Music has the power to make physical activities slightly less painful. It is no exception for swimming. However, the modern ways of listening to music are not totally compatible with water.
What do I mean by that? Bluetooth has become a standard for music. It allows you to connect headphones wirelessly and listen to your favorite songs. The convenience of not having to use wires is amazing until you go underwater.
Bluetooth does not work under the water. Here the culprit is the law of physics. Water molecules are denser than air which obstructs the frequency at which Bluetooth works. As a result, you hear cut-offs, loss of signals, and disconnections.
The companies who make swimming gear tried to fill this gap with innovative techniques. In the blog post, we will talk about seven such methods that you can use to listen to music while swimming with minimum interruptions.
1. Use a Bone Conduction Headphone With MP3 Player Built-in
Bone conduction headphones are in the market for a while. They didn’t get the traction they expected due to the quality of sound. It is not bad, but it is just not on the same level with a normal pair of headphones in terms of sound quality.
However, it is the opposite when you take a normal pair and a bone conduction headphones to the water. Where a normal pair struggles to stay connected, the bone conduction headphones shine giving you every bit of the wireless music experience.
There is a catch. Bone conduction is wireless and uses Bluetooth to pair with a music transmitter. Then how is it different than any other Bluetooth headphones?
There are some bone conduction headphones like the Aftershokz Xtrainerz, which has an MP3 player built into it. This means you are not relying on a device over Bluetooth to receive signals. You have to load the songs into the player from your computer using a USB cable.
The biggest advantage of this form of headphones is that your ears stay open for the surroundings. You can also wear it for a longer time because there is no involvement of ears in it.
2. Use a Waterproof MP3 Player With Wired Earbuds
This is probably the most common way of listening to music underwater and there is no chance it can go wrong. All you need is a waterproof MP3 player and wired waterproof earbuds.
Those music players are nicely certified against water and some of them brag IPX8 rating, which gives the green light to continuous water immersion.
You have to pair this with waterproof wired earbuds because normal wires wouldn’t survive. The player has to be tucked in the back of your goggles or swim caps usually.
The SYRYN MP3 Player is a popular choice among swimmers. It is available as a bundle with Underwater Audio’s Swimbuds which will save you some money. There is a clip on the back of this device with which you use to attach it to your clothing.
3. Use an Apple Watch With H2O Audio Interval
Apple watches are waterproof since the beginning. They are meant to be taken to the water and track your swims. The problem is that it doesn’t have a headphone jack where you can plug your wired headphones in. It is a question why Apple didn’t take that into consideration if they wanted to make it an ultimate fitness tracker.
Even though Apple does not have a solution just yet, some companies tried to fix it. The Interval from H2O Audio came up with a solution that solves half of the problems we talked about. The remaining half falls in a gray zone which some people might not like.
It is a holder for your Apple Watch where you can snap your watch in and then attach the holder to your swim cap. The earbuds are fixed to the holder and have just enough length to reach your ears from the back of your head.
These earbuds function over Bluetooth protocol but due to the distance between the watch and earbuds being only a few inches, it can bypass the fact of Bluetooth not working underwater. Occasional signal disruptions can still happen from time to time.
The biggest disadvantage of this device is that you are not wearing it on your wrist which will result in some Apple Watch functions not working. For example, heart rate and SpO2 sensors will not work on your head. If you can live with that for the time you are in the water, you will enjoy this IPX8-rated device.
4. Use a Wireless Waterproof Headset With Music Player Built-in
Wires are somethings a dealbreaker. The point of people liking Bluetooth headphones is that there are no wires. Typical swimming headphones are all wired, except this one.
Pyle Flextreme is a headset-style MP3 player which also happened to be compact in size. It is comparable to the Aftershokz bone conduction headphone we talked about earlier. The big difference is that it uses earbuds and transmits the sound through the ears normally.
It has an 8GB storage where you can load your songs locally using the included USB cable. There are also interchangeable earbuds of different sizes in the bundle. This music player is IPX8 rated which is one of the highest water ratings for electronics.
What I like the most are the water-blocking ear tips. They seal the ear canal properly and make sure you don’t feel uncomfortable by water getting inside.
The Bluetooth variant of this device is a better purchase than the non-Bluetooth one because you will be able to use it for other activities wirelessly with any of your capable devices without limiting yourself to locally stored music.
5. Use a Waterproof Micro Tablet With Wired Earbuds
Don’t get confused by the term ‘tablet’. Delphin Micro Tablet is nearly a smartwatch in size, perhaps slightly larger. The key difference is that it is solely made for attaching it to swimming caps. it doesn’t come with any wristband or similar attachments.
The feature that sets this device apart from smartwatches is the 3.5mm audio jack. You can connect any waterproof earbuds to it and you are good to go. There will be no need to buy one yourself though because it includes Underwater Audio’s HydroActive earbuds in the package.
One other likable aspect is the WiFi connectivity. In addition to having Bluetooth to connect it to other wireless headphones, the presence of WiFi allows you to download apps on the device itself and stream music.
You can download all the popular music and audiobook apps on this small-size computer including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Audible, Deezer, and some more. They use Amazon App Store as their application platform.
A few things to keep in mind though. WiFi still doesn’t work under the water so you can not directly stream music while swimming. You have to download them before you go into the water.
The Bluetooth also doesn’t allow you to pair it with a phone or computer. WiFi or an analog USB cable are the only ways to load music onto it.
6. Use a Smartphone With Waterproof Swimming Case
If buying a separate music device for swimming is too much for you, you can of course go old school with your smartphone. All you will need is a swimming phone case alongside a swimming-compatible headphones.
H2O Audio Smartphone Case bundles an IPX8 phone case, a pair of Surge around-the head headphones, waistband, velcro armband, goggles, and a cap. All of them are waterproof and this bundle saves a great deal of money.
Another advantage of this bundle is that they are checked against cross-compatibility and the most important one, a water-sealed hole for your headphone wires. This is one feature that makes many waterproof phone cases unusable for music.
The sound quality in this setup would be a-one because you are using your regular phone with a regular pair of earbuds. There is no chance of signal disruptions because it doesn’t use Bluetooth for this matter.
You will have to download your songs to your phone beforehand though. A waterproof case doesn’t enable Bluetooth to work underneath the water. Music streaming services with offline music will work. Just make sure those songs play on your phone without an internet connection.
7. Use a Waterproof iPod Shuffle With Wired Earbuds
Apple iPod shuffles are a long favorite of the favorite industry. They are compact, the sound comes out great, and offer just enough features for quick music playback.
Underwater Audio tweaked the iPod to make it waterproof. This patented device got an IPX8 rating and is recommended for all activities where water is concerned. It has 2GB storage for songs which is low, to be honest.
You can pair this shuffle with your favorite pair of waterproof headphones. Although it will technically work with any wired headphones, you will be on the safer side if you buy one of their own. The final price will change depending on which headphones you pick.
You are also given the option to get only the iPod, if that is what you need.