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9 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

Last updated: 3 months ago
10 min read

Are you in the market for waterproof headphones to use while swimming? You have come to the right place!

Here are the best waterproof headphones for swimming. You can take them to a pool, lake, or sea and even dive underwater.

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Rating Price Water protection Battery Type
Shokz OpenSwim Best headphones for swimming
Shokz OpenSwim small image
Under $150
Bone conduction MP3
H2O Audio Sonar Best for swimming
H2O Audio Sonar
Under $100
Bone conduction MP3
Sony NW-WS623 Best MP3
Sony NWWS623 waterproof Walkman MP3
Under $150
in-ear MP3
Swimbuds Sport Best earbuds for swimming
Swimbuds Sport
Under $60
H2O Audio Interval Best for Apple Watch
Under $100
Apple Watch battery
in-ear + accessory
Under $100
bone conduction MP3
SYRYN MP3 + Swimbuds Flip Affordable wired earbuds
SYRYN MP3 Swimbuds
Under $60
in-ear + MP3
Under $100
Under $20

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 even water-resistant headphones.

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 music underwater is quite special, plus music improves performance during physical activity, so you can get a better workout.

Even the best swimmers listen to music in a pool. Check this Michael Phelps H2O Audio video.

Michael Phelps – H2O Audio
Famous swimmers like Michael Phelps use H2O Audio waterproof headphones. Though they probably paid for this 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.

CONTENTS (show more)

    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 swimmer cap for extra stability, just in case. The moment you lose fit, and water fills your 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. Shokz OpenSwim

    Shokz OpenSwim bone conduction headphones

    Shokz OpenSwim are waterproof headphones with bone conduction and an MP3 player.

    Shokz OpenSwim are top-notch bone conduction headphones for swimming from a reputable brand.

    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 | 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 rating
    • 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

    Shokz 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 bone conduction headphones.

    The OpenSwim (previously known as AfterShokz Xtrainerz) 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.

    Reliable protection

    Like other waterproof headphones, these have an IP68-certified design. 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).

    Unfortunately, you can only store music locally, as you can’t stream music wirelessly, even when on dry land.

    Find other best bone conduction headphones.

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

    H2O Audio Sonar Waterproof 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.

    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

    Fantastic fit

    Thanks to bone conduction, you don’t have to deal with wearing 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 charging port (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.

    3. Sony NW-WS623

    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.

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

    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)

    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 on 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.

    4. Swimbuds Sport Waterproof Headphones

    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.

    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, 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

    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.

    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

    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 with wet hands 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)

    Best workout headphones

    6. FINIS Duo

    FINIS Duo Underwater Bone Conduction underwater headphones

    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.

    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

    Solid performance in water

    Many swimmers swear by them for their pool routine. You attach them to your swim 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 use a shuffle mode. 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

    SYRYN MP3 Swimbuds

    Best pair of waterproof music player & headphones for most swimmers 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 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.

    Affordable solution

    This is a similar package to alternatives but costs less money while staying reliable. The MP3 has a 10-hour battery life, and it supports various music files, so you can create an extensive workout playlist.

    Up to 8GB of onboard storage is enough for at least 1,000 songs. One tricky part is that you have to download music since this MP3 doesn’t support streaming.

    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

    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.

    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

    Clear sound 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

    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.

    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

    Cheap yet solid

    The overall 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 water activities.

    However, it’s advisable to stabilize them with a cap. Otherwise, they might lose the water tightness when performing swimming strokes.

    Honorable Mentions

    H2O Surge S+

    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 and 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 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?

    IPX rating - infographic

    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 a 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 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 they aren’t suitable for swimming because the Bluetooth connection doesn’t work great in the 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.

    A woman swimming in a lake
    Swimming requires special headphones with a minimum IPX8 rating.

    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 the water. As long as the 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 pick those that fit you best.

    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.

    Related guides:

    Best swimming MP3 players

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