View Full Version : Waterproof FM radio with bone conduction headphone? Does it exist?
24-04-2007, 01:34 AM
I've made the rounds and tried several options to add music to my lapswimming. The headphones are always the weakness; water always gets in to the baffles, and water noise always interferes with the music. I've tried a waterproof case for my ipod, but the case is so big & clumsy, and the headphones are still a problem. The best I found was an FM snorkel radio that used bone conduction, which bypasses the ears altogether, but I really don't want to use a snorkel. Does ANYONE make my ideal? A waterprooof FM swim radio that uses bone conduction instead of traditional headphones?
24-04-2007, 03:49 PM
I've been looking for many months, given up now though!
All I could find was a snorkel which used the mouth, and a childrens Lollipop which plays the radio as you suck it!
The technology is there to make such a device, but I think no one has developed it.
A bone conducting headphone could either be bitten and sound travels through the jaw to the ear or it could be placed under a swimming cap, allowing the sound to travel through the skull.
24-04-2007, 04:12 PM
I actually bought the snorkel radio. It worked great for 14 months, then the volume control died, so now it's just a $100 snorkel. The manufacturer (Amphicom) refused to repair or replace it, just offered me the honor of buying another at a slightly reduced price. Loved bone conduction; great sound, but I don't really want a snorkel. There's a Chinese MP3 headset that uses bone conduction, but then I'm back to the big awkward case for my ipod. As you say, the technology is there; no one has applied it to this particular market.
24-04-2007, 09:01 PM
Is it hard to make headphone which vibrates instead of producing sound??? I realise that's how sound is made, but it needs to be a strong vibration to work underwater.
I really feel there's a market for this, especially amongst swimmers and the hard of hearing
24-04-2007, 10:12 PM
This is what the Amphicom (or Aqua FM as it's known in the UK) looks like:
Only problem is I can't use mine now as I've lost three of my molars - the very ones that contact the Aqua FM's mouthpiece transducers.
Seriously, bone conduction has several drawbacks. Headphones are a lot better, it's just a matter of finding the best for you.
I use the H2O phones in open water, but find they take a lot of power to drive them to anything like decent volume, and the sealed construction severely restricts the bass response. In the pool I use a pair of water-resistant Sennheisers which give really hi-fi results. At least with the classic pop/rock I listen to.
You can get waterproof enclosures for tiny mp3 players like the iPod Shuffle. I only use my 20GB iPod/Otterbox combination in the pool as it's heavy and would sink if it came off my cozzie. For open water I have a 2GB Philips Jukebox player in a waterproof Dripod bag which hangs from my neck. This would float if it came adrift.
24-04-2007, 11:14 PM
If I saw you swimming like that in my local lake, I'm not sure what I'd think! :)
I CAN'T wear headphones of any sort, so a bone conducting waterproof headset is something I would use every day, not only while swimming.
25-04-2007, 03:31 PM
I found bone conduction to provide excellent sound. Bone conduction headsets are available, but only for your MP3 player, not an FM radio. The Japanese version that I saw doesn't use the teeth, but the skull or jawbone, as I recall. Bone conduction works MUCH better than earbuds.
25-04-2007, 03:43 PM
Bone conduction works MUCH better than earbuds.
Sorry to disagree, but it doesn't. I've tried most systems available. As there's no way to isolate the two channels bone conduction suffers badly from crosstalk, which impairs the stereo effect. I've also found the frequency response sorely lacking with very little audible bass and no treble.
If you want anything like decent sound quality it's got to be headphones. Incidentally, neither of my two waterproof headphone sets are earbuds - they both have neckbands so stay in place. The H2O phones actually seal into your ear canals and are claimed to work correctly down to 15' submersion.
I can't use earbuds myself - they won't stay in my ears. Meanwhile, take a look at this thread:
29-04-2007, 01:25 AM
You can disagree if you want, but my experience was completely different. I experienced NO crosstalk at all, and also no interference from water gurgling noise. As for earbuds vs earphones, I found they all had varying degrees of the same problem; water interfering with sound conduction into the ear canal.
18-05-2007, 07:09 AM
Also, check out videos and testimonials at http://www.waterproofmusic.com/swimp3.html
26-05-2007, 12:52 AM
Ordered the FitnessTek swimmers radio, and can't remember a worse online purchasing experience. The radio was defective, and Fitnesstek doesn't answer email, doesn't publish a phone number, failed to honor the warranty. This is the kind of company that gives Internet commerce a bad name.
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