Naenka Runner Diver

The Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones are as versatile as they get

Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones
(Image: © Jamie Carter)

TechRadar Verdict

It’s not the best sounding pair of waterproof headphones around, but the Naenka Runner Diver is certainly the most versatile. Just as good while running and around the office as when in the pool, its bone conduction tech means lots of bass, though it’s low on treble detail.


  • +

    Waterproof and sweat-proof

  • +

    10 hours of battery life

  • +

    16GB flash storage for MP3s and FLACs


  • -

    Lacks treble detail

  • -

    Requires library of MP3 files

  • -

    Additional earplugs are required when swimming

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Naenka Runner Diver key specs

Waterproof standard: IPX8

Battery life: 10 hours

Storage: 16GB

Audio formats: MP3 and FLAC

Weight: 33g

Editor's note

  • Original review date: July 2022
  • Original price $169.99 / £135/ AU$238
  • Price now $73.99 / £58.57 / AU$127.99

Update: February 2024. The Naenka Runner Diver headphones are better value than ever thanks to a significant drop in price, but they're no longer the monarchs of underwater music storage. The Shokz Openswim Pro and Runner Diver 2, both on the docket to be tested at time of writing, boast 32GB capacity storage, able to fit far more music into their headsets than the original Runner Diver. However, the reduced prices make it an excellent thrifty buy. The rest of the review is as originally published. 

Matt Evans
Matt Evans

Two-minute review

The Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones are unique among the best waterproof headphones and best bone conduction headphones.  Like most underwater audio gadgets they can store a bunch of MP3 files (remember them?) so you can listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks while you swim. 

However, they have something most rivals don’t in the shape of a Bluetooth module. It doesn’t work underwater, so you can’t stream to them using a smartphone on your sun bed, but you can switch to it when on dry land. In an instant, it turns these waterproof headphones from a one-trick gadget into a lifestyle accessory good for using in the pool, the gym, while out on a run, and even around an office. 

Based on bone conduction technology that sends vibrations directly to your inner ear, however, means bass-heavy audio that’s low on treble detailing. That makes music a largely narrow affair, though that’s probably not a deal-breaker for swimming when any kind of distraction will do. 

Able to store an impressive 16GB of MP3s, the Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones is an ambitious product whose minimalist design means a few long presses of buttons must be learned to switch between modes and tracks. Learn them well and the Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones will allow you to go to great lengths. 

Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones review: Price and release date

  • $169.99/£135/AU$238
  • Launched in April 2022

Naenka is a challenger brand in the bone conduction headphones space, with this unique product selling for $169.99/£135/AU$238. It’s manufactured by Shenzhen Mengqu Life Technology Co. in Shenzhen, China and sold on Naenkas website.   

Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones

(Image credit: Jamie Carter)

Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones: Design 

  • Minimalist design
  • Proprietary charging cable
  • Teardrop-shaped transducers

Design score: 4/5

You can get the Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones in whatever color you want. As long as it’s gray. It’s a smart, minimalist design that weighs just 34g and uses the same silicon plastic finish found on almost all bone conduction headsets. It’s there because it’s both smooth and it doesn’t move around when placed against wet skin. 

It also uses an ear-hook design to keep the transducers in place. That’s important because they rest against the tops of cheekbones to send sound vibrations directly to the inner ear. Here they’re shaped like teardrops.

Like all new bone conduction headphones, the Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones use a proprietary charging cable that magnetically attaches to the battery via four gold connector points. 

Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones: Performance 

  • Works well in and out of water
  • Lacks ultimate treble detailing
  • Ear plugs improve sound quality in water

Performance score: 4/5

The Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones are the last word in versatility. They’re actually at their best when being used in either ‘music mode’ (i.e. playback of MP3 or FLAC files on its flash storage) or ‘Bluetooth mode’ out of the water. Used outdoors or around the office and you obviously get the trademark ‘open ear’ design that lets you hear what’s going on around you. In practice that can be as handy around a home office (depending on whether you work alone or not) as when out on a run, but the design has obvious safety advantages for the latter. 

Sound quality when used out of water is good, though the maximum volume is a little too low. At no point did we experience any bassy ‘tickle’ in our cheekbones, but it got 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 listen mainly to podcasts or audiobooks it’s not going to make any difference. 

However, for its headline act the Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones needs a little help. They ship with no bag, but they do come with a small box of earplugs. That’s because by blocking your ear canals while swimming the transducers can do their bone conducting work in auditory silence. The results are much better than if you don’t use the earplugs, but only in water. Sound quality underwater is a little different to above it, with more bass – aided by those ear plugs – though here the low volume is an issue.

Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones

(Image credit: Jamie Carter)

Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones: Features 

  • IPX8 waterproof to 5m
  • Bluetooth 5.2 mode
  • 180mAh battery

The Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones are rated IPX8 waterproof down to 5m, but that rating also means they’re sweat proof and dust-proof. Inside is a 180mAh battery (which fully charges in 1.5 hours and is good for about 10 hours, though only if they’re used at 60% volume, which is unlikely) and a flash drive capable of storing up to 16GB of MP3 and FLAC files. 

The latter is a lossless high resolution format, so 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 necessary. Either way it’s obviously a pain to have to drag and drop files onto the flash drive, and you do need a computer to do so. 

The main other feature here is its Bluetooth module, which uses the new 5.2 specification. The upshot is that in practice the Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones always stay connected to a smartphone. 

Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones: Value for money 

  • High-range choice 
  • Challenger brand in bone conduction headphones

Value for money score: 3/5

 The Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones are more expensive than the market leader, whose Shokz OpenSwim sells for $149.95/£139.95/AU$219.95. However, they’re more affordable than the Zygo Solo, a premium package of waterproof headphones and a coaching app, which sells for $299/£218/AU$400. 

Buy it if...

 You don’t want more than one pair of headphones
With its Bluetooth mode in addition to a ‘music’ mode for playing MP3s stored on its 16GB hard drive the Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones can work in all scenarios and aren’t just restricted to being used in water. 

You love bass
The most dominant characteristic of the Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones’s soundstage is low frequency sound, which is at its best underwater when wearing earplugs (also included).

 Don’t buy it if… 

You want pin-sharp audio
Mainly as a consequence of them being bone conduction headphones, the sound is bassy, but a little muffled. You won’t notice it for podcasts and audiobooks, but it’s an obvious drawback when listening to music. 

You want high volumes
The Naenka Runner Diver waterproof headphones are fairly quiet, which can be a problem when in a swimming pool when water is constantly lapping at your ears. 

Also consider


<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">Zygo Solo
The only pair of swimming headphones that can stream content from a smartphone when you’re underwater, this high-grade and pricey product combines a headset and a wireless sender/receiver and an app packed with coaching tips drills and tips.


<a href="" data-link-merchant=""">Shokz OpenSwim
Formerly known as Aftershokz Xtrainerz, the Shokz OpenSwim uses bone conduction and some earplugs to work underwater. They use the same drag-and-drop method for MP3 transfer as the Sony Walkman NW-WS413. 

First reviewed July 2022

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),