Splish, splash, are you dripping with cash? Waterproof headphones are an absolute must if you’re a regular swimmer, letting you add some tunes to your exercise routine, no matter how many meters you are underneath the water.

While grabbing a top-notch pair of headphones for dry land is a relatively simple task, swimming headphones require a little more research. You can’t just use a pair of wireless earbuds, as, not only are many not truly waterproof, but Bluetooth struggles to provide a reliable connection underwater. 

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What to look for in swimming headphones

This has lead to the rise of so-called ‘SwiMP3’ players, that bundle a waterproof player with a pair of waterproof headphones. You wear the whole device with you in the pool, but there are a couple of complications with this use case. 

Firstly, these devices need to meet the IPX8 standard, meaning they can be submerged in water that’s at least one meter deep (ideally 3m if you are swimming in deeper pools). 

Another thing to bear in mind is that chemicals in the water, especially chlorine, can affect the device’s ability to charge over a period of time. Typically, the charging points can scale up like a kettle especially if you don’t clean them after each swim. This can limit the lifespan of waterproof headphones.

Instead you will need to load music (either MP3 or WMA files) onto the device’s storage via your computer. In order to keep its physical size down, the capacity of SwiMP3 players are usually reasonably small (2GB or 4GB): however, that should be enough to store hundreds of songs, more than enough for even the most dedicated swimming session. 

Most importantly, you will also need a player that can be securely attached to your head so that the force of the water doesn’t knock it off as you are swimming. Generally, players either attach to a pair of goggles or underneath a swim cap depending on the design (the Exeze WMR is the only one for which you will need a special headstrap).

Finally, it’s worth seeing how comfortable you are using these waterproof headphones before you get into the water as they can be slightly cumbersome to set up. Bear in mind too that you may need to stop your music during your swim to talk to other swimmers or the lifeguard. 

Here we look at five very different players for the swimming enthusiast looking for entertainment while they exercise.

The best swimming headphones at a glance

  1. Finis Duo
  2. Exeze WMR
  3. i360
  4. Exeze Rider
  5. Swimbuds

Our top picks

best swimming headphones

Best waterproof headphones: Finis Duo

(Image credit: Finis)

1. Finis Duo

Waterproof standard: IPX8 to 3 metres | Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-ion | Battery life: Up to 7 hours | Storage: 4GB | Audio formats: MP3 and WMA

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