9 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming [2021]

Dive right into this buyer guide on the best waterproof headphones that are suitable for swimming.

NameBuilt-in MP3 PlayerForm FactorWrap-around DesignPrice
Sony NW-WS413LM Best OverallYIn-ear EarbudsY BUY
Pyle MP3 Player Bluetooth Headphones Strong Runner-UpYIn-ear EarbudsY BUY
AGPTEK Waterproof Headphones Budget Pick #1NIn-ear EarbudsN BUY
SWMIUSK Waterproof Headphones Budget Pick #2NIn-ear EarbudsN BUY
HydroActive Waterproof Headphones Most CustomizableNIn-ear EarbudsY BUY
Tayogo Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones Most VersatileYBone ConductionY BUY
Swimbuds FlipNIn-ear EarbudsN BUY
FINIS DuoYBone ConductionN BUY
H2O Audio Stream 2YIn-ear EarbudsN BUY

Swimming practice can get tedious oftentimes, especially when you’re trying to get your desired base interval.

Other than energy bars and drinks to help you drill your next 50, swimmers often turn to another source to help them focus better: music. Fast-paced tracks and catch lyrics are proven to improve physical performance.

Michael Phelps with his H2O Audio Surge 2G
Michael Phelps with his H2O Audio Surge 2G

You can even see top Olympian Michael Phelps swears by their headphones.

With today’s pace of innovation, models with “state-of-the-art” features have been popping out left and right. But which features do you really need for a pair of good swimming headphones?

Read on to find out more or utilize the table of content below to help you navigate this guide.

Table of Content

Click and jump to the content you want.

What Are Waterproof Headphones?

Waterproof headphones are basically regular headphones that had their internal circuitry and components waterproofed.

Swimmer with his SONY NWZ-W273S WATERPROOF WALKMAN
Swimmer with his SONY NWZ-W273S WALKMAN

You might be thinking, “Electricity and water don’t go together too well. How do you ACTUALLY prevent water from entering the headphones?”

Enter the hydrophobic coating. The coating repels water particles by having a low-energy surface that promotes the formation of water beads that resist and glide off the headphones’ surface.

How hydrophobic coating works
How hydrophobic coating works

This can be done by either spraying a thin film of chemical coating, or a military-grade nanocoating produced by way of a vacuum environment and plasma activation technology, which are more rugged as the bond is in the nanoscale, making it almost physically impossible to scrape the protective layer off.

IPX Rating

With that comes the IPX rating, the industry standard for waterproofing. The IPX rating starts from IPX0 (virtually non-water-resistant), and goes up to IPX9K (fully waterproof).

The “X” in IPX actually stands for the dustproof rating of a certain object. Since we are dealing with underwater use, this can be disregarded completely.

It is important to note the difference between water-resistant and waterproof.

Water-resistant devices come with a rating of IPX3 to IPX7, with an increasing amount of resistant to droplets and sprays of moisture.

On the other hand, waterproof devices are rated IPX7 to IPX9k. They allow for full immersion in water with increasing depth and time.

Never settle for anything less than IPX8 if you’re serious about using them for lap practice. IPX7 units are usually limited to 30 minutes of continuous use in over 3 ft. of water, while the IPX9K rating hasn’t been used for any kind of audio equipment as of yet.

Now that you have the basics of waterproofing down to a tee, strap on your goggles, as we dive right down to the nitty-gritty details of purchasing headphones that are suitable for swimming.

Buyer’s Guide For Waterproof Headphones

Considering the right factors before jumping the gun is very important, as wasting money on an underperforming product or an overpriced rip-off often leads to buyer’s remorse. Consider asking yourself these questions if you’re set on getting one.

  • What’s the IPX rating?
  • Is it wired or wireless?
  • Does it feature built-in controls? And how accessible are they?
  • How does it stay securely on your while you swim?
  • Will it affect the form of your swimming strokes?

Important Factors To Consider Before Buying A Pair of Waterproof Headphones

If you’ve made it this far, kudos! But before you go rushing to your trusty online shop, take heed. Here are some factors answering the questions above, and other important details to consider before clicking the checkout button.

IPX Rating

As discussed earlier, we cannot stress how important it is to ensure the unit you’re getting actually has a rating of IPX8, which is the minimal IPX rating that one should get for underwater purposes.

Be wary of some vendors who:

  • don’t include the rating on the post,
  • are obscure and unfamiliar, especially with rating claims that seem suspicious.
Taotronics IPX Rating Chart
Taotronics IPX Rating Chart
Know the difference between waterproof and water-resistant. Oftentimes people overlook this label, confusing one for the other. Water-resistant headphones are built to withstand water penetration but in limited degrees, while waterproof ones are physically impervious to water immersion.

Build Quality

Headphones that are waterproof may have higher alloy content (for stainless steel housings) to combat corrosion and mineral deposits. Some manufacturers may highlight these for specialized underwater pressure operation, but take it with a grain of salt.

High-quality plastic housings can withstand the measly pressure in 3 feet of water just as well as their stainless steel counterparts. Wired models also feature thicker wire insulation in conjunction with gold-plated output jacks, for extra protection during extended periods of use underwater.

Integrated MP3 Players

Most people overlook the fact that a separate, equally-waterproof MP3 player is needed when they opt for the wired variants of these headphones. This problem was solved with a simple yet ingenious solution: integrated MP3 players.

With 8GB of memory, it can fit approximately 2000 tracks. But some MP3 players do offer the option of expandable storage space with memory card slots.

The ideal model should have controls for playback, volume control, and power that can be easily operated underwater.

Battery Life

Models with integrated MP3 players rely on batteries to function independently. Although most headphones have a maximum operating capacity of 4 hours, it’s never a bad thing to give yourself some headroom and choose a higher capacity model.

Another thing to note is the use of chargers, as some might have proprietary connectors that are unique and aren’t compatible with conventional ones, making it a pain in the ass when they break down. Try to choose a unit with universal connectors.

Wired Vs. Wireless

There are no wireless headphones that can work effectively under water as of yet, due to the limitation of Bluetooth. While its average range on land is about 10m, it is reduced to mere inches submerged.

With this in mind, it is recommended to stick to wired models for underwater purposes. Nothing beats the sound fidelity from a solid and stable connection, minimal compatibility issues, and you can save a few bucks off without the Bluetooth implementation.

Eartip Styles

These help secure that watertight seal for your ears and that comfortable fit needed for extended hours of use.

Eartips may come in rubber, silicone, foam, or hybrid materials. Eartip styles include flanged designs, ranging from the standard single flange, up to the extreme triple flange, usually referred to as tree tips.

Other styles include fin eartips, which basically fit to the contours of your ear for a more watertight seal, with some designed with low-profiles to maximize comfort when wearing swim caps. This is usually a matter of preference, so try out multiple types and sizes to find optimal fit for you.

Bone Conduction Headphones

Other than in-ear headphones, there’s another type of headphones that you can use for swimming – Bone Conduction Headphones. Using the same principle of sound transfer using vibrations, bone conduction headphones use your cheekbones to transfer sound to your ears.

While some debate the compromise of sound quality going through your skull instead of directly into your ear canal, bone conduction headphones are beneficial for those who are hard of hearing, because you aren’t relying on your ear cavity to transfer sounds anymore.

Trivia: Active Noise-cancellation (ANC) isn’t present in headphones that are suitable for swimming. This is due to the need for an active mic to “listen” for ambient and external sources for noise to duplicate it on the output inversely, effectively canceling out the disturbance.

9 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming 2021

Sony NW-WS413LM

Sony NWWS413LM Headphones
Sony NWWS413LM Headphones

Key Features

  • Form Factor: In-ear
  • IPX8 rating
  • MP3 player/headphone combo
  • Headband design
  • 12 hours of juice (4GB)

Hailing from a reputable brand, the impressive Sony NW-WS413LM packs a lot of neat features in a sleek and ultra-portable package.

Impressive Battery Dynamics

The Sony NW-WS413LM features 12 hours of nonstop playback, with an incredible charge rate of 3 minutes for 60 minutes of playback, or a blistering 36 minutes for a full charge.

Sony NWWS413LM 's proprietary charging clip
Sony NWWS413LM ‘s proprietary charging clip
It comes with a proprietary charging clip, though. Handle with care at every use, and try not to misplace them.

Comfortable Fit

The Sony NWWS413LM’s flexible headband design allows for a great fit for larger-sized heads and even includes an adjustment loop if you sport a smaller noggin.

Wide Compatibility With File Types

The Sony NWWS413LM is ensured to work with iTunes-downloaded tracks and features a drag-and-drop interface for easy music loading. Featuring 4GBs of memory, you won’t be running out of songs as you paddle through your routine.

Ambient Noise Mode

The Sony NWWS413LM features an ambient noise mode that can be activated through a button. This makes use of a microphone to listen to surrounding noise and playing it back, so you can keep track of what’s happening around you.

Additional Eartips

While they include two sets of regular and swimming ear tips(7 pairs), the swimming ones feature a thin protective film that degrades the music quality significantly. Better secure aftermarket swimming tips for a muffle-free listening experience.

The Sony NW-WS413LM is specially designed to operate seamlessly in saltwater! Swimming with the fish ain’t so bad after all.
Open sea swimming with Sony NWWS413LM
Open sea swimming with Sony NWWS413LM

Drawbacks

Although the ambient noise mode is a thoughtful addition, this can be a double-edged sword. Using this, your music will have multiple interferences upon playback. Add the low volume even on max settings, users can have trouble hearing their music clearly. Make sure to use it only if you really need to.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

What We Like
  • Quick charging and long-lasting
  • Comfortable and adjustable fit
  • Simple, easy-to-use controls and interface
  • Can be used on saltwater
What We Don't Like
  • Ambient noise mode may hinder music
  • Low volume even on max settings
  • Proprietary charging clip can easily be lost

Pyle MP3 Player Bluetooth Headphones

Pyle MP3 Headphones
Pyle MP3 Headphones

Key Features

  • IPX8 rating
  • Form Factor: In-ear
  • MP3 player/headphone combo
  • 10 hrs of battery (2hrs to charge fully)
  • 8GB flash memory

Stepping it up a notch is the Pyle MP3 Player Bluetooth Headphone. With an ergonomic banded design and minimal footprint construction, the Pyle MP3 Player Bluetooth Headphone combo is a contender for lightweight and portability awards.

Flexible And Comfortable Fit

The Pyle MP3 Player Bluetooth Headphone combo features a banded design that can be configured to be a headband or neckband, depending on your preference. Whatever shape your noggin is, you can rock this pair with relative ease without worrying about irritation.

Decent Sound Quality

For a budget pair of headphones, one would expect mediocre sound output. However, the Pyle MP3 Player Bluetooth Headphone combo delivers pretty decent sound quality, even underwater.

Superb Battery Life

While no one actually swims for hours on hours (unless you’re adrift at sea from a wreck), the Pyle MP3 Player Bluetooth Headphone combo’s solid 10-hour battery life ensures you’re set for each practice session. That’s an incredible value for money, considering it only takes 2 hours to fully charge it up.

Bluetooth Connectivity

The Pyle MP3 Player Bluetooth Headphone combo can double as a Bluetooth headset as well, but the technology is virtually useless underwater, with its range greatly diminished by the deep blue. However, it can serve you well for other purposes such as jogging and cycling, sharing compatibility with universal devices such as iPhones, Android phones, tablets, and more.

If you think this is unnecessary, a non-Bluetooth version is also available at a hefty discount.

Included Eartips

The Pyle MP3 Player Bluetooth Headphone combo’s included ear tip size allocation is rather impractical. It has three sizes for dry use, but only two for swimming, which is its intended purpose. You might have issues with fitting so prepare to shop for compatible ear tips that actually fit you well.

Swimmer wearing Pyle MP3 Headphones
Swimmer wearing Pyle MP3 Headphones

Drawbacks

The Pyle MP3 Player Bluetooth Headphone combo doesn’t work too well with Apple-supported file formats such as AAC and M4A. If you decide to migrate songs from your iTunes service, make sure they are in MP3, WMA, APE, FLAC, or WMV for them to be recognized properly.

Plus, despite the comfortable band, we can’t say the same with the ear tips. The silicone ear tips themselves may sometimes fall when doing intense freestyles. Some may even have a hard time placing them inside the ears. This is all because of the not-so-practical ear tip allocation. The control buttons are also smaller than usual. So you might find it difficult to access them, sometimes.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

What We Like
  • 10 hours of battery life
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Comfortable and secure fit (headband)
  • 8GB built-in storage, 2000 song capacity
What We Don't Like
  • Not for Apple-supported file formars
  • Ear tip allocation impractical
  • Control buttons are rather small

AGPTEK Waterproof Headphones

AGPTEK Waterproof Headphones
AGPTEK Waterproof Headphones

Key Features

  • Form Factor: In-ear
  • IPX8 rating
  • Coiled Cable
  • Multiple ear tips styles for comfortable and snug fit

One of the more affordable waterproof headphones offered by Amazon is the AGPTEK Waterproof Headphones. A relatively new player in the portable audio market, AGPTEK does well to deliver decent quality at a very affordable price.

Excellent Sound Quality

The AGPTEK headphones provide a crisp and clear sound quality by way of proper frequency balancing (lows, mids, and highs), while providing noise-isolation as well. Feel free to perfect your swimming drills while submerging in a whole new musical experience to hype you up.

Coiled Earphone Cords

The coiled cable can extend up to 35cm
The coiled cable can extend up to 35cm

The last thing you want while swimming is having tangled cords. That is why AGPTEK has a smart solution to this – coiled earphone cords. You can have an extended length of up to 35 cm. But if you don’t need that extended length, it coils back to 16cm. Hurray to unlimited flip turns!

Awesome Sidekick

AGPTEK 8GB MP3 Player
AGPTEK 8GB MP3 Player

The AGPTEK Headphones is just a standalone waterproof earphones with no built-in MP3 player. However, you can get a bundled version of AGPTEK Headphones and its own brand of waterproof MP3 player on Amazon.

The AGPTEK MP3 Player boasts 8GB of internal memory, allowing you to fit approximately 2000 tracks and shuffle them away, and is compatible with MP2, WMA, and WAV file formats. It also sports an astounding 18 hours of juice on medium volumes, with just 1.5 hours of charging.

Agptek headphones + MP3 player
Agptek headphones + MP3 player

Drawbacks

The AGPTEK Waterproof MP3 Player isn’t too friendly with iTunes-sourced files. Apple-supported file formats, especially .M4A, aren’t recognized by the player, so make sure to download the indicated formats above for a seamless experience.

There are also no in-line controls on the earbuds themselves. So you’ll have to always reach for the MP3 player to pause/play/skip tracks. Additionally, the nano-coating on these earphones can only last for 30 minutes underwater. This may prevent you from enjoying the headphones throughout your whole training.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

What We Like
  • Super affordable
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Comfortable and secure fit
  • 16 hours of battery life at medium levels
  • 8GB built-in storage, room for 2000 songs
What We Don't Like
  • Does not work with iTunes-sourced files
  • No in-line controls on earbuds
  • 30-minute underwater limit

SWMIUSK Waterproof Headphones

Close look at SWMIUSK Waterproof Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at SWMIUSK Waterproof Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • 3-layer waterproof earplug design
  • Loud volume
  • Clear tone
  • Compatible with any device with a 3.5mm jack
  • Suitable for use under heavy rains, in the shower, or any water sports
  • 38cm cord for tangle-free use with a head-mounted audio player

Contrary to popular belief, high-quality waterproof headphones aren’t always expensive. And the SWMIUSK Waterproof Headphones prove just that. If you already have a waterproof MP3 player, this pair’s for you.

They’re an excellent choice for your daily workout, whether it’s underwater or not.

If you don’t have a waterproof MP3 Player ready, these can also come with an MP3 and headphones bundle.

Comfortable and snug fit for hours

The SWMIUSK is ergonomically designed so that you can wear it comfortably even for extended hours. You can try out the 4 different sized tips included to find the best match for your ears. These, and the free clips, make sure these earbuds won’t fall no matter how intense your activities are.

Clear and loud music even when underwater

With an IPX8 rating, this pair of headphones are 100% waterproof. That means you get to continue listening to your favorite tunes while doing your daily laps. You can enjoy swimming, surfing, or running in the rain.

And, unlike others, these headphones’ volume is loud enough. Even when submerged underwater, the sound doesn’t get distorted or muffled.

Not just for swimming

SWMIUSK Waterproof Headphones aren’t just built for swimming. They are made to be cost-effective companions for virtually any sport. The earbuds themselves come with a short cord, which is great for swimming. But they also have an extension cord for when you want to use them on the ground.

The sound quality also won’t change whether you are underwater or above.

Person swimming with SWMIUSK Waterproof Headphones (From: Amazon)
Person swimming with SWMIUSK Waterproof Headphones (From: Amazon)

Drawbacks

Because of the great price, you should expect to compromise some things. For one, the cord is a bit too thin. This makes them prone to damage after a few months of wear and tear.

Additionally, the earbuds themselves are made of plastic. So dropping or accidentally bumping them on walls can permanently damage the earbuds.

Tip: Make sure to wash them with fresh water and wipe dry every after use to extend its lifespan. For other tips, check out this guide.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

What We Like
  • Multiple silicone tips included
  • The short cord doesn’t get in the way when you’re swimming
  • Cord extender is included for other activities
  • Sound quality and volume is good
  • IPX8-rated
  • Super affordable price
What We Don't Like
  • Cheap build quality

HydroActive Waterproof Headphones

HydroActive Short-Cord Headphones
HydroActive Short-Cord Headphones

Key Features

  • Form Factor: In-ear
  • IPX8 rating
  • Headband design
  • 4 ear tip styles included (11 pairs total)

Underwater Audio is back on the list with the HydroActive Short-Cord Headphones, a straightforward pair of swimming earbuds with everything you need from sculling, to heated practice sessions.

Protection Chamber And Heavy-Duty Casing

The waterproof earbuds feature a special “dry” chamber that keeps the water out in the event of ear flooding, keeping a barrier between water and electronics, without impairing playback.

In addition to this, heavy-duty plastic is used on the casing, and a para-aramid synthetic fiber to reinforce wiring, resisting the effects of mineral/chemical leach and the wear brought on by underwater drag.

Swimmer wearing the HydroActive Short-Cord Headphones
Swimmer wearing the HydroActive Short-Cord Headphones

Ergonomic Design And Fit

The waterproof headphone’s banded design provides a snug and comfortable fit, while the unique funnel shape of the housing directs the soundwaves for a fuller sound. A short cord leading to a 3.5 mm jack ensures a no-hassle wearing experience.

Eartip Styles

The HydroActive Short-Cord Headphones sport four different styles, with three specially made for swimming: the Ergo tips, which fit on the outer ear, Tree tips that go deep with its triple flange, and Fin Tips, which are a hybrid between the two.

Different ear tips provided by HydroActive
Different ear tips provided by HydroActive

With this wide variety of tips, you’re sure to find that sweet-spot of a fit that stays taut even in the most sudden of turns.

Drawbacks

As the HydroActive Short-Cord Headphones is a standalone pair without a player, it requires a waterproof MP3 player to function properly. Only get this pair if you already have one.

If you can spend a few more bucks, you can alsopurchase the bundled version. This includes the Ironman Delphin, an intuitive Android MP3 player with 16GBs of memory. It also has a tube of the Aqua-Guard gel to protect your hair when swimming.

However, those with bigger heads might have some problems with fit and comfort, as the neckband is a tad bit tight. Users also need to be careful when switching tips as the plastic retainer is surprisingly fragile than the rest of the build.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

What We Like
  • Taut and comfortable fit
  • Protection chamber incase of flooding
  • 4 ear tip styles included (11 pairs)
What We Don't Like
  • Standalone pair of headphones
  • May be too tight for some users
  • Eartip retainer is fragile

Tayogo Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones

Tayogo Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones
Tayogo Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones

Key Features

  • Form Factor: Bone conduction
  • IPX8 rating
  • Exceptional build quality
  • 8GB memory, 5hr playtime

The Tayogo Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones (Tayogo) is the first of its kind in our list. Using innovative bone conduction tech, conventionality and function is brought to a whole new level.

Bone Conduction Technology

You won’t need any kind of ear tips(which might be uncomfortable for some) for the Tayogo. By directing the vibrations to your cheekbones, music is effectively transmitted without direct ear contact. Apart from this, those with hearing problems will benefit as well.

Enhance sound quality by using a pair of earplugs. This will eliminate ambient noise from entering your ear cavity, making for a fuller sonic experience.

Integrated MP3 Player

As the name suggests, the Tayogo has a dedicated player that has 8GBs of memory, enjoying approximately 2000 songs worth of storage. The controls are large yet streamlined, making them accessible and easy to operate.

The battery life is on the short side, however. With just 5 hours of continuous playback on average, it is edged out by others on the list with up to triple the amount.

The lithium battery needs charging at least once every 2 months, otherwise, battery life might degrade.

Great Build Quality

The Tayogo has a rigid, extra-durable housing that feels premium to the touch. It is even designed to withstand 140°F, with a 5m depth limit. Hot springs galore!

Swimmer wearing the Tayogo Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones
Swimmer wearing the Tayogo Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones

Drawbacks

Just like other non-Apple based players, the Tayogo has a hard time with iTunes-based file formats, especially M4A.

Moreover, the Bluetooth option isn’t recommended underwater. The water actually serves as an interference so the signal gets blocked out. Also, opening the charging port needs some getting used to. It has no indent so it’s hard to open, especially with recently filed nails. This is a security feature Tayogo has done to make sure the water won’t get in the port, though.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

What We Like
  • Bone Conduction technology
  • Ergonomic, no need for eartips
  • 8GB memory (approx. 2000 songs)
  • 5-meter limit, can withstand up to 140°F
  • Has a handy smartphone app for extra functions
What We Don't Like
  • Incompatible with most Apple file formats
  • Bluetooth is useless underwater
  • Charging port may be hard to open

Swimbuds Flip

Swimbuds Flip Waterproof Short-Cord Headphones
Swimbuds Flip Short-Cord Headphones

Key Features

  • Form Factor: In-ear
  • IPX8 rating
  • Exceptional build and sound quality
  • 3 Tree tips included

The Swimbuds Flip Short-Cord Headphones (Swimbuds Flip) is Underwater Audio’s answer to budget-oriented consumers, who care about price to performance more than anything else.

Pioneered by the premium Swimbuds Sport and the Hydroactive models, Underwater Audio aims to provide the same level of quality and performance at a friendlier price, thus, the Swimbuds Flip were born!

Rugged And Ergonomic Build Quality

The Swimbuds Flip features a sturdy housing and rugged cord quality, braving the incessant wear and tear on each use. The cord features extra-thick wiring and even an L-shaped jack for better ergonomics underwater.

Excellent Sound Quality Underwater

The Swimbuds Flip’s unique chamber shape helps greatly in improving the listening experience when submerged underwater. It guides soundwaves in an optimal direction to “amplify” sound levels.

As expected of Underwater Audio, clarity is top-notch, and sound quality is balanced between the lows, mids, and highs. Rest assured you’ll be paddling in rhythm with your jam on blast.

Quality Eartips

The Swimbuds Flip comes with the premium Tree-styled tips featuring the triple-flanged design for that impermeable seal even in the most demanding of routines. With sizes of S, M, and L, you’re sure to find that perfect Cinderella fit for your ears.

Swimmer wearing the Swimbuds Flip
Swimmer wearing the Swimbuds Flip

Drawbacks

As stated, the Swimbuds Flip does not come with an integrated MP3 player. Opt for this only if you already have a waterproof player. There is a bundled kit available, however, with the 8GB SYRYN Waterproof Player.

Ergonomically designed for less drag and easy operation, the SYRYN player is the perfect pairing for a seamless swimming experience.

These earbuds are also only made for swimming purposes. If used on land, the sound quality decreases. This makes it fall a bit short compared to other swimming headphones on the list.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

What We Like
  • Impermeable seal (3 tree-style tips)
  • Comfortable and ergonomic
  • Top-notch sound quality
  • Affordable offering
What We Don't Like
  • Needs a separate MP3 Player
  • Works better on water than on land

FINIS Duo

FINIS Duo
FINIS Duo

Key Features

  • Form Factor: Bone conduction
  • IPX8 rating
  • Easy to use interface
  • 4GB memory (approx.1000 songs), 7hr playtime
  • Supports Apple-based formats

The FINIS Duo Bone Conduction Headphones & MP3 Player (Finis Duo) is our second contender using the bone conduction technology.

Bone Conduction Technology

As mentioned, bone conduction headphones offer a plethora of benefits including a seamless fit, lesser points of failure, and optimal for those with hearing problems. However, getting used to it might be a bit awkward at first, and might need some time getting used to them.

Great Playback Functions

With 4GBs (approx. 1000 songs) and 7 hours of playback on this baby, you’ll get all wrinkly before running out of tunes and juice. The extra-large buttons are well-placed on the side of the FINIS Duo’s housing, making them easy to access and operate.

It even supports Apple-based file formats, so go crazy in your song choices with this one.

Extra Features

The FINIS Duo has a strong magnetic dock for charging/transferring files. This ensures proper contact at all times, preventing file corruption or charge interruption.

Swimmer wearing FINIS Duo
Swimmer wearing FINIS Duo

Drawbacks

While the FINIS Duo can endure over 3 meters of immersion, its 30-minute limit cuts the fun/routine short.

These headphones also don’t have a solid band to hold it in place and instead latches onto your goggles for security against your cheekbones. You’ll have to be careful in tucking them in place, as the lack of reinforcement makes it prone to tear.

Lastly, the charging contacts can potentially collect mineral buildup with frequent use. Use a CLR cleaning solution to submerge the contacts for about 4 hours, and they’re good as new!

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

What We Like
  • Bone Conduction technology
  • Ergonomic, no need for eartips
  • 4GB memory (approx. 1000 songs)
  • 7 hours playback time
  • Extra large buttons for easy access
  • Compatible with Apple-based formats
What We Don't Like
  • Only 30 mins of continuous use underwater
  • Clipping on goggles might be awkward
  • Prone to mineral deposits on charging contacts

H2O Audio Stream 2

Close look at H2O Audio Stream 2 (From: Amazon)
Close look at H2O Audio Stream 2 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Support for M4A, MP3, WMA, GLAC, and APE formats
  • H20 Audio Surge headphones for superior sound
  • Convenient volume and track buttons
  • Can connect via Bluetooth
  • Compatibility with smartphones for Spotify and Pandora
  • IPX8 rated for up to 12ft submersion
  • Hydrodynamic design for proper earbud alignment

After over 15 years of development, H2O Audio comes up with these promising waterproof headphones and MP3 player combo. It’s one of the few sets that also supports Apple iTunes, and all other music formats. Plus, you can play either via Bluetooth or via an internal memory!

The H2O Audio Stream 2 is one of your best bets when it comes to versatility and functionality.

Enjoy incredible underwater sound

For some waterproof headphones, it’s enough to just be able to play music underwater without giving audio quality much thought. But the H2O Audio Stream 2 takes underwater listening to a whole new level. Their headphone technology makes use of premium quality sound components inside. These ensure that the best possible sound is delivered even when you are 12 feet underwater.

Easy to use even while doing laps

The H2O Audio Stream 2 is designed with swimmers in mind as evident with its hydrodynamic design. You’ll be able to use it during your laps with no hassle.

It has a built-in rotating clip that you can easily attach to any goggles. The control buttons for volume and tracks are conveniently located so you can easily reach them. You even get an assortment of tips so you can find the right fit.

The included MP3 player can also last for up to 10 hours of continuous playback.

Get access to more music options

With its capacity of 8GB, you can store more than 2000 songs in the MP3. Plus, it supports all the typical music formats. Whether it’s M4A, MP3, WMA, FLAC, or APE, these headphones can handle them for you. You can easily drag and drop your favorite songs from your laptop or PC, and enjoy them while training.

But the H2O Audio Stream 2 doesn’t stop there. If you feel like trying a new playlist, you can also connect it via Bluetooth. This enables you to connect to your smartphones and stream music from Spotify or Pandora. Its wireless range is up to 30 feet or 10 meters.

Surely, with these, you can get access to any song you can think of.

Man wearing H2O Audio Stream 2 underwater (From: Amazon)
Man wearing H2O Audio Stream 2 underwater (From: Amazon)

Drawbacks

The H2O Audio Stream is clearly a great choice for swimmers and other sports enthusiasts. But if there’s one thing lacking, it’s that it would be so much better if Bluetooth also worked underwater. However, they cleared that up in the product description so you shouldn’t be expecting it anyway.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

What We Like
  • Ergonomic design for swimmers
  • IPX8 rating
  • Enough memory for thousands of songs
  • Bluetooth receiver allows music streaming from your phone
  • Sound quality is great
  • Comes with different-sized ear tips
  • No jack corrosion
  • Long battery life
What We Don't Like
  • Bluetooth doesn’t connect underwater

Notable Mention

Click on the title to see full review.

AfterShokz Xtrainerz

AfterShokz Xtrainerz
AfterShokz Xtrainerz

Key Features

  • Form Factor: Bone conduction
  • IP68 rating
  • 4GB memory, 8 hours battery life
  • MP3 player/headphone combo
  • Wraparound titanium design for a comfortable fit

At the upper end of the price spectrum is the AfterShokz Xtrainerz, proudly carrying the banner of Aftershokz, a pioneer in bone conduction technology solutions.

Aftershockz Xtrainerz could’ve easily been one of the top waterproof headphones on this list. However, their stocks fluctuate fast, leaving us no choice but to put them in notable mentions instead.

Bone Conduction Technology

Just like other entries on this list, the AfterShokz Xtrainerz has both benefits and drawbacks of bone conduction headphones. The unique design helps in keeping track of your surroundings while listening to music, since your ears are free to pick up soundwaves. Those hard of hearing can also enjoy their tunes better now.

As for sound quality, you might want to lower your expectations since audio accuracy can vary greatly in bone conduction units. This shouldn’t discourage you from getting a pair, however, as the PremiumPitch 2.0+ feature offers a better dynamic range and fuller bass experience.

Excellent Ergonomics

The AfterShokz Xtrainerz boasts a complete wraparound titanium design, ensuring a comfortable yet taut fit on your head. You won’t even notice it due to its lightweight profile, which is great for long durations of use. The minimalist design allows it to be tucked under your swim cap as well, ensuring better security while doing laps.

The four main controls (Mode, Power/Multifunction, Volume Level) are easily accessible and have tactile feedback. You won’t have to fumble around toggling between songs mid-swim anytime soon.

AfterShokz Xtrainerz Swimmer
Swimmer with the AfterShokz Xtrainerz

Decent Storage And Battery Levels

Carrying a solid 8-hour battery life and 4GBs of storage (1200~ songs), the AfterShokz Xtrainerz can go toe to toe with other bone conduction headphones and even conventional ones in the juice department.

The AfterShokz Xtrainerz supports MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, and FLAC formats, meaning iTunes-downloaded tracks are welcome here.

The AfterShokz Xtrainerz has a proprietary charging cradle, which serves as a data link to transfer music and detecting moisture.

Extra Features

The AfterShokz Xtrainerz has a voice-over function called AudreySays, that guides the user when switching from function to function. In line with this, the AfterShokz Xtrainerz also has several modes that can be accessed by using a combination of its four control buttons.

The Mode button on the AfterShokz Xtrainerz can be toggled for regular (dry) or underwater use. This alters the equalization of the audio, fitting the application you desire.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

What We Like
  • Bone conduction technology
  • Simple, easy-to-use controls on the player
  • Comfortable and secure fit
  • 8 hours of battery life
  • Compatible with Apple file formats
  • Handy voice-over function
What We Don't Like
  • Passable audio quality
  • Proprietary charger unit

Swimming Accessories For Better Audio That You Can Buy

To accompany you on your journey with your new pair of waterproof headphones, here are some accessories you can get to enhance your underwater experience.

Fitgoo Earbud Insertion Helper

Fitgoo
Fitgoo

Sounds like a name for some weird hydration formula for health junkies, right? Kidding aside, Fitgoo is actually a waterproofing gel you can apply to your headphones’ ear tipsto create a watertight seal, for a more secure fit and a seamless listening experience. Gone are the days of flooded ear canals and ruined swim routines, with the Fitgoo Earbud Insertion Helper.

If you’re adamant about water going where it shouldn’t be, you can even use it to outline your goggle frames for the same effect.

Ironman Delphin Music Player By Underwater Audio

Ironman Delphin
Ironman Delphin

The Ironman Delphin is an intuitive waterproof music player by Underwater Audio. If you want something premium, then this player is for you.

Android Interface

The Ironman Delphin uses an Android operating system, just like phones and tablets. Download your favorite streaming platform like Spotify and Pandora via wifi, and stream your tunes seamlessly. You won’t even need a PC to download music – just a few taps on its touch screen interface – and you’re good to go.

Accessibility And Fitting

Its external buttons for playback control are prominent enough for underwater access, and the built-in clip is handy for attachment when swimming.

Walkerfit Stream Music Player

Walkerfit Waterproof Stream Music Player
Walkerfit Stream Music Player

If you’re going for that sporty vibe, take a gander at the Walkerfit Stream Music Player.

Hydrodynamic Design

When you’ve got the need for speed, even the slightest form of resistance can hinder your performance. With the Walkerfit Stream Music Player, gone are the underwater drag woes. Its streamlined and ergonomic design makes a path of least resistance, without sacrificing playback control and aesthetics.

Battery And Storage

Boasting 8 hours of life and 8 gigabytes of storage, you’re more likely to shrivel up first before running out of juice and tunes.

Waterproof iPod Shuffle By Underwater Audio

Waterproof iPod Shuffle
Waterproof iPod Shuffle

Another Underwater Audio offering, but this time, in a more familiar, nostalgic format.

Classic iPod Shuffle Design

Take a walk down memory lane with the iconic iPod Shuffle tweaked by Underwater Audio, sporting 2GB of storage, an impressive 15 hour runtime, classic playback control and buttons, eye-candy color variations, all in a fully-waterproof package. And oh – it even comes with the essential voice-over function.

Conclusion

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end! Shopping for headphones, especially one for swimming, is far from lazing along on floating practice. Many factors need to be considered, with waterproofing quality and comfort among the most important of them.

Swimmer wearing waterproof headphones
Swimmer wearing headphones

We hope this comprehensive guide has cleared your minds of questions and misconceptions. Upon completing this crash course on hunting waterproof headphones, you have walked out as someone with a better sense of value, and might have picked up a few fun facts along the way.

With teary eyes and trembling smiles we say, “Go, tiger, pick out your first pair and make us proud!”

5 comments

  1. Been swimming with the Syryn MP3 player (clips to the back of my swim goggles) and its Swimbuds earphones which fit into the ear the same way earplugs might. Working great. Available on Amazon for under $60.

  2. Helpful info, thanks. Ideally I’d bluetooth my current audiobook while swimming, but I gather water interferes with bluetooth effectiveness. I could load audiobooks just for swimming, but can’t find any headphones with playback resume facility.

  3. I have been swimming with a Pyle headset for a while, and have found a major difficulty when using with audiobooks. The headset does not play the individual files (book chapters) in standard alphanumerical order. After a long round of communications with Pyle support (during which I received a gratis second headset apparently on the possibility that I had a defective unit), I finally asked “Does Pyle make a waterproof unit that will play the files in the correct order?”, and received the following response from Richard Levy at Pyle Support: “There is no waterproof headset that can play music in the order that you assigned. They all play in random order.”

    Note that the so-called “random” order is not immediately obvious. For two different books which I tested on two Pyle MP3 headsets, whose chapters were in files named in alphanumerical order, the files were played ALMOST in order, except that Chapter 01 was played first, followed by chapters 10 thru 19, then chapter 02 followed by chapters 20 thru 29, then chapter 03 followed by chapters 30 thru 39, etc.

    1. This happens because it follows the lexicographic order, to have run in the correct order you should rename them

      001 Chapter
      002 Chapter
      003 Chapter
      ….
      010 Chapter
      011 Chapter
      ….
      020 Chapter
      021 Chapter

Leave a Reply