The Swimbuds deliver a unique, waterproof listening experience. They're lightweight, compact and stable enough for sports use. Unfortunately, they're not the most well-rounded headphones. They don't block enough ambient noise for loud environments, and the poor sound quality is a deal breaker for some.
- Minimal leakage.
- Extremely lightweight and portable design.
- Stable and waterproof.
- Poor audio reproduction.
- Not comfortable for everyone.
- Cheap build quality.
The Swimbuds have a simple yet unique design that's made for swimming. They're lightweight and ultra-compact, thanks to their detachable audio cable extension. They're also quite stable. The combination of the removable hook sleeves and specialized in-ear tips prevents them from easily falling out of your ears. Unfortunately, they feel cheaply built and not durable. The in-ear tips are also a little less comfortable than typical in-ears because they go a lot deeper into the ear canal.
The Swimbuds have a simple, straightforward design. They have detachable hook sleeves that provide more stability and give the headphones a more sporty appeal. They also have unique tips made for swimming that are unlike most typical in-ear models. Unfortunately, they look a little cheap on upon closer inspection.
The Swimbuds have an in-ear design and may not be comfortable for everyone. They have an unusual tip design that's meant to provide a better fit underwater. However, these tips go deeper into the ear canal than typical in-ear headphones, which may be uncomfortable for some. On the upside, they're extremely lightweight.
These headphones come with a few features to makes them more stable than typical in-ear design. They have additional hook sleeves that transform the headphones into an ear-hook design, wrapping the audio cable behind your ear. That combined with their long tips, that go deeper into the ear canal than a regular in-ear model, results in a stable design that won't slip out of your ears easily. They're stable enough to use at the gym and while doing high-intensity exercises like swimming.
The build quality of the Swimbuds feels cheap and fragile. The plastic used in their build looks low grade. The cable is thin and will not be as durable as some of the other thicker, rubberized cables of higher-end in-ear models. On the upside, the headphones are lightweight enough, to not get damage from a couple of falls. However, they won't be able to withstand even mild physical stress.
The Swimbuds have a bass-heavy sound quality that poorly reproduces tracks. The bass is way too emphasized and combined with the uneven mid-range and underpowered high tones, makes these headphones sound dark closed and muffled. This is made even worse by the poor soundstage, caused by their closed-back in-ear design and the mismatched drivers. These headphones will disappoint most listeners with their sound quality.
Poor Bass Range performance. The left driver is flat for the most part, but consistently overemphasized by more than 12dB. This makes the sound of these headphones excessively bass-heavy and muddy. The right driver shows quite a different response than the left ear, which suggests poor manufacturing tolerance levels.
Poor Mid Range performance. Similar to the Bass Range, not only the response is overly emphasized, but the response of the drivers are quite different too. However, the overall Mid Range tonal quality of the Swimbuds would be quite boxy and overpowering vocals/leads.
Poor Treble performance. The overall response is quite underemphasized, which adds to the dull, boomy, and bass-heavy sound of these headphones. Meaning, vocals and lead instruments will lack detail, presence and articulation.
Poor soundstage. Due to their in-ear design, these earphones do not interact with the outer ear, and therefore their soundstage may be perceived to be located inside the listener's head. Also, these headphones noticeably isolate the listener from the environment, which results in a closed-up and small soundstage.
Poor Imaging. The amount of phase error is rather high, with the majority of the error located in Bass and Treble regions. Additionally, the drivers of our test unit were very poorly matched, which significantly affects the Imaging quality.
Average harmonic distortion response. The overall harmonic distortion is low, however, the peak at 400Hz which exceeds 10% of the input is quite high and could make the Mid Range sound slightly harsh and unpleasant.
These headphones deliver a decent isolation performance for passively isolating headphones, The in-ear buds fit deeply within the ear canal and block a fair amount of ambient noise. It should be enough for office use. However, it may not be sufficient for loud, noisy commutes, and you will still be able to hear the rumbles of a bus or train. On the upside, they barely leak and won't disturb the people around you even at high volumes.
Average isolation. These in-ears do not have active noise-cancellation, but the passive isolation is quite impressive. They achieve good isolation in the Treble Range and above-average isolation in the Mid Range. In the Bass Range, they achieve about 4dB of isolation, which although quite impressive for a passive design, it is noticeably inferior to what high-end active noise-cancelling headphones can achieve.
Excellent leakage performance. The Swimbuds are the quietest headphones we have measured so far. The majority of the leakage is located between 3KHz and 6KHz which is quite narrow and par with most in-ears. However, the big difference here is in the overall level of the leakage, which is extremely low.
No active features.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Swimbuds Headphones
- Earbud tips (x4)
- Ear hook sleeve (x2)
- Audio extension cable