Sometimes I enjoy the free flow of uninterrupted thinking while swimming. Sometimes I crave music. In the past, I have tried just placing an iPod with decent speakers near the pool. But the desire to keep them dry has also kept them farther away than was optimum for hearing the music well while the Fastlane current generator running. With the winter cover on, there is no way to even do this and be sure to keep the electronics dry.
I read about waterproof mp3 players and things like that, but quickly became convinced that I didn’t want any cords around my face and neck. Neither was I interested in any extra bulk of some device meant to transmit sound through my bones. So, I went shopping on amazon for a waterproof speaker. I found the Ivation Waterproof Bluetooth Swimming Pool Floating Speaker – Music Amplifier Ball – With Cool Mood Lighting.Cool. I ordered it to give it a try.
I didn’t want the speaker bumping into me while I was swimming, so I brainstormed about how to anchor it. I decided to zip it into a mesh laundry bag. This would contain it with no risk of it falling out, let the sound through without muffling, and the bag could be easily tied to a piece of string. I already knew that the chlorine dispenser held fine tied with a piece of string to the pool frame, but it was at the far end of the pool. Hopefully the string would still be strong enough up closer to the Fastlane.
After going through the steps of getting all 6 AA batteries into the speaker correctly, plus pairing it with my iPod (Bluetooth pairing is new to me), I put it into the laundry bag. The string was some I had saved from a bag of chicken feed. There was a looped tap on the mesh bag near one end of the zipper opening. I tied the string to this. (click on any photo to enlarge)
Then, I carried it all out to the swimming pool and tied the other end to one of the frame bars that is exposed near the rim. The best location for keeping it floating near my head was the second bar from the top end of the pool. I tested the motion of the floating speaker by turning on the current before I got in. It looked like it would stay out of the way and not be whipped around violently. I also noted that the sound of the speakers carried well and could be heard above the water nicely even though the Fastlane motor was running. Both the speaker and the iPod at full volume, but definitely without the horrible buzzing that can sometimes happen when speakers are turned too loud.
Of course, the final test was to see if I could hear the music under water at all. Unfortunately, the answer was basically “no” when I was swimming freestyle. If water didn’t collect in my ears with every stroke, I might have been able to hear the music more than the snippets that I picked up. It did depend on the octaves of the notes, too. However, overall, I had some idea music was playing, but was not sure of the song. When I swam the breast stroke briefly, I could hear the music much better, being there is much more time above water and not the turning of the head to collect water in the ears.
It was nice to hear the music during my short breaks between swim intervals. And it made scrubbing the lining much more fun. Also, I had put the iPod in a ziplock bag within arms reach on the side of the pool, so I could change songs or adjust volume as desired. The type of waterproof pouch I have for my underwater timer might be more watertight, but the plastic on it is stiffer and I suspect I would have more trouble getting my iPod to respond.
All in all, I am still happy with my purchase of the floating speaker. If I ever use the pool for aqua walking or running, it will be nice. Besides that, we will have other kinds of fun in the pool during the summer, during which this speaker will be nice. No extension cords or speakers precariously on chairs where people are walking around the yard.
Here is a brief video showing how I anchored the floating speaker: