Swimming is a great fitness exercise. It’s challenging aerobically, strengthens the muscles and is easy on the joints. In a short time, I can get a good workout and walk away from the pool feeling refreshed.
Typically for a swim session, I’ll spend about a half-hour swimming laps. The first 10 minutes go by pretty quickly. During the last 2/3′s of my swim, I’ll spend some time focusing on my swimming form or thinking through issues and opportunities regarding my work or personal life. But, it seems without fail, somewhere in the last 20 minutes I start to get bored. At which point, there becomes a temptation to cut short my workout. Do I really need to go 30 minutes today? Wouldn’t 25 minutes give me essentially the same benefit?
To at least maintain my 30 minute swim workouts on a consistent basis, I realized I needed to do something different. When I used to run a lot, listening to music made the run go quicker and it was definitely more enjoyable. I decided to look for a MP3 player that would work while swimming.
After reading many reviews online, I zeroed in on the Neptune Underwater MP3 Player by Finis. The Neptune was the highest rated of the reviews I read and I was intrigued by the bone conduction technology. There are no ear buds. You don’t have to worry about placing them in the ear and the possibility of them falling out. The bone conduction audio transmission works through the cheekbone and directly into the inner ear, like some hearing aids. In place of ear buds are two speaker pads that clip to your swim goggles near your cheekbone. The player unit with OLED screen also clips to your goggles on the back of your head.
For about $150, you get 4GB of storage for music, audio books, podcasts and more at FINIS. The OLED screen shows the song, artist and playing status during use. A charging cable is included which also enables quick song uploads to the device.
Using the directions that came with the device, I loaded about 100 songs onto the Neptune for a quick test (although the device will take much more). From my iTunes library, I closely followed the directions to get the right song format. It didn’t take too long and worked the first time. I was ready for the pool.
So, how did the Neptune work in the pool? In one word: outstanding! The music was clear and at a medium setting for the volume, I had all the sound my ears could handle of Van Morrison and Mayer Hawthorne. On the back of the left speaker pad, was a quick on-off button that allowed me to hear comments from other swimmers if I needed to in a hurry. After a couple of uses, I grew accustom to make changes to the volume and the song selection by just reaching behind my head while wearing my goggles with the Neptune attached. I was pleasanttly surprised with how long the device stayed charged. I swam about a half dozen times before my comfort zone suggested recharging the Neptune.
The Neptune made my swims more enjoyable and as a result, I found that my sessions increased in time from 30 minutes or less to about 45 minutes. I’m hoping to try to bump them up to about an hour. If the Johnny Legend songs I’ve uploaded are any good, I should be able to get there.