I recently reviewed the Aquacube waterproof MP3 player and headphones, but they had a major flaw: the headphones were almost impossible to hear underwater, especially when making the amount of noise I do when thrashing my way through the water. So i decided i’d try a different approach and get a FINIS SwiMP3 waterproof MP3 player , which uses bone conduction technology. Basically the idea is that you wear these two speakers against your cheekbones instead of your ears, and the vibrations travel through your bone to your ear, thus producing the sound without ever needing to travel through the air. It seems like the ideal use of such technology, so I was excited to try it.
The device consists of two pieces, about 1.5″ wide and 2.5″ long, connected by a short wire with a USB port in the middle. Each of these pieces have a speaker covered by plastic, which rests against your cheekbone. You hang them off your goggle straps about an inch or two forward of your ears. After I got them in the mail (thanks Amazon Prime), I headed to the pool to try them out on their inaugural swim.
Let’s get the big question out of the way first: these work great. the sound isn’t incredible, but it’s surprising clear, definitely loud enough, and so much better than nothing. The ability to swim while listening to music or podcasts is amazing, and I have to remind myself when I’m going to stop or I just want to keep swimming. Boredom is apparently a powerful de-motivator.
As for negatives, I haven’t found a lot yet. The cap for the USB port is removable and could easily get lost. It’s only 1GB and it’s apparently USB 1.0, so it’s slow, but I just drop some files on there once a week or so. It’s not a replacement for my normal MP3 player, so this isn’t a huge deal to me. Also, the controls on the player aren’t ideal; there’s no way to fast-forward or rewind within a song, and changing playlists is a little clunky. Finally, be forewarned: you will look (and feel) like a huge dork with these things hanging off your goggle straps. But you can rock out to Eminem’s “Not Afraid” to feel better 🙂
All in all, I’m really happy with the device and I highly recommend it for swimmers looking to break up the monotony of their workout. You can purchase it from Amazon by clicking here.