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H20 Tunes

As you know, the folks at H20Audio asked me to write a review of some of their products. I was uber excited.

I had been trying to decide which underwater apparatus to purchase, so I was thrilled to give H20Audio’s products a try. Plus, I really love music.  And swimming. So swimming + music = love, true love.

Basically, the idea behind H20 Audio swimcases is waterproofing your iPod Shuffle.

The best-selling waterproof case H20 Audio offers is called the Interval 4G.  The Interval 4G attaches to any swim goggle, and is a waterproof casing for the iPod Shuffle (4th generation).

I have a 2nd generation iPod Shuffle, so the Interval wouldn’t work.

But alas, the solution: the folks at H20Audio sent me the Amphibx Fit Waterproof Waistband, which works with the 2nd and 4th Generation Shuffle.

Along with the case, they sent me Surge 2G Waterproof headphones AND the Pro Fit Kit to try out too.

So I was all set, had all my gear.

Now, as a disclaimer.  I don’t think H20Audio knew they were dealing with such an earbud impaired person.  I have never found a pair of earbuds to stay in my ears.  On land.  Not even talking about water earbuds. So that was the first thing.  I was not expecting much to stay in my ears.

The night before, I hooked up everything, placed my bright green Shuffle in the waterproof case, and packed up my gym bag.  The install was pretty easy.   The next day, I headed to the gym early and had my first shot with the headphones. I hopped in the pool, put on my swimcap and goggles and started to put the headphones in my ears.   Ooooops, I immediately thought.  I was supposed to insert the earbuds with dry hands, prior to getting into the pool.  For the earbuds to stay put, a seal between the bud and the ear canal needs to happen. By getting my hands wet, I botched that all up.


I decided to try it anyway. No-go from the get-go. And one lap later, the buds were floating behind me.  Poop.

The installation was my fault, as well as the fit.  I decided that was an unscientific test, and would try again later.

Prior to the next swim session I tried out some of buds that came in the Fit Kit.  Now, if I was an outsider just blindly ordering the products, I would have never ordered the fit kit.  However, I must stress… if you are earbud “special” like me, the fit kit is a must.  A must.

I found a good fit, and was all ready to try again.

The next time, I put the earbuds in before hopping in the pool and according to the instructions in the package and on the video (below). I walked out to the pool, fastened the waistbelt, put on my cap and goggles, securing the extra wires behind the goggles so there was no “drag” to pull on the earbuds.

I started swimming. The sound quality was amazing.  Clear and crisp and Eminem in the pool? Badass.  However, about six laps later, the music slowly faded and the buds were floating behind me again.  Rats. The seal had broken. I am so earbud challenged, I thought.

Instead of giving up, I just snuggled the earbuds back in my ears (wet and all) and tucked my swimcap over the buds.  Viola.  2000 meters and twelve or so songs later, I was done.

The swimcap trick did the trick!  I had underwater music! I had to fiddle with the buds one or two times on turns, but all in all, it was a success.

I have completed two more swim workouts with this buds under the cap technique. Works like a charm. Yes, I must position the buds in a good spot, and yes, sometimes the buds slip and the music is less clear.  But under the swim cap, I have music and the sound is quite loud – I guess because it’s localized.  That was my fear – that I would really be able to hear the music.  But it’s loud and clear.  Also, the positioning of the waistband means that can still access your volume and controls on the Shuffle too. It was as easy as reaching behind my back and pressing the buttons.  There’s an armband option too, but I definitely think I would notice the armband on the swim; after a lap or two, I forgot about the waistband.

Yes, the Fit Kit has many, many other earbuds to try and fit, but really, I think I am just fine with the way I’ve got it. I emailed H20Audio and let them know about my swimcap situation/solution.  They responded that some people have absolutely no issues with the buds, and others do;  but between the “perfect seal” that some achieve and the swimcap trick folks like me use – there is music and swimming for everyone.

The Verdict?
I am most impressed with the sound quality.  It’s awesome.

The buds were frustrating to a degree, but really, I am so earbud-challenged, I didn’t expect much in that way.  The swimcap installation of the buds did the trick, and me, myself and Eminem were swimming the 8 Mile before much ado. The waistband is comfortable and I didn’t even notice I was swimming with it after awhile.  Finally, those 2+ mile swims are much nicer with some tunes.  Much nicer with some music.

I mean, Craig Alexander can’t be wrong, right?

Pricey?
The Waterproof Headphones are $49.99; the Amphibx Belt is currently on sale for $69.98 (regular price: $79.98); and the Pro Fit Kit is $19.99, for a total of about $140.

Yes, it seems a little pricey.  But hour after hour after hour in the pool?  Break it down: 2-3 swims a week, 8-12 swims a month… I think the value is reasonable to transform a swim experience into something more enjoyable.  Also, the Pro Fit Kit may not be necessary if one is not earbud challenged.

H20Audio also has a video to assist with the “installation” of the buds in the ears:

The Deals:
Right now, H20Audio has “Heat Wave Week” going on with lots of new deals, so check that out if you like what I’ve got to say, or try it out for yourself.  Also, if you sign up for their newsletter, they will send you a coupon for 15% off your first purchase.

Happy swimming!!

2 Comments

  • Karen @ working it out...

    August 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Funny. I am pretty sure I saw you the morning you were testing them out but didn't realize it was you at the time. I swim with the masters group at Lifetime that was out there that day. I was wondering if you like the gear. I have seen them everywhere these days.

    Reply
  • Swim Bike Mom

    August 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Too funny.. I wonder if you were out there the day I had success, or the first day. 🙂 LOL. I usually swim around lunch on Tuesday and Thursdays, but sometimes mornings. I'm not with the Masters group, but I am usually swimming around the same times.

    The Expert frequently swims in the mornings. If you see him, just go get in his lane, and whisper: "I know who you are, and I know what you've done" and swim off. That would be hilarious.

    If you see a tubby girl in a suit… next time, say "HI!" 🙂

    Reply

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