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Wireless earphones: The best headphones for your next indoor ride

Wireless earphones for cycling
Mark Cavendish shows off his headphones (Image credit: Getty)

With many people confined to indoor cycling for the foreseeable future as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, one of the big questions is how do we work through the often quite boring process of riding in place for hours at a time.

Sure, there's entertainment via the likes of Zwift and Rouvy with their virtual riding, but there's nothing like listening to a bit of your favourite music to while away the hours, is there?

You can get the sound system out but for it to be audible over the hum of your trainer, and your neighbours will have to put up with your choice of tunes.

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That leaves us with wireless earphones, our choice for the best way to listen to music or podcasts while you're on the bike training indoors. 

But which ones? We've trawled through the stores to pick out the best of them.

The premium option:

Sennheiser Momentum 2

(Image credit: Sennheiser )

Sennheiser Momentum 2

Stylish in-ear wireless earphones with all the bells and whistles

RRP: £279 / $349.95

Battery life
Range of ear top options
Noise cancelling
Expensive

These svelte black earphones are just about as good as you can get if you're looking for a pair of in-ear wireless earphones for indoor cycling. Sennheiser is an expert in the audio game, and it shows with these buds.

One improvement on the first edition of these buds is the addition of active noise cancelling, joining the numbers of premium earphones which offer such a feature. The feature can be toggled on and off via touch control or Sennheiser's Smart Control app, so you won't be oblivious to traffic if you're cycling outdoors.

The touch controls also let you control a range of other functions, including playing or pausing audio, as well as skipping back and forth. Compatibility with voice assistants Siri and Google Assistant is also enabled.

Other features include a seven-hour battery life, which extended to 28 when charged via battery case. There are four pairs of ear tips too, in a range of sizes to fit you, while a USB-C charging cable is also included. If you have the cash, then the Sennheiser Momentum 2 is a great choice.

Mid-range option:

Jabra Elite 65t

(Image credit: Jabra)

Jabra Elite 65t

An affordable mid-range option

RRP: £149.99 / $149.99

Quality
Price
Aesthetics
Battery life could be better

A nice mid-range option on the market, the Jabra Elite 65t are our pick for their quality and relatively reasonable price. The ease of use is good too – no turning on or off or re-pairing them over and over, just put them and take them out of the charging case.

The plastic build keeps the weight low, while the silicon tips will fit most ears and keep them stably in place. A button on each bud lets you control volume and skip through tracks easily, while drops and stutters in the Bluetooth connection are rare.

The battery lasts for around six hours in the best-case scenario, which should usually be enough to get you through your workout or ride, while the charging case adds 10 hours to that, so more than enough. The sound quality is good, but as expected, but the bass, for example, is not up to par with a premium model like the Sennheisers above.

 Our pick:

Samsung Galaxy Buds

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Buds

Samsung's Galaxy buds are a sleek and compact pair of earbuds, which stick in the ear despite the daintier look than the Jabras

RRP: £139.00 / $149.99

Sound quality
Wireless charging
Find function

The Samsung Galaxy Buds' touch controls can be customised via the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app and includes the option to use Samsung's voice assistant Bixby too. The battery life is a good amount at six hours, while the charging case provides an extra seven, more than enough to keep you going. One useful feature is the ability to wirelessly charge using the case, so you can top up on the go.

Connectivity is, as you might expect, best with other Samsung devices, though they'll work with a range of other devices easily enough too. Sound-wise, there are no real downsides, with the bass an improvement on the Jabras.

The 'ambient sound' feature – enabled via app – is a nice addition, mixing in background noise when needed so you can be more aware of your surroundings. The 'find my earbuds' feature makes them easy to find should you misplace them too, with a beeping noise to alert you to their location.

Open-ear pick: 

AfterShokz Trekz

(Image credit: AfterShokz)

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium

Athlete-focussed headphones, safer on the road

RRP: £69.95 / $79.95

Lightweight
Novel design
Price
Bass sound quality could be better
Outer-ear design prone to getting sweaty 

These athlete-focussed headphones are a bit different from what we've previously looked at – they don't sit inside your ear at all. It's a novel concept, but lets you hear what's going on around you while still channelling your audio down into your ears.

The headband keeps the headphones in place while you're riding, though there could be some conflict with your choice of helmet, so check that before buying.

They're lightweight, offer several buttons to control what you're listening to, and also offer six hours of charge. Sound-wise, the bass suffers a little, as to be expected given the outer-ear design, but the headphones generally good in this area.

Best deal: 

Mobvoi TicPods Free

(Image credit: Mobvoi )

Mobvoi TicPods Free

Quality offering for those on a budget

Price: £85.99 / $129.99

Noise cancellation
Noise isolation
Price
Pseudo-AirPod aesthetic

These are the cheapest earphones we've looked at, so good for those on a budget. The design certainly takes a lot from Apple's AirPods, only these are a lot cheaper and compatible with a wide range of devices.

You can use numerous voice assistants, too, with Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant also supported. The TicPods are comfortable, bassy, and offer similar touch controls to the rest of the earphones we've taken a look at. You can even pause audio by removing the right earbud.

Ambient noise cancellation, as well as noise isolation, is also offered, while the battery lasts four hours – less than most competitors here, but enough for most rides. If you use the charging case you can get 14 extra hours though, which is more than enough.

Sound quality is good, though doesn't match the pricier options available, but these are a great pair of earphones at this price range. If you like the AirPods look, then go for it.

Currently available at £49.99 at Amazon.co.uk or $49.99 at Amazon.com.