By Terry Gardner, Special to Tribune Newspapers
7:10 PM EDT, August 21, 2012
Name: Finis SwiMP3 2G
What it is: a waterproof MP3 player that, rather than ear buds, transmits audio via bone conduction. The SwiMP3 has 2GB of storage, enabling a swimmer to listen to music, books on tape and podcasts with great sound. Swimmers attach the SwiMP3 to their goggle straps and rest the bone-conduction speakers on their cheekbones. Songs are loaded and the player is charged using a USB connector that has a waterproof cover.
The good: I was skeptical that my cheekbones would act as sound conductors, but the SwiMP3 delivers amazing sound as soon as your face is underwater. Though I could hear a bit of sound before my face was submerged, the minute my ears and cheeks were underwater, I was plugged in to a concert. Now I can't wait to swim laps after checking in at a hotel to swim off tension that's built up waiting in lines at the airport.
The bad: I wish you could directly import iTunes into the SwiMP, but it's pretty simple to export your iTunes into an MP3 format before loading them onto the player. The one design aspect I hope Finis changes is the location of the plus and minus track-changing buttons, because they are on the same piece as the on/off buttons. As a result, I frequently turn the player off when I'm trying to switch tracks.
Available from: finisinc.com, amazon.com
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