The H2OAudio waterproof iPod nano case and headphones are designed with the outdoor and water sport enthusiast in mind. The goal is to seal the iPod from all external elements and be immersible down to 10 feet of water.
In order to get that of protection, appropriating the techniques used to protect cameras when underwater is the only approach.
The controls and lids are sealed by silicone gaskets. One large clip at the top locks the case. The clip uses a dual-hinge design to generate an even pressure on the seal. The clip also has a spring lock which prevents the case from accidentally opening if dropped. In order to open the case, the tab must be moved horizontally while the clip is moved in the vertical direction (red arrows above).
The headphones, when paired with the rubber housing, provide total waterproof music to 10ft. The wires are slipped through the frame and out the back, which keeps them out of the way (no floating in front of your face while trying to determine if you're staring down a piranha or a sunfish...).
The plug mates perfectly with the socket in the case. Note the additional internal water barrier (red arrow), should the briny deep (or shallow kiddie pool) get past the outer seal.
The control knob is raised, which should make it easy to manipulate even with gloves on.
Here are a few close-ups of the top latch-and-hinge mechanism. The pins are made of stainless steel. The internal spring keeps the hook in the locked position. The hook must be pushed to the right before the latch can be released.
Once the latch is released the case will hinge open. The only thing to remember with seal is to keep them CLEAN. A piece of sand or any particle bridging the seal will compromise its integrity.
The contact points (red arrows) are made of soft silicone. The clickwheel control looks pretty complicated, but is very well made.
Both the control wheel and headphone jack are permanently mounted into the housing. This is to insure the case remains watertight over its lifetime.
In the FirstUse review, we'll see how the iPod is inserted into this case and how well the control works compared to the "naked" nano. We'll also so some preliminary tests on the case watertightness before taking it to the pool.