How many times have you had to replace an iPod because you dropped it in water? Almost all of us have suffered the agony of liquid damaged devices at least once — but this is something you never have to worry about if you buy your iPod shuffle from Underwater Audio.
Every unit the company sells is protected by an invisible coating that allows you to get your iPod shuffle wet. And we’re not talking about a few splashes here; you can literally take it swimming, wear it in the shower, and forget about having to keep it covered up when you’re out jogging in the rain — and it will continue to work just as it should.
“Our waterproof iPod shuffle will go with you from land to sea and everywhere in between,” Underwater Audio says — so of course, I jumped at the chance to put those claims to the test.
Indeed, the best thing about Underwater Audio’s iPod shuffle is that it is completely waterproof. The company’s proprietary coating process protects the iPod “from the inside out,” so you can literally submerge it water for pretty much as long as you like and it won’t die. You don’t even need a case.
At first, it seems strange swimming or showering with an iPod — you’re almost scared about getting it too wet, just in case. I half expected my music to stop playing before I’d even had a chance to wash the conditioner out of my hair. But I’ve been using it almost every day since early December, and I’ve had no issues with it.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the included earphones. They don’t look like much when you take them out of the packaging, but they actually provide good sound quality — even underwater. It’s important that you make sure they’re jammed in your ear nice and tight, though, otherwise they won’t sound right.
Fortunately, there are four sets of earbuds in different sizes to suit all ears, and Underwater Audio even throws in a free pot of Vaseline that you can use to create a watertight seal around the bud while it’s in your ear. You’d think this would make them slippery and encourage them to fall out, but it actually makes them more secure — which in turn improves sound quality.
The earphones have an extra-short cable that prevents you from getting tangled up while swimming, but there’s an included 39-inch extension if you need it. This is waterproof, too, of course.
Due to the waterproof coating, the iPod shuffle’s buttons are firmer than they normally would be. This means they lose some of their tactile feedback, and it sometimes feels like they aren’t moving when you click them — even though they really are.
It’s important that you don’t apply too much pressure to them, though, because obviously this can damage them and the coating that keeps the water out.
The only other downside is the price: it’s $149 if you buy the iPod shuffle directly from Underwater Audio, which is the same price as a 16GB iPod nano, and $100 more than buying directly from Apple. If you already have one and you just want it coated, then it’s $120.
It’s certainly not cheap, then, but for a lot of people, it will be well worth it. If you have to keep replacing your iPod because it gets too wet in the rain, or you’re always dropping it in the pool or down the toilet, then this could save you a lot of cash in the long run.
While the iPod shuffle is terrific, I do have one small criticism of Underwater Audio: this is currently the only electrical device they sell, and after using it for a couple of months, I want my iPhone, iPad, and every other mobile device I use to be protected by the company’s magic coating.
It really is incredible, and it could save us all a fortune in insurance fees and liquid damage repairs. If you need a new iPod shuffle, then, and you want one that you can get soaking wet whenever you want, I can’t recommend the Underwater Audio iPod shuffle highly enough.
Product Name: iPod shuffle
The Good: Completely waterproof without the need for a case; sounds great; works just as it should.
The Bad: Buttons are a little firm; $100 more than Apple’s standard iPod shuffle.
The Verdict: If you’ve ever yearned or a waterproof iPod, do yourself a favor and buy one from Underwater Audio. Being able to swim and shower with your music without having to worry about waterproof cases is well worth the money.
Buy from: Underwater Audio