It's no secret to anyone that knows me that swimming is not my favorite discipline....therefore it is by far, my worst. I often get bored in in the pool and lose focus. After a quick Internet search, I found the H20 Audio Interval. It is a water proof case/headphone system for the ipod shuffle. It is available for the 2nd and 3rd generation models. I was super excited to get an Interval for an early Xmas gift!
The Interval is a very basic system. It consists of a water proof case with attached earbuds. Also included are various ear buds ranging from small to XL. A 30 min test submersion without an ipod in place is done to ensure the compartment is properly sealed.
Before my first use of the the system I watched a video on the H2O audio web page that gave hints to getting the best results from the product. The major complaint that I had read in reviews was getting the earbuds to stay in the ear and poor sound quality related to this. The first suggestion is to choose the best fitting earbuds for your ears (rather obvious). The second suggestion is to use a swim cap over the ears to help keep the buds in.
The system attaches to the strap of your goggles. Controls are very simple, 2 buttons to control volume and 1 button to control song selection. Depressing the button once will start/stop playback. Depressing the button twice will forward to the next song and 3 times with go back one song.
I donned the Interval and did a quick head dunk to test the sound. It did actually sound pretty good but obviously the real test is during the swim. I tried first without a swim cap and quickly found the earbuds falling out. I did take the advice of the video and brought a swim cap to hold in the earbuds. But I made the mistake of using a Lycra cap that wasn't tight enough to keep the earbuds in. The ear buds wound not stay in place. I didn't bring the additional earbuds to try for a different fit. I have to admit that it was a bit of a disappointment. Good points were that the controls worked flawlessly and it was absolutely waterproof!
This time I brought a latex cap to keep the buds in place. I had done a re-fit at home with the other earbud size but in the end I felt like I had correctly chosen the right size already. After placing the buds in a tucking them under my swim cap I definitely felt they were more secure. During the swim session I had a few periods of reduced sound and one episode of the buds falling out. But overall a much better experience with the system!
The H2O interval can be a bit challenging to use, it involves some trial and error (getting the proper ear bud size and technique to keep them in the ears). Although it is not a perfect system it does provide some a good source of entertainment during swims! It is simple to use and is pretty much idiot proof. I give it a 7/10.