Best Waterproof Earbuds For Swimming

Waterproof Headphones for swimming - SURGE S+ (Short Cord). Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming Laps
Surge S+

I grew up across the street from the public pool in my town and my dad sent me to swimming lessons when I was pretty young – but I never could get the hang of the breathing. My friends looked like they belonged in the pool, taking breaths without effort and flipping over at the end of each pool length. I, on the other hand, was totally out of my element (a fish out of the water so to speak..) I never figured it out and really didn’t enjoy it- so I hung up my goggles and moved on to other sports

At 40 (mid-life crisis?) I decided it was time to take another try at swimming. I think what sparked it off was a podcast by Tim Ferris where he talked about the same frustration of not learning to swim and having trouble with the breathing. He mentioned the Total Immersion Method where he learned to swim in 10 days.

I personally took the more traditional route and signed up at the gym for beginner adult swimming lessons. It took me more than 10 days! But after about 3 months of the regular practice of doing two lessons a week (slow learner?), I felt pretty comfortable in the pool.

At that point, I could swim pretty smoothly and be breathing without effort BUT it was incredibly boring for me! I was used to working out in the gym with earbuds on and the swimming back and forth in silence without my music drove me nuts (I know others find it relaxing…).  The funny thing was the day I mentioned it to my swimming trainer and he said- “Oh, ya- it’s super boring for me too, I have to be listening to music while I swim. Get yourself a good pair of waterproof earbuds! He recommended these Waterproof Headphones by HydroActive.

This was a revelation. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier. I guess I was just concentrated on the lessons and listening to his instructions. I knew there were waterproof earbuds, I’d seen them but never tried them. When they first came out on the market years ago I heard people commenting that they were a waste of money, didn’t seal properly and often had a short life span due to the housing letting in water or electronics shorting out.

So swimming earbuds were pretty much off my radar.  But that comment by the swimming coach sent me down a path that took me hours of research looking at all the options out there and trying out several pairs before I found these SURGE S+ waterproof headphones by H2O Audio that I connect to my Waterproof iPod Shuffle. For me, it’s worked out to be a perfect combo since the Surge S+ is reasonably priced and is rated at IPX8.

For our ratings, our priorities were: IP rating (waterproof protection level, discussed in more detail below), durability, price, style, battery life, and extra features.

Hopefully, the information here will help you pick out a pair of waterproof in-ear headphones that works for you whether you’re using them in the pool want to be able to run in the rain or need a pair that is truly sweatproof to withstand a hard CrossFit workout or want to be able to go straight from the gym to shower or hot tub while still enjoying your music – below you’ll find out best picks for 2020.  Our list starts with the most water-resistant (swimming) but in the end you’ll find some affordable options if you just need water-resistant.

Best Waterproof Bluetooth Earbuds For Swimming

H2O Audio Surge Waterproof Headphones 

H2O Audio 100% Waterproof Headphones. Noise Canceling, Sweat Proof Surge+ Swim Headphones Perfect for Swimming & All Watersports, 'Black/Blue'
H2O Audio 100% Waterproof Headphones (Image: Amazon)


A pretty impressive waterproof headphone for swimming, the H20 Audio Surge still manages this while being a wired headphone. I do believe that H20 Surge’s reputation precedes itself and I’ve heard numerous feedbacks of its top-notch performance. While a little apprehensive at first, I did try it out with my smartphone placed securely inside a waterproof armband. It definitely passed the test.

I did find the wires tangling in my arms during wider arching strokes but not much of an issue really. Just a little nitpick on my part that can be rectified with proper placement. Audio also remained impressively clear even when submerged.

The compact size of each earpiece also meant that it can fit snugly inside the ear. For runners and joggers, a reliable headphone is one that does not fall off during the activity. The H20 Surge manages to stay in place whether I jogged at a leisurely pace or sprinted down the road. In fact, there is a time that even forgot I was wearing a headphone.

The H20 Surge also comes with an IPX8 waterproof rating (tied with the Surge S+ above) the headphone with the highest waterproof rating on this list. It can be used for up to depths of 12 feet. Definitely the headphone of choice for swimmers.

As for audio quality, it manages to produce clear audio underwater and offers an impressive depth and power with its bass.

Key Features:

  • IPX8 waterproof rating and can be used for up to 12 feet underwater.
  • 8mm neodymium drivers.
  • 5 sets of Elastomer earplugs of various sizes.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 9/10
  • Bass: 9/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 9/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 9.5/10
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): N/A

Who would this be good for?

Due to its impressive waterproof capabilities, I would highly recommend this for swimmers and for anyone who loves listening to their tunes outdoors where there is a chance they may get wet.

Pros:

  • Durable construction.
  • Impressive waterproof quality.
  • No distortion of sound even when submerged.
  • Amazing fit and comfort.

Cons:

  • Only one color available.
  • It doesn’t come with a protective case, which has become a standard with quality headphones nowadays.

H20 Audio Surge S+ Waterproof Headphones – Short Cord

Waterproof Headphones for Swimming - Surge S+ (Short Cord). Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming Laps
Surge S+ Headphones for Swimming (Image: Amazon)

An upgrade to the H20 Audio Surge headphone, the S+ offers a comfortable and reliable headphone for athletes and swimmers. It features a much shorter cord (1 foot) that is designed to be a perfect partner to head-mounted MP3 players. The shorter cord means it won’t cause any unnecessary tangles during swimming.

It also has an IPX8 waterproof rating which means it can withstand being submerged under 12 feet of water and still operate without a hitch. Design-wise, it incorporates a compact look and is a perfect in-ear fit.

It also manages to deliver clear audio quality both in and out of the water. The Surge S+ is one that delivers value for money. Its waterproof capability is one of the best you can find. It also uses quality material in the construction of its cable which uses the standard 3.5 mm aux plug.

The headphone also comes with 8 different pairs of earbuds. However, there are only two types available in different sizes, regular and triple-flanged earbuds. The earbuds are specifically designed for underwater use and are designed to fit right inside the ears and prevent it from slipping out.

As I stated earlier, the sound quality is pitch-perfect. Of course, don’t expect it to be as detailed tonally compared to higher-end headphones. But this headphone is not designed for that crowd, it is designed for the physically active audience and in that regard, it passes with flying colors.

Key Features:

  • IPX8 waterproof rating.
  • Premium quality internal components for amazing sounds.
  • Ergonomic earbuds for optimum fit and comfort.
  • 1-year warranty.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 8.5/10
  • Bass: 8.5/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 9/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 9.5/10
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): N/A

Who would this be good for?

As with the H20 Audio Surge, the Surge S+ is a perfect choice for swimmers who want to listen to their tunes during training or a casual dip in the pool. It’s comfortable and works great with over the head MP3 players thanks to its compact and ergonomic design.

Pros:

  • The great quality sound in and out of the water.
  • Comfortable design.
  • Quite affordable while still delivering a solid performance.
  • 1-year warranty.

 

Cons:

  • 1 foot long cords might feel too short for some.

Underwater Audio HydroActive Waterproof Headphones

HydroActive Short-Cord Waterproof Headphones (wired 3.5 mm jack) with 11 Earbuds in 4 Styles - See below under Special Offers and Product Promotions for discounts
HydroActive Waterproof Headphones (Image: Amazon)

The Underwater Audio HydroActive Headphones aim to not only deliver quality sound but also reliability and comfort. The design was made with a focus on comfort and stability for swimmers. The over the ear hook feels quite snug on the ears and doesn’t wobble at all during physical activities such as swimming.

What separates the HydroActive from other sports headphones is the different sets of earbuds it offers. It doesn’t just offer earbuds of various sizes, it also comes in different forms each designed for a specific physical activity.

You get the “tree” earbud which is the choice for swimmers as it fits into perfectly into the ear canal. The “fin” earbuds are also good underwater choices but do not go in as deep as the “tree” earbuds.

Then, we have the “ergos” which fit on the outer ear and is a good choice if you prefer to still be able to hear your surroundings. Finally, we have the standard “round” earbuds which are for casual use.

HydroActive also incorporates its patented design which not only offers stability when on the move but also helps improve the overall listening experience. The funnel-shaped earpiece design helps increase noise cancellation which then improves audio quality.

The design also enhances its waterproof capabilities. The earpiece utilizes two separate chambers to block water from entering into the device and to your ears. If water leaks into the first chamber, the second chamber will effectively stop the water from rushing in further.

As a sports headphone, the HydroActive definitely earns its marks in this category. The stability and comfort it offers is something any active individual wants and the quality audio means you get a solid music experience as well.

Key Features:

  • Extremely comfortable design for various physical activities.
  • Superb 2 chambers waterproof design.
  • 4 differently designed earbuds for specific activities.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 8.5/10
  • Bass: 8.5/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 9.5/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 9/10
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): N/A

Who would this be good for?

Based on its design, the HydroActive is definitely a worthwhile headphone for athletes or those who live an active lifestyle. While it is a wired headphone, the overall design prevents any common issues such as tangles. It also fits perfectly into the ears and stays there without any risk of slipping off.

Pros:

  • The design is developed specifically for underwater use.
  • Good quality sound.
  • Comfortable.

Cons:

  • Due to the increased airtight seal of the earbuds, the sound tends to be quite loud. Try not to play music at max volume when using this headphone.

H20 Audio Stream Waterproof Bluetooth Headphone and MP3 Bundle

100% Waterproof Stream MP3 Music Player with Bluetooth and Underwater Headphones for Swimming Laps, Watersports, Short Cord, 8GB – By H2O Audio
H2O Audio Stream (Image: Amazon)

This MP3 player and headphone bundle from H20 offers 8GB of memory space to contain all your favorite songs. It can store up to 2,000 songs so you basically have all the memory space in the world to store your favorite songs and then some. You can adjust the volume and playback feature with its onboard control which is extremely easy to navigate.

Not only does it offer an impressive amount of memory, it is also Bluetooth compatible and has an IPX8 waterproof rating. This means it can operate even when submerged 12 feet underwater.

The H20 Audio Stream also features a snap clip that swivels 360 degrees for optimum comfort and compatibility with any swimming accessories such as goggles and swimsuits. Audio quality is also on point with its top-notch Bluetooth receiver. This allows for clear quality audio from any smartphone or Bluetooth audio device as far away as 30 feet (unobstructed).

Key Features:

  • 8GB built-in memory.
  • 10-hour battery life.
  • IPX8 waterproof rating.
  • Hydro-dynamic design.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 9/10
  • Bass: 8.5/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 9/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 9.5/10
  • Battery Life: 9/10
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): 9/10

Who would this be good for?

When it comes to H20 Audio products, it is pretty clear which consumer group is their target. The H20 Audio Stream is another great choice for swimmers and athletes. The durable design and 360 swivel snap clip make it easy to bring this around anywhere you go. This is another great MP3 player and headphone for people living an active lifestyle.

Pros:

  • Built-in 8GB memory can store every single one of your favorite songs.
  • Easy and reliable Bluetooth pairing and connectivity.
  • 10-hours continuous play time on a single full charge.
  • Well-made and sturdy.
  • IPX9 waterproof rating.

Cons:

  • The earpiece has trouble staying in for some people.

UnderWater Audio Waterproof Swimbuds 

Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod Swimbuds Bundle (Red)
Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod Swimbuds Bundle (Image: Amazon)

UnderWater Audio offers a neat little waterproof bundle with the SwimBuds which will also net you an iPod shuffle. This bundle is slightly cheaper compared to buying each separately. The bundle includes the SwimBuds headphone, iPod shuffle (2GB), an Apple earbud. Charging cable, 4 sets of silicone earpieces, an extension cord for the headphone, and a 1-year warranty for the iPod.

If you are familiar with the waterproof iPod shuffle then you know what to expect. As for its waterproof capability, it is stated to withstand submergence of up to 200 feet. This means you can effectively use during scuba diving. However, I do need to point out the instruction manual clearly states that you should only use this from up to depths of 10 feet to avoid ear-related injury.

Sound quality is quite good as you would expect from an Apple product. The SwimBuds also complement this quality quite well and produce crystal clear audio even when underwater. UnderWater Audio is one of the premier brands when it comes to waterproof gadgets and they certainly prove it once again with the SwimBuds.

The partnership between UnderWater Audio and Apple is a fruitful one. It manages to deliver what you expect and is a great companion for swimmers who wish to listen to their favorite tunes underwater. The price is a little steep but if you prefer a reliable MP3 player and waterproof headphone, why not get one from a trusted brand instead?

Key Features:

  • iPod Shuffle (2GB)
  • 4 pairs of silicone earpieces.
  • 1-year warranty for the iPod shuffle.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 8.5/10
  • Bass: 8.5/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 9.5/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 9/10
  • Battery Life: 10/10
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): N/A

Who would this be good for?

This bundle would definitely be something an Apple aficionado would love to get their hands on. This is a good little bundle that offers great quality from the two brands. The only thing that would give a casual pause is the price tag. You can get some affordable alternatives but if you prefer a tried and tested brand name like UnderWater Audio and Apple then this is the best option available.

Pros:

  • SwimBuds are extremely comfortable.
  • Amazing sound quality underwater.
  • iPod Shuffle is a solid MP3 player in itself.

Cons:

  • Noise cancellation is so-so when used above water.

H20 Audio Interval 4G Waterproof iPod Shuffle Case

H2O Audio Interval Swim Headphones for Apple Watch Series 2, 3, 4, 5, Waterproof IPX8, in-Ear Stereo Earbuds, Noise Cancelling, No Drag Short Cord, Great for Swimming, Running and Sports Activities
H2O Audio Interval Swim Headphones

If you are looking for a headphone specifically made for swimming then you can’t go wrong with the H20 Audio Interval Swim Solution. The headphone and case are designed so that it would easily be attached to the back of your swimming goggles.

As expected from H20 Audio, this device comes with an IPX8 waterproof rating. The iPod shuffle case fits perfectly with iPod 4 to 7. The case covers the entirety of the iPod shuffle with its waterproof button layout aligning perfectly with the MP3 player.

You can also easily connect your H20 Audio headphones to the Interval’s openings located at the back for a non-obtrusive experience. The headphone wires remain inside the Interval which prevents it from being tangled or yanked off accidentally when moving. For swimmers, the H20 Audio Interval is definitely a great accessory to have if you wish to listen to your tunes.

Key Features:

  • Durable and comfortable ergonomic design.
  • IPX8 waterproof rating.
  • Convenient and easy to use.
  • Compatible with iPod Shuffle version 4 to 7.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 9/10
  • Bass: 8.5
  • Build Quality/Design: 9/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 9.5
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): N/A

Who would this be good for?

One look at the H20 Audio Interval and it is easy to see who the target audience is for this product. Swimmers will definitely get their money’s worth with the H20 Interval and it is a worthwhile purchase based on the quality of the product alone.

Pros:

  • Great construction.
  • IPX8 waterproof rating.
  • Comfortable and convenient design.

Cons:

  • Specifically designed for swimmers and underwater use.

Swimbuds

Waterproof earbuds
Swimbuds (Image: Amazon)

Swimbuds are fully waterproof, in-ear headphones (IPX8) that let you swim in water less than 10 feet deep while listening to music. The included tri-flange earbud tips are comfortable and work excellent to prevent water from getting in the housing. The short cords do not restrict movement in the water and the provided loop (earhooks) go over your ear for an extra secure fit. The Swimbuds sound great for a swimming earbud.

Alpatronix HX250 Waterproof Bluetooth Headset

Alpatronix HX250 Waterproof Bluetooth Headset Wireless Sport IPX7 Headphones w/Mic, Built-in Memory (8GB), Sweatproof, Swimming, Running Earbuds Stereo BT 4.2 Earphones for Bluetooth Devices - BlackThe Alpatronix HX250 excels as a wireless, noise-canceling, waterproof headset. It’s Bluetooth (version 4.2) capability are also quite impressive as it will remain completely stable and uninterrupted even underwater. Another big plus for the HX250 is its built-in SSD card slot. This means you can easily play music without the need to connect it to your smartphone.

The SSD card is also designed to prevent water from leaking in, so long as you properly seal it before diving. The headset plays and operates without any hitch under 3 feet of water. We’ve used it for about half an hour straight in the swimming pool and found no performance issues.

Connecting it to your smartphone also allows you to answer incoming calls without the need to pull out your phone from your pocket or bag. The Alpatronix HX250 is also sweat-proof which means you can even bring this one to the sauna and not worry about it breaking down.

HX250 utilizes HD Bluetooth 4.2 capability which means you get extremely clear audio reception from it. Another great inclusion of this product would have to be the 2-year warranty that comes with it as well as the 1-month money-back guarantee. The Alpatronix HX250 has an IPX7 waterproof rating. This means the device can handle being submerged at a depth of 3 feet for 30 minutes.

Key Features:

  • HD Bluetooth 4.2
  • IPX7 Waterproof rating.
  • Built-in 8GB SSD memory card.
  • 2-year warranty and 1-month money-back guarantee.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 9/10
  • Bass: 8/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 8.5/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 8.5/10
  • Battery Life: 8.5/10
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): 9.5/10

Who would this be good for?

I would recommend this for outdoor and sports enthusiasts, mainly, swimmers. Due to its impressive waterproof capabilities and wireless connectivity, it can certainly keep up with athletes. The sturdy and comfortable design is also a great plus and makes this a good choice if you are doing some pretty intense physical activities.

Pros:

  • Waterproof and solid construction.
  • Crystal clear audio reception.
  • Built-in 8GB SSD memory.

Cons:

  • MP3 player does not support the playlist feature.

 

 

IPX rating

Be careful! Water-resistant and waterproof are different terms many companies use to fool consumers. To spot the difference look for the IP rating.

The first thing you need to look for when buying waterproof earbuds is the International Protection Rating (IP). You could see something like IP67, IP68. What does that mean?

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) issues the standard for the degree of protection of the electrical devices, provided by their enclosures.

The first number in the rating score shows the level of protection of the earbuds against the entry of solid objects like dust, particles. The rating is in the range from 0 to 6 for the degree of protection.

The second number shows the degree of protection of earbuds against the entry of moisture. The rating is in the range from 0 to 8 for the degree of protection.

Sometimes you see the first number replaced by an “X”, that means the rating has not been evaluated yet. For example, the Swimbuds with IPX8 is protected in water over 3 feet.

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