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.