SWIM TO THE BEAT

En­joy your favourite songs as you swim. tries an un­der­wa­ter mu­sic player which lets you do that.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Smart Shopper New - MELISSA CHANG

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.

WEAR­ING IT

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.

US­ING IT

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.

SOUND QUAL­ITY

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

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