H2O Audio: Waterproof Audio Solutions for Paddling Matt Chebatoris June 29, 2018 Accessories, Reviews Compact, thoughtfully designed waterproof MP3 player and headphones As paddlers flock to the water to take advantage of summer, waterproof electronic gadgets are increasingly becoming a part of everyone’s gear bag. H2O Audio was founded in 2003 in San Diego, California with the mission of providing water sports athletes with a range of products designed to deliver an “exceptional audio experience”. This philosophy is embodied in their slogan, “Your Sport – Your Music” and resonates throughout their range. Ergonomically designed to be used specifically in the water, H2O Audio’s technology allows their headphones to withstand heavy perspiration, rinsing, and even complete submersion to 12’/3.6m underwater for an unlimited amount of time. STREAM Waterproof MP3 Player The STREAM from H2O Audio is a fully waterproof, Bluetooth capable MP3 player. The Bluetooth connection is great as it allows users to stream audio from a smartphone. This is a great option which provides users with full access to music, podcasts, audio books, etc. while keeping your smartphone safely tucked away in a waterproof case or dry bag. The STREAM also has an 8GB memory capacity, capable of storing thousands of songs. The buttons are straightforward and easy to use for anyone who has used a smartphone, MP3 player or iPod in the past. There is also a shuffle button so you can diversify the order of your playlist. I’m an iPhone user with my music stored in iTunes, so I have not loaded any of my own music into the STREAM’s memory. (iTunes files are not in MP3 format.) Instead, I’ve used the STREAM’s Bluetooth capability to route my playlist and podcasts from my iPhone. This works seamlessly and allowed me to keep my iPhone safely secured in a drybag when out paddling. One of the great additional features on the STREAM is a 360 degree rotating clip. The clip has a firm bite and can be securely attached wherever you’d like: boardshorts, bikini, PFD, hat, etc. The STREAM is so light you will not notice you are carrying it. Fits in the palm of your hand. Surge Sportwrap + Waterproof Headphones The Surge Sportwrap + waterproof headphones combine the stable fit of a behind-the-neck headphone with the sound quality of a high end earbud style headphone. The Surge Sportwrap is designed for high impact, vigorous activity in or out of the water and I can attest, it has a secure fit. I knew straight away this was a pair of headphones that would not gradually work their way loose during paddling. The headphone’s sound quality is amazing. H2O Audio augmented the sound quality with a bass amplifier which negates the tiny sound which often accompanies earbud style headphones. The Surge Sportwrap waterproof headphones come with five different earbud sizes, so you can almost certainly find a set that work for you. The sportwrap is essentially an ergonomic neckband with a coiled headphones cable. The headphones cable is 24″ with no stretch and fully extends out to 50″. I like to lose myself in the zone during an intense workout, but one of the issues I’ve always encountered has been headphones falling off. The Surge Sportwrap is the first set up I’ve tried where that has not been an issue. If you are someone who likes to completely immerse yourself in your music during a workout, H2O Audio’s STREAM and Surge headphone system are an excellent option to get you there. Both products are lightweight, easy to use and unlike so many other products on the market, H2O Audio is truly waterproof. Comments Matt ChebatorisMatt is a former national security professional and lifelong adventurer. He has published material on a variety of topics in the foreign policy arena and created PaddleXaminer™ as a platform to share his enjoyment of paddling with others. When not on the water, Matt can be found hiking along rugged mountain trails in the California wilderness. Matt resides in Los Angeles and is a member of the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in Redondo Beach, California.