5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (2024)

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

by Olivier Poirier-Leroy 0

February 21st, 2024 Olivier Leroy, Sponsored

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Ready to take your favorite playlists to the pool? Here are the best waterproof headphones for better swim workouts.

Waterproof headphones for swimming are an awesome way to enhance your swim training.

Whether you like to tune in to your favorite podcast or drop high BPM songs for increased motivation and focus, a set of headphones for swimming can improve your swim workouts.

The best waterproof headphones for swimming stay in place while swimming up and down the pool, are waterproof, and offer a range of ways to listen to your music, from streaming to storing a library of MP3 songs.

And, of course, they offer clear, booming sound.

In this guide to the top headphones for swimming, we evaluate the most popular options on the pool deck to help you get more from your workouts in the water.

Let’s dive in.

Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming

Here is an overview of our favorite waterproof headphones for every kind of swimmer:

Next, we will look at each set of headphones individually, highlight key features, pros and cons, and detail how they compare against one another.

We’ll also look at the key things to look for when choosing the perfect headphones for swimming for you.

By the end, you’ll have a crystal-clear idea of which headphones will help you achieve your goals in the pool.

Shokz OpenSwim

🥇 Best overall headphones for swimming

5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (1)

The Shokz OpenSwim, formerly known as AfterShokz Xtrainerz, is a one-piece bone conduction and music player that booms and has a slim profile, perfect for swimmers looking for a simplified unit that stays out of the way when swimming.

One of the complaints I’ve had with swimming headphones and waterproof MP3 players is that a lot is going on between the player, headphones, and wires. Things can feel busy and tangled once you mix in swim goggle head straps.

5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (2)

The featherweight titanium frame on the Shokz OpenSwim is a welcome departure from the cluttered designs of waterproof MP3 players of the past.

The slim frame features two hooks that slide behind the ears, keeping the OpenSwim firmly in place when you push off, turn your head to breathe, or sprint down the length of the pool with swim fins and paddles on.

In terms of sound quality: awesome.

The OpenSwim utilizes bone conduction to deliver music directly to the eardrums. This results in a richer and clearer sound compared to earbuds, which can sound tinny and distant as soon as water enters the ear canal behind the ear tips.

The device holds around 1,200 songs, which need to be added using a USB connection to your computer, and has a battery life of up to 8 hours.

Finally, for swimmers who like to go FAST, the OpenSwim is your best option.

5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (3)

The control buttons (on the underside of the main unit) control the volume, change tracks, and power on/off the headphones.

During a recent swim workout, I strapped on a set of swim fins and did a 50m freestyle fast with the OpenSwim headphones on. They stayed in place, and the beats kept booming during the full repetition.

While excellent, the Shokz OpenSwim isn’t perfect.

It’s a bit pricier compared to other headphones for swimming of this type. The FINIS Duo, which we will look at later, is about $30 less expensive but is significantly bulkier.

The OpenSwim’s closest competitor, the H20 Audio TRI Multi-Sport, is the same price, has nearly the exact same design, and has a slightly better waterproof rating and Bluetooth connectivity, which the OpenSwim currently lacks.

5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (4)

The Shokz OpenSwim headphones come with a soft, neoprene case to ventilate moisture and protect the headphones.

All that said, the Shokz OpenSwim wins out thanks to better durability in my testing and experience.

Light, perfect for more serious swimmers who don’t want to sacrifice technique and speed in the pool, and the drag-and-dropping to add music is a breeze.

Slim frame; perfect for fast swimmingNo streaming
Full, clear sound
Fits securely and doesn’t wobble around or require adjustment
Up to eight hours of battery life
Can use swim watch separately to track training
Stays in place when swimming fast
Includes carry case

5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (5)

FINIS Amnis Stream Headphones

⭐ Best waterproof headphones for streaming music

5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (6)

The FINIS Amnis Stream is the best waterproof headphones for streaming your favorite playlists while swimming.

Whether you’ve got a rocking, high-BPM playlist or an audiobook to catch up on, they can be streamed from your smartwatch to the headphones and into your melon.

Which is great news for swimmers who find it tedious to drag-and-drop MP3 songs and albums onto a device (although the drag-and-dropping certainly tickles feelings of nostalgia).

The FINIS Amnis Stream eliminates this time sink by streaming music directly from your smartwatch to the headphones, which use bone conduction to pump music into your ears.

Faster music uploads and crisp sound. So far, so good.

The catch?

The smartwatch—either the Apple Watch (series 3 or newer), select Garmin watches or the Fitbit Versa and Ionic—needs to be clipped to your goggle straps in order to maintain a Bluetooth connection to the headphones.

Ultimately, this is the closest that swimmers will get to being able to stream music from a smart device while swim training; the water simply proves too much an obstacle for Bluetooth to travel.

Like its predecessor, the FINIS Duo, the sound on the FINIS Amnis Stream is excellent and “full,” with clear highs and rumbling bass.

Using swimmer’s earplugs while listening to the Amnis Stream can help clarify the sound coming through the headphones, too.

The FINIS Amnis Stream is rated IPX8 for immersion in up to 3m of water, and although FINIS lists battery life at 5 hours, I was able to get nearly 6 hours of juice when testing it in the pool over the course of a week.

Swimmers who use their swim watch to count laps will be a little bummed, however; once it’s playing music to the Amnis, it won’t be able to run your swim app to track your workout.

Best swimming headphones with BluetoothRequires compatible smartwatch
Bone conduction for clear soundWatch stops tracking your swim workout when playing music
Easy to set-up
Includes clips for securing watch to your swim goggle straps
Volume of songs and playlists only limited by your smartwatch
IPX8 waterproof (up to 3m of water)

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Underwater Audio SYRYN Swimbuds

⭐ Best earbuds for swimming

5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (8)

The Underwater Audio SYRYN Swimbuds is an MP3 player and earbuds designed for lap swimmers.

Each player and headphones come with several ear tips to help you get that perfect and secure fit. The SYRYN Swimbuds also comes with a tube of earbud goo that helps secure a leak-free, watertight seal.

One of the constant battles of swimming with music is trying to keep the buds in place as you pick up the pace or push off the wall. The buds don’t have to fully come out to lose all functionality: once water gets between your eardrums and the earbud, the sound gets muffled, tinny, and generally lousy.

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The SYRYN MP3 Player crushes it with battery life, getting up to 10 hours of life from a charge. Storage is plentiful; up to 2,000 songs and 8GB of space means all your favorite songs, playlists, and podcasts can be easily drag-and-dropped onto the device before your next swim.

Rated IPX8 waterproof for immersion in up to 10 feet of water, the SYRYN is budget-friendly, easy to clip on the back of your swim goggles, and the large, rounded control buttons are easy to use when skipping through songs or turning up the volume.

Best waterproof earbuds for swimmersThe player is a bit bulky; moves around when swimming
Multiple ear tips for a secure bud fit
Include ear tip goo to lock the earbuds in place when swimming
Easy to use controls
Up to 2,000 songs of storage space
IPX8 rated for submersion up to 10 feet

5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (10)

H20 Audio TRI Multi-Sport Headphones

Best headphones for streaming and MP3 songs

5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (11)

H20 Audio is one of the big players in the waterproof headphones and music players space, and the TRI Multi-Sport is their premium bone conduction headphones for swimmers.

It features an identical design to the Shokz OpenSwim, right down to the number of control buttons on the control unit, but features a couple of upgrades, including better waterproofing and Bluetooth connectivity.

The H20 Audio TRI gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to your music library, with an 8GB hard drive for storing music and audiobooks directly on the device or streaming from a smartwatch (that needs to be clipped to your swim goggles, like the FINIS Amnis).

While the H20 Audio Tri is the dream device on paper, it did come up short in a couple of key areas.

Battery life is not as lengthy as the OpenSwim, topping out around 5.5hrs (versus 8hrs with the OpenSwim), and loading the device with music felt like I was downloading a song off Limewire with a dial-up modem.

Additionally, the sound from the headphones, while clear and relatively bass-y, wasn’t very loud.

Not a big deal if you are kicking along on your kickboard, but the rushing water going by my ears when swimming nearly drowned out the sound even though it was at full volume.

All that said, the H20 Audio TRI is a killer set of bone conduction headphones for swimmers who maybe don’t require too much volume when swimming and don’t have a priority on extended battery life.

Slim frame that stays out of the way when swimmingShorter battery life versus OpenSwim
Option to stream music or listen to stored MP3’s on the playerTransferring music takes a while
Clear, rich sound
Multiple color options
Durable frame and no wires

5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (12)

FINIS Duo Bone Conduction Headphones for Swimming

⭐ Best waterproof headphones for clear sound

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The FINIS Duo was the first bone-conduction headphones for swimmers that delivered crisp, clear, and booming sound.

Originally called the FINIS Neptune, the Duo pumped music through the cheekbones into the ears and ditched the earbud design of competing waterproof MP3 players for swimmers.

The FINIS Duo holds around 1,000 songs in its 4GB hard drive, plays MP3 and WMA audio, and is rated IPX8, waterproof to a depth of 10 feet for up to 30 minutes.

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While other devices have surpassed the FINIS in recent years in storage capacity and slim profile, including FINIS’ own Amnis, the Duo holds a place near my chlorinated heart thanks to the booming sound quality and incredibly clear bone conduction.

The control buttons on the side of the Duo make it easy to skip through songs, shuffle your playlist, or, as happened recently at the pool, quickly pause my playlist to hear a lifeguard give me the “last call” warning that lap swim was nearly over.

Other waterproof headphones provide a slimmer, less clunky design, and the Duo has about half the storage capacity of competing MP3 players for swimmers.

The FINIS Duo is less expensive compared to the OpenSwim, H20 Audio TRI, and the FINIS Amnis, and it gets high marks for durability, with my Duo looking (and working) almost as new after five years of consistent use.

Easy to useHalf the storage of other MP3 players for swimming
Clear, booming soundLarge, bulky design
Extremely durable
Fast music transfer
Up to 7 hours of playback on a charge

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Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Perfect Headphones for Swimming

Adding music to your swimming workouts can be an excellent way to get more from your laps, boosting overall focus and enjoyment.

But swimming with music poses its own unique challenges due to water exposure to the music player and the headphones becoming dislodged from rushing water.

To find the perfect headphones for swim training, consider the following key factors:

Waterproof rating

Look for headphones that have a high waterproof rating, measured by the IP (Ingress Protection) rating system. The higher the IP, the more protection from water damage.

Swimming headphones have a rating of IPX7 or higher to withstand immersion in the water without damage.

Earbuds vs. Bone conduction

Waterproof headphones and underwater MP3 players pump music into the eardrums using either earbuds or bone conduction.

Earbuds are a great option for finding that perfect ear tip, as most headphones for swimming come with multiple buds to prevent them from falling out while in the water. Look for earbuds for swimming with different shapes of ear tips to get that snug fit.

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The SYRYN Waterproof Earbuds come with multiple types of ear tips for a secure fit when swimming.

Bone conduction headphones scrap the wires and jamming buds into the ear canal, instead using the jawbone to conduct music to the ears. This can deliver a crisper sound, particularly when using a set of swimmer’s earplugs.

Device Compatibility

Ensure compatibility between your waterproof headphones and the music player of your choosing.

Some headphones are an all-in-one unit, combining the music player and headphones, like the FINIS Duo and Shokz OpenSwim.

Other headphones and music players are sold separately. Double-check for compatibility to verify optimal use.

Bluetooth for streaming

Waterproof headphones can be used to stream music from a smartwatch.

The caveat to using Bluetooth for streaming while swimming is that the device must be VERY close to the headphones (we are talking inches, here) as Bluetooth does not transmit through water.

Hence, not being able to stream from a swim watch on your wrist.

Battery life

Since charging options will be limited while in the water (thanks, Captain Obvious), battery life is crucial, especially for swimmers planning extended training in the pool.

Endurance swimmers, in particular, should look for swimming headphones with a battery life of at least 6 hours.

Carry case

Waterproof headphones and earbuds are not inexpensive, retailing between $80 and $150. Protecting them between swimming workouts is crucial for extending the lifespan of the headphones.

Look for an option with a carry case of some sort to protect from damage while getting bounced around the insides of your swim bag.

What are the benefits of listening to music while swimming?

Listening to music while swimming can improve swim performance, boost motivation, and enhance the enjoyment of your swim training.

According to a study published in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, titled “Effects of Bone-Conducted Music on Swimming Performance,” listening to music improved swim performance and reduced perceived fatigue in time trials of 50m and 800m freestyles.

Wrapping Things Up

Listening to music is a great way to improve your swim workouts. Choosing the best headphones for swimming involves considering waterproof rating, comfort, how the tunes are pumped into your ears, and, of course, sound quality.

Whether you are simply looking to cure lap swimming boredom, improve your stroke rhythm, or push through fatigue and tiredness at the end of a hard threshold set, a bumpin’ playlist and the right headphones can enhance your swim experience.

Using the guidance and recommendations above, choose the best headphones for your swimming and take your training to the next level!

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About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out.A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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5 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swim Training (2024)


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