With the popularity of MP3 players and, specifically, iPods, companies have made hay coming up with different types of cases to protect and waterproof them. We at SNEWS® have tried a number but, so far, the Aquapac model is tops since it proved totally waterproof and reliable during our tests, and it adapted to a variety of indoor and outdoor activities.
What is it? A TPU (i.e. PVC-free material) sleeve into which you slip your MP3 player. The locking system (a patented “Aquaclip”) at the top snaps down to close out all seepage and does so with a satisfying “click” so you know it’s closed securely and has no chance of leaking. The clip is a bit clumsy, but if it were any narrower or placed differently, it’d be impossible to slip your MP3 into the case.
Three things set this apart from others: One, it is a flexible material, meaning it can fit a variety of models and brands; two, it has a clear window so you can not only see the screen but also control it easily when it’s in the case; and, three, it has a built-in external headphone jacket. A cord inside the sleeve plugs into the player, while a short cord on the outside plugs into your headphones.
We aren’t swimmers so we didn’t use waterproof headphones with it, but we did use the piece around moisture, e.g. deep-water running (head and headphones above water), running and walking both indoors and out (sweat from moist hands won’t leak into your system); and paddling leisurely (no tipping allowed!). We’d feel quite comfortable using it on a beach or around a pool too. Just don’t drop it since there is no impact protection built into the system.
Aquapac guarantees it is submersible to 15 feet (5 meters) and it has a three-year warranty. You can also use either a neck cord or an armband to carry it. We also just slipped it into a pocket, waistband or small fanny pack while working out on indoor equipment.
We found it slipped into the pocket of a waist pack for running – although the clip means it won’t fit into all models -- or even onto the handlebar of an indoor bike or treadmill rail for hands-free listening.
One problem: When we connected a very small wireless transmitter to the bottom of the Nano to be able to control it from our watch, the extra length pushed the Nano up in the sleeve and slightly under the non-clear part of the TPU, making the top of the Nano’s window hard to see.
Aquapac makes a variety of other waterproof cases too for other small and larger gear that needs protection.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $40 (with waterproof headphones, $75)