Sweat Resistant Earbuds vs. Sweatproof Earbuds

February 01, 2017

Workouts are best performed with some motivating soundtracks that will keep you going through those last sets of push-ups or that last lap of muddy park track. Music keeps one focused and distracts the attention from the background noises and external situations which may affect the training quality. Furthermore, it helps the individual push himself and reach the established goals. Yet, in order to benefit from music’s positive effects on training, one needs the appropriate gear. Earbuds which break in the middle of the training or which fall every 5 minutes will only increase frustration. This is why it is essential to choose earbuds that are adapted to running or working out. One of the major points to follow when choosing the best workout earbuds is their sweat resistance because sweat is a part of every workout or running session. There are two types of earbuds which can be successfully used when exercising: the sweat resistant and the sweatproof. No, they are not the same thing! Here are some facts about each type of earbuds and their specific features.

Sweat resistant earbuds

The sweat resistant earbuds are made in materials which, although they get wet, are not damaged or affected in any way by the sweat or moderate moisture. The moisture insulation is made inside the earbud, while the shell is usually soft, made in textile or foam materials. While they may score high in comfort, there are also some drawbacks associated with this type of earbuds.


  • Detachable tip – like regular earbuds, the sweat resistant earbuds have detachable tips which can be replaced with tips of different size and shape, so that they can best adapt to the wear’s ears. Also, they can be replaced when they get out of shape or when the sweat and earwax build-up no longer make them safe for daily wear.
  • Washable – since the tips are detachable, they can be washed in warm water, to prevent germ spread and maintain them in good condition for your regular routines.
  • Comfortable –because the tips are made in cloth or foam, the sweat resistant earbuds are extremely comfortable, so that you will not even feel you have them in your ears.
  • Affordable –a little more expensive than the regular earbuds, the sweat resistant are yet more affordable than the sweatproof. So, if you are looking for good quality earbuds that are moderate in terms of price and suitable for exercising, they are the best option you can find.


  • Slightly unpleasant odor –if not washed regularly, the sweat resistant earbuds may have a slightly unpleasant odor. Yet, if they are cleaned after each running or training session, there are minor chances for that to happen.
  • Wear and tear – if you are looking for the most durable earbuds, then the sweat resistant earbuds may not be the best choice. Since they do absorb sweat, they will at one point break down.

Sweatproof Earbuds

Sweatproof earbuds are made in materials which do not absorb sweat. Moreover, many of the sweatproof earbuds are designed so as to remain dry throughout the entire training session. Preferred by professional athletes and amateurs alike, they provide great sound and are durable in time, so that you can wear them over and over again.


  • Sweat-proof shape – apart from the materials used, the earbuds have a distinctive design which prevents sweat build-up. They feature channels which drain the sweat, leaving the tips dry and clean.
  • Maintain their shape – unlike the sweat resistant, the sweatproof earbuds are made in silicone or hard materials which maintain their shape in time. Thus, there is very little wear and tear in time for this type of earbuds. Yet, this does not mean that they are rigid. On the contrary, most sweatproof earbuds follow the anatomic shape of the ear for a good position and a comfortable wear throughout the training session.
  • Do not need regular cleaning – they can be cleaned with a damp cloth or washed with a little bit of water, but there is no need to do this after each wear. Furthermore, there is no need to use detergent, as most earbuds are treated with substances which prevent bad odors and dirt build-up.


  • Tips cannot be changed –the sweatpoof earbuds are fixed and their tips cannot be changed for a smaller size or a different shape. To counterbalance these disadvantages, the producers tend to create smaller tips so that they fit all types of ears. Additional support is used to keep them well anchored inside the ears.
  • Price – the sweatproof earbuds are usually a little pricier than the regular earbuds and their sweat resistant peers. The reasons behind the slightly higher price are easy to see: high quality materials, innovative design and increased durability.

The best earbuds for work-out are those which best fit in your ear! But before starting to try out different models, make sure that they are at least sweat resistant (or, even better, sweatproof) and they are designed to stick in your ear even when your body goes up and down, thirty times per minute. Follow the list of advantages and disadvantages mentioned above for the sweat resistant and sweatproof earbuds to see which one of the two would best satisfy your requirements, so that you can make an informed choice and follow our blog for more info on how to choose the best running earbuds based on their fitting system. You can also check the noise cancellation article for an insight into noise cancellation vs. noise reduction earbuds.

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