These On-Ear Headphones Can Actually Withstand Your Workouts

Aleisha Fetters
by Aleisha Fetters
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These On-Ear Headphones Can Actually Withstand Your Workouts

I go everywhere with big ol’ headphones on my head: to the supermarket, to the coffee shop and you know to the gym.

But here’s the thing you need to know about me. I sweat. Like, a lot. (It’s honestly become a really smelly joke among my friends.) When it comes to workout electronics, that presents a problem. Through enough trial and error, though, I’ve figured out that removing my headphones between heavy sets, cupping them around my thigh and dragging them up and down my leg does a pretty good job of removing the sweat from the ear pieces. Still, one set later, I’m back at it again. I should note I’m currently on my second pair of headphones, and I’m not positive sweat wasn’t what killed the first.

So when Under Armour asked me to try out its new UA Sport Wireless Train on-ear headphones Engineered by JBL, I was intrigued. UA headphones have to be workout- and sweat-friendly right?

Well they turned out to be way better for tough workouts than my sweaty self had even hoped…

Training proof. Superior fit. Premium JBL sound. The Under Armour Sport Wireless Train on-ear headphones were built for the athlete within.


Breathable (and Washable!) Ear Cushions

The SuperVent Ear Cushions win my “best headphones feature ever” award. The earpieces’ soft, squishy, yet grippy fabric let my ears breathe and wicked away sweat. I didn’t have to dry them off on my clothes once during my workouts.

After a few wears, I popped off the ear cushion and hand-washed them. They came out springtime fresh and ready to go. They also went back on the headphones as easily as they came off. Phew.

A Water-Resistant Rating

It just kept getting better for my sweat glands: these training headphones come with an IPX4 rating (aka: They are water resistant). So, during my workouts, I didn’t have to worry about my sweat shorting out the headphones. I didn’t realize how much headspace I was actually devoting to that fear until it wasn’t there anymore.

The Heavy Bass

When I’m lifting heavy, I listen pretty much exclusively to ’90s and ’00s rap. (No shame here.) So, yeah, I was thrilled with the bass-heavy JBL Charged Sound. It effectively blocked out whatever the gym had playing and pumped me up for each lift.

The Legit Battery Life

I’m well-accustomed to headphones that die mid-workout, so the fact the headphones have a 16-hour battery life was pretty awesome. I could make it through a whole week of workouts without charging … if it weren’t for the fact that I wear my headphones everywhere.  

So Little Charging Time

Because I wear my headphones everywhere I go, this was huge: five minutes of charging time scored me an hour of music playback.

Their “Talkthru” Technology

I generally work out solo, but the headphones’ “talkthru” technology was great for letting me check in at the gym’s front desk and say the occasional “can I work in?” and “are you using that?” to fellow gym-goers throughout my workouts without needing to remove an earpiece or pause my music.

When I tapped the UA logo on the right earpiece, my music’s volume went down and my voice seemed to get louder somehow. When I went back through to read the packaging, I learned that was thanks to speech-optimized, noise-cancelling mics. Cool, right? When I tapped the logo again, the volume went right back to where I had it before.

A Headband That Grips in Place

There are some exercises I just don’t do wearing headphones: kettlebell swings are one of them. With most on-ear headphones this exercise sends the headband flying around the front of my face. And, in case you’re wondering, it’s not comfortable when headphones hit your nose at high speed.

But the headband on this pair had a nice grippy material I wanted to put to the test. I was able to bang out 20 reps before the headband started to move even a little. Bam. Sold.

The Manual I Didn’t Need

I’m not big on following (or reading) directions. So, in typical fashion, for my first wear, I simply popped them on my head and resolved to figure them out during my 5-minute walk to the gym.

In that time, I managed to turn on their Bluetooth, sync them to my phone, figure out all of the controls (volume, play, pause, forward, backward, talkthru) and text my friends to brag about my technological accomplishments. I have a reputation for being awful with technology, which is mostly due to the fact that I don’t read directions. So there. The right tech doesn’t require instructions.


I did have one concern before trying the headphones: the fact that the earpieces sit on, not over, your ears. I’ve had problems in the past with on-ear headphones hurting my earlobes — especially the top, floppy parts. Unfortunately, despite how soft and squishy the earpieces were, they still hurt my ears after more than an hour of wear. After multiple wears, though, the ear issues did start to let up some.

To get more opinions, I started having all my friends try out the headphones and report back on how their ears felt. A couple people said they could see how they might get uncomfortable on the ears after a while, but most everyone thought they felt just hunky dory and requested that I gift them the headphones. Maybe I have ultra-sensitive earlobes?

So, as far as I’m concerned, if you’re down with on-ear headphones, you seriously need to be powering your workouts with the UA Sport Wireless Train headphones.

And, while you’re at it, go ahead and wear them whenever there’s a chance you might sweat. (For me, that would be all the time.)

About the Author

Aleisha Fetters
Aleisha Fetters

Aleisha is a health and fitness writer, contributing to online and print publications including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, TIME,, and She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she concentrated on health and science reporting. She is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the NSCA. You can read more from Aleisha at, or follow her on Twitter @kafetters.


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