I used a few of these in Italy. I enjoyed them very much. The only glitch is audioguides are very difficult to use in crowded areas. I suggest using the San Marco Church audio before entering the Church - when you are standing in line. It's hard to maneuver in there in June. Also with audioguides, be prepared for certain areas to be closed off or a particular exhibit moved. Overall, audioguides can make visiting a site much better.
I downloaded some audio guides for Greece to my phone. Were yours difficult to hear due to the crowds? Did you use earphones?
Be sure to print out the accompanying maps. The audio directions can be confusing, especially if something has been moved or closed.
I just bought some inexpensive earbuds at radioshack. Because I was sharing the guide with family, I also bought a 3 prong jack and ear buds for them as well. Audioguides can be used with or without earbuds depending on where you are and courtesy issues. We learned by mistake that some earbuds have a mute button on the cord. If you can't hear your audio, look for the mute button on the cord first before getting irritated. A mesh pouch (i.e. Travelon) is a good way to carry earbuds and a jack. An eyeglass case is good if just bringing earbuds alone.
Thanks for the info, Barb. It sounds like part of the difficulty was that y'all were having to share the audio in a little group which was hard to maneuver through the crowds.
I have the audioguides on my phone and I have earbuds for it. They have no mute button. I'm planning to download the same guides on my husband's phone and get some earbuds for him. We never share when we get the audioguides provided by the sites. It's mandatory that we don't because we go through things at radically different paces. I'm fast and he's slow, and it's very annoying for either of us to go at the other's pace.
But I can imagine him wanting to share because the smartphone is new to him and using it for the audioguides is one more thing he will have to learn. Your experience adds another data point in favor of him having his own setup.
St. Mark's Basilica in Venice - the church gets roped off in a way that it is difficult to maneuver. It may just be in June. This makes it hard for even a single person to use the audioguide. The same can be said for many areas in the Vatican museum. St. Peter's Basilica is not a problem for audioguides.
I love RS audioguides. I have to say, though, I've relied on the Pompeii one twice (trips 2 years apart), and I still got lost BOTH times! I don't know what it is about that one! LOL. But, I LOVED the one for the Venice grand canal. Used that on both trips as well. Other guides also, but those stand out for me for both the negative and the positive!