UNDERWATER AUDIO Says:
More than just a waterproof MP3 player, the Delphin utilizes an Android operating system, touchscreen, and WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities to take waterproof listening to the next level. Now you can wirelessly download and sync with your favorite audio apps, then hit the water while listening to your Spotify playlists, Pandora Premium offline station, Audible audiobooks, podcasts, and more!
Delphin Waterproof Micro Tablet: $220-$260
For more info visit: https://www.underwateraudio.com/products/delphin-waterproof-streaming-media-player
We ditched iTunes for subscription-based audio like Spotify and Audible a long time ago, but for listening to music on the water, we’ve always had to stick with our waterproof iPod or MP3 player which has forced us back into the antiquated world of iTunes, and left us with piles of overplayed song in the static playlists of our iPods/MP3 players. For these reasons, we became exceptionally excited when Underwater Audio released the Delphin Waterproof Micro Tablet, a standalone Android supported waterproof audio device that supports Spotify, Audible, Pandora and more.
Our package arrived with the Delphin, Underwater Audio’s Swimbud Sport headphones and a small keyboard for setup. The Delphin Tablet is a touchscreen and although relatively small to get your fingers on the right keys for setup, we didn’t have any problems and therefore didn’t need to break open the keyboard.
The Delphin is a standalone device that doesn’t require Bluetooth in order to play while you’re out on the water. Since we’ve switched to Spotify, we’ve contemplated other Bluetooth enabled waterproof MP3 players in the past, however, since they all have to be within range of your cellphone (designed for people who put their phone at the edge of the swimming pool and connect their device via Bluetooth while they swim laps) these units would never stay connected when we head out of range into the ocean to kite. That’s what makes the Delphin stand apart from Bluetooth enabled MP3 Players, it’s portability.
At merely 2″x 2″ in size, the Delphin runs on relatively complex software packed into a small, compact device. The first thing we noticed is that the device takes a full minute to boot up, running you through a number of boot screens that inform you about the proper usage of the device, as well as battery saving suggestions such as turning off Wifi when in use, minimizing screen sleeping time and turning Bluetooth off. If we plan ahead, we hit the power button before suiting up in our wetsuit and it’s up, running and ready to play as we walk to the beach. The device features a built-in clip on the backside that can easily be attached to your swimsuit or rashguard — although we recommend making a necklace and tucking it into your wetsuit for ultimate safety.
Once the Delphin boots you’ll be directed to set up your device’s language and time zone before the Home screen appears. The Delphin runs on Android technology so if you have an Android-based phone, the interface may look familiar to you. Initially, there’s quite a bit of logging in you have to do, and this is where connecting the wireless keyboard could be beneficial to save you the finger strain of typing in your Wifi Password on such a small screen. Our units came with Spotify, but once you connect to wifi, download the apps, login and download the music you want then you are ready to go.
While we could stream audio via Spotify while we were connected to the internet, when we first took the device to the beach we learned that in order to play Spotify on the device while out kiting (and not connected to our home or phone wifi internet), we had to download audio files and playlists directly to the device via our Spotify premium account before we took it into the water. It was a surprising added feature that we could turn on mobile tethering on our cellphone and connect our Delphin device to wifi that way, which made it possible to update playlists and download them to our device in the convenience of our car at the beach.
We’ve been through our fair share of waterproof MP3 players due to corrosion, poor care, but the Delphin does it’s best to remind you how to take care of it for prolonged use. During startup, the Delphin switches through multiple screens reminding you of care instructions that will help keep the Delphin in its best shape: “rinse off after swimming (or kiting in our case)”, “Turn off screen before getting into water,” “Turn off before charging,” “Allow to dry for 4 hours before charging” — These precautionary alerts are great maintenance reminders and will help keep your device in tip-top shape. The Delphin comes with a proprietary charging cable so make sure to label it and charge only with that cord. We noticed that if we turned off wi-fi connectivity and put the device in airplane mode, we could get 6 hours out of a battery charge and a full charge up would take us about an hour and 15 minutes.
The Delphin comes with Underwater Audio’s Swimsport headphones. Designed to completely seal out water (we like this as Santa Cruz’s howling winds and frigid water temps are prone to cause Surfer’s Ear), the headphones come with four different styles of earbuds. We started with the cone/tree shaped ear buds, but found that the headphone speaker body stuck farther out of our ears and was prone to falling out. We then tried the rounded bulb style ear bud and that seemed to stick in our ear quite well while the speaker body was flush with our ear lobes and stayed in place through some pretty solid wipe outs. All of that said, you’ll have to test out all of the earbud styles to find the ultimate one that’s comfortable for you. The 16 inch standard length headphone cord was the perfect length for hanging the device around your neck. It’s just long enough to allow for free movement of your head, but not so long that the cable gets tangled or difficult to manage, but if you do want some extra length, the Delphin comes with an additional headphone extension cord. At one point we used the Delphin with some cheap over the counter headphones (yes, $15 cheapos can work for kiteboarding) but the audio level was disappointing and returning to the UA Swimsport headphones underscored the value of these headphones in terms of volume level and sound quality.
Overall, we’re loving this device because of its dependability and sheer diversity of music it offers through online apps. The only downsides we found are that the navigation in the Spotify app is a bit small which makes it best manipulated from the stability and safety of dry land. If we fail to plan ahead, sometimes the time it takes to safely dry the device and then charge can cramp our style, but that is just the nature of the reliable waterproof MP3 beast. We also found the volume adjustment to be hard to tweak on the water while flying a kite, so that’s best pre-set before you get in the water. So far we’ve been using this music tablet for about two months and kiteboarding most days in cold, salty water without any hitches. Stocked with our favorite Spotify playlists this device gains our vote for one of the best waterproof music options out there right now for kiteboarders.