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.
Last update on 2021-06-12 at 05:03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
In a hurry? Check all our recommended brands and products.
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
- 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.
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.
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 . 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:
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.
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.
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.
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 , 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
- 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 2021-05-31 at 13:33 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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.
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.
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.
The Z2s are specifically marketed towards the workout crowd. The premium materials provide 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
- 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 2021-05-19 at 16:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
$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.
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 , 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 $$ – Under $250
PERFECT FOR – Audiophile travelers/commuters
- Deep, immersive sound, improved EQ best in class performance for wireless headphones. Connectivity...
- Latest Bluetooth technology for easy connectivity and seamless audio/video syncs
- Advanced microphone system, HD voice for clear calls in windy or noisy environments
- Up to 15 hours play time with rechargeable lithium ion battery
- Switch between 2 Bluetooth devices so you can watch a video while staying connected to your smartphone....
Last update on 2021-05-19 at 17:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Rounding up the $250 and under picks for durable headphones, the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5BT is a nice option for those looking for a well-balanced combination of great sound quality and extremely durable build.
Designed, as the name suggests, for DJs, the HDJ-X5BTs have a pronounced low-end and powerful, punchy bass response with clear mid and high-ends.
The fairly long battery life offers 20 hours of rich bass playback; non-professional DJs need to look no further in this price range. It takes 3 hours to charge, with no fast charging perks like some of the other options on this list. But, 20 hours is plenty of time; and, you can charge it while you sleep.
What really sells these wireless headphones though, aside from modest color options and frequently cited comfort for long wear, is their ability to stand up to severe stress. They are one of only two pairs on this list boasting the MIL-STD-810G standard, specifically in the ‘shock test’ capacity, making them perfect for taking them with you on the road – or anywhere for that matter.
PRICE $$ – Under $200
PERFECT FOR – Casual DJs with a rough-and-tumble touring schedule
- 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
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…
First on the money-no-object list is V-Moda’s Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition Bluetooth headphones.
These headphones tick nearly every box.
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.
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.
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 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 dB@1kHz
Last update on 2021-06-12 at 05:03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Bowers and Wilkins
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.
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 a wired headphone. 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.
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.
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
- 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 2021-05-19 at 16:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Most Durable Bluetooth Headphones | Comparison Table
|wdt_ID||Headphones||BIFL Rating (max 100)||Audio Quality (max 5)||Battery Life||Wired Connection||Neat Features||Warranty/Guarantees|
|1||Crossfade 2 Wireless | V-Moda||80||4||14 Hours||Yes ¼ Inch Phone Jack||- Multi-device pairing - MIL-STD-810G standard||- 1 year Warranty - Immortal Life Program|
|2||HDJ-X5BT | Pioneer 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||Yes 3.5mm Jack||- Insane water resistance||- 1 year Warranty|
|5||PX7 | Bowers & Wilkins||40||5||30 Hours||Yes 3.5mm 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||BIFL Rating (max 100)||Audio Quality (max 5)||Battery Life||Wired Connection|
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 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?
- The Most Durable Gaming Headset - May 26, 2021
- The Complete Guide to Buying Refurbished Electronics - May 23, 2021
- BIFL – What is ‘Buy it for Life’ and is it worth it? - April 28, 2021