SWIM TO THE BEAT
Enjoy your favourite songs as you swim. tries an underwater music player which lets you do that.
WHAT IT IS
The Finis Neptune is a music player you can swim with. Instead of regular earbuds, this underwater player uses bone conduction audio transmission technology, which transmits sound via your jawbone to the inner ear. It includes an MP3 player and two speakers that strap onto your swimming goggles. Place the player on the back of your head and the speakers on the sides of your face, just in front of the ears. When I used it, I felt the music playing inside my head – an interesting experience.
HOW IT WORKS
After charging it fully for three hours (by connecting it to a computer with the player’s USB cable), you can use it for up to eight hours. Music downloaded from iTunes is in M4A format, so you must convert it in iTunes to MP3 format before you can play it on this device. Transfer music files from your computer to the player via its USB cable. With a 4GB storage capacity, it holds about 1,000 songs.
Fixing the parts onto the strap of my goggles was cumbersome, but I only had to do it once, as they could be left on the goggles after my swim. The cables connecting the player and speakers were a little long and dangled against the sides of my head, but they did not bother me as I swam. The player and speakers felt comfortable against my goggles; I barely realised they were there.
It’s best to navigate the playlist on the player before putting on your goggles. An additional play and pause button on the left speaker makes it easier to control the player, but adjusting the volume is harder – I had to reach behind my head to press the buttons. Because those buttons could also be used to skip songs, I accidentally skipped some tracks while adjusting the volume.
The position of the speakers affects the clarity of music – my optimal spot for them was near the top of my jawbone. Changing the equaliser settings also improved the quality of some songs.
Unfortunately, the music can be drowned out by ambient sounds when the speakers are above water. This was most evident when I was doing the breaststroke. When I swam freestyle, one speaker was always in water and it was less noisy.
Wear swimming earplugs (available at sporting goods stores and www.decathlon.sg) to block out noise. With those, the music is almost as clear as what you would hear through regular earbuds.
Finis Neptune Waterproof MP3 Player, $279, from Axtro Sports, #02-01 Peninsula Shopping Centre, tel: 6323-9268. www.axtrosports.com