Advantages Earbuds stay in, no wires, simple controls, good sound, completely waterproof, rechargeable
Disadvantages Capacity is only 4 GB
Swimming is one of my favourite ways to exercise and I usually swim three times a week. As I am the type of person who won't even go to the corner shop without listening to my ipod on the way, I have always really missed music while swimming and wished there was such thing as a waterproof MP3 player. I eventually discovered this one and I think it's one of the best things I've ever bought!When looking for a way to listen to music in water, the options seem to be either a waterproof case to put your existing MP3 player in, which I was reluctant to try as I don't want to risk damaging my beloved ipod classic, a fully waterproof MP3 player plus waterproof headphones, or a one piece MP3 player with integrated headphones and which is worn as a kind of head set. This last option would describe the Merlin.
The picture shows how the Merlin looks. It is a one piece unit with everything integrated and no separate headphones. You simply put the ear buds into your ears, hooking the white frame around the top of your ears and around the back of your head. It comes with three different sizes of earbud for use while swimming so that if the earbuds feel a bit loose and not secure enough in your ear, you can change the size and find the one which stays firmly in. It also comes with three more earbuds in different sizes for use on land, but I have not tried these as I use the player purely for swimming. It is waterproof up to 1 metre depth.Before choosing to buy this, I read quite a few reviews on Amazon of different waterproof MP3 players and one of the main complaints was earbuds not staying in properly while swimming. That seemed to be a massive issue for the Speedo Aquabeats player and was one of the main things which put me off that product (as well as the need to replace batteries in it).
I have been really pleased with how well the Merlin earbuds stay in my ears in the pool. They have never actually fallen out a single time! Occasionally at first I felt they were coming a little bit loose, but this was because I was paranoid about them coming out. The instructions suggest that if you want to make them even more secure you should wear goggles and put the goggle strap over the sides of the Merlin frame, effectively strapping the player to your head. I thought this might look a bit stupid but to be honest it doesn't look that strange and it is a really effective method of keeping the player perfectly in place. It works whether I actually wear the goggles or just put them on my head. When I do this I don't have to fiddle with the earbuds or player at all and can just get on with swimming.I also like the fact the headphones are integrated as there are no wires getting in the way. I think headphone wires could be a bit off putting while swimming as I would have to be careful not to accidentally knock them out or watch out of them getting caught or tangled. I think the all in one headset style is better because it is simpler and more minimalist.
The sound from these ear buds is pretty good.
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