6 great headphones for any budget: We review Beats By Dre Solo3, Philips ActionFit and more

We try out the likes of Beats by Dre's Solo3 Wireless and Bose's SoundSport in-ear headphones for use in the gym and beyond

bose soundsport earphones
Which earphones are best for use during exercise? Photo: Bose

Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones

About: The StayHear tips conform to your ear’s shape to keep them locked in and the tunes pumping during workouts and while walking. The earphones have an inline mic and remote for calls and music on selected devices, too. At £80, they are on the more affordable range of the quality sports earphone market scale.

Perfect for: The gym, jogging and everything in between.

Review: By far and away the best feature of the SoundSport product is the snug fit thanks to the StayHear tips, which makes them feel stable in all situations. The rubber stabiliser holds the earphone in place very well indeed during workouts and while walking. As you’d expect from Bose, the sound quality is crisp and clear. However, for those looking for a technological step up, Bose also offer a wireless SoundSport range.

Price: £79.95

Beats by Dre Solo3 Wireless

The Beats By Dre Beats3 retail at £249.95 Photo: Beats By Dre

About: With up to 40 hours of battery life, Beats Solo3 Wireless is your perfect everyday headphone. Get the most out of your music with an award-winning, emotionally charged Beats listening experience.

Perfect for: The gym or any leisure activity.

Review: Having heard a lot of noise about Beats By Dre, the Solo3 lived up to the brand’s reputation. The sound quality is exceptional. While ideal for weights session in the gym, they are not suitable for jogging or high intensity interval training. In terms of day-to-day activities, they’re an excellent companion to keep you pumped while working on the laptop or making the commute to work.

Price: £249.95

Urbanista Boston Wireless earphones

Urbanista Boston Wireless earphones retail at £59.99 Photo: Urbanista Boston

About: The new Urbanista Boston earphones are designed to give users that extra push during a workout, offering strong bass and impeccable clarity. Wireless and with Bluetooth, sports fans won’t get tangled up in wires while on the go and a comfortable silicon wing on the earpiece provides a secure fit. A unique construction also makes them water resistant, so they’re great for using in the rain or when a workout gets sweaty!

Perfect for: Jogging, HIIT or any leisure activities.

Review: Naturally, given their affordable price, the Urbanista Boston can’t match the sound quality of the Beats By Dre Solo3 or RHA’s T20i. However, for those with a tendency to break expensive earphones at the gym, the Urbanista Boston’s stylish wireless earphones are the perfect compromise. The only down side is the battery life, meaning these wireless earphones require charging every three or four days.

Price: £59.99

Philips ActionFit SHQ 7900

These Philips ActionFit are a snug fit Photo: Philips

About: With their open acoustic design, Bluetooth connection and 18g lightweight design, the Philips SHQ7900 headphones are perfect for anyone taking their exercise seriously. With no wired connection to hold users back, its high performance and IPX2 level sweat and moisture proof rating makes it ideal for any workout. The MusicChain feature allows music to be shared with a friend, and its two wearing styles, the C-shaped stability lock and earhook clip, ensure it’s the perfect fit no matter the user.

Perfect for: Jogging, HIIT or any leisure activities.

Review: Priced at £59.99, these Philips Action Fit SHQ7900 wireless earphones are direct competition for the Urbanista Boston. In terms of comfort, there is little difference. The battery life is significantly better – lasting at least a week’s worth of gym workouts. However, these Philips wireless earphones struggled to filter out the exterior noise in the gym. Otherwise, the Philips Action Fit SHQ7900 edge their Urbanista Boston rivals.

Price: £59.99

JBL Reflect Mini BT

The JBL Reflect Mini BT are ideal for those early morning or late evening jogs Photo: JBL

About: The JBL Reflect Mini BT is a lightweight sport headphone designed for ultimate comfort and stability in fitness. The Bluetooth-compatible sport headphones provide wireless freedom, a lightweight feel, secure fit and premium JBL signature sound to push through your workout.

Perfect for: Jogging, HIIT or any leisure activities.

Review: Slightly more expensive than the Philips ActionFit SHQ 7900 and the Urbanista Boston, the JBL Reflect Mini BT are worth the extra £20. If you find yourself adjusting your wireless earphones during a particularly intense workout, you’ll know how annoying it can be when your earbuds pop out of place. This won’t happen with these wireless earphones. They are easily adjustable to ensure a snug fit. This helps to mute exterior noise.

Price: £79.95

RHA’s T20i

RHA are perfect for cutting out background noisePhoto: RHA

About: The T20i is a high performance in-ear headphone featuring “revolutionary” DualCoil dynamic driver technology capable of outperforming conventional drivers in levels of resolution, clarity and detail. The injection moulded stainless steel housings feature a tuning filter system to adjust the sound signature, while a comfortable, noise isolating fit is ensured by patent pending, mouldable over-ear hooks.

Perfect for: A weights session or downtime after the gym.

Review: RHA’s T20i are a worthy rivals for the Solo3 in terms of sound quality – there is little difference between the two products in this area. However, RHA T20i are not wireless, which makes them a tad cumbersome for gym use – no-one likes to get in a tangle. Of course, they are perfectly adequate for use when exercising on the weights machine. During more intense workouts, the earbuds had a tendency to pop loose and the cable would became easily entangled in gym wear. However, for those who love to listen to music while putting together their workout schedules or working on the laptop, you can do so with a touch of class using the RHA T2Oi.

Price: £189.95

The information on this website is intended for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis, and may not be used as such.


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BIOGRAPHY: Ethan Hazard

BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge

↺ Article History
• Last updated on November 11, 2018
• First published on October 18, 2016
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