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3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 20 April 2013
USAGE CONDITIONS:
I have been using the Walkman for four weeks now. I am swimming every second day for 1.5 hrs - all strokes but majorly front-crawl and backstroke and some fly and breaststroke also.
I'm a competing approx. four times a year. So, one could say I'm not a pro-athlete but not a pure amateur who swims for fitness purposes only.

I'm telling this to you so you know under what exact conditions the player is used and how it performs.

GETTING STARTED:
When I bought the player and used it for the first time, I was able to reproduce the malfunction other reviewers describe here.
If too much water gets into your ear it gets into the player too and as water isn't particularly good in transmitting sound waves, the volume goes down to a level that I would describe as: the TV/Radio is playing in the background.. It's there but you don't really pay attention to it.
You don't have to let the player dry out over night, with some firm tapping as described in the manual (don't be too shy.. it has to be quite firm without being too hard) you are able to get some of the water out immediately and continue at 75% of the maximum volume - which is quite a lot as the player gets very loud.

The second time I was using the player this issue happened to me much later in my swim-session when I tumble-turnded and pushed of the wall quite hard (We were doing 100m individual medley sprints - for those who wondered). One of the earpieces fell out and some water went in again, the volume went down and I was staying at the end of the lane tapping the water out for a minute or so. Adjusting the strap that gives additional tightness for the player helped and it didn't happen again until the end of the session.

AND ONCE YOU GOT STARTED:
Since then I never faced any severe problems or issues with the player. It took me a while to figure out how to fit it on properly but since than, swimming with music makes the training sessions much more fun and enjoyable.

ADDITIONAL OPERATING HINTS
- An additional hint would probably be to put the player on BEFORE you go into the pool as obviously water gets into your ear and you seal it in your auditory channel if you then put the player on.
- If the player slips off: adjust the neck strap to give the player extra tightness so it doesn't happen again. Additionally, try to get as much water out of your ears and the player as you can before you continue as otherwise, again, you seal the water in your ears and it gets into the player.
- If water gets into the player and the volume drops to a VERY low level, try to tap out some water as described in the manual. IT HELPS (even if it doesn't get out the water completely for the current session you're in).
- Try to find your right earpieces: I didn't mention it above, but between the first and the second time I used the player, I tried some of the earpieces. For me, the pre-fitted ones fit best. But it seems that you sometimes need a different size for your left and right ear.

SUMMARY
I was struggling whether I should rate this player with 4 or 5 stars.
I decided to give it 5 as the initial problems weren't a malfunction of the player.
Here's why: If water gets in, the volume drops. Thats not a problem unique to this device, it's a problem called PHYSICS. Water is bad at transmitting sound-waves. As soon as the water gets out again, the player works fine.
This can happen to you with every other water-usable MP3 player.

Yes - one may say: Sony could do better ensuring the earpieces are sealed with your auditory channel to avoid water getting in. But hey - if you read the manual, they tell you pretty much everything that I just told you, i.e. if you read it, you know how to use it properly.
If you use it properly - it's brilliant:
- Nice sound quality
- You hardly notice that you are wearing it
- Good battery life
- Easy to use

Overall this Walkman is fantastic to make your swimming more fun!
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VINE VOICEon 16 May 2013
Colour Name: Blue|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Seeing as I'm genetically half fish (on my dads side, don't ask), I jumped at this clever little gizmo when it popped up. They do what they say on the tin and work underwater. Not flawlessly, as several other reviewers have pointed out, but they FAR exceeded my expectations, and a few sharp taps is enough to clear the sound when water does get in.

The sound quality is clear and crisp with good levels of bass and EQ in general, and the watertight nature of the earbuds means they are rather good at keeping out external noise, which is particularly good for gym workouts, especially if like me you can't stand the cheesy euro-trance and pop rubbish they tend to play for "motivation" at gyms. I've always preferred drowning out that garbage with some solid death metal, so whether on the treadmill or in the pool, these do the trick. I did find it rather disconcerting doing swimming laps to the dulcet tones of Slayer, but once I got used to the weirdness of listening to music in the pool, I found the whole experience to be very therapeutic, and ended up floating on my back, relaxing, and blasting my eardrums with the new Anaal Nathrakh record.

Mint.
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on 10 August 2014
I found these to be inadequate for swimming. They might be OK for leisurely swims by non-swimmers but they will leave anyone who is more serious about the sport disappointed.

I swim 3 times a week - 5 km each practice (about 1h 40min). I've had these for about 4 months now.

First, you have to know that once water gets into the headphone the sound is barely perceptible. Water can get in simply by the water pressure breaking the seal due to a splash or you might knock them out with your shoulder or upper arm - their design makes this a likely event.

So far, they've consistently failed every time after about 20-30 minutes of swimming. After water has gone into the headphone it becomes basically an expensive ear plug because you cannot hear anything. What's worse is that water seems to be soaked inside the headphone and they take days to dry out. If water get's in the headphone, it will not play properly even when being used outside the water. You have to wait for the water inside to evaporate which takes days.

Battery - if you put the volume to the max (and you will want to when swimming) then the battery appears to last up to 4h but not more (it actually is more like 2.5 - 3h).

Comfort - not great to be honest. If you use a cap you have to tuck them in. You probably will want to use a silicone cap and the tube that wraps around your head will usually position itself between your skull and your year. This becomes extremely uncomfortable after a short time. Of course you can't do anything about it if you've already entered the pool out of fear that moving your headphones will get water inside the plugs. The other thing I found uncomfortable were the plugs but I eventually got used to them.

The charging device of these headphones is horrible. They are so unintuitive that I can't tell if mine are broken or that's how they just are. The docking station doesn't seem to work all the time and it takes a while to get the headphones to start charging. This is very frustrating because often you will leave them to charge only to find out (just before your swim) that the battery is empty.

In conclusion, save yourself some money and skip this one. Look elsewhere. These headphones were made for light swims/jogs in the rain, not full submergence.
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on 19 March 2014
I bought this MP3 player because I was so desperately bored swimming, but had resolved to swim for an hour 3 times a week.

Below are some points that I've noted:-

- I spent a long time making sure the earplugs fitted perfectly (they supply extra ones) before getting into a pool after reading some of the reviews on here about leaking earplugs letting water interfere with the sound. I had no problem at all with them falling out or water getting in, the sound quality was excellent.

- I made sure the black neck band was tightened to stop them from moving about when I was swimming, they stayed in place perfectly, though I had to wear my long hair in a ponytail (which I do to swim anyway) for them to be most comfortable.

- They were easy to charge up and a case of drag and drop to add music (or use Windows Media Player to sync with a playlist).

- I found that music was great to listen to while swimming; but I also enjoyed listening to audio books. I've never listened to audio books before and I'd always want music in the gym; but my swim sessions are more about relaxing than going hell for leather, and despite never having listened to an audio book before in my life; I've purchased quite a few now.

- Time seems to go much faster in the pool with music or a book to listen to!

- The headphones are sturdy and the cable feels like it's good quality, they do not feel cheap at all.

- The power button is the only thing that I don't like about these headphones; it is a bit fiddly and I kept pressing 'stop' on the MP3 player before I turned it off, so when I turned it on and the music didn't start I was confused and so kept turning it on and off again. This was mainly due to the fact that I was pausing the music before turning it off, and that I was trying to turn it on them while it was on my ears already. I started to turn it on before putting it onto my ears, and within a few uses I'd got used to the controls enough to be able to manipulate them while wearing the headset.

Overall, this is the best MP3 player I've ever owned, most versatile and comfortable!
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on 28 March 2013
I read the various reviews about this product before finally pulling the trigger. Some said it was unsuitable for use while swimming but having now had this item for a few days I can safely report it works perfectly well for me.

Having said that today while in the pool one of the channels suddenly stopped working (the other was fine) and I thought "..oops the negative reviews were right..!" However I think this was because water had entered the unit via the ear pod as I suspect I hadn't fitted it correctly. I stopped, took it off and gave it a shake, replaced it and this seems to have resolved the issue. So, as the other reviewers suggested, it's important that you choose the correct ear buds (I haven't tried them all yet, so I may not have an issue such as I found today at all). In other words make sure you don't get water directly into the ear buds (seems a strange this to say about a "waterproof" MP3 player but there are limits!).

The player comes with an additional rubber restraining band which can be fitted for a more snug hold - not sure that this really works too well, but I'll reserve judgement on this until such time as I've used the unit for longer.

There will be some purists who claim the sound quality isn't perfect but that's not what defines this model. Yes, I'm sure you will get better sound quality elsewhere (for example my iPod) but again there are always extraneous sounds generated by your swimming (or running/ gym) activity which will detract from whatever you're listening to. Trust me, the sound quality is fine.

I don't know if I could wear this for any extended period of time as you need to push the ear buds in quite firmly to prevent potential water ingress, and this may prove uncomfortable over longer periods. I had mine on today for about an hour and felt this was probably long enough, although I'm sure I'll get used to them over time.

Loading material onto this unit proved extremely easy - I already have an iTunes library, so it was a simple matter to drag-and-drop onto this so now I have Bruce Springsteen, the Stones and Otis Redding (and many others) for company while I swim! The memory capacity is "only" 4 GB but this has allowed me to load on a large enough volume of music. I noticed that while loading music on to the unit for some reason the tracks from each album don't always show in the correct order in their entirety; some other album tracks somehow become interspersed - not always in logical order. Doubtless there is some explanation for this, but in any case I usually engage the Shuffle mode so I hear random tracks anyway.

There only a few little niggles, and although nothing to cry about I hold back giving it 5 Stars.
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on 27 August 2015
Brilliant product and still working well after 2 years of frequent use. I don't actually use mine for swimming, but instead for sweaty gym work outs. The earphones stay in ear better than almost all other headphones I have used in the past. They don't break / degrade as easily due to sweat getting inside the ear. Not having wires/separate MP3 player is a big bonus. Sound quality is quite good, although perhaps not the best I have had through mid range headphones. Most annoying feature is no "seek function" which makes listening to long mix MP3s annoying if there is a song you want to fast forward - you cant. Really easy to load music onto it - comes up on the computer like a USB drive - no messing with unnecessary software. Works well for me on linux and windows computers. Overall a great bit of kit.
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on 27 October 2015
It works if you keep your head out the water but just does not stay in my ear if I start swimming a bit more aggressively. Soon as water leaks in it is totally unusable. Tried using it with a swimming hat but not much better. Tested the different buds and they vary from far too small or far too large so stuck with the medium size.

Would give it 1 star but its fine if you keep your head out the water. Once you start submerging your head it lasts about 5 minutes on 1 ear then the other ear then goes after 10 minutes. I normally battle on with a slight tune in my ear but its like listening to your neighbours music through the wall.

As I paid about £50 I keep trying it but it disappoints me every single time. Not prepared to buy anything else and be stung again. Will stick with this and enjoy my 10 min of music.
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on 14 April 2014
Although sharing music with my Itunes library was easy enough, audio books are not compatible. I then wasted money on a download from Audible, again the file was incompatible. It should be made a bit more obvious on the Amazon page that not all files work with this player.
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on 30 October 2013
I bought these specifically for swimming and a was at first extremely disappointed because even using the largest ear buds provided they kept coming out of my ears when swimming. I saw a YouTube review of someone diving in and having no problems so went about trying to solve the ear bud problem. Everyone's ears are different and you need to find an ear bud that suits you, is comfortable and tight, and does not let in water. The ones Sony provide, for me, are useless, other people have had no problems.. The perfect ear buds for me are Xcessor Triple Flange Conical Replacement Silicone Earbuds, available from Amazon, they fit like a glove and are extremely comfortable With these ear buds fitted I would give the Sony Walkman Waterproof All-in-One Sports MP3 Player 5 stars.
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on 1 April 2013
I have been using this daily for swimming since the beginning of March and have had none of the issues people talk about with water getting in the ear buds. I use the biggest size ones and they seal the ears perfectly.

It certainly makes my swimming time far less tedious would highly recommend this product.
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