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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Review: Waterfi Swimcast

The Waterfi Swimcast is a chromecast audio device stitched together with a battery and then wrapped in a waterproof'd housing and then bundled with a set of waterfi short-cord headphones. Despite my relative happiness with the Diver MP3 player, I'd discovered that I was very bad at changing the playlist downloaded to the music player, and hoped that the ability to pick say, an Audible audiobook for the duration of the swim would give me much needed variety during my swim session. The kickstarter version of the unit at $99 was cheap enough that I decided to give it a shot.

The first version of the device arrived, charged up, promptly overheated and died. I sent e-mail to Waterfi, and they immediately shipped me a replacement unit while I shipped the defective unit back. Great customer service!

The best part of the Swimcast is the bundled short-cord headphones, which you can acquire separately from Amazon at $30 per set. These are simply speaking the best headphones I'd ever used while swimming. Because they're short, they don't get tangled up when you put them away. Nor do they ever add resistance to your swim, and despite appearances, they're tough enough that when the Diver MP3 player falls off the goggles they stay in my ear!

Unfortunately, the Swimcast itself is a big bust. This isn't a problem with the unit: at home, it charges up great, and streams music and audio just fine. It's just that public swimming pools have overloaded WiFi, and the private swimming pool I use occasionally has the WiFi router setup so that my phone can't reach the Swimcast, even when both are paired to the same WiFi access point. The net result is that it's not actually practical to use this unless you're in the population with great WiFi in a swimming pool. Oops!

All in all, I'd say the short cord headphones are the best part of the package, but you can buy those for $30 each, so there's no need to pay $150 for the Swimcast. I don't think I'll ever get to use this. If you live near me and have access to a swimming pool with great WiFi, you can come by and borrow the unit.


Scott said...

I wonder if you could have your phone offer itself as an access point and pair with that?

Piaw Na said...

Yup. But that's too much trouble, and your phone's battery is going to die very quickly when used as a wifi hotspot.

Unknown said...

Try using a wireless travel router like the HooToo to repeat the signal and bypass that pesky log in screen