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The 8 Best Waterproof MP3 Player for Swimming in 2020

Last updated: 2 months ago, Jul. 16. 2020
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    What are the best waterproof iPod/MP3 players for swimming? Instantly compare the top choices.

    Comparison of Top Waterproof iPod & MP3 Swimming Sets

      RatingPriceMemoryTypeWater Protection
    i
    Rated depth as specified by the manufacturer. We did not test it.
    For safety reasons don't use under 10ft (3m).
     

    Apple iPod Shuffle
    by Underwater Audio

    best overall
    4.4$$$$$
    ($200-$300)
    2GBiPod
    +earbuds
    Up to 30ft (10m)More info
    AfterShokz Xtrainerz
    best bone conduction
    4.4$$$$
    ($120-$200)
    4GBbone conductionUp to 10ft (3m)More info
    Sony Walkman
    NW-WS623

    with Bluetooth
    3.7$$$$
    ($120-$200)
    4GB/8GBMP3
    in-ear
    headset
    Up to 6.5ft (2m)More info
    Tayogo Bone Conduction MP3
    cheap bone conduction
    4.1$$
    ($30-$80)
    8GBbone conductionUp to 10ft (3m)More info
    H2O Audio Stream 23.7$$$
    ($80-$120)
    8GBMP3
    +earbuds
    Up to 12ft (3m)More info

    SYRYN Waterproof MP3
    best cheap MP3 player
    4.1$$
    ($30-$80)
    8GBMP3
    +earbuds
    Up to 10ft (3m)More info
    SEWOBYE
    Waterproof MP3

    cheap MP3 alternative
    4.0$$
    ($30-$80)
    8GBMP3
    +earbuds
    Up to 10ft (3m)More info

    Below you can find the best waterproof iPods and MP3s that are designed for swimming, even underwater.

    All the options in this guide are fully waterproof with minimum IPX7 water protection. It means you can confidently take them underwater for hours on end without damage.

    They’re the best options right now.

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      Related:

      Click here for waterproof Bluetooth headphones.

      What are the best swimming headphones?

      Key Features of Waterproof MP3 Players

      Full water protection – the MP3 player needs to have at least an IPX7 (or higher) waterproof rating to comfortably use it in water. Water is a big enemy of electronics, and keeping it away from the vital parts is a must. Most MP3s are waterproofed by an invisible layer of liquid deflecting material that keeps water away from the insides.

      Lower ratings don’t provide enough protection against water pressure when underwater. That’s why water-resistant headphones aren’t good enough for swimming. You need fully waterproof ones. More info about waterproofing.

      Stable fit in water – if the headphones you wear in the water keep falling out you’ll be more annoyed than anything else. Picking the right ear tips that keep water out of the ear canal, usually, triple-flange tips is crucial for good user experience. Make sure to use a swimming cap to help with stability.

      On the other hand, you can always get bone conduction headphones that transmit sound through bone vibration or on-ear headphones that sit next to your ears (see examples of both below).

      Music quality and performance – To get one thing straight, you’ll never get a super high sound quality in water due to physics, so give up on the idea. But you can expect the audio you will enjoy and have fun with. Also, you might need more than 2 GB of storage for your songs, so an iPod might not be enough (unfortunately they don’t make bigger iPods).

      How are waterproof MP3 players different from other MP3s?

      With the Apple iPod Shuffle, the only difference is the additional upgrade of the water protection. The MP3 itself comes with the same file storage, music quality, and performance. The same is true for other music players.

      They work the same way but can also survive a prolonged dip in the fresh or saltwater.

      Best Waterproof iPods

      1. Apple iPod Shuffle by Underwater Audio – best overall

      Waterproof iPod Shuffle by AudioFlood

      For swimming, this is the best waterproof iPod Shuffle on the market right now.

      Whether you’re making laps in a pool with fresh water or enjoying underwater activity in a salty sea, the Apple iPod Shuffle waterproofed by Underwater Audio is your top choice.

      Water protection: IPX8
      Memory size: 2GB
      Headphone type: In-ear

      Why Buy These?

      Durability in general is great. Apple’s waterproof iPod Shuffle is small and sturdy and doesn’t differ from the standard non-waterproof edition. The battery has about 15 hours of playtime.

      Together with standard Apple earbuds, you get additional in-ear earphones explicitly made for in water use. Earbuds are 100% waterproof, and you don’t have to worry about getting them wet.

      These are great even for a little bit of diving. The whole clip-on casing of the Shuffle is protected up to 20ft in depth.

      The Bad

      Might have some difficulties keeping earbuds in. Placing them under a swimming cap is recommended.

      Only 2GB of storage.

      The Sound

      The sound quality is pretty good, especially considering this is an MP3 set for swimming purposes. It sounds the same as the regular iPod Shuffle. The clean, detailed, and balanced sound you can enjoy on the go.

      If you’re looking for, small, durable, waterproof MP3 player you can go swimming with, get iPod Shuffle by Underwater Audio and never again suffer the silence even if you’re 20ft under surface.


      Best Waterproof MP3 Players

      2. AfterShokz Xtrainerz – best bone conduction

      AfterShokz Xtrainerz

      Best waterproof MP3 player with bone conduction

      This clever design offers bone conduction headphones that don’t require earbuds and special tips but instead transmit the music through bones.

      Water protection: IP68
      Memory size: 4 GB
      Headphone type: Bone conduction

      Why Buy These?

      AfterShokz makes a lot of the greatest bone conduction headphones, and the Xtrainerz are designed specifically for swimmers.

      The music player can hold about 1,200 songs in total and run for 8 hours of continuous play. This is more than enough for most swimmers.

      The bone conduction technology is smart and sends the vibrations through your cheekbones rather than straight into the ear, which helps with fit under and in water.

      The IP68 rating allows you to use these up to 2 meters deep. Also, a swim cap is included. They’re pretty sturdy, but this swim cap keeps the headband in place.

      The Bad

      The water can get in the way of the vibrations and cause imperfections with the sound. They’re also pretty expensive due to the design and technology.

      The Sound

      The sound is more than sufficient for most people. They’re not overly bassy, but most swimmers are used to getting punchy low end.

      For the most hassle-free experience when swimming with headphones, consider the AfterShokz Xtrainerz waterproof MP3.


      3. Sony NW-WS623 – Walkman with Bluetooth

      Sony NWWS623 waterproof Walkman MP3

      Sony Walkman design with Bluetooth and inbuilt storage

      For the ability to listen wirelessly via devices and through internal storage, plus saltwater and freshwater waterproof capability, these are a good choice.

      Water protection: IPX8 (IP68)
      Memory size: 4 or 16 GB
      Headphone type: In-ear

      Why Buy These?

      This headset is suitable for use underwater, and the IPX8 rating means it can be submerged over 6 feet. It even works in saltwater. As long as you take good care of it, it should last you for a long time.

      The headband design with earbuds attached helps them to stay in place. The band hooks around the ears for comfort and stability while swimming.

      12 hours of battery life is great for swimmers of all kinds. Plus, three minutes of charge can give a 60 minute listening time. You can also listen to music via Bluetooth (but doesn’t work underwater).

      The Bad

      Sony NW-WS623 earphones aren’t the most comfortable. Extended use can make your ears ache.

      The Sound

      The frequency response is good, and the sound clarity is suitable for all kinds of music and listening to podcasts or other audio. Though, listening via the inbuilt storage gives better audio clarity.

      For reliable waterproof capabilities in salt and freshwater, plus the option to use Bluetooth when not swimming, the Sony NW-WS623 are a really compelling choice.


      4. Tayogo Bone Conduction MP3 Player – cheap bone conduction

      Tayogo Bone Conduction Waterproof MP3

      Cheap bone conduction MP3 player for swimming

      This is a more affordable bone conduction alternative with high storage capacity and a pretty good sound that works for swimming.

      Water protection: IPX8
      Memory size: 8 GB
      Headphone type: Bone conduction

      Why Buy These?

      A more affordable option than the AfterShokz, this waterproof MP3 player also has bone conduction headphones and inbuilt 8GB of storage. The storage capacity can hold over 2,000 songs. And, you can also listen to FM radio if you want.

      The headphones have a 6-hour battery life, perfect for most swimming sessions. As well as being suitable for use underwater (IPX 8 allows them to be fully submerged) they are great for running and other exercises.

      Neckband design is combined with ear hooks to keep them secure while you swim.

      The Bad

      The bass is a little bit lacking due to technology.

      Also, the sound isn’t as good as with AfterShokz.

      The Sound

      It’s clear enough to listen to music or audiobooks, and the water doesn’t interfere during a swim. They’re not the bassiest headphones, but this is often the way with this technology.

      For a lot of storage and a great set of underwater headphones with an MP3, consider the Tayogo Bone Conduction MP3 Player.


      5. H2O Audio Stream 2

      H2O Audio Stream 2 waterproof mp3 player

      Waterproof MP3 player with a user-friendly interface and lots of useful features

      H2O Audio listened to their costumers and made the Stream 2 more user friendly, with better audio formats compatibility and improved sound quality.

      Water protection: IPX8
      Memory size: 8GB
      Headphone type: In-ear

      Why Buy These?

      The housing of the MP3 player is ergonomically designed for better and more intuitive use. There are quite a few buttons on the music player itself, and they’re big enough to minimize accidental presses.

      With the clip, you can attach the player on your goggles strap. The connector for your earphones has a tight seal so that you can use different waterproof headphones. You are looking at 6 hours of battery life.

      H2O Audio updated the support for a broader range of audio formats. To prevent unnecessary converting, Stream 2 now supports MP3, WMA, FLAC, and APE. You can also connect this music player with your phone via Bluetooth and listen to Spotify or Pandora.

      The Bad

      You need to wear them under a cap to keep them in place.

      The Sound

      If you’re using the right tips, therefore preventing the liquids from coming into your ear canal, the sound is pretty good.

      H2O Audio Stream 2 is offering an easy to use solution for swimmers. And it does its job perfectly.


      6. SYRYN by Underwater Audio – best cheap MP3 player

      SYRYN MP3 Swimbuds

      The best cheap waterproof MP3 player for swimming

      Often sold bundled with Swimbuds, the SYRN is a cheap and simple solution for swimmers to take music underwater.

      Water protection: IPX8
      Memory size: 8 GB
      Headphone type: in-ear

      Why Buy These?

      With an IPX8 rating, the MP3 player is excellent for using underwater. It is usually sold with Swimbuds (earphones) which do a fairly good job of recreating the sound of your favorite tracks.

      The SYRN works with USB, and you can just drag and drop your songs or other audio files. It works on Mac or Windows exactly the same.

      8GB of memory is fairly generous, and enough for 2,000 songs. There is a shuffle mode included, so you don’t get bored with the songs at the start of the playlist.

      The Bad

      While the main controls are pretty simple, advanced modes like shuffle aren’t easy to figure out straight away.

      A swimming cap is required to hold the earbuds in.

      The Sound

      Paired with the swimbuds, the sound is basic but good enough for listening casually.

      For simple, durable and affordable underwater listening, we recommend the SYRN by Underwater Audio.


      7. SEWOBYE Waterproof MP3 Player – cheap MP3 alternative

      SEWOBYE Waterproof MP3 Player

      Alternative waterproof MP3 player under $60

      An affordable solution with earphones and a convenient design for swimmers.

      Water protection: IPX8
      Memory size: 8 GB
      Headphone type: in-ear

      Why Buy These?

      The main selling point is the fact that the SEWOBYE has been designed with swimmers in mind. It’s a generic brand that copies others and does it for less money.

      This is a lightweight MP3 player, and the clip attaches it to goggles when swimming. The control buttons are simple to use, with ridges that make it possible to control with wet fingers.

      They come with waterproof headphones (IPX8 rating) with a short cord that’s perfect for swimming use.

      An 8GB memory is respectable, and the 16-hour battery is a real bonus. This is far longer than many competing models.

      The Bad

      The included earbuds aren’t that good. Think about replacing these with better waterproof headphones, check here.

      The Sound

      The included earbuds sound about average, imagine your Apple earbuds that everybody had in the past. It’s decent for music and fine for podcasts or audiobooks. High fidelity audio is really not the aim, but the MP3 makes up for it.

      For an MP3 player that’s easy to control even underwater and comes with the latest technology, consider the SEWOBYE music player.


      Honorable Mentions

      FX-Sport VRX:

      If you don’t mind buying the waterproof case or aren’t spending too long underwater, the FX-Sport VRX are a reliable option. Read the full review.


      Why are Waterproof iPods & MP3s Best for Swimming?

      If you want to listen to your favorite music during swimming, the best and most reliable solution is a waterproof MP3 player, like an iPod Shuffle, and waterproof earphones.

      This technology is very basic but works quite well underwater. Bluetooth doesn’t work in water.

      The main reasons why you should get an iPod or MP3 headset for swimming are:

      • Proven technology that works
      • Wired, smaller design is easier to make waterproof even for higher depths
      • Small earbuds are easier to keep on during swimming (imagine wearing over-ear headphones inside the pool…)
      • Waterproofing small earbuds and music players is cheaper than bigger headphones or your phone.

      What should you avoid in waterproof MP3 players?

      Because waterproofed MP3s aren’t the cheapest make sure to pick a reliable brand that has been in the business for a while. There are brands like UnderwaterAudio, Waterfi… that are specialized for making swimming gear.

      You can always have more confidence in a proven product with positive user feedback than going with a brand new company.

      Also, avoid products with over-promised features. Some manufacturers market their products as waterproof and suitable for swimming but aren’t actually designed for it. Go with a proven product even though you might have to pay a bit more.

      How Deep Can I Go with Waterproof MP3 Players on This List?

      Water in a pool

      All of the iPod/MP3 sets on this list are perfectly safe to use in pools, and some are protected from the water up to great depths.

      In fact, our top iPod Shuffle is rated to be completely waterproof up to 200ft in depth which is useful even for diving purposes. Read the reviews for each model to find out more.

      Keep in mind to clean your waterproof iPod with fresh water after using it in the sea. Salty water is a bit more aggressive with electronics than freshwater.

      What are the Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming?

      There are many waterproof earbuds suitable for swimming, but when it comes to the absolute best, Swimbuds are the way to go.

      When you buy your own waterproof MP3 player you’ll probably get additional earphones with it, but those usually aren’t the greatest.

      It’s not uncommon to have a lot of problems keeping them in ears, especially during fast, underwater movement, like doing flip turns. Unless you’re using a swimming cap or have some other way to stick the earphones in your ears, you’ll likely experience frequent issues.

      “Keep in mind that wearing a swim cap can really help with stability even when using Swimbuds.”

      Another option is to get a bone conduction MP3 player that doesn’t require in-ear headphones like AfterShokz Xtrainerz.

      Get more info in our guide on the best headphones for swimming.

      Why are Bluetooth Headphones Bad for Swimming?

      Bluetooth headphones don’t work underwater because the signal doesn’t transmit the same way underwater. This makes wireless Bluetooth headphones useless for swimming because the connection doesn’t work.

      The moment your headphones touch the water, you experience signal interference. Eventually, you lose the Bluetooth connection and headphones will stop working.

      As of right now, we still don’t have cheap, good, wireless technology that could be used for underwater sound streaming.

      Nonetheless, for above-water sports like kayaking and board paddling, you can still use waterproof wireless headphones.

      More:

      Best sport headphones

      Best swimming headphones


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