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on 11 April 2014
What do you want from a waterproof MP3 player?
I want a reliable product that's small, easy to charge and easy to transfer songs to.
For me the Speedo Aquabeat V:1 ticks all these boxes.
I purchased the same player to replace a 3-4yr old Speedo aquabeat that finally gave up.
It's worked tirelessly for that time without trouble.
I swim 1hr - 1hr 40mins 3-4 times per week.
I like the aquabeat as it's small and light enough to fit on the back of my googles. I don't need a display and the advance button, pause and volume are easy to use with the unit attached to the back of my head.
It's easy to charge via either my mac or iPhone plug (with supplied lead) and the battery life is pretty good.
I reformatted the unit with my mac and simply drag non drm mp3 music from iTunes to the aquabeat.

If I get the same lifespan out of this unit as I did with the last one I'll be delighted.
At £34 it's cheaper than the sony and less than 1/2 the price of the finis which is bulky and only works well when you're submerged.

Cons: Need to ensure you've got a really good earphone fit. I find the second supplied flanged bud works best for me.
Like any waterproof product the earphones only last 6mths -1yr before requiring replacement (this is similar to other products I've used)
I use speedo replacement earphones or Exeze (really good for the price)
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on 12 April 2014
The player is small and unencumbering, and is easy to use by feel alone due to the textured buttons. It stays firmly attached to my goggles. 1Gb memory capacity sounds minimal these days but in practice I find it more than enough space for an "exercise" playlist several hours long, and I actually quite like having those selected tracks eventually come back round again. Battery life is very good - I haven't let it go flat on me but it has played for over 4 hours before I thought I ought to give it a recharge just in case. The sound quality seems fine to me. The supplied headphones broke after about 15-20 swims (the left channel just became crackling static). I tried "Beat Bone" bone-conduction headphones which were absolute rubbish, and "Northcore" headphones which are proving to be better than the ones that come with the Aquabeat - they sound better and stay in my ears better.
*Update*
After about 2 years and maybe 40 or so swims it suddenly died. I cant get it open to perform an autopsy and establish cause of death, but it would be interesting to understand why a device so apparently well sealed & shock-proof with no moving parts would fail. Given the price for such a meagre specification, this player really does have to stay waterproof and keep working, so I am now downgrading it to 3 stars. I replaced it with a no-brand Chinese player that costs less than a third of the Aquabeat but is performing well so far.
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VINE VOICEon 13 April 2011
I've had my Aquabeat for probably over 6 months now and have used it several times a week, most weeks, at the gym. I listen mostly to audiobooks in the pool and the sauna and I have to say it makes swimming and sitting in the heat SO much more interesting. On that score alone, the Aquabeat was definitely worth the outlay.

Charging and file transfer are handled via a USB cable with a jack plug which goes into the unit's headphone jack socket. A charge lasts a very good while - I probably recharge mine every two or three weeks, and it's never actually run out of juice while I've been at the gym. The earphones come with two or three types of insert and I found they fit OK (the wraparounds which go behind the ears take a bit of earbending to fit, but that might be just because of the size of my ears) and once they're on they stay in place, aren't too uncomfy and deliver pretty good sound quality - with the volume high you can comfortably hear the tracks over the sound of a pretty violent jacuzzi/hydro pool. The unit itself fits quite easily* (see below) onto the strap of your goggles.

As a previous reviewer has mentioned, the interface design is a little compromised for ease of use and this causes some problems. In order to make waterproofing easier and to simplify the operation when the unit is strapped behind your head onto your goggles strap, the user interface is extremely basic. There are 4 buttons: volume up, volume down - both situated on the side of the unit - and power on/play and power off - both very large buttons taking up most of the face of the device and very easy to press. Power on/play and Power off also act as 'skip' controls for moving tracks forward and back during play.

Here is my biggest gripe about using the Aquabeat - I personally find it all too easy to accidentally press the skip buttons when you're listening to tracks, especially if you try listening to tracks as you're putting your swimming cap and goggles on or off at the same time. If you listen to music then I guess this isn't a big deal but it is *massively annoying* if, like me, you listen almost exclusively to audiobooks because audiobooks tend to have very long tracks. Hitting 'skip backward' accidentally when you're 20 minutes into a chapter is no joke because you have little choice but to listen to it all over again.

The earphone jack plug does tend to 'fur up' a bit from, I assume, the chlorine in the water so you'll need to scrape it off with your fingernail every so often. Also, my Aquabeat stopped working the other day but pressing the reset button on the underside fixed the problem.

Design flaws (and my clumsy fingers) aside, if you find swimming and pools relaxing but more than a little boring then I can recommend the Aquabeat thoroughly. I liked it enough to buy my wife one and I'd probably consider buying another if mine broke.
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on 4 December 2010
Update 11/12/13. I've had this three years now, used 2 x 40 minutes per week. The earphones needed replacement and cheap generic ones worked fine. It can be difficult to connect to my PC but eventually it makes a connection. But apart from that, it's still going strong. When it fails I'll buy another.

I have had a bad start with my Speedo Aquabeat. It suddenly stopped working on its third use. Amazon quickly replaced it and I have only used the replacement once so far. Apart from that I can say that it is far superior to the Nu Dolphin which I had for two years before it failed. Compared with the Nu Dolphin:
1. it is much easier to operate the controls when it is attached to your goggles,
2. It has a higher volume so it is easier to hear (I only use it for speech podcasts),
3. it has standard 3.5mm jack connection so it would presumably work with other manufacturers' waterproof earphones,
4. it comes with software which ensures it restarts at the point you previously turned it off, which is very useful if you finish a swim 30 minutes into a 40 minute podcast - with the Nu, you had to go back to the beginning,
5. it is readily recognised by my PCs - this was an intermittent but persistent problem throughout the Nu's life and one which Nu customer service would not help with.
The only other comment is that the behind-ear clips fitted to the Speedo earphones are far too small to fit my European adult male ears. However you can remove the clips and I find that the earphones stay in place (fairly well) if you attach the cable to the goggles just above the ear.
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on 18 September 2010
I try to swim pretty regularly. And swimming is a great cardio workout (no impact, whole body etc..). However, compared to other sports, I do find swimming for 40 minutes pretty boring. But not anymore! Over the years I've tried a couple of other waterproof audio players - and quickly abandoned them. But this actually works. Now I can listen to a podcast or music and the time passes quickly.

For me the headphones took a little experimentation to get right. One of the sets of pads fits my ears great - I find you need to get a really tight seal. And it does take you three or four minutes to get it setup and fitted before you can start swimming - but its well worth it.

16 October 2010 - UPDATE - Oh no! I've just come back from holiday. I was really looking forward to a swim in the hotel pool with my Aquabeat. But it was completely DEAD! Amazon have been great and are sending a replacement - however, I'm reducing my rating to two stars because of this. Very disappointing.
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on 22 November 2011
This was the second Aquabeat we had bought,the first one was faulty,but on
the second one,the information listed was incorrect,or should I say incomplete.
We bought this as a present for our son's 40th birthday,however he has been
unable to use it as nothing was said that 'IT WAS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH AN APPLE
COMPUTER'.
It has now had to be been returned,no trouble in doing this so far,but refund still
to be made,as this was obviously the sellers fault,but it was one problem too many
and we will never buy anyone else an electronic gadget again.
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on 2 August 2011
I like this item. I tried it for the first time yesterday. The software is very easy to use (I was expecting more of a challenge than it presented). A few gripes - the clip on the unit is only really good for attaching to goggles and having the item attached to the back of your head is not the most practical way of operating it! The earphones are a bit strange but they were OK when I removed the bits which hook over your ears. They stayed in and the sound quality was OK. The short earphone cable is a sensible design - saves me from getting tangled up in the wires. The MP3 itself is very basic but it does the job. Although I wouldn't abandon my IPOD when I'm in the gym, the aquabeat is a useful little gadget for using in the water.
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on 30 August 2016
A real changer in making swimming easier, as a regular swimmer who likes to swim a lot of lengths this helps work the pace of your swimming harder. The headphones fitted my ears really well and the mp3 player clipped to my goggles really securely even coping with tumble turns and a few lengths of butterfly. I found the battery life to last a good 5 hours and would probably last beyond that but I never have the luxury of swimming long than that.
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on 7 June 2013
These really are the best invention EVER for thrashing out lengths at the pool & making the boredom bearable. I get so many people asking where to get one from that has become even more annoying than the boredom itself. I have found the sound to be perfectly acceptable when you consider the environment it is designed for. I don't rate the earphones it comes with though - I just could not get them in my ears (I have completely normal ears - no freaky alien ones here) so I bought separate waterproof headphones that just have the normal inner ear bud bit on them & now it is perfect. Definitely get one!
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on 22 September 2010
UPDATE: - March 2011.
Replacement from Speedo delivered with the usual no fuss efficiency via Amazon. Replacement has a set of three different ear plugs, not the same as my original product. Tried the largest (OK I have fat ears) and they fit very well. I'd imagine that the three size would cover the majority of folk. They don't fall out, ever. They don't get stuck in the ear, ever. They are confortable to use. I used the product twice a week for about 1 hour each time for about 6 months now and realy couldn't do without it. Sound quality is fine. It's just the best motivator possible - really the hour just zips by. Not a fiddle at all to put on and you don't even notice it in the water. I even shower with it on. Perfectly functional PC interface, simple drag and drop. Easy to recharge - every 3-4 hours just USB it to your PC for a while and its ready to go - sealed internal rechargable battery. Seems durable - I've dropped it a few times and it's still fine. I'd expect it to last a while yet. So - in conclusion .... it works so long as you have the right plugs. Maybe Speedo updated the product so I got better plugs in the replacement ??? Who knows.

ORIGINAL: - September 2010.
OK, like me you've read all the other reviews but still want to know - does it work?

Well the answer is .... yes. The first time I used the Aquabeat it was fantastic. OK you have to fiddle with the headphones but its no big deal and you don't notice the wires in the water. I swim 1 mile in 40 mins twice a week, so I'm not fast, but not that slow. I'd imagine it would work fine even if you were a fast swimmer. Sound quality is good, music - just drag and drop no problems.

The second time I used the Aquabeat when I pulled an ear piece out of my ear to listen to someone one of the earbuds stuck in my ear, . Not nice. It was stuck in my ear for an hour whilst I completed my swim without music and drove home. Not easy to get out ... tweezers when I got home.

OK- packed some tweezers in my kit bag and off I went again. Third swim and one of the headphones produces no sound. Lovely. Its not the player, other headphones work well. So now I'll be workng out how to send it back ......

Shame - this could be a great product and frankly it is so amazing to listen to whilst swimming that I will be trying another. I'l be very careful pulling the earpieces out and hope the headphones don't fail!
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