Splash out on waterproof tech

Caroline Cassidy

Pool parties, days at the beach, barbecues - summer is the time for outdoor living, and it's also the season where waterproof tech really comes into its own.

Underwater tech
Underwater tech

Pic: Getty

If you're planning a seaside getaway, taking the plunge in the pool, or simply risking a rainy barbecue, these are the gadgets that won't mind getting wet.

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Underwater sounds
It doesn't matter whether you're doing lengths of just lounging on a lilo, if you want sounds without the worry, waterproof headphones are the way to go. Sony's NWZ W273 Walkman is an all-in-one MP3 player with wraparound headphones, that has no problem drowning out the sound of kids splashing about. The device can carry roughly 40 albums-worth of music, and at just £59, is an affordable option.

A tad more expensive is the Speedo Aquabeat 2.0, which attaches to goggles. It boasts a similar 4GB memory as well as built-in FM radio. And while the gadget itself is designed to float to the surface should it come adrift, you may find Sony's all-in-the-headphones option more useful. For gadget geeks, the Finish Neptune headphones (£98) will undoubtedly appeal. Similar to Sony's all-in-one solution, you only get 2GB of storage... but you do get the sound transmitted through your cheekbones while you're underwater.

Splashproof snaps
Underwater photographs can add a whole new dimension to your holiday snaps, and there are a host of waterproof options on the market these days. If you're just looking to take a few swimming pool snapshots, the Sony TF1 (£159) does the job. This 16mpx, easy-to-use compact is water resistant to a depth of 10 metres, and boasts HD movie and panorama modes so you can do all your photography with one little device.

More expensive options include Panasonic's Lumix FT4 (£240), which is waterproof to 12 metres, shock proof, freeze proof to -10C and protected against dust and dirt. Ideal for extreme sports lovers looking for a compact camera, since it has built-in GPS tagging, a digital compass, altimeter and barometer. If you plan on taking your underwater photography a little more seriously, the Pentax Optio WG-2 (£200) is also waterproof to 12 metres, and has the unique addition of a set of tiny LED lights around the lens, allowing you to take shots in murkier waters.

Safe smartphones
Most of us rarely leave home without our smartphones, but accidents do happen. Thankfully, manufacturers are already on the case and there are a couple of waterproof options available. The Xperia ZR from Sony, for example, can take snaps and HD video to a depth of 1.5m, and means you can safely take calls in the pool without worrying.

Smartphone giants Samsung have also taken water babies into account with the Galaxy S4 Active, a waterproof device with the added bonus of 'aqua mode', which increases the visual quality of images taken underwater. You'll have to wait a little while to get your hands on it though, as it's tipped for a July released date.

Lap time
Waterproof watches are nothing new, but if you're serious about your swimming, it could be worth investing in the TomTom Multi Sport Watch, due to launch this month. Designed for runners, cyclists and swimmers, it's capable of tracking your swim speed, distance and strokes per minute. A simple non-touchscreen control panel makes it easy to record your lap times and all-round swimming improvement.
Outdoor entertainment
Provided you've invited the neighbours, an afternoon or evening barbecue do is almost always improved by the addition of music. Since Britain is not renowned for its reliable summertime weather, shower-proof speakers are a must. A set of Monitor Audio CL 50 speakers means you need not worry about the rain, wind or snow, as they're totally protected from the elements. Plus, they can be wall mounted so once fixed, they'll be ready to go, even if you decide on an impromptu garden party.

Have you invested in any waterproof tech? What are your recommendations? Leave your comments below...