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.