Who says you can’t listen to music underwater? The best headphones for swimming make it possible to have your favorite playlist or podcast while doing laps or floating around. Some are in-ear models with impressive waterproof ratings. Others feature a built-in MP3 player, so you don’t have to worry about streaming lag. Below, we’ve narrowed down the top six based on popularity and user ratings. Looking for more traditional headphones? You can also check out our review of the best wireless earbuds and the best noise-canceling headphones.
Best Headphones For Swimming Comparison Chart
|H2O Audio Surge S+|
|H2O Audio Sonar|
|AGPTEK IPX8 Headphones|
The best headphones for swimming with a built-in MP3 player
The Sony NW-WS413LM is one of the best headphones for swimmers. A one-piece music player, the hook-style device has a built-in MP3 player with 4GB of storage. You can simply drag and drop files from iTunes on Mac or Windows. Fit shouldn’t be a problem, too. Sony’s sports-friendly headphones come with 4 sets of swimming and regular earbuds.
While its IP68 rating means it’s waterproof up to 2 meters deep, you can also use the wearable on land. They’re sweat-resistant, making them suited for running as well. Performance out of the water is solid, although nothing that would impress audiophiles. Underwater, the Sony NW-WS413LM does reasonably well despite water sloshing. Moreover, you get an ambient noise function, so you can listen to music and still hear your trainer.
Sony’s headphones support MP3, WMA, AAC, and Linear PCM audio files for playback. It also comes with Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and offers 12 hours of playback.
Type: In-ear | Rating: IP68 | Built-in MP3: Yes
Storage: 4GB | Battery Life: 12 hours
The best bone conduction headphones for swimming
While in-ear headphones offer a better fit, they block the ears, which can be suffocating as pressure increases underwater. Bone conduction headphones like the Zygo Solo offer a more comfortable alternative. The device comes in two sizes, giving you options for a better fit. Zygo also shares you can use the Solo even without goggles.
Now, Zygo’s swimming headphones don’t come with a built-in MP3 player. Instead, it streams music or podcasts from your phone via Bluetooth. You can also listen to guided workouts courtesy of the Zygo app. Cut-offs shouldn’t be an issue either. The Solo can stream up to 50 meters, two feet below the surface.
Flip turns can be a problem for the Solo’s connection. However, Zygo is already working on a software solution. The Solo has also been future-proofed by including an accelerometer. Soon, the headphones will also be capable of tracking your activity.
Type: Bone conduction | Rating: IP68 | Built-in MP3: No
Storage: N/A | Battery Life: 2 to 3 hours
H2O Audio Surge S+
The best in-ear headphones for swimming
For more traditional, wired in-ear headphones, consider the H2O Audio Surge S+. Used by swimming legend Michael Phelps himself, the IPX8 model can work up to 12 feet underwater. However, it’s purely just headphones. You’ll need a compatible MP3 player to go with it, just like the ones produced by H20 Audio.
To minimize tangling, the Surge S+ comes with a short 30cm cord. You also get five ear-tip sizes out of the box, plus a tree tip for a customizable fit. This ensures the headphones are secure even during the most intense training. As a result, the sound quality is above average.
Aside from swimming, the Surge S+ can also be used for workouts on land. The headphones also come in a long-cord model. Lastly, the H2O Audio Surge S+ enjoys a one-year warranty.
Type: In-ear | Rating: IPX8 | Built-in MP3: No
Storage: N/A | Battery Life: N/A
H2O Audio Sonar
The best goggle-attaching headphones
H2O Audio isn’t limited to regular, waterproof headphones. Its H2O Audio Sonar lives up to its billing as a premium bone conduction headphone. Like Sony’s offering, the Sonar features a built-in MP3 player with 8GB of storage. It easily connects with either Mac or PC and supports the Apple iTunes format.
Unlike other bone conduction headphones, Sonar’s speakers attach to goggles. While it can take some time to get used to, the fit is quite secure. The buttons on the headphones are also large and come with raised markings. For someone in the pool, this translates to easier shuffling between tracks and playlists.
The Sonar is compatible with smartwatches, too. It has a Bluetooth wireless range of 30 meters on land. Underwater, however, it’s limited to just 4 inches, so you’ll have to clip your watch to the goggles. In general, H2O Audio’s Sonar is waterproof up to 12 feet. The device also boasts 7 hours of battery life.
Type: Bone conduction | Rating: IPX8 | Built-in MP3: Yes
Storage: 8MB | Battery Life: 7 hours
AGPTEK IPX8 Headphones
The best budget waterproof headphones
The AGPTEK IPX8 Headphones are a reasonable alternative for those on a budget. Sporting a traditional cable design, the AGPTEK IPX8 is water-resistant up to 4.9 feet deep. An inner nano-coating also improves the headphones’ performance in the pool. However, it’s not recommended for use in seawater.
No matter how short a headphones’ cable is, tangles can still happen. In the case of the AGPTEK IPX8, part of the cords are coiled. This allows them to extend up to 35cm without getting knotted. If you’re using them on land, you can extend the cable further with a one-meter extension cord.
Out of the box, the product comes with two ear tips in 3 different sizes. Its ear-hooks are also 360-degree rotatable, without the need to differentiate left or right. The audio quality is not going to win praises, but for waterproof headphones under $30, AGPTEK is a steal.
Type: In-ear | Rating: IPX8 | Built-in MP3: No
Storage: N/A | Battery Life: N/A
The best waterproof headphones for comfort
Wearing bone conduction headphones can take some getting used to. So if you’re looking for comfort, you’re best off with the Shokz OpenSwim. Shokz is known for this non-intrusive technology, and the OpenSwim takes the feature to new depths. The sleek-looking headphones are IP68-rated and submersible up to two meters deep for two hours.
For swimmers, the OpenSwim is hardly noticeable once worn. After all, it only weighs a little over an ounce. Despite being lightweight, you’re getting a device designed to withstand the elements. Its wrap-around titanium frame also ensures the headphones stay put through flip turns and laps. The controls, while fiddly, are within easy reach as well.
For music or podcasts, you get a built-in MP3 player with 4GB of internal storage. That translates to about 1,200 tracks. Audio quality underwater is where OpenSwim ranks highly, too, thanks to PremiumPitch 2.0 technology. If there’s a criticism to be made, it’s that the headphones are not Bluetooth compatible.
Type: Bone conduction | Rating: IP68 | Built-in MP3: Yes
Storage: 4GB | Battery Life: 8 hours
In this list, Sony and Shokz offer the best waterproof headphones for swimming.
Swimming workouts are more enjoyable with your favorite music to motivate you. But given the plethora of swimming headphones on the market, choosing one can be a challenge. Our top six picks all come highly recommended. They’re some of the best-selling models, too. However, the Sony NW-WS413LM and Shokz OpenSwim are the clear standouts.
For those who prefer the fit of in-ear headphones, the Sony NW-WS413LM is the way to go. It comes with multiple earbuds size options out of the box. Plus, the built-in MP3 player offers 4GB of storage, with drag-and-drop functionality in transferring files. The best part is that Sony’s headphones have impressive 12-hour battery life and work out of the water.
Those who want something less intrusive while swimming will like Shokz OpenSwim. A leader in bone conduction headphones, Shokz’s swim-friendly product is comfortable and durable. It also delivers commendable audio quality even underwater. Like Sony, the Shokz OpenSwim has a built-in MP3 player with 4GB of storage. You get drag-and-drop functionality, too.
Underwater, Bluetooth connectivity for streaming can be challenging. This means instances wherein the tracks are cut off or the streaming lags. Waterproof headphones with built-in MP3 players solve this problem by having the tracks stored on the device.
Yes, H2O’s Audio Sonar comes with a one-year limited warranty.
The Sony NW-WS413LM comes in Blue and Black models.
Zygo shares that its Solo headphones are designed for use in every type of water, including pools, freshwater bodies, and seawater.