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Finis releases Neptune bone conduction waterproof audio player

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May 22, 2013

The new Finis Neptune waterproof audio player

The new Finis Neptune waterproof audio player

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Finis has significantly upgraded its SwiMP3 underwater audio player with the release of the Neptune waterproof audio player.

Like the Finis SwiMP3, which has been on the market for five years, the Neptune waterproof player uses bone conduction to deliver sound to the audio canal.

In creating the new Neptune player, Finis has drawn heavily on its experience with the SwiMP3, and has redesigned all components, including the bone conduction speakers.

The new Neptune offers 4GB of memory, an integrated OLED display, improved file transfer compatibility with iTunes and is waterproof to 3 meters (10 ft).

Gizmag is currently conducting a giant underwater MP3 player comparison and has had one of the now superseded FINIS SwiMP3 players in the comparison alongside the following units:

  • Audioflood iPod Shuffle
  • Diver with LCD
  • Finis SwiMP3
  • Fitness Technologies UWater G4
  • Fitness Technologies UWater K7 Radio
  • H2O Audio X-1 Interval
  • JLab GO
  • Lavod TropicalFever
  • Lavod Aquacube
  • Nu Dolphin Touch Pro
  • Nu Dolphin Lite
  • Nu Dolphin 2.0
  • Sony Sports Walkman W270
  • Speedo Aquabeat LZR
  • Speedo Aquabeat 2.0
  • Swimpod/Swimman Apple iPod Shuffle
  • Underwater Audio Apple iPod Shuffle
  • Wetplayer
  • Waterfi iPod Nano Generation 7
  • Waterfi iPod Nano Generation 6
  • Waterfi iPod Shuffle

The performance of the SwiMP3 against that list augurs well for the Neptune.

There were two distinct schools of thought surrounding the SwiMP3 – most people loved it, but some hated it.

The reason it completely polarized opinion is because it uses bone conduction to get the sound into the auditory system rather than earbuds wedged into the ear canal. The two speakers of the SwiMP3 rest on the user's cheekbones and conduct the sound vibrations via said cheekbone directly into the inner ear.

The current Finis SwiMP3 player

Everyone who tried it either rated it in their top three players, or bottom three players, though to be fair, eight testers rated it in their top three, while only two testers rated it in the bottom three – from more than 20 units, that's quite a compliment to the SwiMP3.

Accordingly, we expect the new three-piece Neptune design to be an improvement upon a unit which was already one of the best on the market.

Finis has a player in a courier on its way to us at present so we'll reserve judgement until we've tried it in the water, but there were a few relevant things we can reflect on so far.

Several of the testers we have used in the comparison shoot-out liked the SwiMP3 specifically because they didn't need to push anything into their ears.

Secondly, in our testing, once any of the players were in place with headset secured and working, verbal communication was impossible ... except with the SwiMP3, where conversations could be held even while the player was still playing.

This could be a significant factor if children are involved – "sorry mum, I didn't hear you."

We'll report more on the Neptune in the near future when we have had it in the pool.

Product page: Finis Neptune

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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2 Comments

Would be nice to have something like this incorporated in a motorcycle helmet.

AEH in FL

I bought swimp3 three years ago, after 4 months it stopped working, then it was replaced by retailer, but second one lived about 3 months(once a week swimming). Bought Aqua Beat speedo after that. Two years came by it is still works well. So i do not know who compared the list of analogical products, but in my experience it is not the finnis, but aquabeat that is the best.

Marat
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