My audible, underwater adventures

My audible, underwater adventures

At first the water felt ice cold as his waist first was submerged. He felt a tingling in his recently injured shoulder as his arm sliced through the water, hurling himself closer to the headland. Another wave crashed over his head as the taste of salt started to set in. His ears wear blasting with the sound of “bubbles… gasp… bubbles… gasp” mixed with the words “We worked for some months in a spacious basement suite in which we had set up a closed-circuit system that projected an image of the subject’s pupil on a screen in the corridor…”.

It’s okay, I understand that confused look on your face right now.

You’re thinking, “What on earth is Luke on about?”, “What on earth is he describing?”, or perhaps “WHY IS HE TELLING ME THIS?! IS HE MAD?”.

I was describing myself at 7:05 this morning as I went swimming down at Manly Beach again, but this time there was one important difference…

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls I have an announcement: I can now be less focused on my horrible drowning-style swimming and pass the time while listening to audiobooks, podcasts or music!

Sony NWZ-W273 Walkman Waterproof MP3 Player
Sony NWZ-W273 Walkman Waterproof MP3 Player

While my Avantree Jogger Bluetooth Headphones have been great for running and cycling, allowing me to pass the time while I put down some long kilometres but so far this hasn’t extended to swimming – my least favourite, most boring sport that needs the most improvement.

So back in December I was searching through a range of iPhone 5S/5 bluetooth headphones to try and find waterproof ones and a waterproof case for the iPhone (which in hindsight would have been pretty bulky for swimming) and low and behold, thanks to the genius of “related products” I saw this pair of headphones that are actually an waterproof MP3 player!

When I got my first Sony Walkman at 2 years old it was a radio/cassette tape player that hooked me onto audiobooks, I would never have anticipated that decades later I’d be using a new model walkman (NWZ-W273) to seamlessly listen to audiobooks underwater!

So how’s the experience? They’re comfortable enough considering they function underwater. Listening to music is a piece of cake, podcasts are fine too. Audiobooks are harder because you have to make sure you don’t accidentally have it on shuffle. Also be careful to slice the audiobook into small segments in case you accidentally skip forward or backwards and lose your place. It’s a little nuanced but well worth it.

All in all, I’m really excited about continuing to use these. It’ll really help my swimming training knowing that I have the likes of Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow” waiting for me…1.5km at a time!

7 Replies to “My audible, underwater adventures”

  1. How good are these at keeping their position on the audiobook, when you turn them on & off / connect them to the PC ?

  2. Hey Per,

    They keep the position when they’re turned off so that we’re they’re turned back on you start from where they’re left off 🙂

    The other tip I would give is to make sure that the mp3 isn’t too quiet because the maximum volume has to compete with the sound of you breathing out bubbles!

    Cheers, Luke

  3. Hi Luke,
    Just wondering what you use to download your audiobooks? ITunes or Thanks Heather 🙂

    1. Hi Heather,

      I mostly use Audible but also will occasionally use iTunes and CDs.

      I’m now finding that it’s easier to use podcasts while swimming though.

      Cheers, Luke

  4. Luke,
    I saw your post….. I just bought the SONY NWZ-W273S…… I want to listen to while swimming….. is there some trick to getting Audible to work with his device……drag Audible files onto SONY device from ituens….they don’t seem to be recognized.

    Any thoughts?

    1. Hey! I’ve converted them using various different ways, here’s a how-to:

      I do recommend it more for podcasts than audiobooks as it can be easy to lose your place on an audiobook and they’re harder to navigate whereas podcasts are usually 20min to 2 hours and that bite size content is better (and you’re okay with skipping it if you get half way through and then accidentally start from the beginning again).

      Hope that helps!

      1. 2 years on, how’s does the Walkman hold up? I got one about the same time, and agree it was excellent, but I used it only in the pool. Last summer, I took it in salt water, and not long thereafter, it ceased to work. I’d like to get a new MP3 player for swimming, but wonder if I should get a different one than the Sony. What’s your experience with regular salt water exposure?

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