Imagine a world where swimming non-stop laps at the pool for two hours straight can be accomplished with your favorite track blasting in the background. A world where you can substitute the ocean’s splash with your favorite Top 40 song.
A world where when you swim and frolic in the lake you don’t have to conform to life’s default background music, but instead you can listen to those nostalgic hits you once enjoyed.
Well, imagine if we told you there was no need to imagine this quintessential world anymore because you already live in it.
Hello? It’s the 21st Century and there are nifty little inventions called waterproof mp3 players and waterproof headphones for swimming and other water activities.
There are various combinations that you can find with regards to waterproof earphones and mp3 players. Some are strictly earphones, some are just mp3 players, and some are a combination of the two. Likewise, some have wired connections, while others can be connected via Bluetooth – which works quite badly underwater, but we’ll get to that a bit later.
With the technological advancements that we see in these devices, gadgets, and gizmos, your outdoor experience can take on a completely different tone (yes, pun intended). We’ve spent countless hours of research to bring you the best waterproof headphones and mp3 players for swimming.
We know first hand that there’re a plethora of products out there, and we know how stressful, time-consuming, and discouraging it can be trying to sift through the endless pile you often stumble across. As always, we’ve reached out to the experts, collected as much data as we could and compiled our list of the best waterproof mp3 players and the best waterproof headphones for swimming (and a combination of both) – so gone are the days of having to bring your radio to the pool and subject everyone to your personal playlists.
Best Waterproof Mp3 Player – Editors’ Pick: The Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod shuffle
The one product that really stood out above the rest, and this doesn’t come as a surprise, is the Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod shuffle. A true cut above the rest, this waterproof mp3 player comes equipped with waterproof short cord headphones. Underwater Audio takes the original Apple iPod Shuffle and waterproofs the daylights out of it. Supported by 15 hours of battery life and 2GB of free space for hundreds of songs and playlists, this waterproof iPod is the ideal device to listen to music while swimming. This waterproof mp3 player is endorsed by Olympic Gold Medalist, Rebecca Soni, and includes her 30-minute audio swim workout for free with purchase. What more can you want in a mp3 player? Well, then again, take a look at the others.
The Best Waterproof MP3 Players and Waterproof Headphones for Swimming 2017
- The Best Waterproof MP3 Players and Waterproof Headphones for Swimming 2017
- Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod Shuffle Editors’ Pick
- Swimbuds Headphones & 8GB IPX-8 Waterproof Mp3 Player Top Choice
- AGPtEK S05 8GB Waterproof Mp3 Player w/ Waterproof Headphones Best Value
- AGPtEK SE01 Sport Headphones In-Ear Waterproof Earbud
- iJoy FS IPX7 Premium Sport Bluetooth Waterproof Earbuds
- Sony Walkman NWZW273S 4GB Waterproof MP3 Player w/ Swimming Earbuds
- Pyle PSWP6BK Flextreme Waterproof Mp3 Player Headphones
- Pyle PWPE10B Marine-Sport Waterproof In-Ear Earbud
- UwaterK7 – Smallest 100% Waterproof Digital PLL FM Radio & Earphones for Swimming
- Worlds at War
- Waterproof Headphones Buyer’s Guide – What Am I looking for?
- Conclusion of our Hunt for Waterproof Music Players and Earphones for Swimming
Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod Shuffle Editors’ Pick
Rating: (5 / 5)
Price: Check Amazon
- Fully waterproof & corrosion-proof
- Depth tested
- 2GB of memory
- 15 hours of battery life
Yup, it’s definitely our Top Pick in waterproof mp3. Underwater Audio takes a genuine, everyday Apple iPod Shuffle and converts it into a waterproof, corrosion-proof, depth tested mp3 player that can be used to listen to music while swimming, diving, surfing or for any other watersport activity. Equipped with 2GB of memory, you can enjoy hours of audio books, hundreds of songs, and multiple playlists, while you’re in the water.
It clips easily onto your swim goggles, swim cap or swim strap. An extension cord allows for this waterproof mp3 player to be clipped to your swim trunks. When fully charged, it can give you up to 15 hours of battery life – assuming you can swim that long. The only problem we could find is in choosing which color you want it in, which isn’t a problem at all. So, definitely a great buy, and 5-stars.
Swimbuds Headphones & 8GB IPX-8 Waterproof Mp3 Player Top Choice
Rating: (4.8 / 5)
Price: Check Amazon
- Fully waterproof earbuds
- Short cord earbuds – good for flip turns
- Fully waterproof mp3 player
- 8GB memory
- Depth tested to 10ft
- No audio indication of the battery dying
- Can’t fast forward – can only skip tracks
Although these waterproof earbuds and mp3 player are originally made by different companies, they can be found as a single purchase package on Amazon. The purchase includes Swimbuds original headphones and the SYRYN waterproof mp3 player. Swimbuds best-selling waterproof earphones offer uninterrupted listening featuring a hassle-free extra-short cord to avoid snagging. Each headphone comes with 4 sizes of earbud tips for a custom, comfortable fit.
SYRYN’s mp3 player is 100% waterproof and meets IPX-8 standards with a rated submersion of 10ft. 8GB of memory allows for approximately 2,000 songs and has a shuffle feature. It’s hard to ask for much more in a package, so we give them our highest recommendation.
AGPtEK S05 8GB Waterproof Mp3 Player w/ Waterproof Headphones Best Value
Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Price: Check Price at Amazon
- Lightweight & waterproof
- 8GB storage
- IPX8 rated
- Saltwater capable
- Great for swimming, surfing, and running
- Good battery life (18-22 hours)
- Can’t charge and play music simultaneously
This waterproof mp3 player, water-resistant headphone combination is ideal for swimming, surfing and running. The 100% waterproof, marine grade, IPX8 rated mp3 player comes equipped with submergible headphones and swimming earbuds. It supports most music file formats and boasts a high-quality sound with clear stereo and bass for deep, richer sound quality. It’s wearable and lightweight, and can provide 18-22 hours of playback when fully charged. 8GB of built-in memory allow for easy addition of songs and files. It’s suitable for saltwater use, once it’s rinsed with fresh water after to avoid rusting of the port.
AGPtEK SE01 Sport Headphones In-Ear Waterproof Earbud
Rating: (4.6 / 5)
Price: Check Price at Amazon
- IPX8 rated
- Great Sound Quality
- Compatible with almost all devices
- Suitable for swimming & water sports
- Silicone adjustable ear hooks
- Can be uncomfortable with a swim cap on top of it
These flexible waterproof Earbuds are suitable for swimming, water sports, and even the shower, and work well with mp3 players, iPhones, smartphones and various tablets, or just about anything with a 3.5mm connection. They feature a gold plated stereo jack to prevent corrosion and are IPX8 rated. The manufacturer recommends no more than 60 minutes underwater use at a time. More than enough for some quick swim training.
iJoy FS IPX7 Premium Sport Bluetooth Waterproof Earbuds
Rating: (4.4 / 5)
Price: Check Amazon
- 100% waterproof
- IPX7 rated to 3ft
- Noise cancelling
- Built-in microphone
- Cannot be used under water for more than 30 minutes
These are waterproof bluetooth headphones that can be used for a variety of activities such as, light swimming without extended submersion, surfing, kayaking, etc. They are 100% waterproof and IPX7 rated for 3ft of water for up to 30-minutes. It connects via Bluetooth so there’s no annoying cord to get in the way, but is not recommended for extended deep submersion since interruptions will occur – again, we’ll discuss Bluetooth vs. water later in this article. These waterproof earbuds come equipped with a noise cancelling feature and a microphone.
Sony Walkman NWZW273S 4GB Waterproof MP3 Player w/ Swimming Earbuds
Rating: (4.0 / 5)
Price: Check Amazon
- Compact & wireless
- IPX8 rated to 6.5ft
- 4GB or 8GB Memory
- Quick charge feature
- Mp3 player & earphone combination
- Not corrosion-proof
- Battery capacity decreases over time and use
Whoever said a Sony Walkman needed to be a big, clumsy, cassette player? Sony has designed a compact, cordless, one-piece wearable waterproof sports music player in the NWZW273S. Its waterproof design is great for swimming and even workouts where sweat may be a concern.
This waterproof earphone & mp3 player combo comes with either 4GB or 8GB memory, and a 3-minute USB quick charge that can buy you an extra hour of battery life in the pool. When fully charged, this device offers up to 8 hours of battery life. It is waterproof certified to the IPX8 standards and submersible up to approximately 6.5ft. Unfortunately, it’s not certified for saltwater conditions due to corrosion.
Pyle PSWP6BK Flextreme Waterproof Mp3 Player Headphones
Rating: (3.6 / 5)
Price: Check Amazon
- Lightweight & durable
- IPX8 rated
- 4GB memory
- Mp3 player & headphone combination
- Not corrosion-proof
- No universal style charging port
Bendable. Flexible. Adjustable. These are a few words that come to mind with the Pyle Flextreme waterproof mp3 player headphones by Pyle. Their lightweight yet strong construction make them durable, and they’re marine grade submergible waterproof rated to IPX8. A 4GB memory allows for up to 1,000 mp3 files for your entertainment, and simple touch button controls make for easy and convenient use.
Much like the Sony Walkman NWZW273S, there’s no need for Bluetooth connectivity, but still boasting a wireless design, there are no annoying cords to get in the way when swimming or exercising. The fact that they are IPX8 rated means they should be able to survive at least 3ft or more of submersion.
Pyle PWPE10B Marine-Sport Waterproof In-Ear Earbud
Rating: (3.5 / 5)
Price: Check Amazon
- Waterproof & comfortable
- IPX7 rated
- iOS control
- 4-foot cable can get in the way
These waterproof earphones are ergonomically designed for comfort and work great with your iPod, iPhone, Android, or any other mp3 playing device. Compliant with IPX7 waterproof standard, these are great earphones for light swimming without extended submersion and other water sports. A 4-foot cable with a 3.5mm gold-plated stereo plug connects directly to your waterproof media player for your ultimate maritime audio experience.
UwaterK7 – Smallest 100% Waterproof Digital PLL FM Radio & Earphones for Swimming
Rating: (3.5 / 5)
Price: Check Price at Amazon
- Lightweight & small
- IPX8 rated
- Outstanding battery-life
- Does not support mp3 files
- Clip can come off easily
This small, lightweight, compact, underwater music player is good for breaking the monotony of lap swimming. It has great battery life, clear FM reception indoors and outdoors (worldwide), and comes equipped with 100% waterproof earphones for swimming – with 4 sets of silicone ear-tips. A single charge can provide between 6-8 hours of continuous play time.
Digital Auto/Manual precision tuning and 19-station presets will allow you to listen to music, talk radio, or the news while you’re in the water. Silicone ear-tips keep the water out and the stereo sound in. IPX8 waterproof certification allows for up to 10ft of submersion, and the single port connection system completely protects against corrosion and saltwater. Like icing on the cake, a large, bright LCD display makes for easy navigation.
Need a great looking durable watch you can wear anytime, even in water? Check out the best dive watches 2017 here…
Worlds at War
Bluetooth vs Water – Why there are no Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones for Swimming
Believe it or not, the science behind what makes microwave ovens so effective at heating water, is the very reason Bluetooth is so unreliable and ineffective under even the slightest depth of water. Bluetooth operates in the 2.4GHz range of radio, which is absorbed by water, and this is what makes it “suck” so much when submerged.
Enough with Science 101, what does this have to do with waterproof Bluetooth headphones for swimming?
Well, the reason most, if not all, Bluetooth waterproof headphones will be rendered ineffective, and virtually useless within a depth of about 4-inches of water is as a result of the science lesson we mentioned. While waterproof headphones and mp3 players equipped with Bluetooth connectivity are great at getting rid of annoying cords and cables, it can be downright frustrating when being used in most water sports activities.
However, if you’re sitting in the pool, jogging in the rain, or enjoying a day at the beach, for these reasons we still recommend waterproof Bluetooth headphones. On the other hand, if you want to listen to your favorite music during swim training or if you’re planning a big scuba trip in the Bahamas, we wouldn’t recommend you waste space packing any waterproof Bluetooth devices.
Waterproof Wireless Headphones vs Wired
Here’s a debatable issue that boils down to a matter of preference and the type of activity being carried out. Pool swimmers, for example, who need to be free and agile in the water for maneuvers such as flip turns, generally will go for waterproof wireless earbuds. They don’t need the hassle of having a lengthy cord in their way. Equally, someone who just wants to have a simple waterproof music player set up for lounging around at the beach might choose wired waterproof headphones because they generally won’t care if the cord is in their way or not.
Waterproof Bluetooth Earbuds vs Non-Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds
Waterproof wireless headphones, like some of the ones we reviewed, can be wireless but not necessarily via Bluetooth. Models such as the Sony Walkman and the Pyle Flextreme are a few brands who feature a wireless set up but not via Bluetooth. Brands like these are great options to consider if you’ll be constantly below the surface of the water or generally in and out of the water.
As we mentioned before, Bluetooth is quite unreliable within a few inches of water, so wireless Bluetooth headphones are best suited for things like lap swimming, kayaking, general beach activity, and other activities that don’t necessarily require you or your waterproof mp3 device to be fully submerged for extended periods.
Waterproof Headphones Buyer’s Guide – What Am I looking for?
As a consumer, you usually have a general idea of what you’re looking for in waterproof headphones for swimming, but we’re going to help fine tune that a bit with a few points and things to consider in looking for the best waterproof mp3 player and best waterproof headphones.
Like Water Off A Duck’s Back
Generally, and it usually goes without saying, the first attribute that should be of importance on your criteria in choosing a waterproof mp3 player and/or headphones is waterproofing. Am I going to have to replace these devices after the first splash from a wave? Is the mp3 player waterproof but the headphones aren’t? Will I have a glorified paperweight after the first lap in the pool? These are a few questions you should ask yourself after reading reviews on, not just waterproof mp3 players and headphones, but waterproof products in general. Another important point to consider is whether the product is water-resistant or waterproof. If you need help differentiating the two, we’ve got an article covering that topic as well: Water resistant vs Waterproof
Code Name: IPX
In most waterproof forums, and especially here on All Things Waterproof, you’ll see IP Codes being thrown around like they’re spare change. It’s important in reading a review on an item you’re interested in, especially waterproof mp3 players and headphones, to pay close attention to the IPX waterproof rating given to an item.
In case you were wondering, IP stands for International Protection Marking or Ingress Protection Marking. The rating itself is just ‘IP’ followed by two numbers and one or more optional characters. The first number is for dust exclusion, but there’s an X instead because most products are not tested for dust exclusion. Of course, if your product is quite waterproof, then more than likely it can keep dust out as well – so it kinda goes without saying. We’ll give you a brief breakdown of what some of the numbers represent, so you’ll have an idea of how well waterproofed your mp3 player or earphones are. We’ll only list IPX7 and up for 2 reasons; one, anything below IPX7 is probably not worth mentioning, and two, we don’t want to bore you to death.
- IPX7 – Immersion up to 3ft depth – This test duration is usually 30-minutes.
- IPX8 – Immersion of 3ft or more – Test duration is based on agreement with the manufacturer
- IPX9K – Powerful high-temperature water jets – you pretty much have an indestructible device (indestructible by water at least)
That was a brief breakdown, so you have a general idea of how good your particular waterproof mp3 player, or a pair of waterproof earphones, can stand up against water and the elements.
Naturally, this is an attribute that should be kept in mind, especially with waterproof headphones and mp3 players. You know you’ll be out in the elements, or in the relatively unforgiving environments of a pool or beach, so finding durable and rugged devices should be a priority as well. If you’re going to go the ‘wired’ way, ensure the integrity and quality of the cord and cables are good – the last thing you need is a broken cord cutting out the music right at the guitar solo.
Am I Too Heavy For You?
As far as waterproof earphones go, weight won’t necessarily play a major role since most, if not all, headphones, earbuds and earphones are lightweight. However, as far as waterproof mp3 players are concerned you might want to pick something lightweight. Some models of underwater mp3 players can be clipped onto swimming trunks, swim caps, and swim straps, so the lighter you pick the more comfortable you will be.
It’s Supposed To Be “Mi Corazon”, not “Mi Corrosion!”
It might be a good idea to pick waterproof headphones, and a waterproof mp3 player that can withstand the brutal abuse of salt water. If you live in a place where you never see saltwater conditions then that’s fine, but otherwise, it’ll be worth the extra penny to pick headphones and a mp3 player that can put up a solid fight against the ocean, and all that it has to offer.
I’ve Got The Power
An easily overlooked point is the battery life, longevity and charging source of your underwater mp3 player. Some devices we reviewed like the Sony Walkman, actually has a quick charge feature that once you charge your ‘dying’ device for 3 minutes, you can get one hour of battery life before it fully dies. Other devices, like our Top Pick Underwater Audio iPod Shuffle, boasted that they could provide up to 15-hours of battery life on a full charge.
Additionally, the source of charge is worth some attention as well. Some users complained that devices like the Pyle Flextreme charger were not universal-style, so should anything happen to the charge you’d have to purchase a brand new one, as oppose to being able to put your cell phone charger to good use as a replacement. While these may not seem like super-important points, they are nonetheless good points to keep in mind.
I Need My Space
Generally, we can assume that all of us set out to get waterproof mp3 players and waterproof headphones for our personal entertainment while swimming, surfing, etc. Whether we bought them to break the consistent boredom of lap swimming, to replace the noisy beach background track, or for whatever reason, we don’t want to have to listen to the same three songs over and over again – after all, that would defeat the purpose in the first place. So, storage and memory are of equal importance in choosing a waterproof mp3 player. Given the fact that most modern day songs are between 3Mb – 4Mb, a 4Gb underwater mp3 player can hold approximately 1,000 songs and if you’ve got 8Gb of memory, well that’s just showing off now.
Some users, especially swimmers, have even reported that their pool time has extended greatly as a result of waterproof mp3 players (with lots of storage) because; one, the time passes quicker since the monotony is broken, and two, they’ll swim those extra strokes for the sole purpose of listening to the end of the song.
Mama Said You’re Too Easy…
Well, this isn’t a problem for the waterproof products we reviewed – the easier, the better. You’ll want to find a device that if you’re in the water splashing around and you want to change the track, lower or raise the volume, or turn it off altogether, it’ll be right at your fingertips. Along with this, if the tracks and files are easy to load onto your device this will save you time and energy. Some devices will require special software to upload files, while others will be as simple as drag and drop. This is a matter of preference, but drag-and-drop sounds good to us!
Well, Aren’t We Multi-talented?
Finding a waterproof mp3 player, or waterproof headphones that can serve more than one purpose can be an asset to you. Most of the waterproof earphones for swimming that we reviewed in this article come equipped with a built-in microphone, cell phone command buttons, and volume control buttons. If you’re the busy, on-the-go type of person, who likes to take calls while at the pool, a built-in microphone with phone answering capabilities might be some features you may want to consider in choosing waterproof headphones. Likewise, headphones equipped with volume control buttons will prevent you having to physically raise or lower the volume, or even skip through tracks on your mp3 player itself. Additional features such as a shuffle feature, can mix things up a bit and keep your tracks fun and fresh in the water.
Conclusion of our Hunt for Waterproof Music Players and Earphones for Swimming
There you have it, it’s not that difficult to decide on the best waterproof headphones for swimming, or the best underwater mp3 player. It’s mostly a matter of personal preference based on your lifestyle, taste, and the conditions and environment that you’ll be exposing your underwater audio products to. If you stick closely to the criteria we’ve outlined in our Buyer’s Guide, and keep those things in mind, you’ll find making the final decision on which underwater product to get a relatively easy one.
We all got into sports for the sole purpose of the thrill, enjoyment, and satisfaction, so go grab your swimming gear, your waterproof fitness tracker or swim tracker, put on your favorite track on your newly acquired underwater mp3 player and waterproof headphones, drown (yes, pun intended again) the outside world out and do what we know you do best – have fun!
Image credits: product images courtesy of the respective manufacturers