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Best Waterproof Earbuds

Updated May 2023
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
JBL Endurance Race Sport Waterproof Earbuds
JBL
Endurance Race Sport Waterproof Earbuds
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Most Versatile
Bottom Line

Able to be submerged in up to three feet of water, these sporty earbuds offer something for everyone.

Pros

JBL's Twistlock technology prevents pressure points during long periods of use. Speed Charge gives you an hour of listening with only 10 minutes in the case. Deep bass, Bluetooth connectivity and a rugged build make these earbuds stand out from the competition.

Cons

Not submersible enough for serious swimming or water sports.

Best Bang for the Buck
Otium Wireless Sports Earphones
Otium
Wireless Sports Earphones
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Great for Workouts
Bottom Line

If you don’t need to swim in them, these earbuds will stand up to sweat and splashes.

Pros

IPX7 waterproof for sweat resistance and near-water activities. Easy-to-use buttons allow you skip, play, and pause your music. Ear hook design with wraparound band for neck wear. Bluetooth 4.1 wireless with a range of 30 feet.

Cons

Repetitive "low battery" notifications. Not for swimming.

HydroActive Short-Cord Waterproof Headphones
HydroActive
Short-Cord Waterproof Headphones
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Multiple Eartips
Bottom Line

Stands out for the extra waterproof rating, meaning you can swim in them.

Pros

IPX8 waterproof for swimmers and aquatic athletes. Offers eleven different multi-chambered ear tips for casual listening, active sports, and heavy underwater exertion. Wraparound headband fits most heads. Universal 3.5mm audio jack cable for any waterproof device.

Cons

No Bluetooth or built-in audio player means you need a separate waterproof source device.

H2O Audio Sonar Underwater Waterproof Headphones
H2O Audio
Sonar Underwater Waterproof Headphones
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Designed for Swimmers
Bottom Line

A waterproof earbud set designed for swimmers with both onboard music and Bluetooth connectivity.

Pros

IPX8 waterproof for swimmers. Bone conduction earphones directs sound without blocking ear canals. Built-in audio player offers 8 GB of storage. Compatible with M4A (Apple Music) and MP3 formats. Can also pair with audio-capable smartwatch while underwater.

Cons

Designed primarily for goggle straps. Bluetooth feature doesn't work well underwater.

Finis Duo Underwater Music MP3 Player
Finis
Duo Underwater Music MP3 Player
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Athletes’ Friend
Bottom Line

This waterproof MP3 player hooks onto your goggle straps.

Pros

IPX8 waterproof for swimming and aquatic sports. Bone conduction frees up the ears or allows for the use of swim plugs. Comes with 4GB of storage for up to 1,000 songs in MP3 or WMA format. Clips onto goggles for secure fit.

Cons

Doesn't sound as good outside the water. Requires goggles to use.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best waterproof earbuds

From boardroom strategy meetings to boardwalk strolls and everywhere in between, wireless earbuds have become ubiquitous accessories the world over. These tiny devices are understandably popular thanks to their functionality, stylishness and flexibility, but many have a shortcoming that limits their use for certain activities: their sensitive components are easily damaged by water. That’s where waterproof earbuds come in.

Waterproof earbuds are a necessity for athletes who train in the pool or work up a sweat on their morning run and don’t want to worry about ruining their expensive electronics. However, waterproof earbuds aren’t exclusively for athletes. Commuters who might get caught in the rain without an umbrella can find peace of mind in knowing that their headphones will be just fine. Waterproof earbuds are also great for relaxing in the sauna or enjoying your favorite tunes in the beachside sun.

If you’re in search of a pair of high-quality earbuds that provide excellent sound and enough waterproofing to limit the risks encountered by most casual wearers, we recommend the JBL Endurance Race Waterproof Earbuds, which offer Bluetooth connectivity and a good enough waterproof rating to keep the music playing under all but the most aquatic conditions. Great battery life and a sleek charging case complete the package.

Best waterproof earbuds

JBL Endurance Race Waterproof Earbuds

JBL is no slouch when it comes to making technology for listeners of audio, and these earbuds live up to that reputation with a discreet design and an IP67 waterproof rating that keeps them working even when submerged to 3 feet. Bluetooth communication and deep bass delivery put your entire music library at your fingertips with impactful, detailed audio quality. These earbuds include JBL’s Twistlock technology, which alleviates pressure points for hours of comfortable wearing. 

The earbuds have a 10-hour battery life, with the compact charging case providing an additional 20 hours. And Speed Charge gives you an entire hour of listening after just 10 minutes in the case, which is a great feature when you’re ready to work out but realize the batteries are drained. 

Otium Waterproof Sports Earbuds

These earbuds pack in a number of useful features for an incredibly low price, making them a great choice for athletes on a budget. They communicate with your connected device via Bluetooth, providing access to your favorite streaming services as well as the ability to make phone calls with the built-in microphone. Three sizes of memory foam earbuds and soft ear hooks ensure a comfortable fit, and the neck strap prevents you from accidentally dropping them while you run, bike or hike. 

While these earbuds aren’t built to be submerged, the IPX7 water-resistant shell stands up to splashes and sweat, so you can work out hard without risk of damaging them. Their audio quality doesn’t quite measure up to that of more expensive options, but the compromise is worth it if cost is a prime concern.

HydroActive Swimbuds 

These pool-friendly headphones have hybrid silicone tips that create a watertight seal to deliver clear audio with enhanced bass. The IPX8 rating means they can be fully submerged without damage to a depth of 10 feet. The strap is designed to not interfere with goggles or swim caps while keeping the earbuds in place during flip turns. They’re a great choice for boating, fishing, kayaking, surfing or any other activity where they could end up underwater. 

These earbuds don’t include any data storage or Bluetooth capabilities, which means you’ll have to plug them into a waterproof audio player, but they’re one of the few high-quality, earbud choices marketed specifically to lovers of water sports.

H2O Audio Sonar Headphones with MP3 Player

These premium bone conduction headphones offer up to 7 hours of play time on a full charge, with the option of using 8GB of onboard audio storage or a wireless Bluetooth connection. The sleek, understated controls let you adjust volume and playback settings as needed while on the move. They’re great for anyone who wants to listen to music while wearing earplugs underwater or wants to be able to hear surrounding noises while cycling or jogging. The IPX8 rating means they’re fully protected at depths to 12 feet. 

These headphones are at the higher end of the price range, but users enjoy their durability, comfort and small size compared to competing options.

Finis Duo Underwater Music MP3 Player

This waterproof music player is built with swimmers in mind. The bone conduction audio transmission lets you hear your favorite tunes while wearing earplugs if necessary. The speakers clip to the strap on your goggles and rest on your cheekbones, providing amazingly clear sound. You can load up to 60 hours of audio on the 4GB of onboard storage, which translates to about 1,000 songs in either MP3 or WMA format. They’re designed to perform safely for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 10 feet and can last for up to 7 hours on a full charge. 

While this player doesn’t include Bluetooth, and it’s designed to sound best when submerged, it’s sure to be a swimmer’s best friend during long training sessions. 

Pyle Waterproof MP3 Player Swim Headphones

Pyle has made a name for itself by delivering no-nonsense audio gear at reasonable prices, and these headphones are no exception. They offer IPX8 waterproof performance in a lightweight, minimal package. Soft earbud tips prevent water from flowing between the speaker and your ears to keep the audio crisp and clear. A flexible strap that goes behind the head keeps these headphones from sinking to the bottom of the pool or dropping to the ground in the event they come loose. 

These headphones are not Bluetooth compatible, but they include 4GB of onboard flash storage that can hold hours of MP3 music and podcasts. A simple drag-and-drop interface and USB connection make it easy to load your favorite content.

Apekx Sport Waterproof Bluetooth Earphones

Unlike some earbuds that only work when both are being worn, you can use just one of these earphones at a time, enabling you to enjoy your music and still hear surrounding activity or conversations. The IPX7 rating means that they’re able to perform through vigorous, sweaty activities and the occasional splash of rain. Bluetooth enabled with a built-in microphone, they pair with your favorite music player and phone. 

A full battery delivers 4 to 6 hours of listening time, and the case holds an additional three full charges, giving you around 24 hours of audio before you need to plug anything in. These earphones include three sizes of interchangeable silicone ear hooks, three tip sizes and a charging case and are available in three sporty color combinations.

What to know before you buy waterproof earbuds

Type

Before delving into the specifics of waterproof earbuds, first decide which type you need. Before choosing between corded, wireless and bone conduction, consider where you intend to use the earbuds and with what type of device.

Earbuds vs. in-ear headphones: Some consider in-ear headphones to be different from earbuds because they sit in the ear canal while earbuds don’t, but this is a fine distinction. Many people lump the two types together under the word “earbuds.” Some people prefer in-ear models because they do a better job of blocking out external noise. Others find earbuds to be more comfortable because they don’t reach as far into the ear.

Corded vs. wireless: Corded earbuds may not be of much use to you if you don’t have a waterproof music player or phone to pair with them. That said, the advantage of corded earbuds is that they never require charging. They’ll work for as long as they’re plugged into the device. These models also tend to have better sound quality. However, the cords are prone to tangling, and if you hook the cord on something, it could come loose from the device. For this reason, some prefer the freedom of motion offered by wireless waterproof earbuds even if it means sacrificing a little sound quality. 

Bone conduction: Bone conduction headphones keep your ears open by placing the speakers against your cheekbones where the vibrations make their way to your eardrums. Popular with swimmers, these devices allow you to still wear earplugs, and they keep your ears free to hear the world around you while you walk or jog. However, the audio quality isn’t as good as traditional earbuds, and some people find bone conduction speakers uncomfortable.

IP rating

Ingress Protection, or water-resistance, ratings are usually given as IPX followed by a number ranging from 0 to 8, with 0 indicating no protection against water and 8 representing the highest degree of water protection. If you plan to use the earbuds while swimming, look for models rated IPX8. If you only need protection against rain or sweat while working out, you might be able to get by with earbuds rated IPX6.

Fit

Badly fitting earbuds can hurt your ears or fall out, making you less likely to use them, so it’s crucial to choose a well-fitting pair. Everyone’s ear shape is a little different, but by reading through customer reviews, you should be able to get some idea of whether fit is a major concern for a particular brand of earbuds. Active individuals should choose waterproof earbuds that have ear hooks to help hold them in place while you’re moving.

Sound quality

As with any headphones, waterproof earbuds vary in the quality of the sound they deliver. As a general rule, corded models produce slightly better sound than wireless, but you can find wireless waterproof earbuds that have crisp, high-definition sound. Read through customer reviews to get a sense of the sound quality of any earbuds you’re considering.

Cord

If you choose corded earbuds, you have your choice of the traditional Y-shaped cord, which hangs down in front of you, or an asymmetrical cord, which typically goes behind the head. With the latter style, there’s less chance that you’ll hook the cord on something and accidentally pull the earbuds out of your ears or the device.

Many corded waterproof earbuds have some basic controls on them, so you can play or pause what you’re listening to and increase or decrease the volume. This is a nice option if you don’t feel like pulling out your phone or music player every time you want to make a small adjustment.

Wireless range

Most wireless waterproof earbuds connect to devices via Bluetooth. Each has a maximum range, and if you go farther away from your device than this, your headphones will no longer be able to connect to the device. Think about how you intend to use the earbuds and choose a pair with a range that’s long enough.

Keep in mind that Bluetooth communication doesn’t work well underwater, so its range is limited to a few inches. This is why most earbuds built specifically for swimming don’t include it and instead use on-board storage, bone conduction or require that they be connected to a waterproof player via a short cable.

Battery life

Wireless waterproof earbuds use a rechargeable battery. Most work for several hours on a single charge, which should be plenty for most activities. But if you plan to use your earbuds for longer periods, choose some that have extra-long battery life.

Tips

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using earbuds in or around water. Some are only rated to certain depths, and using them deeper than that could damage or break them.
  • Be sure to replace worn-out tips with waterproof tips. This prevents water from leaking in and damaging the electronics.
  • Charge wireless earbuds after every use. This is a good way to make sure that they won’t die part way through your workout.
  • Keep the volume as low as possible. This helps prevent hearing loss.

FAQ

Q. How much do waterproof earbuds cost? 

A. Waterproof earbuds range in price from about $15 to over $100. Earbuds under $20 can do the job, but the sound quality won’t be great, and they won’t hold up well over time. If you want nice, mid-range waterproof earbuds, expect to spend at least $20 to $50. These earbuds usually have better sound quality, a longer battery life for wireless models and a rating of at least IPX7. If you plan to wear your waterproof earbuds while swimming, expect to spend at least $75. These models usually have the best sound quality and some are rated IPX8.

Q. Do I really need waterproof earbuds?

A. Not necessarily. It depends on how you intend to use them. Waterproof earbuds are a nice choice for athletes who want to be able to listen to music while they exercise without worrying about sweat or a little rain damaging them.

Q. What IPX rating do I need?

A. That depends on how you intend to use the earbuds. A rating of IPX4 indicates that the earbuds are splash-proof, and this might be all you need if you want to use them without fear of a little drizzle or sweat. But if you plan to wear your earbuds in or around water, you should choose some that are rated IPX7 or IPX8 because these can be completely submerged.

Q. Can I use waterproof earbuds with a swim cap?

A. Yes. Slip the earbuds beneath the swim cap to help hold them in place. You can also put some of the extra cord under the cap to keep it out of the way.

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