The best music gadgets for runners, swimmers and cyclists
Running, swimming or cycling to the beat of music makes staying fit more fun. Playing your favourite songs using music gadgets gives you something other than your thoughts to listen to and provides a rhythm to help you maintain a steady pace.
In the past, pairing music with exercise has been a struggle. Relatively recently, it was tricky to play songs while running without getting wrapped up in your headphone chord. Meanwhile, playing music while swimming was out of the question due to a lack of music gadgets that were both waterproof and affordable.
To find the best music gadget for your favourite sport, check out our reviews below:
Music gadgets for runners
- GPS mapping of run routes
- 3 GB of music storage (over 500 songs)
- Long-lasting battery
Connect your Bluetooth headphones to the TomTom Runner 3 and leave your smartphone behind. When playing music at high volume the running watch will last for four hours before it needs to be put back on its USB charger.
This music gadget is one of the few created specifically for runners. The strap is both sweat and water resistant. Also, the monochrome display shows up clearer than your average phone display in bright sunlight.
Plantronics BackBeat Fit
- Good sound quality
- Comfortable to wear
As a music gadget for running, the BackBeat Fit headphones perform well. Importantly, the headphones achieve a reasonable level of music volume, but leave enough noise bleed for situational awareness.
The battery life of these headphones is so good that you can play music for 10 hours straight. Also, the design includes a reflective strip to help you remain visible in the dark. Overall, this gadget provides a good balance of quality and practicality.
Tribe AB37 water resistant sports armband
- Key holder included
- Reflective strip for low light running
- Lightweight and comfortable
If you’re just starting out as a runner and don’t want to spend a lot on a music gadget, you’re better off buying an armband to slot your phone into.
The Tribe AB37 water-resistant sports armband is easy to put on and take off one-handed. The armband includes a space to insert your headphone jack and a convenient pouch for your keys. Oh, and in case you’re new to running bands, you can use your touch screen through the cover as normal.
Music gadgets for swimmers
SYRYN 8 GB waterproof headphones with mp3 player
- 100% waterproof
- Doesn’t let water into your ears
- Supports WMA and MP3 formats
This music gadget is comfortable to wear and easy to use. The wide long clip of the SYRYN mp3 player keeps the gadget well-fastened to your trunks/swimsuit while you’re in the water. Meanwhile, the short cord doesn’t snag as you swim.
Transferring music to the SYRYN mp3 is a doddle – just copy and paste files from your PC or laptop into the SYRYN folder. As your music is playing, there’s the handy option to activate shuffle mode, which keeps your music in the mix until it’s time for a breather.
Pyle Flextreme all-in-one headphones with mp3 player
- Store up to 1000 songs
- Wrap around design ideal for sports
- 100% waterproof
The all-in-one, cordless design of the Flextreme headphones will delight swimmers. The strap sits neatly under your swimming goggles and seals well, so you don’t get water in your ears.
The gadget’s battery lasts for 10 hours from full charge, so you’ll be able to take it for a few swims before it cuts out. By the time it does, you’ll likely be ready to add some new tunes to keep your playlist varied.
Diver waterproof headphones and mp3 player
- Compact design
- 100% waterproof
Having been around for a little while, the Diver mp3 player is cheaper than the previous ones listed. Despite this, the music gadget still does a good job of staying on while swimming and is reasonably comfortable to wear.
From a sound quality and comfort perspective, the gadget doesn’t perform as well as the Pyle Flextreme or SYRYN headphones. But as a cheaper alternative, it’s a good option to consider.
Music gadgets for cyclists
- Bluetooth compatible but has headphone jack
- Very durable
- Great audio quality
The Scosche Boombottle is a brilliant music gadget for serious cyclists and those who pedal for pleasure. The speaker fits into the water bottle holder on your bike and comes in a silicon case to protect it from breaking.
Even if you’re not the sort of person to cycle along playing music aloud, this is a good speaker to take to the park or beach. Don’t ruin your favourite songs with the painful tininess of your smartphone speakers when you could have the crisp, clear tones of a Boombottle.
Avantree bike speaker
- Bluetooth compatible
- Flashing LED light for safety
- Hands-free option
Give your motivation a boost playing music from your Avantree speaker. Like the Scosche Boombottle, the speaker fits into your water bottle holder and plays music as you cycle.
The music gadget offers excellent sound quality, with a rich bass you can hear above traffic. The speaker also has voice prompts feature, so you don’t have to stop and fiddle around with it when bored of a song.
Venstar Bluetooth speaker
- Built-in antenna for radio reception
- Has an SD card slot
- Hands-free function
The Venstar portable speaker comes with a mount and carabiner to secure to your bike. For anyone who doesn’t want to play music through Bluetooth, there’s also an SD card slot for you to play a pre-saved playlist. The quality of sound produced by the speaker is smooth with good depth.
As a music gadget for UK cyclists, the Venstar speaker hasn’t gained as great a following as the Avantree and Scosche speaker. It’s a well-made gadget that does a lot for the amount you pay for it.
When it comes to music gadgets, try before you buy
If you’re buying from a trusted company that has a reliable returns policy, you should be safe buying an untested music gadget. But if possible, it’s wise to try out these devices before you part with your cash.
You want to be comfortable while exercising. So, choose a gadget you’re happy with the look of and feels light to the point you barely notice it. Of course, you’ll also want to test the audio quality for yourself.
It’s worth taking the time to find the best music gadget available for your budget. These are the perfect devices to supercharge your workout. Find a good one, and you’ll soon be getting in the zone to your favourite tunes, ready to smash that PB.
The future of music gadgets
Over the next decade, it’s likely we’ll see innovations in technology that make it even easier to listen to music while doing sport. For example, an American start-up recently announced a headphone concept that would let cyclists wear earphones and ride their bike at the same time. These earphones would work by sending sound waves to your inner ear, thus allowing the outer ear to stay focused on your surroundings.
Certainly, we can expect music gadgets to get smarter. In 2017, you must think carefully about how successfully a gadget will keep you safe when running or cycling outdoors. Also, there is the question of whether it’s quick to put on and take off while being comfortable to wear. But as technology gets more intelligent and easier to squeeze into a tiny space, these worries will become less of a big deal.