Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Shokz makes a splash with swim-proof bone conduction earphones

Earphones aren’t made for swimming, but a pair being launched at CES and slated for release in Australia will let you swim, surf, and space out.

If you’re one of those people that just loves music and loves to swim, there’s a good chance you’ve found the two don’t always connect. Earphones are great and swimming is fun, but the two things don’t tend to combine all that well, thanks in part to devices not being made to work under water.

Some things do and are waterproofed to a certain point, but most earphones and headphones need to stay clear of a swim. Even those that arrive with a degree of water-resistance won’t typically survive a swim, as they’re just not made for that. Sweat and rain, sure; swimming, not really.

Swim-proof phones are rare by comparison, thanks in part to earphones not being made for total submersion and because Bluetooth doesn’t always play nicely with being underwater.

But the times are a changing, and bone conduction brand Shokz is launching something that could change all of that, building a pair of headphones made for people who intend to swim, surf, and in general be submersed in water and still yearn for a soundtrack.

The Shokz OpenSwim Pro are a pair of open-ear headphones that use bone conduction to relay sound through your skull, rather than using drivers that sit in your ears. They’re reportedly built to work with a swimming cap but can be used without, and will wrap around your head with a silicone covered alloy frame made from nickel and titanium, making it durable but still built to be comfortable.

Most importantly, Shokz is talking up support for both Bluetooth and MP3 listening on the hardware, which sounds as though you can store files for playback directly on the OpenSwim Pro earphones and switch to Bluetooth easily enough with a button.

That’s important simply because Bluetooth may not be as reliable depending on how deep or far you swim from your phone, and so keeping the music going with on-board MP3s could make a difference for some swimmers.

Shokz says the OpenSwim Pro can run for up to two hours of battery life when submerged in up to two metres of water, but that up to 9 hours of battery life are possible on dry ground.

There’s no word on pricing or availability yet, as with most things CES, but Shokz has said they will be made available in Australia later in the year.

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