The Truth About Bluetooth Headphones for Swimming

I love to analyze what people are searching for on Google. It came to my surprise that thousands of them are looking for what the best Bluetooth headphones are for swimming.

As much as I would love to tell you these and these are the best, I want to tell you the truth today. It can be harsh but it is how it is.

You can pour a lot of money on tech which isn’t entirely a bad thing. But it is not okay to get misled by a product or be a result of miscommunication between the seller and the consumer.

1. Bluetooth Does Not Work Underwater

If you ask me whether you can swim with Bluetooth headphones, it wouldn’t take me a second to say NO.

You cannot swim with Bluetooth headphones if the purpose is to listen to music. Bluetooth does not work underwater. In fact, none of the wireless connectivities work under the water. The law of physics prevents it to do so.

Bluetooth wireless technology uses 2.4GHz radiofrequency. In an ideal air condition, it can connect with another device at a distance of 10 meters (Bluetooth 1.0) up to 400 meters (Bluetooth 5.0). When it goes underwater, the range drops to inches.

Why is that? Water molecules are denser than air. They are also known for thinning away wireless networks to nonexistent. Due to that fact, your headphones that work 100 meters from the source in the air, might stop working immediately after going a few inches deep in water.

2. There Are No Bluetooth Headphones for Swimming

Since Bluetooth, according to physics, does not work underwater, it is pointless to ask if there are Bluetooth headphones for swimming.

I know where this problem origins from. Products are marketed with lucrative labels like waterproof, swimproof, and so. An ordinary tech consumer would wow on that, thinking now he can go swimming and enjoy music at the same time.

While the product will survive immersion in water due to its waterproof coating, features that are dependent on Bluetooth will not work. Come on good companies, you need to be more specific when you say something is swimproof.

Even better. Next time when you see a product being called out as swimproof, ask the seller which features work underwater and which don’t. It will clear up the confusion for many.

3. Exceptions When Bluetooth Headphones Might Work Underwater

There are a few cases when Bluetooth might work for transmitting and receiving signals under the water. These are like loopholes but they are not changing the way things work.

3.1 When the Source is Only a Few Inches Away

We said that water weakens Bluetooth signals to a point where it looks like there is none. But when the source and the signal receiving device are a couple of inches apart from each other, it could work.

It works because there is not much water in-between that would absorb the signals. For example, if you can fit a small music source inside your swim cap close to the Bluetooth headphones, it will work. But I totally see how something like that can be so uncomfortable.

3.2 When the Headphone Itself is a Standalone Music Player

In this case, you are not actually using Bluetooth. But what you are doing is loading songs onto a music player and that music player turns out to be headphones itself.

This is a good solution for those who don’t like wires floating around in the water. They might feature Bluetooth for other activities outside the water. But when it comes down to swimming, they go back to local storage.

4. What Are the Options If You Cannot Use Bluetooth Headphones While Swimming?

The caveat of Bluetooth should not stop you from listening to music while swimming. Music has this superpower to help you exercise longer and harder than you could without it.

There are definitely ways to enjoy music in your swimming sessions. The most common thing swimmers do is to use wired waterproof headphones with a waterproof MP3 player.

Wired headphones are effective but can be inconvenient. In that case, there are wireless headphones that have a music player built into them. This means, you load your songs in the headphones beforehand and play them directly from it when swimming.

We have a separate post where we shared 7 different ways to listen to music while swimming. It includes what you exactly need for each method to work. I do recommend you go and check it out provided you are interested.