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Best waterproof headphones

Just keep swimming.
By
April 12, 2021
The best all-around
JBL Endurance Dive
By JBL
JBL Endurance Dive headphones against a white background.
7
Check price
Positives
IPX7
1GB storage
Quick charging
Negatives
Cant access virtual assistants
The Bottom Line.
When it comes to swimming earbuds, the JBL Endurance Dive remains stable and promotes a secure fit.
Read full review...
Best waterproof rating
Pyle Flextreme
By Pyle
Pyle Flextreme waterproof headphones against white background, product image.
6.6
Check price
Positives
IPX8
4GB internal storage
Slim design
Negatives
Inconsistent connectivity
The Bottom Line.
These are solid pick for budget-conscious ears looking for a featherweight option.
Best true wireless
Jabra Elite Sport
By Jabra
8.4
Check price
Positives
Connection stability
IP67
Heart rate monitor
Health tracking
Negatives
Lacks onboard storage
Battery life
The Bottom Line.
These durable earbuds are great for everyday listening.
Read full review...
Best sound
Sony NW-WS413LM
By Sony
best waterproof headphones: Sony NWWS413LM 4GB sports wearable MP3 player in blue
7.8
Check price
Positives
4GB storage
Quick charge
Easy to use
Water and dust-proof
Negatives
Comfort
No carrying case
The Bottom Line.
The NW-WS413LM provide a clear sound that emphasizes the mids and treble.
best bang for your buck
Mpow Flame
By Mpow
7.2
Check price
Positives
IPX7
Ear-hook design
Negatives
Sound quality
The Bottom Line.
The traditional ear-hook design is compact and will feel more familiar to users than obtuse and bulky alternatives.

If you’re a swimmer, sweat-resistant headphones won’t cut it in the pool. Thankfully, there are finally some solid options for completely waterproof headphones. Just because a pair of headphones can be submerged, though, doesn’t mean they can effectively relay audio. For that, you’ll need something with onboard storage. Since this market is so niche: you’re unlikely to find much in the way of premium products, so you’ll be compromising a lot in order to get waterproof audio.

Editors note: this list was updated on April 12, 2021, to include the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro and Jabra Elite Active 75t to the notable mentions section.

Who should buy waterproof headphones?

  • Swimmers, paddle boarders, and people who find themselves precariously placed near water.
  • Generally speaking, these waterproof earbuds are ideal for athletes and the profusely sweaty.

The best waterproof headphones are the JBL Endurance Dive

This pair of waterproof headphones includes 1GB of internal storage, so you can upload your favorite songs and listen from the pool. When swimming, be sure to switch to internal storage as your source. Bluetooth connectivity is for land listening because it can’t maintain a connection underwater.

JBL Endurance Dive
JBL Endurance Dive
7
JBL Endurance Dive: The headphones on a balcony railing with rain on them.JBL Endurance Dive: Top-down image of the headphones coming out of the silicone pouch with the included ear tips to the side. A Cavalier speaker is in the top right corner of the image and all objects are on slatted wood.JBL Endurance Dive: A close-up of the back of the earbud where the magnet is located.JBL Endurance Dive: A woman wearing the headphones to display the sizing.JBL Endurance Dive: The headphones on a wet wooden surface.JBL Endurance Dive: An image showing the microUSB input located on the left earbud.
JBL Endurance Dive
JBL Endurance Dive
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Despite the seemingly large housings, the earbuds fit comfortably and securely and serve as a fine pair of all-purpose workout earbuds, too. The touch-capacitive panel makes volume and playback controls easy to operate. Unfortunately, the Endurance Dive earbuds don’t support virtual assistant access, but who’s going to ask Google a question from the pool anyway?

Battery life is ok at just below 7.5 hours of constant playback. While this is a bit short for wireless earbuds, it’s more than enough to get through about a week’s worth of workouts before needing to top up. Plus, if the battery is fully depleted, just 10 minutes of charging via the included microUSB cable affords an hour of playback.

Start here: Ultimate headphone buying guide

As far as sound quality is concerned, bass response is rather underemphasized for a pair of workout earbuds. In fact, the Endurance Dive may benefit from boosted bass so you can hear your music above the splashing water. Fortunately, this is easy to do with some basic EQ tweaks.

What you should know about waterproof headphones

Before you jump in and buy a pair of waterproof headphones, you should know a few things about the tech specs and features.

What are IP ratings?

If a pair of headphones is officially water-resistant, that means that they’ve received an official Ingress Protection (IP) rating. Check out our in-depth article to fully understand IP ratings, but if you’re crunched for time, just skim this table.

Water-resistantWaterproofCan withstand
IPX0
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Not water-resistant
IPX1
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Dripping water (1 mm/min)
Limit: vertical drips only
IPX2
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Dripping water (3 mm/min)
Limit: Device max tilt of 15° from drips
IPX3
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Sprays
Limit: Device max tilt of 60° from sprays
IPX4
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Splashes, omnidirectional
IPX5
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Water jets (12.5 L/min)
Example: Squirt guns
IPX6
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Strong water jets (100 L/min)
Example: Powerful water guns
IPX7
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Complete submersion
Limit: 1 m. for 30 min
IPX8
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Complete submersion
Limit: 3 m. for 30 min

Remember: no pair of headphones is actually waterproof. If a headset is submerged for long enough and at a great enough depth, it will fail after a given period of time.

Not all waterproof headphones can play music underwater

best waterproof headphones JBL Endurance Peak: The earbuds in the case on pool grounds, with a pool in the background.
The JBL Endurance Peak is IPX7-rated but lacks internal storage and can’t play audio underwater.

In a similar vein, just because a pair of headphones is IPX7 or higher doesn’t automatically mean it can properly transmit audio underwater. In order to ensure your pair will work for swimming, make sure the headset has onboard storage. This is well worth it for people who feel their performance is boosted when music is playing.

Get a pair of earbuds with onboard storage if you want to actually use them for swimming.

Now, there are plenty of reasons to get waterproof headphones that don’t include swimming. For one, if you’re just clumsy, the added durability is always helpful. Also, if you sweat a lot or they get dirty, you can easily rinse them off without worrying about short-circuiting them.

What is a Bluetooth codec?

Graph of Bluetooth codec signal strength vs dropped seconds of audio

A Bluetooth codec lets your smartphone and headphones communicate with one another in order to transfer data (audio) from the source to the receiver. Not all codecs are created equal, and if you want to avoid all perceptible latency, get a pair of wireless headphones that support aptX. If you’re using an iPhone, then AAC is fine. Additionally, the better the codec, the greater the sound quality. Though, in all fairness, sound quality is likely the last thing on swimmers’ minds when using waterproof headphones.

The Pyle Flextreme has the highest IP rating

The Pyle Flextreme includes 4GB of onboard storage, so you can fit a slew of playlists onto these headphones for device-free listening. The wire neckband conforms to the contours of your neck, providing a secure, non-intrusive fit for workouts. Like the JBL Endurance Dive, this too can be twisted in an infinite number of ways in order to fit into your back pocket.

Pyle Flextreme
Pyle Flextreme
6.6
Pyle Flextreme waterproof headphones against white background, product image.
Pyle Flextreme
Pyle Flextreme
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The headset provides around 10 hours of playback before you have to recharge it via microUSB cable. The IPX8 rating makes these the most water-resistant earbuds listed. The Flextreme doesn’t have an official dust-resistance rating, so taking these to the beach may prove risky.

The Jabra Elite Sport True Wireless is packed to the gills with features

If you need the latest and greatest and have a passionate disdain for all things wired, then the Jabra Elite Sport True Wireless is for you. It includes a plethora of ear tips, including both the silicone and memory foam variety. Though the battery life isn’t stellar (three hours), the charging case lets you squeeze two extra charges out of them before needing to search for a microUSB cable.

Jabra Elite Sport
Jabra Elite Sport
8.4
A picture of the Jabra Elite Sport Wireless with one earbud in the case and another outside of it on a stack of magazines.A photo of the Jabra Elite Sport true wireless earbuds on a wooden surface with the charging case in the background.Though the Jabra Elite Sport Wireless connect linearly, they do so efficiently, minimizing lag. Pictured: The Jabra Elite Sport WirelessThe Jabra Elite Sport Wireless earbuds are as minimal as it gets. Their all black look makes it easy to keep a covert look while listening. Pictured: The earbuds on a completely white background.
Jabra Elite Sport
Jabra Elite Sport
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As far as true wireless earbuds go, the Elite Sport successfully maintain a solid connection that was only interrupted occasionally during testing. The Jabra Sport app gathers plenty of information from the Elite Sport’s heart rate sensor. If you want, you can listen to a training coach in your right ear that will rate your workout, depending on your exertion.

Related: What makes a great set of running headphones?

These earbuds don’t have onboard storage though, so they’re not great for swimming. But if you take your smartphone and these earbuds out paddleboarding, you don’t have to worry about accidentally falling in.

Enjoy the music with the Sony Walkman NW-WS413LM

Like the Bragi Dash Pro, these waterproof headphones double as a 4GB MP3 player. The water and dust-proof design keeps moisture out, letting you focus on clearly reproduced vocals and treble. Ease of use is emphasized in the software as you can drag and drop your music—be it individual songs or complete playlists—right into the storage folder.

Sony NW-WS413LM
Sony NW-WS413LM
7.8
best waterproof headphones: Sony NWWS413LM 4GB sports wearable MP3 player in blue on a beachbest waterproof headphones: Sony NWWS413LM 4GB sports wearable MP3 player in bluebest waterproof headphones: Sony NWWS413LM 4GB sports wearable MP3 player in blue
Sony NW-WS413LM
Sony NW-WS413LM
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The physical controls are simple and easy to access, keeping your mind and body focused on training rather than fumbling around with a hodgepodge of unreachable buttons. By far one of the best features, aside from waterproofing, is the three-minute quick charge feature. Yes, you read that correctly; three minutes of charging affords an hour of playback. This is great for those days that you forget to charge them until you’re at the pool. Generally speaking, the battery life is 12 hours, and if you’re so inclined, you can opt for a pricier 8GB model of these waterproof headphones.

If affordability is your top priority, go with the Mpow Flame

The Mpow Flame waterproof headphones take a more traditional design approach to constructing waterproof earbuds. Sure, the housing is still bulkier than something like the IPX4-rated RHA MA750 Wireless, but it’s much slimmer than others on this list. The ear hooks help to maintain a secure fit by distributing weight and pressure around the back of the ear.

Mpow Flame
Mpow Flame
7.2
Best waterproof headphones: The mpow Flame and accessories on a white backgroundBest waterproof headphones: The mpow Flame on a white background
Mpow Flame
Mpow Flame
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As far as sound quality is concerned, the company tuned the Flame to be bass-heavy, so if you have an aversion to that, the Sony headphones may better suit your needs. Additionally, the Flame only takes 1.5 hours to fully charge; this allows for 7-9 hours of playback time. For such a cheap pair of headphones, the Flame includes plenty of accessories such as foam ear tips, a carrying case, a wire clamp to adjust the cable, and alternate ear tips. If you want a familiar fit with your waterproof earbuds, Mpow is the way to go.

You may also like: The best workout earbuds

Best waterproof headphones: notable mentions

Man holding up the open charging case for the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro takes the best features from all of the previous Galaxy Buds generations.
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds ProThese IPX7 rated earbuds are great for athletes who want something that can blend in outside of the gym. Samsung packed plenty of features into these noise cancelling earphones including Samsung 360 Audio, a great microphone system, and other experimental features.
  • Jabra Elite Active 75tIf you want water-resistant earphones that can withstand a dunk in the pool, the Elite Active 75t is the headset for you. The compact charging case is durable and easy to grip just like the earbuds. You can control calls, playback, volume, and noise canceling all from the earbud buttons.

How we picked the best waterproof headphones

Although we’ve directly reviewed a vast array of products here at Sound Guys, we haven’t gotten around to all of them. After all, we’re only human and are inherently subjective. To counteract our unavoidable bias, we do quite a bit of research by perusing online forums, reading other reviews (PCMag, CNET, etc.), conducting Twitter polls, and more.

In short, this list is the running conclusions of thousands of hours of use from a growing list of contributors over many years. This is a living document, and it’s updated every time a new model knocks an existing one off its pedestal.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

A woman wears the Bose Sport Open Earbuds.
The Bose Sport Open Earbuds ear hooks peak out from the back of your ears.

We want you to be happy with your purchasenone of our writers see a dime from partnership deals or referral purchases—and nobody here is allowed to benefit from steering you towards one product or another. While this site does make money from referrals, the individual writers are paid based on their work, regardless of whether or not people clicked that “buy” icon. They will never even know if anyone did, though the site going under might be a good hint.

Next: Best true wireless workout earbuds