Monday, April 07, 2014

Audioflood Waterproof iPod Shuffle : Review

I have been having a lot of fun using this Audioflood waterproof iPod Shuffle since I received it about 2 weeks ago. I simply love the fact that I can use it and let it rest literally on my sweaty back while spinning with no cables hanging around anywhere. What is better, I can wash it after using it and it is all clean and muck free. For all it's intended use, the main function for me is to keep me company on those long lap swim. This is the review (for now) specific on how it perform in the water.
Getting Into the Pool
The small compact size of the iPod Shuffle made it possible for the unit to be strapped on the the back on the goggle's strap. In this case, the AquaSphere I am using has no issue to "hold" the unit.
Ready to go!
The short waterproof earphone were superb. It wasn't in the way, you do not feel it there and it moves with your head. However, I know there is a potentially better way to "align" it unlike the photo above and right below.
There were 3-sizes of in-ear or ear canal attachment per my unwrapping write up. I went with the normal sized one to test if it is suitable.
photo from the unwrapping
I was a bit apprehensive about going for a swim with electronics. We all know mp3 players are not supposed to be used for swim. But having used it in the shower (:P) and washed it after my bike-spin sessions, I am confident that the Audioflood WILL perform in water.
After Lap 4. The unit not visible from the front
Until you turn to the side
As I put the unit to "Shuffle", the first song that came out was "ACDC - Highway To Hell". As I breath on my left, the water got into my ears and the sound became muffled. I now know what some of you meant by "music rendered useless once water get into the ear". I also now know why the good people at Audioflood asked me to test the fitting to ensure good seal.
Maybe the fat from the back of my neck will help sealing
As I left the other fittings at home, I have to be happy with the muffled sound for the rest of the swim. No issues here as the unit is meant to complement the swim, not the big essential part of it unlike the goggle.
Testing the position of the earphone as well
With that in mind, my next swim a week later (yes, had to find time to head to the pool), I used the largest attachment. Jumped into the pool and swam without having major issue of water incursion into the ear canal (OK, maybe a bit) that muffled the music. I am still learning to breathe on both side of the head and it seems not to present a problem as the body rolled to the left and right to breath. There were 3-instances I stopped to re-position the earphone and I could feel warm water trickling out as I pulled them out. Clear evidence that the water stayed in the ear canal for that period of time. I guess I am the unlucky few with larger than normal ear-canal/hole that even the largest diameter plug still see water incursion.
Submersible - all of the electronics. The Audioflood iPod Shuffle with earphone, and the Garmin 910XT
For better music enjoyment, I realised cranking the volume up a click or two higher than normal out-of-water sound level to help transmit the sound better. I guess it all got to do with the water as the absorbing medium lowering the sound a tad bit. No issues there as the music quality wasn't effected. Which brings me to a short review of the waterproof earphone
Waterproof Earphone Performance
Having some exposure to good earphone (and i meant by superb quality such as the JVC FXT90), I had to lower my expectation a little when it comes to the music reproduction. As the main purpose of the unit, being sealed and thus waterproof, you will lose the "low" or bass portion - and it seems to be true if you are using it as out-of-water earphone.
However, once you are in the water, what you need is not so much the "low" part, but the mid and high (the higher frequencies) as it helps add clarity to your own breathing (that are low frequencies) and the sloshing of water as you power through the water. I had Keiko Lee playing at one instance and those of you that know her and her jazz music would know how much depth her music and vocal adds to the listening pleasure. I find the quality of the music reproduction to be good, not great, but good. In the condition (immersed in water swimming), I would say it is a superb experience as she goes through the highs of "Street life" song (and lyric).

Keiko Lee singing the Barbra Streisand Cover of The Shadow of Your Smile. Worth listening (but don't ask me how I swim to these)
- Yes, music while swimming. The laps passed faster as the music goes on
- robust waterproof unit. Drop it a few times and no issues.
- absolutely love the short coiled earphone that makes cable tangle a thing of the past
- Apple product predictability. Syncing music and other features is easy
- Long playback time. I won't blame you for thinking it does not need charging. But you may find yourself without music if you are not aware how long you had used it since last recharge

- 2gb space that are typical of Shuffle. For those of you wanting to put in the whole 60gb of songs, this is not the device you are looking for
- Fitting of the earphone. This could be the issue that may effect everyone differently. No two person's ear are alike and no two ears are alike!
- Charging cable short and you may misplace it. Remember to store it properly (by the way, the charging cable is NOT waterproof, in case you want to be funny and charge it underwater with a waterproof powerbank)

nb: This unit of Audioflood waterproofed iPod Shuffle is provided courtesy of by The unit sell for USD125 iPod Shuffle only and USD40 for waterproof earphone; or you can bundle them and pay USD140 for both iPod Shuffle and earphone. Head over to Audioflood official website here to order (If you are outside of US and is interested with this, let me know and I will hook you up or give suggestion on the international delivery options).

This unit Review is independent and not influenced by AudioFlood and review opinion is my own.

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