The Most Durable Bluetooth Headphones

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6 of the best rugged wireless headphones money can buy.

At a glance…

In our opinion, the most durable Bluetooth headphones are the V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex. Their resistance to extreme temperatures, humidity, salt spray, and UV exposure (MIL-STD-810G) make them a durable option in any environment.

Additionally, the 14 hours of wireless high fidelity stereo sound with an audio cable is a must-have. Though incredibly unlikely to ever need it, the brand offers a year-long warranty and “Immortal Life Program” for 20% off your next purchase if your headphones break.

Most Durable & Rugged
V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition with...
Best Sound
Pioneer HDJ-X5BT-N Headphones, Gold
Best Value
TREBLAB Z2 | Over Ear Workout Headphones with...
Headphones
V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex
Pioneer HDJ-X5BT
Treblab Z2s
Rugged Ratings
80%
70%
60%
Most Durable & Rugged
V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition with...
Headphones
V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex
Rugged Ratings
80%
Best Sound
Pioneer HDJ-X5BT-N Headphones, Gold
Headphones
Pioneer HDJ-X5BT
Rugged Ratings
70%
Best Value
TREBLAB Z2 | Over Ear Workout Headphones with...
Headphones
Treblab Z2s
Rugged Ratings
60%

Last update on 2021-09-07 at 22:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Hear today, gone tomorrow…

If you’re anything like me, you’ve gone through your fair share of headphones over the years.

I shudder to think of the cumulative cost of all of my successive pairs, but I can safely assume that it’s well within the thousands of dollars.

We’d all love some wireless headphones with amazing sound quality. But, at Rugged Ratings, we’re adventurous people. The truth is, we want to wear our pair while jogging through heavy rainfall, protect our ears during industrial activities, and most importantly, we want the luxury of buying a pair of durable headphones, so we don’t have to buy another pair–hopefully ever.

I’m glad you agree.

So, allow me to take you on tour through our gallery of the most durable wireless headphones in the world. I’ll be scanning the web for rugged Bluetooth headphones that will assess the following:

  • Audio performance
  • Build quality (ruggedness) & design
  • Comfortability
  • Usability
  • Price
  • User reviews

They should be good headphones in their own right before we even get into the ‘throw-off-a-mountain-and-survive’-ability.

Since great audio performance is an essential variable, we’ll only stick to OverEar headphones since they typically offer better sound quality and noise reduction technology.

For a rugged rundown of the most durable in-ear headphones, we have another post; these Jaybirds wireless earbuds, for example, could be worth checking out.

From ergonomic design to battery life, connectivity to color and fit, we’ll dig through the facts and figures and bring to your attention only the best of the best wireless headphones. Let’s get started.

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What Makes Bluetooth Headphones ‘Rugged’?

It’s a good question. Generally speaking, we’re on the lookout for high-quality headband materials (flimsy plastics will not do), beefed-up warranties, and any performance standards that may be applicable for over-ear headphones..

We’ll look out for headphones with IP ratings that describe electronics with varying degrees of water resistance, as well as the rarer MIL-STD-810G [1]. This military standard relates to products that have been assessed in one or many of a broad range of environmental stressors in a ‘chamber test’ environment.

It’s a nice assurance but beware: many brands have capitalized on this technical definition–slapping the MIL-STD-810G label on their products whilst keeping the extent of their DIY laboratory tests behind closed doors.

To remedy this, we’ll be leaning heavily on first-hand consumer reviews and experiences to bolster a brand’s durability claims. Then, of course, we’ll be assessing how closely they stand up to the RuggedRatings #BIFL criteria. That is (if you don’t know by now), headphones that are:

#BIFL
  • Rugged – strong builds that can withstand brutal punishment and impressive battery life
  • Repairable – sets that come with guarantees or extended warranties
  • Upgradable – Headphones with interchangeable/replaceable parts
  • Multi-purpose – Pairs that boast functionality in more than one context, for example, music production and gaming

We’ll compare headphones across three categories:

  • $100 and Under
  • $250 and Under
  • …and ‘Money no object’ for your budgeting convenience.

When we’ve identified our top picks, we’ll summarise our finds in a nifty table that covers all of our key variables and more, ranked in order of our overall impression. 

Let’s dive in. 


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$100 and under

We can all appreciate a bargain. Though average in audio quality, the over-ear headphones in this budget range have great credentials when it comes to strength and durability. So, don’t rely on this category if you’re a stickler for true high-fidelity sound. These headphones are gym-bag ready but would be lacking in the music studio… to say the least.


#BIFL Rating 60%
Mini Rhinos Outdoor Tech | Image Credit: amazon com
Mini Rhinos | Outdoor Tech | Image Credit: amazon com

The Mini Rhinos by Outdoor Tech deserves a spot on our list.

These guys know their user-base and have developed a perfect product for the casual listener with an active lifestyle.

Durability

These durable headphones can twist and bend beyond belief without breaking with a’ top-secret’ rubberized material coating.

More so, they are IPX6 water-resistant, which, under the technical definition [2], means that they can be shot with “powerful water jets” from any direction and suffer no ill effects. And if your relentless water jets do manage to break the pair, their one-year warranty should cover it. 

Aside from significant durability, these headphones come loaded with most of the modern-day features that you might expect – a microphone for calls, external buttons for playback control, and an option for a wired connection. 

It’s one of the most durable headphones, sure. But, with a fairly short 12-hour listening capacity and user reviews ubiquitously mentioning the unimpressive sound, unfortunately, they are far from “perfect”.

PRICE: Under $100

PERFECT FOR: Casual podcast or audiobook listener in construction/industrial settings

Rugged Bluetooth Headphones for Working Out and...
  • 12 hour playtime for these Bluetooth headphones
  • Rugged durability for working out or hanging out
  • IPX6 water-resistant
  • Bluetooth 5.0 for seamless wireless Bluetooth communication
  • External controls allow you to adjust volume, change tracks, play/pause and answer calls

Last update on 2021-08-21 at 14:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Treblab

#BIFL Rating 60%
Treblab Z2 Headphones | Image Credit: amazon com
Treblab Z2 | Image Credit: amazon com

I hadn’t heard of Treblab before, and after some research, I can’t help but wonder why. Everything I’ve read about their products, but especially their flagship Treblab Z2s, has suggested that this brand is the industry’s best-kept secret. 

Sound quality

What’s most impressive about this pair, though, is their underrated sound quality. They have earned 67% 5-star reviews on Amazon, with most highlighting the unusually good audio performance for this price point. It could be due to the high-performance neodymium-backed 40mm speakers combined with noise cancellation technology. One review said –

“I let my dad, a pilot who uses the Bose headphones and pilot headsets exclusively, try them out and he thought they were a $200 pair”.

Confidence-inspiring words, and for under $100, these headphones easily make our top pick for this category.

Battery Life

The monstrous battery life offers a super-charged 35 hours of continuous Bluetooth playback. The most advanced athletes can go days without charging through their rigorous workouts.

Workout Friendly

The Z2s are specifically marketed towards the workout crowd. The premium materials provide a comfortable wear, and the IPX4 water resistance rating (for water splash and sweat) ensures you can conquer anything with these wireless headphones.

The active noise-canceling technology is perfect for blocking out loud gym-goers, obnoxious lifters, and the atrocious gym music they always got playing. Focus on your grind in your own world with the Z2s.

By the way, to complement your rugged wireless headphones during exercise, here are the most durable fitness trackers that will stay by your side for the most rigorous workouts and adventures.

PRICE: Under $100  (it’s also a risk-free purchase, you can get a full refund if you don’t like it)

PERFECT FOR:  Budget-restricted gym rats/athletes with refined audio tastes

TREBLAB Z2 | Over Ear Workout Headphones with...
72 Reviews
TREBLAB Z2 | Over Ear Workout Headphones with...
  • New Level Of Silence & Flawless Connectivity - Discover the power of Active Noise Cancelling technology...
  • Best Workout Headphones w/ Wireless Convenience - Whether you’re running outside or on a treadmill,...
  • Up to 35H Playtime & Quick Charge - Z2 wireless gym headphones allow enjoying music all day long and more...
  • Ultimate Comfort With Every Move - Z2 over ear Bluetooth headphones are designed to transform your gym...
  • Voice Assistants & High-Quality Calls - Z2 wireless sport headphones have a built-in mic & сVc 6.0...

Last update on 2021-08-16 at 01:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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$250 and under

For over-ear headphones that tick most of the relevant boxes and withstand all types of use and misuse, you should expect to pay somewhere between the $100 and $250 mark. These headphones are suitable for thrill-seeking, budget-conscious audiophiles.


Bose

#BIFL Rating 50%
Soundlink® Around Ear Wireless Headphones II Bose | Image Credit: amazon com
Soundlink® Around Ear Wireless Headphones II Bose | Image Credit: amazon com

It wouldn’t be a worthy list of the best wireless headphones if it didn’t at least include one Bose entry. With a significant influence in the development of aviation-related headphone technology in the US Air Force [3], this brand has deep roots in the overall headphone space. The extremely comfortable SoundLink® around-ear wireless headphones II make another commendable contribution to the field. 

Sound Quality

Those who have tried Bose headphones before will be familiar with the somewhat tapered but exceptionally clear and balanced sound quality.

You’ll be very pleased with the SoundLink® II’s improved EQ-best-in-class performance, as they are as bright and well-adjusted for a deep, immersive listening experience.

The adaptive audio adjustment and advanced microphone system with an enhanced sidetone deliver HD voice pick-up for crystal clear phone calls.  The over-ear design allows for excellent sound isolation from external sounds like in windy weather or busy streets.

Battery Life

You can enjoy long listening sessions with 15 hours of playback with the rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Even better, with just a 15-minute fast charge, you get two extra hours of playtime.

User-friendly features

The Bose SoundLink wireless headphones offer a broad range of user-friendly implementations.

With NFC technology, you can tap your devices together for instant pairing. And, unlike other Bluetooth devices, the multi-device connection feature allows seamless device switching whenever you need it.

The intuitive touch controls grant you full, easy command of your music and calls. You can also leave your phone in your pocket while the voice assistant gives you information about battery life, device connection, and caller ID.

Compared to other wireless headphones, SoundLinks are lighter and extremely comfortable for your long listening sessions. They also come with a detachable audio cable and carrying case for every situation.

Durability

And as for sturdiness? Well, they’re not the most rugged headphones, but Bose claims the pair is built with ‘impact-resistant materials’–which is great news, though little is said on the extent of impacts.

We can, however, appreciate the corrosion-resistant stainless steel utilized in the cup exteriors and micro-suede cushions for the ear cups that many reviews have stated. Engineered for a lightweight design, you feel like you’re wearing nothing at all. 

PRICE: Under $250

PERFECT FOR: Audiophile travelers/commuters

Sale
Bose SoundLink Around Ear Wireless Headphones II -...
  • Deep, immersive sound, improved EQ best in class performance for wireless headphones. Connectivity...
  • Latest Bluetooth technology for easy connectivity and seamless audiovideo syncs
  • Advanced microphone system, HD voice for clear calls in windy or noisy environments
  • Up to 15 hours play time with rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • Switch between 2 Bluetooth devices so you can watch a video while staying connected to your smartphone....

Last update on 2021-08-19 at 17:10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pioneer DJ

#BIFL Rating 70%
HDJ X5BT Pioneer | Image Credit: amazon com
Hdj X5bt Pioneer | Image Credit: amazon com

Rounding up the $250 and under picks for durable headphones, the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5BT  is a nice option for those looking for a well-balanced combination of great sound quality and extremely durable build.

Sound Quality

Designed, as the name suggests, for DJs, the HDJ-X5BTs have a pronounced low-end and powerful, punchy bass response with clear mid and high-ends.

Battery Life

The fairly long battery life offers 20 hours of rich bass playback; non-professional DJs need to look no further in this price range. It takes 3 hours to charge, with no fast charging perks like some of the other options on this list. But, 20 hours is plenty of time; and, you can charge it while you sleep.

Shock-resistant

What really sells these wireless headphones though, aside from modest color options and frequently cited comfort for long wear, is their ability to stand up to severe stress. They are one of only two pairs on this list boasting the MIL-STD-810G standard, specifically in the ‘shock test’ capacity, making them perfect for taking them with you on the road – or anywhere for that matter.

PRICE: Under $200

PERFECT FOR: Casual DJs with a rough-and-tumble touring schedule

Sale
Pioneer HDJ-X5BT-N Headphones, Gold
  • Pair with your Bluetooth device such as smartphone or PC/Mac
  • 3 hour charge time, approximately 20 hours of playback
  • Comfortable ear pads
  • Well balance dynamic sound
  • Lasting durability

Last update on 2021-03-10 at 09:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Money no object: the most durable headphones at a premium rate

A pair of premium-quality, wireless durable headphones that will last you a lifetime are hard to come by, so the significant price tags in this category are often justified. The best wireless headphones should meet your every demand in terms of audio quality, versatility, and durability, but those who are price-shy might want to consider covering their eyes…


V-Moda

#BIFL Rating 80%
Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition Headphones
Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition

First on the money-no-object list is V-Moda’s Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition Bluetooth headphones. 

These headphones tick nearly every box.

Sound Quality

The Crossfade 2s have V-MODA award-winning high-fidelity stereo sound (45+ Editors’ Choice Awards) thanks to premium quality audio codecs in both wireless and wired modes. The Qualcomm aptX audio codecs (audio processors basically) combine better sound quality, low-bit rate audio transmission, and low latency to create a seamless, wireless listening experience.

Battery Life

You get 14+ hours of high-quality music, entertainment, and calls. Now admittedly, the battery life seems to be a recurring concern, so if you’re a frequent traveler or plan on taking these on longer hikes or climbs, they might not be worth the steep price tag.

Although, I don’t know how much of a problem that will be anyway since, with a 30-minute fast charge, you get 4 extra hours of high-quality audio playback.

Studio musicians and serious audiophiles needn’t be discouraged either, because even if that’s not enough for you, then take comfort in the fact that your pair can become a wired headphone since it has a headphone jack with a detachable audio cable for unlimited listening.

Durability

The strong metal headband design and tough ‘exoskeleton’ carrying case (with carabiner attachment for use in climbing and other outdoor activities) unmistakably make this pair some of the most durable headphones. Additionally, they claim to be resistant to high and low temperatures, humidity, salt spray, and UV exposure earning them the MIL-STD-810G standard.

On top of the one-year warranty, purchasing a pair of Crossfades automatically enrolls you into their ‘Immortal Life Program’–which promises 20% off your next purchase if your current pair breaks down. It’s not much, but we appreciate the effort compared to most headphones.

User sentiment for the Crossfade 2’s is generally quite positive, with praise for their excellent sound quality even when wireless and that they’re extremely durable and versatile. Their ability to double up as gaming headsets with the separately sold BoomPro mic earns them some credit outside of musical contexts too.

PRICE: Over $300 

PERFECT FOR: People who are serious about two things: Incredible sound and an adventurous lifestyle

V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition with...
  • V-MODA Award-Winning signature sound (50+ editors' Choice Awards) both in wireless and wired mode
  • Qualcomm apt audio CODEC for CD quality wireless audio playback + AAC and SBC Codecs for universal...
  • Lithium-ion battery provides up to 14+ hours of continuous music, entertainment and calls; 30mins fast...
  • Iconic cliqfold hinge enables ultimate mobility by folding into an impossibly small Exoskeleton case...
  • Unparalleled durability meeting V-MODA strictest testing guidelines.Microphone sensitivity:-42 [email protected]

Last update on 2021-09-07 at 22:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bowers and Wilkins

#BIFL Rating 40%
Bower Wilkins Px7 | Image Credit: amazon com
Bower Wilkins Px7 | Image Credit: amazon com

British-born company Bowers and Wilkins is an enduring authority in audio engineering with advanced noise reduction technology. They have been producing speakers and other sound equipment since the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band was kicking off.

Sound Quality

Known for their precise and intensive sound profile engineering, B&W products are geared to please even the most demanding audiophile, and the PX7s are no different. 

Boasting 43.6mm drivers, which happens to be the largest in their range, the sound quality of these Bluetooth headphones could easily be mistaken for wired headphones. The critics agree that these headphones on wireless mode sound good for qualifying as best-in-class.

And with adaptive noise-canceling technology, unpredictably noisy environments won’t be a problem for the frequent traveler.

Battery Life

Speaking of traveling, your long-haul flights will continue uninterrupted as the PX7s promise great battery life: get 30-hours of high-quality audio playback thanks to the lithium polymer battery. Running low? Plug it in for a mere 15 minutes for not 2, not 4, but 6 extra hours of playback.

Durability

The arms and the inner headband are woven with carbon fibre composite, meaning they can easily survive all types of low-velocity impacts without breaking. By their own admission, though, the ergonomic design is built to withstand ‘everyday wear and tear’ and not the smash-and-grab abuse of, say, a climber or skateboarder.

However, the two-year warranty–which is above average for most headphones, comes with every purchase, so it does earn some #BIFL recognition. 

PRICE: Under $400 

PERFECT FOR: Dedicated high-fidelity sound aficionados with modest usage expectations and money to spare

Sale
Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Over Ear Wireless Bluetooth...
  • Built from Legend drivers that push the sound forward The 43mm drivers in the Px7 are the largest in our...
  • Cancels noise clean out adaptive noise cancelling that automatically Responds to your environment to keep...
  • 30 hours of possibility you can do a lot in 30 hours You could fly from California to London and back...
  • Follow your lead the Px7 obeys your every move Lift an ear cup to hear what’s happening around you and...
  • Inspired by race cars The carbon fiber composite arms of the Px7 mimic the strength and agility of the...

Last update on 2021-08-16 at 01:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Most Durable Bluetooth Headphones Comparison Table

wdt_ID Headphones Rugged Ratings (max 100) Audio Quality (max 5) Battery Life Wired Connection Neat Features Warranty/Guarantees
1 Crossfade 2 WirelessV-Moda 80 4 14 Hours Yes¼ Inch Phone Jack Multi-device pairing
MIL-STD-810G standard
1 year Warranty
Immortal Life Program
2 HDJ-X5BTPioneer DJ 70 3 20 Hours Yes 3.5mm Jack MIL-STD-810G standard 1 year Warranty
3 Z2
Treblab
60 3 35 Hours Yes 3.5mm Jack Active noise cancellation 1 year Warranty
100% money back guarantee
4 Mini Rhinos
Outdoor Tech
60 1 12 Hours Yes3.5mm Jack Insane water resistance 1 year Warranty
5 PX7
Bowers & Wilkins
40 5 30 Hours Yes3.5mm Jack Adaptive noise cancellation
Auto-pause when earcup is lifted
1 year Warranty
6 SoundLink® Wireless II
Bose
50 5 15 Hours Yes 3.5mm Jack Crystal clear calls
NFC connection
1 year Warranty
90-day risk-free trial
Headphones Rugged Ratings (max 100) Audio Quality (max 5) Battery Life Wired Connection

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Parting Words

What do you think? Do you have a different opinion on the most durable Bluetooth headphones? Be sure to share this article with anyone and everyone in the market for #BIFL durable headphones. We regularly post guides similar to this one, all about products that last a lifetime, so stay posted if you agree with the Buy It For Life golden rule as much as we do. By the way, if you like exploring new rugged products, check out our other military-grade durable tech & gear that will last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is active noise canceling?
Active noise cancellation technology uses your headphone’s microphone and speakers to detect low-frequency noise and neutralize them by actively sending out similar frequency sound waves to cancel out the unwanted noise.
Is noise-canceling bad for my ears?

No, noise-canceling is non-invasive and, on the contrary, good for your ears! See, since the active noise cancellation neutralizes outside sounds, you no longer need to raise your volume above 50% to be in your own world.
The noise cancellation will eliminate the desire to raise your volume to damaging levels, and that will keep your ears healthy and functioning even after long hours of listening.

What is the difference between passive and active noise canceling?

Passive noise-canceling uses well-designed, over-ear cups that swallow your ears for noise isolation. Based on the optimized ergonomic structure of the headphones, it will passively seal out unwanted noise. However, active noise cancellation actively uses your headphone’s speakers and microphones to counter-effect external low-frequency noise.

Over-ear headphones are the best because they can offer the best of both worlds. Because of their ear-engulfing ear cups for noise isolation and built-in active noise canceling, you can completely block out the outside world. Just be safe in busy environments where hearing can keep you safe.

What are audio codecs?

You might recall that we mentioned V-Moda’s Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition was engineered with Qualcomm aptX audio codecs for better audio quality. Audio codecs are devices or computer programs that encode (compress) or decode (uncompress) audio file formats.

Because of these codec capabilities, you can listen to uncompressed audio files that retain 100% high-fidelity stereo sound instead of regular compressed mp3 files. As the cherry-on-top, because of the over-ear cups of the Crossfade 2s, you get noise isolation from the passive noise canceling.

Why should I buy the most durable headphones?

The most durable headphones will stick with you through thick and thin while delivering great sound quality. As a Rugged Ratings reader, it’s safe to assume that you’re probably an adventurous person. You like going outside, engaging in physical activity, and unknowingly, you put some items through hell.

You want a pair that will save you from another visit to the store or hour-long calls with customer service only to spend hundreds on another pair. Only the most durable headphones will save you the time, money, and heartbreak of losing your precious babies.

Vista Planetary Green | Rugegd Ratings

What to check next: The Most Durable Bluetooth Earbuds. Are there any in-ear Bluetooth headphones that have formidable battery life, superior audio-quality, water-resistance, and most importantly, extreme overall durability?


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