Can You Wear Headphones When Swimming?

Music is an important motivating factor of exercise for many, but how can you listen to music if you are swimming?

It is possible to wear specially designed waterproof headphones when swimming to listen to music, podcasts or other audio. Listening to music or podcasts when swimming can help increase your workout enjoyment and is useful when doing long swims to avoid boredom.

In this article, I am going to look at:

  • How do swimming headphones work?
  • How can I listen to music while swimming?
  • How can I listen to Spotify while swimming?
  • Is it dangerous to swim while wearing headphones?
  • How to wear swimming headphones?
  • 10 best-recommended swimming headphones

I love music and I love to swim, so being able to do both activities at once is fantastic.

For longer swims, I like to listen to podcasts, but for higher intensity workouts, I like to listen to music.

I was dubious about swimming headphones when I first discovered them, as it seemed crazy to listen to music underwater. However, there are multiple varieties of swimming headphones on the market suited to a variety of ear types and listening styles.

How Do Swimming Headphones Work?

There are typically two main types of swimming headphones on the market at present that work in two different ways:

  1. Water resistant ear plug swimmer headphones
  2. Bone conduction technology swimmer headphones

As a general rule, swimming headphones work just like conventional headphones. Some headphones have waterproof earplugs that are water-resistant and completely block the ear canal, while other swimmer headphones use bone conduction technology so you can still hear ambient noise. 

Water Resistant Ear Plug – Swimmer Headphones

These types of swimming headphones typically have the following features:

  • The ear tips are waterproof.
  • They block the ear canal completely.
  • They block all external sound (in theory) as they block the ear canal.
  • They have louder volume as all sound is being directed into the ear canal and they silence ambient noise.
  • Operate like traditional headphones – just waterproof.

Bone Conduction Technology – Swimmer Headphones

This type of swimming headphones have the following features:

  • They transmit sound by vibrating the bones in the head and jaw, which relays sound directly to the inner ear.
  • Allow external ambient noise to be heard, which is very important when swimming in public.
  • Can be slightly lower in volume.
  • Leave the ears open, which can feel more comfortable as there is less pressure on your ear.
  • Typically, they can still be worn with ear plugs if desired. Therefore, if you currently use swimming ear plugs to stop water getting into your ears, these can still be worn.

How Can I Listen to Music While Swimming?

Swimmer headphones, like traditional headphones, are the piece of technology that transmits music into the ear.

You still need a device, such as an MP3 player, to store or stream your music files and play audio from. Therefore, you need to think about where your music will come from.

Some swimmer headphones come with an integrated MP3 player, which is fantastic as it is an all in one solution, without lengthy cable management or Bluetooth connection problems.

Here is an example of an integrated MP3 player and swimmer headphone set from AFTERSHOKZ Xtrainerz

These swimmer headphones with integrated MP3 players work on the bone conduction technology method.

They are compact and are very comfortable as they are open ear, so you don’t get too much pressure on your eardrum.

Alternatively, you can get separate waterproof MP3 players and waterproof headphones that can be purchased as one package.

For example, the 100% Waterproof Stream MP3 Music Player with Bluetooth and Underwater Headphones By H2O Audio has waterproof headphones with a separate MP3 player that can attach to your goggles.

How Can I Listen To Spotify While Swimming?

Spotify is one of the world’s largest music streaming services and one many swimmers want to listen to while swimming.

You can listen to Spotify while swimming, either through Bluetooth streaming devices or directly with specific devices that allow you to download your Spotify playlist directly. You will need Spotify Premium in order to download your playlist directly to your device and listen offline. 

Spotify While Swimming – Specific Devices

The best method I have found to listen to Spotify while swimming is to buy a dedicated waterproof device that is Spotify compatible.

The Delphin Waterproof Micro Tablet is excellent with dedicated Spotify support.

It is worth noting, you must download your playlists or content in advance as WiFi will not work in the water. This means that you will need to have a Spotify Premium account so you can listen to your playlists offline.

Spotify While Swimming – Bluetooth Devices

It is possible to have a pair of Bluetooth swimming headphones that can connect to your phone or smartwatch via Bluetooth.

Over Bluetooth, you can stream a Spotify playlist to your Bluetooth swimming headphones.

The disadvantage of using Bluetooth Swimmer Headphones to listen to Spotify is that you will need your phone or streaming device in close proximity in order for the Bluetooth connection to work well.

Most phones are not waterproof, so this is not ideal.

If you are using a waterproof smartwatch, this can work much better as the Bluetooth connection can be stronger, as the smartwatch and your headphones will be in closer proximity.

Typically, any Spotify playlists will need to be played “off-line”, which is a feature of the Spotify Premium service, so you may need to upgrade to Spotify Premium if you have not done so already.

An example of a pair of dedicated waterproof headphones for swimming that is compatible with the Apple smartwatch is the H2O Audio Interval Swim Headphones for Apple Watch Series

Is It Dangerous To Swim While Wearing Headphones?

Like all sports and activities, it is important to be aware of your surroundings.

When swimming in a pool, you may need to hear a lifeguard’s whistle or someone calling at you for help.

When outdoor swimming, it is even more important to hear your surroundings so you can prepare for any oncoming water traffic or boats.

As a result, it’s dangerous to wear headphones while swimming when they block out all external and ambient noise.

A suitable solution, allowing you to hear ambient water noise and also your music is to wear “bone conduction” waterproof headphones.

Bone connection waterproof headphones transmit vibrations through your jawbones and into the inner ear. As this design leaves the ear canal open, you will still be able to hear ambient noise so you can still be aware of your surroundings.

How To Wear Swimming Headphones?

The biggest challenge with swimming headphones is trying to keep them in while swimming.

A common technique to help keep swimming headphones in place is to use two swimming caps.

The following video provides an excellent demonstration of how to keep waterproof headphones on while swimming:

10 Best Recommended Swimming Headphones

AfterShokz OpenMove WirelessBone Conduction6 HoursNYVIEW ON AMAZON
AFTERSHOKZ Xtrainerz Open-Ear Bone Conduction 6 Hours Y YVIEW ON AMAZON
CYBORIS Swimming HeadphonesWaterproof In-Ear18 HoursYYVIEW ON AMAZON
H2O Audio Interval Swim Headphones for Apple Watch Waterproof In-Ear Not SpecifiedNN VIEW ON AMAZON
Waterproof Headphones for swimming – SURGE S+  Waterproof In-Ear Not Specified NN VIEW ON AMAZON
Waterproof MP3 Player Swimming Headphone, Waterproof In-Ear 6 HoursYY VIEW ON AMAZON
100% Waterproof Stream MP3 Music Player with Bluetooth and Underwater Headphones Waterproof In-Ear Not Specified YN VIEW ON AMAZON
Bluetooth Headphones, Otium Wireless Headphones IPX7 Waterproof Earphones Waterproof In-Ear 8 HoursNN VIEW ON AMAZON

Related Article:

Emma Moore

Hi, I am Emma, and I am obsessed with all watersports, from swimming to surfing and everything in between. I spend my free time in the water or preparing for my next water travel adventure.

Recent Posts