Almost everywhere we go, during everything that we do, we take our music with us. So far, swimming has been one of the few exceptions, but is there a way to listen to music while swimming?
There are multiple ways to listen to music while swimming. There is an array of different earphones and headphones available that will function while in the water. Normal waterproofed solutions and bone conduction options are available.
The more solutions to this problem that are released, the more advanced the technology becomes. In the beginning, the offerings were reasonably slim for being able to listen to music while swimming, but the market has been expanding rapidly as of late.
Of particular interest are bone conduction headphones.
How Do Waterproof Earbuds/Headphones Work?
In order to get them watertight, the basic construction of the waterproof earbud or headphone is designed to have as little possible water leakage as possible, with tight corkscrew-like earbuds that will keep themselves fastened securely in the ear.
Even though some earbuds or headphones will be billed as being waterproof, they may only be water resistant.
This is determined by what is called the IP rating, which will have two number ranging from 0 through to 8, the second of which determines how resistant to water the item is.
When you reach an 8, the item is fully waterproof up to a specific depth.
What are the Best Options Available?
There are plenty of waterproof products on the market that will allow you to listen to your music while swimming, including a variety of the kind of standard earbuds that you would normally buy to play your music.
Most of these options will require that you own a waterproof MP3 player to pair with it, which can be an inconvenience to some.
Although there are a great possible purchases in that particular style, the new bone conduction offerings present a far more interesting case.
Many of the waterproof bone conduction headphones that are on offer will not only have a better IP rating because of the single piece nature of the design, they will also have built in MP3 players, so everything comes in one neat, waterproof package.
This also means that not only will the headphones be waterproof, but the MP3 player will be too, giving you far less to worry about if you are going to be submerged in water for longer periods of time.
You also won’t have the pesky wires connecting everything together to deal with.
What are Bone Conduction Headphones?
Bone conduction headphones are a new way to listen to music on-the-go. These devices will allow you to listen to music whilst avoiding the usual pitfall of normal headphones, namely freezing out the noise of the rest of the world.
In the case of normal earphones or headphones, the sound that you hear is conducted by your ear through a series of interlinking systems. The first stop on the journey, is the pinna.
Moving on from there, we reach the middle ear. It’s here where we find the auditory canal and the eardrum, two of the most components when it comes to our ability to hear. From here, the vibration of the sound will reach what is called the cochlea.
Bone conduction essentially skips the first few destinations and takes the vibrations from the sound through your cheek bones and straight to the cochlea.
Interestingly, this isn’t a new technology, it has been around for a long time now, constantly being developed and perfected. It is even used in the production of some hearing aids.
Advantages of Bone Conduction Headphones?
First and foremost, one of the biggest advantages of bone conduction headphones are the fact that you will have far superior situational awareness.
This is because of the way that they leave the ear canal open to other noises, as mentioned earlier. So whether you are swimming, cycling, walking or participating in any exercise outdoors, you will be able to simultaneously listen to both your music and what’s going on around you with ease.
This is especially useful if you are visually impaired in some way, as it will be all the more important for you to be aware of what is going on around you.
The other advantage is that you will be protecting your ears from damage. The ear canal is incredibly sensitive to sound and so is the cochlear. If you wear bone conduction headphones you will be helping to preserve your hearing over a longer period of time.
You will be able to get full enjoyment out of your music with absolutely no worries.
You’ll be a lot more comfortable wearing bone conduction headphones. Not having an earbud jammed in your ear and constantly worrying about it potentially slipping out or not being correctly secured will be a thing of the past.
Are Bone Conduction Headphones Safe?
Although there is a lot of worry about whether or not bone conduction headphones are safe, they definitely are.
All you must do is be sure that you use them at safe volume levels like you would with any other earbud or headphone, you will have no adverse effects using them.
Whether or not it is actually possible to hurt yourself with them is a different matter, however.
Just as is the case with anything related to your hearing, you should not listen at excessively high volumes, as it is still possible to damage the cochlea through the vibrations that the bone conduction headphones will send.
What are the Downsides of Bone Conduction Headphones?
Really, the only downside is that the quality may be of a slightly lower standard than traditional earbuds.
However, when you take into account the vast multitude of reasons that make bone conduction headphones a superior choice, the slight knock in quality becomes well worth it.
Also, it should be said that over the years bone conduction headphones have been improving rapidly, advancing leaps and bounds in the level of quality that they can offer to the consumer.
In the case of swimming, this negative may actually be a moot point, as bone conduction headphones are capable of offering a more sustained level of quality when underwater, as opposed to earbuds which may suffer slightly from being under the water or pulled out of the ear.
Are Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones Cheap?
Even though they are similar in price point at the lower end, the higher you go you will be paying a little bit more for bone conduction headphones.
Especially in some cases, as the premium products will not only be fully waterproof, up to a certain depth, they will also have the built-in MP3 players as mentioned earlier.
With the more expensive brands, you also get a reassurance that this kind of technology is perfect for swimming, due to the fact that the chance of there being any possibly leakages in a single-piece design is so incredibly low.
Final Thoughts on Listening to Music While Swimming
While there are options for swimming they all when in ear leave things to be desired, tangling cords is one of the biggest complaints I have seen when I am looking and reading online.
Bone conduction headphones solve this by self containing this while in a headband that has no cords and won’t fall loose. This and the bone conduction works impressively well when underwater since your natural hearing is lost.
Check out the best three options below, personally I bought the Xtrainerz the other day and I am just about to start taking them to the lap pool for use while exercising!