Swimming laps in a pool can be very monotonous if you do this on your own under certain conditions. Additional swimmers in the lane or being coached can change that but if you don't have that option you might want to check out the AudioFlood Waterproof iPod Shuffle to keep you on track.
Over the last few weeks I've had the opportunity to review this cool waterproof MP3 player from AudioFlood that does NOT require a protective case.
I should state, I already owned one of Apple's latest iPod Shuffle's for non-water related activities, except for some sweat. When I received the AudioFlood Waterproof iPod Shuffle, I opened the package expecting it to be a little different. But I was amazed to see that it looked, felt and was the same size as my non-waterproof model. The packaging was even the same; it just had the AudioFlood logo.
So how is that possible? Well, AudioFlood uses a proprietary waterproofing process that fills the entire inside of the iPod Shuffle with a continuous layer of soft sealant, thus making it waterproof as well as corrosion resistant. Before testing it out, I asked if it could be used in salt water and the answer was Yes. How confident are they, well AudioFlood Waterproof iPod Shuffles are covered by a 2-year Warranty against manufacturing defects.
The AudioFlood iPod Shuffle individually sells for $125 while the iPod Bundle sells for $140 and comes with Waterproof Headphones and pouch. The iPod comes with 2GB of storage. The headphones come with 6 pair of earpieces so you can find the right size for your ears. It also comes with an extension cord to extend the reach if your use the iPod while out running or any other activity.
I've been here before. A few years ago I tried out the H2O Audio MP3 Waterproof iPod Case with Waterproof Headphones. At the time it offered the opportunity to listen to music while swimming but just like the water-proof cases for cameras, I had the nervous feeling that the case might leak and ruin the device. When AudioFlood said I could swim with their iPod without a case, I went back to that nervous feeling again.
The size of the waterproof MP3 player is perfect for mounting it on the top / back portion of your head. The default short cord on the headphones with springs is perfect. The springs help tighten the cord against your head or swim cap, so there isn't' much excess cord to get tangled up while you swim. Apple's snug clip makes it easy to clip the AudioFlood iPod Shuffle to the strap of your goggles.
After I entered the water and got the unit wet I was amazed to hear sound coming from the headphones, not just after entering the pool but throughout the whole swim. As for sound, it's initially better when you don't have any water in your ear canal to tone down the volume. As you swim, water enters your ear canal and the sound is somewhat muffled. You can test out the earpieces to see if another one makes a difference. To counteract the low volume of the music, you can just increase the volume to help you out a bit.
The swims consisted primarily using the freestyle / front crawl stroke with flip turns. You want to make sure to use a pair of goggles that have two straps or have a thicker width strap to get as much grip as possible.
I did have a chance to use this in the ocean as well and noticed no real difference compared to using it in a pool. As I did with pool swims, I made sure to rinse the AudioFlood iPod really good and let it dry out.
Both the AudioFlood iPod as well as the H2O Audio case offer the ability to control the iPod, but it's a crap shoot knowing what button you are pressing. The H2O Audio Waterproof case is much chunkier than the AudioFlood iPod, thus you feel it more and can feel the unit move during some flip turns. The earpiece cords on the H20 Audio Case are built-in, thus not really allowing you to use this product outside of the water.
What's cool about the AudioFlood Waterproof iPod Shuffle is that you can use it for various activities, not just swimming? How many times have you gone out on a run and had it start raining on you. With the waterproof MP3 player, you just keeping running no need to stop, remove and protect your iPod from water damage. I haven't tried it but you could also take your AudioFlood iPod out while paddle boarding, not need to worry if you fall into the lake or ocean.
One thing I did notice on the AudioFlood iPod Shuffle compared to my standard Apple iPod shuffle was the response while pressing on the buttons. On my normal iPod I can feel the response or click and it was easier while on the AudioFlood unit I could barely tell what I was doing. There was no real response or click feel and it was a bit tougher to press. Guessing the sealant has something to do with this.
In conclusion, I think this is a cool step forward in technology, the use of sealants to waterproof valuable items so they don't get wrecked when they come in contact with water. The muffled sound takes some getting used to and might be the only negative ding against the AudioFlood Waterproof iPod Shuffle (Oh yeah, the super glue that came along in the pouch caused a bit of a mess). Can't forget that this iPod does NOT require a protective case. Being able to use this product while training during other activities, near or far away from water is a major plus. No need to worry about it getting wrecked and having to buy a new one. Now, if they could only do this to my iPhone...
For more information on the AudioFlood Waterproof iPod Shuffle visit www.audioflood.com
The AudioFlood Waterproofed iPod Shuffle was provided for review and was courtesy of AudioFlood. This was an independent review and was not influenced by AudioFlood.