Wearing Headphones While Surfing: Should You?

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Since the water-resistant feature was presented, the use of headphones increased drastically. From that point, headphones and people became an inseparable couple type. Well, this is not the only reason, but it covers most of the reasons why today you searched on Google about surfing with headphones on.

I still don’t understand what is the reason behind people wearing headphones while surfing. Instead of enjoying the waves, you are distracted by music which is something you can do pretty much everywhere. 

We have seen the headphones are used in the gym, hiking, and even showering, but can you wear them while surfing. Here is the answer;

Yes, you can wear headphones while surfing, but with conditions. Your device should have a waterproof or water-resistant feature involved.

I’m sure you have seen IPX during the headphone commercials. That means the headphones are protected at a certain point from water and are usually rated IPX4 to IPX7 (which can withstand water for 30 minutes). Their other rates are IP67 and IP68 which can also withstand water for half an hour, but IP68 can go deeper than 3.2 feet.  

What Kind of Headphones Can You Use While Surfing

1. Headphones Should Have Water-Resistant Feature 

Water and electronic devices were the biggest enemies, but not anymore since the waterproof feature came along. The waterproof is measured with IPX rate and determines how much the headphones can handle water. 

Waterproof featured headphones are absolutely well-thought and are specifically designed for water sports (surfing is included). 

The IP1 and IP2 can hardly resist water, so for surfing purposes, you may want to avoid the rate. The IP3 and IP4 can handle only some splashes of water for example rain or snow. The IP5 and up rate headphones are safe to use because the water-resistance is measured. However, the IP67, IP68, and IPX6 + can withstand 30 minutes under the water or even deeper to 3 feet.  

Water Resistant/Waterproof & Weatherproof Headphones

Just know that water-resistant does not mean weatherproof. I know it’s not your fault, it’s the manufacturers. It is my duty to explain how waterproof, water-resistant, and weatherproof work.

The waterproof feature is above IPX6 to IPX8 which is the best to use while surfing. The Water-resistant can handle very well water and the rate is IPX1 to IPX5 rating. Lastly the weatherproof means that can only survive some water splashes, nothing more.  

2. Bluetooth Connected Headphones

I guess you already know that is nearly impossible to coordinate the wires while you are surfing. Actually, who in the right mind goes for wired connectivity in this era instead wireless, especially for surfing? Clearly, not you.

I just wanted to mention in case you have bought the headphones for different purposes and want to use the same pair for surfing too. 

3. Stable Fit

While surfing, the most needed feature apart from waterproof is being a comfortable and perfect fit. If you use headphones for the gym, you already know that sometimes they are moving, and is annoying to interrupt your workout and fix them. Well, this is not the same case while surfing because once you drop them, there is no way of going back. You cannot risk your life to save headphones.

Pick the stable fit that will tighten your ears, it may hurt a little bit if you use it for a long time, but the chances of losing them while surfing are very low.

4. Design

Don’t go for an over-ear design, or in-ear earbuds, they are most likely to fall, or at least you can lose one of them. Instead, look for headphones that go around your neck or head with wires (but still are Bluetooth connected) and if one of them falls, you can control the headphones and put one of them back.

Have you heard of HydroBeat technology? Well, it’s a technology that is placed in waterproof headphones. They have speakers and headphones with an IPX7 rated.

5. Get Swimming Goggles

If you already have bulky headphones or wired headphones, for security, you can get swimming goggles. Goggles are like two birds with one stone, you protect your eyes from water and prevent the sudden drop of headphones or earbuds at the same time.

6. Avoid Noise Cancelling Feature

If the headphones have a Noise Cancelling feature, please avoid these types of headphones. You can never predict what will happen, you need your senses to protect yourself. Do not double the danger of wearing headphones. Stay safe

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wearing Headphones While Surfing


  • The fact that you won’t bother other surfers is perhaps the greatest benefit of someone using headphones when surfing.
  • Keeping your music to yourself is typically the wisest action to make because, as was already noted, surfers may be really sensitive at times or struggle with waves.
  • The headphones will be safer, which is an additional benefit. They are unlikely to be misplaced because they are small and affixed to your body, so losing them isn’t an option.


  • While surfing, the exchange of information is crucial, and wearing headphones can interfere.
  • Even though it can occasionally feel pleasant, being unable to hear people around you can be risky.
  • If you duck dive too far with headphones, you risk damaging your ears.
  • Even though it’s not normally too dangerous, going under the water for a long time with headphones on can cause harm to the eardrums.

A Brief Summary

To conclude the article, I would like to state my personal opinion. Do not wear headphones or any type of hearing device while surfing where you can enjoy music basically everywhere. We need our senses and water is no joke. Besides, isn’t it better to enjoy your water sports and hear the calming waves instead of music? 

Yes, you can wear headphones while surfing and nothing’s wrong with that. However, look for specifications that have these features: water-resistant/waterproof, perfect fit, design, get goggles and use Bluetooth-connected headphones. 

Be aware that the disadvantages of using headphones while surfing do not match the advantages. 

Further Reading

Let me suggest you to read a few of the best headphones about different professions of activities, such as: the best headphones for truck drivers, or the best headphones for mountain biking, or the best headphones for video editing, even the best Koss headphones of all time. 

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!



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