I was pretty excited to try out my new toy, the H2O Audio Interval:
|Think it will make me swim like Micheal and Natalie?|
See, it is no secret to my blog readers that I find swimming in a pool staring at that blue line pure tedious drudgery. I am bored to tears after about 15 minutes, you will see me stopping and fiddling with my goggles every 100 yards or so just for something else to do.
I know, it is all in your attitude and how you approach things. I have tried to think about it differently and have really tried very hard to get excited about going to the pool.
The pool isn’t fun for me. Stuff is floating in there, and I don’t know what it is. For me, the pool is a necessary chlorine soaked evil with other people’s spit and pee floating around. I would much rather be swimming in a clean clear lake where the fish screw and the loons poop.
Ah, yes, but I live in Maine, and it is November, and the lake is skimmed over with a nice sheet of thin ice and snowflakes are falling as I type. If I want to get into swim shape for Ironman Lake Placid (only 241 days away), I have to go to the pool.
So I bought the H2O Audio Interval – I had an iPod Shuffle 3rd generation (this is key for you to use the H2O Audio Interval), and I thought, “Gee, this gadget might make swimming less hellish for me.” So I dropped the cash (currently $79.99 HERE).
I wanted that thing RIGHT NOW. And it came pretty quickly, I was happy happy happy to try it out.
What did I think?
Aside from a few issues I had (keep reading) I loved the system. It made my swim better, no doubt. Nothing can keep me from being grossed out by mystery floaties, or change my abhorrence of choline, but this made it so I swam for an hour straight with out being bored. I was actually surprised when I looked at my trusty counter and saw I was at my 2400 yards. Sweet.
So bottom line, I recommend this baby. But if you have small ear holes you should keep reading. I actually think you should keep reading anyway, because I am on a roll today.
About the System
Since my pictures didn’t come out so great, I am using pictures from H2O Audio’s website. I am saying mostly great things about their product, so I figure they won’t mind.
The headphone system was easy to set up. Open up the little compartment, plug the iPod into the jack, then close the compartment and attach the thing to your goggles. I like simple, and this is it. There are three buttons that are easy to find that adjust volume, change tracks, and select a playlist.
The construction seems simple and solid: rigid plastic with a hinged door, a gasket sealing the iPod off from the water. I don’t know much about this stuff, but I can say that after my swim, my iPod wasn’t wet and still functioned, so I would say that it works very well at keeping the water out.
I have very small ear holes. My boyfriend would probably argue that my ear holes are often closed, but I digress. At work when we are given those foam ear plugs to walk around loud stuff, my ears spit them out with a nice, soft sounding poohp.
That is what it sounds like to me when my ears spit things out. I can actually get some distance with this, and I am sure I would win an ear spitting contest if there were such a thing.
Anyway, I was happy to see that the H2O Audio Interval comes with an enormous number of earplug inserts, in varying sizes. I figured I was all set, no poohp, no ear rejection, just sweet sweet music. Check out how many options come with the system:
I grabbed the set marked “XS,” knowing that I have “XS” ear holes. I pulled the top of my ear back (old logger trick) and pushed the ear piece in my left ear. It stuck. Sweet.
I tried the same thing with my right ear. Rejection. I couldn’t even get it in (yes, I was using the same sized ear pieces). It was like a wind was pushing the thing out, I swear. I pushed and pushed and twisted and pushed and pulled on my ears and pushed and that darn thing didn’t want to go in. Finally, I stuffed it in there. Shook my head. OK, we are in.
I turned on the music, finally, I was ready to swim.
Poohp (that would be right ear rejection)
REALLY? Cram cram cram.
ARGH. I tried swimming with the thing just in my left ear, but the piece that was supposed to be in my right ear was just flopping around driving me crazy. I fooled with it and fooled with it, because the thing was, I liked the music being there. I could tell if I could make this work, the music was going to be KEY to making me happy in the pool. I hadn’t even had 5 minutes of it, it wasn’t even fully in both ears, and I was in love.
The furthest I got without fooling with my right ear or hearing the dreaded poohp was 232 yards. Or something between 225 and 250. But it did stay in longer as time went on, and like I said before, I didn’t want to give up on it because I really liked having the music and it worked great except for my freakishly deformed right ear.
I found some alternate ear covers that I am going to try that work for me running and are made out of similar stuff, I am not sure it is a solution, but I am going to give it a go.
I thought the quality was really good for listening to music underwater. I would say the sound is slightly less sharp than regular earphones are, but I am not a very technical person when it comes to this stuff. I could hear it, it wasn’t muffled, and I was happy.
I like this product and would recommend it to anyone who spends a lot of time in the pool. It makes swimming better, no doubt.
My only complaint is the ear issue, and apparently I have abnormally small ear holes, because they really do provide plenty of options in sizing for the earpiece. I am going to keep fiddling with the earpiece until I get it to work for me.
Disclosure: I bought this product all on my own and this review reflects my personal opinions affected only by my small ear holes.