We’ve taken the plunge and tested the best swimming headphones so you can rest assured you’re choosing the best for your pool sessions.
While many sports headphones are marketed as water-resistant to varying degrees, if you intend to soundtrack your swim with a motivational playlist or educational podcast, this is far from the only consideration.
For one thing, you have to think about where any music is going to play. Your phone is unlikely to be waterproof or convenient to carry while swimming. At the same time, wireless communication protocols such as Bluetooth struggle underwater.
This means that while it is possible to find a standalone waterproof MP3 player, most successful swimming headphones tend to incorporate an integrated MP3 player and internal storage into a single unit so you can take your tunes with you to the pool. As technology has gotten smaller, so have they become lighter, comfortable, and cheaper with more storage for your tracks.
Some work like traditional in-ear headphones, while others use bone conduction technology to transmit sound without blocking your ear canal so you can still hear ambient noise. We have created a mix of both, so that you can choose the style that suits your liking.
Update: it’s almost amazon prime day 2021, which lands on June 21 and June 22 this year. That means we can all expect great deals and deductions over 24 hours a day. We don’t know which devices will go down low when Prime Day arrives, but we do know there are likely to be some discounted waterproof headphones — some of which are included on this list.
Make sure you keep checking Nerdshala during Prime Day 2021 this year, because we’ll be highlighting the best deals as they land.
An excellent choice for sporty types of all kinds, these slim-fitting Bone waterproof headphones work both in and out of the pool. With an inbuilt MP3 player, they let you take your tunes with you while you swim, while also allowing you to practice music away from your phone.
When swimming, we found that aftershocks externals are best paired with swimming goggles or a swim cap to keep them in place. Like many of the best waterproof headphones, they use vibrations to transmit sound to your auditory nerve without blocking the ear canal. The bit of headphones that manage this sit right in front of the ear, and three small buttons on the back of the right ear let you navigate, play, and pause your tracks.
With a dedicated swim mode, the sound provided is clear enough, while not only will your ears be free of potential irritants, you’ll be able to hear ambient noise, like a lifeguard whistling at you for excessive splashing.
That same factor means that sound bleeds when you’re on top of the water, so while great for cycling or running, they can annoy anyone sitting next to you on the bus.
Though offset by other benefits, the lack of Bluetooth means you’re left with the headphones plugged in to upload songs or podcasts, and they won’t do any pairing with your phone to take calls. Still, if swimming is your main concern, these are an excellent option.
read our full Aftershocks Xtrainerz Review
A set of Sony headphones with a built-in MP3 player, the Walkman NW-WS413 is marketed for general active use and works like any other. The fact that they are waterproof and ideal for swimming is a huge bonus.
Available with 4GB or 8GB of storage, this and the buttons on either side leave them a little bigger than usual, but that’s not the case. They come with four sets of earbuds—two standard ones and two matching swim-specific versions—though mixing the two won’t hurt.
Once popped on, a sprung connective clasp around the back of your neck ensures both sides stay secure in your ears. It’s totally acceptable in the pool, and if you’re too fast against the wall, a cap will lock these swimming headphones in place.
Depending on how the water flows around your ears, the sound quality can be either excellent or a little muffled. However, those who care about such things may find it an improvement over the one provided by bone conduction waterproof headphones. There’s even an ambient sound mode that improves your ability to hear what’s going on around you.
They also look great on dry land. If you are a swimmer and just want to have one set of headphones, then these should be well on your list. Although you can’t connect them to your phone, they’re otherwise great for both sports and general use. With high sound quality, general looks, and a comparatively low price, they have a lot to recommend.
The Finis Duo waterproof headphones have been around for a while, but are a good option nonetheless. They use bone conduction technology to transmit sound underwater through your cheekbones, Finis’ twin units attached to either side of your glasses. There are large buttons on one of the ear pendants so you can fast forward, rewind, shuffle and play or pause your tracks.
With a massive 4GB of flash memory, you’ll be able to store up to a thousand songs depending on the file size, while the battery provides about seven hours of continuous use. Audiophiles may not be impressed by the sound quality, but at the same time, you’re likely to have less fiddling than with more traditional in-ear headphones.
Back on dry land, charging and uploading is achieved via a magnetic, USB-based dock. However we found that it is necessary to regularly clean the very small charging points on the device as they can become clogged.
Still a solid choice, the Finis Duo now faces competition from smaller and less intrusive systems. Connecting to your glasses also means that, unlike some other waterproof headphones, they’re only usable for swimming, not other activities. It’s worth considering if time in the water is your only concern, they are a fairly specialized product.
Like the Finis Duo above, the H2O Audio Sonars are bone conduction waterproof headphones that clip securely to your swimming goggles and transmit sound to your auditory nerve without the need for earplugs (unless you’re wearing a pair of headphones). choose).
The buttons are large with raised markings, so you can operate them with wet hands, and change tracks by feel.
Unlike many waterproof headphones, the H2O Audio Sonar can also play music via Bluetooth—though that’s limited by the range of Bluetooth underwater. When the receiver is submerged the signal will only be around 4in, so you’ll need to pair your smartwatch to your glasses for this to work (streaming from the phone isn’t possible).
It’s nice to have another option if you regularly use your watch for streaming music, but Audio Sonar’s generous 8GB of on-board storage will be plenty for most swimmers. If you have an Apple Watch, check out H2O Audio’s Interval headphones, which position your watch body behind your swim cap so you can stream tunes from Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more.
Unlike most waterproof headphones, the Nabaiji Swimmusic 100 V3 has a separate MP3 player that connects via a 3mm jack. It’s more convenient for charging and transferring music, as you don’t need to plug the entire headset into a charger or your computer, and that means the headphones are suitable for wearing with your phone on dry land.
The Swimmusic 100 V3 are traditional earbuds, which means you’re unable to hear ambient sound while swimming as you can with a bone conduction headset. However, there is a choice of six tip sizes and shapes to help ensure you get a secure fit, as well as silicone ‘ear fins’ in three sizes so that you can slip on while you swim.
They can be used in pools or open water, but make sure you lift them well after a dip in salt water to avoid rust.
Their design is relatively simple, but the Nabaiji Swimmusic 100 V3 works,…