Most of us gym-goers are dependent on our carefully tailored workout playlists to keep our legs moving during an otherwise dreary exercise. Needless to say, this entertainment is difficult to achieve underwater, but that hasn't stopped well-known swim gear brand Finis from helping swimmers have some fun, too. With this in mind, the company has updated its unique waterproof MP3 player, the SwimP3. Version 2 is carefully designed for comfort and practicality, and it's sure to sound a lot better than the splashes of a freestyle stroke.
Like the first version, SwiMP3 v2 uses bone conduction technology. It consists of two "earpieces," which are attached by a cord that loops around the back of the neck. But rather than placing each unit over your ears, you affix them to your cheekbones where vibrations from the player are passed from the bone to your inner ear.
As a recreational swimmer, I had to take this gadget for a dive. My first attempt to wear the player was on the pool deck, and let's just say there were some curious looks involved as I fidgeted with the parts like a complete newb. (In a moment of insecurity, I ran to the bathroom for an assisting mirror.) Here's how it works: First comes the swim cap, followed by goggles on top (the usual routine). Finally, the units of the SwiMP3 player clip right onto the goggle strap, and lay directly on the cheekbones.
After swimming laps with my SwiMP3 player, I was very satisfied with my workout. The music is a definite motivator and, contrary to my expectations, the sound quality was impressive. It's nothing like putting on a pair of Bose headphones, but it's more than adequate for an underwater player. Plus, it attaches on your person more securely than something like the Freestyle Audio SoundWave or the Dolphin Swimmer, and there are no earbuds to easily slip out and no cumbersome wire connecting your head to your arm.
Avid swimmers will find the SwiMP3 to be a good investment, since it delivers a technology superior to a waterproof case and headphones. However, the $150 price tag isn't a fit for everyone, particularly occasional swimmers.