Before we head off for a long weekend of fun and frolic, we’d like to update you on the doings in our Reviews department during the last week.
Reviews Editor Dan Frakes kitted out his iPod shuffle with a pouch and art-deco dock, skinned his mini, took a very long look at some exciting new, full-sized iPod speakers, and finished it all off by packing his 4G iPod inside a bendable buddy.
The pouch in question is the $20
Incase Pouch for iPod shuffle. This is the first neoprene sleeve we’ve received for review. The soft, water-resistant black neoprene case covers the shuffle’s entire body except for the top edge, offering protection from scratches and mild bumps. It’s a nice looking case that offers a reasonable amount of protection but you can’t access the shuffle’s rear off/on/shuffle switch or its battery level button, making it most useful for those who like to press Play and go.
If you admire cool designs you’ll want to take a look at the $29
Pressure Drop DecoDock. Sure, it’s a bit pricey for what is basically a USB extension cable, but if you’re going to put your shuffle in a dock, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more attractive one.
ToughSkin for 4G and photo iPods was the first “skin” case we were really enthusiastic about. Unlike many skins, which protect against scratches but don’t provide much shock protection, despite their bulk, the ToughSkin provides significant protection against scratches, bumps, drops—pretty much everything except for water. Now that Speck has released a version for the iPod mini, we have a new favorite for that model—the $35
Earlier in the week we posted a long review of Klipsch’s $400
iFi iPod-based home speaker system. You’ll want to read the entire review for all the details, but we can tell you here and now that iFi offers the best sound of any iPod-specific speaker system we’ve tried.
Finally, we wrap up with one of the most whimsical iPod accessories to cross our desk in the past few weeks—Speck’s $35
iGuy. Speck, long known for its protective silicone cases for the iPod, has taken that last step over the edge and created a posable figure—think “white, iPod-shaped Gumby”—that happens to double as an iPod case. The iGuy is fairly heavy as far as iPod cases go, and definitely bulky—this isn’t the most portable case on the market. It’s also more expensive than other silicone cases. But we’ve yet to find a case that’s as much fun as the iGuy.