Reviewed FINIS SwiMP3 player: better than sticking a pointy screw driver in your ear
Posted Aug 06 2009 10:03pm
Let' s be honest.
Like running on a treadmill, swimming back and forth and back and forth in a lap pool endlessly following the little black line can be about as much fun as sticking a pointy screw driver in your ear. Or at least you' ll soon want to stick a pointy screw driver in your ear just to forget the boredom of the last 1000 yards.
So when FINIS sent us the newest version of their underwater MP3 player our small team of associate reviewers all begged for their chance to review the devise.
But since I get easily bored, and since I' m the managing editor, I snagged the device for myself and headed to the pool.
Do you remember the Bone-Phone from the early eighties?
It was basically a high tech scarf with a radio and two speakers built into it. The idea was that you' d wear it around your neck and point the speakers at down your collarbone. The vibrations of the music would magically conduct up into your ears so that yo could hear the radio.
Truth be told it sort of worked when you pointed the speakers at your collarbone, but it worked much better when you flip them up and pointed them at your ears.
FINIS says that their SwiMP3 works on the same patented bone conduction technology (Watch their video below). But instead of your collarbone the device rests next to your cheekbones, and the vibration of the speakers goes through your bones and into your ears.
Funny thing is, just like the Bone-Phone, I found the sound quality to be much enhanced the closer I moved the speakers to my ears.
So yes the SwiMP3 works as advertised but the word I think best describes this device is "finicky".
It is finicky to mount to your goggles.
It is finicky to us the tiny controls.
It is finicky to change songs.
It is finicky to change the volume.
And it can be finicky to wear.
However, it is not finicky to load new songs or recharge as the SwiMP3 comes with a USB socket that easily slots into your computer (Mac or PC)
Once you get past all of the finicky bits the SwiMP3 is fun.
Swimming 3000 yards listening to Lady Gaga sing:
"Let' s have some fun, this beat is sick
I wanna take a ride on your disco stick,"
is so much more fun than sticking a pointy screw driver in your ear. (see second video below)
So is the SwiMP3 worth $149.99?
If I recall correctly I paid a lot more for that old Bone-Phone in 1982 so that I could ski and listen to music...and it barely worked.
The SwiMP3 works great and makes the yards and countless flip turns just fly by---so yes, I think that' s a small price to pay to have good beat to swim 3000 yards.
EveryMan “Gotta Have” Latte Rating Scale: Rating Scale (based on the amount
of lattes per day you’ll give up to buy this product)
• 4 Lattes: A must have product that will make your friends
jealous and your competitors cower in undisguised fear and trepidation.
• 3 Lattes: A very good investment that is well worth
forgoing a year or two of your children’s college fund.
• 2 Lattes: One of those products that actually does what it
says it does, but with the same pizazz as a Q-Tip.
• 1 Latte: The best thing said about this product is that I
wouldn’t send it back if I got it for free.
• No Latte: So excruciatingly lame that you would get more
value by crossing the street for some discarded and well chewed gum before
buying this product.
Roman Mica is a columnist, journalist, and author, who spent his early
years eating way too much food. When he' s not reviewing products
for the active set, you can find him training for triathlons and
writing about endurance sports for, EverymanTri.com. Mica is also the Endurance Sports Examiner.