Last year my boyfriend took part in a triathlon event and is currently training for the 2011 event. As most people do, he likes to listen to music while he trains. However, he has not been able to enjoy the same sort of experience when swimming as he only had a regular armband to hold his iPod. After looking on a few websites I saw the H2O waterproof armband. I thought it was an absolutely ingenious idea and trawled the net to get the best price.
The best price I saw it for was £39.99 on Amazon which I thought was quite a good price; however you have to buy the H2O headphones to accompany the case and these were about £25.00 on some sites. Luckily Amazon had an offer on to buy both for £69.99 and I only had to pay one delivery fee. Hurray what a nice girlfriend I am! The items arrived and my boyfriend was overjoyed and couldn't wait to try them out. He was really impressed with it and I was eager to see it in action for myself so took it to the pool at my gym to try it out. I was really impressed with the product and really enjoyed my swim. My normally boring, quiet, monotonous swim was livened up when I could listen to my favourite tunes.
*The Product *
The armband measures 18 inches long and is made from stretchy wet suit material called neoprene, with a dual flex ring with Velcro to fasten the armband tight around any sized arm. The strap is wider at one end so that at no point will you feel Velcro against the skin. The armband fits closely to the skin and is comfortable. Even when wet it doesn't rub and causes no redness. At the front is the pocket window to fit the device in and the headphone jack. It weighs about 200 grams dry so it is relatively light to carry around and is hardly felt on the arm. It is also really slim so you don't have to worry about swimming with extra bulk on your arm creating drag through the water.
You can get the armband in a few different sizes depending on how big the device you want to fit in is. I chose the largest that can accommodate anything up to an iPod touch, or iPhone .The pocket will fit a device in with the maximum Height of 12 cm x 7 cm wide and 2.2cm deep. When I say maximum, I mean maximum, as fitting in my iPhone 4 in was a tight squeeze and took a few very frustrating minutes of perseverance to push the device in.
The armband is really easy to use however despite the battle to get the iPod in. The best way I find is to lay the armband flat and slide in the iphone at an angle. Once it is in, close the latch tight, waterproof seal fastener so it clicks. The iPod is now safely and you need to insert the ear phones into the jack. These also click in so you know they are secure. You are now ready to hit the water with it as it is completely waterproof. It is then simply a matter of putting the band on the arm and fastening it where you feel most comfortable with it. Sometimes I find it quite hard to control the device because the see through pocket bubbles up causing the light to be reflected making it is hard to see the screen. Nevertheless the see through screen allows easy control of the machine so you can skip certain songs or replay the good ones!
The earphones are less impressive than the armband but they do come with three ear plug sizes so that you can have a really snug water tight fit while under the water. Unfortunately I did not feel they quite lived up to their promises and came loose a few times. My boyfriend has better luck in getting them to stay in, however he has found that the sound fades in and out and is a not the same sort of quality achieved with apple headphones. The headphone wire is on a harness and I run the wire up my back so that it doesn't get in the way of my stroke. Although I am reviewing the armband here I felt the need to point out my dissatisfaction with the headphones as I bought them as a set. The armband will take regular headphones that fit the 3.5mm jack. I will be looking towards purchasing some other waterproof headphones in the future.
The armband is waterproof when paired with the headphones for up to 3.6m. I have had a little swim underwater but not really tested this out to its full capacity.
After you have finished with the armband you can pull it off and it will float in the water; even with the iPod inside!
After use I leave the iPod in and dry my hands. I towel off the armband and then click out the headphones and open the pocket to remove the iPod. I then lay out the Armband so that it can dry off fully. I also lay the headphones out so that they can also dry off safely.
I think the Armband is a terrific invention and we are very happy with the purchase. I use it to go running as I find the armband more comfortable than any other regular armband due to the neoprene material. We will be taking our armband on holiday so that we can take the iphone safely on the beach. Due to the iphone having a front screen camera we will be able to take some underwater pictures which we are looking forward to experimenting with.
So far the device seems quite robust and we are really pleased with the quality of the armband. When I wear it at the pool it does attract a lot of attention and people keep asking where I got it from. Although quite expensive it is a very unique product which is proving to be a good fun investment.
4 Stars due to problems encountered with ear phones.