The 4 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming in 2021

You need a lot of practice to become a better swimmer, and while you can try drinking a couple of extra energy drinks, that’s not per se the safest way to beat your own scores.

It’s a known fact that water and electronics don’t mix, but as technology advanced, things turned around. In this article, we’ll review 4 of the best waterproof headphones for swimming that feature the highest waterproof rating so that you can stay motivated while building up your swimming endurance.

Comparison Table 

HeadphonesIPX RatingEar Tip DesignIntegrated MP3 Player
Sony NWWS413LMIPX8In-earYes
FINIS DuoIPX8Bone-conductionYes
Swimbuds Sport PremiumIPX8In-earNo
H2O Audio Surge+IPX8In-earNo

The 4 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming in 2021

In our reviews, we made sure to point out the best features you’ll get with each of these headphones and the major drawbacks as well. This way, it’ll be much easier for you to make an informed decision and pick the most suitable pair. So, without any further ado, let’s take a peek at these outstanding models!

1. Sony NWWS413LM – Editor’s Choice

Sony NWWS413LM

The Sony NWWS413LM is not only great for swimming but also for various water activities. They have a high IPX rating and a great design that keeps them secure around your head without falling even with the most rigorous activities.

Waterproofness isn’t these headphones only perk. They are sand and dust-proof as well, so you can wear them while swimming in the ocean as well as pools. The built-in MP3 player is integrated for a hassle-free listening experience. Now, you don’t have to carry an additional device while exercising.

The built-in memory of the player is 4 GB, which is enough for uploading about 1,000 songs. What’s even better is that it supports plenty of formats, including mp3, AAC, WMA, and L-PCM. Whether you’re using Windows or Mac, you can easily upload files by dragging your favorite songs and dropping them into the headphones folder.

As expected, the MP3 player relies on an internal battery that offers up to 12 hours of continuous playtime when fully charged. That’s quite impressive, especially that the average playback for most waterproof headphones is only 4 hours.

Additionally, The headphones come with a fast charger that offers 60 minutes of use when charged for 3 minutes only, meaning that you can charge your headphones on the go whenever you’re late for your training session.

Last but not least, the Sony NWWS413LM features an Ambient Sound mode that keeps you connected to your surroundings without having to take off the headphones or pause the music.

It’s a bit disappointing that these headphones don’t come in different earbud sizes. However, they come with multiple accessories, including an adjustment band, a USB dock, and a holder.

Pros:

  • Dust and sand-proof
  • Resistant to saltwater
  • Superb sound quality
  • Ambient Sound mode
  • Built-in MP3 player
  • Extended battery life
  • Fast charging

Cons:

  • Only one set of swimming earbuds

Bottom Line

The Sony NWWS413LM headphones offer outstanding performance whether you keep them dry or take them into the water. The ergonomic design ensures lasting comfort regardless of the surrounding conditions, and you don’t have to carry your smartphone around while you’re practicing, thanks to the built-in MP3 player.

2. FINIS Duo – Best Bone-Conduction Headphones

FINIS Duo

Bone-conduction headphones are more comfortable to wear than traditional headphones. Not to mention that they’re safer because they don’t impair situational awareness; you’ll always be aware of what’s happening around you, which makes many sports – including swimming – less risky.

The FINIS Duo headphones have a clip design that’s not felt on the head while swimming. All you need to do is secure it to the straps of your goggles and enjoy unmatchable comfort and sound clarity.

In addition, they don’t fall as much as other in-ear models do. You don’t have to worry about positioning the headphones or finding the perfect earbuds with the perfect size. As long as the ear tips are in touch with your cheekbone, you’re good to go.

Just like the previous model, the FINIS Duo supports a built-in MP3 player with a capacity of 4 GB to store your favorite music, whether you’re an IOS or an Android user. The battery can last for 7 hours of uninterrupted playback time, which is outstanding when compared to the majority of swimming headphones. However, it’s not as long as the Sony model we reviewed earlier.

The controls on the headphones are another reason it’s perfect while practicing. Everything is one touch away, and you can shuffle your songs from the headphones without having to connect to your smartphone or a separate MP3 player.

One thing that FINIS should work on with future models is enhancing the performance of the headphones when they’re not submerged. However, this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re looking for a dedicated pair for swimming.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Supports different music formats
  • Great battery life
  • User-friendly, on-earpiece controls

Cons:

  • Only sound good when submerged

Bottom Line

Whether you’re afraid of catching an ear infection, or you find it hard to listen to your coach while you’re practicing, the FINIS Duo is the perfect choice to keep you aware of what’s happening around you while still being immersed in your favorite music as much as you could possibly be.

3. Swimbuds Sport Premium – Best Sound Quality Underwater

Swimbuds Sport Premium

The Swimbuds Sports Premium supports the third generation of the “HydroBeat” technology, which explains the outstanding sound quality even with strong waves. Moreover, the earbuds are made of hybrid silicone and designed for a water-tight fit to prevent fallouts.

Using the headphones is a hassle-free experience as well. You can tuck them into the goggle’s strap then secure them above your ears. Just make sure that the cables are pointing upwards before you put the ear tips into your ears to wear the earbuds properly.

Although these headphones don’t feature an integrated music player, they feature a short connection cord (40cm), so they won’t become a setback while swimming. Make sure that you use a waterproof music player with the headphones, with an IPX8 rating.

The value of the Swimbuds headphones isn’t just because of the great cost and the mind-blowing bass. We should give some credit to the extended durability not only because of the excellent construction but because the headphones come with 11 pairs of earbuds, featuring 4 different styles.

On top of it all, you get a 12-month warranty, so if you had any issues whatsoever, you could contact the manufacturer to get the headphones fixed or even replaced.

Pros:

  • Third generation HydroBeats ensures excellent sound
  • Affordable
  • Come with 11 pairs of earbuds
  • Feature a short-cord for a hassle-free experience
  • A 1-year extended warranty

Cons:

  • Cord length isn’t enough for other purposes

Bottom Line

If you care about the sound quality the most, then the Swimbuds Sports Premium is a perfect choice. Although the Swimbuds Classic headphones became more popular, this model offers more value and better comfort, so it’s worth the extra cash.

4. H2O Audio Surge+ – Budget Pick

H2O Audio Surge+

Although the H2O Audio Surge+ headphones are one of the most affordable options you can find for swimming, they are well-built with dynamic drivers that deliver exceptional sound quality.

The headphones have a unique design that reduces drag while practicing. Furthermore, they come with 5 rounded-tip sets of earbuds ranging from XS to XL, in addition to 3 tree tips, so you can choose the size and design that fits best.

The cord is of standard length, which is great for swimmers who do other sports and need a versatile option to use during different activities. Whether you like other water sports like surfing and paddling or you simply go to the gym, these headphones will allow you to listen to your favorite music regardless of the type of sport you’re doing.

We didn’t experience any difficulties while testing the headphones; you only need to extend the cord for as far as your ears go, and tuck the rest behind the goggle’s strap with no issues whatsoever.

Noise cancellation makes the H2O Audio Surge+ an excellent choice for swimmers who prefer being isolated from any external disturbances so that they can focus on practicing.  Lastly, these headphones come with a 1-year extended warranty.

Pros:

  • Strong and sturdy
  • Pocket-friendly
  • Comfortable design
  • Come with 5 pairs of rounded tips and 3 pairs of tree ones
  • Excellent sound Quality
  • Suitable for other sports and activities

Cons: 

  • Come with few accessories and no carrying case

Bottom Line

The H2O Audio Surge + is for minimalists who like to keep things as simple as they can be. The headphones are comfortable to keep on for many hours, and the cord length makes them suitable for other activities, which adds even more value to your money.

Read also: Arctis 7 vs Arctis Pro

How to Pick Waterproof Headphones

In this section, we’ll explain to you different aspects that you should consider when you’re purchasing new headphones for swimming.

IPX Rating

The IPX system helps determine the degree of water-resistance, thus indicating whether it’s safe to use the headphones while swimming or not. There are 9 levels for IPX rating, as follows:

IPX0No Protection
IPX1Protection against condensation and water drops falling vertically
IPX2Protection against water drops sprayed at an angle of 15° vertically
IPX3Protection against water sprayed at an angle of 60° vertically
IPX4Protection against water splashes regardless of the angle
IPX5Protection against low-pressure water streams from any angle
IPX6Protection against high-pressure water streams from any angle
IPX7Protection against water immersion up to 30 minutes with a maximum of 3 feet depth
IPX8Protection against permanent water immersion for up to 13 feet

As per the above, headphones with IPX8 are optimal for swimming, whereas those with IPX7 are only suitable for short swimming sessions. Keep in mind that with IPX8 electronics, the manufacturer should state the optimal duration and the depth of immersion above which the device is liable to damage.

Connectivity

Wireless headphones are more popular than ever. Yet, they’re not suitable for swimming. Although you’ll come across many water-resistant wireless headphones, they’re never waterproof.

In other words, such headphones are great for exercising or running in the rain, but the connection becomes interrupted when they’re submerged in water. Accordingly, all the headphones on our list are wired.

Integrated MP3 Players

As we were just saying, only wired headphones are suitable for swimming. Thus, most swimmers have to look for a separate waterproof mp3 player to use underwater.

The good news is, many modern models like the Sony NWWS413LM and the FINIS Duo come with built-in mp3 players. These headphones have dedicated memory card slots, so you can expand the internal storage and listen to as many songs as you like.

Battery Life

Models that come with integrated mp3 players feature built-in batteries. Considering the battery life guarantees your headphones will be working through the entire swimming session.

Headphones’ batteries aren’t usually charged with conventional chargers or universal connectors. With that in mind, the ones that are charged with standard charges are way better because you don’t have to carry an extra charger around, not to mention, you can effortlessly find a new charger if yours got broken.

Ear Tips

When it comes to ear tips, there’s a lot to consider, including the size, design, and material.

It goes without saying that you should always pick the appropriate size. However, that’s not quite easy when you’re buying headphones from an online store. Luckily, some models come with additional earbuds of different sizes, so you can use the ones that fit the most.

As for the design, most swimming headphones come in an in-ear style because it’s the most stable while swimming and the small design hinders frequent drops and falls.

Lastly, one should choose a material that they’re comfortable with and doesn’t cause any irritation or allergies. Most earbuds are made of either rubber, foam, or silicone.

Build Quality

Swimming headphones should be well-built because they’re exposed to multiple damaging factors from constant water hits to mineral deposition, relatively high pressure, and more.

Accordingly, it’s best to choose headphones that are sturdy enough to withstand prolonged swimming sessions. Steer away from headphones that are entirely made of plastic. Instead, opt for models made of high-quality plastic as well as metal parts to ensure a longer lifetime.

Moreover, the wires should be covered with thick insulation, particularly when swimming at more than 3 feet.

FAQs:

Are There Any Bluetooth Headphones for Swimming?

Unfortunately, Bluetooth connectivity becomes significantly impacted by submersion, so swimming headphones must be wired ones. Nonetheless, you can choose a model that features a built-in MP3 to avoid the hassle caused by wires. 

Can I Swim With Water-Resistant Headphones?

If you usually stay on the water surface, you can use headphones with an IPX7 rating. However, we don’t recommend this if you usually dive under the water surface or you swim for more than 30 minutes because this will damage the headphones. 

Can I Swim With My AirPods Pro?

As great as these headphones are, they’re water and sweat-resistant but not waterproof. Accordingly, they’ll be damaged if you use them while swimming, not to mention, you can easily drop them in the water.

Final Thoughts

There are no ultimate best waterproof headphones for swimming. As you can see, this list includes different headphones that suit different tastes and needs. We also provided you with the key features that will help you understand what works best for you, so we trust you can make the right decision.

From where we stand, the Sony NWWS413LM are the best waterproof headphones for various water activities as they offer plenty of playback time, and you don’t need to purchase a separate waterproof MP3 player. However, if you’re looking for the best sound quality, we recommend trying the Swimbuds Sport Premium instead.

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