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Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

Updated on September 21, 2014

How to Find the Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

There is nothing better than having a good set of waterproof headphones for swimming. Swimmers can spend hours over a course of time in the pool doing laps, but without a good under water audio system, that time can be very boring.

Because of the water, the pressure and the flow that exists while swimming, there is a very large difference in the quality of sound produced by swimming headphones. Unlike most air-only headphones, a bad set can end up being completely useless.

Therefore, to help you understand what you should be looking for in a set of waterproof headphones, this article will explain the differences that exist in the headphones specifications, what features you will need, and finally a recommendation on the best underwater headphones that you can buy without breaking the piggy bank.

Caution This article has been written with the understanding that the reader has bought a waterproofing system for the MP3 player or ipod. However, if you haven't, then check out the last section of the article which will talk about the the top complete underwater systems for listening to music.

Things You Need To Consider When Choosing Underwater Headphones

Waterproof headphones are very different from normal headphones because they have specific requirements to work underwater and use a different mediums in which they propagate the sound: both through air and water. Therefore the specifications needed to produce that crisp sound, are different than that of their normal headphones.

So when looking for effective underwater headphones, be sure to consider the following specifications when making your selection:

  • Headphone Security:
  • Because water flow continuously places pressure on the headphones, the ability to secure the headphones on your ears is an important aspect to listening to your music. If they are loose or not properly secured in place, you will find that you have to stop swimming, correct them and in some cases, will have to blow inside the drivers so as to clear them of water. Therefore, when choose a set of waterproof headphones for swimming, you should buy those headphones that offer changeable earplugs to ensure a personalized fit and noise isolation.

  • Waterproof Depth Rating:
  • While the product may say that it is "waterproof," in most cases, they can only withstand a certain depth before their integrity will be challenged. Therefore, carefully check to ensure that headphones can take at least 12 ft of water. Beware that some headphones may have a depth but they will also include the amount of time that they can withstand that depth. A popular depth is 3ft for 30 minutes, however, this is too little.

  • Warranty:
  • A clear indication of a top-notch product is if that product has a warranty. When it comes to underwater electronics, it is rare to find a company that will stand by their product to not only cover the headphones or the cover but also your MP3 player that is susceptible to water damage if the product fails.

Now that you have an idea of what a good set of waterproof headphones should be like, let's take a look at those headphones that display these specifications and have proven their worth.

The Best Headphones for Swimming

The below headphones have been tested by myself over the past four years and each has stood the test of time, proven to be reliable and have provided top-notch sound. These three have been ordered based on my personal preference:

Around the Head In-Ear Liquid Headphones

H2O Audio IEN2-BK Surge Sportwrap Waterproof In-Ear Headphones (Black/Blue) DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER
H2O Audio IEN2-BK Surge Sportwrap Waterproof In-Ear Headphones (Black/Blue) DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER

Headphone Security: Comes with 5 sets of in-ear changeable plugs to ensure a perfect fit. Furthermore, comes with a neckband to manage the strap and reduce any movement of the headphones as you swim.

Waterproof Depth Rating: 12 ft indefinitely

Warranty: Complete one year warrant everything


Best Underwater Sound Quality for the Price

X-1 (Powered by H2O Audio) SG-MN1-BK Surge Mini Waterproof In-Ear Sport Headphones (Black) DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER
X-1 (Powered by H2O Audio) SG-MN1-BK Surge Mini Waterproof In-Ear Sport Headphones (Black) DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER

Although these do not have the head backing, they definitely produce some of the best quality for their price. You can buy $100+ ones on the market but the sound quality only slightly improves. Oh, and don't worry about them falling off. I have this go over my ears and into my ear canal. I also take the extra and push it under my google straps. I never have any problems with them place in this way.

Waterproof Depth Rating: 12 ft indefinitely

Warranty: Complete One Year. And yes, I have tried the H2O Audio warranty and they have been excellent.


Do You Have an Underwater MP3 System
In Order to play your music, you need something to protect your MP3 player!

The Best Complete Underwater Music Players

If you are in need of a complete system, here are the top 2 Full Underwater Music Players:

Best Overall Underwater Listening System

H2O Audio 100% Waterproof Headphones & Waterproof iPod Shuffle Case Swim Solution, Superior Sound and Construction includes 1 Year Warranty
H2O Audio 100% Waterproof Headphones & Waterproof iPod Shuffle Case Swim Solution, Superior Sound and Construction includes 1 Year Warranty

If you already own a Ipod Shuffle, then this system will be perfect for you. Place you shuffle inside the case and then attach to the back of your googles. Sitting at the back of your head, you will have no problems with your strokes or any drag issues.

Furthermore, this set comes with the Surge Pro 2 headphones which as I said above, gives the best sound of them all.


Underwater Shuffle that is Water Proof

SILVER - 100% WATERPROOF Apple iPod shuffle - waterproofed by UNDERWATER AUDIO for swimming, surfing and dancing in the rain
SILVER - 100% WATERPROOF Apple iPod shuffle - waterproofed by UNDERWATER AUDIO for swimming, surfing and dancing in the rain

However, if you don't have a shuffle, then might as well buy a waterproof shuffle, clip it on and go. If you do buy this system though, understand that you will still need to buy the headphones since this typically doesn't come with them. So check out the above recommendations before buying.


How to Take Care of Your Underwater System

So now that you have an underwater music system, it is extermely important that you take care of it. Below are three steps that you do to help ensure that your waterproof music system stays healthy and continues to protect your MP3 player as you dive in!

  • Make sure that you rinse off your system after each use. Regardless as to whether it was a pool, freshwater lake, or ocean, it is important to wash your system to ensure there are no contaminants or degrading materials still left after use.
  • Make sure to properly dry you system. Keeping it bunched up in a wet towel or leaving it moist will cause the growth of mold or even the degradation of the system and it's enclosure.
  • Verify that no straps are clamped down in the sealing system. If your audio wire is caught in the locking mechanism of certain systems, this will cause leaking and will destroy the MP3 player. Furthermore, it will damage the wire and cause more impedance thus lowering the sound quality over time.

Yeah, We Agree with You Michael Phelps

Do you have any experience with underwater headphones? Share what you think and let us know your thoughts.

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