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11-01-2009, 06:10 PM #1H2O Audio SURGE Headphones
We're reviewing the H2O Audio SURGE headphones (Part No. | IE1-5A1) for the iPhone/iPod Touch today and having some fun in the process. These headphones are intended to be used underwater in swimming pools or other shallow bodies of water to a depth of 12ft, or anywhere you need waterproofing such as using a jet ski in the lake. It includes 5 sets of Elastomer earplugs and doesn't slide out of your ear due to the materials used. Elastomer is known to be a high friction material so it will stay put in your ear quite nicely. So, who is H2O Audio? A company based in San Diego, California that specialized in waterproof audio products since 2003. They have put their product in the hands of people such as Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin, and Laird Hamilton for R&D and product feedback. You can find H2O products at Apple, Best Buy, The Sports Authority, and Amazon.com.
When I first opened the package I noticed the disclaimer about break in period so I plugged them into my 16g 2nd gen iPod Touch and cranked them up for 30 minutes or so to break them in.
You'll notice when you have them in your ear they are a little harder than the earbuds you are probably used to. The material used in the construction of the buds produce this effect and the purpose is to provide a solid seal in your ear and eliminate leaking in of water. There are 5 different sizes of earbud cover included and you can chose what fits and feels best for you. I'm more of a fan of the pyramid style of bud rather than the barrel, but that is just personal preference. How do they sound? Well for a set of audiophile headphones sitting by the fire on a cold winters day they are a little flat line on the sound, but for a set of waterproof headphones tuned and built for underwater use or recreational watersports they are great. I paired these with the H2O Amphibix armband (Part No. | WA1-5A1) to test them underwater and was pleasently surprised by how they performed. Also you may note they have a small case for the headphones and buds making them easy to store and carry.
The whole point to using the H2O headphones is for waterproofing and I found they did that well when I strapped on my H2OAudio Amphibix armband and plugged them in. The H2O "Sealtight" connector system works flawlessly and allows for the 3.5mm jack to lock into place and form a water tight seal. One thing to note is the "Sealtight" connector system is a H2O system only so you need to use H2O earphones and cases with each other to get the full waterproofing effect. Frequency response stayed mostly flat while underwater and you might want to play with your ipod's equalizer to set it best for your situation.
(image via h2oaudio.com)
I was able to enjoy a great day of using the jet ski and got in some swimming as well all while listening to my tunes. If you go swimming a lot or own a jet ski, boat, etc….. you may want to check out the headphones and compatible cases from H2OAudio.