Music, is motivational. We’ve all found an anthem or a favourite that helps us read, concentrate or even drive. As for exercising, I find music crucial. The rhythm seems to take over. Whether you’re walking or running the music can push you on, a little further, a little faster, and now some smart, waterproof wearable tech can push you on a little further.
If swimming is how you get your exercise though, there’s been little to help you enjoy music as you plough through a dozen lengths of the pool. While there are plenty of wearables for runners and not just to measure distance but even security devices like Run Angel. Companies have tried to adapt devices like the iPod for underwater use but there hasn’t so far, been a good, cost effective solution. The swimmer’s world has been a silent, lonely one.
Finis are an American company best known for making performance swimwear and accessories and their Duo MP3 player is an all-in-one music player designed for swimming. Unpacking the Duo reveals the unusual shaped device. The earphones themselves and a magnetic USB dock are included. I needed to charge the device, using the USB connection and it charges to full in around three hours, which gives you about seven hours of listening time.
On one of the headphones are the controls, with include standard music player options including play and pause, repeat and random play buttons. The volume is also controlled on this device with easy to find up and down buttons.
The headphones have small brackets for threading goggle straps through to secure tightly on your head. There are left and right indicators on the headphones to make sure you enjoy the correct stereo orientation. I clipped the headphones in to my goggle strap and arranged them, not over my ears but just a little further forward, on my temple. The speakers use bone conduction technology and it’s absorbed through your temple bone rather than through your ear.
Powering up Finis Duo headphones via the on button prompted a small green light and that indicated that the player will start playing in ten seconds, giving you a little time to get in the water. Playing, pausing or selecting random tracks was easy as I swam, requiring just a quick tap on the relevant button which I was able to do without interrupting my swim. After use in the pool or sea I followed the instructions to rinse the headphones with fresh water and pat dry with a cloth.
Loading music on the Duo is straightforward. It has 4GB of built-in memory and that should hold about over a thousand regular MP3 songs or tracks. The Duo is not compatible with Apple’s AAC format, so I needed to convert some music to load on the Duo. Once that’s done, it’s simply a matter of dragging the files you want on to the Duo’s icon on your computer after you plug it in via the USB cable.
Performance is key in selecting headphones and the Duo performs really well. I found myself listening at about 60% volume and the sound quality is great and surprisingly, remarkably clear underwater. I was aware of other sounds in the distance as I swam, but barely and I quickly found myself humming along to tunes and focusing on the lengths ahead me.
More at: finisinc.com