In 2002, Diver Entertainment Systems (a.k.a. H2O Audio) debuted an underwater MP3 system geared toward scuba divers. Since then, the company has continued to make improvements to its diving-friendly accessories, with the headphone combo, which will be up for grabs at the end of September, works with any of iRiver's iFP-700-series MP3 players, such as the .
Upside: Not only is the H2O Audio SV i700 about half the size of the Oceanic DV-X, its accompanying headphones are less bulky and feature the behind-the-ear styling popular with many sports-oriented 'phones. The SV i700 is a great solution for anyone who wants to take their tunes surfing, swimming, or along on any other wet ride; it'll also give your player extra protection on the slopes. H2O Audio specializes in producing underwater audio equipment, so we're betting the SV i700 produces great sound both in and out of the drink (in our preliminary tests, the Oceanic sounded fabulous).
Downside: The SV i700's $99 price tag is steep for an accessory--especially since you'll most likely want to buy the optional $29 armband to keep your hands free for your sport--but we imagine water babies will easily shell out the dough for such a unique toy. For most water activities, it's a good idea to be very aware of your surroundings; the SV i700 screams distraction.
Outlook: The market for underwater audio systems may be small, but H2O Audio certainly has it cornered. Anyone who's ever wanted to rock out in the wet should take heed and check back later for our full review.