Can You Bring Headphones Into a Sauna or Steam Room? Exhilarating experiences can be had by relaxing in a sauna or steam room. However, unless you always go in with a few friends, or unless you’re a regular and know a few friendly faces, the 15-20-minute session can be a little boring.
One of the best ways to relieve boredom is to listen to music or talk shows through headphones, but should you?
So, Can You Bring Headphones In Sauna?
You are not permitted to bring headphones into a sauna or steam room. The answer is NO unless the manufacturers have designed the headphones to withstand high temperatures, moisture, and sweat. Refer to your manufacturer’s manual for directions to check first before bringing your headphone into a sauna
The vast majority of headphones, including those with an IPX rating less than 7, will fail if exposed to the sauna or steam room environment due to condensation. The remainder of this article will delve deeper into the reasons why you should leave your headphones (and, indeed, all electronics) at home when visiting a sauna or steam room.
ARE HEADPHONES SAUNA PROOF?
Quality headphones with an IP rating of at least 67 could safely withstand brief periods in the sauna. Some headphone manufacturers expressly state that their products should not be exposed to high temperatures or humidity levels. As a result, the safest option is to avoid using headphones in the sauna.
When it comes to using headphones in the sauna, there are two major issues to consider: heat and humidity. Perhaps it’s best to simply define the distinctions between a dry sauna (traditional) and a wet sauna (steam room).
A dry sauna heats the air around you; moisture is usually added manually by pouring water over heated rocks. There is a constant flow of air, which keeps things dry but warm. In contrast, a steam room produces moist heat. The actual ambient temperature is frequently lower than in a dry sauna, but the moisture content is significantly higher.
WHAT ARE STEAM ROOMS AND SAUNAS?
Steam rooms and saunas are similar enclosures with the same goal: to heat your body sufficiently to sweat out toxins, burn calories, de-stress, and other benefits. Both are similar, but the main difference is the type of heat they provide.
A sauna produces dry heat from a closed stove or hot rocks, whereas a steam room produces heat from boiling water. Both enclosures’ heat and moisture create a hostile environment for all electronic devices, including phones, media players (such as iPods), and headphones.
Some people recommend wrapping the smartphone that will be the source of your music (or podcast) in a wet towel to help it withstand the environment. This method is not guaranteed to work because a water-resistant rating is not the same as a waterproof rating.
However, even if it works, you must consider your headphones. What should you do if you can’t use them while wrapped in small towels? It is best to leave the headphones outside. Using most headphones in such an environment will almost always result in disaster, as you’ll see in the following section.
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WHY YOU SHOULDN’T USE A HEADPHONE IN A SAUNA OR A STEAM ROOM?
Some of the reasons why your headphones shouldn’t go into a steam room or sauna are covered below.
1. Battery-Powered Headphones Can Explode
All wireless headphones are inoperable without batteries. As a result, using them in extreme heat and humidity is risky, as most batteries will explode under these conditions. Aside from potentially damaging the headphones, wearing them in or over your ears puts you at risk.
Saunas and steam rooms can reach temperatures of up to 195°F (90°C), whereas batteries should not be exposed to temperatures above 140°F (60°C). Assuming your headphones’ batteries don’t explode, there’s no telling how the high temperature will affect battery life in the future.
2. The Headphones May Be Designed to Shut Down
The decision on whether you can use headphones in a sauna or steam room may have been made for you straight out of the box, as some of them come with an automatic shutdown function. This is activated when the headphones are placed in an extremely hot or humid environment.
These headphones will stop working less than five minutes into your sauna or steam room session and will only resume working when you are in a more comfortable environment.
Again, this is a feature found in headphones that have batteries. Many brands use this technology, but if yours doesn’t, it means they expect you to know better than to use your headphones in places like steam rooms and saunas.
3. High IPX Rating Doesn’t Protect Against Condensation
If you’re familiar with IPX ratings, you’re probably aware that headphones with an IPX7 rating are considered waterproof. Exposing the headphones to a very hot and humid environment, on the other hand, can cause condensation, which can damage the drivers.
The openings on your headphones for the speakers and microphones are the loopholes through which condensation can enter.
If your headphones are older or have a lower rating than IPX7, the risk of condensation-induced damage is much higher—and, as you’ll soon discover, your manufacturer warranty will not cover such damage. Most major brands’ warranties will most likely be voided once the moisture sensors have been triggered.
4. Mold and Bacteria Thrive Under Such Conditions
Any headphones that are not cleaned on a regular basis will gradually accumulate bacteria and mold. Bacteria multiply quickly in a hot and humid environment, especially if the headphones have favorable coverings for their growth.
Such expansion is risky for three reasons:
- It has the potential to damage your headphones.
- The coverings may develop an unpleasant odor.
- If some of the bacteria enter your ear canal, you are at risk of developing an ear infection.
5. Using Headphones in the Sauna Might Void Your Warranty
Your headphones are warrantied, some for several years, but there is a loophole. Your warranty is void if the moisture sensors in the headphones are tripped.
Many manufacturers will void a warranty if there is “significant electromechanical damage.” This can be caused by condensation damage on the inside, or it can be caused by a problem with the charging port, which is the most common problem.
6. Water-Resistant Doesn’t Mean Sauna Proof
While an IPX water-resistant rating of 7 or higher provides some protection, it is not sauna proof. Condensation poses a risk. Condensation can wreak havoc on your headphones. You’re transporting your headphones from a cool/normal environment to one that’s extremely hot and humid.
This can result in condensation forming on the inside, which is extremely harmful to your drivers. Small openings in your headphones and earphones allow the microphone and speakers to receive and play sound.
Through these openings, high humidity can enter your headphones. And if your headphones are a little older, the danger is even greater. Water-resistant seals do not last indefinitely.
Hot steam can damage even new seals, so while your headphones will be protected for a while, they will not last as long as they should. All of this puts your drivers at risk of water damage, which is something that manufacturers do not cover under warranty.
OTHER REASONS TO LEAVE YOUR HEADPHONES OUTSIDE THE SAUNA OR STEAM ROOM
There are two additional reasons why you should not wear headphones in the sauna or steam room. For starters, saunas and steam rooms are known for their tranquillity. Attempting to relax with music may throw the balance off.
Second, other people in the sauna or steam room may regard you as disrespectful if you wear headphones while they are in there. This is due to the fact that many people are accustomed to small talk in these rooms.
You may even be inviting a confrontation if your headphones are set up in such a way that someone sitting nearby can hear the music. Your musical preferences are most emphatically not universal!
These reasons have nothing to do with the headphones directly, but ignoring them can lead to a poor experience for everyone involved.
TRY TO RELAX INSTEAD OF USING YOUR HEADPHONES
Saunas can be a place to unwind and enjoy some peace and quiet. If you don’t give your headphones a break every now and then, they can give you headaches and even make you deaf.
Many people use the sauna as a post-workout recovery tool. To recover from an intense workout and actually gain more from it. They also use it to meditate for a short period of time. With all that heat and steam, I can see why some people might require some meditation to stay for the full 15 minutes.
Doing this has a few benefits though. The heat and “shutdown” helps your body enter a parasympathetic state, where, according to research on human brain function, your body recuperates faster. Your heart rate is reduced, blood pressure lowered, and even your digestive system gets a rest.
CAN YOU USE APPLE AIRPODS IN A SAUNA?
Apple expressly states that AirPods Pro should not be used in saunas or steam rooms. The AirPods Pro have an IPX4 rating, which means they are water and moisture resistant, but only for the occasional spill or splash.
It most emphatically does not cover continuous sauna conditions. Any prolonged moisture damage is not covered by the warranty, and believe me, these guys are well aware of this.
CAN YOU USE BEATS HEADPHONES IN A SAUNA?
Beats headphones are powered by the Apple H1 headphone chip, so the same rules apply as with AirPods. The Powerbeats and Powerbeats Pro both have an IPX4 water resistance rating, which means they’re only protected from random splashes.
They are also very specific in stating that they are sweat and water-resistant, not sweat- or water-proof. Being “sweat and water resistant” means that the conditions to which they can be subjected should not be prolonged or permanent.
They also state that you should not use your Powerbeats or Powerbeats Pro in extremely humid conditions (sorry, saunas are out). Another thing to keep in mind is that your Powerbeats Pro charging case is not waterproof, sweatproof, sweat-resistant, or water-resistant.
That is, you must exercise extreme caution when recharging sweaty or damp earbuds. If your headphones or earphones come into contact with water, it’s always a good idea to wipe them down with a soft cloth. You could even leave them for several hours to ensure that any condensation has evaporated.
WHAT HEADPHONES COULD YOU WEAR IN THE SAUNA?
So we’ve established that as a general rule, it’s best to avoid wearing headphones in the sauna. However, if you really want to try it, look for products with:
- An IP rating of at least IP7
- Materials that don’t conduct heat very well, such as titanium
Almost no headphone manufacturer specifies that their products may be used in a sauna. The exception to this is AfterShokz. Their headphones are said to withstand sauna heat for short periods of time.
They may be better in an infrared sauna than in a traditional sauna or steam room, however, because infrared saunas aren’t humid. AfterShokz can withstand a little sweat.
The Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones (on Amazon) and the Aeropex Headphones are two AfterShokz headphones to consider for your sauna experience (also on Amazon).
While other headphone brands do not advertise their products as being suitable for sauna use, product specifications, as well as user reviews and reports, indicate that these models may be able to withstand sauna sessions if used for a short period of time.
BEST HEADPHONES TO USE IN A SAUNA OR STEAM ROOM
If you’re still bent on bringing your music along with you while at the sauna or steam room, your best bet is to find headphones designed for such environments. There aren’t many of them around, but we’ve selected a few you can try.
- True wireless earbuds for an active lifestyle – Wherever your day takes you, whatever your activity, it won’t get in the way of enjoying sports, music and calls. The Elite Active 65t are secure fitting earbuds that provide dependable in-ear stability.
- Personalize your sound – Whether you’re using these as Apple earbuds, Samsung earbuds or more, you can listen to your music the way you want to hear it, by personalizing your sound on the Jabra Sound plus app. Earbuds are Apple and Android compatible.
- No audio dropouts – With Jabra’s 3rd generation true wireless stability, you can take calls and listen to music without worry about audio dropouts. And there are no pesky wires getting in the way of your workout
- Up to 15 hours of use – With up to 5 hours of battery on a single charge, and up to 15 hours in total with the included pocket-friendly charging case, your listening needs are met from the start of the day, to its end with these earbuds.
- Take work calls from home – Incredible 4-microphone technology offers best-in-class call performance, with up to 15 hours of battery for maximum productivity— even when you’re working or learning from home on your smartphone.
While Jarba explicitly states on their website that their headphones should not be used in a sauna, some people will still experiment with them. So, based on a number of Amazon reviews, it appears that the Jabra Elite 65t Earbuds can withstand some heat and sweat from the sauna.
If you’re buying them new and they’re still under warranty, I wouldn’t recommend testing them. The reviews are excellent, but because the manufacturers do not explicitly state it, any damage may void your warranty.
- Open-Ear Design - Patented bone conduction technology delivers premium audio through the cheekbone, keeping you connected and aware of your surroundings.
- Multifunction Button - Easy controls to play, pause, skip, activate voice assistant, and answer calls.
- Sweatproof & Durable - IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust, and moisture. Perfect for withstanding even the rainiest runs.
- 6-Hour Battery Life - 6 hours of continuous music and calls on a single charge.
- Exclusive Safety Pack - Includes Air wireless bone conduction headphones and a pack of Brilliant Reflective Strips to ensure you stay aware and safe.
Aftershokz may be the best sauna proof headphone brand available. For one thing, they advertise their headphones as being suitable for use in saunas. They can withstand a little heat, and Aftershokz recommends no more than 10-15 minute sauna sessions.
Despite the fact that they only have an IP rating of 55, the durable titanium frame will keep your headphones safe from any internal electrical shortages. Their Titanium and Air headphones are both “dry sauna friendly.” Titanium is a poor heat conductor, making it ideal for sauna headphones.
What about the sauna? While the IP rating of the Aftershokz Titanium and Air is insufficient, the newer Aeropex model has an IP rating of 67, making it a “go-to” choice for high humidity.
One cool feature is a “moisture detection alert,” which will notify you if your headphone battery is in danger of being damaged by water. Much better than simply turning off, as other models do. While all of the above models will work in the sauna, you may have to sacrifice some sound quality.
If that doesn’t sit well with your inner audiophile, the AfterShokz Xtrainer is the one for you. It has all of the extra features that make it sauna proof while still providing amazing sound quality. I’ve tried these; in terms of sound quality, they beat them all.
SO, HOW CAN YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC IN A SAUNA?
If you truly want music to be a part of your relaxing sauna experience, you could try out different options. For example, you could use a less expensive Bluetooth speaker inside your sauna room and pair it to a device just outside the sauna.
Another option for listening to music in the sauna is to use one of the above-mentioned waterproof models and place your phone or mp3 player inside a waterproof case. However, proceed with caution because your music player is still at risk of overheating.
You could also try using your headphones to listen to music for a very short period of time. Perhaps listen to one song (or even a guided meditation) to set the mood at the beginning of your session and then place your headphones and music player outside of the room.
CONCLUSION – Bring Headphones On Sauna
It is not advisable to bring headphones into a sauna or steam room. The 15-minute session has a high chance of damaging your headphones. Do you love your music so much that you’d rather risk losing a few hundred dollars than spend a few minutes in silence?
Remember that most manufacturer warranties will not cover damage caused by a sauna or steam room. So, leave your headphones (and any other electronics) at the reception desk and concentrate on relaxing and reaping the benefits of a steam room or sauna session.
FAQs About Using Headphones On Sauna
What headphones can go in sauna?
Quality headphones with an IP rating of at least 67 could safely withstand brief periods in the sauna. Some headphone manufacturers expressly state that their products should not be exposed to high temperatures or humidity levels.
Is it permissible to use Bluetooth headphones in a sauna?
However, you should resist the urge because saunas will ruin your headphones. Headphones, whether wired, Bluetooth, earbuds like AirPods, or over-the-ear devices, aren’t designed to withstand the sauna’s high heat and humidity.
Is it safe to wear AirPods in sauna?
Wearing AirPods in a sauna or steam room is not permitted. AirPods should not be exposed to high-velocity water, such as while water skiing. Avoid dropping AirPods or exposing them to other types of impacts.
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