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IPX8 waterproof for swimming and aquatic sports. Bone conduction frees up the ears or allows the use of swim plugs. Built-in audio player comes with 4GB of storage for up to 1000 songs in MP3 or WMA format. Clips onto goggles for secure fit in the water. Onboard controls.
Doesn’t sound as good outside the water. Needs goggles for support.
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.
Repetitive "low battery" notifications. Not for swimming.
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.
No Bluetooth or built-in audio player means you need a separate waterproof source device.
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.
Designed primarily for goggle straps. Bluetooth cannot transmit very far through water.
IPX8 waterproof. Built-in 4GB music player accepts WMA and MP3 format audio files. Bendable and flexible wraparound band fits most heads. Earbuds come with flexible ear tips for both underwater and general fitness activities.
Underwater performance of the in-ear buds depends on good ear tip fit.
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.
Earbuds are a popular choice for listening to music on the go. They’re lightweight, portable, and durable. Plus, you don’t need to worry about them messing up your hair the way some traditional headphones can. However, earbuds do have one major flaw: when it rains, most earbuds must be put away. If you enjoy being outdoors rain or shine, waterproof earbuds are another option.
Waterproof earbuds work exactly the same way as regular earbuds, with the added benefit that they can be used around or even in the water without fear of damage. But just like with traditional earbuds, there are some quality differences between the different models.
Before you can delve into the specific features of waterproof earbuds, you first need to decide which type you want.
Earbuds vs. in-ear headphones: Some consider in-ear headphones to be different from earbuds because they actually enter the ear canal while earbuds don’t, but this is a fine distinction. Many people lump the two types together under the heading of “earbuds.” Some prefer the in-ear models because they do a better job of blocking external noise. Other people find earbuds to be more comfortable than in-ear headphones because they don’t reach as far into the ear.
Corded vs. wireless: 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.
Before choosing between corded and wireless, consider where you plan to use the earbuds and with what type of device. 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.
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 IPX-8. But if you only need a little protection against rain or sweat while working out, you might be able to get by with earbuds rated IPX-6.
Once you’ve figured out the type of waterproof earbuds you need, it’s time to focus on the details.
Ill-fitting earbuds can hurt or fall out of your ears, making you less likely to use them. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a well-fitting pair. Everyone’s ear shape is a little different, but by reading through customer reviews of the earbuds you’re considering, you should be able to get some idea of whether fit is a major concern. Active individuals should choose waterproof earbuds that have ear hooks to help better hold the earbuds in place while you’re moving.
As with any headphones, waterproof earbuds vary in sound quality. As a general rule, corded models will produce slightly better sound than wireless earbuds, but you can still find wireless waterproof earbuds with crisp, high-definition sound. Read through customer reviews to get a sense of the sound quality of the waterproof earbuds you’re considering.
If you go with corded earbuds, you have your choice of the traditional Y-shaped cord or asymmetrical cord. The Y-shaped cord hangs down in front of you in the shape of a Y, hence the name. Asymmetrical cords typically go behind your head, so there’s less of a 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 the earbuds themselves, so you can play or pause what you’re listening to or 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.
Most wireless waterproof earbuds connect to your devices via Bluetooth. Each will have a 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 what you intend to use the earbuds for and choose some with a range long enough to accommodate this.
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.
Waterproof earbuds range in price from about $15 to over $100.
Earbuds under $20 can do the job, but the sound quality is usually poor and they don’t hold up well over time.
If you want nice, mid-range waterproof earbuds, you should expect to spend at least $20 to $50. These earbuds usually have better sound quality, longer battery life for wireless models, and a rating of at least IPX-7.
Those who plan to wear their waterproof earbuds while swimming will need to spend at least $75. These models usually have the best sound quality, and some are rated IPX-8.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using waterproof earbuds in or around water. Some are only rated to certain depths and using them deeper than this could break the earbuds.
Replace worn-out tips with waterproof tips. Otherwise, water could leak in and damage the electronics.
Charge your wireless waterproof earbuds before every use. It’s a good way to make sure that they don’t die on you partway through the day.
Keep the volume as low as you can to prevent damage to your eardrums.
A. Not necessarily. It all depends on how you intend to use them. But waterproof earbuds are a nice choice for athletes who want to be able to listen to music while they exercise without worrying about rain or sweat damaging the electronics.
A. That all depends on how you intend to use the earbuds. A rating of IPX-4 indicates that the earbuds are splash-proof, so this may be all you need if you want to use them without fear of a little drizzle or sweat. But if you plan to use your earbuds in the water, you should choose some that are rated to IPX-7 or IPX-8 because these can be completely submerged.
A. Yes. Slip the earbuds underneath the cap to help keep them in place. You can also put some of the extra cord under the cap to keep it out of your way.