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The Best Headphones For Swimming – (Suitable For Submersion)

Last updated: 2 months ago
9 min read

Enjoy 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

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 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

    1st-place 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.

    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

    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 music 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 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

    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 eartip styles 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 a pair of 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

    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

    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.

    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 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.

    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
    Michael Phelps H2O Audio Swimming Headphones
    Michael Phelps, an Olympics winner from United States, has used H2O Audio Surge headphones 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 audio jack.

    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 ear tip selection 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. SWMIUSIK Waterproof Headphones

    dollar Dirt cheap
    SWMIUSIK Waterproof Headphones

    The SWMIUSIK are the best 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.

    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

    Should You Buy These?

    They come with 3 pairs of ear tips in S, M, and L sizes. All of them have a triple-flange silicone design that ensure 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.

    The Bad

    The stability of the fit might be less secure without extra help from a swimming cap. So make sure you have one.

    Some durability issues.

    The Sound

    The music quality is okay, especially for waterproof earbuds under $10. With all the water sounds you’re going to hear, you won’t be able to focus on sonic-fidelity anyway.

    For slightly under $10 you’re getting great swimming earphones that will make swimming laps a lot more fun.

    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

    Should You Buy These?

    Avantree TR509 are the most stylish looking waterproof headphones 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 swimming 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

    dollar 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.

    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

    Should You Buy These?

    The main selling point of the AGPTEK ear buds 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, 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. 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 music player, you can find all-in-one solutions among the best waterproof MP3 players.