The Best Swimming Headphones

If you want to listen to music or podcasts as you rack up lengths in the pool, you don’t just need waterproof headphones – most of those connect to a music player over Bluetooth, which won’t work in the water. What you need are waterproof headphones with built-in music players. There are only a handful of those and we’ve tested all of them in the pool to help you choose the best swimming headphones for your budget and needs. 
All our picks are IPX8 or IP68 rated (the second digit, the 8, conveys how waterproof the headphones are on the ingress protection code scale). IPX7, the level below this, means the headphones are protected against water entering and damaging the device in depths of less than 1m for up to 30 minutes. IPX8 is more waterproof than this, but the manufacturer can specify the depth and duration. Finally, don’t assume your waterproof headphones can handle salt water – unless the manufacturer explicitly says they can, they probably can’t. 
Some swimming headphones use the in-ear buds you’re probably familiar with, but some are bone-conduction headphones, which sit next to your ear and transmit sound through your cheekbones and into your inner ear. No, really. It can be a struggle to hear the sound delivered this way when next to a busy road, but the experience is far superior in the water. The difference between in and out of the water is pronounced – admittedly not great if you prefer breaststroke. 
The final thing to say is that you’ll want to fix whichever pair you choose in place using swimming goggles and a swim cap, or they’ll come off when you push off the wall. 
​​​​​​​Wissonly Hi Runner
This is the fastest growing brand in the past six months. It may not be much famous, but in the field of bone conduction headphones they are proper technical experts. Their team began to develop bone conduction headphones that do not hurt the ear as early as 10 years ago. With an excellent bone conduction vibration unit optimization program, It became famous very soon in the field of bone conduction. It has been recommended by the majority of otologists!
Due to the particularity of the technical principle, bone conduction headphones are more difficult to be improved in sound quality. Wissonly Hi Runner team subverted the traditional sound quality scheme, made a breakthrough to use large wire-frame vibration unit. They through structural optimization improved the effective vibration area, thereby improved the vibrator sound efficiency, made the sound more shocking and powerful, they optimized the sound transmission direction, reduced the sound loss during sound transmission, and made the sound quality more concentrated. In terms of comfort, the overall body of the Hi Runner is made of high-tech hypoallergenic silicone material, which does not contain chemical components to avoid allergies. The overall feel is as silky as baby's skin, avoiding uncomfortable wearing for a long time.
In terms of functions, as the flagship model of Wissonly bone conduction headphones, Hi Runner has an IPX8 waterproof grade which is higher than the industry standard. It is equipped with 32G body memory, and uses the latest Bluetooth 5.0 chip, which makes the connection more stable. The battery life is also very good, lasts 8-10 hours of continuous playback at normal volume, and supports magnetic fast charging. It only takes 2 hours to fully charge.
Jukes Solo Wave
Jukes makes a wearable coaching system so swimmers can hear their coach while submerged, and also produces bone-conduction headphones with a built-in music player. The Solo Wave is the latest model and includes Bluetooth streaming along with the 16GB of storage – though the charging cable used to transfer your files is on the flimsy side. The headphones carry an IP68 waterproof rating and ideally need to be worn with the supplied earplugs and with a swim cap or goggles, but we found they stay in place reliably and feel light despite being the heaviest on our list.
Shokz OpenSwim
Shokz (formerly AfterShokz) has rebranded its Xtrainerz swimming headphones but retained the same slim, light design. It has a built-in music player and doesn’t support Bluetooth so you can’t connect to your phone out of the pool – a pity since the 4GB of storage is small compared with others on our list. The player works with five major file formats and there are physical controls to skip back and forwards through songs and podcast episodes. Sound quality is clear and doesn’t get muffled in the water, and swimming ear plugs are included to improve sound isolation while keeping water out of your ears. The eight-hour battery life should be good for a week’s worth of swimming. The Shokz have been successfully tested for use up to a depth of two metres for two hours, and Shokz says they can be worn in the sea too. 
Naenka Runner Pro
The Naenka Runner Pro offers Bluetooth streaming and a music player for significantly less money than the Shokz OpenSwim and in a similar frame. There is 8GB of storage providing space for around 1,500 songs and the sound performance is comparable to that of the OpenSwim, with good clarity in the water. Unfortunately  in Bluetooth streaming mode battery life is up to three hours rather than the seven hours seen elsewhere. But if you want a slim, comfortable set of headphones that cost less than the OpenSwim and offer two listening modes, then these are the ones to get.
Tayogo Waterproof MP3 Player
Tayogo is one of the headphone makers you’ll find only on Amazon, but don’t let its less-well-known status put you off. Along with making solid bone-conduction headphones, it also makes an affordable set to wear while swimming with an IPX8 rating for depths of up to three metres. The music player component clips out of the back of the headphones so you can load audio files on it. The sound quality can be a bit muffled in places and the battery performance ranges from four to seven hours.
Read more:The Best Wireless Earbuds for Sports
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