Pool & Spa Outdoor Blog

Waterproof Music Players, Speakers, and Phone Cases

Waterproof Speakers, Phone Cases, and music players for Your Pool







Sony Walkman Waterproof mp3 player sports portable music swimmingNormally electronics and water don’t mix—which can be a real bummer if you want to listen to music while lounging in the pool or swimming laps. Luckily manufacturers have developed waterproof music players, phone cases, and speaker systems that are ideal for swimmers, pool-goers, and pool owners who like to entertain.

With summer just around the corner, a waterproof phone case or audio system can come in handy and add to your enjoyment when spending time at the pool. Check out these waterproof devices to see which option is best for you.


Compact Waterproof Music Player for Swimmers

Sony Walkman Waterproof mp3 player sports portable music black

At first glance, you may mistake the Sony Walkman® Sports MP3 Player for just a pair of headphones… but look closer and you’ll see the music player is built right into the headphones!

This portable music player has a lightweight, compact design that’s not only sweatproof but waterproof up to depths of 6 feet, making it a great option for gym-goers, runners, and swimmers.

Whether you’re doing a moderate or intense workout indoors, outdoors, or in the pool, this waterproof music player has a new tension band for a supportive fit to keep it securely in place during all activities. With 4GB of built-in memory, users can easily drag and drop MP3s from iTunes® for Mac or PC, Windows® Media Player, or Windows Explorer.

The Walkman Sports MP3 Player delivers up to eight hours of audio playback on a full charge and is available in four colors: white, black, blue, and pink.


Photos courtesy of Sony


Waterproof Phone Case with Built-In Speaker


EcoExtreme waterproof phone case music speaker
EcoExtreme waterproof phone case music speaker redIf you’re like most people, you don’t go anywhere without your smartphone—including the pool and the beach. If you are looking for a waterproof case for your phone/portable music player, the EcoExtreme not only keeps your device safe in and around water, but also allows you to play music through its built-in speaker.

Place your phone or media device into the durable waterproof case and take it with you for any kind of outdoor activity. It also has an internal compartment to fit small items like keys, credit cards, cash, and other items you want to keep dry.

Designed to fit mp3 players and smartphones--including iPhone 4/4S & 5, Samsung S3, Android, Windows, and Blackberry--this waterproof phone case is ideal for swimming, hiking, going to the beach, and other outdoor activities.

The EcoExtreme speaker case is powered by 3 AA batteries and has a 30-hour battery life. It comes in seven colors: black, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, and red.

Photos courtesy of Grace Digital


Floating Waterproof Speaker for Your Pool



EcoXGear ECOXBT waterproof portable audio speaker poolsideAnother option for playing tunes in and around your pool is a waterproof speaker. The EcoXGear ECOXBT by Grace Digital Audio is a portable waterproof speaker system that streams music via Bluetooth from your smartphone or Bluetooth-enabled audio device.

You can take the ECOXBT speaker right into the pool with you while keeping your phone safely away from the water. The ECOXBT streams audio from up to 33 feet away, providing a convenient wireless way to play music at your next pool party.

The ECOXBT is powered by a built-in rechargeable lithium battery and provides 10 hours of audio playback. It is available in three colors: black, orange, and red.

Photo courtesy of Grace Digital

Video: See the ECOXBT Floating Waterproof Speaker in Action



Q&A: Shapes, Design Options, and Benefits of a Custom Spa

Spa Design: Best Features and Design Options for Custom Spas and hot tubs







Diamond Spas flower-shaped custom spa

For those looking for a hot tub or spa, custom-designed spas allow you to get the exact look, size, and features you want. We spoke to Charlie Snider, PMP, AFO, vice president of pool and spa sales at Diamond Spas, to learn about hot tub and spa design, including the materials, shapes, options, and advantages of owning a custom spa.

PoolSpaOutdoor.com: What are some the most requested features on a custom spa and hot tub? How do they enhance the user’s experience?

Charlie Snider, Diamond Spas: The most common customizations are seating options designed specifically for the primary users. We arrange the jets and seating options to suit special requests. We create loungers and arm rests, unique curves, decorative coping on the exterior, and work with the customers to place the jets exactly where they want them to be.

Automatic covers are also popular. Another common request is integrating our controls with a home automation system for convenient and multiple points of control. We provide any type of heating system, offer choices for high efficiency VFD drive pumps, and a variety of sanitation systems to meet any special requirements.

For more custom hot tub and spa design photos, check out Diamond Spas photo gallery >>

PSO: What are the benefits of a custom spa made of stainless steel and copper? How does it compare to a concrete spa (typically built in conjunction with a swimming pool) and a portable hot tub, which usually has an acrylic shell?

CS: The purpose of using copper and stainless steel materials is they don't require faux or add-on finishes. They’re a natural, recycled, and beautiful material that can be shaped to suit custom applications of high-end clients. Additionally, they both are highly durable.

The metals produce a smooth, comfortable finish surface demanding very little maintenance, never has to be replaced, and maintains its natural beauty for the life of the spa.

We build the spa shells entirely of copper or stainless steel. Sometimes we’ll provide copper trim on a stainless steel spa to combine the elements for stunning look and pronounced wow factor.

Copper does patina. It is a true "living metal.” The natural protective patina coating protects the copper from corrosion. Typically this is a dark brown coloration. We use a 316L grade, low carbon content stainless steel produced for marine environments. It’s extremely durable. We produce a unique, hand-buffed finish to tone down shiny reflections and provide a surface that can be cleaned without affecting the finish.

In addition, we eliminate corrosive chemical treatments that don’t work well for either metals or humans in order to deliver a rich and comfortable experience.

PSO: What types of hydrotherapy jets are available on custom hot tubs and spas? How can jets be configured to suit each customer’s needs?

CS: We use a custom manufactured jet to meet our specification of durability and standardized installation for quality control. There are a few options for discerning customers. The primary desire for most spa customers is location, strength of jet, and options for how to control the jets.

PSO: Users may want the ability to adjust the intensity of the hot tub jets. Does Diamond Spas offer jets that can be adjusted individually?

CS: We do provide this availability using programmable VFD drive pumps and control systems to operate multiple speeds.

PSO: What are some of the uniquely-shaped hot tubs and spas Diamond Spas has built? Even with unique options available, are squares and rectangles still the most popular?

CS:
Most often unique shapes are defined by available space, efficiency, aesthetics, and functionality. We work with designers, builders, and owners to create the best user experience for each project. This includes a variety of curves, ellipses, trapezoids, triangles, circles, ovals, squares, and rectangles.

The most popular spa shapes are the most efficient in terms of seating capacity and budget. Since there’s no functional purpose to build a spa greater than 7 feet across, most customers elect square, rectangle, and elliptical shapes to provide efficiency within their available space. There truly is no commonality.

We have to search hard through years of designs to find an example that any particular customer might request as something typical, standard, or simple. While the initial request often begins here, the end product morphs to something quite unique by the time the final design is approved.

See more custom hot tub and spa photos and videos from Diamond Spas >>


Photo courtesy of Diamond Spas


Top 5 Pool Products for 2013

Must-Have Pool Products for Fun, Fitness, and Faster Maintenance






Today’s high-tech pool equipment and accessories can boost your pool’s fun factor, improve your fitness level, and make pool care a breeze. Enjoy a great swim season this summer with the help of these top 5 pool products.

1. Swim Current Generators


Stream by Swim Ex Portable Swim Current GeneratorA swim current generator can maximize your pool’s fitness factor. This portable, self-contained unit sits at the edge of your pool and produces a smooth adjustable current that you can swim in place against for a low-impact, high calorie-burning workout.

With a swim current generator you can enjoy continuous swimming without the interruption of flip turns or risk of injury. They can be used in aboveground and inground pools of any shape, size, and depth and are especially great for small or oddly shaped pools that are not conducive for swimming laps.

Variable speed settings offer a range of current paces to suit swimmers of any age or fitness ability. You can also swim laps, jog, or walk in place while the rest of your family relaxes and enjoys the pool.

The new Stream by SwimEx is a convenient swim current generator that operates via a rechargeable battery and requires no installation or setup.

Check out swim generator photos and videos of Stream by SwimEx >>


Photo courtesy of SwimEx


2. Automatic Pool Covers


Cover-Pools Automatic Cover on Freeform PoolAn automatic pool cover retracts open and slides closed over your pool via a motor-driven track system that is permanently mounted along the length of your pool. Most automatic pool covers operate at the push of a button or turn of a key and can be installed on any type or shape pool, old or new, and indoors or out. Additionally, the track system can be mounted on top of your pool’s existing deck, under the coping, or seamlessly built into your pool’s design during construction for an aesthetically pleasing look.

Using a pool cover can significantly reduce your pool’s energy consumption and operating cost by minimizing the evaporation of heat, water, and chemicals. A pool cover also helps prevent dirt and debris from entering the water so your pool stays cleaner longer and requires less frequent skimming and vacuuming. This also reduces the workload on your pool’s circulation system and equipment.

In order to reap all the energy, money, and time savings, however, you need to keep your pool covered between uses. Automatic pool covers make it quick and easy to cover your pool when it’s not in use.

View more automatic pool cover photos and videos from Cover-Pools, Inc. >>


Photo courtesy of Cover-Pools, Inc.


3. Control Systems


Easy Touch Automatic Pool Control System

Swimming pool control systems allow you to manage all of your pool and/or spa equipment with the push of a button. Daily pool operations such as filtration, sanitation, and cleaning cycles are programmed or activated from a wireless, easy-to-use control panel located outdoors or inside your home. Most pool control systems can manage an unlimited number of pool equipment and features, including pumps, heaters, waterfalls, pool and landscape lighting, fountains, and more.

Additionally, some manufacturers offer optional remote controls, such as a spa-side remote or handheld wireless remote so you can operate equipment from anywhere in your yard. Automated pool control systems are available in various configurations, including pool only, spa only, pools and spas with shared equipment, and custom pools and spas with separate equipment.

With everyday pool operations on autopilot, you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy your pool. In addition, having automated control over your filter pump’s run time can help you save energy and money. For instance, when manually operating your pool, you’re probably running your filter during the day (between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.) when demand for electricity is at its highest. What’s more, chances are you’ve forgotten to turn off the filter on more than one occasion.

With an automated control system, you can set your filter pump to run during off-peak hours (before 1 p.m. or after 9 p.m.) and for the minimum duration. (Note: Time requirements for filtering depend on pool size, bather load, equipment, and amount of debris. Generally, filter operation should be no less than 4 – 5 hours.)

Learn about automatic pool control systems from Pentair Aquatic Systems >>


Photo courtesy of Pentair Aquatic Systems


4. Pool Waterslides


Fiberglass Pool Waterslide by Dolphin WaterslidesThere’s no doubt your swimming pool provides countless hours of fun and excitement for you and your family, but there’s nothing quite like the thrill of zipping down a pool slide and splashing into the water. From stand-alone units with a straight or corkscrew runway to custom built-ins that zig and zag around landscaping or take riders through a cave waterfall, there are a variety of waterslide options to fit every swimming pool.

Fiberglass pool waterslides have become a common choice among homeowners due to their durability, low maintenance, and customization. Pre-designed models are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes and can typically accommodate any pool design or decking allocations. If you can’t find the exact waterslide you’re looking for, the majority of fiberglass waterslide manufacturers will work with you and your pool builder to create a custom slide that’s just right for your pool, family, and thrill-seeking needs.

See more photos and videos of fiberglass waterslides from Dolphin Waterslides >>


Photo courtesy of Dolphin Waterslides/Creative Rock Formations


5. Robotic Pool Cleaners


Spend more time enjoying your pool with a robotic cleanerWant to spend more time enjoying your pool and less time cleaning? Replace your manual pool vacuum with a robotic pool cleaner. A robotic pool cleaner is a type of automatic pool cleaner that is driven by an electric motor, which can be powered by batteries, solar energy, or a low voltage water-safe cord plugged into a GFCI-protected outlet. The self-contained unit roves around the pool, sucking up dirt, leaves, and finer particles and transferring them into an attached filter bag; some models feature rotating brushes or rollers that scrub surfaces.

Pentair Automatic Pool CleanerThe majority of robotic pool cleaners contain a microchip that allows you to program the cleaner’s route for effective and efficient cleaning, though most pools can be cleaned in about one to two hours. Some models come with a remote control for easy spot cleaning.

The perks of a robotic pool cleaner go beyond not having to manually clean your swimming pool: Because a robotic pool cleaner does not hook up to your pool pump or filter, it reduces the use of your pool’s circulation systems, which lowers energy costs and extends the life your pump and filter.

Check out automatic pool cleaners from Pentair Aquatic Systems >>


Photo courtesy of Pentair Aquatic Systems

You May Also Like…
6 Tools That Make Pool Care Easy >>
Q+A: What to Look for in a Safety Pool Cover >>
2013 Pool & Spa Outdoor Buyers' Guide >>


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