H2O Audio Says:
100% Waterproof, iTunes compatible, state of the art MP3 player with Bluetooth. The STREAM2 is quickly taking over the discontinued iPod Shuffle
For more info visit: https://h2oaudio.com/
We’ve gone through tons of waterproof ipods/MP3 players over the years, each of them eventually fizzling out due to water damage or corrosion. Fortunately for us, H20 Audio just gave the Stream 2 an uphaul with a patented seal-tight headphone jack designed to reduce corrosion and improve your audio connection. Since this seemed to be the fix to some of the issues we’ve experienced with waterproof MP3 players in the past, we jumped at the chance to give it a try.
While we’ve tested quite a few waterproof MP3 players in the past, H2O Audio’s Stream 2 Waterproof MP3 Player might top out as one of the most intuitive and easy to use. Unlike other popular waterproof options, the buttons on the Stream are easy to navigate and upon pressing each button you can feel a click to confirm you’ve entered your command. When you turn the MP3 player on and see the blue light illuminate, a friendly woman’s voice says “Power On” and then “Playing from memory” before it blasts through your playlist. Every time a button is pressed, be it play, pause or toggling through songs, you’ll either hear her voice or hear a clicking noise suggesting you’ve hit a button. This was a big bonus for us as we commonly find ourselves fumbling with our MP3 player out on the water not knowing which buttons we’ve pressed because either our MP3 player is stuffed down our wetsuit or we’re too focused on where our kite is to look at our player (the audible confirmation you get when you’ve pressed buttons is a huge plus when you can’t get a visual).
H20’s Stream 2 is pretty plug and play right out of the box. Plug it into your computer with the proprietary USB cable (we make sure to label this cable as it is propriety to the Stream 2 and fits in it’s seal-tight jack) and wait for it to charge. A solid red light on the Stream 2 means charging and turns to solid blue when fully charged. The process takes about 3 hours, but in the mean time, you can add music and update your playlist.
The Stream 2 supports both .mp3 and .m4a (iTunes), so its simply a matter of copying/pasting or dragging/dropping your music files to the device once your computer has recognized it. Unfortunately, this MP3 player does not allow for multiple playlists so you’ll just have to update/replace your music more often — but hey, who’s got time to scroll through playlists out on the water anyway? The simplicity of this device is what makes it intuitive and so easy to use. The most notable thing we would say when loading up the Stream 2 is that it has a preloaded audio user guide. It’s a great instruction manual, but just make sure you give it a listen and then delete the file from the device before hitting the water or you’ll end up listening to four minutes of audio instruction on how the Stream 2 works which can bummer when it breaks the flow of your playlist mid kite session.
The functionality of the Stream 2 is extremely user-friendly. There are large dedicated skip and fast forward buttons along with volume and track change buttons which make it easy to adjust the volume and find songs. The buttons are plenty big enough for large fingers and clearly labeled so making adjustments on the water is possible.With previous MP3 players we’ve just chucked on cheapy headphones and called it good until a few months later when they shorted out. However, because of the Stream 2’s Steal-Tight Headphone connector, we made sure to use their waterproof H20 Audio Surge SX10-N headphones which are designed to fit and seal the jack, making sure it stays clean and dry. These headphones sit flush with your ear and have an over the ear wire which helped the headphone stay in our ears much better than regular earbuds, although we did notice because they have specific R/L ear labels, you have to cognitively think about which ear they go on and were a bit tricky to get in the correct position when trying to shove them under our hood. The Surge SX10-Ns come with 11 ear tip options for small and large earholes alike. Tip: after we’ve chosen our appropriate earbud size, we like to put a dab of super glue on the horn of the headphone before attaching the rubber earbud to make sure it stays on and doesn’t go missing, even though the heaviest wipeouts.
The player’s got a nifty clip on the back to secure to the exterior of a swimsuit, boardshorts or headband, but for extra precaution, we created a home made necklace out of old kite line and strung the device around our neck to ensure we wouldn’t loose the device in a big wipeout. We were stoked that the STREAM is equipped with Bluetooth technology which does work underwater, however, its range is only about 30ft or 10m, so it’s best to save this feature for the off season when your keeping in shape with laps at the pool.
While this Mp3 player is 2-3x larger than an iPod shuffle, it’s large, easy click buttons make it easier to operate out on the water as well as for people with larger hands. We never found the size an issue as we could still stuff it down our wetsuits without it causing too much pressure on our chests.
When you look at the history of waterproof MP3 players, the Stream 2 is a big step forward in terms of intuitive user-friendly operation on the water. For those that have been using the waterproof hacked version of iPods, they might miss the music management backend of iTunes, however, the Stream 2’s simplicity is what makes it intuitive and so easy to use.
This device is usually one of our last MP3 players standing when it comes to battery life, lasting about 6+ hours or 3 kite sessions and after 6 months of use, we’ve had no issues with corrosion.
Overall, this device is an excellent option if you’re looking for a basic, waterproof MP3 player that won’t break the bank but will have you jamming out on the water in no time.