Best UK Headphones For Cycling
Latest Update: August 2020
Here are our top picks in the category of best headphones for cycling to buy in the UK.
#1 Pick: Overall Review Score = 90%
#2: Best Ranked Alternative
#3: Best For Positive Review Scores
Headphones for Cycling: A Buyer’s Guide
Cycling is a pastime which will likely take you to many interesting places! However, many of us want to make sure we have access to some of our favourite entertainment while on the road. Therefore, it’s important to take a close look at the various headphones and earphones on the market which are specifically ideal for cycling long distance. But what is it that you should be looking for in a pair of cycling headphones, and why do they differ to everyday options?
Crucially, you are going to need a pair of headphones which will travel well with you. You’re going to need comfort, flexibility, adaptability and more besides. However, there are of course more than a few additional features and facilities which help to make some cycling headphones more desirable than others. You may not even have thought about wearing headphones while cycling before!
We must advise that it is never a good idea to wear headphones while cycling on busy roads, or where you are likely to come into contact with other vehicles. While some people do wear headphones while cycling all over the country, it’s crucial that you keep as safe as possible. As a road user, that means you need to stay alert.
Therefore, good cycling headphones should be used when travelling down quiet lanes or across rural ground. Of course, where you choose to cycle is going to vary – but safety is an absolute must!
In this buying guide, we will take a close look at everything you need to know about buying the perfect pair of cycling headphones. There are perhaps more factors than you may originally imagine! Think about what would matter to you the most when riding around, listening to music – and use your own sense of comfort as a guide.
At the end of the guide, we will make sure to take a closer look at what other buyers have to say about cycling headphones when shopping online.
Why Buy Headphones for Cycling?
There’s nothing quite like having your favourite music to listen to while on the go. You might even want to listen to a podcast or two, or to tune into talk radio while you cycle around. For many people, listening to audio or any kind of music can be a great motivator! Therefore, it’s understandable why someone may wish to strap a pair of cans on while taking to the handlebars.
Many people wear headphones while cycling to really escape from modern life. It’s a great way to tune into your own personal soundtrack while taking time out to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. Just as you might listen to music on your headphones at the gym, it makes sense that you would want to listen to music while on the move outdoors.
However, as mentioned, safety is an issue. Some cyclists may advise that it is never wise to wear headphones and risk distractions while cycling. However, with plenty of headphones out there specifically designed for cycling use, and to help boost your awareness of your surroundings, there are clearly more than a few schools of thought out there on the matter.
It’s worth bearing in mind that you should never wear a standard pair of headphones while cycling. You should shop for specific headphones which are designed purely for taking to the road. This way, you can ensure that you are completely safe and comfortable while you ride.
Things To Look For
At last, it’s time to start thinking about what you should compare between cycling headphones. These are the very basics – the essentials – and you may actually find that there are some types of cycling headphones which probe even deeper. Therefore, keep an open mind, and do be ready to take a closer look at the finer specifications of headphones on the market right now.
Once again, we’re coming back to safety – but for a third and final time! It’s crucial that you look for cycling headphones or earphones which are built with road users in mind. Some headphones offer specific acoustics which will allow you to listen to your music at a safe enough level without you risking your safety – or anyone else’s, for that matter. Ultimately, you shouldn’t be blasting music through your ears while you ride around – so take a close look for those headphones that promise clarity and distraction-free riding.
Your comfort levels may vary compared to other cyclists but do look carefully for those headphones with ergonomic design. You should also think about comparing between in-ear and over-ear models. Not everyone likes the same style of earphones, and the fact is, if you’re fiddling around with your earpieces while on the road, you are going to risk causing an accident. Make sure you choose earphones or headphones you know are likely to be comfortable for you to fit and wear at all times while riding.
Wired or Wireless?
This is a big factor. You may actually find that there are plenty of cycling headphones out there which have cables attached. However, many people will prefer wireless connectivity for obvious reasons. As there are no cables, there are no opportunities for you to get tangled up. This, of course, while you are riding a bike, is going to be a massive safety hazard.
What’s more, people seem to be moving more and more towards wireless earphone and headphone tech. It’s certainly possible to find cabled and cable-free tech. However, it’s likely most cyclists who use headphones will recommend going wireless.
It may not seem too obvious that you should need water-resistant earphones for cycling, however, think about how much you are likely to sweat while on the road! Even a light deluge is likely to cause problems for generic, everyday headphones. Therefore, it makes sense that you should look for earphones with some form of protection in place. You can easily find this by looking for the IP rating on any technology. IP ratings will let you know how protective your headphones are against solids and liquids alike. Naturally, the higher the number, the more resistant your earphones are likely to be.
Bone Conduction Technology
There’s a separate buyer’s guide we’ll bring you on bone conduction headphones, but it’s worth keeping mind when shopping around for cycling earphones, too. Bone conduction headphones won’t actually go anywhere near your ears! Instead, the technology allows you to place your speakers safely elsewhere on your face or head, so that you can easily keep your ears free to listen around and keep safe. This might also be very comfortable, perhaps more so, compared to traditional earphones, for many people. There’s no irritation or any risk of you losing sight of the world around you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Of course, it’s time to take a look at a few of the most commonly asked questions people pose about cycling headphones. If it’s your first time buying this type of technology, there’s no need to worry. There are plenty of people out there who are in the same boat! Here are some queries and concerns that people like you are already posing.
Should I Wear Headphones While Cycling?
That’s a very good question, and one that many people are still asking! Therefore, it is well worth looking around and forming your own opinion. As you can see from our buying guide, there are plenty of great options out there for cyclists which are perfectly safe. What’s more, there are plenty of people – experts included – who believe that there is no harm in you using specific cycling headphones while on the move.
Do I Need Bone Conduction Technology?
In many cases, bone conduction headphones can be massive assets to cyclists. That’s because they don’t actually require your ears to work! It’s perfectly possible to still hear music if they sit elsewhere on your head. They may not be comfortable for everyone, however, so it is well worth keeping an open mind.
How Much Do Cycling Headphones Cost?
Depending on the technology you are looking for, you may expect to pay as little as £20, or as much as £200 in some cases. In our collective opinion, it is worth considering paying more for technology which is likely to keep you safe while on the move. Therefore, do be willing to set a fair amount of money aside. It’s just common sense!
Do I Need Waterproof Headphones?
Proofed headphones are a great idea if you are likely to sweat a lot through your ears! They are also a great asset if you cycle in all weathers. Therefore, if this sounds like you, keep your eyes peeled for an IP rating or two.
Cycling headphones offer you great, safe ways to listen to music and audio while travelling around. Read up on what verified buyers have to say, and make sure that you find a model which is comfortable for your everyday cycles. Use our guide as a base and take your shopping from there!