Best True Wireless Sports Earbuds With Ear Hooks

by Barbara R. Abercrombie
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Honestly, I’m not a big fan of earplugs with hooks that wrap around the top of your ear. It’s a design Beats made popular with its Powerbeats line of earbuds, and it’s not for everyone. But many people like these wireless sports earbuds because they add an element of safety: While your earbuds may fall out of your ears, the hooks keep them attached to your head, so you don’t lose them or drop them on the pavement, leading to some damage. Damage. That’s an important feature, especially if you wear earplugs while running and cycling.

Here’s a look at the best true wireless earbuds with an ear-hook design, which we’ve all tested. Most are affordable, and most cost less than $100. We’ll update this list as new sports earbuds hit the market.

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If you like the style of the Beats Powerbeats Pro but don’t want to spend $150 or so on it, there are plenty of budget alternatives. I like the Tanya T40s, which sound pretty good for the money, fit comfortably and securely and have good battery life (up to 8 hours). I also like how they have physical buttons to control playback and volume instead of touch controls. They are IPX5 splash-proof.

Their charging case, which charges via USB-C, doesn’t feel sturdy and is somewhat bulky, but all these are good value.

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The new Soundcore Sport X10 has an interesting design with rotating, pivoting ear hooks that flip up when you’re using them and flip down when you want to place them in their charging case, which has a smaller footprint than many earbuds with ear hooks.

As long as you get a good seal, they sound good, with punchy bass and good detail. They also have active noise cancellation, which is effective, but not as good as Sony’s or Bose’s noise cancellation. They are also fully waterproof with an IPX7 rating, meaning they can be fully submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. Battery life is up to 8 hours, with three additional charges in the charging case.


The Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds have been on the market for a few years but continue to be popular and are now available in various color options. Their jumbo charging case is a notable drawback, but they offer many of the same features as Apple’s AirPods 2 (they come equipped with Apple’s H1 chip) but have better sound as long as you get a good seal (they should fit most — but not all — ears well). There’s no active noise cancellation, but the battery lasts up to 9 hours and is IPX4 splash-proof.

Note that the Powerbeats Pro are often on sale, so you should only buy them when they are significantly discounted. Read our Powerbeats Pro review.

Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro review.

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With so many new wireless earbuds and headphones being released every week, it is not easy for companies to differentiate their products. Skullcandy hopes its new voice-activated platform, Skull-iQ Smart Feature Technology, will do just that. Like Apple AirPods’ “Hey Siri” feature, Skullcandy’s version lets you say “Hey Skullcandy” to issue hands-free voice commands without touching a button. Skull-iQ debuts on the sports-focused Push Active and the $100 Grind Fuel, which firmware can be updated through the Skullcandy app.

With their ear hook design, they are essentially a more affordable version of the Beats Powerbeats Pro, and they fit my ears slightly better than the Powerbeats Pro. I’m not normally a fan of ear hooks, but this is one of the better ones.

The Push Active True earbuds are equipped with Bluetooth 5.2, are IP55 splashproof, have built-in Tile Finding technology, and last up to 10 hours on a single charge at medium volume.

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Cleer’s Epic Arc earbuds are similar to Bose’s Open Sport earbuds (see below) but are slightly more comfortable to wear thanks to their pivoting hinge. Like the Bose earplugs, they rest on the top of your ear, just above the ear canal, and pop into your ears. They’re open to thing letting in ambient noise (a plus if you’re a runner or cyclist and want to hear traffic), but their 16.2mm drivers provide plenty of bass and volume. They don’t sound as good as the Bose Open Sport earbuds, but they come close.

I liked the case, which is a bit big but quite thin. While it has an integrated USB charging cable (which is nice), like the Bose Open Sport Earbuds case, it doesn’t have a rechargeable battery, so it’s a dock for charging the earbuds and also comes in black. AThe battery life is up to 7 hours and it is IPX5 splashproof. aAreavailable.

Some of these ear hook-style earbuds have physical control buttons, but these have touch controls. The buttons have a companion app that allows you to upgrade the firmware and adjust the sound profile. I found they worked pretty well but not great.

As for headphones, Bose’s Sports Open Earbuds are funky. Not to be confused with the company’s more traditional in-ear Sport earbuds and QuietComfort earbuds, they have an open, pointless design, meaning the earpiece sits on top of your ear and doesn’t penetrate your ear canal.

Aimed at runners and bikers who want to keep their ears open to the world for safety reasons – or those who don’t like having a button in their ears – they sound surprisingly good. Thwantede IPX4 splash-proof. I liked them, but their design isn’t for everyone, and how comfortable you find them will determine how much you love them. Read our Bose Sports Open Earbuds review.

Read our Bose Sport Earbuds review.

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While the Tribit MoveBuds H1 only sound decent, not great, there’s a lot to like about them. They feel sturdy and are fully waterproof with an IPX8 rating. They also have a very long battery life – up to 15 hours – and support Qualcomm’s AptX audio codec. Many Android smartphones offer AptX Bluetooth streaming.

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