Waterproof MP3 players for swimming

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  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    I also wear mine behind the ears. In front of the ears it hurts my temples after a while. Behind the ear you can hear the music just as well.
  • Here's what I don't understand about the Finis (or the Beginis either for that matter).

    1. Storage? When I can put 16G (and more) on a micro sd card, what's up with 4 gig? I know, 4 gig is more than I'll really ever need (I only listen to about 10 albums anyway) but still.

    2. Have they never hear of Bluetooth? Doesn't it seem obvious that your swim coach with a console that has each swimmer in the pool with a different Bluetooth band width. Bing "Dred! You're coasting on your right arm again!" "Roberts! You're doggin' it, pick up the pace." "IronMike! You call that a flip turn? What you do in practice is what you're going to do in a meet, you do that in a meet and you're going to lose!" It seems... Maybe I should go on Shark Tank and pitch that idea! (Forget I wrote anything here!)

    Aside from that, I hate you all because now I'll have to have one! (Robtmas is coming!)

    I thought that I saw that Finis were nyet goot in the salt ocean? Did I see wrong?

    Is there a thread on what play lists you all recommend?
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @Dredpiraterobts, if you can find one, get an old (blue and white) swimp3. The Neptune is alright, but the screen is worthless. It's on the back of my head! What the hell do I need a screen for?

    I like your bluetooth idea. I would give each of my triathletes their own channel so I can yell at them constantly instead of only during their 60-second-long 10 second break between sets.
  • IronMike,

    The thing about the screen. I understand the idea of why do I need a screen behind my head? It's not like you're playing DJ anyway and you're not waiting for some to turn around and shout "Play that funky music white boy!"

    But...

    The way I envision using this is that I have file folders in the memory. Each folder has a (at least a) playlist that facilitates a different workout. When I'm doing sprint work, I want short hard pulsing heart racing, thumpin', humpin' music! Hot Rod Honeymoon, My Thing, Earth Quake, Rollin' and Tumblin' and lots of other Jeff Beck.

    When I'm doing distance, I want to play Quadrophenia from front to back. I want Eat A Peach and Live from Filmore East. I want Edgar Winter's Frankenstein. I want to swim with the Phishes. I want to play East/West by Butterfield, My Generation off Live at Leeds

    A mixed set calls for a mix of music designed to set the pace. Do it in practice enough times, it'll be the same pace you do at the meet.

    I want to be able to choose which file I'm playing, and I need a screen to do that. Other wise it's just "shuffle mode" right?

    I also envision each file with "Coach" telling me what hundreds I'm swimming and when 1:15 is coming so get ready to start and reassuring me that if I "PUSH" I'll get a slow down lap coming. A metronome that clicks off stroke paces, subtly increasing and decreasing the pace to get you to the finish line at the target time.

    Let me ask: Do people think that people would be willing to pay to download programmable workouts that they could play on their MP3 players? If these workouts were designed by successful professionals (meaning "not me")? The program could be customizable based on the pool (or lack there of) length, the height of the swimmer and the level of the swimmer, the goals of the swimmer etc...

    As to the Bluetooth, I'm happy to hear that it is a new concept to someone in the business. I have played with using old cell phones that have BT and a music player with a micro sd card (I'm cheap). But I have had the opposite of success with earbuds. If I had the Finis (especially if I had one where the player was shot) I'd cut the wire and splice on a jack which I could then plug into BT compatible MP3 player. (There may be, but I don't think so that there is, a difference in the signal sent through the wires for bone induction versus regular earbuds). If your old unit is broken anyway...

  • TimDexTimDex Member
    My wife has a finis and have been allowed to borrow it on occasion but I find it a little quiet. I need my head to be rattled, and brain beaten with music so I can drift off and ignore the fact that Im only on lap 131 of 400.

    I looked at the H2Audio box for shuffles. I have been through 3 of them and sent them all back, one or the other of the ear phones would fail. Then, onto waterproof 'shuffles'. $150 is too rich for me. Digging around on the web, I found out a way to waterproof my shuffle for pennies.

    A quick trip to Walgreens for a 5 ml syringe, Lowes for some 'dielectric' grease (important), a bowl of boiling water and I was set. Draw up grease into the syringe and drop into the water to warm up. Put the shuffle in a plastic bag and immerse to warm up too.
    Now things get messy. Steadily and slowly, inject the grease into the headphone jack hole. It will eventually squeeze out of the seams ... keep going until the syringe is empty. Allow to cool and you're done! Some folks epoxy the seams but I figured there was so much grease in the thing, no water was going to leak into the seams.

    You'll need waterproof head phones but I had them already. Now clip the shuffle to your gogs and bundle up the excess ear phone cable with an elastic band and get wet.
    I have swum maybe ten times so far, a bit scary the first time, but its been great. 5K in the pool this morning made so much more bearable listening to loud music :)
  • I will say though, as a guy with tinnitus, and hearing loss... I blast it too... and yet I can't not tell you ... the ringing in my ears I wear as a "badge of honor" that I would rather not have!
  • swimdailyswimdaily Member
    edited May 15

    The way I envision using this is that I have file folders in the memory. Each folder has a (at least a) playlist that facilitates a different workout. When I'm doing sprint work, I want short hard pulsing heart racing, thumpin', humpin' music! Hot Rod Honeymoon, My Thing, Earth Quake, Rollin' and Tumblin' and lots of other Jeff Beck.

    I have a waterproofed IPod shuffle. I keep only about 4 playlists on it at a time because I flip between playlists based on what I need for a set. The ipod "speaks" the playlist number so I just have to remember which one is which. works ok for me.

    I would like to hear MORE suggestions of good pushed tempo music. Apparently my taste in music is all "forever pace" music and I need to push it and get more uncomfortable.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @TimDex, the problem with headphones is they will only work if they are fully seated in your ears. Any water gets btwn your ear drum and the headphone, you'll be listening to music that sounds like it's coming through a paper towel roll.

    I went through a pair years ago which drove me batty. That's why I went to the bone conduction model.

    @Dredpiraterobts, your plan sounds good, although I've not worried about folders. Not sure how easy it would be to change among multiple folders.
  • edited May 19
    Swimdaily,

    Be glad to help. What era are you interested in? The oldies are usually 2:30 which was the AM radio standard, You can't go wrong with The Ventures Wipeout But the distance that you're matching it with is sort of odd; 250M?
    Like wise Pipeline keeping with the California idiom.
    I feel Good James Brown gets me swimming on top of the water.
    Born In Chicago

    @ 3Mins, it's out of the sync (or swim) But I swim with a swagger when I play Electric Blues.
    You'll be the hippest cat in the water with this fueling your motorboat Fire by Jimi Hendrix.

    As we get into the age of FM radio the songs get longer, but Smokin by Boston Humps up a rhythm that's a challenges to keep up with.
    Like Brit Music? Paint it BlackRolling Stones.
    If the river was Whiskey, and I was a diving duck Rollin n' tumblin' Jeff Beck
    You warmed up yet? Here's 3:30 minutes of hot
    What Mama Said It truly is a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
    And if you like Led Zepplin then you have to hear Beck's Bolero with Keith Moon on drums.

    I could go on for hours, but I have to get to work.
  • swimdailyswimdaily Member
    Dredpiraterobts,
    THANK YOU--some great suggestions that took me in some different directions with my tempo swim play list.

    And I thought I had the best username--but dredpiraterobts beats them all!
  • zorritonezorritone New Member
    What are the main reasons you guys wouldn’t recommend listening to music during an OW competition? I have a Neptune Finis and it allows you to hear what’s going on around. I am swimming my first 5k on Saturday and continue to debate back and forth on whether I should use it or not. The competition allows the use of mp3 players.
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Member
    Most competitions don't allow them for safety reasons. I guess if the race allows them and yours allows you to hear (whistle, horn, boat engine, lifeguard yelling, etc.) adequately, it would be a matter of personal preference.

    I like to be able to hear what's going on around me during a race, (arms splashing and breathing?) so I don't think I'd ever opt use one. Music tends to help me zone out, which is the last thing I need during a race. I have to concentrate during a race, especially if I end up swimming alone, because my natural tendency would be to slow down to a comfortable pace.

    Good luck with your 5K!
    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf Member
    zorritone said:

    What are the main reasons you guys wouldn’t recommend listening to music during an OW competition?

    A lot of events won't allow them, so apart from safety concerns etcetera is probably better to get used to not swimming with one, rather than becoming dependent on it.

    Other than that, if it is your first 5k you will probably have enough other things to deal with that getting rid of one superfluous bit of gear is probably not a bad idea.

    Enjoy the event!
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • danswimsdanswims Member
    Wouldn't consider music because being in the moment and the full experience of the swim is the whole point for me.

    Have fun!
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @zorritone, I use them occasionally in practice, but would never use them in open water even if the race organizers allow it. Too many things could go wrong. You could miss out someone trying to get your attention for safety reasons (I have a Neptune also, so I understand what you mean about still being able to hear).

    An mp3 player in a race is just another piece of equipment to go wrong. And the way the Neptune fits on the back of your goggles, if you have to adjust your goggles more than you can do by simply flipping on your back, then you've got that heavy contraption making things difficult.

    Finally, I like being alone with my thoughts, which is probably why my Neptune hasn't seen the light of day for a long time. I wrote two masters theses while swimming. I've solved many of the world's problems, or at least family/life problems, while swimming. It is kind of nice.

    And, I've got my own rocking soundtrack going through my head when I swim. That's music enough for me.
  • I have been using a waterproofed shuffle for audiobooks during training. I usually get a pretty good ear seal. Have previously used the swiMP3, but had trouble with audiobooks. Is the Neptune any better? I find I don't hear boats well even without the earbuds but my open water (10 meters off my back door) has little to no boat traffic during the weekdays (watermen laying crab traps) and I pull the International Swimmers Hall of Fame Buoy for visibility and solo swimming safety, but would agree that I'm taking a risk with earbuds)
  • evmoevmo Admin
    edited June 25
    I wouldn't use an MP3 player in open water, even if they were allowed, even if they were so small and convenient that I could implant them in my ears.

    One of the joys of open water swimming is getting away from the world and its electronically produced noises. The sound of water sloshing around me is inherently beautiful, and is all I need or want while swimming.

    Also I want to hear the boat prop before it gets to me first.
  • zorritonezorritone New Member
    Thanks for the inputs and good wishes. Will keep em in mind to make a final call. Saludos! :)
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Member
    I LOVE that sloshing sound!

    Glub, glub glub.....
    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.
  • MoosieMoosie Member
    I use the SwimP3's alot. I had 2 1 gig ones and the newer 2 gig ones. The Neptune replaces them now. I had issues with them having one side go out and the help desk helped a lot. They gave me the option to replace or get the newer one at a discount. The back and forth with IT took a while but in the end it worked out.

    I never thought about putting them "behind" the ear. I might have to give that a try.

    I used water proof cases before and the Bud's came off 2 times in my ear because I jammed them in and had to have someone dig it out with a bent paper clip. I know, don't push it so far in but it happens ;)

    All in all I'm pretty happy with the SwimP3's/
  • DaveypDaveyp Member
    The best one out there by far at the moment is the new FX-Sport VR1 model. What dredpiraterobts mentioned about uploading programmes is exactly what these can do - but better. If you uploaded a normal mp3 file, you would be stuck listening only to that file - no music. With the VR1 the messages play at the designated times, but return you to your music.
    Also the way it is waterproofed is by using a silicone case. This may seem like a backward step - why not have the device itself fully waterproof? Reason is that then the speakers have to be waterproof and the music quality is always tinny. The VR1 actually gives good bass [and volume] because the speakers don't have to be fully waterproof. You wear it with a swim cap they provide. It simply works and does so very well. The programmes are such a great idea and it has basically completely changed by swimming and how I perceive my training sessions. A real game changer.
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