The Most Durable Bluetooth Headphones

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 – because of the resistance to extreme temperatures, humidity, salt spray, and UV exposure (MIL-STD-810G), 14 hours of excellent sound, their “Immortal Life Program” warranty, as well as the option to use them “wired”.

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 2021-03-10 at 09:16 / 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.

And as technology becomes more and more integrated into our daily existence, the need for a pair of headphones that can comfortably go with us everywhere, easily connect to a variety of different audio sources, and sound decent or even great whilst doing it only gets stronger over time. 

Frequent RuggedRatings readers will know by now that it doesn’t end there. We’re on the hunt for the most durable Bluetooth headphones.

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We want fantastic sounding wireless headphones, sure. But we also want to be able to wear them whilst jogging under heavy rainfall, as protection from ear-busting industrial or recreational activities, and, importantly, we want the luxury of buying a sturdy pair of headphones and not ever having to buy another pair for years and years to come – or maybe ever.

I’m glad you agree.

So, allow me to take you on a digital tour of the most durable Bluetooth headphones in the world. I’ll be scanning the web for rugged Bluetooth headphones that first and foremost meet a minimum benchmark of:

  • audio
  • quality
  • comfort
  • …and design.

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

As we are distinguishing respectable audio quality as an essential variable, we’ll stick only to durable OverEar headphones for today. For a rugged-rundown of the most durable in-ear headphones ever we have another post… but for now, these Jaybirds could be worth checking out. 

From design to battery power, connectivity to color and fit, we’ll dig through the facts and figures and bring to your attention only the best of the best. We’ll be assessing our finds by:

  • ruggedness
  • price
  • additional features
  • user reviews
  • …and more, allowing you to make your perfect pick when it’s all said and done. 

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.

We’ll look out for headphones with IP ratings which 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. Consumer brands have capitalised 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
  • 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. 

Most Durable Bluetooth Headphones | Comparison Table

wdt_IDHeadphonesBIFL Rating (max 100)Audio Quality (max 5)Battery LifeWired ConnectionNeat FeaturesWarranty/Guarantees
1Crossfade 2 Wireless | V-Moda80414 HoursYes ¼ Inch Phone Jack- Multi-device pairing - MIL-STD-810G standard- 1 year Warranty - Immortal Life Program
2HDJ-X5BT | Pioneer DJ70320 HoursYes 3.5mm Jack- MIL-STD-810G standard- 1 year Warranty
3Z2 | Treblab60335 HoursYes 3.5mm Jack- Active noise cancellation- 1 year Warranty - 100% money back guarantee
4Mini Rhinos | Outdoor Tech60112 HoursYes 3.5mm Jack- Insane water resistance- 1 year Warranty
5PX7 | Bowers & Wilkins40530 HoursYes 3.5mm Jack- Adaptive noise cancellation - Auto-pause when earcup is lifted- 1 year Warranty
6SoundLink® Wireless II | Bose50515 HoursYes 3.5mm Jack- Crystal clear calls - NFC connection- 1 year Warranty - 90-day risk-free trial
HeadphonesBIFL Rating (max 100)Audio Quality (max 5)Battery LifeWired Connection

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$100 and under

We can all appreciate a bargain. These headphones sound only ok but 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 very out of place in a music studio.


#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 product that is perfect for the casual listener with an active lifestyle.

With a ‘top-secret’ rubberized material coating, these headphones are able to twist and bend beyond belief without breaking.

More so, they are IPX6 water-resistant, which, under the technical definition [2], means that they can be shot with “powerful water jets” at 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 wired connection. 

With a fairly short 12-hour listening capacity though, and user reviews ubiquitously mentioning the fairly unimpressive sound, unfortunately, they are far from perfect.

PRICE $Under $100

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

Sale
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 2021-04-13 at 06:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Treblab

#BIFL Rating 60%
Treblab Z2 | 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. 

The Z2s are specifically marketed towards the workout crowd, with their super-charged 35 hours of continuous Bluetooth playback, premium materials providing comfortable wear, and IPX4 water resistance rating (for water splash and sweat).

What’s most impressive about this pair though is their highly underappreciated sound. They have earned 67% 5-star reviews on Amazon, with most highlighting the sound quality that seems too good to be true 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.

PRICE $Under $100 

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

TREBLAB Z2 | Over Ear Workout Headphones with...
45 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 2021-04-13 at 04:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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$250 and under

For headphones that tick most of the relevant boxes, as well as being able to stand up to all types of use and misuse, you should expect to pay somewhere between the $100 and $250 mark. These headphones are suitable for the budget-limited but still quite discerning audiophile.


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 headphones if it didn’t include at least 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 development of headphone space, especially as it relates to noise cancellation. And the  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 soundstage they uphold.

If you’re into that type of EQ, you’ll be very pleased with the SoundLink® IIs, as they are as bright and well-adjusted as ever.

Plus, with a broad range of user-friendly implementations such as NFC for instant device pairing via a ‘tap’, adaptive audio adjustment and HD voice for great sounding calls in windy weather, and simultaneous multi-device pairing, there isn’t a situation in which these headphones are truly unprepared for. 

And as for ruggedness? Well, Bose claims the pair is built with ‘impact-resistant materials’, which is great news, but not much is said of the nature/extent of said impacts.

We can however appreciate the corrosion-resistant stainless steel utilised in the cup exteriors, and micro-suede cup cushions that many reviews have stated, paired with the lightweight design, feel like you’re wearing nothing at all. 

PRICE $$Under $250

PERFECT FOR – Audiophile travelers/commuters

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 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 2021-04-13 at 06:07 / 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, the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5BT model headphones are a nice option for those looking for a well-balanced combination of great sound and truly robust durability.

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

And with a fairly impressive 20 hours of playback for a bass-heavy pair, non-professional DJs need to look no further in this price range. 

What really sells these wireless headphones though, aside from modest colour 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

Good durable wireless headphones are hard to come by, so the significant price tags in this category are often justified – especially if they promise a lifetime’s worth of listening. The following 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
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.

Thanks to their premium Bluetooth audio codecs, you can enjoy up to 14 hours of high-fidelity sound without the wires.

Studio musicians and serious audiophiles needn’t be discouraged either, as each pair comes with an audio jack input for unlimited listening. 

These headphones boast a number of durability features. Aside from a strong metal headband design and a tough ‘exoskeleton’ carrying case (with carabiner attachment for use in climbing and other outdoor activities), they claim to be resistant to high and low temperatures, humidity, salt spray, and UV exposure earning them the MIL-STD-810G standard.

More so, purchasing a pair of Crossfades automatically enrolls you into their ‘Immortal Life Program’. This is separate from their one-year warranty and promises 20% off your next purchase if your current pair breaks down. It’s not much, but we appreciate the effort. 

User sentiment for the Crossfade 2’s is generally quite positive, with praise for their excellent sound quality even when wireless, as well as their toughness and versatility.

Their ability to double up as gaming headsets with the separately sold BoomPro mic earns them some credit outside of musical contexts too.

Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for more gaming gear check our Rugged Gaming Keyboards

However, the battery life seems to be a recurring concern, so if you’re a frequent traveler or plan on taking these on especially long hikes or climbs, perhaps they won’t be worth the steep price tag.

PRICE $$$Over $300 

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

Sale
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 dB@1kHz

Last update on 2021-03-10 at 09:16 / 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

An enduring authority in the realm of audio engineering, British-born company Bowers and Wilkins were producing speakers and other sound equipment when Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club was brand new.

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 pair, and the critics agree that this entry is the best-in-class in terms of audio.

And with adaptive noise-canceling technology, unpredictably noisy environments won’t be a problem for the frequent traveler. Speaking of which, long-haul flights will zoom by, as the PX7s promise a very respectable 30-hours of listening thanks to the lithium polymer battery.

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

However, the longer than average two-year warranty that comes with every purchase does earn it some #BIFL recognition. 

PRICE $$$Under $400 

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

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 2021-04-13 at 04:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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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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. 

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