There seems to be a never-ending need for accessories that hold an iPod—be it case, clip, cover, or carry-all. This week’s passel of iPod products includes all of these and more.
We begin with KeychainPod’s $35 KeychainPod, an aluminum case for the iPod shuffle. Available in “polished aluminum” (silver), blue, red (actually more maroon), and silver, the KeychainPod is made of machined aluminum to provide a case that is the most protective we’ve seen in terms of bumps and crushing.
There’s not much to say about XtremeMac’s $15 SuperClip: It’s a snap-on belt clip for the iPod shuffle that holds the iPod horizontally (as opposed to the vertical orientation of most other belt clips). Two rubber strips line the inside to keep the SuperClip from sliding up and down your shuffle. The SuperClip works as advertised. Our only criticism is the price—although it’s cheaper than DLO’s Flip Clip, it’s the same price as DVForge’s The Clips, which includes three different types of clips for the iPod shuffle.
If you’re looking for something a bit more tubular for your shuffle, take a gander at Coherent Cognition’s $15 ShuffleTube, a cup/mount for your iPod shuffle. As its name implies, it’s a tube, 2 inches tall and just over an inch in diameter. Lined with neoprene foam, the ShuffleTube is effectively a small “cup holder” that holds your iPod shuffle securely. The “back” of the ShuffleTube provides a thin vertical strip of Velcro, while another patch lines the base; matching strips are included to attach the ShuffleTube to your car dashboard or desk.
Last week we reviewed Moshi’s miniPouch. This week we look at its larger sibling, the $20 iPouch. Reviews Editor Dan Frakes sums up both pouches this way: “If you’re looking for a thin layer of scratch protection that lets you operate your iPod in the case, we still recommend RadTech’s PodSleevz; but if you’re really just looking for a pouch, the Moshi iPouch is the best option I’ve yet seen.”
For those desirous of a much larger iPod mini pouch—one that can hold your iPod mini as well as the accessories you’re likely to pack with it—we recommend Waterfield Designs’ $29 iPod Gear Pouch. Like other Waterfield products we’ve seen, the Mini Gear Pouch exhibits impressive fit and finish and should stand up to abuse. The self-locking zipper keeps your stuff inside, and handy loops make it easy to grab the Pouch out of your bag or attach it securely.
As for the “and more,” we also looked at two audio products, JBL’s $100 On Tour portable speakers and Ultimate Ears super.fi headphones.
The On Tour is a nifty travel system that, at current street prices ($65 to $70), is a good value in the portable iPod speaker market. Although it doesn’t sound as good as our favorite portable system, the $180 inMotion iM3, or even the $80 to $100 Logic 3 i-Station, the On Tour is less expensive, about 2/3 the size, and several ounces lighter, making it a good fit for a laptop bag, backpack, or briefcase.
We don’t review pre-production products so we can’t issue a judgment on Ultimate Ears’ super.fi headphones, but we can give you a darned fine first look. As Dan says, “If the buzz on the headphone sites is any indication, the release of Ultimate Ears’ super.fi line is a big event for headphone lovers. It’s also significant for iPod users in general, as they’ll have even more choices for quality canalphones. We should be receiving our review units soon, so keep an eye out for our upcoming full reviews.”