One of the biggest problems with using wired headphones, earbuds, specifically AirPods, and other workout headsets is the cord. It gets in the way, it gets yanked out, it tears, and sometimes it throws your phone to the ground. Wires and cord problems aren't created equally. Sometimes it's about body type, where some people stick out more than others. Broad shoulders, chests that stick out, angles, and bumps of all sorts can tighten the cord, making it more likely to get yanked.
Your running style--known as your gait--also plays a factor. People who wildly move their arms around are more likely to snag their cord. Should you change your gait because of a product? Some people may be insulted by the idea, but it's a good idea to understand how you run and how you could improve. That said, even professional runners who have a body type that doesn't work well with cords will need something else. One of the most significant benefits of wired headsets is not requiring battery power for the headset.
Wired earbuds don't need power while wireless earbuds need charging. If you notice that you're tugging and pulling at wired AirPods, there are a few workarounds. 3.5mm extension cords can lengthen your cord, twist ties can fasten the cord, and Velcro straps or other pieces of equipment such as backpacks, CamelBaks, and ID card holders can store your extra cord so you're not dealing with flailing tech spaghetti.
Wireless is all about convenience, but there are some sacrifices that you may not even know you're missing. The obvious sacrifice is battery power. AirPods need to be charged, and part of the entire mobile industry's efforts--and a big challenge for humanity going forward--is storing power more efficiently and for longer periods. In short, making batteries last longer is a work in progress. It's not easy, and there are bigger stakes out there than AirPods. Still, AirPods and other wireless devices can be a problem when you have to charge them, forget to charge them, or when the battery wears out over time.
A durable, replaceable battery can be a problem because at the small size, batteries can be lost. That also opens up customers to third-party batteries and all of the fun stories of batteries exploding, overheating, or igniting.
What many people don't think about is the audio quality. Wireless technology has a steady march of becoming more consistent and faster because some lose signal when you're not using a cable. While there are some complex Radio Frequency (RF) and wave theory topics to explain the issue, think about watering a potted plant. Odd analogy, but the stream of water is the information that goes across wireless or wired devices.
If you put the water hose close to the pot or directly into the pot, the water goes in. Unless something is wrong with the hose or you turn the water on at higher than necessary power, the water goes exactly where you point it. Wireless technology means putting your finger over the hose to spray it across greater distances. Advances in wireless technology mean using a better water sprayer to shoot the water even further while wasting less water as the spray gets erratic. That erratic water that fans out and sputters is your music. You lose some audio quality, and it's up to you whether you care about that quality loss or not.
One problem no matter what type of AirPods you use is keeping the AirPods in your ears. In-ear pods aren't designed for everyone. They taper to offer the best possible fit for as many people as possible, but that doesn't mean they reach everyone. Consider getting something like AirPod Grips that can go around your ear, or even clip somewhere else to make listening easier. They're designed to hold the AirPods in place and have comfortable material to protect sensitive ears.
The sensitive ears part is vital. Anyone who has shopped around the budget earbud industry knows that some hard, jaggedly-machined or printed earpieces can scratch or clamp down painfully. AirPod Grips are made of softer material. If you need help figuring out which AirPods to pick up and how to find the best grips, ask an AirPods Grips expert. They can help you find the best way to customize your mobile listening.