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The 5 Best Waterproof Earbuds of 2023

We wore waterproof earbuds from Jaybird, Jabra, Anker, and more to test for the best
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Best Waterproof Earbuds of 2023
Credit: Jill Rice

Our Top Picks

By Aaron Rice ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 18, 2022

Our audio experts have tested 72+ earbuds and headphones over the past 5 years. This review covers 10 of the best waterproof earbuds available, all bought and tested hands-on in real-world applications, as well as specific, controlled tests. Our team of experts wore these earbuds on hot, mid-summer trail runs, through sweaty at-home workouts, and then right into the shower as a dynamic approach to evaluating athletic performance and waterproof rating. We also listened to music throughout the workday to assess the sound quality and all-day comfort. Our comprehensive review breaks down some of the best waterproof models on the market today so you can find the perfect product that meets your needs and budget.

When it comes to the world of audio goods, we've tested a wide spectrum of products including the best true wireless earbuds and Bluetooth earbuds. We've also reviewed various types of headphones, from top-tier workout headphones to wireless headphones, even the best noise cancelling headphones. You can also keep your tunes jamming with a top-notch Bluetooth speaker, so everyone can enjoy the music.

Editor's Note: We updated this article on November 18, 2022, editing for clarity and assessing availability of our product lineup.


Best Overall Waterproof Earbuds

Jaybird Vista 2

Playback Time: 9 hours | Waterproof Rating: IP68
Versatile and secure fit
Brilliant app-controlled EQ
Water resistance
Charging case indicates battery storage
Not the best noise-canceling (but still good)

The Jaybird Vista 2 earbuds are hard to beat for the athletically inclined. These earbuds are lightweight and designed to sit in the contours of your outer ear. Thanks to a well-designed ear fin (available in three sizes), they fit securely once correctly fitted so that you can go on any workout or adventure with ease. They also feature active noise cancellation for distraction-free work or workouts. The Vista 2 is supported with the Jaybird app, and it is in using the app that these earbuds certainly shine. A sound test allows you to adjust your personalized EQ, bringing forth the true brilliance and fullness of the sound, and fully customizable push-button controls give you the functions and features you want. The IP 68 rating means they can be dunked in up to 1.5 meters of water for thirty minutes or less, as well as blocking out sand, dust, and dirt.

The Vista 2 earbuds are pricey, but we are happy to see that the app includes a "Find My Buds" feature to help you protect your investment. We wish the case shared the same IP68 rating as the earbuds, but only it sports an IP54 rating. But with such minor concerns, the Vista 2 buds are an easy choice. If you'd like a second opinion, you can be confident in your purchase by knowing they also top the list of our Best Bluetooth Earbuds review.

Read more: Jaybird Vista 2 review

best overall waterproof earbuds
These earbuds (Jaybird Vista 2) have an excellent fit and stay in our ears during various activities, regardless of movement or body position.
Credit: Jason Peters


Best Bang for Your Buck

Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)

Playback Time: 5 hours | Waterproof Rating: IPX4
Active noise cancellation
Multiple charges from the case
Great Bass
Relatively short battery life
Touch-sensitive controls can be finicky

The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) offer an array of features found on more expensive models, including a charging case, Amazon Alexa support, and a helpful "find my buds" feature, plus audio quality that had us double-checking the price before believing it. These are a great choice for folks looking to get pumped up for their workouts with bass-heavy tracks, as the Echo Buds pump out a pretty impressive low-end for a pair of earbuds. They easily transition from working out to plain old work thanks to their active noise cancelation, which can be operated in pass-through mode or disabled completely.

Though somewhat subjective, we found the earbud's touch-sensitive controls a bit cumbersome, as we generally prefer buttons with a more tactile response. They also require you to set up Alexa to operate, which some folks wary of the "always listening" digital assistant won't appreciate. They have a water resistance rating of IPX4, so they resist sweat but should not be submerged. Still, these buds are a great choice for folks looking to save a little money while still enjoying above-average sound quality.

Read more: Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) review

waterproof earbuds - best bang for your buck
Enjoy repeating beats and pumping bass (at a wallet-friendly price) with the Amazon Echo Buds.
Credit: Laura Casner


Best On a Tight Budget

Anker Soundcore Life P2

Playback Time: 6.5 hours | Waterproof Rating: IPX7
Dual microphones on each earbud
Lightweight fit for all-day wear
Extended battery life
Very competitive price
No volume control
Despite CVC tech, microphones are sensitive to background noise

For an impressive command of versatility at a low price, we can easily recommend the Anker Soundcore Life P2. Our testers are impressed by how well these earbuds transition from taking phone calls to sweating it out on a trail run. These earbuds comfortably rest on the edge of the ear canal and yet are still impressively stable. Unlike others we tested, they have microphones on the top and bottom of both earbuds, resulting in excellent call clarity on both ends of the line. With an EQ adjusted towards the higher end of the spectrum, we thoroughly enjoyed the quality of sound for listening to podcasts. The sound quality is adequate for providing tunes as you go throughout the day, but don't expect much by way of kick if you are a lover of hip-hop, despite Anker's claims that their BassUp technology "enhances bass by up to 43%." And while its battery life isn't totally the best in class, we were surprised how seldom we needed to plug in the charging case to boost its battery juices. The onboard buttons reduced the number of times we needed to pull out our phones to pause or skip tracks.

The Clear Voice Capture (CVC) technology works great for picking up our voice clearly, but it didn't do so well at filtering out background noise. We found that the dual microphones were uber-sensitive — while we were washing dishes, the running water drew the person's attention on the other end of the line. Similarly, we are a bit confused by the claims surrounding the waterproof rating on these. Even though the Soundcore Life P2 earbuds sport an IPX7 rating — which means that they should be fine to immerse in water up to three feet — the safety manual explicitly states, "[do] not submerge in water," and that "the product shall not be exposed to dripping or splash…" That said, this pair survived our water tests without an issue, and we recommend them as impressively well-rounded earbuds at a price that's tough to beat.

With an appearance similar to the ever-popular Airbuds, these...
With an appearance similar to the ever-popular Airbuds, these earbuds offer similar call quality thanks to multiple microphones.
These earbuds do stick out a bit from your ear, but that is a...
These earbuds do stick out a bit from your ear, but that is a fit-feature that contributes to all-day comfort.


Best Sound Quality

Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless

Playback Time: 7 hours | Waterproof Rating: IP57
Active noise cancellation (ANC)
Fully customizable
Highly waterproof and dust protection
Not the most stable fit

Most folks will appreciate the brilliant sound quality of the Jabra Elite Active 75t. Similar to our top contender, these are designed to be used with the Jabra Sound+ app. Once connected, you unlock the power and potential of these 'smart' earbuds and can tweak just about everything on these fully customizable headphones. Most importantly for overall sound quality, a few simple (but extremely sensitive) hearing tests allow you to set both personalized EQ and active noise cancellation (ANC) settings. Commuters will surely appreciate the HearThrough technology, which will enable you to hear outside noise through your music, and on-the-go business professionals will love the Sidetone technology, which allows you to hear your voice on a call so that you don't end up talking too loudly. And all of this technology doesn't come at any expense of waterproofing. These buds carry an impressive IP57 rating, making them water-resistant and dust-protected.

The downside to all that incredible tech is a hefty price tag. And while the Elite Active 75t is well-protected from the elements, the bulky profile means it's easier to knock out of your ear by accident. More of a comment than a complaint, it is also important to acknowledge that the ANC technology severely limits playback time. So while you can enjoy an impressive seven hours of sound with ANC turned off, with the noise cancellation technology engaged, that time is cut down to a much more modest five hours. But regardless of the extent, you can rest assured knowing that these buds will provide a high-quality listening experience.

Read more: Jabra Elite Active 75t review

The Jabra Elite Active 75t is a bit bulkier than other models we...
The Jabra Elite Active 75t is a bit bulkier than other models we tested, but only because it houses technology (like Active Noise Cancellation) that none of the others have.
Although they stick out a bit from your ear, the Jabra Elite Active...
Although they stick out a bit from your ear, the Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds are incredibly comfortable and lightweight enough for all-day wear.


Most Robust Water Resistance

TOZO T6 True Wireless

Playback Time: 4 hours | Waterproof Rating: IPX8
Both case and earbuds have the highest waterproof rating
Long range
Variety of sizing options
Underperforming playback time
Unstable fit

Don't be deceived by their appearance; the TOZO T6 True Wireless earbuds are reinforced with a robust level of waterproofing. This contender is one of the few models on the market that offer a top-level IPX8 rating for both case and earbuds. Though they do not boast the same overall sound quality when compared directly to other models in this review, the sound is consistent, with absolutely none of the "bouncing" that often plagues lighter-weight earbuds. Considering their relatively quick one-hour charge time and 190-foot measured Bluetooth range, there is no reason NOT to get up, out, and on your way, no matter what the day has in store.

Although the 6mm drivers of TOZO T6 provide a stable sound for activity, the quality is not particularly rich and even seems distant at points. We noticed a similar issue while making phone calls, with the receiving end sometimes remarking that we sounded like we were calling through a tunnel. Even though they are stable enough for most athletics, the earcups fit tightly in a way that makes us not want to wear them all day. But perhaps the greatest flaw is a relatively short playback time of only four hours. Fortunately, the sleek carrying case is stocked with nearly six additional charges, which should be plenty if you're planning to use these for travel.

The TOZO T6 is one of the only models on the market that is secured...
The TOZO T6 is one of the only models on the market that is secured in a case that also carries an IPX8 rating.
The fit of the the TOZO T6 is a bit awkward, but it seems to fit...
The fit of the the TOZO T6 is a bit awkward, but it seems to fit larger ears well, and is certainly sturdy enough for active pursuits.


Decent Sound Quality for Less

EarFun Free

Playback Time: 6.5 hours | Waterproof Rating: IPX7
Deep bass and full-range EQ
Stable fit
10-minute quick-charge provides 2 hours of playback
Large, bulky earbuds
Not breathable

Sound quality is paramount for any headphones, but it isn't often achieved, especially when it comes to earbud design. The EarFun Free earbuds make strides against this trend. These headphones offer a rich sound with a well-equalized, deep bass at a fair price. The noise-canceling qualities are enhanced by a suction-cup-like fit that secures them in place, providing full confidence to go for long trail runs in rough, mountainous terrain. A 10-minute quick-charge feature will get you back in the game with an additional two hours of listening time.

Although the waterproof rating is not quite as high as other contenders, an IPX7 rating allows for full immersion up to three feet. These are not touch-control earbuds, and it takes a fair amount of push to engage the controls, making it difficult to change tracks without sometimes pushing these uncomfortably far into the ear canal. The EarFun Free is notably bulkier than other models, sticking out farther than most, which slightly reduces breathability. Our testers agree the price of these affordable headphones is the most impressive point.

The size and shape of these earbuds contributes to passive noise...
The size and shape of these earbuds contributes to passive noise cancelling, only improving their overall sound quality.
A bit bulky (even a bit android-looking), but their sound...
A bit bulky (even a bit android-looking), but their sound quality is unparalleled in this review.


Petite But Highly Water Resistant

Kurdene Wireless Earbuds

Playback Time: 7 hours | Waterproof Rating: IPX8
Water-resistant buds and case
Long playback time
Driver rattles in the earbud
Bluetooth connection is easily hijacked

The Kurdene Wireless Earbuds are a solid set of true wireless waterproof earbuds at a great price, all wrapped up in a case that is noticeably smaller and lighter than the competitors. The earbuds themselves are a fairly standard size and sit a bit further out from the ear than other models we tested, but they still stick to the theme of being remarkably lightweight. These headphones sport an IPX8 rating, and even the case is IPX6 rated — so you don't have to worry about leaving it poolside. The earbuds can be used independently, with nearly ubiquitous touch controls (except for volume and track navigation, which are side-specific), and have an impressive playback time of nearly seven hours. The earpieces are also worth mentioning: you don't have to push them in very far to achieve athletic stability, thanks to a stiffer rubber "spine" that increases in-ear support and security.

The Kurdene earbuds have a clean EQ that is good enough for acoustic tracks but is treble-heavy and lacks any full-range resonance or deep bass kick. The driver — a "moving-coil, horn loudspeaker" — rattles around when running or performing exercises like box jumps. This can be very distracting and certainly detracts from the overall sound quality. The other major sacrifice of these price-point headphones is their connection range, losing Bluetooth connection at 51 feet.

These earbuds are more than half the price of some models featured...
These earbuds are more than half the price of some models featured in this review, yet still offer up important characteristics like top-notch waterproof rating and athletic stability.
Not exactly low profile, but the stiff rubber spine incorporated in...
Not exactly low profile, but the stiff rubber spine incorporated in the ear cup keeps these earbuds in place while on the move.


Long Distance Bluetooth Connection

JLab JBuds Air Icon

Playback Time: 7 hours | Waterproof Rating: IP55
Long-range Bluetooth connection
Long playback time
Not fully waterproof
Sound quality is severely affected by running

The JLab JBuds Air Icon has an impressive connection range, measured at 102 feet. This capability, coupled with seven hours of playback time, makes them perfect for working out on the soccer pitch or in the gym. The case is thoughtfully designed with a built-in charging cord, and don't be thrown off by the cord's obscure appearance — simply plug directly into any standard USB type-A charging block to charge the case. The case carries three full charges, and you can enjoy 1.5 hours of playback from a 15-minute quick charge.

Unfortunately, their IP55 rating means they're only water-resistant, so be sure to remove these earbuds before hitting the shower. The Air Icon includes various earcups and fins to help you dial in that perfect fit. Despite this attribute, all but the foam earcups feature an unnecessarily embossed JLab symbol which severely impacts stability and in-ear comfort. These earbuds distinctly offer the ability to cycle through three different EQ options, but all fall flat of a rich sound. We also found it disappointing how movement affected the sound quality, particularly when running; the sound bounces so badly that it seems like there is a "wawa" effects pedal dubbed over the song at times. Although our lineup includes contenders that can handle movement, our selection of top running headphones might be what you seek if running is your main priority behind purchasing earbuds.

The athletic performance of these earbuds is in-part thanks to a...
The athletic performance of these earbuds is in-part thanks to a thin ear fin that improves overall stability.
The design of these earbuds incorporates passive noise cancelling...
The design of these earbuds incorporates passive noise cancelling, but can only do so much to improve the sound from relatively weak drivers.


Pocket-Sized Earbuds and Case

iLuv TB100 Bubble Gum True Wireless

Playback Time: 5 hours | Waterproof Rating: IPX6
Tiny, lightweight case
Well-balanced EQ
Poor Bluetooth connection
Terrible microphone clarity

The iLuv TB100 Bubble Gum True Wireless earbuds have a fitting namesake. The case is about the size and weight of a pack of bubble gum, so you can easily slide them into your pocket before heading out the door. The earbuds, too, feel significantly smaller than many others, with the speakers comfortably covering the entrance to the ear canal — although it is important to mention that a smaller earbud does not make certain that they will fit a smaller ear. The tight, stable fit results in a surprisingly deep, well-balanced bass with crisp highs. The fit also affords a decent level of passive noise canceling — we were able to listen to podcasts clearly while cruising downhill on our bike commute.

It is a shame that the sound quality does not extend to voice calls. The feedback and background noise for the receiver was so poor that it was impossible to carry on a conversation longer than a minute or two (and this was tested while standing still). The tight, suction cup-like fit also contributes to the sound "bouncing" when running. The manufacturer claims that the touch controls are "intelligent" and capable of adapting to individual touch patterns. In our experience, the touch interface seems overly sensitive — the strap of our bike helmet repeatedly triggered it — and restarting playback is often impossible without accessing your phone.

Larger than the size of the case suggests, these earbuds do a great...
Larger than the size of the case suggests, these earbuds do a great job of passive noise cancelling thanks to their design.
A pocket-sized case reveals a set of earbuds that are surprisingly...
A pocket-sized case reveals a set of earbuds that are surprisingly large for smaller ears.


Small Profile for Small Ears

OKG IPX8 True Wireless Stereo

Playback Time: 3 hours | Waterproof Rating: IPX8
High waterproof rating
Very stable sound during movement
Unfortunate EQ
Short playback time

For those with particularly small conchas (the inset space around your ear canal), the OKG IPX8 True Wireless Stereo may just be the perfect fit. Their lightweight, low-profile design rests comfortably just outside the ear canal and seems to do the trick when many other models simply won't match the shape of a smaller ear. Even for larger ears, they seem to float on the edge of the inner ear, making them fairly comfortable for all-day use.

Unfortunately, the fit makes them feel incredibly unstable, as if they might pop out of your ear at any moment. We were hesitant to use these earbuds on runs and opted for models from our workout headphones review. The "floating" fit, combined with small 6mm drivers, causes music, podcasts, and voice calls to sound distant. Even when turning up the volume, these earbuds fail to achieve a rich sound. The OKG only has three hours of playback time, no quick-charge feature, and no audible, low-battery warning — only an external LED light that flashes red when the battery is low (but you obviously cannot see this while wearing them). So make sure to time your listening wisely. Otherwise, you risk having your music cut out halfway through a song.

These earbuds are significantly smaller than most of the other...
These earbuds are significantly smaller than most of the other models we tested, and really only fit smaller ears well.
These low profile earbuds are stylish, but unfortunately are not...
These low profile earbuds are stylish, but unfortunately are not really stable enough to ensure they stay in place during physical activity.

Don't go swimming with your waterproof headphones
While some models have impressive water resistance ratings, there are no Bluetooth models currently suited for swimming. The Bluetooth connection doesn't work underwater, defeating the purpose of wearing headphones, and even the IPX8 rated models are only waterproof up to a meter for 30 minutes. For now, swimmers are restricted to the beckoning silence of the deep or children screaming at the pool. These earbuds are still great for other water-centric sports like paddleboarding or kayaking, provided you can keep them from getting washed down the river.

waterproof earbuds - we take our testing seriously (okay, not too seriously...)...
We take our testing seriously (okay, not too seriously...) But we did go the distance to bring you a comprehensive review of some of the best wireless, waterproof earbuds on the market.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Why You Should Trust Us

This comprehensive review of the top 10 contenders results from over 100 hours of side-by-side comparison of some of the top waterproof wireless earbuds on the market. Our eclectic musical interests mean that we listened to a wide variety of music, not to mention the hours of knowledge gleaned from new and fascinating podcasts. We wore these while working all day from our home offices, listening to music, and conducting business calls. After the workday was through, we took them on long trail runs, mountain bike rides, or wore them through sweaty, at-home workouts. And when we finished up our daily routines, we hopped right in the shower — of course, still while wearing our earbuds — to put their waterproof ratings to the ultimate test.

To accurately evaluate all of the waterproof earbuds, our team of experts devised a test plan that covers six comprehensive and mutually exclusive test metrics: sound quality, athletic performance, comfort, waterproof rating, battery life, and ease of use. We apply a weight to each of these metrics appropriate to their importance in contributing to a truly great pair of headphones. Sound quality is the highest weighted test metric, followed by athletic performance and comfort. Since all of the headphones we tested include some level of waterproof rating, we did not assign quite as much weight to that test metric. Our side-by-side testing allows us to compare each set of earbuds relative to one another — even if a pair of headphones ranks lower than others, it is worth considering that it may include just the right features to fit your particular wants and needs.

Our testing of waterproof earbuds is divided across six rating metrics:
  • Sound Quality (30% of overall score weighting)
  • Athletic Performance (20% weighting)
  • Comfort (20% weighting)
  • Waterproof Rating (10% weighting)
  • Battery Life (10% weighting)
  • Ease of Use (10% weighting)

Our sound connoisseur and lead tester for this review is Aaron Rice. As an athlete and a musician, he knows a thing or two about the intersection of sound and athletic performance. Whether out in the mountains on a long trail run or hard at work, Aaron fills his days with music and always seems to have something playing in the fore or background.

We dissect the details to bring you the most comprehensive review...
We dissect the details to bring you the most comprehensive review available. Here, we pull back the ear-cup featured on the Kurdene earbuds to reveal the stiff rubber spine that helps improve stability.
We evaluated the fit of each model to ensure that they would...
We evaluated the fit of each model to ensure that they would actually stay in our ears. The diversity of human ear shapes is impressive, so fit can be subjective.
While they may not offer the best fit for athletics, the IPX8 rating...
While they may not offer the best fit for athletics, the IPX8 rating on the Vankyo X200 earbuds means that they can confidently be worn in the shower.

Analysis and Test Results

After extensive market research, we selected and purchased our competition. To cover all angles of a waterproof earbuds performance, we created six test metrics: sound quality, athletic performance, comfort, waterproof rating, battery life, and ease of use. While testing, we score each contender, and these ratings make up a product's overall score, which we rank and compare. Read on to learn how the competition performs in each testing metric.

waterproof earbuds - even though the 6mm drivers are small on the earfun free, their...
Even though the 6mm drivers are small on the EarFun Free, their graphene construction delivers a rich sound.
Credit: Jill Rice

Sound Quality

The waterproof rating is an important consideration for those looking to buy a new pair of earbuds with athletic endeavors in mind. But what good is waterproofing, or athletic performance, if your new headphones cannot produce quality sound? We listened to a wide variety of music — from bass-heavy dubstep and hip-hop to acoustic folk tracks to long-form podcast interviews — to gauge how deeply the bass kicks, how crisp the treble rings, and how a well-balanced equalization contributes to overall rich tones. We also put the internal microphones to the test and used our friends on the other end of the line to judge call clarity and quality.

waterproof earbuds - the exterior microphone on the jabra elite active 75t is the key to...
The exterior microphone on the Jabra Elite Active 75t is the key to both the Active Noise Cancelling and the SoundThrough technology, which allows the earbuds to subtly include ambient noise in the background, a key trait for commuters.
Credit: Aaron Rice

waterproof earbuds - passive noise cancellation is a common design concept for earbuds...
Passive noise cancellation is a common design concept for earbuds, like the JLab JBuds Air Icon, that employ an ear-fin to create a better seal around your ear canal and as a result, increase sound quality.
Credit: Aaron Rice

The Jaybird Vista 2 are a rockin' pair of buds that delivers a crisp and balanced sound, and they can be tweaked to your preference via Jaybird's app. The EQ pre-sets are many in the Jaybird app and simple enough for nearly anyone to use them immediately. You can even establish custom EQ settings very easily. The Jabra Elite Active 75t also provides an excellent, well-balanced sonic palette with a more robust waterproof rating. Looking for bumping bass at an affordable price? The Amazon Echo Buds are our favorite model for bass-heavy tunes to get us psyched for our workouts.

One of six tests that the Jaybird Vista 2 uses to dial in your...
One of six tests that the Jaybird Vista 2 uses to dial in your personalized EQ settings.
The personalized EQ on the Jabra Sound+ app allows you to tweak...
The personalized EQ on the Jabra Sound+ app allows you to tweak adjustments on a slider, just in case you're not perfectly happy with its recommendations after the audio test.

Athletic Performance

Of course, you want to listen to your favorite tunes while engaging in your favorite physical activity — why else would you be interested in the freedom of the truly wireless experience? Earbuds are convenient, and when combined with a waterproof rating, serve as the perfect companion to any athletic endeavor. We spent hours wearing these earbuds while out on long trail runs, working out with dynamic body-weight exercises, and riding our bikes. We judged fit and stability, considered sweat resistance, and noted how movement affects sound quality.

The Jaybird Vista 2 is lightweight but locks into your ear by using an extended ear hook to secure itself tightly to your outer ear. While some earbuds, like the Earfun Free, have a stable, suction cup-like fit, the sound bounces with each impact of a footstep, making them very annoying to run with. The Jabra Elite Active 75t are perfect for some ears and easily ejective from others, so make sure you can return them if necessary. We were also surprised by the Soundcore Life P2's athletic performance, a particularly enticing model for those who like to walk and talk.

waterproof earbuds - we love the freedom from wires, particularly when it comes to...
We love the freedom from wires, particularly when it comes to running. The lightweight design of the Soundcore Life P2 surprised us while testing athletic performance.
Credit: Jill Rice


All-day comfort help earbuds integrate into our lives, whether you're on the go or working from your home office. We wore each pair for an entire workday to directly compare their ease of extended wear. Since we all have ears of different sizes and shapes, we adjusted scores based on available sizing options for earcups and fins.

waterproof earbuds - the tozo t6 offers the largest variety of earcups of any in our test.
The TOZO T6 offers the largest variety of earcups of any in our test.
Credit: Aaron Rice

A well-designed ear fin comfortably supports the weight of the earbud on the edge of the antitragus (the lower portion of the middle ridge of your ear) so that the job of holding the earbud in your ear doesn't rest solely with the earcup. We love any earbud that includes an ear fin for this reason in particular. The fins/hooks on the Jaybird Vista 2 hold the earbuds securely in place for any athletic endeavor.

Without using an ear fin, the Soundcore Life P2 managed to achieve an impressive fit, thanks in large part to their lightweight design. Despite their bulky appearance, the Jabra Elite Active 75t are well designed and offer all-day comfort — they also have a sensor that will automatically pause music if you need to remove the earbud to adjust its fit.

waterproof earbuds - testing in the shower provided an arena to assess waterproof rating...
Testing in the shower provided an arena to assess waterproof rating, comfort in a wet environment, and how ambient noise affects sound quality. The EarFun Free passes all three tests with flying colors.
Credit: Jill Rice

Waterproof Rating

Waterproof ratings, commonly referred to as IP ratings, are clearly defined according to the International Protection Rating. However, manufacturers seem to include specific recommendations in their user manuals regardless of the IP rating advertised. We tested these claims — appropriate to their stated waterproof rating — by either showering or subjecting ourselves to a dunk test. Various online resources quickly spell out the meaning of each IP rating. In short, higher numbers provide more protection. The first number (or "X" if not tested) represents solid matter (dust, dirt, and sand) ingress that is blocked, and the second number is the level of water ingress protection.

waterproof earbuds - the tozo t6 are one of the few options on the market that carries an...
The TOZO T6 are one of the few options on the market that carries an IPX8 rating for both earbuds and case.
Credit: Aaron Rice

We ranked each pair of earbuds according to their IP rating and then adjusted those scores according to specific manufacturer recommendations. For example, our favorite for waterproofing — the TOZO T6 — has an IPX8 rating and is one of the few options on the market that also extends the same waterproof rating to its case. It is important to note that a Bluetooth connection will quickly be interrupted if you dive underwater — our testing corroborates that you will lose connection after submersion. But our testing revealed no significant issues related to waterproofing with any of the IPX7 or IPX8-rated headphones by dipping just below the surface. All models held up to their published IP ratings.

waterproof earbuds - the user manual that comes with the kurdene earbuds describes the...
The user manual that comes with the Kurdene earbuds describes the issues one might face while trying to use Bluetooth headphones while swimming.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Battery Life

As with many modern conveniences, there are tradeoffs. Cords may no longer tie you down with true wireless earbuds, but you are restrained by battery life. We tested the battery life of each of these while playing music at approximately 30% volume — a lower volume than the manufacturer-tested claims for playback time and a more realistic volume for the majority of earbud users. We then adjusted scores based on the number of extra charges carried by the case and awarded bonus points if those cases included a quick-charge feature.

The Jaybird Vista 2 impressed us again, with a 9 hour run time, a full hour more than the manufacturer stated 8 hours, plus you can juice them back up with the charging case. The Jabra Elite Active also makes a strong standing here with a 7 hour playback time.

waterproof earbuds - the jlab jbuds air icon is the only set of earbuds that incorporates...
The JLab JBuds Air Icon is the only set of earbuds that incorporates a charging cord directly into the case.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Though typically standard on most wireless earbuds in today's market, we heartily recommend only considering models that come with a charging case. Having such a case further removes you from being tethered to an outlet, often providing multiple re-charges of your earbuds before you'd have to plug the case back into an outlet.

Ease of Use

One of the most significant advantages of true wireless headphones is the ability to put them in and then walk away from your phone to go about your business. With a few notable exceptions, the interface features and controls are fairly ubiquitous across the board — the main difference is that the EarFun Free, Soundcore Life P2, Jaybird Vista 2, and Jabra Elite Active 75t are all button-controlled, rather than touch-sensitive. This is a nice feature to opt for with waterproof buds, considering that many touchpads are so sensitive that splashing water can affect the controls, pausing music, or changing tracks.

waterproof earbuds - we love the earfun free, an earbud that would only further be...
We love the EarFun Free, an earbud that would only further be improved by eliminating the button control that can result in you pushing them uncomfortably far into your ear.
Credit: Jill Rice

Regarding Bluetooth range, the Jabra Elite Active 75t and Jaybird Vista 2 maintain a solid connection at 265 and 290 feet, respectively — well exceeding their claims of 33 feet (10 meters.) On the other end of the spectrum, the OKG and iLuv earbuds have more limited ranges of 50 and 41 feet, respectively — although to their credit, this still exceeds their similar claims of 33 feet (10 meters.) To maintain objectivity, we tested this without the interference of barriers.

waterproof earbuds - without cords, battery life is the only thing tying you down...
Without cords, battery life is the only thing tying you down anymore. Most cases, like this one for the iLuv TB100 earbuds, provide an LED readout of remaining charges.
Credit: Aaron Rice


The technology of earbuds and headphones brings a dose of fun and usefulness that truly amplifies what the audio world has to offer. From the perspective of athletes or those of us who commute via bike or live in rainy climates, technology is made even better by adding a water-resistant design. Not all of these wireless waterproof earbuds are created equal, and we hope that this comprehensive review has helped you plug into the pair that best suits your needs.

Aaron Rice