I've been on the hunt for good earbuds that I can wear while running; I'd been at it so long that I was losing hope. For a high-intensity activity like running, headphones need to be durable, fit comfortably and sound good. Between sweat and repeated drops from buds falling out of my ears, I've broken my fair share of earbuds. Then I decided to invest in the Jabra Elite 8 Active. These are the first pair I've found that finally ticked all three boxes.

It was the IP68 rating that finally sold me. They're effectively waterproof and dustproof, so they shouldn't break, even when I'm sweating through a hot, humid summer run. They also come with a two-year warranty against sweat or dust. So if I do manage to damage them, I can get a replacement pair.

After running with them for about a month now, I can say that, in addition to being super durable, these are solid earbuds with big sound and tons of great customizable options to tailor the fit and experience to you.

$140 with code JABRAELITE

$180 at Amazon

$180 at Best Buy

The Jabra Elite 8 Active is the best-fitting earbud I've worn on a run


A good fit is the most important thing to consider in earbuds for running. Even a pair that feels fine while sitting or walking can end up shaking or slipping out once you start pounding the pavement.

Jabra thought of everything when it comes to designing the fit of the Elite 8 Active. They're lightweight (5 grams per earbud) and a have a soft matte silicone coating that helps the earbud grip your ear. This works well on my runs. They don't bounce or slip out even at higher speeds. I don't have to fiddle with them or think about them all.

It also comes with three different tips so you can get the right fit for your ear canal. It might take some trial and error to find the right fit among those three ear tips. Initially, the ones already attached to the earbuds out of the box felt fine. But about 10 minutes into my run, they started slipping. I switched to the smaller tips for my next run and that solved the problem.

Once I got the right tips in place, they fit snugly without pressure points or feeling heavy. I wore them for a full workday when I first got them to see how they felt during extended wear, and they were comfortable the entire time.

The on-ear buttons are also nice. They don't require a lot of pressure to press so the earbuds don't dig into your ear canal too much compared to other earbuds I've tried.

I also like that you can customize what the buttons do. You can set different actions for a single tap, double tap, triple tap or long tap on each earbud. So I recommend programming your two most frequently used functions for the single tap on each earbud. In my case, a single tap on the left earbud toggles between noise-cancelling settings. The single tap on the right earbud skips to the next song.


Big, customizable sound that works for any genre

I was impressed with the sound quality of the Jabra Elite 8 Active earbuds. They deliver surprisingly powerful bass and crisp highs. But most importantly, this model has a really intuitive equalizer in the app so you can easily tweak the settings to the music you listen to.

The equalizer adjusts the settings in real time, so you can listen to your playlist while fiddling with the settings to get the best sound. You can also save custom EQ profiles in case your musical taste is as chaotic as mine and requires different settings for the wildly different genres you listen to.

These earbuds also come with Dolby Atmos. I've heard a lot about it, but this was my first time getting to try out the technology for myself. For watching movies or shows, it's very cool. It makes it sound like you're in the room or in the middle of what's happening. But for listening to music, it kind of flattens the sound. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it does something weird. 

Fortunately, it's easy to toggle the Dolby Atmos feature on and off in the app. So I'd say you should just turn it on for watching movies and keep it off otherwise.

The active noise canceling is also impressive. I tested it while doing some chores to see how much noise it could block. I could not hear my dryer or dishwasher at all. The vacuum was audible, but just barely. When I tried them while watching TV, it muted all the background sounds except people talking.

The transparency mode (Hear Through mode) will come in handy when I'm working from a cafe, but it's still too strong to use while running outside. In fact, I'd recommend running with only one earbud in when you run outdoors so you can have one ear tuned to oncoming traffic.

Overall, I'm very happy with the Jabra Elite 8 Active. They sound great. They're durable. And they fit well enough that I don't have to worry about them while running.

Now is a great time to try them out for yourself as they're on sale at multiple retailers. You'll get the best deal when you order from Jabra directly. Use code JABRAELITE at checkout to get 30% off. That brings the price down from $200 to $140.

$140 with code JABRAELITE

Otherwise, you can still save $20 when you buy them at Amazon or Best Buy.

$180 at Amazon $180 at Best Buy