What to Look for in Swimming Headphones?

We all know how amazing swimming is and what it can do for your body—you may want to join the bandwagon.

But, we can’t deny the fact that it could get boring while you’re at it, especially if you’re doing it for sports. So how do you keep at it even when you’re tired? Good question. The answer is good music.

Yes, good music blasting from your headphones right into your ears will add more flavor to the whole experience.

In this article, I will be focusing on the factors that you should look for when choosing headphones for swimming and share a few of the most durable waterproof earphones out there.

Can You Wear Headphones While Swimming?

Some of us can’t go a day without listening to music and we tend to listen to it while we are exercising, working, and chilling but are we able to listen to music while swimming? 

The answer is yes! Ever since H20 Audio launched its first waterproof earphone in 2003 and made it possible for swimmers to be able to listen to their favorite tunes in the water. 

Swimming and listening to music are known to increase your serotonin and endorphin levels. It is actually very therapeutic and helps me stay focused and motivated. I personally prefer listening to my favorite tunes while I am getting my daily laps in because it motivates me to keep going.

Why Do Pros Want to Listen to Music While Swimming? 

For professional swimmers, listening to music is a big deal. It is said that the beat of a song increases the swimmer’s stroke rate, resulting in a higher distance per stroke rate. 

The reason for the increased stroke rate actually relates to the swimmer’s cardiovascular system and how it reacts to the beat of the song.

A slow-beat song helps professional swimmers stay focused and calm while doing a warm-up whereas a fast-beat song improves their motivation, helping them increase their distance per stroke (DPS) and their stroke rate (tempo).

It is also known that music may help reduce the rate of perceived exertion in a swimmer and improve their endurance. The reduced rate of perceived exertion helps them monitor their performance during a training session or competition.

How to Choose Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

In the process of your search, there are a few things you should consider before you proceed with your purchase.

Waterproofing Abilities

Since you’ll be underwater enjoying your music, the last thing you need is a device that’ll stop working. So, it’s crucial to do thorough research about the headphones, including the depth they can submerge since it varies from model to model.


Good sound is a must—we can’t emphasize that enough. Even though you shouldn’t expect one with an audio quality like a studio monitoring over-ear headset, you need a headset that will produce a decent quality—that will keep you going despite your exhaustion at the last lap.

Fit, Comfort, and Design

You can’t pay attention to swimming and a headphone falling from your ear simultaneously. So, opt for a design that’s perfect for wet conditions.

The headphones shouldn’t slow you down as you wear them. Comfort and fit are also crucial to help reduce ambient noise and stop water from entering your ear canal—which can spoil the entire experience.

What Are the Waterproof Earphones for Swimming?

Now that you know it is indeed possible to swim while listening to music and the reasons why swimmers prefer to listen to music, let’s go through the top waterproof earphones out there for swimmers.

1. JBL Reflect Aero

The JBL Reflect Aero is best suited for those who are planning to swim in salt water. It also has 8 hours of battery life and allows you to play music from any audio format. 

You can also swim with these for up to 30 minutes with a depth of 1.5 meters, which is incredible.

Some downsides of these headphones are that the Bluetooth connection is not too great when you are underwater and it is not ideal for taking any calls.

At the end of the day, this is affordable if you are looking for a decent pair of earphones to use on the land and in water.

2. Zygo Solo

The Zygo Solo is also saltwater friendly and uses an FM radio transmitter which solves the Bluetooth connectivity issues by allowing streaming up to 50 meters! 

Sound quality is outstanding and even has a mobile app you can download with training tips. 

The 3-hour battery life and lower sound quality on land do make it less impressive for a non-professional swimmer, especially for such a high price.

3. H2O Audio Sonar 

This brand was the first to launch these waterproof earphones. This watch has great storage of 8GB and you’re able to stream music directly from your smartwatch. Battery life is 7 hours which is also an upside.

The earphones are definitely not meant to be used on land and you can only wear these if you have a pair of goggles on. The Bluetooth connection range is not too good so you’d need to be close by or wearing your watch while swimming.

4. Swimbuds Sport Waterproof Headphones

Swimbuds headphones are the perfect go-to if you value versatility and fit. The shapes you’ll find in this headphone include the regular round tip, tree tip, fin tips, and ergo tips.

The fin tips help to keep water out of your ear—because it follows the shape of your ear. You can go for the ergo tips if you want to be comfortable and hear the external sound as well.

The classic round tips are quite useful outside of water—while tree tips have an earplug fit feature, and it comes in medium size. Aside from the fact that the Swimbuds come with an improved design, the manufacturers used good materials to create them—thus, you can trust their durability.

5. HydroActive Premium Short-Cord Waterproof Headphones

Hydroactive is a uniquely designed headphone with sturdy construction. It’s an in-ear headphone that comes in four different styles. Each of the styles functions for different activities that range from intense lap swimming, and casual listening, to group water activities.

Regardless of your activity underwater, the headphones will stick to your ear because of their innovative wrap-around design. As regards sound quality, the headphones deliver an almost crystal clear sound—alongside a slightly enhanced bass that blends perfectly with modern music.

So, you can feel free to submerge up to 3m while you enjoy your futuristic-looking waterproof headphones. Anytime you’re not swimming, the headphones pass for other purposes like canoeing or running.

Tips on How to Clean the Earbuds of Your Headphones

  • Turn off your headphones and clean the earbuds with a mixture of soap and warm water on a slightly damp cloth.
  • Pull the ear tips off. Then, scoop out any ear wax with an inexpensive cleaning tool and use a soft brush to clean anything stuck. Before reattaching the ear tips, use a soapy wet cloth to dry them thoroughly.
  • Avoid leaving your battery compartment or charge port open when storing it.
  •  If your device is plugged in, avoid wrapping it around your headphones. Instead, use a velcro cable tie after you gently wrap the cord around your fingers.
  • Hold the plug or cable end before you unplug your headphone—don’t pull the cable itself.

Final Thoughts 

Now that you know swimming and listening to music at the same time is possible, you can take the next leap and try it out yourself.

I personally prefer to use a good set of headphones that are multifunctional and affordable, but it all comes down to how often you swim and if this is something you do professionally or not.

If you have any suggestions or know of any new ways to listen to music while swimming then please leave a comment below.

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