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The Best Headphones For Swimming – (Suitable For Submersion)

Last updated: 2 months ago
8 min read

Play music in the swimming pool with the best swimming headphones available right now.

Rating Price Water-resistance Warranty Eartips Cable lenght More info
Swimbuds Sport Best overall
Swimbuds Sport
4.3
Under $60
IPX8
1 year
11 pairs (4 types)
Short cord +cord extension
4.2
Under $90
IPX8
1 year
11 pairs (4 types)
Short cord +cord extension
Swimbuds Flip Best value
Swimbuds Flip swimming earbuds
4.3
Under $40
IPX8
1 year
5 pairs (2 types)
Short cord +cord extension
4.0
Under $40
IPX8
1 year
8 pairs
Short cord
3.8
Under $10
IPX8
n/a
3 pairs
1m
3.8
Under $30
IPX7
Limited
6 pairs
Short cord +cord extension
4.0
Under $20
IPX8
1 year
5 pairs (2 types)
Short cord +cord extension
4.1
Under $50
IPX8
1 year
11 pairs (3 types)
Short cord

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 doesn’t work under water.

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:

    Key Features of Swimming Headphones

    How are waterproof headphones for swimming different from other headphones?

    Waterproof design – Full water protection with a minimum IPX7 waterproof rating is required. Regular headphones with lower protection run the risk of breaking underwater after a few months. 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-ears with triple-flange eartips that keep the water out. Put on a swim cap for extra stability just in case. The moment you lose 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 player on your goggle strap, then you need short-corded headphones; otherwise, the cord gets in the way. Many swimming earbuds have short wires and an additional cord extender 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 waterproof 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

    1st-place Best overall
    Swimbuds Sport headphones for swimming

    Best headphones for swimming overall.

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

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: In-ear | Water resistance: IPX8 | Cable: Short cord + cord extension | Warranty: 1 year | Ear tips: 11 pairs (4 types)
    • Good sound
    • Many accessories
    • Some earbuds survive deeper depths

    These provide clear sound quality. In the water, you’ll hear a lot of water noises like bubbles and splashes, so you need your headphones a little bit louder to listen to your favorite tunes.

    They connect with gold-plated 3.5mm audio jack. It means you can attach them to waterproof iPod Shuffles and most MP3 music players.

    Watertight seal and stability are achieved with the help of four different styles of eartips, each with multiple size options. Some even work like earplugs, keeping all the water out.

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

    The waterproof 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.

    2. HydroActive Headphones by Underwater Audio

    HydroActive swimming headphones

    Runner-up for the best waterproof earbuds.

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

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: In-ear | Water resistance: IPX8 | Cable: Short cord + cord extension | Warranty: 1 year | Ear tips: 11 pairs (4 types)
    • Good stability for all sports activities
    • Decent, loud sound
    • Some earbuds survive deeper depths

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

    Their behind-the-neck design might not seem like the best idea, but it actually works. There are 11 pairs of different eartip styles in the package.

    They come in 4 different types, each with multiple sizes, including so-called fin tips. To help you carry everything, you also get a nice hard carrying case.

    Since the earbuds come with a shorter 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.

    3. Swimbuds Flip

    dollar 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.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: In-ear | Water resistance: IPX8 | Cable: Short cord + cord extension | Warranty: 1 year | Ear tips: 5 pairs (2 types)
    • Affordable
    • Not the best durability

    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.

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

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

    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.

    They stay in place very well while you’re underwater, and can even withstand flips and vigorous movement.

    If you’re looking for headphones to swim above water only, you should see the best bone conduction headphones.

    4. H2O Audio Surge S+

    H2O Surge S+

    Value for money runner-up.

    H20 Audio Surge S+ are the industry standard for swimming headphones. Made by a reputable company called H20 Audio that is specialized in waterproof products. These waterproof earphones are perfect for any casual and serious swimmers.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: In-ear | Water resistance: IPX8 | Cable: 1 feet | Warranty: 1 year | Ear tips: 8 pairs (2 types)
    • Great value
    • Fun sound
    • None for the price

    Surge S+ have a fun and dynamic sound quality that doesn’t lack clarity compared to other swimming earphones. They’re almost a perfect piece of swimming gear.

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

    The design is made for underwater use and stays in the ears very well. You can be swimming laps and do underwater turns without losing music. Finding the right eartips and combining them 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.

    5. SWMIUSIK Waterproof Headphones

    dollar Dirt cheap
    SWMIUSIK Waterproof Headphones

    The SWMIUSIK are the top waterproof headphones for swimming if you’re on a tight budget.

    If you don’t want to spend too much, these are a decent option. You get the best possible sound for the price.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: In-ear | Water resistance: IPX8 | Cable: 1m | Warranty: 1 year | Ear tips: 3 pairs
    • Stable fit
    • Okay sound
    • Few accessories
    • Durability issues

    The music quality is okay, especially for waterproof earbuds under $10.

    They come with 3 pairs of tips in S, M, and L sizes. All of them have a triple-flange silicone design that ensures optimal seal during water activities.

    The cord is 1 meter long so that you have to use shirt clips to attach them to your swimming cap.

    If you need the extension cable you have to buy it seperately. On the cable, there are 2 shirt clips in total.

    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.

    Related: Best cheap earbuds.

    6. Avantree TR509

    Avantree TR509 swimming earbuds

    Cheap alternative for waterproof headphones for swimming.

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

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8.6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: In-ear | Water resistance: IPX7 | Cable: Short cord + cord extension | Warranty: Limited | Ear tips: 6 pairs
    • Dirt-cheap
    • Secure fit
    • You can't dive too deep

    Sound quality isn’t on the audiophile level, but keep in mind these are swimming earbuds. Regardless, their full range output is reasonably balanced.

    You can also use them outside of the swimming pool, but they surprisingly sound best when swimming.

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

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

    These are IPX7 water-resistant headphones, which means you can easily use them in pools. They come with a short cable and extension cord if you need those extra inches.

    7. AGPTEK Swimming Earbuds

    dollar Best cheap
    Agptek Swimming Earbuds

    Best waterproof earphones for a dirt-cheap price.

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

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-22.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Water resistance: IPX8 | Cable: Short cord + cord extension | Warranty: 1 year | Ear tips: 5 pairs (2 types)
    • Dirt-cheap
    • Decent sound
    • Not for vigirous underwater activities

    The sound quality is fine, though nothing spectacular. The frequency response of the mid frequencies and highs are actually pretty clear.

    Though the bass leaves is a lot to be desired, this is a common problem with waterproof ear buds.

    The main selling point of the AGPTEK ear buds is probably the fact they offer waterproof functionality (IPX8) and a snug fit at such a low price.

    5 pairs of tips allow you to choose the best for your needs (triple-flange for swimming and regular for out of pool use).

    They sit comfortably for extended periods under a swimming cap as well as during watersports and other exercises.

    8. H20 Audio Surge SX10

    H2O Audio Surge SX10

    A new pair and a more stable version of H2O Surge swimming earbuds.

    A well-made and good-sounding pair of earbuds you can use for swimming and diving.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable length: 1 ft (30 cm) | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: /
    • Pleasing sound
    • Stable ergonomics
    • 11 pairs of ear tips
    • Extension cable not included

    For swimming headphones, Surge SX10 have a rather excellent sound quality (for swimming buds) that packs good dynamics.

    As long as you keep the seal tight, you should hear a decent bass response. Your favorite tunes on your workout playlist will sound great.

    Technically, the H2O Audio Surge SX10 and Surge S+ are the same. The only difference between the two options is the design of the housing.

    The SX10 have a wrap around design, with a cable going over your ears. That ensures better overall stability during movement and swimming.

    The cable of perfect length so that it doesn’t dangle around if you have an MP3 player on your goggles.

    Achieving the ultimate seal requires proper tips. With SX10, you get 11 pairs of them, from silicone, triple-flanged, and foam ones.

    Frequently Asked Question About Swimming Headphones (FAQ)

    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.

    What Headphones does Michael Phelps Use for Swimming?

    Michael Phelps, an Olympics winner from the United States, has used H2O Audio Surge S+ headphones during his swimming practice.

    These waterproof headphones offer good value for money, with a fun sound and a cheap price.

    Why Avoid Bluetooth Headphones for Swimming?

    The reason 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, meaning you can’t stream music from your portable device.

    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.

    On the other hand, you can use these for any near the pool or during some other activities, like water sports.

    The best waterproof Bluetooth headphones.

    How Does Water Protection Work?

    Swimming headphones are either made from a single piece of plastic or use adhesive to seal off openings. Some are also protected with a super-hydrophobic protection layer that blocks water.

    “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?

    The way to avoid this problem is to help keep the swimming earbuds in place with a swim cap.

    Swim caps are cheap and common, plus they give extra stability to your headphones. This is the one 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, which is a good thing. 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 ensure the right fit in your ear canals. Try another pair.

    Beach sea

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

    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 You Take Care of Waterproof Swimming Earbuds?

    You need to take care of the earbud’s 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. 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 music player, you can find all-in-one solutions among the best waterproof MP3 players.

    Can You Swim With Any Waterproof Earbuds?

    Yes and no. For swimming, you have to use wired headphones attached to a waterproof music player or opt for an all-in-one player/earbuds combo. Bone conduction technology can also work underwater.

    On the other hand, waterproof headphones that only rely on Bluetooth can’t work underwater due to signal interruption.

    Find more on that subject over here.