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What Are the Best Songs To Listen to While Swimming?

What Are the Best Songs To Listen to While Swimming?

If you are an avid swimmer, you may be looking for a little something to make those swims a little more exciting. You already love your time on that crystal clear water, the rhythmic strokes of your swim creating harmony with the surface of the pool. Now, imagine enhancing that experience with the perfect soundtrack. 

Let’s dive right in and explore the science behind music and swimming, how swimmers can listen to music underwater, and the songs that will keep you kicking long after you start running out of steam. 

How Can You Listen To Music Underwater?

Thanks to modern technology, listening to music underwater via bone conduction technology is now possible. This technology is vastly different from traditional headphones, which rely on the eardrums to transmit vibrations to the inner ear’s bones. 

Conversely, bone conduction headphones transmit sound waves straight into the bones of the skull, jaw, and inner ear, as opposed to the air in the ear canal. The listener’s brain interprets these vibrations as sound and ends up getting a very similar experience to traditional headphones. 

It’s not only bone conduction technology that makes underwater listening possible but also waterproofing technology. Of course, this is nothing new, but waterproof headphones are more reliable than ever. 

Unfortunately, Bluetooth does not work very well underwater and is notoriously unreliable when it comes to penetrating the water. Luckily for those who want an underwater music listening experience, modern bone conduction headphones have technology that boosts Bluetooth performance and makes it possible to stream music from your chosen device. 

Some headphones (like our Zygo Headphones) have unique transmitters that allow their headphones to function well, even underwater. 

How Can Music Enhance Your Swimming Experience? 

Many people have found listening to music during a workout enjoyable, and now science has confirmed there is a good reason for this. Studies have shown that listening to uptempo music while exercising can boost the effectiveness of your workout. 

In a study of female participants ages 24 to 31, researchers found that listening to high-tempo music while exercising resulted in the highest heart rates and the lowest perceived exertion. In laymen’s terms, listening to music yielded a more effective workout, while making the women feel the least tired. 

Of course, music can also set a particular mood. Not everyone swims to get a killer workout. There are those of us who appreciate the other benefits of swimming, such as stress relief, a boost in mood, etc. 

Being able to experience swimming in the exact way you want, with the sounds you want, can improve the entire experience

How To Choose the Right Tempo for Your Music

One of the key factors in selecting music for your swim is finding the right tempo. Tempo in music is measured in beats per minute, or BPM, and can significantly impact a swimmer’s rhythm. Ideally, you’d want to choose a tempo that matches or maybe even slightly exceeds your swimming pace.

Music with a BPM between 120 and 140 is perfect for a moderate swimming pace and provides a steady, energizing beat. Songs with a continuous, vibrant rhythm can sync seamlessly with the fluidity of a swimmer’s strokes, turning an average moderate swim into a water dance.

We all know that swimming means different things to different people. While some are striving to keep a moderate to fast pace, others swim for the opposite purpose: relaxation. 

For those people, a slower tempo is obviously going to be ideal. If you like making your own playlists for swimming, you may choose to coordinate songs for your warm-up, main workout, and cool-down. 

Songs To Listen to for a Relaxing Swim

Here are a few ideas for songs and artists to listen to for a relaxing underwater audio experience. These would also be fantastic choices for a cool-down or post-swim stretch playlist.

#1. Everything I Wanted: Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish is known for her soft, breathy vocals, introspective lyrics, and experimental sounds. Her music often features a minimalist quality while also being cinematic and atmospheric. 

This makes it perfect for a swim, and this song, in particular, has a haunting quality. Thematically, there is even a line that laments, “I tried to scream/ But my head was underwater.”

#2. Circles: Post Malone

This song features a catchy melody and an emotionally resonant message about a failing relationship. The poppy tune keeps it from feeling dark, and the line “Run away, but we’re running in circles” is relatable to many and echoes the reality of swimming in circles in the lap pool.

#3. Enya: Caribbean Blue

Honestly, if relaxation and a meditative state are what you’re looking for, just about any Enya song will do! We chose this one for its soothing, haunting melody and thematic title. Who doesn’t want to be thinking about the Caribbean blue while they're swimming? 

#4. Jennasea: The Morning Of

This lesser-known indie band from Poughkeepsie, New York, came out with their album The Way I Fell In in 2010, but it still holds up today. This first track of the album starts slow, with just vocals and a guitar, and builds up to a crescendo before ending just as it began. 

#5. Safe and Sound: Alex Keeper

This song features soft, EDM beats with mellow, whispery vocals. It is relaxing, yet the beat is steady and fast enough that it will keep you going. This would be a great song to end your warm-up as you transition to a more energizing swim. 

#6: Come and Get Your Love: Redbone

It’s upbeat, it’s refreshing, it’s infectious! Redbone blends rock, funk, and Native American musical influences to bring you this uplifting tune you can’t help bopping to. Or, swimming to, in this case. 

#7: Time to Say Goodbye: Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman

This song is characterized by its operatic, orchestral arrangement, which creates a grand and emotional atmosphere. It features a blend of classical and contemporary elements, operatic vocals, and a pop-infused orchestral composition. 

#8: Fast Car: Tracy Chapman (or Luke Combs)

“Fast Car” has been getting a lot of publicity lately since Luke Combs brought Chapman’s acclaimed song into the modern consciousness. Whichever version you prefer (they’re both amazing), you’ll enjoy a relaxing experience.

Songs To Listen to for an Energizing Swim

When you’re gearing up for an energizing swim, you might want to add some of these to your next playlist!

#1. Get Ready: Pitbull, Blake Shelton, and Joe Perry

This genre-bending energy booster is an undeniable force of nature! It’s your typical pump-up song, encouraging the listener to “work that thang,” to “put your hands up,” and to, of course, “get ready.” We love this to start a workout playlist.

#2. Take a Walk: Passion Pit

We love this as another option to start your swim off right. This upbeat, sync-driven ditty has a catchy melody and positive energy, making it the perfect choice for an uplifting swim.

#3. Dog Days Are Over: Florence and the Machine

Immerse yourself in the powerful, anthemic sounds of this Florence and the Machine song. The chorus is uplifting, and Florence Welch’s powerful, dynamic vocals will keep you going even when your energy starts to wane.

#4. Stronger: Kanye West

One of West’s most popular songs, “Stronger,” features powerful beats and a combination of hip-hop and electronic elements that will leave you feeling accomplished, strong, and fast!

#5. We Will Rock You: Queen

It’s a little on the nose, but we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put this timeless anthem on an energizing playlist. Keep your energy high with these iconic stomping beats!

#6. Cake By the Ocean: DNCE

Ocean theme aside, this is an awesome song to keep you moving during an energetic swim. It’s funky, fun, and upbeat. You’ll want to sing along, but keep it in your head, lest you may find yourself at the mercy of your pool’s lifeguards. 

#7. The Getaway: Ten Foot Pole

This guitar-driven punk rock anthem might not be for everyone, but those who like a somewhat harder sound will appreciate the speed and power of this song. As the lead singer sings, “My gas pedal’s to the floor,” you’ll find the energy to pick up your pace, too! 

#8. Lose Yourself: Eminem

This motivational, intense song, with its powerful lyrics and driving beat, is perfect for setting a determined pace in the water. In general, this hit should be on everyone’s workout playlists.


Whatever your music preferences, it’s worth making an effort to curate a music playlist that will motivate you to get yourself moving in your swim workout. Science tells us that music is the ultimate motivator and can really encourage us to do more with our workouts. Plus, music just makes everything better. 

Hopefully, some of our carefully chosen musical picks will help inspire you to create your next workout playlist. Thanks to modern technology, we can now enjoy our music and our swim simultaneously, so grab yourself some bone conduction headphones and enjoy the swim! 


The 50 Best Workout Songs To Motivate You | Time

Review of Bone Conduction Hearing Devices | PMC

Uptempo Tunes Boost the Cardio Value of Exercise | Medical News Today

The Influence of Music Preference on Exercise Responses and Performance: A Review | PMC

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