My first H2O Audio product was for the third generation iPod Nano, back when it was all the rage. The case itself weighed almost three times that of the Nano, but I loved it (still do). It was sturdy, indestructible, and very good at what it was designed for. But the headphones? Well, they left a little to be desired; poor sound quality, poor fitting.
Fast forward several years to when I got a new iPod Nano. Naturally I just had to have the new Amphibx Fit Armband to protect it. As I pulled it from its box, the first thing I noticed how light, almost flimsy it felt in my hand. Turning it over and opening the rear compartment latch to put my Nano inside also proved a bit more, shall we say, forced. I chalked that up to first time use, and I was correct. Repeated openings of the latch made for a smoother and less troublesome opening.
After adjusting the velcro of the armband to fit my arm, I slipped it on and found it's positioning comfortable and natural for my sport of choice; Stand-Up Paddling (SUP). I also noticed what I thought to be an intentional design bonus; the velcro straps can be removed so that the case itself could then be attached to a belt or webbing strap (like a life vest, backpack strap, etc.). This was a definite bonus for versatile use.
As I loaded up and headed out with my SUP and gear, I happily bopped down to my local put-in for my inaugural use on a paddle down the canals of the Netherlands. This is where I noticed the biggest design flaw.
The newest generation of Nano is mainly a touch screen, it's volume and power buttons being the only external buttons on the top. So as it sits in the newest incarnation of the Amphibx, it is flat on your arm so that you can operate the touch screen with ease; that is if you can get the unit to power on. The design makes it very challenging, if not damn near impossible to adjust the volume or even power button in order to use the touch screen, especially with thin gloves on.
This all adds up to a fairly frustrating interaction with what appears to be a well designed and well constructed product. It required me to stop paddling, take my glove off, manipulate the nano inside in order to get it to slide down just a fraction before I could get my nail to push down firmly on the plastic housing enough that I was able to get the unit to power on; repeat when I wanted to change volume. By then, I had lost all momentum on the water; not a very good selling point for a product that insists that it is designed for "music on the go".
The improved lightweight, versatile design suffers from a poor user experience when used during sport. Now the new headphones, now that is an entirely different story. So, it seems I am going to be sacrificing a bit of weight savings with the latest incarnation of the Amphibx Fit Armband by sticking with it's older, more rugged predecessor in combination with a new set of Flex All Sport headphones, which for me, is the perfect combination of form following function.
(Posted on 3/28/12)
I'm not a swimmer but I live in the south and I run in all weather conditions, from raging thunderstorm to freezing rain to sweat-drenched 90 degrees and 90% humidity. After a lot of frustration and a fair bit of money I've finally accepted that there's no such thing as a waterproof/sweatproof MP3 player. I took my new Amphibx Fit for a sweaty run yesterday and a rainy run this morning, and my new Shuffle survived bone dry.
My only complaint as a runner is the big beefy armstrap, and that was easy enough to replace with a much thinner and lighter reflective strap that I already had. (Posted on 3/24/12)
I used this mainly for swimming laps. I take extra care on the seal and the o-ring. Just ensure the o-ring is free of dirt,hair,sand or any particles before you close the lid. Also make sure the small cable plugged into your Ipod inside the housing is placed folded neatly away from the lid cover.
For swimming laps I don't think it's a good idea to use the armband strap, I would recommend using the waist belt together with the unit.
For the headphones I would run it through the google straps coming down from the top of the ear (actually placed upside down)into my ear. I would slightly pull the earlobe back for a snug fit.
From hereon nothing moves or comes out no matter how rigoruos my swimming is.
One problem is adjusting the volume on my Ipod nano (6th gen) - almost impossible as buttons are on top of the Ipod. I suggest you take time to adjust to the right volume and memorize them. It's a real hassle having to reopen the lid just for that.
Just like any underwater housing you just need to be careful when you close the lid.
I am giving it only 4 star because of the difficulty I have with adjusting the volume.
Good Luck! (Posted on 2/8/12)
I have been using my Amphibix armband with my Shuffle for the last 3 years during my trice weekly water work out. I love it. It has helped me work harder and get stronger! I am the talk of the pool! Thank you H2O audio. You guys are great! (Posted on 12/12/11)
i must admit that the first time i dove into my pool with this product on i was like here goes 149 dollar but then i popped up to the top and started swimming and wow music while swimming. i am so impressed with this product that I'm telling everyone about it.hour of just looking at the bottom of the pool got old really quick but now that i have music i am doing more laps then ever. i love it .thank you so much H20 audio you make an awesome product. (Posted on 11/26/11)
I can't begin to tell anyone that will listen to me how this product has changed my life!! Each day I take my aqua jogger along w/ the audio set and spend an hour in the pool . The ability to listen to music or books while jogging in the pool is simply fantastic!! (Posted on 10/24/11)
The Amphibx Fit (small) is by far one of the best options for surface swimming/diving that you can get. I am a surface diver that spends 8+ hours underwater every day (3ft-10ft), and the Amphibx is great to listen to music with my iPod Shuffle 4G. I've beat the snot out of it for the past couple of months, and it has withstood the torture. Although it does get moisture in it during long work days (more than just condensation), for the majority of the time, it's great. It's the best product of its kind on the market, and I am really rough on it (I scrub barnacles off boats for a living with the Amphibx attached to my wrist) so I'll give it 4 stars. Also, this is great in conjunction with the "Surge Pro Mini Waterproof Headphones - Balanced Armature Driver," but, since it supports many different mp3 players, it doesn't fit the shuffle as well as it could. The Shuffle 4g has enough room to party around in it. You have to put some packing to get the player to face the front properly, and it is difficult to toggle the playlist button on the Shuffle 4G's top (although with your fingernail you can flex the surface of the Amphibx to get it to go). Overall, great buy (even if its expensive) and its a great choice for outdoor watersports/surface diving. By the way, I have spent a good 150 hrs at 10ft underwater, and this thing holds true to their waterproof standards. Thanks h20audio, you make my job a heck of a lot easier! (Posted on 7/23/11)
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