There’s no doubt that a sauna is a pretty nice place to relax, especially after a long workday or workout session. Relaxation and music go hand in hand with each other, so it comes as no surprise that we want to listen to some music on our AirPods headphones while in the sauna. But, this poses the question of whether or not we can bring them into the sauna without them getting damaged.
Can headphones or AirPods go into the sauna? You should not bring headphones or AirPods into a sauna that is not explicitly specified to be immune to moisture, heat, or body sweat. According to Apple, AirPods are water-resistant, but this is not the same as waterproof. The same applies to most headphones.
Sadly, these devices being waterproof is still probably not enough for them to function correctly in the sauna for extended periods of time. Almost no electronics can survive the high temperatures of the sauna. To determine how long we can use our devices (if at all), we need to understand how a sauna works.
How a Sauna Works
Saunas come in two types, dry and moist:
- A dry (or Finnish) sauna works through dry heat generators such as wood or electricity.
- A moist (or Turkish) sauna works by pouring water on the heat generator, which creates steam and moisturizes the air.
Both types of sauna rely on a closed room, with the objective of making the room incredibly warm and moist.
A sauna creates a combination of high heat and water vapor to make the people in it sweat to cleanse any toxins out of the skin. The fine water particles of vapor can get into just about any orifice that your headphones or AirPods may have, and the heat can cook most electrical devices and metals at very high temperatures.
These conditions can be deadly to any electronic device (such as headphones), especially after repeated use in the sauna. If it isn’t the water that short circuits or corrodes them, the heat will toast them.
How Long Can You Use Headphones in Saunas?
It is possible to use headphones or AirPods in the sauna for short periods of time, but it will not take long until their metal parts become too hot to handle. On top of that, you won’t be able to use a phone or MP3 player to plug or connect the headphones without potentially damaging the device as well.
How a Sauna Affects Electronics
The main way a sauna damages a device is through moisture or heat:
Devices such as your headphones, phone, or laptop have very sensitive electric systems inside of them. And as you may know, water is a conductor, which means that it can lead to a short circuit when it gets into your device.
Another way moisture can damage your device is through corrosion. As previously mentioned, your device has very delicate electric systems in it, which contain many tiny metal parts which are very sensitive to rust. If any part of your phone or headphone is rusted, it can be fatal and possibly irreparable.
Sure, we’ve all heard the saying, “Just put it in rice!” But if your device is not dried promptly and correctly, it could lead to irreversible damage.
Of course, waterproof devices and cases can be useful to avoid this issue. However, the water is not the only element that you need to watch out for when bringing in your headphones.
Heat, combined with your device’s hard drive, can roast your device if used in the sauna for too long. Some devices have ways of combating the heat. Some headphones are designed to withstand high temperatures, and your iPhone alerts you when it is about to overheat and should be turned off.
Devices with a hard drive (such as phones or laptops) are the most at risk of seeing this kind of damage since the rapid movement of the hard drive already generates a large amount of heat on its own. We’ve all noticed how our phones and computers become warm or even hot after being on for too long—now imagine what the added heat of a sauna would do to the device.
Considering Both: This may come as bad news to anyone looking forward to listening to their favorite tune while sweating away their worries. However, there are some alternative ways of listening to music while in the sauna.
Waterproof Audio Devices
Water is possibly the first of the sauna’s elements that will wreak havoc on your headphones and AirPods. So, if you’re trying to find a pair of headphones that will withstand it, here is a list of some audio devices that can survive in the moisture of the sauna (all of which can be purchased on Amazon):
- JBL Clip 3 Portable Waterproof Speaker
- Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM Waterproof Speaker
- Jaybird Vista Waterproof Premium Earbuds
Other alternatives that people have found less costly than purchasing waterproof devices are to put their devices in a small plastic bag (which could make the device harder to use) or to purchase waterproof cases for their phones, speakers, and MP3 players.
In an effort to protect devices, some people may leave them right outside of the sauna and connect to them via Bluetooth, but the connection could be spotty when you’re in an enclosed room—not to mention leaving your phone out in the open and unattended puts it at risk of becoming lost or stolen.
With that said, this poses the question: Is it even worth it to bring your music to the sauna?
Is it Worth Bringing Your Music to the Sauna?
As mentioned before, listening to music and relaxing in the heat and moisture of a sauna sounds like the ultimate idea. However, assuming that you could safely bring or were willing to risk your headphones and an MP3 player or phone being damaged, there are reasons why it might, in fact, not be worth bringing your music into the sauna.
- A sauna is a quiet place to relax. No one can tell you how you choose to relax, but saunas are usually a place of peace and quiet.
- Listening to music while there are others are in the sauna with you might be disrespectful. Some people might want to jam to their favorite song full blast, while others might want to enjoy the silence in the room. So, listening to music, even with headphones, may disrupt someone else’s mood.
- It is worth mentioning again that despite your headphones and other devices being water-resistant, it does not mean they are waterproof, much less heat-proof. And although they may still be functional after bringing them into the sauna once or twice, repeated use in the sauna could break or cause long-term damage.
- Headphones and AirPods will get hot—uncomfortably hot! And, as said before, a phone or MP3 will probably get much hotter than it usually does. So, there is no reason to bring water/heat-proof headphones if you will not even be able to hold or use a device to connect them to.
In summary, headphones and AirPods could go in the sauna and still function, but only for a short while, not often, and at very high risk. There are alternatives to mitigate these risks, but as of right now, there are not many products that can assure the safety of your headphones and your phone or MP3. Ultimately, the sauna is a place to relax, and the last thing you want to worry about is your phone or headphones breaking down on you.