The Best Headphones For Swimming – (Suitable For Underwater)

Last updated: 5 months ago, Aug. 14. 2020
Article Contents

    Enjoy music in the pool or sea with the best swimming headphones available right now.

    Comparison of the Best Swimming Headphones

      RatingPriceWater Protection
    WarrantyEartipsCord Length 

    Swimbuds Sport
    The Best Headphones For Swimming - (Suitable For Underwater)4.5$$ ($30-$80)Up to 10ft (3m)
    1-year-warranty11 pairs
    (4 types)
    Short cord
    +cord extension
    More info
    HydroActive by
    Underwater Audio
    The Best Headphones For Swimming - (Suitable For Underwater)4.3$$$ ($80-$120)Up to 10ft (3m)
    1-year-warranty11 pairs
    (4 types)
    Short cord
    +cord extension
    More info

    Swimbuds Flip
    The Best Headphones For Swimming - (Suitable For Underwater)4.2$$ ($30-$80)Up to 10ft (3m)
    1-year-warranty5 pairs
    (2 types)
    Short cord
    +cord extension
    More info
    H2O Surge S+The Best Headphones For Swimming - (Suitable For Underwater)4.3$$ ($30-$80)Up to 12ft (3.6m)
    1-year-warranty8 pairs
    (2 types)
    Short cordMore info
    SigomatechThe Best Headphones For Swimming - (Suitable For Underwater)4.4$ (<$30)Up to 10ft (3m)
    1-year-warranty4 pairs
    (2 types)
    Short cord
    +cord extension
    More info
    Avantree TR509The Best Headphones For Swimming - (Suitable For Underwater)3.9$ (<$30)Up to couple a ft
    Limited-warranty6 pairsShort cord
    +cord extension
    More info

    Swimming Earbuds
    The Best Headphones For Swimming - (Suitable For Underwater)3.9$ (<$30)Up to 10ft (3m)
    1-year-warranty5 pairs
    (2 types)
    Short cord
    +cord extension
    More info

    Sometimes swimming for hours can be a drag without some additional entertainment. Introduce music and audiobooks to your regular swimming routine with the top headphones for swimming.

    All the models recommended here are waterproof and suitable for swimming above and underwater.

    But you won’t find any wireless Bluetooth headphones because they don’t work in water, Bluetooth stops working every time.

    Also, we review only headphones that require an additional waterproof music player. If you don’t have it yet, see the related guides below to get a set.

    Table of Contents

      Related guides:

      The best swimming MP3 players (with headphones)

      All the best waterproof headphones

      The best waterproof wireless headphones (not for swimming)

      Key Features of Swimming Headphones

      How are waterproof swimming headphones different from other headphones?

      Waterproof design – Full water protection with minimum IPX7 waterproof rating is required. Regular headphones with lower protection run the risk of breaking underwater. Water resistant, IPX6 or lower, or sweatproof headphones aren’t good enough for submerging.

      Stable fit in water – Keeping headphones in your ears without water coming in is a unique problem. The best solution so far are in-ear headphones with triple-flange eartips that keep the water out. Put on a swim cap for extra stability just in case. The moment you lose the fit and water fills the ears, you won’t hear the music anymore.

      Wires with gold-plated plug – Bluetooth doesn’t work in water. You need wired headphones that are protected against corrosion, like a gold-plated AUX plug.

      Short cord – If you wear your waterproof MP3 on your goggle strap, then you need short-corded headphones; otherwise, the cord gets in the way. Many swimming earbuds have short wires and additional extensions when needed, but not all of them. So, check before buying.

      Reliability – You probably don’t like replacing your broken headphones with new ones all the time. Often, spending more money on a quality product is more reasonable and provides more value in the long term. This is why earphones with a proven track record are recommended as the best.

      Sound quality – While swimming headphones won’t win any audio awards, you still want your headphones to sound good. You want to enjoy your music in relative quality, even during a swim. As long as you get a good fit, the waterproof headphones recommended here have enjoyable sound quality (for the category).

      The Best Headphones for Swimming

      1. Swimbuds Sport (best overall)

      Swimbuds Sport headphones for swimming

      Best headphones for swimming overall

      Designed specifically for underwater use, the fully waterproofed casing with 1.3ft (40cm), short cord, 3.3ft (1m) extension cable, and a full selection of accessories is everything swimming headphones can offer.

      Should You Buy These?

      Watertight seal and stability are achieved with the help of 4 different eartips, each with multiple size options. Some even work like earplugs, keeping all the water out. Altogether you get 11 pairs of eartips.

      The in-ear headphones have an IPX8 rating, which makes them fully submersible for long periods of time. The materials are of high quality and an improvement from the older version.

      Rebecca Soni, six-time Olympic medalist, former competition swimmer, used Swimbuds waterproof headphones during her practice.

      The Bad

      Some swimming earbuds can go deeper than 10ft (3m).

      The Sound

      These provide a clear sound. While you can’t compare waterproof headphones to regular ones, getting high enough volume is important. In the water, you’ll hear a lot of water noises like bubbles and splashes, so you need your headphones loud enough.

      They connect with gold-plated 3.5mm AUX plug-in. It means you can attach them to waterproof iPod Shuffles and most MP3 players.

      The price might be a bit higher than most swimming earbuds, but you get what you pay for. Plus, they consistently offer a discount if you buy them together with a waterproof iPod Shuffle.

      2. HydroActive Headphones by Underwater Audio

      HydroActive swimming headphones

      Runner-up for the best waterproof earphones

      HydroActive waterproof earbuds are perfect for swimming, even underwater, kayaking, paddleboarding, and any other sport that includes water.

      Should You Buy These?

      Underwater Audio is known for Swimbuds and waterproofing iPod Shuffle with great success. Now they’ve made neckband headphones for water activities as well.

      Their behind the neck design might not seem like the best idea, but it actually works. There are 11 pairs of different eartips in the package. They come in 4 different types, each with multiple sizes. To help you carry everything, you also get a nice hard carrying case.

      Since the earbuds come with a short cord, you also get an extension cable, it’s also fully waterproof. The IPX8 rating means you can easily submerge them in water up to 10ft (3m).

      You can connect them to any waterproof MP3 player with a 3.5mm gold-plated plug.

      The Bad

      Some swimming earbuds can survive deeper depths.

      The Sound

      The audio quality is good for waterproof headphones. You can make them loud enough, and clarity is usually not a problem when listening to music.

      If you are having problems with Swimbuds staying in the ears then you might want to try HydroActive headphones by Underwater Audio. The unique design seems to work well at staying put even during intense lap swimming.

      3. Swimbuds Flip (best value)

      Swimbuds Flip swimming earbuds


      Best waterproof earphones in terms of pure value

      The Swimbuds Flip are the best waterproof headphones if you’re looking for a relatively affordable option for dedicated swimmers. They have many fans who’ve been using these for years.

      Should You Buy These?

      These are designed with swimmers in mind. The Swimbuds Flip create a tight fit and sit comfortably within the ear canal even during a dive.

      The swimming headphones are IPX8 rated, which means they are suitable for submerging in water. They also come with a gold plated jack, which is designed to stop corrosion, a process likely resulting from exposure to water.

      They stay in place very well while you’re underwater, and can even withstand flips and vigorous movement., but the cost is pretty reasonable, which makes up for this.

      There’s also a tube of “FitGoo” which lubricates the earbuds and creates an even tighter fit.

      The Bad

      The durability isn’t 100% amazing.

      The Sound

      Now, you shouldn’t expect high-quality sound, but what makes them so popular is their stable fit underwater. If you aren’t using them for swimming, there’s a pair of regular ear tips as well.

      For a reliable solution to listen to music in water, get the Swimbuds Flip that have been popular with swimmers for years.

      4. H2O Audio Surge S+

      H2O Surge S+

      Value for money runner-up

      H20 Audio Surge S+ are great value-for-money swimming headphones. Made by a reputable company called H20 Audio that is specialized for waterproof products. These in-ear headphones are perfect for any serious or casual swimmer.

      Michael Phelps H2O Audio Swimming Headphones

      Michael Phelps has used H2O Audio earbuds during his swimming practice.

      Should You Buy These?

      The short-cord swimming earbuds are made from quality materials and end in a regular 3.5mm AUX plug.

      The design is made for underwater use and stays in ears very well. You can swim laps and do underwater turns without losing music. Finding the right eartips and combining it with a good swim cap is necessary, of course.

      Having an IPX8 rating, these are made for underwater use. The H20 Audio claims you can submerge them up to 12ft (3.6m) underwater. This is deeper than most pools, so you can be confident you won’t go too deep.

      The Bad

      The selection of ear tips could be better.

      The Sound

      Add to this a fun and dynamic sound quality that doesn’t lack clarity compared to other swimming earphones, and you get an almost perfect piece of swimming gear.

      Nonetheless, H20 Audio Surge S+ are an exceptional earbuds for the price right now. Since these usually cost under $50 you’ll hardly find a better deal in the category.

      5. Sigomatech waterproof headphones

      Sigomatech swimming headphones

      The Sigomatech are the best waterproof headphones if you’re on a tight budget. If you don’t want to spend too much but also don’t want to get the cheapest, these are a good option.

      Should You Buy These?

      They come with 4 pairs of ear tips. A pair of regular ones and 3 pairs of triple-flange silicone ear tips (S, M, L).

      The cord is short so that you can use them with head-worn audio players, and there’s also an option to extend it. The extension cable is also waterproof. Additionally, you get a nice, hard carrying case to put in everything.

      The fit seems to be stable for most people, and you can easily use them for some underwater activity. Rated as IPX8, they can survive long dips in the water even under harsh conditions.

      The Bad

      The stability of the fit might be less secure without extra help from a swimming cap.

      The Sound

      The sound is about average, which means some bass with good clarity. With all the water sounds you’re going to hear, you won’t be able to focus on sonic-fidelity anyways.

      For slightly above $20 you’re getting great swimming earphones that will make your lap swimming a lot more fun.

      6. Avantree TR509

      Avantree TR509 swimming earbuds


      Cheap alternative for swimming headphones

      These provide almost everything as other more expensive models do. They’re also very cheap, costing under $30, which makes them a steal.

      Should You Buy These?

      Avantree TR509 are the most stylish looking waterproof earbuds on this list. They come with “wire behind the ear” ear hook design, making for a more comfortable experience.

      A secure fit is also one of these earbuds’ main selling points, giving you the freedom to perform all sorts of movements when underwater.

      They’re IPX7 water-resistant, which means you can easily use them in pools, but going below 1,5m can harm them. They come with short cable and extension cord if you need those extra inches.

      The Bad

      As mentioned, IPX7 is forcing you to keep swimming near a surface.

      The Sound

      Sound quality isn’t on the audiophile-level, but keep in mind these are swimming earbuds. Regardless, their output is reasonably balanced. You can also use them outside of the pool, but they surprisingly sound best when swimming.

      You can use Avantree TR509 on many occasions. Either at the gym, running, sleeping, or swimming. They do their job very well, remain comfortable and stable no matter what.

      7. AGPTEK Swimming Earbuds (best cheap)

      Agptek Swimming Earbuds

      Best cheap waterproof earbuds

      The AGPTEK swimming earbuds are generic and cheap. But still manage to do a good job for swimming purposes.

      Should You Buy These?

      The main selling point of the AGPTEK earbuds is probably the fact they offer the waterproof functionality (IPX8) and secure fit at such a low price. 5 pairs of ear tips allow you to choose the best for your needs (triple-flange for swimming and regular for out of pool use).

      They come with an ear-hook design which goes around the back of your ears. They sit comfortably for swimming (when you wear a swimming cap) as well as watersports and other exercises.

      The cable on the headphones is short at 2ft long, but there is a 3.3ft extension.

      The Bad

      These are not for vigorous underwater activity.

      The Sound

      The sound quality is fine, though nothing spectacular. The frequency response of the headphones is 20-22,000 Hz, and the mid frequencies and highs are actually pretty clear. Though the bass is a lot to be desired, this is a problem most waterproof earbuds struggle with.

      We found the AGPTEK to be good for light swimming. For the price, it is hard to argue with the features on offer. So, if you’re on a budget, get these.

      How to Choose Headphones for Swimming

      The best way to listen to music while swimming is with quality wired swimming earbuds. Most are in-ear headphones and create an airtight fit in the ear canal (over-ear headphones are too big).

      Combine that with a waterproof MP3 player, and you get an excellent combination for music in the pool. Underwater music can sound great, but you need unique instruments to play it.

      Why Avoid Bluetooth Headphones for Swimming?

      If there’s one thing you should avoid when buying swimming headphones, it’s Bluetooth.

      The reason wired headphones are better for swimming is that wireless Bluetooth technology doesn’t work underwater.

      Water is too dense for the wireless signal to travel through. You get too many signal interruptions.

      You can’t use Bluetooth workout headphones for swimming. The only way you can use them is if you only swim above water and never more than 30ft (10m) away from your music device. It’s too bothersome if you ask me.

      On the other hand, you can use these for any activity near the pool, like water sports.

      The best waterproof Bluetooth headphones.

      How Does Water Protection Work?

      The hardest part of waterproofing headphones is protecting small holes from water intrusion. There are 2 ways this is achieved.

      Swimming headphones have a design that minimizes such weak points. Usually, they are made from 1 piece of plastic. This way, it’s hard for water to get in.

      The second way is by protecting it with an invisible layer that blocks water. An example is hydrophobic protection. This super-hydrophobic protection layer is used for many different waterproofed products, including headphones.

      “Keep in mind, the effectiveness varies depending on the design and specific product features. Not all water protected headphones have equal protection.”

      How to Get the Best Fit in the Water

      Because water is denser than air, it gives more resistance. Because of this, maintaining a tight, comfortable fit with headphones is more difficult. The way to avoid this problem is to help keep the swimming earbuds in place with a swimming cap.

      Swimming caps are cheap and common, plus they give extra stability to your headphones. This is the first thing you should try if you have a problem keeping your headphones on.

      Another thing worth mentioning is the eartips. Most swimming in-ear earbuds come with a wide variety of them. Trying them all and picking the right ones—most comfortable—for you can take some time, but it’s worth it. Don’t despair if the first eartips don’t fit your ear canals. Try another pair.

      Are Waterproof Headphones Good for Swimming in the Sea (Salt Water)?

      Beach sea

      Saltwater can be a problem for a lot of different gear, including headphones. The salt makes it more aggressive and causes material to deteriorate faster.

      Any waterproof headphones for swimming that are suitable for freshwater are also suitable for the sea and ocean. Just keep in mind to wash them off with fresh water after each use to prolong the lifetime of your headphones.

      How to Take Care of Waterproof Swimming Earbuds

      The only thing that you really need to take care of is their structural integrity. In other words, not physically damaging them.

      Because water protection is quite sensitive to physical damage, it might create new openings for the water to get in.

      We recommend keeping your pool headphones in a sturdy, carrying case. In instance you drop them, they’ll most likely survive without damage. If you drop your pair of headphones too often, it’s possible they’ll lose their waterproofing and thus start to leak in water.

      Additionally, you should wash them with fresh, clean water regularly. If you swim in a public pool with lots of chloride, there’s probably a lot of other “stuff” in there as well. It’s preferable to keep them clean after use for hygiene purposes. This holds true for swimming in salty water, as well.

      If you’re missing the MP3 player, you can also consider all-in-one solutions like bone conduction headphones with a built-in music player.

      Disclosure: We might receive affiliate compensation if you purchase products via links on this page.