04 November 2009


I waited all week in anticipation of my H2O Audio Interval 3G Waterproof Headphone System for my fourth generation iPod Shuffle. I do not want to say I was overly anxious—I mean what—just because I copied the FedEx tracking number and would check its whereabouts at least three times a day. Not to mention the 20 minute trip I made to the local FedEx ground center to see if I could pick it up directly form the warehouse before it got on board the truck to be delivered.

In short, the wait was well worth it. This is one of the coolest pieces of gear that I own. Will it make me as fast as Michael Phelps? No. Will it make me faster? Sure. Look, as a composer, I understand the Doctrine of the Musical Affections and the physiological, psychological and kinesthetic relationship that music has to our psyche and bodies. The Doctrine of the Affections stems from the Baroque era. Composers and theorists believed that certain musical parameters: key area, tempi, consonance and dissonance, and dynamics would elicit a particular involuntary response from the listener. For instance, a quick tempo in a major key would elicit joy, a descending chromatic line would elicit grief. There was no way to measure this this c.1600-1750, nor is there really any concrete way to measure it now. However scientists do study brain activity and measure the performance of athletes who are subjected to different types of musical stimuli. Think about it: are you more likely to be given a shot of adrenaline for that last 200 yard surge by listening to Burt Bacharach singing "What the World Needs Now," or the The Who's "Baba O'Reily?" I will not judge you. Whatever moves you. For me, I love the fact that I can listen to music and let my form happen, instead of being overly conscious of it all the time, not to mention bored to tears watching the bottom of the pool for an hour or more. More, those tunes stimulate those affections and get me energized just a tad more.

The information that came with my H2O Audio Interval—instructions for use and care of the product—were some of the most clear and thorough I have ever seen with any product. I remember getting my cycling computer and thinking I needed a secret decoder ring to decipher the hieroglyphics on that sheet of instructions. Not to mention, I needed a magnifying glass to even read it. The H2O Audio instructions were clear, concise and laid out in an organized manner. The directions ask that you submerge the unit in water for thirty minutes prior to the initial use (without the iPod inside) to test the watertight seal. The verdict: As watertight as a naval submersible vessel. The big test came around 7:30 last night when I brought my Interval to the pool. I have to admit, I have been rather slow on the take the last couple of days and it took me a while to figure out the best configuration for me, but it is really quite simple. I put the top band of my goggles through appropriate slots and slid them on. Then, I looked at my swim cap on the pool floor and decided that it should probably go on before I put the Interval on. This way, I can place my swim cap over the ear buds to help keep them in place, which the instructions suggests. I placed my iPod inside and within minutes, I was doing laps while rocking out to The Flaming Lips, Led Zeppelin, St. Vincent and Prince. I did not measure the exact specifications, but I would estimate the whole unit is approximately three inches long and weighs... I don't know... next to nothing. I did not feel uncomfortable with it on as I was swimming. H2O Audio designed the back of the Interval curved to fit the contour of you head. Honestly, I would have forgotten it was even on if it were not for the earplugs and the music. When I finished my workout, I dried off the Interval and opened up the water tight seal. Sure enough, not a drop of H2O! I had a short workout last night. Luca came to the pool with me, and of course, he also needed to put his stamp of approval on the Interval. He says it is "So cool," and "I should use it when I train for my triathlons."

Okay, you might disagree with my playlist, but if you are spending countless hours in that pool and you would love some company—check H2O Audio and all of their cool gear. The Interval goes for a cool $99 and comes with a reassuring 2-year warranty if you register with H2O online. It fits conveniently into a stocking—nudge nudge,wink wink—for all of your swimmers.

Thanks again H2O Audio for the wonderful sponsorship opportunity. I hope I am able to spread the word about this great product for triathletes and swimmers.

No comments: