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Category Archives: swimming with music

I bought 6 pairs of goggles, one being my old safety – Tyr Nest Pro – so I’ll be giving feedback on the 5 new-to-me pairs, compared to the Nest Pros.6-goggles

This is a pretty dry, boring post, so I’m posting  my unscientific, totally subjective, “conclusions”  in the next paragraph (if you even care to read that much).  After that, I blab about  my impressions if you want  to delve further into my goggle obsession.  Don’t be surprised by random sentence fragments.

The takeaway – it turns out that I bought basically 2 types/styles of goggles:  ones like the Nest Pros that sit  a little wider on the face and fit slightly more outside the  eye socket, and ones that are lower profile -and better for racing, but maybe not for open water – that fit more inside the bony area (but not as much as eyeball-sucking socket rockets).  From my experience with the Tyr Special Ops, polarization isn’t worth the extra cost.  None of the goggles I sampled  were as comfortable as what I’ve been wearing, so I guess I’ll stay in my Nest Pro rut!

nest-pro

Tyr Nest Pro

How I’m reviewing.  I wore each pair at least 2 times.  Mostly in the pool, but I tried the polarized ones in full sun in  open water. I tried them all with my Finis DUO MP3 player

Categories:

  • fit/feel on 3-point scale: OW!/OK/I’m wearing goggles? Right away feel, over time feel (at least 1000 yds), and taking them off/putting them back on) feel
  • best suited for pool or open water or both? Competition vs fitness – stay on w/push off and dive? peripheral vision?
  • can I use my Finis Duo with them?

Zoggs Phantom Elite – “OK” Similar to Nest Pros, as long as I get them placed perfectly.  Even then, I noticed a slight headache  after wearing them a while.  I started to feel pressure (pain) on my cheekbones after ~1000 yds when I added  my DUO.  No pain w/taking them off. Good peripheral vision.  Suitable for OW swimming and fitness.  zoggsI’m less sure about using them for competition.  The eye area profile isn’t super high, but I felt some downward pressure on the googles, and the strap folded over when I pushed off the wall.  I’m not confident they’d stay on for a dive start.  I’m not that great at keeping my goggles on anyway, but I’m sure that says more about my technique than the goggles!  Still, the folding goggle strap caused by a strong push-off would be a problem (for me) unless I wore a cap over them.

Tyr Special Ops 2.0 polarized – “OK” and almost “I’M WEARING GOGGLES?” but not quite.  Comfortable.  No pain w/taking them off.  Feel very much like Nest Pros, but a little more substantial, special-opspolarization didn’t seem to help.  I actually felt like I couldn’t see as well when swimming right into the sun. Good peripheral vision so good for OW, but I wouldn’t pay extra for the polarized ones.  I only wore these in open water, so I don’t know how they’d be w/push-off, or dive, but I doubt I’d be able to keep them on. OK w/DUO.

Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 – felt “OK” right away, but not so great after ~1000 yards, so maybe the rating should be “OK-“?  Hurt taking them off. REALLY hurt w/DUO attached.  Low profile, so they don’t catch with a strong push-off.  vanquisherI imagine I’d be able to dive with them.  Peripheral vision is not that great, so I wouldn’t wear them for OW.  Even though they’re not the most comfortable goggles, I’d wear them for pool competition.  I might wear them for practice, but since my side vision was somewhat limited, maybe not.  I like to see where my lane-mates are! Extra nose-pieces included in the package so you can adjust the width.

Blueseventy Element – “OW!”  Not horrible for short periods. Hurt taking them off. I can blueseventysee racing with them since they stay on well w/push-off, and probably would with diving.  Not comfortable with DUO.

 

Tyr Black Hawk Racing – “OW!” at first.  I had to fiddle with them after about 500 yards, but once I got them situated they were “OK”.  Low profile, didn’t move w/strong push-off, and would  probably be fine with diving. Hurt a little less taking them off than the Blueseventy and Vanquisher goggles.  Not comfortable  w/DUO. Extra nose-pieces included in the package so you can adjust the width.black-hawk

 

 

So there you have it!  As a reward for getting this far, here are a couple pictures of the Madeleines I made recently. Yum.Madeleines 2.jpgmadeleines


My Finis Inc. Neptune (which I was never that crazy about design-wise) was starting to fail and I wanted to replace it.  I started noticing which  waterproof audio devices people were using in the pool and did  some research. I didn’t want another Neptune, and I kept seeing people with little ipod shuffles clipped to their goggle straps. Seemed like a good idea. Until I got one (see review below).  Then I looked at the Finis Inc. site and HEY! they developed a new device, more like the low-profile SwiMP3 that I used to have. And since I had an old Neptune, I could send that  back and upgrade to the DUO   (for a small fee, of course – $75).

Here are my completely unscientific, totally subjective findings, written in a  somewhat stream of consciousness fashion.

Finis: I’ve been using their devices  for years, from bulky to sleek, back to bulky, and now the sleek DUO (I don’t have a picture of the original unit, but it was cumbersome, even bulkier than the Neptune.  I like the blue one below best).

 

  • Pros for the DUO: comfort, nothing in my ears – ear paddles rest on your cheekbones and conduct sound through bone, short cable  between ear paddles, good  sound quality, I can still hear what’s going on around me, fine  customer service.  Holds plenty of music.
  • Cons: the clip (where it attaches to your goggle strap) on the ear paddles seems like it’s designed for flat goggle straps.
    DUO on round and flat goggle straps

    DUO on round and flat goggle straps

    It works on round straps  but it’s not as easy to attach or  adjust, for in-water use only, notification lights are not quite as advertised – blinking green when charging?  No, I only saw  solid green when charging – or nothing.  Blinking red when low on charge? No, I saw steady red and it was still  playing.  Whatever.  When I asked about charging, I was told to plug it into a wall charger for best results.  It doesn’t say anything about a wall charger in the info and doesn’t come with one, so … really?  The connection on the charger might be a little iffy.  I say that because when I had it plugged in (using the wall charger), the light was green and then blinked a little and went off, indicating a  lost connection. It actually seems to work better plugged into my computer.  A charge is supposed to last for ~7 hours of playing time.  The red light came on after 2 swims (a little over 2 hours), but the device  was still playing, so I don’t know how long it will really hold a charge.  I’ll be sure to charge often just in case 7 hours is optimistic!

Underwater Audio: I was skeptical because I don’t like things in my ears, but I’ve been seeing so many more of these lately.  I thought I’d give it a try (pictured below with upgraded earbuds).

Underwater Audio

Underwater Audio – came with a lot of stuff

  • Pros: IF a good seal is obtained, I imagine the sound would be great.  Small waterproofed lightweight genuine ipod shuffle, can be used in or out of the water, short earphone cord doesn’t get in the way, comes with an extension to lengthen the cord, many earbud options, great customer service.  Holds plenty of music.

    ipod shuffle on goggle strap

    ipod shuffle on goggle strap

  • Cons: I couldn’t get a good seal so water pretty quickly got in my ears and rendered the  device useless – I couldn’t hear the music.  When I spoke to a customer service rep, I learned that the earbuds that come with the unit apparently AREN’T that great when doing flip turns (although the info says they’re fine), and upgrading the buds supposedly costs another $70 (I fought not to pay – like I said, great customer service).  The better earpieces still didn’t  work for me.  Vaseline is recommended to get a good seal.  I feel slimy just thinking about that, but I tried it.  Yuck, and it didn’t help.  I just ended up with gooey ears. The function buttons are stiff due to the waterproofing process – not a huge deal, but worth being aware of.

The takeaway:  I really, really don’t like things in my ears, and I really, really do like hearing what’s going on around me.  This type of device is not a good choice for me, but it appears to be good for others.  It’s not returnable so now I have a waterproof shuffle that I don’t need.  The DUO is a better option for me.

[*update:  the charger that came with the DUO is crap.  After some back and forth with customer service, I was informed that there is now a charger that attaches more securely, and one is being sent to me.  Isn’t this something the company would know without me bugging them?!  Like a recall that owners are contacted about?  We’ll see how the new one works… an annoyance, but I still like the DUO well enough. 7/12/16]



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