waterproof earphones
Earphones used for swimming are fully waterproof, and can either have Bluetooth or an audio library so that you're never short of a soundtrack as you swim. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Unsplash/Hakii Official

When you’re getting your laps in at the pool, or going for a swim in the open water, a good set of headphones can add a soundtrack, give you a rhythm to work with, and elevate your entire experience.

Runners usually look for headphones that are sweat-proof and dust- or dirt-resistant. Those kinds of devices don’t transfer well in the water, because they’re not completely waterproof and cannot withstand extended submersion in a pool. Most waterproof headphones also differ in that they integrate an MP3 player and storage library, because Bluetooth signals don’t work well underwater. Headphones specialised for swimming take all these factors into consideration.

We’ve curated several highly rated options for you, from traditional in-ear headphones to bone conduction headphones, where soundwaves bypass the eardrum so there’s no blockage of your ear canal and you can hear ambient sounds (like the lifeguard telling you to stop splashing). Take your pick and purchase with Amazon Prime, for free, fast delivery.

1. Best Overall: SHOKZ OpenSwim MP3 Headphones 

Pros

  • 4GB of MP3 storage
  • IP68 waterproof rating
  • Compatible with swim caps, goggles, ear plugs
  • Powerful eight-hour battery

Cons

  • Not compatible with Bluetooth
  • Expensive

If you’re looking for a lightweight pair of bone conduction headphones, SHOKZ OpenSwim is a great option. Its IP68 rating means it’s fully waterproof and can be submerged in up to two metres of water for two hours. The headphones have a storage capacity of 4GB, equating to about 1,200 songs. Reviewers say the headphones’ sound quality is best when doing the front crawl or backstroke, when the device is completely submerged. You may find some variation when doing a breaststroke, however, since you can hear the water sloshing about as you repeatedly rise and submerge (it’s because the ear canals are left open, when using bone conduction headphones). This is not a deal-breaker in any way, however, as the headphones are a comfortable fit and easy to use, with excellent sound quality.

2. Best Multipurpose: Sony NW-WS413 Waterproof All-in-One MP3 Player 

Pros

  • IPX68 waterproof rating
  • 4GB of storage
  • Excellent battery life
  • Multisport use
  • Great sound quality
  • Includes ‘ambient mode’ feature

Cons

  • In-ear fit may not be suitable for everyone
  • Some reviewers say volume is too low

Are you looking to use one pair of headphones for all your workouts? Then, this Sony MP3 player is the one to get. The in-ear headphones are waterproof and dustproof, and arrive with two sets of earbuds – one standard, and one specifically for swimming. Its head-hugging design ensures a comfortable fit, so it doesn’t matter if you’re doing your laps in the water or running on land – it’s going to remain secure. With an ambient mode that you can switch on to improve your ability to hear what’s going on around you, these are great to use when you’re working out with a friend or trainer. Amazon reviewers like how easy it is to transfer music or podcasts onto the device, but some find that the volume is not ideal, and is “just loud enough to get by”, especially when using it in crowded, noisy environments.

Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh85 for 12 months with select banks.

3. Best Fit: FINIS Duo Underwater Bone Conduction MP3 Player 

Pros

  • Secure fit
  • Excellent sound quality
  • IPX8 waterproof rating
  • 4GB storage

Cons

  • Cannot be used securely on land

This pair of bone conduction headphones has a unique design for a reason – it provides the most secure fit, according to Amazon reviewers. One user said it remained firmly secured when he tried different swim styles at the pool, and most impressively, when he tried diving in and tumbling. FINIS Duo performs at a depth of three metres for up to 30 minutes, and its 4GB of storage space allows you to play up to 1,000 songs in both MP3 and WMA audio formats. The twin units clip onto your goggles, and large buttons give you easy access to volume and playback controls. Because it’s so specialised though, its secure fit may not transfer when running or cycling on solid ground.

4. Best Bluetooth Headphones: H2O Audio Sonar 

Pros

  • 8GB of storage
  • IPX8 waterproof rating
  • Connects with iOS and Android smartwatches
  • Great sound quality

Cons

  • Cannot be worn without goggles

Using bone conduction technology, these H2O Audio Sonar headphones clip onto your swimming goggles and depend on them for support. The device is very easy to use – large, raised markings help you toggle even as you swim – and its massive 8GB library gives you the ability to listen to over 2,000 songs. Unlike many other waterproof headphones in the market, H2O Audio Sonar lets you stream via Bluetooth. But watch out, because the range of Bluetooth underwater is notoriously limited – the signal only stretches four inches deep when the receiver is underwater, so you’ll need to attach your smartwatch to the goggles for it to work!

Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh42 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers 1-year extended warranty for Dh35 and 2-year extended warranty for Dh57.

5. Best Value: Swimbuds SYRYN 

Pros

  • 8GB of storage
  • Large, tactile buttons for easy navigation
  • IPX8 waterproof rating
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Not a secure fit, according to reviewers

A straightforward, easy-to-use gadget, Swimbuds SYRYN has a compact body that you can clip on to the back of your goggles. You get 10 hours of playback from a single charge, and 8GB of storage means it can accommodate a library of over 2,000 songs in a variety of formats – AAC, WAV, WMA or MP3. SYRYN’s IPX8 rating allows it to withstand 3m of submersion, and Amazon reviewers attest to its sound quality. The only thing to watch out for is a dislodged device during dives and tumbles in the pool, but this is easily managed, considering the device’s attractive price.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.