TL;DR -- SoundSwell headphones are not only the most waterproof headphones of all time, they’re also the most versatile. For more on what that means, continue reading.
In our last blog post, we told you there are two things to consider when buying, or in our case designing, a pair of waterproof headphones:
- The first is the waterproof rating, which was discussed in detail.
- The second is the waterproof source of the audio.
SoundSwell’s commitment to maximum performance in these two areas is the reason we are confident that we’ve built the best waterproof headphones on the market.
The MP3 Problem
Remember when you used to buy gigabytes of music to store on your MP3 player or iPod? Sounds prehistoric, but it was only a decade ago when this practice was disrupted in the United States. In July 2011, Spotify launched a six-month ad-supported trial period, where new users could listen to an unlimited amount of music for free. A new standard of music consumption, and the streaming era, was born.
Despite the notion of buying music being driven to obsoletion, there are still dozens of waterproof MP3 players on the market, like the inappropriately named H2O Audio Stream 2, or the more modern take that is AfterShokz MP3 bone conduction headphones. While these might be innovative to grandpa, there’s a more cutting-edge solution in today’s time.
The Best Waterproof Audio Player for Streaming
In an era where audiophiles want access to any music at any moment, and all their music in one place, we at SoundSwell knew there had to be a better way to listen to your music in the water. Enter Apple Watch, which in addition to being a pretty smart watch, also happens to be the best way to listen to streaming services in the water. As of July 2021, Apple Watch supports both downloading and cellular streaming for Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora, with more services like YouTube Music and Amazon Music expected to follow.
So that solves the MP3 problem, but unfortunately there’s one more issue that stands in the way: the physics problem involving Bluetooth and water.
The Bluetooth Problem
Does Bluetooth work underwater? To some extent, yes. Bluetooth range underwater is limited to only a few inches, unlike above the surface where Bluetooth range can reach up to 100 meters. Bluetooth is a 2.4 GHz radio frequency signal. Its high frequency and low energy means water insulates it fairly strongly.
As a result, if you’re submerged with a waterproof phone in your pocket (or a waterproof smartwatch on your wrist), you wouldn’t be able to listen to music with traditional IPX8 Bluetooth headphones in your ears.
To get around this problem, SoundSwell’s unique wearable necklace design allows you to move your smartwatch from your wrist to your chest to keep the Bluetooth connected in the water. An added benefit is that you can remove one or both earbuds and have them conveniently dangling within reach when you want to pop them back in.
The World’s Most Versatile Headphones
In solving the Bluetooth problem, we incidentally invented the world’s most versatile headphones. For extreme sports where you can have your phone or smartwatch -- jet skiing, mountain biking, etc -- SoundSwell offers a more secure, waterproof alternative to traditional Bluetooth earbuds like AirPods.
For water sports where you may need to leave your phone behind -- surfing, kayaking, SUP paddle boarding -- use your SoundSwell headphones and your smartwatch as a music source. If you’ll be submerged in the water, you can clip a smartwatch into your SoundSwell to keep the Bluetooth connected. No goggles or arm straps necessary.
The possibilities are endless, and the world’s first “waterproof action headphones” from SoundSwell are designed to help you take your music where it’s never been before.