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.