If we are to be completely honest, it never even crossed our mind that people might want to listen to music while they swim. Our immediate reaction was why would they want to do that? But then of course people listen to music while they jog, so what’s the difference? Except of course that they are far more wet!
We spoke to someone who did this. “What do you listen to?” we ask “Oh nothing raucous” was his reply, “easy going stuff.” “Why do you do it?” we continue, “it helps me swim faster and further” his answer.
“Why don’t you listen to the theme music from Jaws?” we asked…
…he didn’t find that funny? Can’t think why?
Anyway, it’s not just about swimming. If you are doing any kind of strenuous workout or maybe another water-based activity. Then you really do not want sweat or any liquid for that matter running in your ear. And it turns out that a lot more people use these sports orientated waterproof headphones than we thought.
So, let’s have a look at the best Waterproof headphones on the market to see what all the fuss is about? And while we’re at it, we might well find the perfect pair for you…
Top 10 Best Waterproof Headphones of 2023
1 Photive PH-BTE50 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sports Headphones
The first thing to consider with this type of phone is wiring. The last thing you want is wires going everywhere. These Photives are a wireless operation, and so that is not a problem.
As you might be wearing them for extended periods of time, comfort is something you will be looking for, and these are so designed to fit your ear perfectly.
Built into the earbud is a microphone if they are connected to your phone and should you need to make a phone call, there are some convenient controls for play and pause and volume up and down.
They are well made of good materials and have a strong feel to them. They are resistant to sweat and can handle exposure to moisture or water. But because of the way they are designed, submerging them in water might not be a good idea.
One big advantage they have is the variety of uses for which they are suitable. Being well made and sturdy they are suited to most sporting activity, whether it is on the track or in the gym or maybe on your bike.
More than that. They do not have to be used in a sporting environment. And at home or in the office they will work just fine, and being free from cables offers freedom of use in many places.
Battery life is impressive, and you will get over 7 hours to use from one charge of the lithium-ion battery. They are charged up by using the small USB cable. Just plug into any USB port.
If you are looking for some Bluetooth accessible phones for sporting activity, then they are worth consideration and I doubt they will let you down.
Sensibly priced they represent good value.
2 Swimbuds 100% Waterproof Headphones
Swimbuds, made by Underwater Audio, still have their patent pending for this little creation. They have created a set of headphones that can be used safely and practically underwater.
The design of these phones has as its principal goal, the ability to be used underwater and to allow this they have been specially designed to create a seal in your ear while you swim. Very clever stuff fair play.
It is important to note at this stage that the Swimbuds will work more efficiently if you wear a swim cap. Firstly they will be held in place and not tend to loosen during turns or other head movements.
And secondly, whilst they are waterproof. The less water that actually makes contact with them, the better, if you want them to last a while. This applies to all products like these, to be honest.
They have certainly gone out of their way to developing a good product. The frequency response of 20 Hz to 20kHz is very impressive, and they have gold plating on the 3.5mm connecting plug to improve connection and reduce water corrosion.
The fact that people have different shaped and sized ears have also been taken into account, and four varied sizes of ear tips are included to get the right fit. They come with a short cable, but there is an extension if you require a greater length that is included. And a black bag is provided for storage.
With products like these, there are always safety regulations, and one is that for safety reasons these or any headphones that create a tight seal should not be used below a depth of 3.05 meters.
So if you were thinking of finding Nemo and letting him have a bit of Ten Years After’s Going Home, forget it. You can, however, stay shallow and give the Bullfrogs a little Rory Gallagher.
They have a decent sound for what they are. But let’s be honest; a high-quality sound is not the most important thing with this type of headphone. However, they do come in a little bit on the expensive side.
They are waterproofed to IPX8 waterproof standard, which is more than enough for most uses.
3 AGPTEK IPX8 Waterproof In-Ear Earphones
Agptek’s IPX8 waterproof earphones are, as you might assume, fully compliant with the Immersion Water Test standards required for this kind of product, hence the reference in the name. Further to this, they are also FCC/CE/ROHS certificated.
They deliver a decent sound, which is not loud but crisp and clear. When we use the term decent sounding, we are obviously referring to the sound when being used. That is not what under normal situations would be considered high quality, but underwater it is very good indeed.
The bass is very low, and the bottom end may distort if you have the volume too high. The audio performance is enhanced by the noise isolation technology employed to give the clearest overall sound.
They are well made and water-resistant to a high level. This makes them very suitable for a variety of activities that are water-based, even the more vigorous, like surfing. But they are built to also encompass other activities that do not involve water, including running and skiing.
They have an inner coating which allows you to remain in and venturing below the waterline for 30 minutes without there being a depreciation in sound performance. Staying above the water, maybe just swimming up and down a pool there are no time limits.
Some added features are included. They come with three sizes of ear tope, to ensure you get a good fit and an extension cord with a 3mm plug cable should it be needed.
As a set of headphones to use in the water, they work quite well. They are waterproof, an important issue, and the sound they produce is ok, but nothing more.
At the price, you can’t really go wrong.
4 H2O Audio 100% Waterproof Headphones
H20 is a fairly new company. Based in Southern California, they were established in 2003, and work to provide audio quality for water-based sports activities with high-quality products.
Certainly, these phones are built to a high quality. And can handle rain and perspiration, but it is in the water where they come into their own. They are operative at a depth of 12 feet, which is quite a way down for a set of phones. Complete submersion at that depth is a rare thing amongst water headphone users. And they have an IPX8 Immersion Water Test rating as is required.
Sound wise, they are very good. And quality materials have been used in there construction to produce the best sound possible given the obvious limitations. There is even a slight hint of a bottom end which in speakers this small is surprising.
The connecting cord is often an issue with underwater headphones, but these have a cord that is three feet six inches long.
Efficiency in the pool is one thing, but they are not only limited to swimming and associated activity. Because of their waterproof capabilities, they easily handle perspiration from vigorous activity. They are therefore suitable for gym work, biking, or running.
Back in the water again, they are just as good for paddleboarding and surfing. In fact, there are very few environments; these are not suitable. They are even good just to listen to music while swimming.
Comfort isn’t an issue either. The shape of the buds fit flush with the ear and the ear canal. Making it easy to place and comfortable to wear. They are supplied with five sets of different sized earplugs to ensure a good fit and stay in place during your activity.
They are not cheap as these things go, but they are a very good product.
5 Sony Wireless Sport Headphones with Music Player
Sony is never a company to just copy what everyone else is doing. They see a new idea, they like it, and they think, ok how can we make it better. Of course, they don’t always succeed, but they do with some regularity.
Before we really get into this and what it can do and does. We are principally in these reviews, looking at headphones for swimming, or at least the best waterproof headphones. We are about to move into other areas so to clarify, yes you can swim with these, and they come with special earbuds for the water.
But there is a bit more to these than just headphones for the water. So let’s itemize briefly a few of these extra features that Sony has included with this product.
Incorporating as its driving force the Sony Smart-B trainer. This unit combines music with fitness and tracking your performance at an advanced level. Aside from the music playback, something Sony does know a little about, they use six sensors to monitor and record your training programs.
These include heart rate, barometer, accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, and compass. You can set your targets, and it will monitor and provide feedback during and after each session.
It’s intelligent too, using your target heart rate to select tunes to match your training to the tempo required to keep you on your course. Very clever indeed.
It also will keep a record of your heart rate, time, distance, and speed. As well as the number of steps taken and a whole load of info regarding your route and conditions. We asked it to recommend a birthday present for the wife, and it did that as well!!
There is nowhere near enough space to be able to describe and go into every function of this incredible piece of kit. And it’s well worth taking a closer look when you’ve got a spare half a day, if you are looking for more than just a set of waterproof headphones.
Price? Ouch, but then it would be for all this tech.
6 Pyle Upgraded Waterproof MP3 Player
If you have an active lifestyle or indeed are about to embark on one. And you are looking for the now ‘part of the uniform’ headphones; these may well be a good option.
Whilst there are a few options for headphones that you can take into and under the water. This is an MP3 player that goes with you as you take the plunge. It has an 8GB memory to store your music so no more need to carry your external music player or phone.
It’s not only for the pool or the sea, but it will also keep sweat at bay. And is designed for people doing most sports. You can work as hard as you like with the Pyle, it won’t complain.
In the water, you can go down to two meters, and there won’t be a problem. And it is IPX8 Immersion Water Test approved. Whatever water environment may be your thing, it will be able to handle the hardest of activity.
The design takes the unit behind as well as in the ear and gives it a secure feeling. It is designed to fit tight and fit well, to make sure it is not going to fall off no matter how hard you are working. Not only is it practical, but it is also comfortable to wear.
A high-speed USB 2.0 connection and drag and drop files give you a format for multi playback through the MP3 and WMA connectivity. For an active lifestyle where you still want to be in touch with your music, they provide the perfect solution.
It has a rechargeable Lithium battery that will last about ten hours. The battery, though, does take two hours, approx, to charge up.
It comes with three pairs of water blocking earbuds for water use and three pairs of active sport earbuds for use on land. The sizes vary to make sure you will get a comfortable, effective fit.
A very good product for a variety of activities and priced towards the middle of the price range.
7 HydroActive Short-Cord Waterproof Headphones
In some ways, HydroActive has brought together the best of both worlds in terms of sports-based headphones. They have combined the stability in water-based activity found in Swimbuds sports headphones. And combined them with HydroHarmony headphones, which are notable for their ease of use and sound quality.
They are used frequently by competitive level swimmers who require a secure and stable product during training programs. This makes them eminently suitable for the amateurs. Knowing that they will be able to take all the punishment and workload they can give them.
They are supplied with four varying types of earbuds dependent on what you will use them for. Some fit right into the ear and make them watertight. While others are also suitable for water activities, but do not go so deep into the ear. And the rest are for dry land activity and even just casual listening. All the potential uses are covered.
Aside from swimming, they are also suitable for many other water-based activities including, aqua-aerobics, kayaking, and canoeing.
If they have missed out in a couple of areas of design with these headphones. It is that first, they are not Bluetooth active, which is a shame, and secondly, the headband is not adjustable. Also, we always recommend with these things, that if you are going to be doing some serious swimming, then also use a swimming cap to assist holding them in place.
The sound quality as is usual is acceptable, and we must remember they are not being built to provide quality rock n roll to the fishes (it should be ‘fish’ but that simply wasn’t funny.)
A good product that does what it says, and does it well. At the top end of the price range, but a great choice of headphones for swimming laps.
8 Plantronics BackBeat Fit Bluetooth Headphones
The Plantronics phones have been designed to operate in a variety of active environments with swimming being just one. But, with swimming in mind, they will operate to a depth of one meter for approximately thirty minutes, but that is in fresh water only.
They have an IP57 rating. Therefore, if you are a serious swimmer or wanted to use them in the sea, rather than the pool, then maybe these are not for you because of the limitations.
They are equipped with good technology for protection though, with a nano-coating against water and sweat, either from the pool or the gym or other activity.
So many times you see someone running on the roads with phones in, and it is evident they cannot hear anything that is going on around them. This, of course, is very dangerous. But these phones are fitted with an ear tip design with special safety features that allows you to listen to your music but also be aware of what is going on around you.
Connected to your phone, it has Bluetooth operation and on-ear controls for your music or any calls. Integrated into the phones are some higher grade speakers that deliver a decent sound where the bass is audible for a change and the highs quite crisp. A band secures your phone to your arm.
The battery will give you up to eight hours of listening time.
For a person wanting a set of phones to operate in a variety of environments, these fit the bill. They sit in the middle of the price range.
9 Philips ActionFit Sports Earhook Headphones
When you are using headphones for sports activity, be it a workout in the gym, running or just about anything really. You want them first to be comfortable, and secondly, to be secure and not persistently keep falling off. The Philips ActionFit sports earhook phones have a patented adjustable ear hook to ensure a snug secure fit.
It is simply a matter of placing the phones on your ears and then using the sliders to adjust them to the perfect comfort level for you. It’s that easy.
While we are discussing design features the cables are protected against the inevitable wear and tear they will receive with a Kevlar coating. This will give some protection against breakages and make them able to withstand a variety of environments.
They are pretty good sound wise as well, with 9mm drivers that produce a decent quality. And they will certainly allow full enjoyment of your music while you work.
The cord though is quite short at just 29 inches, and is ok if you are running, but may cause problems with other activities. It will operate with any device having a headphone jack socket. There are no volume controls on the unit, so you will rely on your device to set the level. Neither is there a mute button, and the headset does not have a microphone.
Basically, it is a one job set of phones on a budget basis. The build quality is not as strong as some others, and whilst the sound is ok, you will have to be careful when handling them.
Whilst they do have a resistance to water, rain, etc., they are not suitable for swimming.
At the bottom end price wise, and probably set correctly.
10 Universal Wired Waterproof Swim Earphone
Made by Pyle, these headphones are built to a good standard even though they are in the budget range for pricing. They are water-resistant and weatherproof, which allows them a wide variety of use. They are used in swimming, surfing, kayaking, and other water-related sports. But they also fit well into running, and other dryland fitness regimes.
They are designed with comfort in mind and the over the ear design gives a firm, secure but comfortable fit that isn’t going to fall out easily.
They are compatible with the majority of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and the best digital audio players, etc. and they have Bluetooth connectivity. And the unit is supplied with three interchangeable ear tips to ensure you get maximum comfort that operates very easily with a clip-on system.
For those using them in water Pyle have included their water blocking earplug system, so that water cannot penetrate your ear while in use. They operate while fully submerged.
The connecting cord is quite long, but they do not have a microphone.
Sound wise they are ok and produce a decent sound. There is just a hint of bass and the top quite crisp. You cannot, of course, expect too much so if you don’t, you won’t be disappointed.
They are at a very low price and are therefore a budget set of headphones. You cannot expect the build or sound quality of a similar product that is much more expensive, and it is likely these have been built for the casual user rather than a serious athlete.
For the money they offer good value, just don’t push them too hard.
Best Waterproof Headphones Buyers Guide
Or, The Bullfrogs Have Left The Building, Rory’s On His Way…
I don’t suppose that in our wildest dreams when we were kids, we all thought that there would be a day when we would be swimming while listening to our music as it was piped to us through the ether. Whatever next?
But here we are, and we now have the opportunity to do just that. There are a number of good products on the market, so let’s see what are the best waterproof headphones.
There Are a Variety of Options…
Some are good headphones for swimming laps others just good for listening to music while swimming. There are some that are all action headphones where you can undertake a variety of activities, and they will suit them all and function ok within them.
As usual, there is a wide range of price points, and once again, you usually get what you pay for. If you require a budget, cheap priced product, there are some to choose from. And if you are a casual user, then these may be suitable.
If on the other hand, you may want your headphones packed with the latest technology in terms of fitness reporting and assessment, then they are there as well.
It’s a matter of deciding what you want to use them for, a bit of fun in the pool or as a serious training aid or possibly, somewhere in the middle.
Whatever you decide to choose, there are a couple of things that you should consider.
Firstly, has it passed the Immersion Water Tests, having a rating of IPX8 proves that it has. If you are submerging in water, it will need that.
Secondly is it compatible with your device? Sounds obvious but there are so many that aren’t. A good check is to see if your device has a 3.5mm headphone socket. If it does, then you’re probably ok.
Best Waterproof Headphones?
So What Is Our Choice To Let The Bullfrogs Have It?
We decided to do away with thoughts of advanced technology, even though the Sony phones are superb. And go for something that is just us the water and anything submerged that might want to listen.
We have therefore decided on…
Well made, decent sound and easy to use with a variety of ear tip sizes. They are perfect for what we need them for. Not the cheapest, but in our opinion, for the money paid, the best waterproof headphones.
Ok, let’s see if they work “Did you ever wake up with them Bullfrogs”…etc.
Yep, they’re good!