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The best waterproof bluetooth earphones for swimming headphones 2021 TechRadar
The best waterproof bluetooth earphones for swimming headphones 2021 TechRadar
Check out TechRadar's exhaustive guides to the best headphones to buy today including the best on-ear headphones and the best in-ear headphones . © Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036. Plenty of waterproof headphones work in much the same way as their landlubbing cousins. In fact, many are marketed as multisport rather than swim-specific. However, it’s very important to ensure anything you choose has the correct IPX waterproof rating. While products rated IPX68 can be fully immersed in water, swimmers might also want to look out for the higher IPX7 or even IPX8 standards which ensure protection when underwater for extended periods and at greater depths. A set of Sony headphones with a built-in MP3 player, the Walkman NW-WS413 are marketed for general active use and work much like any others. The fact they’re waterproof and ideal for swimming is a massive bonus. The transmitter is quite large, but the ability to enjoy music, podcasts and coaching tips without messing around with MP3 files is a real bonus. Working out on dry land? Check out our guide to the best running headphones . With a sizable 4GB of flash memory, you’ll be able to store up to a thousand songs depending on file size, while the battery provides around seven hours of continuous use. Audiophiles might not be bowled over by the sound quality, but on the plus side, you’ll likely have less fiddling around than with more conventional in-ear headphones. Then there’s style. Requiring all kinds of straps or attaching to your goggles or swim cap, previously most swimming headphones looked horrifically geeky. Now plenty wouldn’t be out of place while sitting on the bus or in the office, something that you might also find yourself doing seeing as many will work on dry land too. An excellent choice for all-around sporty types, these slim-fitting bone waterproof headphones work both in and out of the pool. Containing an inbuilt MP3 player they let you take your tunes with you when swimming, while also allowing you to exercise to music away from your phone. When swimming, we found the the Aftershokz Xtrainerz are best paired with swimming goggles or a swim cap to keep them in place. Like many of the best waterproof headphones, they use vibrations to transmit sound to your auditory nerve without blocking the ear canal. The bit of the headphones that manages this sits just in front of the ear, and three small buttons behind the right ear let you navigate, play and pause your tracks. Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. You will receive a verification email shortly. 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It's good to have another option if you use your watch for streaming music regularly, but the Audio Sonar's generous 8GB on-board storage will be plenty for most swimmers. If you have an Apple Watch, check out H2O Audio's Interval headphones, which hold your watch's body at the back of your swimming cap so you can stream tunes from Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora and others. With a dedicated swim mode, the sound provided is clear enough, while not only will your ears be free from potential irritation incursions, you’ll be able to hear ambient noise, like the lifeguard blowing their whistle at you for excessive splashing. Once popped on, a sprung connective clasp around the back of your neck ensures both sides remain secure in your ears. This is perfectly acceptable in the pool, and if you’re very fast off the wall, a cap will further lock these swimming headphones in place. We're also big fans of the Zygo mobile app, which offers instructor-led workouts an drills to give you training some variety. In the future, the company plans to add Peloton-style interactive sessions, which will make use of the headset's built-in accelerometer to track your progress in the pool. The best waterproof headphones you can buy today. There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again. Depending on how the water sloshes around your ears, sound quality can either be excellent or a bit muffled. However, people who care about such things are likely to find it an improvement over that provided by bone conduction waterproof headphones. There’s even an ambient sound mode that improves your ability to hear what’s going on around you. Back on dry land, charging and uploading are achieved via a magnetic, USB-based dock. Although we found it necessary to regularly clean the very small charging points on the device as they can get clogged up. If you swim or surf in the ocean, you’ll also need to find something specifically listed as able to cope with saltwater, which is otherwise highly corrosive to most metal parts. The Zygo Solo is the only set of waterproof headphones we've tested that can actually stream music and podcasts from a phone that's sitting by the side of the pool. Bluetooth signals can only penetrate water for a very short distance. The Zygo Solo gets around this problem by using an FM radio transmitter – an unusual, but effective approach. By Joseph Delves , Cat Ellis 22 July 2021 Available with 4GB or 8GB of storage, this and the buttons on either side leaves them a tad larger than normal, but not irritatingly so. They arrive with four sets of earbuds – two standard ones and two matching swim-specific versions – although mixing the two up won’t result in damage. The big exception is the Zygo Solo – our pick for the best waterproof headphones of 2021 – which uses an FM transmitter to stream audio from your phone instead. Unlike many waterproof headphones, the H2O Audio Sonar can also play music via Bluetooth – though this is limited by the range of Bluetooth underwater. The signal will only around 4in when the receiver is submerged, so you'll need to attach your smartwatch to your goggles for this to work . The buttons are large with raised markings, bluetooth earphones for swimming allowing you to operate them with wet hands, and switch tracks by feel. Like the Finis Duo above, the H2O Audio Sonar are bone conduction waterproof headphones that clip securely to your swimming goggles and transmit sound to your auditory nerve without the need for earplugs . Still a solid option, the Finis Duo now faces competition from smaller and less obtrusive looking systems. Attaching to your goggles also means that, unlike some other waterproof headphones, they’re only usable for swimming and not other activities. Worth considering if time in the water is your only concern, they’re quite a specialized product. For one thing, you’ll need to think about where any music is going to play from. Your phone is unlikely to be either waterproof or convenient to carry while swimming. At the same time, wireless communication protocols like Bluetooth tend to struggle underwater. This means that while it’s possible to find standalone waterproof MP3 players , most successful swimming headphones instead tend to include an integrated MP3 player and internal storage into a single unit to let you carry your tunes with you into the pool. Some work like conventional in-ear headphones, while others use bone conduction technology to transmit sound without blocking your ear canal so you can still hear ambient noise. We've rounded up a mixture of both, so you can choose the style that suits your preferences. For some more specialist pairs, take a look at our guides to the best wireless headphones , best true wireless earbuds , best wireless earbuds , and the best noise-cancelling headphones . Waterproof headphones for open water and pool swimming The best waterproof bluetooth earphones for swimming headphones 2021 TechRadarThe best waterproof bluetooth earphones for swimming headphones 2021 TechRadar The headset itself isn't as compact as the others in this guide, but in our tests it proved comfortable, and remained secure even when making turns underwater. The sound quality is impressive, too. Like the Aftershokz Xtrainerz and Sony NW-WS413 below, the Zygo Solo uses bone conduction to transmit sound to your auditory nerve, and while it sounds a little tinny on land, once you're in the pool the sound has an impressive amount of bass. Then there’s the design and operation of the headphones themselves. Often also usable for other athletic endeavours, fitting is especially important for headphones used for swimming. Not only will having something that stays secure improve sound quality but it’ll avoid the disaster of having your earbuds drop out in the pool, or worse, in the sea. Generally, connected models work well as there’s less chance of a single earbud going missing. Like any headphones, how comfortable or adaptable they are is also of primary importance. Thanks to drastically improved battery life, almost all headphones will now also provide musical accompaniment until you’re very wrinkly indeed. Of course, not having to recharge after every trip to the pool is a great feature, so keep an out for longer battery life, along with the ability to check the remaining charge. Almost without exception, swimming headphones now include an inbuilt MP3 player. This means you’ll want to assess both the function of the headphones and the way your tunes are stored and played too. We've taken the plunge and tested the best waterproof headphones around so you can be confident you're choosing the best ones for swimming. While many sports headphones are marketed as water resistant to varying degrees, if you’re intending to soundtrack your swim with a motivational playlist or educational podcast, this is far from the only consideration. This same facet means that sound does tend to bleed out when above water, so although great for cycling or running, they’re likely to annoy anyone you sit next to on the bus. Formerly a big consideration, the storage included is now less likely to be an issue. Even basic models will hold at least a gigabyte, which given the often less than intuitive navigation necessary to locate the tracks you want is plenty. However, if you are insistent on taking your entire collection with you, you may want to look out for something bigger.
It’s also worth considering the way the headphones control your music, things like the ability to skip tracks or pause so you can speak to other people in the pool. Normally achieved via small buttons on the side of the headphones, how intuitive these are will have a big effect on overall usability. Although offset by the other benefits, the lack of Bluetooth does mean you’re left to plug the headphones in to upload songs or podcasts, and they’ll be no pairing with your phone to take calls. Still, if swimming is your main concern, these are an excellent choice. Need a specific brand? We have guides to the best Sony headphones , the best Bose headphones , and the best Audio-Technica headphones . TechRadar newsletter Sign up to get breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more, plus the hottest tech deals! They also sound great on dry land. If you’re a swimmer and only want to own one set of headphones, these should be well up your list. Although you can’t connect them to your phone, they’re otherwise great for both sporting and general use. With top sound quality, normal looks, and a comparatively low price, there’s a lot to recommend them. The Finis Duo waterproof headphones have been around for a while now, but are still a good choice. They use bone conduction technology to transmit sound underwater via your cheekbones, the Finis’ twin units attach either side of your goggles. Large buttons are provided on one of the ear pendants to allow you to fast forward, rewind, shuffle, and play or pause your tracks. TechRadar The source for Tech Buying Advice Search Subscribe RSS Asia India Singapore Middle East Africa South Africa Europe Danmark Suomi Norge Sverige UK Italia Nederland België France Deutschland España North America US Canada US Australasia Australia New Zealand Technology Magazines Technology Magazines Why subscribe? The best tech tutorials and in-depth reviews Try a single issue or save on a subscription Issues delivered straight to your door or device From $7.15 View News Reviews Phones TVs Laptops Cameras Deals More Wearables Tablets Audiovisual Smart Home Appliances Components Fitness Downloads Broadband deals VPN Web hosting Magazine Trending Apple Watch 7 PS5 restock iPhone 13 Xbox restock Best Laptop VPN TechRadar is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more