Bluetooth wireless headphones are a popular choice for active people who like to spice up their workouts with upbeat music. The choice is practically endless, but there’s one category of Bluetooth headphones that stands out as the most versatile. Some waterproof headphones can even be used underwater, giving you yet another reason to go swimming.
Best Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones
|Diver||Diver Waterproof Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones with Microphone (IPX8)||89.95|
|BlueAnt||BlueAnt Pump Wireless HD Sportbuds (IP67)||23.48|
|SmartOmi||SmartOmi Boots-Upgrade Bluetooth Earbuds (IPX7 )||139.99|
|Zivigo||Zivigo Bluetooth Headphones Sweat-proof (IPX7)||47.99|
|Swimbuds||Swimbuds Replacement Waterproof Earbud||10.00|
|Plantronics||BackBeat Fit Bluetooth Headphones (IP57)||74.00|
Water Protection Ratings Explained
Waterproof ratings are surrounded by a lot of confusion and even downright lies. This is largely a fault of dishonest manufacturers who come up with false marketing claims to increase the sales of their products.
To understand just how well is a particular pair of headphones protected against moisture and dust, we need to take a closer look at IP ratings. This international standard stands for “Ingress Protection”, and its purpose is to define levels of sealing effectiveness against intrusion from foreign bodies and moisture.
As more and more smartphone, tablets, and smartwatches are marketed as “water-resistant”, you’ve probably seen ratings like IPX7, IP67, or IP68. The important part of these ratings is the last two numbers. The first digit tells us the level of intrusion protection, while the second digit describes moisture protection.
If you are paying attention, you might now be scratching your head thinking, “Wait a second; there’s a letter ‘x’ in the ‘IPX7’, not a number.” That’s right, any of the two numbers can be replaced with a letter ‘x’ to indicate that the device has not been rated for that specification. In other words, IPX7 device has been rated for moisture protection, but it hasn’t been rated for intrusion protection.
So, what do the numbers mean? Simply put, the higher the number is, the better the level of protection. A rating of 1 offers no special protection against intrusion or moisture. On the other hand, the highest rating (7 for intrusion and 9 for moisture) guarantees that the device is totally dust tight and protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure.
IP Ratings Table
First Digit (Intrusion Protection) 1. No special protection. 2. Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter. 3. Protection against fingers or another object not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter. 4. Protection from entry by tools, wires, etc, with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more. 5. Protection against solid bodies larger than 1mm (eg fine tools/small etc). 6. Protected against dust that may harm equipment. 7. Totally dust tight.
Second Digit (Moisture Protection) 1. No protection. 2. Protection against condensation. 3. Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical. 4. Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical. 5. Protected against water spray from all directions. 6. Protection against low-pressure water jets (all directions). 7. Protection against string water jets and waves. 8. Protected against temporary immersion. 9. Protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure.
The specification doesn’t require devices to pass every test leading up to the highest achieved rating. What that means in practice is that, for example, a smartphone such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, which is rated IP68, guarantees protection against temporary immersion but not against water jets and waves.
You sometimes have to dig deeper into the specifications to find out that a device has multiple ratings, as is the case with the Sony Xperia Z3, which has an IP65 and IP68 rating, making it suitable for use inside a swimming pool.
Best Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Headphones With IP Rating
Diver Waterproof Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones with Microphone (IPX8)
Diver Waterproof Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones pair an attractive modern design with the highest waterproof rating. The headphones are powered by an 80mAh lithium battery, which lasts up to 6 hours of uninterrupted music listening. Charging it to its maximum capacity takes just 1.5 hours.
As their construction might suggest, these headphones are both very comfortable and secure enough to stay in place even during water aerobics. The packaging includes two extra sets of eatips, giving you enough options to achieve a great fit.
Listening to music with the Diver headphones is a pure pleasure. The sound has a slight warm coloration to it, with deep, roaring bass sound that knows when to take the central stage and when to stay quietly in the background. Really, the only downside is the slightly lower Bluetooth range, which can cause interruptions when you attempt to dive with the headphones.
But by far the biggest selling-point of the Diver headphones is their IPX8 rating. You would be hard-pressed to find another pair of Bluetooth headphones that can survive being submerged in water for multiple hours. Just make sure to always properly dry them after use, to prevent a long-term accumulation of moisture.
- IPX8 rating
- Great sound quality
- Long battery life
- Shorter Bluetooth range
BlueAnt Pump (IP67)
The BlueAnt Pump definitely don’t resemble ants when it comes to their size. These rugged waterproof headphones feature a special Teflon and Kevlar moisture guard system, which effectively prevents water from accessing the sensitive electronic components inside.
Even though the headphones are heavily protected against ingress of water, you can still take advantage of independent volume controls and the conveniently located USB charging port, which is covered by a small rubber flap.
The manufacturer talks about comfort that will push you through that extra mile, but we can’t say that we felt the same way. Because the battery is located directly behind your ears, the headphones have a tendency to bounce around. What’s more, the hard plastic can’t really comfort to the shape of your ears. Some people will be lucky and use the headphones without any discomfort, while others will probably struggle.
Fortunately, all issues with comfort are easily redeemed by the fantastic sound quality. There’s a good reason why the headphones are called Pump: the punchy bass makes for a breathtaking listening experience. If you are a bass-lover, these headphones are made just for you. But even if you lean on the side of analytical listening, you still won’t be disappointed. Mids are placed slightly forward for captivating reproduction of vocals, and highs lack any signs of sibilance or any other sound issues.
Unlike with the Diver headphones, Bluetooth range is not something you should worry about with the BlueAnt Pump. The headphones allow you to listen up to 100 feet away from your device.
- Excellent sound quality
- Long battery life
- IP67 rating
- Long Bluetooth range
- Comfort issues
Plantronics BackBeat Fit (IP57)
With their lightweight construction, the Plantronics BackBeat Fit are the kind of headphones that you can put on and immediately forget about. Their memory ear hooks comfort to the shape of your ears, ensuring that the headphones won’t move around no matter what you do.
Plantronics has a long history of designing Bluetooth headphones for sports and active relaxation. Their experience is apparent from the remarkable attention to detail. A volume control button is integrated directly into the left earbud, making its usage as intuitive as it can be. The pair of special, ergonomic safety eartips aids with the retention of the headphones and provides sufficient passive noise isolation to mute even loud gym music.
Their IP57 rating ensures that you can safely use the headphones in fresh water for up to 30 minutes and 1 meter. Despite the small size, the headphones feature a large battery, which can power them for up to 8 hours of listening time. When you get away from your device, the DeepSleep feature will automatically put the earbuds into hibernation mode to extend the battery life. Plantronics have even come up with a dedicated battery meter for Android and iOS devices.
The only aspect of these headphones that we suspect will be a hit or miss for many people is their sound signature. It has a very pronounced “V” shape, with lows and highs being unnaturally boosted. Manufacturers do this to make their headphones seem more dynamic, but, in the case of the BackBeat Fit, the plan failed because they simply don’t have enough detail to pull it off.
- IP57 rating
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Long battery life
- Convenient controls
- Strange sound signature
SmartOmi Boots (IPX7)
The SmartOmi Boots are unlike any other pair of headphones that you normally see. In fact, they take the concept of wireless Bluetooth headphones a step further by completely ditching all wires – even the one that normally connects individual earbuds together.
What you get as a result is a pair of ultra-compact IPX7-rated earbuds that you can toss into your pocket and later use under all conditions, including heavy rain or even under water. The headphones come with a built-in microphone, which works in conjunction with the one-touch Google Now and Siri button. Simply press it access your favorite digital assistant.
The Boots come with a generous set of accessories, including a hard-shell case for storage, charger, charging cable, 2 extra pairs of replaceable eartips, and rubber earhooks. The last item mentioned is especially handy, since you definitely don’t want the earbuds to slip out. Regular headphones would simply dangle by their cord, but these would fall to the ground or to the bottom of a swimming pool.
It would be unfair to expect a record-breaking battery life from headphones of this size, but the actual playback time is not bad at all. On a full charge, you can expect up to 6 hours of uninterrupted music listening, which is a great news because these are very enjoyable headphones to listen to. The sound is warm, detailed, and suitable for all music genres.
- IPX7 rating
- One-touch Google Now and Siri support
- Rich accessories
- Enjoyable sound
- Easy to lose the headphones
Bluetooth Earbuds by Zivigo (IPX7)
The guys over at Zivigo know that even the most strenuous workout can be made much more enjoyable with a help of quality Bluetooth headphones. The Bluetooth Earbuds by Zivigo are jam-packed with modern technology, including CVC 6.0 Noise Cancellation and Bluetooth V4.1 with EDR.
CVC 6.0 provides advanced audio enhancements and noise suppression, while the latest Bluetooth transmission protocol ensures excellent signal strength even over long distances. The 85mAh battery packs enough power to let you listen for up to 8 hours on a single charge. When you finally run out of juice, it takes just 90 minutes to charge the battery back to its maximum capacity.
The packaging includes a hard-shell case, USB charging cable, and replaceable eartips of different sizes. The case is especially handy, providing sufficient protection for daily use. The sound of the Bluetooth Earbuds by Zivigo is relatively balanced, and the headphones are loud and crisp. Because of their passive noise isolation properties, you can keep the volume at moderate levels to protect your ears against damage.
- IPX7 rating
- Long battery life
- Strong signal
- Secure fit
- Plain design
Useful Accessory: Swimbuds Replacement Waterproof Earbud Pack
Even if your headphones can be used under water, they may not be able to keep water out of your ears while swimming. The good news is that you can purchase replacement eartips for Swimbuds waterproof headphones and use them with any pair of Bluetooth headphones you want.
Their triple-flange guarantees that not even a single drop of water will reach your eardrums and potentially cause discomfort and loss of audio quality. The pack includes different sizes, so everyone can pick and choose the one that feels most comfortable.
Waterproof Bluetooth headphones are a must-buy for everyone who wants to experience virtually limitless workout and fitness possibilities. Some models offer such a high sound quality that you might just end up using the headphones even for day-to-day music listening.