Best waterproof headphones and earbuds for swimming in 2024

There are some great rugged workout earbuds on the market, many of which even have high water-resistance ratings, but that doesn’t mean they’re designed for more than a casual dip in the water. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy your favorite pump mix while doing laps or even enjoy some soothing tunes while diving, you’ll need something that can withstand the rigors of underwater activities.

However, underwater earbuds also need more than just better-than-average water protection. You also need to be able to hear your music properly when water is swishing around your head, and it helps if you don’t have to contend with wires or a second device. The good news is that many of the best underwater headphones use bone conduction technology, so they don’t need to plug your ear canals, and they often pack in an MP3 player with enough storage for your workout mixes. Of course, these all-in-one solutions don’t come cheap; fortunately, there are also some more affordable wired options that will let you plug in your own audio source. We’ve rounded up some of the best in both categories.

  • Naenka Runner Diver 2 headphones on white background

    Naenka Runner Diver 2
    Best overall

    The Naenka Runner Diver 2 hit all the right notes among underwater headphones, featuring a comfortable fit and remarkably good audio quality by the standards of bone conduction headphones. A generous 32 GB of onboard storage gives you plenty of room for your favorite tracks, with ten hours of battery life to ensure you’ll have enough time to hear them all. The triple-layered silicone casing provides a robust IP68 rating, while included earplugs help improve underwater sound quality and block out ambient noise.

  • Waterproof-headphones-Sony NW-WS623-2

    Sony NW-WS623
    Premium pick

    The Sony NW-WS623 might be expensive, but for good reason. They are feature-filled, with 4GB of onboard storage and Bluetooth connectivity. They also have hands-free call functionality. Of course, there is a limitation or two. For instance, they don’t have the most comfortable fit for those with larger heads. However, these headphones are pretty great otherwise. They even have fast-charging capabilities and an ambient mode, so you can hear your surroundings.

  • H2O-Audio_Tri-Multi-Sport-Bone-Conduction-Headphones original-1

    H2O Audio Tri Multi-Sport
    Best value

    H20O Audio’s Tri Multi-Sport are multi-faceted bone conduction headphones that can handle swimming, cycling, and running with equal distinction. They don’t have the Playlist+ tech of the newer and more expensive model, but they’re lightweight, comfortable, and have an 8GB MP3 player for when Bluetooth connectivity won’t work (Bluetooth doesn’t work in water). They sound pretty decent for their form factor, though there are issues, such as the on-unit controls having problems registering certain presses and the subpar call quality.

  • Waterproof headphones H2O Audio Surge SX10-2 heaphones on a white background

    H2O Audio Surge SX10

    If you plan on only using headphones for swimming a few hours a week at best, consider the budget-friendly H20 Audio Surge SX10. Unfortunately, there’s no built-in MP3 player or wireless connectivity, so you’ll need to carry your audio source. But, if you already have something that can go in the water, there’s probably not a cheaper option as good as these, since they come with an IPX8 rating and drivers tuned for underwater use.

  • Waterproof-headphones-Shokz-OpenSwim-1

    Shokz OpenSwim

    The Shokz OpenSwim use bone conduction technology to reproduce sound in the water, and they sound good while doing so. They’re also very lightweight, possibly the lightest bone conduction model here, and come with enough storage space (4GB) for you to load up more than enough music. While the price isn’t amazingly affordable, it’s solidly mid-tier, making these a value proposition if you’re trying to hit that sweet spot between cost and performance.

  • H2O Audio Sonar waterproof bone conduction headphones, angled view

    H2O Audio Sonar

    The H2O Audio Sonar bone-conduction headphones have 8GB of internal memory and an internal audio player, which supports proprietary and free formats. They have a rather unique build among bone-conduction headphones, as you can clip them onto your swimming goggles for extra stability. In addition, they have IPX8-grade waterproofing protection, making them one of the best underwater consumer audio devices out there. The sound is good enough, considering you’re hearing it underwater — slightly muffled but otherwise loud and enjoyable.

  • Finis Duo Underwater Headphones on white background

    Finis Duo

    The Finis Duo are bone-conduction headphones with an integrated MP3 player that are made for swimmers. With up to seven hours of battery life, 4GB of built-in storage, and an IPX8 rating, these wired cans will let you listen to tunes, podcasts, and audiobooks for hours while swimming laps. You’ll need a band on your head to use them, meaning they are only good for the pool. They come with tactile controls that let you navigate between tracks easily. 

  • Waterproof-headphones-Underwater Audio-HydroActive-1

    Underwater Audio HydroActive Waterproof

    Instead of bone conduction tech, the Underwater Audio HydroActive Waterproof headphones use multiple protection chambers to keep the internals dry. Hybrid silicone earbuds also form a watertight fit in your ears. You’ll need to provide your own MP3 player as one isn’t included; there’s a short cord (and an extension cord) to connect and a wrap-around the headband to secure said MP3 player. Just be aware some users report reliability issues after extended use.

  • Waterproof-headphones-Agptek IPX8-1


    The AGPTEK IPX8 may not be our value pick but they are the cheapest option on this list. For less than $20, you can listen to music while swimming. Obviously you won’t have bone conduction sensors here. These are traditional wired earbuds that come with waterproof eartips. Additionally, those eartips create some solid passive noise cancellation as well. There’s not much else in terms of features. But, considering the price of the AGPTEK IPX8, that’s no surprise. If you need built-in storage or want to hear your surroundings, then consider one of the other options on this list. If you want a backup or something you don’t have to be precious with, then consider these.

What to look for in waterproof headphones and earbuds

There are several things to consider when selecting a pair of headphones or earbuds for swimming, but making sure they’re waterproof should be a top priority. That typically means an IP water rating of 8 (you’ll often see it written as IPX8 with the X sometimes listed as another number to represent dust resistance), but keep in mind that numbers on that scale aren’t entirely cumulative.

An IPX8 rating ensures that your headphones can withstand immersion in more than one meter of water for at least 30 minutes, but it doesn’t guarantee the kind of protection against high-pressure water jets offered by an IPX5-rated device. If you plan on doing high-performance freestyle swimming, you’ll want to consider an IPX5/8-rated pair like Sony’s NW-WS623.

You should also think about how you want to get your music, as Bluetooth has a range of mere inches underwater. Many of the options on this list come with built-in storage or have a cable to plug into your own portable MP3 player or waterproof smartphone. Some premium options even include an FM transmitter that lets you leave your phone poolside, acting as a bridge to relay Bluetooth audio over FM, which works much more reliably through water. That’s worth considering if you want to keep streaming without going through the trouble of uploading music to your headphones like it’s 2008, and pretty much a necessity if you use a music streaming service.

Also, consider going the bone conduction route. Headphones with bone conduction sensors don’t sound as good as typical earbuds and are often more expensive, but they’re far less intrusive because nothing goes in your ears (you can get earplugs to be used in conjunction with them if you want to), so you can hear your surroundings the same as if you weren’t wearing headphones.

Our favorite waterproof headphones and earbuds

The best waterproof cans should give you easy access to any audio medium and be useful beyond the pool, at least for other types of workouts. While you likely won’t want to use any bone conduction headphones for your Zoom calls and Call of Duty sessions, the Naenka Runner Diver 2 feature an IP68 rating that makes them just as resistant to dust as they are to water. That’s joined by 32 GB of memory — more than twice the onboard storage of any other set we’ve looked at — and surprisingly good audio quality by bone conduction standards.

For something durable enough to handle competitive swimming, Sony’s NW-WS623 boast an IP5/8 water-resistance rating that protects against high-pressure water jets, plus up to 16 GB of internal storage and 12 hours of battery life with a fast charging feature that will give you another hour of listening after only a three-minute charge. If you’re looking for something that will give you good bang for your buck, the H2O Audio Multi-Sport are a well-rounded pick that feature a lightweight and comfortable fit, good sound quality, and 8 GB of onboard storage. However, when it comes to price it’s hard to beat wired headphones like the H2O Audio Surge SX10 for those who already have their own waterproof audio player.


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