There’s quite a difference between a waterproof mp3 player and a waterproof mp3 player for swimming. Water is probably the most stressful environment in which your mp3 player has to survive. Simply because you find a water resistant device which won’t be affected by your body sweat, dipping an mp3 player in a swimming pool is a whole different thing. Let me see if I can shed some light on how a good waterproof mp3 player for swimming should be.
Whenever you are on the lookout for a waterproof device, it’s important that the manufacturer provides as many details as possible about the waterproofness of the device. On some product pages, you will simply read that an mp3 player is waterproof, while other pages will specify the exact waterproof rating and the depths of testing. For example, reading that a specific product is waterproof at up to 5 feet will give you a very important piece of information: if you swim with that mp3 player at a depth below 5 feet, the water pressure can compromise the waterproof seal of the device, thus causing damage and also voiding the warranty.
You’d think that a smaller mp3 player is the best choice because it’s lightweight and won’t get in your way while you’re swimming. Should this be a rule to take into consideration while choosing an mp3 player? Really, how heavy could an mp3 player really be so that it may seem too heavy underwater? Truth be told, there is something you need to consider as far as size is concerned: how easy is it to press the buttons on the player as you have it clipped on (your goggles, most likely) and you’re swimming? While minimalist designs are always nice on an mp3 player, ease of use is even more important.
Speaking of clip-ons, what about the harness style? On a personal level, I find it best to attach the mp3 player to your goggles, because they are the closest place to your ears where your mp3 player can rest. This means that there is less cord length to float around and fewer chances of you pulling the headphones jack out of the player when you’re moving your arms. Of course, other people may prefer securing their mp3 players with arm bands.
A very important part that contributes to the overall experience of listening to music underwater is the construction and the quality of the headphones. Since most mp3 players come with a standard audio jack, there are chances that the headphones you use with your smartphone are also compatible with your mp3 player. If you’re ever in doubt, just use the headphones provided when you bought the mp3 player, because they have been tested for compatibility and that’s why they are sold together. If you own a compatible set of headphones and you know they are superior in quality than those provided by the seller, feel free to swap them.
Don’t underestimate the importance of battery life. In general, a good mp3 player can render about 6-8 hours of music continuously. There are also mp3 players that take a long time to charge (3 hours) and other that charge super fast (1 hour). We cannot say that one if bad and the other one is better. All I’m saying is that if you need to charge your player as fast as possible, you may want to consider an option with fast charge.
Other things to pay attention to
How easy is it to charge the device? Does it come with an USB cord which allows both outlet and computer charging? This is really important if you’re on the road and need some juice in your mp3 player with no power outlet anywhere near you.
Is the MP3 player compatible with both PC and Mac? That means that you can access the player’s software bundle no matter which type of computer you use.
Does your mp3 player have sufficient storage capacity to cover your needs? Most mp3 players have different storage options, varying between 500 MB to 8 GB of music. Smaller versions, those with 500 MB internal storage, can typically host about 120 songs, which translates into about 6 hours of music. On the other hand, if you purchase an mp3 player with 8 GB of storage, you can store about 1600 and up to 2000 songs, meaning about 96 hours of music.
Do you really need a model with an SD card slot? If you’ve ever owned any other smartphone except an iPhone, then you’re already familiar with what an SD card is and what it does. It helps you add some extra memory to the device, in case the internal one doesn’t suffice. With mp3 players, it’s pretty much the same thing.
Does this support all the file formats I’m interested in? If not, then you’ll need a software that converts the files you have into a format supported by the device. This takes time and, depending on the software you want to use, it could also eat up some money for a license. It’s better to pick an mp3 player that supports the most common audio formats, like .mp3, .mpeg or .wma media files.
While this is not a waterproof mp3 player for swimming per say, it deserves to be considered one of the best and if you’ll read on, you’ll understand why. To be fair, this is actually a pair of wireless smart sports headphones that pack an integrated mp3 player. These headphones/waterproof mp3 player was designed while keeping in mind the sports enthusiast. Even if they are good for swimming, they are recommended in a multitude of other scenarios, especially if you like listening to music in the great outdoors, where chances of humidity and precipitation are always high. They provide a sexy combination between design and sound quality, which makes them the ideal candidate for the best waterproof mp3 player for swimming title.
Owning a FX-Sport VRX comes with a multitude of advantages. First of all, let’s talk about their durability and the water protection they provide. The most important thing to mention is that these headphones/mp3 player aren’t fully waterproof when they come out of the box. You will have to purchase an additional accessory, which is basically a silicone swim-cap for the mp3. Once you’ve purchased and mounted this accessory, it is safe to use your mp3 player in and around water. The thing you’ll really love about the FX-Sport VRX headphone is that they do a really good job at keeping water out of your ears. If you’ve used other waterproof headphones before, you may have come across this problem yourself. The headphones are rated for moisture-resistance (meaning, sweat or running in the rain won’t be a problem), but they need the swim accessory to make them fully submergible.
We came across no information as to how deep these headphones are rated for, but they will do just fine in your average swimming pool. Taking them on a deep ocean dive, however, may not be the best of ideas, because the pressure could break the device. You could use the headphones while snorkeling, but it’s ideal to avoid creating any noise yourself, as it is important for your own safety to hear the underwater environment around you. Even if you can use the FX-Sport VRX in salty water (the water doesn’t really come in contact with the mp3 player), it is recommended that you wash it with fresh water afterward. The control buttons have a very sturdy feeling when you touch them and the headbands flexibility indicates that it can be bend in all sorts of ways, without having to worry about damage.
You’re going to love the fit of the FX-Sport VRX. Due to their plastic design, they are extremely lightweight, but not to the point where they start wobbling around and falling off. They have been tested while performing all kinds of activities, from jogging to swimming and it is no surprise they don’t come off since they were designed for sportswear in the first place. So, if you ever wanted to practice your swimming jumps while listening to your most favorite tunes, this is the right gadget for you. One slight disadvantage that may bother some people (although we felt it was totally meaningless) is the fact that it takes about 2 minutes to actually put the headphones one. There’s some adjusting to be made, to make sure everything stays in its place, but 2 minutes really isn’t very long if you plan on taking a 1-hour swim.
Even if they are designed to be comfortable, your ears will feel a bit pressured if you plan on wearing them non-stop for half a day. However, chances are you’re not a professional swimmer who actually spends half a day in the pool, so they do make a good investment in the end.
As with any gadget, it’s important to talk about the specs of the device. What does the FX-Sport VRX pack? First of all, it comes with 8 GB of internal storage, which is more enough for you to store your favorite tunes for a month or two until you feel the need to refresh your playlist. Interesting enough, the FX-Sport VRX comes with hours of pre-loaded training programs which are easily activated with the help of the built-in controls. We found this feature to be unique and very customer-oriented. The training programs cover several sports, from swimming to golf and they also cover several areas of interest, from weight loss to weight lifting. In consequence, you will be given a set of free instructions on how to exercise better and be on point with these exercises. The programs shuffle between music and the actual instructions, so you can get a real feel what it would be like to have an actual trainer with you.
The FX-Sport VRX is iTunes compatible, so transferring songs on your device is really easy. It takes 2 hours for a full charge, which provides you with 5 hours of continuous playback, There is a small battery drain even when the device is not in use and that’s something you want to take into consideration if you’re not using the device for a while and want to rely on a full battery.
The sound quality is one of the best you’ll ever find in a waterproof mp3 player for swimming within this price range. Thanks to the Swimcap silicone bag for the MP3, you will have the benefit of the ear tips for keeping water out of your ears. This will contribute to a better sound quality. You will notice that the volume goes down when you dive underwater, but this is a common characteristic of all waterproof mp3 players and headphones. This is where the FX-Sport VRX shines, it still maintains a high-quality sound. Mids and highs are of decent quality and you can even afford to listen to audiobooks and podcasts while you’re swimming. If you turn the volume all the way up to the max, you will notice that the sound quality decreases, as it becomes distorted.
So, let’s make a quick recap of the pros and cons of the FX-Sport VRX:
Good headphones fit, no wobbling and no headphones movement to interfere with your swimming.
Training programs for different kinds of sports and activities.
High sound quality, compared to similarly priced headphones and mp3 players.
Sound quality is distorted if you turn the volume all the way up.
Swimcap accessory required for the mp3 player to become 100% waterproof.
Takes 2 minutes to fit the headphones.
AudioFlood iPod Shuffle
What could possibly be better than a waterproof Apple product? For the last decades, Apple has become the leader in smartphones manufacturing and selling. Let’s discover if this is the best waterproof mp3 player for swimming because we have some pretty high expectation considering the huge name involved.
Thanks to the clip-on casing, the Shuffle turns into a completely waterproof device which can survive down to a depth of 200 ft. Unless you plan to go searching for Titanic’s shipwreck, this should be more than enough to cover your diving needs. You should not doubt the surface durability of the Shuffle. The quality of the components is the same as the ones for the non-waterproof edition. For this set, you will get a 2-year warranty and you can always rely on AudioFlood’s customer service in case there are any problems with the device and you need to get it fixed or get replaced.
Aside from the non-waterproof Apple earbuds, you will get some extra in-ear earphones, made specifically for in-water use. They come with a nice selection of swimming ear tips and a short cord with an extension., just in case you need it. The earbuds are waterproof, but you may notice that if you don’t have the best fit, water can change the sound quality a bit. The earplugs are equipped with a rather short wire and a nice little buffer.
We’re not really happy with the 2 GB of space integrated into the Shuffle, especially since there are other cheaper options with more storage space. However, you can still store about 500 songs, which is more than enough considering that it’s gonna take a while to go through all of them once. After a full charge, it takes about 15 hours of continuous playback to completely drain the battery.
If you’re interested in the best way to wear it, know that it works like a charm to clip it to the headband of a pair of swim goggles. If you choose something with a longer cable and you clip the player somewhere else, chances are you’ll get tangled up in the cable while swimming and pull the jack out of the player or the earbuds out of your ears. The original iPod clip is sturdy enough for some regular swimming, but if you plan on performing some more harsh water activities, you should buy a more secure strap.You will notice that the control are a little stiff, but that’s only because of the waterproof treatment. While some may see this as a disadvantage, know that you won’t change the tracks underwater as much as you think, so that won’t really be an issue.
Here’s a short wrap-up:
Apple product, leaving no room for doubts about the quality of the device.
Capable of surviving 200 ft. depths.
3 sets of swappable earbuds, to find the best fit for your ears.
Controls are a bit stiff.
Headphones have a short cord, could be a disadvantage to people who want flexibility in the cord’s length.
SYRYN MP3 Player
The combo of Swimbuds headphones and SYRYN waterproof mp3 player for swimming is quite nice. Compact and very good-looking, this unit is one of the simplest and most affordable waterproof mp3 players in 2017 (at the time of this review, the price was $60). The mp3 player comes with a headphone jack and 3 buttons: back/volume down, play/pause, and a forward/volume up button. Since we have 3 buttons, each with a double use, let me explain how they work:
A long press of the play button will turn on this little device.
Touch the forward button once to skip to the next song. Long press the forward button to turn the volume up.
Touch the back button once to go to the previous song. Long press the back button to turn the volume down.
When you’re underwater, it may take a bit of time to get used to the short press/long press of each button, but you should get the hang of it. You also have to option to shuffle the tracks in your playlist, in case you’re not fully committed to the order of your songs. If you want to switch between shuffle and play-in-order, double click the play button. The light pattern will change to a slower blinking pattern when the player changes to shuffle mode. You can charge the mp3 player via the headphones jack and it takes a full hour for a complete charge. For audio transfer, you connect the USB to headphone cord here.
As for the waterproofness of the device, know that the SYRYN can withstand submersion of up to 10 feet of water and it meets IPX-8 standards.
Together with the mp3 player, you will receive several sets of earbuds, in different shapes and sizes. They are, as follows:
Trees – Creates maximum noise isolation and the best water seal.
Fins – They work with the widest range of ear sizes and create a watertight seal.
Ergos – Ergonomically designed with a comfortable fit for many sports.
Rounds – Most suitable ones for everyday use.
Let’s see a quick recap:
Very affordable price tag.
4 different types of earbuds, suitable to cover several situations.
Great battery life (7-8 hours of music playback) considering it only takes 1 hour for a full charge.
Double function button takes a while to get used to.
Doesn’t have a radio function.
We found the FX-Sport VRX to be the best choice out of these 3 models. While we will never contest the quality of the iPod Shuffle, the FX-Sport VRX deserves props for many things. We cannot overlook the fact that you actually have an mp3 player built-into the headphones themselves, which means that you won’t get tangled in any wires as your swim or jog and there is no risk of pulling the headphones jack out of the player. That alone is a good reason to spend $160 on a waterproof mp3 player for swimming.