Swimming in an incredible form of exercises, especially as you age, but there's one problem for people like myself who use exercise time to work through podcasts and records you'd like to check out. Namely, it's really difficult to listen to music underwater. Thankfully for the sound obsessed swimming fans of the world, AudioFlood's waterproof iPod shuffle is a nearly perfect way to experience your tunes underwater.
Utilizing the latest generation of iPod shuffle, the AudioFlood iPod has 15 hours of battery life, 2GB of storage (enough space for over 500 songs), and is depth rated to 200 ft. We tried it at a depth of 6 ft at an indoor pool because it's winter, but the device worked with no problems. Even when you're underwater, iPod shuffle features like the VoiceOver button that tells you song title, playlist name or battery status work like a charm.
Included with the MP3 player are wonderful short cord headphones, six earpiece options to guarantee the perfect fit, an extension cable, a USB charger/sync cable, and a swim cap. I found attaching the device to the swimcap with the iPod's clip provided a secure swimming experience without ever coming loose. The short cord headphones allow you to swim without getting tangled in a mess of cords, and we commend AudioFlood for removing this possible drowning hazard.
Getting used to the earbuds takes a little getting used to but if you think of them as normal swimmers earplugs you'll be enjoying your tunes in no time. Make sure you're using the proper size of earbud, as sound quality will suffer if you don't put them in just right. Sound quality for music will largely depend on the quality of your files, but listening to 320KB MP3s brought me my favorite tunes loud and clear.
In my testing spoken word audio sounded better than recorded music, but the differences were mostly negligible. The only real downside of the AudioFlood iPod is the iPod Shuffle itself. Apple's VoiceOver feature makes navigating possible, but if you're looking for a specific song or podcast episode it's going to take awhile for you to find it. That's a minor complaint though. In the grand scheme of things, it's not much of a sacrifice to give up a little bit of speed when looking for content if means you can listen to music underwater.
Should you somehow lose the device while you're swimming it will keep working, even after being sunk underwater by itself. Our test unit was stored in a sink of water for hours on end, only to still work when pulled out. Here's a photo of our testing rig:
You can get the main AudioFlood bundle for around $140, which gives you a case, swimming cap, headphones, different sizes of earbuds, and the device itself. It's handy for keeping track of everything and only marginally more expensive than the $125 it costs for the device itself. Ultimately, it's a small price to pay for the ability to swim while "Under the Sea" or "Beyond the Sea" blasts through your ears... whether you choose the tune to be Disney or Bobby Darin is up to you.
This is the perfect gift for the swimmers in your life, whether they're practicing for the Olympics, exercising, or just blowing off some steam in the pool. Couple its wonderful functionality with AudioFlood's two-year warranty and they'll be swimming in tunes for a long time to come.