The 5 Best Waterproof MP3 Players
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in March of 2016. Whether you are planning to laze around in the pool, kick back at the beach, or push yourself through a grueling swim training session, these waterproof MP3 players will add a nice soundtrack to your day and help keep you motivated. Most are easy to set up and some come with helpful underwater-ready accessories, but remember that waterproofing does not lend itself well to audiophile sound quality. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best waterproof mp3 player on Amazon.
November 14, 2019:
We're not going to lie and tell you that in 2019 there are a ton of excellent tools for listening to music while you're swimming. In fact, even some of the most interesting options still need to be further developed to be truly useful -- that's why we refrained from listing those models here. So we've gathered those that are most effective right now, and we're confident that the ones on our list will serve you well.
The Swimbuds Syryn is undoubtedly the most popular in the last couple years. If you want a simple player that should last for quite a while, that's your best bet. On the other hand, if you're comfortable with the iTunes interface, the Underwater Audio iPod Shuffle is an upgraded version of Apple's iconic and practically microscopic device, and it works very, very well. The Sewobye W118 is another generally high-performing device that should satisfy most swimmers.
There are a couple unconventional options worth considering, as well. The AfterShokz Xtrainerz use bone conduction technology to pump sound straight through your skull (weird, right?) and although not everyone appreciates the audio fidelity, they are a very well-made pair of headphones. They're also great for running in the rain.
That leaves us with the Delphin Micro Tablet. It's a bit difficult for some users to get working, but if you're comfortable with a little bit of tinkering around, you should consider using a Bluetooth keyboard to set this one up, because it is actually one of the most capable currently on the market.
We sincerely hope that underwater music players can continue to advance over the coming years. In the mean time, check out our wikis on exercise-focused and waterproof headphones if you don't need to fully submerge them for hours at a a time. And, for what it's worth, a lot of these selections will work better with a good swim cap.
How Water Damages Electronics
There is often little or no damage from accidentally submerged electronic devices of this nature.
It has become common knowledge that water and electronics do not mix. Yet this is not exactly true. When many electronic devices are being created, water is often a large part of their production. For instance, when printed circuit boards are created, they are often rinsed in water multiple times to remove any contaminants or leftover soldering.
Water itself is less of risk factor than normally understood for electronics. In actuality, it is the particles in water which cause problems with electronics. Corrosive particles, especially salts and minerals found in saltwater and tap water, can quickly corrode electronic devices that are powered on and energized. The particles in water can help quickly spread the power from the battery to unintended components of the electronic device.
This is often components like capacitors and transistors which can be overloaded or corroded by too much energy. LCD screens of many electronic devices are prone to irreparable damage when coming into contact with water. This is because water often gets trapped between the digitize and glass. Most rechargeable batteries also use alkali elements, which are highly reactive with water. Contact with water in even minute amounts can destroy batteries.
In the case of small home electronics, it is often simple enough to fix. After removing the power supply from the unit, it can be taken apart quickly, rinsed off with clean water, and allowed to dry on towels in the sun. There is often little or no damage from accidentally submerged electronic devices of this nature.
When it comes to more intricate electronic devices such as phones and MP3 players, this process is a bit more complex. Most modern products are built in a away that discourages taking them apart. Whether this is to protect trade secrets or prevent tampering, it makes it much more likely that damage will occur should an accident happen. While many people opt to put the device in a bag of uncooked rice, this is not a guarantee. The rice bag is not even the best household option for saving wet electronics, and should actually be avoided to prevent further damage. Anyone who regularly spends time near bodies of water should look to waterproof their daily use devices like MP3 players and cell phones.
How Waterproofing Has Evolved Over The Years
The concept of waterproofing involves making an object or surface extremely water-resistant, to the point that it is considered unaffected by water. Nature boasts many waterproof surfaces, such as duck feathers or the petals of the lotus flower.
The practice of human waterproofing goes back centuries, when wooden boats were coated in various resins and liquids to keep water from seeping in. Dry straw would often be mixed with wax or mineral pitch and stuffed between cracks of boards. Then, these boards would be coated in another layer of tar, wax, pitch, or fatty oil. Everything from high-oil animal fats to pine tar were used to keep water out of a container or vessel.
Modern super hydrophobic materials are especially interesting for their potential for further widespread use.
In modern times, waterproofing generally still calls for the use of water-repellent coatings and sealing exposed seams, it is only the material that has changed. Modern hydrophobic coatings find their uses in many different ways. Coatings have been developed to keep ice from sticking to aircraft as they fly through the air.
This process is actually very important to safe flight operation. Necessary fluids can freeze up during flight if ice is left unchecked. Heating methods have been used in the past, but they require a lot of excess energy. Single-use hydrophobic material was also developed, though this required application before every flight.
Modern super hydrophobic materials are especially interesting for their potential for further widespread use. Super hydrophobic materials can be used to create corrosion-resistant metals, soil-less clothing, self-cleaning building design elements, and waterproof electronics, to name a few.
There are two approaches to replicating the natural phenomenon of waterproofing. The first involves actually chemically modifying the surface to be waterproofed. This involves greatly reducing its surface area so that water cannot stick to it. The second process involves coating the surface of the object to be waterproofed in nano-scale structures which repel water. These nano-scale structures can even be created to selectively repel water molecules while allowing other organic compounds in.
The Benefits Of Waterproof MP3 Players
The benefit of using a waterproof MP3 player is, of course, the fact that it is waterproof. This feature is most commonly associated with preventing accidents. Damage caused to mp3 players from being dropped in a toilet, being washed in the laundry machine, or falling into a body of water is often impossible to repair.
Likewise surfers may find that music helps them pass the time between their next wave in a more carefree way.
Water damage can even occur from condensation, such as tucking an mp3 player in a warm waistband while working out at the gym. In these instances, a waterproof MP3 player can provide a sense of comfort and assurance that nothing will go wrong should an accident happen.
Rather than only focus on the possible outcomes of accidents, waterproof MP3 players can also provide enjoyment where other devices cannot. As a low-intensity workout, swimming is often seen as one of the best exercises for the body. Yet, it is not as popular as machines like treadmills, for instance. And this may be due to the fact that it is difficult to zone out while swimming.
Swimming requires the use of the entire body and is not very conducive to watching TV or listening to music. With waterproof MP3 players, this does not have to be the case. Swimmers can get in the zone by listening to music on a waterproof MP3 player as they swim.
This same enjoyment can be had in the shower or bath, casually listening to music as you unwind from a long day. Likewise surfers may find that music helps them pass the time between their next wave in a more carefree way. People who fish can also enjoy the use of a waterproof MP3 player without worry that it will be damaged while reeling in a large fish.
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