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When shopping for waterproof earbuds, it’s important to remember that not all buds are created equal: “waterproof” and “water-resistant” can have very different meanings depending on the product. It all comes down to what you’ll be using them for, and how much water they’ll ultimately be exposed to.
What To Know When Shopping For Waterproof Earbuds
Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant: The best waterproof earbuds can be completely submerged in water without damaging the audio components or shell. 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. Find out how deep the pool is too, in case one accidentally slips out and falls to the bottom.
The best water-resistant earbuds, meantime, will hold up to light splashes of water (say, if you’re accidentally caught in the rain) but they 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 workout outdoors or near a body of water, it’s best to go for a fully waterproof pick.
Comfort and Fit: Making sure that your earbuds stay secure as you’re doing your laps will help prevent them from coming loose, and a feature like seals can help keep the buds in and the water out. But don’t sacrifice comfort – pinchy, pokey earbuds can be distracting and painful. We’ve included models that come with adjustable eartips so you can find the best fit for your ear shape. We’ve also included picks that can hook around your ears or onto your goggles for a more secure fit. Keep in mind though that bigger earbuds may interfere with your googles, and your swim cap as well.
Sound Quality: Will you be using these earbuds to get pumped up before a swim meet? 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 built-in microphone to chat). Also be sure that they’re designed to keep working underwater – some buds are indeed waterproof, but for protection only, and programmed to shut off as soon as you dive under.
Blocking out noise is another. The ideal pair are buds with balanced levels and noise isolation, but that also let you hear your surroundings too just in case something important is going down.
Controls: Placement of the power button can be a big convenience – some buds have it on the ear, while others are on a plugin jack that goes into your phone. Same with the ability to remotely control things like pausing, speaking commands, and skipping tracks. You’ll want something that’s easy to access, and that you don’t need to feel around for while your eyes are occupied.
Charging: You’ll want to look at how long it takes to charge your earbuds. Automatic charging when you place your buds back into the power bank is a handy feature, but if it takes a couple hours and you need it now, that’s a dealbreaker.
Connectivity: And maybe the most important feature of all – connectivity. The most comfortable, stylish, waterproof buds don’t cut it if they’re constantly cutting out. We made sure to find options that deliver reliable connections, whether you’re chilling on the couch or on the move.
1. BEBEN Bluetooth 5.0 True Wireless Earbuds
Beben’s Bluetooth buds come in a nicely packaged, convenient soft circular carry-case that charges with the included micro-USB cable. The case’s LED lights let you know when your earbuds are charging up, and how far along the progress is until it’s full. There are a number of different earpiece sizes included for all types of ears, so finding a comfortable fit shouldn’t be an issue. They’re also very light, to the point you may forget you’re already wearing them.
Pairing the Bluetooth 5.0 with your phone is super easy, and the buds learn to automatically connect when you take them out. These are ideal for working out, walking, and talking, and are mildly water (and sweat) proof, as long as you don’t submerge them. (Same with the “waterproof” case as well).
The Bebens are scratch-resistant, and the bud’s buttons let you control the basics like skipping tracks, volume, and taking phone calls. They come fully charged, and do a decent job of cancelling outside noises, but leaving just enough to still be aware of your surroundings.
PROS: Very comfortable, won’t cramp up your ears when wearing for long time.
CONS: The quality at both ends of the sound scale aren’t bad, but the upper registers can sound a little “tinny,” while the lower end lacks the bass response of some other bud brands.
2. TOZO T10 Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earbuds
TOZO’s charging feature is fast – 20 minutes should give you about an hour of power, and a full charge should get you about three hours. These can also be charged wirelessly, and the transparent case lid lets you see the indicator lights as they juice up.
For music, the sound quality here has great bass response, but can be lacking on the higher-end. They also don’t distort when you crank up the volume, which is helpful for when you’re trying to block out noisy surroundings during a call or at the gym.
While these buds can hold up to some minimal water exposure, they still aren’t really recommended for swimming or showering.
PROS: Nicely sleek packaging that comes with eight different earbud sizes. Great sound for those who like it loud. The lanyard is a convenient carrying option too.
CONS: Clickable buttons are handy for functionality, but it can be hard not to accidentally press them when putting them in. The charging case feels solid, but is a bit bulkier than other brands, if you’ll be carrying these in your pocket.
3. Xmythorig Ultimate True Wireless Earbuds
Trying to say this company name out loud may be difficult, but their buds work effortlessly. Pairing is instant as soon as you take them out of the case, and after the first time, they’ll automatically connect and charge every time. You can even listen to one bud while the other is charging, which is handy (and hands-free) for phone calls or an audiobook.
The 3300mAh charging case goes beyond just the buds and can be used as a power bank for your other devices too. At full battery capacity, it can charge an iPhone Xs 1.25 times, or the earbuds 25 times. A full earbud charge should get you about four hours when used at a low volume
The LED display is way more detailed than many of its competitors, and clearly shows you the charge amount in numbers, not lights. And the CVC 8.0 cancels background noise, which the other people on the conference call will definitely appreciate.
PROS: Much like AirPods, these are commanded by touch and not by clickable buttons.
CONS: The buds themselves feature a “nano-coating” to form a seal against water droplets or sweat, but aren’t recommended for the shower or for use in the pool (although we’ve seen people who did and said they worked fine). The charging case isn’t fully waterproof either.
4. Rademax True Wireless Earbuds IPX7 Waterproof
Rademax’s wireless earbuds are truly comfortable, thanks to its ergonomically-designed silicone that gives it a tight and snug fit.
The IPX7 rating means the buds can be submerged into one meter deep water for up to 30 minutes and still come out okay.
The charging indicator is bright, clear, easy to read, and not only tells you what percentage the collective battery life is at, but even shows you the progress of each individual bud. It’s touch sensing too – just tap which bud you want to check on. If you need to take a call, pull out one bud, and the other one will continue charging up.
They can also charge without the case being plugged in, and the case itself features a couple different USB-C ports, so you can power up your other devices too while charging your buds.
The sound quality here is deep and supports good bassy tones. And the touch sensors make volume control easy: tap right to turn it up and left to bring it down.
PROS: Sounds great, with simple controls and fast charging. The 1200mAH battery here is long-lasting, and can be replaced when it runs out too. Solid waterproof rating.
CONS: The buds can have trouble connecting during activities where you’re moving around a lot, making songs skip and conversations occasionally cut out.