Apple is a brand that’s known for creating products that mix impeccable design with superb function. But as much as we love Apple, there are instances where the functionality falls a bit short of what it could be. Case in point: the iPod shuffle. The smallest member of the iPod family, the shuffle is geared directly to athletes, offering a compact, clip-on, go anywhere design that lets you listen to your favorite music without getting in your way. There’s only one problem: if you’re an athlete, you’re probably going to get wet, whether it’s rain, sweat, etc. Furthermore, there are a huge number of sports that take place in the water, further limiting the shuffle’s usefulness.
Enter Underwater Audio.
They take a conventional 4th generation Apple iPod shuffle, and they transform it into what it should have been in the first place: waterproof. You can wear it swimming, surfing, in the shower, or any other place you can imagine. And the best part? There’s no ugly cases that alter the shuffle’s sleek design – Underwater Audio’s waterproof shuffle looks, feels and functions identically to a standard iPod shuffle. It’s just awesome.
As an endurance triathlete training for my first Ironman, I can tell you firsthand that I spend long amounts of time both on land and in the water, and if it wasn’t for music, my workouts would not be even the slightest bit enjoyable. Music helps to keep my mind off of the endless circles I’m running around the track in the winter and the three hours I’m spending in the saddle on my trainer. The problem was that before my Underwater Audio shuffle, the only thing music didn’t get me through was my swim workout (which is perhaps why most triathletes consider swimming their weakest sport). No one, no matter how dedicated you are to the sport, enjoys staring at the bottom of the pool with nothing but your thoughts for an hour.
It was during one of my hour long swims that I noticed the girl I was sharing a lane with had an iPod shuffle attached to the back strap of her goggles. After she finished, I couldn’t resist quizzing her on exactly what it was and where I could get one, and she introduced me to Underwater Audio. Three days later, my very own waterproof iPod shuffle arrived. Even after seeing one in person I was a bit skeptical at first, as when it arrived, it felt and worked exactly like an iPod shuffle, including the original Apple packaging. I actually questioned whether or not they forgot to waterproof mine, so I gave it a quick test in the sink to make sure it was ready for the pool.
Still playing perfectly after a quick dip in the sink, I created a custom swim mix in iTunes and synced the shuffle, which works identically to any other iPod you already have. The days workout called for a straight two-mile swim, no stops, no breaks, just keeping my head in the water for a little over an hour. After giving it a final dunk test in the pool, I clipped my shuffle to the back of my goggles, pressed in the Swimbuds Sport headphones with the tree earbuds and started swimming.
Immediately I was amazed at the clarity of sound, and the comfort of the earbuds. Throughout all of my flip turns, the earbuds stayed in place with no sound variation at all. At 1:01 into my workout, I was shocked when my watch alerted me that I had finished my two miles – four minutes faster than my normal time. I didn’t feel like I had exerted extra effort in my workout, I had just gotten lost in the music and the tediousness of a silent, hour-long swim in the pool was gone.
After seeing how well the Underwater Audio performed on a long swim, I was anxious to see how they’d perform in a master swim session with sprints and lane sharing. Even with the increased speed and wake from sharing a lane, the earbuds again stayed in place with no water leaking in or sound distortion, and the shuffle stayed clipped and out of the way on my goggle strap the entire time with no adjustments necessary.
Dozens of swims later and the waterproofed shuffle works just as it did the first day it arrived, no corroding, no sound distortion, no glitches. The only thing that has changed during my pool workouts is that I actually enjoy them now, as I’m no longer just staring at the bottom of the pool counting laps and waiting for my time to be up. They’ve completely changed my swims, and made them a hundred times more enjoyable than what they were before.
In shopping for a waterproof iPod shuffle from Underwater Audio, you’ll see that you can choose from a few different bundles, which I highly recommend. Not only will you save money over buying the pieces individually, but you’ll get an assortment of headphones that are great for different activities, while the different earbud options will ensure you get the perfect fit. For those of you that already own a 4th generation iPod Shuffle, you can also send yours in and they’ll waterproof it for you and send it back ready to get wet, although you’ll still want to pick up some of Underwater Audio’s waterproof earbuds as well.
Bottom line, Underwater Audio has taken a beautifully designed product in the Apple shuffle and given it functionality that makes it the ideal workout companion, especially for water lovers. Swim sessions have never flown by the way that they do now, and while it sounds like an overwhelmingly positive review, I’d like to point out that, no, I’m not in anyway getting paid to tell you this – they’re simply that awesome. If you spend anytime in the water, even if it’s just running in the rain and don’t want to worry about your iPod getting wet, the waterproof iPod from Underwater Audio is a must, as it will change the possibilities of listening to music during your workouts.