Battle Test: H2O Audio

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Having lived in New Orleans forever, I have a handful of friends who work in aquatic settings–Divers, fishermen, etc. I’ve had quite a few requests from them for advice on which case to use for their beloved DAPs while working. It took a bit of scouring, but I eventually found H2O Audio, a company that makes rugged, waterproof cases that are precisely suitable for the environments in question.

After a short email exchange, I received in the mail one H2O Audio for Nano and one set of H2O Audio Headphones. While the case looks completely solid, I was, admittedly, a little hesitant to dunk my Nano. Just to be safe, I first put a piece of paper inside the case and tossed it in the pool, letting it sit for several minutes. I’m glad to say that when I retrieved the case, the paper was completely dry. More at ease, I was now ready to test the case with my Nano inside.

I strapped the neoprene armband on and got it situated. And then I attempted to put the headphones on. There is a big problem here. I’m not a small guy and the headphones have extremely limited adjustability. They were incapable of reaching around my head to fit completely into each ear. I decided to attempt to look past that problem though and go for a swim with one bud inserted. Now I understand that these headphones are being underwater. I understand that they’re not going to have hifi sound, but suffice to say that I was less than impressed. The sound quality simply isn’t there. I let a friend with a smaller head test the headphones as well. The set fit him perfectly, yet he agreed with my weak sound impression.

What I can say, is that the case works exactly as it should. It might be a little clunky, but your Nano will remain dry and safe within. I swam around with it for a long time and there were no issues whatsoever. So consider this a half-endorsement. Due to limited adjustability and poor sound quality, I do not recommend the H2O Audio Headphones. The one problem is that I’m not sure if there are any better waterpoof headphones on the market. If you’re just in the market for a waterproof housing for your DAP though, H2O Audio has several models available that work exactly as advertised.

H2O Audio

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