Can You Take Headphones in a Sauna (Explained!)

Yes, you can take headphones into a sauna, but it's not as simple as grabbing any pair and heading in. Specific considerations must be taken into account to ensure safety and functionality.

Saunas and headphones – an unlikely pairing that’s piqued my curiosity. Imagine relaxing in the warm embrace of a sauna, your favorite tunes playing through your headphones, enhancing the experience.

But wait, can regular headphones withstand the intense heat and humidity? I’ve found myself pondering this question, and maybe you have too.

The truth is, taking headphones into a sauna can be a risky affair. From potential damage to the headphones to safety hazards, there’s more to this than meets the eye.

In this article, I’ll share my insights on what to look for in sauna-safe headphones, the risks involved, and some creative alternatives. Join me as we explore this intriguing intersection of technology and relaxation.

Can You Take Headphones in a Sauna

Why You Might Want to Use Headphones in a Sauna?

A sauna is a place of relaxation, warmth, and often solitude. The gentle hiss of steam, the aroma of wood, and the sensation of heat enveloping the body are all part of the experience.

But what if you want to enhance this experience with music or guided meditation? That’s where headphones come in.

1. To Block Out Noise

The sauna experience is often associated with tranquillity and relaxation. However, noise from outside sources can disrupt this peaceful environment. Wearing headphones in a sauna can effectively block out these disturbances and create a more serene atmosphere.

Here’s why this might be beneficial:

  • Isolation from External Sounds: Saunas are often located in gyms or wellness centers where other activities might be happening. The noise from these activities can penetrate the sauna’s walls. Using headphones helps isolate you from these sounds, preserving the peaceful ambiance.
  • Control Over Your Environment: With headphones, you control what you hear. Whether you prefer complete silence or soft, calming music, headphones allow you to create the auditory environment that best suits your relaxation needs.
  • Personal Space in Shared Saunas: Other guests might converse in a public sauna. While this can be a pleasant social experience for some, others might prefer solitude. You are wearing headphones, signaling to those around you that you wish to be left alone, helping to maintain your personal space.

2. To Listen to Music and Enhance Relaxation

Listening to music in a sauna or steam room can significantly enhance the relaxation experience. Music can evoke emotions, calm the mind, and soothe the soul.

Here’s how using headphones to listen to music in a sauna can be beneficial:

  • Personalized Playlist: You can create a playlist that suits your mood and preferences. This ensures the music aligns with your relaxation goals.
  • Mood Enhancement: Different genres of music can evoke various emotions. Calming music can help you unwind, while upbeat tunes can energize you.
  • Mind-Body Connection: Music can help connect your mind and body, allowing you to immerse yourself in the sauna experience fully.
  • Distraction from Discomfort: Music can be a pleasant distraction if you’re new to saunas and find the heat overwhelming. You are making the experience more enjoyable.
Music GenreEffect on Relaxation
ClassicalCalms and soothes the mind
JazzRelaxes and uplifts the soul
AmbientCreates a peaceful atmosphere
PopEnergizes and entertains

3. For Privacy

In today’s fast-paced world, moments of Privacy are cherished. With its warm embrace, a sauna offers a haven from the outside world. However, achieving true solitude can be challenging in public or communal settings. This is where headphones come into play.

Donning a pair in a sauna subtly communicates a desire for personal space, acting as a gentle barrier between you and the outside world. It’s not just about blocking out conversations or ambient noise; it’s about creating a personal sanctuary.

With headphones, the sauna transforms into a private chamber of reflection where one can disconnect from external stimuli and reconnect with oneself.

Whether it’s to meditate, contemplate, or bask in undisturbed warmth, headphones provide that added layer of seclusion.

Essentially, they serve as a tool for auditory isolation and crafting a profoundly personal sauna or steam room experience.

4. To Meditate

Meditation in a sauna can be a profoundly calming and centering experience. The warm environment naturally relaxes the muscles, and the isolation from external distractions sets the perfect stage for deep meditation.

Using headphones to listen to guided meditations or calming sounds can enhance this experience.

Here’s why:

  • Guided Meditation Support: Headphones allow you to listen to guided meditations, providing structure and guidance as you meditate.
  • Controlled Auditory Environment: You can choose sounds or music that resonate with your meditation practice, creating a personalized auditory environment.
  • Enhanced Focus: Combining warmth, silence, and chosen sounds can deepen concentration and focus during meditation.
  • Integration with Mindfulness Practices: Headphones can listen to mindfulness practices that align with your meditation goals, enhancing the overall experience.
Meditation TypeBenefit in Sauna
MindfulnessEnhances awareness and presence
GuidedProvides structure and guidance
MantraAids in concentration and focus
SoundUtilizes sound for relaxation and healing

5. To Listen to ASMR

Listening to ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) in a sauna is an experience that transcends ordinary relaxation. ASMR, a sensation that often starts at the head and moves down the body, is caused by hearing special sounds like whispering, tapping, or rustling.

When combined with the gentle embrace of a sauna’s warmth, ASMR takes on a new dimension. The headphones become a conduit to a world of sensory delight, where each sound is amplified and each sensation deepened.

In the cocoon of the sauna, the ASMR sounds resonate with the body’s natural rhythms, creating a symphony of profound and intensely personal relaxation.

It’s a journey into mindfulness, where the boundaries between self and sound blur. It leads to a meditative experience that nourishes the soul.

If you’re a fan of ASMR or new to it, this sound and warmth combination can help you relax in a different way that helps you feel more relaxed.

6. Improved Focus

Using headphones in a sauna can significantly enhance your ability to focus. Whether you’re reflecting on your day, planning, or simply enjoying a moment of mindfulness, headphones can aid concentration.

Here’s how:

  • Blocking Distractions: Headphones can block out external noise, allowing you to concentrate on your thoughts without interruptions.
  • Tailored Auditory Experience: You can choose sounds or music that aid in focus, such as binaural beats or calming instrumental music.
  • Enhanced Mindfulness Practices: Listening to guided mindfulness exercises can help you stay present and focused on the moment.
  • Facilitation of Creative Thinking: Combining warmth, relaxation, and chosen sounds can stimulate creative thinking and problem-solving.

7. Motivation and Workout

For those who use the sauna as part of their workout routine, headphones can add a layer of motivation and structure. Here’s how:

  • Energizing Music: Upbeat music can keep you energized and motivated throughout your sauna session, especially if it’s part of a workout recovery.
  • Guided Workouts: Listening to guided workout routines or motivational speeches can help you stay on track and push your limits.
  • Personalized Experience: You can create playlists that align with your workout goals, ensuring that the music or content supports your efforts.
  • Connection with Fitness Goals: Using headphones to listen to content related to fitness and wellness can reinforce your relationship with your fitness goals and inspire you.
Workout TypeBenefit with Headphones
CardioKeeps pace and adds motivation
Strength TrainingEnhances focus and determination
Yoga & StretchingSupports relaxation and mindfulness
RecoveryAids in relaxation and mental recovery

Concerns About Using Headphones in a Sauna

While using headphones in a sauna can enhance the experience in various ways, there are also some concerns and potential risks to be aware of.

Here’s an in-depth look at those concerns:

  1. Moisture Buildup: Saunas are known for their high humidity and moisture. When I use headphones in such an environment, moisture can accumulate inside the earbuds, potentially causing short circuits in electronic devices.
  2. Ear Infections: A sauna’s warm and moist environment can be a breeding ground for bacteria. I’ve found that headphones can trap moisture, increasing the risk of ear infections.
  3. Voided Warranty: Many headphone manufacturers explicitly state that exposure to extreme conditions voids the warranty. I’ve learned that using headphones in a sauna might void this warranty, leading to the potential loss of repair coverage.
  4. Battery Explosion: Heat can cause the battery inside the headphones to explode. Batteries can explode when exposed to temperatures above 100°F (37.8°C), making saunas risky for battery-operated devices.
  5. Damage to Headphones (Heat Damage): Prolonged exposure to the heat of a sauna can melt or deform the plastic components of headphones. I’ve seen headphones become unusable after being exposed to such conditions.
  6. Confrontation: Using headphones in a public sauna may lead to clashes with other patrons. Saunas are often considered quiet spaces for relaxation, and I’ve witnessed disagreements when someone’s music was too loud.
  7. Sensitive Electronic Devices: Headphones often contain sensitive electronic components that can fail when exposed to moisture and heat. I’ve had headphones stop working after using them in a sauna.
  8. Safety Hazards: Wearing headphones in a sauna can reduce awareness of your surroundings, leading to potential accidents. I’ve found that it’s essential to be cautious and aware when using headphones in such environments.

While enjoying music in a sauna might be appealing, the potential risks and damages to the headphones and the user’s health make it a practice I’d advise against. Consider alternatives like water-resistant speakers designed for such environments if music is necessary.

Sauna-Safe Headphone Features to Look For

1. Water/Sweat Resistance Rating

The water and sweat resistance rating of headphones is crucial. Especially if you plan to use them in environments where they may be exposed to moisture, such as during workouts or in a sauna. This rating is often called the IP (Ingress Protection) rating.

Understanding the IP Rating

The IP rating consists of two characters: the letters “IP” followed by two numbers. The first indicates protection against solid objects like dust, while the second represents protection against liquids.

  • IPX0: No protection against water
  • IPX1: Protection against dripping water
  • IPX4: Protection against splashing water
  • IPX7: Can be submerged in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes

Table: Common IP Ratings for Headphones

IP RatingProtection Level
IPX0No protection against water
IPX1Protection against dripping water
IPX4Protection against splashing water
IPX7Can be submerged in water for 30 mins

Key Points to Consider

  • Suitability for Different Activities: If you plan to use headphones while exercising or in a sauna, look for a rating of IPX4 or higher. For swimming or submersion, use headphones with an ipx7 rating or higher.
  • Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Always refer to the specific guidelines provided by the manufacturer, as they may have detailed instructions or warnings about water exposure.
  • Warranty Considerations: Water damage may not be covered under warranty, even for headphones with a high IP rating. Carefully read the warranty terms.
  • Maintenance: Regularly inspect and clean the headphones to maintain their water resistance. Dirt and debris can compromise the seals that provide protection.

2. Heat Tolerance (Materials that Don’t Conduct Heat)

Heat tolerance is an essential factor to consider when choosing headphones for environments like saunas. Materials that don’t conduct heat well will ensure that the headphones remain comfortable and won’t become damaged by high temperatures.

Table: Materials and Their Heat Conductivity for Headphones

MaterialHeat ConductivitySuitable for Sauna
  • Plastic and Rubber: These materials are often used to construct headphones due to their low heat conductivity. They remain cool and are suitable for use in hot environments like saunas.
  • Metal: Metal components can become uncomfortably hot in a sauna and may even cause burns. Therefore, metal is generally not suitable for sauna use.
  • Silicone: Silicone is another material that doesn’t conduct heat well and is often used in the ear tips of headphones for a comfortable fit.

3. Fast Drying Materials

Fast-drying materials are essential for headphones used in moist environments like saunas. These materials help the headphones dry quickly after exposure to sweat or humidity, reducing the risk of moisture-related damage.

  • Nylon: Often used in sports headphones, nylon dries quickly and is moisture-resistant.
  • Polyester: Similar to nylon, polyester is a fast-drying material suitable for sauna use.
  • Mesh Fabrics: Many headphones designed for sports or sauna use incorporate mesh fabrics that allow for quick drying.
  • Avoid Leather and Foam: Materials like leather and foam can retain moisture and take a long time to dry. They are generally not suitable for sauna use.

4. Breathable Design

A breathable design in headphones ensures that moisture doesn’t get trapped, reducing the risk of discomfort and potential ear infections. Here’s what to look for:

  • Open-Back Design: Allows air to flow through, helping to evaporate moisture and keep the ears cool.
  • Mesh Materials: Enhances breathability and comfort, especially during prolonged use.
  • Ventilation Ports: Some headphones include specific ventilation ports to allow air to circulate, reducing sweat buildup.
  • Avoid Sealed Designs: Completely sealed or closed-back designs may trap moisture and heat, leading to discomfort.

5. Antimicrobial Properties

Antimicrobial properties in headphones are essential for maintaining hygiene, mainly when used in warm and moist environments, such as saunas or during intense workouts.

These properties help prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that can lead to infections or unpleasant odors.

Some headphones come with special antimicrobial coatings or are made from materials that naturally resist microbial growth. This added protection is particularly beneficial for those who frequently use their headphones in conditions where sweat and humidity are common.

Even without specific antimicrobial features, maintaining good hygiene through regular cleaning and proper storage can help keep headphones sanitary.

However, headphones with antimicrobial properties offer an extra layer of assurance, contributing to a healthier and more enjoyable listening experience.

6. Bone Conduction Design

Bone conduction headphones provide a unique listening experience by transmitting sound through the bones of the skull, bypassing the ear canal altogether.

This design has several advantages, particularly in environments where traditional headphones may be less suitable.

Bone conduction headphones allow for better situational awareness, as they do not block the ear canal. This means that users can still hear ambient sounds, such as traffic or conversations, even while listening to music. This feature enhances safety and awareness, especially outdoors or in public spaces.

Secondly, bone conduction headphones reduce the risk of moisture buildup in the ear canal, making them suitable for moist environments like saunas or during sweaty workouts. They also offer a comfortable fit for extended wear by not putting pressure on the ear canal.

Lastly, bone conduction headphones can be an excellent option for individuals with hearing loss, as they transmit sound directly to the inner ear, bypassing potential obstructions or damage in the ear canal or middle ear.

Tips for Safe Headphone Use in a Sauna

  • Only Use Sauna-Designed Headphones: Regular headphones might get damaged in the sauna’s heat and humidity. Using the wrong kind might even cause a fire.
  • Pick Heat-Resistant Materials: If you need headphones, choose ones made from titanium or stainless steel. They can handle the heat better.
  • Keep Away from Hot Surfaces: Don’t put the headphones on anything hot in the sauna. They might melt or catch fire. Put them on something cool like a towel or bench instead.
  • Limit Your Time: Don’t wear headphones in the sauna for too long. They might get too hot and stop working correctly or even catch fire.
  • Watch for Overheating: Remove the headphones immediately if they feel hot or make weird noises. They might be getting too hot.
  • Check Before You Go In: Look at the headphones before you use them in the sauna. Make sure they look okay and aren’t broken.
  • Don’t Wear Them If You’re Sweaty: If you’re sweating a lot, the headphones might not work right or could catch fire.
  • Have Someone with You: Don’t use headphones if you’re alone in the sauna. If something goes wrong, you’ll need help.
  • Know the Fire Risks: Understand that headphones can catch fire in a sauna. Be careful.
  • Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby: Have something ready to extinguish a fire in case one starts.

Alternatives to Consider for Sauna Audio

If you want to enjoy music or other audio content while relaxing in a sauna, traditional headphones might not be the best option due to the heat and humidity.

Here are some alternatives to consider for sauna audio:

  1. Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers: These are designed to handle moisture and can be a great way to enjoy music in a sauna without needing headphones. Just connect your device and play your favorite tunes.
  2. Sauna-Specific Sound Systems: Some modern saunas come with built-in sound systems that are designed to withstand the sauna environment. These can be controlled via a panel inside the sauna or through a connected device.
  3. Bone Conduction Headphones: As mentioned earlier, these headphones don’t go in or over your ears but instead transmit sound through your bones. Heat and moisture might make them more comfortable and less likely to be affected.
  4. Use of Natural Sounds: If you’re in a sauna to relax, you might consider forgoing electronic devices altogether and enjoying the natural sounds around you. The gentle hiss of the steam or a nearby water feature can be very soothing.
  5. Voice-Controlled Devices: Some voice-controlled devices are designed to work in humid environments and can be used to play music, podcasts, or even guided meditation sessions without needing to touch any controls.
  6. Low-Volume Background Music: If you’re in a public sauna, there might already be soft background music playing. You can use speakers outside to enjoy music without hurting your ears if you have a sauna.
  7. Audio Books or Guided Meditation Apps: If you prefer spoken content, consider playing an audiobook or guided meditation through a waterproof speaker. It can be a unique way to relax and unwind.


Q: Can I bring my phone and headphones to the sauna?

A: While you can physically bring them, it’s not recommended. A sauna’s heat and moisture can damage your phone and headphones.

Q: Can I listen to music in a sauna?

A: Yes, you can listen to music in a sauna, but using a waterproof speaker or a sauna-specific sound system is best rather than regular headphones or a mobile phone.

Q: Can you use wireless headphones in a sauna?

A: Wireless headphones are unsuitable for sauna use unless specifically designed for high heat and moisture environments. The conditions can damage the electronics and battery.

Q: Is it OK to go in a sauna with headphones?

A: Generally, it’s not OK to use regular headphones in a sauna due to the risk of damage from heat and moisture. If you want to use headphones, look for ones specifically designed for such environments with a suitable IP rating.

Q: How do you listen to music in a sauna?

A: The safest way to listen to music in a sauna is through a built-in sound system, waterproof Bluetooth speakers, or headphones specifically designed for sauna use with appropriate water and heat resistance ratings.

The Verdict

Are they taking headphones into a sauna? It’s a tempting idea. But caution is critical. Most headphones aren’t sauna-ready.

The heat and the moisture – can spell disaster for regular headphones. Opt for ones with a high IP rating, like IPX7. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Consider alternatives like waterproof speakers. For me, the right choice enhances relaxation without risking damage. Safety first, always!


  1. Wikipedia – Sauna: Wikipedia page providing detailed information about saunas.
  2. Harvard Health – Sauna Health Benefits: A .edu link from Harvard Health discussing the health benefits of saunas.