Today, water lovers can bring their tunes with them and still get quality sound. Not just for swimmers, waterproof headphones are beneficial for all sports enthusiasts since they are also sweatproof and can be rinsed off after use. By reading reviews across the web (iLounge and CrunchGear are good sources), we’ve come up with a list of the top rated waterproof headphones.
H2O Audio Surge 2G Waterproof Headphones
H2o Audio, an innovator in developing underwater accessories, has recently released their improved Surge 2G waterproof headphones. These are the headphones used and endorsed by Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. They are 100% waterproof for underwater submersion up to 12 feet and can be rinsed after a strenuous workout. Five sets of varying sized rubber tips are provided to find the right fit. According to iLounge, these earbuds form a more complete seal in the ear than other headphones they’ve tested. Also compared to other underwater options, the H2o Audio Surge 2G offers an unparalleled sound with a sound-isolating fit and bass amplified neodymium drivers to provide a balanced quality both above and below the water.
The plug is designed to fit into H2O Audio’s waterproof armbands and cases so is only compatible with the iPhone 3G and all iPod models. For other Mp3s or the original iPhone you’ll need a case with a pass-through port or an adapter.
The H2o Audio Surge 2G waterproof headphones retail for $49.99, but are currently on sale at Amazon for $25.59. Comes with a waterproof carrying case. Also offered is a model with a built-in waterproof microphone for around $50.00 here.
Aquapac Waterproof Headphones
The Aquapac waterproof headphones that operate at an underwater depth of 30 feet, but are not advised for use beyond 10 feet due to pressure on the ear. Underwater headphone testers at iLounge gave the Aquapacs a B rating. They were impressed by the sound quality both above and below the water. The silicone tips create a seal in the ear to prevent water from getting in, though the one downside to the Aquapacs are that they only come with one size tips that will fit average sized ears.
The Aquapac waterproof headphones come with a buoy and keychain cord keeper.
You can get them on Amazon for about $47.
Audio Bone Waterproof Headphones
The Audio Bone headphones use bone conduction technology which allow the user to wear the headphones on the outside of their ears. Since we hear differently while submerged in water, this technology completely bypasses the ear drum by converting sound waves into vibrations. There are pros and cons to this type of headphone and after reading reviews by those who have tried them, people either love them or hate them.
One of the cons is the price. The audio bone headphones retail for $189.00. However, these headphones do transfer well to all activities, such as cycling or even listening at work, since it allows you to still be able to hear other things going on around you. Another con is that bone conduction is a less efficient way for us to hear, therefore your iPod or Mp3 will generally need to be on the highest volume setting which can cause the battery to drain faster. Some users report a muffled sound quality, while others like that they can still hear outside noise. Your personal preference would depend upon the intended use. Also, many people don’t like the feel of earbuds so the Audio Bones are a perfect match for them. You can read a full review at the Gadgeteer and CrunchGear.
The Audio Bone Waterproof Headphones are currently on sale at Amazon
Budget Pick: H2O Audio Flex Underwater Headphones
These Flex headphones are the newest entry from H2O Audio and our budget pick for a waterproof headphone. These would be a good option for someone who needs waterproof headphones from time to time, perhaps for sweaty workouts, occasional laps in the pool, or just lying in the bath. They are submersible up to 3 feet underwater. Amazon reviewers complained about the fit with these headphones, though they do come with 3 bud sizes. As one reviewer pointed out, be sure to wipe out your ear so that it’s dry before inserting the buds. This will help create a stronger seal and they won’t slip out as easily. Also, wear the wires on your back and insert the headphones from behind your neck. The sound is of good quality and is well-balanced. Those who prefer a strong bass won’t get it here, but again, the price is key. For a full review on the H2O Audio Flex click here.
The H2O Audio Flex underwater headphones come in a choice of 5 cool colors and are on sale at Amazon for $19.41.
Waterproof iPods Cases
If you spend a lot of time in the water, you may want to consider investing in a fully waterproof system. Companies such as H2oFriendly and Swimman will waterproof an iPod shuffle from the inside out so you can take it right into the water without use of a bulky case. User reviews for both of these systems are excellent both for quality and for ease of use. H2OFriendly offers a 1 year waterproof warranty and you can purchase just the 4th generation 2 GB iPod shuffle or a complete system which includes Velcro securing straps that clip onto goggles and underwater headphones, as well as the original iPod shuffle packaging.
The H2OFriendly Swim System sells for $169.95 on Amazon. Or just the silver waterproof iPod goes for $143.95 on Amazon. You can also order straight from the company’s website if you’d like a choice of iPod colors: green, orange, blue, silver, or pink.
Swimman has an excellent reputation among swimmers and they are currently waterproofing 3rd generation iPod shuffles. At $250.00, their system is more than the H2oFriendly, but they do include a waterproof control adapter and their underwater headphone set boasts superior sound quality similar to top-of-the-line non-waterproof headphones. To purchase Swimman order directly from their website. You can also purchase their headphone set separately for $100.00 here.
21 thoughts on “The Top Rated Waterproof Headphones”
I bought the waterproof ipod shuffle and purchased H2O headphones to go with it because the headphones that came with my ipod did not get a good rating.
I can swim continuously with no problems. The cords stay put and the earphones stay in. The earphones came with 3 different size ear plugs so you can attach the ones that fit best. My recommendation is to get your ears wet first before placing them in. Once the ears are wet and the plugs go in, it seems to form a very nice suction. The sound quality is fabulous. I have absolutely no complaints and it something ever happens to my earbuds and I will be looking to purchase these again.
I have used and abused many earphones in my day. I have found that you need to spend a little money to get quality, otherwise you are just going through pair after pair and end up spending more in the long run. It doesn’t take much sweat to ruin a pair of cheap, garbage ones. I would opt in for the water proof ones for sure. i like blue tooth earbuds the best myself for working out so you don’t have that annoying cord in the way catching on everything. Also make sure you get a pair with a decent amount of battery life or you will have no music for half your work out lol.
H2O Audio Surge 2G
Love them! It took me years to find a solution that worked consistently during my swim workout. It had to work after many flips. It couldn’t leak as time went on. It had to be intelligible with the sound of bubbles during swims. These headphones deliver on all fronts. I’m quite please and will again buy these when in a few years they need replacing. My last pair eventually gave up the ghost when the plastic hardened and cracked, but that was after five years of almost daily use. Recommended.
I wonder if these will survive my sweat! I have broken a couple pairs of “waterproof” headphones with sweat… I will have to put them through the ultimate test.
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I have tried 2 different waterproof WIRELESS Bluetooth headphones. Both worked very well UNTIL they hit the water. And then crickets – less than crickets actually. Even if I kept my head above water (ala breaststroke or kickboard), once they got water in them, they were toast. I quit trying.
There are at least a couple of posts here about bluetooth headsets and water and I seem to remember one them having a scientific explanation about how/why this won’t ever work.
Are they any good underwater? Which wireless model is best for near water activity?
Yeah correct bone conducting headphones are really amazing, I am currently using Aftershokz Trekz Titanium which is completely water and sweat proof. Loving it perfect companion while running and swimming.
Great article, but are there any new waterproof headphones that have been released since this article was published? Thanks
OMG! I never thought of bone conducting headphones for swimming. It can be the best headphones.
Thanks, for the post Justin.
I tried several underwater earphones.
If you swim and move a lot like in freestyle – it is just a matter of time that water enters your ear. Then the sound and volume changes dramatically. Mostly that happens on one ear first and then later on the other ear. When you end your lap – water can flow out and the sound becomes clear and loud again.
In short – it is very annoying and works only in theory or if the earphones sit very very good.
I was never lucky to get such very very good fit.
Another problem is the water draft when swimming or pushing off the pool edge. Most ear phones don’t sit well enough to stay in place.
I also tried the Bone Conductor earphones. They stay in place well enough but they have their own fair share of trouble. In principle it works better then any in ear phones. But the sound also changes over and under the water to some extend. The sound is not so clear like in “dry” in ear varieties. But better then in “wet” – when water entered your ear – earphones. Also the player needs to be very loud to get a good sound volume done.
After a while of using that Audio Bone Aqua – the cable broke and depending on how you twist it – it works or it doesn’t. Sad – I was so far happy with that model.
Now I would like to ask you guys here if someone tried the Sony NW-WM410 series or the FX- sport (https://www.fx-sport.co.uk) ear phones. I like the idea of FX – to simply add a silicon protector to the open ear phones.
All in all – I still would prefer – “just earphones” and I keep my old player.
I had a pair of Speedo underwater headphones a while back. They were a bit of a nuisance actually. It required a strap on the arm that I lost so I had to put the mp3 player in my swimming shorts lol. The audio was muffled at best. I think it maybe time to give underwater headphones another go though
Enjoying a waterproof headphones while swimming or just “relaxing” at the beach is always epic!
thanks for this
Thanks for the list! I love the Aquapac’s the most, but maybe that’s just me? 😛
Great review here on some of the best waterproof headphones!!
Wow, these earbuds combined with waterproof smartphones can do wonders. Wearing the pair for swimming? Sounds cool! The music could get me some stamina to complete two lengths in swiming.
This is a pretty good list – thanks for sharing. Have tried smimman and am quite happy with it. Marc
That’s a pretty good list – thanks for sharing. I’ve tried Swimman, and am quite happy with them.
I like the: H2O Audio Surge 2G I’m using them from more then a year with 0 problems!
Bone conducting technology is pretty interesting. I think it is genius for somebody to come up with this technology. I never really thought of buying earbuds for underwater activity, but now I might just get ones for the swimming.