When I was offered a chance to review the Swimbuds Sport Waterproof Headphones from Underwater Audio, my first thoughts were “I’m no swimmer”. Living in Utah’s high desert does not leave much opportunity for swimming. Sure, we have a couple of lakes nearby, but they are more for boating and stand up paddle boards. I’ve been told to avoid ingesting the water, and certainly don’t eat any fish out of it. So swimming has not been at the top of my list lately. But fully waterproof headphones do have a lot of appeal. Even if you don’t swim, you may run, bike or hike in the rain. Or sing in the shower. Or just enjoy your music anywhere.
Swimbuds makes totally waterproof headphones that are shipped with four kinds of earbuds, so they’ve got you covered whether you’re swimming laps, bombing down your favorite mountain bike run, or just chillin’ at home, writing a product review. For underwater tunes, use the Trees, which seal out water and ambient noise. Their Fins are probably better for swimming above the water line, or some serious Marco Polo sessions. Ergos are the “all around” buds with a little extra sealing, and with fours sizes to choose from, they fit great. For those times when you just want a little background music because you need to hear what’s going on around you as well, the classic Mushroom buds get the job done.
In addition to making sure your Swimbuds headphones fit well and sound awesome, Underwater Audio came up with a few other clever ideas. Most headphones have a long cord which ends up getting tangled at some point. But Swimbuds have a short 1.3 foot cord, and a 3.25 foot extension cord. For swimmers, there’s not too many places to clip your iPod – your goggles, cap, or maybe a swimsuit strap. So that short cord makes plenty of sense. Oh! You’re probably wondering about the whole “clip your iPod” while swimming. Forget about bulky waterproof cases. Underwater Audio sells an iPod Shuffle that’s been given a proprietary treatment that renders it totally impervious to water. Totally. All the functions work, even while submerged. Plug and unplug the headphones in the middle of a swim without fear of damage. Technology meets magic, as far as I am concerned.
So the real question is, how does it all work? I would not usually use “drown and pool” in the same sentence, but in this case, it’s not all scary drama. A trip to the local rec center’s pool confirmed that you can swim and drown out the noise of screaming kids with the Swimbuds. And really, they sound great! I tested them in the shower too, plus on the treadmill, as well as just ignoring people around me while at work. I’ve got about a half dozen other headphones, and these are right up there with the best of them.
I know that even though Swimbuds really rock, there may not be millions of people looking for headphones to use while swimming. And that’s ok. Because no matter what kind of sport you’re into, it’s hard to beat a quality set of headphones that can handle more than just a little bad weather. My advice? Leave your phone or iPod Touch someplace safe, and get the Swimbuds bundled with their waterproof iPod Shuffle. Those things may not take a bullet for you, but they will take just about all the abuse you can dish out, and weigh next to nothing. Underwater Audio has put together these two great products, and come up with an all-sport, all-weather dynamic duo. Check out all their products at www.underwateraudio.com.