Monday, April 28, 2014

Product Review: X-1 Audio Interval Swim Solution

As anyone who knows me or has read this blog knows - I'm not the world's greatest swimmer.  Granted, I have hordes of people that comes up to me on a daily basis and tell me I have the body of a Michael Phelps or a Ryan Lochte - that I'm just as ripped as they are (haha, in my dreams?) - but I definitely can't swim like either.

So what does that mean?  I have to train.  And I have to train long, and hard.  The problem - for me, at least - is that training in a pool going back and forth over and over again can get a little repetitive and, frankly, pretty boring.  I realize that there is a ton of stuff you can (and should) do to alleviate that boredom - but no matter how many drills I do, how varied they are - I always end up getting bored.  And don't get me started on long sets - I often find myself thinking about all sorts of dumb stuff (i.e. If you drilled a hole through the earth and were able to jump in and be unaffected by any external force - would you fall right out of the other side, or get stuck in the middle due to gravity?).

That kind of boredom, for me, takes away from the swimming experience.  One solution that I've found is the X-1 Interval System, which is a waterproof headphone system that allows you to listen to music while swimming.  In addition to providing the sound of music to you while underwater, it does so without impeding your stroke (i.e. - you don't have your player on your arm getting tussled with the headphone cables, etc like with some other systems).  This system attaches to your goggles and sits on the back of your head while you swim.  That sounds like it would be uncomfortable does it work?  How does it sound?  How did you like it?  In a nutshell - I loved it and I think this is an outstanding system.  I use it all the time.  But I'll get more into that a bit later.

Let's take a look at the actual system itself:

The interior of the X-1 Interval
The X-1 Interval is basically a plastic case which houses a 4th generation iPod Shuffle.  They've come out with so many variations of the iPod Shuffle - you have to be sure that you get the right one that fits.

Here's the correct iPod to get:
4th Generation iPod Shuffle
These can be had for ~$50 brand new - but you see them going for as low as $15 used on some auction sites (which is where I purchased mine).

The outside of the X-1 Interval system
As you can see in the pictures, the X-1 Interval has buttons that will work the iPod Shuffle while keeping it completely dry and away from water.  Simply charge it up, plug it in, and seal it in.
The plug on the interior where the iPod goes.

Plugging it in is simple and holds the iPod securely.

Once sealed in, you then have to set the straps on the device.  Which is an extremely easy process.  All you do is weave the straps of your goggles into the two slits, and set it so that they are centered on the device.

Putting the straps of your goggles onto the X-1 Interval
Once strapped in, all you have to do is throw them on your head - press play - and jump in the water!  Easy as pie!

The X-1 Interval system in use.

The system fits on the back of your head when you swim and doesn't impede your swimming at all.  Word to the wise - make sure to loosen up your goggles a hair in order to get the proper fit.  I tend to pull the headphone wires tight to the cap and place my goggle straps over the wire to hold it in place - which prevents any chance of it moving around too much during my swim.

Another picture with the X-1 system in use.  As you can see, it's hardly noticeable.
The audio quality - as with all of the X-1 headphones - is crisp and clear.  I have never had any issues with the headphones or system at all while underwater.  I'd highly recommend it!

View of the system with goggles attached.
In addition to swimming, I've used the system for jogging as well.  I still prefer the traditional armband/music player holster approach for running applications - but the X-1 system works just as well paired with a visor or headlamp for running as it does with goggles for swimming.

The X-1 Interval outside of the water.

So to sum it up:  The system is extremely well thought out and perfect way to make long swim sets easier to deal with.  You might get a couple of weird looks in the pool - but you're there to train, not win a fashion contest!

Also - please note:  It's important to be aware of what's going on around you - even in an environment or setting as controlled as an indoor pool.  Please be sure to have the volume set to an appropriate level so that you have the ability to respond and react to different situations around you.  

You can get your X-1 Interval or any of X-1's great products on their website by clicking here. X-1  Use code BRYANLAMB20 to save 20% off your purchase.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if they are any good - I bet the quality is poor - but the Chinese also supply these waterproof mp3 players from about $15.
    No affiliation.

    Regarding the hole through the earth