On Ear or Over Ear Headphones for Working Out: Which One Should You Have?

On Ear or Over Ear Headphones for Working Out Which One Should You Have
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Listening to music while working out is not only a fantastic source of motivation, but it can also be used to measure time or for keeping a set rhythm. While you may commonly see in-ear headphones make their way to the gym, there is that select group of people that just have to opt from that little bit more comfort during their workout, so they pick either on-ear or over-ear headphones.

Now when it comes to choosing on ear or over ear headphones for working out, it's important to take note of a few key differences so that you can make the decision that's best for you. This article will not only list the benefits of each type of headphones but also look to answer which is best for a workout session.

Types of Headphones

Firstly, it's important to realize the main differences between the two types of headphones. On-ear headphones sit across the bridge of your ears directing sound down into your ear canal, while over-ear headphones enclose the entirety of the ears inside the ear cup without the need for such direction as there is a significantly less audio leak. Now, while this may sound like an immediate advance for over-ear headphones, that isn't necessarily the case.

Types of Headphones

Below you'll see the benefits and drawbacks of each.



  • On-ear headphones offer a far more secure feeling as they typically deliver a higher level of compression due to their design.
  • This type of headphones also utilizes a folding mechanism that allows them to be far more easily transported to and from the gym than their over-ear counterparts.
  • These offer a greater level of airflow, keeping your ears cool during a workout.
  • These are more lightweight than over-ear headphones, making them more ideal for heavy activities.


  • These do suffer from greater audio leakage than most other types of headphones due to them resting on top of the ears; thus, allowing for more background gym noise to creep in.
  • Their lighter construction does make them more prone to damage with the risk of this being increased by being in a gym environment.



  • These headphones offer fantastic sound quality with very high levels of noise isolation.
  • Over-ear headphones are far superior when it comes to comfort over long periods of time, making them great for more extended workout sessions.
  • They are designed with more durable construction, allowing them to put up with heavier use.
  • Due to their increased size, these headphones also have that little extra room to fit a bit more audio tech whether it's speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, or built-in remotes.


  • Due to their increased weight and design, you'll notice that these are far more likely to move around on your head during a workout which isn't ideal, especially when you're lifting heavy weights.
  • These are also more likely to move around when in a horizontal position as they don't offer as much of a compressed fit like the on-ear headphones.
Why You Should Listen to Music During Your Workout

Why You Should Listen to Music During Your Workout

1. Time

More often than not, we find ourselves continuously checking the clock to see how long we've been carrying out a specific exercise. Music is a fantastic way to help you lost track of time in the gym, allowing you to solely focus on your workout itself. This is especially helpful during those longer cardio regimes.

2. Motivation

Just like in Rocky, music can really boost your motivation to complete a specific and often more strenuous workout. Songs with a high beat per minute are especially helpful as they provide a solid rhythm that we can align with our workouts to produce our maximum effort. This makes achieving a set pace that easier.

3. Mood

Whether you're working out or not, music can set you in a fantastic mood and make you happy with what you're doing, which is incredibly important in terms of how much effort you put in. For those of us who are new to working out on a regular basis might not have the same love for it as regular gym goers, so having a fantastic playlist can help you get in the mindset of completing an excellent workout.

4. Increased Adrenaline

Fast paced music has the incredible ability to boost your adrenaline levels during your workouts, which gives extra benefits such as an increased rate of lipolysis which is the breakdown of fatty acids, an improvement in oxygen efficiency, and, of course, the ability to push yourself that little bit further during your workouts.

Our Conclusion

When choosing between on ear or over ear headphones for working out, it really comes down to personal preference, and this will be greatly affected by the type of workout routines you typically carry out. On-ear headphones are great as they are less likely to move around while exercising. On the contrary, over-ear headphones are generally more comfortable, allowing you to wear them for longer periods of time.

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