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Best Waterproof Headphones of 2024 for Your Active Lifestyle

Waterproof Headphone
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Updated February 21, 2024

Getting the perfect balance of high-quality audio, a comfortable fit, and a resilient design that will easily survive a sweaty workout or a few hours in the pool can be difficult to find on your own. Luckily, there are excellent waterproof headphones out there to meet everyone’s unique needs. 

The trick is finding the best fit and the right type of headphones, because a splash-resistant earbud that will stay secured in your ear canal throughout your most intense exercise routine may not endure a dip in the ocean, and even a pro swimmer’s favorite waterproof headphones may not sound or feel quite right on dry land.

Whether you’re at the gym every day, practically living in the water, or are simply sick of lesser headphones breaking after being exposed to a little moisture, there is definitely a set of waterproof earbuds perfectly suited for you. After a lot of research and testing, I’ve found the best earbuds and headphones on the market for excellent waterproof sound and maximum comfort. Plus, I have some important tips to help you select the best pick for your unique lifestyle.

Who should buy waterproof headphones?

Anyone who spends a lot of time swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, fishing, and appreciating the great outdoors should consider buying a set of waterproof headphones, as they are the best way to listen to your favorite music, audiobooks, and podcasts without worrying about splashing or submerging them while you’re out having fun.

There are several subcategories of waterproof earbuds and headphones, such as completely watertight models explicitly made for swimming underwater, or rugged editions designed to withstand being drenched in sweat during a run or at the gym and rinsed clean in the sink afterward.

Since Bluetooth connections essentially never work underwater, most headphones made for swimmers feature an integrated MP3 player and a unique bone conduction design that transmits vibrations through your cheek and jawbone, so you can hear sounds without having an earbud in your ear. This design is great for those uncomfortable with in-ear earbuds and need to be aware of the space around them while swimming.

What you should know about waterproof headphones

Level of water resistance

Just because headphones or earbuds are labeled as “waterproof,” doesn’t mean that they are necessarily the level of waterproof required for your daily activities. Waterproof headphones are graded with the Ingress Protection system, and it’s easy to check how waterproof they are at a glance if you know what you’re looking for. The first digit after “IP” notes how dustproof it is, while the second digit signifies how resilient the device is to water exposure.

Earbuds rated “IPX7” will survive being underwater for 30 minutes at a depth of up to 1 meter, for example, while headphones with an “IPX8” rating are practically waterproof and made for activities such as swimming and surfing. Please refer to the exact level of claimed waterproofing by the manufacturer for the suggested limitations of any waterproof headphones before you buy, to make sure they are the right fit for your water-related activities.

Comfort

Active people who need the durability of waterproof headphones also need them to be both comfortable and secure on or in their ears during their swimming, kayaking, or other adventures. If a cozy fit tops your list of “must haves,” but you’re having a tough time considering the dilemma of “earbuds vs. headphones” in regards to overall comfort, keep an eye out for earbuds with swappable in-ear silicone tips, customization features such as flexible over-the-ear hooks for the perfect fit for your ear shape, or consider bone conducting headphones that sit on your head like sunglasses without probing into your ear canal.

Battery life

There is no universal “best battery life” for a set of waterproof headphones, just the best battery life for how you intend to use them. For example, a pair of waterproof earbuds with a sizable 32-hour battery life is perfect for people who visit the gym every day or run regularly, as it allows them to go for days at a time without charging. On the other hand, a specialized waterproof headset specifically designed for swimming with an eight-hour battery life may seem poor at a glance, but since few people swim for more than eight hours at a time, this smaller battery life works fine as long as you remember to place it on the charger between uses.

Additional features

Each pair of waterproof earbuds or headphones has its own unique perks, such as a premium sound quality with a deep bass, suitably loud yet clear volume, and multiple microphones for pitch-perfect phone calls, a quick-charging feature, an integrated MP3 player, and on-ear controls.

Our top picks for the best waterproof headphones

Best waterproof headphones for swimming: SHOKZ OpenSwim

Best waterproof headphones for swimming
SHOKZ OpenSwim - Bone Conduction MP3 Waterproof Headphones for Swimming - Open-Ear Wireless Headphones, with Nose Clip and Earplug (Blue)

SHOKZ OpenSwim - Bone Conduction MP3 Waterproof Headphones for Swimming - Open-Ear Wireless Headphones, with Nose Clip and Earplug (Blue)

Swimmers will absolutely get their money’s worth from the featherweight, comfortable, and extraordinary underwater sound via OpenSwim’s high-end bone conduction design, which works just as well above and below the surface. Its perfectly waterproof design, eight hours of battery life, and how user-friendly it is to add music, audiobooks, and podcasts to its 4GB of storage give it added value for serious athletes and laidback swimmers alike. The OpenSwim’s sound is remarkably clear and crisp, and their secure, light fit gives this model an all-around premium feel. Shopping tip: Looking for another pair for your workouts on dry land? The SHOKZ OpenRun made our lists for the best headphones for working out and the best headphones

Specifications:

  • Waterproof standard: IP68 (waterproof)
  • Battery life: 8 hours
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Audio formats: MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, FLAC
  • Connectivity: USB to PC
  • Colors: Blue, black
  • Price on publish: $149.95

What we like:

  • Comfortable over-ear design
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to load the device with music

What we don’t like:

  • Takes 2 hours to fully charge

The bottom line:

The OpenSwim’s comfortable fit, great sound quality, and overall convenient design make this an excellent investment for everyday swimmers.

Get it here: SHOKZ OpenSwim


Best waterproof workout headphones: LG TONE Free Fit TF8

Best waterproof workout headphones
LG TONE Free® Fit TF8 - SwivelGrip Technology True Wireless Bluetooth UVnano+ Earbuds

LG TONE Free® Fit TF8 - SwivelGrip Technology True Wireless Bluetooth UVnano+ Earbuds

It’s the little things, such as breezy ventilation holes and the ability to twist an adjustment dial for the perfect in-ear fit, that makes LG’s futuristic-looking earbuds the best option for hardcore workouts. Not only are they sweat- and waterproof, but these earbuds will also give you up to ten hours of battery life, and best of all, its case includes an ultraviolet light that kills nearly 100% of bacteria within 10 minutes as it recharges. If you frequent the gym and need ultra-rugged earbuds that will comfortably stay put no matter how hard you push yourself, you should consider a pair.

Specifications:

  • Waterproof standard: IP67 (water-resistant)
  • Battery life: 10 hours
  • Storage: N/A
  • Audio formats: All
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, cable connection via case
  • Colors: Black
  • Price on publish: $139.99

What we like:

Especially secure in-ear grip

  • Case uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria while charging
  • Crystal-clear sound, especially for taking calls

What we don’t like:

  • Only available in one color

The bottom line:

These resilient earbuds effortlessly withstand sweat, water, and moisture, but it’s their customizable fit and self-cleaning case that makes these the best pick for fitness enthusiasts.

Get it here: LG TONE Free Fit TF8


Best waterproof headphones for running: Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro

Best waterproof headphones for running
Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro

While the Galaxy Buds2 Pro’s water- and sweatproof design and secure-fitting earbuds will grab a jogger’s attention, the premium sound quality and active noise canceling feature will keep it. The three included rubberized tips make it easy to find the best fit for staying in your ear throughout your run, and its notable deep bass, loud but clear sound, and stunning 360-degree spatial sound allow you to effortlessly lose yourself in the music while you’re powering through another mile. Runners who want to stay tuned to the world around them will appreciate its conversation-friendly Ambient Mode, which also automatically kicks in when its microphones detect your voice, so you don’t have to fumble for a pause button whenever someone wants to strike up a conversation.  

Specifications:

  • Waterproof standard: IPX7 (water-resistant)
  • Battery life: 8 hours
  • Storage: N/A
  • Audio formats: All  
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Colors: Bora purple, white, graphite
  • Price on publish: $179.99

What we like:

  • High-quality immersive sound and noise canceling feature
  • Dependably comfortable fit
  • Effortlessly syncs with Samsung devices

What we don’t like:

  • Battery life drops to 5 hours with Active Noise Cancellation on

The bottom line:

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds2 Pro are feature-rich, comfortable, durable, and have an especially high level of sound quality that sets them apart from the competition.

Get it here: Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro


Best waterproof bone conduction headphones: Zygo Z2

Best waterproof bone conduction headphones
Zygo Z2

Many swimmers are disappointed to learn that Bluetooth connectivity simply doesn’t work underwater, but the designers at Zygo crafted a workaround via a special transmitter that allows Solo wearers to clearly listen to whatever they want while they’re going for a dip. It has a range of 100 meters (in a pool, at 2 feet below the surface) and ½ mile above the water (for activities like paddle boarding) from your streaming device of choice. Its compatibility with a collection of popular apps like Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora, coupled with its secure waterproof frame, integrated activity tracker, and remarkably clear sound via bone conduction, all come together for a premium listening experience in any wet condition. Note: You can’t stream from your smartwatch if you wear it while swimming, as Bluetooth does not travel through water. 

Specifications:

  • Waterproof standard: IP68 (waterproof)
  • Battery life: 3 hours
  • Storage: N/A
  • Audio formats: All
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth via special transmitter
  • Colors: Black
  • Price on publish: $299

What we like:

  • Easily listen to anything you want via its clip-on transmitter
  • Can be used up to 100 meters (when underwater) from your Bluetooth-enabled music-streaming device
  • Doubles as an activity tracker—it even counts laps

What we don’t like:

  • Available only for pre-order at time of publish (orders ship in April 2024)
  • Expensive
  • Limited battery life

The bottom line:

If you absolutely need to bring your favorite streaming audio apps underwater, this comfortable and versatile bone conduction headset is the most advanced option on the market today.

Get it here: Zygo Z2


Best budget waterproof headphones: H2O Audio Multi-Sport Waterproof Headphones

Best budget waterproof headphones
H2O Audio TRI Multi-Sport Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones, Bluetooth Open Ear Headphones with Built-In MP3 Player -up to 6-Hour Battery Life, 8 GB -For Swimming, Running, Cycling, Hiking (Black)

H2O Audio TRI Multi-Sport Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones, Bluetooth Open Ear Headphones with Built-In MP3 Player -up to 6-Hour Battery Life, 8 GB -For Swimming, Running, Cycling, Hiking (Black)

Between its comfortable fit, high storage capacity, and ability to work up to 12 feet underwater, H2O proves that you don’t have to spend too much for a quality set of waterproof headphones. The headphones provide good audio quality via bone conduction, which is great for swimmers who want to be aware of their surroundings, and while its six-hour battery life may not seem too impressive, its durable, cozy, and lightweight design makes it the best fit for frequent swimmers.

Specifications:

  • Waterproof standard: IPX8 (waterproof)
  • Battery life: 6 hours
  • Storage: 8GB
  • Audio formats: MP3, WMA, FLAC, APE, M4A
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Colors: Blue, black
  • Price on publish: $99.99

What we like:

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable and durable

What we don’t like:

  • Its 6-hour battery life won’t please everyone

The bottom line:

Its sizable music storage, comfortable design, and premium durability make this model a steal at just $99.

Get it here: H2O Audio Multi-Sport Waterproof Headphones


Best noise canceling waterproof headphones: JBL Reflect Aero TWS

Best noise canceling waterproof headphones
JBL Reflect Aero TWS

JBL Reflect Aero TWS

Although active noise canceling is a relatively common feature, few earbuds can effectively mask life’s annoying ambient background sounds like JBL’s Reflect Aero TWS. It utilizes four microphones to listen for spikes or drops in noise to either amplify your in-ear sound or allow you to easily hear your immediate surroundings as needed. In addition, these earbuds are waterproof, dustproof, and notably rugged, offer bold, loud, and crisp audio, and feature handy on-ear controls for instant adjustments. Tip: For non-waterproof options to enjoy some peace and quiet, read our guide to the best noise canceling headphones on the market.

Specifications:

  • Waterproof standard: IP68 (waterproof)
  • Battery life: 8 hours
  • Storage: N/A
  • Audio formats: All
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Colors: Mint, white, black
  • Price on publish: $149.95

What we like:

  • Impressive noise cancellation
  • Charging case provides another 14 hours of battery life
  • Secure, yet comfortable fit

What we don’t like:

  • Its bass is solid, but not great

The bottom line:

If you need a pair of earbuds with quality noise canceling for workouts or daily life, this tough, highly customizable, and sharp-sounding model is a must-try.

Get it here: JBL Reflect Aero TWS


Most versatile waterproof headphones: Sony NW-WS413 Waterproof Sports Wearable MP3 Player

Most versatile waterproof headphones
Sony Sports 4GB Wearable MP3 Player (Blue)

Sony Sports 4GB Wearable MP3 Player (Blue)

Between its ability to work flawlessly in fresh and saltwater, great 12-hour battery life, and premium waterproof, sweatproof, and dustproof durability, Sony’s affordable headphones are hands-down the most versatile pick for dedicated swimmers. In addition to the rugged design, I was also impressed by this model’s comfy fit, how easy it is to import music from a PC, and how effectively they keep water out of your ear once you dive in.

Specifications:

  • Waterproof standard: IPX8 (waterproof)
  • Battery life: 12 hours
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Audio formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, and Linear PCM A
  • Connectivity: Hi-Speed USB 2.0
  • Colors: Blue, black
  • Price on publish: $68

What we like:

  • Plenty of digital storage space
  • Comfortable
  • Surprisingly durable

What we don’t like:

  • Can take a few tries to remake the seal around your ear if you take it out while wet

The bottom line:

Sony’s inexpensive headphones are outstandingly well-made, durable, and perfectly suited for frequent swimming in the pool, ocean, and everywhere in between.

Get it here: Sony NW-WS413 Waterproof Sports Wearable MP3 Player


Best lightweight waterproof headphones: Philips GO A6606 Open-Ear Wireless Sports Headphones

Best lightweight waterproof headphones
Philips A6606 Open-Ear Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones with Lightweight Neckband Wireless Waterproof Black

Philips A6606 Open-Ear Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones with Lightweight Neckband Wireless Waterproof Black

At just 9.6 ounces, you’ll barely feel these featherweight yet remarkably durable waterproof headphones. Their secure over-the-ear design ensures that they aren’t going anywhere during your most intense workouts and is the perfect alternate design for people who struggle with picking out a comfortable in-ear model. I particularly appreciate its bone-conducting design, which allows me to listen in on the world around me when I’m out and about, as well as its convenient on-device controls and reliably cozy and flexible fit on my head.

Specifications:

  • Waterproof standard: IP67 (waterproof)
  • Battery life: 9 hours
  • Storage: N/A
  • Audio formats: All
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Colors: Black
  • Price on publish: $84

What we like:

  • Featherweight
  • Open-ear design allows users to hear the area around them
  • Convenient on-ear controls

What we don’t like:

  • Its battery life is fine for workouts and day trips, but your mileage may vary

The bottom line:

Its unique featherweight design and cozy fit makes it a top fit for fitness enthusiasts who dislike bulky earphones or the awkward feel of in-ear earbuds.

Get it here: Philips GO A6606 Open-Ear Wireless Sports Headphones


Best waterproof headphones for battery life: Jabra Elite 8 Active

Best waterproof headphones for battery life
Jabra Elite 8 Active - Navy

Jabra Elite 8 Active - Navy

With up to 32 hours of battery life per charge, it’s easy to recommend a pair of Jabra Elite 8 Active earbuds for non-stop listening for days at a time. Funnily enough, its premium battery life isn’t the Elite 8 Active’s main selling point—its remarkably resilient design is waterproof, dustproof, sweatproof, and easily shrugs off being dropped, making it best earbuds on this list by far in terms of durability. I’m also impressed with its immersive Dolby surround sound, comfortable and snug fit, as well as its array of slick color choices.

Specifications:

  • Waterproof standard: IP68 (waterproof)
  • Battery life: 32 hours
  • Storage: N/A
  • Audio formats: All
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Colors: Caramel, navy blue, black, gray
  • Price on publish: $199.99

What we like:

  • Long battery life
  • Incredibly durable
  • Extremely secure and comfy in-ear fit

What we don’t like:

  • While comfortable, in-ear fit may not work with every ear
  • On the pricier side

The bottom line:

The ultra-rugged design and premium sound quality makes this set’s maximum battery life of 32 hours the icing on the cake for Jabra’s best waterproof earbuds.

 Get it here: Jabra Elite 8 Active


Most secure hold-in-your-ear waterproof headphones: Soundcore Sport X10

Most secure hold-in-your-ear waterproof headphones
Soundcore Sport X10

No matter how excellent a set of waterproof earbuds may sound, if they fly out of your ear mid-workout, they’re worthless. Soundcore solved this all-too-common problem with their award-winning Sport X10 earbuds, via their fully customizable rotating ear hooks. Twisting the ear hooks for the perfect angle to keep them in place is a snap, but their other high points include an excellent 32-hour battery life, a fully sweat and waterproof design, powerful yet crisp sound, and how great they are for taking calls as well. Tip: Soundcore also made our list for the best over-ear headphones

Specifications:

  • Waterproof standard: IPX7 (waterproof)
  • Battery life: 32 hours
  • Storage: N/A
  • Audio formats: All
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2
  • Colors: Black, red, oat white
  • Price on publish: $69.99

What we like:

  • Extremely flexible ear hooks provide the most secure grip on your ear possible
  • Rich, clear, and dynamic sound
  • Convenient on-ear controls

What we don’t like:

  • Its noise cancellation feature is good, but other earbuds do it better

The bottom line:

If you’re having a difficult time finding comfortable earbuds, these earbuds and their innovative winding ear hooks provide the perfectly secure fit you’ve been looking for.

 Get it here: Soundcore Sport X10


How we selected the best waterproof headphones

There were a number of key points that I noted while testing and researching to find the best waterproof earbuds and headphones available today. Some of my most important considerations included each gadget’s Ingress Protection (IP) rating or degree of how waterproof it is, audio quality, comfort, battery life, list of features, and price.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Do waterproof headphones work?

Absolutely! Headphones and earbuds rated IPX7 or IPX8 by the Ingress Protection code are considered to be waterproof, and they allow wearers to safely submerge their device for a certain amount of time underwater. These models are easily your best option for listening to your tunes while you’re exercising in the pool or having fun at the beach.

Note that IPX7-rated headphones will survive being submerged in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes, and while the exact waterproof specifications of models sporting the superior IPX8 rating will vary between manufacturers, these headphones are generally safe underwater between one and three meters deep and for over 30 minutes at a time. There is an IXP9 rating, however these devices are designed to survive extreme conditions and are rarely offered as consumer products.

Also, keep in mind that if you need earbuds or headphones for swimming, look for models with either integrated memory or a radio transmitter, as Bluetooth signals do not reliably work underwater.

What's the difference between waterproof and water resistant?

The difference between “waterproof” and “water resistant” is simple but extremely important: Waterproof earbuds or earphones are designed to be watertight and able to be submerged underwater without being damaged, while water-resistant models will shrug off a little moisture but cannot be safely brought into the pool. Waterproof headphones are noted by an IP rating of either IPX7 or IPX8, making them perfect for swimming.

While not capable of surviving a trip in the deep end, water-resistant earbuds and headsets are perfectly suited for worry-free jogging in all wet and humid conditions, sweating up a storm in the gym, or even taking a shower while enjoying a podcast. Headphones that carry an IPX4, IPX5, or IPX6 rating are water resistant, and IPX7 and IPX8 rated models are waterproof.

Are swimming headphones worth it?

For anyone who spends a lot of time swimming, exercising in the pool, or enjoying water sports like surfing, a pair of waterproof swimming headphones is absolutely worth it for listening to your favorite music, radio stations, audiobooks, and podcasts while you’re working out or having fun outside.

Whether you need a set of quality swimming headphones for entertainment or staying focused throughout your exercise, the best models are completely waterproof (with an IPX7 or IPX8 rating), sport a battery life that will last throughout your swim, feature plenty of digital storage space for your top tracks, and a sharp sound quality for consistently crisp and clear audio.

Which headphones are most waterproof?

Headphones labeled with an IPX8 rating are the most waterproof options on the market. Models with an IPX7 rating are still considered waterproof, but to a lesser extent, and earbuds with an IPX6, IPX5, and IPX4 rating are water resistant.

Are there 100% waterproof earbuds?

Yes, and some of them, such as the Sony NW-WS413 Waterproof Sports Wearable MP3 Player and H2O Audio Multi-Sport Waterproof Headphones made my list of the best waterproof headphones available today!

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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