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Customer Review

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works a treat, much better than Finis Swimp3, 25 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Speedo Aquabeat 1GB Waterproof MP3 Player (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I received a Finis Swimp3 for my birthday in August, and struggled for 3 months trying to get it to work. It was technically easy to use, but basically I couldn't hear it very well while swimming. I am a computer specialist by profession and had no trouble increasing the volume of my mp3s to pump up the volume a bit, but could not get the unit functioning at a comfortable volume. Basically, the amazing bone conduction technology didn't work. A couple of friends at the pool (I swim more or less a mile a day) tried it and found the same problem. I sent the unit back, got a replacement, and it was no different. The second unit, after being used for a few weeks at max volume, was eventually frequently distorting. I tried wearing earplugs whilst using the unit - it actually made the sound quieter, not louder, though it cut out most of the splashing noise so it was on balance a little improved.

Anyway, I was very unhappy with the swimp3 and sent it back eventually for a refund. So I then bought the speedo unit, despite reading VERY mixed reviews. I tried the earplugs before going into the pool - they were tight and a little painful really, but I thought I'd give it a go.

It was wonderful!! The volume is superb, I play it on quite a low volume and hear it clear as a bell. Sound quality is fine. The earplugs did take a little getting used to, and a little adjusting so they pointed into the ear canal correctly (the supplied instructions didn't make the process clear at all! it is fairly simple, but you do have to rotate the earplugs on the attached earholder things to use them). In the end though, the experience was superb.

Only one problem - when removing the earplugs the rubber tip of the right one tends to get stuck in my ear - and needs to be removed with tweezers! Not as scary as it sounds - it protrudes a little bit and was easy to grasp with tweezers, but not with bare fingers. I have written to speedo to see if they can do anything to help with this, perhaps to supply some other rubber tips.

Both of these units (Finis swimp3 and Speedo aquabeat) are easy to transfer music to - I use mediamonkey, but the process is similar in most media players. Aquabeat doesn't shuffle the songs, but I get mediamonkey to assign random titles to the songs and it has the same effect.

My conclusion - Swimp3 just did not work. I struggled with it for 3 months and gave up. The speedo unit worked from the first day perfectly (apart from the issue with the earbuds, hence the 4 not 5 stars). But it WORKS. It's wicked!!

UPDATE: I got in touch with speedo, sent an email saying I was having trouble with the headphones getting stuck. Two days later a new set of headphones (new type) arrived in the post - brilliant service. They were smaller , what I presume are the newer type. BUT, despite being easier to put on, the headphones aren't as loud as the old ones - they were just about loud enough at full volume, but I was always wishing for a little more volume. So I've gone back to the original headphones. I am just a little careful when removing them to avoid leaving the bud in my ear. I haven't had a problem recently, and my ears don't feel uncomfortable anymore.

The great thing about the speedo unit (as compared to the finis swimp3) is that ANY pair of underwater headphones will fit. I have been well impressed with their customer service, they sent a new pair (worth 15 quid I think) without a question. I'm going to see what sort of effect a few months wear and tear have on them.

Oh, and finally, some people complain about the unit hanging down the back of your neck, or not fitting properly? It fits perfectly, I think it might give some resistance if you wear your goggles strap near the top of your head, but sling it low (like I always have done), below the bump at the back of the head, and it fits perfectly.

I found it useful to use a tiny bit of twist tie on each side to attach the headphone cable along the goggles strap. Before I did this it was either an attempt at twisting the headphones round the goggles strap each time, or feeling a tug on my ears when the cable was flailing about behind me whilst swimming.

Crickey, I've written an essay!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Feb 2010 16:40:36 GMT
I have been battling with my Dolphin style mp3 player and found I had bought a duff copy so cannot compare to the real thing. However I recognise many of the issues with all the ear plug type. I have seriously considered the Swimp3 player so this review was most helpful as finances are very tight. Looks like the Speedo Aquabeat may be the one. Many thanks for a thorough and helpful review

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Apr 2011 01:57:23 BDT
How did you assign the tracks titles form random playback with MediaMonkey?
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