I have to say that I have a bit of a personal hatred of swimming MP3 players. Almost every one of them has disappointed me, from crappy sound quality, down to the fact that I have to dig out my old MP3’s (if your thinking CD’s your too old to me reading this!) and copy them across. H2O audio has not only changed my mind, but I’m even swimming with the headset on regularly, much to my coaches disgust. I was lucky enough to review a wide range of products two sets of earphones, one fixed cable and one Bluetooth a waterproof case as well as the MP3 player so I will start with the earphones first.
The philosophy behind the surge earphones is to create a listening experience based around creating premium sound whether the earphones are used in and out of the water. I tested the earphones both on land, during fast track sets and in the water and I was suitability impressed in all scenarios.
The Surge range of earphones come in a variety of versions, with both a short and long corded version as well as a Bluetooth connected pair. All earphones are waterproof to 3.6m and are your traditional earbud style supported by an additional piece of rubber to hold the earphone flush in your ear.
The earphones come with a vast array of bud sizes, both waterproof and non-waterproof versions so you are sure to find a perfect fit.
On land, I didn’t find much slippage out of my ear, even during heavy training sessions.
The audio quality is what you would expect from a mid-range product, I found the audio to be high in treble and lacking a fair bit of base. H2O recommend calibrating the headsets especially if they have been shipped via airmail and I highly recommend that you do this. It increases base to a reasonable level and mellows out the sound.
In the pool I found the earphones to be amazing especially when paired up with the steam waterproof MP3 player. My ears usually fill up halfway through the first lap, with the H2O earphones, once I had chosen the correct earplugs (I have different size ear canals, who would have thought!) I managed to get through a full 1K effort with little to no distortion or water leakage. That is an impressive feat (including a 1K effort if you have seen me swim.)
The wired versions of the headsets obviously need to be paired up with a waterproof MP3 player or phone in a case if your brave, the Bluetooth version is waterproof however H2O audio do not recommend using the Bluetooth headphones to connect in the water due to the limitation of Bluetooth underwater. The applies to all players.
Overall I found the headphones to give a solid performance. I would certainly recommend the wired versions, especially when paired with the stream reviewed below. The Bluetooth headset did a reasonable job in and out of the water but there are certainly better choices particularly on land.
You can find the wired versions for around the $40 AUD mark and the Bluetooth version for $100 AUD