capsule review

DVForge The Clips

At a Glance
  • DVForge, Inc. DVForge The Clips

    Macworld Rating

The iPod shuffle includes a lanyard, but let's face it: Some people will never wear their music player around their neck, no matter how small and light it is. So we've seen a number of belt clip accessories for the shuffle hit the market since the shuffle's release, with prices ranging from $15 to $25. We've commented on the prices of these accessories before, but also noted the difficulties in producing and distributing small, inexpensive accessories. DVForge has taken a slightly different approach: Instead of selling just a belt clip, they've produced three different "clip-like" accessories and bundled them into a set that sells for just $15.

The Clips, as DVForge calls the set, includes a belt clip, a "gripper" clip, and a push pin. Each attaches to your iPod shuffle's USB plug via a white plastic cap much like the iPod shuffle's own USB cap, complete with ball-bearing "snaps" inside. In our week-long testing, all three clips fit snugly and securely.

The belt clip provides a large, metal clip that can be attached to a belt, pocket, or bag. When clipped, the shuffle is upside down, but I didn't find this to be an issue. In fact, I liked the fact that because the belt clip attaches via a shuffle-like white cap, and the metal clip is almost entirely hidden when the shuffle is clipped to your belt or pocket, DVForge's belt clip is the most subtle I've yet seen. And the rear edges of the belt clip's white cap are rounded off, presumably so as to be more comfortable during use. The push pin uses a metal pin and squeeze-release clasp to pin your shuffle onto a piece of clothing or a bag -- if you've ever seen a lapel pin/clasp, DVForge's push pin attachment works similarly. Finally, the gripper clip, which looks (and functions) like half of an alligator clip, provides a spring-loaded, serrated clip that lets you attach your iPod shuffle more securely than the belt clip. I tested the gripper clip at the gym, clipping an iPod shuffle to the bottom edge of a pair of shorts, and it indeed held its grip for the duration of my workout.

One other advantage of The Clips over some belt clips we've seen is that because the various Clips connect to your shuffle via the USB cap, you can use them while your iPod shuffle is protected in many rubber "skin" cases; the only caveat is that the skin case must be one of those that covers the USB cap and the body of the shuffle using two separate pieces.

I have only three minor criticisms of The Clips. The first is that the white plastic caps aren't a perfect color match for the iPod shuffle's own white plastic. The difference is very small, but it's there. The second is that because the belt clip is so large, you can't access the iPod's rear off/shuffle/play switch without detaching the clip. Finally the belt clip doesn't have a very firm grip. Although this isn't a major concern -- usually a belt clip is used vertically, so you don't need it to hold too tightly, and The Clips does include a much sturdier clip in the gripper clip -- because the actual clip is made of thin metal, it's conceivable that over time the clip could bend outward, lessening its grip. (On the other hand, if this happens, you may be able to bend it back just as easily.) Extended time with the belt clip will tell.

But even taking those concerns into account, The Clips is an attractive accessory bundle. For the same price as (or less than) belt clips from other vendors, you get three different "clips" that serve different purposes. At only $15, the set of Clips is a bargain by comparison.


[As a final note, I should point out that because the alligator clip is spring-loaded with serrated edges -- it's made to grip fabric, after all -- you need to be careful when removing it so as not to scratch the back of your shuffle. This should be obvious, but just in case...]
--Dan Frakes

At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Belt clip, alligator clip, and push pin attachments for iPod shuffle

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