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What are Waterproof Earbuds?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Waterproof earbuds are an attractive solution to people who want to listen to music or other things while they engage in water activities like swimming. Earbuds are often called in-ear headphones, since the sound mechanism is placed at the entrance or slightly in the ear canal, instead of fitting outside of the ear like earphones. Since these may provide a better barrier to water getting into the ears, they may also be easier to hear and produce improved sound quality. That they are waterproof means they should be able to function when the head is immersed, though immersion levels may be capped at about 12 feet (3.66 m); if they are only called water-resistant earbuds, they may not be suited for total immersion.

When people shop for waterproof earbuds, they’ll have plenty of choices and prices can range from less than $10 US Dollars (USD) to above $100 USD. Simply from reading customer reviews, more complaints seem to originate with cheaper models, but many people appear to be happy with mid-priced models. Some differences to consider in styles could include degree of immersion allowed with each style, length of cord from earbuds to radio/MP3 player, any types of warranty or guarantee on durability or function, and size variations in earbuds since many models come with at least two sizes of foam fittings.

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One comment that is commonly made about waterproof earbuds is that they need to fit securely in the ears. Especially when people are underwater, if water is allowed to get between the bud and the ear, quality of sound may be greatly diminished. This does suggest finding buds that are a good fit, and choice might be different for individuals since ear canal sizes are variable.

Of concern to many people too is length of cord. Many wear an MP3 player farther down the body than they would ordinarily, when swimming. A short cord may interfere with activities, especially rigorous activities like lap swimming. Trying on the earbuds and determining minimum length needed is advised. Taller folks might need to look for longer cord pairs. It’s hoped more companies will turn their thoughts to Bluetooth® technology to produce waterproof and wireless earbuds.

While waterproof earbuds may protect earbuds from water damage, provided they are of good quality, this is only half the battle for the person who wants to listen to music in the water. Any listening device, like an MP3 player, must also be waterproof. Waterproof earbuds don’t protect that device from water exposure; they’re only built to protect themselves. People planning on livening up lap swims or other water experience with music need to make certain to either buy a waterproof MP3 player or waterproofing accessories for one they own.

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