AfterShokz Xtrainerz review of the Best Mp3 Player for Swimming
Swimming will never be boring again: Crystal Clear sound underwater with this Bud-free earphone powered by Bone Conduction.
Aftershokz Xtrainerz it’s comfortable to wear and fit securely on your head with the wrap-around headband. No need to worry about sealing problems and falling off. Crystal clear sound, and it’s even better underwater — plenty of bass and volume with dedicated equalization.
With 4GB of Memory and 8 hours of battery life, you can easily store up to 800/1000 songs: connect the Xtrainerz to the USB cable and organize your music in different folders, like you would do on your computer. It supports the main audio formats such as MP3, WMA, FLAC, and more.
Xtrainerz are tested on the assembly line at 50-atmosphere pressure to ensure 100% waterproof capability (IP68), and it’s perfectly compatible with swim goggles, mask, cap, snorkels like Powerbreather and earplugs.
The good thing versus a traditional wireless headphone is that you can enjoy music while remaining aware of the surrounding noise (particularly while cycling) as your ears are completely free. Finally, because the structure is very lightweight (only 29 grams) and very steady on the ears, you can jump, run or cycle and you won’t even know you’ve got them on as they do not move at all.
- Titanium Frame, IP68 certified, fully waterproof (salt and freshwater), Dustproof
- Weight: 29 gr
- Compatible with swim goggles, cap, earplugs and snorkels
- Eliminate painful experience caused by in-ear headphones
- Fit securely even with intensive body movement
- Plenty of bass and volume underwater with Dedicated Equalisation
- 4GB of MP3 (or other audio formats) storage (about 1200 MP3)
- Audio Formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC
- Battery Life: 8 hours playback time, workout without your phone
- Bluetooth is not available (Bluetooth doesn’t work underwater)
- Cannot make phone calls or pairing with any phone.
- Fully recharged in about 1,5 hours via USB port (Computer, wall adaptor or other charger)
- With 15 minute charging time, you can surely enjoy at least 1 hour of swim
- Physical commands (4 buttons on the right): Power On/Pause/Play (central) (–); Volume Up/Next Song (+); Volume Down/Previous song (—); General/Swimming Mode (M). Left part is button free.
- Complementary Cap and a pair of earplugs
- Warranty: 2 years
Aftershokz Xtrainerz it is also ideal for other sports beside swimming like Cycling, Basketball, or even Running. Because your ears are free, you can enjoy your favorite music but most importantly remaining aware of the surrounding noise when matters.
My Conclusion: Let me tell you my story about “listening to music while swimming” before I tell you how the Aftershokz Xtrainerz works and why I strongly believe it’s the best option. Let’s say who knows how long I wished there was an excellent device to listen to music in the pool. Possibly that was also the reason why I never managed to get passionate about swimming. Finally, this problem seems to be solved. I’ve noticed in the last few years there are some devices that can play music underwater.
I started making the wrong choice and bought the Sony WF-SP900, a wireless headset (2 separate earphones) IP68, with Bluetooth (although useless for swimming as it doesn’t work underwater), 4GB of storage as well. I was over the moon when I got them (and they didn’t come cheap, 210£ in May 2019 when I bought it; to save a bit of money I got it in green color versus the 230/240£ for the grey or black version). But my excitement didn’t last very long.
The minute I got it, I uploaded some of my music and ran to the pool. The headsets were already charged, I wear them and turned on. The sound quality was ok-ish, I was immediately amazed (I use the Bose SoundSport, and they genuinely sound good), plus the commands (volume up and down) were not immediately intuitive at all, I had to read the manual first. To increase volume, basically you must double tap on the right device, etc., I won’t get into many details, in summary, not the best experience or usability).
I jump in the pool, and my calvary began: the music was on, I start swimming gently, also having a fear of losing one or both earphones: in the water the music was quite low, the bass were nonexistent, and with the water movements, the volume stated to go down by itself (I didn’t disable the feature).
I got to the other side of the pull, and I started to mess with my ears to bring the volume up. I restart swimming, and my frustration was at the highest level. I kept swimming for a while, the volume was at the lowest level, the pool was quite packed and noisy, and after 10 minutes, I decided to give up and went to the changing room. I was super upset that I wanted to return this Sony headset immediately.
For some inexplicable reason, I kept them, thinking that eventually with a bit more digging with the user manual and learning how to set it up properly, I could have managed to make it work. So I did that, but again, the second time I tried them, I ultimately gave up. I thought they could be useful for other sports — second lousy mistake.
I went running and playing basketball and the feeling on my ears while running and jumping, was horrendous and painful.
I never used them since then, also it was too late to return them, and I now use them as backup when other Bluetooth headsets are out of battery mainly in my house. My dream of listening to music while swimming was overshadowed, my wallet was crying, so thank you Sony. I joined other frustrated users that bought it, and I also posted my one start negative reviews on Amazon; that’s it. I bought them, although I was perfectly aware of the other unpleasant reviews, which unfortunately they were all true.
Anyway, I kept swimming and parked the idea of listening to music for a while, after all I had the Powerbreather to get familiar with and my goal of losing weight was still moving forward.
But I didn’t give up on my dream. At the end of July 2019, I did another research on Amazon UK, and the Aftershokz Xtrainerz came up. There were only two 5 stars reviews by the 24th of July 2019, but when I read them, they seemed to be very accurate and precise.
The device was £139.99. I waited a few days this time, I read all specs and eventually I convinced myself to buy it. At the end of the day, my goal of losing 17kg swimming isn’t going to come easy, and definitely listening to music while swimming is one of the key elements to would keep me in the pool and swim laps over laps.
I finally itthem from Amazon UK on July 30th, 2019. Same procedures: load some music via USB, wear them straight away and run, this time faster to the the pool, but with a big smile printed on my face.
I was absolutely certain I nailed this time. I jumped in the pool, switched from general to swim mode, and started to swim; and guys, I was screaming of joy. They sounded truly well, and even better underwater.
If you intend to listening the music from Xtrainerz and use a snorkel like Powerbreather (like I do), in my opinion, that is not a problem at all.
Yes, you are blowing air out of it every 3 seconds, so you are adding a lot of noise to water movement, pool noise etc, but, even with a moderate volume, I can certainly tell that the sound is still excellent; switch song is also very easily, you pause the sound with 1 click and adjusting the volume is easy too (not automatic like with the Sony headset).
The Xtrainerz is also so comfortable and fits perfectly that you don’t even notice you are wearing it nor you fear of losing it. To enjoy a better sound it’s very probably mandatory to use silicone ear-caps, so that no water gets in the ears.
Again, the sound quality is brilliant, I am extremely happy that I let it try to whoever gets into my lane and seems to be cool to have a quick word with. And so far, all guys that tried, after the 2 laps, they say: amazing, brilliant, wow!
Clearly you cannot take my words for granted. But, let me tell you this. Read the reviews about Aftershokz Xtrainerz and compare them with the reviews of similar price range devices and you will understand yourself which is the best device out there now for listening to music and swimming.
Personally I am super impressed, absolutely delighted I got this Xtrainerz by Aftershokz, and I can swim daily without getting bored so easily.
Regarding the storage space, 4GB of isn’t the end of the world, at the end of the day I change music every now and then, I am also adding learning languages files so I can utilise the 40 50 minutes in the pool to learn something news ( I don’t swim for competition, I just need to keep losing weight, so I can also take my mind off and eventually not focusing so much on my technique of swimming, at least some times).
I have seen that Sony just released another device, like WS625 Walkman also with 16 gb. Now, you’d probably know by now how I feel about Sony underwater devices. I love Sony for TV, Video cameras and probably that’s it (I am not a gamer so I don’t have and never had any playstations).
Overall, this device has overly exceeded my expectations. The audio quality (in water) and the comfort are excellent (for other sports); the battery holds up well. Storing music is very easy, it’s lightweight and quite a stylish/innovative looking device.
The areas of improvements could be: the current folder navigation is just sufficient, but a bit limiting, the complementary cap is quite mediocre, it would have been nice to have Bluetooth for dry-land usage (other sports) or simply making calls before you get to the pool; the storage space, lets face it, it could be much higher(16gb would have been really nice) particularly if you store music in FLAC format (which create files that are 6 times larger then MP3). But again, these are suggestions to improve the device, but I am totally happy as it is right now.
Also consider that if your head is very small and narrow, there could be some gap, and since the body of Xtraineirz is fixed, you cannot adjust it. Even so, it is the confort is still acceptable for swimming, according to my friend that tested it.
Finally, to load music, you must connect the Xtrainerz to the USB cable that is provided. The cable has a little box to open with a button and you can attach the right side of the Xtrainerz where you can find 5 connector pins.
Plug the USB port to your computer and automatically, without any drivers to install, the File system of Xtrainerz will popup as empty drive, like a regular USB drive stick. You can upload any files and clearly if they are MP3 or the other formats supported, you can then listen to music.
To get the music, go to Google Play, iTunes or similar, purchase your songs and download your mp3, and finally copy them onto the Xtrainerz drive. Or, if you are happy with a slight lower quality (still 128kbps), simply go to Youtube, search your favourite song video, get the link, search on google “convert Youtube video to MP3” and follow the instruction to download an MP3.
I suggest to rename your files with 1-, 2-, 3- so you can get your song in your favourite order. There are regular, repeat and shuffle mode anyway available from the mode button on the back of the Xtrainerz. Unplug it from the USB case cable and power it on. Easy as 1 2 3.
Now, you might say it’s illegal to convert Youtube Music Video and download them to Mp3. Apparently, for now it is legal to convert a Youtube video to MP3, but it’s just against T&C of Youtube. For now it’s all good, but we will see in the future. If you want to read more on this, see this article from the Express.
Just remember that music downloaded from Amazon Music with a subscription ( i.e I have Amazon Prime so i can listen unlimited music), clearly cannot be moved from your cell phone to the Xtrainerz, and you cannot stream music because Bluetooth isn’t there and even if, it won’t work underwater.
The best way will be to purchase music from Google Play, Amazon Music, iTunes or other services that sell MP3 music so you will have the best high quality MP3 on your Xtrainerz.