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JLab Wave Waterproof MP3 Player Review

 

When I first took the Wave out of the box the first thing I noticed is how little came with it. It literally contained just two packs of earbuds; Land and Sea, a USB cable, and a user’s manual. The first thing I did was plug the device into my computer and moments later the device showed up as a typical 2GB flash drive. So I placed some music on there and let it sit on the charger for a few hours. After letting it charge I unplugged the device and held the power button to turn it on. My music began to play immediately and I placed them in my ears and began to listen.


Looks:
When I first put them on, I felt like I was wearing two Bluetooth headphones at the same time, and often got that same response when people asked me what was on my head. They are very stylish and the only light on the device is a small green one over the power button. They also rest on your shoulder comfortably when you take them off so you don’t have to hold onto them when you aren’t using them.

Simplicity:
The Wave is very basic; it has a power/pause button on the right side, a volume button on the top and the back and forward buttons on the bottom. The USB port is on the front of the device which is blocked by a small twist off cap to prevent the water from getting into it. There is no special software to install or drivers to download; making it a plug-n-play MP3 player in the most literal sense.

The earbuds can be switched by simply taking them off and putting new ones on, and they are easy to distinguish between Land and Sea. Sea earbuds are ridged to prevent water from getting into your ears, and land earbuds are flat, similar to most regular earbuds. The earbuds come in sizes small to large for both land and sea. There are no loose wires or exposed pieces that need to be set up either.

Quality:
The biggest concern with headphones is how great they sound; I loaded my Wave with a wide range of music from Orchestral to Rap to see how the device handles different levels of bass and frequency. No matter if I was listening to a chorus from Heavy Metal or bumping bass from Rap the Wave was able to keep a constant level, without me having to turn up or down the volume to get better results. The only complaint I have in terms of quality is that the device only supports MP3 and WMA files, which given the right settings can sound really great, but WAV support would have been nice as well.

Workout:
The biggest push behind the Wave is that it makes an ideal device for athletes; swimmers, cyclists, runners, triathletes, walkers, hikers, water and snow sports, etc. While I could not test the device in the snow I did have access to plenty of water. While swimming I had no problem hearing the music, although the ribbed earbuds do have to get pretty deep into your ears to not fall out. I also used them while running on a treadmill and lifting weights, and what I noticed most is how the Wave doesn’t feel like it’s there. The Wave is so light and compact that in the middle of a workout I don’t notice I have them on until I see someone trying to communicate and all I can hear is my music. This makes the Wave a perfect device for an athlete who needs to focus on their training.

Technical:
The Wave has a storage capacity of 2GB, which is equivalent to around 400-600 songs depending on their size and can be either FAT16 or FAT32, depending on your preference. I personally found this to be plenty of storage, especially for a workout. It also has a built-in 190 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery which can hold a charge of up to 10 hours. The Wave has an IP waterproof rating of IPX8, which is 100% fully submersible. The device weights 22g, which feels like nothing when you wear it, and the frequency response is 20Hz-20KHz with an output power of 5mW on each side and has a sound to noise ratio of >70dB.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • No annoying software
  • Works with Mac and PC
  • Great Price
  • Great sound

Cons:

  • No support for WAV files
  • No Shuffle option

 

Overall:
If you are in the market for a nice MP3 player for working out or just to listen to casually, these are a great purchase, not only are they 100% waterproof, they are also lightweight and cord free, which allows you to do any form of activity without the worry of getting wrapped up in yourself. The sound is great, and can go from a Blues song, to Rap to Heavy Metal to Country without having to adjust volume or loss of quality. They can last up to 10 hours full charge, and don’t require any third-party software to upload songs onto.

4.5/5 Gears

They can be found on the JLab website for $49.95.

Learn more the author of this post:

Andrew Wilson
Andrew has been poking and prodding computers for 11 years who occasionally writes about Technology and Video Games while working towards getting his Bachelors in Computer Engineering. He is also one of the contributors to the Let's Play's on the site.
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