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These days, earbuds have almost become like an appendage, something that we’re all using in more and more areas of life as technology progresses — and our reliance on technology progresses as well. For exercise especially, it is almost unthinkable to get moving without a good set of buds to motivate you through your workout. But sweat, water and moisture can quickly damage your favorite pair. If you’re looking to upgrade to a new set, consider some waterproof ones to protect them, and keep your buds lasting long through all your laps and miles.
What Are the Best Waterproof Earbuds?
The best truly waterproof earbuds can be completely submerged in water without damaging the audio components or shell. But keep in mind, different models will have different waterproofing capabilities. If you’ll be using earbuds primarily in the pool, for example, consider how deep you’ll be diving. Some buds are waterproof up to one meter of water, but there’s usually a time limit for how long they can be submerged and how deep they can go (so find out how deep the pool is too, in case one accidentally slips out and falls to the bottom).
Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant: Waterproof earbuds can be submerged without damage. Water-resistant earbuds, on the other hand, will hold up to light splashes (say, if you’re accidentally caught in the rain) but aren’t designed to be submerged. Both waterproof and water-resistant earbuds are great for working out, staying powered-on even if you sweat, but if you’re taking your routine outdoors or near a body of water, it’s best to go for a fully waterproof pick.
Waterproof Scale: Waterproof earbuds are rated for their ability to protect against outside elements like water by the IPX rating scale. A zero means no protection, while an IPX8 rating means it’s fully waterproof up to three meters. It may be rare to find an IPX8-rated set, but an IPX7 or even an IPX6 will be well-protected against normal splashes and sweat drops.
Audio Quality: Possibly the most important aspect though other than protection is sound quality. For music, you’ll want something with good bass response and balanced mids and highs. If you’ll be primarily using it for audiobooks, podcasts, and phone conversations, that won’t matter as much (but you’ll still need a good built-in microphone to chat). Also be sure that they’re designed to keep working underwater – some buds are indeed waterproof, but programmed to shut off as soon as you dive under.
Noise-Cancellation: Blocking out noise is another important one to consider. The ideal pair are buds with balanced levels and noise isolation, and while they do a great job of immersing you in music, not everyone may be looking to be completely isolated. Hearing your surroundings can be a huge help, just in case something important is happening right around you, especially if you’re running in traffic, for example, or trying to get home in the rain.
These five pairs vary in features, so find the ones that best fit your needs and don’t let a little rain slow you down.
1. Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Earbuds
These true wireless earbuds top our list for a secure fit and great sound. Great for working out and running, the Jabras get you up to 28 hours of playtime in a comfortable, durable pair of buds.
These earbuds are rated IP57 to be sweat-proof, dust-proof and waterproof. These are also the only pair of earbuds on our list that include Active Noise Cancellation technology (ANC), perfect for when you want to zone out to some tunes, or if you’re taking a call on a busy street. Four built-in microphones make sure you call — and your voice — comes through crystal clear.
Use the Jabra Sound+ App to tune and tailor the buds to fit your preferred style of listening. Pair it with Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant to use voice commands to change settings, answer a call, adjust volume and more.
2. Anker Soundcore Life P2 True Wireless Earbuds
These sleek buds come in a clamshell carrying case that’s light enough to tote around, at about two ounces, and can fuel up to 40 hours of charging before it needs to be recharged itself.
Buttons are included on the buds themselves, and can handle the basic commands (except volume), plus summoning AI assistants like Siri. Fielding phone calls is especially easy, and with two mics in each bud, your voice comes through clearly while reducing unwanted background noise.
Bluetooth connection is effortless, and the buds fit snug into most ears with interchangeable silicon tips. They typically can play about seven hours of music without needing to be recharged, and with an IPX7 rating, are listed as “fully waterproof,” but we’d advise against swimming or showering with them in.
3. Back Bay Audio Runner 60 Waterproof Earbuds
We like the unique design of these wireless earbuds from Back Bay Audio, with a grippy ear hook design that helps the buds stay in place while you’re on the move. The IPX7 rating means the earbuds are fully waterproof too, and will stay powered on even if you’re caught in the rain and snow (obviously they can more than handle a little sweat too).
Get up to eight hours of playtime on a single charge; the included charging case will recharge them nine more times, giving you a total of 80 hours of playtime before the case itself needs charging.
Audio is surprisingly resonant, with a full range of sound and detail, whether you’re listening to rap or rock. Switch to “bass mode” if you want to crank up the bass; Back Bay’s “signature sound” is more subtle and balanced.
These earbuds pair easily with your phone to let you take calls hands-free. You can also pair the buds with Siri and Google Assistant for voice control.
4. Sony WI-SP600N Premium Earbuds
Sony consistently puts out quality products, and these buds are no different. Their noise-cancelling ability works well, and music sounds great while working out or just working, thanks to its wide frequency range. Phone calls and Bluetooth connection are easy to handle with the touch of a button, and the buds stay secure and comfortable in your ears, even for long stretches.
While they are indeed wireless, as in, there’s no wire connecting them to your device, there is a short wire connecting the buds. This may be a dealbreaker for some, but can actually be beneficial to others. For example, if you’ll be mostly on phone calls, the wire lets the built-in microphone dangle right by your mouth, allowing others to hear you perfectly. Having a short wire also lets you find the buds more efficiently, should they fall out while on an outdoor run. There’s also more options for controls on the microphone piece, and the ambient noise reduction does an excellent job at filtering out any background sounds.
As far as waterproof goes, these are rated as IPX5 – meaning they’re splash-proof and sweat-proof, and it’s safe to gently wash them, but not recommended to submerge them.
5. Jaybird Vista True Wireless Sport Earbuds
There’s a lot to love about these waterproof earbuds from Jaybird. Their Vista Sport true wireless earbuds are slim and sleek, yet fully waterproof, crush-proof, drop-proof and sweat-proof. The IPX7 rating means the buds hold up in all weather conditions, while the durable construction and compact case make it easy to the earbuds with you on the go.
A single charge gets you six hours of runtime; get 16 hours of total playback time with the included charging case. In a rush? A quick five-minute charge gets you up to an hour of playtime instantly.
Jaybird says the Vista’s “cutting-edge JBS1 true wireless bluetooth technology ensures high quality zero-lag stereo sound.” That means it pairs easily with your phone with no stuttering, for a clear and reliable connection every time. Music and calls sound smooth and crisp, with detailed, focused sound.
This is one of the lightest pairs of waterproof earbuds on our list, making them easy to wear without fatigue. Three sizes of interchangeable ear gels help you find the most secure and comfortable fit.