The best waterproof headphones are at least IPX6 or higher rated for full water protection.
|Rating||Price||Water protection||Battery||Type||Mic & Controls||More info|
Jabra Elite Active 75t Best overall
7h + 20h in case (USB-C)
Jaybird Vista Best equalization
6h + 10h in case (USB-C)
AfterShokz Aeropex Best bone conduction
Swimbuds Sport Best for swimming
wired – 3.5mm
TaoTronics Soundliberty 97 Best under $50
9h + 20h in case (USB-C)
HydroActive Headphones by Underwater Audio Great for swimming
wired – 3.5mm
H2O Surge S+ Affordable wired earbuds
wired – 3.5mm
Underwater Audio iPod Shuffle + Swimbuds Flip Best MP3 for swimming
wired – 3.5mm
SYRYN MP3 + Swimbuds Flip Best combo for swimming
wired – 3.5mm
As you probably know, water and electronics don’t mix, and this usually goes for headphones too. Buying a pair of headphones for wet and rainy conditions is essential.
We’ve even included waterproof headphones for swimming, which are totally waterproof and suitable for use when submerged in water.
Best Waterproof Headphones
1. Jabra Elite Active 75t
Best waterproof true wireless headphones.
Jabra Elite Active 75t are the first true wireless earbuds from the brand that you can submerge (for up to 30 min in 3ft of water).
- Reliably stable during movement
- Comfortable for hours thanks to smart ergonomics
- Fully waterproof with IP57 (IPX7)
- Great sound quality with equalization
- HearThrough awareness mode (useful for runners, cyclists…)
- Competitive battery life at 7 hours per charge (+20h in case)
- Perfectly designed physical controls
- High build quality
- Tiny soundstage (all sounds come from the middle of your head)
- Pricier than most alternatives
- Only right earbud can be used as mono
The Elite Active 75t are bassy with a clear emphasis on the lows. Thankfully, you can adjust the signature in the Sound+ app to your liking.
Not only are these come with IPX rating of IPX7, but they also have great dust protection as well (IP5X).
You can wash them in water, expose them to dust, and you don’t have to worry at all. These are tough ear buds that last. And all the water protection doesn’t take away from other features.
The Jabra Elite Active 75t are very comfortable and stable with minimal readjustments even during movement.
When you want to talk to your friends, a 4-microphone system with noise cancellation mics provides clear phone calls wherever you are.
4. Jaybird Vista
Best pair of waterproof headphones for equalization.
Great for any sports activity, Jaybird Vista offers impressive durability in a lightweight package.
- Comfortable fit
- Excellent stability, even with small ear fins
- Good Bluetooth 5.0 connection
- Robust build quality
- IPX7 rating and MIL-STD-810G standard
- Superb sound quality (after EQ)
- Proprietary silicone ear tips
- Treble stays grainy, even after EQ
- Annoying notifications when opening the app
These are nicely balanced and a joy to listen to, no matter which genre of music you like. The sound is full and energetic, just as it should be for sport-oriented headphones.
These have IP rating of IPX7, making them water protected, crushproof, and drop-proof, meeting the military standard MIL-STD-810G.
Apart from their robust construction, they’re very lightweight, giving you a sense of comfort. On the other hand, the interchangeable fin tips provide excellent fit and stability regardless of the ear shape.
Within the mobile app, you can customize the EQ settings and also find Vista earbuds, if you ever forget where you put them.
You can expect 6 hours of battery life per charge, with an additional 10 hours from the (very compact) charging case. That isn’t much, but they do support fast-charging.
3. AfterShokz Aeropex
The best waterproof bone conduction headphones.
Bone conduction headphones are becoming more and more popular. The clever design, combined with water resistance, gives perfect awareness of your surroundings, and the Aeropex are the best yet.
- Stable fit for all types of sports
- Perfect environment awareness due to open-ear design
- Lightweight (almost 30% lighter than Air)
- Waterproof and dustproof (IP67)
- Good battery life (8 hours)
- Improved bass response from previous models
- Vibrating transducers might be annoying
- Sound quality is suffering (compared to regular earphones)
- Lack of bass
The audio quality is the best in this type of headphone yet and almost universally highly reviewed.
Compared to traditional headphones, they lack bass, but for one of the best possible bone conduction sound system, there’s no better than the AfterShokz Aeropex.
Bone conduction technology vibrates through bones in the head rather than the ear canal.
This means your ear canals are free for hearing what’s going on around you, great for listening for potential dangers.
These include PremiumPitch 2+, which is a patented technology by the brand to help the bass to penetrate the mix and sound better.
They’re lightweight at just 26g and have a titanium headband, which manages to be both durable and comfy.
Find other best bone conduction headphones.
4. Swimbuds Sport
The Swimbuds Sport are your top pick if you are looking for fully submersible swimming earbuds.
- Good sound
- Many accessories
- Some earbuds survive deeper depths
Though the sound quality can’t quite compete with elite models, and the frequency response isn’t perfect, this model has plenty of volume and better clarity than most fully water-resistant earbuds.
If you need earphones for underwater use, one of the highest IP ratings (IPX8) can give you exactly this functionality. Swimbuds Sport are perfect to use during a swimming session.
They come with a casing and a short cord to attach to a music player at the back of your head (the usual way to wear them). There’s an extension cord if you find it too short.
The eartips are designed to give you a watertight seal, and there are 11 pairs of tips included to help you find the ideal option for your ears.
The AUX plug is gold-plated, so it’s resistant to corrosion.
Best waterproof Bluetooth headphones (not for swimming)
5. TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97
Pair of waterproof earphones with great value.
These affordable true wireless earphones offer very durable design and great audio quality.
- Good overall sound quality
- High water protection (IPX8 rating)
- Comfortable fit for long listening sessions
- Impressive 9-hour battery life
- Great passive isolation
- Competition comes with extra features
- No EQ presets
Much like other budget earbuds, these also boost the bass. Fortunately, it doesn’t hurt the midrange, which stays very clean and balanced.
The buds are tiny and ergonomically designed to fit nicely into your ears. They also don’t protrude as much, meaning you don’t get to hear that annoying wind noise.
On top of that, they have an IPX8 rating, making them completely waterproof. You can easily wash them in water if they ever get dirty.
The aptX codec helps with good audio quality, whereas the excellent 9-hour battery life lets you listen to them for an entire day. The case holds another 20 hours.
For similar see the best true wireless earbuds under $50.
6. HydroActive headphones by Underwater Audio
Best pair of earphones for swimming.
For underwater use, the HydroActive headphones by Underwater Audio can be a good option, with powerful sound and relatively clear audio.
- Good stability for all sports activities
- Decent, loud sound
- Some earbuds survive deeper depths
Though not perfect, the sound has enough clarity and plenty of power to make sure you can hear your tunes underwater.
This design of neckband headphones may be unusual for underwater use, but they work perfectly.
The HydroActive earphones come in 4 different types and ship with 11 different eartips to match up to your ears. They come in a carrying case to keep everything together.
There’s a short cord that can be used with a goggle strap in which your MP3 player goes inside. There is an cord extender, too.
For a secure pair of swimming earphones that stay put through your exercise, we recommend the HydroActive by Underwater Audio.
7. H2O Surge S+
Great affordable wired earphones for underwater usage.
Underwater earphones tend to be pretty expensive. One exception is the H20 Surge S+ earbuds, which do a good job on a budget.
- Great value
- Fun sound
- None for the price
These have plenty of power and good enough sound quality for enjoying your music underwater while swimming or enjoying watersports.
In spite of being more affordable, there’s no compromise on water protection, as these swimming headphones have an IPX8, on of the highest IP ratings just like the top underwater headphones.
They connect with a 3.5mm cord and are pretty well made when you consider the price. There are 8 different pairs of ear tips in triple-flanged and normal designs to allow you to choose the most optimal watertight fit.
Generally, the Surge earphones fit quite tightly, which is very good for staying in during your swim.
8. Underwater Audio iPod Shuffle + Swimbuds Flip
Best combo of MP3 and earphones for swimming.
When you buy a pair of waterproof earphones, you need to combine them with waterproof audio equipment such as an MP3 player. This can be your all-in-one solution.
- Good sound
- FitGoo gel for tighter in-ear seal
- Good battery life
- Only 2GB of storage
Plenty of power is on offer, and the audio is made clearer by the watertight fit. Not totally high fidelity, but good enough.
The small iPod has 2GB of memory, which isn’t amazing but is enough to load many songs onto to listen while you’re swimming. It can clip straight onto your goggles.
Waterproof headphones come with 10 different earbud tips to help you get a secure fit, while a FitGoo gel helps you get a watertight fit around the earbuds for more clarity and security.
If you want a bundle including all you need, the Underwater Audio iPod Shuffle + Swimbuds Flip is your top solution. Sadly, the price point is rather high.
9. SYRYN MP3 + Swimbuds Flip
Best pair of headphones & MP3 for swimming and affordable price point.
This is similar to the bundle above but available for cheaper. The earphones are exactly the same as in the iPod Shuffle combo, but the cheaper MP3 brings down the price.
- Affordable bundle
- Decent sound
- Compatibility issues with iTunes
The audio is clear and powerful enough, both for listening to music and audio books. Once again, this is greatly helped by the FitGoo gel, which can help isolate the audio.
This is a similar package but costs a lot less money than the iPod and has a battery life of 10 hours.
The earphones in the package are the same, along with FitGoo gel and 10 different ear tip styles in 4 different designs.
The only difference is in the music players. Instead of a branded iPod, you get an SYRYN MP3 Player. And, it actually has a bigger capacity than the iPod (8GB instead of 2GB).
Interested in other budget options? Check best cheap earbuds.
Key Features of Waterproof Headphones
They are protected against the water with hydrophobic (water-repelling) coating and watertight design. But not all are equal, and there are different levels of water safety.
How Waterproof are They?
International Ingress Protection standards, also known as IPX ratings, are a measurement of this. Basically, IPX ratings are a universal system to show how water-resistant they are.
There are tests that waterproof headphones go through to get an IPX rating. Based on the results of a test, they can be advertised as waterproof or water-resistant.
IPX ratings run from 1-9. Swimming headphones need a high IPX rating. Like IPX7 or IPX8 which can be submerged to different levels.
Water-resistant vs- waterproof?
Water-resistant headphones have lower IPX rating, 5 and under. While IPX5 is safe to wash under tap water, we advise against it for lower certifications.
Waterproof earphones that can be exposed to a lot of water and even water pressure are IPX6 or higher.
How do Waterproof Headphones Work?
They work by providing a casing around the headphones and electronics, to ensure the important components are not exposed to water. This extra protection is also how waterproof speakers work.
Often the product is sprayed with a thin, see-through layer of water repellent substance.
They can also use a “cork” design. This means that the earbud itself fits snugly in the ear, and the malleable materials around create a watertight area covering the driver itself.
Wired vs Wireless
Wired waterproof headphones are usually designed for swimming or serious activity. But they can get in the way, and if you are a runner or use them in the gym, you might find wires irritating.
That’s why most active people get wireless workout headphones.
When it comes to water resistance, though, wires present another issue. The AUX plug needs to be resistant to corrosion. Usually, it’s plated by a non-corrosive metal like gold.
Waterproof Bluetooth earbuds are another option, though aren’t suitable for swimming because Bluetooth connectivity doesn’t work in water.
Water is too dense for Bluetooth signal to get through. That’s why you won’t find any wireless headphones for swimming.
Also Consider Battery life
This feature is only relevant if you go for wireless headphones. You need to know they can last for the entire period you plan to use them. Going for a long swim or for a run and having your sport headphones run out of juice early is very frustrating.
Whether you are looking for headphones for walking outside or using in rainy conditions, or you need submersible earbuds, you need stability. There’s no point in wearing waterproof headphones that constantly fall out of your ears, even if they sound great.
Most headphones for swimming come in the form of earbuds (in-ear earphones). Look out for models that have either winged or hooked designs. These help the earbuds sit snugly and stable in the ear for a comfortable fit.
Swimming earbuds also need to be stable in water. If they fall out while you are swimming or scuba diving, this can be really disruptive. Always wear a swim cap over because it helps.
Types of Waterproof Headphones
You can use a pair of waterproof headphones in many different ways. If you’re a swimmer, you need headphones to take completely underwater. Alternatively, you might need an option that doesn’t get damaged by water.
All of the headphones we’ve listed in this guide are earbuds. They sit in the ears more securely. For underwater use, this design is essential for preventing water from getting into the mechanism.
The types of headphones which are waterproof include:
- Wireless waterproof in-ear earphones. You can use these for water activity or your everyday life. However, you can’t use them under water and aren’t suitable for swimming.
- Wired waterproof headphones. The wired option combined with a waterproof MP3 is the go-to swimming solution. They reliably work in and under water.
- Wireless and MP3 combo. A solution for both worlds. You can use the MP3 players for swimming. And when you don’t swim you can set up the Bluetooth connectivity and use them as regular waterproof Bluetooth headphones.
Why are There No Waterproof Over-Ear Headphones?
Due to their large size, over-ear and on-ear headphones are hard to fully waterproof. For this reason, you can find sweat-resistant or water-resistant headphones, but you can’t expose them to the same levels of water. And you definitely can’t submerge or swim with them.
The large drivers in the ear cups are prone to corrosion and malfunction if exposed to water.
How to Choose Waterproof Headphones
As there are many different types of waterproof headphones with many different features, you need to choose the most suitable for your needs. It will boil down to personal preference, and making sure the headphones are suitable for the activities you want to do.
To Swim or Not to Swim
As we’ve already discussed, not all waterproof headphones are suitable for swimming.
If you plan to go swimming with your waterproof headphones, the IPX waterproof rating needs to be 7 or above. You should get those that have been specifically designed for submersion.
You might think that buying swimming headphones is ideal for all situations. Of course, if they can survive being underwater and strong water jets, they can also survive a little bit of rain.
However, submersible headphones are probably not the greatest for casual users or workout headphones. The audio quality is often not as good when they’re built for underwater audio, and extra features will be left out.
You won’t find Bluetooth headphones for using underwater, so if you want wireless functionality, you shouldn’t try swimming with them.
Active noise cancellation is also missing from the specifications of waterproof headphones. Sure, earbuds like Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro have a fully waterproof design, but in practice, you don’t need noise cancellation for swimming.
How Will You Use Your Headphones?
The best workout headphones are suitable for casual listening experience outside or at home.
Just because your headphones are waterproof, it doesn’t mean you can’t use them as normal cans too. You can watch movies, listen to studying music or anything in between.
If you are looking for exercise headphones, make sure they are stable. You will need something that can stay within your ear during workouts rather than fall out. Look for hooks and wings to keep them in place.