Headphones these days should be made for the modern lifestyle; you should be able to use them while jogging in the park, on the subway, or even while swimming or bathing. For the last part, the options are either to play music on a speaker or use waterproof headphones. The sound of water gushing will definitely be a nuisance in enjoying music which strikes out the former. To enjoy pure and unadulterated tunes while taking a shower, swimming laps, or just lounging out by the pool or near another water source, a good pair of waterproof headphones is a must. Feel free to scroll past our top 10 guide of the best waterproof headphones, for more detailed information and reviews.
Best Waterproof Headphones Complete Guide
Swimbuds SPORT Waterproof Headphones
Northcore Waterproof Headphones
Pyle PWPE10B Marine Sport Waterproof In-Ear Earbud Stereo Headphones for iPod/iPhone/MP3 Player
X-1 (Powered by H2O Audio) IE2-BK-X Surge Waterproof Sport In-Ear Headphones
Waterfi Waterproof Short Cord Headphones for Swimming, Surfing, and Running
Aquapac 100% Waterproof Headphones 919
OverBoard Waterproof Headphones
Hydroharmony HH-02 Headphones, Noise-isolating, Waterproof
DryCASE DryBUDS Fusion Waterproof Earbuds with Microphone (DB-26)
Buyee 3.5mm Waterproof Earphone
What Do You Need To Look For When Shopping For Waterproof Headphones?
IPXX Rating for Waterproofing
The primary characteristic to look for in selecting a waterproof pair of headphones is, well, the waterproofing. There are usually IPX rating labels on a waterproof product’s box or advertisement. The IPX code is called the International Protection Marking that classifies electronic products’ resistance or proofing to the elements like dust and water intrusion.
Electronic products that have been rigorously tested by this standard have IPXX certification. For example, if a product has an IP67 it is completely dustproof and can be submerged on water not deeper than 1 meter for 30 minutes. The ‘6’ corresponds to solid particle protection or dust resistance while the ‘7’ corresponds to liquid ingress protection or water resistance. 6 is the highest rating for solid particle protection while 9K is the highest rating for liquid ingress protection.
Always bear in mind that a ‘water resistant’ product is different from a ‘waterproof’ product. Water resistance only means that a product is splash proof, it can survive splashes or jets of water but cannot be submerged underwater. These types of products often have a 4, 5, 6, or 6K in liquid ingress protection and are often only good for splashes near the pool or exposure to the rain. While a water resistant product may theoretically still be submerged, it is generally not recommended to do so and may void the product’s warranty.
On the other hand, a waterproof product may completely be submerged underwater but only for a specific amount of time and depth. A product rated at 7 can be submerged underwater but not deeper by one meter and only for 30 minutes. An 8 rated product can be submerged by more than 1 meter deep. Manufacturers usually label how deep a product can be submerged at this rating, most often not more than 3 meters deep. 9K is the highest liquid ingress protection rating and means a product can withstand high-pressure and high temperature spray downs. Waterproof products usually only have an IPX7 or IPX8 rating.
Build Quality and Durability
Another thing to consider in selecting a waterproof pair of headphones is the build quality of the product. If there are ports for charging or 3.5mm audio jacks, make sure that these ports or either tightly sealed by protective flaps or there is technology that prevents short circuitry from occurring as some devices today no longer need protective flaps despite waterproofing. If there are metals used in the body, make sure that the metals used can withstand corrosion from fresh or saltwater. There should also be no visible gaps in the body unless done so by design. Some rubber eartips may suffer from saltwater corrosion so that is something to keep in mind. Immaculate build quality is essential in buying the best waterproof headphones.
The next thing to consider in buying a pair of waterproof headphones is the fit. Swimming a few laps in a pool or dipping in the beach requires a pair of headphones with good fit that does not easily fall off when worn. One would not want to take a dip only to find that his headphones got lost underwater. Eartips that provide a secure seal on the ears is essential. Most in-ear headphones today come with different sizes of eartips and one should definitely select the proper eartips to fit his ear, lest he face the scenario of losing his pair of headphones.
Character is mostly absent when it comes to waterproof headphones. This is because the mostly generic designs allow the headphones to have a seamless and gapless construction, in turn making waterproofing easier. There are still manufacturers, however, that try to put some sort of an identity into their product lineup. As long as the headphones is lightweight and does not get in the way of ergonomics while swimming, it should do fine.
No pair of headphones will be great without superb sound quality. Each person may have his or her own preference in terms of audio output be it neutral sounding drivers or head crushing bassy cans. However, it is consensus that a pair of headphones that sound too tinny (wherein the lows are mostly absent) is not a good pair of headphones. Transparent sound will also be hard to come by in this category as an open-backed design is quite difficult to implement in a waterproof body.
The best headphones for swimmers are those that feature waterproofing, great build quality, good ergonomics, superb sound quality and an excellent fit. Many swimmers choose to find the best waterproof Bluetooth headphones, to completely avoid the issue of any tangling of cables while in the water. Take note of the differences between water resistance and water proofing. Also remember that some waterproof headphones may not be used underwater for lower depths so always check the IPXX rating and the product manual. Other athletes and fitness buffs will also appreciate waterproof headphones, which tend to include sweat-proofing as well.
What Are The Best Waterproof Headphones?
1. Swimbuds SPORT Review
With an IPX rating of an 8, the Swimbuds Sport headphones are specifically designed for use in wide variety of water sporting situations. Underwater Audio is quite popular for their high-quality waterproof headphones, and these headphones are no exception. The Swimbuds Sport in-ear headphones can be used in up to 10 feet of water, and are perfect for a variety of activities including lap swimming, surfing, or even paddle boarding; if you are around water or expect to be getting wet, a high-quality pair of waterproof headphones is essential.
Unlike many headphones that are designed for use underwater, the Swimbuds Sport headphones do not become muffled or deliver any lesser quality sound below the surface. In fact, the sound these underwater headphones deliver is pretty great actually, delivering an even amount of bass, mids, and highs; one never overpowers the other. If you often participate in water sport activities, the Swimbuds Sport headphones with their Hydrobeat TM sound is one of your best options.
With a length of only 15 inches, the Swimbuds Sport’s cord no longer interferes with your ability to move or forces you to find ways to wrap the extra length around your mask or swim cap. This is a big plus, especially for swimmers, as I have seen a great many quite annoyed when the cord slips and becomes tangled in the middle of the pool. For those that prefer a longer cord in certain situations, for example many surfers choose to place their audio player in a pocket, an extension cord is also conveniently included with purchase.
Four types of different ear tips ranging in size, including a special shape that simply hooks into your ears, ensure that your headphones stay in place. There is very little if any sound leakage once you find the perfect fit. The material that is used for the tips is actually quite comfortable, and I never leave the pool with sore ears when I use the Swimbuds Sport headphones. Not surprisingly to us, the Swimbuds have continued to receive high user ratings since they were first made available for purchase. Are you as fond of them as we are?
2. Northcore Waterproof Headphones Review
Northcore is a British company specializing in surfing, skating, skiing, and snowboarding equipment. While board equipment is usually known for flashy and unique aesthetics, it looks like the company’s design chops didn’t translate well into the Northcore Waterproof Headphones. The body looks decent, but its design is borderline generic. There are diamond-cut patterns to break the monotony and some subtle touches like the protruding metal accents, but the design isn’t exactly mind-blowing.
The build quality of the Northcore Waterproof Headphones is solid though. There are no gaps, creaks, or rattling noises exhibited by the body. Plastic, rubber, and metal make up the majority of the headphones’ appearance. What is great about the Northcore Waterproof Headphones though is its waterproofing which is IPX8 rated. The headphones can be submerged underwater at 19 feet or 6 meters deep, great for active water activities like diving and surfing. There is a problem, however, with the fit of the ear tips. The mushroom-shaped tips had a hard time providing a good seal underwater and constantly had to be re-inserted inside the ears.
The sound quality is sure to please you bass-head swimmers out there. The v-shaped sound signature of the Northcore Waterproof Headphones outputs deep, thudding bass and bright trebles. The midrange is relegated to the background, however. The bass is extremely crisp with full round pounds that can easily overpower the mids and highs and is reminiscent of the Beats in-ear headphones. The soundstage is noticeably cramped with the lows hogging the spotlight. While it may not be what audiophiles will want in terms of sound output, the average consumer will love it.
For a pair of cheap waterproof headphones, buyers of the Northcore Waterproof Headphones surely won’t be disappointed. While there are slight issues with fit of the ear tips, overall this is a great attempt by Northcore at producing a competitive pair of waterproof headphones.
3. Pyle PWPE10B Marine Sport Review
Like a lot of waterproof headphones available today, the Pyle Marine Sport is by and large a discreet design if not nondescript. The behind-the-ear setup of the headphones means that it won’t get in the way while doing rigorous activities like kayaking or surfing. The Pyle Marine Sport relies on its ear tips to provide the headphones some character. The christmas tree-like tri-flange ear tips look a bit unusual though there is still an option to use traditional mushroom-shaped ear tips in the package. There is also a white color option that looks as generic as its black counterpart.
The design of the Marine Sport allows it to have a lightweight fluid construction that is bereft of gaps for water to get into. The behind-the-ear setup allows the Marine Sport to stay in the wearer’s ears better than traditional setups but the eartips have a bad habit of detaching from the headphones while swimming. Another issue, though quite expected, is that the wires get in the way of swimming. They float randomly while underwater and can become tangled on occasion. This might deter competitive swimmers from selecting this pair of headphones, but who would want to wear headphones on a competition anyway?
The sound quality of the Pyle Marine Sport is by and large a letdown though is still quite okay for its price. The drivers output a slightly tinny sound that is too bright for one’s liking. The lows are present though far from imposing. The mids and highs are very present with the mids really standing out so vocals really shine while the rest of the instruments are relegated in the background.
For $15 the Pyle Marine Sport In-Ear Earbuds is still a great buy. Though its sound quality is not the best out there, its lightweight waterproof body makes up for it. There aren’t many waterproof headphones today and for its price, the Marine Sport performs adequately.
4. X-1 IE2-BK-X Surge Review
The X-1 Surge Sport Waterproof Headphones sports a design that is either plain and discreet or colorful and eye-catching depending on the color of the model. There are different color options to choose from including jet black, black/blue and white/blue. There is a dimple shield in the earbuds that features the X-1 logo. A great thing about the X-1 Surge Sport Waterproof Headphones is that there are five different sizes of earbuds included in the package instead of the normal three. This gives buyers more options to select a proper fit. The eartips provide a nice secure fit on the ears and do not fall off even when speed-swimming.
The build quality of the X-1 Surge Sport is great. The all-plastic lightweight construction feels really solid and there aren’t any problems exhibited by the body. The flawless construction of the body does not allow gaps and does not demonstrate creaks or rattling noises. It also allows The X-1 Surge to be waterproofed. The Surge Sport is IPX8 rated and can be submerged for 12 feet or 3.6 meters deep underwater which will be appreciated by scuba divers.
The sound quality of the X-1 Surge Sport Waterproof Headphones is great. The lows are deep and accented but controlled, the mids are bright and full, and the highs are crystal clear. The sound output can be characterized by warm, even tones that are pleasant to the ears. The soundstage is also large with clear differentiation of the instruments in each track.
With eye-catching looks, great build quality, excellent sound output, and an affordable price tag to boot at only $33, the X-1 Surge Sport Waterproof Headphones is definitely one of the best buys out there. Not many waterproof headphones combine unique design and great audio quality while the X-1 Surge Sport does so flawlessly.
5. Waterfi Waterproof Short Cord Headphones Review
The Waterfi Waterproof Short Cord Headphones features a thin, elongated design that looks hip and chic. The design is marked with the tri-flange ear tips that look a bit like Christmas trees. A small WaterFi logo is printed on each earbud. The WaterFi Short Cord Headphones only comes in blue, however. Overall, the design looks great and its hip styling allows it to stand out among generic-looking waterproof headphones.
As the name implies, WaterFi outfitted its headphones with a short cord at about 11 inches in length. This was done to help in the ergonomics so that the cord will not get in the way of swimmers with constant tangling. The setup works well provided that the audio device like an iPod shuffle can be attached to the goggles for example. The The Waterfi Waterproof Short Cord Headphones is also IPX8 rated and can be submerged up to 3 meters or 10 feet underwater for a significant amount of time which is about average among its competition.
The only material used in the body is glossy plastic which may evoke a slightly cheap feel. The earbuds are quite hollow inside but one cannot argue that its lightweight construction is not a plus. Besides, waterproof headphones should primarily consider ergonomics before premium materials.
The sound quality of the Waterfi Waterproof Short Cord Headphones is par for the course compared to other similarly priced waterproof headphones. It outputs even tones, good bass, and clear trebles. There is some distortion present at the loudest volumes though it is unlikely one will one to listen at those volume levels. The sound stage is okay, not too cramped and not too wide. Middling indeed.
With a chic design, IPX8 waterproofing, and a short cord that is good for ergonomics, the Waterfi Waterproof Short Cord Headphones is a great buy at $30 a pop.
6. Aquapac 100% Water Headphones 919 Review
Aquapac’s 100% Waterproof Headphones features a 100% generic design. There is no semblance of character and one will not be able to pick it apart from a sea of generic headphones. There are silicone ear loops included in the package should one want to wear it behind the ear. The Aquapac 100% Waterproof Headphones 919 only comes in black.
The headphones are comfortable when worn. The entire thing is extremely light and is unobtrusive when worn except for the occasional cord tangling. The ear tips provide a secure seal on the ears and there are additional ear tip sizes that should suit a variety of ear shapes. When worn with the silicone ear loops, the Aquapac 100% Water Headphones 919 does an even better job of staying firmly in the ears. The silicone ear loops sit gently and do not exert undue pressure on the ears making the headphones comfortable to wear even for long periods of time.
The build quality of the Aquapac 100% Waterproof Headphones 919 is fantastic with no creaks or gaps in the body. It is all-plastic though that should be no problem underwater. It is also IPX8 certified meaning it can be submerged for 10 feet or 3 meters underwater for no longer than 30 minutes.
The sound quality of the Aquapac 100% Waterproof Headphones 919 is great. The sound output is characterized by cool, even tones with a balanced sound spectrum. The lows were deep but not overly punchy; the mids were bright while the highs were sharp. The soundstage of the headphones is good, wider than other waterproof headphones but not by a mile. There is clear differentiation in the instruments in each track.
With a great sound output, solid build, and supreme comfort, the Aquapac 100% Waterproof Headphones 919 are definitely worth its its low price.
7. OverBoard Waterproof Headphones Review
The OverBoard Waterproof Headphones features a nondescript design; it is just a pair of black or white plastic headphones with an “OB” logo. The complete lack of design identity is forgiven, however, as there is no reason why one should flaunt a pair of flashy headphones while swimming. Perhaps and advantage of the plain design is a solid build quality that does not feature any gaps in the body for water to pass through. The all-plastic construction is lightweight but may come off as cheap-feeling. The audio jack is gold-plated so water corrosion is not a problem. The device is IPX8 rated as OverBoard lists the product as capable of being submerged for a depth of 6 meters underwater.
Ergonomics can be an issue when it comes to the OverBoard Waterproof Headphones. Though the headphones itself is lightweight and barely noticeable when worn, the cables are quite long and freely float around underwater making them obtrusive while swimming. There is also a slight problem with the fit though as wet ears can occasionally prevent the ear tips from getting a secure seal.
What the OverBoard Waterproof Headphones lacks in design chops, it more than makes up for in sound quality. For a $30 pair of waterproof headphones, the sound quality is excellent characterized by warm tones. The lows are thumping and more so underwater, the mids are bright, and the highs are perfectly clear. The sound stage is not that wide but there is definite separation between the instruments in a track.
The solid sound quality more than makes up for the generic design of the OverBoard Waterproof Headphones. Just wear it with dry ears, though, for a better fit. Overall, it is one of the better buys in the waterproof headphones market segment.