Welcome to my review of the Freestyle Audio Soundwave sports MP3 player. The Soundwave differs from most other MP3 device on the market by offering a water and shockproof player.
In this day and age, it is hard to develop an MP3 player that actually does something no other players can offer.
The Soundwave has 2GB of flash memory and comes complete with waterproof headphones, an armband and a “floater” for keeping the player from sinking to the bottom of the ocean, should it fall overboard.
The player has a tiny OLED display which is surprisingly bright. The main portion of the screen is blue, and the equalizer line is yellow. Under the display are 5 rubber buttons for controlling the various features of the player.Because these buttons need to keep water from entering the device, they are actually quite hard to press. The controls bring me to the most disappointing part of the player; controlling this thing is harder than it should be. The basics like skipping tracks work just fine, but controlling the volume or selecting a playlist is actually quite annoying.
The Soundwave MP3 player has an internal battery pack rated for up to 30 hours of playback time and charges using the included USB cable.
Adding music to the Soundwave is as simple as “drag and drop”, so you are not required to use a dedicated media program to transfer songs. The player also supports the Windows Media Player method of transferring files.
Freestyle even provide some basic iTunes support, and they show how to convert and transfer Apple AAC files to the player. Music purchased in the iTunes store will not work on the player and will have to be copied to an audio CD and imported in order to remove the protection.
In addition to regular MP3 files, the Soundwave also supports WMA files and subscription based WMA music.
The Soundwave is not the prettiest player, nor does it have the best interface, but if you often find yourself in need of music in places where a normal MP3 player would not last too long, then the Soundwave is going to be one of your only options.
It is waterproof enough to use for swimming laps, and the included waterproof headphones sound surprisingly good underwater. My test involved sticking my head underwater in the bathtub, which shows how dedicated I am at delivering reliable reviews!