Here are the best waterproof headphones for swimming. You can take them to a pool, lake, or sea and even dive underwater.
H2O Audio Sonar Best for swimming
bone conduction MP3
Sony NW-WS623 Runner-up
bone conduction MP3
Swimbuds Sport Best earbuds for swimming
H2O Audio Interval Best for Apple Watch
Apple Watch battery
in-ear + accessory
bone conduction MP3
SYRYN MP3 + Swimbuds Flip Affordable wired earbuds
in-ear + MP3
AGPTEK Swimming Earbuds Best cheap
Imagine swimming laps in a pool with your favorite tunes 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 listening experience of your favorite tracks underwater is quite special, plus music improves performance during a physical activity, 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.
Find the best swimming headphones 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 and pick only the best waterproof headphones out there.
How to Choose the Right Waterproof Headphones for Swimming?
These are the things to look for in the best waterproof headphones:
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 to be fully submerged underwater.
Stable fit in water – It’s a unique problem to keep headphones in your ears and prevent water from coming in. Your best bet for the perfect fit 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-covered AUX plug (or some other non-corrosive material).
Short cord – If you wear your waterproof player on your goggle straps, then you need short-corded headphones; otherwise, the cord gets in the way. Many swimming buds 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. Spending more money on a quality product is often 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 even top waterproof headphones won’t win any audio quality 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
H2O Audio Sonar are the best waterproof headphones with bone conducting tech, MP3, and Bluetooth compatibility.
For hassle-free listening to music in a pool, the H2O Audio Sonar high-quality waterproof headphones make a great offer.
- 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
Thanks to bone conduction, you don’t have to deal with earplugs and earbud tips. The headphones sit next to your temples, so your 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.
Plenty of technology
With an MP3 player that has 8 GB of storage and supports many file formats, 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 clip).
Moreover, they’re rated for IPX8 and charge with a proprietary USB cable (sadly, not a USB-C). You get solid 7 hours of playing music on a full charge, which is plenty for even the most extreme swimmers.
2. Sony NW-WS623
Sony NW-WS623 are great waterproof headphones for swimming in nature and harsh conditions, like salt water and cold temperatures.
Sony NW-WS623 are an excellent choice for swimming and nature.
- 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)
Decent 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 listening to your favorite songs with good music quality no matter where your adventures take you.
Durable in harsh conditions
If you like running on dusty roads or swimming in open water you need extra durable headphones. Salt water is harsher to the material than fresh water from pools.
Sony NW-WS623 are resistant to all of that. Thanks to certified IP68 protection, they’re dustproof and waterproof for most extreme uses.
Furthermore, they even support ambient sound mode. Sadly, streaming music isn’t supported. Thankfully, either 4 or 16GB storage capacity should be enough to upload your favorite playlist.
And, in case you run out of battery, headphones support fast charging. In just 3 minutes, you can play music for an additional 1 hour of continuous use.
3. AfterShokz Xtrainerz
AfterShokz Xtrainerz are waterproof headphones with bone conduction and an MP3 player.
AfterShokz Xtrainerx are top-notch bone conduction headphones for swimming from a reputable brand.
- 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
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. Despite having an overall comfortable fit, they fit tightly to your bones for the best sound transmission outside and in water.
If you plan on making flips, wear a swim cap for the best fit. Due to its ergonomic design, the headband is stable but can move at faster speeds underwater.
Like other waterproof headphones, these have an IP68 certified design. It’s equivalent to IPX8.
You can take them swimming, do water sport activities, and even dive underwater for a couple of feet (though it’s not for deep diving).
Find other best bone conduction headphones.
4. Swimbuds Sport Waterproof Headphones
The Swimbuds Sport are your best choice if you are looking for fully submersible swimming buds and you already have an MP3 player.
- 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, they have plenty of volume and better clarity than most fully waterproof earphones.
Proven track record
Swimbuds Sport 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 and fin tips. They are specially designed to give you a watertight seal, so it’s easy to find the ideal fit for your ears.
5. H2O Audio Interval
H2O Audio Interval is an accessory with Surge S+ waterproof earphones that works with an Apple Watch.
H2O Audio Interval is an accessory that comes with a clip for the Watch and Surge S+ waterproof headphones.
- Stable fit for swimming, even underwater
- Good sound quality in water
- Must use with Apple Watch
- Must be attached on a strap/goggles
Convenient for Apple Watch
If you already own the Watch, you get plenty of extra 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 playback controls for easy operation in water and proven H2O Surge S+ waterproof earphones. The in-ear fit ensures high sound quality underwater.
Stable fit with swim goggles
The fit behind your head is great to swim laps. Although, you need to wear swimming goggles and attach the accessory to the strap. But it’s simple and doesn’t take a lot of time.
One thing worth mentioning is that like other accessories, the battery life and features depend on your Apple Watch and apps.
Best waterproof Bluetooth headphones (Bluetooth compatible and not for swimming)
6. FINIS Duo
FINIS Duo are bone conduction waterproof headphones with an MP3 player.
The FINIS Duo are one of the older bone conduction swimming headphones that have been on the market for some time. But that doesn’t mean they’re outdated.
- 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
Solid performance in water
Many swimmers swear by them for their pool routine. You attach them to your goggles and get a stable fit even when doing backflips.
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 internal memory and playback control buttons, 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 on a single charge is enough even for marathon swimmers. Just charge them up before use since they don’t have fast charging.
All in all, FINIS Duo are proven waterproof headphones that are a great buy today.
7. SYRYN MP3 + Swimbuds Flip
Best pair of waterproof music player & headphones for most swimmers for an affordable price.
- 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 to listen to music and audio books. This is greatly helped by the FitGoo gel, which helps isolate the audio to produce its full range.
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 the competition. It supports various music files, so you can create an extensive workout playlist.
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 sizes of eartips, you’ll easily find the right fit.
Long or short cable
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 flexibility to find your perfect length. 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
Fantastic earphones for swimming shaped like a headband with plenty of earplugs.
The HydroActive waterproof headphones by Underwater Audio are a good option for going underwater, with powerful sound and relatively clear audio.
- Designed for swimming
- Good stability for all sports activities
- Decent, loud sound
- Requires an MP3 player
Clear audio in water
Though not perfect, the overall better sound than most 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 other swimming headphones.
Plenty of eartips
The HydroActive earphones come with four different styles of eartips, 11 pairs altogether. That way, you get the best eartip fit. You also get a carrying case to keep everything together.
A short wire can be used with a goggle strap in which your MP3 player goes inside. There is a cord extender, too.
For a solid pair of swimming earphones that offer secure fit through your exercise, the HydroActive by Underwater Audio are a solid choice.
9. AGPTEK Swimming Earbuds
Best waterproof earphones for swimming for a dirt-cheap price.
The AGPTEK swimming buds are generic and of cheap build quality. But they still manage to do a good job for swimming purposes.
- Decent sound
- Not for vigirous underwater activities
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 even the best waterproof earbuds.
The main selling point of the AGPTEK ear buds is that they offer waterproof functionality (IPX8) and a snug fit at such a low price.
Eartips for swimming in comfort
Five 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 periods under a swimming cap and during watersports and other exercises.
However, it’s advisable to stabilize them with a cap. Otherwise, they might lose the water tightness when performing swimming strokes.
H2O Surge S+ – These wired waterproof earphones are ergonomically designed for swimming but require a waterproof MP3. They are often packed in combos with other H2O Audio products. They fit well, produce less drag, and are reliable in water as well as land use. (Check Surge S+ price)
Interested in other budget options? Check the best cheap earbuds.
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-conducting 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.
Key Features of Waterproof Headphones for Swimming
The best 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 Ingress Protection, or IPX for short. With hydrophobic (water-repelling) coating and watertight design. But not all are equal, and there are different water safety levels.
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 does IPX Mean?
All waterproof headphones go through different levels of testing 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 require high IPX rating.
- From IPX1-IPX6 = sweat-resistant
- From IPX7-IPX9 = waterproof
Wired Headphones are Better for Swimming
Wired waterproof headphones are usually specifically 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 with a non-corrosive metal like gold.
Waterproof Bluetooth earbuds are another option, though aren’t suitable for swimming because the Bluetooth connection doesn’t work great in water.
Water is too dense for a 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 an 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do Bluetooth headphones work underwater?
Wireless Bluetooth technology doesn’t work underwater. Water is too dense for the wireless signal to travel through. The only way to use Bluetooth workout headphones is to only swim above water and never out of the wireless 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?
Can you swim with water-resistant headphones?
Sure, as long as they’re rated IPX7 or above, use a wired connection (Bluetooth doesn’t work underwater), and are hooked into a music player (that’s equally waterproof).
If you are looking for workout headphones, make sure they stay securely in your ears. You will need something that can stay in your ear canal during workouts rather than fall out. Look for hooks and wings to keep them in place.