Majority of athletes and active persons listen to music while exercising. It helps to pass the time and can energize you when you’re having an off day. Unfortunately listening to music isn’t so easy when you’re a swimmer or have the potential of getting wet. Most headphones aren’t waterproof and a simply splash can leave them dead. Finding truly waterproof headphones that can be completely submerged or soaked is tricky, but well worth the effort.
Here are the top 3 waterproof headphone devices.
Underwater Audio Swimbuds
As their name suggests, Underwater Audio focuses on providing audio solutions for athletes that need waterproof headphones for activities in, around and under water. Their special headphone designs and waterproofing technology are easily some of the best. While other brands may produce a waterproof version of their headphones, Underwater Audio focuses on producing products that are easy to use, offer superior sound quality and will last longer than the competition.
The Swimbuds waterproof headphones are perfect for swimming laps and general use around water. These are one of their more basic models but continues to be a customer favorite thanks to its versatility.
Specs and Features:
- Retails for $40 (Swimbuds 100% Waterproof Headphones Designed for Flip Turns!)
- Available in White or Black
- Short cord for tangle-free use
- 100% waterproof
- Versatile for use in the pool, near water or daily use at home/work/school
- Waterproof earbuds designed for submersion up to 10′
- Normal earbuds designed for dry or “splash-zone” wear
- Can handle swimming, steam and even an accidental cycle through the washing machine
- Kink-free cord handles wrapping around goggle strap without damage
- One pair of headphones
- 39″ extension cord
- 4 pairs of waterproof earbuds
- 1 pair normal earbuds
Normally headphone cords are quite long, but for the purposes of swimming the typical cord can be a hassle. Most swimmers will loop the cord around their google band to keep it out of the way, and the Swimbuds 10″ short cord means you won’t have as much cable to loop. Underwater Audio also includes a 39″ extension cord so you can still use these headphones when you’re out of the pool.
For the most part customers find Swimbuds to offer a high quality sound and are comfortable for extended periods of time underwater. The waterproof earbuds come in small, medium and large sizes to ensure you get a snug fit. With the proper size the chances of earbuds falling out is slim, but possible if you are doing a lot of flips and turns.
Overall the Underwater Audio Swimbuds are perfect for swimmers or athletes that want something budget-friendly, reliable and can be used in or out of the pool. For only $40 these are a no-brainer if you already have a waterproof MP3 player and only need earbuds/headphones. If you don’t already have an MP3 player Underwater Audio also sells a waterproof iPod shuffle, which can be purchased as a bundle with the Swimbuds.
The FINIS Duo Underwater Bone Conduction MP3 Playeris a unique cross between headphones and an actual MP3 player. The Duo is a complete package. It functions as an independent MP3 player and delivers sound via bone conduction audio transmission. The device rests snugly but comfortably against the cheekbone which sends the sound of the music to the inner ear. This technology eliminates the need for traditional earbuds or headphones.
While bone conduction audio transmission is still an improving technology, many are already firm fans. Having an “open ear” experience can really come in handy, especially for swimmers. If you are training with a coach or partner, you will be able to hear them better. Those with very sensitive ears that don’t like the clogged feeling of earbuds will find this to be the perfect solution.
Specs and features:
- Retails for $119 (FINIS Duo Underwater Bone Conduction MP3 Player.)
- Available in Dark Gray/Mint or Black/Acid Green
- Words via bone conduction without use of earbuds
- Supports major audio files
- Compatible with iTunes, podcasts and audiobooks
- Offers 4GB of storage
- Designed to clip onto goggle strap and rest against cheekbone
- Works with a lithium-ion battery with up to 7hrs play time
- Waterproof up to 10′ for 30 minutes
Controlling the Duo is very easy. The simple ergonomic design of the interface on the side has only 4 buttons for pausing, playing, volume and shuffle options. Learning these buttons by touch is easy and you’ll soon be able to control your audio without missing a beat. The Duo comes with a USB magnetic dock which is used for transferring audio files as well as charging. The battery offers 7hrs maximum audio play which is more than enough for a few swimming sessions every week.
With 4GB of storage, you can easily have 1k+ songs or a combination of songs, audiobooks and more stored right on the device. The Duo’s retail price of $119 is very reasonable since you are getting an MP3 player as well as an audio delivery system versus having to purchase each device separately.
The Duo would be best for someone that wants a dedicated device or headphones for swimming. While this lack of versatility is a disadvantage, its overall performance and waterproofness still makes it a top choice for swimmers.
The Sony B-Trainer is another all-around headphone/MP3 player set, with additional fitness tracking capabilities. It has plenty of space for your music and other audio files, and even has a built-in voice coach to keep you on track. The device works with a beautiful app so you can view all your data easily. It even has access to social media so you can share your training results with others.
Specs and Features:
- Retails for $174.99 (Sony Smart B-Trainer MP3 Player Includes NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, HRM, Coaching Plans - 16 GB, Black (English Version).)
- Available in Pink, Yellow, White, Blue or Black
- Waterproof (IPX5/IPX8)
- Offers 16GB of music/audio storage on-device
- Includes fitness tracking sensors
The B-Trainer has sensors used for fitness tracking, including:
- Heart rate
These sensors work together to show you calories burned, distance covered, time, speed, etc. Most of the fitness tracking focuses on activities like running or cycling but some sensors help to track swimming data as well.
The Sony Smart B-Trainer MP3 Player Includes NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, HRM, Coaching Plans - 16 GB, Black (English Version) has a waterproof equivalent to IPX5/IPX8 and comes with a special underwater earpiece. This earpiece must be used with the device, otherwise damage is possible and sound quality will suffer. While Sony doesn’t give a depth and submersion time limit, this device will function fine under normal pool swimming conditions, whether playing in the water or training.
If you like the idea of a single device for music playing but also want/use a fitness tracker, the B-Trainer makes a lot of sense. While it isn’t specifically designed for swimming, it still does the job well. That being said, if swimming is the only activity you do this might not be the best choice. If you are an athlete or person that enjoys running, going to the gym, cycling and more, you’ll get a lot of use from this device.
Some Final Thoughts
Listening to music while swimming is an incredible experience. Not only do earbud style headphones offer water protection for your ears, but it can help you to focus or drown out the noise from others in the pool. Many companies sell so-called waterproof headphones that only end up breaking after a few uses or have terrible sound quality. Save yourself some money and frustration by trying one of these 3 devices instead.