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9 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

Last updated: 1 month ago
10 min read

Here are the best waterproof headphones for swimming in a pool, that you can take in a lake or sea, and even dive underwater.

Rating Price Water protection Battery Type
H2O Audio Sonar Best for swimming
H2O Audio Sonar
3.8
Under $100
IPX8
7h
bone conduction MP3
Sony NW-WS623 Runner-up
Sony NWWS623 waterproof Walkman MP3
4.0
Under $150
IP68
12h
in-ear MP3
4.5
Under $130
IPX8
8h
bone conduction MP3
Swimbuds Sport Best earbuds for swimming
Swimbuds Sport
4.3
Under $60
IPX8
n/a
in-ear
H2O Audio Interval Best for Apple Watch
3.7
Under $100
IPX8
Apple Watch battery
in-ear + accessory
3.8
Under $100
IPX8
7h
bone conduction MP3
SYRYN MP3 + Swimbuds Flip Affordable wired earbuds
SYRYN MP3 Swimbuds
4.1
Under $60
IPX8
10h
in-ear + MP3
4.2
Under $100
IPX8
n/a
in-ear
4.1
Under $20
IPX8
n/a
in-ear

Imagine swimming laps in a pool with your favorite music or listening to a whole audiobook while you get your exercise. No more boring workouts.

It sounds nice.

Unfortunately, most headphones aren’t waterproof. Water kills them immediately.

But a small group of swimmers didn’t want to accept this. They liked the idea of fully protecting them against water. They wanted to listen to music during swimming no matter what.

And they succeeded.

The feeling of listening to your favorite song underwater is quite special, plus music improves physical performance, so you can get a better workout.

Hey, even the best swimmers listen to music in a pool. Check this Michael Phelps H2O-Audio video.

Michael Phelps – H2O Audio
H2O Audio waterproof headphones are used by famous swimmers like Michael Phelps. Though they probably paid for this video.

Find the best waterproof headphones for swimming below and experience the same feeling yourself.

The selection isn’t big, but they are different types. Read the guide before making a decision, so you avoid the bad ones.

Table of Contents

    How to Choose Waterproof Headphones for Swimming?

    These are the things to look for in waterproof headphones for swimming:

    Waterproof design – Full water protection with a minimum IPX8 waterproof rating is required. Regular headphones with lower protection run the risk of breaking underwater after a few months. Water-resistant, IPX7 or lower 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 (or some other non-corrosive material).

    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).

    Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

    1. H2O Audio Sonar – Waterproof Swimming Headphones with MP3 & Bluetooth

    1st-place Best for swimming with goggles
    H2O-Audio-Sonar-Waterproof-headphones-for-swimming-with-MP3-Bluetooth

    H2O Audio Sonar are the best waterproof headphones for swimming with bone conduction, MP3 and Bluetooth.

    Connection icon Connection: Built-in MP3 & Bluetooth
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: /
    Type: Bone conduction | Water resistance: IPX8 | Battery life: 7h | Charging: Proprietary USB cable | Memory size: 8GB | Weight: n/a | Supported files: MP3, M4A | Features: Must use with goggles, supports Apple Watch too
    • Work underwater thanks to bone conduction
    • MP3 & Bluetooth support for Apple Watch
    • Great fit in water as they attach to goggles
    • Can't wear without goggles or a strap

    For hassle-free listening to music in a pool, the H2O Audio Sonar makes a great offer.

    Fantastic fit

    Thanks to bone conduction you don’t have to deal with earplugs and eartips. The headphones sit next to your temples, so you’re ears are always free.

    But you have to wear them with swimming goggles. They attach to the strap for a stable fit underwater and without it, you can’t wear them at all.

    Now, if you’re a half-serious swimmer you probably already have your goggles. But if you just want waterproof headphones for swimming on occasion out in nature, then these aren’t the best choice.

    Plenty of technology

    With a built-in MP3 player that has 8 GB of storage, you’ll never run out of songs. And if it’s too much of a hassle, you can connect them via Bluetooth to your phone or Apple Watch (you need the additional Apple Watch clip). Though the watch has to be strapped on your head due to the short Bluetooth range in water.

    Moreover, you charge them with a proprietary USB cable, since they’re IPX8 they can’t use USB-C. On a full charge, you get solid 7 hours of music which is plenty for even the most extreme swimmers.

    2. Sony NW-WS623

    2nd-place Runner-up
    Sony NWWS623 waterproof Walkman MP3

    Sony NW-WS623 are great waterproof headphones for swimming in nature and harsh conditions, like salt water and cold temperatures.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth & built-in MP3
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Wireless in-ear headphones with MP3 | Water resistance: IP68 (IPX8) | Battery life: 12h | Charging: Quick charge – proprietary cable | Memory size: 4 GB | Weight: 1.2 oz (32g) | Supported files: MP3, AAC, FLAC, Linear PCM, WMA | Features: NFC, ambient mode
    • Bluetooth & built-in MP3 player with 4 GB storage
    • Quick charging – 3min for 1 hour of battery
    • Suitable for salt water and use outside
    • Good sound for a swimming headset
    • Not the most comfortable or stable
    • High protection against water and dust IP68 (IPX8)

    Sony NW-WS623 are an excellent choice for swimming in nature.

    Durable in harsh conditions

    If you like swimming in salt water you need extra durable headphones. Salt is harsher to the material than fresh water from pools.

    And if you take a hike before diving in for a swim, your headphones will get exposed to dust and different temperatures.

    Sony NW-WS623 are resistant to all of that. Thanks to certified IP68 protection, it means they’re dustproof and waterproof for most extreme uses.

    Good sound quality

    Because they have an in-ear fit you get high-quality audio with bass that’s better than with any bone conduction headphones.

    You’ll enjoy your favorite songs in quality sound no matter where your adventures take you.

    And, in case you run out of battery, plugg them in for 3 minutes and you get 1 hour of music. That’s fast and convenient.

    3. AfterShokz Xtrainerz

    AfterShokz Xtrainerz are waterproof headphones for swimming with bone conduction and a built-in MP3 player.

    Connection icon Connection: Built-in MP3
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Bone conduction | Water resistance: IP68 (IPX8) | Battery life: 8h | Charging: Proprietary USB cable | Memory size: 4GB | Weight: n/a | Supported files: MP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC, AAC | Features: Sumbersible, open-ear design
    • Highly durable with IP68 (IPX8)
    • Stable fit under a swimming cap
    • Quality sound for bone conduction with EQ
    • Random shuffle of songs repeats the same song before all play
    • No Bluetooth connectivity

    AfterShokz Xtrainerx are bone conduction headphones for swimming from a reputable brand.

    Best on the market

    AfterShokz is a leader in bone conduction technology. They offer multiple different workout headphones, so you’re sure to get high-quality sound and design. Check the AfterShokz Aeropex review as a sports alternative.

    The Xtrainerx are made specifically for swimming in water. They fit tightly to your bones for the best sound transmission outside and in water.

    If you plan on making flips, make sure to wear a swimming cap for the best fit. Their headband design is stable but can move at faster speeds underwater.

    Reliable protection

    Just like other waterproof headphones for swimming, these have a full IP68 certified design. It’s equivalent to IPX8.

    You can take them swimming, do water sports, and even dive underwater for a couple of feet (though can’t scuba dive).

    Find other best bone conduction headphones.

    4. Swimbuds Sport Waterproof Headphones

    trophy Best earbuds for swimming

    The Swimbuds Sport are your best choice if you are looking for fully submersible swimming earbuds and you already have an MP3 player.

    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) | Features: Lots of accessories, reputable and proven product
    • Good sound in water
    • Many accessories (eartips and earplugs)
    • The AUX plug is gold-plated, so it's resistant to corrosion
    • Require an MP3 player

    Though the sound quality can’t quite compete with non-waterproof earbuds, and the frequency response isn’t perfect, they have plenty of volume and better clarity than most fully waterproof earphones.

    Proven track record

    Swimbuds Sport are an older model than most on this list, but this isn’t a bad thing. It shows their quality and dependability.

    They have been used by thousands of swimmers for many years, and they’re still popular today.

    If you need earphones for underwater use, the highest IP rating (IPX8), and a stable fit in the water, the Swimbuds Sport were made for that.

    Short cord, the extension, plus other accessories

    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 needed too.

    Plus, you get 11 pairs of different eartips. They are designed to give you a watertight seal, so it’s easy to find the ideal fit for your ears.

    5. H2O Audio Interval

    trophy Best for Apple Watch

    H2O Audio Interval is an accessory with Surge S+ waterproof earphones that works with an Apple Watch.

    Connection icon Connection: Apple Watch
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Wired earbuds | Water resistance: IPX8 | Battery life: Apple Watch battery | Features: Must use with Apple Watch, strapped on goggles
    • Stable fit for swimming, even underwater
    • Good sound quality in water
    • Must use with Apple Watch
    • Must be attached on a strap/goggles

    H2O Audio Interval is an accessory that comes with a clip for Apple Watch and Surge S+ waterproof headphones.

    Convenient for Apple Watch

    If you already own an Apple Watch you get plenty of features that come with it. You can stream music via Spotify, listen to audiobooks with Audible or use any other audio app you have installed.

    It comes with physical controls for easier use in water and proven H2O Surge S+ waterproof earphones. The in-ear fit ensures high sound quality underwater.

    Stable fit with goggles

    Just like with other accessories, the battery life and features depend on your Apple Watch and apps. But one thing is the same for all.

    The fit behind your head is great for swimming laps. You do need to wear swimming goggles and attach the accessory on the strap. But it’s simple and doesn’t take a lot of time.

    Related:

    Best waterproof Bluetooth headphones (not for swimming)

    Best workout headphones

    6. FINIS Duo

    FINIS Duo Underwater Bone Conduction

    FINIS Duo are bone conduction waterproof headphones for swimming with a built-in MP3 player.

    Connection icon Connection: Built-in MP3
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conducting
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: /
    Type: Bone conduction MP3 player | Water resistance: IPX8 | Battery life: 7h | Charging: Proprietary USB cable | Memory size: 4GB | Weight: n/a | Supported files: MP3, WMA | Features: Clip-on design, physical controls
    • Popular swimming MP3 player
    • Good sound (if you also use ear plugs)
    • Stable fit in water
    • Must attach to a strap or goggles
    • Quality control issues

    The FINIS Duo are one of the older bone conduction headphones for swimming that have been on the market for some time. But that doesn’t mean they’re outdated.

    Solid performance in water

    Many swimmers swear by them for their pool routine. You attached them to your goggles and get a stable fit even when doing back flips.

    The bone conductors work outside and even better in water. The sound quality is clean and loud, so you can easily listen to music, audiobooks, podcasts and other entertainment.

    MP3 player is simple to use

    It comes with 4GB of storage and physical controls which are easy to use when swimming. Listen to songs in order or shuffle them up. You can also control volume without having to stop.

    On top of that, the 7-hour battery capacity is enough even for marathon swimmers. Just charge them up before use since they don’t have quick charging.

    All in all, FINIS Duo are proven wateproof headphones for swimming that are a great buy today.

    7. SYRYN MP3 + Swimbuds Flip Waterproof Earphones

    dollar Best value MP3 combo for swimming
    SYRYN MP3 Swimbuds

    Best pair of MP3 & headphones for swimming for an affordable price.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: In-ear earphones + MP3 player | Water resistance: IPX8 | Battery life: 10h | Charging: 3.5mm to USB cable | Memory size: 8GB | Cable: Short cord + cord extension | Warranty: 1 year | Ear tips: 10 pairs (4 types) | Supported files: MP3, AAC, WAV, WMA
    • Affordable bundle
    • Good sound of Swimbuds Flip
    • Compatibility issues with older iTunes bought songs
    • Needs to be attached to goggles

    The audio quality is clear and powerful enough, both for listening to music and audio books. This is greatly helped by the FitGoo gel, which helps isolate the audio.

    Affordable solution

    This is a similar package to alternatives but costs less money while staying reliable. The MP3 has a 10-hour battery life which is more than competition.

    In the package you also get Swimbuds Flip waterproof headphones. They are proven to perform well in water, and together with FitGoo gel and 10 different eartips, you’ll easily find the right fit.

    Short and long cord

    You can strap it to the back of your head, onto your goggles. Or use the long cord to use it outside water. It gives you plenty of flexiblity. Use it during a swimming workout, or on your way home.

    For alternatives see the best true wireless earbuds under $50.

    8. HydroActive headphones by Underwater Audio

    trophy Great earphones for swimming

    Fantastic earphones for swimming shaped like a headband with plenty of earplugs.

    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)
    • Designed for swimming
    • Good stability for all sports activities
    • Decent, loud sound
    • Requires an MP3 player

    For underwater use, the HydroActive headphones by Underwater Audio are a good option, with powerful sound and relatively clear audio.

    Clear audio in water

    Though not perfect, the sound has enough clarity and plenty of power to make sure you can hear your tunes underwater.

    The neckband design of the headphones is perfect for underwater use. They stick to your head better than others.

    Plenty of eartups

    The HydroActive earphones come with 4 different types of eartips, 11 pairs altogether. You also get 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 a cord extender, too.

    For a secure pair of swimming earphones that stay put through your exercise, the HydroActive by Underwater Audio are a solid choice.

    9. AGPTEK Swimming Earbuds

    dollar Best cheap waterproof earphones
    Agptek Swimming Earbuds

    Best waterproof earphones for swimming for a dirt-cheap price.

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

    Cheap, yet solid

    The sound quality is good, though nothing spectacular. The frequency response of the mids and highs is actually pretty clear.

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

    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.

    Eartips for swimming in comfort

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

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

    Though, it is advisable to stabilize them with a swimming cap, otherwise them might lose the watertightness.

    Honorable Mentions

    H2O Surge S+ – These wired waterproof earphones are designed for swimming, but require a waterproof MP3. They are often packed in combos with other H2O Audio products. They fit well and are reliable in water, as well as outside.

    Interested in other budget options? Check best cheap earbuds.

    Key Features of Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

    Waterproof headphones for swimming are like normal headphones except for protection against water and hydrodynamic design.

    Water protection is measured with an industry standard called the Ingress Protection or IPX for short. with hydrophobic (water-repelling) coating and watertight design. But not all are equal, and there are different levels of water safety.

    Look for minimally IPX8 if you want to use headphones for swimming. Anything less and you run the risk of ruining them in prolonged use in water.

    What IPX Means?

    IPX rating - infographic

    All waterproof headphones go through a test to get an IPX rating. Based on the results, they can be advertised as waterproof or water-resistant.

    IPX ratings run from IPX1 to IPX9. Swimming headphones need a high IPX rating.

    How do Waterproof Headphones Work?

    They work by providing a hydrophobic casing around the electronics, to ensure the components aren’t exposed to water.

    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 Headphones are Better for Swimming

    Wired waterproof headphones are usually designed for swimming.

    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 headphones with integrated MP3 player. You need to know they can last long enough for a swimming workout. Going for a long swim and having your sport headphones run out of juice early is frustrating.

    Types of Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

    • Waterproof in-ear headphones. You can use these for water activity even under water, so they’re perfect for swimming laps.
    • Bone-conduction headphones. These often come with a built-in waterproof MP3. Bone conduction works reliably under water, it’s best for underwater swimming.
    • Headphones and MP3 combo. You can use the MP3 players for swimming under water. Some come with Bluetooth as well, so when you don’t swim you can set up the Bluetooth connectivity and use them as regular waterproof Bluetooth headphones.
    a woman swimming in a lake
    Swimming requires special headphones with minimum IPX8 rating.

    Why Avoid Bluetooth Headphones for Swimming?

    Wireless Bluetooth technology doesn’t work underwater. Water is too dense for the wireless signal to travel through. The signal interrupts, so you can’t stream music from your portable device.

    You can’t use Bluetooth workout headphones for swimming under surface. The only way to use them is to only swim above water and never out of range of your music device.

    How Does Water Protection Work?

    Waterproof headphones are protected with a hydrophobic coating that blocks off water. As long as water doesn’t reach the electronics inside, the headphones work normally.

    Keep in mind, the effectiveness varies, not all water-protected headphones have equal protection.

    How to Get the Best Fit in the Water?

    Keep your swimming headphones in place with a swim cap.

    Swim caps are cheap and common, and give extra stability to your headphones.

    Use the right eartips. Most swimming headphones come with a wide variety. Try them all and pic those that fit you best.

    If you are looking for workout 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.

    Related guides:

    Best swimming MP3 players