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Because when you're out on the course, all that's there is your internal monolog

Review: Finis Swimp3

As my swimming training sessions started getting longer and longer, I started to find the silence and wooshing of water, while generally calming, to be somewhat monotonous and, on a bad day, boring or tedious.

Knowing that some smart person out there had likely solved this problem, I started looking for waterproof mp3 players or waterproof headphones and cases for existing players I may have.

My research led me to the Finis Swimp3.1

The Swimp3 is a 1G mp3 player that delivers sound to your auditory nerve via bone conduction through bones in your skull. Compared to many other solutions in the space, the swimp3 is pretty small and streamlined. There is no arm-band or big clunky tube that you hide behind your head. Everything is contained in the 2 pods that attach to your mask-strap. In the air, with all the other sound pollution, they’re virtually inaudible. However, with earplugs in and your face in the water, the sound is surprisingly good. Bass response is, perhaps, a little less than would be desired (I tend to listen to dance music when swimming and some of the driving beat is missing), but still very listenable and enjoyable.

The only negative thing I’d say about the swimp3 is that the user-feedback for commands is a little weak. Different flashes of a single green led imply power-on/off, playing, standby, charging, charged. A multi-colour led or more distinctive flash patterns would help the user ensure that the unit was actually turned off (and not in standby-draining the battery). Some way to check the charge status, other than plugging it in to charge, would also be a great addition.

Generally, I’m pretty happy with my swimp3. I’d definitely buy it again having found nothing better on the market.

It’s unfortunate that triathlon rules prohibit use of mp3 players anytime during the race. I understand why, but since the swimp3 doesn’t plug your ears (and many swimmers swim with earplugs anyhow), it seems like a rule that needs review ;)

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