Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Pyle Waterproof MP3 Player with embedded headphones

I've been forced to swim a lot recently, and have come to the conclusion that lap swimming is the most boring sport in the universe. There's nothing to see, the scenery doesn't change, and you can't even hold a conversation while swimming like you can while you're cycling, running, or doing almost any land sport. I can't imagine doing it for any length of time long term.

After a while, I decided that it would be a good idea to find someway of listening to something while I'm doing my boring laps. If you're an iSheep, then the natural thing would be to pick up the Underwater iPod. These are basically iPod shuffles have been rebuilt with a waterproof resin internally and a waterproof coating externally, and then you can fit a pair of waterproof headphones to them, attach the whole shebang to your googles, and now you have an iPod that can play music underwater.

But I'm not an Apple fan, and $150 for a 2GB iPod shuffle is incredibly offensive to my senses. So I went looking and came up with the Pyle Waterproof MP3 player. At $40, it's more expensive than some other products, but it also had far better Amazon reviews. At 4GB of storage, it's got twice the storage of the Apple equivalents at one third the price, something very familiar to anyone who's familiar with how tech pricing works.

My first couple of swims were disappointing. The sound was muddy and unclear, and the headphone kept coming off. But I finally figured it out: the headphones come with 3 sets of ear pieces for underwater use, and what you need to do is to use the biggest ear piece that will fit in your ear canal. Once I got the right set (which surprisingly was the largest set), the sound was clear and lovely, and the ear pieces don't try to come off your ear. Now, if you do a particularly violent motion or if you knock your headphones with your strokes you still might get some leakage, but by and large the whole thing works and seriously, once I stop needing to nurse my back along I'm not going to swim more than a couple of times a week anyway.

In any case, my swims have gotten a lot less boring, and more than once I've found myself swimming an extra couple of laps to finish the song I've been listening to, so it's definitely changed lap swimming from "boring" to bearable. Recommended.
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