Best Waterproof Headphones For Swimming [2023 Buying Guide]

by Alex.   Last Updated On January 3rd, 2023.
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There’s nothing better than jumping into a pool and completely immersing yourself in the water.

However, the noiseless pool can lead you to want more out of your swimming experience. Waterproof headphones allow you to listen to your favorite playlist or audiobook as you’re swimming laps.

The best pair of waterproof headphones are the Zygo Solo. These are the only waterproof headphones that can stream content from your phone as you’re underwater. Although the headset is bulky and expensive, it produces great sound and is easy to set up. Since Bluetooth can’t penetrate water, these headphones use an FM transmitter to stream audio from your phone. 

Listening to audio as you’re swimming brings an entirely new dimension to the experience. This is why we’ll show you exactly which pair of waterproof headphones to buy for your next swim outing.

Whether you’re training for swim meets or casually getting your cardio in, a great song can provide much-needed energy and relaxation.

Let’s dive in.

Table of Contents

Comparison of the Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

Best Sound Quality and Usability Waterproof Headphones For SwimmingSee On Amazon
photo of the Sony Walkman NW-WS413Sony
Walkman NW-WS413
Most Lightweight Waterproof Headphones For SwimmingSee On Amazon
photo of the Shokz OpenSwimShokz
Most Unique Waterproof Headphones For SwimmingSee On Amazon
photo of the H2O Audio SonarH2O Audio
Best Budget Waterproof Headphones For SwimmingSee On Amazon
photo of the Pyle Flextreme MP3 EarbudsPyle
Flextreme MP3 Earbuds
Most Comfortable Waterproof Headphones For SwimmingSee On Amazon
photo of the AfterShokz Xtrainerz XtrainerzAfterShokz Xtrainerz

Reviews of the Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

Although these Sony headphones are marketed for general active use, they’re completely waterproof and incredible for swimming.

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Unlike the Zygo Solo headphones, the Sony’s feature a built-in MP3 player. This means you’ll need to manually upload every audio file you want to listen to before going to the pool.

These headphones are available with 4GB or 8GB of storage and are equipped with buttons on either side. Furthermore, they come with four sets of earbuds. Two of them are standard ones and two of them are swim-specific versions.

Once you plug the earbuds into your ears, a sprung connective clasp around the back of your next makes sure both sides remain secure. They make for outstanding pool headphones and will further lock into place if you’re fast on your pushes off the wall.

Sound Quality

The sound quality will vary depending on how water sloshes around your ears. This means that the sound can either be excellent or slightly muffled. However, you’ll likely find these as an improvement over the sound provided by bone conduction waterproof headphones if you can find the right fit.

You can also use the Sony Walkman NW-WS413 headphones on dry land as a pair of running headphones.

There’s an Ambient Sound mode that makes the surrounding world easier to hear at the touch of a button. It does make a difference, but it’s so subtle that it’s not worth the cost of the battery.

In terms of sound quality and usability, these are amazing. The buttons are easy to access and allow you to change songs or adjust the volume. Furthermore, the audio was as clear as any other sports headphones I’ve tested. The clarity also remained consistent when I dipped underwater.

They also offer great bass for any EDM or hip/hop songs. To upload music onto the headphones, you’ll need to use the provided USB 2.0 cable and plug it into your computer. Then you can simply drag and drop your audio files into the folder.

If you want a dedicated audio player for swimming that has in-ear plugs, the Sony’s are an easy choice. Sony has a deep history of creating innovative and robust products, and the NW-WS413 headphones live up to this heritage.

Key Features

  • 14-hour battery life
  • 4 GB or 8 GB storage
  • Supports MP3, MP4, WAV, and WMA
  • IPX68-rated waterproof headset
What We Like
Amazing Battery Life

A 14-hour battery life is a huge upgrade over other waterproof headphones. Furthermore, you can get one hour of use from a quick three-minute charge.

Excellent Sound

In-ear plugs mean that your sound will be clear and loud.

Know Before Buying
In-ear Fitting Won’t Suit Everybody

Depending on your ears, the headphones may slip out of your ears which causes a muffled sound.

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You should purchase these headphones if you’re an avid swimmer that doesn’t prefer in-ear plugs. The Shokz OpenSwim headphones design allows you to put them on and instantly forget about them. No more fidgeting with your ears, wires, and plugs.

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Coming in at third place is the Shokz Openswim waterproof headphones for swimming. These lightweight headphones work both in and out of the pool.

Similar to the Sony’s, these headphones also feature a built-in MP3 player. Once again, you’ll need to manually upload your audio files into the headphones from your computer.

However, these are different from the Sony’s because they use bone conduction instead of in-ear plugs.

As you’re swimming the Shokz OpenSwim headphones are best paired with swimming goggles or a swim cap to keep them secure. Furthermore, there are three small buttons behind the right ear that let you play, pause, and skin your tracks.

They also feature a dedicated swim mode that provides clear sound. You’ll also be able to hear ambient noise, such as the lifeguard blowing a whistle. Bone conduction is an extremely innovative way of allowing swimmers to listen to music. It also means you don’t need to worry about fitting plugs into your ears or dealing with earbud-driven ear infections.

The lightweight build also makes them one of the most comfortable waterproof headphones on the market.

Key Features

  • 8-hour battery life
  • 4 GB storage
  • Supports MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, and FLAC
  • Bone conduction audio transmission
  • Saltwater safe
  • IPX-68 rated headphones
What We Like
Excellent Ambient Sound Perception

In terms of sound quality, these are nearly as good as the Zygo Solo headphones. I highly recommend you visit your local electronics store and test a pair of bone induction headphones. You’ll be surprised at how nice they sound.

Light And Secure Fit

The Shokz OpenSwim headphones weigh just a bit over 1 oz and slip around your head in a way that means you quickly forget about them.

Know Before Buying
No Bluetooth Connectivity

If you want to use these headphones for running or working out, you won’t be able to connect your phone to them.

Sound Bleed Above Water

These headphones are slightly prone to sound leakage out of water because of the bone induction sound transmission.

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The H2O Audio Sonar allows you to stream audio from your Apple watch. However, you’ll need to attach the watch body to your goggles.

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Similar to a few of the headphones above, the H2O Audio Sonar are bone conductive waterproof headphones. These attach directly to your goggles and are incredibly comfortable to wear. There are also large buttons that make them easy to operate with wet hands.

What’s unique about these headphones is that they are Bluetooth compatible. Since Bluetooth can’t penetrate water, you’ll need to connect your smartwatch to the headphones for them to work. However, you have to hook your smartwatch directly to the back of your goggles because Bluetooth only has an effective range of 4 inches when underwater.

If you don’t have a smartwatch, you can utilize the generous 8 GB of onboard storage and manually add the audio files you want to listen to.

Key Features

  • 7-hour battery life
  • 8 GB storage
  • Supports MP3 and M4A
  • Bluetooth compatibility for land-use
What We Like
Lots Of Storage

8 GB of onboard storage is plenty since song files are generally small.

Stream Music From A Smartwatch

H2O specializes in waterproof headphones and is the online brand that makes smartwatch compatible headphones.

Know Before Buying
Can’t Be Worn Without Goggles

It’s imperative to understand that you cannot use these headphones without goggles. Attaching them to your goggles is the only way they’ll stay in place on your head.

Not Great For Land Use

These aren’t great for running or normal exercise because they require you to wear goggles.

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The Pyle Flextreme MP3 Earbuds are waterproof headphones that come at an affordable price point. Based on the price point, you can’t expect much in terms of innovative features or settings.

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What they do offer is reliability and convenience. These headphones offer 4 GB of onboard storage which offers a lot of options when it comes to your audio files. You can use these in the water or on the land. They come with 2 pairs of water blocking earbuds for swimming and 3 pairs of active sport earbuds for fitness and training.

We recommend leaving this charging overnight so you can guarantee a full charge when you go swimming the next day. However, it only takes around 2 hours to fully charge this device.

Compared to the Sony Walkman’s the audio quality obviously won’t be as good. This doesn’t mean that the sound is completely terrible though. As long as you are not a complete audiophile, the Pyle Flextreme MP3 Earbuds will do you justice for all your swimming adventures.

However, I recommend investing a bit more and getting the Sony’s instead of these if you can afford it. As I mentioned earlier, quality is extremely important when it comes to innovative technology like this.

Opting for the budget-friendly option may seem enticing at first but usually doesn’t pan out in the long run. The Pyle Flextreme MP3 earbuds are still great but just not as good as the Sony’s

Key Features

  • 10-hours of battery life
  • 8 GB storage
  • Supports MP3 and WMA
  • Adjustable strap
  • Weighs 25g
What We Like

Despite having in-ear plugs, these headphones are wire-free. They are attached to a single strap that goes around the back of your head.

Ergonomic Design

These headphones are ergonomically designed for long-lasting comfort hours on end.

Know Before Buying
Depends On Your Ears

Combining waterproof headphones with in-ear buds is always a tricky process. This is because everyone’s ears are different and react differently when wet. Some users reported issues with the headphones coming loose while they were swimming. This made them stop swimming and need to get out all the water before continuing.

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The AfterShokz Xtrainerz are another pair of bone conduction headphones that are great to use while swimming. If you couldn’t tell by now, bone conduction headphones are what we typically recommend for swimmers.

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Bone conduction headphones also allow you to hear the surrounding noises. In-ear earbuds can feel strange while your underwater because you won’t be able to hear any ambient noise.

Dealing with in-ear earbuds as you’re swimming can be annoying and uncomfortable. Bone conduction headphones simply sit in front of your ears. You can think of them as mini speakers that are right near your ears.

Similar to the majority of the headphones on this list, these also feature a built-in MP3 player with 4 GB of storage.

In terms of comfort, these headphones are outstanding. They are coated in a rubberized material that grips to your head and ears nicely. Furthermore, there are volume, playback, and other buttons located directly on the headphones.

However, it’s important to mention that these headphones aren’t Bluetooth compatible. You’ll need to upload all your music using the USB-A cable that’s included.

In terms of sound quality, the AfterShokz Xtrainerz provides a clear and full sound. The bass response is minimal since these are bone conduction headphones.

Key Features

  • 8-hour battery life
  • IP68-rated headphones
  • 4 GB of storage
  • Comes with a silicone storage case, USB-A charger, and waterproof earplugs
  • Supports MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, and FLAC
What We Like
Full-fidelity Sound

As far as music goes, sound quality is extremely important. Nobody enjoys the sound of blown-out speakers or low-quality phone speakers. Luckily, these headphones offer great sound as you’re maneuvering underwater.

Know Before Buying

These headphones are only compatible with iTunes, so you can’t connect them to Apple Music or Audible.

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What Are Waterproof Headphones?

closse up head from backside with headphone relaxing near swimming pool. Man sun bath in summer and touch screen of mobile. Relax in vocation concept.

Waterproof headphones are essentially normal headphones that have had their internal circuitry and components waterproofed. This is done through hydrophobic coating, which repels water particles.

Waterproof Headphones Aren’t Bluetooth Compatible

It’s essential to note that Bluetooth doesn’t work underwater. This is because the signal can only penetrate water for a very short distance. Unless you’re able to bring your phone or audio player underwater, Bluetooth headphones won’t work. By the way, if you accidentally dropped your phone underwater, you should make sure to correctly get the water out of the phone’s headphone jack to avoid water damage.

So, let’s discuss what kind of waterproof headphones do exist.

Types of Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

Teenage girl swimming underwater. The girl is wearing underwater headphones and listening to music.

The right pair of waterproof headphones will dramatically improve your time spent swimming. Whether you like to listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks, you’ll learn which waterproof headphones to get today.

But what kind of waterproof headphones are there?

Integrated MP3 Player

As the name suggests, these waterproof headphones feature a built-in audio player. This means you don’t have to use your phone to play music. Instead, you transfer music directly onto the headphones. These are the most popular type of underwater headphones because of their functionality and comfortability.

Bone Conduction Headphones

Bone conduction headphones transmit sound directly to your inner ear through vibrations. Placed directly over your cheekbones, these headphones don’t block your ear canal. For this reason, the sound quality is not as good as regular earbuds.

Wired Earphones

Wired waterproof earphones are exactly like a normal pair of wired earbuds. However, they usually feature a shorter cable. These headphones also need to be connected to a waterproof MP3 player or supported fitness watch.

How To Choose Waterproof Headphones for Swimming?

Here’s what to look for in your next pair of waterproof headphones for swimming.

Waterproof Design

Waterproof headphones for swimming need to have a minimum IPX8 waterproof rating to have full water protection. Regular headphones that claim that they’re ‘water-resistant’ will likely immediately break when submerged underwater. IPX7 or lower rated headphones aren’t going to get the job done.

Fortunately, each pair of headphones in this list is completely waterproof.

Underwater Stability

Although you won’t be able to know the stability until you actually use them, this is an important characteristic to remember. Keeping your headphones in your ears without water coming in is a unique issue. As such, you may need to wear a swim cap to secure the fit. The second you lose fit and water fills your ears, you won’t be able to hear the music anymore.


Reliability is extremely important since replacing broken waterproof headphones is expensive and inconvenient. For this reason, it’s better to invest in a pair of quality waterproof headphones that are built with premium materials. We’ll discuss the best waterproof headphones you should buy for swimming in this guide.

Sound Quality

Although you can’t expect your waterproof headphones to sound like a pair of $400 active noise-canceling Bose headsets, you still want good audio quality. As long as you get a good fit with the headphones on this list, you will receive enjoyable sound quality.

Which Waterproof Headphones Should I Choose?

Black headphones in water with bubbles, sound

At this point, we’ve covered all of the waterproof headphones for swimming that are worth mentioning. Any other waterproof headphones will just be variations of the ones I already listed.

So now begs the question: which ones should I get?

We highly recommend going for a pair of bone conduction headphones. Although the name may seem intimidating, this type of headset is perfect for swimming and all underwater activities.

If you must have in-ear headphones, I highly recommend getting the Sony Walkman NW-WS413. These headphones are the highest-quality in-ear waterproof headphones available.

However, we prefer the bone conduction headphones like the Zygo Solo and the AfterShockz Xtrainerz. This is because you won’t have to worry about the earbuds falling out or your ears filling up with water.

The point of waterproof headphones is to enhance our swimming experience, not cause more annoyances.

Do I Need a Waterproof MP3 Player?

A common question we get asked is if you need to purchase a waterproof MP3 player. Simply put, the answer is no.

A lot of the other guides on the web recommend waterproof earbuds that have a standard wire and plug. With earbuds like these, you’ll need to buy a waterproof MP3 player to use it. This is extremely inconvenient because it adds an additional cost. Furthermore, you’ll need to swim with an MP3 player attached to your head.

Doesn’t that sound terribly annoying?

For this reason, I didn’t include any waterproof headphones that require the use of an external MP3 player. Each pair of headphones on this list, excluding the Zygo Solo, has a built-in MP3 player.

This means that the headphones are actually an MP3 player with attached headphones. This also means you don’t need to go out and find another MP3 player and figure out a way to attach it to your head.


Best Sound Quality and Usability Waterproof Headphones For Swimming
Most Lightweight Waterproof Headphones For Swimming
Most Unique Waterproof Headphones For Swimming

I hope you enjoyed this guide on the best waterproof headphones for swimming. The use of any pair of headphones on this list will instantly enhance your swimming experience.

Swimming and music pair beautifully together thanks to advancements in technology. Now you’ll have more excitement as you’re traversing the water. Whether you want to listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or top 40 hits, the world is your oyster.