Deciding on Durable Headphones for Outdoor ActivitiesIf you’re an outdoorsy person who spends a lot of time enjoying the delights of their outdoor surroundings in athletic and aerobically challenging ways, but you’re also keen to listen to your best playlists securely during your adventures, then you probably need to invest in a good set of durable headphones.

Why do we like to listen to music during activity? Well, studies have shown that listening to our favourite artists can increase endurance levels by 15 percent while diminishing our awareness of effort. We get into “the zone” and find ourselves achieving feats we never believed possible as the music has an escapism effect, aiding our focus on technique and breathing.

Music can play a pivotal role in how productive you are during an outdoor activity, but it can also prove to be a bothersome addition if you don’t get it right: for example, music can sound unclear due to jolts, the headset can become obstructive to the user or the headset could break during vigorous movement and you lose your music altogether.

Nowadays, audio technology brands are up to the task of figuring out the best materials and features to create an amazing range of durable headphones that are suited to the rigours of outdoor adventuring. With so many readily available, it’s up to the buyer to consider the most important characteristics that will ensure that their audio-aided activity is as pleasant and safe as possible.

Audio Quality and Control

The truth is, most people who are engaged in physical activity whilst listening to music aren’t massively conscious about receiving detailed sound – though there will be a few exceptions. There’s a definite trade to be had if you want durable headphones that are capable of withstanding bumps and bangs, but you also want a polished sound output. Generally there is a bombardment of ambient audial interference in the majority of places we encounter on a daily basis – this is magnified when you throw intensive motion into the mix. Expect that, no matter how good the sound quality of your durable headphones may sound in a calm, quiet environment, this quality will not be reflected in a noisier climate. Still, there are good headphones out there that offer exquisite range, with closed back options that isolate noise pollution and advanced noise cancelling technology that perform wonders to improve the acoustics.

Fit and Comfort

How comfortable your durable headphones feel as you get physical outdoors is of the most paramount importance in a set of good headphones. The exertion will be uncomfortable enough without you having to battle ill-fits and skin irritations.

Lightweight headphones that boast resilient materials are becoming more accessible. A pair of durable headphones that rest snugly over the ears with a heavily-cushioned headband to protect your head against the repetitive shocks, is ideal.

There are durable headphones that attach to the ear more snugly than some others. These headphones are specifically designed to combat the travails of movement. They achieve this using a combination of interchangeable earbuds and attachments that mount onto the ear without causing friction or pressure. This not only prevents the headphones from dislodging, but also improves the way the ear receives the sound by positioning the speaker directly over the auditory canal.

Be aware of durable headphones that become obstructive in any way – say, preventing the wearing of eye or headwear or becoming entangled in any other gear. If possible, you want to be able to have the luxury of music without it preventing you from using your essential kit. There are durable headphones that are specially tailored to avoid obstructing other items of headwear, and Bluetooth has been widely used in wireless headphones for some years now.

Build Quality

Robustness and resistance are the watch words here. Modern durable headphones use a combination of high-quality interior and exterior materials such as tough plastics, aluminium and steel. Robust materials, however, mean more weight and a heavier price tag too. Earcups are now densely encased and ergonomically designed to endure trauma; and attachments have substituted the brittleness of inflexible materials for more ductile ones that can bend, flex and return to a wearable fit.

Battling the outdoors means battling the elements, particularly the rain. Resistance to caprices in weather and body moisture is the bread and butter for the most suitable durable headphones. They need to be able to function well no matter the condition. It’s not uncommon to find good headphones that are water, sweat and dust resistant, protected against corrosion and watertight to preserve the crispness of the sound.


Features don’t necessarily make the experience of a nice pair of durable headphones, but they certainly enhance it. These are the little embellishments that make your life slightly simpler because any energy conserved during strenuous outdoor activity is always greatly appreciated. What you want here is interactivity through minimum exertion: features like an in-line remote (if you’ve not gone wireless) are a godsend, all of a sudden, meaning you can avoid the fidgety action of pulling your music player out to change tracks or adjust the volume whilst on the move. Some really good headphones even boast voice activation.