What are the best true wireless sports earbuds with ear hooks?

Several new sports earbuds with ear hooks have hit the market in recent months, so it’s hard to name one single model as the best overall. But a few models do stand out a bit from the rest of the pack, which is why they are at the top of this list. These include the Shokz OpenFit and Cleer Audio Arc 2 Sport.

While not everyone enjoys wearing earbuds with ear hooks, they certainly offer an extra level of security compared to standard earbuds because their around-the-ear design tends to keep them from falling off your head. This is an important feature, especially if you wear earbuds for running or biking, activities that can involve a certain amount of head jostling that can lead to a bud slipping out of your ear. and possibly getting lost.

Here’s a look at the best earbuds with ear hooks, all of which we’ve tested. Most of them are affordable, with most costing less than $100. We’ll update this list as new sports earbuds hit the market.

Read more: Best Workout Headphones for 2023

Best sports earbuds with ear hooks of 2023

The Shokz OpenFit are Shokz first true-wireless earbuds The Shokz OpenFit are Shokz first true-wireless earbuds Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Shokz OpenFit

Most comfortable open earbuds with ear hooks

Shokz, the company formerly known as AfterShokz, has long been the leader in bone-conduction headphones. Models like the OpenRun Pro, which deliver sound to your ear through your cheekbones, are popular with runners and bikers who like to leave their ears open for safety reasons. However, Shokz’s new OpenFit model, the company’s first true-wireless earbuds, don’t use bone-conduction technology. They have an open design that fire sound into your ears using custom speaker drivers, which Shokz dubs “air conduction” technology.

I was impressed by how lightweight (8.3 grams) and comfortable they are — they have one of the best ear-hook designs I’ve tried (Shokz calls it a Dolphin Arc ear hook). It’s soft and offers just the right amount of flexibility to conform to the shape of your ear, with “dual-layered liquid silicone that provides a pliable fit,” according to Shokz. The earbuds also sound quite good for open earbuds, though not quite as good as Cleer’s Arc 2 Open Ear Sport earbuds ($190) that also have an ear-hook design.


  • Lightweight and very comfortable
  • Excellent design
  • Sound quite good for open earbuds
  • Good call quality


  • Pricey
  • No multipoint Bluetooth
  • Touch controls could be a little better

Read our Shokz OpenFit review.

$180 at Amazon You’re receiving price alerts for Shokz OpenFit The Cleer Audio Arc 2 earbuds feature improved sound and overall performance The Cleer Audio Arc 2 earbuds feature improved sound and overall performance David Carnoy/CNET

Cleer Audio Arc 2 Sport

Best-sounding open-style earbuds with ear hooks

Cleer’s original Arc earbuds were solid sport earbuds that featured decent sound for open-style buds that sit on top of your ears and fire sound into them. This new-for-2023 model steps up the sound quality and offers additional refinements and feature upgrades, including a new “enhanced” charging case with UV sterilization and multipoint Bluetooth connectivity (Bluetooth 5.3), all of which makes for a significantly improved product.

Cleer says the Arc 2 Sport buds feature “greater flexibility for improved comfort,” and I did find them more comfortable to wear than the original Arcs. That said, not everyone loves this style of open earbuds, which lets sound in so you can hear ambient sound around you for safety purposes.

With a new six-axis motion sensor, you can actually control the buds with head gestures — you answer calls by nodding and skip tracks forward by turning your head to the right and skip a track back by turning your head left. Thankfully, those motion controls can be turned off if you don’t want to use them. 

These are among the first buds to support Qualcomm’s aptX Lossless format, if you’re one of the few to have an Android device that supports that audio codec (plenty of Android phones support aptX Adaptive). Since these aren’t high-end noise-isolating earbuds, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference in sound quality — I couldn’t — but all that aside, these do sound very good for open-style earbuds. They lack a bit of oomph to their bass but they’re punchy enough, offer good clarity and didn’t distort at higher volumes. They also played sufficiently loud. 

They have an IPX5 water- and sweat-resistance rating, which means they can withstand a sustained spray of water, and battery life is very good at up to eight hours on a single charge, plus there’s a little more than three additional charges in the slim but still somewhat bulky charging case. It’s big compared to an AirPods charging case, but svelte compared to other cases that house this style of earbuds.

These offer respectable performance for voice calls, but callers did say they heard a certain amount of white noise when I spoke to them from the noisy streets of New York — that whooshing sound is the by-product of the earbuds’ noise-reduction efforts. 


  • Improved design with smaller charging case
  • Very good sound for open earbuds
  • Good battery life and support for aptX Lossless
  • Option to control buds with head gestures 


  • Pricey
  • Lack a bit of oomph to their bass
  • Voice-calling performance is decent but not great

$170 at Amazon$170 at Crutchfield$170 at B&H Photo-Video anker-soundcore-sport-x10-green-brackground anker-soundcore-sport-x10-green-brackground David Carnoy/CNET

Soundcore by Anker Sport X10

Top value ear-hook style true-wireless earbuds

The Soundcore Sport X10 have an interesting design with rotating swiveling ear hooks that flip up when you’re using them and flip down when you want to set them in their charging case, which has a smaller footprint than a lot of buds with ear hooks. 

As long as you get a tight seal, they sound good, with powerful, punchy bass and good detail. They also have active noise canceling, which is effective though not as good as Sony or Bose’s noise canceling. They’re also fully waterproof with an IPX7 rating, which means they can be fully submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. Battery life is rated at up to 8 hours with an additional three charges in the charging case.


  • Swiveling ear hooks for a more secure fit
  • Smaller charging case than other earbuds with this design
  • Good sound and battery life
  • Fully waterproof 


  • Noise-canceling performance is only average
  • Some people may not be able to get a tight seal

$56 at Walmart$56 at Amazon You’re receiving price alerts for Soundcore by Anker Sport X10 jbl-endurance-peak-3-red-background.png jbl-endurance-peak-3-red-background.png Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

JBL Endurance Peak 3

Best new ear-hook style true-wireless earbuds under $100

JBL has upgraded its ear-hook style sport earbuds for 2023. Available in black or white, the Endurance Peak 3 buds offer better battery life (up to 10 hours with four extra charges in their case) improved voice-calling performance and an IP68 rating that makes them fully water- and dust-proof. They also have an Ambient Aware transparency mode and Talk Thru mode that can automatically lower your music’s volume level and open up the buds to the outside world. That means you can have conversation with someone without removing the buds from your ears.

They stayed on my ears very securely during runs and I thought they sounded quite good, though they do have a bit of bass push (i.e. they have powerful bass). Just be aware that if you don’t get a tight seal, sound quality will be significantly worse. Also, like other earbuds with ear-hook designs, the case is on the beefy side. That said, the buds do seem durable and if you get a good fit, they’re an excellent and less pricey alternative to the Beats Powerbeats Pro. I also thought the touch controls worked well; I was easily able to toggle through the sound modes.


  • Improved battery life (up to 10 hours)
  • Improved voice-calling performance 
  • Good sound quality if you get a tight seal
  • Fully waterproof 


  • Case is fairly large
  • Some people may not be able to get a tight seal

$100 at Walmart$100 at Amazon$100 at Best Buy Powerbeats Pro Powerbeats Pro Beats

Beats Powerbeats Pro

Most popular ear-hook style sport earbuds

Battery Life Rated up to 9 hoursNoise Canceling NoMultipoint NoHeadphone Type Wireless earbudsWater-Resistant Yes (IPX4 — splash-proof)

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

Note that the Powerbeats Pro are frequently on sale, so you should only buy them if they’re substantially discounted.

  • Durable design
  • Equipped with Apple’s H1 chip 
  • Good sound quality if you get a tight seal
  • Good battery life


  • Case is fairly large
  • Some people may not be able to get a tight seal
  • Released in 2019 (they’re kind of old) 

Read Beats Powerbeats Pro review.

$139 at Walmart$160 at Amazon$160 at eBay The Skullcandy Push Active earbuds have an integrated ear hook The Skullcandy Push Active earbuds have an integrated ear hook David Carnoy/CNET

Skullcandy Push Active

Best with voice commands

With so many new wireless earbuds and headphones being released on what seems likely a weekly basis, it’s not easy for companies to differentiate their products in the marketplace. Skullcandy hopes its new voice-driven platform, Skull-iQ Smart Feature Technology, will do just that. Similar to the Apple AirPods’ “Hey Siri” feature, Skullcandy’s version allows you to say “Hey, Skullcandy” to issue hands-free voice commands without touching a button. Skull-iQ debuts on the sports-oriented Push Active, and the $100 Grind Fuel, which will be firmware updatable via the Skullcandy App.

With their ear-hook design, they’re essentially a more affordable version of the Beats Powerbeats Pro and they fit my ears slightly better than the Powerbeats Pro. I’m not usually a fan of ear-hook style buds, 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 are rated for up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge at moderate volume levels. 

  • Affordable
  • Good sound quality if you get a tight seal 
  • Control with Skullcandy’s voice technology
  • Built-in Tile Finding Technology


  • Case is a little large
  • Some people may not be able to get a tight seal

$60 at Amazon tribit-movebuds-h1 tribit-movebuds-h1 David Carnoy/CNET

Tribit MoveBuds H1

Durable ear-hook earbuds

Battery Life Rated up to 15 hoursNoise Canceling NoMultipoint NoHeadphone Type Wireless earbudsWater-Resistant Yes (IPX8 — can be fully submerged for long periods of time)

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 very long battery life — up to 15 hours — and support Qualcomm’s aptX audio codec. Many Android smartphones offer AptX Bluetooth streaming.  

  • Durable design
  • Very long battery life 
  • Support for aptX audio codec for Android devices
  • Fully waterproof


  • Case is a little large
  • Sound quality isn’t quite as good as competing models

$90 at Amazon You’re receiving price alerts for Tribit MoveBuds H1

How we test true-wireless earbuds

We test true-wireless earbuds based on five key criteria, comparing similarly styled and priced models. These criteria are designsound qualityfeaturesvoice-calling performance and value.

  • Design: We assess not only how comfortable the earbuds fit (ergonomics) but their build quality and how well the controls are implemented. We also look at water- and dust-resistance ratings.
  • Sound quality: We evaluate sound quality by listening to a set playlist of music tracks and comparing the earbuds to top competing products in their price range. Sonic traits such as bass definition, clarity, dynamic range and how natural the headphones sound are key factors in our assessment.
  • Features: Some great-sounding earbuds aren’t loaded with features, but we do take into account what extra features are on board. These include everything from noise-canceling and transparency modes (ambient sound mode) to special sound modes to ear-detection sensors that automatically pause your music when you take the headphones off your ears.
  • Voice-calling performance: When we test voice-calling performance, we make calls in the noisy streets of New York and evaluate how well the earbuds reduce background noise and how clearly callers can hear your voice.
  • Value: We determine value after evaluating the strength of the earbuds against all these criteria and what the buds are able to deliver compared to other models in their price class.

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