Oladance Open Ear Headphones Review

The Oladance headphones offer the same benefits as bone-conduction headphones but they sound a lot better

Oladance Open Headphones
(Image: © Nick Harris-Fry/Future)

Our Verdict

Oladance’s headphones are the best-sounding open buds I’ve come across, and they are comfortable to wear for long periods. They are more expensive than bone-conduction headphones, however, and still can’t quite match the sound quality of in-ear buds.


  • Great sound for open design
  • Comfortable
  • Long battery life


  • More expensive than rivals
  • Don’t come with charging case
  • Fit not ideal for some workouts

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If you want to listen to music or podcasts while keeping your ears clear during workouts, bone-conduction headphones like the Shokz OpenRun are the most popular option available. However, they are not the only option anymore, with innovative open headphones like the Sony Linkbuds popping up, as well as several sets that sit on the top of your ear, such as the Cleer Arc Open Ear buds.

The Oladance Open Ear headphones are an example of the latter design, and the great advantage they have over bone-conduction buds is improved sound. The sound quality of the Oladance headphones is among the best available on open buds, and although expensive they are certainly among the best running headphones available.

Oladance Open Ear Headphones Review: Price And Availability

The Oladance headphones are available now and cost $179.99/£199.99. That’s more expensive than any bone conduction headphones in the Shokz range, and almost as pricy as the Bose Sport Open buds.

Design And Fit

Oladance Open Headphones

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry/Future)

The Oladance headphones hook over your ears and sit so that the speaker rests halfway down your ear, hovering near the ear canal. The fit leaves your ears open to hear external sounds and is more comfortable than using in-ear tips. 

I found the fit secure for a variety of sports. It’s best when you remain upright as in running and cycling, but neither did I have any problems with the headphones slipping off when in inverted positions during yoga sessions. I was also able to wear the headphones along with glasses and under a headband during runs comfortably. 

However, the fit is not completely secure when doing HIIT workouts that involve dropping to the ground and leaping up again. They didn’t fall out but I regularly had to readjust them, so a full earhook would be more reliable for these types of sessions.

Oladance Open Headphones on man's head

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry/Future)

There are two large pods on the headphones, which balance the fit well and contain the battery and large 16.5mm drivers. The outside of the pod that sits in the ear is a touch panel you use to control playback through taps and change the volume by swiping up and down. 

These controls are a bit tricky to use during workouts, and I often paused my music when trying to swipe the volume up or down. For the most part I found it easier to use my phone to control the settings.

With a rating of IPX4, the Oladance headphones are sweat- and water-resistant. They’re not fully waterproof like some headphones, including some bone-conduction sets from Shokz and Naenka that you can use for swimming, but IPX4 is a high enough rating that long-term exposure to sweat and rain during workouts won’t be a problem.

The headphones come with a carry case, but unlike most truly wireless earbuds this case does not double as a portable charger. You can get a charging case from Oladance, but it costs an extra $49.99/£49.99.

Sound Quality

The main criticism of open headphones is that they can’t match the sound quality of in-ear buds, or even get close to matching it. That’s been the case for me with bone conduction headphones like the Shokz OpenRun and other open designs like the Sony Linkbuds and Cleer Arc buds.

Though I haven’t tested the Bose Sport Open, the Oladance buds are a clear step up in sound quality on any open headphones I have tried. The sound is impressively full and detailed, and the bass is more powerful than on other open buds. 

You can also adjust the EQ on the headphones in the partner Oladance app, so you can ramp up the bass even more, though this doesn’t have as dramatic an effect as EQ changes do on in-ear buds.

Oladance Open Headphones

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry/Future)

There is still a drop-off in sound quality compared with in-ear buds, especially those at an equivalent price to the Oladance headphones, but the sound quality is good enough that you can use them outside of workouts as well, something I wouldn’t really do with Shokz headphones. The sound doesn’t leak either, so you can use them in the office without annoying your colleagues.

The top volume is also higher than on other open headphones I’ve tested. When indoors and even when out running in quieter spots I could leave the volume at a fairly low level, whereas with Shokz headphones I usually have them at the max at all times when outdoors, which can reduce battery life.

Battery Life

Oladance says these headphones last 16 hours on a charge and I found that tallied with my experience. One  annoyance is that the case they come with doesn’t charge the buds, even though you have to put the headphones into the case and plug it in to charge them – and it takes around two hours to fully charge the phones from empty.  

That said, 16 hours is long enough that you don’t have to think about finding a plug socket every couple of days, even if you’re regularly using the buds outside of workout times. 

Oladance Open Headphones

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry/Future)

Are The Oladance Open Ear Headphones Worth It?

The Oladance headphones are the best open buds I’ve tested, and the impressive sound quality in particular means they can work as your only set for sports and general use. In-ear buds do still offer more impressive sound, including sets like the  Jabra Elite 4 Active which cost far less than the Oladance headphones.

In general the price is a sticking point, since the best bone conduction headphones like the Shokz OpenRun are much cheaper and offer the same awareness benefits and a slightly more secure fit, even if the Oladance headphones sound better and have longer battery life.

If you’re looking for open buds and price isn’t a concern I’d get the Oladance headphones, but there might be better value in finding a cheaper set of open headphones for sports and then getting some in-ear buds for general use where you want better sound.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.