These Adidas true wireless earbuds could be the perfect workout buddies

a man wearing a pair of adidas true wireless earbuds while playing basketball
Rapper Quavo wearing the new Adidas wireless earbuds. (Image credit: Adidas)

Adidas may be best known for its sneakers, but the company has recently branched out into the world of headphones - and its latest running earbuds could be the perfect companions to take out on your next jog. 

The sports brand has announced three new wireless earbuds models: the Z.N.E. 01 ANC, the Z.N.E. 01, and the FWD-02 SPORT.

The flagship pair are the Adidas Z.N.E. 01 ANC, which come with active noise cancellation and an awareness mode, allowing you to switch between blocking out the world and being more conscious of your surroundings - handy if you're running in busy areas. 

The new true wireless earbuds look a little like the Apple AirPods Pro, with interchangeable eartips and protruding stems - albeit with a more sporty finish. An IPX5 water resistance rating means these earbuds should be able to withstand a little sweat, too. 

Unfortunately, the Z.N.E 01 ANC don't come with the longest battery life. You get 4.5 hours from the buds themselves, with a further 15.5 hours from the charging case. A combined battery life of 20 hours isn't exactly class-leading; after all, the AirPods Pro offer about 24 hours, and that's on the lower end of the scale.

Still, at $189.99 / £149.99, they're much cheaper than Apple's noise-cancelling earbuds. If you're in Australia, you'll be paying AU$319, but you can only register your interest as they aren't available in this region just yet.

adidas true wireless earbuds with their charging case

The Adidas Z.N.E 01 ANC. (Image credit: Adidas)

Adidas is also offering a cheaper pair of running earbuds. The Z.N.E. 01 don't come with active noise cancellation, and they look more like the Apple AirPods 3 than the AirPods Pro, with no interchangeable eartips.

However, the battery life is much better at 25 hours (that's five from the buds and 20 from the charging case), and they're less expensive at $99 / £89.99 / AU$159. Again, these buds are available to buy now in the US and the UK, but Australian buyers will have to wait a little longer.

Finally, there's the FWD-02 Sport, which are designed purely with outdoor sports in mind. Costing $169 / £139.99 (about AU$220) and launching later this year, these buds are made with a breathable mesh fabric and an IPX5 water resistance rating. 

While there's no ANC, there is an ambient mode to let in environmental sound, and they can be controlled using capacitive force sensors - useful if you're wearing gloves. 

adidas true wireless earbuds for running

(Image credit: Adidas)

Analysis: how do I choose the best running headphones for me?

Choosing a pair of headphones for running can be tricky, but there are a few key things you should look out for. 

Firstly, think about the kind of headphones you like to wear. Do you like the security of a pair of neckbuds that you can loop around your neck when you're not using them? Or maybe you prefer to go cable-free with a pair of true wireless earbuds? 

Whether you go for neckbuds or true wireless earbuds, look for designs that feature ears fins and interchangeable eartips like the Powerbeats Pro - these will allow you to find the right fit for your ears and keep the earbuds firmly in place while running. 

Some people even wear on-ear headphones like the Adidas RPT-01, which come with a knitted headband and ear cushions that can be removed and washed after particularly sweaty sessions.

Whatever type of headphones you opt for, look for on-ear controls - or inline remotes - so you don't have to dig out your phone to adjust your music.

Aftershokz Aeropex

The Aftershokz Areopex are among the best running headphones you can buy. (Image credit: Aftershokz)

If you tend to work out in busy, high traffic areas, it's also worth considering bone conducting headphones like the Aftershokz Aeropex. These headphones don't cover your ears at all - instead, transducers are used to send vibrations through your cheekbones and jaw up towards your inner ear. Your brain then begins the processing work, turning those sound vibrations into the content that streams through the headphones, while you ears are still free to hear your surroundings.

Perhaps most importantly, your new headphones should be sweat-proof if you want to use them while working out. Look for water resistance ratings of IPX4 and above. 

Once you've narrowed down your search by design, look into the audio performance of your new headphones. For running, you'll want a strong bass response, for which you'll need powerful dynamic drivers and a wide frequency response.

There are lots of extra features that you may want to look for as well, such as active noise cancellation, transparency modes, and built-in microphones so you can summon your device's voice assistant. Some, like the Jabra Elite Sport, even come with built-in heart rate monitors to help you track your performance. 

Of course, any buying decision is going to be heavily influenced by your budget. If you are trying to save money, it's well worth waiting until Black Friday 2021, when lots of headphones will be discounted heavily.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.