-Ear Headphones Have Noise Cancellation?

Generally speaking, you won’t find features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and ambient listening modes built into your open-ear headphones. 

While some brands will include a feature or two that may enhance call quality or cut down on certain harsher frequencies, most open-ear headphones simply don’t have the chassis and driver real-estate available to include the types of sound dampening features you’ll find in today’s leading noise-cancelling headphones.