10 best waterproof headphones

Need some musical motivation while you're swimming? Invest in some clever tech

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The Independent Online

Whether you’re swimming, surfing or paddle-boarding, there is no reason why your session in the water can’t come with a soundtrack - if you invest in some clever waterproof headphones.

From bone conducting technology to underwater MP3 players that plug straight into your computer, there’s something here for every swimmer. Some include MP3 players, while others are simply the headphones and require a waterproof case for your iPod/MP3 player. Must come with multiple earbuds, all our ears are different, after all, so you should be able to find a pair that fit perfectly.

To test this little lot, we took to the pool to do some lengths. We found putting a touch of vaseline in your inner ear helps keep buds firmly in place.

1. Sony Waterproof Walkman: £65, sony.co.uk 

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This stylish-looking all-in-one is a superior-sounding choice. You add tunes and charge via USB and it operates as deep as 10ft under. There are easy-access controls, five colours to choose from and 4GB and 8GB models. You get standard and waterproof earbuds - make sure you’re using the right ones before diving in.

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2. Waterfi: £29.99, amazon.co.uk

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The short cord on these reduces drag and is an ideal length if you keep your MP3 player attached to goggles. You get four pairs of earbuds - the three-tiered ones are most effective for swimming. These can be submerged up to 10ft and there’s a year warranty.

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3. Swimbuds: £34, amazon.co.uk 

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These have effective, removable earhooks for extra stability. The tight-sealing options around the four sets of earbuds mean they will be one that fit, and the extension cord gives more freedom over where you put your MP3 player.

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4. Aquapac: £30, store.aquapac.net 

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Designed to work with the Aquapac 518 waterproof case (sold separately), these, with silicone earloops, were one of the most comfortable pairs we found. They have a rich sound and come with three sets of earbuds.

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5. Overboard: £24.99, over-board.co.uk 

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These great-sounding headphones are usable up to 19ft, the deepest on the list, with a neckband to keep the earbuds in place. With a good bass sound, the anti-tangle lead makes these durable, and they float so you’ll never lose them.

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6. Finis Neptune Underwater MP3 Player: £107.44, amazon.co.uk 

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This innovative design uses bone-conducting technology. Instead of putting the buds in your ear, the 'headphones' rest against your cheekbone to conduct a clear sound to your inner ear. With a high-res OLED screen, the headphones sit on your goggle straps. They work down to 10ft and up to eight hours, giving you 4GB of audio which you can transfer via USB. 

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7. Pyle water-proof neckband MP3 player: £36, topheadphones.co.uk

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This affordable, stylish-looking all-in-one has lightweight earhooks, on-headphone controls and rechargeable batteries (required separately), making it an easy-to-use budget option. Available in 4GB only.

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8. Supershop MP3 player: £23.99, amazon.co.uk

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With a USB rechargeable battery, this is a simple MP3 player and headphone combo. The anti-scratch casing means you don’t have to worry about travelling around with it, and its FM radio (the only radio playing headphones on the list) option gives you another audio option. 

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9. Odoyo EP900i: £29.99, argos.co.uk

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These shock-proof, freeze-proof and waterproof headphones come with a three pairs of earbuds, which feature a noise-cancelling technology, resulting in a clearer sound in the water. These aren’t ones to go deep in – they’re usable up to 3.9ft – but they sound great for surface swimming.

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10. Fostex TE-02n: £17.99, juno.co.uk

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These headphones sound as good in the water as they do on the move on land. They come with a carry case and with four different sizes of earbuds. Just don’t go down deeper than 3.2 feet. 

Buy now

Verdict

For a durable, quality-sounding all-in-one quality pair of headphones, we like Sony’s Walkman. If you just want to buy the headphones, the Waterfi is our pick for an efficient design that does its job very well - just remember you’ll need an MP3 player and waterproof carrier, too. 

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

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