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Best waterproof earbuds for swimming

Waterproof earbuds

Music is a must for any trip to the beach. While many people may opt for a waterproof Bluetooth speaker like the JBL Charge 4, they don’t allow you to listen to music without disturbing others. This is where a pair of waterproof earbuds can help. They let you listen to music as loud as you want, without having to worry that you are ruining somebody else’s relaxing day.

In this article, we examine several earbuds, including some you can even snorkel with if you wanted to. We also take a look at some bone conduction headphones that, while not truly earbuds, do allow you to listen to your music in or around the water without bothering others.

There currently aren’t any waterproof earbuds that offer a sound quality to match premium buds like the Bose QuietComfort or Sony WF-1000XM3. As long as you go into things with reasonable expectations, you should be more than happy with any pair we recommend here.

Waterproof earbuds for swimming

If you are buying a pair of earbuds for use while swimming, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you need a pair that is IPX8 rated. An IPX8 rating means that the earbuds can be submerged deeper than 1 meter for an indefinite period. The manufacturer will often specify the exact depth. 

Another thing to consider is whether you want a pair that hooks over the ears or small buds held in place through friction or wingtips. Earbuds that hook over the ears will be bulkier, but some find they stay in place better if swimming at a fast pace.

When looking at our recommendations, you may notice that none of the models we recommend for swimming feature Bluetooth. This is because Bluetooth signals don’t travel well through water, and the headphones would have to be within a couple of inches of the media device to get any signal at all. 

Best waterproof earbuds for swimming

Underwater Audio HydroActive 

These IPX8-rated headphones hook securely over the ears and have a short cord that is ideal for connecting to an MP3 player clipped to the strap of your mask or goggles. They come with 11 tips in four styles so that everyone can get the right fit.

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Syryn Waterproof MP3 Player and Swimbuds

Coming with both earbuds and a waterproof MP3 player around the same price as many competitors charge for the headphones alone, this package from Syryn is an excellent value. You’ll also get the company’s Fit Goo that helps ensure you get a good seal while swimming.

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Swimbuds Premium Waterproof Headphones

If you already have your waterproof MP3 player or bought the Syryn and are looking for better sound than what you get from the included earbuds, this premium model from Swimbuds fits the bill.

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H2O Surge S+

Capable of withstanding submersion down to 12 feet for an indefinite time, you can wear the Surge S+ while snorkeling in shallow depths. Just be sure not to make them too loud so you can still hear things happening around you. Their slim build means you shouldn’t notice any drag too.

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Waterproof earbuds for around water use

If looking for a pair of earbuds to use floating on a raft in the ocean or perhaps when swimming casually when you plan to keep your head above water the majority of the time, earbuds with an IPX7 rating will suit you fine. An IPX7 rating means the earbuds in question can withstand submersion down to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.

Unlike with models designed for swimming, there is no reason you can’t get a pair of Bluetooth earbuds for use around the water. Except for the Vankyo S400, all of our recommendations have a cord that rests on the back of the neck. The Vankyo S400 is best for those who prefer to wear discreet earbuds. Earbuds with a cord are highlighted because it is easy to lose true wireless earbuds at the beach. One could easily fall out of the ear and disappear in the sand or surf. 

Best waterproof earbuds for around water use


Vankyo S400

If you want to go truly wireless around the water and prefer a slim pair of earbuds, the S400 are a good choice. However, this means you’ll have to be careful not to let them fall out. Otherwise, they could be easily lost.

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Senso ActivBuds

Great for floating around on a raft while enjoying the day, the ActivBuds have a 30-foot Bluetooth range, an integrated mic and on-ear controls that let you take and hang up calls without having to reach for your phone.

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Otium Wireless

A budget-friendly option with a bit of style, the Otium Wireless are reasonably priced and come in four colors, one of which is an eye-catching apple red. They feature over-the-ear hooks to keep them in place and have comfortably soft silicone tips.

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Bone conduction headphones

Unlike all other headphones, which transmit sound to our eardrums through the air, bone conduction headphones utilize vibrations to transmit sound directly through our bones. Though the audio quality is a bit lackluster, they are a smart choice for those who want to retain full situational awareness while still listening to music, which we recommend if swimming in the ocean.

Best waterproof bone conduction headphones

H20 Audio Sonar

With an MP3 player integrated into these headphones, you won’t need to bring along an external media source when going for a swim. They are submersible down to 12 feet and have 8 GB of storage space for your music.

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Finis Duo

The Finis Duo also features an integrated MP3 player, though it only has 4 GB of storage space. They have large on-ear buttons for easy media control and, to help ensure they always stay in place while swimming, they clip onto the strap of your goggles or mask.

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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