I was skeptical as to whether this waterproof case could stay waterproof long enough for it to be useful, so I wanted to make sure that it could perform well. I set up a test in my pool during which I submerged this device at a depth of six feet for four hours. Next, I checked to see if any water or condensation had managed to find it’s way in. There was no liquid at all, everything was perfectly dry. A problem with this is that it means that the entire device is sealed inside, so how do you get your device in, while getting audio out, and how do you control your device?
Controlling your device must be achieved through a plastic screen cover. I found the plastic to be a little bit annoying, but it still works. I was able to control my touch-screen and click-wheel style devices surprisingly well even through the plastic barrier. To establish an audio out line from your device, you will need waterproof headphones if you plan to use it underwater. This must be done in conjunction with inserting your audio device of choice inside the case. I tested this with my Zune 4, Zune HD, iPod Classic, iPod Touch 2G and 4G, iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4G, and assorted other media players. All of these fit inside the device nicely.
To use it, all you have to do is open a water tight “door” on the back of the case and then pull out the 3.5mm headphone cord. Next, plug the headphones into the audio jack on your device and slide it into the case. Be sure to check that the cord does not fall over the screen, and also that the “door” seals correctly. On the top right of the case there is a little rubber bump with a hole in it intended to accommodate your headphone connectivity. All you have to do is use the correct rubber sealer; large for straight connectors and small for curved connectors.
Now, how to get sound to your ears when you are underwater? I don’t suggest trying this with just any set of headphones. You risk damaging your headphones or worse, personal physical harm. H2O Audio has created headphones that are waterproof. Allow me to emphasize the distinction: Yes, I did say waterproof, not just resistant. My first thought was that the quality of these would be horrible, but they surprised me. The quality of the sound and of the headphones themselves are average grade. The best way I found to achieve better audio quality is to place them in your ears only when the headphones and your ears are completely dry. I give this set 4.5 out of 5 gears.