Best swimming headphones 2018: waterproof ear buds for the pool

Beat your personal bests whilst listening to Aqua, Oceanic and the theme tune from Captain Pugwash

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You’ve probably heard of waterproof wearables such as watches and fitness trackers. Now you can add swimming headphones to the mix, too. It must be admitted up front that under the water is not an ideal listening environment. You can't very well bring your phone with you, either. However, with the best waterproof headphones for swimming, you can finally soundtrack your sub-aquatic exertions.

How to buy the best headphones for swimming

Typically, the headphones have an in ear design that should stay secure, whether you’re all about the front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke or butterfly and while some are completely wireless, others feature a strong wire that should be able to withstand the constant drag of you moving through the water. 

Unless the headphones have a music player built in, you'll need a waterproof music player as well. You can usually get hold of these fairly cheaply but if you don’t want to go on the hunt for both swimming headphones and a waterproof device, just invest in the i360, which feature an mp3 integrated into the design of the headphones for convenience and functionality.

If you already have a suitable device to hand, the Swimbuds Sport Waterproof Headphones are probably your top choice. With heaps of five star reviews, they’re popular on retail giant Amazon, and come with special fit ‘tree’ design ear plugs which they claim provide the best watertight seal for swimmers. 

i360

1. i360

Best headphones for swimming

Reasons to buy
+MP3 player integrated into the headphones

Setting you back just £40 or so, if you’re looking for a pair of swimming headphones that won’t break the bank, these ones are the perfect choice. The music player is fully integrated into the headphones, so you don’t need to worry about clipping it to your swimming attire, or leaving your phone by the pool, connected via Bluetooth. 

With 4GB of storage, there’s enough space to store 1200 songs and with a 10-hour battery life, there’s no chance that you’re going to have a dull lap with your favourite tunes blasting into your ear. Audio quality is adequate.

Swimbuds Sport Waterproof Headphones

2. Swimbuds Sport Waterproof Headphones

Best wired headphones for swimming

Reasons to buy
+Tree design ear plugs have been designed to provide a secure fit in the water
Reasons to avoid
-Requires a waterproof MP3 player as well

If quality is key, these Swimbuds headphones shouldn’t disappoint. They’re not wireless but with the short wires they’re ideal for those who wear their music device on the strap of their swimming costume or attached to their goggles. 

Featuring third generation 'Hydrobeat' sound and four types of ear plug, these Swimbuds are the complete package. Swimbuds recommend the tree style ear plug for lengths, the fins for watersports, the ergo for running and cycling and the mushroom for general purpose. 

Sony NW-WS413​ Waterproof MP3 Player​

3.Sony NW-WS413​ Waterproof MP3 Player​

Another excellent all-in-one, wireless headphone for swimming

Reasons to buy
+Minimal wires for a hassle-free swim
Reasons to avoid
-Not as good as the i360

Lightweight and streamlined, this all-in-one MP3 player and headphones from Sony will help you to smash your personal best in style. As with the i360, you don’t need to worry about attaching a device to your swimming costume or goggles because the music player is fully integrated into the headphones and compatible with MP3, WMA, AAC and even LPCM music files. 

You need to use Sony's app on PC and Mac to drag and drop tunes and while that is not an awesome bit of software, the audio quality and the fact you can get a full hour of playback after just a three-minute charge make up for that. We prefer the fit and feel of the i360 overall, however.

H2O Audio Waterproof Earbuds

4.H2O Audio Waterproof Earbuds

Best cheap headphones for swimming

Reasons to buy
+Includes five sets of earbuds to ensure the right fit
Reasons to avoid
-Requires external MP3 player 

If the Swimbuds are a touch too expensive for you, these ones from H2O Audio are a great alternative. Having been designed by athletes, a lot of thought has gone into the design of these headphones to ensure they’re as comfortable as possible. 

They also feature the tree earplug for optimal water resistance, and with five sizes to choose from, you can make sure they fit securely for hassle free swimming. 

HydroActive Waterproof Headphones

5. HydroActive Waterproof Headphones

For super clear sound underwater, invest in these headphones from HydroActive

Reasons to buy
+Comes with a smart case and plenty of earbud options

Extremely waterproof and coming with a range of earbuds, these headphones are also a top choice. The range of earbuds makes them suitable for different types of watersports including kayaking and windsurfing, while the wrap around design means you won’t get tangled up mid lap. 

Designed to fit snugly into the ear for minimal muffling and made from high quality material to resist the effects of drag, these swimming headphones should do a grand job of keeping you powering through.