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Is There A Way to Listen To Music While Swimming? The ULTIMATE Guide

Listen to music while swimming

Is There A Way to Listen To Music While Swimming? Your favorite tunes can take your workout and athletic performance to the next level. Swimmers (athletes or leisurely) are no different. The right playlist can motivate you to increase your speed and push for an extra lap. So why shouldn’t you take it underwater with you?

How Music/Sound Registers Underwater

Contrary to popular belief, sound doesn’t get muffled underwater, no matter how much the movies show you it does. Pop culture has typecast this phenomenon as muted and diffusible underwater. That’s why whenever a character jumps in a pool or the ocean, they hear sound as if it is coming from under a pillow.

This perception is actually the opposite of what happens when our ears register sound when we are underwater. In this case, rather than traveling through our eardrums, sound waves vibrate our skull when they enter the water and then our ears. This way, it travels right into our inner ear nerves so the clarity is crystal clear.

How to Listen To Music While Swimming

No, this doesn’t mean you can take your iPhone with its fantastic playlist in the water with you! Here are some ways you can enjoy your swim with great music without making an expensive mistake:

Use a Waterproof MP3 Player

A waterproof MP3 player complete with wired waterproof earbuds is designed to give a great music experience. Good brands have an IPX8 rating which means they can remain submerged for hours without losing their quality or malfunctioning.

Normal earbuds are not designed to work underwater. These ones can be tucked into the back of swim goggles and cap easily so they won’t be in your way as you do laps.

Waterproof MP3 players and wired earbuds are not cheap to make. So if you find ones that you may get for a steal, chances are that they will stop working as soon as they are submerged.

The Catch

Brands such as Underwater Audio and Waterfi may be a bit on the expensive side, but their products are legit. That’s because these brands specialize in making swimming gear so they know what works and what doesn’t work underwater.  Plus, avoid products that promise features that sound too good to be true. Go with proven products that have reviews from authentic sources and you won’t get buyer’s regret later.

Use Bone Conduction Headphones with Built-In MP3 Player

Bone conduction earphones work by tapping into our natural hearing capabilities. This is what happens when you wear a pair underwater. The device acts in place of our eardrums by transmitting sound vibrations through our skull directly into our inner ear. It’s the same concept on which bone-anchoring hearing aids are based.

Doing laps around the pool while listening to music

What is interesting is that this is how we hear the sound of our own voice. How do you think Beethoven composed his musical masterpieces when he was deaf? He would bite down on his composer’s wand and press it against the piano to transmit audio waves in the form of vibrations. That is how he could ‘hear’ as he composed his famous works.

Unlike traditional headphones which cover our ears, bone conduction headphones sit on the outside of our ears. This leaves the ear canal open to ambient sound while the headphones transmit music directly to our inner ears. In this case, a traditional pair would struggle to remain connected while the bone conduction variety can maintain adequate sound quality.

Some brands offer bone conduction headphones with built-in MP3 players. This means you won’t have to rely on a device over Bluetooth to receive clear signals. Just load your playlist into the player and you are good to go. Your ears will remain open so you can wear them for hours underwater without complaining about earaches.

The Catch

There is a catch though. Since bone conduction headphones are wireless and use Bluetooth to pair with a music player, they can stop working due to weak signals. Plus, consistent use, especially at high volumes, can lead to partial hearing loss. Use it responsibly to prevent this from happening. Some people also report that these headphones are not as good as the traditional variety. But, the latter cannot beat the former’s sustainable sound quality and longevity.

Swim to Your Heart’s Content with Your Favorite Playlist in Your Ears

Whether you love to swim every day or want to improve your performance in the water, and the inspirational playlist can do wonders for your motivation and mood. Use the aforementioned options to make your time in the water worth every minute.

Hope we answered your question “Is there a way to listen to music while swimming?”. Here are some posts that can help you make a great playlist for your swim practice:

10 Best Music Tracks for Swimming in 2021

Uplifting Background Music for Sport Videos