Manufacturer: Underwater Audio
Products: Short-cord Swimbuds headphones/Aquasonic headphones both used with the AudioFlood waterproof iPod Shuffle.
Price: Swimbuds - $30 /Aquasonic $30
Color (tested): Swimbuds – White / Aquasonic – Black with blue ear buds.
Where Tested: Various Pools
This is actually a follow-up review from when I reviewed the AudioFlood waterproof iPod Shuffle. In it I had mentioned the issues with the headphones that had come with it. The manufacturer asked that I review their new short-cord version and their Aquasonic head phones.
Figure 1 – AudioFlood’s waterproofed iPod Shuffle with waterproof long cord headphones and original Apple container
Figure 2 – Short Cord Swimbuds
As mentioned, I had originally tested the long cord version of these headphones and found that size does matter. Well, in this case the length of the headphone cord. Wrapping the cord up and stuffing in my swim cap turned out to be more of a hassle then I expected. As it turns out I wasn’t the only one and they came out with the short cord version. This time I was able to put on the earbud size that worked for me, plug it into my AudioFlood iPod and start swimming. The earbuds stayed in place and the sound quality was good. While I didn’t dive with them I did do things like flip turns to see if they would stay in place, which they did. The one adjustment I did do was to remove the plastic ear piece that wrap around each ear. For me they were not doing much and more of a hinderance. The instructions discuss that some may not want these and provide simple instructions on how to remove. One note on the ear buds for these. They are designed to create a seal in your ear. They are fairly comfortable and come with various sizes. I did try a six mile run with them and at the end my ears were a little sore. For running I recommend switching the ear buds to the non-seal bud provided, which is what I do.
Overall, I really liked this new version. I don’t swim with music every time but when I do I use these headphones.
Figure 3 – Aquasonic Headphones
These headphones are waterproof but really aimed at things other than lap swimming such as kayaking, paddleboarding, or other sports where you may get wet. That said I did try them for swimming and found that, while they did work, they were really not for swimming (should be fairly self-evident). I did have trouble with the ear buds coming out, sound issues, etc. So I took these out for another water sport: running in the rain. For this they worked okay. They stayed in place, water didn’t affect them, and overall they did work. My only issue was with the sound quality and the noise from the headphones themselves. First, the sound was okay but compared to many of the standard headphones available it was not that great. Second the bridge piece caused noise issues. If you knock the bridge or it rubs on something while you are running, you hear it. I was notified that the manufacturer recognized that there was an issue and the newer version that is out has corrected these issues.
As mentioned earlier the short cord headphones are what I now swim with. They work well, have good sound and are fairly comfortable. You can switch the ear buds to more traditional style for running. If you do water sports where ease of putting on/off is important the Aquasonic headphones are a better choice.