To the surprise of headphone manufacturers, fitness headphones are quite popular these days. This is due to many reasons. People often have jobs in which they’re sitting in front of a computer all day. So, to combat that laziness, fitness is a good hobby to pick up. However, fitness companies forget that a large group of these exercisers are swimmers. When one is swimming, traditional headphones just don’t cut it.
It’s important that water doesn’t break through the seal. Getting water in your ears while swimming is not a comfortable experience at all. With that said, headphones like these remain a niche category. As such, it’s hard to pick out the best ones for you. So, be prepared to make some sacrifices.
In this guide, we won’t be talking about only sweat resistance headphones. Those headphones will not survive underwater anyway. So, for all of you wondering, here are the best waterproof headphones in 2021.
The AfterShokz Xtrainerz headphones are a new way to listen to music while swimming. They are unique and inside an already niche industry, they stand out even more. These are not your typical in-ear headphones. Instead, they use bone conduction technology so that you can listen to music.
As strange and unorthodox as that sounds, it does work with these headphones. However, let’s go around the design first. These AfterShokz headphones have a slim and lightweight design. The bone conducting pads sit right in front of the ear, right beside your temple. The four buttons on the side are soft and easy to press, which is important when swimming.
You can press a button to activate or deactivate the swimming mode. The charger clips on to the headphones, similar to how Jaybird headphones work. The charger is also how you get music into these headphones by plugging the charger into your computer. You get 4GB of internal storage, so you can add all of your favorite songs for a swimming session.
As for audio, it not as bad as you might have expected. Sure, it’s never going to be on the level of premium in-ear headphones but they are slowly getting there. The sound quality is decent considering they are conducting audio through the bones in your head. The best part is that audio never cuts out, no matter what stroke you are doing in the pool.
They might be expensive, but for swimmers who need audio underwater, they are extremely reliable.
The Walkman name doesn’t necessarily carry the same weight it once did for Sony. However, whenever you see that Walkman branding attached to something, you expect good quality. Thankfully, the Walkman NWWS-623 doesn’t disappoint.
It’s good to see that a recognizable brand is working on waterproof headphones. As you’d expect from Sony, the design and build quality are top-notch. They are made out of plastic, but that’s to keep the weight down when underwater. The cable is quite flexible, but it doesn’t feel like it will break anytime soon.
Comfort-wise they are decent but take some getting used to. They are a bit bigger than your average earbuds, so you’ll need some time to adjust to them. There is 4GB of internal storage, which is good enough for the number of songs you’d need for one swimming session.
They have an ambient sound mode, which allows you to listen to your surrounding. Sound quality is quite good, even underwater. They are very loud, which is the most important thing while swimming. You can pinpoint different instruments, although the soundstage is quite narrow.
Overall, these would be our top pick if they were more comfortable. Still, they are easy to get used to and earn our recommendation.
Next up we have the Pyle Waterproof MP3 player, which is exactly what it sounds like. This is more of a budget option, but it does deliver at the end of the day. However, there are a few caveats that you should be aware of. These are budget waterproof headphones after all.
Let’s talk about the good stuff first, these headphones are surprisingly lightweight and extremely comfortable. The outer area is a bit on the bigger side, but once they’re in, they don’t feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the rubber ear tips can fall out occasionally, so be careful with those. It is difficult to find waterproof ear tips separately.
They are simple to operate, sweatproof, and waterproof. You get 8 gigabytes of internal storage, which is a lot compared to other more expensive headphones. Now let’s talk about the sound quality. These do the job of providing music to you underwater, that’s pretty much it.
If you need the best sound quality, look into something a bit more expensive. However, if you don’t want to drop a tonne of cash for separate headphones for swimming, these will get you by just fine.
The name is pretty self-explanatory for these. They are the most popular headphones out there when it comes to swimming. You could say that the Swimbuds Sports are the staple for waterproof headphones. After reviewing them, it’s easy to see why they are so popular.
The main reason for their fame is probably their ease of use. These are normal earbuds with very high-quality waterproof ear tips. They stay in the ear for longer sessions and feel extremely comfortable. They include 11 pairs of earbuds, so you can easily find the right fit for you. Comfort is an easy win for these headphones.
These headphones don’t exactly look amazing. The logo on both of the earbuds is a bit obnoxious. However, no one is seeing you underwater so it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. As secure as they are, they don’t feel well relatively well built. This is a bit disappointing since they are so expensive.
The sound quality is quite surprising. They sound comparable to many mid-tier headphones that you could use outside of water. They have a focus on bass, which is good for enjoying a heavy workout. Still, they sound clear and are enjoyable.
Here’s the dealbreaker for some: They are a bit expensive, and you’ll have to invest in a waterproof MP3 player. The latter isn’t that hard to find, but we would have liked to see some sort of actual solution to this. Still, these are quite good, if you can get around that hassle of managing the MP3 player.
Last on our list we have the Finis Duo Underwater Bone Conduction MP3 player. The product is exactly what it sounds like, and it does get the job done. It is not the fanciest solution in the world, but it does work for the most part.
First off, let’s get this out of the way. You won’t be impressing anyone with the style of these headphones. They look a bit funky and almost antique. Something about the blue and green color combination reminds me of extremely old headphones. But hey, if they work underwater, that’s what we’re here for.
They have 4GB of internal storage, as this is an MP3 player. Now you might be wondering how to wear these underwater. Well, you have to clip them on to your swimming goggles. If you don’t wear a pair, well tough luck. Even if you do have a pair, they are sometimes difficult to clip on to the goggles.
Sound quality is about average. The bone conduction works, but it’s not all that impressive. AfterShokz implements this technology better. However, battery life is quite decent at about 7 hours or so. If you don’t care for sound quality all that much, these are still a decent pair.