AR670-1 Headphones: Everything You Need to Know in 2023

AR670-1 Headphones
Photo Courtesy: Aaron Yoo

Whether you enjoy listening to your favorite tunes or catching up on podcasts, headphones allow you to escape for a while. If you read our post on AR670-1 socks, then you’ll recall how the AR670-1 code has very specific rules on appropriate military attire.

That has you wondering, are headphones allowed?

According to AR670-1 rules, soldiers can use headphones in their military uniforms when in a fitness center or an indoor gym. Both wired and wireless earpieces and listening devices are allowed, but the headphones must be “conservative and discreet”.

We’ll talk a lot more about AR670-1 headphone regulations ahead, including the ins and outs of the rules so you can be careful not to break them. Make sure you keep reading, as you won’t want to miss it!

AR670-1 Regulation on Headphones

Army Regulation or AR670-1 is a series of rules on Army uniform appearance and wear. The latest edition of AR670-1 was published in 2021. Here is a link to the full set of regulations.

In Section 3-6, Uniform appearance and fit, AR670-1 details the regulations on headphone use. When soldiers are in a fitness center or an indoor gym exercising and training, they are allowed to wear headphones.

As we touched on in the intro, these headphones include earpieces and devices that are wired or wireless.  

The only exception to wearing headphones is if a soldier’s senior commander or unit commander prohibits their usage.  

If a soldier is allowed to wear headphones when at an indoor gym or fitness center, then according to AR670-1, it’s only in “the permitted area,” aka those two locations.

The way a soldier wears the headphones is important too. The AR670-1 standards state that headphones must be either on the soldier’s head or in their ears and never worn around their neck. The soldier also cannot attach the headphones to any parts of their uniform.

AR670-1 limits the type of headphones or earbuds a soldier can use. If they’re over-ear headphones, the earpad cannot be larger in diameter than 1 ½ inches at the earpad’s widest area. Headphones, the regulations say, must be “conservative and discreet” as well, so no bright colors or crazy designs like cat ears or LEDs.

If a soldier brings an electronic device such as a smartphone or an mp3 player when exercising, they can use an elastic armband to carry it.

However, that’s only allowed in the fitness and training area. The armband should be black.

Can You Wear Headphones While in an Army Uniform? What about OCP?

A soldier’s uniform is a sacred thing, which is why you’re curious whether AR670-1 regulations allow for a soldier to wear headphones while dressed in their uniform, including Operational Camouflage Pattern or OCP.

The answer is yes, but there are some caveats, of course.

The rules as described above would apply. In other words, the earpad size regulation and headphone design rules are still in play, and the soldier must only wear headphones when in a training or fitness area. They also have to keep the headphones on their ears.

When in uniform, AR670-1 states that soldiers and personnel must not put their hands in their pockets unless they have to get something from their pockets. They must wear their uniform completely snapped, zippered, and buttoned to prevent belt buckles and metal insignias from corroding and/or scratching.

Can You Wear Headphones During the Army PT Test?

The Army Physical Fitness Test or APFT requires you to do a series of pushups and sit-ups, then a two-mile run if you hope to pass. The number of reps you must complete varies based on your age group.

Nothing gets you pumped up and raring to go more than your playlist of songs. While you’re taking the PT test, are you allowed to wear headphones?

Sorry, but not this time. AR670-1 says it very clearly: “Soldiers may not wear headphones while taking the Army Physical Fitness Test.” There’s no wiggle room there, so you’ll have to leave the headphones behind.

The reason you’re likely barred from using headphones is so you can clearly hear instructions as you take the test.

Are AirPods Allowed in Army Uniforms?

AirPods are all the rage these days. These Apple earbuds slip easily into the ear and stay secure. You might want to wear them for an afternoon of Army training, but are AirPods allowed per AR670-1?

Well, AR670-1 doesn’t mention AirPods by name, but technically, they’re a wireless listening device. AirPods measure 60.6 millimeters in width. By those standards, they should be allowed per current Army regulations. You can even listen to music in a pair of AirPods when in your Army uniform!

Recommended AR670-1 Headphones

Apple AirPods

First on our list is the classic Apple AirPods. This second-generation set comes in white and includes a charging case.

According to Apple, per charge, you can use the AirPods for five hours. That’s plenty of time for listening to your favorite music or podcasts. The charging case can recharge the AirPods for up to 24 hours.

Included in each AirPod is an H1 chip that maintains a solid wireless connection with less latency and more stability.

Check out the Airpods on Amazon (Link to Amazon)

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

If you don’t use Apple devices, then perhaps the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds in black will be more your thing.

The Buds+ feature Selective Hearing for filtering out unwanted noises. Ambient Aware works in conjunction to allow you to hear conversational sounds even with the earbuds in so you always seem alert when in Army training.

One charge allows you to use the Galaxy Buds Pro for 11 hours at a time. You can even use a three-minute charging feature to get an hour of battery power at a time for quick listening.

Check out the Galaxy Buds Pro on Amazon (Link to Amazon)

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

The last pair of AR670-1 headphones we recommend is the Sennheiser Momentum wireless Bluetooth earbuds.

These sleek-looking earbuds have an operating temperature of up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s okay if you leave them in a warm room for a while.

Transparent Hearing is like Samsung’s Ambient Aware feature. You can hear others when they call out to you. You could even talk to your commander or fellow Army soldiers without the need to take the earbuds out.

The included equalizer allows you to adjust your sound settings via Bluetooth. Dynamic drivers improve the quality of the sound.

Check out the Galaxy Buds Pro on Amazon (Link to Amazon)

Final Thoughts

Army Regulation 670-1 permits soldiers to wear headphones or earbuds in uniform when in an indoor training or fitness area if their commander allows it. With the great headphones we recommended, now you can experience the joy of music and take your training to the next level!

Adam Sheriff

Adam is an experienced rucker and has been in the game for the past 5 years. He competed in a local ruck challenge and was hooked ever since. He has been actively helping people get into rucking and has set up local ruck events to help spread the word and encourage more people to get in on the action. When he’s not out rucking or setting up ruck events in town, he manages

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