H2O Audio Waterproof Headphones for iPod 3rd/4th Generation

The official name of the product is the H2O Audio Interval 3G Waterproof Headphone System for iPod shuffle (3rd Gen), but that’s the only bad thing about it. I reviewed the waterproof iPod case for the 2nd generation iPod that H2O Audio makes several months ago, but they don’t make that product any more (although you may still be able to find it on shelves here and there). I also love that device, but I had one problem with it–it broke. That is, the latch that holds the case shut broke. Luckily, H2O Audio has awesome customer service, so they sent me a new one. That one also broke after a few months, in the exact same place–the latch. So they gave me the option of having them send me another 2nd generation case, or a waterproof case for the new iPod shuffle, and since my wife got me a 3rd gen iPod shuffle for my birthday and I wasn’t keen on trying a third time with the first type of case, I accepted their offer to send me the 3G case.

I’ve used it a few times now and I love it just as much as the first case, and perhaps even more because from what I can see it’s not going to break. The latch on the 2G case was under stress when it was closed, which I’m pretty sure is what led to the breakage, but the latch on the 3G is different, and I don’t think it’s likely to suffer the same fate. In addition, the buttons on the 3G are easier to use. There are three buttons on the top of the case that conform to the three options you have with the 3rd gen iPod shuffle, and if you use the 3rd gen iPod shuffle for other things then using the buttons on the 3G is completely intuitive.

The case is certainly larger than the 2G, and it seems to me like they could slim it down, but it doesn’t bother me at all. One thing I have noticed is that whereas on the 2G the earphone cords never bothered me, on the 3G I’ve had issues with them getting caught on my face or ears as I turn my head to breathe, and so I’ve followed their recommendation to wind the cords once around my goggle straps and that completely solves that issue, and is no bother to do, so no harm no foul.

I did have some issues with volume with my 2G but that seems to have been solved with the 3G. Whereas with the 2G I always maxed out the volume and even then sometimes I couldn’t hear as well as I would have liked (often dependent on the position of the earbuds in my ears), with the 3G there’s no problem at all and I don’t think I’ve ever maxed out the volume because it would be too loud.

The 3G case is certainly a little more money than the 2G ($100 vs. $60), but it is an all-around better-designed and better functioning system. If you’re looking for an easy way to listen to music or audiobooks (my preference) while swimming laps, this is by far the best waterproof headphone system I’ve found (much, MUCH better than the Finis swimp3 system).

  • http://www.h2oaudio.com Dana

    Hi there!
    Thanks for the review! Just like everyone else, we live and learn with our products, so we’d hoped we’d made some good improvements in the Interval 3G. As for the size, it’s the fact that the newest shuffle doesn’t have buttons that makes it a bit bigger. We have to include internal circuitry to make the external controls work, so that makes the case a bit larger and slightly more expensive. But we’re glad that it’s working out for you and thanks again for the write up!!

    H2O Audio

  • 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://www.frontdoormedia.com Elaine Dunn

    I have bought 3 items from this company. The first one lost audio in one of the earphones within the first week. The second did well for a year but then lost volume and was too difficult to hear. The third one leaked on the first try out of the box. The company was not conciliatory.

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