If you like listening to music whilst playing sports you will have undoubtedly pulled your earphones out of your ears accidently due to the annoying cable which runs from your ears to your MP3 player, there are some neat ways around this these days, but what if you are a swimmer or sweat more than the average person? Well let us introduce you to the JLab Wave.
The JLab Wave is a waterproof MP3 player which at first glance looks like a pair of behind-the-neck earphones, however everything you need to listen to your favorite music is build into the Jlab Wave – therefore simply connect it up to your computer via USB 2.0, copy come MP3 files to the 2GB of internal storage and wait for it to to charge – voila you are ready to go.
In the retail packaging you get the JLab Wave, lots of spare earbud tips, a USB cable and a spare USB port cover – the latter is very important as this is what ensures that the JLab Wave keeps watertight if you go for a swim etc.
The image above shows the most important part of the JLab Wave, the right earpiece, here you have the USB port and all of the buttons. Here you have a large button which when held down for four seconds turns the JLab Wave on/off, a normal press on this button will pause/resume music playback. There are also two dedicated buttons for volume control and another two which will skip to the next/previous track (the below image shows these buttons close-up).
As previously mentioned there are lots of different earbuds to choose from to suit your ears, however if you are going swimming (or jogging in the rain etc) you should choose some of the double / tripled flanged earbuds. In total there are 7 pairs to choose from (see below), the earbuds are quite fiddly to remove, but this ensure that they do not fall off accidently – in fact the entire time we tested out the JLab audio the earbuds never fell off.
Copying MP3s to the MP3 player is simple, just connect it to your computer and it acts like any USB mass storage device, you can copy folders full of audio files to it, but when using the JLab Wave you will not be able to navigate through different menus – so you might as well copy all the MP3 files to the root.
The JLab Wave has a great lightweight design and once in place it feels like it is secure, in fact when running, jogging, cycling and swimming it never felt like it was going to fall off – that said JLab do suggest that serious swimmers should hold the Wave in place using their goggles. The image below shows that there is some adjustment to ensure that no-matter what your head shape is you should get a secure fit.
It has to be said that the design is very eye-pleasing, also the materials used give the device a quality feel, perhaps the design around the ears could be a bit more minimalistic, but that’s us being picky. In terms of audio it is hard to describe sound with words, but the quality sounded nice, at high volume the sound was quite tinny and no-matter what volume was set to the bass was not great, but this is a device which suits your lifestyle and has not been priced or designed to replace high-end earphones for enthusiasts. The earbuds we used drowned out all the noises you hear on a wet and windy day – which would seriously hamper most other earphones. We are told that the battery is good for 10 hours before a recharge – we didn’t test this aspect out thoroughly, but we have no trouble believing this.
So how could this earphone / MP3 player hybrid be improved? Well, there should be a button which allows you to shuffle tracks, also the location of the power button means that you have to push it in quite firmly for four second (which means you have to be careful not to push the earbuds deep into your ear, also we would quite like to see volume controls on one ear and track skipping buttons on another as it gets confusing remember which button does what.
Finally 2GB of storage is considered low these days, perhaps the next model could feature a water-tight microSD memory card slot or more internal storage – but as a first effort the JLab Wave has set solid foundations for a follow-on device. You can find out even more about the JLab Wave waterproof MP3 player here, if you are won over head over to Amazon and pick yours up for $79.99 – we doubt you will be able to buy a half-decent set of waterproof earphones and an MP3 for this price. Swimmers should seriously check the JLab Wave out!
• 2GB Built-in Memory
• Supports MP3 and WMA files (up to 320Kbps)
• Built-in 190 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery
• Up to 10 hours play time
• The IP Waterproof rating is IPX8 (100% fully submersible for extended use)
• Includes 7 pairs of tips, USB mini cable, extra port plug, and manual