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9 Best Waterproof Headphones

Last updated: 1 day ago, Aug. 10. 2020
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    The best waterproof headphones are at least IPX6 or higher rated for full water protection.

    Comparison of Best Waterproof Headphones

      RatingPriceWater-
    protection
    Battery
    (charging)
    TypeMic & Controls
    Jabra
    Elite Active 75t

    best overall
    3.8
    More info
    under $200IP57 (IPX7)
    waterproof
    up to 7h
    20h in case
    (USB-C)
    in-ear
    true wireless

    AfterShokz
    Aeropex

    best bone conduction
    4.3
    More info
    under $160IPX7
    (IP67)
    8 hours
    (Micro-USB)
    bone conduction
    Swimbuds
    Sport

    best for swimming
    4.2
    More info
    under $80IPX8wired
    3.5mm
    in-ear
    Jaybird Vista
    best equalization
    4.3
    More info
    under $180IPX7up to 6h
    16h in case
    (USB-C)
    in-ear
    TaoTronics SoundLiberty 77
    best affordable
    4.4
    More info
    under $50IPX7up to 5h
    20h in case
    (Micro-USB)
    in-ear
    HydroActive
    headphones

    great for swimming
    4.3
    More info
    under $100IPX8wired
    3.5mm
    in-ear
    H2O Surge S+
    affordable wired earbuds
    4.0
    More info
    under $40IPX8wired
    3.5mm
    in-ear

    SwimBuds Flip

    best for swimming
    4.4
    More info
    under $40IPX8wired
    3.5mm
    in-ear

    SYRYN MP3 +
    Swimbuds Flip

    best combo for swimming
    4.1
    More info
    under $60IPX8wired
    3.5mm
    in-ear

    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 headphones for swimming, which are totally waterproof and suitable for use when submerged in water.

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      Best Waterproof Headphones

      1. Jabra Elite Active 75t – best true wireless

      Jabra Elite Active 75t wet

      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).

      Most suitable for: Any activity near water
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      IPX rating: IPX7 (IP57)

      Why Buy These?

      Not only are these come with IPX7 protection, but they also have max dust/small particle defense 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 earbuds 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.

      You can customize a lot of features with the Sound+ app, and the physical controls are a breeze to use.

      When you want to talk to your friends, a 4-microphone system provides clear phone calls wherever you are.

      In addition the battery life is better than ever with over 7 hours per charge and also a quick charge option that gives 1 hour of music after 15 minutes.

      The Bad

      Slightly more expensive since they’re in the premium category. Small soundstage.

      The Sound

      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.

      Thanks to the vents, the bass response is quite powerful, which is probably what most of you like. But when you want to listen to calmer music, you can tone it down.

      For true wireless earbuds that can stand up to the water with great features, get the Jabra Elite Active 75t.

      See the Jabra Elite Active 75t review.


      2. AfterShokz Aeropex – best bone conduction

      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.

      Most suitable for: Above & near water, awareness
      Connection: Bluetooth
      IPX rating: IPX7 (IP67)

      Why Buy These?

      Bone conduction headphones vibrate 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.

      The Bad

      The design means that you can feel vibrations on your head. Not everyone enjoys this feeling, and it takes some getting used to.

      The audio quality may also be a little bit lower than with traditional headphones.

      The Sound

      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 the best possible bone conduction sound, there’s no better than the AfterShokz Aeropex.

      AfterShokz Aeropex review.


      3. Swimbuds Sport – best earbuds for swimming

      The Swimbuds Sport are your top pick if you are looking for fully submersible swimming earbuds.

      Most suitable for: Swimming
      Connection: Wired 3.5mm
      IPX rating: IPX8

      Why Buy These?

      If you need earphones for underwater use, an IPX8 rating can give you exactly this functionality. Swimbuds Sport are perfect for swimming for hours on end.

      They come with a casing and a short cord to attach to a player at the back of your head (the usual way to wear them). 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.

      The Bad

      Naturally, you’ll have to buy a waterproof iPod or MP3 player to use these earphones while swimming.

      Also, the audio quality is never going to be quite as high as with regular headphones.

      The Sound

      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.

      Underwater audio is difficult to master, but these are top pick right now is the Swimbuds Sport.


      Related:

      Best waterproof Bluetooth earbuds (not for swimming)

      Best swimming headphones

      Top workout headphones


      4. Jaybird Vista – best equalization

      Jaybird Vista true wireless earbuds

       

      Best pair of waterproof headphones for equalization

      Great for any sports activity, Jaybird Vista offers impressive durability in a lightweight package.

      Most suitable for: Any activity near water
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      IPX rating: IPX7

      Why Buy These?

      These are fully IPX7 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 ear fins provide excellent fit and stability.

      With a newer Bluetooth chip, the connection remains very stable and lag-free. Within the mobile app, you can customize the EQ settings and also find Vista earbuds, if you ever forget where you put them.

      6 hours of battery life, with an additional 10 hours from the (very compact) charging case, is not fantastic, but it should easily last you through a day or two.

      The Bad

      No high-quality audio codecs.

      The Sound

      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.

      Jaybird Vista does so many things right that you should check them out.

      See the Jaybird Vista review.


      5. TaoTronics SoundLiberty 77 – best value

      TaoTronics SoundLiberty 77 with the charging case

      These are great if you’re looking for good sound quality on the budget.

      Pair of waterproof earphones with great value

      These affordable true wireless earphones offer very durable design and great audio quality.

      Most suitable for: Any activity near water
      Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
      IPX rating: IPX7

      Why Buy These?

      Despite their slightly bulky design, these remain very comfortable in your ears and don’t fall out very easily. You can take them anywhere you want to without being afraid of getting them wet. An IPX7 rating makes these earbuds waterproof.

      When we tested the battery life, they lasted more than 6 hours on a single charge, which is more than advertised. You are getting another 15 hours from the case.

      They pair with your phone as soon as you put them out of the case. Bluetooth 5.0 is providing good coverage with a very stable connection.

      The Bad

      It is almost impossible to find the right seal on a first try.

      The Sound

      You can expect very good midrange performance out of these, with lots of detail and dynamics. Bass is punchy, but not overwhelming, while the treble is nice and airy.

      You can always find a budget earphones that are amazing for their price, and TaoTronics SoundLiberty 77 are one of them.

      Read the full review.


      6. HydroActive headphones by Underwater Audio – great earphones for swimming

      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.

      Most suitable for: Swimming
      Connection: Wired 3.5mm
      IPX rating: IPX8

      Why Buy These?

      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 extension cable, too.

      The Bad

      The audio isn’t as high fidelity as some of the other options on this list. It can be a little bit muffled underwater, but this is one of the issues that you are likely to come across when buying any underwater headphones.

      The Sound

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

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


      7. H2O Surge S+ – affordable wired earbuds

      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.

      Most suitable for: Swimming
      Connection: Wired 3.5mm
      IPX rating: IPX8

      Why Buy These?

      In spite of being more affordable, there’s no compromise on water resistance, as these have an IPX8 rating 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.

      The Bad

      The short cord doesn’t come with any form of extension, so you need to keep your MP3 player close, strapped to the googles.

      The secure fit does a good job of staying in place but can be uncomfortable over long periods of time.

      The Sound

      Once again, ultra hi-fi and amazing frequency response aren’t the order of the day. However, these have plenty of power and a good enough sound quality for enjoying your music underwater while swimming or enjoying watersports.

      For an affordable option that can go underwater, look no further than the H2O Surge S+.


      8. Underwater Audio iPod Shuffle + Swimbuds Flip – best MP3 combo for swimming

      iPod Underwater Audio Swimbuds Flip

      Best combo of MP3 and earphones for swimming

      When you buy a pair of waterproof earphones, you need to combine them with a waterproof device such as an MP3 player. This can be your all-in-one solution.

      Most suitable for: Swimming
      Connection: Wired 3.5mm
      IPX rating: IPX8

      Why Buy These?

      The small iPod shuffle 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.

      10 different earbud tips help you to get the perfect fit, and a FitGoo gel helps you get a watertight fit around the earbuds for more clarity and security.

      The Bad

      The iPod shuffle’s memory is a little on the low side, and the audio quality doesn’t quite compete with models that doesn’t like to get wet.

      The price is also a little high.

      The Sound

      Plenty of power is on offer, and the audio is made clearer by the watertight fit. Not totally high fidelity, but good enough.

      If you want a bundle including all you need, the Underwater Audio iPod Shuffle + Swimbuds Flip is your top solution.


      9. SYRYN MP3 + Swimbuds Flip – best value MP3 combo for swimming

      SYRYN MP3 Swimbuds

       

      Best pair of headphones & MP3 for swimming and affordable price

      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.

      Most suitable for: Swimming
      Connection: Wired 3.5mm
      IPX rating: IPX8

      Why Buy These?

      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 eartips in 4 different designs.

      The only difference is the player. Instead of a branded iPod, you get a SYRYN MP3 Player. And, it actually has a bigger capacity than the iPod (8GB instead of 2GB).

      The Bad

      As discussed, the audio quality doesn’t quite stack up with the top models. Also, the SYRYN MP3 Player may have compatibility issues and can’t be used with iTunes, so you’ll need to use their software to get your tracks onto the player.

      The Sound

      The audio is clear and powerful enough, without pulling up any trees. Once again, this is greatly helped by the FitGoo gel, which can help isolate the audio.

      For an affordable bundle to get you listening to your music while swimming, consider the SYRN MP3 + Swimbuds Flip.


      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.

      IPX rating - infographic

      There are tests that 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.

      Wireless waterproof earbuds are another option, though aren’t suitable for swimming because Bluetooth 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.

      Stability

      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 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, this can be really disruptive. Always wear a swimming cap over because it helps.

      Types of Waterproof Headphones

      You can use 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 for swimming and when you don’t swim you can set up the wireless connection 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 sweatproof 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 headphones, the IPX waterproof rating needs to be 7 or above. You should get those that have been specifically designed for submersion.

      a woman swimming in a lake

      Swimming requires special headphones with minimum IPX7 rating.

      You might think that buying swimming headphones is ideal for all situations. Of course, if they can survive being underwater, 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.

      How Will You Use Your Headphones?

      The headphones for the gym may not be suitable for casual walking outside.

      If you plan to use your headphones for long periods on a wireless setting, make sure you get options with strong battery life.

      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 every few seconds. Look for hooks and wings to keep them in place.


      Related guides:

      Best swimming MP3 players

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