22
Aug
09

Finis SwiMP3 v2 Waterproof MP3 Player

I just got a Finis SwiMP3 waterproof mp3 player so I could listen to audiobooks while I’m swimming. This is a very nice device. The “earphones” don’t go in your ears, they sit against the sides of your face right in front of your ears, and the sound is transmitted through your skull, as it were. That sounds a bit weird, but it’s convenient since I use earplugs and would have to deal with water in my ears otherwise, I suppose. There are clips so they attach to your goggle straps. At first I thought the goggles straps merely pressed them against your head, but no, they are attached to the straps so there’s no chance of them falling off while you’re swimming. The first time I went swimming I forgot the instructions, so it took me a while to figure out how to start the thing playing, but once I got it then the other controls were easy to use.

Now, there are some problems that actually make this device totally useless for me, although it might be great for other people. You see, I find music boring when I’m training, so I listen to audiobooks instead of music, which I find keeps me quite engaged. Unfortunately, the SwiMP3 is not a very good solution for me because it’s not loud enough. If it were music, then I’d be totally find and would love this thing. With music you don’t need to hear all the words, and most of the time you know the song so if you don’t hear a word clearly you wouldn’t even notice. But with audiobooks, if you don’t hear a word clearly then you’re missing something, and if you’re not hearing one out of four words, then you might as well not be listening at all. That’s the situation I find myself in. If I’m sitting underwater doing nothing, I can hear and understand the book just fine. But once I start swimming, the bubbles and other assorted swimming noises drown out a lot of the words, and I just can’t quite understand everything.

On top of that, I would like to listen to audiobooks while I’m in the hot tub doing my stretches for 15 minutes every day, but with the SwiMp3 I can’t do that because it’s attached to the goggles, and I don’t want to wear the goggles on my head in the hot tub, plus if I don’t actually have the goggles over my eyes then the SwiMP3 is a bit out of place and is uncomfortable and I can’t hear it that well.

One more issue–I use an iPod Shuffle while I’m running and biking, but that means I have to keep my files on the two MP3 players synced manually, which is also a bit of a pain.

So, bottom line–if you only want to listen to music, while you’re swimming and nowhere else, then the SwiMP3 is great. If you want to listen to audiobooks, it won’t work for you. For me, I’m thinking of taking a look at the H2O Audio Interval Waterproof Headphone System for iPod Shuffle since those earphones are in-ear buds that double as earplugs.

  • http://bob bob

    i have waterproof for my ipod video. i’ve heard they’ve revamped the earphones. you’re more than welcome to share my earwax with my ‘old’ (2 years, if that) earphones

  • Greg

    I found the same problem. I wish I had read your note before I spent ~$130 on the thing.

    I am thinking, though, that maybe if I wear a swimcap (odd for a guy, but so what!) maybe it will be louder…. please email me at gojakang@drury.edu if anyone has found a solution to this problem. Thanks! Greg

  • Joshua

    I just got the H2O Audio waterproof cover for my iPod Shuffle yesterday. I’ll be using it for the first time tomorrow and will post a review sometime soon after that. I’m pretty excited about it. Hope it works well.

  • David

    Exactly the same. Works for music, not for audiobooks. I too, prefer to work out to the audiobooks. I swim with a snorkle (neck vertebra injury) and I tried putting the Swimp3 under the swimcap and the strap for the snorkle (putting goggles on first, under the cap and snorkle). It was still not loud enough.

    I was wondering if the H20 Audio worked. I was also thinking about the earplug Swimp3 from Finis that is not the bone conduction version, but the earplug version. (For what its worth, I have had water in ear problems, as well, but when I started swimming with the swim snorkle, the water in the ear problem went away, because you don’t turn your head.)

  • Joshua

    Hi David, I did post a review for the H2O Audio waterproof iPod case, but forgot to put it in the gear review section, plus the title was a bit cryptic before, so it wasn’t easy to find, but click here to read it.

    In a nutshell, the H2O Audio system is hands down 10 times better than the Finis Swimp3 system. As for the Finis earplug version, I can’t say how the H20 Audio version compares since I haven’t tried that, but I suspect I would still like the H2O Audio version better because I like that it’s not an actual mp3 player, just a case for my iPod, and I would prefer to use the same mp3 player for all my workouts, rather than dealing with a single audio book on two different mp3 players.

  • Joshua

    BTW, if you’re interested in getting some gear from H2O Audio, click this link to get 10% off on anything from their website.

  • http://waterproofmp3.info waterproof mp3

    I recently received the SwiMP3 for my birthday and it really helped me get motivated to swim laps in the swimming pool in no time. I am thinking of taking this waterproof mp3 player snorkeling but I’m afraid it might fall off and sink down at the bottom of the ocean.