Asked by Betty from Hammersmith
I take it you’re a newer reader and you therefore aren’t aware of my dislike for recommending specific sets of headphones. In a usual case, (like when one reader asked me to recommend sweat-proof headphones) I have to answer with “it depends on a multitude of factors, such as how often you use them, how important sound quality is to you or even (in that one case) how much you tend to sweat. However, I’m not going to let you down, Betty, because waterproof headphones are actually a bit different…
There are several companies that specialize in designing totally waterproof headphones, some of which I’ll be glad to recommend to you. However, at this point, I really must stress that I have never owned, borrowed, or even reviewed a pair of waterproof headphones, so although I am happy to point you in the right direction, I (metaphorically, of course) wash my hands of responsibility if they don’t quite work. My advice to you is to try Headsetonline.co.uk first and read the customer reviews (especially the negative ones), before making your purchase.
Anyway, now that’s over and done with…
A company called ‘Swimmer LTD’ specialize in all things swimming related, with special emphasis on watertight cases for iPods, smartphones and even iPads. They also sell headphones, of course and their site features customer reviews for most of their products.
Another company called ‘H20 Audio’ also makes waterproof headphones and FINIS have a set called the ‘SwimP3’ which, dopey name aside, seems to be rather well-regarded by swimmers. The ‘SwimP3’ utilizes bone conduction technology, which is probably the best way to go if you’re planning on listening to music whilst swimming.
Bone conduction, in case you don’t know, simply bypasses the outer ear and stimulates the tiny inner ear bones (called ‘ossicles’), just as an organic sound would, your brain then interprets this sound exactly the same way as it would if you’d heard it in your ear, only, because your outer ear is not directly being used, you are free to wear earplugs (which some swimmers like to do).
These suggestions are by no means your only options though; there are a veritable ton of companies out there all manufacturing products exactly like the ones you want. So, whilst I can’t give any of them a personal seal of approval (sorry about that), I can at least offer a helping hand. Is that enough, Betty?