Although earbuds with ear hooks may not be for everyone, you can’t deny that they add an extra level of security. While your buds may fall out of your ears, the hooks keep them attached to your head, preventing you from losing them or having them drop to the pavement, which may lead to some damage. That’s an important feature, particularly if you wear earbuds while running or biking.
Here’s a look at the best earbuds with ear hooks, all of which we’ve tested. Most of them are affordable, with most costing less than $100. We’ll update this list as new sports earbuds hit the market.
Read more: Best Workout Headphones for 2023
The new Soundcore Sport X10 have an interesting design with rotating swiveling ear hooks that flip up when you’re using them and flip down when you want to set them in their charging case, which has a smaller footprint than a lot of buds with ear hooks.
As long as you get a tight seal, they sound good, with powerful, punchy bass and good detail. They also have active noise canceling, which is effective though not as good as Sony or Bose’s noise canceling. They’re also fully waterproof with an IPX7 rating, which means they can be fully submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. Battery life is rated at up to 8 hours with an additional three charges in the charging case.
JBL has upgraded its ear-hook style sport earbuds for 2023. Available in black or white, the Endurance Peak 3 buds offer better battery life (up to 10 hours with four extra charges in their case) improved voice-calling performance and an IP68 rating that makes them fully waterproof and dust-proof. They also have an Ambient Aware transparency mode and Talk Thru mode that can automatically lower your music’s volume level and open up the buds to the outside world. That means you can have conversation with someone without removing the buds from your ears.
They stayed on my ears very securely during runs and I thought they sounded quite good, though they do have a bit of bass push (by that I mean they have powerful bass). Just be aware that if you don’t get a tight seal, sound quality will be significantly worse. Also, like other earbuds with ear-hook designs, the case is on the beefy side. That said, the buds do seem durable and if you get a good fit, they’re an excellent (and less pricey) alternative to the Beats Powerbeats Pro. I also though the touch controls worked well and was easily able to toggle through the sound modes.
Battery Life Rated up to 9 hoursNoise Canceling NoMultipoint NoHeadphone Type Wireless earbudsWater-Resistant Yes (IPX4 — splash-proof)
The Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds have been on the market for a few years but remain popular and are now available in several color options. Their jumbo charging case is a notable drawback, but they offer many of the same features as Apple’s AirPods 2 (they’re equipped with Apple’s H1 chip) but have better sound so long as you get a tight seal (they should fit most — but not all — ears well). There’s no active noise canceling but battery life is strong at up to 9 hours and they’re IPX4 splash-proof.
Note that the Powerbeats Pro are frequently on sale, so you should only buy them if they’re substantially discounted. Read our Powerbeats Pro review.
Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro review.
Battery Life Rated up to 10 hoursNoise Canceling NoMultipoint NoHeadphone Type Wireless earbudsWater-Resistant Yes (IP55 — protection against low-pressure water streams)
With so many new wireless earbuds and headphones being released on what seems likely a weekly basis, it’s not easy for companies to differentiate their products in the marketplace. Skullcandy hopes its new voice-driven platform, Skull-iQ Smart Feature Technology, will do just that. Similar to the Apple AirPods’ “Hey Siri” feature, Skullcandy’s version allows you to say “Hey, Skullcandy” to issue hands-free voice commands without touching a button. Skull-iQ debuts on the sports-oriented Push Active, and the $100 Grind Fuel, which will be firmware updatable via the Skullcandy App.
With their ear-hook design, they’re essentially a more affordable version of the Beats Powerbeats Pro and they fit my ears slightly better than the Powerbeats Pro. I’m not usually a fan of ear-hook style buds, but this is one of the better ones.
The Push Active True earbuds are equipped with Bluetooth 5.2, are IP55 splashproof, have built-in Tile Finding Technology and are rated for up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge at moderate volume levels.
Cleer’s Epic Arc buds are similar to Bose’s Open Sport Earbuds (see below) but are actually a little more comfortable to wear thanks to their swiveling hinge. Like the Bose buds, they rest on the top of your ear just above the ear canal and fire sound into your ears. They’re open so they let ambient sound in (that’s a plus if you’re a runner or biker and want to hear traffic), but their 16.2 mm drivers provide ample bass and volume. They don’t sound quite as good as the Bose Open Sport Earbuds but they’re pretty close.
I liked the case, which is a little big but pretty thin. While it has an integrated USB charging cable (that’s nice), like the Bose Open Sport Earbuds case it doesn’t have a rechargeable battery so it’s basically a dock for charging the earbuds, which are also available in black. Battery life is rated at up to 7 hours and they’re IPX5 splash-proof.
Some of these types of ear-hook-style earbuds have physical control buttons but these have touch controls. I found they worked pretty well but not great. The buds do have a companion app that allows you to upgrade the firmware and tweak the sound profile.
Battery Life Rated up to 15 hoursNoise Canceling NoMultipoint NoHeadphone Type Wireless earbudsWater-Resistant Yes (IPX8 — can be fully submerged for long periods of time)
While the Tribit MoveBuds H1 only sound decent, not great, there’s a lot to like about them. They feel sturdy and are fully waterproof with an IPX8 rating. They also have very long battery life — up to 15 hours — and support Qualcomm’s AptX audio codec. Many Android smartphones offer AptX Bluetooth streaming.