The SPY team has been testing a lot of products lately. Peek into our offices, bedrooms, bathrooms, coat closets and even the trunks of our cars, and you’ll find boxes and boxes of stuff. But we can honestly say that we’ve never tested anything like the Zygo Solo, which we recently named the best waterproof headphones for swimmers.
We’ve reviewed some pretty cool products already in 2022. The OOLER, aka the air conditioner for your bed. The Razer Zephyr face mask, which looks like something out of a science-fiction movie. The Bluetti Portable Power Station, which uses sunlight to power your camping adventures.
But we really haven’t seen anything quite like the Zygo Solo underwater headphones before, and that’s because there’s really nothing else like it. Because these headphones will cost you $299, we know you might have some questions before adding them to your shopping cart and swimming routine. Zygo provided a sample of these headphones to SPY for review, so we recruited a product tester and swimmer to try out these bone conduction headphones in a lap pool, and you can read our full Zygo headphones review below.
Zygo Solo At a Glance: Specs, Pricing, Features
- Price: $299
- Battery Life: 3 hours for the headset, 8 hours for the transmitter
- Audio Technology: Bone conduction
- Range: 2 feet below the surface at a distance of 50 meters
- Terms: 6-month warranty, 30-day trial period
Meet Zygo Solo: Underwater Headphones for Serious Swimmers
There are lots of waterproof headphones for swimmers, and they vary widely in quality and reliability. Typically, audio quality suffers underwater, and that’s because water interferes with Bluetooth signals. That means even the best wireless earbuds are useless in the water, no matter their level of waterproofing. That’s why so many underwater headphones have onboard storage for your music. Essentially, most headphones for swimmers are miniature MP3 players. So what makes the Zygo Solo headphones so unique?
First, they come with their own Bluetooth transmitter to ensure you have a strong signal and audio quality throughout your swim. Since Bluetooth and water don’t mix, so the Zygo Bluetooth transmitter uses radio waves to connect to the headset, solving a major problem with underwater headphones. Second, the Zygo Solo boasts live communication audio features, which means swimming coaches can use the transmitter to communicate with their athletes in real-time while they’re in the water. This is a seriously cool feature, and it really sets Zygo apart from the competition.
Finally, a lot of underwater headphones utilize bone conduction technology, and Zygo Solo is no exception. We’re big fans of the best bone conduction headphones, which transmit sound waves via the bones in your head instead of via your ear canal. These headphones wrap around the back of the head, and they can let you stay alert to sounds in your environment, which is why they’re popular with athletes.
We should note that these headphones are designed for use by athletes in the pool, not by recreational swimmers heading to the lake or beach.
Zygo Solo Review Unboxing: What’s Included
The Zygo Solo underwater headphones come in an egg-shaped travel case that contains everything you’ll need to get set up. Inside, you’ll find:
- 1 Bone Conduction Headset
- 1 Bluetooth Transmitter + Stand
- 1 Charging Case
- 2 Earplugs
- 1 Cleaning Cloth
- 1 User Manual
Our product tester found that it was incredibly simple to get set up and start using the Zygo Solo. Simply follow the instructions to connect your device to the transmitter. SPY tested these headphones in a lap pool, and even at the far end of the pool, the connection was clear and steady. Syncing the headphones and transmitter with a streaming app or music library of your choice was incredibly easy, too. Whether you wanted to listen to music, podcasts, or workout classes, Zygo made it easy to stay connected underwater.
Zygo Solo Review: Audio Quality
Zygo Solo also scores extremely well on audio quality, which can be lacking in this product category. The swimmer we recruited described the audio quality as similar to Bose headphones, except underwater, which is high praise. In addition, the headset stays securely in place as you move through the water, so you don’t have to worry about it falling off mid-swim. It might sound too good to be true, but with these headphones, you really can enjoy all of your favorite music (or podcasts and audiobooks) underwater.
With most wireless headphones, the audio quality is only as strong as the Bluetooth signal, but Bluetooth signals don’t travel underwater. To solve this problem, Zygo uses a two-step process. First, your phone or device connects via Bluetooth to the wireless transmitter, which then transmits radio waves to the headset. We found no issues with the connection during our two-week test. In fact, while Zygo says these headphones are designed to be used 2 feet underwater, we found that even at 6 feet the wireless signal and audio quality were strong and crystal clear.
Zygo Solo Review: Unique Features for the Modern Athlete
The most unique feature of the Zygo Solo? The live communication. This is one feature we didn’t test as extensively, but in our review, we didn’t experience any challenges with this feature. The Bluetooth transmitter doubles as a communicator so that a coach or fitness instructor can communicate with the swimmer at all times. The transmitter is also waterproof, so the person speaking can be in or near the pool during the workout. In our research, we could only find a handful of other consumer products with a feature like this, and it’s a great innovation in this product category.
Zygo Solo Review: The Verdict
So are the Zygo Solo headphones worth the money? Yes, absolutely.
Sure, the average person might not want to invest $300 in a pair of swimming headphones, and there are cheaper alternatives to consider, but for serious swimmers and athletes, nothing else compares to the Zygo Solo.
The casual swimmer may find that these underwater headphones are somewhat overengineered, and you’ll definitely be paying for features that you don’t really need, such as live communication, if you only get in the pool once a week. Even so, you won’t find a better pair of swimming headphones for sale in 2022. If you just want waterproof headphones that let you tune into your favorite music and podcasts while getting your laps in, then you can find cheaper options — but you won’t find better options.
- Crystal clear audio and wireless signal
- Unique features like live communication
- Reliable waterproofing
- Long battery life
- Bone conduction headphones can be a bit bulky
- More expensive than other options