8.03.2009

NU Dolphin Waterproof MP3 Player Review

Back in June, I got 2nd place in a triathlon essay contest. My prize was a NU Dolphin waterproof MP3 player. I was super excited about trying it out, because I always get SO bored while swimming!

So when my MP3 player arrived in the mail, I was thrilled.



Here is everything it comes with...

Clockwise from the top: waterproof MP3 player, sport headphones, waterproof headphones, drying cloth, and instruction manual.

I went straight to the Y to try it out in the pool. The design is pretty ingenious. The MP3 player has straps on it, so it easily connect to your goggles and stays put the entire swim.

The waterproof headphones stay waterproof by screwing into the MP3 player pretty tightly. They have little blue earbuds that are made to keep the headphones in your ears during the swim. Lastly, there are clips on the headphones that can be clipped to your goggles so the cords aren't flying around during the swim.



So how did it go? Pretty badly. After only a lap or 2, my headphones started falling out of my ears. I kept having to stop and push them back in. But in order to get them to stay in, I had to push them in so far that they hurt. Not good!

After I finally figured out the headphones, I kept swimming. But a couple minutes later, the audio in one of my ears went out. I thought maybe the earbud was just falling out, but no. I kept swimming, and the audio was cutting in and out in my right ear the entire time.

By the end of my first swim, I was frustrated and angry.

I went right home and called the NU help line. I talked to a robot-sounding man who apologized and said they would send out new headphones right away. Excellent.

About a week later, a package arrived with new waterproof headphones. YAY!

But wait...



They're broken. The two pieces are sticky, so it looks like they were glued together, and the glue just didn't stick. Definitely NOT waterproof. I fiddled with the one good earbud, and it fell apart also.



GURRRRR.

I said "screw this!" and went swimming again with the original headphones. This time, I wore a swimcap, which definitely helped with keeping the earbuds in my ears (but they still hurt!). The audio sounded great for the first 5 minutes or so, then the right earbud went out again. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal on paper... but when one ear goes out, it suddenly makes it REALLY hard to hear the music.

Overall: It's a great idea and I wanted it to work SOOO badly, but I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone else. If I didn't have issues with the headphones, I might feel differently, but the earbuds are still uncomfortable and difficult to keep in. It's just way too much of a hassle during my swim to make the payoff worth it. It's more disruptive than helpful.

I'll be back later this week with photos from this weekend's trip, and details of my training, Michigan-style.

8 comments:

Diana said...

I'd love to swim with my music, but I've heard nothing good of these waterproof things! Thanks for the report and if something better does come along-let us know!

That Pink Girl said...

Boo to faulty earpbuds. At least you didn't buy them...and you are still a WINNER! :o)

Adam said...

Wow, that is pretty sucky. As if I needed ANOTHER reason not to swim!

Rainmaker said...

Bummer, but thanks for the honest (and trying) review. It looks like I can cross that one off my list.

jeanne said...

Now THAT sounds like a horrible idea...

Silverton said...

I wish I had read these reviews before I bought this! The ear buds are really hard to keep in and the sound does cut out. I had an Oregon Scientific player and it worked great until it died. My otter case for my Ipod leaked...so I guess I am still on the lookout.

Anonymous said...

about a month ago i bought the Swimp3 surf player and it works great! it helps me to block water from getting into my ear, and adds some more fun besides surfing. u guys should try it. later

David Saphra said...

The newer model, Dolphin Touch Pro 4GIG waterproof MP3 player from nu-global.com is really a great device. It requires some getting-used-to, though. I love the simple drag and drop way of installing files, but getting it to connect gets a little unreliable after several months as mineral deposits (from the water) begin to build up. The company advises cleaning these with alchohol, but that's no longer working so well so I'm about to buy a new one for $100. One the earbuds go, you can now find other less expensive replacements online as the newest model of Dolphin comes with the larger, more standard size 3.5mm plug.

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