Waterproof Audio Guidelines
How To Select Your Waterproof MP3 Player
1. Official Protection Certification Electronic products used in any water environment must have IEC protection certification ratings. The IEC (International Electromechanical Commission) set classifications of degrees of protection provided against water penetration in electrical enclosures as follows:
IPX1-IPX6: Good for outdoors but cannot be immersed in water.
IPX7: Waterproof up to 1M (3FT) underwater up to 30 minutes.
IPX8: Product is hermetically sealed, 100% waterproof up to at least 3M (10FT), and continuous use underwater is permitted consistent with restrictions set by manufacturer.
Make sure your waterproof MP3 is IPX8 certified.
2. Avoid MP3s Injected with Glues. Some companies inject glues or sealants into regular MP3s not originally designed to be waterproof. Problem is that such treatment makes controls (pushbuttons) very stiff and hard to operate. Get product designed and manufactured to be 100% waterproof. Ask before you buy.
3. Memory Capacity. 4GB provides storage of 1000-1200 songs/10 Audio Books, so you can always add new files without the need to delete existing ones. If your playlist is extensive get 8GB devices. Some providers still offer old 2GB devices. No need to compromise. Make sure your waterproof MP3 has at least 4GB capacity.
4. Small size is advantageous as it provides easy head-mounting. Some devices are purposely oversized to float thus uncomfortable to wear. With a well-designed mounting clip device should never dismount during any activity. Make sure your waterproof MP3 is the smallest you can get and it has flexible clip that can grab to band or goggles.
5. FM Capabilities. Adding FM capabilities to MP3 Player is (a) relatively easy if manufacturer is competent and (b) dramatically enhances listening experience with access to many FM radio stations music/talk/news/sports. FM reception is available at water surface and, when FM station is powerful enough, also a few inches under water thus FM is ideal for swimming. Make sure your waterproof MP3 has FM capabilities as well.
6. Single-Port System for Audio, Data, and Charging provides better waterproof protection than old devices with multiple ports. Ideally, the single port system comprises a 3.5mm connection designed to be 100% waterproof with or without earphones. Such connection provides Charging and Data via USB cable and Audio via earphones. Make sure your waterproof MP3 comes with a Single-Port System.
7. Earphones/Earbuds deliver the best quality sound vs bulky devices with bone conduction audio. Fitting the earphones/earbuds securely and comfortably is important to avoid dismount.
(a) Length. For head/goggles short wire is preferred (12-15) so excess wire will not interfere with your activity. For waist/armband/pocket mounting a long wire (40) or extension cord is requires.
(b) Ear-tips function is to fix earphones inside ear canal and block water from penetrating into your ear canals. Make sure your Ear tips are made of soft silicon in multiple sizes so you can chose the one set that is both comfortable and stable.
8. Brand vs Non Brand Brands invest in quality and testing. Non brands do not. Brands are committed to stand behind their brand. Non-brands do not. Here is how you find out: brands receive media coverage. Non-brands do not. Brands exhibit at major trade shows like Consumer Electronics (CES). Non brands do not. Verify before you buy.