11 Best Waterproof Earbuds for Swimmers & Athletes

Waterproof Earbuds

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If you’re anything like me, then you’re always listening to music. So what gives water the right to interfere? Absolutely nothing. We’ve picked out the best waterproof earbuds so you’ll never have to pause your playlist for a swim or a shower.

What Are the Best Waterproof Earbuds for Swimmers in 2020?

waterproof earbuds Amazon Customer Reviews
  • IPX8-rated for full submersion
  • Comfortable eartips
  • Clear audio
Price: $79.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
surge s h2o audio Amazon Customer Reviews
  • IPX8-rated for full submersion
  • Clear audio
  • 8 different ear tip options
Price: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
pyle waterproof headphones Amazon Customer Reviews
  • IPX8-rated for full submersion
  • Built-in 8 GB MP3 player
  • Bluetooth connectivity
Price: $48.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
beker bone conduction speaker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • No earbuds to fall out during a swim
  • Built-in 8 GB MP3 player
  • IPX8-rated for full submersion
Price: $132.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
waterproof earbuds Amazon Customer Reviews
  • IPX8-rated for swimming
  • Built-in 4 GB MP3 player
  • Deep bass
Price: $118.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
waterproof earbuds Amazon Customer Reviews
  • IPX8-rated for swimming
  • Saltwater corrosion tested
  • Affordable
Price: $19.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
waterproof headphones, waterproof earbuds, water-resistant earbuds Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Wireless
  • Great eartip design
  • Water-proof and sweat-proof
Price: $149.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
jabra elite sport Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Plentiful earpiece options
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Charging case offers 13.5 hours battery
Price: $174.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
mpow flame upgraded waterproof Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Clear audio quality
  • Durable and compact
  • 10-hour battery life
Price: $19.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
ikanzi noise canceling waterproof earbuds Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Clear audio with noise canceling
  • Fast Bluetooth connectivity
  • Charging case offers 72 hours battery
Price: $35.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kaneye wireless waterproof earbuds Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Plentiful earpiece options
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Charging case offers 12 hours battery
Price: $49.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
waterproof earbuds Amazon Customer Reviews
  • IPX6 rated
  • Wireless
  • On board controls
Price: $24.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Best Waterproof Earbuds for Swimmers: Underwater Audio Swimbuds Sport

    Pros:
    • IPX8-rated for full submersion
    • Four tips for comfort/type of activity
    • Frustration-free packaging
    • Clear audio
    Cons:
    • Not wireless
    • Hard to attach to the body when not wearing swim goggles
    • MP3 player not built into the headphones

    As you may have guessed, Underwater Audio is an authority when it comes to waterproof audio solutions. The Swimbud Sport earbuds are designed to make a waterproof seal in your ear canal and not come out even when you kick turn.

    The Swimbud Sport earbuds come with four different attachments, making it easy to find a fit that’s right for the shape of your ear canal and the activity you’ll be performing. The “Trees” shape offers the best seal against water, and it’s good for listening to audio or music that requires enhanced noise isolation. The “Fins” style are most likely to fit your ear shape since they work with the largest number of ear sizes.

    The Fins are also good for surfing and wakeboarding. The “Ergos” are arguably the most comfortable, and are a good bet for times when you want waterproof protection, but are doing a sport that’s not actually in the water (such as running in the rain).

    The “Mushroom” buds can be used for everyday activities, such as jogging, walking, or relaxing. All four tips can be used for swimming laps. One of our shopping contributors Tucker Cummings-Miller tried our company-provided sample pair and found all four earbuds surprisingly comfortable.

    The sound quality is excellent, with a nice balance between mids and lows. Audio sounds clear whether partially or completely submerged. Something to note that applies to all swimming headphones is that they should not be used below 10 feet, for safety’s sake.

    The main downside to these earbuds is that the waterproof MP3 player comes as a separate piece rather than being built into the headphones. This makes sense when you consider that they can be hard to attach to your head without using the straps of swim goggles but is still something to think about.

    This gripe aside, the Swimbud Sports are a reliable choice for swimming, surfing, running, or biking, and they can withstand all types of water.

  2. 2. Best Fitting Waterproof Earbuds for Swimmers: H2O Audio Surge S+

    Pros:
    • IPX8-rated for full submersion
    • Clear audio
    • 8 different ear tip options
    Cons:
    • Waterproof MP3 player not included
    • Not wireless
    • Hard to remove from ear

    H2O Audio’s Surge S+ headphones stand out from the competition with a suite of ear tips that will satisfy 99% of users. A proper seal around your ear canal is crucial for getting the best sound out of earbuds in and out of the water. 

    These IPX8-rated headphones ensure you can listen to clear audio even while swimming thanks to a massive selection of 8 different ear tip varieties and sizes to keep the sound in and the water out. The tree tips are the best-suited for swimming but the mushroom tips are a little more comfortable overall.

    The Surge S+ earbuds sound great enough to beat out any underwater source of audio. Their sound signature is natural with a slight boost to the bass frequency. This is much appreciated as the low-end usually has to compete with the sound of water rushing past your ears.

    While the sound on these cans is phenomenal, they have a pretty limited feature set overall. They only support wired playback and while the short cable provides the least water resistance, it requires you use a compact waterproof MP3 player, which these headphones do not come with.

    Considering you can get waterproof headphones with a built-in MP3 player for around the same price, these may seem like a tough sell. However, if audio quality comes first, the Surge S+ earbuds are a clear choice.

  3. 3. Best Bluetooth Swimming Earbuds: Pyle PSWP28BK

    Pros:
    • IPX8-rated for full submersion
    • Built-in 8 GB MP3 player
    • Bluetooth connectivity
    Cons:
    • Limited ear tip options
    • Limited controls
    • Proprietary charger

    Pyle’s PSWP28BK Submersible Headphones offer a versatility that few other IPX8-rated headphones do. It has both a built-in 8 GB MP3 player and Bluetooth wireless to play streaming sources, giving you the maximum playback options during your workout.

    The included ear tips are designed to keep water out of your ear for the clearest sound. Unfortunately, there are only a few options so you have to hope that one fits properly.

    The drivers deliver with a balanced and crisp sound even at high volume. The sound quality is a little better from wired sources but this is the case with any headphone. These headphones have a rechargeable battery that delivers about 10 hours of playback off a single charge.

    There aren’t many controls onboard, so you are mostly limited to play/pause, tracking, and volume. There is no skipping ahead. This is a minor gripe, though, as most of the features of the Pyle earbuds are a hit.

  4. 4. Best Bone-Conduction Speaker for Swimmers: Beker Underwater MP3 Player

    Pros:
    • No earbuds to fall out during a swim
    • Built-in 8 GB MP3 player
    • IPX8-rated for full submersion
    • Clear audio quality
    Cons:
    • Nearby swimmers will hear music bleed
    • Difficult to use with long hair
    • No stereo sound

    Though a speaker strapped to your head isn’t what most people imagine when they think of headphones, the Beker Underwater MP3 Player represents a unique alternative to waterproof headphones. This IPX8-rated speaker straps to the back of your head where it actually uses your skull and the water around you to propagate sound waves. It’s kind of like having the music beamed directly into your head.

    The sound is surprisingly clear using this conduction method but this mini speaker is not without its flaws. For instance, if you have long hair it will pad the contact between the speaker and your head and muffle the sound. If you have short hair, it is still fairly easy to attach it to your swim goggles or to place under a swim cap.

    Another downside is that swimmers within a yard of you will be able to hear your music as well. Hopefully, you aren’t embarrassed by what you listen to. This is easy enough to look past when you consider the convenience of the Beker speaker’s built-in 8 GB MP3 player and its battery capable of providing 8 hours of playtime.

    While this price point might seem expensive for a speaker you can pretty much only use underwater, this device is certainly worth it for regular, avid swimmers.

  5. 5. Best Waterproof Earbuds With MP3 Player: Sony Walkman NWWS623/B Swimming Earbuds

    Pros:
    • Built-in 4 GB MP3 player
    • IP58-rated for swimming
    • Wireless
    • Deep bass
    Cons:
    • Can’t be used at depths lower than 3 meters
    • No noise canceling
    • Internal storage could be higher

    These Sony Walkman NWWS623/B Swimming Earbuds are IP58-rated for swimming, and can consequently stand up to just about any abuse you put them through.

    They can withstand muddy or salty water, not that you’d want to be swimming in either of those. They come with three different eartips to ensure a waterproof and comfortable seal for your ear canal. These headphones have a built-in 4 GB MP3 player to load tracks, audiobooks, or podcasts onto. You can also connect to a media source via Bluetooth if you’d rather stream audio.

    The sound is clear and accurate, as you would expect from Sony audio. The bass has a nice roundness to it that other waterproof earbuds lack. The speakers have limited sound customization, including an ambient sound mode that makes them safer to wear when cycling or running. Oddly enough, I would have rather had a noise-canceling mode for focusing in on a workout.

    These speakers boast an impressive 12-hour battery life and get 1 hour of playback from just 3 minutes of charging. Just don’t lose the proprietary charger.

  6. 6. Best Cheap Waterproof Earbuds for Swimmers: Travelon Headphones

    Pros:
    • IPX8-rated for swimming
    • Saltwater corrosion tested
    • Affordable
    Cons:
    • Limited color options
    • No alternative ear tips
    • Not wireless

    Just want a pair of dirt-cheap earbuds that you can treat as rough as you want? The Travelon Waterproof Headphones may be the right option for you.

    They may not be the most feature-rich pair of earbuds on our list but they are ideal for the budget-conscious swimmer. They are IPX8-rated for submersion and saltwater corrosion-resistant but they only come with one set of ear tips so you’d better hope they create a solid seal around your ear canal.

    The sound is decent for the price but you’d be doing yourself a disservice to expect much more. Possibly the biggest downside to this budget pair is that they are wired only, which means you need a waterproof MP3 player if you want to take this swimming.

    Then again, you don’t have to take these headphones swimming. For the price, they can be the perfect take anywhere beat ’em up headphones that don’t give a care about water.

  7. 7. Best Waterproof Earbuds for Runners: Plantronics BackBeat Fit Bluetooth Headphones

    Pros:
    • Wireless
    • Waterproof and sweat proof
    • Eartips are designed to allow you to hear the world around you
    • On-ear controls
    Cons:
    • Not rated for swimming
    • High price tag
    • Some may find this style of headphone uncomfortable
    • Limited color options

    The Plantronics BackBeat Fit is a handy pair of waterproof headphones that fold up for easy transportation. They can stand up to water and sweat, and they have a handy battery meter to you know how long you have until you run out of juice.

    A headset battery meter automatically displays onscreen for iPhone and iPad. For Android smartphones and tablets, the free Plantronics Battery Meter app displays a headset battery meter and can provide on-screen alerts.

    It’s also possible to put your earbuds into “hibernation mode” to extend the battery’s life. These headphones ship with a neoprene armband for your smartphone, which is a nice perk. These are a nice shape and size for running or walking, though ear customization could be improved.

  8. 8. Best Fitness-Tracking Waterproof Earbuds: Jabra Elite Sport

    Pros:
    • Plentiful earpiece options for a tight fit
    • Heart rate monitor and auto rep tracking
    • Charging case offers 13.5 hours battery
    Cons:
    • Not rated for swimming
    • Sound could be better for the price
    • Poor customer service

    While they aren’t rated for swimming, the IP67-rated Jabra Elite Sport Headphones have a robust workout assistant feature that make them worth considering for athletes who want to leave their headphones on in the shower after a drenching workout.

    Their free companion app can count reps, motivate you to carry on, and help you track your goals. All the while, it can also pump out loud and clear jams to keep you operating at peak efficiency. This app uses the headphones’ built-in heart rate monitor and motion sensor to track all of this.

    Even though you can submerge these headphones, they have an impressive 3-year sweat warranty. These cans come with three different ear tips and wings to ensure a snug fit while exercising.

    They also have a The battery life is 4.5 hours, which is extended to 13.5 hours when you use the portable charging case. These details make it all the more clear that these headphones were specially built for fitness.

    As for the sound, the audio is clear and gets decently loud but it could certainly be better for the price. The low-mids lack detail and the highs can be a little tiny. Of course, this will hardly matter when you are in the middle of a major workout. Ultimately, the heart rate monitor and other features are the main reason to pick the Jabra Elite Sports over any other pair of waterproof earbuds.

  9. 9. Best Cheap Waterproof Headphones for Runners: Mpow Flame

    Pros:
    • Clear audio quality
    • Durable and compact
    • 10-hour battery life
    Cons:
    • Not rated for swimming
    • No tree ear tips included
    • Weak low-end

    The Mpow Flame is a highly capable pair of Bluetooth headphones with a painfully ironic name. Despite being called the flame, these can be used in water up to a limited depth thanks to their IPX7-rating and selection of 4 snug ear tip options. You probably don’t want to use these for serious swimming where you’ll be in the pool for more than a half hour, but they could certainly survive a short dip or a surfing session.

    They are Bluetooth wireless and have a rechargeable battery that lasts for max 10 hours. It also has a built-in microphone for phone calls. The sound for calls and audio alike is pretty decent, with a clear and present midrange. The low end is a little weak but that is to be expected at this price range.

    There isn’t much more to say about these headphones as they are fairly sparse on gimmicks. The Mpow Flame headphones are a great choice for a straight-up good pair of waterproof earbuds.

  10. 10. Best Noise-Canceling Waterproof Earbuds: iKanzi Wireless

    Pros:
    • Clear audio with noise canceling
    • Fast Bluetooth connectivity
    • Charging case offers 72 hours battery
    Cons:
    • Not rated for swimming
    • No tree ear tips included
    • Weak low end

    These independent Ikanzi Wireless Earbuds have an active noise reduction feature which you can use to help you get in the zone proper during a workout. Having a solid sound to groove to while you’re exercising can be great but sometimes the most important part about wearing headphones is shutting out the rest of the world. That’s where the iKanzi true wireless headphones come into play. 

    But how do they stack up for water use? Well, they aren’t IPX8-rated, so you probably shouldn’t use them if you’re a serious swimmer. However, with an IPX7 rating, you can pretty much do everything else. Feel free to shower with them on and sweat all over them.

    The noise canceling helps enhance the already good sound from these speakers. Considering their size and price, you shouldn’t expect reference-grade sound from these headphones. Still, you may find yourself impressed. Another impressive feature is their battery life. The earbuds get about 4 hours of playtime on their own. With the included charging cradle, they can be recharged up to 18 times, meaning you could potentially get 72 hours of listening before you have to plug the cradle back in. Wow.

    A serious swimmer might not get much use out of these headphones, but those who want a durable and waterproof pair of headphones to tune out life’s nonsense will get some great mileage out of these iKanzi cans.

  11. 11. Best True Wireless Waterproof Earbuds: Kaneye F9

    Pros:
    • Plentiful earpiece options for a tight fit
    • Heart rate monitor and auto rep tracking
    • Charging case offers 12 hours battery
    Cons:
    • Not rated for swimming
    • Touch controls don't work when wet
    • Tons of reviews on Amazon look fake

    So-called “true wireless” headphones are the latest innovation in fitness audio. Two earbuds with individual batteries make independent Bluetooth connections to your phone, eliminating the need for a wire to connect the two around your neck. Though the Kaneye F9 earbuds are far from the only true wireless headphones we recommend on this list, they do stand out for their combination of portability, sound quality, and price.

    These headphones are low profile and come with 5 different ear tips for the best fit with any use. They are IPX7-rated, which despite not being the max rating for submersion, means you can take them in the water nonetheless.

    They get about 4 hours of max battery life off one charge and their portable charge cradle can up that to 12 hours of playtime in one day. The charge cradle also has a USB-out port to charge your phone in a pinch.

    As for the audio quality, the Kaneye F9 earbuds sound pretty decent considering their value price. The sound is clear and can get decently loud without distorting. The handy touch controls are nice on a run but will be basically impossible to use while swimming. Although they seem decently equipped for the pool, I wouldn’t use true wireless earbuds anyway sheerly for the fact that if they fall out they are sinking all the way to the bottom.

  12. 12. Best General Purpose Waterproof Earbuds: Photive PH-BTE50 Lightweight Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Earbuds

    Pros:
    • Protected by a nanocoating
    • IPX6 rated
    • Wireless design
    • On board controls
    Cons:
    • Only about 8 hours of talk/music time
    • Some users have reported issues with Bluetooth pairing
    • Some wish seal was a bit tighter
    • Customer serviced has been panned by some customers

    The Photive PH-BTE50 Earbuds are a nice option for people who crave wireless design and sweat-proof/waterproof features.

    The headphones have a built-in mic, allowing you to take calls on the go. Talk time/music time is around seven or eight hours. Each pair of earbuds comes with three sizes of eartips as well as small, medium, and large ear stabilizers.

    Considering their size and price, you shouldn’t expect too much from the sound quality of these headphones. They sound fairly average, with a good balance of lows, mids, and highs. Of course, if you are truly in the zone with your workout, you probably won’t be able to focus on the audio quality of the music.

    That blend of in-ear and outside-the-ear structure helps to ensure a more stable fit, no matter what kind of activity you are pursuing.

Do You Really Need Waterproof Earbuds?

Waterproof headphones are a practical option for swimmers, sweaty athletes, accident-prone mariners, or those who live in tropical climates. Most high-end waterproof earbuds can be taken fully underwater without damage to their internal electronics.

If you think this is excessive then you're probably not much of a swimmer. Alternatively, you may not realize how important music can be to a solid workout. Jenny Markell of National Center for Health Research references a number of studies in a recent article that suggests listening to music (especially with a fast BPM) can delay fatigue and increase work capacity. So waterproof headphones are certainly a practical investment.

Okay, But Can You Actually Swim With Waterproof Earbuds?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. The long answer is still yes, but you should keep in mind that there is a thin line between waterproof and water-resistant. Waterproofing technology is evaluated using the Ingress Protection Rating system, which grades electronics based on their ability to withstand intrusion from both dust and water. The highest rating, IP68, represents full protection from both.

The headphones we've evaluated only worry about the second digit and all have either an IPX7 or IPX8 rating. IPX8 headphones are hermetically sealed and can be fully immersed in water, while IPX7 headphones are waterproof for up to 30 minutes in up to 1 meter of submersion.

If you plan to use waterproof earbuds for swimming, then you'll want to spend a little extra for an IPX8 rating. Short of that, IPX7 will suffice for all other purposes ranging from extra sweaty workout to runs in tropical storms.

Keep this in mind as you do a deep dive of your aquatic audio options.

See Also

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11 Best Earbuds for Running: Your Buyer’s Guide

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