These Cheap Earbuds Aren’t Afraid to Get Wet
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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 Are The Best 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. SoundPEATS Wireless TrueFree2 Sport Earbuds
This durable pair of SoundPEATS TrueFree2 Sport earbuds are meant to be feel as comfortable as possible for anyone who’s super active. The soft silicone ear fins offer customized, secure fit, preventing the earbuds from falling off during workouts no matter how you move.
They also have a fairly compact design, and are IPX7-rated to reliably protect against water and sweat. On-ear buttons give you full control that don’t feel difficult to use, and you can seamlessly switch between using a single earbud in mono mode, and connecting both in twin pairing mode.
When not in use, place them in their case to recharge— you’ll get 4 full charges from the charging case, giving you 20 hours of use. These don’t have the longest battery life, but the TrueFree2 make up for it with crisp sound quality and minimal distortion not usually found in sport buds, thanks to its built-in 6mm diaphragm driver.
Buy SoundPEATS Wireless TrueFree2 Sport… $32.99
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 for long periods of time. But they have great sound for those who like it loud, with nicely sleek packaging that comes with eight different earbud sizes.
Buy TOZO T10 Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earbuds $23.99
3. Xmythorig Ultimate True Wireless Earbuds
While these might not have “ultimate” waterproofing, Xmythorig’s 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.
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).
Buy Xmythorig Ultimate True Wireless Earbuds $49.99
4. Rademax True Wireless IPX7 Waterproof Earbuds
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.