The H2O steam MP3 player supports both traditional MP3 playback and somewhat uniquely Bluetooth playback. The player sits on the back of your goggles via a crocodile clip., smartly the clip allows you to rotate the player to find the best fit and angle. The player is remarkably small given the technology buried Operation of the device is simple enough with your traditional play pause stop functionality as well as the ability to turn your Bluetooth streaming choice on and off. Loading on MP3s is a simple as connecting the device to your computer and copying them over. The device supports 8GB so enough for 2000 songs.
Now I was super excited to try out the Bluetooth streaming and simply put it blew me away. The pairing was quick simple and painless (just holding down the Bluetooth button whilst powering on) and from that point onward you can fire up your favourite music application and have it stream away. Controls operate as per MP3 playback and you swap between MP3 playback and streaming on demand.
I was dubious around the range of the product, so my coach and I tested out the range across a variety of distances and environments and correct phone positioning is key. For a traditional 25m pool, I found as long as the phone was close to or near the end of the pool then you would have no problem continuing to stream music all day long. This will suit the majority of athletes so a major tick for me. I did start to notice significant dropouts over a 50m pool, as we’re now over the Bluetooth limits. This was simply solved however by moving the phone to the midpoint between the lanes. So with a bit of planning, you can blast Tay Tay all day long whilst ignoring your set.
What it does require is a bit of planning and security. As your phone needs to be close to the pool deck you certainly need to be in a place where you’re comfortable that your phone won’t be stolen. Swim squad or a trusted pool will be fine. Waterproofing is also of concern. I paired the Steam with the AMPHIBX case and stored it under the diving blocks which worked really well but be safe and sensible with your phone.
I have nothing but high praises for this product. It really has changed the way that I approach swimming and is going to make all this extra training a little less boring over Christmas. It’s selling for around $120 AUD and certainly a worthwhile investment for yourself or any Triathlete buddy.