Swimming or diving with waterproof aids?

OP, when you say “dive”, are you referring to using a diving board or snorkel / scuba? Not that it matters, but there is a big difference.

IP68 provides protection for up to 1.5 m depth for up to 30 minutes. When you use a diving board, normally you will descend further than 1.5 m into the water and there may be a pressure shock that’s effectively the same as greater depth. When snorkeling, it’s easy to descend more than 1.5 m. Obviously scuba involves much greater depths.

The point of IP68 is not to facilitate using devices underwater, but rather to protect them against accidental exposure to water, such as heavy rain or wearing them into a shower or putting them into the washing machine. An HA would not work properly underwater. They are designed to work in the air not under water. Even with poor hearing, you can hear much better underwater, anyway.


Diving into water involves pressures which are greater than static pressure at one meter - much greater. Even a watch waterproof to 1 meter cannot be used when jumping into water or diving. If you want to dive into water with a watch for example you should pick one waterproof to 100 meters.

Although hearing aids with IP68 will usually survive an accidental dunking if cleaned and dried well, it is not reccommended to swim or dive in them.

A waterproof brand of Hearing aids for use during swimming did exist but did not take off and are no longer made. The main problem is picking up sound in air and water and functioning optimally in both situations. Occluding the ear canal is also not everyone’s usual state but if sound is to be conveyed by air to the drums then the HAs would need to seal the canal. The units would only be useful when engaged in water activities if you did not want to be occluded all the time. Hearing aids are expensive and having a separate set for water activities would not be viable for most people who wear HAs.

nidjo, if I got a dollar for every post here about “waterproof” aids for swimming, I’d have enough money to start a company to build just such a device.

Being a swimmer - and LOVER of water sports! - myself, I so empathize with your desire to find this very VERY practical device. Sadly, it simply does not exist. There are the complications of mixing electronics with various types of water (fresh, chlorinated, salt water) and the impact on sound quality if such devices were truly WATERPROOF.

We can put a man on the moon but we can not seem to invent this practical device to let folks like us hear safely IN the water. As a result, I now tend to shy away from water activities (zodiac boats to cascading waterfalls, kayaking, forget about scuba diving!) and always inform the lifeguard where I’m swimming that I’m “UTTERLY DEAF AS YOUR WOODEN LIFEGUARD CHAIR!” with my aids out. So if they need to get my attention, they need a long pole to bonk me on the head.

No. Not even a bullhorn will work. It’s that bad.


Thanks for the technical explanation behind the lack of waterproof aids. Now I understand better why y’simply can’t have it both ways: on land and in water. Completely different situations.

Augh. For now.

We’re talking about diving into a pool. I don’t care how waterproof an aid is. Considering how expensive they are I wouldn’t even consider it. And I’m profoundly deaf and without my aids in complete deaf so I need my aids. I personally would go deaf for the short time I’m in the pool so that I can hear the rest of the day.

Since no one commented on this…Water molecules are bigger than oxygen molecules alone. And oxygen is what reacts in a zinc air battery. There are oxygen permeable membranes that are not water permeable.

Yes but the water would likely occlude the oxygen-permeable pores with the surface tension of a film over the pore area when you come out.

When it comes to hearing or music devices in water I think inductive rechargeables will be the preferred power source.

But as @The.Dog and others before him correctly point out, there are all kinds of waterproof devices that deal with both incoming and outgoing audio, so a practical swimming/snorkling/diving waterproof hearing aid is not only possible, but darn likely.

Market size issues may impede a classic hearing aid device in a waterproof incarnation, but the hearing impaired community will probably eventually benefit from a waterproof Bluetooth earbud with PSAP hearing-enhancement features for those who want to use it swimming so they won’t be too impaired going into and out of the pool, dealing with people along the way at the gym or Y.

I’m very skeptical that there will ever be a hearing aid that can be used for swimming, snorkeling, let alone diving, as well as on the surface (in the air). I don’t believe it’s reasonable to expect a microphone and speaker can be designed that will work well in air and water, let alone in water under pressure. Making a device that will survive IP68 (<1.5 m for <30 minutes) is difficult enough, let alone deeper and longer. Note that if you intend to submerge more than a 1-2 m, you need to equalize air pressure in the middle ear. This means a hearing aid for depths greater than the same would have to be open, otherwise the pressure on the outside of the ear drum could not be equalized. There are so many practical considerations and such a small market that I would be very surprised if there is ever such a product.

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I very successfully swam and snorkeled in my Siemens Aquaris. It had an oxygen permeable membrane for the battery door, and it worked very well, and still does to this day, although you can no longer buy them. It is not as impractical as this thread makes it out to be. As for hearing underwater, that’s not the point of them. It’s so you can hear while above water engaging in water sports.

The drawback was, they sounded terrible compared to my day to day Widex aid, but they did allow me to function fairly well.

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I agree, but as several others have said, there’s not much use for hearing under water.

I think the main need is for when you’re above the surface, or getting in or out, that you need to talk to others for sport or social or logistical purposes. And for that, it’s been done and it’s not difficult.

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This. The human ear isn’t designed to hear underwater either but you can still take them in the pool.

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