Well here's an update on the Finis SwimP3.
After about 14 months of what I would consider pretty heavy use 3-4 hrs/wk in a heavily chlorinated pool my unit is dead.
The problems started about 6 months ago. The gasket that seals the cap over the contacts wore out and subsequently the contacts became very corroded.
I have not been able to get the unit to sync to my PC for several months now and have been stuck with the same songs. I have had some inconsistency getting the unit to charge and I have to jiggle the usb connection in the port to get it to charge.
Last week I lost sound in the left speaker and this week it went dead and I could not get it to recharge.
I am torn about what to do now. I realize that I put this unit through significant use but it still seemed to wear out prematurely. Still, I know what I'm getting if I buy a replacement in terms of sound quality and how it feels etc. I have heard too many conflicting reports about the the performance of other units and earbuds popping out etc. I think I will probably replace my Finis SwimP3 with a new model unless there is really somethign much better out there.
Thought I would chime in on the pros and cons of the Swimp3, having had one for a few years. The post immediately preceding mine discussed a dead unit. I should add that my first generation unit died (no sound in one paddle), but the folks at Finis offered me a discounted upgrade to the 1 GB (without me even asking for it), even though my warranty had long since expired. I like that in a company - I'd rather have the equipment fail and the company support me than vica versa.
That said, Pros:
When you first get this device, set aside some preliminary time before the workout to set up your "equipment". After trial and error, in which my goggles would not keep a decent seal while wearing the Swimp3, I have found that the best way to use these is to hook them on the upper goggle strap and use the lower goggle strap to hold the paddles againsts the bony protrusion just in front of the ear.
A quick note on volume - while the timing of button presses is aggravating (see CONS above), a better way to adjust the volume may be to subtly swing the paddles a millimeter or so forward to effectively lower the volume, and then shift them back to raise it. That seems to work well for me.
Also thought I'd post an update to my Finis.
Like JJJimenez, I used my steady for about a year. I noticed freying of the wires where they entered into the sound units on one side. This caused static for some time, but I continued to use them (probably a bad idea, but hey, when you need music for swimming...). Then, eventually, they just died.
I emailed Finis about the issue, and they told me to send back the product. I still had original box & receipt. I returned the item to them with a description of what happened, and they sent me a new 1 GB unit (mine was the older, smaller one) ABSOLUTELY FREE. I only paid postage to return the unit. The customer service was OUTSTANDING. I now am using my new 1 GB unit!
I agree with Laefe's criticisms of the unit, especially the part about having difficulty navigating the buttons & the charging light. And I've owned this thing for over 2 years. The unit is otherwise outstanding, and I love the company, so I just deal with it. But, perhaps on future units, they can figure out ways around these trouble spots. I appreciate the advice on the google straps. I'm going to try that. I've started using a special kind of goggles to avoid the eye marks, because, at 40, traditional googles were really causing destruction on my face, where I had permanently swollen eyes and a loss of the fat pad under my eye. These newer goggles work great for the eye marks, but their size causes some leakage issue with the music.
Yeah, that sort of sucks. I would definitely contact Finis, since they seem to be very accomodating. I also wonder if there are certain credit cards that will extend warranties - I can't remember if the SwiMP3 has a year warranty, but if it does, you may be able to effectively extend that to a two-year warranty with an AMEX/VISA/MC if you check the card benefits.
I swim quite a bot at the gym and have looked for a while for a quality device. I purchased the Speedo Acquabeat a couple of months ago and it is terrible. It lasted one charge and will not re-charge. I will probably try the Finis or Dolphin next, but Speedo is a waste of money.
after I gave the Finis a good review, the device completely died and haven’t been able to get it going since. I probably got less than a year out of it. Saying that though I would still recommend it!