How can I listen to music while I swim laps
July 12, 2018 1:38 PM   Subscribe

I am getting into swimming for general health, but I find it is so boring to swim lap after lap. I would love to find something under $150 to play music and podcasts while I swim. I am female and could clip something onto a swimsuit strap. I don't currently own an mp3 player, so I would have to start new. Any suggestions? Are there things that I should be aware of when considering earphones, etc? For example, does water get into the ears when wearing earbuds? Any thoughts or suggestions will be so helpful!
posted by LinneaJC to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
How about wireless? Then you can leave your device poolside rather than wearing it?

I found this on google, swimming headphones. These aren't wireless, though.
posted by acidnova at 2:08 PM on July 12, 2018

Underwater Audio is the primary company in this space. I have two of their mp3 players, the Syryn and the Delphin. They're pretty good.
posted by phoenixy at 2:22 PM on July 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

I use a Swimp3 to listen to music via bone conduction. It clips to your goggles and rests against your temples and broadcasts into your head. It works best if you also wear earplugs and mostly keep your head underwater. I can't understand the words of podcasts because of background and splashing noise, but that is typical for me with many audio setups in similar environments, so it might still work for you. It is very effective for swimming laps, however:

1) It doesn't work with protected files/purchased music-- you have to rip or download without copy protection, so if all your music is purchased via iTunes or something, it won't work.

2) Each successive model since the first has failed after about 3 years of good service. It's usually the wires connecting the unit or the charging surface. The most recent model has been the most reliable.

3) I'm not buying another one because the FINIS customer service/warranty people are some of the rudest and least helpful I've ever encountered.

My plan is to switch to the waterproofed mp3 player with earbuds in the future-- I wear earplugs anyway, and most of those units seem to be a lot cheaper. Anyway, you might like the Swimp3 if you give it a try!
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:23 PM on July 12, 2018

Wirecutter has a guide including a $60 recommendation.
posted by caek at 2:57 PM on July 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

If you don't already own an mp3 player, then you want one of these. Built-in mp3 player, waterproof, great for swimming. I use them for the gym, and have infrequently used them while swimming, but the few times I have I didn't notice any problems with water getting in the ear.
posted by satoshi at 3:01 PM on July 12, 2018

I use bone conductor ones, since I have issues with water getting in my ears and I want a tight ear seal. I have these and they work well.
posted by greermahoney at 3:53 PM on July 12, 2018

I have Underwater Audio's modified (waterproofed) Shuffle (pricier now, because they can't get more Shuffles). Their earbuds are great, and block water about 95% of the time for me (the exceptions being mostly me not seating it correctly).

If you're going to listen to long podcasts, I started with the Syryn, but if you accidentally hit the track button wrong (which is also the volume button), it will jump you to the next track, and there's no way to get back to where you were. You can go to the beginning of any track, but not the last point you listened.

Swapping to the Shuffle, where a) volume and track are different, b) if you skip ahead, you can hit the back button, and it will take you to the last played point, and c) the waterproofing makes the buttons a little more stiff, with less chance of accidentally doing something when I adjust goggles or whatever (and VoiceOver allows navigation between playlists, if you want) turned out to be worth the extra money for me.

Length of cord is also an issue to think about - my Underwater Audio headphones wore out, and I got a cheaper model for the interim that has either a very short cord with coils (just long enough to clip behind my head) or a much longer (like 2+ foot) extension cord, rather than the UA cord that was long enough to have a little space but not much extra. I put my hair up in a bun on the top of my head, loop the cord around the bun loosely a few times, stick my swimming cap on, and it doesn't bother me, but it's more of a pain when I keep listening when I shower and change after swimming.
posted by modernhypatia at 10:03 AM on July 13, 2018

I have a waterproof iPod shuffle/waterproof headphones that I don't use anymore. MeMail me and I'd be happy to send them to you.
posted by Aubergine at 3:26 PM on July 13, 2018

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