Is Open Ear Headphones Worth It for Running?

When it comes to enhancing your running experience, the right choice of headphones can make all the difference. With a myriad of options available in the market, it’s crucial to understand which style of headphones suits your needs best, especially when it comes to activities like running.


What is open ear earbuds?

Someone is wearing open ear headphones

Open-ear earbuds, also known as open-ear headphones or bone conduction headphones, are a style of headphones that sit outside the ear canal rather than inside it. Instead of using traditional speaker drivers to deliver sound directly into the ear, open-ear earbuds use bone conduction technology or small speakers positioned outside the ear to transmit sound vibrations through the cheekbones and into the inner ear. This design allows users to remain aware of their surroundings while still enjoying audio playback, making them popular for activities like running, cycling, and outdoor sports.

What are the benefits of open-ear headphones?

Best open ear headphones for running
  • Safety and Awareness

One of the paramount benefits of using open-ear headphones is the enhanced safety they provide. By not blocking out ambient sounds, these headphones ensure that users, especially those involved in outdoor activities or busy urban environments, remain vigilant to potential hazards. This could be the honking of an approaching vehicle, a cyclist ringing their bell, or someone calling out to them. The ability to hear these crucial environmental cues is pivotal to preventing accidents.

  • Comfort

Traditional headphones, especially those inserted into the ear canal or completely covering the ear, can sometimes cause discomfort over prolonged use. Over-ear headphones might lead to ear fatigue or sweat accumulation, while in-ear headphones can feel invasive or cause pressure in the ear canal. Open-ear air-conduction headphones, with their unique design, avoid these discomforts, making them ideal for extended listening sessions or for those sensitive to traditional headphone designs.

  • Hygiene and Ear Health

Unlike traditional in-ear headphones that sit inside the ear canal, potentially trapping bacteria and causing infections, open-ear designs sit outside or just in front of the ear, allowing for better ear hygiene by preventing moisture buildup and facilitating natural earwax circulation. Moreover, their design promotes listening at safer volumes or frequencies, reducing the risk of noise-induced ear fatigue or hearing damage.

  • Remain connected with the outside world

The open-ear design of bone conduction headphones means that you can hear everything your friend has to say even whilst listening to your favourite power tune.

The 4 Best Headphones for Running

Comparatively speaking, Sanag’s open era headphones are a great value for money among similarly priced options, focusing on product quality and consumer experience. I’ll recommend three highly acclaimed products for you.

Best for comfort-pursuing runners

Sanag S5 Ear Clip

Best for comfort-pursuing runners: Sanag S5 Ear Clip

Who it’s for
Runners who prioritize comfort
Why it’s great

  • Cloud-Like Comfort

Featuring SFE Ear Adhesion Technology, you can comfortably wear it all day long. Experience the airy, skin-friendly, and secure fit of open-ear headphones, ensuring stability without slipping.

  • Innovative Ear Clip Open Ear Design That Stands Out

Unlike in-ear headphones, this open ear bluetooth headphones keep away from the ear canal, offering enhanced comfort during wear. Additionally, it reduces radiation exposure to the ear canal, ensuring a safer usage experience.

  • Hi-PURE Sound Quality Enhanced by 86%

The combination of capacitor matrix and ceramic capacitors, housed in a high-resolution acoustic chamber, enhances the sound quality of open ear bluetooth headphones. The capacitor matrix expands bandwidth, resulting in a broad soundstage and expansive, natural sound quality. Ceramic capacitors filter out noise from the power source, improving clarity and reducing background noise in the audio.

Best for music-loving runners

Sanag B91S Pro

Best for music-loving runners: Sanag B91S Pro

Who it’s for
Runners who are seeking an exceptional audio experience.
Why it's great

  • High-Frequency Directional Vibrator

Using a 16MM high-density gravity vibrator, the sound quality of Sanag B91S Pro RunPower Bone Conduction Headphones is greatly improved. It also supports heavy bass effects for a better sports experience.

  • Full Cavity Closed Directional 5.0 Technology

Bone conduction headphones adopts the full cavity closure 5.0 technology independently developed by SSG Acoustic Laboratory, which alleviates the sound leakage problem caused by the resonance of the ear shell caused by the vibration of the vibrator.

  • CVC Noise Reduction HD Call

Equipped with an upgraded CVC algorithm, it filters the surrounding environment noise in real-time, making the human voice clear to the ears and enabling new high-definition noise reduction calls.

  • Smart Sanag APP unlocks more functions

Can be connected to Sanag app to set different functions, such as personalized sound effect customization (digitally enhanced/pop/rock/classical/lyrical/soft).

Best for on budget runners

Sanag Z61S Pro Ear Hook

Best for on budget runners: Sanag Z61S Pro Ear Hook

Who it’s for
Runners who are on a budget
Why it's great
It's price is only $45.99, which won’t impose an economic burden. Surprisingly, the Sanag Z61S Pro also boasts these advantages, delivering a premium auditory experience for you.

  • Noise cancellation technology
  • Zero gravity rotor-type ear hangers
  • 360 Panorama Virtual Hybrid Technology
  • SSQVP-EXTREME digital sound enhancement technology


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