Naenka Runner Diver Core Specifications
Waterproof Standard: IPX8
Battery life: 10 hours
Audio formats: MP3 and FLAC
two minute review
The waterproof Naenka Runner Diver headphones are unique among best waterproof headphones and best bone conduction headphones. Like most underwater audio players, they can store multiple MP3 files (remember them?) so you can listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks while swimming.
However, they do have something most rivals don’t have in the form of a Bluetooth module. It doesn’t work underwater, so you can’t stream to them using a smartphone in your sun bed, but you can switch to it when you’re on land. In an instant, it transforms these waterproof headphones from a one-trick gadget into a good lifestyle accessory to use at the pool, at the gym, during a run, and even in the office.
Based on bone conduction technology that sends vibrations directly to the inner ear, however, it means lightweight audio with low treble detail. This makes music a largely narrow subject, though that’s probably not an issue to swim in when any sort of distraction will do.
Capable of storing an impressive 16GB of MP3s, the waterproof Naenka Runner Diver headphones are an ambitious product whose minimalist design means a few long button presses must be learned to switch between modes and tracks. Learn them well and the waterproof Naenka Runner Diver headphones will let you go far.
Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones review: price and release date
- Released in April 2022
Naenka is a challenger brand in the bone conduction headphones space, with this unique product retailing for $169.99 / £135 / AU$238. It is made by Shenzhen Mengqu Life Technology Co. in Shenzhen, China and sold in naenka‘site (opens in new tab).
Waterproof Naenka Runner Diver Headphones: Design
- minimalist design
- proprietary charging cable
- teardrop shaped transducers
Project score: 4/5
You can get the Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones in any color you like. As long as it’s gray. It’s a smart, minimalist design that weighs just 34g and uses the same silicone plastic finish found on nearly all bone conduction headphones. It’s there because it’s smooth and doesn’t move when placed against wet skin.
It also uses an earhook design to keep transducers in place. This is important because they rest on top of your cheekbones to send sound vibrations directly to your inner ear. Here they have the form of tears.
Like all new bone conduction headphones, the waterproof Naenka Runner Diver headphones use a proprietary charging cable that magnetically attaches to the battery via four gold-plated connection points.
Waterproof Naenka Runner Diver Headphones: Performance
- Works well in and out of water
- Lack of final treble detailing
- Earplugs improve sound quality in the water
Performance Score: 4/5
The waterproof Naenka Runner Diver headphones are the ultimate in versatility. They are truly at their best when used in ‘music mode’ (i.e. playing MP3 or FLAC files on your flash storage) or ‘Bluetooth mode’ out of the water. Used outdoors or in the office, you obviously get the trademark ‘open ear’ design that lets you hear what’s going on around you. In practice, this can be just as useful in a home office (depending on whether you work alone or not) as it is on the run, but the design has obvious security advantages for the latter.
The sound quality when used out of the water is good, although the maximum volume is a little too low. In no time did we experience any cheeky ‘tickling’ on our cheekbones, but it came close. At all times the sound quality is good but not excellent. There’s a lot of bass, but not much in the way of treble detail. If you mostly listen to podcasts or audiobooks, it won’t make a difference.
However, for their main act, the waterproof Naenka Runner Diver headphones need a little help. They ship without a bag but come with a small box of earplugs. That’s because by blocking your ear canals while swimming, the transducers can do their bone conduction work in auditory silence. The results are much better than if you don’t use the earplugs, but only in the water. Sound quality underwater is a little different than above, with more bass – aided by these earplugs – although low volume is an issue here.
Waterproof Naenka Runner Diver Headphones: Features
- IPX8 waterproof up to 5m
- Bluetooth 5.2 Mode
- 180mAh battery
The waterproof Naenka Runner Diver headphones are rated IPX8 waterproof to 5m, but that rating also means they’re sweat and dustproof. Inside is a 180mAh battery (which fully charges in 1.5 hours and lasts around 10 hours, although only if used at 60% volume, which is unlikely) and a USB stick capable of storing up to 16GB of MP3 and FLAC files.
The latter is a lossless high resolution format, so it tends to produce very large files. However, considering the rather basic sound quality of the Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones, we’re not sure why FLAC compatibility is needed. Either way, it’s obviously a pain to have to drag and drop files onto the flash drive, and you need a computer to do that.
The main other feature here is the Bluetooth module, which uses the new 5.2 specification. The result is that, in practice, the waterproof Naenka Runner Diver headphones always remain connected to a smartphone.
Waterproof Naenka Runner Diver Headphones: Value for money
- High range choice
- Challenger brand on bone conduction headphones
Value for money score: 3/5
The waterproof Naenka Runner Diver headphones are more expensive than the market leader, whose Shokz OpenSwim retails for $149.95 / £139.95 / AU$219.95. However, they are more affordable than the Zygo Soloa premium pack of waterproof earphones and a training app, retailing for $299/£218/AU$400.
Do not buy if…
First reviewed in July 2022