If you’d rather run barefoot over shards of glass than go jogging without your iPod, watersports must be a struggle. Go for swim and the only soundtrack you get is splashing water and your own heavy breathing.
But thanks to the Nu Dolphin, your front crawl could now be accompanied by a thumping bassline. It’s by no means the first waterproof music player, but certainly looks more promising than previous efforts like Oregon Scientific’s lacklustre model.
The Nu Dolphin is waterproofed to IPX7 standards so will happily keep playing down to 2 metres deep. The brushed aluminium barrel design is attractive, and it’s about the same size as a cigarette lighter.
At one end is a recessed headphone socket and at the other are five small control buttons. The male headphone jack has a threaded head which screws into the barrel and squeezes down on an “O” ring to give it a watertight fit.
The earphones are soft silicone earplugs designed to stop water getting in and to stay snugly in place. Like all earplugs, they can be a little awkward to fit and feel slightly uncomfortable.
To make them waterproof, the speakers are sealed with a special membrane. It works, but also seems to muffle the sound quality a little. That said, slightly impaired sound quality is a small compromise compared to silence.
No shuffling allowed
The other main limitation is the functionality; it’s sequential-play only and the control buttons are small and fiddly to use with cold, wet fingers.
When you’re in the water you can’t hold onto the Nu Dolphin and long wires would get in the way, so it’s designed to either fit onto the strap of your swimming goggles or be worn in a special neoprene wrist pouch.
Of course, the 1GB of memory and battery life of around 8 hours aren't great by the standards of other small MP3 players, but unless you're swimming the Channel it should be plenty of juice and space.
We certainly wouldn’t recommend using the Nu Dolphin as your main MP3 player, but as a back-up for watery activities it’s the best around.
Stockist: Advanced MP3 Players