Underwater audio is possible via technologies that send music not into your ears directly but through a ‘speaker’ set against your upper jaw.
Swimming for fitness can be a drag, with monotonous laps in a soundless setting. The Neptune V2 MP3 player pumps music (or any audio) to your ears via a roundabout technique, jawbone conduction, not affected by submersion in a lake or pool.
For me, the product has served as a tool to keep me both motivated and entertained during my swimming workouts.
Finis Neptune V2 Underwater MP3 Player Tested
No Buds: Rather than using ear buds, the neptune V2 transmits audio via bone conduction. Small, round pads clip onto your goggles and sit right on your jawbone, transmitting sound to your inner ear. It works amazingly well.
Waterproof: The Neptune V2 is rated waterproof to 10 feet. Don’t plan on wearing it diving, but for surface swimming workouts, it’s plenty of depth.
Fit: The jaw bone pads and the mp3 player have spring clips that attach to the sides and back of goggles. I was amazed how well it all stays in place and how comfortable it was.
First Test: Downloading the music on the device was straightforward. It holds 4GB of music — about 1,000 songs or 60 hours of playback. I plugged it into my computer, put some of my favorite songs on it, and was off to swim. At the pool, I pressed play, turned the volume down (it can get really loud fast!), clipped it on my goggles, and jumped in.
I was amazed at how clear the sound was under the water. Above water, it didn’t sound as nice. My friend was swimming in the same lane as me and said she couldn’t hear the music underwater at all, which made me feel good about not disturbing anyone.
For my entire workout, the “bone pads” and Mp3 player stayed in place, making me forget I had them on.
Comfortable Music Streaming For Swimming
At first look it looks like a lot of stuff to have on your head, but once on and in place, you barely notice this gizmo, and it doesn’t seem to create much drag under water.
The device is pretty simple. You have three options: Play all songs, sort by artist, or by album. I just put one a playlist and let it go. On the side of one pad there is a play/pause/volume button for easy access.
Sound Quality: Underwater the sound was super clear, above the water (if I was kicking on my kick board or catching my breath at the end of a set) the sound was a little crackly.
Pros: Being able to listen to music in the water, not have to hassle with it, and even forgetting that I have it on — all big pluses. It floats and automatically turns off after a time that can be set. It can be used in saltwater, and it’s waterproof out of the box.
Cons: Thinking about the use of this in open water where there are possible boats in the area is a little worrisome; it’s hard to hear what’s going on around you. If you are in an area where there is this possibility, I would not wear the system.
At $159.99, the Neptune V2 is at the upper end of underwater headphones. What separates them from the rest is their low profile, clear sound, ease of use, and comfort. They are a great choice if you are looking to up the excitement level underwater with good tunes.