Best waterproof headphones for swimming
Single lane swimming is tedious, especially if you’re lapping up for exercise. Just as music helps you lift harder and stronger in the gym, your favourite tunes have the same impact under water in every lap and tumble turn. And now thanks to refined technology, you can take a dip, dive or somersault in water with a slew of new waterproof headphones. Scroll below for our edit of the best underwater headphones, we’ve got purse-pleasing options as well.
Buyer’s Guide: What is IP and IPX rating?
Not all waterproof headphones are made equal. As good as they are as sweat-proof and washable accessories, it might not always be the case underwater. Most waterproof headphones with a protective case rating of IPX6 or below are only able to withstand underwater conditions for up to 3-feet and 30-minute or less duration. However, if you are in the market for an audio accessory to enjoy music, audiobooks and podcast episodes in the pool or in open water, a pair of waterproof headphones with a rating of IPX7 (waterproof) and above or IP67 (waterproof and dust-proof) will serve as a reliable and durable option.
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H2O Audio Sonar – Best overall waterproof headphones
California-based portable audio manufacturer H20 Audio has put out a pair of all-in-one underwater headphones with MP3 player & Bluetooth capabilities. It is a hassle-free, compact accessory that comfortably sits underneath your goggles or swim cap and offers crystal clear sound quality through bone construction technology. Equipped with an 8GB MP3 player and built-in Bluetooth connectivity, users can switch between their downloaded audio files or stream their favourite playlist from their smartwatch or phones. Button designs are deliberately enlarged with extra raised markings for easier navigation down under.
Sony NW-WS413LM – Best integrated MP3 waterproof headphones
Sony has long been lauded for its Walkman series and MP3 devices. But with its dust-proof and salt water-proof NW-WS413LM underwater headphones, you can now take your music from the hills to the sea. Built to withstand the elements in any weather or condition, the IPX65/68 rating allows its wearers to submerge up to six-feet underwater, as well as endure harsh temperatures ranging from -5° to 45°C. Available in several attractive colours, it is built in with an integrated Mp3 player with either 4GB or 6GB memory, and a battery life that lasts up to 12-hours.
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Zygo Solo – Best Bluetooth waterproof headphones
Zygo Solo was introduced into the market in 2021 as an ambitious true wireless Bluetooth headphone. It stands out from many others in the segment for its Bluetooth connectivity, pretty uncommon in many other underwater devices, and an IP68 rating. It allows swimmers to stream music, podcasts, audiobooks and more from any device without compromising on sound quality. Built with its own transmitter, the device can be connected to any smartphone above water.
However, it does have its drawbacks. Compared to the other devices below, it can only dive up to two-feet underwater, but with an IP68 rating offers 3-hours of playtime, 8-hours on the transmitter and with the dedicated Zygo App, users can enjoy the added perk of guided audio workouts and live coaching as well.
Shokz OpenSwim – Best Bone Conduction waterproof headphones
Continuing to disrupt the traditional earphone industry with its OpenSwim headphones is New York bone conduction technology manufacturer Shokz (formerly known as AfterShokz). Encased within a protective casing and an IP68 rating, this one is waterproof up to 6-feet deep for two-hours, and pumps an impressive 8-hours of playback music. It can also store up to 4GB of audio files and is designed to sit comfortably on the cheekbones for all-day comfort.
An alternative bone conduction type is the Finis Duo by US swimming accessory brand Finis. Designed with distinct streamlined Duo™ to goggle straps that rest comfortably on the cheekbones with an integrated clip design – these come with an IPX8 rating, and can dive up to 10-feet underwater, while delivering clear audio for up to 7 hours. But unlike the OpenSwim, it caps at 30-minutes of continuous swimming and only reads MP3 and WMA files.
Underwater Audio Swimbuds Audioflood Hydroactive – Best short-cord waterproof headphones
The Audioflood Hydroactive by Swimbuds, a pioneer in creating the first short-cord headphone designed specifically for swimmers. It has a rigid earbud tip that prevents water from slipping through, a rating of IPX 8, fantastic audio delivery system with duel-chamber earbuds that amplify sound even when submerged. It packs four interchangeable earbud styles in three different sizes for ultimate functionality – whether you’re running, biking or any aquatic activity – this will be your best ‘bud’.
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