When considering the many different options for getting your music into the water with you, cases are often a very tempting choice. They’re usually not very expensive and you can use the device you already have. Why shouldn’t you get a case, right? Wrong.
While waterproof cases look good on paper (or the computer screen) they’re really not the best option out there, especially for touch screen devices like iPod touches, iPhones, or any Smartphone.
The biggest downfall of iPod touch cases (and the like) is that they compromise the touch screen. The biggest perk of iPod touches and Smartphones is the interactive touch screen that makes navigating the device so much simpler—even 5-year olds figure out how to get to their favorite games. When you place a case heavy enough to keep out water over that screen, they become much less responsive. This leads to a frustrating swim where the skip button won’t push instead of that relaxing swim to your favorite tunes you wanted.
Another big pain with waterproof cases is when they don’t work. A pin-sized hole can spell death for your electronics. Then you’re out the money you spent on the phone/iPod and the case. It doesn’t take many compromised cases for this to become quite expensive.
If you wanted a case to take pictures, the case can often degrade the quality of the picture, if the lens isn’t completely covered. As mentioned in our post Waterproof iPhone Cases Compared, it’s usually more worth it to get a waterproof camera.
Cases can also lead a lot of extra bulk. For a case to truly guarantee no water gets in, they have to put on the layers. Especially if you’re looking to train for water athletics (like swimming or surfing) all of the extra volume just gets in the way and slows you down. And when electronics companies try so hard to keep things small and trim, it seems a shame to then encase them in a clunky cover.
So if you don’t get a waterproof case, how are you supposed to enjoy music underwater?
The answer comes in waterproof iPods. The iPods are treated from the inside out, so the water just can’t get in. The special proprietary process never opens the iPod so the insides remain intact, but watertight. The shuffle design means a small device that can clip anywhere and not drag you down. While they don’t have a touch screen, the control wheel couldn’t be simpler to use with play/pause, skip, and volume up/down all in easy reach. And while they may cost you more up front, they’ll save you money down the road because they don’t leak or require any special care. All you have to do is sync it up with iTunes and jump in!