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.
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.
The Swimbuds are one of the smallest headphones we have tested so far. They have a detachable cable design, that combined with the already compact format of an in-ear model, makes them comfortably fit into any pocket, bag or purse.
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.
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 Swimbuds are a very bad sounding pair of closed-back in-ear headphones. They have a poorly balanced bass that sounds very boomy, an overemphasized mid-range that sounds muddy and cluttered, and a treble that's practically non-existent. They also have a poor soundstage, and a mediocre distortion performance. On the positive side, their performance can be very consistent across multiple users, given a proper fit/seal.
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.
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