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on 20 July 2014
Excellent product
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on 5 April 2017
Great. 2 Years lifetime than dead
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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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on 22 March 2015
I bought these headphones as I am a personal trainer and spend a lot of time in the gym and triathlon training. I was excited to use these as there were no cables to get tangled and they were waterproof. I used for a few weeks in dry conditions, and found the left headphone suddenly went dead.

Very unimpressed that they were not anywhere near as durable as they were advertised to be, and I now have to fork out for a new pair. Won't be buying again!
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on 3 October 2013
I purchased this mp3 player to use solely for swimming as I use my iPod with sport Bose headphones in the gym. I read the Sony guide online and tried out a few of the different ear buds before going anywhere near the pool, and also played around with how my goggle strap would sit once I had it on as I didn't want to be messing around with all this once I got there.
I was really pleased how easy it was to load it up with music from Itunes on a mac and the 3 minute charge feature is excellent. I can only describe using this as a strange experience at first. I've been swimming on and off for years and have never been able to listen to music like this before, but you quickly get used to it. I did have some strange glances from other pool users though, as even though the idea has been around for a while I've not personally seen many people using them.
I found they felt much more secure with a goggle strap on over the top - I tried swimming a few lengths without goggles and although they didn't fall off they felt a little loose. I didn't experience any of the problems others seem to have - the sound remained loud enough and clear for the duration on my hour plus swim mostly doing freestyle. I love swimming but sometimes laps can become a little boring, but with this in the pool I didn't want to stop!
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on 17 August 2013
I use them for walking the dogs and running in all weathers, absolutely perfect for anyone wanting good sound in all conditions.
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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 12 January 2016
I have bought two pairs of these headphones - one for me; one for my wife. Both have had to go back to be serviced within warranty, and one pair has now stopped working altogether. The minor problem was water getting into the headphones and muffling the sound. This was corrected when the original earbuds were replaced with waterproof ones (you would think that waterproof earbuds might be standard given the nature of the headphones). The major problem was the connectivity between the headphones and the charging/MP3 loading cradle. This connection frequently does not work, either not charging or not registering the storage on the computer (therefore making loading songs impossible). The problem commences soon after purchase and graduaually gets worse, until, in the case of one of the pairs, it no longer works. Sony suggest gentle brushing with a toothbrush. This did temporarily help, but soon the poor performance returned. A shame, since in terms of design they are first rate.
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on 7 September 2014
I was looking forward to getting these so that I could use them when exercising. So far I have had 10 minutes of use and hours of fiddling trying to get them to recharge and/or work. The controls are fiddly and imprecise. The battery flattens quickly. My computer (using Windows 7) fails to recognise them meaning endless resets and restarts.
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on 1 September 2013
I have to swim for health reasons but find it incredibly boring. I was loaded this device with BBC Radio 4 programmes I had downloaded and was thenable to swim happily for more than my target hour a day.

However, there are some issues. Even with my gentle breastroke/my version of backstroke, the earplugs can fill with water which blocks the sound. It only happened with me because the right one was a little lose, even with the biggest ear plug provided. When I pushed it back in, any water in my ear was sometimes forced into the earpiece. It is a simple task to clear, which is covered in the instructions (though you have to look carefully for it).

I found that, by removing the earpiece, then tapping it quite firmly on a cloth a dozen times, this did the trick.

However, I have just had a more serious issue and have had to return it as faulty. Whatever I did, if failed to connect to any of my computers (USB) which stated that the device was not recognised. I suspect a fault on the connecting "prongs". No connection to a PC? Then this item is useless. It will not charge and it is not possible to transfer files to it.

The Amazon.co.uk returns procedure was brilliant and a replacement had been despatched the next day after completing the online form. Cost of postage was reclaimed by using the online chat facility. The full amount was credited.

I hope the new one will remain fault-free as I can't now swim for any time without it!

There is one more issue. It is not possible to fast forward or rewind through a file. So, with a 40 or 60 minute programme this can be a pain especially as, once you connect the device to the PC and access the files, it forgets where it had got to in playing back the last file played. The only way round this for me was to edit the programme I had been listening to, but not completed, and chop off the part I had already heard. This is a silly shortcoming and one that they could easily overcome with a firmware update.
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