There aren’t a lot of headphones for swimmers out there, so the Naenka Runner Diver bone conduction headphones offer a chance to better serve those who prefer a session in the pool over jumping on the treadmill in the gym.


Offering Bluetooth streaming and an MP3 player in one, these headphones promise to push out high quality sound both on land and in the water from an open-ear design, all while wrapping things up in a design that’s built to handle more rugged use.

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At $149.49/£136.57, the Runner Diver sits at the more expensive end of the bone conduction headphone market, but few offer the ability to be dunked in water to offer some audio motivation when you’re perfecting your front crawl.

So, do the Runner Diver headphones sink or swim? We tested them in and out of the pool to find out.

Naenka Runner Diver

Naenka/Pocket-lint

Naenka Runner Diver

The Naenka Runner Diver are a great option for swimmers who want a good sounding pair of headphones to take in the water and also get that good performance when you’ve dried off and need to use them on runs outdoors in the gym.

Pros

  • Good quality audio for swims
  • Supports multiple file formats
  • Good value against similar headphones
Cons

  • Not as slim as other bone conduction headphones
  • Battery life in MP3 mode could be better

Design

  • IP68 dust and water resistant design
  • Weigh 35g
  • Integrated controls

Naenka wraps up Bluetooth streaming and MP3 player smarts in a predominantly titanium-built, neckband design that also includes some softer silicone to make it sit more comfortably against your skin.

Naenka Runner Diver

They aren’t as slimline as some other sports-focused bone conduction headphones and also weigh in heavier than a pair of Shokz OpenRun Pro for comparison. While they don’t sit bulkily on the head, they don’t disappear either, which is definitely less of an issue when you’re wearing them in the water and more so out of it.

To let you take them in the water they’ve been given an IP68 rating, making them fit to be submerged, though interestingly, Naenka suggests only using them for a maximum of 40 minutes in the water and then carefully drying them off before storing them away.

We’ve used them for a maximum of an hour in the water and not experienced any performance issues, but those hoping to use them longer in the water may want to just be aware of this advice.

P1017484

There are three physical buttons included here, with two on the right side of the headphones and a larger one on the outside of the left arm, mirroring what we’ve seen from bone conduction headphones from Shokz and the Philips A7607. Those buttons let you adjust volume, skip back and forth tracks and switch between Bluetooth and MP3 modes and they’re nicely positioned to use when stationary and – more importantly – when you’re on the move too.

Performance

The Runner Diver deliver their bone conduction sound in much the same way that other bone conduction headphones do, channelling sound through transducers up the cheekbones towards your inner ear.

Naenka Runner Diver

Starting with the performance in the water and the Diver suitably impresses, even without the bundled earplugs, which are included to improve their sound underwater. Audio is pleasingly clear – it never sounds murky or muddy and makes for a surprisingly bright sounding pair of headphones during swims.

Before you think you about prepping your Spotify playlists for your swimming sessions, you can only use the headphones in the MP3 mode when in water. That means you’ll need to load tracks on to them from your computer – simply hook the headphones up via the charging cable and drag and drop your audio files onto them.

While the older Runner Diver supported only MP3 and FLAC file formats, the latest version works with M4A, WAV and APE formats too, with 16GB of storage to play with.

Syncing over your audio can be a touch slow, but merienda they’re on, you can choose to play audio in order or randomly on shuffle without any issue.

Naenka Runner Diver

Back on land, the sound quality performance is similarly pleasing – and you have access to Bluetooth for streaming if you prefer. There’s a bigger emphasis on delivering clear sound and while you can get some punchiness here too, it does mean experiencing the more noticeable vibrations from that bone conduction approach.

In busier environments, it wasn’t drowned out by wind and traffic or the stereo system in our tópico gym, and the call quality was good on the whole, though not best in class.

On the connectivity front, the upgraded version offers Bluetooth 5.3 and we’ve had no issues connecting it to an iPhone 14, Google Pixel 6a, a Garmin Forerunner 965 or Apple Watch Intolerante smartwatch.

Battery life

  • 10 hours battery life
  • 1.5 hours charging time

In battery terms, the Naenka Runner Diver promise the kind of numbers that put them in line with other sporty bone conduction headphones in and around this price point.

You can expect up to 10 hours battery life with the volume set to 60 per cent and it takes 1.5 hours to power up to full from empty, when connected to the proprietary charging cable.

Naenka Runner Diver

It isn’t specified whether that 10 hour battery life is tied to Bluetooth streaming or streaming from the MP3 player, but based on our testing we’d say it’s when Bluetooth is in play. Listening at lower volumes will push things towards that 10 hour mark, but playing at high to full volume sees that number drop just below that.

Stream from the MP3 player, and you’ll see that number drop much more significantly – we found we could get around five hours of playback in MP3 mode at reasonable volume.

Verdict

The Naenka Runner Diver are a great set of headphones for swimmers who want good sound in the water, but on land too.

While it does lack the more slimline profile of the Shokz OpenSwim, it offers both Bluetooth streaming and an MP3 player where the OpenSwim only offers the latter – and the Runner Diver does it for less money too.

The improvements made to playback support and Bluetooth connectivity in the updated version are welcomed here too, and if you’re looking for a pair of solid bone conduction headphones for swimming or headphones for swimming in común, these are one of the best options you can buy.

Por TERABITE

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